Guide to ratmen in Total War: Warhammer 2

A detailed guide to the ratmen (skaven) faction in the storyline strategy campaign of Total War: Warhammer 2 – underground routes, units, filth, food, rituals, diseases and more

Ratmen (Skaven) are one of four playable races in Total War: Warhammer 2 that fight for control of the Great Vortex. I was able to play for them in the first place, so I decided to share my observations on the mechanics of the campaign and the technique of combat.

Underground empire

Ratmen are an underground race. I would say that this is a “more underground” race than the same Gnomes. It goes without saying that these warriors can use underground paths. They also have a unique army position that allows them to ambush attacks even while moving normally.

The underground origin of the ratmen is best reflected in the fact that their settlements are hidden from the eyes of other factions – competing empires can only make out ruins. By the way, the ruins, who did not know, is an innovation in Total War: Warhammer II – unique nodes on the campaign map that offer certain interactions for a modest reward. You can think of them as the very huts from Sid Meier’s Civilization .

This means that when playing as ratmen, you can feel more confident when you leave the city unprotected. Obviously, there is still risk, but to a large extent it is negligible. Playing as the ratmen, you will have to manage two other important mechanics – food and filth. Yes, ratmen have their own filth.

Like most races, ratmen use gold. But each of the four receives its own separate currency associated with the ritual of gaining control of the Great Vortex. For the ratmen, these are deformed stones that you will use to destabilize the Great Vortex and follow your victory in the story campaign. In addition to this, ratmen have a third unique currency – food.

Ratman food

Food affects growth, army leadership, and public order. When there is a lot of food, then you get huge bonuses. Exactly the opposite story in that case. if food is in short supply (large fines). At the lowest level, for example, fines are -25% of gold mining in raids, loot in battles and looting settlements. Reinforcement armies will consume both food and gold.

Permanent food sources are extremely rare. Individual settlements can supply you with food, but there are very few of them, and they are located far from each other. You will receive most of your supplies after killing enemy armies and robbing settlements. You should get into the habit of depending on the killed enemies and the food consumed – you need to kill so as not to starve. Because of this, a certain pressure is created on you, forcing you to constantly enter into struggle and expand.

Keep Food Stocks High to Get Big Bonuses

You consume food when colonizing a captured settlement. As usual, the costs are not so high, but when you raise the main building to the third level and equate all the others with it, it can potentially take more than a dozen moves.

If in the original game a system was used in which four starting factions were divided in pairs with each other so that in a pair the first could not capture the settlements of the second and vice versa, then the second part uses a completely different climate mechanics. Technically, you can colonize ANY settlement, but the rate of growth, construction costs and income will directly depend on what climate prevails in it. For example, gnomes like mountains, but not all of them can be useful.

Ratman fel

Since ratmen can settle in new cities on the third level, they expand faster. In addition, they tolerate hostile climates better than the rest of the races. This is very typical of the pest race! There is another mechanic, ratman filth, which kind of pushes races to expand rapidly.

The rat-man’s corruption joins in with variations of the same mechanic in vampires and Chaos, and also damages public order in the provinces. The corruption of this faction is different in that it harms the public order of its own provinces. The ratmen do not so much control the region as infect it. They populate, begin to multiply, consume all resources. As the developers of the game themselves stated, we are talking about creatures descended from rats – like any other highly expanded colony of rats, they begin to eat each other.

As you know, a low level of public order leads to riots. But in addition to the usual betrayal and the formation of a rebel army of ratmen, even your own lords can turn against you. You can rate the likelihood of this by the loyalty scale. Try to keep the happiness of the lords at the level, providing them with large, powerful armies, giving them magic items and periodically sending them to war – a bored lord is always restless. If the lord rebelled against you, he will take his entire army with him. You will not be able to resist him in the same way as in a regular uprising.

But there is also a benefit to the ratman filth. First, you can spread it across the provinces of opponents, damaging their public order, as well as providing more opportunities for creating unique units. It’s about a new mechanic that allows you to create a low-level squad of infantry wherever you are. For example, the spell of the vampires “Rise of the Dead” (you increase the number of skips by spending food). Accordingly, before invading enemy lands, you need to spread the corruption or direct it to where reinforcements can come from. You can take any approach through new, mutually exclusive building chains (and lord skills).

Diseases and rituals of ratmen

Filth is not the only thing that you can spread throughout the earth. Since ratmen are to some extent rats (carriers of diseases), you have a new game mechanic that allows you to spread the plague around the world (returns from Total War: Attila ). In this game, the plague (disease) slowly kills the population and acts like attrition. It can spread to other factions through contact with an infected army or through trade routes.

Rites (rituals) of the Skaven

In Total War: Warhammer II, a plague is spawned when the ratman faction performs a particular rite. Rites are new movements that you perform on the campaign map. Each of the new factions has four rites (rituals), and the ratmen buy them for gold. The “Explosive Scheme” ritual causes a unique hero to appear who infects enemy armies or settlements.

Another ritual (Infernal Engineer) is associated with obtaining nuclear weapons. Such weapons are delivered to enemy cities and, when exploded, cause a serious earthquake, which leads to the destruction of buildings. You can aim such a weapon at the enemy’s capital. And if he does not notice your movements, then irreparable damage will be caused to him.

Guide to the battle for the ratmen

The ratman army is focused on infantry and war machines, and uses less cavalry and armor. The approach to ranged units is associated with a preference for grenadiers or short-range fighters, to the detriment of regular marksmen and archers. The morale of ratmen is also fickle – they are mobile troops, the speed of which increases when the entire army moves, but they can very quickly be subjected to mass panic.

Your early playable units are Skaven Slaves and Clanrats. They are cheap to train both in terms of resources and in time, but to be honest, they are cannon fodder. Fortunately, their maintenance requires a minimal amount of resources, so you can produce them in “batches” literally from the very beginning of the game. Use the special skill “Underground Threat” to suppress opponents or participate in more suitable subversion. One of the tricks is to send some of the troops to the capture point of the fortress, thereby forcing the opponents to get out of their walls.

At the beginning of the game, you will win in almost every battle, literally storming opponents with your “garbage” infantry (available in the form of numerous). Things get more interesting in the third level, when you get access to more worthy foot soldiers, plague monks and storm rats, as well as artillery mounts, plagueclaw catapults, and ratogram monster infantry. And the runners along the ditches practically repeat what the wood elves can – they shoot while running and can literally hide anywhere. Warpfire Throwers can inflict massive damage on enemy foot soldiers by attacking from medium range.

Plagueclaw catapult

Even later, access to the warp lightning cannon will open, which will complement the damage that catapults inflict, inflicting single damage on targets from a distance. This is ideal for monsters. At the same time, the wheel of doom and the monstrous abominations from the Hellhole with the “Terrible death” ability can be decisive in close combat.

Ratman strategy

The ratmen have a lot of advantages: given their high food needs, you have the most arrogant army in front of you, capturing and destroying everything in its path. Moreover, it can attack not only by land, but also from underground. Combined with the population growth and leadership bonuses with excess food, invisible cities, and the ability to spread corruption, there is speculation that stopping an enemy controlling such an army will be VERY difficult.

However, this impulse is as good as it is difficult to develop. Until you can recruit third-level units to your army, you are a vulnerable target for your opponents. With such low armor, when fighting ranged spellcasters (especially experienced elves) or lizardfolk, you will be a tidbit. Your troops will become a dessert for the Saurian warriors. You will also need to learn how to manage the filth. You must be able to control it in the same way as the speed of a car – when necessary, take your foot off the gas pedal, in other situations – apply good pressure on it. In fact, making your own filth useful is one of the priority tasks for ratmen.

by Abdullah Sam
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