Playing as Greasus and Skrag – get big or go home


Total War
November 18 2021

The Ogres have arrived in Total War: WARHAMMER III, and they won’t be going anywhere. Too rich to walk, too mad to die, and too powerful to ignore, both our Ogre legendary lords are powerhouses but very different people. Greasus is the Tradelord, Overtyrant of his people, and a master of diplomacy and combat both. Skrag is a cult-leader of deranged Gorgers, a prophet of the Great Maw, and twice as deadly as either.

But how do they play, what do they do, and where do they start? Let’s get into it. In our previous legendary lord mechanics blog, we only had one lord to contend with – for the Ogre Kingdoms, Kislev, and Cathay there are two, but we’ll deal with them in turn. As we’ve stated in the past: game in development, numbers non-final, work in progress, etcetera.

Let’s start with…

Greasus Goldtooth

Goldtooth faction effects

  • Diplomatic relations: +20 with Ogre Kingdoms
  • Income from trade: +25%
  • Unit mass: +25%

And you thought Ogres were nothing but warmongers! The key to Ogre play, particularly as Greasus, is to make the right friends at the right times so you can focus your attention elsewhere. Naturally, the end goal of Ogre Kingdoms diplomacy is to confederate all under the Overtyrant and form an everlasting empire. The bonuses to trade help when dealing with the Cathayan factions on your borders and keeping that massive nation happy – either for all time, or until you’re ready.

Worth re-noting here, as it is most relevant for Greasus and the other Eastern Ogre tribes, that they are neutral in world politics. They’re as happy to work with and for Daemon factions as anyone else, so long as the grub’s good. While Daemons do not trade – no concept of money will do that to you – they can still make pacts of various kinds.

Unit mass is a unit stat that isn’t often exposed in tooltips but is very valuable and will be more visible in WARHAMMER III. It is part of the calculations for the results of unit collisions due to charges, and most directly determines whether a unit is knocked back, down, or sent flying. A higher unit mass, especially for a faction with such bias towards charging as Ogres, is going to disrupt enemy formations more effectively and cause more damage. Far from a simple joke about the most rotund race in the Warhammer world, this buff is likely the deadliest they could receive.

Greasus Goldtooth Legendary Lord effects

  • Income from raiding: +50% (Lord’s army)
  • Income from sacking and looting settlements: +50% (Lord’s army)
  • Upkeep: -50% for Ironguts units (Lord’s army)

Greasus continues his focus on greed and wealth, especially from the destruction of his enemies. While he is a genius statesman (for an Ogre) when it comes to diplomatic relations and trade, he’s equally adept at taking what he wants, when he wants it.

Worth remembering how Ogre settlements work for both these first two buffs. Ogre camps are constantly raiding the region they are in, if it’s enemy territory. This is done with the sizeable garrisoning army and can translate into a significant income with the right targets. In addition, with their weak primary settlements, repeatedly sacking or razing cities rather than taking them – particularly province capitals – is an even more enticing prospect. A 50% increase is nothing to sniff at and could easily take sack rewards into the five figures.

Ironguts, being the fattest and burliest Ogres around, as well as an excellent tier 3 unit, are Greasus’ signature troops.

Greasus Goldtooth skill tree

Greasus has a great skilltree with some extra options on top of the Tyrant set – his position at the very top of Ogre society gives additional boons in all the right places. Four sequential skills, all available from the start and named for Greasus’ many legendary titles give significant bonuses:

  • Tribestealer – Large buffs to Ogre Kingdoms relations, and melee attack and weapon strength while fighting them.
  • Goldtooth – Big buff to Leadership and Armour for Greasus’ army.
  • Drakecrush – Bonus damage vs. Large.
  • Overtyrant – additional casualty replenishment, recruit rank, and local recruit capacity for Greasus’ army.

These join his bespoke Big Names – Shockingly Obese, Gatecrasher, Tradelord, Hoardmaster– in making Greasus a truly unique character, on and off the battlefield. A final important note is three further skills, all involved with camps, the final one (known, fittingly, as Da Best Campin’) increasing your camp limit by one. This gives Greasus unique access to more raiding posts, more places to refuel his army, and more meat.

Greasus Goldtooth start position

Greasus starts, understandably, at the Great Hall of Greasus along the Ivory Road. This is central on the map and borders various other Ogre Kingdoms factions. Also in the region is an at-war Ogre Kingdoms faction, Crossed Clubs, with settlements to the North and South. The final settlement in the province is seemingly abandoned, but closer inspection will reveal a Skaven hideout.

Taking out the first army of the Crossed Clubs and then conquering their two settlements and the province as a whole is your normal start. From there, you have quite a lot of options, with the first decision being how friendly or otherwise you wish to be with your Ogre neighbours. You’ve got big bonuses to potential alliances and confederations down the road but crushing them beneath your heel is just as effective. Whichever route you pick will leave you with several immediate options for expansion.

The winding and spindly nature of the province leaves your settlements spread out and somewhat far-flung, but also means lots of borders. Dwarfs, Orcs, further Skaven, paths to the Cathay borderlands and lots of Ogre factions surround you. The bigger question is which major power to go after first – daemons a few provinces to the north, Cathay awaiting on the East of the map, or Kislev in the middle-West.

Greasus’ starting stack consists of himself, two units of Ogre Bulls, one unit of Gnoblars, and a single Sabretusk Pack. Not exactly a humongous honour guard, but it’s worth noting that Ogre armies can immediately lower their global recruitment duration to one turn for basic units thanks to Offerings to the Great Maw, making it easy to recruit five units a turn after the initial engagement. It might be worth aiming for a Hunter early to quickly take advantage of the free Sabretusks.

Skrag the Slaughterer

Disciples of the Maw faction effects

  • Campaign movement range: +10% (all characters)
  • Hero capacity: +1 for Butchers
  • Hero recruit rank: +2 for Butchers

This split represents the two definitive halves of Skrag’s existence. There’s the wanderer, who will drag his army across half the world to enact revenge, keeping them fed, watered, and ready for battle. Anyone with some play time in Total War will know just how powerful additional movement range on the campaign map is.

Then there’s the pure power of the Maw that Skrag evokes, drawing spellcasters of all shapes and sizes to his side. As a refresher, Butchers can bring either the Lore of Beasts or Lore of the Great Maw with them and have access to Replenish Troops, Cleanse Corruption, Steal Technology, Wound, and Hinder Replenishment actions and effects. They also have a series of Ogre-specific skills that improve each of those by another significant margin.

Skrag the Slaughterer Legendary Lord effects

  • Casualty replenishment rate: +8% for Gorgers units (Lord’s army)
  • Upkeep: -50% for Gorgers units (Lord’s army)

Not exactly a tonne to explain here – Gorgers are Skrag’s most loyal followers, tempted from the Mountains of Mourn by promises of slaughter and victory. They will swarm in packs to help him, and care little for gold as a reward, so long as more tasty treats are promised.

Skrag the Slaughterer skill tree

As well as the normal sets of ‘caster’ trees, and the entire lore of the Great Maw, Skrag has access to some unique powers that make him an even better army commander and a deadly melee participant to go along with his powerful spells. They include:

  • The Maw Feasts – Cost reduction for Offers to the Great Maw.
  • Gorger Onslaught – Summon a unit of Gorgers onto the battlefield.
  • Whirling Stump-Blades – Increases melee attack and weapon strength.
  • Driven by Visions – Further campaign map movement range increases.

These join his Big Names, which you can see above, and are significantly powerful for keeping Skrag’s army stocked with food or improving his casting capabilities. It’s worth noting that between his faction effects, Big Names, skills, and hero effects, Skrag can really be sprinting around the map. This is as useful for running down enemy armies as it is going between provinces, and with the Ogre’s constant need for meat, the quicker they get somewhere, the less they’ll consume on the journey.

Skrag the Slaughterer start position

Skrag begins far flung from just about every other Legendary Lord in WARHMMER III, with a settlement in the Southern Grey Mountains, tucked into the south-west of the map and beginning a campaign of slaughter against the dwarfs of Karak Ziflin. They control two settlements to the west of Gristle Valley, and then a further settlement in the Northern Grey Mountains. Naturally, they also have a starting target army on one of your borders.

Of course, what’s truly interesting about this start is to the north of Gristle Valley is Reikland and The Empire. Middenland, Marienburg, and many more are all in the vicinity and at least one will need to die to allow for your expansion. Naturally, they can all have juicy contracts on one another to give out, and you could always give up on them and take your army further afield for lands beyond – Kislev and the Chaos Wastes call. Banging down a few Ogre camps in the rich heartlands of human civilization on the way could pay for itself in raiding loot.

Assuming you deal with the Dwarfs and ‘abandoned’ settlements in the Northern Grey Mountains first, there is only one way to go – North and East – but it’s your choice how you conduct yourself. Beyond Marienburg is the Witch’s Wood and Laurelorn Forest, home of the Wood Elves, then the Sea of Claws and the passage to Kislev and the Chaos Wastes of Norsca, the Warriors, and the Daemons.

Skrag’s starting stack consists of himself, one unit of Gnoblars, two units of Ogre Bulls, and a unit of Gorgers. It’s a strong start, with Vanguard Deployment, high speed, and unbreakable Gorgers faring well in early fights against slow, squishy dwarfs and Skaven. However, you will need to quickly place a camp and find a good region to raid and pillage so you can grow this army into one capable of completing contracts and facing the Empire or worse.

The power and grub’s what we’re doing it for

Who takes your fancy – Skrag or Greasus? Too magical to die or too rich to walk? Gorgers or Ironguts? The Empire or Cathay? It’s all on the menu for Total War: WARHAMMER III, coming February 17, 2022.