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Five playable factions are available to you in Warhammer: Total War, and each plays differently, but in a manner that will be familiar to players of the tabletop game of old. For those not familiar, or for those who played the tabletop game but are wondering how things have translated to the computer game, here is a quick run down on what each faction does.
The images have been sourced from around the web, courtesy of those whose computer can run the game at full detail.
Your task is to unify the realms of men, preferably by diplomacy, but by force if necessary. There are great threats abroad and men will not survive by holding to their scattered towns, they must unite under one banner – your banner! You’ll do best by building up your lands and expanding from positions of strength. Not for Karl Franz are the reckless expeditions of Orcs or Chaos. Be the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race. Survive and grow, and start deploying your powerful knights and war machines to dominate the battlefield and grind the enemies of men into dust.
Sure, you could stay home and develop, but who wants to do that? Not the orcs! Mob up, and find someone nearby to invade. It doesn’t matter who. Just get to the invading. Invade in a spectacular enough fashion, and nearby Orcs will flock to join you. Invading is so much more fun with a Waaagh banner following you around, full of juicy units like Giants and Araknarok Spiders (a creature like the Mumakil of Lord of the Rings but with six extra eyes and four extra legs). Whatever you do as an Orc you should be thinking about who to invade next.
Vampire Counts are similar to the Empire, except that their units are completely different. Try to keep up. The Vampire Empire must grow from a position of strength. Try to break out of your corner too fast and you’ll find hostile men, dwarfs, and orcs all lining up to have a word with you. Keep your strength secret, and keep it safe until it is time the strike. Slowly you can turn the world into a graveyard over which you’ll rule. Why rush? Immortals can always afford to be patient.
As a dwarf, your main pursuit will be the acquisition of gold and yet more gold. Strong realms of men and other dwarf holds to trade with are essential, so form alliances early and actually keep to them. You don’t want to end up in someone else’s Book of Grudges. Gold will allow you to field your powerful units and pay them their eye-wateringly high upkeep costs. Then you can work on your own Book of Grudges. You know the kind of thing. Stiff me on a trade deal? That’s a grudgin’. Trespass on my land? That’s a grudgin’. Invade my lands, sack my forts and tear down the walls? Oh, you’d better believe that’s a grudgin’.
If you always liked building things just to see how long it would take to destroy them, then chaos is the faction for you. No settling here, and a high risk play style based around maintaining banners continuously in the field. You will find yourself operating at a loss should you want to field anything other than marauders and chaos hounds (and you will). You’ll make up this deficit by mercilessly sacking enemy* cities again and again, only to put them to the torch when they are of no more use to you, and march on your bloody way. Tame the chaos tribes first, because the one thing about chaos is they don’t organise well. The best laid sieges can become disrupted when another tribe turns up without an invitation.
*When you are chaos, everyone is your enemy. Especially chaos.
Whichever faction you pick, your game is sure to be different!