Some notes both in general and specifically for Katarin and her faction. Given the amount of time I have left to play the game, I probably won’t be going into as much detail as say YT channels or streamers, but may later add more detail in the future. If you’re looking for a particular race for help on, just let me know in the comments. Currently finished Katarin and starting Miao Ying.
Table of Contents
Just know that this was played on Normal, but if you run into difficult situations on the higher difficulties I can look into it.
Whenever starting a new campaign, it’s always best to take a long look around to plan out what you’re going to do including:
- Character Skills & Traits (primarily your Legendary Lord)
- Faction Effects (seen when you hover at the Faction Overview on the upper right)
- Faction Mechanics, in this case being Invocations and the Ice Court
- Map Layout, particularly travel distance between provinces but also to see any ruins you can quickly claim for yourself(assuming they aren’t owned by Skaven)
- Interesting Locations, in this case being Praag to the north and Erengrad to the west(south of Kostaltyn)
- Building Browser, to see effects of buildings particularly at max level
- Diplomacy, generally to see who you can get some quick trade agreements on
- Army Setup, so you know how best to use their strengths
When you first start, you can immediately invoke the Salyak rite to get growth and casualty replenishment rate as this one is the most campaign-focused for the start. From what I’ve noticed, the rites get more expensive the more land you own so you can do it from the start. Generally if you’re below 100 Devotion however you have a chance for a chaos invasion occurring. The first time it came it was a lower tier beastmen force that spawned near my main army which I was able to auto with acceptable losses.
You can take out the faction you initially fight with pretty alright; for minor battles I tend to just put the fast units to cap points on one side of the map with the main army on the other side, but there’s definitely other viable ways of approaching it. The strategy for this is just to pull some of their units to respect your faster units and if they don’t put enough, you can sneak around to cap the point or flank any exposed units. If they have a large army inside the settlement you want, you can use a single lord as bait and setup an ambush within the forests with the main army. Otherwise, to at least avoid a settlement battle you can simply siege them as attrition effects from sieging are much faster and more significant in WH3, losing about 20% of their forces per turn.
The other factions especially the Kislev ones won’t really bother you from the start so once you take Praag you can move to Hell Pit and secure it as one of the main Chaos checkpoints. Don’t worry if you start to lose the race against Kostaltyn early either as you can easily overtake him when the first rifts appear around turn 30-40.
As for Technology, I tend to start with +4 Melee Defence for Kossars as buffing your starting units is the most relevant in the beginning turns and you will still be using them mid and even late game. Get either the Ice Witch or Maiden Tech after to create more armies or buff your current one respectively. After that it’s usually the Kossar ranged upgrade and after that is mostly up to you. Growth +5 is one I generally avoid as all of your buildings produce a lot of growth in comparison to that.
Your buildings also have a different layout compared to the main Kislev settlements. Once you claim your first settlement outside of Kislev make sure to look at the building browser. You only need a level one church for about the first 50 or so turns; once you start to stockpile a lot of devotion it can be worth upgrading it to the 3rd tier. The same goes for pretty much all of your other standard buildings, except for maybe your growth building.
Atamans are province governors that can provide benefits to it and can switch between provinces and take one turn before fully transferring to that province. I believe you receive one for every two provinces you completely own. It seems that the Traditionalist trait(+2 rank for infantry units) does not seem to work properly, but it might just be inconsistent in stacking its buff. As far as I’ve noticed, all the other buffs work as intended.
As far as your borders are concerned, you want to take out the first Kislev rebel faction and their land, and up north you want to take the two main mountain passes south of the Norscans. There are only 3 paths(excluding by sea) that the chaos/norscan factions can invade the heart of your land, one of them being initially covered by Kostaltyn. Once these are properly defended, you can focus on Skrag in the far southwest or simply wait for the rifts to appear to fulfill the campaign objectives.
Later on, you want to get good relations with the other Kislev factions(other than Kostaltyn’s) to confederate them and then lastly beat Kostaltyn in supporters so you can confederate him as well. Bear in mind that you will immediately confederate him once you win the race without any real warning on turn start. I won the race on a turn where I just had enough money to stay out of bankruptcy and suddenly was in bankruptcy and was losing 6k per turn from upkeep. As far as beating him in the race, simply build level one churches when you can amply afford them and focus on a relevant invocation(usually means salyak). It’s not a necessity to beat him, but the bonuses provided are pretty helpful if you do expand out. As far as I’ve noticed there’s no confederation penalty for Katarin so you can confederate as you please.
You want to be able to control the rifts when they spawn and usually from when they first spawn you have to deal with maybe 3 or 4 rifts. Your main army can deal with most of them, and you can usually leave Kislev’s garrison to deal with its own. Worst case is you teleport to it and close it with one of your heroes for 1500 gold. With the Ice Court and the t2 churches you can get out a lot of heroes relatively quickly if you don’t want to deal with the rifts so long as you have the money for it.
Chaos Realms and Souls
As far as the Realms are concerned, the order that you should get them is as follows: Slaanesh, Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch. The realms are distinct in their mechanics and aren’t very balanced when it comes to their rewards. Slaanesh provides powerful campaign buffs and plenty of money offered even from when the first rifts spawn. Right now his realm’s roster is not as strong as it probably should be and kossar bows are effective against almost everything he has. Khorne has powerful weapons that will only last until you enter the next set of rifts ~30 turns later. The others do not provide lasting benefits and so are of the lowest priority.
Whenever you go for a building plan, make sure you’re aware of the province’s situation. If it’s under threat or you won’t be able to properly protect it when the rifts come, then ideally you get a tier 2 wall/garrison structure at the settlements. So as for the setups…
If the province is not secure and it’s before you confederate Kostaltyn:
- 1x Growth(t2)
- 1x Garrison(t2)
- 1x Market(t1) or Church(usually t1 unless you want heroes)
If the province is secure and it’s before confederating Kostaltyn:
- 1x Growth(t2)
- 1x Market(t1)
- 1x Church(usually t1 unless you want heroes)
If the province is secure, maxed out, and you’ve confederated Kostaltyn:
- 1x Market(t1 unless you have plenty to spend)
- 1x Farm(t3)
- 1x Hallowed Ground(t3 unless Kostaltyn’s campaign skill is in effect which quadruples their building cost)
Your starting unit, which is pretty ok for a starting unit. Despite being a hybrid it’s not really that great at melee starting out, but it can hold off chaff for a decent while. Decent damage but has a slightly lower range than standard bow units. They do not scale too well when armour and shields come around but if you can’t afford Ice Guard they are your second best bow unit.
Same as Kossars but with Spears, giving them more defence and a good amount of bonus vs large in exchange for melee attack. They’re not that much more expensive and can actually dish out a lot of damage when large units fight them. They scale better than regular Kossars but require a building to start recruiting.
Your affordable frontline unit. 80 armour is very welcome along with silver shields blocking about half of the missiles that come at them from the front. They carry pistols for solid ranged damage although have low ammo. Pretty much required if you’re fighting Tzeentch unless you’re going for a faster melee cav setup. They are the only shielded unit that can gain up to 25% missile resist with lord skills and technology which stacks well with survival battle upgrades.
Armoured Kossars (Great Weapons)
Not really great as they lack the melee defence of the shielded variant and have some trouble dealing the AP damage they do have due to both speed and overall melee capability. For the most part they are a worse, but cheaper version of Tzar Guard with Great Weapons.
Amazing in field battles and good in defensive settlement battles, but pretty awful in attacking settlements. Just like with any gunpowder unit, Line of Sight(LoS) is a big deal and while they do have respectable armour at 70 they do not have shields to protect them from enemy missiles. The AP axes deal a lot of damage but they have trouble dishing it out without a Patriarch or Frost Weapons buff.
Your cheap light cav that can be very helpful in certain situations. 98 speed is faster than hounds(albeit barely) and can flank ranged units with low armour and poor melee stats. They are also the most accessible way to body block enemy large units and can quickly cap points.
I have not really used them much but generally speaking skirmish cav do tend to have issues of not having enough ranged damage to inflict significant casualties nor have the stats to engage safely in melee. Lack of AP missile damage and ammo are the main issues for them.
Not great against armoured units, but anything with 40 or less armour is generally a good target for them to charge at. They are shock cavalry, so make sure to cycle charge as their melee stats are noticeably poor starting out.
Very solid fighting units as they won’t buckle down so easily against Khornate units and have higher HP per model compared to Armoured Kossars. They gain more melee buffs, but they dont gain missile resistance which can be an issue. Very solid unit for late game still.
Tzar Guard (Great Weapons)
Similar to Empire’s Greatswords, and run into similar issues. They are still tanky, but their role can somewhat be replaced by Ice Guard(Swords)
Stronger version of Winged Lancers, they can last a good while in sustained melee and have shields for added protection. They tend to have their role replaced by War Bear Riders later.
Ice Guard (Swords)
Elite Anti-Infantry/Bow Hybrid units. Very strong despite the Spell Resistance that daemons can have. Frostbite contact effect is very good for Kislev due to their multiple stacking slow effects. Not quite as versatile as their glaive variant but definitely have their place in a late game roster.
Ice Guard (Glaives)
Elite Anti-Large/Bow Hybrid Units. Arguably your best infantry for the faction as they naturally deal over 20 AP weapon damage and have a bow with good AP starting at 7 if I remember right. Just like the other ranged units, they can get buffed for 30% range +30 Accuracy which helps out a lot and can effectively deal with any large units.
War Bear Riders
I believe these are your best units not only in auto-resolve, but just in general. They’re best when you get Boris Ursus and the Frenzy technology, but even regular lords can make good use of them. They’re very tanky at I believe ~550 hp per bear and high armour. They’re AP anti-large as well which lets them deal with most units you’ll face.
Not quite that strong especially when compared to the Terracotta Sentinel, but still good. Getting all the technology buffs for them is rather rough, however. Their breath attack is pretty much an insta-kill for everything in a line, but also requires them to not be in melee combat. As with all giant monsters especially without resistances, they will die to missiles with a decent concentration of them. One of the two units with siege attacker, the other being little grom, but costs more upkeep than it.
Light War Sleds
Run into similar issues as Horse Riders filling more of a skirmish role, but can still inflict noticeable ranged damage. Lower armour and mass to the heavier variant makes it not quite as good in melee situations.
Heavy War Sleds
Heavy War Sleds are not as fast as the lighter one but their armour value lets them tank in melee for a while. Not a bad unit, but definitely on the more expensive side of things.
Fragile Anti-Large monster. Can’t really fight infantry and is mostly used to flank large units. Can potentially snipe lords if they’re given the opportunity to do so without much retaliation. Best used as a summon from the Ice Court characters.
High damage cannon but also a single entity. Speed and melee combat is ok which makes more forgiving for positioning/LoS issues. It’s your only artillery in the roster but it’s perfectly fine for what it does. It has siege attacker which will come in handy if you do plan to expand well past your natural borders. One is usually enough, but even if you get more it’s not as risky due to their attributes.
Boris Ursus the Red Tzar
After about 60 turns you will receive a quest battle to free Boris Ursus. When doing this battle, make sure to have plenty of bow units(ideally Ice Guard) and/or Streltsi to deal with flyers. If you move far enough they will spawn units right on your start position so make sure not to rush too far off the main army. Once you win the fight you will be able to recruit him into your faction. I generally avoid having him as the Ursun Revivalist ally faction unless one of those major cities is under enemy control or someone you have bad relations with.
Boris himself is strong so long as you give him the time to level up. He gets -50% upkeep for War Bear Riders which are already a very solid unit, made exceptional under his army traits and skills. They particularly roll over Tzeentch armies in field battles so long as they get their proper charge and charge different units or from different angles. You want to aim for the frenzy technology for War Bear Riders to further improve their damage. They also have very good auto ratings so you can avoid manual battles that are more tedious for you if you choose.
As for items, I will later show the items in an image but the biggest one would be Steppe Hunter’s Horn as you can focus down any large monsters very quickly with it. Any other items that increase or decrease melee stats in an area are favorable items for him.
Heroes can buff his army but are not necessarily required. Both Ice Maiden heroes can affect the speed of units in battle. I prefer Ice Lore as Heart of Winter naturally does a lot more damage and cannot hurt allies. Against AI it is very efficient if you get their units to blob up as they will not move away from it once they are engaged in melee. Tempest’s Blizzard is not as strong but is faster to land. Patriarch healing is the best for his army as they can easily lose half their hp while retaining all of their models, similar to chariots. The other abilities too are all very helpful which makes Kostaltyn a viable lord to have them as well.
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