I have historically been extremely critical of the Warhammer/Warhammer 40k franchise so when I first learned of Total War: Warhammer I was a bit skeptical. I love the Total War series and with the exception of Total War: Attila they have produced some of the best strategy titles to date. Attila was not bad, just not up to par with previous titles and that, along with the abysmally bad pile of Warhammer crap that has come out in recent years, had me seriously concerned for the franchise. Fortunately Total War: Warhammer is actually really, very good. So good that it almost washes the bad taste of over a dozen horrible Warhammer/Warhammer 40k titles out of my mouth.
While the sci-fi based Warhammer 40,000 universe often gets the most airtime in regard to games, the fantasy-based Warhammer universe is rich with characters, races, and factions ranging anywhere from Britannian Empires to Chaos empires to Elven empires so the fantasy franchise lends itself very well to the strategy genre and the 40k universe, to the Action-RTS genre (such as their Dawn of War titles). Needless to say, Total War: Warhammer captures much of what is great about the Total War franchise and slaps on the skins, abilities and spells of the Warhammer franchise and lets player armchair command to their heart’s content.
Breaking it down to just a re-skin is a massive injustice. I apologize. Each model and skin is meticulously designed to be instantaneously recognizable and those settings; good Heavens they are gorgeous. The overworld map is detailed and interesting, but it is the battlefields, especially the outdoor ones found in the many of the faction campaigns. Massive looming castles that butt up to soaring mountains amidst gorgeous alpine settings and in the lower caverns where the dwarves go skulking are dark, broken, and just FEEL damp.