You finished the Warhammer 3 tutorial and want to start playing the campaign, but with 24 races and 92 playable legendary lords you don’t know which one to pick? Fear not!
This guide will teach you how to play every Warhammer 3 race & tell you about some good campaigns so that you will be able to make an informed decision about which campaign you want to play.
Specifically, this guide will include: Strengths & Weaknesses of all 24 Warhammer 3 races, so that you know what you are doing with all of them, and some of the most basic, special, interesting Warhammer 3 campaigns out there based on personal experience, so that you can figure out which campaign you think you will like best.
The aim of this guide is to give you a pretty good intro with all 24 races & some good campaigns so that you know what you pick.
This guide is intended to have all the information up there and go back to it when you feel like it. If you read this whole guide, you should have a pretty solid understanding of the whole game even if you’ve never played it in your life.
This guide was made in patch 4.0, further updates may change the game a bit. Enjoy!
The Races Pro’s and Con’s
- Added in Warhammer 1 as a day 1 DLC with Warriors of Chaos and never got an update since.
- In Warhammer 3 they are even worse than before since you are no longer in the corner of the map. In Warhammer 2 Norsca was the northern end of the map. In Warhammer 3, north of Norsca, now you have the Chaos armies, so you are stuck between Chaos and the Empire.
- They lack special mechanics. They have Tribal Confederation, which is one of the most powerful special mechanics in the game, if you defeat the enemy leader of the same race as you you can confederate his whole faction. I was able to conquer all of Norsca in 20 turns by just focusing on attacking the faction leaders.
- But aside their tribal confderation, they feel outdated and no longer have that raiding power they used to have in Warhammer 2 due to now also having to deal with Chaos north of you.
- From raiders of the Empire to a struggle for survival.
- In battle, they have only 1 non-legendary lord choice and 2 legendary lords choice.
- They have some strengths: monsters variety, decent magic, high speed.
- Added in Warhammer 1 as a free DLC.
- You are limited in what you can recruit without bankrupting yourself, you have a limit on peasants based on how many settlements you own and until you take the vows with the lords you will have to pay an extra upkeep for the knights.
- Every mechanic in Bretonnia works against you before becoming useful right at the time when you already have an empire.
- In Battle, they are a good faction but a little bit micro-intensive with a cavalry focus, they have the best cavalry in the game, and some of the worst infantry in the game, decent archers.
- They are very mobile and can do a lot of damage with their knights when used correctly.
- Added in Warhammer 2.
- Loyality mechanic, all non-legendary lords have a loyality mechanic that if it drops to 0 they revolt against you, so you not only have to keep the enemy but also your own lords in check. (only Dark Elves, Vampire Coast and Skaven have this loyality mechanic).
- They have an interesting slave mechanic, they have a slave-based economy.
- Black Arcs are great for recruiting anywhere you want on the map near water.
- In battle, they have high damage and varied units.
- Added in Warhammer 1.
- You get a research that gives you 0 upkeep cost for skeletons, that means you can make armies of only 1 Lord and skeletons that will only cost you about 200-300 upkeep. Being able to spam armies of skeletons, like a real undead would.
- Raise Dead mechanic is amazing, right after winning a battle, or just going to a place where a battle was fought, you can Raise Dead/recurit dead, this, depending on the casualities in the battle you raise dead from, can allow you to recruit some really powerful units without having to build the buildings for them, and sustain your advance in enemy territory.
- Very good unit replenishment rate so almost always you will have full health units.
- In battle, they have only 1 playstayle and that is rush, because they have no ranged units aside from Sylvanian Crossbowmen which are some tier 2 empire equivalent archers.
- The lore of Vampires is the most powerful lore of magic in the game.
- Added in Warhammer 3 as a day 1 DLC.
- The meat mechanic is basic and the bonus you get from it is mediocre.
- Ogre camps are cool but the weight capacity issue make them more of a hinderance.
- Contracts are just pathetic side-quests for mediocre rewards.
- They have a lot of half-baked mechanics, nothing spectacular.
- In battle, they have a mix of Ogre units playing alongside monsters with some little lads.
- They have a distinct hit & run playstyle with their considerable girth.
Daemons of Chaos:
- The one secret final faction in Warhammer 3 at launch.
- One of the least interesting factions, and not because they have only 1 legendary lord, but because that legendary lord, the demon you get to name yourself but is actually Prince Yuri from the prologue, and in the lore is called The Godslayer, is the entire faction. PS: He was the secret lover of Tzarina Katarin.
- The builder demon system, while cool, is all t he Daemons of Chaos faction has.
- They get some minor mechanics from the other branches of chaos: Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeench, Slaanesh. But you might as well play those other branches of chaos to get the full experience.
- They get the full roaster of Chaos, but so does the Warriors of Chaos faction, and they have other mechanics too.
- When you focus entierly of The Godslayer the daemons aren’t that bad, but as soon as you’re forced to use other armies you’ll realise how much they forgot about them.
- Despite being Daemons of Chaos, Be’lakor, the antagonist from Realm of Chaos campaign, isn’t a legendary lord choice, it is clear not much thought was given on how the faction fits into the game outside of The Godslayer.
- Without him, there is no faction, and it’s not a great place for a faction to be.
- In battle, they have the full roaster of all of chaos. So they have a lot of choice in what to build, so you can have a lot of fun and variety there.
- But, just play the Warriors of Chaos instead, you get the same roaster + some actual mechanics to go with them.
- Added in Warhammer 2 as a DLC race.
- They haven’t really changed since their DLC came out, but they are still a mid-level faction.
- They have a very unique style of play where their units have no upkeep but the number of units you can recruit depends on how many military buildings you have in total in your empire.
- So the end up slowly building up into a snowball into the late game, where they can have massive armies full of powerful units without the need to pay for them.
- The Books of Nagash offers them a nice side quest to go and collect them.
- The Moritary Cult gives them some nice crafting options for lord items you really want.
- The only problem with their gameplay is that it’s a little bit limtied to the desert so attempting to go out of it is a massive challenge as well as a little bit pointless. All their best lands are there, all the great pyramids, so why would you go anywhere else?
- In battle, they have a decent roaster with lots of skeletons and monsters, very cool unded feel without ripping off the vampires.
- Only 1 generic lord type is a bit bad, but aside for that the roaster is a decent size and has loads of units that are fun to use. The constructs and artillery are great options.
- If you like the Vampire Counts but want a few more ranged options, then Tomb Kings are a great pick for you.
- Added in Warhammer 3.
- The most powerful thing about this faction is their legendary lords, and as I said with Daemons of Chaos, that isn’t enough. A faction needs to be able to stand on its own without the legendary lords. The dragons in Cathay’s case.
- They have other mechanics beside legendary lords, but they are nothing all that special.
- The Great Bastion (Great Chinese wall) is just waves of Chaos periodically attacking and you having to fight them back. Giving you periodically babysitting job in the northern area of Cathay.
- Harmony makes building your faction more difficult with every aspect needing to lean into Yin or Yang to keep things balanced.
- The compass is alright but it’s just a set of 4 buffs so nothing massively interactive there.
- The Ivory Road is all right. But it’s a generic mechanic already stolen by the Chaos Dwarves.
- They are not a weak faction, but they are very bland, very default.
- In battle: they have lots of gunpowder units and some fun lores of magic, but the legendary lords are some of the most exciting and most powerful units and you get 1 per faction. Which makes all other aspects of their army feel a bit lacking.
- If you like blowing stuff on mass and a sturdy fontline they are a decent pick.
- One of the 4 gods of Chaos, added in Warhammer 3.
- The sedunction mechanic is pretty good. Seduction allows you to make friends with and eventually vassalize basically an faction in game, which can be super strong when pulled off against a very powerful enemy.
- Seducing units pre-battle is pretty fun, turning enemies against themselves.
- Devotees and disciples aren’t too bad. And everybody loves a cult.
- In battle: very strong but only if you can play them right. With their cavalry and chariots they can be a micro-management nightmare, you have to stay on top of units and keep them moving to get your value out of them.
- Their roaster is decent and powerful as well as their unique lore of magic, but they are harder to use than most, making their average efficacy if you’re an average player quite low.
- If you like hit & run as well as lots of chariots then a few monsters then you’ll have a lot of fun with them.
- Another god of Chaos, added in Warhammer 3.
- He is a lot easier to use than Slaanesh in a lot of aspects.
- His mechanics are super unique and can be a lot of fun.
- Crafting and spreading plagues gives you some bonuses, and can seriously change the outcome of a battle if you play it right.
- Their unique cyclical buildings make them a very weird faction to build settlements as and can make them feel a lot slower than other factions early on.
- Once you have a few cycles going on however recruitment pools fill up and you can recruit full armies in a single turn if you have enough gold.
- In battle: very weird playstyle, almost anything being super slow but also super tanky, meaning you can take a beating when you reach the enemy but still have a lot of health when you make contact.
- The best thing about the army is posion, nearly every unit has it and it’s can take on basically anything way easier. It kind of drags every unit down to your level and feels like the innevitable march to death that Nurgle is all about.
- They are mainly a melee tanky army but have a couple of powerful range units however limited they might be. They also have the lore of Nurgle and some great monsters.
- If you are into death & decay they play the part pretty perfectly.
- Added in Warhammer 2 as race DLC.
- They can be incredibly strong and it’s really down to a couple of mechanics.
- Their ship building borrows from the Black Arcs but just makes their Legendary Lord into a roaming recruitment machine, no matter where they are on the map.
- Pirate Coves can leech income from powerhouse settlements and use that to found massive armies without ever interacting with the faction you steal gold from.
- Not every mechanic is a hit of course, with loyality being a downgrade, while infamy and the piece of either feeling a bit underwhelming.
- Best theme in the game, when you play as them, you really feel like you’re playing a faction of undead pirates.
- In battle: focused on gunpowder monsters with a beautiful undead sauce on top for even more perfect theming.
- Added in Warhammer 1 as a race DLC.
- Incredibly good at what they do, and what they do is very specific.
- With Magical Forests spread across the map they are more global than ever with their Deep Roots mechanic allowing them to teleport across the map in a single turn to take over every forest on the map for massive rewards.
- Being limited to the forest doesn’t mean anything outside of them is next to impossible, as well as basically pointless, so you are locked into one very specific playstyle everytime you play as them.
- But that playstyle of taking over a forest and cleansing the area around it, they do it very well.
- And the bonuses they get from having these forests cleansed and awakened stack up fast into making them into a real snowball very difficult to deal with.
- In battle: super powerful archers, powerful tree spirits and monsters.
- If you’re into skirmishes with all attack and little defense, this might be the faction for you.
- They get damage and defense bonus if fighting near trees in battle.
- Added in Warhammer 2.
- Their base mechanics are very bland until much later into the game.
- Despite their basicness they manage to be a pretty strong faction.
- In battle: they have their real strength, their truly massive roaster. Before Chaos had their massive Undivided roaster the Lizardmen had the biggest roaster by far.
- Massively tanky frontlines, sneaky skirmishers, speedy cavalry, a nice helpful monstrous dinos in all shapes and sizes.
- If you like overwhelming enemies with sheer mass and power, Lizardmen are for you.
- Added in Warhammer 2.
- Similar to Lizardmen, High Elves base mechanics are pretty mediocre. At least they give them some assistance pretty much all game rather than just at the end of it.
- Influence mechanic seems like a bad deal until you see some of the effects it can bring.
- Their legendary lords have interesting game mechanics and even start locations. With many of them concentrated on Atlantis, but some of them spread across the map for a little bit of variety.
- In battle: are known for a single unit the Sisters of Avalon, are hillariously powerful.
- Strong ranged units, lack armor piercing but their rnage is unmatched at every stage of the game.
- They compliment these with a studry frontline, handful of monsters, powerful cavalry and dragons.
- If you’re new to Total War Warhammer either High Elves or Lizardmen are my recommendations.
- They’re not the most exciting faction in the game, but they’re decently strong and a beginner’s dream.
- Added in Warhammer 1
- Book of Grudges mechanic, they are all about finding grudges and settling them by any means necessary. But is very forgiving, having a lot of grudges doesn’t lead to a lot of penalites.
- Forge mechanics where just like Tomb Kings can craft items for their lords.
- Some of their legendary lords have interesting extra mechanics like Belegar’s quest for 8-peaks and Thorgrim’s collection.
- In battle: one of the easiest factions to pick up and play, powerful infantry with a lot of armor, but very slow, powerful artillery.
- They are the best turtling faction in the game, very slow moving units but paired with massive ranged firepower in their artillery and ranged infantry. Frontline is super tough and their leadership is nearly unbreakable.
- Added in Warhammer 3
- Once you do understand how they work and get everything going they are actually pretty strong.
- But until you understand how to play them, it’s very difficult to play them.
- Their mechanics are pretty useless early game with none of them offering any good bonuses to get you started, devotion which is low at the beginning, supporters which is just a race vs the AI, attomans that you don’t even pick up until you take over another province, and the Ice Court which takes longer to produce lords and heroes but they are more powerful but you wait more for them and have to pay more gold.
- You have to constantly fight Chaos and you don’t even have an actual wall unlike Cathay.
- In battle: roaster very versatile with a lot of hybrid units, good at 2 different things but master of none.
- Meaning you can spam almost anything and be effective in melee, you just pick the route the enemy is no good at. But the downside is many units feel underwelming in one or both of these areas.
- Powerful bear cubs and elemental bears monsters. And some good laws on magic on their side.
- Even if the tutorial is with them, they are one of the most difficult factions to pick up and play, start the Realm of Chaos with Cathay as the game recommends you.
- But once you are comfortable with the game, they can be a great stepping stone to harder factions since t hey require a lot of maintainance to stay at their eventually high power level.
- Added in Warhammer 1.
- The default humans, the most default faction you can take. If Cathay is generic + good legendary loreds, Empire is generic + good Hellfire artillery and Tanks.
- The main power comes from the Imperial Authority and Prestige mechanic, this allows you to build out fielty with the other Empire factions in the Old World and confederate them all under one banner with very few repercussions on yourself.
- The downside is that while you’re trying to do that, the Empire has all kinds of internal threats: Beastmen, Orcs, Wood Elves, Vampires, Nurgle, Tzeench, that you try to deal with. So you have to keep your empire together until you can confederate it.
- These 2 Empire lords that don’t have this system: Marcus has always had a hard time, its campaign is designed to be an “Empire on hard mode” and that’s still true here. Vulkmar isn’t as bad but he certainly doesn’t have it as easy as Karl Franz and Belt.
- In battle: Is all about versatility, strong frontline, powerful ranged infantry, decent cavalry, explosive artillery, hellfire and tanks, flying griffins, etc.
- The only thing they lack is actual monsters but you don’t need that in ‘the good guys heroic’ faction.
- Are they the most beginner friendly faction? No, High Elves and Lizardmen are, but they are pretty close, with their default-ish generic roaster.
- Added in Warhammer 3.
- Very interesting and fun mechanics. Master troll. Can teleport around the map, move winds of magic around regions, and do all manner of wacky things. You can literally just steal settlements and there is 0 countplay to be seen. It’s hillarious trolling.
- Add to this the cults and manifestations of Chaos. And they are a faction with a surprisingly large number of mechanics.
- In battle: One of the most ranged-focused factions, with a lot of options at all stages of the game, and tons of demons and monsters to keep things interesting. Since it’s Tzeench also has powerful magic.
- Added in Warhammer 1.
- Once the worst faction in Warhammer 1, by far one of the best in Warhammer 2 and 3.
- One of the few true horde factions (no settlements) left in the game and they make the most of that fact.
- None of your units cost recruitment or upkeep meaning all of your gold can be poured into horde buildings to recruit the most powerful armies you can possibly can. In your quest to destroy the world.
- Their hearthstone mechanics gives you some direction and goals over just razing everything in sight in exchange for maximum benefit.
- Dead is also earned constantly and increases unit capacity to field late game units as well as confederate other Beastmen.
- The everpresent time-pressure Best Your Rage mechanic means that you have to keep your army raiding and raiding being aggressive and performing at peak.
- In battle: best hit & run faction with their high speed and packed monster roaster makes them running over most foes into a breeze.
- They have massive speed seen in fewer factions and can use monsters in some extremely creative ways.
- If you can get behind the constant focus of attacking and fighting and lack of settlement gameplay it can be a very fun faction to just turn you brain off and just charge.
- Added in Warhammer 3.
- Have the same gameplay loop as Beastmen of constantly fighting to maintain momentum but also have settlements.
- In battle: they focus on rush and attack with a mix of demons and warrios that focuses fully on damage output with little regard for their own lives.
- Great frontlines, monsters, cavalry and even one of the coolest artillery units in the game.
Warriors of Chaos:
- Added in Warhammer 1, updated a lot in Warhammer 3.
- The WoC experience changes a lot depending on the lord, but at their peak you have a truly massive roaster of units to pick from.
- You have a tons of powerful effects and gifts from all branches of Chaos.
- Their Dark Fortress and vassalization systems are great and gives them actual lands and allies to work with.
- The warband upgrades means now you have a reason to stick with those high level Marauders instead of disbanding them the second you get something better.
- The Path to Glory makes all your generic characters super powerful and transform them in many ways if you do everything right.
- Top it all off with some Dark Authority to make everything cheaper and heal faster.
- In battle: A huge undivided roaster as well as some original Warriors of Chaos units plus a tide of units from all areas of the Chaos pantehons.
- You have a ton of frontline units to choose from, plenty of cavalry and chariorts, and then a shed load of monsters and magic to keep things interesting. Honestly, their roaster is so large that you’ll struggle not to find something that works for you.
- They are not one of the easier factions tot learn in the game, but once you get going to them, they can be easily one of the strongest.
- Added in Warhammer 1.
- Tribal Confederation, Waaggs to double army size, the mountains of scrap they collect from battle to make their units even better.
- This is before you mention speicifc lords mechanics like the Grom the Paunch.
- In battle: another attack-focused faction with an almost exclusive focus on melee in every aspect of their roaster.
- Their melee infantry hit like a truck, monsters are even bigger and hit like a plane, and the few ranged units they have also hit like a big truck.
- Orcs are just that simple, if you like to always keep fighting, then look no further.
- Yes, they might not have the most intelligent battle strategy, but who cares when you can roll up most armies before they can act on any of their so-called strategies.
- Added in Warhammer 3 as a DLC race.
- Newest faction and they are one of the strongest? call me surprised.
- The supply chain of labor, raw materials and armaments can produce insanely quickly as well as produce you a mountain of gold here and there.
- Add on the trading convoys like Cathay and you can pretty much print whatever currency you want and have whatever units you want. They have an insane snowball.
- Their forge being a limitation quickly changes into being a superpower. Can buff units like almost no other faction can.
- In battle: They are like the regular Dwarves but somehow better. High damage and extremely tough frontlines, massive burst damage ranged, high speed and devastating war machines, and probably the best artillery in the game.
- Added in Warhammer 2. Most powerful faction in the game ever since.
- Powerful mechanics: ambushing, undercities, food and corruption.
- The lord Ikit Claw of Clan Skryre is carrying them still after all these years.
- Ikit Claw has other powerful mechanics beside the Skaven’s already default powerful mechanics: uranium bombs, with no capacity prices or maintainance. Just one quick hit of warp fuel and food and bam, infinte ammo rattling guns for the rest of the game and that’s only naming one upgrade.
- Clan Eshin and Clan Moulder also have their own powerful unique mechanics. They are just that OP. And they are meant to, lore-wise, Skaven are meant to be very OP and annoying.
- Skaven can be so stupidly overpowered that it almost takes the fun out of it.
- In battle: Skaven are a nightmare. Great units in pretty much every category. Late game they have super tough and damage frontlines, powerful weapons teams, grotesque monsters in all shapes and sizes and devastating war machines and artillery to take out any opponents. It’s hard to find a weakness in the Skaven’s roaster.
- Early on, they are weak, but who isn’t? very few factions have a spike as spiky as the Skaven.
The Races: Best Units
Daemons of Chaos:
Warriors of Chaos:
Basic Battle Formations
Absolute Beginner Guide
Lores Of Magic Guide
Beginner’s Battle Guide
Ultimate Guide To Each Unit’s Role
Total War Tactics Playlist
Wood Elves Builds & Tactics (Specific Armies Playlist)
Campaign: Most Noob Campaigns
What are the easiest campaign you can start Total War Warhammer 3 with? When you pick a noob campaign you want to learn the game. You don’t want to pick up Be’lakor in Immortal Empires and steamroll the entire campaign. You want a campaign where you are going to figure things out.
Vampire Counts – Vlad/Isabella von Carstein
Which one you want to choose. If you play Vlad you get Isabella as the legendary hero, if you play Isabella you get Vlad as the legendary hero. Vlad and Isaebella are great because they have a relatively decent starting position, while the factions around them the Dwarves and the Empire don’t really like them, you do have ways of dealing with that. And crucially when you’re talking about diplomacy you can vassalize factions by diplomacy. So this is a good campaign to get you started on pretty much all the aspects when it comes to diplomacy.
The only factions that don’t necessarily like you but you can make them like you by trading territory, taking their territory, vassalizing them. You can make Dwarf Ungrum Ironfist your best friend in this campaign if you play your cards right. You can make the Empire love you in this campaign because you have acess to Lahmian vampire bloodlines.
There are a lot of choices and none of them are necessarily bad choices either. That’s the thing with vampire counts, there are many ways to play them, but none of those decisions when it comes to selecting your lords, selecting your armies, selecting your heroes are bad choices. A lot of things work, a lot of different playstyles work.
This is also a great campaign for people to understand the corruption situation, because vampires do need to deal with the corruption otherwise they take attrition. While you don’t have ranged and artillery when playing as Vampire Counts, your units aren’t necessary the best in the world, your economy is good but not necessarily the best in the world, it is a fairly decent state overall you might think, but there is a ridiculous amount of power. You do have Raise Dead, which means that you can recruit units and experiment with different units without building the buildings for those units.
Greenskins – Grimgor Ironhide
The Greenskins are one of the best races in the game and a fairly simple to play race in a lot of ways. They can’t trade, they make a lot of money through individual battles, they have powerful armies, they get powerful faction effects, they get powerful legendary lords, what is there not to like about the Greenskins?
They can also get Heroes very very early in their campaign with their heores available at tier 3. Greenskins have Nasty Skulskers that are some of the best early game units in the entire game, and also Stone Trolls. Between the two Stone Trolls are more important but don’t underestimate the importance of Nasty Skulskers. Even without these 2, just go with a bunch of the boys, or with a bunch of Goblin Archers, or if you want to play full of Greenskins go Orc Archer Boyz. Late game you want to get Black Orcs, Savage Orcs, or you might want to go with a full melee army that works for Greenskins as well, or switch up the Night Goblins.
Grimgor Ironhide is really powerful. He has campaign movement, he gets upkeep benefit for Black Orcs and Big Guns these are your top infantry units, his waaags can get Black Orcs in them which is actually the best waaaagh unit that you can get. He has great dueling capabilities, he gets more heroes in the Black Orc big bosses, he has Frenzy, he gets further benefits to Orc Big Guns and Savage Big Guns as well as bonus versus large, he causes fear and terror and has HP vitamin shrooms.
It’s not that he’s really powerful. He’s powerful but also in one of the best campaign areas in the game, the Darklands. He’s surrounded by pretty powerful legendary lords. Regardless which way you move into this campaign you will encounter foes. And how do you deal with that? how do you fight? how do you expand? how do you decide to take on, who do you decide to ally? how do you decide to build your empire? all of that is going to have a great deal of significance in Grimgor’s campaign.
High Elves – Tyrion
The High Elves are a great race for a beginner. They are a good race in general, they have a lot of campaign power, they have a good economy, their basic army of spearmen and archers are really good. DLC units just add on top of that especially Sisters of Avellon, but you can certainly play an entire Island campaign with the baseline roaster and do quite well. Even in Immortal Empires against really powerful legendary lords. Tyrion has one of the best or easiest starting positions in the entire game with a significant amount of campaign potential from the very beginning.
He has a lot of power, he has good benefits in terms of recruitment duration and construction time, he has proximity to the Shrine of Khaine so if you’re looking for the Sword of Khaine it’s right there. Even though the wasteland in the north is uninhabitable because of the civil war with the Dark Elves in the lore so that could be a problem, and crucially he gets a lot of diplomatic benefit with a lot of High Elves.
Then he has his level up skill Magesty of Ulthuan which gives him further diplomatic relationships, recruitment duration, recruitment cost, recruitment capacity and upkeep cost for all armies. The High Elves are a great race to play because they are all about diplomacy to make their economy work with trade agreements.
Dark Elves – Morathi
In terms of dominating the campaign early game, very few races compare to the Dark Elves, and very few legendary lords compare to Morathi. She is more of a Slaanesh legendary lord than a Slaanesh legendary lord, she is beloved on the campaign map.
Dark Elves are not really hated by that many races. The Lizardmen have an adversion but in many order factions they have -40 relations and -40 is something you can deal with. It’s really when you have -100 that you start having problems you can’t deal with. And the disorder factions like Skaven and so on they might even love you potentially or have only a -10 adversion.
This means you have a ridiculous amount of diplomatic potential at your hands. You don’t have the ability to vassalize factions but considering what Morathi can do in her campaign, you don’t need to. Because you can become one of the most dominant factions in the world and ally the entire world. You want to ally Archeon and Kiselv at the same time? you can do it. You want to ally the High Elves the moral enemies of the Dark Elves? you can do it as Morathi. There is a particular landmark in the Shrine of Asuryan that gives you +100 relations with the High Elves. Nullifying the adversion that they feel towards you.
So the diplomatic potential of Morathi is insane. The campaign potential of Morathi is something else. Her starting provice is very easy to deal with. You don’t really need DLC for Dark Elves, Shadow and Blade would be a worthwhile DLC for Dark Elves because of the master heroes but you can certainly do it without it. But you might want to pick that DLC anyway because of the Skaven campaign that you get with them because Clan Eshin of Deathmaster Snikch is one of the most fun Skaven campaigns in the game. But Morathi has so much power potential, she gets -30% upkeep for army with level up skill Absolute Devotion, she gets more post-battle loot, she has an easy access to a port so she can geet the Black Arcs, the Dark Elves get access to Sacrifice to Khaine which gives you an insane +20% casuality replenishment, but even that doesn’t matter as you can get Death Hag heroes that gives you casuality replenishment. You can use Slave-Drive which gives you +50 growth, that is insane, the Greenskins are powerful because they get +30 growth through waaagh, the Dark Elves get +50 growth on top of instant construction, on top of a commandment that gives you +20 growth. Dark Elves are strong, are powerful. They have the loyality mechanic, but that’s a small price to pay compared to all other benefits.
Grand Cathay – Zhao Ming
Some people are going to wonder, why isn’t Tyrion number 1? You do need DLC to make Tyrion’s campaign work in the best possible way, to get the Sisters of Avellon, to confederate Allariel and Yvresse. Also Tyrion’s campaign is just too safe, too comfortable over there in Ulthuan, it’s great if you want to have an easy campaign, but if you want to learn you need to have some level of challenge.
Cathay in general achieves that, which is probably very appropiate considering Cathay is all about balance, is balancing Yin and Yang, is what’s the benefit of Yin, what’s the benefit of Yang. Well, Yin gives construction benefits, Yang gives you recruitment benefits, balance gives you an upkeep and income benefit and campaign movement range. So it’s great to play Cathay, they have a balanced army roaster. They have flying units, they have artillery units, good artillery units, in fact some of the best in the game, good infantry, good hero selections in terms of magic not in terms of melee capabilities, they do have Shadow of Change DLC but you don’t need the DLC, at all.
The DLC is great if you want to play the best legendary lord in Cathay, but for the easiest and the 2nd strongest out of the 3 is not important at all. You don’t need the Celestial Generals to have a good experience as Cathay, and the Jade Lions and Oxny Kroman, well the Jade Lions do offer you some campaign potential, some campaign choices, but they are not essential in any way shape or form. So you can play Cathay with no DLC and have a fairly good experience. You always want to get Jade Warriors and Jade Crossbowmen to be sure.
Campaign: Most Powerful Campaigns
These are some of the most overpowered campaigns in Total War Warhammer 3. Some of them can be fun, others not that much, but these campaigns are all about raw power.
Lizardmen – Oxyotl
Oxyotl is a really powerful legendary lord for a mid level race. Lizardmen aren’t a bad race, but they are not one of the most powerful races out there. Definetly above average but not in top tier. In fact, they are very basic and very easy to play with. So if you’re new to Total War and want a powerful faction that is easy to play, and like lizards, I recommend Oxyotl.
So Lizardmen are good, but not special, Oxyotl makes them special. He can build Silent Scantums across the campaign map. There you can build buildings that give you a lot of benefits, including teleportation. His Ancient Knowledge level up branch is really powerful.
But really the big reason Oxyotl is on this list is Vision of the Old Ones mechanic. These are missions you get on the campaign. Random missions, some very difficult, some very easy. Oxyotl himself doesn’t get diplomatic penalty from tresspassing other faction’s territory, that’s very substantial. And allows you to teleport and complete those missions very easy. Many of those missions give you Blessed Spawning units as a result, which are more powerful than the average units. Oxyotl also does not suffer terrain attrition, so you can basically go everywhere and do everything you want.
High Elves – Allariele the Radiant
High Elves are a really good race by default. No.1 along with Lizardmen recommended as the beginner race. They do get a long time to get strong, to get going, and they do have limitations because of that, but Allariele doesn’t have the same limitations.
Allariele might be one of the greatest empire builders in the entire campaign. The main issue is getting control over all of Ulthuan or having all of Ulthuan under High Elven control. Everything is more expensive when a part of Ulthuan is not under High Elven control.
Like all High Elves she can manipulate the diplomatic system but Allariele can make it even easier than other High Elven factions due to Influence cost -25%. Tradition Dictates is a powerful level up skill of her. Allariele has more access to more Handmaidens than all the other legendary lords of High Elves. She can also recruit Sisters of Avallon at tier 3 as opposed to tier 4 because of the unique building Handmaiden’s Gallery.
While Handmaiden aren’t best in combat, what they do on the campaign map makes them absurd with level up skill Diplomat of the Everqueen and Favoured of Isha. Where as Oxyotl wins because of his teleportation, Allariele becomes the true queen of the world basically. Can get Treekin and Treemen, some of the best units in the game, from Wood Elves, with a special building.
Warriors of Chaos – Archaon the Everchosen
You can make a lot of vassals with the Warrior of Chaos, and have many Chaos factions love you. Archaon can force confederate all the other legendary lords of the Warriors of Chaos. The souls that you get +25 souls from vassals, can give you units through the Gifts of Chaos mechanic.
Has powerful level up skill Grand Marshal of Chaos. And he has one of the safest and easiest starting positions in the entire game. Other Chaos Lords may be better early game but Archaon is a beast mid to late game, an easy empire builder.
Wood Elves – Orion
Orion isn’t that great as a personal warrior or in terms of his economy or even his army. All the other 3 Wood Elves legendary lords are far better than him in that respect. But it comes down to one particular thing. Orion has an upkeep reduction by -8% for each active war, and an upkeep reduction of -4% for all his other armies for each active war.
Wisdom of the Eagle Lords research gives you line of sight over all magical forests. You can simply declare war on faraway factions that will never encounter you. By declaring war on so many factions, you get so much money and upkeep reduction. 12 wars and you have -96% upkeep, 13 wars and you have -100% upkeep, your main army is basically free, and all other armies have -50% upkeep. You basically have free upkeep with all your armies.
You can get tons of armies of Treekin, of archers, that do well in battle and you can obliterate enemies and you still have 0% upkeep. Wood Elves have very powerful units but they are very expensive and with a huge upkeep, and they generally have a bad economy. Having 0% upkeep just breaks all of this.
Tzeench – The Changeling
A legendary lord with the Wood Elves’ teleportation ability, combined with an army that is just as powerful as anything Archaon can put minus the Hell Cannons, combined with invisible armies on the campaign map if you’re within range of a cult. Without any settlements the AI can eliminate because the cults are undercities that AI has really had time detecting due to the fact that you can reduce detectabilitty with Mercantile Illusion building. Combined with the ridiculous power Tzeench have in the campaign. Combined with the ridiculous power in battle.
The Changeling is so absurd that the tier 2 army can anihiliate end tier armies in the campaign. And that’s just the baselines strength of the Changeling. It gets more ridiculous than that. The Changeling himself can assume the form of ther legendary lords. So you want to ve Vlad von Carstein with all of his melee power? you can be. You have heroes that give you campaign movement range and the cultists, you have powerful magic users, and some of the best units in the game. You have powerful melee, powerful beasts. You may not have the Great Weapon Chosen like Nurgle has, Festus specifically, but you make up for it. Your durability is far higher than what Nurgle has which is insane, because you have barriers. And in terms of damage potential you have magic, you have multi Vortex beats, things like exhalted Flamers, when you can use them.
And then, on top of that, the many scheme benefits you can get. If you are in a province with a cult, your arrmies are hidden from them. You’re hidden. So they can’t even see your armies to deal with them. The Changeling is like a final boss. The changeling is a master troll who cannot be defeated in the hands of the player.
Campaign: Most Fun Campaigns
What is the difference between a fun and a powerful campaign? You want a powerful lord but not necessarily too powerful. You don’t want a lord that can steamroll the entire map. You have a balance between power, potential and level of challenge.
Greenskins – Grimgor Ironhide
The Greenskins are a very good race. They also have a very good hero selection. They generic lord choices aren’t necessary great but their legendary lord are very good. With Grimgor Ironhide you will encounter pretty powerful legendary lords early game, there is a lot of potential for his foes, but there is also a lot of potential for him.
High Elves – Alith Anar
Alith Anar has one of the best campaigns in the entire game. The High Elves are a very good race even without any kind of DLC, without DLC you can’t use the Shadow Warriors so you will be limited to the Shadow Walkers. What makes Alith Anar a great campaign is not the power that the High Elves have intrinsically, is not only that he is a High Elf focused on the sneaky stabby units, he has Stance: Stalking for his own army, so anytime he attacks an enemy army he has a chance of ambushing them, which grants him a significant amout of power in his campaign. Then he can also use the Stance: Shadow Realm Pathways, and with that he has a lot more campaign movement flexibility than many legendary lords have, and he has a special Rite that summons a hero that can assassinate without fail.
More over, Alith Anar level up skill Revenant leads to Renegade. Which makes the archers so much better. Then you have the top murder missions. He also has a great location for fighting early game. The spearfront of the fighting against the Dark Elves in their own land and Be’lakor at your back.
Dark Elves – Morathi
The mother of the big bad Dark Elf. The Dark Elves are good in melee, later can rely on monsters to fill that melee role, they are good in range because of Dark Shards and Shades, they lack in artillery but they are great in terms of heroes. Especially in terms of hero capacity because they can increase the hero capacity at tier 3 for every hero type.
What makes Morathi interesting is that you have the same starting map situation as Alith Anar except you go north instead of going west, and instead of Be’lakor at your back you have the High Elves in Ulthuae that can invade you at any moment. Morathi can get a lot of sorceres very quickly. Morathi is good both in melee and magic. It’s very possible to get a lot of allies, it’s very possible to build a massive empire as Morathi.
Chaos Dwarves – Drazoath the Ashen
They have a huge amount of power but they do have to work for it. Your early game you have Skaven and High Elves, and while you can certainly avoid war with one of them, you cannot avoid war with both of them. After that you have regular Dwarves which hate you because of the relations between Chaos Dwarves and regular Dwarves and then of course you have Grimgore.
The Darklands is one of the most interesting campaign regions where you are both strong but also vulnerable. You have various things to deal with and there are various ways that this could go wrong. You could play it in a more passive way but that is not a great idea because Grimgore and if not Grimgore then Cathay to the east.
Grand Cathay – Yuan Bo
Grand Cathay is playable even without this DLC but this campaign is the best campaign of Grand Cathay. Cathay as a race is pretty good overall, they have a focus on legendary lords being very powerful and a very solid if not quite generic army, with Jade Warriors and Jade Warriors Crossbowmen, you can’t go wrong using those units. They have good range units, they have really good melee units, they have good artillery, some of the best in the entire game.
Yuan Bo has a great amount of power between fortress cities and commercial districts, including the ability to reset the movement range of every army in the campaign map. Yuan Bo can do it for every army, at the same time. Instant construction, instant recruitment, just ridiculousness after ridicoulousness, and with the new harmony system it is pretty absurd.
Campaign: Most Difficult Campaigns
What are some of the most difficult campaigns in Total War Warhammer 3?
Vampire Coast – Luther Harkhon
When you look at the Vampire Coast, you look at the way they’re kind of made to be played, they are really supposed to have a lot of disposable troops and then troops that are not so disposable like artillery, Depth Guard, Deck Gunners and Necrofex Colossus.
Vampire Coast also have low leadership and they are undead. And because they are undead, if you lost a battle you lost your entire army. You either streamroll with Raise Dead or lose and lose your whole army.
The other Vampire Coast lords, Arnaessa has the Ogres and also the Sartosa Free Company units, Count Noctilus has the most safe defensive position in the game, right in the middle of the ocean and with a lot of attrition for any would-be invader, Cylostra has her summons that can help in her campaign, although she is in the highway to hell between High Elves and the Dark Elves.
Luther Harkhon on the other hand is forced to fight in Southern Lustria, where you have to deal first with the Lizardmen, that are going to be very annoying, then the Dark Elves, even Bretonnia, even the Skaven. And later Cathay and the Empire. And you are in that unique position where as a Vampire Coast faction that is supposed to focus on naval supremacy, you are forced to fight on land to cure his madness, which creates a really bad campaign dynamic for Luther Harkhon to deal with.
Lizardmen – Lord Mazdamundi
Mazdamundi is a default legendary lord for its race, like Tyrion for High Elves. Many races have such default legendary lords, they don’t necessarily have special effect. He has diplomacy issues, -10 with most factions.
When you look at his level up skill Reserves of Eldritch Energy, it’s not that great, only good for his army and even that by not much. And he starts in a difficult postion where he has to deal with Slaanesh in the south and Norsca in the north.
The problem is, you don’t have anything special going for you and as a result for that you’re incredibly weak. The Lizardmen are an above average mid-tier race. They are not a horrible race, but they are also not a great race. But the Lizardmen get carried in their campaign by the power of their legendary lords, where as Mazdamundi just doesn’t have it.
Empire – Karl Franz
He is a decent legendary lord with some good bonuses. The problem is, he doesn’t have Mountains has a suitable terrain but unpleasant. Which is a problem because Karl Franz starts surrounded by Mountains. Gelt on the other hand, has Mountains as suitable terrain. The second problem is the Imperial Authority game mechanic.
Imperial Authority means you cannot declare war on the factions of the empire, because you go down in Imperial Authority risking civil war. So you want to keep Imperial Authority up, but this creates a number of issues in your campaign. You hope for some good RNG on the Empire Counts so they don’t fall down to quickly before you can confederate them. And you also have to deal with 5 legendary lords right close to your starting location: Nurgle Festus, Beastmen Kazrak, Vampire Counts Vlad, Wood Elves Dreika and Vampire Count Kemler.
That’s 5 legendary lords that you might have to deal with in the first 30 turns, to keep your Empire together. And all you have to deal with that is the 4 settlements in the province of Reikland. On top of that, you have to waste a few of your initial turns to unify Reikland against the faction of rebels.
Kislev – Tsarina Katarina
Kislev is not necessarily one of the weakest factions in the game at the moment, they never had bad units if used correctly. The problem with Kiselv is that their economy is pretty terrible. And that is an issue that affects all Kislev legendary lords. Including Boris Ursus who is very strong as a legendary lord overall even though he is a legendary lord of Kislev.
Getting 10 devotion from Ice Maiden hero actions is meaningless, because you never want to have Ice Maidens doing hero actions. And even then it’s a small amount of devotion, you will earn more in any succesful battle. Settlement control may not seem great but Kislev has many ways to deal with lack of control including commandment for control and ways to increase control through the supporter system.
Frost Maiden heroes are really great but what’s missing for Katarin is capacity for heroes. If she had more of these Frost Maidens in her campaign it would be a worthwhile benefit but without being able to recruit a lot of Frost Maidens and having to a wait a lot of turns to recruit one. Ice Guards that she has a discount on are good against demons but don’t have armor piercing so they won’t handle heavily armored units. There are better combinations than Ice Guards like Tzar Guards, Streltzi or Heavy War Sleds. You want some Ice Guards but certainly not an entire stack of them. She is a very weak lord in melee because she is a caster lord and her magic isn’t that great. You better attach an Ice Maiden to her army and invest in other lines with her. The only thing that is worth it in Katarin’s level up skil is Shield of Ice. With Katarin you may also have to deal with Wood Elves Draika, Tzeench The Changeling and Vampire Counts Vlad from the south beside the usual horde of demons and Chaos Dwarves from the east.
Ogre – Greasus Goldtooth
The diplomatic relations with Ogre Kingdoms is meaningless because you don’t want to engage in diplomacy with Ogre kingdoms, in fact you want to wipe them all out to a military force. The worst thing you can do in a campaign when playing Ogres is ally other Ogres. Because one, quite likely other factions will see them as easy targets because they are. And two, while you can confiderate it does have its issues.
While Greasus Goldtooth has the level up skill Tribestealer, many of its special skills are pretty worthless. But Greasus Goldtooth’s problem is that he is a melee lord and he is absolutely terrible in melee.
His campaign situation is also very difficult. To the east you have Cathay, and if Cathay comes after you you’re finished. Their heavily-armored units with a lot of range firepower and anti-large are going to finish you very quickly. Especially because Ogres don’t have any good armor-piercing units in the early game. You need to go all the way to tier 3 in order to get that through either Ironguts which are expensive units to recruit or Gorgers which can work but if you think Cathay is not able to deal with anything you have in your early game roaster with just their early game units you will be very mistaken. You do have Grimgor to the north. The Chaos Dwarves are easier to deal with because while their heavy-armored units will anihilate you with their artillery they are very limited in the early game, so you can beat the Chaos Dwarves. Then there’s the High Elves, Skaven, and many many other factions that will pose a threat to you. And you don’t have the tools needed to succeed.
Campaign: Honorable Mentions
These are some honorable Mentions of interesting campaigns. They are not one-dimensional, they do have more complicated things going on for them:
Skaven – Clan Skryre, Clan Eshin, Clan Moulder
Some developers at Creative Assembly must really love the Skaven. Beside their very annoying you don’t see their cities util you come close to them, undercities and ambush stance attack mechanics. Which are already annoying to deal with them as they are, 3/6 legendary lords have extra annoying game mechanics. Clan Skyrye or Ikit Claw has the Forbidden Workshop mechanic where not only he can permanently upgrade his units, but he gets nukes. And starts right next to the Empire, so if you want that classic Warhammer Vermintide experience Clan Skyrye is the one to go.
Clan Eshin of Deathmaster Snikch is a master assassin, he is the only legendary lord capable of personally assassinating legendary lords. You don’t like Karl Franz and want to take him out of the game? Deathmaster Snikch can help you with that. Deathmaster Snikch is one of the post powerful legendary lords in the entire game, he is not to be underestimated. And Clan Moulder of Throt the Unclean is probably the weakest of the 3 but again not to be underestimated. He starts in the north next to Kislev and with his workshop can produce some really powerful mutations in Skavens. He focuses on mostrous units and abbominations. The Flesh Laboratory cannot produce nukes like Clan Skyrye’s Forbidden Workshop but can mutate units in many different ways. With his biological experiments you can make the weakest unit into one of the strongest units in the game.
Wood Elves – Sisters of Twilight
While Orion is the most powerful legendary lord of the Wood Elves currently because of that -8% upkeep cost for every faction you are at war, the Sisters of Twilight are by far number 2 on the spot and the most fun Wood Elves legendary lord to play with.
Like any Wood Elves your objective is to protect the forest, and never venture much outside of it except on the skirts of the forest to protect it. You have the Forge of Daith which can upgrade the Sisters of Twilight, either with a smaller permanent buff or with a larger temporary buff, has a unique variant of the Forest Council called the Court of the Mage-Queen and Hawk Riders units have the Volley of Kurnous which is just insane and so much fun to use.
Greenskins – Grom the Paunch
Grom the Paunch may not have Grimgor Ironhide’s power, but what he does have is the Culdron mechanic giving him significant power boosts when you make a good meal. Like the Skaven’s lab in a way. And the best part is that you start in Bretonnia so you get to fight the French.
Dark Elves – Lokhir Feelheart
Why Lokir Feelheart? He starts in Cathay, his campaign, his campaign is really not different from other Dark Elves but in Cathay which is really one of the best areas in the game at the moment. It looks amazing, the developers really put a lot of love in design into it, it’s certainly a really good area. You start with Black Arcs which are incredibly good for recruitment. You can get many of your early game through a Black Arc. And you can get one of the best armies in the campaign very very quickly.
Empire – Balthasar Gelt
The Golden Order has a very unique start position. It makes you want to collect all the Empire lords and collect them like Pokemon without all the issues that Karl Franz has. But Balthasar Gelt starting right next to Vampire Counts is just entertaining, this is just some good old clashing Empire vs Vampire Counts type matchup that I absolutely love. And after you wipe out the Vampires sooner or later the Chaos is going to come so you get all these classic things that I absolutely enjoy. Karl Franz is also pretty fun but more difficult, Balthasar Gelt on the other hand has always been like the underdog of the Empire forces because his melee power is really awful. But he gets this fun abilities and can summon up ridiculous winds of magic and do a tons of damage with his magic.
High Elves – Imrick
Imrick the dragon prince. He is stupid fun. His starting position is actually quite difficult. He starts off initially by fighting Skaven, Greenskins, Dark Elves and Dwarves and it can turn into an absolute defeat very quickly if you’re not careful. One thing you are going to get and get in droves with Emmerich is dragons. And it’s a really cool feature as well.
Dark Elves – Rakath
Rakath can contain beasts.