We’re breaking the mold today friends. This past week, I’ve visited the Old World to wage endless war in the world of Warhammer. Developed by Creative Assembly (those guys that made the Total War series) and Feral Interactive, and published by Sega and Feral Interactive, have married a real-time strategy design with the table top miniature war simulator by Games Workshop.
So like the other Total War games, the player chooses a single race to play. Currently, the map is focused entirely on the Old World continent. Meaning no Dark Elves or Lizardmen, sorry to those who play them. For this game, I played the primary human races: Empire and Bretonnia; and one evil race the Vampire Counts. Each race begins play in control of a single province in a state, for the humans they must bring the fractured nations together into a single world power. The vampire counts do the same thing, but with a lot more killing of undead armies.
There are two resources each army generates, “money” and growth. Money funds your economy to build buildings as well as create and fund your army. Growth is representative of how fast the cities in a given province grown and
expand. The player needs to spend the beginning part of the game with a balanced state in they hope to survive the early parts of the game. Once all the provinces of a state are owned by the player, they unlock commandments. Commandments are small bonuses that affect the buildings or cities within them. Need more “money” then you can increase the tax rate. If you’re having rebel armies, you can issue a commandment to increase public order to stabilize your government. Some nations have special stats like corruption forChaos and Vampirism for the counts. These hurt the “pure” and living races by causing attrition in their armies while a lack of this will cause attrition in return.
While the general economy works the same, build economy and fund army, each race has unique traits and units. The Empire focuses on a balance of massed
infantry with artillery while armored knights guard the flanks. The Bretonnians meanwhile are a chivalric nation, with cavalry forming the backbone of their army and infantry a poor afterthought to assist the noble knights. The Vampire counts have several different unit types from zombies and skeletons to giant horrors that devour hapless infantry that crosses their path. It’s up to the player to build a balanced army to win battles, either by directly controlling the fight and micromanagement or allowing the game to auto resolve based on composition. There are short and long-term campaign objectives, with the ultimate objective to control all of the Old World.
As I said before, I always have a weak spot for Games Workshop games so I definitely have a slight bias but I loved this game. The one flaw that always springs to mind however that I hope they can fix is the confederation option. Unless you intend to invade all of your soon to be allies, it’s nearly impossible to get a complete confederation going as the player. Which makes no sense given the lore of the game.
While I can see that it’s meant as a speed bump to keep the player from having an easy victory, there needs to be a point where the player gets some kind of stacking bonus to make it easier. The battle portion of the game itself, however, is well done, which isn’t a surprise given this is the fifth game in the series. So if you’re a fan of either the Total War game or Warhammer, you’ll like the game for both aspects. RTS players will enjoy the challenge of building a civilization rather than a single base. For the casual player…yeah sorry, stay away. This is definitely not for you. See you on the field guys!