Here’s a scenario for you: you’re about to publish a well-designed, if somewhat glitched RTS set in one of the most successful fantasy universes of all time. You feel pleased with yourself. You’re happy. Maybe you even smile. Now, for some reason you decide not to bother marketing your game much. After all, who needs exposure? You release the game. It scores moderately well, sells a few copies, and then disappears. You’re no longer pleased with yourself. You’re unhappy. Maybe you cry.
Fifteen months later, the game’s first expansion pack arrives. To your surprise, it’s actually half-decent. You now have a choice. Make the expansion available only to the handful of people who bought the original (or the palm-full willing to buy the original), or bundle it together with the main game and release it as a standalone package for less than full price, market it properly and hope you sell more copies the second time around. What’s it gonna be? Well, if you’re Deep Silver and your expansion pack is Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Battle March, you go for option one. Why? Beats us, but it’s probably something to do with squiggly lines on charts, profit yields and long sentences containing words like ‘fiscal’. Maybe.
That Battle March hasn’t been given more marketing oomph behind it is actually a travesty, because as RTS add-ons go, it’s one of the better titles. The package’s main feature is an all-new campaign featuring two new forces: the Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins) and the Dark Elves.
With the battle between the Empire and the Hordes of Chaos having taken a heavy toll on both sides, a powerful Orc Warboss called Gorbash gathers a mighty army of Orcs and Goblins in an attempt to seize power. These pea-coloured oafs - whose cockney accents are so meaty you could make a hearty sandwich out of them, “Yeeeaaaar, we gonna rip ‘em spikee ooomans ta sherheads!” - are considerably more robust (and in some cases, exponentially larger) than the comparatively puny Empire and Chaos units from the original game’s two campaigns, exuding fearsome power as they wade into battle, scattering foes in all directions with the ferocity of their charges. The majority of the Greenskin levels involve large-scale battles, many infused with a steeliness that’ll challenge you to the max, forcing you to approach each encounter with forethought and tactical planning.