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Total War: Warhammer III

Total War: Warhammer III - Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs

This is how you make DLC. For the Glory of Hashut!

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While the subject at hand is the Dawi-Zharr, the fire dwarfs (not to be mistaken with dwarves), or Chaos Dwarfs to most people, this DLC has been released alongside a massive 3.0 update for Total War: Warhammer III and its free downloadable DLC. So, even if you don't buy the DLC, you will still get something out of this new batch of content. This DLC has been the worst kept secret since the Total War: Warhammer III release as datamining revealed hints at it from the start, and the starting area was filled with, well, filler factions. And so, the Chaos Dwarf DLC, as it is one of the most versatile races in the entire Warhammer universe, had to be good, as expectations ran high.

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As is the case with previous faction specific DLC, your campaign is disconnected from the Realm of Chaos, meaning that the whole Ursus and Bel'akor thing isn't for you to worry about. Instead you are given the job of finding Dwarf relics, deciding which to use yourself, and which to power your giant drill, and dig towards the realm of Hashut, the main deity of the Chaos Dwarfs, as to gain access to his magic blood, thus ensuring your reign of darkness forever.

The Chaos Dwarfs are an industrious folk, literally, as their entire society is based on the manufacturing of armaments, created by raw materials, mined by slav... eh... "labourers". These are the main three resources that you need to worry about besides gold, as raw materials, especially, are used instead of gold to upgrades cities, and with enough sla... labourers , you can rush construction significantly. These labourers are acquired via trade routes and, well, conquering other civilizations and winning battles. This means that their economy is a bit more micro-manageable (those who played the Dark Elf golden triangle campaign know what's up) but as raw material mining and factory outputs need balancing, you need to think a bit more about how you build your provinces.

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The Chaos Dwarfs may be short in stature, but that doesn't keep them from having high ambitions, with a court influence like system called the conclave. Influence is gained via buildings and, you guessed it, battle, and provides significant bonuses, all ending in you taking over the other three internal factions in a "peaceful" confederation.

And why do you need all those armaments? Well - to keep your army going. Elite soldiers are expensive, and so you are severely limited in how many you have of each type. Earthshaker mortars driven on a Skullcrusher train might sound fun, until you realise that you not only have to pay 3000 gold to buy it, but you will also need to pay armaments to increase the unit cap. Most individual unit types need to have their cap increased in this way, and that is expensive. Then comes the constant upkeep in not only gold, but also armaments - as the Hell Forge mechanics allows you to buy additional buffs for your troops, depending on type - and that is to be paid for every single unit in your entire army, every single turn. So while having a magical barrier or health regeneration on your shock cavalry might sound fantastic, the price is insane. I saved up 60,000 armaments to be able to afford running the last part of the campaign with my troops fully buffed, and you will need it as the quest battles and especially the final campaign battle can be tricky, so you will need your uber-powered giant demons to hit as hard as possible.

Total War: Warhammer IIITotal War: Warhammer III
Total War: Warhammer IIITotal War: Warhammer III
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The lords and heroes you can choose from are stumpy, but hard hitting, and include the very potent Hashut-wielding battle wizards, and more. I decided to play as Drazhoath the Ashen, who is a very potent spell caster, but with a few fantastic items and a regeneration talisman, which could also allow him to function as a tank in many situations.

While the main goal is to power the Great Drill, I must admit that it took me until turn 160 or so before it fully clicked. Partially because of the engaging Chaos Dwarf playstyle and the roster that allows you to field very different armies, monsters, infantry, expendable meat shields, fast flying units, ultra long range artillery, or close combat war machines - the Chaos Dwarfs have it all. I even had an army almost entirely made out of heavy shock cavalry in the form of half-bull, half-Dwarf centaurs, partially because I kept getting attacked by annoying Ogres, Dwarfs, and lizard men as well, who apparently think raiding people's front yards and carrying away their population in shackles is not to be frowned upon.

So, it's very engaging and near perfect. There were a few problems, all of which CA did make me aware of before playing, those being placeholder graphics, and the characters getting stuck. There was also some delay with messages, as in, I could confederate, and only get the message two turns later, nothing game breaking, and nothing CA hadn't informed about. Oh, and some balancing, but mostly of other races.

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My only complaint is that there are not any train mechanics, something the fiery dwarfs are known for, and that would especially had come in handy as you can't teleport to the location of the Relics you are searching for, even if you have other units nearby, meaning that I spent at least 25-30 turns just traversing the map to relics as to get the right buffs for myself, and the right ones to power my drill. But all in all, I had great fun, to the point where this, in my opinion, is a better campaign than the one in the main game, and since I hardly could stop playing, they must have done something right.

10 Gamereactor UK
10 / 10
+
Great fun. A lot of new mechanics. Very lore accurate.
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No trains.
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