The Silence & The Fury is the latest and final DLC for the excellent Total War: Warhammer 2. This Lord pack adds two new Lords, each with their own faction. Both enjoy notably different mechanics from others in their race, although you’ll see the greatest change with Beastmen as the Creative Assembly team has overhauled the entire race as part of the patch.
The Ghosts of Pahuax
The Ghosts of Pahuax, led by the Skink Lord Oxyotl, start in the far north surrounded by corruption, knowing that the hordes of Chaos will be at their door before too long. Oxytol’s distinctive playstyle focuses on his Visions of the Old Ones that provide missions to complete.
Visions of the Old Ones introduces a new map mode that displays these missions and adds fast travel points that Oxyotl can use to teleport. Failure to complete these can increase the strength of Chaos or spawn them earlier, while completion rewards you with gold, buffs, and Sanctum Gems which are mainly earned through missions - though Oxyotl’s rank 12 skill adds a small Gem income as well.
These gems allow you to build Silent Sanctums in any known province, granting vision and having building slots to buff local forces. You can even construct a Capstone of Tepok, a singular building that is incredibly useful for planned attacks or a border likely to come under attack. He can also teleport to his Capital province by default, which becomes very useful when a mission takes you to the other side of the map.
Oxyotl also benefits from an improved Ambush stance, though in my playthrough I was too busy running around the map to make any use of it.
The Slaughterhorn Tribe
The Slaughterhorn Tribe, led by Taurox the Brass Bull, starts just below the Dark Elves between the rocks and the jungle, ready to raid and raze anything in sight. Their unique mechanic is Rampage, coming in three tiers, each granting a choice of bonuses once you’ve gained enough Rampage Marks.
This Rampage bar fills from battles and victories, growing faster with Momentum, which increases when attacking multiple times per turn. Losing or retreating from battle will lower your Momentum and can empty the bar. Along with the tier rewards, the first level also grants the ability to reset campaign movement for Taurox’s army. Once you’ve filled the bar, the whole Rampage resets, and you can begin again.
Taurox’s victories also create a River of Blood, which increases leadership for Chaos factions and decreases it for all others. You can stack this effect three times and it can give the Beastmen an edge in battles. River of Blood is doubly important as the overall change to Beastmen creates unit caps similar to Regiments of Renown for higher quality forces, lowering overall army morale.
You can increase these unit caps by earning Marks of Ruination and spending Dread in the Beastmen’s Rewards of Dread window. You also use this mechanic to increase hero caps and starting levels, hire Legendary Lords (if you own the other DLC), upgrade your faction, and spend Favour to buy arcane armour, weapons, followers, and assorted doodahs.
The overhaul to the Beastmen adds even more but to sum it up if you like the idea of always fighting, not having to worry about upkeep, and burning everything to the ground, the Beastmen might be for you. Their main gameplay comprises building a Herdstone, devastating the surrounding area, and moving on to greener pastures and new opponents.
Lords & Heroes
We can’t talk about the Lord pack without discussing the most important part, the Lord’s themselves. Oxyotl is a fairly weak ranged Lord who focuses more on buffing Skink units with stat increases, stalk, and a lot of different banners. He also gains extra experience from fighting Beastmen, Chaos, and Norsca armies, and doesn’t suffer diplomatic penalties for trespassing.
Fortunately for Oxyotl, the new Skink Oracles make great battle-mages. These mixed magic heroes come already mounted, cause terror, and have armour-piercing poison missiles that melt through units like butter, regularly slaying over a dozen entities in a single shot. They also get healing magic, which as a fan of the Lizardmen has me thrilled - no more need for Life Slanns means I can finally use Fire Lords.
Taurox the Brass Bull is the complete opposite of Oxyotl as a nigh-unstoppable force on the battlefield. With access to regeneration, terror, and perfect vigour, along with everything else you’d expect from a melee monster, you can easily throw him into the fray and leave him to smash up almost anything without worry.
His new heroes, the Wargor, come ready to aid their Lord in the melee while boosting units within the army. Nothing too exciting here and with all the other newness in the Beastmen roster, these heroes feel lacking despite their strength.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Watching in puzzlement as a low-level Skink Oracle singlehandedly routed a unit from range.
TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 2 - THE SILENCE & THE FURY VERDICT
To me, the biggest difference between the two factions comes down to pacing, both compared to each other and their races. Oxyotl gets to play a game of hectic defence, trying to smash the missions within the time limit, while desperately building up a conventional empire on the front line of the Chaos invasion. It plays differently from the other Lizardmen, so if you’re a fan of the shiny dinosaurs, it’s well worth picking up.
Taurox, however, spends his time smashing settlements and just moving on. I have to say the change of pace from the more traditional province-heavy factions is very refreshing, and if you haven’t played Beastmen before, this DLC is a great place to start.
Enjoyably different playstyles
Lizardmen get healing heroes
Get access to Beastmen without needing original DLC
Beastmen in the Vortex Campaign
New Units and Regiments of Renown
About Matthew Ralphson
Matthew cut his teeth on Age of Empires and never looked back. He misses the times when games still came in boxes...