Oh boy, here we go again.
Gather around my young Beastlords to be, we’re about to delve into another guide on the MANLIEST faction in Total War Warhammer 2. Those of you who read my previous guide may wonder why it has taken me so long to write another, and the truth is that I have had to perform EXTENSIVE MANLY TESTING to ensure that I would only review the MANLIEST faction. Let’s get into the list of reasons why Rakarth is indeed the MANLIEST legendary lord in TWWH2.
Rakarth is an interesting fellow. He took one look at a Dark Elf army, all the ranks and files of Druchii in their gleaming pointy armour (or lack of armour in some cases), shook his head and said “Nah, I can achieve far more efficient military conquest with just my pets”, and then he did. Rakarth cares not for the weak flesh of his fellow elves but for the raw might of his pet beasts. With this in mind, he set out with one mission and one mission alone; to become Malekith’s top general using nothing but his own Beast Legions.
I cannot even describe the unparalleled levels of manliness here. Everyone dreams of fielding armies of nothing but dragons and monsters, but Rakarth made that dream a reality. Each and every day he works to bolster his menagerie and assemble the biggest gathering of his favourite good boys and girls that the world has ever seen. Let’s list some of this:
- Monsters are exponentially more awesome than soldiers, and therefore it takes a MANLY man to keep them under control.
- Rakarth cares not for fame, fortune or friendship, all he wanted was an excuse to play with his favourite animals all day every day, and found a valid excuse to do so. Manly men follow their dreams!
- You know I just mentioned about how Rakarth doesn’t care about boring stuff? That includes leadership roles. Rakarth COULD let loose his Beast army and conquer the world if he really wanted to, and yet he does not. This is because conquering the world would mean having to rule it afterward, which means boring tasks like governing and trade deals and diplomacy. He would rather let some other idiot sit on the throne (See: Malekith) while he spends all day playing with his beasties! MANLY priorities!
- As a child, Rakarth tamed Bracchus by STARING at him. Do you understand quite how manly that is? A giant legendary black dragon that has sewn carnage wherever it went, and he was tamed by Rakarth STARING at him. That is how manly Rakarth is, Bracchus took one look at him and was like “Hot damn this kid is going places”. They’re still BFF’s to this day.
- Rakarth was so determined to prove how efficient that his beasts are, that instead of staging a campaign from his homeland, he instead charged head-first into Norsca & High Elf controlled territory to begin his legacy. No comforts of home, no safe place to fall back to, no chances for alliances or trade deals, just the brutal reality of being a conquerer. And now he’s gonna explore the world to find NEW beasty friends!
Malekith is also pretty manly but his starting area is a LOT more forgiving than Rakarth’s, which makes Rakarth more manly to play.
If you have read all of this and you don’t concur that Rakarth is indeed Manly then you are sad and I’ve no further desire to converse with you. The back button is at the top left of the guide, feel free to go back to doing skaven ambushes or whatever other cravenly playstyle you prefer, you knave! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go give Bracchus another headpat for being the goodest boy.
Alright aspiring Beastlords, let’s go through the basics of Rakarth’s campaign.
I need to begin with a footnote that it’s a bit of a crap campaign. Rakarth didn’t get a unique playstyle like Malus did but we do have a couple of cool features. I also need to make you aware that Rakarth has a much more difficult early game than any of the other Legendary lords so be ready for lots of fighting. That being said, if you’re still reading this then you’re clearly manly enough to take on the challenge, so godspeed Beastlord.
We begin on the icy shores of Albion. Rakarth has already claimed the city of Albion but now we need to secure the province. This is the calm before the storm, kicking Norseman into the sea is a pleasant walk in the park before the challenge begins.
Start out by destroying the Norsca army and then taking their settlements. We need to generate income as well as prepare our staging ground. Try to be as quick as you can with wiping them out, we don’t have long. After you’ve demolished them, you may notice something interesting: your armies have a third recruitment option to recruit from the Monster Pens. As you explore the world, conquer settlements, solve challenges with your heroes and wipe out enemy armies, you will receive monsters into your pen (Usually a ton of harpies. My god, so many harpies) that can be recruited instantly by any army. No training time, instant recruitment just like when undead raise units. It’s glorious. You should have a few of these now so fortify Rakarth and recruit another lord. You don’t have to fill their army to capacity, but take as many soldiers as you can economically afford. You’re gonna need every soldier you can get to kickstart this invasion.
Another thing with Rakarth, check your available Rites. One of them lets you scout for beasts and you want to be using this on cooldown, because constantly finding new Beasts is MANLY. You will be presented with options for where to scout for them, and your response will determine A) How much the expedition costs, B) How long the rite cooldown is, and C) what type of beasts they will return with. Stockpile the beasts, they don’t go anywhere and you can recruit them at any time. Plus if you’re not interesting in maintaining a large menagerie of best beasties then you are a failure and I am disappointed in you.
Beginning your invasion
Finished conquering the Norseman? Good job, now it’s time to storm the beaches of Cothique. Wait, Cothique? Are you sure?
Damned straight. Let me make this abundantly clear, you ARE going to war with the high elves. It’s not a question of IF, it’s a question of when. In fact, if you take too long to kickstart your invasion, they will declare war on you and they will bring their friends with them. We’re going to beat them to it by doing a manly charge straight at them and taking their staging ground away, in this case Cothique.
Cothique is an easy invasion point to start with because it’s so close. Mistnar is an easy siege and it gives you a place to deploy your other lord from without having to disembark on a shoreline. After that, we’re taking out Tor Koruali and then moving on to Chrace. Before we do that though, let’s make a friend.
The Scourge of Khaine are just sorta chilling to the north of Ulthuan on the shrine of Khaine. As fellow Dark Elves, they’re quite happy to be friends with you after you’ve proven you can take some ground, so be sure to send them as many agreements as they’ll take. An early military alliance is unlikely but if you can start building your friendship with them, it will make things easy later on. Don’t bother trying to conquer them, we will confederate them later when you’re feeling up to it.
Now let’s talk battle strategy. If you keep recruiting Monsters (and you should because why else are you playing Rakarth?) then you need to be VERY careful in the early game. What are monsters weak against? Spear infantry. What is the High Elf’s main source of early game infantry? Spearmen. What absolutely wrecks flying creatures? Arrows, and elves have lots of archers. That’s part of why Rakarth is such an early game challenge, you’re going up against the one army specifically designed to counter your units. It’s for that reason you should try to bring a decent enough balance of boring elf units as well as monsters to ensure that you can distract the enemy for long enough for your beasts to get into a position that won’t result in them getting shishkebabed. If your best beasties end up adorning elven spears then you are a failure and I am disappointed in you.
Now let’s go conquer Cothique. When you’ve finished, things should look a bit like this:
Depending on RNG, you’re probably now at war with Tyrion, Allariel and Ellyrion. No worries, they’re small and insignificant and we’re gonna show them how puny they really are. Set your sights on Chrace and Ellyrion, after you’ve claimed those, we’re gonna go de-throne the Phoenix King.
Before we go there though, let’s check our economy. You really aren’t going to be making trade deals with many people in this campaign. You need as many armies as you can get and supporting them is tough, so be sure to build as many income generators as you can and keep upgrading them. Ports are the best source of income so keep upgrading those, Artisan Houses are fantastic too. If any of your settlements have a large population of slaves, Slave Pens can bolster their productivity. Keep an eye on your finances, Monsters may not require a salary but they do require food and that’s not cheap. If you let your best beasties go hungry then you are a failure and I am disappointed in you.
Now let’s go prove to Tyrion who the manliest elf is.
Tyrion is going to be your biggest early game challenge. He’s a legendary lord for starters and he’s probably recruited Alistair as well, so be prepared for him to have two beefy armies. It’s alright though, you’re bringing monsters to an elf fight. Try to bring at least two armies to go even with Tyrion, more is better but only if you can afford it. Don’t bankrupt yourself, seriously it isn’t worth it. Take out his armies in the field if you can and then take Lothern for yourself.
Knock knock, it’s time for the Monster Mash!
Mopping up Ulthuan
Now that Tyrion is deposed and your manly beasts are dwelling in his palace, it is time to wipe the pathetic High Elves from the face of the galaxy continent. There is no perfect order in which to do this, but Alariel is definitely a priority because she’s a legendary lord. If you can get her out of the way, the others crumble beneath the might of your MANLY beasts.
Expect some backlash from your warmongering ways. The lesser high elf nations will probably steal a settlement or two from you but don’t worry, we’ll take them back. Decide which order you want to conquest the continent in and commit to it. Either way it’s a ring, you’ll always end up back where you started eventually.
I went to go bury Alariel in her beloved forest and Ellyrion thought they were strong enough to come at me. Ultimately, they thought wrong, but I will always salute a manly attempt to charge into the fray!
You may notice that rituals are occuring and I’m ignoring them. I don’t have time to deal with chaos right now, I have a continent to conquer! Seriously, the rituals are a piece of cake when you’ve dealt with the high elves so focus on warmongering right now, we’ll deal with the rituals later.
Keep an eye on your economy too. Always be building Ports/Artisan Houses and keep developing your secure cities. You’re going to need that infrastructure later.
Now let’s move on to the next threat: Bloody Pirates. Pirates are, contrary to popular opinion, NOT manly at all. They stink, they make poor decisions, their armies crumble to dust under the might of beasties and they generally have no redeeming qualities. Seriously, what hope does a walking corpse have against a hydra? In this case, the Dreadfleet thought they could mop up Caledor and keep it for themselves. They quickly found out what happens to those who cross Rakarth.
The pirates themselves are your next goal, or more to the point, two of the pirates. The first is the Dreadfleet, if you leave them unattended, they will be a perpetual thorn in your side. Go wipe them out with MAXIMUM levels of prejudice. Just don’t feed their corpses to your best Beasties, they deserve much better than old decaying meat. After the Dreadfleet is nothing more than a distant memory and you’ve destroyed the Galleons Graveyard, your next goal is Sartosa. It’s a very easy fortress to take (hint: take dragons if you have them) and it offers you a significant amount of unique buildings. It’s basically a free income generator, and it will help you keep an eye on whatever Queek is up to. At this stage, try to befriend the Tomb Kings if you can. They will offer you some sweet trade deals so enjoy them while they last (Queek will eventually destroy them, it’s only a matter of time).
Count Noctilus is about to understand exactly how Perri Piper felt
Rituals and Endgame
Well, aspiring Beastlords, if you’re at this stage then you’ve done well! You’ve secured a domain, eradicated the High Elves*, conquered Ulthuan, proved to everyone how much Malekith sucks at conquering and secured a nice new home for all of your Beasty friends. Your next step is to take on those rituals!
*Teclis still exists but he’s such a non-threat that the Lizardmen usually wipe him out for you.
You’re going to want a bunch of armies for this and stock as many of them as you can with beasts. If you can’t afford beasts then elves will suffice, they act as a good meatshield to keep threats away from your beasts! Each ritual will spawn a group of Chaos and/or Skaven armies, be prepared to wipe them out as fast as you physically can. If you leave them unattended, they will destroy your cities and you’ll have to rebuild them. If you’ve destroyed them and you’re bored, feel free to send some armies south to go mess with Queek. Seriously, he has it coming, and the more distracted you keep him, the less of a threat he will be later. I often sent Rakarth down there just to go dab on him between rituals.
Queek is about to discover how quickly his fur ignites.
The rituals are definitely where Rakarth’s campaign is weakest. You don’t get unique cutscenes, just the standard Malekith ones. There isn’t really much to do while they’re happening so feel free to conquer territories, capture Scroll generating cities and mess with the Skaven while they’re counting down their clocks. Be sure to give Bracchus lots of headpats too, he is a good boy and he deserves them.
Each ritual lasts for ten turns. The final one lasts for twenty, but after ten turns you will be sent another batch of Chaos/Skaven to deal with. In my experience, both batches spawn in the same place so keep your armies on hand to deal with them.
They only brought six armies? They needed twice as many just to sate Bracchus’s hunger!
After the final ritual is completed, you’ll be given a quest for the final battle. You can only bring one army to this, so make sure Rakarth has lots of his best Beasties on hand and teleport him over. If your beast:elf ratio favours elves then you are a failure and I am disappointed in you.
This battle is actually a lot of fun so enjoy yourself! You’ll go up against the Skaven first and once they’re down, you’ll be given some abilities from the vortex. These have no cost and can be re-used an infinite amount of times so feel free to keep spamming them. If they’re not on cooldown then ask yourself, why are they not on cooldown? After the Skaven you’ll have to fight some High Elves, then some Lizards, then some more Skaven. They arrive one at a time, BUT their units will remain on the field unless you break them. If their squads flee because morale is low, they WILL come back, and the last thing you want is for some elf archers to start volleying into your back when you’re fighting lizards because you didn’t quite crush them hard enough. It’s a manly attitude, but an annoying one.
Keep using Rakarth and your flying beasts to wipe out enemy archers, get Rakarth to duel the enemy lords/heroes if it’s safe to do so because a high level Rakarth WILL demolish them pretty quickly. Rakarth has manly stats, and he is backed up by his bestest boy Bracchus (so give him some headpats, he deserves them).
After you’ve mopped up the last batch of skaven, GG! That’s it, you’ve won! The vortex is under control, Malekith will now use it to (presumably) remove the extra-crispiness from his body and Rakarth is now free to play with his bestest of beasty friends all day, every day! No more fighting, no more wars, just infinite happy times playing with his animal companions.
Look back, look at the carnage that’s been wrought in your wake. It was never about the titles or the fame or the money, it was always about the beasty friends you made along the way, and now you get to spend the rest of forever with them! Hooray for a happy ending!
And that’s all for today, Beastmasters! I hope this guide helped you out and you’re now feeling ready to begin your menageries! It’s been four years since I wrote the guide on how Bretonnia was Manly and I still get regular comments on it so I figured it was time to finally write one for TWWH2. If in doubt, just remember this mantra: Monsters are MANLY!
Take care of your new Beasty friends and be sure to devour some rats for me! And give Bracchus some headpats, he’s the goodest boy and he deserves them!
By Fire Angel
Here we come to an end for Total War: WARHAMMER II Guide on How to Play The Thousand Maws hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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