We won't be hand-holding you through absolutely everything, but instead just give tips on situations that we found tricky or that you might not have considered.
Chapter 2: The Hosts of Ulthuan
Mission 7: Army of Blood
- During the pre-deployment phase, when you choose your heroes and units, you get to choose from both the Empire and Elven forces.
- You can swap gear, but some gear is specific to a race.
- After you swap gear, you can still choose "Retreat" to not start the mission yet. The item swaps will still be done, so you can save the game at that point in case you don't want to start the mission yet, but don't want to have to re-do your item assignments.
- Keep in mind that you won't be able to freely swap items between armies until much later, so you want to make sure both armies have something.
- For the Elven Army, Aurelion is the main hero and will always be deployed, but the Commander is the main front-line hero, so his armour needs to be fairly high. He should be close to getting Knight of Khaine (which can give +2 to +7 armour for 20 seconds), so focus on Von Kessel in terms of Armour, but try to get him at least Armour 8.
- Aurelion doesn't have to have high Armour because she will have the Commander in front, and in any case if she has to be deployed alone, you can move gear over. The crystal relic that increases your mana pool and that does not need to be equipped should be given to her as her mana requirements are much larger (she primarily uses her Wrath of Khaine in combat).
- For the Empire Army, Von Kessel needs the most armour. The remaining items can be given to the mages.
- For troops, if you don't take any Elven troops or heroes, Aurelion will be all alone in the castle. All elven forces start there, and CANNOT change initial deployment (not even to put archers on the walls). You will need to set Hold Fire settings, formation, and Fire Arrow once you end the deployment phase.
- For what troops to take, recommend:
- Elves: As many archers as you can, which probably means two regiments of archers and 1 regiment of Shadow Warriors. Also take the Repeater Bolt Thrower. Definitely take the Commander.
- You are allowed a total of three heroes, and two of them must be Von Kessel and Aurelion. If you do not take the Commander, Aurelion could get killed if she is engaged by the enemy regiments as her armour is much lower than the Commander's (who can and should have taken Armoured and Tenacity skills to 5 ranks each).
- You will probably not have time to flip back and forth between the two forces, so you need the elves to handle themselves without any babysitting from you. This means a high-armour hero who can survive getting axes rained on him and getting swarmed in melee.
- Empire: All the missile units you have (we brought level 2 Pistoliers and four regiments of level 3 handgunners). No need to take Hunters here unless you have nothing else that shoots. For less micromanagement, take the Helblaster Volley Gun as that does not have friendly fire issues.
- If possible, get Von Kessel up to level 25 (the level cap for Chapter 2) as we will get a Warrior Priest hero in the first mission of Chapter 3, and level 25 means access to either hero healing and regiment resurrection skills. Not a big deal if you don't, but it's nicer to start with those right away.
- When the Deployment phase ends, quickly do your elf deployment. Just turn on Fire Arrows, turn off Hold Fire if you brought the Shadow Warriors, and move your Commander forward toward the gate.
- There should be good distance between the Commander and the troops because the Chaos Furies will be sent in and need to be intercepted. When Furies attack, they wheel around in the air and might target regiments if they get too close.
- There is no need to manage the Furies -- When they attack, the unit that is attacked gets and immediate retaliation no matter what they are doing at the moment, so ultimately your elven heroes will kill them while having taken only minimal damage.
- Obviously Aurelion should be behind the Commander.
- You will probably be busy handling the Empire advance, so she'll probably be completely idle.
- You could attach her to a regiment and periodically turn on Blessings of Asuryan to improve their hit chance, but mana is probably better spent by Von Kessel and/or casting Spirit of Battle on the Commander whenever he is attacked.
- I preferred to keep her unattached in case enemy regiments surround the Commander and end up in contact with the elven regiments. She acts as a second focus of attention.
- It is safer to keep the gate closed, but you could keep it open.
- If closed, it's harder to predict where the Champion of Chaos will come over the wall, and therefore harder to intercept him with your own hero before he can throw his Axe of Doom (although he might throw it anyway).
- If open, the enemy forgoes crawling up the wall and just funnels into the gate, where your Repeater Bolt Thrower can get easy targets while they traffic jam there either trying to get in or trying to get out because Fire Arrows broke their morale. There is less certainty that your regiments won't get engaged in combat, however.
- If you have full regiments of veteran archers, there is actually a luxurious amount of time for the Empire forces to reach the castle, especially with the gate closed. Advance cautiously at the start before rushing to clear the enemy at the castle gates.
- There are Chaos reinforcements just to the east of your starting position, and a little later, a pack of Warhounds from the west, from around the mountains that block your sight. If you do not have Von Kessel blocking the ones from the west, they could charge your flank and kill off a couple of models before you can shoot them all to death. Handle all these first, then it should be clear sailing toward the main gate where you will encounter lone regiments.
- Set handgunners to column formation as that seems to engage regiments faster than layering them in rows.
- The forces of Chaos have two cannons to the far west. If your army is too close, they will turn to attack your army. Keep all forces east of the main gate and they should be fine. Advance on t he cannons and the guards only with heroes. Despite the great number of enemies there, two or three heroes should be able to handle them. Then destroy the cannons.
- If you send all three in, be ready to pull one out (probably Aurelion as she mainly fights with spells anyway) to intercept enemy reinforcements headed around the burnt houses so they won't engage your regiments directly. It shouldn't take long for your great number of archers and gunners to wipe out any reinforcements. Just don't move them too close to the Hellcannons until those are destroyed.
- If you managed to somehow intercept the Chaos Champion before he throws his Axe of Doom at your regiments, you could end this mission with no losses. Otherwise, losing a few models is probable.