I know I can't be the first to say this, but this is the first chance I've had to moan about it and you can't stop me. Why oh why is Total War: Warhammer 2 not just called 'Total Warhammer 2'? As far as I'm concerned, consistent branding can get in the bin when there's an opportunity that good.
Oh yes, the news: Total Warhammer 2's first expansion is out today. As Fraser Brown will tell you in his Rise of the Tomb Kings review, those disgusting mummies form a new playable faction that's into early aggression and raising disposable zombie armies, just like an old flatmate of mine. There's also a patch for the base game, which includes a revamp for the poor old Bretonnians as well as some new legendary buildings.
The Tomb Kings are the first faction that have a different objective in the Vortex Campaign mode, which up till now has involved every faction attempting to gain control of a magical vortex in the centre of the map. The Tomb Kings are more interested in building up their library collection, and win once they've found "five of the nine Books of Nagash, sacred texts written by their progenitor, which can be used to activate the Black Pyramid." Ahh, there's nothing like a good bit of fantasy gobbledygook.
While novel, Fraser isn't convinced that giving one faction an alternate objective was a smart move:
"The Tomb Kings are ultimately a great addition to Warhammer's perpetually pissed-off factions, but their poor integration into the Vortex campaign suggests that Creative Assembly haven't quite figured out how to add factions who don't share the core participants' objectives. Consider this, then, a slightly more emphatic recommendation if you've got access to the Mortal Empires sandbox, where everyone is competing in the same race to conquer the world."
The Mortal Empires sandbox he mentions is an expansion that knits the map from Total Warhammer 1 and 2 together, resulting in an intimidatingly long/epic campaign that pits all of the races from each game against each other. Hearing about that made me pick up the first Total Warhammer, though I then found that I didn't have the stamina to see even a normal sized campaign through to victory.
Alice has already delved into what's new with the free patch for Total Warhammer 2 that lands today. It's mainly about showing the under-powered Bretonnians some love with an expanded tech tree and four new skills for their Legendary Lords. There are also a new Legendary Lord for the Skaven, and some more legendary buildings dotted about the Old World. You can find the full patch notes here.
Total War: Warhammer 2 - Rise of the Tomb Kings is available on Steam for £13.99/€17.49/$18.99.