The Hunter & The Beast is the newest DLC for Total War: Warhammer 2. Along with the free update which adds Gor-Rok and a rework for the Empire, The Hunter & The Beast will let you play as two new legendary lords. We’ve already discussed Huntsmarshal Markus Wulfhart for the Empire in our previous campaign guide, but who’s the other guy? Why, it’s none other than Nakai the Wanderer, the long-slumbering guardian of Lustria. This campaign guide will focus on the Kroxigor hero for the Lizardmen.
Will Nakai the Wanderer be able to stop the encroaching invaders? Or will he be forgotten in the untamed jungles of the continent?
Note: You can also check out our Total War: Warhammer 2 – The Hunter & The Beast guides and features hub for more info.
Total War: Warhammer 2 – Meet Nakai the Wanderer
Nakai the Wanderer leads a horde faction known as the Spirit of the Jungle. As a horde faction, he cannot capture territory at all. Instead, he will gift these settlements to his vassal known as the Defenders of the Great Plan.
Nakai has the following faction-wide traits:
- +3 levels for Kroxigor Ancients (a new lord type introduced in Total War: Warhammer 2‘s The Hunter & The Beast DLC)
- additional horde armies you field gain units via the global recruitment pool and only the units that Nakai has unlocked in his army
- settlements gifted to your vassal allow you to erect a temple to the Old Ones (the gods of the Lizardmen)
- temples to the Old Ones provide “Favor,” a resource that can be spent for bonuses that include “Blessed Spawnings” (better versions of units)
- cannot enact trade agreements
Nakai also has bonuses for his own army:
- +5 melee defense for Kroxigor and Sacred Kroxigor units
- -10% of recruitment costs for Kroxigor and Sacred Kroxigor units
Note 1: Nakai the Wanderer doesn’t partake in the actual race for the Vortex mechanic. He has other goals in mind during Total War: Warhammer 2‘s Vortex campaign, though you’re free to impede the progress of other factions. Nakai’s focus will be on taking out Markus Wulfhart’s Legendary Hunters in preparation for the final battle.
Note 2: While not part of Nakai’s starting units, Lizardmen armies will also be able to recruit the new Dread Saurian and Feral Dread Saurian monstrous beasts. These behemoths are the largest units in Total War: Warhammer 2‘s roster, and you can only access them if you own The Hunter & The Beast DLC. They have a ton of HP, but their models are so huge that ranged units can easily pepper them with arrows.
The Spirit of the Jungle
Nakai’s starting position in Total War: Warhammer 2‘s Vortex campaign is at the Northern Spine of Sotek province. If you’re playing on Mortal Empires, then he’s in the mysterious island of Albion instead.
Nakai’s campaign can be downright challenging but also rewarding. If you’ve played as Markus Wulfhart, you might even notice how Nakai’s Spirit of the Jungle faction gets destroyed early on your playthrough as the Empire’s Huntsmarshal. It goes without saying that your management of Nakai’s campaign mechanics will help you in the long run. He starts slow, but he has a number of perks to help him along the way.
Note: Nakai has two unique items that you can obtain — the Golden Tributes and the Ogham Shard. The latter can be painstakingly annoying if you’re playing the Vortex campaign because the first step requires a character to reach Albion all the way at the opposite side of the map. As such, make sure you have an expendable hero that you can send to Albion early in the game. It will take a lot of turns before you get there.
Nakai the Wanderer’s Skills
Nakai has some fairly notable skills that you can pick whenever you level up:
- Spawned of Itza – has three levels that increase the horde growth of your army
- Adornments – improves replenishment rate and also increases the horde growth for your army
- Cold-Blooded Reflexes – causes terror and your attacks lower a target’s leadership
- First Spawning – increases speed for all units in your army and adds the Frenzy ability for Kroxigors and Sacred Kroxigors in your army
- In addition to the above, Nakai’s advanced skills in the “red line” confers bonuses to various unit types once they reach level 7.
Nakai will also be able to recruit Kroxigor Ancient lords. These melee combatants have skills are similar to Nakai’s with an emphasis on buffing the capabilities of Kroxigor units.
You won’t be hard-pressed to micromanage too much as Nakai. You and your Kroxigor Ancients are just there to tank damage and punch people in the face with your reptilian fists. Other lord and hero choices (not necessarily added via The Hunter & The Beast DLC) are Slann Mage-Priests, Red-Crested Skink Chiefs, Saurus Oldbloods, Saurus Scar-Veterans, Skink Chiefs, and Skink Priests.
Also, given that Lizardmen armies have lots of beast-type units, many would fly into a rage when they take too much damage. All of your lords and heroes have an ability to pacify them when that happens.
Defenders of the Great Plan
The first thing you’ll notice once you start your Total War: Warhammer 2 campaign is that you can have a vassal faction almost immediately. Your vassal, the Defenders of the Great Plan, is fairly passive for the most part and you can only give them a war coordination target. However, they are extremely integral to your growth and money-making capabilities in The Hunter & The Beast DLC.
Unique to the Total War: Warhammer 2 campaign experience, Nakai actually cannot sack or raze settlements. He doesn’t even have a raid stance. None of his horde buildings provide gold-per-turn (GPT) and he also can’t enact trade agreements. So, where does the money come from?
Well, the gold you accrue each turn will come from your vassal. The stronger it becomes, the more cash you’ll be earning during Nakai’s campaign. Each settlement you capture will be given over to the Defenders of the Great Plan. You’ll gain a small amount of gold, some “Favor” for the Old Ones’ blessings, a bit of horde growth, and a decision on which Old One you’d dedicate a temple to.
Note: You can get around 100 gold (per turn) as tribute for every settlement you gift to your vassal. It’s not much, roughly 1,500 to 2,000 gold in the mid-game (barring upkeep costs), but you can increase this temporarily using one of Nakai’s Rites. The best way you can earn gold from your vassal, though, is by demanding it. Since your vassal grows powerful and rich in no time, it’d have a lot of money to spare.
Temples and Favors to the Old Ones
There are three Lizardmen Old Ones/gods in Total War: Warhammer 2‘s The Hunter & The Beast DLC. They are Quetzl, Xholankha, and Itzl.
Once you’ve captured a settlement and dedicated a temple, you’ll notice that you’ve gained a bit of Favor to use as well. You gain more Favor each turn the more settlements you’ve given to your vassal (since each settlement will have its own temple).
Favors are used for the following functions:
- buying Blessed Spawning versions of units
- faction-wide buffs that last for a given time
- conducting Rites
- researching a handful of techs (note that most of Nakai’s techs don’t really require the use of Favors)
Note: Blessed Spawning versions of units have higher health, attack and/or defenses compared to their counterparts. However, they’re not affected by recruit rank-increasing buffs or traits, so you’ll need to level them from scratch. If you have the Favor to spend, you can get as many of a certain unit type that you want. Similar to Markus Wulfhart’s Imperial Supplies mechanic, Blessed Spawning units are free to recruit and they appear instantly, but they do have upkeep costs.
Buffs from the Old Ones
Ideally, you’ll want to understand the “Temples to the Old Ones” panel prior to making a selection. Each god will have six possible faction-wide boons that you can obtain by spending Favors (represented by the circular icons with images).
Apart from these boons, you also have five faction-wide passive buffs (represented by the five larger diamonds in the inner ring). You don’t need to spend Favors for the passive buffs and they’re automatically applied once you reach a certain number of temples dedicated to that particular god. You get to keep the passives from the previous tier/level whenever you reach a higher threshold.
- Glyphs of Defiance (150 Favor) – increased leadership, siege holdout time, and melee defense; lasts five turns and also affects the Defenders of the Great Plan’s cities
- Scar-Veterans of Distinction (100) – enables recruitment, increases hero capacity and recruit rank for Saurus Scar-Veteran heroes; lasts three turns
- Blessed Skink Skirmishers (200)
- Blessed Saurus Spears (300)
- Blessed Cold One Spear-Riders (300)
- Blessed Stegadon (500)
- Quetzl’s Grace (5 Temples Dedicated) – increased melee defense for Skinks, Saurus, and Temple Guard units in all your armies
- Quetzl’s Approval (10) – increased melee attack for the aforementioned units
- Quetzl’s Honor (15) – unlocks Quetzl’s Protection ability (unit becomes invulnerable to all damage for 12 seconds)
- Quetzl’s Esteem (20) – increased recruit rank for the aforementioned units
- Quetzl’s Patronage (25) – Quetzl’s Protection ability now lasts 20 seconds and it has a shorter cooldown
- Celestial Beneficence (150 Favor) – adds 50% tribute from your vassals; lasts three turns
- Skink Priests of Distinction (100) – enables recruitment, increases hero capacity and recruit rank for Skink Priest heroes; lasts three turns
- Blessed Terradon Riders – Fireleech Bolas (200)
- Slann of Distinction (300) – adds +5 recruitment rank for Slann; lasts three turns
- Blessed Temple Guards (400)
- Blessed Bastiladon – Solar Engine (500)
- Xholankha’s Grace (5 Temples Dedicated) – adds +10 Winds of Magic reserve
- Xholankha’s Approval (10) adds +10 Winds of Magic starting amount
- Xholankha’s Esteem (15) – Storm of Xholankha magic spell (spawns six vortices that disrupt multiple enemy units)
- Xholankha’s Honor (20) – reduces Winds of Magic costs for all spells (Life, Heavens, Fire, Light, Beast, and High Magic only)
- Xholankha’s Patronage (25) – Storm of Xholankha spell now has two uses
Jurisdiction of Beasts (150 Favor) – grants visibility over all your vassals’ territories; lasts five turns
- Skink Chiefs Distinction (100) – enables recruitment, increases hero capacity and recruit rank for Skink Chief heroes; lasts three turns
- Blessed Saurus Warriors – Shields (200)
- Blessed Horned Ones (400)
- Blessed Kroxigors (400)
- Blessed Carnosaur (500)
- Itzl’s Grace (5 Temples Dedicated) – increases weapon strength for Kroxigors and Sacred Kroxigors
- Itzl’s Approval (10) – reduces recruitment costs for the aforementioned Kroxigor units
- Itzl’s Esteem (15) – Beasts of Itzl ability (summons a Razordon Hunting Pack, can be used three times)
- Itzl’s Honor (20) – increases recruit rank for aforementioned Kroxigor units
- Itzl’s Patronage (25) – Beasts of Itzl ability can now be used up to five times and with a lower cooldown
Let’s also discuss Rites. Nakai actually has four Rites that you can enact. The Hunter & The Beast‘s other legendary lord, Markus Wulfhart, does not have any. Poor fella.
- Rite of Allegiance (300 Favor) – All Defenders of the Great Plan territory will cause attrition to enemies. Lasts five turns; 10-turn cooldown
- Rite of Rebirth (500 Favor) – A full stack of Blessed Units will spawn for the Defenders of the Great Plan in their capital (the first settlement that you capture for them). These units will not replenish. Lasts five turns; 20-turn cooldown.
- Rite of Mastery (3,000 gold) – Increases recruit rank, weapon strength, and armor for Kroxigor Ancients, Kroxigors, and Sacred Kroxigors. Lasts five turns; 20-turn cooldown.
- Rite of Awakening (2,000 gold) – Makes a Slann Mage-Priest available for recruitment. Lasts one turn; 10-turn cooldown.
Total War: Warhammer 2 Nakai’s Campaign Tactics – Temples, Favors, and Rites
Based on the above, you’ll realize that the boons and passives you get from Itzl dedications are must-haves for Nakai’s Total War: Warhammer 2 campaign. Many of your lord’s traits are already focused on buffing Kroxigors and Sacred Kroxigors anyway.
Apart from that, the Beasts of Itzl ability is amazing. The Lizardmen may have tough, scaly hides. Unfortunately, they’re outgunned and outranged by other hostile armies such as Markus Wulfhart and the Huntsmarshal’s Expedition.
When you combine the Beasts of Itzl’s ability along with other summons, you can make life a living hell for the AI. Imagine using the Skink Priest’s Lore of Beast spell Transformation of Kadon (summons a Manticore), as well as the Lizardmen spell to spawn a pack of Feral Cold Ones, plus your Beasts of Itzl Razordon pack? You’ve got everything you’ll need to harass an enemy’s ranged and artillery line, all while your melee troops swarm them.
The Rite of Mastery is pretty decent when you combine it with other Favors and pasives that improve your Kroxigor units already. Likewise, if the Defenders of the Great Plan are in a bind, use the Rite of Rebirth to bolster their siege holdout time until you can rescue them. Also, make sure that you’re also grabbing lord/hero spells and abilities that can provide more armor or melee defense. Nakai, your Kroxigor buddies, and the new Dread Saurians can tank a ton of damage but they’re not invincible.
Finally, Nakai won’t be swimming in dough since you’d always have a problem with economy (unless you keep demanding gold from your vassal as mentioned earlier). As such, you’ll want to use Blessed Spawnings to save up on gold. Zero recruitment costs can be really helpful as long as you’re looking at your upkeep expenses.
Nakai cannot confederate or be confederated.
— Total War (@totalwar) August 30, 2019
Confederation Bug and your Lizardmen Allies
It was previously announced that confederation with Nakai was out of the question. That was back in August, though. It’s possible to confederate now as Nakai with the release of The Hunter & The Beast DLC.
Given that you’re fighting against the Lizardmen foes in Lustria, you’ll become fast friends with other factions such as Hexoatl (Mazdamundi), Itza (Gor-Rok), the Cult of Sotek (Tehenhauin), and other Lizardmen minors. In Nakai’s Total War: Warhammer 2 campaign, I was able to confederate with them once I had high relations and my faction/vassal had grown powerful.
What happens when you confederate?
- The settlements of the Lizardmen faction will become part of the Defenders of the Great Plan’s territory.
- A temple to a random Old One is constructed and you gain those benefits (without needing to make a choice).
- You gain access to their lords and armies (including legendary lords).
- Existing armies from confederated factions become minor hordes.
- For some reason (and this seems to be a bug), the Defenders of the Great Plan will have a diplomatic relationship malus (-40 due to confederation, -50 due to breaking treaties).
- The game will say that the Defenders of the Great Plan are no longer your vassal. But, within the same split-second, it’ll also show that you vassalized them again. It’s weird!
As for keeping the peace among your Lizardmen pals and other neighbors, a good rule of thumb is to avoid getting embroiled in conflicts all over the map. You’re likely to have good relations with your fellow reptilian beings and dinosaurs, and they will, likely, propose defensive or military alliances. Don’t give in since you’ll get bogged down in nonsensical wars.
You don’t want to over-extend your forces since (a) Nakai’s economy takes a while to get rolling, and (b) your gold and Favor gains are tied to territories that belong to the Defenders of the Great Plan faction. If you lose some of these settlements to hostile forces, then you’ll lose a bit of gold, Favor, and the temples that were constructed therein (and some bonuses you’ve obtained).
Stick to non-aggression pacts and military access deals for the other Lizardmen factions. You can even go ahead with non-aggression pacts with a variety of factions if you don’t plan to expand a certain direction (at least that’d prevent them from declaring war on your vassal too). Then, once the other Lizardmen are on the ropes, try to confederate them to gain access to their settlements and legendary lords.
Total War: Warhammer 2 Nakai’s Campaign Tactics – Hordes
We haven’t discussed Nakai’s horde mechanics yet. Total War: Warhammer veterans might consider Nakai as a tweaked version of the Warriors of Chaos/Beastmen hordes with the Dedication to the Chaos Gods concept of the Norsca via Nakai’s Temples to the Old Ones mechanic.
Anyway, a lot of horde faction concepts are similar:
- You can’t capture settlements (as mentioned, you can only gift these to your vassal).
- Your mobile armies act as “settlements” that allow you to construct buildings.
- New armies you field require a surplus to your horde’s population.
- Constructing buildings will also require a surplus to your horde’s population.
- Technologies, character skills, and buildings increase horde growth per turn for the extra population.
But, there are also some major differences:
- Only Nakai’s main army has access to all possible buildings that you can construct. All other armies have limited building types.
- Only Nakai’s army can recruit locally since you can have military chain buildings.
- Your other armies can only use the global recruitment pool. The military chain buildings of your other armies will only reduce the global recruitment turns for units.
- No buildings in your faction will grant extra gold per turn, but there are buildings that lower unit upkeep.
- And, perhaps the biggest benefit, all of Nakai’s armies can encamp even when you have zero movement available. This is only possible as long as you’re not in forced march stance.
That last one is quite amazing to see in action. Here’s a list of the things you can do even after you’ve used up all your movement points and while not in forced march stance:
- Encamp while in corrupted territory to remove attrition penalties.
- Move closer to a settlement you want to besiege and then recruit units.
- Recruit units while in enemy territory.
- Take down a settlement and encamp to gain extra replenishment.
- Since Nakai automatically gifts settlements to his vassal, you can capture a city and still have movement points left to attack a nearby army or head somewhere else.
Growing The Horde!
As mentioned, Nakai and Kroxigor Ancients have the Spawned of Itza skill that increases horde growth. Nakai also has the Adornments skill for even additional horde growth. Unfortunately, these are for their armies only.
However, two technologies — Sequence of Growth and Sequence of Expansion — also provide horde growth for the entire faction. Likewise, capturing a settlement and dedicating a temple to the Old Ones will add to that value.
Nakai’s main building chain (Ziggurat) increases the horde growth for his army. Meanwhile, all the buildings you construct for your other armies will also have horde growth-increasing benefits.
Dread Saurians and Feral Dread Saurians
Since we’re on the subject of horde armies and recruitment, let’s also talk about Dread Saurian units. As mentioned, these T-Rexes are the largest monsters in Total War: Warhammer 2 and they’re recruitable by the Lizardmen as long as you own The Hunter & The Beast DLC. There’s also one more caveat — you can only recruit one Feral Dread Saurian and one Dread Saurian for each army, and they need to have the necessary buildings:
- Nakai – Giant Beast Pits
- All other minor hordes – Higher Portal of Itzl
The funny thing is that you can recruit one of each in your army and then send them over to another lord. After that, you can recruit again. Yes, you can keep getting Dread Saurians and Feral Dread Saurians as long as your army does not have them in their roster.
Total War: Warhammer 2 Nakai’s Campaign Tactics – The Legendary Hunters
The final part we’ll need to discuss would be Nakai’s progression and objectives throughout Total War: Warhammer 2‘s campaign. You can safely ignore the Vortex mechanics because most of your battles will take place solely on Lustria. That’s because you’re out to defeat Markus Wulfhart’s four Legendary Hunters who are scattered across the continent.
Note: You can refer to our Legendary Hunters guide for Markus Wulfhart’s campaign to get to know these unique characters.
In Nakai’s case, markers on Nakai’s campaign map will tell you where to find “The Ubersreik Four” (or five, doesn’t matter). You’ll only need to defeat them once in a battle to get that part of the tally completed. You can even send a hero to wound or assassinate them and it’ll count. The downside is that they’ll be back from time to time to become a nuisance, though you won’t need to “kill” them again as a requirement for your main objective.
When you’ve defeated all four of them, the final battle against Markus Wulfhart will be made available. Make sure you’re ready because it can be hectic. Oddly enough, defeating Wulfhart in the final battle won’t get rid of his faction. You’d still need to take over his territory and have your vassal hold 40 settlements to win Nakai the Wanderer’s campaign.
Note: If you do want a more detailed look at what transpires during the final battle (and my army composition), head over to our Battle for Itza guide right over here.
That does it for our campaign guide for Nakai the Wanderer. We’ll also follow up with additional mini-guides for his quest items and the climactic battle against Huntsmarshal Markus Wulfhart.
If you’re keen on checking out Total War: Warhammer 2‘s The Hunter & The Beast DLC, feel free to check it out via its Steam store page. Don’t forget that we’ve also got our Total War: Warhammer 2 – The Hunter & The Beast guides and features hub with more info.