Watch the High Elves play puppeteer in Total War: Warhammer 2 campaign gameplay

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After featuring in the announcement trailer, Total War: Warhammer II's High Elves have mostly been getting their pompous rears kicked in all the pre-release hype, so as to make the Lizardmen and Dark Elves look good. Developers Creative Assembly have now addressed the situation, with almost ten minutes of campaign gameplay showing Teclis, one of the High Elves' Legendary Lords, manipulating everyone in sight.

Wondering about the Asur's twisted kin? Here's our Total War: Warhammer 2 Dark Elf race guide.

Teclis begins in the Turtle Isles off the coast of Lustria, surrounded by Lizardmen. When we pick up the Let's Play, he has a military alliance with his brother, Tyrion, and trade partnerships with some High Elven and human factions.

You'll want a lot of trade partners as the High Elves, since one of their race-wide traits - Elven Espionage - means you can see whatever they see. Better yet, the High Elves can also manipulate relations between any two factions in the world through their Intrigue at Court mechanic, so you're perfectly placed to get other people to like you and, thus, trade with you.

We've heard of this before, but now we get to see how it works: it has its own menu, where you can pick any two factions and immediately increase or decrease relations between them by 30 points. Doing so will cost Influence, a High Elf currency gained through events and completing missions. It looks like repeated or difficult manipulations - like reducing a very high relationship, or rescuing a bitter one - will cost more Influence.

You can also spend Influence to recruit stronger Lords - the player opts to hire a new Lord with the 'strong' trait, which gives +40 armour and +20% weapon strength - a pretty huge boon for a combat character. The price? An extra 60 Influence. It looks like weaker buffs are also available at a lower tier of 15 Influence.

High Elven rites

There's also a quick look at the High Elves' Rites, which we've listed below:

Invocation of Vaul

  • Cost: 1500 gold
  • -10% recruitment cost for Swordmasters, White Lions, Phoenix Guard, and Dragon Princes
  • +5 armour for all of the above
  • +2 unit experience for all of the above
  • Army ability: Vaul's Hammer (causes a powerful explosion, which can affect city walls and siege equipment)

Invocation of Asuryan

  • Cost: 2000 gold
  • +2 Influence per turn
  • -15% construction cost for all buildings
  • +4 public order in all provinces

Invocation of Hoeth

  • Cost: 2000 gold
  • +50% experience gain for Mages and Loremasters
  • +200 experience per turn for same
  • +30 Winds of Magic reserves for all forces
  • +50% Hero action success chance for Mages and Loremasters

Invocation of Isha

  • Cost: 2000 gold
  • All forces are immune to attrition
  • +8% casaulty replenishment rate
  • Untainted: +10 (all provinces)

Finally, the High Elves also get a new campaign stance: Lileath's Blessing. It costs you 25% campaign movement, but reflecting the High Elves' skill as mages, it confers +20% XP for spellcasters, +15 Winds of Magic power in battle, -50% miscast chance, and +10% in-battle speed for all spellcasters.

The video finishes with a quick but dramatic montage of Teclis laying Vaul's Hammer on a Lizardmen city. 

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