Total War: WARHAMMER
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"The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities."
- – Stephen Hawking
"If you can remember me, I will be with you always."
- – Isabel Allende
A trilogy of RTS games being worked on by the developer Creative Assembly, best known for the Total War franchise - which consists of pre-industrial age era Real Time Tactics battles with a somewhat simplified 4X/Grand Strategy overworld. The games themselves are being developed parallel to the historical games that Creative Assembly is best known for. Known to /tg/ as "Total Warhammer", "Total Waaagh!!" or some other similar derivative. The first game focused on the Old World, the second on the New World, and the third will be presumably in the Darklands. The grand vision for the three games is for them to eventually merge together to include all of the (relevant) parts of the Warhammer map and eventually all the major races in it (8th edition) and potentially some minor ones, in a combined campaign dubbed “Mortal Empires.” Even just two games in, it’s already a gigantic clusterfuck when you count all the various sub-factions and non-playable factions that have been added thus far (if you don’t use the end-of-turn fast forward button, it can take a long time to cycle through every faction’s movements).
The original reveal trailer, first shown on April 22nd, 2015 received overwhelmingly positive receptions, with each race considered to be well designed, aligned to the canon and having legendary lords which meant many relevant named characters would be in the game. Then on October 22nd, 2015 Sega announced the release of the game to be on the 28th of April in 2016 (later pushed back to May because they wanted to get the launch relatively bug-free). They also revealed a Collector's Edition, with some fancy Dwarfish items, and pre-ordering would give access to the Chaos Warriors faction. Predictably enough, many responded negatively to this reveal, citing that Creative Assembly were deliberately "taking the fifth faction hostage" in order to force customers to pre-order. The controversy got so bad that the reveal trailer had over 50,000 dislikes and some fans have gone so far as to dislike every video following the Chaos reveal trailer that was posted on the Total War channel. Due to the pressure from fans Creative Assembly chose to make the Warriors of Chaos faction free for all who purchased the game during the first week after launch and DLC for anyone who got the game later than that. With such damage control, and the fact this was probably the last chance to have Warhammer Fantasy Battle back, if at least as a video game, sales grew up to the point they snowballed into the then fast-selling Total War game ever, allowing for more and more DLCs and ensuring a second and eventually third iteration.
The game had one of the smoothest launches in Total War's history, and thanks to finally stepping into the modern era with a 64-bit engine it runs smoothly in ways Total War: Rome 2 and Total War: Attila never could. While the overworld map is simplified compared to Total War: Rome 2, a lot of it has reportedly been done to reduce management tedium and increase the focus on battles. Total War: Warhammer 2 was released on the 28th of September of 2017, with the pre-order bonus being a faction for the first game rather than one for the second game. Due to the success of the first part of the trilogy, the game has suffered far less criticism. The main complaint is that some believe it should be labeled an expansion pack rather than a full game, especially since it was being released just a little over a year after the first game. But with a bunch of new features like 4-player FFA multiplayer, quite randomized rogue armies ala Civilization's barbarians dicking around to annoy you, and plans for a grand campaign soon after release that will combine the two games' maps together along with a slew of QoL and UI improvements (and obviously the new races), it's fair for one to be hopeful. Despite being a video game, the game is very well-liked by /tg/, and is considered by many to be Warhammer Fantasy's true successor. The Creative Assembly team working on Total War: WARHAMMER seem to be, by all appearances, major neckbeards as well.
- 1 Setting
- 2 Gameplay
- 2.1 Races
- 2.2 Climates
- 2.3 The Lores of Magic
- 2.4 Campaign Strategies
- 2.5 Battle Tactics
- 2.6 Factions
- 2.6.1 Total War: WARHAMMER 1
- 2.6.2 Total War: WARHAMMER 2
- 3 Future
- 4 /tg/ Approved mods
- 5 Books
- 6 The Memes
- 7 Links
- 8 Gallery
As you might expect, the game is set in the world of Warhammer Fantasy. The first game is set before The End Times, the course of which by definition will be altered or prevented entirely depending on the course of the campaign, focusing on the Old World and Badlands while the forces of Chaos take the stage as the main antagonists of the game (as usual) even if you play as Warriors of Chaos since once they start their grand invasion most NPC factions drop their feuds temporarily. Meanwhile, the second game focuses on Lustria, Naggaroth, Ulthuan and the Southlands, as the factions seek to control (or undo) the magical Vortex at the center of Ulthuan.
In a way this will be the last legacy of the original Warhammer Fantasy Battle, with hundreds of thousands of neckbeards probably migrating to the digital format from the now doomed 8th edition. New races may be expected through DLC and expansion packs, perhaps creating the final image of Warhammer Fantasy after 30 years of development.
These are the characters that only appear in Total War: Warhammer, being non-existent, or at least not mentioned, in the source material.
- The Advisor
A mysterious old man with a white raven "pet". Was first believed to be the Imperial Light Wizard in the announcement trailer who got corrupted by Chaos after reading a tome of Tzeentch and summoned a Lord of Change with a smash of his staff, although this was later Jossed (and was then later unJossed). He is, for whatever reason, always the Advisor to the player's chosen faction during the Grand Campaign, advising them on how to manage their empire and what to do next, and also narrates their introductory cutscenes; he can be annoying but is nowhere near as bad as the advisors in previous Total War games. Hilariously, he is accepted by every single faction with not a single fuck apparently given, even the famously misanthropic Beastmen, although this is at least addressed at the start of Khazrak's campaign where it is clarified that he does want to kill the old codger, but tolerates him as a middleman between him and...
- Sathorael the Everwatcher
A Lord of Change and the Advisor's real master in the Chaos-themed campaigns. He was responsible for the conflicts the player ends up fighting out, having basically manipulated sundry factions into conflict either for his own amusement, to further his own plans, or possibly both; knowing his boss any of those explanations is possible. In the 100+ turn of the Warriors of Chaos campaign, he reveals himself and kills off the Advisor, chuckling that all are pawns to the Great Deceiver. A really hard bastard to kill as well as a Lore of Metal caster, although his lore will probably be changed to the Lore of Tzeentch in the future. He accompanies Archaon for his End Times invasion if you play as any other faction, but decides to challenge Archaon's position as the Everchosen in the Warriors of Chaos campaign. Beating said campaign unlocks him in normal battles.
- Gnashra Shroomchewa
A Goblin Great Shaman stars in the first total war react video.
- Sneek Scratchett, The Scribe'
The adorable, trendy dressing, glasses wearing underling of a Skaven clan in the eye of vortex campaign. He works for Grey Seer Vulscreek in order to serve his clan and revive the great horned rat. Surprisingly loyal for a Skaven, to the point that he ended up killing the grey seer after he was told the truth about horned rat's demanded sacrifice. He stars in a hilarious react trailer where he makes fun of Malekith's mother issues and Teclis' appearance, among other things. Later returned in Laboratory mode where he overreacted about the oversize hell pit abomination, a shit tons of DOOMWHEELS, floating elves (done by setting their gravity 10%) and a massive fuck load of Skaven in a unit increased by the unit size modifier.
The Grey Seer that ordered the scribe around. He and the council are the mastermind to the vortex race, as a way to fool every faction into drawing the magic into the vortex and have its magic absorb into some kind of bell device, then summon their god, the great horned rat into the material realm after the bell was tolled 13 times. However, it requires the sacrifice of an entire Skaven clan where one of it's member must spill their blood on the bell clapper. Realizing what's at stake, the rat scribe SINDRI'ED him for his treason, spilled his blood and doomed the Grey Seer clan into the sacrifice instead.
A skink priest working for the lizardmen player faction in the eye of vortex campaign. After he saw the twin tail comet in the sky with a telescope and decided to follow Mazdamundi's plan since his actual slann master is still sleeping. Alongside his Kroxigor companion Tar-Grax, he hopes to help restore the great warding by activating the geometric web using the five lost key mentioned by Lord Kroak. In the epilogue, he returns to inform his slann master of what has transpired, only to be foretold that N'kari is coming for their buttholes in the future, which is also foreshadowed in Arkhan's epilogue in the black pyramid campaign. In true Lizardmen fashion his name is a play on the phrase "You cannot do that".
A handsome specimen of a Kroxigor, serving as Yuk's companion/assistant/bodyguard. Sadly there is little else to write about this handsome fellow as he shows little character through the story, mainly just mimicking Yuk's reaction to the various rituals (though that's fitting of a Kroxigor).
- Felicion Heartkeeper
A Dark Elf sorceress and seer currently "employed" by Malekith to aid in his quest to control the vortex. Like all Dark Elves sorceress, they dressed in nothing but skimpy bikini and loin clothing, while living in frigging cold climate like Naggaroth ffs. Amusingly she acts like a complete sycophant towards Malekith, but is extremely catty to Morathi. Accompanied at all times by a mysterious assassin, who is surely nothing more than a nameless killer with no backstory or further significance at all... Has the pleasure of being the first fully canon gay character in the setting.
- The Nameless Khainite Assassin (Shadowblade)'
Accompanies Felicion after the first ritual. Was actually her brother. Shows no emotion even when he is doing his job: murder. Responsible for dispatching the targets whose blood is needed to create Malekith's elixir for the vortex: a medusa, a high elf prince (who was lusting after Felicion's body and was killed while Felicion gets turned on by his death scream), Felicion's old tutor (who was badly scared by magic that part of his body shifting back and forth), a female Dreadlord who had taken to leading a band of Norscans in the chaos wastes (and Felicion's lover), then finally SPOILER: Felicion herself (because CA loves to kill off pretty girls, see Galifreius down below). Despite his cold-blooded nature it is implied Shadowblade does mourn for his sister's death, and even asks Malekith to gift him her soul cage in the epilogue; in the hopes of perhaps restoring her to life. Malekith, in one of his less dickish moments (or because he is in a good mood since he now control the vortex), actually grants this request, even noting that Felicion had served him well. Notably he isn't technically a game only character as he exists in the main canon as well (and we are not even sure if they are the same persons).
- Loremaster Talarian
A High Elven loremaster who advises Tyrion and Teclis in their efforts to stabilize the great vortex. He sports white hair and was accompanied by a female squire of Tyrion known as Galifreius (see below) in searched for the five shards of star crown (shattered by Malekith long ago. Thank you Druchii) so he could give it to Caledor inside the vortex. Other than the first shard gifted by Isha from the first ritual, the rest of the four shards were found in many inconvenient places like under the sea (found with the help of Finubar's moses ability), in a cavern guarded by a wyrm (found from bel-korhadris scroll), inside Bel Shanaar's lost vessal and finally, on the hilt of the widowmaker (god knows what the shard is doing at that place even though the sword hasn't been touched or eons since Anerion's absence). After winning the vortex war, Talarian has the honor to wear the frigging crown (every high elves loremaster's wet dream) and become one with the vortex (translation: Talarian went inside the vortex with the crown's power and became the newest member of Caledor's vortex maintenance squad). Oh and he seems to love Galifreius as he was shown mourning for her death by the hands of the horned rat.
The QT elf waifu material and the high elf counterpart to Felicion. A squire of Tyrion, she is tasked to guard Talarian on his quest to recover the crystal crown. SPOILER: she died in the fifth ritual where the horned rat sent a swarm of rats to bite her to pieces for the lulz, but despite this seemed remarkably intact at the time of her death. But THEN, in the epilogue, it is revealed that she was actually a dark elf serving Morathi, who murdered the real Galifreius in route to meeting Talarian and took her place. As you might expect, Tyrion was somewhat displeased by this. She also seems extremely similar to canon character Eldyra of Tiranoc.
- Priest Nerutep
A Liche Priest with only one glowing eye in his skull tasked by Settra himself to find the five books of Nagash. In Settra's epilogue, it's revealed that he was none other than King Thutep, Nagash's brother whom he 'killed' and succeeded as the new king. Now Thutep is in control of the Black Pyramid and flipped his brother a boney middle finger, in spirit at least (then again, considering Nagash's state that is probably literal in a way as well). Whether he managed to dig himself out or was rescued out of the pyramid he was buried in is unclear, nonetheless the fact that CA did this is awesomely loreful. However, a few plot hole needs to be addressed, such as Thutep being a magic caster since he was a king and was killed by Nagash through burial in his father's pyramid before he had a chance to learn magic. Another thing to be considered is in Arkhan's epilogue, where the lich king tried to invoke his master's spirit, but invoke N'kar, a greater demon of Slaanesh's voice instead. Meaning Thutep's magic ability and his reawakening might be some kind of chaos trickery, further aided by the like of a greater demon N'kari. However, any further analysis or answer will have to wait for future expansion. Or it could just be the case of alternate universe since we all knew how this shit was suppose to end.
- Cylostra Direfin
An original legendary lord creates by CA for the Vampire Coast DLC. She was once an (opera) singer from Bretonnia (and they said the Bretonnia is all about peasants and knights, ha!). She went on a voyage to sing for the Phoenix King (not sure if she was invited or doing so on her own will since Elves are smug bastards - it's in the name, High Elves). When halfway through the voyage a storm caught the ship. The captain said to wait it out, Cylostra literally grabbed him by the throat, threw him overboard and took control of the vessel for she wouldn't be denied the chance to sing for the Phoenix King. Surprise, surprise, the ship sank and she come back as a ghost/sea-witch/necromancer/Ursula that now blames Ulthuan for her death (so much she wants to sink it and then sing for the Phoenix King). How? We will see once the DLC is released.
- As it turns out, her comeback is probably the result of a deal with the aquatic god of storms Stormfels. This was shown in a short story revolving around her.
A talking monkey who advises the Legendary Lords of the Vampire Coast. Trust me, I wish I came up with this. Whether or not he's a literal talking monkey or a figment of their imagination (Luther's insanity would explain it, but the other three are pretty sane so.....) Has yet to be seen, but either way this is hilarious. We don't know much about him, he could be a Bloodthirster in disguise for all we know, but more will be revealed after the DLC launches
- Captain Jacob Wulfhart
Another original character that, like Felicion, is linked to one in the tabletop's canon. Brother of Marcus Wulfhart (yes, the friggin Huntsmarshal of The Empire) who created an awesome magical map the player uses when playing as The Vampire Coast, and who was the captain of the ship The Vengeance. At first glance it looks like a normal map, but after saying the magical words, it quickly reveals much more details and notes from eye witnesses, rumors and other clues to Amanar. The captain looked for the Merwyrm to slay it, yet perished in the attempt - only one of his crew survived the experience along with the map. It is also from his ship that you salvage the Star Metal Harpoon you need to re-imbue with the verses of the magical shanty with which to slay Amanar.
- Alastar, The White Lion Prince
Not to be confused with Korhil, a canonical white lion honor guard. A unique High Elves lord that seem to pop out of nowhere. Alastar is the only White Lion Prince in the game with his own model and a unique item even. As it turns out, he was added as a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation involving a Warhammer fan, named Alastair (luckily, it has been confirmed he got to play the game. His current status is unknown). As expected from a White Lion, he does armor-piercing damage and can only take the Chrace skill in the special High Elves skill tree and can unlock skills such as the Killing Blow ability (not to mention having boons and price cuts to White Lions, allowing the player to have him lead early in the game a whole army of them dirt cheap). We will remember you, Alastar.
- The Skaven IN SPESSSSS
The brave little rat shit that piloted the fake twin tail comet, weakened the vortex and stirs every faction into action. Has been screaming ever since the rocket launched and never stopped. He died doing what he loved when the space ship crash-landed after it ran out of fuel. Might probably have survived if the place he landed wasn't such a freezing mountain side. Truly he was a rocket rat on a suicide mission for himself and his regime. The true winner of the vortex race just because he is the first (non-canon) creature in space before the Lizardmen did it out of desperation.
The Gameplay at it's core is that of a traditional Total War game. You select a faction to play as in the world of Warhammer fantasy, led by a Legendary Lord - a character of importance in the universe. You build buildings, develop towns and cities and muster your armies on the campaign map. The main draw of the game is smashing those aforementioned armies in big battles with each other. The battles are real time and require enough tactical finesse that you can pull of some pretty complex maneuvering if you want to. However, due to the nature of the setting CA changed several aspects of the game to give off a more fantastical vibe that is similar to Fantasy 4X games like Age of Wonders or Heroes of Might and Magic. In short - the focus during the launch of Total War Warhammer was more on the battles themselves than the campaign map aspects. As the game's scope has expanded via DLC and Free content, there has been more focus put in on more interactive campaign elements.
Unlike the previous total war games, generic lord characters and legendary lords in this game play a huge role. Lords (the leaders of your armies) are tough single models that might hit a bunch of models at once with a shock wave like reminiscent of Dynasty Warriors. Lords, Legendary Lords, and heroes receive items and followers after battles or by completing quests, and they are able to equip them for various bonuses. The items themselves are often lifted directly from the Tabletop or the WHFB setting itself. Legendary lords are able to equip their own unique legendary items after they have reached a certain level and completed its required quest. Quests are small narrative driven events that Legendary Lords can complete to gain their trademark items that are part of their narrative arc. Lords also rank up by fighting and are able to spend skill points to either boost their stats, give benefits to their attached army (denoted by the color red) or campaign boost (increased campaign movement range, faster travel or improvement of public order when garrisoned). Note that some lords like Balthasar don't have stat boosts and rely on magic.
Speaking of heroes, they are like campaign agents from the previous total war. Unlike before you can actually bring them to battle if you put them in your army. Heroes are, like generals, able to rank up and improve their stats and abilities. Depending on the type of hero they can perform several different actions on campaign map (damage walls, attack unit, assassinate). Fun Fact: you can actually fill your entire army with heroes and watch them wreck havoc, demolishing entire units in seconds.
Lords and Heroes are generally of three types. The first one are magic using heroes and lords. Typically they have low melee attack, defense and damage and have no way to buff these attributes. Heroes like wizards, and Lords and Legendary Lords such as the Fey Enchantress, Balthasar Gelt or the Necromancer Lords are of this type. Instead of being paragons of front line combat, they excel at casting magic. Their combat skill tree is focused on unlocking more spells and reducing the chance of miscasts.
The second type are combat heroes and Lords. They generally have higher combat stats and can take out even the most elite units of opposing armies from the start. They however cannot cast magic and are generally focused on front line combat. Their combat skill tree is focused on making them better fighters on the battlefield. Heroes like captains, and Lords and Legendary lords like Karl Franz, Tyrion and regular lords like General, Bretonnian Lords and Elven lords are of this type.
The third are hybrid lords and heroes. They can either be powerful spellcasters or beasts at melee combat on par with combat lords, but a choice has to be made for focusing on their upgrade path. Heroes like the Loremasters, Vampires, and Legendary lords like Morathi, Malekith, Mannfred, Vlad at all are these kinds of characters.
These are the first Total War games to have implemented magic. Being Warhammer and all, magic came from the winds of magic that blew from the northern chaos wastes. Specific heroes and lords can cast magic based on what lores they posses and which spells they learned by leveling up. Magic for casting is limited by the magic gauge that is determined at the beginning of the battle and magic reserves determined by currents of winds of magic in the province the battle is taking place in. However, you can increase your magic gauge at the beginning of the battle by praying to Ranald, the human god of luck, whether he would aid you by replenish your magic gauge or fuck you over by depleting your magic gauge. Ironically enough, all races (except the dwarfs of course) gets the option to pray to Ranald despite having difference in belief and gods. Tzeentch would be really pissed if he finds out one of his sorcerer pray to other god for magic but him. On the other hand, one may assume that the entire 'pray to Ranald' thing is an appeal to a literal RNG god, and is just fun and fluffy way of rolling the dice.
The campaign gameplay is rather different in Total Warhammer 2 compared to the original. Central to the story in the game is the magical vortex at the center of Ulthuan that sucks out magic out the world and keeps the world from being overrun by Chaos. There seems to be some sort of disturbance in the Vortex causing different factions to scramble and try to either preserve or subvert the vortex to further their own goals. The objective is to complete a large series of rituals that will save/doom the world and win you the game. The AI is quite capable of following these goals and CA has reportedly stated that you can lose the campaign if you tarry too long. Of course in practice it is nearly impossible to actually lose the campaign. When an opposing faction actually completes it's ritual, you get a quest battle where you and every other major faction stops the faction that completed the ritual.
Doing the rituals requires certain settlements and currencies that you acquire through quests, missions and capturing certain settlements. As you progress throughout the ritual for your faction, the other races will start to hate you even more. As a result the gameplay is more focused and quicker paced, with players being encouraged to form small defensible holdings with which to win the race to the vortex instead of the slow meandering crawl that defines a regular total war game.
The Mortal Empire campaign is the combined campaign for the first and second game. The map includes the entirety of the old world and most of the new world with the southernmost edges of the maps left out. The map is massive, and along with the more regular style of total war gameplay, you can expect to spend a lot more time conquering. It is available to players who have purchased both total Warhammer 1 and Total Warhammer 2. Featuring a gigantic map of the overworld, the campaign is a similar sandbox experience to the campaign in the first world. Factions on the side of Order are supposed to defeat chaos and control major parts of their core territory to win a victory. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, from a nice and friendly alliances between all the good guy factions, or by holding the territories through force. Either way, the campaign takes a long amount of time due to complete.
Lastly The design of the campaign map itself is a bit more "up in the air." Because the game takes place in the world of Warhammer fantasy Battles, the terrain itself is more fantastical, as befits a fantasy game. From the steaming jungles of Lustria, teeming with dinosaurs, to the arctic wastelands of Naggaroth and Norsca, the world presented in Warhammer has a wide variety of lands and climates, more than any previous total war games. More fantastical elements also exist, such as the mysterious and dangerous forest of Athel Loren, the horrors of the chaos wastes, the decaying, yet resplendent civilizations of the High Elves and Dwarfs.
Although the battle maps explore varieties of terrain configuration and there are siege maps, the game is still made for large and open terrain in mind, so if you want to witness/control a Skaven invasion of a bustling empire city or experience something akin to LOTR's Helm's Deep, you won't find it in Total Warhammer 1/2.
Unlike in previous Total War titles where there were a great number of factions, in Warhammer there are instead a small group of playable "races." What there lacks in sheer quantity is made up for in quality, with an emphasis on making each race have rosters unique to them, and having distinct campaign and battle mechanics. As time went on these differences became much more pronounced, and numerous sub-factions were introduced. For example, in vanilla Warhammer one there is only the "Empire" race to represent the humans in the Empire. But in Warhammer II the Skaven are instead represented by "Clan Mors" and "Clan Pestilens" instead of just "Skaven." The last race added to the game - the Tomb Kings have a completely unique playstyle to them focused around crafting items and going on quests to find the nine books of Nagash to take control of his Black Pyramid.
Also being added to the second game is a climate and habitation system. CA considered the regional occupation in Total Warhammer 1 to be a little too rigid and has introduced a more lax approach to new settlements. These will be ported over to the Mortal Empires campaign as well thus bringing peace to map painters everywhere. There are 10 different biomes in the game. They are: Chaotic Wasteland: Norsca and beyond. Desert: Araby and the lands of the dead. Frozen: Half of Naggaroth Jungle: Lustria and parts of the Southlands Magical Forest: in the Southlands. Mountains: The spine of Sotek and Southland's segment of the World's Edge mountains. Savannah: Middle Southlands Temperate: Regular settlements Temperate Island: Ulthuan Wasteland: Parts of Naggaroth
Each race has 3 tiers of suitability that is provided by the biome.
- Suitable: Ideal climate/biome to settle in.
- Unpleasant: Buildings are more expensive, take longer to build and return less money.
- Uninhabitable: Probably not worthwhile for economic reasons, but you can still hold it for strategic reasons. Unit replenishment and build times are increased severely and there is a high public order penalty for holding it.
The terrain is also radically different from the old world, consisting of pristine beaches, steaming jungles and blistering deserts. Included of course is the magical eternal land of Ulthuan and the bitter and icy moors of Naggaroth.
One thing that divided the player base during the first game was the limited regional occupation. Unlike previous Total War games you cannot conquer the entire map, in Total War: Warhammer the Dwarfs and Orcs can only conquer the Badlands and mountain regions, likewise the Human factions and Vampire Counts can conquer anywhere except the Badlands, Norsca, Athel Loren and mountain Regions Chaos and Beastmen can't conquer anything. They are "Horde" factions which means they can't take over any regions just raze them and set up camps in the ashes. The only faction that can conquer everything is the Wood Elves. This has caused people following the game to argue over whether regional occupation is lore accurate or not. Due to this controversy, CA sidestepped the issue by making sure there was a mod to allow conquest of all sites on launch day. With the coming of the second game, this system is changing. Factions in the second game (and all in the combined mega-campaign) will be able to conquer anywhere, but settlements outside of "preferred areas" will be far more limited in what they can do.
Other generally-agreed-upon issues in the otherwise most-popular entry of the Total War series are sieges, which use a very limited amount of maps that are going to be very cramped with one full army attacking a fortified town, let alone more, will get dull fast, and feature pretty-nutso defensive towers of a limited fire-arc but insane range - seriously the maximum is like as far as the outside of the map and can hit artillery - and firepower that's going to guarantee at least some units will get totally fucked up before you can land on the walls to neutralize them unless you've got siege towers for every unit; and the pretty-randomized trait-gaining system which can lead to baffling canon defilement like Volkar the Grim realizing he likes Chaos after slaughtering a bunch of them or Grimgor wanting to be a farmer (though that one's at least funny). Thankfully, CA made the trait system far more transparent in the second game. While you can still have Volkmar the Grim go mad after seeing the power of Chaos, it only takes place if he spends a massive amount of time in regions with chaos corruption.
The Lores of Magic
For those who are familiar with the table top version, magic is divided into several different lores of magic each containing several spells in the forms of magic missiles, hexes, augments, direct damage spells, summons and magical vortexes. They can be overcast to increase their effectiveness, but suffer 50% miscast chance that might damage your caster. Still, there are items and abilities that can negate the miscast effects.
Some Augments affect any units that come within the casting zone and some apply to only a single unit. Hexes work similarly.
Summons are a specialty belonging to all vampire lords due to the lore of vampires they use. The lore has a magic ability called the "Raise Dead" with which a vampire lord can summon a unit of zombies (or skeleton warriors) at will. Strigoi Ghoul kings have a version that can summon crypt ghouls and is able to summon a crypt horror when overcast. Helman Ghorst can summon grave guard but is able to summon a wight king when overcasting. Yeah you heard that right, Helman can summon A FRIGGING HERO UNIT, that's a little bit op for a character barely mentioned in the lore. Interestingly, one of the spells in the lore of beasts, Transformation of Kadon, is in this game: a summon spell that can summon a manticore, contradicting the tabletop version that turns your caster into a monster. With the Skaven's release, Plague priest's lore of Pestilence as well as the grey seer's "Dreaded Thirteen spell" can summon units like Сlan Rats, Plague Monks or Stormvermin on the battlefield.
Direct damage spells are like a middle finger to heroes and elite units alike. They deal a lot of damage to a unit while being unable to miss. For instance Spirit leech from the Lore of Death is good for targeting single model units like heroes while Fate of Bijuna is good against a unit with many models. They can also have an area of effect. In the lore of metal: Final Transmutation is a direct damage spell that damages anything within its zone. Ironically, it does not transform models into gold nor does it get instant kills like the table top version.
Magic Missiles are magical projectiles. They don't hit automatically like the tabletop version since this is a total war game, and total war games have terrain that can block your projectiles which can be annoyingly frustrating to aim, only for the spell to not hit anything and waste your magic wind. It is still a viable spell against large, towered tall enemies and giants. Fireball from the Lore of Fire is a recommended fire based magic projectile spell against those tree fucker hippie elves, especially the tower tall Treemen and Durthu the tree daddy.
Magical Vortexes are just slow moving danger zones that hurt foes and friends alike. Might be useful when many units are bunched up together, otherwise their random movement tends to send the vortex away from the battle. Some spells like The Purple Sun of Xereus from the Lord of Death can suck up units and toss them around the battlefield, disrupting their unit formation, which can be useful preventing missile units from shooting your army. The Lore of Shadow's Pit of Shades is an exception being a stationary vortex. As of the second game, vortex's have been given, a massive buff and now are truly the destructive force they once were on the tabletop.
Oh and lore attributes act like a passive buff for the caster or the army it is assigned. Attributes like Metalshifting from the lore of metal passively gives everyone some nice armor piercing damage. Some gives debuff or buff whenever magic is cast.
- Always have lords get that sweet campaign movement range upgrade as soon as possible to travel on the map easily and not waste time.
- Have battle mage or other similar unit deploy in your province to reduce construction cost. Remember to get the income-increase-in-the-province upgrade as soon as ranking up to get those sweet money.
- Let heroes with assassination ability, rank up their assassination skill and kill other annoying enemy heroes on the map.
- Always build garrisons in your settlements so that random spawning shitheads like Beastmen or Orcs wouldn't sack or raze your city.
- Never build garrisons instead of economy buildings or you'll have no money.
- Trade whenever possible. Empire should trade with all kinds of dwarf faction early on as well as bretonnia, the same goes to dwarf.
- Try to have groups of two full stacks whenever possible, single stacks get easily overwhelmed due to force marched reinforcements.
- You see that skill called Lightning strike in the blue branch of the lord skill tree? Go for it. It's basically mandatory to deal with the end game doomstacks in either the mortal empires or vortex campaigns.
- When playing horde faction like chaos and beastmen, get the growth upgrade for lord to speed up horde growth.
- Mounts cost Upkeep. Remove them temporarily via the equipment screen to save money if unlikely to engage the enemy anytime soon.
- You can switch Generals on the field using the button on the bottom right of the equipment screen. This can be used to not pay upkeep for Legendary Lords in times of peace or essentially teleport a Lord across the map from one army into another.
- Two Asrai technologies and the six General ranks require a special building each to unlock. Once a councilor is appointed or the technology is researched, the buildings can be safely removed to make space for other structures.
- When playing Skaven, one should know that maintain armies and settlements cost food. Food is a scarce resource for they can only found in province commandment and special building chain (in a settlement that has the "pasture" resource). Destroy enemies and sacking settlements after battle can earn you a lot of gold AND food so always keep on the aggressive stance.
- ALWAYS RAID. If your are at war with an enemy, then always raid their provinces. You get three things from this. Money, increased experience for lords, as well as your enemy having to face an uprising due to your raids increasing unrest after it reaches -100.
- Alternative to the above, but not recommended unless your lords are really underpowered: Raid your own provinces in order to raise their levels from raiding itself as well as from defeating rebel armies. This is not recommended because it will hurt your economy; do so only when you have amassed enough power to allow for such excess.
- Hammer and Anvil - Have your foot soldiers holding the enemy unit in place then have your Calvary charge fuck them in the back. Guarantee morale break. Many units are designated cannon fodder, and not just Goblins; each army has a unit that is either durable, cheap, or both to serve as an anvil.
- Flying units do not move any faster if ordered to run with a double click, but will still become tired at the same rate. Instead of faster speed the double click forces them to ignore any fire they are taking and not become Staggered. Unless your flyers are taking fire, keep them moving with regular clicks.
- Artillery fires faster if you assume direct control. Practice your aim in single player matches and plan your strategy without needing manual control for awhile to supercharge your heavy dakka firing speed. Beyond that the player can aim and hit outside the natural range of an artillery piece, so accurate players can hit almost anything on the map.
- Holding alt and issuing a move order will prevent breaking formation.
- Cycle charging your Cavalry for optimal damage. Shock Calvary in particular are good for this, send them in for a charge and pull them out to repeat the process. Using the "J" key is a lot faster than right clicking them out. Though it is worth pointing out that this is unwise to do with multiple units selected, due to the wonky pathfinding of the units; best to use it when managing one unit.
- Some factions is also capable of using a certain tactic from the tabletop.
- Some faction has units that are design to used as expendable cannon fodder like the skeleton warriors of the tomb kings or Skaven's slave rat. They are often cheap in both multiplayer and campaign so feel free to make themselves useful by giving them the guardsman's life (aka tanking a Calvary charge, tanking an infantry charge, being a tarpit that traps enemies precious elite unit).
Total War: WARHAMMER 1
- Nine playable factions, one of them day-one DLC, and eight sub-factions. Each faction has unique gameplay mechanics and goals to fulfill on the campaign map.
The good ol' Empire: the pike, shot, and griffins faction we all know and love, the faction that works most like the old factions of other Total War games, being puny 'umies an' all. Led by Karl Franz as the faction leader, with Balthazar Gelt, and Volkmar the Grim as additional playable legendary Lords. The Empire is about as vanilla as you can get, with their only unique mechanic being their ability to appoint lords to offices (which isn't even unique anymore since the Wood Elves have something similar, and arguably does it better). Other than that, the Empire tech tree is locked behind buildings, with military and military support buildings like barracks, stables and blacksmiths unlocking technologies as well as the ability to recruit more powerful units. It - like the rest of the campaign is fairly lackluster, and some of the arguably better research abilities come in far too late to be useful. The main focus of an Empire campaign is to get all of the fragmented provinces under one banner, be it through alliances, confederation, or conquest. But other than that broad goal, you can really play the Empire campaign any way you want to. While it lacks the diverse flavor of later races, the Empire campaign is arguably best for the traditional Total War "sandbox" sort of experience. While you are encouraged to ally with the Dwarfs or Bretonnia, it is really up to you how you want your campaign to go. Later in game I's life cycle the Empire got a few additional touches, in the form of new skill trees for Karl Franz and Gelt, along with additional army bonuses. However, the Empire remains the only race without different start positions to this day. All in all, it's a good introductory campaign to get used to the basics of the game or for "Fun" gameplay.
It is also worth noting that as more content was added to the game, most notably with the Beastmen DLC, the Empire AI became noticeably liable to get fucking punked early on in campaigns. Players will probably notice this difference even while playing as them with Orc or Beastmen hordes coming by soon after securing Altdorf (or even during) to fuck with their shit. The Foundation Update tried to amend this by giving the AI controlled Empire a full province from the get go. Which means it can actually survive for a while without getting absolutely stomped by all the enemies that known on its door at the beginning.
In battle, the Empire is a little weaker than most armies off the bat, just like in the tabletop, but has access to a lot of different shit to compensate and their soldiers aren't exactly expensive. Artillery is still powerful, as are wizards, and there's elite stuff like the Luminark of Hysh and the Demigryph Knights to tear up the really big stuff the enemy can throw at you. Much like everything else about the Empire in this game, it's rather straightforward but effective nonetheless.
If you happen to beat the Beastmen mini-campaign, then you gain access to a playable Boris Todbringer in multiplayer, and in campaign should you confederate Middenland.
Their Army Roster can be found [here], and their trailer.
Angry stunties out to right every wrong in their Tab of Fuck-ups with copious amounts of axes, artillery, and not to forget, beards... Led by Thorgrim Grudgebearer as their faction leader, with Grombrindal the White Dwarf, Ungrim Ironfist (leader of the subfaction Karak Kadrin), and Belegar Ironhammer (leader of the sub-faction Clan Angrund) as additional playable Legendary Lords. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately if you're a Slayer), the Book of Grudges remains full. All the beards. After decades of hiding and defending their borders, the High King has decided to go and gain the additional title of Bitchslapper and get the Greenskins the hell out of their Karaks. Dwarfs do not conquer in the same way most other factions do and don't want cities or plunder in general; rather, they're going for underground holds and other Dwarfen areas of the game (unless you're playing Mortal Empires, where they just prefer to have mountainous region). They are also very good at using the Underway, naturally, and are one of three factions, the other being the Greenskins and Skaven that can use it.
The Dwarf unique gimmick in the campaign is the Book of Grudges. Every time something 'bad' happens (losing a city, getting raided, assassination attempts on your characters...) you get a new grudge in the book. Unlike most missions, which have time limits, Grudges just sit around waiting for you to do them. Avenge a grudge and you get a bonus; however, have too many unfulfilled grudges and the Longbeards will start grumbling, dropping your morale and diplomatic relations with other Dwarf factions like a rock. From turn one with no grudges you have very good relations with the other dwarf kingdoms (with a few exceptions) meaning you can more easily confederate with them; giving an edge over other races in terms of consolidating your political power. On the other hand, if the grudges stack up you can easily lose that advantage. It's a system that seems to favor winners - ending grudges gives gold to keep new ones from happening and to further avenge old ones, but let them accumulate and it will become harder and harder to remove them. By dint of game induced randomness, some can be utterly crippling to your long term success, like forcing you to do things you really don't want to do and then creating chain reactions of negative results that then create more grudges - like acting against a human faction and then having the rest of them dogpile on you as a result or, most enjoyably, having to conquer undead lands when only Moussilon is available and between a fuckton of enemies. Whilst comparatively rare, some grudges can happen for purely narrative reasons, like having to attack an Empire faction who technically did nothing to you in game but who narratively unpaid some nobles by a single coin. Fun times.
The Dwarf "tech tree" unsurprisingly has a lot more to do with their society and its slow pace of accepting change in everything. There are a huge amounts of unlockable techs, and they ALL revolve around making tiny decisions from the top down instead of any meaningful technological breakthrough. Your Dwarfs already know how to do mass production and use advanced mining drills. They just don't want to use them because the old ways are the best and you have to spend turns to convince them to actually use the better technology that they have kept gathering dust.
The sub-faction led by Belegar plays quite a bit differently thought it shares the same core mechanics. Starting in the Vaults, the goal of the campaign is to reach and gain control of Karak Eight Peaks, which is also being sought after by the Crooked Moon faction led by Skarsnik, and Clan Mors led by Queek Headtaker (if you're playing Mortal Empires). Until you obtain the Eight Peaks you suffer from a pretty massive upkeep penalty. Other than that the main campaign differences from regular stunties is that you start with some spooky hero units (two Thanes, a Runesmith and a Engineer who all have the Ethereal Trait that make all weapons but Magical ones do jack to them), and a slightly altered tech tree that lets you get rangers faster. Due to the aforementioned upkeep burdens, this campaign is notably more challenging than your standard Dwarf campaign (yet at the same time the satisfaction is great when you do regain Eight Peaks).
In terms of the actual battlefield, Dwarfs are the slowest faction in the game with literally no Cavalry and the only fast thing being the Gyrocopters (and Slayers if you count them) which are high up the tech tree, but they are also by far the best at turtling and defending. Even ranged units can pack a wallop in close combat, and all units are armored to the tip of their beards; sometimes literally (taken especially with the Irondrakes and their BEARD ARMOUR). This, combined with an almost insane amounts of dangerous ranged weapons to compensate for not being able to run people down such as the organ gun, cannon, the Quarrelers and fukken' flamethrowers means that you don't want to take on Dwarfs head on if you can help it... unless you have artillery superiority. See, artillery fucks Dwarfs up like nothing else because it bypasses Armor, shields, and Melee Defense, their primary methods of holding a battle line, and since they’re slow as hell a Dwarf army has to rely on either Gyrocopters or their own artillery to deal with enemy fire support. Doomdivers, Plagueclaw Catapults, Steam Tanks... all of them make Dwarfs shit their chainmail boxers, because they can’t do shit about it except outshooting them, seizing air superiority, or just gritting their teeth and powering through.
Their Army Roster an be found [here].
Oh, what kind of game would we have if we didn't have Orcs and Goblins? Led by Grimgor Ironhide as the faction leader, along with Azhag the Slaughterer, Skarsnik (Crooked Moon), and Wurrzag (Bloody Handz) as additional Legendary Lords. The resident barbaric faction of the Old World, the hordes of green starts out in the Badlands, and from there, it's about getting together enough Boys and runts to get a good ol' Waaagh! going in the Empire or Bretonnia and chop up some fools. While Greenskins can and probably should take a few strongholds and occupy settlements, most Greenskins want to raid, sack, loot, and ambush random people all around the place to keep up income. If an army goes too long without a fight, it turns on itself, and if you get enough fighting done, you might start a Waaagh!
The Greenskins' signature mechanic is "Fightiness." If an army isn't raiding or fighting, its Fightiness falls until the boyz start fighting each other, causing attrition. Keep your Fightiness high and your army big, and the sheer mass of fighting will attract a WAAAGH!!!, a free army that you indirectly control until it's either wiped out or the army that attracted it loses Fightiness. This makes the strategy involved in fighting Greenskins tricky: throwing speedbump armies at them won't whittle them down like other factions. Also the Greenskins uniquely can operate, refresh and recruit deep in enemy territory making them ideal for offense.
Their sub-factions play quite a bit differently than the main Greenskin force. The Crooked Moon faction led by Skarsnik starts in the Grey Mountains and must gain control of Karak Eight Peaks as his overall objective. Until then you can only recruit goblin units, which is obviously quite the handicap since gobbo's are notoriously shit (at least until you get the right buffs for them, they can get to the point where they murder pretty much anything. Seriously, once you have the right Lord skills, a unit of fanatics will have weapon skills on par with Karl Franz himself). The Bloody Handz under Wurrzag on the other hand, start in the Badlands and are all about having armies of Savage Orcs and buffing them.
In battle, Greenskins are a varied horde army who likes themselves a lil' bit of a scrap, as you'd expect. A Greenskin army is generally more mobile than most armies, but are also more vulnerable to ranged damage and artillery. Goblins are way cheaper to get into an army than Orcs, but they're generally pretty weak unless helped. Greenskins also have way more monsters than most other races.
Their Army Roster can be found [here]
Azhag the Slaughter. "Shut it ironhat! I'm not da git of da all legendary boss in this section!"
While in terms of number of factions they are outnumbered, four compared to the 12 Empire factions (plus the Empire clones), the counts are surely not a force to be trifled with. Led by Mannfred von Carstein as the faction leader with Heinrich Kemmler (
seemingly without Krell who can now summon Krell) and Helman Ghorst as additional Legendary Lords. With the Old World Edition update, Vlad von Carstein and his wife Isabella von Carstein now lead Schwartzhaften sub-faction instead of putting up with Manny's bullcrap. Unlike the Dwarfs and Greenskins who will be fighting up in the mountains for control over the Dwarf Holds, the Counts can control and manage human settlements driving them into conflict with the other human factions, when the vampires take an area they won't just loot it, they are there to stay.
Their main unique mechanic on the campaign is the ability to Raise Dead. With it you can immediately recruit units if you have sufficient money and space in your army for it. There will always be low level undead around on the map, but if there has been a big battle, and you have already unlocked them, you can raise high level undead. To add to this they have another campaign mechanic, Vampiric Corruption. Corruption is a statistic that a province akin to religion you find in older Total War games. Vampire armies traveling though untainted terrain suffer attrition, while enemy armies in corrupted turf also suffer attrition. It can spread and cause undead rebellions in nearby settlements so it's best you use corruption and make those Witch Hunters earn their pay even in places where you're not going to immediately invade. In occupied settlements you'll face Public Order problems if you don't get it high enough. Vampires spread corruption with heroes and some buildings in settlements.
On the battlefield the Vampire Counts are arguably the most unique of the launch game I races. Unlike the other factions the Vampire Counts have no ranged units, but make it up by having tough infantry, immunity to panic and very good flying units. As well as a good amount of monstrous units that usually have fear or terror effects to quickly break the enemy's morale. Fittingly they also have a decent amount of options to summon additional units to the field, along with a lot of regeneration potential from their support units. However, their major weakness is that the entire army will crumble away should your Lord get taken out. So while they can certainly hold their own in combat, it is best not to be reckless with them.
Additionally, beating the wood elf mini-campaign nets you the Red
Duck Duke for multiplayer or if you somehow manage to confederate with Mousillon in the campaign. As of the Aye Aye! Patch coinciding with the Vampire Coast DLC, Kemmler gets his own subfaction in Mortal Empires located in the Northern Grey Mountains called the Barrow Legion, where he'll have the unique advantage of not taking attrition on uncorrupted land, allowing him to move more quickly and potentially squeeze the Bretonnians between himself and Mousillon. This patch also gives all vampires access to Bloodlines; the more Blood Kisses you get (made available through various actions such as defeating faction leaders, assassinating characters in general and such) the more lords you can recruit from one of the five bloodlines, giving you specific faction-wide bonuses on top of having . Three for each, thus 15 bloodline Vampire Lords belonging to the Von Carstein, Blood Dragon, Necrarch, Strigoi and Lahmia bloodlines. Each with their specific sets of unique skill trees specific for their bloodlines.
Their Army Roster can be found [here].
One of the defining aspects of Warhammer, the Warriors of Chaos had to be in a Total War game, and they do not disappoint (much...). In a lot of ways, Chaos is similar to the Vampires; their only ranged units are missile cavalry and artillery, and they are not even particularity good missile cav. The Warriors of Chaos are all about heavy infantry backed up with the occasional slavering monsters like Chaos Trolls, Dragon Ogres, and Chaos Spawn.
The Warriors of Chaos are a lot more complex then the other factions. For one, like the Vampire Counts, they have a corruption mechanic they can infect provinces with using their heroes. But rather than make the ground safe for their troops to travel through, it inspires Chaos uprisings and rebellions. Secondly, they don't occupy cities but instead each army has self contained buildings, even when taking a fellow Norsemen tribe you can only sack it (for gold), raze (for pop growth to get buildings), or awaken it (more on that later). This means that when a Chaos army stops moving it can get units back even in foreign ground, because in a sense all ground is foreign to it. Due to this if an army is wiped out a lot more is lost. They also have weak economic buildings; your main source of cash will be sacking the shit out of people. Do note that nothing stops you from sacking a place, then razing it for money and pop growth. Thirdly, they can awaken Norse tribes making them your vassals and giving you increased unit replenishment in their territory. Fourthly, if multiple Chaos stacks are next to one another on the campaign map the Norscan units within will suffer attrition; making combined attacks against large cities a bit dicey if planned poorly. Finally: even if you are not playing with the DLC to make them playable they will come from the north as a boss faction you have to deal with at some point no matter who you are, even if you are the Everchosen himself. In that case, they'll also have an extra legendary lord: the Everwatcher. Their available legendary lords are Archaon, Sigvald the Magnificent, and Kholek Suneater.
Of course that was the sticking point at Chaos' release, that to play as them you had to pre-order the game, or else buy a piece of DLC for what is seen as a "core" faction. The reveal that Chaos was going to be DLC opened a can of rage massive enough to mildly impress an Angry Marine. A blog post made by the chief producer argues that chaos had to be DLC or not be in the game at all, which if you think about the number of unique animation rigs between the factions it's not like you need to animate one spearman and then can dress him up in 50 different cultures, may be true but it is still a bitter pill for us fans. Fortunately, CA finally seemed to have noticed the horde of raging neckbeards banging on their door and decided to tone down the money grubbing asshole levels a notch; the Chaos Warriors DLC was made available for free if you purchased within the first week of the game's launch; so you had the option to wait a few days and see how many people lose their shit over the game for better or worse before blowing $60 on it. http://store.steampowered.com/app/404010/ - Their steam page which tries to sell them and has their army roster. While the faction could appear as a non-playable faction for some bizarre ass reason CA made some units exclusive to the DLC including Sigvald, the Dragon Ogres (including shaggoths and Kholek), armored variations of Chaos Trolls, Chaos Sorcerer Lords, Manticores, Chaos Dragons, Forsaken, and Gorebeast chariots. Likely because otherwise people would just use a mod to unlock the faction without paying.
They later got a pretty welcome boost with three new free units released at the same time as the King and the Warlord. Feral Manticores may not be able to really stack up to Vargheists and Pegasus Knights in terms of controlling the skies, but they can give the Chaos Warriors a lot of needed flexibility. Aspiring Champions are pretty thoroughly badass and can both bolster your cheaper units' shitty morale and carve up enemy trash units like butter while being pretty cheap themselves (just don't get them into fights with units that have AP damage), and Marauder Horselords aren't exactly what the Chaos Warriors needed more of but they're decently cheap and flexible cavalry who can both harass the enemy at range as well as deal some decently harsh pummeling in melee. Furthermore, Sathoreael was made available to play for anyone who beat the campaign with the release of the Call of the Beastmen, and while the Lore of Metal isn't exactly the best lore in the game, he is a pretty hefty beat-stick lord.
Thankfully, the addition of Norsca also gave the Warriors of Chaos some very much needed quality of life improvements. Some very nice Regiments of Renown (including Sigvald's
groupies Mirror Guard), a boost to unit replenishment attached to their core technologies, Marauder units were given a notable buff, your armies no longer murder each other for being too close if they don't contain any Marauders, and perhaps most notably, the Norscan tribes you awaken are automatically vassals. This means that infighting will be much less common and you no longer have to send an army north to smack them back into line.
They were confirmed to be released as free-LC on the 28th February. Their Legendary Lords, and a Lady, were confirmed to be King Louen Leoncoeur (as expected), the Fay Enchantress, and... Duke Alberic of... Bordeleaux... oh god, it's Helman Ghorst all over again. *Ahem*. Some speculated that Alberic was chosen because he would give CA a chance to be creative with their character since he had just about two paragraphs of lore; this was evidently not the case and they somehow couldn't even make him accurate to said two paragraphs. The Mortal Empire update provided Alberic with a much better layer of uniqueness (getting a model update, new weapon, new mount, and new gameplay niche) and characterization.
At launch, they were only playable (with a limited roster) in custom battles (be it single or multiplayer), though they fairly quickly got a stop gap mod to let them be played till the FLC came out. They seem, like their tabletop counterparts, to focus heavily on cavalry, having at least one unit of each variety of cavalry, including flying cavalry. However, as people who played Warhammer know, the race were poorly supported with a pretty limited roster, made worse by a decent number being left out at launch. So to make them competitive at the time, CA gave them ridiculously cost-effective infantry and archers. As in, Bretonnian Men-at-Arms are better warriors than Empire State Troops. This led to the Bretonnian netlists containing little to no cavalry, and instead being peasant hordes and flying rape squads. Disappointingly, Grail Knights were *substantially* inferior to the hilariously OP Demigryph Knights (especially with Halberds) who are, to add insult to injury, a fair bit cheaper and get crushed by Blood Knights. Ironically, with the release of Wood Elves, the peasant bowmen were able to 1v1 the Wood Elves' Glade Guards and win. This was hilarious and scub worthy at the same time, but seeing that CA had to buff Bretonnia due to their lack of units, it was somewhat understandable, not to mention many players forget that the Wood Elves are one of the harder armies to play, and their archers are not trading-blow style like the Dwarf's or the Empire's ranged units.
With Bretonnia finally becoming a proper faction, all of this was changed. Men-at-arms have been nerfed back down to peasant levels (so you'll probably need a Grail Reliquae if you want to depend on men-at-arms at all later in the campaign). Instead, Bretonnia has gotten all three of the units they were previously missing, plus entirely new units they never had in tabletop, such as hippogriff knights, foot squires and trebuchets loaded with holy water. Their existing roster also got several buffs - all Bretonnian knights can now adopt a lance formation, and Grail Knights specifically are now protected by the Lady's blessing and never tire in battle. Which hilariously makes them more tireless than the undead. Furthermore, Grail Knights can now take on Demigryph Knights or Blood Knights and win. Unfortunately, because peasants are garbage tier in battle next to mid to high tier Wood Elves, this tends to result in said elves tearing Bretonnia a new hole. Especially if you've sent your lords questing far and wide to get those sweet vows.
They have two and a half campaign mechanics. The first one is Chivalry, a meter which measures how great of a knight you are. Winning great victories and protecting your allies increases Chivalry, while raiding and backstabbing lowers it. With higher levels of Chivalry, you get better relations with other factions, better public order, more experienced knight recruits, and the ability to temporarily call upon the Green Knight as a Legendary Hero. The Bretonnian endgame goal is to reach the highest level of Chivalry, then go off on a crusade to completely fuck over either Chaos in the Chaos Wastes or the Greenskins in the Badlands. The second mechanic is the peasant economy. If you have too many units of peasants in your army and not, you know, farming, you suffer economic problems with your farming economic buildings, making them perform worse compared to the industrial buildings which aren't affected by insufficient peasants. With the trade off being that they don't give quite as much money... So if you want to drown your enemy in filthy peasants, switch to an industrial income source. Lastly your "half" a mechanic is that rather then public order you have 'control'. It's basically the same as other factions public order except, due to the fact your average Bretonnian peasant is more loyal to his lord than your average North Korean, rather then facing rebellions of your own factions you have incursions of Orcs and other bad guys.
They also have the unique capacity to have a chance to remove negative traits from characters garrisoned in a town with a religious building, because no one likes it when they suddenly find Leoncouer likes Chaos.
The first post-release DLC faction, with the release date of 28th of July. The chaos furries are, like Archaon's spiky boys, a horde faction. Unlike the Warriors of Chaos, however, Beastmen have a passive ability called Resilience, which prevents attrition from having too many hordes together. Another mechanic borrowed from their furless friends is Chaos corruption, that will cause no end of trouble for whomever's land you sack. Beastmen armies also have a meter that is identical to the Greenskin's fightiness one, called Bestial Rage. Don't fight as often and it gets too low, you suffer attrition, otherwise if you hit the top you get an AI army following you around.
One of their truly unique features is their modified stances first being the ambush stance, that allows them full movement and still lets them ambush (but now on the move). Their hidden encampment stance conceals the army much like ambush, but instead of surprise attacks you can build and recruit in relative safety instead. Beast-paths stance allows them to ignore impassable terrain much like the underway, but battles take place in a different (very foresty and narrow) kind of map. Of course, they can also raid like everyone else.
Their post-battle options are also geared for their horde gameplay: Raze and Loot will get you income and destroy the settlement, while Raze and Defile will still raze it but erect a "blasphemous monument" there instead of gaining loot; this monument will not only constantly generate large quantities of corruption, but also give you a population boost. Beastmen players will also get a periodic Chaos Moon event where you can pay specific prices for specific bonuses.
Their start location is actually different based on which lord is picked. which while standard now was unique at the time of there release. The Legendary Lord options are Khazrak the One Eye, starting in Tobaro (in Estalia), Malagor the Dark Omen, starting in the Marshes of Madness (in the Badlands), and Morghur the Shadowgave, starting in Nordland. Beastmen also have access to their own lore of magic, the Lore of the Wild, and two types of heroes: the Gorebull (that can send Trolls flying when charged or knocking down Varghulfs) and the Bray-Shaman who can use the lore of the wild, lore of death, and the free-LC-added lore of beasts. Not only that, but most of their units are fast and get vanguard deployment, allowing for some powerful misdirection. Morghur and harpies were added for free when the Wood Elves were released.
CA has confirmed they will appear in the campaign regardless of your ownership of them (which is now standard for all DLC for these games), which is awesome. Amusingly, this has a rather dire effect on the AI Human kingdoms if you aren't actively pruning brayherds as they pop up. The early armies of the Empire and Bretonnia do not do well against them and frequently by turn 50, much of the human lands are corrupted, ruin littered wastes, long before the actual Chaos Warriors even show up!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/404012/ - the steam page with their roster
The second post-release race with the release date of the 8th of December of 2016. It seems CA has taken to heart the popularity of Clan Angrund, Crooked Moon, and Bloody Handz, because the DLC will come with a sub-faction of its own. Wood elves play very differently from all the other armies. First, they are incredibly fragile, relying on massive micro to survive. Second, they can conquer any settlement type be it Dwarf, Human, or Norscan, makes sense since Oak of Ages once had its root sprawled across the entire world, even Norsca; it was only the coming of chaos that destroyed all its works. The catch is that all settlements outside Athel Loren are stuck being mere outposts where only the most basic structures may be built. The settlements in Athel Loren proper, meanwhile, have a whopping 10 (ten) building slots.
But where they truly become unique is their win condition: they need to upgrade the unique Oak of Ages to level 5. But there are a few problems. First, to do so you need amber, a secondary resource only used by the hippies. Amber is only found outside Athel Loren, and is also used for technology and high-tier units. Second, when you do grow up your pretty tree as far as it goes, you'll have to fend off stacks of Beastmen and Warriors of Chaos as they attempt to dogpile you.
Their two lords are Orion and Durthu. Durthu actually leads a subfaction focusing on tree spirits in the opposite end of Athel Loren from Orion (who focuses on elf units). They got two generic lords (Glade Lord and Treeman Ancient), and three heroes (Spellsinger, Branchwraith, Waystalker). Finally, they have motherfucking forest dragons.
All these advantages though? They need it. They are currently one of the hardest factions to play, if not the hardest, and Dwarfen firedrakes weep tears of joy as they are suddenly relevant and effective against a highly-flammable army.
Perhaps the biggest reason why people struggle with the Asrai is their relatively micro heavy playstyle. Wood Elves are definitely not a standing army during the early game and don't function as a fully functional traditional total war army ever. Wood Elves lack a cheap and high model front line unit. Eternal guardians, the absolute minimum level unit you can recruit, will shit on any other faction's first unit in a 1v1. They are also extremely expensive to recruit and maintain. This a major theme for wood elves. Take their base archer unit - Glade Guard- for instance. On paper they should absolutely defeat a Bretonnian or a Beastman archer unit. They certainly cost that much. In a straight up battle they will probably lose. This is because the Beastmen and Bretonnians can generally match them straight up in a fight due to having larger unit sizes and consequently more dakka. They are bringing more arrows while costing less. What the wood elves have over all other factions is raw speed. A wood elf army can outrange and outskirmish the enemy. While playing as wood elves, You have to think outside the box, breaking up formations, making sure that your archers keep firing no matter what happens, and keeping enemies away from your squishy missile troops. Oh, and fight in the DAMN TREES. Seriously, Wood elves gain hefty combat bonuses in forests for prolonged combat. If you are playing as the Wood Elves by using conventional military tactics you are fucking up. Another mistake that people commonly make while playing as the Wood Elves is thinking that their infantry is supposed to fight in the front line. This is a mistaken idea that only leads to loss of Asrai life and makes baby Orion sad. Eternal Guards are a damn good unit that can go toe to toe with higher tier infantry of other factions. They are also too expensive to keep as frontline infantry.They are support units that keep your flanks clear of cavalry and support your front line with anti-large damage; ideally they should be supporting Treekin. Treekin are the front line tanks of the Wood elves in battle. Whereas Trolls - their closest counterpart in the game - have low morale and regeneration, Treekin are walking trees that have a 20% resistance to physical damage along with a fuckton of health and small models. This means that you need to support them with magic, ideally healing them with the Lore of Life. You can't expect them to win a straight up fight against large numbers on their own. Your starting legendary lords (especially Durthu, who can easily solo a Beastman army due to his innate fear traits) can soak up a lot of damage as long as they are well supported. Finally, a word on the Wardancers. They are basically Howling Banshees. Fragile and absolutely murderous in close range combat. Asrai Wardancers armed with spears can easily combat high level cavalry like blood knights due to their anti-large bonus while regular Wardancers do the same to infantry. They aren't frontline infantry and using them as such is a waste. Eternal guard have much higher mass and can generally hold their own pretty well. Wood elves also have a lot of access to magic damage, which bypasses physical resistance, making them very effective against heroes and lords.
One thing that players have had noticed on release in the campaign was that AI-controlled wood elves were notoriously bipolar and would sometimes even ally with Chaos while laying waste to huge swathes of the map. However, an update that came with Bretonnia made them lore-tasticaly isolationist with short bursts of aggressive expansion.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/534331/ - the steam page with their roster
A third post-release faction coming to the first game as a pre-order bonus for the second. Norsca will be composed of two playable factions: the painfully-generically-named Norsca under Wulfrik the Wanderer, and the Throgg-led Wintertooth tribe. Wulfrik is, understandably, focused on dueling enemy lords and heroes, while Throgg is better suited to breaking enemy lines. They only have one generic lord, the Marauder Chieftain, but they make it up by allowing you to specialize each lord into skill trees themed after the Gods of Chaos.
They also get three heroes to take into battle or to harass armies on the campaign map: the Skin Wolf Werekin, the Shaman Sorcerer (who can use the Lores of Death, Metal or Fire) and the Fimir Balefiend (who can use the Lores of Shadows and Fire). The Werekin is your regular combat hero much like a Gorebull or Wight King, and while the Shaman is the usual squishy wizard, the Balefiend is anything but. Instead, the Fimir hero can easily wade right into the thick of the fighting thanks to their resilience, magical attacks and sunder armour ability.
Their roster is composed almost exclusively of light infantry/cavalry and monsters, though Marauder Champions are certainly some of the better high-tier heavy infantry in the game; being able to mulch Black Orcs and trade well against even Chosen. Certainly the Berserkers make up for their squishiness with sheer damage output. Most of their units are anti-large and the humans often have a rage mechanic that gives them bonuses the longer they are engaged in fighting. Meanwhile, war beasts and some monsters have Frostbite, which slows down enemy units they engage with.
In the campaign, you will have to raid and sack the soft lands of the south, dedicating the victories to one of the four Dark Gods, the Hound, the Crow, the Serpent or the Eagle. Get enough favour with one of them, and you'll become their champion, and have to fend off attacks by champions of the other three (in other words, Norscans get God-specific Chaos Lords while the Warriors of Chaos don't). Alternatively, the Norscans can also establish outposts in any coastal province as well as certain capitals like Altdorf and Drakenhof. In Norsca itself, you'll be able to confederate easily by defeating enemy faction leaders in battle. Finally, hunting monsters will take a big part in the campaign, giving you items and units as rewards. Not to mention Surtha Ek getting a chariot of his own...
Total War: WARHAMMER 2
- So far we have six factions (two of which being DLC ones) each divided into a multitude of sub-factions (including free DLC ones)
With a balanced roster, a host of magical options and motherfucking dragons, the High Elves are an easy faction to use and understand and are capable of using almost every tactic from stonewalls to hit and run vanguards, but are ultimately the shootiest of all factions with all higher tier units having powerful ranged attacks. Their main distinction is that setting up trade agreements also provides them with a network of spies in the lands of their trading partners. High elves have a special resource called Influence which they earn through periodical events that pop up (along with faction debuffs or buffs, Influence isn't free). They can use Influence to improve or ruin the relationships between two factions regardless of their diplomatic standing with each other. Turn allies against each other through spending Influence points, or make new friends and new alliances. The sky (and your influence points) is the limit as far as your options go. It's also worth noting that Influence is extremely important as most Lords you can get without Influence are kinda garbage, and getting decent ones requires you to spend Influence to coax them from summer palaces to fight in your armies.
In battle, High elves have the Martial Prowess ability: It represents their training and expertise in close combat when fighting with their comrades; since elves are naturally long-lived, they tend to have more experience in fighting in a coordinated manner when compared to other factions in the game. This means that as long as their total HP is over 50% they perform better in melee. However, their melee is lackluster compared to the Dark elves and ideally you should be winning the skirmish phase as soon as you can to whittle down more dangerous dark elf units like the Black Guard of Naggarond and Witch elves so that you can administer the coup-de-grace when your lines finally collide, or simply riddle them so full of arrows that when they do hit your lines half of them are already dead. On the campaign, the Crafted items are head and shoulders above items that you can get from random drops. Able to support you on the battlefield and the campaign, these items are well worth the money you spend on acquiring them.
The one absolute benefit the High elves have over other factions is that their units -especially their cavalry- are more responsive. Lizardmen suffer from their units going berserk, and so do the Dark elf cavalry, while the bulk of Skaven armies are more eager to rout off the battlefield than they are to fight. High elves, in contrast, have typical total war unit responsiveness across their roster with units generally rallying and returning to the fight. While this is a glass-half-full analysis of their units it also means that you have control over when you want to engage the enemy. It becomes useful in the longer drawn out fights where you want to keep your army together and able to present a united front against the enemy. While players might prefer the more powerful buff that the Dark elves have to their murderous prowess, the high elf army is capable of holding their own with the help of magic and superior missile fire.
- Tyrion leads the primary subfaction of Lothern starting in the city of, well, Lothern in Ulthuan for both the Vortex and Mortal Empires campaigns. The unique faction effects are a bonus to relations with other High Elves, reduction in recruit time for infantry and cavalry units, and (interestingly) a reduction in construction time for the Shrine of Khaine. His Lord effects are a 50% upkeep reduction for Spearmen, Archers, and Silver Helms in his army, along with a bonus to recruit rank for Lothern Sea Guard. Considered to be the vanilla experience suitable for the High Elves and Warhammer II in general, therefore his campaign is the most straightforward. With the main gimmick being Tyrion's unique skill tree options having a mutually exclusive choice between huge campaign boosts or in-battle boosts capable of making him solo armies. Quest items include the Dragon Armour of Aenarion and Sunfang; while he also has access to the Heart of Avelorn through a hidden quest. Also has access to a unique mount Malhandir. Designed as the primary melee fighter of the race and specializing in dueling.
- Teclis leads the Order of Loremasters starting in the Great Turtle Isle in the south of Lustria in the Vortex campaign, while he switches over to the Star Tower in Mortal Empires. The unique faction effects are a bonus to relations with Men and High Elves, and a bonus to recruit rank for Mages. His Lord effects are a bonus 30 to his Winds of Magic power reserve, and starting with the spell "Fireball" as a bound ability (which can be upgraded Fiery Convocation through his skill tree). Teclis' campaign isn't much different from a Tyrion based on mechanics alone, however his is far more difficult due to his start position; with a good deal of potentially hostile factions led by Legendary Lords in his vicinity in both campaign modes. Quest items include the War Crown of Saphery and the creatively named Sword of Teclis; he can also gain the Moonstaff of Lilith and Scroll of Hoeth through hidden quests. Designed as the primary spellcaster of the race, with a selection of spells from the Lore of Beasts, Fire, Heavens, Life, Light, and Beasts.
- Alarielle leads the faction of Avelorn starting in the Gaen Vale in both the Vortex and Mortal Empires campaigns. The unique faction effects are a bonus to Hero capacity for Handmaidens, and a reduction of cost for her unique rite. Her Lord effect is a bonus to missile damage for Sisters of Avelorn and Handmaidens. In addition to these she boasts a number of unique mechanics that differentiates her from the vanilla Lord choices. The first being the "Defender of Ulthuan" mechanic, which gives bonuses or penalties depending on how much of Ulthuan is owned by High Elf factions; with the penalties being especially harsh if another race takes hold of the inner sphere of Ulthuan. In addition to this she leaves lingering bonuses to any province she recently visited, and her in-battle performance changes depending on how much Chaos Corruption is present in the world. Not only that, but Alarielle has the pleasure of being the second hybrid faction in the game following Arkhan the Black's precedent. Having access to some forest spirit units from the Wood Elves' roster via a unique recruit chain in her faction capital. Alongside this she also has access to the Invocation of Isha rite (replacing the Invocation of Hoeth), early access to the Handmaiden building, and a unique campaign stance. Her sole quest item is the Star of Avelorn, while she starts with her Stave of Avelorn already equipped; she can also gain access to the Shieldstone of Isha through a hidden Quest (though it is not really hidden since you gain the item even if another faction completes the mission's goal before you). Another spellcaster, though she can hold up better in a fight than Teclis can, with more of a support focus with access to a mixed lore from High, Life, and Light magic.
- Alith Anar leads the faction of Nagarythe, though oddly enough not actually starting in that region, instead starting in the Black Creek Spire in Naggaroth. The unique faction effects are reduction in global recruitment time for all units, and a bonus to campaign movement range for all armies. His unique Lord effects are a reduction in Shadow-walker upkeep, and a bonus to ambush success chance; whilst he also has a unique (and potentially hilarious) bound ability called "Mislead" which creates a clone of himself while making the original hidden. Much like Alarielle, he also comes with a good amount of new mechanics to differentiate himself from the other shiny elves. His main unique mechanic is "Marked for Death", where it assigns a hit list of characters from various factions which gives you a host of rewards should you take them out of the picture. Not only that, but he has the privilege of being the first Lord to have a unique unit exclusive to his faction, those being the Shadow-Walkers. Alongside these he also has mutually exclusive skill tree options ala Tyrion, a unique campaign stance (default ambush attack stance Beastmen and Skaven style), "Shadow Paths" (the usual underway style stuff), a unique building that boosts ambush chances and decreases enemy movement in your provinces, and his faction has Wasteland as a suitable climate. Last but not least he has the unique rite Invocation of Morai-Heg which gives him a unique hero character the "Hand of the Shadow Crown" which boasts a 100% chance for assassination. His sole quest item is for The Moonbow, but he starts with his Stone of Midnight already equipped, and (supposedly) can gain the Shadow Crown through a hidden quest. His role is rather unique in that he is the first truly ranged Lord in the trilogy, though he can do decently in melee too. Having a rather absurd amount of range, able to fire whilst moving, and having extremely high armour piercing missile damage, and can vanguard deploy to boot.
The High Elves can cast the following Rites during their campaign
- Invocation of Vaul: Reduces recruitment cost, increases armour, and gives 2 chevrons for newly recruited Swordmasters, Phoenix Guards, White Lions and Dragon Princes of Caledor. Also grants a magical wallbreaker ability called Vaul's Hammer during siege battles for all forces. requires 3 unlocked technologies
- Invocation of Asuryan: Grants 2 influence per turn, reduces building costs by 15% and increases Public Order by 4 requires level 5 on Faction Leader
- Invocation of Hoeth: 200 XP per turn for mages and loremasters of Hoeth. 30 additional mana reserves for all forces, 40% success chance for mage heroes and loremasters and 50% XP increase for mages. requires Archive building
- Invocation of Isha: Immunity to attrition factionwide. 8% increased army replenishment rate and +10 to Anti Corruption in all regions. requires 3 settlements to be owned
- Invocation of Lileath: A Rite exclusive to Avelorn. Increases by 3 levels the recruitment of Sisters of Avelorn, gives 2 levels to all recruitable Handmaidens, +20 armor to Dryads and a 75% cost decrease to all Handmaiden actions.
- Invocation of Morai-Heg: A Rite exclusive to Nagarythe. Spawns the Hand of The Shadow Crown. A unique agent that has ALWAYS a 100% assassination chance.
Their roster can be found here
Like their High Elf adversaries the Dark Elves field a versatile and well rounded roster of troops. The key difference between them and their foes is that the Druchii focus on offense over defence like the Asur do. As such they are generally less resilient on the whole than the High Elves, with some units like the Witch Elves falling squarely under the definition of glass cannon. However this is balanced out by a number of heavily armoured or otherwise resilient units such as the Corsairs, Black guard, War Hydras, and Cold One Dread Knights, who are described by CA as being dinosaur riding cataphracts. They can also field Black Dragons, both as a mount option and a standalone unit. In addition the Dark Elves have a battlefield mechanic which gives them an army wide offensive buff once a certain number of units (from either army on the field) have been killed. Their campaign objectives revolve around Malekith seeking to absorb the energy of the vortex and use it to finally conquer hated Ulthuan. Their campaign also features a twist near the end, involving the surprise appearance of a tabletop character.
In battle the Dark Elves favour, as stated above, offensive strategies and benefit from closing the distance with the enemy early, especially against factions with a heavy focus on ranged firepower. Dark Elf ranged units, from the humble Darkshards up to the Shades, have a lower than average range, so expect to be out ranged by many other factions. However, for what they lack in range they make up for in damage, not to mention the sheer volume of fire they can output. In fact, thanks to all Dark Elf ranged units doing armour piercing damage, even the basic Darkshard unit can be relied upon to make heavy infantry cry salty tears. As for infantry the basic Dreadspear and Bleaksword units are nothing special, but they do their job well enough. A step higher are the corsairs, who are reasonably tough, reliable and cost effective in multiplayer.
In terms of campaign mechanics they possess a slavery system, allowing them to take slaves in battle and from enemy settlements. These slaves can subsequently be sent back to their own settlements and used to bolster their economy, or as fuel for their various rites. Managing slaves is something of a balancing act however, as having too many can cause public order problems and potentially lead to rebellions. Another Mechanic is the ability to recruit black arks, giant floating fortresses which essentially function as mobile settlements, allowing recruitment of new troops on the move. The black arks can also support nearby armies with a variety of in-battle bombardment abilities. Lastly Dark Elf lords can be given "names of power" as they level up; these are essentially titles which grant various bonuses depending on the one chosen. For example one might grant bonuses in battle another to management on the campaign map.
- Malekith leads the primary subfaction Naggarond starting in the province of, you guessed it, Naggarond in both the Vortex and Mortal Empires campaigns. The unique faction effects are a bonus to loyalty for newly recruited Lords, relations bonus with the Cult of Pleasure, Malekith sharing a percentage of the XP he gains to other Lords, and an increased chance of loyalty loss when they are a higher rank than Malekith. His sole Lord effect is an upkeep reduction for Black Guard, Dreadspears, Bleakswords, and Darkshards in his army. Much like Tyrion's example he has a mutually exclusive skill tree line, but other than that he is meant to be the vanilla Dark Elf experience. His quest items include Destroyer, the Supreme Spellshield, and the Circlet of Iron; while he can also gain the Armour of Midnight from a hidden quest. Also has access to his unique mount Seraphon. Designed to be a hybrid Lord, who can more than hold his own in melee combat while also being a great spellcaster of the Lore of Dark magic too.
- Morathi leads the Cult of Pleasure faction starting in the Ancient City of Quintex in both Vortex and Mortal Empires campaigns; and differs a decent amount from her eternal emo phase of a son. Her faction effects are a boost to diplomatic relations with other Dark Elves, a reduction in relations with the Exiles of Nehek subfaction, a reduction in hero action cost, construction cost for Sorcery buildings, a huge reduction in upkeep for heroes, and finally (being the closet Chaos worshiper that she is) all characters in Morathi's faction spreads Chaos corruption. Her sole Lord effect is a chance to boost loyalty to Lords in the same local region as her. Her sole quest item is Heartrender & the Darksword, while she can also gain the Wand of Kharaidon from a hidden quest. Her role is mainly being the (very squishy) spellcaster for the race, using a mix of Dark, Death, and Shadow Magic. But she also has the role of being the only Dark Elf lord capable of anti-large damage, and she has a passive debuff hex around her that gives her some more sturdiness. Oddly enough despite being the first Sorceress she didn't gain access to Arnizipal's Black Horror when it was added alongside the Queen & the Crone DLC.
- Hellebron's leads the subfaction of Har Ganeth starting in the city of executioners itself in both the Vortex and Mortal Empires campaigns. The faction effects are an increase to hero capacity for Death Hags, and a boost to casualties captured post-battle. Her sole Lord effect is an upkeep reduction for Witch Elves, Sisters of Slaughter, and Har Ganeth Executioners. Much like her rival Alarielle, the Crone comes with a decent amount of unique mechanics that make her stand apart from the literal edge lord and his mother. First off is the Death Night mechanic, where every now and then you have to sacrifice a bunch of slaves to keep Hellebron all young and happy. Doing so gives a number of boosts to public order and Hellebron's in-battle stats, while also spawning an AI army of (unbreakable!) Dark Elves which will head over to give Ulthuan a rough time. If you do not commence a Death Night often enough, then Hellebron becomes more withered (sadly with no visual representation), and suffers from decreased combat stats and public order maluses. Capturing Allarielle and Morathi's capitals will raise the floor on this, lessening the negative effects should you go awhile without a Death Night. Alongside this she has access to the unique rite "Sacrifice to Drakira" (replacing "Sacrifice to Hekarti"), and she also has the unique bound ability "Gaze of Khaine" which causes units within her vicinity to rampage. Her sole quest item is the Deathsword & the Cursed Blade, but she can also gain the Amulet of Dark Fire from a hidden quest. Her role is to be an infantry blender, albeit one that can be damaged easily if you're not careful, with the potential of simply deleting units once she gets her unique weapon.
- Lokhir Fellheart leads The Blessed Dressed starting in the province of Chupayotl in both the Vortex and Mortal Empires campaign. The faction effects are a boost to income from Slave Pens and Slave Markets, and having Savannah and Jungle as suitable climates. His sole Lord effect is an upkeep reduction for all Black Ark Corsair units in his army. Alongside this his faction does not need a rite to recruit Black Arks, instead you gain more by capturing major ports on the map, and he starts with one (with a giant version of his squidhelm hanging off of it) right off the bat. Alongside this they have access to the unique rite "Sacrifice to Aneth Raema" replacing "Sacrifice to Mathlann, which is funny for a Lord that constantly talks about making sacrifices to Mathlann. His sole quest item is the Helm of the Kraken, but he can gain his Red Blades from a hidden quest. He also has a unique mount Maelstrom, which he didn't have as an option on TT. His role is to be a duelist character and to never die. Seriously, Lokhir is neck to neck with Vlad in terms of being the tankiest character in the series so far. With his Helm of the Kraken giving him regen and melee defense boosts, and his bound ability "Dreaded Duelist" giving a crazy buff to his offensive and defensive stats which can be used every minute. Not only that but he has a passive leadership debuff, which is on top of the terror he gets from his helm. Due to this he is almost universally considered one of the only Lords you're better off using on foot, since his mount just makes him a bigger target. The Krakenlord can kill almost any other Legendary Lord in the game in a one on one duel, with the exception of the likes of Kholek and Durthu.
Their rites are as follows, and, as stated above, require slaves to activate instead of gold like the other races.
- Sacrifice to Atharti: On turn start, Lords have a chance to gain loyalty. Public order increases by 8 in all provinces. Costs 100 slaves, and requires you to issue the Demand Highborn Hostages" commandment over a province.
- Sacrifice to Hekarti: Experience gain +50% and experience per turn +200 for Sorceresses. Winds of Magic Power reserve +30 for all forces. Hero action success chance +40% for Sorceresses. Costs 250 slaves, and requires you to perform an action with a Sorceress.
- Sacrifice to Khaine: Post battle capture rate +25%. Casualty replenishment +20%. Income from slaves +15%, and slave decline rate +50%. Income from post-battle loot +50%. Gives an army ability called "Dark Conduit" to all forces. Costs 375 slaves, and requires you to enslave captives after a battle 3 times.
- Sacrifice to Mathlann: Makes a Black Ark available for recruitment at any port settlement. Costs 500 slaves, and requires a Slave Pen to be constructed.
- Sacrifice to Drakira: Exclusive Rite to Har Ganeth, boosts rank bonuses for Witch Elves and Death Hags, while giving bonuses for fighting Helves, and giving a diplomatic malus with them.
- Sacrifice to Anath Raema: Exclusive Rite to The Blessed Dread, gives Black Ark Corsars Fear and Stalk traits, while also giving them bonus AP missile damage. Also gives the Kharybdiss some bonus armor.
Counting on the various types of dinosaurs, dinosaur-men, and dinosaur-men riding dinosaurs, the Lizardmen are the masters of Lustria and seek to complete the Great Plan of the Old Ones. Lizardmen used to have powerful, majestic cities that were leagues ahead of any other, so unlocking the full potential of the Lizardmen takes time and money; far more than the others. A prime example of this is the Geomantic Web: every capital in the game has Ley Lines only Lizardmen can see. These Ley Lines form a magical web that the Lizardmen can exploit to gain massive buffs to their capitals and troops, but require a LOT of investment and special building chains to make work. It's also worth noting that cities also use the ones next to them to determine their magical power, meaning that to make that Ley Line on your border into a lvl 5 like the ones deeper inside you will have to take enemy cities next door so you can improve them yourself. This encourages constant warfare and the natural debuff Lizardmen have in diplomacy mean that war is easier than peace. They can also create "blessed" units, which are recolored and beefed up Lizardmen units that come from sacred spawning pools you can build in your cities, similar to regiments of renown. Their last unique campaign mechanic is the ability to search for the venerable Lord Kroak, a Legendary Hero that can be gained from following a unique questline.
In battle a lot of their units have the potential to go into a rampage, making them ignore orders and just attack whatever unit is closest to them. To combat this, characters have access to the Coldblooded ability which lets them stop a unit from rampaging. While units with the Primal Instincts trait will only rampage when they are below a certain health threshold. Lizardmen in-battle have little skill at ranged and vanguard with few units well suited to it, but nearly all lategame units are big, beefy bastards with massive health, armor, and melee damage. Conversely what ranged units they do have are Skinks with Blowpipes and Javelins, and unfortunately their natural speed, vanguard abilities, and sheer Skinky awesomeness doesn't make up for short range and low ammunition. Thopugh this is slightly alleviated by the addition of Salamanders and the Ancient Salamder in their Lord Pack, which added some much needed ranged firepower to their toolkit. Lizardmen are a Brute army that hits like a truck with no subtlety involved, but that giant T-rex and sledgehammer wielding Crocodile-Men (they literally do Death Rolls as an animated kill) are so awesome you probably won't care.
Interestingly, recruiting a slann mage priest is surprisingly ornate as befits the fluff of the lizardmen. You can't recruit Mage priests like regular lords, but need to build a Star Chamber, and then enable the option to recruit a slann mage priest via a rite. These rites are periodical, just like the rites for all other races, meaning that you have to choose between selecting a frog magician and other major effects on the campaign map.
Their base game Legendary Lords are Lord Mazdamundi and Kroq-Gar. Later joined by Tehenauin (The Prophet & the Warlock DLC) and Tiktaq'to (FLC).
- Mazdamundi leads Hexoatl as the primary subfaction starting in, you guessed it, Hexoatl in the Vortex Campaign, and maintaining that position in Mortal Empires. The faction mechanics are a cost reduction to Star Chamber construction, a cost reduction for activating Rites, and an increased Mage-Priest capacity. Obviously to encourage players to take a more spell-caster oriented thematic playstyle. They also have a diplmoatic malus with most factions, to showcase the somewhat genocidal habits Mazdamundi has. Lord effect wise he has a hefty upkeep reduction for Temple Guard units in his army. His quest items include the Sunburst Standard of Heoxatl and the Cobra Mace of Mazdamundi, and can gain a unique Stegagon mount when properly leveled. The primary Caster Lord for the Lizardmen, Mazdamundi comes with his own mixed lore of magic, a unique Wind Spell called "Ruination of Cities", and can become quite a powerhouse once on top of his trusty (totally not a Dinobot) mount Slaaq.
- Kroq-Gar leads the Last Defenders as a subfaction, starting in the Temple of Skulls in the Vortex Campaign, as well as in Mortal Empires. The sole faction mecahnic is a faction wide upkeep reduction. While Lord effects include a significant upkeep reduction for Saurus and Cold One units, Leadership and Armour bonuses for several monstrous units, and an increase to ambush chance for Kroq-Gar's army. His quest items include the Revered Spear of Tlanxla and the Hand of the Gods, while he can also mount on his unique Carnosaur Grymloq (also totally not a Dinobot). The main melee guy for the Lizardmen, Kroq-Gar is a powerhouse that rivals Kholek when he is on his pal Grymloq. Boasting impressive combat states, and his Hand of the Gods item gives him a unique magic missle that can dish out a ton of hurt when if it connects. As he levels his yellow tree in campaign, he also gains access to the unique Swiftness of Itzl skill which ironically functions similarly to Verminous Valour, releasing a quick burst of AOE damage that pushes away foes and lets him make a hasty escape.
- Tehenauin leads the Cult of Sotek as a subfaction, starting in Kaiax in the Vortex Campaign, and Xlanhuapec in Mortal Empires. The main faction mechanics is the unique Sacrifie campaign mechanic (capturing sacrifices after a battle and exchanging them for RoRs, and other bonuses), a significant decrease to the Rite of Sotek, and a +200% bonus to upkeep cost on Saurus units until you complete the first state of the Propechy of Sotek. Lord effect wise he gives a phsytical resistance to all Skink units in his army, leadership bonuses to all his units when fighting against Skaven, and gives a bonus to untainted in a local province. The main unique campaign mecahnics is the aforementioned PRophecy of Sotek, fufilling several objectives in order to summon the Serpant God to the mortal plane once more. The second of which starts something called the Skaven War, which makes all Lizardmen factions go to war with all Skaven factions on the map, with diplomacy locked out. He starts with the Blade of the Serpent's Tongue as his unique weapon, and his quest item is the Plaque of Sotek. He can later be mounted on an Ancient Stegadon with an Engine of the Gods, though it is sadly not named after a Dinobot like the rest of the Lizardmen LLs. He is a hybrid Lord able to case the Lore of Beasts and can put up a pretty decent fight when he has to. Has a unique skill tree line camapign wise that offers a mutually exclusive choice of buffing the shit out of his Skink focused army, or boosting the Empire management element with upkeep reductions and the like.
- Tiktaq'to leads Tlaqua as a subfaction, starting in Tlaqua in the Vortex Campaign and in Mortal Empires. He brings a host of faction effects, with the main one being that his Skink Heroes all start with a Terradon mount right off the bat, an increase to campaign line of sight for all cahracters, Terradons gain a unique battle ability, and finally he unique usage of the Rite of Tzunki (which gives the ridiculous ability to reset campaign movement of all armies when used). Lord effect wise he has an upkeep reduction for Terradon Riders and Ripperdactyls, and gives a melee attack bonus to his army when fighting in foreign territory. He starts with the Blade of the Skies as his uniqe weapon, and his quest item is his Mask of Heavens; and is mounted on his unique Terradon Swuup. The Master of the Skies was somewhat of an odd choice to include at the time, but fufills a decent nice in the Lizardmen Lord lineup. He starts off mounted on his unique Terradon Swuup (compeleting the OG Lizardmen Dinobot mount trio) being the first flyer focused Lord in the trilogy so far. With his unique skill tree providing many buffs for various aerial units, and boosting the power of his uniqe Drop Sphere of Tepok ability.
Their rites include
- Rite of Awakening: Summon a slann mage priest requires Star Chamber
- Rite of Ferocity: Units gain XP per turn passively and can be recruited with two levels of veterancy. Gain more loot after the battle. Costs 1400 gold.
- Rite of Sotek: Enables attrition for enemies in your territory. 50% extra chance to succeed in ambush. Costs 2100 gold requires an ambush battle where you win
- Rite of Primeval Glory: An army of feral dinosaur units appears at your capital. All armies gain the "feral cold ones" ability. costs 8400 gold.
- Rite of Tzunki: Unique to Tlaqua and it's leader Tiktaq'to, as well as probably a nominee for most broken rite. Essentially it completely resets the depleted campaign movements of armies. When cast at the right moment, it will give you a massive strategic advantage.
Officially confirmed on the 16th of August, the Skaven and most of their monsters and machines are the fourth race for the game, and the 13th race revealed. As if anyone didn't know. They are led by Queek Headtaker for the main faction (Clan Mors) and the subfactions being led by Lord Skrolk (Clan Pestilens), Ikit Claw (Clan Skyre) and Tretch Craventail (Clan Rictus). DOOMWHEELS and hell pit abominations are confirmed. As for their mechanics, skaven cities are actually hidden, looking like ordinary ruins to some effect although attentive players will notice massive Skaven corruption around those ruins; a surefire indicator of a strong Skaven presence. Beyond that, Skaven also have unique mechanics in the Food mechanic. Skaven are hungry vermin after all, and massive Skaven populations need Food to survive. Unlike other factions that can sustain themselves Skaven aren't really farmers as such and so food shortages are a constant concern. Some advanced Skaven buildings create some food and exploiting natural food sources such as rich pastures and farmlands generate large amounts of food, but ultimately the best source of meat is the enemy; start raiding or simply eat the enemy dead, whichever works best. The more Food in your stores the better, but you can also spend Food to build more powerful settlements and increase the amount of Clan Rat reinforcements you can call per battle.
Skaven also have to deal with Skaven corruption. Skaven Corruption (AKA Rat Rot) is an indicator of how many Skaven are in the area, and can be increased (or decreased) by certain buildings: a Breeding Pit for example increases Rat Rot as more and more Skaven are born while an industry building such as a Gold Mine lowers it as Skaven die in horrible conditions. The higher the Rat Rot the more disorder the local province suffers because of an unruly population, but the higher the Rat Rot the stronger the army buffs (such as more Clan Rat reinforcements in battle) so you need to find a sweet spot that works best for you. Not to mention that high Rat Rot means lots of Skaven (duh) which shows the AI exactly where your under-empire is. Skaven also have to deal with Loyalty like the Dark Elves, and keeping Lords happy is surprisingly easy to do. Give them massive armies, give them shinies, and keep winning battles and you'll be fine. Interestingly however, is that each faction works better with certain types of Lord. For example: Queek hates Grey Seers while loving Warlords and recruiting Seers to lead your army isn't wise as his buffs and unique technologies mean that Warlords gain stronger Loyalty while Seers get lower Loyalty, making Warlords the go to for that faction. They also have access to a movement stance that lets them ambush when attacking, and the "Menace Below" ability lets you summon Clan Rats anywhere on the field, with amount of usage dependent on how much food you're willing to give up for it and the level of Skaven corruption in the area. The "Under-Empire" mechanic added at the same time as the Prophet and the Warlock has furhter differentiated the Skaven campaign by giving letting them build in other faction's cities ala Vampire Coves. The difference being that you can build them anywhere, not just in ports, and have a wider range of options. Some letting you mooch off their income, gain more food, or even build up a force to take over the city.
As can be expected, battle wise the Skaven's main strategy in combat is to overwhealm their enemy with cheap disposable rat fodder, while using their elite montsters and warmachines to do the real work while the enemy is busy with the slaves. Having some of the best artillery options in the game, and powerful, ableit fragile at times, monsters. The low leadership of the Skaven in general is a problem, but on the flip side they recover it much quicker than other races to compensate for how fast they break. Leading to a feeling of constantly getting swarmed with waves of them as they break only to return moments later. The Lord Pack's addition of the Clan Skryre units only boltering their options, with additions like the Warplock Jezzails and Ratling Gunners adding much needed long range units to their arsenal, and the Doomflayer adding a (relatively) low tier armorpiercing option great for dealing with those pesky Dwarf-things.
Their base game Legendary Lords are Queek Headtaker and Lord Skrolk. Later joined by Tretch Craventail (FLC) and Ikit Claw (Propher & the Warlock DLC).
- Queek Headtaker leads Clan Mors as the primary subfaction starting in Yuatek in the Vortex Campaign, while switching it up by starting in the Karag Orrud in Mortal Empires. The unique factions effects are a decrease to loyalty to Grey Seer recruits, and Queek steals a percentage of the XP gained by other Lords in his faction. His Lord effects buff his armies when fighting aginst Dwarfs or Greenskins, increased number of uses for the "Menace Below" and a significant upkeep reduction to Stormvermin and Clanrats. With the addition of the "Under-Empire" mechanic he also starts with an Undercity beneath Karak Eight Peaks. His quest items include the Warpshard Armour and his trusy pick Dwarf Gouger. Queek is in an odd position of being desinged to be both the vanilla Skaven experience, while also being a participant in the race to the Eight Peaks in Mortal Empires. So campaign wise his start can actually be a bit of an uphill battle. Battle role wise Queek is the quintisential duelist Lord, with his weapons and abilities catered to his role of demolishing single entity characters.
- Lord Skrolk leads Clan Pesilens as a subfaction, starting in Oyxl in both Vortex and Mortal Empires doing his best to spread, well, pestilence through the lands. The unique faction effects consist of construction cost reductions for Clan Pestilens related buildings, and a significant cost reduction for the "Pestilent Scheme" Rite. His sole Lord effect is a signifcant reduction in upkeep for all Plague Pestilens associated units. His quest items include the Rod of Corruption and The Liber Bubonicus. Role wise Skrolk is technically a hybrid Lord, being able to hold his own in melee decently enough. However he leans heavily into the spellcasting side of things, with his unique ability from the Liber Bubonicus being of particular note. Being able to devastate a single entity target with its damage nuke. Campaign wise he is pretty consistent with the goal of spreading ruin to Lusria, but it can be a pretty rough time due to the sheer number of other factions involved in that party. Allying with the resident edge lords and stocking up on Plagueclaw catapaults is highly recommended to survive the subsequent murder orgies.
- Tretch Craventail is not last but is certainly the least of the Skaven Lord choices, leading Clan Rictus as a subfaction far from home in the Clawed Coast province in both Vortex and Mortal Empires. The sole unique faction effect is a public order bonus whenever a diplomatic treaty is broken. His Lord effects consist of attack bonuses during ambushes, and after retreating when attacked, as well as the classic vanguard eployment for his whole army. His sole quest item is The Lucky Skull Helm. Role wise Tretch is meant to be good at surviability and that's about it. He technically also fufills the anti-large role among the Skaven Lords, but he isn't anything special in that department. But to make up for those lows, he has the hilarious ability "Stay Here, I'll Get Help!", which makes him invisible as he runs away while giving those he leaves behind a small buff.
- Ikit Claw leads Clan Skryre as a subfaction, starting in the Star Tower in Vortex and in Skavenblight in Mortal Empires. The unique faction effects consist of a boosted research rate, increase in loyalty for new recruits, construction cost reduction for Engineering buildings, and exclusive access to the "Forbidden Workshop" mechanic. His Lord effects include starting with a Warpstorm Doomrocket, a significant upkeep reduction to Weapons Team units, as well as increased recuit ranks for them. His unique quest item is his halberd Storm Daemon, and he starts with his unique armour the Iron Frame. He can also be mounted on either a Doomflayer or Doomwheel, neither of which were options for him on the TT. Campaign wise he is undoubtably the strongest among the Skaven, if not in the entire game up to this point. With the Forbidden Workshop giving insane amounts of both to Clan Skryre units (most of which were already powerful at a base level), and the ability to use **nukes** in battle and on the campaign map. With the ability to build Doomrockets to wipe out units on the battlefield, and the exclusive ability to make Doomspheres in under-cities to blow up the cities above ground. As for Ikit hiimself, he is pretty much good at everything. Seriously, he is tough to kill due to his armor, can dish out good anti-large armor piercing flaming and magic damage in combat, and has a flamethrower as a ranged weapon to boot. Which can be upgraded to add anti-large bonuses on top of its already signficant damage. He also has access to the Brass Orb vortex spell ability from the get go, and can gain a strong magile missle ability from his halberd. To top it all off he is also a spellcaster, and a disgusting one at that due to the sheer amount of Warp Lighning spam he can rain down upon his foes. Also CA gave him a jetpack, with a ton of unique combat animations to go along with it (which conviently also contribute to making him harder to kill).
Their rites include
- The Dominating Scheme: Increases food generated, growth, and public order in all provinces. As well as decreasing recruitment costs. Costs 3000 gold, and requires you to issue the Expansionist planning commandment in a province.
- The Pestilent Scheme: Recruits a unique Plague Priest hero called a Pestilent Scheme Priest, that will spread a plague in an enemy settlement at the cost of its own life. Costs 1000 gold, and requires you to build a Pestilent Nave building.
- The Thirteenth Scheme: Boosts diplomatic relations with Skaven by 13, provides a chance of loyalty increase each turn, reduces enemy hero success chance, increases your own hero success chance, and gives the army ability Clanstone (with varying effects depending on the faction) to all forces. Costs 1313 gold, and requires your faction leader to be rank 7..
- The Scheme of DOOOOM!: Recruits a unique Warlock Engineer hero called a DOOOOM! Engineer, that will destroy an enemy settlement's walls or create an Undercity at the cost of its own life. Costs 800 gold, and requires you to research 3 technologies.
Officially announced on the 19th of December, everyone's favorite skellies are finally coming to the Total War series. Led by Settra the Imperishable as their faction leader, the Tomb Kings do not give a shit about the petty concerns over the Vortex like the other races. Instead their objectives are based around finding the Nine Books of Nagash, and crushing any fool idiotic enough to wander into their lovely desert. Initially, the only missing units were the tomb swarms (added instead as a spell activated by the Great Incantation of Geheb rite, see below)and the Necrolith Colossus (AKA the bone giants), although these were later added. The fact that we have a fucking laser eye shooting Hierotitan (which Gameworkshop never made a proper model for) made up for that.
Following the relatively recent trend of further diversifying the ways race play, Tomb King take things up a notch by making their units free of both cost and upkeep. Instead they are given restrictions in terms of how many of each unit they are allowed to field. These limits can be increased by their research in Dynasties, or through the Mortuary Cult. Speaking of the Mortuary Cult, this has been implemented as an RPG-esque crafting system, using trade resources and a unique resource called Canopic Jars allowing you to make various items as well as make the "Legions of Legend." Surprisingly the Legions of Legend aren't just an arbitrarily renamed Regiments of Renown, but more akin to the Blessed Spawnings the Lizardmen have, or the units Norsca gets through hunts. It has also been confirmed that the Tomb Kings will be getting their Regiments of Renown at launch, instead of waiting for it for Tzeentch knows how long like the DLC factions in Warhammer I did. In addition, their army roster gets an expansion. On tabletop, our mummies had extremes when it came to the army roster. Their units were either weak or really powerful, but this changed when CA filled up the gaps by giving the Tomb Kings the Bretonnian treatment and added new units (the dual-Khopesh wielding Nehekharan Warriors that are an aggressive medium type infantry, and the Nehekharan Horsemen which are Skeleton Horsemen with armor and better defense).
On the battlefield their mechanic is the Realm of Souls. It works similarly to the Dark Elves Murderous Prowess, with a bar that is filled as more Tomb Kings die during a battle. However, it works somewhat different in that there are three stages, when each stage is reached increasingly powerful waves of healing and resurrection are activated. Once the final stage is reached you gain access to a Menace From Below like ability that summons Ushabti wherever you want on the map.
In terms of differences between their Legendary Lords, the most notable is Arkhan the Black. As expected he is the black sheep in the group as the resident Vampire Counts fetishist, and it shows with his increased relations with them and immunity to the negative effects of Vampiric Corruption. More importantly though, is that he has access to a unique building chain that allows him to recruit Vampire Count units, albeit a limited roster of them with only one of their elites. He also has a unique mount, in the form of a Mortis Engine-like chariot that floats around and runs over shit in a more spooky fashion than a normal skeletal chariot. It's no Dread Abyssal, but it is certainly something. Speaking of mounts though, interestingly Settra was given a War Sphinx as a mount (an option he didn't have access to on tabletop), Khalida with a Necroserpent (really obvious in hindsight that one), and Khatep with a Casket of Souls. Yep, you heard that right, we basically got a Legendary Lord that doubles as a heavy artillery piece. Khatep could have easily been the Alberic of the group, but CA has even made sure the arguably least interesting of the mummies had something cool to play around with.
Their rites include
- Great Incantation of Ptra: Summons a unique hero that lets you colonize ruins at city level 3.
- Great Incantation of Khsar: Causes attrition to enemies in your territory, boosts your ambush chances, and makes your army hidden and gives units stalk in battle.
- Great Incantation of Geheb: Increases city growth, reduces construction time, and gives you a vortex spell called Tombswarm as an army ability.
- Great Incantation of Tahoth: Adds the Casket of Souls to your army recruitment, and gives rank bonuses to recruits as well as increasing overall recruitment capacity.
Their trailer can be found here
"Ya best start believin' in ghost stories. Yer in one!"
- – Hector Barbarossa
"All Hail the Mighty, He's a' rising from the deep.
With tattered sails and incredible tales, We're
parting charting fighting caught in (two syllables) Endless seas"
- – The Vampire Coasts very own Sea shanty, which is really hard to figure out
Confirmed on the Fourth of October as their own faction.
Do you love pirates of the Caribbean? Are you even vaguely fond of pirate fantasy? Then take a look at this fucking trailer.
The Vampire Coast army searches far and wide in the Warhammer canon for some truly obscure undead monstrosities to add to the roster of the sea shanty singing rotting legions of the undead, including the Necrofex Colossus (a bipedal ghost ship automaton) and the Mourngul (the upper half of a very disfigured giant Ghoul). It also brings giant enemy crabs to the table as well as Zombie Paratroopers carried by giant bats and the single biggest cannon in the game, the almighty Queen Bess. You're not just limited to the undead either, there's living pirates on the Vampire Coast, and the faction itself is spread across the globe meaning they're a thorn in everyone's side without being another annoying invasion army like Chaos tends to be. Vampire Coast plays as a hybrid settlement/horde faction (though the horde aspect is only visible among their Legendary Lords and the four unique and powerful Vampire Fleet Admirals you can summon after gaining enough infamy points), with the unique ability to build hideouts near enemy settlements to siphon off their economy into your pocket. Like everything going forward after Tomb Kings there isn't a real campaign to speak of, but just like the Tomb Kings have the option to pursue the Nine Books Of Nagash instead of just conquest the Vampire Coast can tight to find various McGuffins like lost Lizardmen relics and a magic Starmetal Harpoon (who surprisingly was acquired before by Jacob Wulfhart, brother of The Empire's Huntsmarshal Marcus Wulfhart) you can use to slay the Great Merwyrm Amanar, the sea dragon that used to protected the High Elves until the Vortex campaign drove him mad and caused him to go full GOJIRA. You have to pull a Sid Meir's Pirates! and focus on defeating various pirate lords to take their the verses of a shanty that will allow the pirates to imbue the harpoon to slay Amanar in order to raise it and take control of the seas.
The first Legendary Lord is Luthor Harkon, who will be a hybrid melee, ranged lord. He has a crap ton of magic resist and the ability to drain enemy Winds of Magic, making him the bane of magic lords everywhere. He will also ride a Terrorgheist, have a campaign bonus for fighting Lizardmen, and his split personality issue will be implemented through a dilemma that will buff and debuff Luthor depending on what you get. For example, there is one called "The Coward," which increases his speed but decreases his leadership. He will also give buffs to his gunnery and give severe upkeep reduction for Deckhands and Depth Guard.
As for the other pirate lords, the second one is obviously Captain Noctilus, given that the game added the Galleon Graveyard as his home, and he loves the Necrofex Colossus and other monsterous units, as well as using his Dreadfleet commander status to gain bonuses to recruitment. The third is Aranessa Saltspite leading the pirates of Sartosa, which is an odd choice considering that she previously fought the undead, albeit only as a mercenary. This is partially addressed by having her be this DLC’s hybrid faction akin to Arkhan the Black, since she has access to a unique version of the Empire's Free Companies known as the Sartosa Free Companies,
(whom are just badly design Empire soldier armed with axe. FFS they are pirates not lumberjacks!) CA fixed it! Now they wield dual cutlasses and introduced a new human unit that is a Free Company Reskin, which fits much better! Being a sea mutant she also has a preference for the Promethians and Leviathans over undead units, and giving bonuses to artillery units. As for the rest, she reluctantly utilizes undead regiments and vampire officers on The Swordfysh. Perhaps she received one of Harkon’s Ebony skulls? Or if her epilogue is to be extrapolated she could've been corrupted all along by Manann's evil bro(or darker aspect) Stromfels. That all being said, out of the other lords, she’s the best at acquiring wealth, having bonuses to looting and finding treasure maps.
Most interesting of all, the fourth lord is a completely original character made by CA! Cylostra Direfin is an Ursula-looking lady who was evidently one of the favorite singers of the Bretonnian King, and was sent to perform for the Phoenix King. On the way, her ship encountered a storm. She refused to be delay for her performance and decided to have the ship charge into the storm, which made all hands on deck drowned, though eventually came back as ghosts (via a dark pact with Stormfel, AKA: the more douchebag version of Manaan) and decided "Fuck it, let's be pirates now" and sink Ulthuan to finally show her performance to the Phoenix King. She seems to focus on Mournguls and Sirens and has an interesting ability to summon undead Brettonian knights to her aid (she even starts with a Immortal undead Paladin unique to her and only her). The fact that CA is evidently allowed to come up with their own lords now is great news for minor factions like Araby, Amazons, Cathay, Ind and Nippon who don't have many named characters to take inspiration from, and hopefully this will help flesh them out in the future. That said, it's kind of weird how she was sailing to Ulthuan and somehow got washed up on Naggaroth but hey, not that crazy in the grand scheme of things given how fucking crazy Ulthuan's coasts work in the lore. Aside from all that she’s the designated spellcasting lord for this faction; we’ll see how well she fares against Harkon’s anti-magic counters.
Finally, Vangheist and the Shadewraith is confirmed...as a spell in the Lore of Depth where you summon his ship that shoots out a devastating hailstorm of cannon fire.They also have the BEST theme out of every race in the game.
The most notable new change to the game with their release is pirates being able to take over a city without taking control; by establishing a Pirate Cove instead of the usual Raze alternative when you don't want to own a city. Pirate players can use it to spread their Corruption, or siphon off the gold income from the city without the owner being aware of what happened other than the city being attacked. Like the Skaven cities merely appearing as unoccupied Ruins until a Lord investigates them, players will need to actually move their Lords to the cities to find out its been converted. Alongside this is naval battles no longer auto-resolving, and instead becoming a land battle on an island, and the addition of many independent pirates roaming the oceans which will make long-distance raiding and conquering more difficult (and incidentally giving races that can use the Underway to cross short water distances a bit of a buff compared to everyone else who needs to fear sudden pirate raids when traveling). Also, like The Empire and Wood Elves, the Vampire Coast factions have offices that give each character different bonuses. Function identically like in the case of the two former factions, but there is more offices to place your characters in. Also along the Aye, Aye! Patch, players can now check their wits with puzzles of The Old Ones...that sometimes require some thinking here and there.
Before actually getting into the DLC for this series, it is important to figure out exactly what can actually be added into the games at this point. Initially CA made it clear that their priority was to adapt the main 8th edition races first and foremost, and that they would be sticking as close to the tabletop as they could; so things like a fleshed out Kislev seemed to be a pipe-dream. Russian leak of future plans indicated that in addition to these Chaos Dwarfs were the only faction not part of the 8th edition that would be added in. However, as time went on there were additions to the game that somewhat stretched that. At first it was small variations, where a unit was changed a bit to fill up a hole in the roster. But then DLC started cropping up that included entirely new units, such as the free additions to the Chaos Warriors roster.
But as of Total War: Warhammer II Creative Assembly has made it explicitly clear that GW has been so pleased with the success of the game, that CA now has permission to include new units or even work on races that never had an armybook. What this entails for future content isn't entirely clear yet, but with Norsca becoming a full-fledged faction independent of Chaos Warriors with new game mechanics that are not fully reflected in the lore, and even new units that never existed before (like Frost Wyrms, which are Chaos Dragons, but with ice magic) there isn't much reason to not make Araby or Kislev complete factions as well. A look at the second game's campaign map reveals the Wood Elf settlement of Oreon in the middle of the Southlands which is referencing a 2nd edition Regiment of Renown composed of wood elf archers taking down a giant in one volley. Old lore referencing is strong with this one!
Taking into account that first game is filled with nine races (though Norsca got introduced with second game), and that the only confirmed races to still appear are the Ogre Kingdoms, Chaos Dwarfs and Chaos Daemons (either undivided or split into four factions) there is a lot free space for nations that exist in the lore but never got army books. Considering how hard CA and Sega want to sell DLC (not to mention all the people willing to buy them at such a damn high price), with the first game having seven pieces of additional content, the limited pool of still unreleased confirmed factions, that there is still a third game in the trilogy to go, and the precedents of first Norsca and now the Vampire Coasts who were even less fleshed out then Norsca ever was, anything, from the Amazons to Kislev, is on the table when it comes to future factions, installments and of course DLC.
Although with the Next Total War game being set in China...
First game DLC
A list of planned free downloadable content was shown soon after Warhammer I's launch, including some more minor things, but also confirming new legendary lords, a new faction, and some lores of magic. This list steadily got more larger as more content was released in the game's lifespan.
- Blood Knights
Released alongside the *Blood for the Blood God* DLC, adding the Blood Knights as an elite shock calvary unit for the Vampire Counts.
- Amber Wizards
Released alongside the *Call of the Beastmen* Campaign Pack, adding the Amber Wizard as a hero unit for the Empire, giving them acess to the Lore of Beasts.
- Vlad von Carstein
Realeased alongside the *Grim & the Grave* Lord Pack was none other than Vlad von Carstein himself as a Legendary Lord for the Vampire Counts. With his main gimmick being that grants vanguard deployment to all units in his army. You read that right he gives vanguard deployment to all units in his army. This pretty much negates the horrible speed of zombies or the fact that you have no ranged units because you can just start the battle a few steps away from the enemy. Or more likely, he will use his skill as an UNPARALLELED PRACTITIONER and leave you wondering how those Varghulfs got there, the Vampire ruling that army must be some kind of UNPARALLELED PRACTIC-VLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!. He initially started off as a Legendary Lord Choice for the Vampire Counts but was given his own subfaction "The Von Carsteins" when Isabella was added.
- Wurzzag, the Great Green Prophet
Released along the *King & the Warlord* Lord Pack, was Wurzzag, the Great Green Prophet as a Legendary Lord for the Greenskins. He starts in his own subfaction, The Bloody Hand over by Ekrund and focuses on savage orcs. Though able to use the Lore of da Big Waaagh!, his main draw is screwing with enemy wizards and the abilities granted by his items. He can unlock his trusty boar Spleenrippa and buffs savage orcs in his army with charge bonus and physical resistance, including giving them all magic attacks (cue banshees and wraiths weeping). As if that wasn't enough, savage orcs also get major reduction to upkeep. Oh, and he can basically use Net of Amyntok with his Effagee of da Git. Get ready to WAAAGH! ya gits.
Three Warriors of Chaos units were also thrown in as a bonus: those being Feral Manticores, Marauder Horsemasters, and Aspiring Champions.
- Grombindal, the White Dwarf
Holding the honor of first promotional FLC content was Grombrindal, the White Dwarf as a Legendary Lord for the Dwarfs. Though available early to those who buy November 2016's White Dwarf magazine, he was later released for everyone in January 19th of 2017. Sporting four items, he can take on the benefits of one of the three Ancestor deities. To represent his elusiveness and the fact that he shows up from nowhere, he is harder to intercept in the underway and can reinforce allies from father away. That's not the best thing about him though; all his pre-battle speeches is just him throwing shade and talking smack at the enemy in various creative manners. Also, he looks really pissed off.
- Grey Wizards
Released alongside the *Realm of the Wood Elves* Campaign Pack was The Grey Wizard as a hero unit for the Empire. Granting them access to the Lore of Shadows, with the main attraction here being Pit of Shades which had the honor of being the first stationary vortex (I.E. Being the only vortex worth using at the time, since it would do reliable damage).
- Jade Wizards
Also released alongside the *Realm of the Wood Elves* Campaign Pack was The Jade Wizard as a hero unit for the Empire. Granting them access to the Lore of Life and finally giving them some damn healing.
- Morghur the Shadowgave
The last bit of FLC added alongside the *Realm of the Wood Elves* Campaign Pack was Morghur the Shadowgave as a legendary lord for the Beastmen. He starts in Nordland, with his main gimmicks being his absurd survivability and his unique ability to summon up to four units of That Which Shan't Be Named per battle. Finally, Beastmen players got some air presence with a new unit: harpies.
At the very end of 2017's February, Bretonnia was finally added to the game as a playable full faction. Boasting three subfactions, a more fleshed out roster (with a few CA original units such as squires), and some of the best calvary in the game. With King Louen Leoncoeur leading the main faction "Bretonnia", Morgiana, the Fay Enchatress leading "Carcassonne", and Alberic de Bordeleaux (a literally who from an old RPG book) leading Bordeleaux. Along with The Green Knight as a sort of Legendary Hero you can gain through their unique campaign mechanic.
- Isabella von Carstein
Thanks to Total War winning (for the first time) Sega's Make War Not Love event, players got Isabella von Carstein free as a legendary lord for a new Vampire Counts faction called simply Von Carstein (led by Vlad and based at Schwartzhaften). She focuses on buffing vampire heroes, flying units, and the varghulf, and gets a huge buff if reinforcing or being reinforced by her husbando. She arrived together with the Old World Edition (just a fancy name for a physical addition with DLC pack with it) of the game as well.
An accidental leak confirmed the Old Friend to be none other than the long-lost, now found, Krell. Kemmler finally got his BFF back. Where is Krell?! Here is Krell!. Released on the 20th of July, Krell is (technically) a Legendary Hero summonable by Kemmler, with a unique skill tree (that was later changed to have all the skills unlocked at the start since having Krell distintigrate was lame as fuck).
- 30th Anniversary DLC
The 30th Anniversary DLC added Regiments of Renown to the DLC factions (which we knew was coming from the Norsca stream leaking their existence for Norsca and the Beastmen) in celebration of CA's 30th birthday on August 10th. While there is only a handful split between the five factions, there are some notable additions, in particular the addition of Sigvald's Mirror guard and Archaon's Swords of Chaos. Which brings back bodyguards in a somewhat roundabout manner by giving them a skill that buffs defense when in their proximity. Surprisingly fucking Wyrdspawn got an appearance aka those chaos spawn variants known only from Warhammer: Mark of Chaos- Ohdamnitallgiruhfsbnfofnofgvn!
As my predecessor was trying to say, also released with Norsca is the Foundation Update that gives all original Legendary Lords (including the three Warriors of Chaos ones) new skill trees, starting bonuses and other buffs to make them desirable again. As an example, Karl Franz will eventually cause all recruited Lords to start with additional levels, while Sigvald will get so fabulous he causes terror. The Warriors of Chaos campaign was also changed: First and foremost, only marauder units receive attrition from being near other Chaos hordes; second, while encamped, unit upkeep will lower and their replenishment will increase; Third, awakening a norse tribe now causes them to become a vassal instead of an ally; Fourth and finally, instead of choosing between looting and razing, you choose between gaining growth and replenishment or money (both options cause the settlement to be razed). The Empire, meanwhile, will start with full control of Reikland when controlled by the AI.
Total War: Warhammer I's paid DLC lineup was interesting due to the fact that the playerbase already knew all the content being released for it relatively early on. Due to a datamined content schedule which CA mostly stuck with outside of some switching around of the order for the later packs. Regardless the paid DLC for TWWI was mostly an open book for the most part, until the release of Norsca which brought about a new precdent for the series that hadn't been treaded on with any packs prior. A list of planned free downloadable content was shown soon after Warhammer I's launch, including some more minor things, but also confirming new legendary lords, a new faction, and some lores of magic. This list steadily got more larger as more content was released in the game's lifespan.
- Warriors of Chaos
To the rather justified outrage of the fanbase, the very first piece of paid content was released together with the game as a sort of pre-order/early adopter bonus. This day-1 DLC was the Warriors of Chaos Race Pack, making Archaon and his BFFs Kholek and Sigvald playable as a horde faction. Much rage was had, and it is probable that the only reason people weren't more irate was because the game itself is really good. But the initial reception was still so bad, that CA/SEGA felt the need to change it from a pre-order DLC to being an "early adopter" bonus. In other words, instead of getting it only by purchasing the game before it was released (I.E buying it before anyone knew it was any good like a sucker), you would get it for free if you bought it within a week of purchase. Quite notable in that CA has taken this approach with all of their pre-purchase bonus since then.
- Blood for the Blood God
The first post-release Paid DLC released in early July - the Blood for the Blood God DLC added various blood and gore effects to the game. The last time we were expected fork over cash for something this petty, it was for horse armor, and $3 for what is in literally any other game a simple on/off switch in the options menu has been a little... divisive. But considering the fact that blood and gore DLC for Total War games has been a thing before in the name of ESRB ratings, there really isn't much surprise we have to fork over money here to please Khorne. At the very least it does add in some new unique kill animations for a few units, which shows some effort was put into it. $3 bucks for a cosmetic option menu checkmark worth of effort? Up to you to decide.
- Call of the Beastmen
The first major piece of DLC for Total Warhammer was the Call of the Beastmen Campaign Pack. Which lets you play as the Beastmen as a new playable Race focusing on Horde gameplay, with the main Lords being Khazrak One-Eye and Malagor the Dark Omen. It also includeed a mini-campaign called An Eye For An Eye, with the map a rectangle stretching from the Marienburg in the west to Hochland in the east, and from Middenheim in the north to Carroburg in the south. Khazrak, controlled by the player, must defeat Boris Todbringer. The pack had taken a lot of criticism from fans due to its price (who ignore that it takes a lot more time and money to create and balance an entirely new faction and models from scratch rather than just reskin an existing one like in previous Total War games, or that royalties exist for licensed shit), with the game's page on Steam getting bombed with negative reviews. Despite that, CA still considered it to be a "best-seller" at the time that surpassed expectations. While the Beastmen were praised for their actual in-battle gameplay (with Minotaur's being the standout for most players), the lack of the more unique monstrous units from their Army Roster, and the frankly cut and paste campaign mechanics (Brayherds were basically WAAAGHs for example) made them a prime example of the lack of creativty CA had at that time. Though you can see them somewhat experiementing more with mechanics like the Dark Moon and seeing them play around with differing Start Positions.
- The Grim & the Grave
Leaked on the greek Total War page on Facebook as is tradition, was The Grim and the Grave Lord Pack. Which added two Legendary Lords, Volkmar the Grim and Helman Ghorst for the Empire and Vampire Counts respectively; the latter being added because CA wanted to theme it around the Sigmar's Blood Campaign from 8th edition. Volkmar gave bonuses to the DLC units associated with him that were added in the pack, those being flagellants and Warrior Priests. Ghorst's main gimmick was to give his entire army poison attacks (albeit a somewhat nerfed version of the normal poison debuff). And like Volkmar, he buffed the associated units that were added alongside him in the pack, those being Mortis Engines and Corpse Carts. Unit wise two generic lord choices were added, one for each side: the Arch-Lector and the Strigoi Ghoul King. OFlagellants, Free Company militia, and the Knights of the Blazing Sun were added to the Empire roster. While the Vampire Counts recieved the Corpse Cart (and all its variations) and the Mortis Engine. Also included in the pack are 18 "regiments of renown" (not to be confused with the mercenary units known under the same label), who are mostly reskinned units with better/different stats and some extra abilities to spice things up; the main thing about them is that the RoR system will be available for modders to play around in.
- The King & the Warlord
The second DLC that has the honor of releasing with no leak (the first was the Blood Pack), was the The King and the Warlord. Following the model of the previous Lord Pack, it added two new thematically opposed LLs and new units to go with them. This time it's between Belegar Ironhammer, True King of The Eight Peaks, and Skarsnik, Warlord of the Eight Peaks. One very notable thing about this DLC is that both Legendary Lords do not start in Karaz-a-Karak or Black Crag; introducing the subfaction model that would be followed for the rest of the series. Belegar starts in Karak Izor, over in the Border Princes, and starts with four heroes at his disposal, and all of them ethereal to boot (being the vengeful spirits of his ancestors). These heroes are two thanes, a master engineer, and a runesmith. Belegar can also get one of the new units, the Dwarf Rangers, earlier than most, and has siege attacker with all the goodness that entails. However, until he manages to conquer Karak Eight Peaks, he is saddled with increased upkeep for all his units. Meanwhile, Skarsnik does not start in the Eight Peaks either, surprisingly enough. Rather, he is way over at the Grey Mountains, in Karak Azgaraz, doing some leisurely squig hunting when his boyz at the Peaks decide to rebel. He is always accompanied by his pet, Gobbla (and not as a mount), which makes him the first Lord with two models. His unique skills buff all goblin units, reduce their upkeep, and decrease hero action costs while increasing xp gain, and you are going to need that... since you can only recruit goblins until you recapture the Peaks. The two generic lords for each side are the dwarfen Rune Lord, that can ride on an Anvil of Doom while buffing all around, and the Night Goblin Warboss, who can also buff their grobi scum and even give his entire army poison attacks, and if that wasn't enough they get to ride a great cave squig. The new goblin units are the Squig Herd, Night Goblin Squig Hoppers and Nasty Skulkers, while dwarf units are Rangers (and a variant with great weapons), Bugman's Rangers and the Bolt Thrower. Showing even more detail than the Grim and the Grave, Karak Eight Peaks also has a unique building chain that can only be used by Belegar and Skarsnik, giving some pretty great effects. Each race also has two new techs, with one of the dwarfen ones referencing some clearly mythical rat-men. And, of course, there are Regiments of Renown, 22 this time. 10 for dorfs, 12 for gobbos. Notable ones are a grudge thrower that fires live goblins and fanatics whose chains end in unlucky stunties instead and can be aimed.
- Realm of the Wood Elves
The second Campaign Pack to be added to the game, adding the Wood Elves as a playable Race, with two subfactions following the trend of the K&W. Featuring Orion leading the Wood Elves faction and Durthu leading Argwylon, and a mostly complete army roster aside from some missing Hero choices. Much like the Beastmen did prior, this DLC included a mini-campaign called Seasons of Revelation, that pitted them both against Morghur. The utterly brutal minicampaign involves building up the oak of ages as Morghur's warherds (that often have half their slots filled with Spawn) keep pouring in non-stop while your elf and human neighbours prove themselves utter dicks. The grand campaign will see them build up their magical tree while touring the world to mug people for their amber.
Released in early August, the Norsca Race Pack was the final paid DLC released for the first game. Given out for free should as an early adopter bonus for people who pre-ordered Warhammer II or bought in within the first week, along with an option to purchase it seperately on its own. Their legendary lords are Wulfrik the Wanderer and Throgg the Troll King. With their campaign largely based around on raiding the world and killing monsters. Whenever you kill a monster you either get to claim a trophy from it or actually subjugate the monster and get it as an unit! Razing settlements lets you dedicate the act to one of the four gods of Chaos. When you gain enough favour with one of the Four, you'll then get the actual win conditions for the campaign, which will involve fighting off champions from the other three gods. Being the first DLC to flesh out a "minor" Warhammer race than one playable in the 8th edition, it set a precedent for all the fanboys who hoped to see their pet obscure faction make it into the game. Notably borrowing heavily from Forgeworld's Monstrous Arcanum supplement to add beasties like Skin Wolves and Fimir into the game, to flesh out their roster.
Second game DLC
The first piece of free content post-release will be long-awaited combined map, called the Mortal Empires Campaign. Released a few weeks after launch due to the technical issues involved, Mortal Empires is smashing the Warhammer I and Warhammer II maps together with pure conquest as the objective (so no Vortex campaign race). Other than just combining the two games' maps, it also adds rogue armies, ranged breath attacks for dragons, treasure hunts, the UI improvements, climate mechanics (replacing regional occupation) and 10/8 slot cities to the Warhammer I parts. Also, it has been confirmed that at least some Legendary Lords from Warhammer I will be changing positions in the Mortal Empires campaign. Norsca won't be immediately present on release, however.
Yup, CA has finally snapped, as shown in their second FLC, The Laboratory. The madmen producing this game have decided to add in a new game mode where you can play custom battles and adjust... well literally everything. Do you want to play as the Skaven and have units with 900 MODELS EACH?!?! This will let you do that! Want to increase the size of your monsters and create a dinosaur army with Carnosaurs so big it'll make the Indominus Rex look like a legless puppy? This will let you do that! Want a 40 unit army of just oversized DOOMWHEELS!? THIS GAME MODE WILL GIVE YOU ALL OF THE DOOMWHEELS!! This was clearly just meant for fun and to screw around in, but be warned, as all but the best PCS out there will most likely be crying in agony while playing this, though some optimization has been done by CA.
Releasing with the Tomb Kings will be Tretch Craventail leading Clan Rictus, with his main differentiating traits being his ability to gain +4 global public order whenever he breaks a diplomatic treaty and... Vanguard Deployment for his entire army. Yeah, you thought Vlad Von Carstein was bad? Wait until you face Tretch who vanguard deployments a DOOMWHEEL or a Hellpit Abomination behind your backline. A supposed leak that predicted Tretch also claimed that Shadow Warriors would be released together with Tretch but this has been proven false. Whether they will be added in future DLC remains to be seen.
The next addition being Multiplayer Maps, Steps of Isha, for the Make Love Not War event instead of the initial listing of another Legendary Lord. This is a bit odd because the first game also added a bunch of multiplayer maps with each content drop, so it didn't really seem like a big enough deal to fill up a slot on the FLC chart.
Coming with both Norsca and the Queen and the Crone DLC is everyone's favorite Elven Terrorists, Alith Anar as a High Elf LL, and the Shadow Walkers, a powerful skirmishing unit. Ironically, Shadow Warriors themselves are DLC content, but the fact he comes with his own elite Shadow Walker variants softens the blow considerably. He leads the faction of Nagarythe (with a starting position in Naggarond, Alith having taking the fight to the Dark Elves), which has several unique mechanics, such as all of his armies being to ambush in their default army stance, the ability to access the "Shadow Realm"; which lets them bypass terrain and remain hidden, and having a special hero, The Hand of the Shadow Crown which is an assassin who has a 100 percent chance to kill any Lord of Hero they're sent against.
A massive Mortal Empires patch called the Resurgent Update including Norsca (fully restored and integrated into Game II along with new monster hunts, as long as you own the DLC), 30th Anniversary RoR, many new landmark buildings, battle maps for the New and Old World, the Dawi getting a new crafting mechanic akin to the Mortuary Cult, Giant Slayers as a unit, and Ungrim moving back to his Slayer Hold at Karak Kadrin with his own subfaction. Also, the Sword of Khaine will now become a campaign mechanic and an obtainable item that will give massive stat boost (450 armour piercing damage is just the tip of the iceberg, and at it's lowest power level) and an insane Vortex that rips apart even the most heavily armoured units and causes the rest to go insane at the cost of your own people hating you (looking at you Tyrion). One thing of note, while any faction can use the Sword, only one of the elven factions can draw it, meaning a non-elf faction needs to defeat the wielder in order to get it. This means that the Wood Elves can draw the sword, so we might need to suck Durthu's tree dick for mercy. Sartosa has also been confirmed to be added as a settlement in Mortal Empires, adding hopes to a possible Dogs of War DLC. Futhermore, the Tomb Kings now get their (almost) full roster with the addition of the Bone Giant/Necrolith Colossus (which uses a gigantic bow), a secret which was kept hidden before it was, yet again, leaked.
The IMDB leak was wrong, it's actually Lokhir Fellheart. Everyone's favorite Squid-Helmet wearing Dark Elf will be leading The Blessed Dread faction in Lustria, in the city of Chupayotl, making him the first Dark Elf to not start in Naggaroth (THANK CHRIST!) Honestly we should have seen him coming considering A. the DLC is pirate themed and B. They just did a rework of Black Arks. As expected, he has cost reduction for Black Ark Corsairs and unlike the other 3 lords doesn't need to use a rite to recruit Black Arks. Instead, he can recruit one from any major port city. To replace that rite, he gained the Sacrifice to Anath Raema, which gives Corsairs Fear, Stalk and AP missiles along with more armor to the Kharibdys, which we're sure will help the Corsair plunder some more booty, if you know what I mean. Lokhir additionally gains something he didn't have in tabletop. CA gave him a mount, a unique Black Dragon named Maelstorm (though honestly it is skub in this regard).
The next major patch coming in is the Aye-Aye! Patch. (Get it? The DLC is pirate themed?) Not much is known yet, aside from the Vampire Counts getting a rework. They now have access to the Bloodlines, which allows them to pay a special currency called "Blood Kisses" to recruit one very powerful lord based off one of the five Vampire Bloodlines. Also Kemmler has had enough of Mannfred's shit and moved out to start his own faction with blackjack and hookers in Blackstone Post in the Grey Mountains, where he'll kick the shit out of some Bretonnians. Also someone finally taught him how to ride a horse. Boris Todbringer on the other hand got some much needed love as he, apart of getting the Middenheim Runefang back, can now choose to ride a Pegasus or a Griffin. Auto-resolved naval battles are removed, and instead will take place as a land battle on a small island between the two forces. In addition to that, pirates now roam the seas of the Warhammer World, with the Vampire Coast factions actually competing with them for prestige in the pirate notoriety mechanic, while the pirates (both minor and major faction) just make life difficult for all the other factions. Pirate Flagships are mobile sea-based capitals. More is to come, including balance changes for all Legendary Lords.
Released during the holidays after the Vampire Coast DLC, Festag Update came with a series of balance changes and bug fixes. A lot of the Vampire Coast's roster got nerfed to adjust to their prices, while lots of units and abilities from other factions went through balance changes. For example Pegasus Knights got 300 extra mass, helping them to get stuck into infantry less often, while Thanes got the Rune of Slowness in multiplayer, finally giving you a reason to bring them to the battlefield. The Skaven, whom CA is probably waiting to update until their lords pack arrives, only got a hilarious +1 attack to their Plague Monk Censer Bearers. Among the bug fixes the Red Duke no longer T-Poses on the campaing map and destroying pirate coves no longer crashes your game, along with many other common complains. The skill trees for many game 1 races got updated to compete with game 2, with a lot of abilities and mounts needing less skill points to obtain. Inviting other players into Spectator More was also made much easier, for you streamers out there.
With The Prophet and the Warlock DLC, we are getting a bunch of free stuff in the Doomsayers Update. Its Bretonnia's turn getting their update. Apart from general updates and fixes, they'll be getting an new and improved vow system. Instead of just being skills, taking a vow requires the player to go on quests to reflect the quests Bretonnian knights go on while looking for the Lady's favor. (Plus Alberic actually got a trident! Just two years after mooders gave him one!) This understandably pissed off A LOT of Empire and Greenskin fans, considering those two have way more problems with their campaign than the frenchies but in a way it kinda makes sense. Most of Bretonnia's problems are comparably easy to fix, mainly needing adjustments to their confederation and Green Knight mechanic, where as the Empire and Orcs would need whole new mechanics and re hauls that would be way more expensive. While those two certainly need it more, it makes sense for CA to deal with the cheaper and easier to fix problems first before tackling the big boys. Meanwhile Tiktaq'to will be the Lizardmen FLC lord we get with the DLC, a pure flying lord who starts mounted on a terradon. He provides buffs to all Lizard flying units and has a special ability to make Gor-Rok and Nakai fans cry. He leads the Tlaqua faction down in the Southlands, and has access to his own unique rite that looks to be hilariously broken, as upon use it resets the campaign movement points for all your armies and heroes. Also, Lord Kroak will be added as a Legendary Hero to all Lizardmen factions after compleating a quest to wake him up. Probably the most exciting change is that CA is reducing the amount of buffs and cheats they give the AI and instead making it more capable in the campaign map, so it will construct settlements more inteligently.
The Empire will be getting another buff in the “‘Amethyst Update’”. Unleashing the Lore of Death these “‘Amethyst Wizards’” will make an excellent edition to the Empire’s over bloated list of heroes. All that is left is Balthasar Gelt’s Gold boys and the rainbow Winds of Magic will be complete.
After the release of Three Kingdoms and it becoming the best selling Total War game of all time, CA decide to spend roughly 2 months focusing entirely on it. But don't worry, they haven't forgotten about us yet and they finally updated the FLC chart. Dropping with the September Lord Pack will be a new Legendary Lord, a game 1 faction rework along with "Some Old Friends," similar to the FLC that brought in Krell. More will be revealed in the future.
The first paid DLC is the much anticipated yet equally reviled Blood and Gore DLC, releasing at the same time as the Mortal Empires FLC. Adding in the much-needed blood and gore effects that really should be in the game to begin with, but isn't because of rating issues apparently.
Thanks Australia. (Australia got their ratings issues sorted in 2013, and even if that hadn't been the case; the Australian Ratings Board had no issue with Shogun 2's blood DLC. The ratings thing is so that the game is given a lower rating, making it marketable to a wider audience - ie; everyone too young for the blood DLC's content rating in their respective countries.) Bit of an odd one since while this is paid DLC, you get it for free if you bought the "Blood for the Blood God" pack for the first game - CA said back when the version for the first game came out that buying the "Blood for the Blood God" DLC for any game in the Total War Warhammer trilogy would apply it across all the game in the trilogy (so buy it once and you get Khorne's blessing for all three games).
The second paid DLC is the Rise of the Tomb Kings campaign pack. Featuring, as everyone and their mummy already knew by now, the Tomb Kings race as the newest addition to the game. Unlike previous campaign packs like the Beastmen and Wood Elves, this one lacks a mini-campaign, instead containing an additional two legendary lords making the total 4. This was because CA finally figured out nobody gave a shit about the mini-campaigns, and just gave us what we wanted, which is more named dicks to play around with in different start positions. Included Legendary Lords are Settra the Imperishable, High Queen Khalida, Grand Hierophant Khatep, and Arkhan the Black. Surprisingly also features the Hierotitan which never got an official model from GW, what CA cooked up though is gorgeous and HOLY SHIT LASER EYES. In terms of roster the Tomb Kings are by far the most complete yet,
with the only unit actually missing being the Necrolith Colossus (most likely because the Hierotitan and Ushabti share roles with it) scratch this, the Necrolith was confirmed to be coming free with the Resurgent Update, making the Tomb Kings fully complete! While not added as actual units, the Tomb Swarm have been implemented as an army ability, while the Tomb Heralds have been added in as unique followers you gain through the Dynasty research tree. It should be noted this expansion has been considered the high point of the trilogy so far, with the Kangz being extremely well-received, though it's had a negative side effect, with everything after being compared to it. (often times negatively)
The third paid DLC, and the first Lord Pack DLC is The Queen and The Crone DLC. This DLC contains new units, Legendary Lords and start positions for the High Elves and Dark Elves. Alarielle the Everqueen, who will be starting in Averlorn and Crone Hellebron, the Dark Elves' cranky grandma who will start in Har Ganeth. These ladies have their own abilities in the campaign, such as Alarielle being able to recruit Wood Elf tree spirits and Hellebron gets access to the Death Night. This also includes new units such as the Sisters of Averlorn, Shadow Warriors, Doomfire Warlocks and Sisters of Slaughter, and a whole host of new Regiments of Renown. The Kharibdys was also added post launch as a "Monsterous secret" for the Druchii. It's pretty much a Hydra only with better stats but no regeneration.
The fourth DLC is the Curse of the Vampire Coast which brings the Vampire Pirates to life as one of the single most imaginative factions yet given to us by Creative Assembly with some absolutely gorgeous renditions of obscure lore/forgeworld monsters like Necrofex Colossi and Mournguls as well as some really snazzy takes on the idea of Zombies, Ghosts, and Skeletons with guns and cannons. It will feature four legendary lords, though so far the only known one is Luthor Harkon himself, and the primary drive of the Vortex Campaign map for the Vampire Coast is the hunt for what else but Lizard booty? No not that kind you Slaaneshi scum...though I'm sure some of the Undead are looking for that kind of booty. It will come with eight regiments of renown and also officialise the Island Battle solution to naval combat; having armies meeting at sea fight with each other on special islands maps with special support powers rather than let the autoresolve handle everything. So far it looks incredibly promising and we await more news with the eagerness of Skaven smelling warpstone infused peanut butter.
After a YEAR AND A FUCKING HALF the Lizardmen finally get new toys to play with in The Prophet & The Warlock. This DLC allows you to play as Tehenhauin who leads the Cult of Sotek and Ikit Claw of Clan Skryre. The Lizards and Rats finally get a whole host of new units, including Red Crested Skinks, Ripperdactlys, Salamanders, Ark of Soteks, Engine of the Gods, Ancient Salamanders, Ratlings Gun, Jezzails and Doom Flayers. Both factions will be getting a rework to their campaign mechanics as well. Skaven will be able to build under cities similar to pirate coves which fulfills a similar purpose of allowing you to "expand" and collect resources without taking territory you need to protect. On top that, Ikit can use the undercities to build a god damn nuke underground and blow up an entire city! Tehenhauin is mainly focused on gathering sacrificial offerings for Sotek in the form of captured foes, which he can use to get buffs as well as summoning Sotek's avatar on the field of battle in the final tier. Teeny is also getting acccess to the Prophecy of Sotek, which consists of three stages that you can advance the more sacrifices you make. While we don't have the full details, level one gets rid of the penalties to upkeep Tehenhauin has for Saurus and Slaan units while level two allows you to call for genocide againt the Skaven race, making it so ALL Lizardmen factions go full Hitler/Goblin Slayer and automatically declare war on every filthy Skaven faction they encounter. This also gives them diplomatic bonuses with each other to ensure they work together in their shared goal of purging the lesser races and disabling diplomacy with Skaven so neither side can sue for peace (also, Skaven aren't getting any diplo bonus with each other, so knowing them they will be at each others throats until they are filling a Carnosaur's). This hilariously ridicolous jihad/race war mechanics will basically ensure one of the two races is wiped out from the face of the New World. Both factions will also get their regiments of renown.
To the surprise of many people, CA confirmed via the official Total War Reddit page that the only DLCs planned from here on out are more Lord Packs. Awesome news for fans of the Old World (since more DLC updates means more Old World updates to accompany them), but also puts a stake through the heart of anyone hoping for Araby, Albion, or the Southern Realms. The fanbase saw a silver lining as this was said not to pertain to pre-order bonuses like Norsca was.
The next piece of paid DLC will be coming in September, though aside from it being a Lord Pack we know fuck all of what its gonna be. Many people are hoping for cross game Lord Packs to give older races a time to shine and give them new units. A popular theory is Greenskins VS High Elves featuring Eltharion the Grim and Grom the Paunch. But more likely we're just going to get Lord Packs for the Warhammer II races like we've already gotten since its, well, DLC for Warhammer II and all; and cross game Lord Packs are a bigger can of worms than some fanboys are willing to admit they are. At the end of the day we don't know for sure, all we do know is nerds will get unreasonably angry at CA when their predictions don't turn out to be right.
The Fourth Race
CA has confirmed that all three TWW games will feature four core races per game. Since game 3 will take place east of the World's Edge Mountains in game 1 it is safe to assume that Daemons of Chaos, Chaos Dwarfs, and Ogre Kingdoms will be three of them. However, across the internet there is debate on what will make up the fourth race with most speculating Kislev or Cathay. Kislev supporters make their claim because they have two ideal starting legendary lords, an army book, and have fleshed out lore. Cathay supports claim that geography is heavily in their favor, they have enough lords for DLC lord packs, and most of Kislev's territory is in game 1 already. If Empire ever gets patched Kislev could be a standalone faction, but until that day neither side's gonna budge. Then you have a minority saying Nagashizzar will be race four which, while awesome if true, most Total War fans have favored human factions and CA needs to attract as many people as they can on launch day and it'd be dumb if every faction is villainous. On top of that there'd be very few units unique to Nagashizzar since nearly every pre-End Times undead is already in a faction. There's also concerned about a lack of potential DLC since most of the lore east of the Darklands and Mountains of Mourn is just random passings in obscure lore. Hobgoblin Khans have been brought up, who could serve as a cavalry focused race and could be replaced in the Chaos Dwarf army with Chaos Ogres (see also: not likely). Dogs of Wars had their own army book back in 5th edition, use a lot of recycled units, don't have a set continent (aside from Tilea), and have been heavily demanded by the fanbase. Kurgan could also be a possibility, treat them like Mongol flavored Norsca with the Hung as part of their army. Cathay is still the most likely however for one important reason, Cathay actually covers a shit ton of land and, much like High and Dark elves, have lots of space for inter-faction fights early in the game to help new players ease into the game. Strangely enough much of the fanbase doesn't seen the Eastern Steppes and Ind being part of the game, possibly due to size although the campaign map for game 2 debunks that idea. Of cause, it's likely most if not all of these other factions will come eventually in the form of DLC, but we'll have to wait and see.
Due to the large amounts of mods that the games have, they have their own page now.
Unknown to many, Creative Assembly actually managed to publish books under the Total War: Warhammer title (Presumably to get more books out set in the classic warhammer fantasy setting since Games Workshop will most likely discontinue the fantasy series in favor for more Age Of Sigmar Books).
The Emperor's Armies
- A bunch of rereleased BL books that have to do with the empire and Ludwig Schwartzhelm saving Bretonnia from political chaos while sinister forces try to claim the breadbasket of the empire for their own benefit.
Prince of Altdorf
- An completely original novella written to tie in with the release of the Old World Edition that's become pretty damn hard to find after release (scratch that. Some bloody mad man got it all in Warhammer Wiki's forum. Get it before it's taken down!). The story details Karl Franz's election as emperor and is also notable for ending with a cameo by a cetain High Elven loremaster....
Lord Of Chaos
- This book tells the story of how Archaon is created and how he and his bros goes around collecting Chaos treasures and bringing death and destruction to the world. It's a collected version of the Archaon novels released for the Dark Gods Edition of the game.
CA has also written several short stories on their website which introduce their original characters to the setting. Well written and short they are mostly prequels to the vortex campaign of Total War Warhammer 2. They were written by Black Library writer Andy Hall and CA writer Chris Gambold. You can find them here: https://dashboard.totalwar.com/home
The Peasant Knight
- This one tells the story of Sir Geg of Wainfleet, a farmer’s son and one of the few Bretonnian peasants to be deemed worthy of knighthood, and the only one to ever drink from the Lady’s Grail to become a Grail Knight. It's a little too uplifting for Bretonnia and Geg never appears in the game itself, but it's a solid self-contained story.
The Nocturne for Mousillon
- A companion story to the Peasant Knight, it recaps the stories of various Dukes of Mousillon and how the land transformed from one of the best dukedoms of Bretonnia to the cursed land we all know and stay the hell away from. It's told in the form of a Tilean bard warning listeners about going to Mousillon in search of adventure but at the end he mentions that a Vampire Lord has taken the damned castle and tempts his patrons to go, making you wish they finally got around to making the Red Duke a playable Legendary Lord...
The Forked Tongue
- A (relatively) independent-thinking Skink Priest Yukannadoozat (get it?) gets tired of waiting for the Slaan of his city to wake up his fat-ass and decides to investigate what is disturbing the Vortex by himself with his trusty Kroxigor companion Tar-Grax. He eventually takes his findings to Mazdamundi-senpai.
All Tunnels Lead to Skavenblight
- The Skaven slave-scribe Sneek Scratchett of Clan Skurvy, seeing a solution to step-up his station (heh) helps Grey Seer Vulscreech resolve a dispute between the Skurvy Warlord and the Council of Thirteen. Includes a reference to everyone's favorite Grey Seer Thanquol, who is pulling the strings of Clan Skurvy and has a rivalry with Vulscreech, fulling hopes he eventually gets the LL treatment.
The Mage and the Scorceress
- Loremaster of Hoeth Talarin tries to concinve Teclis to come back to Ulthuan at the behest of his brother, who wants him by his side in the coming war for the Vortex. Meanwhile, Dark Elf sorceress Felecion Hearthkeeper tries to assasinate Morathi, the Mother of the Druchii herself. Yes, this goes as well as you guessed. Morathi also implies that while the rest of the Cult of Pleasure worships the Elven Goodess of Pleasure Atharti, she worships no other than Slanneesh itself, bringing back an important part of the character retconned away in latter editions. This is reflected in-game by Morathi's faction spreading Choas Corruption an having better diplomacy with Chaos factions. Also has a scene were Morathi starts making out with a captured Felecion, and implies she plans to turn her into her sex slave...yeah...
The Epic Saga of Wulfrick the Sarl
- Unlike the other stories this one is about an established character, recaping Wulfrick's triumph against the Chaos-Lord King Torgald before he even got his power-up from a regular demon-worshipping viking to an inmortal demon-worshipping viking, with the framing device of a translated Norscan saga.
The Siren of the Storm
- Written solely by Andy Hall and released on Total War.com, this story is about CA-created Legedary Lord Cylostra Direfin and her emotional journey from the fat, wet corpse of an opera singer into a magical ghost-pirate, involving a pact with a certain god of the sea.
Like every other Warhammer video game (or video game in general), very popular memes were spawned from it. See the official meme thread on the Total War forums here.
Memes originating from it include,
- VLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD! - The long awaited Fantasy equivalent of CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!. Vlad von Carstein had gained the ability to allow vanguard development (aka:putting a unit wherever you want on the map except for the enemy's deployment zone, right outside of it is just fine though) for his whole army, closing in the gap between the enemy and his own army. Considering Vampire Counts have no ranged units in the game, this can be hilariously overpowered. Tretch has since joined in on the action.
Arkhan now regrets that he didn't call Vlad for a party during the Bretonnia Civil War.
- Alejandro, El Enano Blanco - Apparently if you use 'Cataph's Southern Realms' mod, the name of Grombrindal would be changed to Alejandro. Suffice to say, this created a good amount of lol and wat along with a small amount of Skub and turned him into the first Mexican dwarf. Unfortunately, the mod creator fixed this issue, but the memory of Alejandro will live on! Viva! Much later, when Bretonnia was released, the mod caused the Fay Enchantress to be renamed to... Morales.
The Spiritual Liege of Estalia.
- "This is going in the book" - A phrase that refers to the Book of Grudges of the Dwarfs, also known as the Dammaz Kron, which was a meme in itself already, (so double memes I guess). With the integration of a wider audience and the constant reference to it in the Dwarf campaign, this phrase had become another way of saying 'fuck you' in a humorous way.
- "Summon the Elector Counts!" (Also known to Anti-Empire factions as "Summon the Elector Cunts") - Karl Franz's dialogue in general is delightfully hammy and has made him a source of more memes than any Imperial since Indrick Boreale. "This action does not have my consent!" is also popular for when something grudge-inducing happens.
- Karl Franz in General: Due to being the most frequently chosen legendary lord in the standard campaign Karl Franz' voicelines have basically become burnt into the brains of the fandom. More or less every single phrase out of Franz's mouth, every single face he makes, and every single pose he takes has become a meme of some degree of popularity. Not since soulstorm has a Warhammer related video game had so many memes and jokes attached to a single character; but while the jokes concerning Indrick Boreale and Fieravious Carron were very much made to mock them for sounding like idiots (and in Carron's case, not just that but also being the worst Khornate of all time and a hilariously whiny baby when losing); the memes and jokes about Karl Franz are all quite affectionate, at worst making a few gay jokes due to how lines like "I must see to my men" can be taken out of context but otherwise portraying him as a scenery chewing badass.
- Surtha Ek, the Everchariot - The leader of the Varg Tribe. Thanks to AI quirks, he invariably fills his army with increasing numbers of chariots to the point that its entirely possible for him to decide to attack a fortified Dwarf city with an army entirely made of chariots that can do nothing but ride back and forth until they're full of enough lead to give up and die, then try again later after giving up and leaving to get more chariots. While Archaon waits until your campaign is already half over before he starts his rampage, Surtha Ek gets shit done, ravaging Kislev and the northern coast of the Empire with a seemingly endless supply of cavalry archers and chariots for most of the game and may eventually work his way southwards into Orc and Dwarf territory. Many a player has cursed the name "Surtha Ek". Famous quotes shared with his Skaeling bro include: "CEASE!" and "THAT WOULD INCUR MY WRATH" "BEYOND YOUR COMPREHENSION!". Possibly one of the many chaos lord that succeeded in becoming a daemon prince after the end time (or gets his shit handed by Archaon during the unification). As of the Norsca DLC, he'll start with a chariot mount. Sadly, with the Norsca update, Surtha Ek received new voice lines, which while good, lack the absolute HAM of the stock Chaos lord lines.
- As of the Mortal Empires campaign, Surtha Ek has gotten himself a Girlfriend: The High Elf Princess that acts as the Faction Leader for Tyranoc had been renamed into "Surthara Bel-Kec" and Tyranoc in Warhammer Lore is well known for it's charioteers, though Surthara doesn't have a charriot as mount option (yet). Although she does always get a trait that buffs chariots in her army (though she can also get a secondary trait that negates those buffs, stupidly enough)
- Now with the release of the Tomb Kings, Surtha won't ever be hanging his head up tight as the Tomb Kings gets NINE chariots in a units. That's like 3 TIMES the chariots other faction can have. It won't be long to see Settra riding his chariots with his other massive, yet superior chariot armies in Norsca, forever taunting Surtha Ek's inferiority. And should Settra defeat the Everchariot, he gets the special "Surtha Wrecked" trait, further buffing his chariot spam. "ARE YOU A GOD?!" Yes, Surtha, he is.
- However, If Surtha wins, he gets the “Settra the Perishable trait... but also... something much darker. +100% damage... to ALL CHARIOTS. If Surtha wins against Settra somehow, the entirety of the Northern Old world is pretty much forfeit.
- Now with the release of the Tomb Kings, Surtha won't ever be hanging his head up tight as the Tomb Kings gets NINE chariots in a units. That's like 3 TIMES the chariots other faction can have. It won't be long to see Settra riding his chariots with his other massive, yet superior chariot armies in Norsca, forever taunting Surtha Ek's inferiority. And should Settra defeat the Everchariot, he gets the special "Surtha Wrecked" trait, further buffing his chariot spam. "ARE YOU A GOD?!" Yes, Surtha, he is.
- As of the Mortal Empires campaign, Surtha Ek has gotten himself a Girlfriend: The High Elf Princess that acts as the Faction Leader for Tyranoc had been renamed into "Surthara Bel-Kec" and Tyranoc in Warhammer Lore is well known for it's charioteers, though Surthara doesn't have a charriot as mount option (yet). Although she does always get a trait that buffs chariots in her army (though she can also get a secondary trait that negates those buffs, stupidly enough)
- Felman Ingersson - The leader of the Skaeling Tribe. Like his Varg brother, he raids Empires shit. Unlike him however, he operates in the lower southern part like Nordland, Middenland and the Marienburg. Like Surtha, Skaeling also get shit done with his own chariots, mararuder horseman spam, forcing empire players to buy halberdier and missile units like archer and handgunner. This may actually be a good thing since it'll weaken both Middenland and Nordland enough that they would want to confederate you (Therefore unlocking Boris Todbringer), for the Empire's northern brother are a bunch of Ulric worshiping, Empire hating dicks that gives you a -20 diplomatic relation whenever that felt like it. Sometimes they came to Marienburg for that delicious mermaid booties. Since most Empire player rely on Marienburg's port as an early game goldmine, they may sometimes find themselves getting doubled by 2 or 3 armys of Skaeling doom stack. Famous quotes shared with his Varg bro include: "CEASE!" and "THAT WOULD INCUR MY WRATH". Possibly one of the many chaos lord that succeeded in becoming a daemon prince after the end time (or gets his shit handed by Archaon during the unification). Sadly, with the Norsca update, Felmar Ingersson received new voice lines, which while good, lack the absolute HAM of the stock Chaos lord lines.
- Empire Space Marine - When it comes to auto resolve in every total war game, the winning meter bar can sometimes be hilariously broken. In this game, you can win almost every auto resolve in Empire Campaign by fully stack your general with units of Free Company Militia. FCM is, you know, the weak and inexperience man and woman, sell-swords mercenaries who can barely fight? yet hilariously, they won in every auto resolve against any units. A Greenskin army with an Arachnarok in it? dead. Any chaos armies? dead. Surtha Ek and his bullshit chariots spam? dead. And since FCM often fight with a sword in one hand, a gun in other, it is very similar to how space marine wield their weapon, hence how FCM can be known as Sigmar's invincible warriors, for they shall known no fear.
- Make Malagor Fly Again - Exactly as it says on the tin. Fans were disappointed he didn't have Fly.
- Tree Hitler - Nickname given to Durthu, because on top of spectacularly pissed off and hateful diplomacy dialogue, Durthu would not only militarize and become powerful quickly, he had a tendency to invade Not-France typically wiping them out and the Empire before setting sights on the Dwarfs and proceeding to attack the rest of the non-evil Old World. Instead of being an isolationist tree, Durthu became an aggressive dictator, destroying half of the Old World before the Warriors of Chaos even showed up, which made them seem like the paltry relief force to the tree devastation, but instead of fighting each other, they would often form a non-aggression pact and even ally with each other. It is perhaps accurate to lore, as Durthu is one of the last ancient Treemen, hates anything not from Athel Loren and is tormented by forest spirits reminding him that he has failed to protect the forest and his friends from the outside world.
- THERE ARE NO SKAVEN - True to the long-running joke both within the community and the trend in the setting, CA pretended that Skaven don't exist by being mum about the obvious Skaven inclusion in TWW2 despite the rat teaser, and interviews in particular became strange when the topic came up.
- Mel Gibson - Aka Orion. As you can see on his poster in the wood elves section, his face is totally-not modeled after Mel Gibson.
- Benedict Cumberbatch - Yet again, after Teclis was revealed in the first trailer for 2, everyone agree he looked exactly like an aforementioned actor. CA even put this meme in the "Skaven Scribe Reacts" trailer.
- Hate for the High Elves knows no bounds! - The High Elves were the second race to be introduced in the sequel, and yet they still haven't gotten a faction trailer despite the game being a day away from release. Even sadder, The Enter the Vortex promo video tries to show off the "Proud High Elves" by showing them getting their shiny asses kicked by Malekith. Like, seriously, even the Empire didn't have it this bad in the first game. This has lead to the assumption that CA's marketing team is made up of Dark Elves (or probably played in 8th edition against them. Seriously, one game was usually enough to hate the buggers for the rest of your life). The amount of trauma the poor Asur take is so great, that we wouldn't be surprised if the High Elf reveal trailer was just ten minutes of Tyrion getting paddled on the ass by a goblin. And with the release of the High Elves trailer, it is.... three minutes of showcasing the other races, High Elves getting killed, and Tyrion and Teclis arguing. Throw us a bone here, guys, seriously.
- This led to the combined-map (titled Mortal Empires) patch notes including a joke note that they've think fixed the cinematic team's obsession with High Elves getting killed, but it'll require further testing...then they released a trailer for 2's blood DLC which involved both High Elves and Dark Elves murderlating each other. For a change, the High Elves actually give as good as they get.
- Minor associated memes: since one of the most vocal threads on the Total War: Warhammer Forum had been named "High Elves - Where's the Love?", community members from time to time asked for a "Mortal Empires - Where's the Love" Thread (which by now had been created, due to the seeming lack of love the Old World received from CA in comparison to the New World. An even further subdivision is "Empire - Where's the love", which appears from time to time, since the Empire is the most uninspired race of TW WH I, partly explained because it's meant to be the standard faction, with barely anyhting unique compared to other races. Even the Empires "Unique" offices are shared with the Wood Elves that have them in a more interesting way. Karl Franz, the "Greatest Statesman of the Old World" is not having any bonuses to diplomacy and the Empire also is still lacking a playable sub-faction, which lead to some people (and according to some snippets in CAs streams also CA) to think about moving Volkmar and Gelt to leading their own factions.
- Not So Sneaky Skaven - The Skaven have a stealth mechanic on the campaign map, where all of their cities appear as ruins to everyone other than other Skaven factions. This was meant to make the Skaven feel like more of a hidden threat, plotting in the underground behind the backs of the other factions. While this was a good idea on paper, there are a number of different reasons why the little rat bastards are very easy to find:
- First of all, if you find a bunch of random ruins connected to each other, and if you could swear that a few turns ago those ruins were inhabited by angry lizard people or emo pointy eared BDSM fetishists, odds are they are occupied by Skaven.
- All Skaven armies produce Skaven corruption, so if you come across a ruin in a province with high skaven corruption, bring some rat poison.
- While the Skaven cities are invisible to you, they clearly aren't invisible to the AI, as they always seem to march up and siege Skaven cities with giant fuck off armies, (Which we're sure frustrates the hell out of people who play Skaven.)
- The ritual's magic energy still come out of the cities even though they're supposed to be hidden. (To be fair in this case, Skaven magic isn't known for its subtlety)
- Where is Boris?/Finding Boris - To make a really, really long story short. After CA released the Video "What is Mortal Empires"(), Boris Todbringer had been seen between 0:17 and 0:24 while the narrator talked about the number of playable Legendary Lords in the Mortal Empires campaign. Due to his status as "Semi-Legendary Lord" he had often been rumored to be a DLC/FLC character with a playable Middenheim Subfaction. His appeareance in this video immediately sparked talks about him possibly becoming playable with the long-awaited Empire Subfaction. After Whelan of CA had confirmed, that he was only in the video because he was usable in Custom and Multiplayer battles, users started to create pictures with the likes of "Where is Boris Todbringer?" . These pictures came with lines like "Where is Boris?" or "Finding Boris" as references to "Where's Wally" and "Finding Nemo". 
- Dawi from another Hold - A common diplomatic prompt that friendly dwarf factions use with one another, delivered in the typical amount of ham you would expect from a Warhammer game. Because of the easy quotable nature of this line, it has become a meme unto itself. Typically a poster posts something vaguely dwarf like image with the quote, and then other anons respond with the rest of the line, namely - "Tis a great day." Due to the relatively static nature of dwarfs across different fantasy settings and the hammy response that dwarfs use regardless of setting this meme feels appropriate, if you post a dawi from warhammer, a Dawi zharr, or even a viking or any vaguely bearded and armoured shape.
- Archaon, The Neverchosen - Archaon, the chosen of the 4 Chaos Gods. The unifer of the northern Chaos warbands. The one who was tasked to destroy the Warhammer world, and eventually succeeded. Surely this man must be one of the most powerful lords in the entire game! Well... no. The term originates from a youtube video, which based on some truth. In terms of multiplayer he actually really sucks. He has pretty mediocre stats, has a useless lore of magic (Fire isn't a very good competitive lore, even after the buffs in the Mortal Empires patch) and is WAY too expensive for what he actually brings to the table. This has unfortunately lead to poor Archaon to receive the name "The Neverchosen" in the multiplayer scene. It especially sucks for the poor Neverchosen since all the other Chaos Legendary lords are so much better picks. It says a lot about Archaon when the leader of a random Norsca faction that's known for spamming chariots is considered a bigger threat than he is. SURTHA EK IS THE EVERCHOSEN!!!
- Khemri TV - A Photoshop of tomb kings like Settra reenact the similar but cynical lines from the meme-worthy station MEMRI TV, that publishes and distributes free English language translations of Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Pashto, and Turkish media reports. MEMRI TV was found to be funny by people on the internet due its violent behavior coming from its host as a result of said creative translations and was made a meme. One of the Photoshops has Settra says Araby can go to hell and Khalida says Lesbianism isn't so bad when compared to Vampirism. Speculated in-universe to be a Skaven disinfo campaign, considering the vast deposits of warpstone still existing throughout Khemri.
/u/ would agree with that
- turin - A YouTuber who broadcast Total War: WARHAMMER multiplayer battles as well as his own multiplayer battle. He is known for making hilarious Photoshop of in-game character on other picture background and used it as his video's thumbnail. Other than that, he is a pretty good player himself.
- Ghorgon and Jabberslythe - When the Beastmen rooster was leaked, many people where upset that these two iconic monsters from the list weren't included. The reason CA gave was due to pricing, claiming making the models for these two units would be as expensive as the entirity of the Age of Charglemenge DLC for Atilla. The nerds did what they do best, and tried to meme CA into adding them into the game. The memes have only intensified after the Bone Giant was added to the Tomb Kings DLC and the Karibdys to the Queen and the Crone, showing that CA has no problem adding more content to DLC after they launch. Many hope that the Beastmen players
(all five of them)STOMP! FAHK U BORIS!! will get their shiny new monsters, but that seems unlikely.
- Vampire Coast - Producing quite a few memes when it first was announced, which is predictable given its pirates. Many of them began as attempts from /v/ to troll /tg/, which failed spectacularly due to the excitement for the expansion and general silly nature of it all anyway being hard to actually get angry at. Most revolved around pirate jokes, pretending that Vangeist wasn't being added and being enraged about that, labeling the addition of Cylostra as SJW, general cracks at Saltspite's masculine appearance as well as false outrage that she isn't sexy, mispronunciation of Vangeist's name as everything from Vargheist to Vasectomy, references to the Giant Enemy Crab meme, and discussion of pirate shanties. How the Necrofex Colossus reloads was initially a meme, until CA answered it in a video focusing on the model where it shows that it loads itself with its other arm and must have some kind of magic to fire (Harkon is known to utilize parts from Salamanders) given it also doubles as a flamethrower.
- Pirate Captains of Slaanesh - Vampire Coast Lords and Heroes have many different names that often end up making hilarious innuendos that probably makes Slaanesh proud. N'Kari might be trying to influence Luthor's crew before coming in game 3. These include, but are not limited to:
- Dick Half Mast
- Catherine Booty Catcher
- Maggie Hornigold
- Dick the Slimey
- Tiny Tim Booty Catcher
- Vinny Cocklyn
- Jimbo Nutt
- FUCKING TODDY! - A meme depicting Boris Toddbringer, Elector Count of Middenland, as a crazy, bombastic warrior that constantly shout, swear, and above all, is completely obsessed with Khazrak One-Eyed. It was born during the Yogcast Jingle Jam 2018, while the crew was playing a modded Old World campaign as Middenland, when a fully armored and eyepatched Tom bursted into the recording room asking if anyone had seen Khazrak One-Eyed and calling himself "Toddy", keeping his persona all the way through. The meme took the Yogcast subreddit by storm, and quickly made its way to the Total War community. Like Big Daddy Franz himself, Toddy has a few extremely hammy catchphrases, always written in all caps. Those include "HAPPY FESTAG!" (the Empire's equivalent for Christmas), "HE TOOK MY FUCKING EYE!" and "CARDIO BEATS CHAOS!". The meme's popularity prompted renewed calls to make Middenland playable in Mortal Empires.
- Lizard Hitler - Tehenhauin quickly earned this nickname for himself, due to his burning hatred of the Skaven and his ultimate goal to completely exterminate them all. The cherry on top is that the game actually gives him the ability to trigger a fullblown global race war between the Lizardmen and the Skaven, which will more often than not end up with a lot of dead rats.
- Vashnaar, The Campaign Ender - Out of all the rogue armies to be added to the game after the release of Warhammer II, none has caused as much rage in the fanbase as Vashnaar's conquest. Based off of a minor Chaos aligned Dark Elf character from the lore, Vashnaar leads an army of high tier Dark Elf and Chaos force (The two best heavy infantry factions in the game) to sodomize the player's hopes and dreams. If this guy spawns close to your territory in the early game your campaign is pretty much already over as you likely have nothing to fight his army and his city garrisons are also stupidly broken. He gained Surtha Ek levels of infamy in the community, though while most people see the Everchariot as a funny meme, most people legitimately hate Vashnaar for how powerful his army is and how he can end your campaign if he spawns too close to you too early.
- Minor Memes
An image from the Total War artbook, which appears to be something that could be the cover of the game as it matches The Empire closely. Also due to gryphons not existing in prior Total War games.