Ten Minutes Of Waaagh: Total War – Warhammer In-Game Footage

Here it is then – the first footage of an actual war in Total War: Warhammer [official site]. It looks more or less how I’d imagine Total War with fantasy units would look and that is a good thing. The developer commentary does a good job explaining how certain aspects will work. Flying units, giant units and spells in particular. Speaking of spells, the Foot of Gork stomps down onto the battlefield in the video. I remember the cardboard template for it being my favourite Warhammer Fantasy accessory.

Word of warning: there’s a horrid giant spider.

I understand that this is the kind of footage that lets Creative Assembly show off the world and units, and it’s lovely to see, but I’m hoping to learn more about the strategic map in the near future. Yes, I am aware that I just watched a video that showed infantrymen being devoured during a battle and that I am asking to look at a map and some stats, but I can’t help myself. I crave cartography and I know I’ll spend more time in piddly little fights and city management screens than I will looking at this sort of confrontation.

And this is a specific confrontation – the Battle of Black Fire Pass. It’s “a Quest Battle available specifically to Karl Franz, it represents one of many bespoke, optional encounters players will unlock as they progress through a campaign with their chosen Legendary Lord.” As a helpful reader pointed out to me when I posted the cinematic version of the battle, the Quest Battles are like the historical battles of previous Total Wars with the significant advantage of being integrated in campaigns rather than relegated to standalone scenarios.

There’s plenty to see in the video though, thanks to the presence of high-level end-game units and magic. I suspect early battles will be slightly more grounded. I didn’t see anything that made me quite as happy as Gork’s Big Stamp. Smashing.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Hmm… I’m not a Warhammer fan but this looks fun.

  2. Rymdkejsaren says:

    Stll can’t believe they passed up on the great opportunity to call a game Total Warhammer. :(

    • aleander says:

      I hoped for Total Waagh.

      One day they’ll make an RPS-themed one, and it’s going to be called Total Waromgican’tdoit.

      • Wetcoaster says:

        A Warhammer 40K Ork-themed standalone would be perfect for that name. Or maybe Total Waaaghammer

    • dontnormally says:

      Total: Total-War; Warhammer

    • SanguineAngel says:

      They must be aware that this is what everyone will refer to it as anyway. So why sacrifice their branding for it I suppose?

  3. cpugeek13 says:

    This game looks alright, though some of those animations still need a bit of work. Also, a bit disappointed that they didn’t show off more colorful armies. This video is pretty much just brown, brown, brown.

    • RanDomino says:

      That’s because it’s xHARDxCOREx xGRIMxDARKx. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go paint my room black and listen to Children of Bodom.

    • csbear says:

      It is pre-alpha, so very early in development… I haven’t played a Total War game since Shogun 2. Had Rome II, but barely touched it. For historical gaming I defer to Matrix or Paradox stuff and board wargaming (GMT, etc).

      However, this may bring me back due to its fantastical theme. That Foot of Gork spell was so cool!

    • Lowbrow says:

      Having just watched Alatriste, I’m really wishing for a group of guys with spears/polearms that uses them like they’re supposed to. Looks pretty, but I’m looking forward to the games that make soldiers a unit instead of a square group of dudes fighting.

  4. DarkFenix says:

    Well it looks good, but so did Rome 2 in trailers…

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      This is pretty much how I feel, too. The danger with trailers for TW games is that they play up the battles but fail to give you a good feel for how the strategic element is incorporated… and with the exception of small concessions to the time period/setting, the TW strategic game hasn’t really changed in a decade or so. Its real-time battles remain the big selling point (and deservedly so, no one does them better), to the detriment of the larger game. The game needs better strategic AI, deeper diplomatic and espionage options (better soft-power approaches in general, actually), and more ways to prepare potential battlefields on your territory before the fact. Basically, the series needs to be less risk-averse. Paradox has handily claimed the title of 4X Kings because every game they’ve released in the last 10 years has been completely unlike anything we’ve seen before, while Creative Assembly more or less keeps reskinning the same title.

      Maybe this will be the moment when CA decides to step out from under Paradox’s shadow and release something new and exciting, but I’m not betting on it.

    • klops says:

      Who needs AI when you can zoom in to the eye of a shiny orc/samurai/hussar/knight? Suits Creative Assembly. I just don’t understand why it suits the customers and reviewers.

  5. lordfrikk says:

    If nothing else it looks fucking fantastic. With a litle bit of work on the impacts as was said in the video it’s going to be a good spectacle.

  6. Auru says:

    I am really glad it has the look and feel of the classic Warhammer.. without the Age of Sigmar stuff, big regiments smashing into each other.. THAT is Warhammer :)

    I am still really keen to see the otherside of the game though, the campaign map and the systems involved in that.. since generally that is the meat of the Total War games.

    Since the past few have been kinda ropey on release (Oh Rome II, I had such high hopes) I will just wait and see for a week or so after release before diving into this.. it really does look impressive though, lets just hope that same kind of attention has gone into the rest of the game!

  7. raiders says:

    After those 10 minutes, I’m not impressed. Instead of a “scripted” cinematic video, they should’ve showed us “actual” gameplay: The ordering of units, the maneuvering of units, formation settings, etc.

    This looks like the same crap they used to dupe me into buying Rome 2; and we all know….

    • csbear says:

      I hear ya… But if I’m running a big software studio like CA, I want my first videos to show the “scripted” animations to lure as many people in as possible with shock and awe. The maps and actual gameplay will come (hopefully). Nothing has changed and it’s done by almost all the big devs/publishers as well as many smaller ones.

    • GenBanks says:

      At least they were upfront about the fact that it’s scripted, it probably isn’t even ready to be played fully with unit commands etc yet. Looking forward to seeing how it works in practice though, especially the flying units.

  8. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Really like the look of that, its generally had plenty of Graphics, and the armies and general unit sizes may have got bigger as well. Lots of nice variety of dudes within units too, reminded me of Medieval 2. Could be quite something.

    I suspect attempting to assassinate the enemy wizards as early as possible may be quite an important tactic though…

  9. Freud says:

    Hopefully the AI is finally good enough to provide the game TW always was meant to be, especially now they got the IP that’s a perfect fit for the game.

  10. badmothergamer says:

    The problem with CA is it’s taken them 4 modern TW iterations just to get siege AI fixed for human units (finally fixed with Atilla), all of which are the same size. Now I have zero knowledge of the Warhammer universe, but I imagine there will still be sieges and now they’ll have to account for both large and flying units. So yes, this video is very pretty, but until I see the player try to send the spider through a settlement gate and it actually goes in instead of circling the walls, I’ll remain over here with the CA cynics.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      The big spider will just go over the wall, surely?

      But joking aside, I see your point.

  11. JauntyAngle says:

    They need to work on the unit animations/AI a lot. Everyone who is behind the front rank in each block of infantry is just kind of standing there milling around, not piling in, or poking with pole-arms, or shoving or anything.

    • Sian says:

      Poking into a melee with polearms is likely to get your friends in the front ranks killed, either by accidentally hitting them or by hindering their movement. And while I’m no expert on tactics, I’m pretty sure that it was important to maintain discipline while in melee, i.e. not to break formation and pile in.

      Now, you could argue that the greenskins aren’t big on discipline, but I’m not sure how this would work out with just one race behaving differently on such a fundamental level.

      • JauntyAngle says:

        Poking over your friends’ heads with polearms is called “fighting in multiple ranks”

      • Rizlar says:

        And the fact is it never really degenerates into a melee, with the line collapsing and it turning into every man/woman/griffon for themselves. Isn’t this what happened in real medieval battles and sort of the purpose of cavalry charges?

        Having never played a Total War game (shame face) this did stand out, how much it looked like Warhammer Fantasy Battles with only the front ranks fighting. Could still be fun nonetheless!

    • Chiron says:

      The ranks in general seem very loose and easy to break into

      link to upload.wikimedia.org

  12. Robert Post's Child says:

    Calling down the ‘kill everything’ comet right when it reaches the point in Total War battles where it always risks getting boring, i.e. waiting for the units to finish chewing through each other.

    Still, it does look neat.

  13. SanguineAngel says:

    Sadly, no sound. what was the word on flight? It looks funny with those creatures flying in-situ. I had sort of presumed they’d land when they weren’t moving.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      *Sadly, I’VE no sound

    • Sian says:

      All they said was that ruling the skies would allow you to strike pretty much anywhere unhindered. However, flying units hovering is probably not only easier to do, but it’s also closer to the tabletop game. It does look quite jarring, though, I’ll give you that.

  14. Chiron says:

    Looks great and the Doom Diver is lovely touch.

    Sadly my grognard bones are making me look forward to editing out shit like the Demi-gryphs or the Super heavy giant spider (basically anything that got added in 8th edition)

    Also the terrain is a bit to fantastical, to much molten magma, I want some but not everywhere.

  15. Nevard says:

    Weird that all these big creatures essentially just keep stooping to pick up and eat individual infantrymen, I was expecting more massive melee swings. Most obvious with the giant but happens with the spider and dragon thing too.

  16. liquidsoap89 says:

    Those demigryphs! SO SEXY!

  17. JiminyJickers says:

    Sweet, looks good. I have never been a fan of Fantasy Warhammer but will definitely give this one a go.

  18. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    Animated units, no square bases and I can’t see any slightly bent red plastic measuring sticks anywhere!

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      And it’s not accurate when more than half the units are not raw grey unpainted plastic and bits of exposed tin because metal models sucks when the paint get damaged from the slightest bump when you try to bring your army to a friends house over the weekend in the boxes they came in.

  19. TripleCripple says:

    If Total War:Rome 2 is any indication this game will have great AI (Artificial Idiocy) for a few months after release, rendering it basically unplayable.

  20. Replikant says:

    The skins and animations are really well done, but the representation of combat still lacks, at the moment. As pointed out before the infantry units do not seem to attack the big monster at all, they just mill around and wait to be pierced, picked up or vomited on with acid. The big monsters on the other hand rotate in place and do (impressive, no doubt) single-target attacks over and over again. The giant for example seems to have completely forgotten that he has a tree-sized club in his hand.
    At least the developer states that they are still working on cavalry charges. Currently it looks as if the cavalry charges in and then stops abruptly, apparently in order to ask niecely to be allowed to join in.

    All of this is seondary, however, in previous TW games I seldom really zoomed in close anyway. It’s really more important whether they can come up with a not stupid AI, interesting combat mechanics, good balancing and a challenging campaign map.

  21. hungrycookpot says:

    I know they said they were working on “impacts”, but the cavalry seems pretty silly to me. Why would mounted lancers ride up and stop right in front of the enemy they’re attacking?

  22. Captain Narol says:

    I’m a fan of the Warhammer Fantasy universe so I can’t help wanting this game badly ( It was the game of my dreams even before it was announced), but I can’t help the feeling it’s gonna be a glorious unplayable mess even worse than Rome 2…

    Anyway I will probably stick with the “Warsword Conquest” mod for Mount&Blade Warband to fill all my Warhammer needs, next update will have Kislev/Beastmen/Nippon added as new playable factions !