A lot of veteran Total War players have great difficulty with the Greenskins campaign for Total War: Warhammer. This is probably due to how utterly bizarre it is compared to any other campaign in the series. Things such as protecting your cities, avoiding conflict to build infrastructure, and sensible tactics, have to be thrown out the window in order to succeed as the Great Green Tide. In short, if you are struggling with the the Orcs, then you are a sane rational human being. So here is a few tips to help smooth your transition into playing the Greenskins campaign.
Fightiness: The unique Greenskins shtick that makes them so different to play as. Fightiness will increase the more you rampage (or as the Orcs call it, “frolic”). At 80 or above fightiness, but only if you have an army size of 17 or more, a WAAGHHH!! will form. A WAAGHHH!! will give you a free 20 stack army that while you don’t control, you can set it loose on enemy cities or armies that you can’t, or don’t want to, deal with personally. On the other hand, if you fightiness goes below 20, your army will start to fight each other leading to you losing a great deal of troops. Actions such as sieging, raiding, or just plain fighting battles will increase your army’s fightiness and save you from losing troops during your frolic through the Old World.
Holding cities: Or rather, not. Most players are going to try their damnedest to hold the territory they take as you would in a campaign as any other faction. Unfortunately doing so means you have armies sitting in your territory losing fightiness. The solution? Don’t bother. Run around the map looting cities and settling cities as you see fit. As long as you are constantly fighting. Cities that are taken back from you by rebellion or other factions are just made available to loot again when you swing back around (or for a new army that needs some fightiness). The loss of one city shouldn’t affect your economy too much, as much of your funds come from pillaging.
The Raiding Camp: Ah the raiding stance. Mostly useless in the older entries in the series, but for the Greenskins, it is one of your best assets. Not only does it offer global recruitment from any of your cities with fancy military structures, it also replenishes your forces, fightiness, and steals money from the enemy. Perfect for recovering from a long campaign without losing all that gained fightiness. And to top it all off if your army is attacked while in raiding camp stance, it receives bonuses to leadership and melee defense. The only downside is that it requires 50% of your movement points for that turn, leading to a slower advance than you might be used to as the Greenskins.
Confederation: This neat little addition carried over from Rome 2, but seems to be a lot easier to use. Confederating with a faction gives you all their owned territory and military units. It is done through the diplomacy tab. The downside being that confederating leaves you with a hit to public order for a few turns, which shouldn’t be a problem as the Greenskins. Greenskin factions are generally rather willing to confederate when you ask them. Unfortunately this is because the A.I. has an irrational hatred of self preservation, often declaring war on multiple factions way out of their league. Make sure the faction you confederate with is reasonably close to your already owned territory. That way when you discover the territory you inherited is invested with Vampire Counts currently sieging most of the cities, you can swoop in and sort it out. Don’t rely on the armies you receive from confederating either, as they generally have low fightiness and are currently in the process of killing each other. On the bright side, you get access to legendary lords such as Wurrzag that you wouldn’t have been able to if you just conquered the tribe.
Underway Stance: While not exactly unique to the Greenskins (many factions have their own variation) the Underway Stance is certainly an important trick in your arsenal. Simply, you exchange 100% of your movement points in order to move under any obstacle, such as mountains, allowing you to hit weaker enemy cities without engaging their forces. The catch is if your army moves past an enemy force or is attack by one after you end your turn, the battle is an ambush. Not a good position to be in.
Good First Targets: Confusingly enough, most campaigns I’ve played, A.I. controlled Greenskins tend to ignore the player and do their own thing. Grabbing their territory via confederation is a good way to expand without having to waste forces warring with them. This leaves the Dwarfs situated to your north and east to pillage. Dwarf holds generally offer more in the way of money. The downside being Dwarfs are an absolute nightmare to deal with outside of the auto resolve which is generally in your favour. On the campaign map, take advantage of your mobility to take undefended holds, building up your fightiness in order to start a WAAGHHH!! to outnumber the Dwarfs. A head on evenly matched fight is tantamount to suicide, so play sneaky like. Capturing the Dwarf capital of Karaz-a-Karak will sort your economy for quite some time, as it includes a mine that when fully upgraded provides 1000 gold per turn. Be ready for quite the siege though. After sorting out the Dwarfs feel free to expand west into the decently rich human territories, as well as a few scattered Dwarf clans that way. Much easier than moving through Blackfire Pass into Vampire Count territory.
Fighting the Dwarfs: Sometimes during all the sneaking and ungentlemanly warfare you get caught. As previously mentioned an even fight with the Dwarfs is not a situation you want, but fret not. You may be able to squeeze out a win, or at the very least make the enemy suffer for their victory. Make sure your armies that could possibly be in an actual battle with the Dwarfs contains cavalry. Especially cavalry with vanguard. Use the cavalry to smash any Dwarf artillery left behind during their advance, pulling back your own forces if you need to force an advance out of them. Dwarf forces are heavily armoured, often carry shields, and have very high leadership. Have your weaker units tie as many enemy units down as possible so your stronger ones can charge them in the sides or rear. Whenever an enemy unit routes, move your forces to the next one locked in with your front line. If they have any ranged units (and they will, the Dwarfs love to bombard you from a distance) your cavalry can sort them once they are done with the artillery. Your own ranged units will have difficulty getting through the shields an armor, so maneuvering them behind the enemy works in a pinch if you lack forces to flank the enemy units you have tied down. Worst case scenario have them fire on any units that aren’t currently engaged with any of yours, especially if they don’t have shields.
Hopefully these tips help you with the Greenskins rather strange play style. Good luck in your endeavour to have the Green Tide sweep throughout the old world like the beautiful green football hooligans they are.