Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat

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Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat
Warhammer - Shadow of the Horned Rat Coverart.png
Developer(s) Mindscape
Publisher(s) Mindscape
SSI (NA PlayStation)
Composer(s) Mark Knight
James Hannigan (PS1)
Platform(s) Windows, PlayStation
Microsoft Windows
November 11, 1995
Sony PlayStation
  • NA: November 1, 1996
  • PAL: December 1996
Genre(s) Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single player

Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat is a real-time tactics computer game published by Games Workshop (in conjunction with Mindscape) in 1995 and republished by GOG Ltd in 2015.[1] It features medieval warfare and fantasy battles between military units at the squad and squadron level.


Based on Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy Battle table-top figurine battle rules and set within the Warhammer Fantasy world, the storyline focuses on a mercenary general's quest to stop a Skaven plot. Playing as the mercenary commander Morgan Bernhardt, the player must muster and lead his forces to defeat a variety of foes in pitched battles, involving forms of battle traditional to Warhammer Fantasy such as employing ranged missile weapons, brutal melee combat, as well as harnessing the winds of magic. The finances of the player's mercenary army are handled by Paymaster Dietrich. The player is frequently given a choice of missions to accept, giving multiple paths through the game, some of which result in different types of mercenary units being available to the player.

Troops killed in previous battles are not replaced automatically. Instead, losses must be offset by the reinforcements that can be bought in most towns, between missions. These reinforcements are bought with gold gained from combat. Units gain experience and became better through use, but this in turn increases the cost of replacement. Wounded soldiers are kept out of the action for the next battle, though after this rest they are healed for free. However, having too many soldiers wounded could result in the player being unable to reinforce the army sufficiently to stand a chance in the next mission, even if they have plenty of gold.


Reviewing the Windows version, a Next Generation critic said that while the interface does not allow for precision control of units, the 3D battlefields instigate plenty of thoughtful strategy. He criticized the graphics and long load times, and summarized that "Warhammer delivers a unique strategic challenge. But with the game's awkward interface and drab graphics, you may find that you have to work at enjoying it." He gave it three out of five stars.[2]

Shadow of the Horned Rat was a runner-up for Computer Gaming World's 1995 "Strategy Game of the Year" award, which ultimately went to Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic (tie). The editors called Shadow of the Horned Rat "a real-time strategy game with all the richness of the Warhammer tabletop game", and noted that it "could have won had the competition not been so strong."[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Release: Final Liberation: Warhammer 40,000 Epic". GOG.com. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat". Next Generation. No. 16. Imagine Media. April 1996. p. 97. 
  3. ^ Staff (June 1996). "The Computer Gaming World 1996 Premier Awards". Computer Gaming World (143): 55, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 67. 

External links

  • Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat at MobyGames
  • Review of PC version at Answers.com
  • Review of PlayStation version at Answers.com
  • Mark Knight's Gamesounds, download the Shadow of the Horned Rat music from the composer's website
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