The slow, slow drip feed of Total War: Warhammer information continues, this time with a look at the campaign map. And I’m running out of ways to say “I think Total Warhammer looks more interesting than any Total War in recent memory.” Even if you, like me, aren't interested in Warhammer.
Creative Assembly invited me in to take a look at the campaign map a few weeks ago, and the main topic of conversation was race. Not like, NASCAR. And not different races of humans, as per usual Total War.
Greenskins, humans, dwarfs, and vampire counts. These are the four factions in Total Warhammer, and when I talked to Creative Assembly six months ago I was told all four would play differently—not just in battle but on the campaign map. This time around, I got a glimpse of all four factions and saw some of those differences. And I left intrigued.
A faction for everyone
Once again I was not given the chance to go hands-on with the game, so take this all with some appropriate, heart-healthy amount of salt. Optimization? No idea. Bugs? Don’t ask me. How long do turns take? Not something I can answer yet. How’s the AI? Hopefully better. The usual Total War caveats.
That said, I’m actually—dare I say it?—looking forward to Total Warhammer. I mentioned six months ago that it seemed like a much-needed shot-in-the-arm for the long-stagnant Total War formula, and the campaign map reinforced those feelings by giving me a look at some deeply ingrained asymmetrical mechanics.
Our demo centered around the Greenskins, so I can speak to their style of play with the most authority. However, Creative Assembly was liberal in comparing the Greenskins to other factions, giving me a decent idea of how all four work. And how they differ.
If you want a point of comparison for the Greenskins, look no further than Total War: Attila. In many ways a remix of Rome II, Attila also introduced the concept of migratory Horde factions—armies that double as cities.
Greenskins don’t go quite that far. They have real cities and can conquer territory. But their entire style of play is geared towards offense with highly mobile armies designed to operate behind enemy lines. Greenskin armies can go into “Raiding Stance,” making them stationary but allowing troops to replenish their numbers even in hostile territory and allowing for unit recruitment—albeit at a higher cost than you’d find in a real city.
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