Total War: Warhammer 3 gave us our first look at Nurgle's daemons yesterday, showing brief glimpses of their disease-ridden forms as they battled Slaanesh's underlings, all while a certain Advisor was having a bit of an existential crisis. It was a sight to behold and, building on that, Creative Assembly today detailed Nurgle's campaign mechanics, explaining how death and rebirth are reflected in the playstyle of the Plague Lord's armies.
Nurgle's buildings reflect the cycle of death and rebirth quite well in Total War: Warhammer 3, as they cannot be manually upgraded. Instead, they "grow, flourish, die, and are reborn." Buildings transition between these phases after a number of turns and, as they do so, the effects and troop types they provide also change.
"Say you choose a building slot to house a Rancid Aloe. After a few turns of building, it will complete and add a Forsaken of Nurgle unit to your pool, the secretions from the plant having been used to fuse metal and flesh in a manner pleasing to Grandfather," the developer explains.
"It will then begin to pollinate, and four turns later enter the germination phase. This increases the income the building generates and adds another unit of Forsaken to your pool. Another four turns, another boost in income, and this time a Spawn of Nurgle."
Various technologies, buildings, and plagues can decrease the number of turns it takes to reach a new phase, quickinening the production of units in the process. Speaking of units, Nurgle directly summons daemons into his armies in Total War: Warhammer 3, although they do not start at full strength and have to replenish over time. Units can be recruited in neutral and friendly territory, from a global pool, each type being capped.
Plagues and Infections are another significant part of Nurgle's campaign mechanics in Total War: Warhammer 3. Accessed from the Plague Cauldron screen, available only to followers of the Lord of Decay, plagues can be concocted using one of five bases and up to two symptoms.
Broadly speaking, they debuff enemy units and settlements while buffing your own. You can apply them directly on your own troops and cities or use the Plague Cultist hero unit, whose sole purpose is to waltz into enemy territory and sacrifice its life to spread disease. Additionally, Infections can also be "gathered from spreading plagues, post-battle events, dilemmas, and so on."
Once you've unleashed a plague upon the world, it has a chance to spread between nearby settlements and armies. Engaging in battles always spreads plagues from one army to another, which could see things spiraling out of control.
"The intent is that at any time you will have a variety of plagues spreading throughout the world, often far beyond your control or means. They may loop back to your own settlements and armies at surprising times, or be spreading through an entire enemy empire without you necessarily meaning it to," the developer adds.
Nurgle's campaign mechanics also include access to Unholy Manifestations and cults, while the race's tech tree is structured in a similar to Khorne's, using several pods that house 7 individual technologies. To move to a different pod, you need to research 4 of them.
You can read more about Nurgle's campaign mechanics in Total War: Warhammer 3 by clicking the link in the third paragraph. The game is set to launch on February 17 and purchasing early gets you the Ogre Kingdoms for free.
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