Shroom For Improvement: Total Warhammer’s Night Goblins

Total War: Warhammer’s [official site] latest reveal shows Night Goblins in action. In this case, ‘in action’ translates as ‘standing around like static models until one of their own kind starts wailing on them with a giant ball and chain’. The culprit is a Night Goblin Fanatic and for today’s confession, I declare that the uncontrollable random paths of destruction that those wee fungi-filled blighters tore across battlefields made them my favourite Warhammer units. It was between them and the Doom Divers at any rate. We received confirmation they’d be in the game way back when.

Fanatics were great in the tabletop Warhammer Fantasy. It’s entirely possible that me and my teenage pal didn’t interpret the rules correctly, but in our version of the game, they were concealed within a seemingly ordinary squad of goblins, and could be released at any time. Then they’d pinball around the battlefield, destroying whatever stood in their path.

The video explains the drug-induced state responsible for Fanatics behaviour. It doesn’t explain whether Squig Hoppers will be in the game. I was initially worried about clicking play in case a load of Spider Riders started crawling all over my screen, but a quick bit of research informs me that spider riders were Forest Goblin units, not part of Night Goblin armies. Which means my mate Ian was mixing and matching his armies without telling anyone all those years ago. Cheating git. That’s the kind of subterfuge you can pull off when you’re the only person with enough pocket money to buy all of the rulebooks.

The game’s due on April 28th.


  1. naetharu says:

    Having played most of the total war games and pretty much bounced off the lot reason says I should be indifferent to this new one…yet I just cannot help look forward to it.

    If I were to get a bit of practice with these games in the mean time is Shogun still the best place to start?

    • CherryPhosphate says:

      Shogun 2 Rise of the Samurai is the place to start, it’s by far the best of all the Wotal Tars.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yep, I’d suggest Shogun 2 also. Great game, and you don’t need all the DLC’s unless you really get into it.

      CA always does better when the scope is more limited, like Shogun 2 compared to the more recent Rome 2. The only thing Shogun 2 lacks for me, is variety between factions. It sounds like this upcoming Warhammer thing will combine more asymmetrical factions with a similar limited scope, so it has a chance of being a good game.

    • gmillar says:

      Then again if you need variety like I do, Shogun will have you bored to tears within an hour or two.

    • MisterFurious says:

      If you don’t know, “Shogun 2” has a free demo.

  2. Runty McTall says:

    From my recollection of the rules (played back in the 90s) your use of the fanatic was correct. Also, I don’t think that he was cheating – you could have a general Goblin army or even an Orcs and Goblins one, with forest goblins, night goblins and so on all together (also Orcs could be standard Orcs, Savage Orcs and Black Orcs). I don’t think that they had enough unit variety to have a straight-up, exclusively Night Goblin force?

    • unitled says:

      My memory was that when a unit got within 8″ of the Night Goblin unit they burst out in that direction and moved 2D6″. Which meant on average they would stop just short of your unit; subsequent turns they’d move in a random direction, hopefully back towards the rest of the Orc army!

      The exception was if a unit somehow appeared WITHIN 8″, then the fanatics pinged out in a random direction from the beginning. You could do this with a flying unit, but they were expensive… I used to like the old ‘Raise Dead’ right behind the goblins to fire off the fanatics, then charge them in the rear with the fear causing unit. Carnage :P

      • Runty McTall says:

        Ah, right, yeah I was interpreting “at any time” to mean “any time an enemy unit got close enough”, not at a time of the Goblin player’s choosing.

      • MrPyro says:

        I always liked teleporting a unit nearby to the Night Goblins but into terrain like woods; if a Goblin Fanatic entered a wooded area it instantly died due to inability to steer around trees.

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      Adam Smith says:

      Ah. In my world, Night Goblins are too high and/or nasty to hang out with anyone else.

      • Runty McTall says:

        Well, full disclosure I last played it like 15 years ago (!) and there have been several rules iterations between now and then (and indeed the whole WFB planet just got blown up) so it may not have been (or always been) as I said.

  3. Darth Gangrel says:

    “I was initially worried… a load of Spider Riders started crawling all over my screen, but… spider riders were Forest Goblin units, not part of Night Goblin armies.” It’s good that didn’t happen, because otherwise it’d need a “Spiders” tag as well and that’s extra work.

  4. Captain Narol says:

    Being an absolute fan of both the original Rome TW and the pre-jumpsharking Warhammer Fantasy RPG, this has been the game of my dreams for years, before I lost all interest for the TW brand after the desappointment that Rome 2 was.

    I think I’ll stick with Mordheim to get my fix of Warhammer universe, too late guys !