If you have played Total War: Warhammer but haven’t kept up with it for a while, then there is a lot of new content that has been added to it in the last few months. With the fast approaching release of the second installment in the Warhammer series, one which will be compatible with the first game in a few ways, they’ve been bringing the current game up to date with some new changes and additions.
The last time I wrote about TW:W they had just released the Wood Elves faction, which was their last fully new race pack added to the game, but that isn’t to say that what they’ve added since has been lacking in comparison, far from it. So what may you have missed since then? what have they brought in to see out the Old World in preparation for their introduction to the New World?
Fleshed Out Factions
Since the game came out there have always been a few factions that seemed very placeholder. The most obvious example of this was Bretonnia, which only featured a very small roster of units that you could only play in custom battles but were unplayable in campaign. Another faction that was even more meagre was Norsca, which was essentially a poor copy of Chaos, as it just used their basic starting units. Well in February this year they released a big free update to Bretonnia, and just this month they released a full Norsca as a pre-order bonus for buying the second game that can be added to the first game right now.
The Bretonnia update fully fleshed out their unit roster, with some awesome cavalry, and mostly pathetic peasants for infantry, as it should be. On top of this they allowed you to play three different Bretonnian factions in the campaign, as well as adding a new Vampire Counts faction with all new Legendary Lords at the same time. There are some interesting campaign mechanics to consider when playing a Bretonnian faction. For a start you need to consider your medieval style peasant based farming economy greatly, as half of your tech tree is based on upgrading this. Also, you need to be sure not to recruit too many peasant and men-at-arms units otherwise your economy will suffer considerably, someone needs to work the fields milord! Don’t just think of recruiting tons of the knightly classes either. For a start that can become very expensive, also you need a high enough level lord with the right knightly vow unlocked in order to recruit each type of knight unit without incurring heavy penalties.
With the new Norsca update they have included two playable Norscan factions; the main one led by a great Norscan warrior named Wulfrik the Wanderer, and the second led by the king of the trolls called Throgg. Their new roster of units still includes the basic marauder units that the Chaos faction uses, but also a few more added on, and more importantly some of the best monstrous units in the game such as ice trolls, Norscan giants, various mammoths, and skinwolves, including the skinwolf werekin hero unit which is one of my favourite hero units up there with the beastmen Gorebull! The factions play as you would expect, with much of your economy being based around needing to constantly raid sack enemy lands and settlements, and eventually dedicating your conquests to a particular chaos god in order to receive certain benefits from your choice of dark deity. Also, there are some fun quest battles for this faction, which are themed as monster hunts across the world where you have to fight to subjugate special versions of different monstrous units.
Regiments of Renown and ‘An Old Friend’
As a part of their ‘FLC’ free updates that they’ve been doing, CA added a ton of new special regiment of renown units to all the factions that didn’t have any since the first ones were added last year as part of certain Legendary Lord packs. This was done to celebrate Creative Assembly’s 30 year anniversary, so they added 30 units! I won’t list them all here, but a couple of my favourites are the Firebark Elders for the Wood Elves which are treekin monstrous units that are on fire, giving them fire attacks and fire resistance, removing one of the normal units’ biggest weaknesses. Another is The Butchers of Kalkengard which are minotaurs for the Beastmen faction that induce terror and have regeneration, making them an extra scary version of already one of the most devastating monstrous infantry units in the game!
Another little free addition that they’ve added recently is one that has been hinted at since the release of the game. At the very end of their vague list for the DLC schedule they had laid out last year was simply ‘an old friend’. It has since turned out to be none other than Krell. Krell is one of the oldest characters in the Warhammer tabletop game, both in its lore and in the real world, his first appearance was alongside Heinrich Kemmler in the 2nd edition campaign ‘Terror of the Lichemaster’ from 1986. He was once a Chaos Lord dedicated to Khorne, and killed a lot of Dwarfs before eventually meeting his comeuppance. He was resurrected by the necromancer Nagash as a powerful Wight, then fell into the service of Heinrich Kemmler, the Lichemaster. In the game he is a very powerful unit that is actually summoned by Kemmler instead of being a hero unit in his own right, which certainly makes him unique, and a fairly useful bonus in battle.
Custom Battle Maps
If you know me then you’ll know I love mods, and although modding capability has been severely hampered in Total War games lately when compared to older titles, and especially restrictive in Warhammer, there has still been some brilliant mods for this game. Well around the time of the Bretonnia update CA added custom battle map functionality to their modding tools with a new map editor named ‘Terry’.
Since then the ingenuous and creative modders and map-makers out there have made some marvelous maps. On top of this, some have even grouped their maps together into packs on the workshop that can then replace every settlement map in the campaign, allowing you to play far more varied and large siege battles. There are also packs that add custom maps to the campaign for various key locations such as river crossings, a style of map that was strangely absent from the game considering it being fairly normal in previous Total War titles. Yet again me see brilliant modders adding key features to a game, doing the developer’s work for them, for free.
The Foundation Update
Finally, probably the last update to be made to this game alone before the sequel is released at the end of September is what is known as the Foundation Update. The essential purpose of this is to being some of the older factions and other early elements of the game into line with the quality and balance of the newer factions since added to the game. All the old Legendary lords get bonus campaign buffs and new, extra skill trees. The Empire, under AI control, starts with an entire province, giving it a much stronger start. The Warriors of Chaos have a whole slew of tweaks and changes, increasing their campaign momentum and enabling easy vassalisation of Norscan tribes. And Wood Elves have new followers for their Lords.
So after an excellent game full of excellent updates and DLC, one of the best of both Total War and Warhammer games for many years, it is time to look forward to the introduction of the New World! With the second game featuring High Elves, Dark Elves, Lizardmen, and Skaven, and who knows what else to come later down the line.