Total War: Warhammer 2 – The Prophet and the Warlock
Like myself, many gamers were a little late to the whole Warhammer Fantasy Battle bandwagon. Personally, I was too preoccupied playing pencil and paper role-playing games as a kid and so didn’t have the time to devote to learning about another IP, especially one as immense (and extensive) as the Warhammer Fantasy Battle universe.
Luckily, as an adult, I see that Creative Assembly has handled the Warhammer Fantasy Battle brand with utmost of care, and delivered much of the lore in tidy, piecemeal, digital installments with their Total War: Warhammer series. The smaller DLC which consist of rival lord packs have been among the more popular ones among fans of the two Total War: Warhammer games as of late, and CA definitely showed some love to the Dark and High Elves with their last lord pack. However, many fans were very vocal about evening the playing field with regards to both the Skaven and Lizardmen armies which seemed left behind.
CA’s most recent DLC, titled The Prophet and the Warlock, answers those concerns and more, with gusto. This latest installment brings the skink lord Tehenhauin to lead the Lizardmen forces, while the Skaven get the dastardly ratman leader, Ikit Claw. Not only do both races get new units and Regiments of Renown, but there are also new ways to utilize the respective factions that really flesh out their doctrines.
The Skaven, masters of deception and decay, are blessed (cursed?) with Ikit Claw, who is the combination of a powerful sorcerer and an ingenious mad scientist. He alone is responsible for inventing many of the Skaven’s various contraptions and weapon’s systems, including the ever-deadly Doomwheel.
With this master warlock engineer, the Skaven of Clan Skrye are able to upgrade many of their armaments through the new Forbidden Workshop. The new Warplock snipers, razor-gilded Door Flayers, and my personal favorite: The gatling gun wielding Ratling Gunners (what a clever name, eh?) can all be upgraded via the Workshop. The Workshop can also eventually build the dreaded Doom Rockets.
The warpstone-infused Doom Rockets may be used in battle either offensively, for purposes of overkill, or defensively, in order to even the playing fields, if going up against a superior force—this weapon can really be a big time game-changer. I’ve been in battles in which I was totally outmatched, only to drop a Doom Rocket on my foes, see them incinerated in a giant green mushroom cloud, and watch with glee as my little ratmen cleaned up the whatever scraps were left. Five of these devastating weapons can be stored at any one time.
CA has also brought a wickedly awesome new mechanic to the Skaven forces by introducing the new Undercity feature. Similar to the Pirate Cove mechanic utilized by the Vampire Coast, the Skaven can either send an engineer hero to an enemy city or simply conquer it, and in turn establish a burrow nearby. Once this stealthy tunnel is set up, the Skaven may begin building a clandestine stronghold directly underneath the settlement.
Skaven players can then utilize four building chains and choose from a veritable plethora of buildings types to construct. If your sneaky undercity isn’t discovered by the enemy, you can steadily increase it from levels one—all the way up to five—which will allow you to not only pilfer gold and food, but also gain lots of Skaven corruption. Upon maxing out your undercity, you can trigger either a Vermintide, which unleashes an entire Skaven army upon the unsuspecting city, or simply blow it up.
On the other side of the equation, the savage Lizardmen get new sacrifice and prophecy mechanics. Their new leader, the red-crested skink known as Tehenhauin, seeks to fully realize the ancient prophesies outlined by the Lizardmen god, Sotek. In order to bring this grand event to fruition, the Lizardmen must sacrifice (ala the Aztecs and Incans, which they are obviously modeled after) the enemies they conquer to their scaly snake-god.
As far as Lizardmen units go, the new Red-Crested Skinks are excellent at filling up the gap between their light infantry, and their heavier forces. They also move quicker than most of their other units and wield armor piercing weapons to boot.
Their new fire-imbued Salamanders are also a wicked new unit that really bolsters any Lizardmen army. These large, fire-breathing lizards can also skitter across the battlefield surprisingly fast, and can blast enemies with area-of-effect balls of flaming death.
In all, what I found most fascinating about the new Prophet and the Warlock DLC was that it really crystalizes the more unique playstyles of both the Skaven and Lizardmen races. Those who dare to sleep on the Skaven for too long will now find themselves in some seriously precarious situations, due to the ratmens’ new stealth mechanics.
Meanwhile, the more battles that the mighty Lizardmen win, the larger and more powerful their armies will become, until they become an unstoppable juggernaut of razor-sharp teeth and claws, along with potent magic.
Total War: Warhammer 2 – The Prophet and the Warlock features some pretty nice looking graphics that make its strategy warfare gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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