You may not know it but ‘Warhammer’ by Games Workshop is a really fun table top game with an enormous universe filled with legend and lore – similar to ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. It caught on pretty huge in the 90’s before nerd culture was actually cool. Until now, the huge cost of making a Warhammer army prevented most people from really enjoying everything Games Workshop had to offer.
This was my first go at a Total War franchise game but after playing over one hundred hours of the Warhammer variation in professional review mode, I have formed some solid opinions.
‘Total War: Warhammer’ is a strategy game but that doesn’t mean it is slow paced or boring. Yes the campaign mode is a grand theatre of war that can take longer than the longest game of Risk but because you can save the game at any time, it is playable in small digestible chunks.
For multiplayer there are two options, Co-op Campaign which has a limit of 2 players or Battles which can accommodate 4 total players. Battles is one encounter between armies either against each human opponents or against computer controlled AI players. It’s really fun.
No matter which mode you play the concept is simple – amass a larger army than the next guy then go all in and attack. In multiplayer battles each player is given an equal amount of resources and they “build” their custom army or you can just roll the dice and have one randomly chosen for you.
The different types of armies this game offers is really amazing. Here is a little rundown of some playstyles I’ve encountered.
The Dwarfs play very defensively, have very little movement and are best suited for defending a mountainous keep. Instead of having Cavalry like normal armies they instead rely on their hardy toughness and insidious machinery such as cannons, flamethrowers and gyrocopters. When playing as the Dwarfs you really have to watch your flanks in battle. I recommend an army made mostly of Longbeards, Thunderers, and artillery – sprinkle in a few elite units such as Hammerers, Ironbreakers or Slayers as needed to dominate and let the enemy come to you.
Chaos armies are similar to Dwarf armies in some respects, they have high toughness Chaos Warriors that can hold their ground and they do have a siege artillery called the Hellcannon but that is where the similarities end. Marauder Horsemen, Chaos Knights, War Chariots, and Dragon Ogre’s are all very fast units that can close ground quickly on the battlefield. Units such as these make the Chaos army very flexible in battle. If you like movement these guys are great.
There are also other factions such as the Wood Elves, Orc’s and Goblins, and Empire but be warned, some of it is DLC that needs to be purchased. Still, $19.99 for the Wood Elves DLC is pretty reasonable considering the cost of miniatures. A Games Workshop Warhammer army in pewter/resin can easily cost more than $1000 – not to mention the billions of hours it takes to paint a whole army.
There are many free DLC options such as the entire Bretonian expansion. If that wasn’t cool enough the sequel is cross compatible with the original and all of the DLC works so you don’t have to buy them twice.