It’s Time: Total War – Warhammer Confirmed

Total War: Warhammer is coming. Confirmation comes in the form of a single line in the upcoming Art of Total War book. Mike Simpson, the creative director of the series, is discussing the future of Total War and after writing about Total War: Arena’s exploration of multiplayer, he lands the hammer blow.

“…taking the series to a fantasy setting with Total War: Warhammer.”

It might not be called Total Warhammer but at least it has a name. The artbook is officially released on 23rd Jan but the quote was plucked out by StormOfRazors, a TWCenter poster who received an early copy. Thoughts below.

I love historical strategy dearly but ever since the Total War series arrived on the scene, I’ve been unable to squash the visions of enormous fantastical armies clashing on those wonderful maps that Creative Assembly have been adding bells and whistles to for the last fifteen years. When the studio signed a deal with Games Workshop back in 2012, we learned that they’d be concentrating on the Fantasy side of Warhammer rather than the grimdarkness of 40K, and the license seemed a natural fit with Total War. But everything went quiet. Well, apart from the Romans and the very audible sound of screaming in space.

Whether it’ll be relevant to this project or not, Alien shows that at least one team in Creative Assembly knows how to treat a license. Even the game’s harshest critics must find something to admire in the art design and recreation of the film’s aesthetic.

It seems likely that we’ll find out more either when the artbook is released and the name is officially out in the wild, or even beforehand now that the news is spreading. Of course, we already sort of definitely knew this would be happening because Creative Assembly + Warhammer = Total Warhammer, but knowing that the next in the series after Attila is likely to contain skellingtons, necromancers and Chaos Magic is quite the thing.

121 Comments

  1. No Excuse says:

    Holy actual complete and utter shit.

    This might actually cause Creative Assembly to win back my fickle heart from paradox.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      ALL OF THE MONEY AT THE SCREEN!!!

      • Loyal_Viggo says:

        There is already a superb Warhammer total conversion for TW Medieval 2 – Kingdoms, called ‘Call of Warhammer’.

        My fears for the new Warhammer game by CA are:
        1) It will be complete shit at launch much like Rome 2 and even after a year of patches will still be shit
        2) It will only give you say Empire, Orcs, and Dwarves as starting races and the other 20 odd will all be DLC that CA rapes you for for years to come, or shitty ‘blood dlc’ – WTF CA just die.
        3) It will be inferior to the current ‘Call of Warhammer’
        4) It’s made by CA… who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag with scissors in their hands
        5) It will not allow modding of any sort because they want to rape consumers for DLC that should be in the base game from day 1
        6) The Warhammer Old World map will be incomplete and they DLC you more map sections…
        7) CA will clusterfuck city building like they have for Rome 2 – the only way to redeem city building is to take it back to Medieval 2 Kingdoms

        The end.

        • zorky50 says:

          I find it hilarious that you reference Paradox before saying that CA “DLC rapes” it’s customers. Paradox is arguably worse. Take CK2 for example, they make you buy the music to the game! Everytime they release a new expansion there are always a few portrait or coat of arms or clothing DLCs.

          Before you go screaming “Paradox makes NEW content!” like everyone else does, remember CA does the same. Hannibal at the Gates, Caesar in Gaul, Wrath of Sparta, Imperator Augustus are all new campaigns one of which was free. Idiots however keep spewing their stupid ideas about how “Caesar in Gaul should have been in the main game”. HOW should it have been in the main game!! By that logic I think that the Old Gods should have been in the main game of CK2.

          I’m not complaining about either CA or Paradox DLC, if it is a good DLC then I shall buy it and if it isn’t I won’t. Just don’t pretend that CA is the only developer doing it though, every developer does it.

          • Loyal_Viggo says:

            You appear very confused. I do not mention Paradox once…

            So, my good, dear, friend, either you failed at reading comprehension or you failed to accurately click where and to whom on screen you need to reply to.

            As a neutral observer, I have no faith in your abilities. Nothing personal. I’m sure you’ll understand.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I don’t know, on the one hand I’m super-excited to see these two things finally come together. On the other hand, I haven’t forgotten what a train wreck Rome 2 is. With the way CA have been lately I can’t help but feel they’ll release Total Warhammer, it’ll disappoint, then I’ll go straight back to Call of Warhammer mourning what could have been.

      • El_MUERkO says:

        That’s Total War games for you, Empire was a mess so I didn’t buy one again till Shogun 2. What I noted from that was they removed obstacles like walls, hedges and barricades from the games rather than fix AI pathing. Still, WARHAMMER TOTAL WAR >.<

        • AedanClarke says:

          So… you skipped over one game? The skipped game being Napoleon, which was actually pretty great? Okay then. 0_0

    • Poppis says:

      Couldn’t agree more. This is what I’ve been hoping for so long, might just be the first Total War game since MTW2 that I will get.

      I mean Total War + Warhammer. They can’t fuck this up! Right?

    • SomeDuder says:

      Yea but… its not 40k :( Im not interested in generic fantasyhammer.

  2. Plyskeen says:

    Not bad, but I’d rather have Mount & Blade: Warhammer, to be honest.

    • Max Planck says:

      I’d rather have a faithful recreation of the tabletop game, turn based and all, but that won’t happen.
      I’ll take this instead.

      • jamienobes says:

        Couldn’t agree more, that and a faithful Necromunda remake.

      • Plyskeen says:

        That, plus a faithful videogame version of Necromunda (or an UFO-like one – edit, darn, jamienobes beat me to it!). Beats me why they are not doing anything with that franchise, opting for Mordheim instead (which as far as I aware, most fans do not like as much). Either way, if the rumor (it has been there for a while) that they are going to shut down the Warhammer Fantasy miniature game (and keep only W40K) to refocus on videogames ends up being true, we might actually get them!

        • frymaster says:

          Glad I’m not the only one to thing that the XCOM Enemy Unknown / Within engine would make for a good Necromunda engine, whether it kept strictly to the rules or not

          • SanguineAngel says:

            XCOM the younger was in large part based on Necromunda and it really shows. In a good way

        • Palindrome says:

          That rumour is what I like to describe as shite. Fantasy has been tanking in sales terms due in the main to piss poor rules (just like 40K) but I can’t see it being withdrawn. Especially not to focus on video games not least because GW doesn’t actually develop any games of their own.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Tabletop clones on PC just makes for a worse experience for all.

        • Sian says:

          I’d rather have a PC conversion than no Warhammer Fantasy Battles at all. As it stands, I don’t have the money to buy the miniatures, I don’t have the skill or patience to assemble and paint them and I don’t have the friends to play with nor any game shops nearby to play at.

          • El_MUERkO says:

            This.

            As a child I had the time to make, paint and play along with friends on my road to play with. That’s just not the case any more.

        • Max Planck says:

          Do you have any examples of that?
          I don’t see why a table-to-pc port should be so bad, and certainly not for *all*.

          • JimboDeany says:

            If the PC version of Bloodbowl has taught us anything it’s that this will actually increase interest in the tabletop hobby and encourage new players. It certainly worked that way with me and a load of others that I know….

      • Wagrid says:

        Me too. I still like the game, but I don’t have any friends that play any more and I can’t be fucked with model collecting regardless.

      • SXO says:

        I seriously doubt Games Workshop would ever license out to a company trying to recreate the board game digitally. They make sooooo much money from that, that I don’t see them allowing anyone being able to play the game without buying figures and whatnot. That’s just my theory anyway.

      • Herbal Space Program says:

        What about Mordheim? Too small scale?

      • RecklessPrudence says:

        You’re pretty much never going to see that. GW is too afraid it’ll take players away from playing the physical game, and thus lose sales of where they really make money – the models. There was a module for VASSAL that was on the way to being the tabletop game, on your computer – primitive graphics, but enough to get the job done, and you could play with anyone in the world. GW hit it with a C&D. Same with every GW VASSAL module, even the ones they don’t care about anymore, like my favourite, Battlefleet Gothic. They either don’t realise or don’t care that it could act as advertising for the tabletop game, so…

    • Conehead The Barbarian says:

      Warsword Conquest is the closest you’ll get to that at the moment, shame it doesn’t have magic and is unbalanced but its a lot of fun. Might be worth a look if you haven’t heard of it.
      link to forums.taleworlds.com (Link to its forum thread)

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Can’t recommend Warsword Conquest enough. It’s a beta, but man is it FUN!

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Tried it for a few days and loved it to bits, but haven’t gone back. It’s not that I don’t want to, mind, but well… have they fixed the bug where peace treaties never, ever end yet?

          • Conehead The Barbarian says:

            The developers of the mod haven’t fixed it yet, but in that thread (quite a lot of pages back) was a fix for that. I tried it out as its only changing some numbers in a line of code, and it worked well for me then on.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            Yeah there’s a quick fix there – do a search for “simple_triggers” or “simple_trigger” in the topic, I think that’s the file you have to change.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Beautiful. Will try that out presently, thanks both. <3

    • Poppis says:

      M&B would be nice, but what we REALLY need is for CD Project RED to make Warhammer rpg with the witcher 3 engine.

  3. Chiron says:

    *fap fap fap fap fap*

    Full circle, always felt Total War owed a lot to Dark Omen

    • SquidgyB says:

      Ooooh, Dark Omen… now that’s a blast from the past! I’ll have to dig that out at some point and give it a play. I wonder if it’s on GoG?

      e: apparently not.

      • JimboDeany says:

        The trouble is it was (And presumably still is) buggy as hell. It was a cracking game though. SotHR was great too.

        • bennymcl says:

          There is actually still a Dark Omen community. Just Google it. There have been a crazy amount of patches, new maps and new armies added to the game through mods.

  4. RedViv says:

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!

  5. Gothnak says:

    If you excuse my language… About F*cking time! :). I’ve been wanting this for about 15 years.

  6. Arvind says:

    Total War: Warhammer

    When will we get the Total War: Warface we deserve :(

  7. amateurviking says:

    Total War: Warhammer

    Total War: Warhammer

    Total: hammer

    TOTALHAMMER!

  8. Oakreef says:

    *crosses fingers for playable skaven*

    • RedViv says:

      The what? Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t play things that don’t exist.

  9. luckystriker says:

    Super excited, but would’ve been even more for a 40k version.

  10. FlopsyTheBloodGod says:

    Glad to hear they’ve actually been working on this rather than just Skaven off. I was getting worried.

    • Kreeth says:

      Yes, it’s good to know they’ve been orc-estrating something in the background.

      • Dilapinated says:

        I’m kinda worried that they’re just goblin up franchises, though.

        • Kreeth says:

          I’m going to get myself some popKhorne if there’s a pun thread starting.

          • pepperfez says:

            Don’t get too excited; it’s not likely to be anything you haven’t tzeentch before.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            Stop it – you’re just nurgling all the words up.

          • zaygr says:

            I hope this release will dwarf the other games in the series.

    • Asurmen says:

      I hope it arrives in tip top Elf.

  11. Turkey says:

    I know that it’s because of branding and crap, but I still can’t believe they didn’t shorten the title to what everyone is going to be calling it anyway.

  12. Sian says:

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

    I might be a tad excited about this.

    • Eleven says:

      I’ve never actually played the tabletop games, and yet I’m excited about this!

  13. Wowbagger says:

    If it’s anything like Dark Omen then I will be one happy bunny.

    • Gothnak says:

      Better not be a bunch of battles where you have to keep replaying them so that as few guys from your main formations die. The game was good, but the campaign style was bloody annoying.

      • Chiron says:

        It was great, you had to plan carefully and manage your troops.

        Admitedly Wizards became horrifically powerful, especially if they had the trap spell to keep a unit pinned.

        • Gothnak says:

          But you couldn’t have a heroic victory from the jaws of defeat. As soon as you took reasonable damage, it was quit and restart.

      • Wowbagger says:

        It was the first RTS I played that had units with leaders for personality and a persistence system that actually saw the units grow stronger. It could be pretty nails hard at times though.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Shadow of the Horned Rat was even worse with a bunch of unwinnable battles when trying to cross the mountains. Still had a ton of fun with both games but I never managed to complete them.

  14. PearlChoco says:

    *reinstalls Dark Omen*

    • Wowbagger says:

      I don’t have my copy any more and it appears to be abandon ware. :(

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Now don’t get tempted and go acquire it from somewhere online, you little rascal. It’s not because you already paid for the game and own a license to it that you should feel entitle to download it. After all, you wouldn’t download a car!

        No, the correct thing to do is to not play it and wait for it to come out on GOG.com in a few years, and pay for it again, and then again when they release the HD version on Steam.

    • froz says:

      I played it yet another time quite recently (3 or 4 years ago), I’ll need to do it once again. It was still great, but I couldn’t win the last battle :(. It’s really hard, though I remember winning it in the previous try. I don’t know if I maybe had a patch or something this time, because at the start all enemy units were attacking me (and I remember originally it didn’t happen, I could take them in a little bit smaller groups). And those mummies are almost impossible to kill.

      Still, the game was so much better in some aspects then Total War. For example you needed to think about positioning more, as units couldn’t go through each other, which makes Total War battles such a mess. And AI was scripted, which meant it was generally better and didn’t do so stupid things that TW AI does.

      Ahh, I’m wondering if I should reinstall it once more…

  15. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Jolly good.

  16. TomxJ says:

    I’ll be interested to see if they stick to the current End Times Storyline or concerntrate on pre chaos invasion stuff. The setting has gone all sorts of batshit crazy in the past year!

    • Bongo_clive says:

      And it’s going to get even crazier if you believe the rumours.

      Different dimensions of reality, reduced faction count and a lot less models are just a few of the ideas being bandied about.

      • TomxJ says:

        As long as Thanquol is still centre stage i’m happy. I love that Narcissistic, Warpdust snorting, Machiavellian little Scamp.

    • Chiron says:

      The setting has gone all sorts of batshit crazy in the past year!

      The setting has gone all sorts of shit in the past year, yeah.

    • Hanban says:

      After having been out of the hobby for a long time and just recently returning, I’m not sure I see it. Admittedly my memory of previous events are a bit muddled by time, but wasn’t it always this crazy? The last time Archaon rolled up he was about to smash the world but got smashed by Grimgor Ironhide. Who, if I recall correctly, just kind of showed up out of nowhere. The stakes seem to be high, “END TIMES” and all, but subtle storytelling has never really seemed like GW’s thing.

  17. Shadrach says:

    This has potential to be absolutely epic.

    I wonder if there’s been any contact between CA and the mod team behind Call of Warhammer for MTW2?
    For years now CoW has been the go-to mod for me to get some epic Warhammer action Total War-style, the amount of different units is just staggering, it’s even got Skaven :)

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      How is Call of Warhammer now? I agree it’s brilliant but the last two times I tried it it was horribly unstable, kept getting CTDs (CsTD?), and reading around on forums it sounded like that was a common problem with the English version. Is it any more stable nowadays?

      • Shadrach says:

        I’ve not had a lot of CTDs but oh yeah there are some, and it sucks when it crashes in the middle of battle. There’s a beta out for 1.6 at the moment but not tried it, and it’s still Russian-only unfortunately.

  18. sapien82 says:

    This is amazing, after playing mordheim for ages since the early release came out , I got stuck into Warhammer mark of chaos again as I’d found the box in my old chest o games !
    Installed it and have been playing it for a couple of days , would be great to get something in the total war vein which was fantasy based like this ! Cannot wai
    with shiny new graphics will be amazing

    • PearlChoco says:

      Hmm I’ve never played the Mark of Chaos games, don’t know why.. Would it scratch my Dark Omen itch?

      • Max Planck says:

        No.
        I got it at release, it was a bit of a mess. Then one day the forums just closed without a word. Namco Bandai did a runner on it.

        It looked okay, but it didn’t really give me that Warhammer’ feel at all. The game mechanics were also pretty bad, it felt like a watered down clone of a bad TW clone.

        The intro movie was pretty good though, I think the majority of their budget went into making it. You could give it a look on youtube and save your moneys.

  19. Tetragrammaton says:

    FINALLY!! Although I sort of hope it’s not based on the new End Times fluff…bah who am I kidding, either way this is marvelous news!

  20. deadfolk says:

    Hmm.

    If this was 40K I’d be doing a little dance about now. As it stands?

    Hmm.

    • Rich says:

      40k wouldn’t really work as a Total War game, but a new 40k RTS would be nice. Preferably something on a bigger scale than Dawn of War.

      • Volcanu says:

        THIS. My hope is for a 40k game featuring an overarching meta/strategic map where you fight across a system including space based conflict. Kind of like the idea in SW: Empire at War, but better implemented (and with ground combat that isnt utter rubbish).

        However at this point I’d settle for another Dawn of War, even if it’s on the small scale of DoW 2 (which was admittedly awesome, if not quite the way I want to see 40k ‘done’ as a strategy game).

  21. Steven Hutton says:

    Ok, lets be honest. This is great news. It’s amazing. It’s awesome. We all love warhammer and can’t wait to buy this. My monitor is ruined because I threw my wallet so hard.

    I love Warhammer and always will. But lets be completely honest. The tabletop game is absolutely shit. It’s like the whole ruleset for the entire game was written while drunk.

    • Max Planck says:

      I haven’t played the tabletop since the mid nineties, so I might not remember all the rules so well.
      But I do remember having a lot of fun playing it, thinking about it, reading about it and talking about it.
      It was certainly not *Shit*.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Exactly.

        Although I will concede that “the ruleset was written while drunk” and “I have lots of fun with this thing” are not mutually exclusive…

      • Chris Cunningham says:

        The mid-90s was when the game peaked anyway. The current edition is quite flagrantly nothing more than an exercising in selling monster-sized miniatures (which, having previously rare, are now the centrepiece of every army) to a target demographic around the 10-year-old mark for £75 a pop. If the people calling GW cynical exploiters back then (and GW have had that label since the late 80s) were to look now they’d be astonished quite how far from merely “cynical exploiters” GW have fallen.

        No wonder GW have started handing out game licenses like sweeties: they’ve priced the majority of their own customers out of the market.

        • 2helix4u says:

          Yeah, Games Workshops have been aggressively pursuing bankruptcy for several years now. Like other old fans I quit because the pricing became even more insane and the rulebooks became less fun.
          A year ago me and my friend bought the new starter set and were close to getting back into the game/money hole.

          Then we found out that GW stores now only stock plastic models (they revamped all the metal models to plastic, which at the time was pitched as a way to lower costs of the models then they just raised the price across the board by 50% anyway) while 80% of their teams are still in transition away from metals, so you can’t actually buy most of the things you need anymore.
          For example, as a Vampire Counts/skaven player I couldn’t actually buy any vampires or non-clanrat skaven. Its going to take them another 5 years AT LEAST to get all the armies in plastic, this is an incredibly stupid policy.

          • RanDomino says:

            If I was to play WFB again I would use ‘wrong’ minis, minis from other games, or folded pieces of paper with pictures printed on. And I would get the rulebook via torrent. It’s a game, not an art exhibit.

          • vorador says:

            It’s likely the rise of cheap 3D printing in a few years will kill GW, or at least the plastic model division. I mean, why spend several hundred quid to set up your army when you can buy a 3D printer and do your own customized models on the cheap?

            Sure 3D printers aren’t cheap now, but prices will drop steadily.

        • Archonsod says:

          It went downhill quite rapidly after 5th edition. Possibly because it coincided with them being floated on the stock market and a resulting shift away from fun, or at least interesting, game systems towards maximising miniature sales. 40K managed to hold on for a few more years, but even there the past two versions were pathetic imitations of the originals (and yet again focused on flogging the latest codex and model line rather than a coherent or in some cases usable game system).

          Although personally I put it all down to Chambers leaving and Jervis being stuck in a basement.

    • Tellus says:

      The greatest thing about the WH fantasy franchise was always the grit and the total despairation perpetuated in the storylines of the world.

      All the great powers of world are failing, the demon hordes are gathering in the north, the foundries of the Chaos Dwarves are ablaze in (Mordor) the east, and the dead march under southern sun. Magical plagues are ravaging the lands, there are beastmen in the woods and madmen in our streets. And the chieftains of the (mongol horde) Orks are gathering for another (TOTAL) WAAAAAAAAGH.

      There’s no way they get the Doom-Gloom™ setting right…

      Unless they make some serious changes to the way the total war game plays out, and how the races and factions interact with each other. If it’s just a reskin I will be incredibly disappoint son.

      • Archonsod says:

        No, the greatness was the OTT hilarity they managed to sneak into that setting. Steam powered gyrocopters, giant rodent wheels spitting death and of course goblins riding spacehoppers of doom.

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    First time I’ve been excited about a total war game since shogun 2, why has this taken so long!!

  23. Auldman says:

    Crass.

  24. Scissors says:

    Expecting Orcs + Empire in the release version, and then they will go Games Workshop on us for the rest.

    • 2helix4u says:

      The real question is which race is the pre-order DLC? I’d guess Skaven since they like to pick factions nerds will need.
      I see this releasing with a couple flavours of Empire, an elf team, a dwarf team, chaos, orcs and undead or something.

      We can all agree this is going to be a DLC storm.

      • Tellus says:

        If it will make it a better, deeper game, I don’t care if I have shovel off a full 100 quid. It could be the greatest thing ever. Few universes are more compelling and full of lore than Warhammer. Few settings are more interesting and memorable.

        It’s my all time favorite setting for Pen & Paper too.

  25. Rizlar says:

    Of course, we already sort of definitely knew this would be happening

    Wait what? Who is we? How come they didn’t tell me!!?

    Er. Ma. Gerd. This could be fantastic. Mordheim was already pretty exciting, but it’s not quite the same as huge flippin armies charging at each other, regiments of pikemen and champions all covered in magical trinkets like a christmas tree and big fucking ogres and argh! grapeshot to the face.

  26. mpk says:

    WILL THERE BE ZOMBIE DRAGONS?

    AND IF NOT, WHY NOT?

  27. Improper says:

    Huh, I’m not even that much into Warhammer yet reading this gave me a big grin.

  28. RanDomino says:

    Warhammer: Total War for RTW:BI is quite good. Campaign seems to be mostly functional. I had to manually add starting units to the cities and maybe muck around with a few other things but I think that was in a previous version.
    link to exilian.co.uk

  29. thekelvingreen says:

    I always thought a Warhammer 40,000 version of the Battlefront games would have been ace.

  30. Spinkick says:

    At least they wont have to worry about too much realism this time around.

  31. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Great news! I loved Alien Isolation, is this new game for me?

  32. Czrly says:

    This is great news if you give the developers the benefit of the doubt – and I do – but I am somewhat cynical, nonetheless.

    Them being Creative Assembly and this being 2015, I am almost certain that the end result will be a bland and dreary simulacrum of the Total War formula with a somewhat transparent Warhammer skin, built on an outdated and poorly optimised game engine, fraught with horrific loading times and published as a fragmented heap of DLC.

    Warhammer is about Orc artillery being a threat to both sides. It is about flaming fearful fireballs and people riding wild boars, grand knightly figures that are the epitome of honour and glory, necromancers, inquisitors, undead, skulls, fear and stuff on fire. It’s about walking softly and carrying a big gun.

    To put it plainly, the Warhammer setting is far too charismatic for Creative Assembly. It is too theatrical, too colourful, too diverse and imaginative. It is not at all like their historical settings for which a staid and realistic approach is warranted, if not necessarily wanted. Since the general’s speeches from Rome I, CA haven’t scored highly on the theatrical front.

    I sincerely hope to be proven wrong.