Total War Warhammer III: The Ice Court Campaign Guide IE

After a long wait following the Total War Warhammer III release, the Immortal Empires map has been officially out in its beta state. Dozens of factions from all Warhammer Titles are now playable on this massive campaign map, with unending scenarios in this sandbox experience. The Ice Court is one of those numerous factions to enjoy, but is everyone capable of beating such challenge?

Total War Warhammer III: The Ice Court Campaign Guide IEKislev is one of the vanilla factions introduced to Total War Warhammer III, and a major human faction that is considered the shield against chaos. In Total War Warhammer III Kislev is represented by three sub factions; Ursun Revivalists ruled by Boris Ursus the greatest Tzar of all Kislev, the Ice court ruled by Tzarina Katarin the daughter of Boris Ursus, and the Great Orthodoxy ruled by Kostaltyn. Throughout their campaign Kislevites will face all kind of enemies such as Warrior of Chaos, Norsca , Skaven, and Greenskins just to name few. This variety of enemies will yield an exceptionally satisfying experience for players, yet a difficult one which ranks their campaigns amongst the most difficult ones. This guide will aid you through the initial Ice Court challenges as well as building up a solid economy for the rest of the campaign.

Diplomacy

Diplomacy is a major aspect of Total War Warhammer III that is neglected by many players, especially new ones. Yet it is a game changer, and will help players through their campaign tremendously. Diplomacy will also affect the faction that it is being established with. For instance and due to anti player bias, a faction that has diplomatic relation with a player is more likely to have a weaker AI. Thus there is a high chance that it will be destroyed by its enemies. So playing as the Ice Court, it is very important to NOT build any kind of relation with the following factions:

Faction Reason
The Great Orthodoxy, Ropsmenn Clan, and Druzhina Enclave Building any kind of relation with these factions will hinder their campaign progression. This will lead to them being destroyed early in the campaign, thus players will be exposed to the north which is not ideal
All of Grand Kathay factions For economical reasons that will be discussed in the economy section
Wargrove of Woe Expansion related reasons that will be further discussed in the expansion section
Ostermark It is Ideal for the player to conquer their province instead of building a relation with them. Their province is suitable climate, and has four settlement with a major capital

 

It is perfectly fine to build relations with the rest of the factions,especially dwarfs.

Faction Abilities and Commandments

Kislev has an interesting faction mechanic called: The Motherland Invocations. Once activated, players will spend devotion to invoke one of the four different god blessings. Each blessing has its own uses, but at the start of the campaign the best one to choose is Slayaks’ one. It will grant a supporter whenever a character gains a rank up, a +20 growth, and +8% replenishment for all armies. This will be of great value in the early game, since it will help player to keep on rolling as well as levelling up cities faster. Players need to keep in mind that whenever an invocation has been applied, the next one will be more expensive. Also if devotion went really low, there will be a chance for a chaos incursion. A chaos incursion will lead to the spawn of a chaos army. This army is usually close to the faction leader.

The Motherland Invocation

The Motherland Invocation

As for commandments it is really up to the player to choose which ones they want, as it is better to keep swapping them depending on priorities. However, at the start of the campaign it is crucial to choose the right ones. Relief Columns is the first commandment to apply in River Urskoy. This Commandment will allow players to recruit two more units, and for 10% cheaper cost, this will allow to host more units faster.

Technology

The technology tree of Kislev is a beefy one. It has all kind of boosts, but the following four are the most valuable. It is really important to research them early in the campaign, since they will have a serious impact on its early progression. Those technologies are as follow:

  • Ice Sculpting: this technology will unlock an Ice Court training slot for Frost Maidens as well as increasing their capacity by +1. It is really important to start researching it as soon as the campaign starts. Since it takes four turns to complete, and another six to finish training the Ice Witch. Once done two ice witch heroes can be recruited, which means three armies with spell capabilities can be hosted. This by it self is a huge thing, since spell casting gives a great potential to the army.
  • Pirate’s Weapons: this technology simply makes all raged troops better. It adds flat bonuses of +10% range, +2 AP damage, and +10% reload speed.
  • Convalescence: this technology adds some casualty replenishment of +3% as well as +5 growth.
  • Cold Storage: this technology adds +2% casualty replenishment, and +10 growth.

The last two can be switched with each others since they provide almost the same bonuses.

Skill Tree

The skill tree is again a self preference for each player. Yet it is important to consider the following for Katarin since she will be the main powerhouse of the faction, and she has to be able to deal with all kind of threats. Spend the first point on Route Marcher to be able to reach destinations faster. Then throughout her levelling process, players should focus on her spell tree. She should be capable of casting upgraded Ice Maiden’s Kiss by level 3, and upgraded Heart of Winter by level 11. Level 12 should be for Ice Mistress, this is a great buff for all her spell casting capabilities. Lastly by level 20 Katarins’ Lightning Strike ability should be maxed, this will allow her to face any kind of danger including an early WAAAGH!!!

Expansion

Expansion is one of the tricky parts for this campaign, as player tends to rush all major cities thinking that it is the best approach. There is no denial that Kislev, Praag, and Erengrad are a must have. They are the major Kislevites cities, and they provide exceptional boost to the economy. In the early game, however, they are the sink for the Ice Court campaign. Remember that we need to limit encounters with various factions. So spreading north means encountering Norsca, and Warriors of Chaos. This is by far the worst thing to happen in the early game. Expanding in this campaign should be the other way around.

Southern Oblast

At first players should take over Southern Oblast, starting by defeating the nearest army. Despite that the close by army has a mammoth, Katarin has a snow leopard which is a major threat for the mammoth. Use it to kite the mammoth away from the army, then make sure to kill it with the lord for extra gold.

Southern Oblast Expedition

Southern Oblast Expedition

Once the army is dealt with, head towards Zavastra. At the meantime, an army should be recruited in Kislev, and a max recruitment should be applied locally and globally. Thus, by the time the province is conquered, Katarin will own a full stack while the other lord will have couple units on board.

Northern World’s Edge Mountain

After conquering Southern blast, the next target should be Northern World’s Edge Mountain. This province should be captured early on, otherwise Azhag will become a major threat later in the campaign. Following  steps should makes it an easy challenge.So by turn 5, players should own a full stack on Katarin and some units on the other lord. Place Katarin in ambush stance at the very edge of the Southern Blast, while the other lord will be recruiting.They should reach Karak Ungor by next turn. Here players are free to either enter war against Azhag on turn five, and role the dice as he could fall in the ambush. Or simply wait for the next turn and use both armies to finish him off while he sits in Karak Ungor.

North World's Edge Mountain Take Over

North World’s Edge Mountain Take Over

Once Katarin conquer the city, the rest of the province will be free for the taking. 

Southern Expedition

In this expedition, players will take over all the following provinces before going back north:

  • Ostermark
  • Gryphon Wood
  • Northern Sylvania
  • Southern Sylvania

Katarin will take over these provinces easily, since all of them are at war with each others. Starting with Ostermark, and Gryphone Wood, check which one is weaker then join war against it. This will lead to both being conquered. Then follow the same footsteps for the Sylvanias. Once done, no potential enemies will be in the area. Moreover. Ungrim Ironfist will be a great ally covering the eastern border of the empire.

Economy

Kislev economy is strong and easily managed. But the Ice court faction has another edge over the other Kislevites factions when it comes to economy. So not only they own Kislev, an economical powerhouse. But they also tend to be close to Caravan trade routes.

Caravans

Remember what we said at the very beginning regarding diplomacy? Do NOT build any kind of diplomacy with Grand Kathay! Well, caravans are the simple reason that denied diplomacy with them at least in the early campaign. Each caravan can yield thousands of gold, such that sometimes its cargo might surpass 25k gold loot. This gold is crucial in the early game, since it can makes province upgrades trivial. And what makes things even better for the Ice Court faction, is that their capital city Kislev is really close to some crucial trade routes.

Caravan Hunt

Caravan Hunt

The tree points in the previous picture represents where it is most likely to encounter a caravan. So Fort Jacova (1) has the highest encounter percentage. In case the lord was far from the city when a caravan arrives, it is possible to catch it near Ostermark (2) as most of the times it moves there the following turn. As for Kislev (3), it is possible to occasionally encounter a caravan. All of the above makes it ideal to keep an army close to Vitevo. This army will be in charge of: hunting caravans, repelling any potential skaven attack, and charging Ostermak to capture the capital if needed.

Infrastructure

Building a strong empire starts by building its infrastructure. This means placing income buildings in green areas (look at the picture for more information), as it provides the highest income. Moreover, it is important to have a decent build order to make progression smoother. For the city of Kislev, the first building to build alongside the already built Kossar Hut is The Tribal Encampment. It only takes 1 turn to build, it provides +30 growth, and it reduces the recruitment cost of all units. All of those bonuses are important at the start of the campaign, as every turn counts.

Suitable Climate and Infrastructure

Suitable Climate and Infrastructure

The Kossar Hut should remain for two turns recruiting for the army in Kislev. Then once Zavastra is captured, another Hut should be built there. On turn 3, the army in Kislev will leave the province, and will move to Vitevo to transfer the troops recruited to Katarin. This means the Kossar Hut in Kislev is to be destroyed now, such that stall will take its place. And after upgrading Kislev to tier two, build the Tallow-Keepers Guild to have even more growth. Then throughout the Southern Oblast province, build all kind of income buildings. Ideally, the following buildings should be built in each of the following cities just to give a general build order guide:

  • Zvastra: Kossar Hut (army recruitment), Market Square (income), Farmstead (income, and growth)
  • Vitevo: Market Square (income), Farmstead (income, and growth), Hallowed Hood (income, and devotion)
  • Fort Jakova: Iron Mining Pit (resource buildings should always be prioritized), Market Square (income), Orthodoxy Shrine (more patriarchs, supporters, and devotion)

Army Composition

Army composition is another self preference thing that is up to the player. Yet in the early phase of the campaign, it is essential to build an efficient army capable of handling its duties well. So early game armies should include Kossars with spears, a Patriarch (if possible), and an Ice Witch (if possible). Note that I mentioned Kossars with spears, not regular Kossars. That is for the simple reason that they have better melee defence, and they have anti large. This makes them ideal to counter flanker units, since most of them are large. As for the hounds, they should not be a threat since their leadership is really low. Then once Armored Kossars becomes available, swap some of them in the army.

Katarin Doomstack

Katarin Doomstack

Doom stack armies on the other hand are a big deal. They can easily auto resolve most enemies, and can manually handle the hardest of foes.  For instance, Tzarina Katarin can host an army of Ice Guard much cheaper than even Kossars, since she has 50% upkeep reduction for Ice Guards. Same applies for Tzar Boris Ursus for War Bear Riders, he can host an army of the most powerful Kislev troops dirt cheap. This upkeep reduction makes them ideal for doom stacking.

This guide should be ideal for any one seeking to play the Ice Court campaign. Its is straight forward, and tested on the very hard difficulty.

Enter the World of Kislev | Total War: WARHAMMER III
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