The latest DLC for Total War: Warhammer 2, “Curse of the Vampire Coast” is out, and I’ve been messing around with it for a bit. Overall its more of the same, so if you like TW:W2, you likely will enjoy the DLC, and if you don’t like the base game, this isn’t likely to change your mind.
As the title suggests, the big new addition is the Vampire Pirate faction. Or factions, really, since each legendary lord represents a different location and group, though they do all share similar mechanics and units. Unlike the base vampire faction, this group has a lot of ranged units, all gunpowder-based. They also have access to artillery, which is nice. The difficulty I’m having with the faction right now is traditionally the undead swarm with melee units to win, as their individual units are weak, but with more ranged options, you usually don’t heavily outnumber the enemy in the total number of melee units, and one on one the undead generally lose. That said the ranged units you do have can be devastating, especially the first few volleys that trigger a passive for having full ammo.
As with other full army DLC in TW:W2, the pirates have unique campaign mechanics as well. Instead of being concerned with the vortex, you instead focus on building your reputation as a pirate, and taking out rival pirates to ultimately collect the pieces of a treasure map and slay a giant sea beast. Thematically this works great, and encourages you to sail around, establish pirate havens (when you take over a coastal city, you now have the option of leaving it in the current owner’s hands, and setting up a hidden pirate base), dig up treasure, and overall live the pirate life. To compliment this, pirate lords also function as mini-hordes, meaning they upgrade buildings and can recruit troops without being in a city.
At $18 the DLC can be argued as being pricey, but I’m ok with that. It’s certainly not required to enjoy the base game, and even some of its benefits can be enjoyed without the purchase (the pirates will show up as an NPC faction, you just can’t play them).