Eltharion the Grim’s last stand
When playing as Eltharion the Grim in Total War: Warhammer II, you’ll be able to initiate the Siege of Tor Yvresse final battle anytime you want, even without doing any of the preventive missions while waiting for Grom’s arrival. Still, it’s better to conquer the three specific settlements to gain their warden’s supplies and other buffs, as well as ensuring that you’ve got a maxed out Tor Yvresse Defense Level via your Athel Tamarha upgrades.
Note: Once you initiate the final battle, you’ve got five turns to finish it. Likewise, the tooltip will say that losing means your campaign is over. Strangely enough, I quit this battle on my first try (prior to deploying my troops), but I was still able to play it on my next turn without any consequences.
As for your units, remember that you’ll be fighting several monsters such as Anachronok Spiders, Rogue Idols (including a Regiment of Renown), Trolls, and even a Giant. That means you’ll want to have some strong anti-large troops such as Phoenix Guard. I also had Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers that could switch to anti-large damage.
Similarly, Grom’s green tide will swarm the city with countless mobs from regular Goblin Spearmen to Nasty Skulkers, Spider Riders, and Black Orcs. I had Swordmasters of Hoeth, Knights of Tor Gaval, and Arcane Phoenixes to fight them off. For Mistwalker units, I had the Spire Guard of Tor Yvresse and Sentinels of Astaril (both are hybrid units that can switch between ranged and melee combat). Lastly, I also recruited a Star Dragon.
For my notable characters:
- Eltharion (level 30) already had all the perks from his “Storm of Blades” yellow line and several buffs to flying and high-tier units thanks to his red line. Keep in mind that his most cost-effective spell, Apotheosis (healing), will be useful all throughout the Siege of Tor Yvresse final battle.
- My Loremaster of Hoeth (level 32), Cavill — a nod to Superman/Geralt Henry Cavill who happens to be a big fan of Total War games — has all the necessary spells to make him a powerhouse. Still, the ones I mostly used were Earth Blood (healing) and Spirit Leech (single-target damage that’s good vs. large monsters).
- I also had a High Elf Noble (level 30) who has perks for both offense and defense.
- Both my Loremaster and Noble were given “The Shadow” Mistwalker title. The title provides the armies they’re embedded in with +20 Winds of Magic reserves so you can cast spells more often.
For other boosts:
- I used Invocation of Hoeth before starting the final battle in order to get +30 Winds of Magic reserves.
- The Sword of Khaine, while it can be obtained by Eltharion the Grim, will not be active in the final battle. In fact, once you win the battle, you’ll notice that the weapon got mysteriously unequipped.
- Summon the Sentinels – Spawns Sentinels of Astaril; four uses.
- Channeling Spire – Increases the power recharge rate for all units in an area; three uses.
- Envelop in Mists – “Snipe,” “Stalk,” and “Unspottable” for all units in an area; unlimited uses.
- Oath of Replenishment – Replenishes ammo and increases base missile damage and armor-piercing missile damage; “Perfect Vigor” and “Unbreakable” for all units map-wide; four uses.
- Invocation of Ending – Massive AoE explosion that’s great against solo units like large monsters; unlimited uses.
- Warden’s Cage – Lowers target lord’s/hero’s armor and melee defense; prevents them from moving; one use. I was hoping to use this on Grom but never had a chance to do so, and you’ll see why.
The walls, the traps, and the Waaagh!
You’re told that should the walls get breached, you need to hightail it straight to the main square to make your final stand. That’s because there are traps in three of the city’s lanes and, once a hostile Greenskin unit comes near, those traps will trigger (ie. a lightning strike to electrocute enemies).
Eltharion and most of your flying units will actually be hovering over the main square just waiting for Grom’s Waaagh! because that’s what the game expects you to do. I disregarded that and just played more aggressively.
The first thing I did was beeline straight for the Rogue Idols using Eltharion and other flying units. I also used Spirit Leech repeatedly to lower their health:
Before they could be brought down, however, some Anachronok Spiders managed to reach the gates. The center, which was where all the giant monsters came funneling in, was well protected with Eltharion, Cavill the Witcher Loremaster and Emperor of the Superman-things, and my High Elf Noble. The Invocation of Ending spell was, likewise, very handy when in a bind:
What did become a problem was how my mid-tier/ranged units fought it out on the walls. Doom Diver Catapults and Grom’s Doom Diver ability brought down sections of the walls and, due to my own confusion, I wasn’t able to remove my units in time. My Spire Guard and Sentinels suffered horrendous losses, but, thankfully, they didn’t break:
Another problem also reared its ugly head in that my AI ally, Theron, didn’t even bother reinforcing the other sections of the wall. At most, his units just manned the same section at the center even though the flanks were exposed. The color-coding scheme was also a bit confusing since Eltharion’s, Theron’s, and even Grom’s units all had a shade of blue.
Note: Ideally, you should just have your units behind the walls ready to defend against hostiles. Manning the walls would be suicidal since the AI would hardly help you out, and combat can be a little clunky since your own troops might prefer to stick to their position due to having no other place to move.
Anyway, with my walls crumbling down and Orcs and Goblins attacking with siege towers — as well as Theron just watching a Charlize Theron movie on Netflix — I had to switch my hybrid infantry from ranged combat to melee instead. I also had to contend with the Greenskins usage of the Waaagh! mechanic once most of their troops were engaged in melee.
Thankfully, my Phoenix Guard protected the left, center, and right-hand side of the walls, and I also had Swordmasters of Hoeth on the left and right sides to plug the gaps. I even had my Star Dragon burn down any intruders. Together, they took out countless Nasty Skulkers, Goblin Warriors, and Black Orcs:
Even though I managed to blunt the advance of Grom’s allies, it still wasn’t enough since the oncoming horde would never stop. Worse, my depleted hybrid infantry units were now being assaulted by Feral Wyverns, Spiders, Squigs, and Greenskin heroes. Fortunately, my Knights of Tor Gaval and Arcane Phoenixes scared them off.
Note: The idea is to use your flying units to quickly reinforce any side that needs help since they can get to those areas in time.
As for the breached walls, since my high-end melee units were engaged in other fights, I had to use Summon the Sentinels. While the summoned units would get annihilated when surrounded, they more than helped out when harassing low to mid-tier enemy Greenskin hostiles from the flanks. Likewise, since these Sentinels are hybrids, you can quickly switch them to melee combat and defend breached sections.
They’re not there to kill enemies. They’re there to distract the AI from beelining straight for the city:
The (green) tide turns and the defeat of Grom the Paunch
I weathered the storm thanks to my troops and all the spells I could cast: Apotheosis, Earth Blood, Spirit Leech, Invocation of Ending, Summon the Sentinels, and Oath of Replenishment were extremely valuable. Since I had a lot of Winds of Magic power reserves and a high recharge rate, I had no issues spamming everything I had.
It was time to go on the offensive. But, first, I had to contend with Greenskin stragglers who managed to bypass my units. Although it’s possible for your soldiers to fix them in place, some may still wander off while routing and make their way to the main square. There was no one defending that spot other than Theron, but it looks like he finally decided he had enough of binge-watching Crash Landing On You, so he started attacking the routing units:
I still had to help ensure that these stragglers were broken and escaping. Even if they triggered the traps, they’ll only get slowed down. There’s a distinct possibility that they’d take the main square and hand you a defeat in the Siege of Tor Yvresse final battle:
Back at the walls, more Greenskins were flooding in through one of the gaps near the center. I used my Star Dragon and Arcane Phoenix to nuke them to oblivion:
A few minutes later, I sent my Star Dragon and Arcane Phoenix to burn the remaining troops that were clustered closer to Grom’s lines. This was the moment when Grom knew this “Waaaghs! ” a big mistake on his part:
My units were ravaged, but they held steady and I was using healing spells to keep those at the center in good condition. Eventually, Grom had his remaining troops go for an all-out attack. This, too, was halted:
Grom could only look on and despair, eventually retreating. Oh, I did use Warden’s Cage but he managed to escape before my units could reach him. For my efforts in winning the Siege of Tor Yvresse, I got the following rewards:
- + 10,000 gold
- “Terror” attribute when fighting against Greenskins (all armies) – This attribute felt a bit useless, at least when playing Total War: Warhammer II‘s Eye of the Vortex campaign. There just weren’t any Greenskins left to terrorize.