I was not drawn to immortal kingdoms. I’m paralyzed with indecision after loading the game, scrolling through factions and legendary lords, looking at the new start position and mechanics, unable to decide which one I should sample first, a good 15 Minutes spent. In the end I chose one of my favorite campaigns from Mortal Kingdoms: Lokhir Feldhart. Like Pirates of the Vampire Coast, Fellhart has a fun play style that centers around sacking settlements and getting a super low-maintenance army from his Black Arcs. It occurred to me that these floating fortresses could be a great way to see the world as close as possible.
As Lokhir trades the moist forests of Lustria for a new starting position on the coast of Cathay, I was also curious to see how ca had improved from the scope of the Chaos expedition to a highly compact area. To be honest, I was very happy. Cathay is no longer a box with a path of expansion, but an area almost as wide as an empire, filled with winding rivers and harbors, wooden elves, vampire pirates and other undead pests. It was the perfect playground for Lokhir, and as I blazed a trail of destruction along the coast, I sent my Black Arcs inland through rivers to snatch even more ports.
Feldhart gets a new Black Ark for every major port he takes, so long as I’ve eliminated Nakai, Zhao Ming, Miao Ying, and taken most of Cathay by a 100-ish turn. I had nine fully upgraded super ships waiting. off the coast. Black arcs in mortal kingdoms required growth points to build any type of building and this meant that it took a long time to cut through at their best recruiting and maintaining. In Immortal Empires, however, you only need evolution for the primary build chain, and let me upgrade them so fast they effectively made settlement-based recruiting obsolete.
(image credit: Creative Assembly)
I’m also glad to learn that the Black Arc AoE effect seems to pile up. For example, I built an Arena building in an ark that buffs recruit ranks from three to three for all armies in the AoE of the ark, but if I put these in all of my Black arcs, the recruits I’m in for Each unit moved was the immediate maximum rank. This gave me plans: Prison wing building increases settlement dismissal income by 60% after war and in the same AoE, but if that piled up for every ark, I could potentially reach some terrible numbers am. I had to experiment, so I sent my fleet through sea lanes to the eastern High Elf colonies, south of the Dark Lands.
When I parked my ark around the Tower of the Sun and sacked it for 140,000 gold, I realized all was not well, and immediately decided to ride this train for every coin I found. did. I saw only a small fraction of the major port settlements in the Immortal Empires, but if I could get a black ark from a good number, while increasing the dismissal income for each by 60%, I could potentially I can make the last sack. I turned my attention to Altdorf as the end goal and boarded my harbor-eating cruise.
The dwarf apocalypse occurred shortly thereafter; Every midwife in the world decided to gang up with me, which is a bit unfair since I didn’t meet a single dwarven faction in Cathay. Maybe someone made a mistake in the Great Book of Grudges? Somehow, as I crossed the ocean, dwarve armies began to gather and gnaw on the heels of my mega-fleet. First, I went north to the Dragon Islands and wiped out Ku’gath, then along the coast of the Southlands and around the Cape, sacked the fortresses of Don, Zlatlan and Südenberg.
It was here that I slipped and smartly lost Setra, but I realized that she had really helped me. My fleet had become a hydra: kill one ship and I could immediately replace it with another, while re-recruiting the lost ark once it healed, effectively doubling my advantage. How does this work in relation to the Black Arc ability? I have no idea.
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Great Turtle Isle (Image Credit: Creative Assembly)
Image 1 of 4The Blood Hall (Image credit: Creative Assembly)
Image 1 of 4Awakening (Image credit: Creative Assembly)
Image 1 of 4Galleons Graveyard (Image credit: Creative Assembly)
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When I hit the sunny shores of Lustria, the proceeds were getting delicious. I sacked Great Turtle Isle and Blood Hall (sorry Rakarath!), Altar of the Horned Rat, and The Awakening, each for an amount between 200-250,000 gold. By the time I hit Turn 230, I arrived at Galleon’s graveyard with 23 Black Arcs and proceeded to sack it for 420,000 gold. By this stage my fleet was an unstoppable island of terror, but I was still somewhat troubled by the plethora of doom that followed me. The dwarf mob was following me for about 90 turns at this point; A true testament to claimed persistence. Whenever I stopped I created a huge group of Black Arcs to discourage the attack, lest it completely stop them from dooming forces on me.
For my final leg, I pinballed between the coasts of Brettonia and Althuan, snagging some final ark in preparation for my run down the Rake River. Should I have considered the logistical nightmare of dropping 25 Black Arcs into a small river? Perhaps. It was slow progress, and even worse, some dwarves decided to cut the ground and meet me on the other side. Not that it helped them for sure. I had 500,000 gold in my treasury, and my fleet had enough recruiting capacity to create eight max-rank armies every single turn, so I ended up doing just that and leaving them in their wake like sea mines. I got plenty of time to gather around Altdorf for the final sack.
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The Black Arcs are trying to get down from the Reek River (Image Credit: Creative Assembly)
Image 1 of 4Dwarf doom is following me (Image credit: Creative Assembly)
Image 1 of 4My Black Ark Defense Island (Image Credit: Creative Assembly)
Image 1 of 4The sacking of Altdorf (Image credit: Creative Assembly)
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In the end Altdorf went for 426,000 gold, plus 44,000 post-war income, and I thought that was a good stopping point. That’s all it takes to dismiss a person. Are the Black Arcs the OP now? Perhaps. But what have I enjoyed the most with the Total War campaign in a year? Absolutely. Immortal Empire is a bit small and unbalanced in its current state, but I think it also makes for a fun time to mess around when things like this are possible. In a trilogy the campaign balance is overrated as over-the-top and experimental in this form. You better believe I’m going to continue building my mega-fleet and head to Lothran; When I can be bothered to return all those ships upstream, that is.