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.