Here’s 13 Minutes Of Total Warhammer Battling

Total War: Warhammer [official site], The Creative Assembly’s adaptation of Games Workshop’s warworld, will be storming a virtual battlefield near you in less than two months’ time. Until then, below is an almost-13-minute look at some of the key battle mechanics you’ll want to get to grips in your quest to conquer the war zone.

My relationship with Total Wars games is an odd one. I’ve played many of them, you see, and yet have mastered not one of them. I’ve sunk hundreds of hours into ‘masterminding’ strategies and tactics and formations, but still the death toll in a typical game of Total War for me is equivocal to that of most other folk playing Dark Souls blindfolded. And yet I love it.

Total War: Warhammer is shaping up to be the prettiest looking one yet, so let’s have a gander at this particularly defensive battle setup on the off chance you’re like me and are really keen to learn the art of survival:

When Total War: Warhammer was first announced, I was a little concerned about how magic would fit into its combat. As you’ll see there, however, for all it’s clear the dark arts can play an important role in battle, its application is decidedly measured and is never allowed to commandeer fights completely. Another point of interest as seen above is that Warhammer sees the return of Guard Mode (rejoice!) – a feature that ensures troops stay put in predetermined positions, even supposing a unit should triumph over another. Which, as I say, is a rarity in my games. When my guys stay put, it’s because they’re six feet under.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re a much better brawler than I, which is something you can freely demonstrate come April 28th, when Total War: Warhammer is due to launch.


  1. kyon says:

    This new Total War looks better and better with every gameplay, though I’m still afraid of its performance. Its obviously clear that they still have their games running the same engine they used back in 2009 for Empire.

    Though this is not bad, it bothers me that they just make their games heavier and heavier. This was specially the case in Attila. The game was fun (IMO, it was one of the best TW made aside Shogun 2) , but the performance was just…horrible, due to their limitations,and it even still had that good old weird AI amassing twelve armies at the edge of the map, or a poor king running to death by charging ahead from his army to some spearmen.

    I’m afraid of these things, but I will still buy the game at full price, smash my wallet at every DLC and expansion they may release and spend 200 or 300 hours commanding little armies.

    Damn, this genre needs some competence.

  2. latedave says:

    I really, really want this to be good!

    • v21v21v21 says:


      Obviously, for some folk it’s going to be perfect. What with all the young ones out there getting manyer an’ manyer. Great! More power to ’em, mesays!


      I remember the lass (or one like her) on a similar promo vid for Rome2. All enthused an’ everything. Deja vu. And we know how /that/ went.


      Them wanting to release a promo all artifacted? My goodness. You can really smell the fear. Why? How should /I/ know. Ask them.

      On the upside, it /did/ make me want to boot some ol’ uns, M2TW, or VI, or… S? ETW? Modded, of course.

      Let’s just wait and see, no?

  3. crowleyhammer says:

    How many Orks do you know who would stand back and wait for an enemy to come to them? Not going to happen.

    • dontnormally says:

      It does seem like these thematic tactical differences could have been gamified in some way. Perhaps orks could slowly lose strength over time as they sit still, or something.

    • Riaktion says:

      Yeah this bothered me a bit too, wonder if there is still time to change that. Seems there is a random chance for spell misfires maybe they could do the same for Ork guard mode or even remove it entirely. That Ork force operated more like a human Empire force with it’s tight blocks of troops and discipline. That isn’t how Orks are in Warhammer and it is a shame their personality isn’t reflected on the Battlefield.

      That all said,the fact this game is even being made is like a dream come true for 13yr old me (I’m 32) and still positive about the game overall, it certainly looks like Warhammer, wonder if it will feel like it.

  4. HigoChumbo says:

    Honestly, it looks like a total conversion mod for Attila.

  5. Danarchist says:

    Is it possible to pause the battles and give commands? I am a bit too slow for super thick RTS these days. I remember trying a shogun one at some point that ended up with me trying to figure out why my archers were facing the wrong way all the time and my cavalry kept charging the wrong groups. Lots of swears were swore.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Haven’t played any TW game in ages (really, the last one I played was Medieval 2), but I think there was a pause mode you could use mid-battle.

  6. mariandavid says:

    Oh yes – just hit P and the game stops and you can set up your units. Of course if you want realism thats an option too and it drove me to distraction.

  7. Nico_101 says:

    Just place all your units over a hill and wait for the enemy units get one by one, kill them with archers.
    Repeat every single battle.

  8. Bweahns says:

    Yep, the AI feeds in units piecemeal and takes no advantage of its Trebs to drop giant stones on the Orcs and force them to come forward. Classic Total War AI. Also, guard mode for Orc combat units is silly, Orcs are going to pursue and chop people down every chance they get. It blows my mind that the AI is still so horrible for these games, it never makes sense to attack as inevitably the opposing army eventually starts feeding you units one at a time whilst you simply shower them with arrows behind a wall of grunts.

  9. Ragabhava says:

    Always the same with TW: great looks, great athmosphere, retarded AI. They don’t learn, do they ?

    Usually you just have to turtle and wait for the enemy to come erratically forward in little groups or single units to get slaughtered. Would it be so hard to make the AI CONCENTRATE its forces on a point ? You don’t need to be Sun Tzu to figure that out. Combined arms ? Feints ? Aah, I’ve lost hope since a long time for this franchise…but I’ll wait for a WIT (done by someone who knows the series well).

    So far the AI looks like an ADHD simulation.

  10. froz says:

    Same old terribly bad AI. Now the game comes with spells to give you even more irritating micromanagement.

  11. Ferno says:

    I’m very excited for this game but there’s also no way I’m preordering and therefore buying until I can get Chaos in a reasonably priced bundle for the full games. Have they said any more on that shitty situation? The footage was great fun to watch though.

  12. Christo4 says:

    Why are the orks so organized?
    This game sucks

  13. SaintAn says:

    Hey fellow commenters, aren’t the Warhammer Fantasy Orcs called Orcs and not Orks? Isn’t Ork for 40K?

  14. Riaktion says:

    Without Google checking I’ve always thought it was Orks for both, to differentiate them the Middle Earth and other fantasy Orcs.

  15. PancakeWizard says:

    I desperately want to get excited about this, but I’d really like it if just once someone takes a run at the Warhammer license and dives straight in with Lizardmen, Dark Elves, Undead and Skaven instead of always defaulting to humans and Orcs.