How Total War: Warhammer is Drawing from the Tabletop Game’s Official Canon

They recreated the Battle of Blackfire Pass. Seriously.

Up until now, the Total War series has relied on thousands of years of history for inspiration. Rome, the Crusades, the Napoleonic War, and even the rise of modern Japan have been just some of the time periods we’ve seen, but Creative Assembly’s newest game is introducing an entirely new element into the mix: a fictional story.

When is the game placed in Warhammer’s canon?

According to the devs, they are recreating the 2502 era.

How will the game tell the 2502 era story?

Through the campaign, there will be a series of “quest” missions that will include the Battle of Blackfire Pass. These quest missions will not only recreate classic moments from the Warhammer 2502 era, but they’ll also provide you with special items that are character specific to aid your faction, such as Warhammer‘s… Warhammer. If you want, however, you can bypass the quest missions entirely and wage your own campaign, changing history as you please in the way only a Total War game can accomplish.

Character units, you say? What heroes from Warhammer can we expect?

Unless we were mistaken, it looked like Sigmar Heldenhammer was in the Battle of Blackfire Pass and brought his signature comet attack with him. Karl Franz was also confirmed by the developers.

How do heroes work in battle?


Instead of a powerful unit of cavalry as in past Total War games, heroes seem to be unique singular units. In the case of today’s demonstration, the human’s hero unit road a griffin while the Greenskin hero flew on the back of a dragon. Not only did they fight each other in the air, but they were shown as being able to land and attack ground units as well.

What kind of agents will there be?

We know that mages will act as agents on the campaign map and powerful single units in the battlefield.

How is Creative Assembly using Warhammer in the Total War style battles?

As far as the battle goes, it seems like it’s allowed the developers more freedom to make a wider variety of units and play styles than before. When talking to the game’s Battle Designer Simon Mann, his enthusiasm for the material was very clear as was his commitment to making each faction feel radically different.

Their demonstration recreated the Battle of Blackfire Pass, which clearly showed how they drew from Warhammer‘s lore to create two different armies. The human army, led by a hero unit on the back of a Griffin, was very technologically inclined, full of modern weaponry such as canons and musket-esque firearms in addition to some magically powered technology.


The Greenskins, by contrast, relied more on brute force and natural horrors: Giants and massive spiders used like war elephants. The army of Orcs and Goblins also used magic, but its use was more visceral with shamans casting devastating poison spells that devastated entire units of cavalry. The only artillery seen was a Goblin flyer, who was launched out of a ballista-type device (flown manually by the player via glide suit) and into the human ranks like a siege stone.

The battle maps are also radically different. Gone are the rolling hills and gentle mountains of past Total War games, instead replaced by cliffs of igneous rock with waterfalls of lava. Off in the distance, a stronghold could be seen built into cliffside wall… which inspires many questions on how sieges will work.

Tell me the Greenskins lost.

They did lose. Lore was adhered to.

Excellent. When can I play the game?

At the moment, we don’t have a release date. According to Steam, the game is “coming soon.”

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