Skaven Time: Warhammer’s XCOMish Mordheim Out Soon

I always get Warhammer spin-off Mordheim confused with that Mike guy from Blizzard. C’mon, Meer, you can master this – it’s with a ‘d’ if it’s got ratmen, and with an ‘a’ if it’s infinitely wealthy.

Mordheim isn’t the biggest name in the Games Workshop back catalogue, but it’s definitely one that’s ripe with potential for exploring the edges of Warhammer’s dark fantasy world. Rather than standalone battles, it allows for a campaign of sorts, with persistent characters, upgrades and all that good stuff. It’s being loosely adapted into a somewhat XCOMy PC game, City of the Damned, which is laying its foundations on Steam Early Access later this month. We’ve finally got a look at the thing in action, too.

Adam came away impressed when he saw it at GamesCom earlier this year, but as some folk found with Space Hulk what works well as a short slice doesn’t necessarily hold up over many hours, so let’s keep our minds closed to the hype-demon for now.

A spot of roleplaying, mutilation and perma-death in the Warhammer universe is deeply appealing to a grizzled nerd such as I, so I suspect I’ll have trouble resisting even if it’s a stinker. Particularly given Skaven are a playable faction.

We’ve got a first trailer to go on, although sadly it’s stylised clips rather than a clutch of footage.

Good-lookin’ and pleasingly big on Skaven, and superficially at least it doesn’t look like one of the, er, cheaper GW adaptations. A ‘teaser’ trailer in the same month as the Early Access release rather seems to be leaving things a little late, but then again this is the city of the damned, not the city of timely marketing strategy. Or maybe Early Access is slowly taking the place of a long campaign of trailers these days. 21st Century, why you gotta go and be so confusing?


  1. Hex says:

    No buy unless moba.

    (Just kidding I’m totally gonna get this! Fuckin…ratmen are all I’ve ever wanted out of anything!)

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Not even in fun! Remember, this is GW we’re talking about. They don’t need a reason to refuse good ideas.

      Also, lol.

  2. Rizlar says:

    This looks to be potentially very cool. Mordheim is one of the GW games I always wished I’d got a chance to play ever since seeing the rulebook at my mate’s house when it first came out.

    Playing a successful vidyer game version, with all the permanence of characters, focus on a small crew and exploration of the weirder, darker edges of Warhammer sounds very appealing. Also if this succeeds how about Necromunda next? :P

    • Horg says:

      If they license Necromunda, then we might stop buying all the Warhammer branded games in hope that one day they will license Necromunda.

  3. DuckOfDeath says:


    Mordheim never got the attention that I thought it deserved and before I knew it, it was pulled from the stores. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this! And yes, a Necromunda game to follow?

  4. Loyal_Viggo says:

    This looks good, will purchase.

    And then… BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC and goddamn NECROMUNDA need to be made.

  5. eggy toast says:

    What’s the reasoning for a licensed, full budget title going Early Access?

    • vecordae says:

      If they get enough people to pay them money during its early access phase, they won’t need to waste time finishing the game.

    • Twitchity says:

      “Licensed” and “full-budget” doesn’t mean Rogue Factor has the kind of publisher-backed financial support needed to cover costs with room to spare, so EAP may be a way to get some cash in the door, get a head start on paying down publisher advances and licensing costs, or achieve some kind of milestone specified in the funding documents (in fact, EAP might even be part of the agreement with Focus Home Interactive, to reduce FHI’s risk horizon).

      I suspect that Mordheim might actually hit some kind of early-access sweet spot, given that it’s targeting a specific but passionate slice of consumers. I’ll probably sign up, and this will be the first time I’ve done so.

      • eggy toast says:

        I buy Early Access games all the time, because I’ve had tons of fun watching a decent game someone enjoys making turn into a really solid game, it’s fantastic. I just am worried about a Double Fine situation here, I guess, as opposed to an Original Sin one.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      The same as for pre-orders?

  6. ts061282 says:

    Dual wield or bust!

  7. scannerbarkly says:

    Oh Mordheim, it was my first Beta experience if that makes any sense. I remember endless letters (yup, snail mail) back and forth to Thomas about rulesets, stats changes, how to layout this and that. Playing early rules incarnations with my buddies and sending in feedback. Was so gutted to see the game disappear from stores when it had such fun contained within it.

    Anyways, will buy this, because hope is alive and well within my heart it seems.

    Also, Skaven.

  8. Shinan says:

    Like so many others I hope this is the prototype that will get us Necromunda eventually :)

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I just hope that when Necromunda is done it’s done competently and with care for the classic game(play). One thing worse than no game at all is a game which disappoints.. and knowing there likely won’t be a second chance.

  9. klops says:

    Matrix colours – the “new” brown and grey of games. Even the new Hobbit movie is being advertised in Matrix colours. Blugh.

    • mechanixis says:

      Sorry, I’m not seeing it. Sure, it’s kind of washed out, if that’s what you mean, but both this and the Hobbit trailers are splashed with loads of blues and oranges and purples – The Matrix was mostly just an omnipresent green filter. Frankly this is practically a Saturday morning cartoon compared to some previous Warhammer Fantasy games.

      It does annoy me that whenever developers pick a color palette that isn’t bright and saturated people will jump down their throats for it, even if it’s an appropriate artistic choice for the game in question.

      • klops says:

        I mean it really likes the colours dark grey and green. I haven’t seen the Hobbit trailer but the posters I saw had the same “interesting” colour settings. Grey and green. Like many other movies and games. I did not jump on developers throat because they picked bright colours, I criticised them for the too often seen use of green and grey which usually just looks bad.

        Sure, there are colours in the game but the general greenish gray fog in the background and the general atmosphere is… Blugh.

        • Rizlar says:

          Might be something to do with the giant glowing green warpstone comet that crashed into the city, turning it into the mutant-infested shithole you see today! The precious shards of comet are what draws all the treasure hunters to Mordheim.

        • mechanixis says:

          Well, “to jump down someone’s throat” is an expression that means “to criticize harshly”, so technically speaking…ah, whatever. To each their own.

          • klops says:

            Yeah. By the way, I misread your post. I thought you first wrote that I criticised the use of many colours which was pretty confusing.

  10. Menthalion says:

    This, Necromunda or a turnbased version of TF2 and I’ll be a happy camper..

  11. Bfox says:

    Well, wouldn’t be the first Xcom inspired Warhammer game, remember Chaos gate?

  12. SkittleDiddler says:

    Mordheim’s all well and good, but where is my Advanced Heroquest conversion? Get on it, Games Workshop. I’m tired of asking.

  13. sonofsanta says:

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

    I stil have my Skaven warband set up on a few bits of terrain on the bookshelf in my man cave, one of the few completely painted sets of miniatures I own. And, tbh, even if the game is middling at best, the environments and models and setting look ace in that trailer, and I’ll end up buying it anyway.

    +1 Necromunda, of course, but can we get some love for Gorkamorka up in here as well, please?

  14. Phasma Felis says:

    When you think of a rat, what comes to mind? Do you think “hulking, gorilla-armed brute”?

    No? Well, you’re gonna.

  15. NaloaC says:

    As said by many here, if this is a success, it could be a precursor to a Necromunda game being made in the future. I really hope it does too, of all the game systems they ever made, Necro was by far the best of what I played. Fingers crossed that this is good (will more than likely get in on the EAP) and that our hopes are fulfilled.