After the futuristic version of the brutal Warhammer universe gained critical acclaim on the PC via the successful Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War, developed by Relic Entertainment, Namco Bandai Games and Black Hole Entertainment have opted for the fantasy variety by releasing Warhammer Mark of Chaos. The story of the game follows the adventures of a champion of the Empire named Stefan von Kessel and on the other side, a champion of Chaos named Thorgar the Blooded One. The two campaigns take place during the same war, allowing the player to lead both sides to ultimate victory. The story is put in place by text accompanied by voice over between missions. Unfortunately, the narration has more spoilers then it should, the little twists in the story being revealed before actually happening.
Unlike other RTS games, Mark of Chaos uses regiments, which are groups of 1 to 60 units controlled like a single entity, making the large number of troops easy to control. Even so, I missed the option to combine regiments for a faster selection later on – click & drag isn’t that good in this case. Each regiment has standard options like the type of the formation or which direction to face for more precise and complex maneuvering. Moreover, some units have even more options, special abilities which can offer a bigger defense rate or a boost to the moral of the surrounding troops. Using these abilities at the right moment can make you the victor even against an enemy that clearly outnumbers you.
All units are “governed” by moral, which means how good your troops are feeling about the fight. When a regiment’s moral drops too much, they will flee out of the fight making them useless for the player. Some units have a stronger moral then others, making this an important factor to consider when you’ll choose which troops to put on the frontlines. Also is good to know that the units suffer a loss of moral when they are attacked, and in the same way they gain moral when they attack. In other words, the best defense will always be offense. You’ll definitely have fun with maneuvering your troops on the battle field, but the real challenge is to discover which units are good for what. The mouse-over information offered in-game about what a unit can do is basically useless. It’s true that you can find all this things in the game manual, but some more detailed hints would have been welcomed, especially for newcomers.