Sad news. Good thing you reached out to them, @chitzkoi !
Warhammer Total War in general, and the Chaos Dwarf expansion in particular have been glorious to the hilt. We could never have hoped to receive such a polished version of the Warhammer Fantasy world in computer game format. Total War: Warhammer will go down in history as one of the best made strategy game series ever made.
Outside Warhammer, Creative Assembly needs to get back to basics, as in returning to how the games worked in Rome Total war and Medieval II Total War. I am not a fan of the direction they have taken from Rome II and onwards. The strategy map is less fun, with distances between cities being traversible in a single move and with armies needing a general for recruitment.
Bring back Rome I’s style of map and city recruitment. No army cap. Let captains take command where no generals are around. And bring back Rome I’s style of city building, without all the limiting building slots. Or at least Medieval II’s city building scheme with the option to either go for a castle town or a merchant town (but Rome I is better in its ease and elegance).
I also like the simple elegance of Rome I’s provinces: Every city is its own province, and you can recruit all you’ve got buildings for in it. I see the bloat-management point of what they have tried to achieve with the province system since Rome II, but it’s just not as good as Rome I’s simple system. The province system is a major issue in Total Warhammer for me. CA’s Warhammer games are so polished, that many of the other design choices carried over from Rome II does not trouble me overly much. But the province system cuts through the enjoyment. Why can’t I fortify every city and build up my own garrison army without an army cap? Why is it so easy for enemies to jump on a city without an army and raze it? It sucks much of the joy and thrill out of it, especially compared to how I play Rome I and Medieval II.
Personally I’ll give Creative Assembly a compliment for daring to touch on new subjects such as Three Kingdoms period China, Troy and the Bronze Age (and for daring new takes, such as naval battles). But the map, city building, general-tied recruitment and above all the hero focus drags down their games.
The hero focus is deserved for Warhammer, but should not be such a feature for historical titles.
Also, please bring back the relatively vivid and lively colours of Rome I. That game is still the most aesthetically pleasing when it comes to colourscale out of any CA games, in the same way Age of Empires I still is in that series, or Starcraft I still is for that series.
A safe bet for CA going forward, would be to work on Medieval III. And I cross my fingers that they return to Rome I’s basics.
Besides generals and building slots, the recruitment system nowadays is better than in Rome I. And the AI is better than in Rome I. I often return to Rome I and Medieval II total conversion mods, and the stupid AI of Rome I is the biggest letdown compared to newer titles.
As someone who mainly enjoy Total War games on the strategy map, those are my thoughts. I hope Creative Assembly can rebuild and come back in strength, with games better than ever before. They are a gem, and Total Warhammer is the ultimate testament to their quality.
Best of luck to all staff on CA, and sad to hear about the layoffs. You deserve better.