Total War: Warhammer II: Mortal Empires Is Exactly What We’ve Always Wanted

Mortal Empires is the fun, but slightly flawed expansion we’ve all dreamed about.

When Total War: Warhammer II was first announced it caused more than one gamer to scratch their heads in confusion. Only four factions? Just the far West? What about all the stuff and armies from the prior game? The answer to all these questions soon came in the unveiling of Mortal Empires. Mortal Empires is a free DLC for owners of both Total War: Warhammer games to combines portions of the Maps from both into one massive map and game. This allows players to play factions form both games in a massive sandbox. Let take a look at why this is a great idea.

The Sandbox Of Your Dreams

Isabella Von Carstein sets sail for the west

When I played TW:WH2 I found the new Vortex Campaign to be a great addition to the game. However I can understand why some players might not like it. While it gives drive to the game, it also puts a ticking time limit on things. Every turn you feel a drive to do something, to move forward. It also removed a lot of the classic sandbox elements that have long been a part of Total War games. Mortal Empire returns us to a mostly sandbox experiences. While there is a overall Chaos invasion “plot” driving the game it tends to take a back seat, having even less of an effect on the game than it did in TW:WH1. Instead players are free to explore the world, while interacting with and fight the many races in it.

Massive Scope

My little empire seems so small in comparison with the rest of the world

The sheer scale and scope of Mortal Empires is amazing. It is apparently the largest map they’ve ever made. And it shows, sweeping from the far northern Chaos wastes and the lands of Kislev to choking Jungles of Southern Lustria, it is a massive map to play around it. More over almost every faction of the Old World is now represented in the game, with Tomb Kings and Ogre Kingdoms being the main exceptions. The Scope and grandeur of the game and amazing and simply give a player so many options it can be hard to decided what to do. It takes some of the best parts of both games and mashes them in something even better.

A Few Flaws

The Mortal Empires Map

Like all other games Mortal Empires is not perfect. For one it’s very size tends to work against it. I’m well over a 100 turns into a Vampire Counts campaign and have yet to see any of the TW:WH2 races. While Skaven can be found in the Old World, the rest are far away. Playing as any of the older games races it can take a long time, if ever, before you interact with the new. Luckily the new races don’t have this problem since pockets of races from TW:WH1 are scattered across the map. In fact I wish I could play as some of these, I’d love to a Vampire Coast campaign or play as the Imperial New World Colonies. I’ve also heard people say that the new races are a lot more powerful than the old, but since I haven’t seen them yet its hard to tell.

The Total War:Warhammer 2 map, you can see how much got cut

The needs of combining the two maps lead to a few odd choices. While the map from TW:WH1 seems mostly unchanged the map from the squeal had large parts cut out of it. There are a few other oddities, with Ulthuan being moved pretty far south. Still while this may causes some confusion, it all makes sense.


Final Thougths

Endless Treasures Await! 

Mortal Empires is a great game, turns Total War: Warhammer into the game we’ve always wanted. Finally we can fight across the length and breadth of the old world. Strangely, while Mortal Empires is a DLC for TW:WH2 it feels much more like it belongs to TW:WH1. It returns the focus of the the game to the Old World, and simply seems to add on new races and parts of the map. Key aspects of the sequel, likes its map and campaign are discarded. Still the game manages to be a ton of fun and an experience I can highly recommend. With Tomb Kings pretty clearly coming at some point, and hopefully more to follow it seems this is a game we will be playing for quite a while.

Tell us what you think of Mortal Empires, down in the comments! 

  • Ah the troll bait has been laid for the followup commentary about GW blowing up the old world in 3…2…1…

    • ZeeLobby

      But it was just so beautiful and interesting 🙁

      • Cergorach

        Rose colored glasses called nostalgia. Some of the WFRP products had good fluff, but imho most of what came out of the WFB books wasn’t all that great… I still like it because of the WFRR material, but I do know I’m wearing glasses 😉

        • ZeeLobby

          But everything can’t just be dismissed with “glasses”. It’s a pretty old and tired argument to use against anything that simply doesn’t exist now. Clearly the quality of fluff is subjective. Personally I think the new stuff is just straight up dismal compared to the old.

          • benn grimm

            The Warhammer world is like Narnia or Middle Earth, it’s not gone, because it’s a fictional world. If you’re reading the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or the Hobbit for the first time it’s real for the duration, if you skip the Last Battle or Return of the King (or the End Times) it never ended/got blown up and you can just keep on enjoying it. Let the AoSers enjoy 40k lite, long live the Old World.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, it’s just depressing that there will be no new content created, with GW’s IP team on the battlefield :/.

          • benn grimm

            Well CA have created new content for the game, homebrewers have created an army list for sigmarines and I’m sure the Squat Overlords will get a list. Tbh I’m pretty ambivalent about it, yes probably less people will embrace home brew, but it also means less moaning types around when you play. Plus these home brew guys, unlike gw, have a real passion for WFB, because, yknow, they actually play it for fun.

          • Jonathon Runge

            The Old World is the rpg setting I will be playing in the future. AoS feels too much like a bad copy of Exalted and does not have the feel or potential for character/World interaction and development. Boundaries and limitations are what makes a setting unique and gives weight to actions. The setting is what keeps me away from AoS and related products. I was going to start a Fantasy army but now I am building one for 30K.

          • benn grimm

            Absolutely, well put. Shame you’re not going with a WFB army, but totally understandable. 30k is ace, had a lot of fun with it over the last few years and you don’t have worry too much about support as the community is so dedicated. Enjoy! 🙂

          • euansmith

            Narnia’s gone, man. Galactus ate it.

          • benn grimm

            B-b-but no….it can’t be….way to crush my hopes n dreams man…

            Just so you know; the Easter bunny got done for sexual harassment and Santa broke his neck falling down a chimney and got eaten alive by Christmas critters…:)

          • euansmith

            Crunchy Christmas Critters? Yum.

          • benn grimm

            Fingers crossed we get a South Park xmas special this year, been gone far too long.

  • ragelion

    Just wait until he gets to the chaos invasion he will hate mortal empires. Everyone on the forums and reddit are complaining about it.

    • ZeeLobby

      Does the world blow up and turn into Bubble Gordon?

      • ragelion

        What happens is that 4 chaos stacks spawn at the corners of the world. Each stack has several armies and they largely ONLY focus on the player ignoring the AI.

        This is even before Archaon shows up and he is worse.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah… That sounds depressing. The game is a load of fun, but sometimes it just seems too random, or not-random actually.

          • benn grimm

            It’s not the case, there were issues with it at launch but they patched it within a couple of weeks. It’s fantastic, give it a try.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’ll give it another shot.

        • EnTyme

          I think they just patched that to better balance it.

        • PrimoFederalist

          Hmm… not my experience. My first Mortal Empires playthrough with Empire, by the time the Chaos Warriors faction made it through Kislev they were isolated and I was able to send my armies 2-to-1 against them and destroy them.

    • Calgar

      The chaos invasion was awesome on my empire campaign. Archaon invaded with 6 armies, and I only had 4 to defend with. A few fancy maneuvers and 2 epic battles later, and the chaos invasion was defeated.

      It did help that at the time all my armies were headed north to fight the norse invasion as I had just finished off the vampires.

    • benn grimm

      Old news, they already patched it, works fine now.

      • PrimoFederalist

        I assumed so… I was playing earlier this week and wiped out the Chaos Warriors piecemeal.

        • benn grimm

          I think Norsca will be the real scary chaos boogy man when they put them in, fingers crossed it’ll be before Xmas.

      • ragelion

        people in the hotfix thread have said the patch did not even work. I have to do another campaign to see.

  • Rob brown

    Great game, so much fun. I’m halfway way through a mortal empires map with high Elves and the whole game has so many options and ways to play.
    The idea of unifying Ulthuan before conquering the old world is pretty awesome!

  • EnTyme

    I think a lot of the balance issues between “old” races and “new” ones should be fixed when the post-Norsca patch gets applied to Mortal Empires.

  • dave long island

    Well I always wanted a girl friend with the body of a Witch Elf and the sex drive of a long haul trucker. Does this game have that, too?

    • benn grimm

      No and you should feel bad for wanting it…;)

      • dave long island


  • benn grimm

    There’s a big patch of land to the East which you can’t get to (I know I’ve tried) methinks Ogres will be along soon. Fingers crossed Chaos Dwarfs too.

    • PrimoFederalist

      They initially said three games which would then open up the whole world, so… should be! I’m thinking/assuming they won’t do the *whole* world, though, because they’d need to add Cathay, Nippon(?), and Ind, which never had in-game representation and would be ill-served by the existing human factions (unlike the Bretonian enclaves in the desert and the Empire faction in the New World). But definitely the Dark Lands – Ogre Kingdoms are almost definitely “in”, the question is who else? Hopefully it’s Ogres, Chaos Dwarfs, Tomb Kings (they’d need to update the Undead in the Khemri area to be TK rather than Vampire Counts), and… maybe flesh out Border Princes? That’s the only other faction I can think of remotely nearby which has plenty of existing unexplored characters and units not in the game: I’m thinking of the old Dogs of War stuff rather than Empire units the Border Princes currently have. Pikes, crossbows, and all kinds of mercs.

      • benn grimm

        Yeah, don’t think we’ll see Cathay/Nippon etc, though a Clan Eshin stronghold would be cool. I think we’ll see Tomb Kings before the third game (fingers crossed) as DLC with Chaos Dwarfs, Ogres and four flavours of Daemon (plus mono god additions for CW and Beasts) in the third. Dogs of War would be cool also.

  • Marco Vinicio Chavarria Brenes

    OP: wrote squeal instead of sequel… 😉

  • Sleeplessknight

    I wish someone would make a miniatures game based on this, with masses of rank and file units all kept together with square bases on trays.

    • Koldan

      You Warhammer Fantasy players are a winy bunch. Look at us chess players, most of us don’t even remember when we got the last rule update. And do you see us lamenting? No, sir.

      Get a grip of yourself, and just play with the knowledge that no money hungry company is ever again messing around with your game.

    • David Clift

      You mean Kings of War!

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old World!

    • Col. Duke Lacrosse


      • Rob brown

        I’m happy to make the glaringly clear point…

        … obviously not.