Where to start with Total War: Warhammer

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Creative Assembly has announced Total War: Warhammer 3 will release later this year, which means now is an ideal time to find a spare hundred hours or so and get into the series (especially if you grab it in the Steam Lunar New Year sale at 66 percent off). If you haven’t been playing Total War: Warhammer since 2016, though, it might seem like you’ve got an intimidating amount of homework to do. There are two games, 15 paid DLC packs, and three different major campaigns to choose from. Where should you start?

Totally new?

If you’re an absolute beginner

It might seem sensible to just grab the first game and get on with it. I’m going to tell you not to do that, for a couple of reasons.

One way Total War: Warhammer 2 improved on its predecessor is by continuing to introduce concepts as you play and guiding you with optional missions. By comparison, the first game dumps a bunch of help on you during the early game then abandons you right when you’re probably wondering why your public order has tanked and your economy’s falling apart. Warhammer 2 is a smoother newbie experience—it might occasionally expect you to care about a character you’ve never heard of out of the blue, but just roll with it and wiki Lokhir Fellheart later.

Who could forget this loveable mug? (Image credit: Sega)

The other reason to start with the sequel is that its campaign is more likely to keep you involved. The original comes with the Old World campaign, which has you reconstruct your chosen nation then defend it from the forces of Chaos as they roll down from the north like a snowball of hate. It’s a basic “take this territory then hold it” story.

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