Here's What's Coming in Total War: Warhammer 3 (We Think)25 May 2020 5
Total War: Warhammer 3 is coming. We don't know when, but with Three Kingdoms now firmly out the door an announcement for the final instalment of Creative Assembly's Old World strategy fest can't be too far off. But having seen neither hide nor hair of that new beast, it can be easy to become disheartened, to lose your faith over these long, cold, newsless months.
Fear not! For we have a list of predictions, grafted through many hours of Warhammer play, far more lore videos than I can count, and some minor Daemon pacts. We don't know exactly what kind of creature Warhammer 3 will be, but simply by process of elimination, looking at the content CA favours, and the quality/quantity of the source material, we can make some darn good guesses.
In a Total War livestream not so long ago, Creative Assembly revealed some details about Total War: Warhammer 3, including that sieges will be getting a complete rework. This is incredible news for fans of the series who have long complained about the siege system in the game; especially the crippling gate bug which even to this day can spoil many a crucial battle.
We don't know yet how this siege rework will change things, but it's safe to say like the changes that were made to faction names, Creative Assembly will take influence from the modders who have been creating some crazy elaborate maps since the first game launched. I think that means we can expect more streets, chokepoints, architectural features, and just a whole lot more tactical variety in terms of siege battles.
The White Wolf and the Red Duke
Ever since the Free-LC legendary lords, Boris Todbringer of Middenland and the Red Duke of Mousillon, many of us have wondered if we will ever get a campaign for these two. Well wonder no longer! In the same livestream that revealed the siege rework for Total War: Warhammer 3, Creative Assembly also confirmed that Boris Todbringer will eventually get a campaign starting in Middenheim.
While the same confirmation wasn't afforded to the Red Duke, they did say that they'd love to do a Mousillon campaign due to the faction's unique start position, which I think means we are also pretty likely to see that campaign eventually. Mousillon would be a very cool campaign, and I personally would love to see some Black Grail Knights decimating any unit that tried to wrangle with them.
Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Stuff
Our most recent free Legendary Lord for Total War: Warhammer 2, the Joan of Arc wannabe, Repanse de Lyonese throws up some cool questions in relation to the timeline. It was kind of accepted that Warhammer's campaign began around the time of Karl Franz's coronation as Emperor (since that's the Empire intro in the campaign) but Repanse was around a good century or so before that.
If this is any indication of the way Creative Assembly is planning to deal with Warhammer's out of time characters, then we might start seeing a lot more. In Total War: Warhammer 3 we could get a whole number of Legendary Lords from across the timeline. What's more, we could even get expansion packs fleshing out never-before-seen periods: Magnus the Pious and the unification of the Empire, the War of the Beard, or Aenarion the Defender and the Sword of Khaine. This might open up a whole wealth of Warhammer content to keep us entertained. What a time to be alive...
In Total War: Warhammer, Chaos got a bit of a bad rap. First there was that whole pre-order debacle which set everyone's nerves on edge — for many, Chaos are the quintessential faction of Warhammer Fantasy, so their position as a DLC faction was called into question. Then they arrived, and... they were okay.
There are some things I love about Chaos as they are: Kholek Suneater shouting STARCRUSHAA, Hellcannons, and Sarthoreal the Ever Watcher flying through troop formations like the wacky Egyptian birdy-boi he is. But just like the Beastmen, Chaos were a victim of CA's early Warhammer DLC, missing a lot of their most interesting units. The final game arrives, and with it, an opportunity to do Chaos right — one that CA will undoubtedly take.
I'm expecting we'll see factions for each of the four Chaos gods: Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh. Each will feature their own iconic units: blood-crazed berserkers, rot-infested daemons, reality-defying horrors and deadly daemonettes. I also think (similar to the way Chaos and Norsca does) they will draw from a basic combined roster, padding them out into complete factions.
For a game in which you introduce the worst of Chaos, doesn't it also make sense to add their closest, most vigilant neighbour? Kislev are a bastion, a Russian themed civilization of hardy Cossacks dwelling in the far north of Old World, close to the Chaos wastes. Over the centuries they have fended off a variety of Chaos invasions with their winged hussars and ice magic.
People like good guys — the Empire and the High Elves were both the most popular factions of their respective games. The idea of races, not dissimilar from our own, standing and even triumphing against the unending horrors that are thrown at them, is an attractive one to players.
Total War: Warhammer 3 needs a good guy, and other than Cathay (who have barely any lore by comparison) Kislev represents the only real option.
More Monstrous Cavalry
I hope you like Demigryph Knights (of course you do, what am I saying?) because Total War: Warhammer 3 is shaping up to be the clash of monstrous cavalry. We’re not talking little monsters either, but the heaviest cavalry in the entire setting. The Ogre Kingdoms (a shoo-in at this point) have Mournfangs, which are giant sabre-tooth tigers, and believe me, they’ve got to be giant to carry an ogre on their back.
Khorne’s Chaos faction will undoubtedly have their iconic Skullcrushers — imagine a daemon-warg wearing a full body of blood red armour and you won’t be far off. And finally, being stoic Russians, Kislev have bear cavalry. I hope you like hammer and anvil (though this will probably be more like nuke and anvil).
CA are running out of races for Warhammer, and once the third game has its four (Kislev, Chaos, Ogre Kingdoms, Chaos Dwarfs) there won’t be many left for race pack DLC. There is however, Cathay, which is basically the Warhammer equivalent of China. If only a game developer I know had recently made a successful strategy game about China, and was actively looking to expand more into that Chinese game market.
Out of Nippon (Warhammer Japan) Khuresh (Warhammer Korea but with snake people) and Ind (Do I even need to say?) Cathay is the faction which I think will make the cut. While fairly little is known about them, we’ve seen CA work their magic on new Warhammer lore before, with content like the Vampire Coast. I think there’s no doubt they’ll take this opportunity to create a Chinese fantasy faction in Warhammer 3.
So far, the king of the skellies and one true Necromancer, Nagash, has been absent from proceedings. But as one of the most iconic characters in the setting, he will definitely find his way into the final game in some form. I originally thought he might be one of the four starting factions, but considering the amount of undead we’ve already had in both Warhammer 1 and 2, I think it’s pretty unlikely.
Instead I reckon Nagash will somehow be linked to the central campaign of Warhammer 3. We had The Great Vortex campaign threatening the return of Chaos, and I think a campaign threatening the return of Nagash would actually be pretty interesting. It could offer a campaign experience focused less around surviving endless Chaos incursions, and more around surviving endless undead incursions.
But that’s not to say I don’t think Chaos invasions will be a big part of Warhammer 3. Considering this is the last game, and Chaos will be at their best, I predict we will receive a campaign survival mode akin to the End-Times. I imagine it might feel a bit like playing the Western Roman Empire in Attila, endless waves of enemies slowly bleeding you into an attrition-based death.
But rather than some sloggish battles, it should make for dramatic story-worthy encounters. I remember the entire Chaos invasion once besieged my Dwarfs in Karak Ungor, and though I lost, Chaos really paid for it. Sometimes losing can be just as good as winning, especially if it makes for a dramatic final battle. I think a survival mode could really monopolize on the heroic last stands which are so common in Warhammer.
Bigger is Better
We’ve seen both our largest monster and artillery piece recently — but Queen Bess and the Dread Saurian are only a small taste of what is to come. The Ogre Kingdoms are effectively a race of monsters, so we’ll be seeing smaller units, but far bigger individual entities. Whether Stonehorns, Thundertusks, or even their Slave-Giants (which as direct descendents of the Sky-Titans should be pretty massive), the Ogre Kingdoms will be a hefty race.
On top of that we’ve got the Chaos Dwarfs’ massive artillery pieces which should put Queen Bess to shame in terms of both firepower and size. They also have pretty huge monsters, such as the Bale Taurus, or the K’Daii Destroyer (basically a metal Balrog). As well as the Bloodthirsters, Great Unclean Ones, and maybe even Verminlords for the Skaven, it’s gonna be a BIG game.
This is a specific one, but if you love tricksy, back-stabbin gobbos as much as I do, it might please you. In the Ogre Kingdoms there is a sub-species of mountain Goblin, with even less respect than those among the Greenskins. The Gnobblars should feature in the Ogre Kingdom’s roster as a chaff unit, but in a similar way to Greenskin Goblins, they will also operate some of the artillery, such as Gnobblar Scraplaunchers.
In the Eastern Steppes also lies the Hobgoblin Empire, another sub-species of Goblin, despised by their Greenskin cousins for their dealings with the Chaos Dwarfs. I think they would make a great race pack — a horde based wolf-riding Goblin faction, using Hunnic battle tactics, and actually a little more viable as cavalry (unlike most Goblin cavalry). Also as a side note, we’ll probably be seeing Black Orc slaves as part of the Chaos Dwarfs’ roster.
A Lot More Legendary Lords
Total War YouTuber, Indypride, pointed out that perhaps the reason development time has been twice as long for Total War: Warhammer 3, is because we’re getting twice as much. Usually the game would start off with four races, each with two Legendary Lords, for a total of eight. But if you consider that to work, Chaos must have its four sub-factions, each with an individual Legendary Lord, this added to the three other races, makes ten. If each of those Chaos sub-factions gets their two lords on launch, that’ll be fourteen altogether.
While I do think this is wishful thinking, I predict we will get ten lords on launch, with one for each of the Chaos sub-factions, because I see no other way of CA successfully realizing Chaos divided. Those second lords might come later, as we’ll probably be getting DLC for years after this trilogy is done. We know that CA has the power to flesh out lesser known races, which means even two games in, the potential for content is still huge.
We hope you've enjoyed these expert-level predictions on what will be coming in Warhammer 3. Let us know in the comments if you have any thoughts or predictions of your own!