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Complete Vercingetorix Introduction and Guide

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_Requiem__ #1 Posted 01 February 2018 - 09:34 PM


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Hello future Vercingetorix commanders!  This will be an in-depth guide to playing Verc for beginner players trying to decide if they want to play Verc and intermediate players looking to improve their Verc effectiveness.  It is not meant to be fully comprehensive for the most advanced players nor to describe every possible situation but rather to be a thorough survey of the commander.  First we will look at some general characteristics of Vercingetorix, second we look at each of his skills and unit skills you are likely to encounter, and last we will close with some tactics and miscellaneous thoughts on the guy, here we go!


General Characteristics


First, Vercingetorix is the one of the most versatile commanders in Total War Arena and is able to play a variety of roles effectively.  While he is a commander that can allow for a variety of playstyles, there are some he is not suited for.  Verc is a barbarian commander obviously, and though he has some strong melee abilities, he commands units that cannot go toe-to-toe with Roman Infantry or Greek pikes or spears for extended periods.  That is not to say he cannot beat these types of units, he can do a lot of damage and can be very effective against all units including pikes, spears, and roman infantry.  But if you want to charge units headlong into a mass of enemy units then Germanicus is probably more suited to you.  Verc play will require you to think a lot about flanking and kiting your units independently from each other.  You will want to try to fight in the forest as much as possible for the innate barbarian as well as Iron Discipline bonuses although of course you cannot always do this nor should you and you can still be very effective out of the forest.  There will be at least 5 or 6 or possibly 7 (depending on consumable) abilities for you to juggle and the timing of these abilities in relation to each other is very important.  Unlike some other commanders you will be using all your abilities all the time so he is very micro intensive and fun to play.  If you are getting bored playing Vercingetorix you are probably not playing him very well.


Let's talk about what units you will be playing as Vercingetorix.  Playing Verc means playing barbarian swordsmen or barbarian falxmen or barbarian cavalry.  You will not be playing barbarian archers, one because barbarian archers are pretty terrible to play and two because Creative Assembly has, unofficially as of this writing, announced that the next barbarian commander will be archer focused so if you play barb archers you will play that commander.  You can play wardogs with Verc but he is not as effective as Boudica would be for that role.  You will just end up throwing fire on your own dogs and Boudica's tier 5 buffing ability is just better suited for dogs and team play than Verc would be.


So that leaves us with barb infantry or barb cavalry, both are very effective for Vercingetorix players, as of the current high tier meta T10 Verc cav is considered one of if not the strongest cav in game and high tier falxmen are a fairly common sight that is likely to increase because CA has just released changes to falxmen to make them more effective against heavily armored romans and other units. 


Regardless of what unit you choose, as Verc you will always be trying to get the enemy out of position so you can effectively flank and cause massive damage or routing.  You will have to learn not only to anticipate enemy actions but also your allies actions, (or better yet type to them or group on teamspeak or discord) because in Total War Arena coordination and team work is a big advantage and that is certainly true with barbarian commanders.  You will be spending ALOT of time moving your units around the battlefield looking for favorable engagements, throwing fire, chasing enemy down, kiting enemy infantry, and dodging enemy archers.  Vercingetorix is a commander of almost constant motion and to be effective you will be separating your units out more than you typically do with other commanders so you won't be able to blob move them all together.  As I have said, he is a very micro intensive and engaging commander to play.  Let's look at each of his abilities and how they synergize with barbarian swordsmen, falxmen, and cavalry for maximum effectiveness.




The first tier Verc ability is Iron Discipline.  ID is a powerful ability that stops you from losing moral preventing routing as well as giving some mostly defensive bonuses.  This allows Verc commanders to maneuver to rout enemy units without fear of being routed themselves and the ability to occupy enemy units for longer periods  This is a very useful and powerful ability to have.  It also gives a bonus to fighting in the forest and at late tiers it even gives a decent (10%) bonus to impact (charge) damage.  For this reason and because ID has a fairly long uptime (depends on how upgraded your commander abilities are) the generally accepted best practice is to use this ability as you are maneuvering for a flanking charge so you activate ID then immediately activate your charge ability.  This is just a good habit to get into even if you don't have the T9 upgraded impact damage.  You generally don't want to wait until after you hit the charge because that ability will silence you for a few seconds thus delaying ID's activation and also delaying the activation of your T5 ability Defiance by that much longer.  You want Iron Discipline active and giving you the buffs before you even hit the enemy line.  As long as you remain in combat you generally want to keep this active unless you are just mopping up some enemy.


Some other considerations of Iron Discipline, it has a slight delay in hitting the button and freezing your moral, so if you are using it to prevent your own routing when you have been flanked or feared just use it immediately, there is no advantage to be had in trying to wait until the last second to use it.  If you think you are about to be flanked or attacked there is little harm in just using it, the uptime is high enough that even if the enemy jukes you there is really not much harm done.  Finally, don't be afraid to use ID to disengage from a higher tier or superior enemy that is technically rear flanking you but not really catching or engaging you.


Scorched Earth is Vercingetorix's signature third tier ability and it is the ability that makes Verc so very versatile and very powerful and dangerous to units that otherwise would not have to fear barbarian infantry or cavalry.  It has one of the most unique and coolest looking animations in the game and when used in the right situations it is very powerful and satisfying to use.  SE is technically a projectile, but it is one that leaves a damage over time ring of fire on the ground that enemy units must either move out of or take sustained damage from.  This is why its one of the most effective ground denying abilities in the game.  Scorched Earth can't be used when you are in melee combat so keep that in mind as well.  Some of the most effective uses for it include: decapping enemy in your base indefinitely, denying or discouraging enemy access through a chokepoint, forcing phalanxed pikes or spears to give up their position, denying enemy control of a watchtower, inflicting significant damage on enemy artillery and infantry barricaded behind stakes, inflicting serious damage on engaged enemy blobs, kiting enemy infantry, discouraging enemy from maneuvering to flank yourself or your teammates, and also as a direct attack against an enemy unit you are about to engage.  I will discuss some of these uses for SE in greater detail later on in the tactics section. 


There are some important things to note about Scorched Earth.  One is that scorched earth causes friendly fire and denies ground as effectively against yourself and your team as it does against the enemy.  So be careful about throwing SE on enemy engaged with your troops and using it on an area your mates are about to enter to engage the enemy.  Follow the same basic rules as other ranged units should follow, if there are an overwhelming amount of enemy against a few of your own throw the scorched earth on as many enemy as possible and if you do some friendly fire it is ok, your teammates will (or should) understand that your are hurting the enemy a lot more than your own team.  If the enemy and your own troops are relatively equal then definitely try and throw the SE so it hits mostly enemy even if that means you don't hit quite as many enemy as you otherwise could have.  It doesn't do any good to burn down your friends and foe at the same rate.


Another thing to note is that the number of men you have determines how many torches and thus how powerful your SE will be.  Thus, depleted units scorched earth is less effective than full units and cav SE is less effective than infantry scorched earth.  This means that at a certain point if your units are severely depleted your SE will be basically useless EXCEPT for the important category of decapping enemy in your base where even one torch is as effective in resetting the cap as a hundred.  So a little tactics tidbit here is that if you have a severely depleted unit that's not going to be much use fighting or capping the enemy base send it back to hide near your own base to counter an enemy cap.


Also note that scorched earth does not fly over buildings or obstacles the way arrows or even javelins do.  It has a low trajectory and will just hit walls so you have to have a clear line of sight to where you want to throw.  One advantage is that you can throw it over your own troops to enemy behind them if they are in range without doing the friendly fire you would do with archers or javs or slingers when firing from behind your own men.  One last thing to note is that water puts the torches out so they don't work near Rubicon or near the ocean in Marathon or Thermopylae but they do still work fine in marshes.


The Tier 5 "ultimate" ability of Vercingetorix is Defiance and it is the ability that allows you to stand up to heavily armored Romans and Greeks and to inflict massive damage on ranged and cav units.  It instantly increases your units melee weapon damage and melee attack allowing you to hit enemy units more often and harder.  It is a significant buff that increases as you level it up through the tiers and it is the reason Tier 10 Verc cav is considered as powerful as it is.  It also prevents the death of your soldiers while active, but keep in mind this is very different than preventing damage, it doesn't make you invincible for its duration but rather lets units that should have otherwise died remain at 1 hit point and fight until it ends.  Lastly, it silences your units and makes them unorderable until it's duration ends or five seconds out of combat pass.  Defiance should be thought of generally the same way you think of Vengeance for Germanicus, you want to use it when you know you are going to be engaged in combat against a tough enemy for a fair amount of time.  It has a long cooldown and long uptime so you need to be smart about when to use it.  You need to be smart about the cooldown because you don't want to waste it on just a few enemy that are dying anyway, and you need to be careful about the uptime because it essentially sticks you to the unit you attack with it and you won't be able to disengage or retreat during its duration.


Let's return to the unorderable and silenced portion of Defiance because this is a very important consideration and you have to get this right to be successful with Vercingetorix.  In the simplest terms this means you need to have already clicked and activated all your abilities and buffs and have an enemy targeted BEFORE you activate defiance.  If you are approaching an enemy and hit Defiance you will not be able to protect yourself from being routed with ID and will not be able to charge the enemy nor use any of your unit abilities.  What's worse is that if you hit Defiance without having an enemy explicitly targeted your units will actually just do nothing and stand there waiting to die.  That's why it's so important to get into good habits early with Verc like hitting ID, then charge, then your possible unit ability, then make sure you have the enemy your units are actually engaged with targeted, then finally hitting Defiance.  This all has to happen very quickly for best results because the sooner you get defiance activated the more you maximize your damage potential.  It's not really that hard or complicated but it is vitally important, you will only have to hit defiance once without having an enemy targeted to learn your lesson.


Let's talk about some of the common unit abilities you will see as a Vercingeorix commander, especially through the mid tiers and into the higher tiers.  First are your charges, your swordsmen, falxmen, and cav all have different charges but they are just your basic charges whose use is pretty self explanatory.  First, your cav have a long cooldown charge, it's 60 seconds so something to keep in mind is that other cav are often going to have better charges available more often than you do.  Barbarian cav are so fast though that outrunning other cav chasing you is not really much of a problem.  Both swords and falx have 30 sec cooldown charges.  Use your charges right after you use Iron Discipline in your attacking scenarios and if you have to use a charge to dodge a barrage its certainly better than eating it as any barb unit is not going to fare well.


A special note here for Dash, a falxmen unit ability you will see in addition to your charge.  This ability is very nice for falxmen and you should use it as often as you can to get into position, flank, chase down ranged, dodge ranged and dodge charges.  But save your charge for the actual final charge into the enemy.  One consideration is that it does silence you for a full 5 seconds upon use, which can get you into trouble if you are rear flanked, then dash away, then try to use ID but can't so you rout.  Just something to keep in mind.


Next ability to consider is throw javelin that you will see on all your barb swords after T4 in some form except T7.  It's basically the same ability as throw pila for roman light infantry and works the same with one interesting difference for Vercingetorix.  For whatever reason, units that are standing in Scorched Earth have reduced shield block from ranged so as Verc swords when you are going to throw javs always throw fire on the enemy first if possible to maximize the damage.  This also applies to your teammates' ranged attacks so possibilities exist for coordination between you and your ranged mates with Verc.  Final note on this ability is that after T5 it becomes "flaming throw" that has a pretty terrible range and only 2 instead of 3 charges and should probably have a long look taken at it by the developers (hint hint).


On your falxmen starting at T7 you will have Hamstring which a very fun and very useful ability.  It is best used against enemy cav that charge you then try to disengage, and of course against any archers or other ranged that you may be able to catch.  It can also be useful to prevent an enemy unit from trying to flank you and also for slowing down enemy cav or units that are about to charge your teams ranged.  Really, the usefulness of it is only limited by your own imagination.  It "may" help to mitigate a direct charge against your own units from cav by clicking as soon as the leading edge of the cav hits your units but this is pretty unreliable.  However, if your falxmen are in the open and facing down some thundering horsies it certainly can't hurt to try this tactic.


The last unit ability I'll go into is Mount Kick for barb cavalry.  This unit ability appears on T4, T5, and T10 barb cav and is a powerful nuke damage dealer for those units.  So much so that T5 barb sword cav is considered superior to T6 barb spear cav which doesn't have it and is pretty under powered in general (but looks like it may improve with the latest patch?).  So much so in fact that in the latest patch it had a silence added to it to have its duration reduced primarily because not having the silence led to Verc Barb Cav players able to activate mount kick benefited by Defiance which was apparently unintended and needed to be tweaked.  Suffice to say the ability will most likely continue to be strong for those units and the key to it is to make sure as many of your units as possible are in contact with the enemy units because it works on a small radius of contact similar to shield bash for Leonidas.


There are a variety of other unit abilities that appear on units Verc is likely to command, mostly after Tier 7, but they appear so rarely that going into each one is beyond the scope of this guide.  Suffice to say you will have to explore and learn about them on your own.




This section will talk about some of the most common scenarios you will likely encounter as Vercingetorix and attempt to explain some of the tactics you can employ in those situations.  Keep in mind that Total War Arena is a very complex and constantly evolving game where balance patches and changes to units and abilities happen on a regular basis.  It is also a game where multiple strategies are able to have success and teamwork is put to the forefront meaning that sometimes teams will do "whatever works for them" and if they have success tactics and strategies will change.  All that being said, this section is not meant to be a comprehensive list of everything you should do in every possible situation but is meant to give you an idea of what you might want to do in a given situation.


First, lets talk about approaching other infantry units with Verc infantry.  As Verc infantry what you want to avoid is lining up formation to formation head on with Roman or Greek Infantry or with other barb infantry that out tiers you.  Remember, all three of your units should be controlled and thought of as independent entities, as barbarians you do not march in lockstep formation with all three units.  Spread your units out and this will often force the enemy to spread out because they fear your flanking.  This is good for you because it allows more maneuver gaps for you to either flank or engage ranged units.  The best possible scenario is one where your ally with heavier units engages most of the enemy and you are able to run around them and get either a side or rear flank.  An alternative to this is that you are able to spread your units out and engage two or more of the enemy infantry with one of your infantry, holding them in place, and then getting your other units around to the sides.  All this is basic flanking strategies but as Verc you have the ability to control more of the situation with Scorched Earth because people just do not like walking into fire.


Some general guidelines on using Scorched Earth.  Generally, it is best to stagger your use of scorched earth rather than using all three at once for all three units.  The reason for this that most units can pretty easily get out of three stacked SEs but if they move out of one, then another, then another now they are probably quite far out of position and vulnerable as well as being frustrated and ready to make a rash decision.  Of course sometimes you will want to stack all three SE, for instance on a large enemy blob that is engaged and has no way to quicky escape or against artillery and infantry barricaded behind stakes with no room for maneuver.


One scenario you are likely to see is you approach roman infantry and throw a scorched earth and they will charge straight through it attempting to engage you.  This is common and no reason to panic if you are ready for it.  You can retreat from the slower romans and give up ground possibly drawing them out of position and even continue kiting them by throwing other SE from your other units and throw javs with your swordsmen where you are basically acting like a roman jav unit in alternating kiting and throwing fire without fear of being routed because you are faster and have Iron Discipline.  But depending on your allies and the enemies disposition you may have to fight.  In this case if the romans charge through your fire counter charge into them attempting to hold them in the fire while you activate ID and Defiance and try to throw more fire on them with your other units or get a flank.


Against pikes and spears the best tactic is to be able to catch them out of phalanx but this is generally pretty difficult alone because these players are always vigilant against this and often have some tools (exploits?) available to them to be able to form phalanx.  What's more common is to try and juke a phalanx and then throw a scorched earth on them.  This at the very least will cause them to give up their position.  Currently pikes especially are very dangerous to try and get a flank on because they can still turn very quickly and Leo pikes are not easy to rout.  CA is making changes to pikes so only time will tell how hard or easy it is to get a flank on them.  You will most likely need allies to take out pikes, but you can make their lives hell by throwing fire on them.


Archers will always see your barb units as a ripe target, especially falxmen, and will usually make you a priority unless other archers or cav are present.  For that reason you need to be mindful of your nearby allies when approaching enemy archers.  How likely are they to fire at you?  If friendly archers are nearby then falxmen make great archer killers because of their mobility and ability to quickly inflict a lot of damage and hamstring them.  And if the archers still focus you, hopefully your archer mates will inflict lots of damage on them, (teamwork).  Same thing for enemy javelins, spread your units out, let the engagement develop with your friendly heavy infantry and look for gaps to shoot through to get a charge in.  The situation is always fluid with Vercingetorix, you always want to be moving and forcing the enemy to move, waiting for them to make a mistake like exposing a flank or leaving ranged undefended that allows either you or your allies to pounce and inflict massive damage.


Verc cav play quite different from tier to tier whether they are shock or sword cav.  T5 sword cav are beasts that can stand up to most other cav and do lots of damage.  By comparison T6 shock cav are 'shockingly' weak and are really only good for attacking undefended archers.  Each has to be learned separately to see what they can stand up to, but in general the sword cav are more suited to Verc because they synergize better with Defiance.  Regardless of tier, your job as Verc cav is going to be the same as any other cav, scout the enemy, find and kill ranged, and take advantage of exposed enemy flanks.  What makes Verc cav interesting is that Scorched Earth allows you flexibility that other cav don't have.  One, as Verc cav you can engage enemy artillery effectively without fighting through stakes, just throw SE on them.  Two, as Verc cav you can effectively decap your own base indefinitely with SE and never be caught or have to engage any enemy in melee, making you arguably the ultimate decapper in all of TWA above even archers.  Three, as Verc cav, you can throw SE on an engaged enemy blob doing significant damage and immediately continue on in search of enemy archers rather than having to choose between charging the rear of the blob or chasing the archers as other cav do.


Vercingetorix makes for a passable in a pinch but not great escort for allied ranged.  Scorched Earth may discourage some slower units from chasing your ranged, but cav and determined units will simply run through it and put you on the defensive, which is not where your units will shine.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if you sacrifice a unit to save three ranged units that's generally a good thing for the team, but try to avoid running as the sole escort for a group of archers, it mostly just puts you both at risk.


Especially if you are running as three falxmen, be aware of enemy cav, especially higher tier than you because they can do pretty devastating damage to you if they get an open charge on your blobbed up units.  Hug buildings and cliff edges and corners when cav are near.  Cav will generally want to charge in then quickly disengage, but as falxmen you can punish them with hamstring and engage them in extended melee.


As for mixing up unit types, of course if you have a team strategy that will control, but otherwise the most common is a mix of swordsmen and falxmen.  This gives you access to a unit with shields to absorb a bit more ranged damage and hold against enemies for a little longer as well as falxmen that give you fast units with hamstring able to quickly flank enemy and do good damage.  Keep in mind it also gives you that many more abilities to time and use correctly.  You definitely want to be comfortable with each unit type individually and be comfortable quickly switching units to get the most out of this combination.


As for consumables, the go to one for swords and falx is Swear Oaths and Gift of Epona for cav.  Mobility is your strength and these consumables have that as well as some combat bonuses.  If you have a team strategy or other specific tactic that calls for other consumables, by all means go ahead and use them, I'm not saying they aren't effective, but going into each of them is beyond the scope of this guide.  You will never go wrong with Swear Oaths and Epona.


Vercingetorix is most effective when you are coordinating with allies that allow you to fill the role of a flanker.  Verc is better equipped than other barb commanders for direct melee but remember you are not heavy infantry and vulnerable to ranged.  Stay spread out from your allies but near enough to support and be supported by them.  Fight in the forest whenever possible. 


Creating and exploiting local superiority on the battlefield is your forte.  Failing that use your speed, Scorched Earth, and Iron Discipline to harass, slow, and distract a superior enemy until friendlies can arrive.


That concludes this Vercingetorix guide for now.  If the guide proves popular I will continue to update it as needed to reflect changes in the game.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome and I will add them if appropriate for this primer on Vercingetorix.

elbowsanchez #2 Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:32 PM


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Nice job!
"The evil Bert and friend."

Robert_Oakridge #3 Posted 10 February 2018 - 08:14 PM

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I didn't even read this novel, but let me spare you the time.  Just take Vercingetorix to tier X and use with cav.  Charge into the worst situation you can find.  1 on 10 is great if you can do it.  Then activate Iron Discipline right before charge impact, then activate Defiance.  Make sure you only use 1 unit at a time to maximize the troll damage.  Save general unit for last of course.  Avg. 3-5k aggression and win 70% of your matches.  Then tell everyone you wreck to "git gud". 

_Requiem__ #4 Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:18 PM


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View PostRobert_Oakridge, on 10 February 2018 - 08:14 PM, said:

I didn't even read this novel, but let me spare you the time.  Just take Vercingetorix to tier X and use with cav.  Charge into the worst situation you can find.  1 on 10 is great if you can do it.  Then activate Iron Discipline right before charge impact, then activate Defiance.  Make sure you only use 1 unit at a time to maximize the troll damage.  Save general unit for last of course.  Avg. 3-5k aggression and win 70% of your matches.  Then tell everyone you wreck to "git gud". 


Thanks for the reply I think??  "Just take Vercingetorix to tier X and use with cav"  Wow, great advice for a new player, what a revelation.  Let me just get this unit and commander to Tier 10 real quick here.  :huh:  

traumadisaster #5 Posted 14 February 2018 - 04:25 PM


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Nice thanks for the hard work.

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