Total War: Warhammer III is scheduled to arrive on PC this year, and we had a chance to dive in and try out one of the big new features: Survival battles. These are akin to major boss battles, and are huge in scale, size, scope, and time investment, and can be much more involved than a traditional Total War fight. Over the course of multiple skirmishes and large scale battles in the same space, you are tasked with recruiting and replenishing troops, building defenses, holding points, and potentially engaging in several battles simultaneously.
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Survival battles are strategic enagements that force you to make both micro and macro choices as you progress throughout an experience. In the case of the demo I participated in, the massive confrontation culminated with an epic demonic encounter.
Playing as the Kislev and their Ice Queen Tsarina Katarin, it was cool to get a feel for one of Total War: Warhammer III’s playable races. The Kislev features powerful cavalry units, flexible infantry, and of course, ice magic. In the demo, I only had access to ice powers via Queen Katarin, but the Kislev also wield wind magic capabilities in the full game. Katarin was enough to shift many battles in my favor with a multitude of potent skills, allowing me to buff allies, freeze enemies in their tracks to control the battlefield, and of course, dish out plenty of direct icy damage.
Finding fun factions to play likely won’t be a problem in Total War: Warhammer III, as there are a multitude of flavorful and fantastic options across the first two titles. However, these extended big survival brawls are a new element to enjoy – and endure. In this survival demo, my Kislev forces faced off against the hellish hordes of Khorne. Initially, it was essentially a battle against another army, which is nothing new. However, we battled over a capture point. Once taken, I could choose how to use my supplies. Supplies in survival allow you to make choices that rippled across the entire battle. These resources can be used to heal existing troops, recruit new ones, and even set up multiple kinds of defensive structures from giant walls to magical towers. You can also upgrade your troops in terms of armaments.
How you choose to allocate your resources can make a big difference, especially as your options can option up as you progress through an encounter, offering higher-tier units for purchase. In this case, that’s the giant Kislev ice bear unit that can take on tons of demonic little annoyances by itself! Essentially, capturing each outstanding victory point and defending your current victory points is the imperative, and each point essentially comes with its own full-scale battle. By the time I had captured the third and final victory point, I had participated in three big battles and countless smaller ones.
However, taking that final point was not the end, as the final armies of Khorne, led by an Exalted Greater Daemon, came charging in to attack. During the distraction of this major encounter, first I lost one of my previously held victory points and eventually capitulated in a war of attrition to the big Daemon threat. Some of my loss I attribute to misallocation of resources, and the rest to poor distribution of troops during that final battle. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt these survival battles are designed to be both lengthy and challenging, with tons and tons of choices to make along the way. I was impressed with the previous Total War: Warhammer titles, and I really have no reason to expect this one will be any different. When will we see it in 2021? Hopefully soon! Ice bears!
Are you looking forward to Total War: Warhammer III? Let us know in the comments!