Blood And Bones: Total War – Warhammer Chaos Battle

The latest Total War: Warhammer [official site] video shows a Chaos army in battle for the first time. They’re cutting, gouging, biting and burning their way through an army led by Emperor Karl Franz, controlled by a member of the development team who provides commentary throughout. The first few minutes of the video are a guided tour of the two armies, with some lovely close-ups of horrible units. The Chaos Giant is a grotesque delight but the bulbous flesh sacs hanging off the back of the Hellcannon are the real highlight. I won’t spoil the ending, as you can watch the fight in full below.

It’s comforting to see someone who is presumably very familiar with the game losing track of events as chaos (and indeed Chaos) erupts on every corner of the battlefield. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve played through entire Total War battles without realising that an entire unit of archers have been hiding in some woods, where I placed them, from the first minute to the last. A little too well concealed, perhaps.

From what I’ve played of the game, the world is already a scary and conflict-ridden place. My Vampire Count could barely get out of the coffin without being punched in the face by a neighbouring undead warlord. I’d love it if the Chaos incursions were like Watchmen’s giant squid-aliens – an outside force so abhorrent and terrifying that they cause old enemies to form temporary alliances. I’m actually not entirely sure how they will work. Every faction has its own unique qualities and what we do know is that Chaos are built around a horde theme:

Introduces Horde-style gameplay to Total War: WARHAMMER, allowing the Chaos Warriors to raze enemy settlements and set up encampments anywhere, taking their war spoils with them. The armies of Chaos rest only when exhaustion halts their marching, leaving nothing but corruption and ash in their wake.

Corruption and Ash could be the name of a particularly exciting grimmetal band or a particularly disappointing Lynx deodorant.

As mentioned in the video, Chaos armies will appear in the game as an AI-controlled threat whether you preorder the game or not, but preordering will allow you to control them yourself. That option will also be available through DLC.

If you’re at Rezzed this week, you’ll be able to play Total War: Warhammer on the showfloor.


  1. Farsearcher says:

    The game looks good but while I do want it I won’t be buying it until the complete edition is out. It really feels like they’ve cut out a core faction to get more pre orders.

    Contrast this with Tinadlos and Focus’ approach to Battlefleet Gothic Armada. You get the space marine faction free if you pre order or if you buy it in the first two months. Recently they’ve announced early adopters will get a second as yet unknown faction free. Thus I’m much more inclined to buy the game at full price.

    • Dunderbar says:

      That sounds like a really good model, and definitely something other publishers/developers should adopt in future I think as well.

      I do understand CA’s decision, though. With the amount of ill will it seems to have engendered (mostly from Total War players whose day job is apparently to moan relentlessly in any comment section so much as mentioning the game) it certainly seems like something they wouldn’t do unless they felt it was a financially necessary.

      They’ve explained their decision clearly, and I respect them for doing that. It’s not an ideal situation, certainly, and I think we would all prefer that Chaos were included in the base game, but I can see where they’re coming from and understand they feel they’re unable to move on this, so see no point in hounding them on the point.

      One thing I do really want, though, is for the reviews to start coming out a bit before the game is released, so if it does live up to expectations then I can pre-order it and get the Chaos faction for free. I’ve been burned before by a Total War pre-order (I’m looking at you, Rome II), so I’m definitely not putting any money down until the reviews start coming in.

      That being said, it’s looking like it’s going to be a cracking game, and it’s a pairing I’ve been waiting a good ten years to see. Just hope it lives up to the hype!

      • Farsearcher says:

        I have to admit I wasn’t aware Creative Assembly had explained themselves so clearly. That explanation can be found here for those interested:

        link to

        While reading that has made me a bit less cynical my main issue is that I suspect Sega will embargo reviews until release day to guarantee pre order sales. I suppose this risks a steam refund backlash but I have no idea how easy it is to get a refund on steam (never having needed one yet myself).

        If they do let reviews out before release I have much less of a problem, cancelling a pre order is much less of a hassle than getting a refund.

        To be clear I really like Total War games and want them to do well. I just don’t like pre order bonuses that encourage us to buy blind.

        • sosolidshoe says:

          Yeah, it’s the whole “if you’re not happy, just explore your refund rights” line that annoys me – outside of Steam we don’t *have* any refund rights. We should, absolutely we should, if I buy almost anything else and it’s a broken, unfit-for-purpose pile of crap I am absolutely entitled to a refund, but the software industry has somehow managed to convince people that there’s some kind of deep philosophical difference when it comes to software that can only be adequately represented by pretending you’re not buying a product, but rather a license to use a product, or even a license to use a service, and oh look that’s all my consumer rights fucked off into the sunset on horseback.

          When you combine that basic injustice with CA’s checkered history of quality assurance and with the recent trend among publishers of embargoing reviews, the unspoken undertone of those blogposts of innocent shock that we could ever suspect them of ulterior motives or that they would ever operate in anything except our best interests is a bit of an insult to our intelligence.

    • Ethaor says:

      Same. Not to mention they’ve had troublesome releases ever since TW Empire, their one game I pre-ordered out of love for CA, a big let down that is still to this day preventing me from buying into their game at release.

    • Cerulean Shaman says:

      Gothic Fleet’s preorder is a fair system, to be sure, it’s just sad that the game itself will probably tank pretty hard.

      The game already has a huge amount of issues. They’re also just a little bit away from release and haven’t even showcased the Eldar fleets.

      As much as I was looking forward to Gothic Fleet I’m sadly going to give it a pass and don’t expect its community to last more than two or three months. Warhammer Total War has better single player sustainability, and they already plan to add two other major installments to the game, so it’s a safer bet. Add to that it’s from a major studio and, despite my hatred of their (and all others) dlc system, I believe we may finally have a decent Warhammer game out…

      I mean, Mordeheim is still really good, as is the L4D2 clone, but yeah… now all we need is a decent 40k game.

      • Aetylus says:

        The BFG preorder also gives you Beta Access… so it really feels like early access done right.

        The gameplay itself also feels really well done – better than I expected… it can stand up on its own merit without the 40K theme, so I suspect it will maintain a strong community (and matches are quite quick… minimising wait time).

        They are also putting in a solid single player campaign, and the AI is sufficiently strong to make single player enjoyable.

    • Carlos Danger says:

      Battle Fleet Gothic also pushed back its release date a month a day after it was suppose to launch, so let’s not put them on a pedestal. At least CA was professional enough to push back a release months before it was due.

  2. ShriekXL says:

    Is it May yet? No? Dangit. I’m stoked.

  3. liquidsoap89 says:

    This looks absolutely incredible.

  4. Hell-Nico says:

    Yeah get that sweet day-one DLC to play CHAOS !
    Fuck you CA.

  5. Davie says:

    The whole preorder-DLC nonsense works out for me, at least, because I’m perfectly happy to fight the spikey bastards and don’t really have any desire to play as them. I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic but wait for the reviews. Take that, CA! Your plan to force me to trust you was a failure!

  6. Kvart says:

    I actually think total war and warhammer is a pretty good match. Because warhammer tends to be a bit over the top I think I would more easily be able to just have fun with it.

    Would be amazing if they did VR support for this kind of game! that was seriously my teenage wet dream, to see my army battling out on the table right in front of me, and be able to walk around it.

    • Harmless Sponge says:

      Now there’s an idea, I wonder would people have the patience. Imagine this:

      You get up and go to the shops, you’ve a day planned and you need some grub first. You get home and your phone pings you that the tournament is starting in 30 mins, stick the kettle on and boot your system while it’s getting warmed up.

      Coffee ready, you hit connect on your phone, it links with your VR and you stick your coffee on your table before putting on the headset. Once done, it pops into view, two virtual players from the tournament on either side of your table, a unit box next to them, and your coffee sitting off to one side.

      They start their deployments, each of the units coming to life as they’re dropped onto the table, shouts and warcries echoing from either side. The match starts and slowly but surely lines come together, shouting louder as the screech of fire and magic fly across the table, before the almighty crunch of battle commences.

      You smile, walk round the table, and sip your coffee as the chaos unfolds.

  7. SomeDuder says:

    Man, even though this is THE WRONG WARHAMMER, it looks pretty sweet in terms of combat – everything feels so dynamic and fluid, and artillery has a great impact.

    Of all the Total Wars, Shogun 2 is still my favorite, but if this pops up on a discount then I might buy it.

    Still tho, make a 40K version, cuz I don’t care about fantasy Warhammer.

  8. JcDent says:

    Poor Imperial infantry, always getting the short end of the stick and the sharp end of the sword. Even if you win, you’re badly mauled. Previously in TW, it was possible to escape with minimal damage, but now, with trolls, and giants, and of course “fuck entire formation” spells, that’s hardly possible. I wonder how hard will the Empire campaign will be rated. Probably not “Rome in Attila”, but not the easiest, either.

    Of course, you can always go orcs!