We dig a hole not to look for diamonds but for world domination. Here are our first impressions of the Total War: Warhammer 3 DLC Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs, a review of its gameplay and story.
Let’s first start with the basics. Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs is, as mentioned above, a DLC for the turn-based/real-time strategy hybrid game Total War: Warhammer 3. It introduces the Chaos Dwarfs (or loving called Chorfs by the community) to the game, bringing with them a totally different way of playing the game. The DLC is now available on PC and is on a 10% discount until April 20, 2023. With that out of the way, let’s dive into our first impressions of the Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs DLC.
Total War: Warhammer 3 Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs DLC First Impressions
Let me start preface this first impression article by saying that I, for the most part, don’t play a lot of RTS games. While I find their gameplay fun, it gets too much for me after a while. I have a hard time focusing on these kinds of games, and I am somewhat bad at micromanaging my armies. However, that isn’t to say that I had a great time playing this game and DLC. In fact, although it was somewhat difficult to wrap my head around, I still found it fun to play.
Now, let’s first review this DLC’s gameplay
Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs gameplay
A quick disclaimer for those who are interested in trying this DLC out: If this is your first time playing the base game, I do not recommend that you pick up this DLC. Spend some time getting familiar with the game’s mechanics first before you dive into this DLC. It adds quite a lot of new mechanics to the game. As such it would be a better idea to familiarize yourself with the base game first before getting this DLC.
When starting the Chaos Dwarfs campaign, players had to select one of three Legendary Lords: Astragoth Ironhand, Drazhoath the Ashen, and Zhatan the Black. Each of these Legendary Lords has its own strengths and weaknesses. For my first playthrough, I decided to go for Zhatan the Black. Out of the three, he was the Lord that focused a lot on fighting. His passive skills allowed him to capture more enemies after a battle, while also increasing his recruitment capacity. Not only that, but he could recruit Artillery and War Machine units at half the cost. This made him a powerhouse on the battlefield if you could manage his forces properly.
After loading into the map, the game briefed me on my objectives. I had to secure manpower, manufacture weapons, and find four Dwarven Artifacts. I must then corrupt these artifacts and offer them up to the Great Drill of Hashut. We will tackle the game’s story more down the line. Long story short, you must grow your army and partake in what is basically a map-wide fetch quest. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. The simplicity of these objectives betrays just how hard it actually is.
The Chaos Dwarf’s manpower does not come from their fellow Chaos Dwarfs. Instead, they must go out and capture manpower from their enemies. The first objective I received from the game was to attack and take over a nearby Hobgoblin settlement. These Hobgoblins will serve as the manpower that will build the Armaments that I need to upgrade my buildings, build armies, trade, and more. Manpower decreases over time (as the Hobgoblins die from overwork), so I needed to constantly look for ways to replenish it. There were quite a few settlements that I could attack, however, I can’t just go in and take them over that easily. I had to build up my army to make sure that I could fight off my enemies.
Thankfully, the game does give me some help in this. At almost every turn during the early parts of the campaign, the game gave me various objectives to fulfill. These objectives gave me rewards such as a certain number of manpower or armaments, as well as skill points for my Lord. If you find yourself a little lost in the game, then these objectives are a great way to start.
The Chaos Dwarfs was pretty fun to play. They’re a little more war-centered, however, you will still need to practice your diplomacy. This is especially true when the player has to fight for seats in the Tower of Zharr, a gameplay feature introduced for the Chaos Dwarfs. You will be fighting against the other Lords for seats in the council, which gives respective buffs. It’s not enough to just destroy all your enemies. You must make them into your ally, even if temporary.
I was not able to reach that deep into the game to really give an in-depth analysis of how well the Chaos Dwarfs compare to other races in the game. However, I played enough to say that I had quite a bit of fun playing as them. Now, let’s take a look at the DLC’s story.
Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs Story
The Chaos Dwarfs campaign story is a simple one. As mentioned above, the Lords plan to build and activate the Great Drill of Hashut. However, this drill is not just any ordinary drill. This is a gigantic drill that can literally pierce through the Earth and enter the domain of Hashut. There, they plan to find the Blood of Hashut, a liquid that can turn even the strongest metals into liquid and fire. Using this liquid, as well as the Daemonic powers that dwell there, the Chaos Dwarfs plan to take over the world, one burning and molten fortress at a time.
Playing in an evil campaign using evil units is not new in RTS games. In fact, Total War: Warhammer 3 has no shortage of Chaos races, ranging from said Chaos Dwarfs, to Nurgle and Tzeentch worshippers, and more. What I like about the game’s story, from what I experienced anyway, is that it doesn’t hold back in telling you just how evil you actually are. Your first task in the game is to literally enslave the inhabitants of a nearby settlement. Not only that, but you do so because you overwork your workers to death all the time. The way the story is told not just in the cutscenes and random events, but also in the gameplay mechanics, is something that I really enjoyed in this game.
Your penchant for fire and war machines, the fact that your common units are your captured enemies, and the Tower of Zharr mechanic all tell a story about how the Chaos Dwarf society and race work. I appreciate these kinds of storytelling, and it goes to show how hard they worked on this DLC.
Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs DLC First Impressions and Review Summary
Overall, this DLC is a fantastic one. It may be too difficult for the new players, but veteran players of the series will definitely appreciate the gameplay mechanics the Chaos Dwarfs introduce. It’s a perfect race for players who are warmongers and like to fight more than anything. It also brings a pretty decent story into the mix, a look at just how rough, violent, and unforgiving the Chaos Dwarfs are. Then again, what race isn’t in a game called Total War?
That’s all for our first impressions and review of the Total War: Warhammer 3 DLC Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs. Check out our gaming news articles for the latest in gaming news.
Editor’s Note: ClutchPoints received a PC review copy of the Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs DLC to allow us to cover the game. This copy did not, in any way, affect this Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs DLC review’s verdict.