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Thematic brilliance of the game: Chaos the lesser evil / Game begins after Chaos

Tempus_fugitTempus_fugit Senior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 1,298
edited July 2016 in General Discussion
The fear in your belly as army upon army of steel-encased demonically influenced warriors and twisted demons and monsters head towards your lands, burning and razing all before them, is daunting. To say the least.

So you want to be a hero and face Chaos. ... So you faced Chaos and became a hero.

Now what?

Battling Chaos is fairly nerve-wracking and losing two units just from Hellcannon fire adds to the lip-biting. Facing powerful and relentless Chosen and Chaos knights with a few spear soldiers and some random cavalry as all the troops that you could muster in time and hoping that a teaspoon of courage and a boat-load of desperation will prevail are fairly average emotions during the Chaos invasions.

But, once you have survived the torrent of Chaos and the matching confusion and disarray it cast your lands and economy into, you realise that Chaos is only the most obvious enemy. It is not, in fact, the greatest threat to the Old World. It is only the mid-game challenge. You will have a mixture of early troops, mid-tier troops and some late-game units, but nothing like the armies you will have and have to face after defeating Chaos.

Once the Warriors of Chaos faction is destroyed, the true enemy of the world is shown: The treachery of the “good” races.
-

I am always pleasantly surprised at how well the CA team can make a thematically beautiful game if there is a narrow or strong focus driving the overarching design. By way of examples: Attila and Shogun 2. Both have strong, thematically coherent designs and have fairly emotive or evocative story lines for sandbox games.

Given the Warhammer intellectual property, they had to cast the new game within a fairly good framing theme that would, firstly, give the reason for playing the game and inform so many of the design elements of the game, from menus to maps. This is basic game design but, if done well, unifies all elements of the game.

So, now that I have played the game plenty of times, I inevitably begin to analyse the game’s more thematic aspects. I like a good story, and I initially thought that the TWWH game was a bit on the short side.

It did not take 200 turns to get to what I thought was the “Attila- / Realm divide -moment” of the game: The coming of the Warriors of Chaos.

Chaos had to be battled valiantly and I reveled in the diplomatic accords and the broad alliances formed in defence against the Chaos invasion.

But where was the abject terror of them steadily coming towards you as each faction scrambles to save their own hides? In Attila, preparing for the destroyer was everything and meant the difference between beating back the Huns and thriving in the new lands or barely surviving in a landscape ruined by war and fire.

And so, duly and dutifully, I prepared my forces for the coming of the Chaos Warriors, steeling my nerves for the difficult battles. Alliances were forged and cemented, wars deferred, old grievances set aside.

All was done to fend of the greatest threat to existence. Obviously.

The clashes, the ambushes, delaying tactics, the desperate defences, the strategic withdrawals and the counter offensives. All done with a single-minded focus and perseverance.

The final army, small and diminished. The bated breath exhaled as the final dark warrior is laid low. An age of peace.

…?

I had beaten Choas. And started to wonder whether they were too weak.

Then, with stunning perfidy and reckless speed, alliances – vows solemnly written on parchment as if set in stone – are cast aside with the ink still wet. Exposed backs are stabbed and territory, long coveted, quickly seized.

As soon as the single unifying front of Chaos Warriors and Norscan factions is removed, the true destroyer of the Old World – the true end times – arise. Not even Tzeentch can plan such as what lurks in the darkest recesses of the souls of all sentients.

As soon as Chaos is gone, the true End Times arrive. The Old World finally knows total war.


TL;DR: In TWWH, preparing only for Chaos is to miss the real end game.

Thematically, the Warriors of Chaos and End Times events, especially the level of betrayals and wars that erupt after the WoC faction is destroyed (the latest patch increased this), are there to show that Chaos is only the most obvious evil. It is not the greatest evil. The end of Choas is only the start of the wars in the Old World.

I thought it was fairly neat and fitting. Well played CA writers!
There is no time but the present. – S:TW Hojo, R:TW Brutii/Germania/Alemanni(BI), Med2: Venice, S2: Oda, R2: Julia/Boii/Suebi/Lusitani, Attila: Geats/Garamantians, WH: All factions VH, Wood Elves on L. TWWH2: Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Skaven, Khalida, High Elves, Vampirates. ME: Khalida, Vampire Counts, Carcasonne
Post edited by Tempus_fugit on

Comments

  • Galvanized IronGalvanized Iron Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,058
    Yes you are right. Unless you are the Empire you can basically consider Chaos on ally. As long as they are attacking it keeps other factions from backstabbing you and if you are lucky they might even wipe out factions you need to take out to reach your win conditions. Chaos itself is quite weak anyhow, you just need to hold the line and they destroy themselves against your armies.
    |Sith|Lord|Galvanized Iron
  • FredrinFredrin Senior Member LondonRegistered Users Posts: 3,014
    Thanks for this excellent post, TF. It has made me reconsider the post-Chaos game as the beginning of a new chapter as opposed to the closing of a book.

    It would be cool if CA kept up a steady stream of events, quests and general lore-related action after the "Age of peace" notification. They put quite a bit of emphasis on Chaos and it being an existential threat. So when you still do exist with quite a healthy empire, it's hard not to feel "well, what now?"

    I'll hang around for more action in future!
  • Tempus_fugitTempus_fugit Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,298
    edited July 2016
    I thought that it was Wax Lyrical Monday.

    Yes you are right. Unless you are the Empire you can basically consider Chaos on ally. As long as they are attacking it keeps other factions from backstabbing you and if you are lucky they might even wipe out factions you need to take out to reach your win conditions. Chaos itself is quite weak anyhow, you just need to hold the line and they destroy themselves against your armies.

    I have actually thought that in my next few campaigns I will let those last few soldiers in defeated Chaos armies get away so that they remain a threat to the other factions and saving my backside in the meantime. While I carry on preparing to battle against everyone eventually. Hey, this is Total War. Though, one key problem is that the WoC AI seems to target the player, and they tend to grind themselves to dust against you, so I don't know if my idea will work.
    Fredrin said:

    Thanks for this excellent post, TF. It has made me reconsider the post-Chaos game as the beginning of a new chapter as opposed to the closing of a book.

    It would be cool if CA kept up a steady stream of events, quests and general lore-related action after the "Age of peace" notification. They put quite a bit of emphasis on Chaos and it being an existential threat. So when you still do exist with quite a healthy empire, it's hard not to feel "well, what now?"...

    In my Vampire Counts VH and Orcs H campaigns, as soon as I defeated Chaos and spent many turns wiping out the Norscans, within one turn of there not being Chaos-aligned factions left, basically the entire roster of remaining factions declared war on me.

    Once I seven (7) dwarf armies - the dwarfs had been my defensive allies before declaring war on me - had rolled into my lands in the south while all my Vampire armies were in the north after having fought Chaos tooth and fang, it made me think that at least The Warriors of Chaos had the decency to be obvious and physical enemies of the world. Rather than pretending to be an ally and basically using me. At least the Warriors of Chaos had some honour, regardless of how broken and twisted it may be.

    Also, on the second point that you made on more events/lore based campaign events:
    The potential remains for Daemons of Chaos to be another faction and threat in later releases. I mean there could even be Beastmen or Skaven invasions as well as Chaos incursions that we could eventually be required to deal with in a "complete" campaign.

    It makes me curious for how they will manage to unify the three games thematically. But I have reason to believe they can do a good job.
    Post edited by Tempus_fugit on
    There is no time but the present. – S:TW Hojo, R:TW Brutii/Germania/Alemanni(BI), Med2: Venice, S2: Oda, R2: Julia/Boii/Suebi/Lusitani, Attila: Geats/Garamantians, WH: All factions VH, Wood Elves on L. TWWH2: Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Skaven, Khalida, High Elves, Vampirates. ME: Khalida, Vampire Counts, Carcasonne
  • OspreyOsprey Registered Users Posts: 510
    I think we won't have a real enemy until we have the full Chaos. Once all Chaos units + Demons Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh, Tzeench be released we will get the real Chaos invasion. And thinking about it just a little, it will be insane.
  • seienchinseienchin Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 4,572
    edited July 2016
    This is an interesting view...
    Seems so much different from my experiences where campaigns after defeating chaos were just senseless padding...

    Neither as dwarfs, imperials nor Greenskins did I have bigger/harder battles after chaos invasion...
    Only as VC did I have great battles later (empire) and backstabing...
  • Tempus_fugitTempus_fugit Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,298
    Seienchin said:

    This is an interesting view...
    Seems so much different from my experiences where campaigns after defeating chaos were just senseless padding...

    Neither as dwarfs, imperials nor Greenskins did I have bigger/harder battles after chaos invasion...
    Only as VC did I have great battles later (empire) and backstabing...

    I guess there is a lot of differences in the campaigns. That is good as well.

    In my playthroughs, I have had only the late-game betrayal events. Of course, I was the orcs or the vamps, so go figure. But I also faced more high-end tech and tier 3 units after Chaos than before or during.

    I kept thinking that Warriors of Chaos are the mid-game challenge. By turn 120 odd you will usually have a few high-tier units, mostly mid-tier units and some older lower tier remnants.
    There is no time but the present. – S:TW Hojo, R:TW Brutii/Germania/Alemanni(BI), Med2: Venice, S2: Oda, R2: Julia/Boii/Suebi/Lusitani, Attila: Geats/Garamantians, WH: All factions VH, Wood Elves on L. TWWH2: Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Skaven, Khalida, High Elves, Vampirates. ME: Khalida, Vampire Counts, Carcasonne
  • Galvanized IronGalvanized Iron Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,058


    I have actually thought that in my next few campaigns I will let those last few soldiers in defeated Chaos armies get away so that they remain a threat to the other factions and saving my backside in the meantime. While I carry on preparing to battle against everyone eventually. Hey, this is Total War. Though, one key problem is that the WoC AI seems to target the player, and they tend to grind themselves to dust against you, so I don't know if my idea will work.

    Yeah that is the problem with herding Chaos. They send 80% of their forces your way as soon as they can, so the remaining 20% often end up killed by AI. I was trying to keep Chaos alive a bit in my legendary Vampire campaign, but they all just suicides against me and quickly died off which was annoying. I did however successfully herd the first non-Archeon one into the Empire as you can make peace with it after wasting a few of their armies. That option is of course not there in the main one.

    Supposedly it could be possibly to get the most utility out of an Ork campaign and some from a Dwarf campaign. Doing a Dwarf legendary right now so I will try another Chaos herding.

    |Sith|Lord|Galvanized Iron
  • DolorousEddDolorousEdd Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 555
    Then, with stunning perfidy and reckless speed, alliances – vows solemnly written on parchment as if set in stone – are cast aside with the ink still wet. Exposed backs are stabbed and territory, long coveted, quickly seized.

    As soon as the single unifying front of Chaos Warriors and Norscan factions is removed, the true destroyer of the Old World – the true end times – arise. Not even Tzeentch can plan such as what lurks in the darkest recesses of the souls of all sentients.


    So, in a way, Chaos, at least its concept, still wins.
    Team Dwarfs
    Team Bretonnia
    Team Crooked Moon
    Team Cult of Pleasure
    Team Clan Pestilens
  • SnapperaSnappera Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,250
    edited July 2016
    Chaos isn't just Archaon and his Warrior hordes. They're just the only ones who actually accept the truth below:

    Chaos is everyone.

    Edit: Any inquisitors reading this, I'm just stating a quote, I'm not a heretic. Please no.
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  • Zatrakus95Zatrakus95 Registered Users Posts: 708
    Snappera said:

    Chaos isn't just Archaon and his Warrior hordes. They're just the only ones who actually accept the truth below:

    Chaos is everyone.

    Edit: Any inquisitors reading this, I'm just stating a quote, I'm not a heretic. Please no.

    Don't worry, our local witch hunter is really interested in discussing your ideas. He even invited you for a dinner in this new inn in his basement. If I were you I would hurry.
  • swarmofsealsswarmofseals Registered Users Posts: 52
    After the diplomacy changes in the patch, I had the same thought as this and I agree that it's totally brilliant. It brings a whole new level of Total War to the game, which now has three distinct phases:

    1. Preparation.
    2. Invasion.
    3. Free for All.

    I like how the dynamics of the Invasion encourage strategies that make stage three more interesting. Specifically, I've found that for many factions it's profitable to turtle fairly hard while preparing for the invasion. Defeating the Chaos/Norscan armies themselves is not too difficult, but if you take too much territory early on it becomes a HUGE pain to defend it against enemy stacks that are going to outnumber you badly. Thus creating a smaller front and fighting outside your territory becomes advantageous.

    This also makes the post-chaos game more interesting as you don't have a totally dominant share of the territory already. A huge part of the map is going to be in ruins, and there is going to be a big scramble for territory. You have to be careful though because it's still easy to overextend here and end up fighting a many-front war.

    I've played Shogun 1+2, Medieval 1+2, Rome 1, and Empire and I don't ever recall feeling like the campaign had this much going on. It always felt to me like Critical Mass -> Bossfight -> Steamroll in every game. This is much more strategic.
  • seienchinseienchin Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 4,572
    Well I hope I really dont bust your bubble guys but I got the same event now in my campaign but it was while chaos invaded (first time - no archaon...).
    I conquered my 5th region and suddenly all my neighbours I did not ally with declared war on me...

    it might just be about your power rating....
  • FredrinFredrin Senior Member LondonRegistered Users Posts: 3,014



    Also, on the second point that you made on more events/lore based campaign events:
    The potential remains for Daemons of Chaos to be another faction and threat in later releases. I mean there could even be Beastmen or Skaven invasions as well as Chaos incursions that we could eventually be required to deal with in a "complete" campaign.

    It makes me curious for how they will manage to unify the three games thematically. But I have reason to believe they can do a good job.

    Yeah, I have faith that CA will manage to knit all the approaching chapters together very nicely in terms of faction integration on the campaign map. Skaven will be a challenge, for sure, but that is presumably why have broken the game down into 3 parts. If you're going to design in an underground empire, that's going to take time!

    I've made some pretty harsh criticisms of individual race's campaign mechanics (which I stick by), but the way CA have designed factions to interact with each other has been seriously impressive considering they all have quite different mechanics. In fact, that may well be a reason that this element of the game feels quite stripped down (to some, at least) - races with lots of different campaign features must probably be a major head-ache to program.

    Very much looking forward to how Beastmen and Daemons of Chaos are done, though :)

  • CaffynatedCaffynated Member Registered Users Posts: 1,264
    Osprey said:

    I think we won't have a real enemy until we have the full Chaos. Once all Chaos units + Demons Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh, Tzeench be released we will get the real Chaos invasion. And thinking about it just a little, it will be insane.

    The full end times invasions involved massive hordes of Beastmen, the Everchosen's Chaos Warriors, Nurgles plagues, Daemon hordes, and of course the endless Skaven swarms.

    Warriors of Chaos by themselves are a pushover when most of the old world teams up against them. Once the trilogy is complete, everyone will have their own threats to deal with and can't mass against the Everchosen's spearhead.
  • GoreGaloreGoreGalore Registered Users Posts: 66
    my little **** apartment echoes with the sounds and music of this game. no women are welcome.....well they are but....hey, you know. im starting to feel the power as i take out these dwarf settlements one by one.

    however, i have the feeling, that will not last.....because THEY are coming.
  • emptonia22emptonia22 Registered Users Posts: 914
    Guys also keep in mind this map alones coming threats. When completed, i think we will be dealing with not only chaos invasions and former ally backstabs, but constant beastmen raids ambushes and invasions, and constant skaven incursions. So we will be dealing with beastmen, chaos, AND skaven, creating a full and hellish campaign challenge indeed. Brutal wars to come, my friends. Ready your weapons and rally your men.
  • MandalayMandalay Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 152
    It doesn't work this way in my experience, I'm usually too strong to be challenged at all by the time I see of chaos. I'd joyously welcome some kind of scaling AI buffs or freebies to inject challenge once the long victory has been claimed.
  • EinarialEinarial Member Registered Users Posts: 372
    Just means you're too good at the game :tongue:
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