Total Warhammer 3 without touching grass: Noctilus accidentally looks up ‘avast’ in the dictionary

By admin May3,2024

Well, swaggle me horns and fasten me timbers so they stop shivering like that, because the noise is quite irritating. Welcome back to another edition of Plundertales – my quest to conquer strategy game Total War: Warhammer 3 without ever stepping foot on dry land. If you don’t know the other rules by now, I can only assume you’ve been living under an extremely specific type of rock that changes nothing about your life except preventing you from reading the previous two editions of this column. Who would carve such a rock? How would it even work? These are lubber-tier queries and shall remain unanswered, because it’s plundering time. Avast!

It’s turn 30. When we last parted ways with Noctilus, he’d just made a series of truly genius tactical decisions, but then stubbed his pinkie, leaving him in need of some replenishment. We ask some nearby elves nicely if we can borrow their city, they accept, and then we murder them all anyway, because we’re bloody pirates! Break out the pirate beverages! Bring the snacks! Once, I wrote a gag about Agent 47 eating some baklava from the market and someone on Steam wrote a massive rant about how this was proof that all games journalists are ivory tower poshos, then called me ‘scum’. Noctilus can have some Wotsits or whatever.

Noctlius fights yet more elves in Total War: Warhammer 3

Image credit: Creative Assembly

Meanwhile, across the ocean, we rename our second lord ‘Pip War!’ (exclamation included), as suggested by ‘LJFox’ in the comments. We also promote her to Gunnery Master via the Fleet Offices tab after I realise I’ve been sleeping on some gunpowder buffs for several turns now. We’re just about to end turn when Luthor Harkon pops up with an offer of friendship. The game said it’ll pay me for signing a non-aggression pact, so I agree. I do not like you, Harkon, but I do like money. Turn 31 passes uneventfully. Pip finds some treasure, and Noctilus recruits a new hero. We name her ‘Waylon Smithereens’, as pitched by two-time good name suggester ‘James’ in the comments.

It’s turn 32 and freak winds from wherever winds come from give us a bonus to campaign movement. Last time, be-tailed pirate menace Sloppy Cruickshank had been spotted scurrying about in our general vicinity, but we’re running out time to help Slaanesh daemon N’kari from getting wiped out, so we hoist the sails and head north. By turn 33, we’ve arrived at the next port city on our kill list. It should have been an easy fight, but Yvresse leader Eltharion the Grim is garrisoned there with a huge army. We dismantle a few zombies in Pip’s army to help with our cash flow, and prepare for what’s sure to be another easy routine battle. Foreshadowing is a literary de…

Noctilus vs Eltharion in Total War: Warhammer 3

Renaming our admiral in Total War: Warhammer 3

Image credit: Creative Assembly

On the eve of the battle, the bad omens begin to mount up. First, Montgunnery finds a lemon wedge in his grog, just in time to bin it before it threatens the cure the scurvy that’s basically keeping his skin attached at this point. Then, the cannon-cleaning monkey gets stuck in a bore and has to gnaw his own feet off to escape. We later discover he could have just removed his hat. Then, curse of all curses, a weevil-chewed dictionary falls from the sky and lands at Count Noctilus’ feet, forcing him to learn what ‘Avast’ actually means. He has…not been using it correctly at least 70% of the time. Shaken, he stumbles to his quarters to avast himself of a good night’s rest.

Sunrise cracks the skyline like a ripe monkey egg, and it’s time for battle. I load in and, just as the signs foretold, we’re already off to bad start. I could not draw a worse map for an army that relies on artillery if you’d avast me to. Also, the elves have been working their disgusting magic, and the whole thing has been glamoured to look like its covered in grass. It’s not real, of course, because Noctilus is touching it and, as you may have heard by now, I will never touch grass.

Vampirates prepare for battle in formation in Total War: Warhammer 3
Image credit: Creative Assembly

Noctilus’ messenger monkey swings into his tent with yet more bad news. Enemy reinforcements have been spotted on the way, and they’re due to arrive on our side of the field, leaving us even less space to set up our artillery. It also means that we’ll have to either spread our firing zones or designate a melee force – troops we need to cover our guns – to deal with them. “I am the melee force!” shouts Noctilus. He surprises even himself with how commanding and resolute he sounds, but then realises that his only audience is a monkey. That’s like, five bad omens in a row now.

The first half of the fight doesn’t go too badly for us. Despite the foliage, our artillery manages to do some decent work softening up the approaching elves. We hide some mournguls further forward on the left, who do a bang up job slowing down the elf’s flanking force of cavalry. Remember when I said the map was terrible for us? It’s actually worse than that, since we’re at the bottom of a slope on the whole left side. I could have set up further along, but then I’d have the reinforcements arrive straight behind me. Instead, I now have to deal with elven archers on higher ground. My artillery does its best, but they’re still able to set up some nasty bow lines.

Cannons at the ready! in Total War: Warhammer 3
Image credit: Creative Assembly

When reinforcements arrive in Twarhammer 3, they take a while to get into formation, so you’ve usually got a grace period of about ten seconds where the entire force is clumped up in a fat line, ripe for spellcasting and the like. I manage to lay down my bonus cannons, then send Noctilus in. Being a single entity in a mass of troops, they all clump up around him. It’s then I turn my entire payload on them, wreaking absolute havoc. Normally, I’d be feeling quite smug right now, but focusing on the reinforcing army has meant no artillery left to deal with the main force, who are now well and truly on top of us. Then, with the screeching cacophony of a thousand monkeys laying eggs simultaneously, Eltharion appears overhead on his griffin, poised to dive straight into our back line.

What follows is chaos. And not the good kind, where we can loot the bodies afterward. And not the other good kind, who are well known for killing elves. No, this is the kind of chaos wherein our mostly ranged army is rendered impotent as, well, zombies with guns. Elves pile in from all sides. Most of our mortars are shut down quickly. After a triumphant final volley, Queen Bess – the greatest cannon that ever lived – collapses into a heap upon the cursed elven grass.

A large cannon is destroyed in 
Total War: Warhammer 3
Image credit: Creative Assembly

Noctilus looks up from doing his favourite trick with the point of his halberd where he plucks out an eyeball from one elf and shoves it up another’s nose, and rapidly surveys the carnage around him. Everywhere, zombies – some he’s known since they were knee-high to two other zombies sewn together – litter the battlefield. As the last of his ranks crumble and collapse, he feels the ghostly butterfly of a prideful sensation flutter betwixt his ribs. Despite being outnumbered and surrounded, his shooty lads have managed to whittle down Eltharion to a sliver of health. The high elf leader and his large bird flee the field, but it’s not enough to swing the balance of power. Soon, only Noctilus is left, surrounded by too many elves to even have space to do the eyeball thing.

Noctilus stands alone in Total War: Warhammer 3
Image credit: Creative Assembly

The blows and arrows hurt at first. Slicing, piercing pain, first as individual wounds, then as an indistinguishable wave of agony. Then, as fast as it came, the pain gives way to something else; a soporific acceptance of his fate. Noctilus has but one final thing he must do. A deep curiosity that’s lived inside him longer that he’d ever admit. As he falls, he extends a hand outward. When he meets the ground, he summons the last tatters of strength left in him, and grasps the verdant blades that surround him. Is….this what grass feels like? Is this…what I’ve been missing this whole time? Is this….happiness?

Lol. Lmao. Gotcha. Noctilus died and never touched grass. And neither did I. Fin.

By admin

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