Creative Assembly’s DLC-machine rumbles on for Total War: Warhammer with the release of The King and the Warlord. Where The Grim and Grave boosted the rosters of the Empire and Vampire Counts factions this new piece of DLC packs out the Dwarfs and the Orcs. The King and the Warlord goes a few steps further than its predecessor, however, with the addition of two new factions.
Players will be able to take on the role of dwarf hero Belegar Ironhammer or the goblin Skarsnik of the Crooked Moon clan. Both factions bring a new set of units (which can also be recruited by their sister factions) as well as a more story-focused campaign mode. Both factions and both heroes are after one ultimate prize: Karak Eight-Peaks, a mountain in the Southern edges of the map that has been taken over by Crooked Moon goblins if you’re Belegar and by rebel Orcs if you’re Skarsnik.Getting to the mountain is easier said than done as you’ll have to cross a number of AI faction territories to arrive at its hallowed slopes.
Creative Assembly have added some extra challenge in there for both factions. Belegar’s units have a hefty +50% upkeep that completely drains your treasury of cash, meaning that charging straight for the peak with stacks of armies is difficult to say the least. Skarsnik, on the other hand, is surrounded by enemies and cannot recruit the heavier Orc units, making his playstyle one of ambushes and sneaky backstabbing. Finally gaining the Karak gives both factions a global bonus to experience, loot, public order and income.
A main complaint from fans of the Warhammer universe about the game has been the lightweight feel of some of the faction rosters. A notable absence from the Orcs were squigs - bipedal meatballs-with-mouths that are a major feature of the faction’s armies and lore. That complaint has been addressed by The King and the Warlord, as now squig-lovers can pack out their armies with the little beasts. The Dwarfs gain a new missile-cum-melee unit and both can be decked out with “Regiments of Renown” - one-time units with bumped-up stats recruitable from a menu.
Creative Assembly are tackling the vast Warhammer universe piecemeal, taking their time to update the base game in preparation for a new expansion release slated to appear next year. Whether you’re fan of this DLC tactic or not, The King and the Warlord doesn’t offer anything game-breaking or essential that would detract from the base experience. Whether you want to splash the £6 needed to gain these extras is down to personal preference. Both campaigns add maybe eight to ten hours of extra gameplay onto Total War: Warhammer, and while solid, enjoyable experiences neither are anything to write home about. Despite this, fans of the two races will have lots to explore and enjoy.
Total War: WARHAMMER - The King and the Warlord (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
Both campaigns add maybe eight to ten hours of extra gameplay onto Total War: Warhammer, and while solid, enjoyable experiences neither are anything to write home about. Despite this, fans of the two races will have lots to explore and enjoy.