Warhammer: Total War 2 First Impressions

 

Captain Morgan here, and with the release of Warhammer: Total War 2, I’ve found myself re-immersed into the old world of Warhammer. This time, though, things are ‘pointing’ in a different direction…

Back in Time

Many of you guys already know this, but for those who don’t, I had never really gotten into the Warhammer Fantasy universe on the tabletop. This is not to say that I hadn’t played fantasy games or read the fiction, but the Total War game series has given me a chance to dive into the Old World of Warhammer in a way I never could before, even as my Kharadron Overlords descend upon the Age of Sigmar on the tabletop. Though, this time, instead of rising from the Baraks to wage war with beard and axe, I am unleashed upon the old world with pointy ears and spikey armor.

“YOU WHAT!?”

Beginnings

I played through the first Total War game a couple of times, and got a good feel for how the game and the system worked. Having played Total War since the first Shogun game came out years ago, I was not disappointed by the epic battles, and loved the integration of the magic and monsters into what is typically a historical game set. With the sequel in mind, I was looking carefully at the differences between the first and second stab at creating an authentic fantasy world. Picking a race to play would be my first challenge, as a Dwarf at heart and no Dwarfs to be seen (yes, I looked down). For a truly new experience, it was now time to break the mold and heighten the doorframes.

I bet he’s really popular at barbecues.

I went through the initial battle against the Skaven. Much like Dr. Jones, I am not fond of the rodents, and gleefully slaughtered my way through their army. The intro battle was better at explaining combat dynamics than the first game’s versions, and had I not already been a Total War veteran, I would have definitely felt better prepared to learn concepts like flanking mechanics, cavalry, and defensive terrain advantages. After the first battle, I didn’t run into many enemies until I laid siege to a Skaven-infested capital city. Initially outnumbered (as you would expect), I wore them down over several turns while building siege equipment. When I finally decided to break the siege and engage, I made sure the odds were more in my favor…

Something Dwarfish inside me tells me that pointy-ears don’t like fair fights anyways…
The exterminator is here to take care of your rat problem.

 

Looking Sharp

The first thing that stood out to me was the world. I thought the Old World in the first game was mostly represented by that large map. I will admit, I was expecting this game to be more of an expansion, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the battle map was very large. The map also continued the tradition of giving the large map a lot of life. Large towers, mountain fortresses, dragon nests, and questionable architecture dotted the landscape of the visible map. The world was alive with activity, and I found myself wanting to explore every nook and cranny.

I’m still very early into the campaign, but I would say one of the improvements from the last one was the incentive to explore. There was a shipwreck next to my capital that I took my army to explore, gaining a benefit to weaponry for my troubles. There were other places to discover dotted around the landscape, and I’m excited to check them all out.

The tutorial is comprehensive, with the blind adviser from the first game returning to add insight to every feature. There is a lot to learn, and some mechanics that operate a little differently than the last game. I had some difficulty navigating the internal help guide. Managing follower disloyalty sounds important, but how do I make them more loyal? I didn’t get a clear idea of that, though there were a couple of suggestions.

So Far So Good…

 

So far the game is looking beautiful, and full of features that I’m just diving into. Stay tuned here for more articles as I begin my domination of the Old World, and cover everything with purple glowing spikes!

Cheers!


Captain Morgan

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