The wait for Total War: Hammer [official site] is far from over. Creative Assembly's strategic take on the Warhammer Fantasy world will be with us on April 28th but, as is traditional, the preorder incentives and collector's edition malarkey has already begun. Below, you'll find a video showcasing the Chaos Warriors, growly-voiced corruptions intent on spreading their unholy powers across the world. They'll make up the first DLC for the game but if you're willing to put down the money before release, they'll be included with your copy of the game. Details of that and a preposterous special edition (it includes a drinking horn and functional whetstone) below.
Before I gripe about preordering in general and day-one DLC as 'reward' specifically, here's what the Chaos Warriors pack includes:
The Chaos Warriors Race Pack brings a new race with its own new Legendary Lords, units, mounts, items, quest chains and mechanics to Total War™: WARHAMMER®, such as:
• Three new playable Legendary Lords.
• New Chaos Warrior mounts, units and monsters.
• New quests, magic items and abilities.
• New horde campaign playstyle.
The quest chains are attached to the three Lords, as with the Empire Lords. We'll no doubt learn a great deal about Total Warhammer's changes to the TW historical strategy formula over the coming months, but the inclusion of personal storylines and quests within the broader campaign sounds like a smart addition. A bit of fantasy RPG thrown into the mix that should help with worldbuilding and context for the characters leading your armies into war.
Obviously you'd be a fool to preorder anything unless you're happy to lose the dough on a dud. No that I'm expecting Total Hammertime to be a dud - Attila showed every sign that Creative Assembly learned the appropriate lessons after the release of Rome II, and the sprawling unhappiness of Rome was much-improved by the Emperor edition. I'm as excited as anyone about Total War: Ham and I hope to the gods (chaos and otherwise) that it'll be a corker. But even if it is, the DLC might not be up to scratch and you might be able to find the game PLUS DLC cheaper than a preorder if you're willing to wait a little while after release.
Also keep in mind that you might grow out of Warhammer between now and April. I loved Games Workshop right through my teen years but didn't care for elves and dwarves at all in my twenties. As a thirty-something nerd, I'm back on board, of course, but taste is a fickle thing. If you really do want to go all in on this prepurchasing business, however, meet the High King edition, available to preorder now and produced in a " single, extremely limited run".
Modelled on the legendary Book of Grudges, the High King Edition will ship in a large ornate presentation box, featuring metallic gold and 3D sculpted detail in the iconic Dwarfen style.
The Book of Grudges, as far as we understand these things here at RPS, is an exercise book that dwarves traditionally nick from the school supply cabinet during their early teens, and fill with angry doodles and notes about all the people who don't invite them to parties or acknowledge their good beard days. Inside this particular Book you'll find a copy of the game, with those Chaos Warriors included, and Quite A Lot Of Stuff. There's a ring that is also a six-sided die, a drinking horn, a map. Loads. You can find all the details here.
The slightly less impressive Limited Edition, which I'd have called the Low King Edition, contains a metal case and guide, as well as the DLC. Roll on April, I say, though I won't be greeting the release with a dwarven horn toast.