Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

SEGA's Total War: Warhammer is a real-time strategy game in which massive armies clash in the Warhammer fantasy world.

The new Norsca DLC adds two playable races to both the current game and the upcoming sequel. Here are our first impressions and details on how to get the Norsca DLC for free.

See the Norsca DLC for Total War: Warhammer on Steam

Vikings and trolls, ahoy

Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

Total War: Warhammer already features a number of races, both humans and monsters, spread across its gigantic world map. One style of race we haven't seen in the game until now is Vikings. The Norsca DLC rectifies this by adding two new races and a few nonplayable ones, all of whom reside at the newly revamped northernmost portion of the world map. And just as real-life Vikings sprang from colder climes, so do the Warhammer equivalents.

Norsca humans

Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

The first playable faction, and certainly the most exciting, is the Norsca humans. Very clearly modeled after Vikings, the Norsca make their living by sacking and pillaging neighboring factions. They also build huge monuments to their chaos gods, the better with which to receive divine blessings on the battlefield.

Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

A hardy fellow named Wulrik the Wanderer leads the Norsca. He looks like he walked right out of Game of Thrones with his red hair, beard, and furry armor. Wulrik is a melee fighter with the Siege Attacker attribute and a unique battle ability called Seafang.

Wulrik boosts the melee attack power of all mammoth units, one of the distinctive tools in the Norsca arsenal. While Wulrik survives, all of his units cause fear in their enemies. The fear condition can cause units to abandon the battle, so it's not unusual for warriors who face the Norsca to run in terror.

Wintertooth trolls

Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

The second playable faction in this DLC is the Wintertooth trolls. They occupy the northeasternmost corner of the map. With three other factions bordering their land, the Wintertooth always face danger from one direction or another.

Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

Throgg, also known as the King of Trolls, leads the Wintertooth faction. Like Wulrik, this imposing monster excels in melee combat and sieges. But his unique ability, Copious Vomit, is much grosser! He can also construct a building called Troll Country. Throgg's troll units get a resistance buff, and all of his troops receive immunity to negative terrain effects as well.

Sacking and pillaging

While the Norsca and Wintertooth trolls look quite a lot different, they fight pretty similarly. Both sides excel in melee combat and sieges. This comes at a price, in that their ranged units just aren't as good as those of other races. Their range is severely reduced, so they play a more supplementary roll for the Norsca and Wintertooth. If you want to win with these northern warriors, you'll want to charge the enemy and close the distance as soon as possible.

One mitigating factor is that all of the northern tribes you face off against in the Norsca campaign are also melee fighters. So you're not at a disadvantage early on, and you can hack and slash your way to dominance of the cold lands. Once you've gotten strong enough to dominate your neighbors, you'll be able to proceed south and lay siege to other races with your hordes of marauders and berserkers.

How to get the Norsca DLC

Total War Warhammer Norsca DLC impressions

The Norsca DLC is a good value thanks to offering an interesting campaign with two races who dramatically differ from those of the base Total War: Warhammer game. What's more, buying this DLC will unlock access to the Norsca and Wintertooth in the upcoming Total War: Warhammer II as well. At $8.99, that's not a bad deal.

But I said you could get the Norsca DLC for free, remember? Total War: Warhammer II is due out on Steam on September 28. Players who preorder the sequel for $59.99 or buy during the first week of release will receive the Norsca DLC completely free, both in the original Total War: Warhammer and the new game.

SEGA will also sell a $149.99 physical Deluxe Serpent God Edition exclusively through its website that contains a puzzle sphere, art book, metal case, and more. The Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Collector's Edition was incredible, so collectors will probably enjoy this Deluxe Serpent God Edition as well.

See the Norsca DLC for Total War: Warhammer on Steam Preorder Total War: Warhammer II on Amazon Preorder Total War: Warhammer II on Steam