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First Total War: Warhammer 3 Thrones Of Decay trailer pits maggots against airships

Latest expansion out in the spring

A still from the Total War Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires trailer, showing a white bearded dwarf looking very angry and pointing over a table at someone off screen
Image credit: Sega

Sega and Creative Assembly have released the first proper trailer for Total War: Warhammer 3's forthcoming Thrones of Decay expansion, which pits the human Empire, Chaos Nurgle faction and industrious Dwarfs against each other in what the press release terms "a showdown of mohawks, maggots and machines". Alliteration, is it? Well, two can play at that (strategy) game: the new expansion explodes upon the extensive environments of this elaborate ex-tabletop experience with an eccentric... ensemble of new legendary lords, battle units and campaign features, plus various free bits for owners of the base game.

9-3 to me, Creative Assembly! Find the Thrones of Decay trailer below - sorry, I just need a few minutes to massage my temples.

Watch on YouTube

The new legendary Lords are thusly and as follows. Elspeth Von Draken of the Empire is a scythe-wielding Amethyst Wizard on a Carmine Dragon, who'll earn you boons to gunnery and fast travel opportunities. Here's what she's packing in detail:

Campaign Features:

• Imperial Gunnery School: As the armoury of the Empire, Wissenland & Nuln offer special unit upgrades and powerful abilities in return for Schematics earned from the damage such units inflict on the battlefield.

• Gardens of Morr: A vigilant protector of the Empire, Elspeth establishes these sacred sites in limited number across visible friendly or neutral Empire settlements, providing instant travel to those locations at a cost and with a cooldown.

Battle Playstyle:

• Riding her powerful Carmine Dragon, Elspeth is deadly in every sense of the word. She manipulates the battlefield from range with her innate magical abilities from the Lore of Death before charging into the enemy ranks with her dragon and two-handed Pale scythe.

New Units:

• The Empire ranks are being bolstered by an assortment of arms such as the Marienburg Landship, Steam Tank Volley Gun, Nuln Ironsides, Hochland Long Rifles, Knights of the Black Rose, Master Engineer (Lord), Engineer (Hero) and the indomitable Theodore Bruckner (Legendary Hero).

Tarmurkhan the Maggot Lord is the Nurgle Legendary, though as Nic noted with approval and dare I say a touch of hysteria, he actually lives inside another kind of monster, an Ogre Tyrant, which itself rides around on a dragon toad. Play as Tarmurkhan, and you'll get to recruit other Chaos and Norscan leaders as chieftans and summon a brand new menagerie of rotting horrors. Here's a PR breakdown.

Campaign Features:

• Tamurkhan's Chieftains: Tamurkhan must amass an unstoppable warhost that will bring ruin to the world. As such, he embarks on a deadly journey to dominate and recruit powerful warlords from across the Chaos and Norscan tribes to increase the power of his faction.

Battle Playstyle:

• Besieging the battlefield atop his mighty Toad Dragon, and wielding a mighty two-headed axe, Tamurkhan is a tank of a warrior who is deadly in combat. His Feast of the Maggot Lord ability triggers upon death, dealing life-sapping damage upon the enemy to keep him in the thick of battle a little longer.

New Units:

• The bloated ranks of Nurgle ooze strength with the addition of units such as Kayzk the Befouled (Legendary Hero), the Chaos Lord of Nurgle (Lord), the Chaos Sorcerer of Nurgle (Hero), Plague Ogres, Rot Knights, Toad Dragons, Pestigors, and Bile Trolls.

I may have saved the best for last: Malakai Makaisson, Slayer Engineer of the Dwarves, only gets his own bloody upgradeable airship, the Spirit of Grungi, which seemingly appears both on the campaign map and in battle. What's more, Malakai goes into combat wielding a spanner and shotgun, like some kind of Dawi Ratchet-but-no-Clank. Official briefing below:

Campaign Features:

• Spirit of Grungi: Malakai's armies march beneath the airborne machine known as the Spirit of Grungi, a legendary airship that the Slayer Engineer can upgrade on the move to increase his battle prowess and even call upon in battle.

• Malakai's Adventures: As he seeks the glorious doom that all Slayers desire, Malakai Makaisson uses his deadly exploits to test and improve his latest engineering innovations in the most perilous battles he can instigate.

Battle Playstyle:

• Malakai primarily serves the Dwarfs as a ranged support Lord, tossing explosives toward the enemy with the Cinderblast Cluster Bomb, blasting them to bits with his shotgun, and, if anyone gets too close for comfort, smacking them in the face with a massive spanner.

New Units:

• Engineering excellence meets bearded bravery, the dwarf ranks are bolstered by Garagrim Ironfist (Legendary Hero), Daemonslayer (Lord), Dragonslayer (Hero), Doomseekers, Goblin Hewer, Thunderbarge, Grudge Raker Thunderers and Slayer Pirates.

Pretty sure he could take your boss maggot, Nic. What's Tarmurkhan going to do against an airship, Nic - molt and pupate into some kind of hideous fly? Actually, that sounds like the most logical course of action, for a Chaos maggot.

Again, the Throne Of Decay expansion will accompany free updates for the main game. It'll launch alongside Total War: Warhammer 3 patch 5, which combines "major quality of life improvements and bug fixes" with "a yet to be revealed Legendary Lord, a Hero unit, a new campaign feature in the form of the Nemesis Crown, and campaign reworks for the Empire, Dwarfs and Nurgle."

As per Creative Assembly and Sega's recent change of pricing strategy, you'll be able to buy each chunk of faction content individually or acquire them all for a discount. All this forms part of Creative Assembly's on-going apology to the Total War community for their handling of both Twarhammer 3 and Total War: Pharoah. Amongst other things, the developers have promised to be more "transparent" about the contents of Thrones Of Decay, before letting players pre-purchase the DLC. How do you think they’re managing so far? Thrones Of Decay is due for release this spring.

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