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The Old World has expanded into new realms of possibility with the upcoming Total War Warhammer strategy game. Fans of the Warhammer tabletop game (a hobby that now draws the likes of Hollywood A-list actors, like Henry Cavill) have been delighted to see the map being introduced in its playable entirety, from the lowland western jungles of Lustria, to the far-eastern mountains of Cathay.
Now, this third entry in the franchise is focusing on the long-awaited forces of Chaos, bringing to life some of the most beloved characters/races (keep an eye out for the Nurglings) which are unique to Warhammer lore.
The game will be released with seven factions (in addition to the Ogroid pre-order bonus). These are: Nurgle, Slaanesh, Tzeentch, Khorne, Kislev, Cathay and the Ogre Kingdoms.
We’ve been told already, by Game Director Ian Roxburgh, that the Warhammer 3 campaign map is ‘twice the size’ of the already expansive Vortex map – where we discovered Lizardmen in Total War: Warhammer 2. That being said, what’s getting fans most excited is Creative Assembly’s promise of another instalment to their beloved Mortal Empires campaign and map. This would mean that all three games could be combined in a free update to offer a plethora of playable races, covering every army that ever appeared in Warhammer’s famous Games Workshop stores. That’s right! Every single race, from the skeletal Tomb Kings to the High Elves of Ulthuan. It would be one massive Warhammer campaign for the ages, available to any players who own all three games.
This is a Herculean undertaking, many years in the making, and the completed Mortal Empires map will be a genre-defining work of collaborative genius. However, there are a few notable races still missing from Warhammer lore and we thought we’d take this opportunity to tempt the fates of future DLC, setting out our pick of 5 races we would love to see fully realised in Total War: Warhammer 3:
5. Chaos Dwarfs
Surely, the most obvious exclusion from the Total War Warhammer franchise is the Chaos Dwarfs. Full armies of collectible Chaos Dwarfs were sold at Games Workshop (back when they sculpted mostly in lead) and this once-popular faction remains very plausible as a last-minute DLC pack for Warhammer 3. Mad rocket scientists, sorcerers and bionic generals, like Astragoth Ironhand, head these bearded forces in battle – all of whom are descended from lost clans on the ashen Dark Lands, united in worship of their God of Fire, the bull-headed archdaemon, Hashut. The Chaos Dwarfs are great lovers of fire magic and skilled armourers, similar in appearance to traditional dwarfs. A few of their units, like the Bull Centaurs, would work perfectly in the established game and they are also known to enslave Greenskins, which could make from an interesting crossover between those two races. Now, the Warhammer 3 map has finally stretched out to Cathay, we are slowly creeping within invasion distance of the Chaos Dwarfs…
4. The Hobgoblins
The Hobgoblin Empire would work well as a cunning playable race, alongside the many other Greenskin factions already included on the Old World map. Often found fighting alongside Chaos Dwarfs, their unit roster and lore was a little scant due to the fact they never had an official army book. Yet the mysterious Hobgoblin armies are found north of Grand Cathay, likely within reach of the new campaign map, and their great wolf-riding leader, Ghazak Khan (we’ll leave you to guess which historical figures he’s based on) would make an incredible addition to the existing roster of playable characters. They are known to raid Grand Cathay and many forts and walls were constructed to fend off these mounted green hordes in battles reminiscent of the Mongol conquests.
3. The Nippon
Another possible DLC faction, again made more likely by the inclusion of Cathay, are the dragon-riding armies of Nippon. In Warhammer lore, Nippon is an island off the coast of Cathay, which would be the feudal Japan to Cathay’s China. From the few showcases we’ve seen of their units, Nippon are a kind of samurai faction that could look wonderful tightening ranks and cutting through waves of Savage Orcs, or Chaos Marauders. They were described as crossing paths with Dark Elves and Skaven (both races already exist in the games) and their unit roster could pair nicely with Cathay, similar in design to those we saw in Total War’s Shogun 2 – only with a few fantastical creatures thrown in for good measure!
This windswept island, close to wintry Norsca in the Great Ocean, is the closest Warhammer lore ever came to recreating the British Isles. After all, it is said to rain every day in Albion, so where else could it be?
Veiled by mist and fog, the islands of Albion are covered by marshes, damp forests, peaty bogs and fens. Woad-dressed humans inhabit these lands, guided by Truthsayers, who interpret and protect the rune-inscribed Ogham Stones. In the Albion ranks, you will also find the famous red-bearded Giants of Albion (who lumbered into armies of Orcs and Goblins) and one-eyed Fimir that already appear in the game as part of the Norsca infantry roster.
If Albion do make it into Warhammer 3, expect to see nobles in chariots or mounted on native ponies, warbands wielding slings and javelins and big, snarling Wolfhounds used in battle across Bretonnia and Empire. Chieftains can even call Giant Eagles from tall eyries across the isles and they have an awesome spear-wielding sisterhood of women-warriors, called the Maiden-Guard. In terms of Lords, we might see the hill-king Bran MacKerog, from the highland realm of Cam Mal-log, making an appearance (his forces once fought alongside Gotrek and Felix when they landed on Albion).
1. The Halflings
Leaving all the other races aside, we’d be delighted to at least see the return of the Hobbit-esque Halfling armies. With a lifespan of 120 years and an average height of just over 3 feet, the Halflings of the Mootland are a diminutive force to be reckoned with, already situated in the realms of Empire – a no-fuss addition to the Mortal Empires campaign! Known for their skill with produce and cooking, the Halflings contribute to Warhammer battles with hilarious artillery, like the Halfling Hotpot (a cauldron of boiling liquid sling-shotted into enemy ranks).
A martial people, Halflings are often discriminated against by other humanoid races, particularly the southern Stirlanders who resented a 1500-year-old law that saw their prime farmland (The Moot) being handed to these ‘Shorties’. Yet the Halflings are stalwart, aggressive and brave and often perform well as skirmishers or scouts in the Imperial armies. Notable units we’d like to see included in Warhammer 3 are: Pantry Guards (cleaver-wielding bodyguards for Halfling Chuck Wagons, pulled by an ancient breed of cattle called Aurochs), War Sheep, Ram, Goat and Swan Riders, Poultry Swarms (essentially just enraged flocks of geese, turkeys and ducks) and stocky Treemen, befriended by the Halflings who sometimes ride into battle on their gnarled shoulders.
Finally, we are spoilt for notable characters when it comes to the Lords, though Hisme Stoutheart is the obvious pick as ‘Elder of the Mootland’ – a rotund fellow who is one of the Electors of the Empire and took part in the Conclave of Light to determine a strategy for defeating Archaon during the Storm of Chaos.
Total War Warhammer 3 release date has been pushed back and officially announced for February 2022…