I admit, I don’t follow Warhammer and all of its lore that much. But a Total War game is a Total War game. A new trailer is out showing an Empire Witch Hunter biting off a bit more than he can chew. The Vampire Counts have arisen, and Mannfred von Carstein isn’t the polite type.

Described as “the Vampire Counts’ most cunning son,” Mannfred leads battalions of undead soldiers and is hell-bent on one task. Ruling the Old World. Check out the trailer below.

Now that is one fantastic Total War trailer. Creative Assembly labels it as an in-engine cinematic. What does that mean? It’s using in-game assets but is shot in a more cinematic style to give it a movie feel.

The trailer shows off a couple of different sieges. One against the Empire, and another against giant Dwarfen citadels beneath the ground.

Speaking of sieges, Creative Assembly is changing them up a bit for Total War: Warhammer. The developers want to avoid the long bombardments and inner-city battles seen in previous Total War titles. “The cities were often sprawling, with multiple capture points, leading to some milling around and over-lengthy redeployments of forces as you decided which walls to besiege and which capture points to target,” writes Creative Assembly.

Creative Assembly wants to make siege battles “more epic” and create “higher-intensity conflicts for you to enjoy.” To accomplish this, the developers are limiting your fight to breach cities to one or two walls.

“That may sound like we’re reducing your options – you can’t attack a city from any direction now after all – but the result is genuinely more cohesive as a battle experience and they are every bit as epic as anything we’ve made before.”

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If it makes battles flow better, I’m game. While limiting your attacks on a city, Creative Assembly is also expanding the fights along the walls. Walls now have much more room and allow for maneuvers and flanks. It’s not just a click on the wall and wait to see who wins. Here’s a better look at the new walls

dwarfen warhammer siege

The tweaks don’t stop at the walls. Creative Assembly is also retooling the design of cities. That means larger streets and town squares. These tweaks are all about giving your units room to operate in city battles. Now, several units can march side-by-side within cities. Creative Assembly wants to bring the combat freedom seen outside cities inside.

Warhammer Siege

The retooled cities also means the AI needed some extra work.

“While attacking, the AI will now execute multi-pronged attack strategies. It will use all of the tools at its disposal simultaneously to challenge your defenses – sending its siege towers to various points on the wall, attacking the gates at the same time, and deploying ladders when and where appropriate. In short, it’s designed to give you a number of flashpoints to contend with, and having a strong presence on the walls is important to avoid being overwhelmed.”

You can read much more about the AI improvements here.

See more of Mannfred and the Vampire Counts tonight

Tonight at 6 pm PST, Creative Assembly will be hosting a Total War: Warhammer livestream. In it, the developers promise more exclusive Vampire Counts content. Will we see one of the battles in the trailer from a gameplay perspective? I’ll be tuning in to find out.

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