Warhammer: Mark of Chaos

WAR! What is it good for? Painted, leaden miniatures and hours of tabletop battles with your friends playing Warhammer, that's what. But we'll have even more reasons when Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, a new real-time strategy game for the PC, comes to life this fall. Our first look showed us a painstakingly faithful representation ofGamesWorkshop's Warhammer universe.

What isn't Warhammer good for? Two things: tedious base-building and mind-numbing resource gathering. Mark of Chaos promises to de-emphasize the boring elements of usual strategy games and put you squarely on the battlefield. You'll have your choice of the four favorite armies from the original game: Empire, Chaos, Skaven and High Elves. If you are new to Warhammer, these are highly different armies, which means different tactics; not just a simple color-palate change. For example, the race of evil rat-men called the Skaven contains weak individual units, but they travel in numbers ... big numbers. Get them to panic early or you'll be run over by their sheer mass.

Loyal to not only the look of Warhammer, but also thefiddly bitsof this miniaturized pastime, Mark of Chaos will enable players to create highly customized armies on the PC. Weapon and armor upgrades are expected, but body-part swaps, "paintable" units and custom banners are what promise to make this a true Warhammer experience away from the tabletop.