Total War: Warhammer After Action Report Part 1: The Raid of the Pillars of Grugni
So, I booted up Total War: Warhammer and was greeted by what I found to be a quite pleasant introduction animation. Given (in my limited knowledge of Warhammer) the grimdark nature of the world, I was honestly surprised to find a lack of viscera and gore, even in the introduction segment. Brutality is something that I inextricably associated with Warhammer, but there is none of that here, except maybe in the flavor text. Still, at least it seems to be suitably overwrought. I do a quick review of the available races (if you order during the first week it is out you get Chaos for free, it is going to be pay DLC after that): Humans, Dwarves, Greenskins, and Vampire Counts. I would have very much liked a Skaven option, but at least they are all superficially very different. Each of the races lists its difficulty, as well as which of the others that it can attack. I flip through each one and end up choosing the Dwarves, although not on purpose. I intended to play humans first, assuming that they would be the least diverse. But we’re Dwarves (Who are, as an aside, listed as ‘Easy’) now, so we run with it.
After getting through an opening cinematic that tries to tell me about the story and the the tutorial (which confirms that this game is, at its core, still Total War), I get out into the world. The world map is nice looking, with a volcano sitting to my southeast and nice terrain differences showing where the various armies are. I currently have a single city and set about researching Khazid Subsidies to get my economy going. Each city can have a number of upgrades (each of which are themselves upgradeable), but the number of slots is limited enough that it’s tough to decide what the best route is. Anyway, I learn the first way that Dwarves are differentiated from the other armies: Grudges. Basically, Dwarves can receive missions. In my limited play experience it has usually been that they want to conquer something or they are angry at a particular enemy general. If you don’t address grudges, public order falls, so you are forced forward to protect the respect of your people.
The Bloody Spearz Greenskins own several cities near me, and I decide that I need to fix that as soon as possible, so I move down and engage Gnashrak. The armies are more evenly matched than I first hoped, with Gnashrak sporting 414 units to my 595. It seems that in Total War: Warhammer (as I found in Shogun 2) sheer numbers are hard to overcome and my Dwarven armies make short work of the enemy, leaving 450 of my units. After winning the battle, I am given a choice to free the captives to get money or the kill them for a leadership bonus. I opt for the latter and siege the Pillars of Grugni.
Everything is coming up Dwarves right now. We’re starting to move out, have handily won our first battle and appear to be well on our way to taking a second city. Will it stay that way? We shall find out in Part 2 of our Total War: Warhammer After Action Report. If you are playing Total War: Warhammer, I’d love to hear what you think and what you’ve been doing. My early impressions are that it is very much a Total War game and those that do not want that should steer clear, but I am definitely having a good time, although I can’t say how it will hold up in the long term. .