Drycha’s campaign progression
A lot of mechanics have already been discussed in detail in our Wood Elves rework guide. Give that a look to familiarize yourself with the concepts.
Playing with diplomacy
First, take a look at your immediate surroundings. Drycha’s Total War: Warhammer II Mortal Empires start has her surrounded by Clan Kreepus and Ostermark as hostiles. They happen to hold four of six heathlands, too, which means Gryphon Wood won’t get restored unless you eliminate them.
Additionally, Talabecland can pose a problem since it owns two settlements that are also heathlands. You can either declare war after crushing Clan Kreepus and Ostermark, or try to befriend and have a defensive alliance with the faction (which is harder than it looks).
Don’t forget that having a defensive or military alliance with a faction that controls a heathland gives the magical forest some extra healing. You won’t need to declare war and capture or raze that territory anymore.
If you’re keen on making some friends and trade agreements, Stirland and, in a couple of turns, Kislev (“Kislev”) are better options, though they don’t control heathlands at the start.
Occupy vs. raze vs. ally
All three options for heathlands help restore the nearby magical forest in your Total War: Warhammer II campaign. There are also pros and cons:
|Occupy the heathlands settlement||+1 health each turn that you control it.
You can construct outpost-type buildings.
|The buildings barely help with your economy. You’ll likely have public order/rebellion issues.|
|Raze it||+5 health instantly upon razing.
+1 health each turn that the settlement is razed.
|AI factions can still swoop in and colonize these settlements. If they’re neutral or hostile, you either don’t get the bonus health or you’d have forest health penalties.|
|Defensive or military alliance with the faction that controls it||+1 health each turn for the heathlands settlements owned by an ally.
The faction can act as a buffer against encroaching forces.
|This is a lot harder to do on higher difficulties. Plus, if that faction gets confederated or defeated by a non-ally, you’d have to buddy up with the new leader or risk going to war.|
Drycha’s Wild Spirits mechanic, Aspects, and Amber techs
Drycha’s unique mechanic, Wild Spirits, lets her recruit various creatures while she’s in a magical forest or heathlands region. These include Cave Bats, Giant Wolves, Giant Spiders, Great Hawks, Malevolent Dryads, and Feral Manticores.
You still need to pay gold for the recruitment and upkeep fees, but adding them to your army is instant. As such, you have the means of spreading your wings, er, branches, as you take over nearby territories.
Furthermore, the Aspects mechanic can be used to buff your tree-type units. I find that “Aspect of the Birch” (+75 armor-piercing weapon damage, +10% speed, and -10% physical resistance) is very helpful for my units. Since the Malevolent trait leads to a more aggressive and in-your-face playstyle, you’ll want your units to enter the fray as often as possible.
Your free Amber tech
Another key factor is your free tech since Drycha starts Total War: Warhammer II‘s campaign with one unit of Amber. She has all of the Amber techs mentioned in our Wood Elves rework guide, plus two extras:
- Wisdom of the Wildwood – +20% physical resistance for all Cave Bats, Feral Manticores, Giant Spiders, Giant Wolves, and Great Hawks. Gives the “Murder of Spites” ability to Malicious Treeman units (this is a constant hex that damage combatants around the unit).
- Wisdom of Addaivoch – Gives the “Stalk” attribute to Giant Wolves and Giant Spiders. Gives the “Deathblow” buff to all Dryad, Tree Kin, and Treeman units (as long as their HP is above 20%, they have +18% armor-piercing and base weapon damage).
Advancing towards Laurelorn Forest
On turn 10 (and likely once you’ve pacified Gryphon Wood), you can use the Deeproots system to teleport to another magical forest. Laurelorn Forest, to the northwest, can be your next target. It’s owned by a minor Wood Elf faction, and they won’t give it up so easily.
Defeating them and capturing the settlement gives you the option to subjugate and turn these Asrai into your vassal. However, it’s a lot better to have direct control of the forest settlement itself. Likewise, take note of the heathlands nearby. These are owned by Middenland, Nordland, and a Greenskin minor faction.
Heading to the Forest of Gloom
If Sylvania and Mannfred the Manlet are getting too annoying (they’ll probably raid your lands while you’re in Laurelorn Forest), you can swing south to punish them. It’s possible that these Vampire Counts have become a nuisance for Stirland, Zhufbar, Karak Kadrin, and Karaz-a-Karak, too. You’ll gain diplomatic relations boosts with them if you smite the undead.
A few dozen turns later in my Total War: Warhammer II campaign, I was able to control the Forest of Gloom. My battles with Mannfred allowed me to befriend the various Dwarfs nearby. Then, once Karaz-a-Karak (my defensive ally) confederated with Barak Varr, the Forest of Gloom was getting a lot of healing.
Confederation with Argwylon
I’m actually uncertain when this mission pops up during your progress. It might be based on the turns, Drycha’s level, or once you’ve met several Dwarf factions. In my case, this popped up when I encountered Karaz-a-Karak.
Basically, this mission tasks you with defeating three Dwarf armies (any faction will do). Once you’ve done that, Drycha has the option to confederate with Argwylon, Durthu’s faction. It appears as a dilemma:
- Confederate – Drycha confederates with Argwylon. You gain a foothold in Athel Loren/next to the Oak of Ages.
- Install as Grove Tender – You only gain +20 diplomatic relations with Argwylon and Athel Loren gets +20 forest health.
Anyway, we’ve discussed a lot of info about Drycha’s campaign already. Let’s talk about how you can obtain the legendary hero Coeddil.
Total War: Warhammer II – The Twisted & The Twilight is available via Steam. You can also grab the Realm of the Wood Elves DLC if you want to use Drycha (as well as Orion and Durthu) in the Mortal Empires campaign. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.