Beyond The Chaos: Total Warhammer’s Free DLC

Until today, the only Total War: Warhammer [official site] DLC we knew about was the Chaos race. They’ll be in the core game as an AI opponent but can only be played by those who either buy them or preorder. Now, developers The Creative Assembly have released details of their post-release plans and that includes loads of free add-ons. There will be new Lords with their own quest chains, items and campaign bonuses, new magic, and, most intriguing of all, an entire new playable race. Full details are on the dev blog, with some highlights below.

I’ve been trying to sniff out clues as to which race we can look forward to when that particular piece of dlc lands. It’ll arrive “towards the end of the year” and there’s a suggestion that it might involve a race already represented in the game but without a full unit roster and all the other bits and pieces that make for a campaigning faction. It could also be a debut appearance though, so who knows? I certainly don’t. Chaos Dwarves maybe? I’m guessing and not even in a particularly educated fashion.

Given that The Creative Assembly have a whole trilogy of Warhammer Fantasy games to work with, they’re going to have to hold some big names back for the actual sequels. The elves are surely going to stick their oars in at some point and if we don’t see Skaven, I’ll riot. That’s all for future games though, I reckon. Given that the Chaos armies seem to be the big threat in this first game, a corrupted form of an already-present race – the Dwarves – would be neat, which is the entirety of the reasoning behind my guess.

Here’s what to expect:

“For Total War: Warhammer, you can also expect a selection of content covering more of the iconic good stuff you’ll see in the main game; from new units offering new tactical potential in battle, to new magic lores to augment certain races’ spell-casting arsenal. Perhaps most importantly for long-term replayability, you can also expect to see the occasional new Legendary Lord who will shake up a race’s strategic potential in interesting new ways. Last but not least, towards the end of the year we will add a new playable race to the game, including new Legendary Lords, magic items, quest chains, and units. The image below gives you a rough idea of our plan on this, subject to change.”

Which race do you want to see? And which do you think is most likely?

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  1. Farsearcher says:

    I’m hoping they put the new races in expansions rather than saving them for full sequels otherwise it’ll be years before we have a large roster.

    • TofuZombie says:

      I can’t supply a quote but I did hear somewhere that they will expand the world East with ExPacs, rather than sequels and with that will come all new races. Fairly certain they mentioned Skaven and some specific Elvish races.

      It was in one of the campaign videos on their YouTube channel. I can’t recall which.

  2. DarkMalice says:

    New record for the least amount of (day one) playable factions in a Total War game?
    I’ll be waiting until it’s all out, patched and bundled in a sale then.

    • Zorganist says:

      Is that a fair comparison, though? When you consider that the day-one factions in, say, Shogun 2 were all basically the same in terms of unit roster/campaign dynamics, whereas the Warhammer factions all have completely different unit rosters and play differently on the campaign.

      • Vacuity729 says:

        This does assume that the units really do play as something more than diverse reskins of skirmish/light/heavy infantry, light/heavy cavalry and so on.
        They seem to have got things like flying and giant-sized units implemented which is a fine start.
        Rome II was the last game I preordered.
        So probably. Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps.

        • Zorganist says:

          Even if that is the case, it’d still take more work to make Ork/Vampire/Chaos/Empire versions of each of those. They need to make different base models for each species, and aesthetically very different armour/weapons/gubbins for each faction as well. That’s a lot for the art department to do regardless of how they work mechanically.

    • cordeos says:

      To be fair each race in Warhammer is much more different than factions in previous games. They have much more differentiated looks, playstyles, species etc. So it should take a lot more time to make and balance them then it does in a game about humans using pretty much the same units in a historic time period.

  3. Okami says:

    Probably Bretonnia, since they already exist as a major non playble faction in the game and also would need the least amount of work to make them work in a total war game.

    • Zorganist says:

      Just as they’ve been removed from the tabletop game? This really is turning out to be a spectacular failure of cross-marketing for Games Workshop.

      • Okami says:

        The whole world and the game was removed from the table top game. The new Age of Sigmar has nothing to do with the old Warhammer Fantasy. Even the factions that haven’t been outright deleted have been altered beyond all recognition.

        • sosolidshoe says:

          Which was his point. Dawn of War and DoW2 were huge for GW in terms of promoting Warhammer 40K, especially outside the UK, but that was contingent on the two bearing some vague resemblance to each other.

          Now TW:Warhammer is about to bring a whole new group of potential customers into contact with the rich Warhammer Fantasy IP…who will walk into a GW store and ask “Hey, why can’t I find any of the Bretonnians I liked from your PC game and what the hell are those ludicrous golden statue-men all about?!” – I’m sure some of them will be converted to the New Faith, but a decent percentage are just going to walk right back out the door again.

          • Baranor says:

            ‘Oh I like this game. Wait, there are miniatures of this? Awesome. Wait, the game on the tabletop does not represent the computer game at all? Hmm. WHATWHATHOWMUCHDOTHOSETHINGSCOST? Jeez,I can buy everything on the steam sale list for the price of 15 knights /space marines and a bit of paint. ‘

            Look.. I started WHFB in about 1995 IIRC. Now.. Im going to get me the Total War game because I already own a few, and forget about AoS and WHFB. Both cost too much cash.

        • Bull0 says:

          Well “nothing to do with it” isn’t strictly right, we had the End Times and Age of Sigmar is the same universe thousands of years later, expanded beyond one planet to loads of different realms.

          • sosolidshoe says:

            Rubbish mate. AoS is the Necron Flayed One of tabletop gaming – those scraps of torn human skin draped loosely over your chrome chassis aren’t convincing anyone you’re Jeb from Accounting, and GW pretending AoS is an evolution of WHF because they kept a few registered trademarks in use for the new stuff, that isn’t any more convincing.

            Indeed AoS is the anti-WHF, in every regard. The fluff is disjointed, “epic”, and deliberately bombastic(I mean crikey, the new posterboy faction are literally walking Deus Ex Machinas, they are bad writing made manifest), where WHF’s strength was its rich world that allowed you to drill all the way down to the poor bastard catching rats in the sewers beneath Altdorf if you wanted to – it could support a years-long RPG game, or just give an excuse to push your models around, while AoS is explicitly designed to be *only* the latter(because they don’t want to deal with the constraints a rich, coherent background imposes on potential model development).

            The model aesthetic that started in End Times and has carried on in AoS has totally abandoned the original “High & Low Fantasy mashup with Historical touches” pastiche for an explicitly High Fantasy Or Go Home WoW-esque look, which isn’t objectively bad but certainly isn’t WHF. The only reason there’s any WHF left in the AoS aesthetic palette is GW couldn’t afford to throw away all their existing moulds and start from scratch.

            And of course the rules. The idea that a skirmish game with no meaningful restrictions on force selection, heavily simplified dice mechanics and no maneuver-based tactics whatsoever which inevitably devolves into a mid-table slugfest with an outcome almost entirely dependent on chance is a natural evolution of a block-unit wargame with complex gear & dice interactions and a heavy reliance on unit placement and maneuver, that just doesn’t fly.

            Still, at least WHF fans have our schadenfreude – news out of GWHQ is AoS is a colossal flop.

    • Chirez says:

      Bretonnia was my first thought also, it’s a logical first step.

      On the other hand there are already Chaos Dwarves in the game, you can see them ‘manning’ the hellcannons in Chaos gameplay videos. I did quite the double take when I caught sight of them, they’re certainly not prevalent enough to make for a significant first new faction.

      • Daedalus says:

        Bretonnia is already in the game too, CA has shown battles against bretonnian armies. So they seem like an easy pick for a post-release addition given that they already have at least one hero and some units.

        They’ll probably save an all-new faction for paid DLC.

      • Okami says:

        Chaos Dwarves have always been a small faction that has lived on the edge of the Warhammer fluff. Their latest incarnation in 8th edition only consisted of a small range by forgeworld. And before that they have been pretty much gone from Warhammer since their short appearance in 4th edition. So, not very likely.

        On the other hand, they are located near the main campaign map and they could be made to work within total warhammer’s new strategic system. Something that can’t be Saif about the different Elf factions or lizard men..

        • Lykurgos says:

          *Short* appearance huh? You just had to sneak in the short joke. Chaos Dwarfs, not tall.


    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      Yeah, probably this.

      (I’m also hoping if the Brets do turn up it’s alongside the Red Duke/Mousillon as an alternate starting lord/location for the Vampire Counts.)

      • urahara says:

        I’m guessing either Bretonnia (based on the shield icon) or Wood Elves (based on the trees behind the shield icon).

      • lglethal says:

        I’m going to throw it out there…. Dark Elves!

        Only kidding it will be either Wood Elves or Bretonians. Depends if there going for as little work as possible (Bretonians – knights and arches, easy) or bringing in new faction that will make other new factions easier to bring in (Wood Elves, because then the base for High Elves and Dark Elves are there).

        Could also be straight Undead I guess, but that seems less likely.

        • Okami says:

          It would be interesting to see how they portray Wood Elves as a playable faction, since they pretty much stick to their forest and just murder anyone who gets to close. Don’t really see them conquering cities..

          • lglethal says:

            Maybe they have to turn the whole of the Old World into a giant forest… By planting one tree at a time… And killing anyone who comes near that tree… Or looks at it funny… Or who would probably make a good fertiliser for the tree…

          • Davie says:

            It’d be interesting to have an almost entirely defensive faction with non-conquest related victory conditions, like Venice in Civ V. Not sure if the campaign game will offer enough other than combat to allow for that though.

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    liquidsoap89 says:


    • Rizlar says:

      Oh my god yes Lizardmen should be in everything everywhere.

      But more realistically Wood Elves would be cool, brings a slightly different flavour while still remaining Olde Worlde Fantasy.

  5. kud13 says:

    Probably Bretonia. Although Kislev would be nice.

    It won’t be Elves- they can’t do High without Dark, or the fans of those skipped will riot.

    And as cool as Lizardmen would be, their stomping ground is a whole other continent, so them and Skaven will probably be one of the expansions/sequels

    • Fnord73 says:

      Wood elves would be possible, with the High and Dark coming out as a separate expansion along with Skaven.

  6. TheWhippetLord says:

    I’m holding out for Zoats.

  7. Blastaz says:

    I wonder how the campaign packs will work. These have always been the best of total war dlc from the peninsula campaign for Napoleon to Charlegmane for Attila. I wonder how they will work for Warhammer without the historical steer to give it a new flavour.

    where is the main map set? The borderlands? Or just the Empire?

  8. Bull0 says:

    Daemons would make sense for a race to be added if the main antagonist is warriors of chaos. There’s a sort of escalation there that would make sense.

  9. SaintAn says:

    I’m hoping it’s Skaven. There has been dialogue in one gameplay video hinting at the presence of the Skaven because there was mentioning of the Horned God rune cared somewhere.

    But it has already been hinted by one of the devs that Britonia will be a FreeLC so it’s probably Britonia.

  10. Unruly says:

    I’m throwing my money on Fimir!

    You think I’m crazy, but just you wait! They’re bringing the rape-cyclops back from the dead! And it’s going to get GW rethinking this whole “Age of Sigmar” nonsense, and will result in the mass ritual suicides of everyone who supported it. Tzeentch will then emerge from their pooled blood with a cry of “I can’t believe that actually worked! Things FINALLY went my way for once!” before getting clubbed over the head with the Sigmarine statue and kicked to death by everyone that Age of Sigmar alienated.

    Wait and see!

  11. Geewhizbatman says:

    Eh, I’d guess Lizardfolk or Skaven. Those seem to be the big ‘ens after the expected people are seen.

    I am not sure I’ll even play this but I do love the idea of the just deathly dull in practice tabletop brought to a life that is what everyone imagines happens.

    Also, one of my favorite parts of the Shogun series were the Geisha and their assassination cut scenes. I would truly consider buying it and the Chaos pack if I could do the same with a Daemonette (of the fabulous 60’s pop revival meets heavy metal group “Slaanesh and the Daemonettes!” obviously.)

  12. Keasar says:

    I hope they don’t plan on just adding one single race. I’d like to see an expansion or two that really goes out to add more races like the Tomb Kings, Skaven, Lizardmen, High Elves and all the others.