It’s official, the Beastmen, scourge of the oldworld are coming to Total War: Warhammer on July 28. This strikes most of the Warhammer faithful by surprise for a variety of reasons, mostly being that the Beastmen weren’t considered a very popular race in the Warhammer Universe. Even Warhammer fans may not know much about them, hence this beastmen preview.
So for the sake of those who do not know the Warhammer franchise, but play the game, this Beastmen preview should clear things up.
So how will they play? The answer to that question is a bit complex, they will incorporate quite a few mechanics.
The Beastmen will function as a horde, first and foremost. They will not be capable of settling anywhere on the campaign map, this is both good and bad. The forces of Chaos in Total War: Warhammer also function as a horde, and as any chaos player can tell you, it brings forth its own set of challenges.
Hordes are completely reliant on horde growth, sacking, and raiding territory. This means that unless you’re doing those last two things mentioned, you aren’t bringing in any money for the horde. No money means no new unit recruitment, which is a big no-no if you’re attempting to take over the old world as Khazrak One-Eye, legendary lord of the beastmen.
The good side of being unable to settle is that you don’t have to worry about defending territory, instead only ensuring the safety of your armies. The beastmen will also have access to another nifty mechanic that may cause hell for anyone that lets them get too strong. They will have access to a ‘bestial rage’ meter, which is basically the exact same thing as the ‘fightiness‘ meter the orcs utilize in their campaign.
Basically whenever this meter gets filled, a brand new army stack will be available to the player, albeit controlled by the A.I.
Now down to how they’ll fight, primarily by catching their opposition off guard, and out of position.
The Total War series’ ambush stance is hardly ever used with great regularity, but this faction has the chance to change that entirely. Beastmen’s standard campaign movement stance will allow for them to ambush other armies even while on the move.
No other faction in the Total War series’ history has had the ability to do this, and it could prove to be a massive advantage. Ambush battles allow the attacking player to position their units and hit weaknesses while not allowing the defender to set up his defense at all, only allowing the defending player to make adjustments after the battle has started.
Encamping the beastmen will allow them to effectively ‘vanish’ from the campaign map to all but the most skilled enemy lords. This allows unit recruitment and replenishment to be a very painless process.
While the beastmen seem to have an impressive amount of abilities (some chaos could’ve used by the way.) They’ll no doubt have issues.
As stated earlier, being a horde means not being able to generate money from settlements through things like trade or taxes, so this ensures you’ll be constantly fighting in order to support your war effort.
Morale will also be huge, like orcs, beastmen aren’t very smart. Their lines will be easily broken by cunning opponents who flank them, or keep missile infantry hammering away at them. Devastating cavalry charges will also have a massive impact on morale, considering that a majority of the time you’ll be fighting human armies, which are cavalry heavy by design.
Broken lines cause routing units, which won’t fight if attacked and will instead be more interested in fleeing the battlefield. Considering unit recruitment won’t be easy, losing a battle will prove more costly than if you simply were a faction capable of raising settlements. Oh, and that ‘bestial rage’ meter from earlier? if it gets too low you’ll start to suffer attrition in the form of infighting among your troops, or even mutiny.
There hasn’t been much said by the Creative Assembly yet on what kind of units we can expect for the beastmen other than the few screenshots we have, we’ll be sure to know more about their composition on July 19, when they’re set to reveal gameplay of the faction.
Be sure to tune in to the Creative Assembly’s youtube channel on the nineteenth for more info on the beastmen, and then come on back to gamerpros for an updated article on the faction as well!