SFX - - Reviews -

If you’ve ever urged your minia­tures across a bar­ren table­top, this is the Warhammer game you’ve been wait­ing for.

Warhammer is sim­ple enough to com­pre­hend – Chaos bad, Em­pire good, Dwarfs grumpy – and the game does a fine job of ex­plain­ing each fac­tion. Un­der­stand­ing To­tal War is more dif­fi­cult. The map is grouped into re­gions, each with mul­ti­ple set­tle­ments. You have to take all the set­tle­ments to con­trol a re­gion. As ci­ties grow, you can build more im­pres­sive struc­tures, each with dif­fer­ent ben­e­fits. But you don’t need to build all the build­ings in ev­ery set­tle­ment – if you have the right com­bi­na­tion, you can re­cruit elite troops any­where in the area. It’s an el­e­gant sys­tem once you get it, but it does take time. If you were ever go­ing to learn a To­tal War game, though, this is the one.

Ev­ery turn tells a story that could be a page in any Warhammer army book. Ev­ery hero char­ac­ter takes a jour­ney wor­thy of telling tales about. The frus­tra­tion that comes from see­ing your em­pire crum­ble is eclipsed by the thrill of recla­ma­tion. There’s enough depth and spec­ta­cle here to keep the most fer­vent fan­tasy fan en­gaged un­til the End Times. Matt El­liott

There are four playable fac­tions: Dwarfs; Em­pire of Man; Green­skins; Vam­pire Counts. A fifth is avail­able as DLC.

“Can’t we set­tle this over a cuppa?”

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