Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Realms of Ruin will land in players’ hands on November 17th, delivering the first RTS video game set in Games Workshop’s fantasy-themed miniatures universe since its big relaunch about a decade ago.
Realms of Ruin is being developed by Frontier Developments plc, best known for publishing David Braben's Elite series along with Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster. Now, they’re tackling the Mortal Realms in order to create a compelling single-player storyline alongside enticing multiplayer experiences under the same tent. The single-player story takes place in Ghur and follows a detachment of Stormcast Eternals on their search for an artefact powerful enough to turn the siege of their fortress from the cruel hands of the Orruk Kruleboyz.
Games Workshop revealed today that the third faction encountered in this game will be the undead, spectral Nighhaunt, though the fourth and final faction remains a mystery. The Nagash-aligned Nighthaunt have reached the artefact ahead of the Stormcast Eternals and locked it down by use of their graveborne magical abilities. On their way to
The Nighthaunt will be fully playable in both multiplayer and Conquest Mode, a repeatable gauntlet of procedurally generated challenges most often framed as 1v1 matches against an opponent. Randomised and set on larger maps, Conquest Mode will periodically change the rules as a means of shaking up combat for both competitors. Players can expect to see clouds of smoke that reduce vision, shrinking time limits and faster unit speeds (for both the player and their opponent. A final boss will linger at the edges of the map hungry to ruin an otherwise carefully executed plan of attacks.
After completing a mission, the player will face an option: change their bonus modifier die to make them that much stronger, or stay at home and bank an additional life for the next search excursion into the wilds of Ghur. Matt managed to invest some hands-on time with Realms of Ruin’s demo earlier this year, and he found the video game “a very promising successor to Dawn of War 2”.
The smaller focus strays away from the multi-thousand dollar cost some fans invest in their massive armies of plastic and paint, but it still allows enough tactical manoeuvrability to satisfy those RTS urges. Interested in neither? The game seems like it will remain a great way to enter the Warhammer fandom from outside an understanding of terms such as ‘point buy’ and the act of rolling a double handful of tiny dice in a single throw.
Competitive match-ups between players will launch with cross-platform support and access to 1v1 and 2v2 game modes. Far from the only Warhammer-laden RTS, Realms of Ruin stands out as a rare title focusing on fleshing out named characters in Age of Sigmar - normally, the genetically altered boys in blue power armour get all the digital fun. You can check out a trailer above to see Sigmar’s favourite lads brandishing their lightning-shrouded weapons against the Nighthaunt's mist-veiled hosts of the undead.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Realms of Ruin will be available for PC via Steam and the Epic Game Store, along with PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S at launch on November 17th. The standard version is your cheapest way to experience the rare Age of Sigmar digital storytelling, but a deluxe and ultimate edition are also available for those with more cumbersome wallets.