The Definitive Warhammer III All 24 Factions Guide

The Definitive Warhammer III All 24 Factions Guide


This guide is made/updated as of patch: 5.0 (Thrones of Decay)

For The Complete Beginner

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What qualifies me to teach you? I beat Warhammer 1 with: The Empire, Bretonnia (Co-op), Chaos, Wood Elves. I beat Warhammer 2 with: High Elves, Vampire Coast, Tomb Kings, Dwarves, Wood Elves, Skaven, the Empire. And I beat Warhammer 3 with: Kislev. All on very hard difficulty.

If you're a completely new player, best thing you can do is play THE LOST GOD tutorial campaign. It is by far the best tutorial in any total war game. The rest of us had to learn total war the old fashoned through trial and error. From now on I'm going to assume you played and completed THE LOST GOD tutorial campaign. This guide is about people who already know how to play Total War Warhammer on a basic level and just want to get better.

Maybe you want to try on harder campaigns or on harder difficulty level. Or both. Maybe you want to play multiplayer without being beaten in 5 minutes.

This is a guide for how to become better with every single race and how to pick the race that is best for your particular playstyle.

Let's introduce the races first...

The races in question are:

Warhammer 1:

1. Empire (German Humans but their leader is competent)

2. Bretonnia (French Humans but they're honorable)

3. Vampire Counts (Romanians but they're undead and want to steal the Empire's throne)

4. Warriors of Chaos (Hell, end boss for Mortal Empires unless you play with them)

5. Norsca (Human Vikings but they're supporting Hell)

6. Dwarves (Short Humans who live in the Mountains like Lord of the Rings and hold grudges)

7. Greenskins (Orks basically, likes fighting, they and the Dwarves hate each other)

8. Wood Elves (Elves but they're hippies, forest masters, better stats when fighting in forest)

9. Beastmen (Animals gone wild, another hell-supporting faction, horde faction)

Warhammer 2:

10. High Elves (Elves but civilized, they like cities where as Wood Elves like the forest)

11. Dark Elves (Elves but they are evil although not supporting hell, they like slaves)

12. Skaven (Rats who live under the city, everyone hates them, including other Skaven)

13. Vampire Coast (They took the undead from Pirates of the Caribbean and made a faction)

14. Tomb Kings (Egyptians but they're undead, although not the Romanians undead)

15. Lizardmen (Aztects but they're lizards, have this great plan to stop Hell/Chaos that sucks)

Warhammer 3:

16. Kislev (Slavic Humans who live in the frost and have bears as companions)

17. Grand Cathay (Chinese Humans who are ruled by literal dragons and yin-yang)

18. Khorne (Hell God, the angry one who is always in for a fight)

19. Tzeench (Hell God, the manipulative one who is full of schemes)

20. Nurgle (Hell God, the stinky one who wants to make everything full of disease)

21. Slaanesh (Hell God, the sexy one who wants to convert you and make you follow him)

22. Daemons of Chaos (Daemons who don't particulary support any of the 4 gods)

23. Ogres (Not sure if Ogres count as humans, they eat humans anyway)

24. Chaos Dwarves (Short Humans but the're supporting Hell)

Each Race's Playstyle

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A lot to learn, a lot to try and choose from, but let's take it easy, step by step, so you can make your mind what to play first and know how to play them.

Disclaimer: There is no wrong answer specifically, but there are ones that can make the game harder to learn. Factions are not created equal, some require very specific tactics to work.

1. Playstyle

Aggressive (rush army):

- Norsca

- Greenskins (You don't like thinking and just like to charge? so do they)

- Vampire Counts

- Beastmen

- Warriors of Chaos

- Khorne

- Nurgle* (is a rush army, but slow, about wearing the enemy down, just outlasting them)

- Ogres* (somewhere between rushy and flexible, good range choices, artillery, and monsters)

- Slaanesh (is a very speedy rush faction, no range units, amazing flanker ability, glass cannon)

Defensive (wait for them to come):

- Vampire Coast (lots of gunpowder units)

- The Empire (the most balanced faction, Hellstorm Rocket artillery )

- Dwarves (very OP on defense, the defenseest defense faction)

- Skaven (laughably bad infantry, laughably good weapons team)

- Wood Elves (archers move while shooting)

- Grand Cathay (a weird cross between the Empire and the Dwarves)

- Chaos Dwarves (just like their good cousins, except bit more aggressive, still mostly defensive)


- High Elves (the most balanced elves faction, Dragons )

- Tomb Lords

- Bretonnia (Cavalry everywhere, attack from everywhere, micromanage everything)

- Lizardmen

- Dark Elves

- Kislev (with hybrid units, decent in both melee and range, they are the definition of flexible)

- Tzeench (flying units, hit and run tactics with barrier, good range options low and high range)

- Daemons of Chaos (has units from all 4 chaos gods so the most flexible of all the factions)

The aggressive factions are best at charging down enemy quickly, attacking, not really messing around with missle and artillery. The defensive factions use missle and artillery taking their time wearing the opponent down, forcing them to come to you. The flexible factions are kind of flexible and could do either of these.

As a general rule, whoever has the most artillery is usually going to be the one on the defensive. In multiplayer it's the Dwarves, 9/10 cases it's the Dwarves.

But these are just the best strategies with them, pretty much every faction can be aggressive or defensive if you would rather play that way with them. The only exceptions are Vampire Counts and Khorne or Slaanesh who can't play defensive because they don't have any good missile and artillery units, and the Dwarves who can't play aggressively because they don't have good speed, good cavalry and or any good flanking units.

But outside these 2 honorable mentions, experiment away with whatever playstyle suits you. Rememer that usually the one with less artillery/missile units has to attack the one with more artillery/missle units, otherwise the enemy will just wear him down in prolonged combat.

Each Race's Units Focus

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Ok, so now you decided on a playstyle, but do you like playing more with large units or small numerous units?

There are some monster heavy factions where you can have a lot of fun with all the monsters, some factions with a lot of good firepower that will allow you to dominate range. While some factions are very good with the cavalry. Some are good at being sneaky like ambush and such.

2. Units Focus


- Norsca

- Greenskins

- Vampire Counts

- Beastmen

- Warriors of Chaos

- Lizardmen

- Dark Elves

- Vampire Coast

- Tomb Kings

- Ogres

- Khorne

- Nurgle

- Daemons of Chaos

- Chaos Dwarves


- High Elves

- Vampire Coast

- Skaven

- The Empire

- Wood Elves (very good archers army)

- Dwarves (best turtle race with arty)

- Kislev

- Cathay

- Tzeench

- Chaos Dwarves


- Warriors of Chaos

- The Empire

- Dark Elves

- Vampire Counts

- High Elves

- Bretonia (specialized in cavarly, very weak infantry but one of the best cav in the game)

- Kislev

- Slaanesh


- Wood Elves

- Skaven

- Beastmen

- Greenskins

If you want to use a lot of firepower and missiles, you're not going to play the Vampire Counts. If you want to hammer the enemy with cavalry you're not going to want to play the Skaven.


How To Learn Units?

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"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." -Sun Tzu

There are hundreds of units in Warhammer 3, so how are you going to know all of them? you won't. All you need to know is what each unit's stat does so that you know what to expect from that unit.

A lot of units are actually very similar and can be categorized by what their role is within the army: damage dealer, holding, flanking, support, anti-large, etc.

First of all, let's look at some generic units' cards so you can get a grip on it:

Some Empire melee units:

Some Kislev hybrid units:

Unit size -> Typically lesser units have bigger units sizes and more powerful units less unit sizes.

Health -> The more you have, the tougher the unit is going to be.

Armor -> The higher it is, the less likely it is for the unit to take damage. ONLY protects you from the base damage of a weapon, armor-piercing damage always applies if it lands.

Leadership -> Morale, how much punishment they can take before they get scared and run away.

Melee Attack -> Your chance to hit the enemy.

Melee Defense -> How likely a unit is to avoid damage and dodge. They won't rout super quickly because they are not taking a lot of damage super quickly.

Weapon Strength -> The higher it is, the more damage a weapon can do. Also says if it can deal bonus damage versus certain units.

Charge Bonus -> Improves your Melee Attack and Weapon Strength when you charge your unit, lasts for 15 seconds and will degrade over the time.

High Armor, High Leadership, High Melee Defense -> A holding unit. A unit that is best at holding the line.

High Weapon Strength, High Melee Attack -> That's a damage dealing unit, but they may be squishy, depending on the other defensive stats.

High speed -> Great at flanking.

How To Counter Enemy Army Composition?

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It's well and good to know each unit and what is capable of simply by reading its card, but if you bring the wrong tool for the job, you're going to have a hard time.

How do we know what unit to bring to increase our chance of victory? That comes down to knowing the different factions strength and weaknesses as well as asking yourself some questions.

Your aim is to counter the enemy strength and expoit their weakness.

For example, you face Dwarves or Warriors of Chaos, you are going to need armor piercing units because they have a lot of armor. If you face Greenskins or Skaven you know from start they will bring in the numbers, so you'll have to watch out for their numbers. Or if you face Wood Elves and High Elves there is a good chance you are going to be at a ranged disadvantage.

Most armies can be broken down into 3 main parts:

- Infantry?

- Ranged?

- Large?

How good is the enemy in these 3 areas?

Infantry: are they good? are they bad? are they heavily armored like the Warriors of Chaos? Could they come with tons of numbers like the Skaven and the Orcs?

Ranged: do they have long-range missiles? is there likely to be a lot of them? do they have artillery? do they have no ranged units at all?

Large: do they have cavalry? is it strong? is it anti-large? do they have no cavalry? do they have monsters? monstrous infantry? single large monsters? flying monsters?

How am I going to deal with that? I know what the enemy strength is, but how am I going to prepare for it?

By bringing the right units, with intelligent army composition. Bretonnia has a strong cavalry, how am I going to deal with that? they have weak infantry though, how can I exploit that?

The Skaven can field lots of cheap infantry so their army could be huge, how am I going to deal with that? The Vampire Counts can't deal with large units very well and they don't have any missiles, how can I deal with that?

However, you never really know what the enemy is going to throw at you.

Let's say I'm facing Dwarves, what do I do? armor piercing units and cavalry because those are weaknesses of the Dwarves.

Someone playing Bretonnia will probably bring a lot of cavalry because that's their strength. Someone playing the Lizardmen will bring a lot of large monsters because that's their strength. Someone playing Beastmen is going to have a lot of strong monsters, so you're going to bring a lot of anti-large units such as spearmen and halberdiers. Someone is playing High Elves they will likely bring Dragons and Cavalry but also their army is quite expensive and they can't field large armies. Someone playing the Orks are going to bring a lot of infantry with some monsters. Someone playing the Empire, well, their infantry isn't great, so your infantry can be simply bomosed of above-average troops rather than elite, a very simple unit but it will do the job because the Empire's infantry is weak. The more numerous infantry you have the more you can overrun them, the more elite infantry you have the more you can hold the line.

How To Apply Your STR To Enemy WKN?

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Ok, so now you know how to read a unit's card, you know how to exploit strengths and weaknesses, but what are the strengths and weaknesses?

How to give individual units best match up? High Elves spearmen, fantastic at taking down large units or holding the line against lesser infantry, but high melee attack infantry will run them through. Skaven plaguemonks, fantastic at taking out all kinds of enemy infantry, especially elite armored ones, but cavalry charges and missiles can absolutely ruin them due to their low armor. Empire handgunners, fantastic for blasting down any kind of heavily armored unit but if you put them into a melee fight they will get swiftly stomp, a unit with any kind of speed is going to be a problem for them because they won't be able to get away, such as cavalry and monsters.

Dwarves' slayers are fantastic against large units but it can do pretty well against light infantry too. High Elves swordmasters, elite infantry unit killing power. But let's say some Chaos Marauders weak infantry comes and fights you. Can you beat them? yes, easily. But then when it's time to fight the Chaos Chosen with Greatweapons, the elite infantry of Chaos, they will be full HP but your elite swordmasters won't.

What you could have done is find someone else to deal with the Chaos Marauders or put some missiles into them. Could have put some spearmen to fight them, some cavalry. Someone else, just keeping your swordmasters safe so they can take down the Chosen.

You're going to have winning match-ups and losing match-ups all across the battlefield and that's okay, you just have to make sure you get more winning match-ups than losing match-ups.

When the battle begins:

Look at the enemy's infantry, what is their frontline composed of? how does it matches with your frontline? where are their strongest units? how powerful is their cavalry? So you may identify that their strengths are the heroes and the flanks (cavalry), the frontline isn't really a problem, so you can plan the matchup to beat the cavalry.

Maybe the massive attack with their best units comes on the left side, who knows.

Finding their strengths doesn't mean their most expensive or their most powerful unit, it means which one is the most dangerous to you, to your army composition.

How To Use Formations?

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Ok, so now we know how to use a unit's card, how to get the best match-up and how to attack the best with individual units on the battlefield.

What about formations?

Having discipline and order in your ranks is one of the most effective way to get the most out of them. If your army is all over the place and positioned with no real purpose, it can be very easy for the enemy to find your weakness and exploit it, and do what they like to your army.

So what a formation can do for us?

- Protection

- Adaptability

- Tactics

A formation can help an army work together to protect each other from different threats that the other has.

Positioning your troops well can make it heck of a lot easier when adjusting your army to face the enemy threats.

Certain formations will allow you to engage in certain tactics with the arrangement of your troops. Whether set up a heavy flanking attack on one side, protecting your range troops or using hammer & anvil tactics a good solid formation can make all of these tactics a lot more easier and effective to execute.

A battle has 3 strages:

- Pre-battle (units harrass each other with missile, magic, etc to get a little advantage before the battle starts)

- Main battle (where most armies clash and where it's typically win or loss for one side)

- Post-battle (formations are a bit gone to hell, everything is all over the place)

With the pre-battle you're looking yourself to give yourself the best engagements when it comes to the main battle.

Post-battle is quite normal, as frontlines break and push through and start to push through to flank around on the rest of the enemy frontline or get around the back lines, flanking units come around on the enemy frontline. Things will turn into a bit of a mess and will be a frantic race for both players to try to get the most best match-ups possible and do the most damage before their armies had enough and has run for the hills.

So formations are setting yourself up to win in the first 2 stages and then leading to a clean-up in the post battle.

The first thing you need in any formation is a frontline. At least 4 units of some kind.

The biggest danger for any frontline is going to be flanking. Units that come behind the enemy frontline and hit them in the back when they are trying to fight things in front of them is going to be devastating.

Anti-large units such as spearmen are the best way to protect your flanks. As typically flanking will be large units such as cavalry or monsters because they're considerably faster than infantry.

Behind that you can put your backline, things like missile and artillery, they can be positioned behind the frontline for their own protection. The units on the flank can help protect them as well.

Now a single spear units on the flank is probably enough to protect everything you have so some cavalry on the flanks or some wings can be helpful as well, and they have 2 options on how they can play.

They could stay back and defend what the enemy is throwing at you or they can push up on the enemy frontline.

And with any lords of heroes they can go in the center to help support the frontline and use that magic to keep them in the game or to damage the enemy.

And for a reserve you can have in the back a black dragon that goes where it's needed. If the frontline needs support, you can send in the black dragon, if the right side needs support, you can send in the black dragon.

If you overextend your frontline it comes at the cost of having a likely exposed backline.


Empire Artillery Turtle

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You can use these tactics, or you can not, your choice.

The most popular factions currently in 2024 are the Empire & Dwarves. This section is going to go more in-depth about these 2 only.

Although the Empire & Dwarves are the most popular picks, if you want to learn the battles well I would recommend avoiding playing the Empire & Dwarves. Not because they are very good in multiplayer (they are, but not broken) but because the AI is very stupid in singleplayer. Due to very good artillery, you can turtle your way in any battle.

Instead, I would recommend having High Elves, Grand Cathay (just like the game!), Tomb Kings or the Lizardmen for your first Warhammer armies for a more well-rounded experience. You can use everything with the Empire & Dwarves too, but you'll probably just take the artillery.

Don't let me tell you what to do, if you want to play the Empire then play the Empire. But if you really want to learn Total War I would recommend a more overall balanced army so you don't have exploits like this that is also easy to play.

Why wouldn't I recommend the Empire & Dwarves? You can pretty much cheese the game by standing in the corner and spamming artillery taking advantage of a weak AI.

1. The Empire

The Empire has a pretty well-rounded roaster to pick from. With their infantry being slightly below average and their cavalry being slightly above average (definetly good, but nowhere near FAIR BRETONNIA! level of cavalry).

Their infantry isn't great, and needs a lot of support heroes and archers and micro-intensive stuff to keep them going.

This of course is very difficult for newer players so they'll move away from the infantry. What they'll find is that their infantry is pretty smashed early on, their frontlines aren't holding on very long and they don't know why. It's probably because they are not buffing them or support them with a lord or warrrior priest to help them out.

So without a strong infantry, what does the Empire have? cavalry. Cavalry is good for the Empire, it's some of the best in the game but not the best. But a lot of cavalry can be a lot of micro for a newer player. So he'll eventually find the other option.

Artillery. Having like 10 units of artillery because the Empire has great artillery. Helstorm Rocket Battery is just insane. If you want to win with the Empire on legendary just spam Helstorm Rocket Battery and have other units to defend them.

But that's not really playing Total War, just taking advantage of a weak AI. A good player in multiplayer will never let you get away with that "exploit".

You're probably blowing the enemy army up to pieces before they can even reaches you, which it may be fun for 1 battle or 2, but you're not going to learn anything about how to play Total War. You're just learning how to stand in a corner and unleash hell. You are just blowing off stuff that's descending on you, before it reaches you.

So yeah, with the Empire, just remember that your infantry is a little weaker than average and will likely need support of heroes or other units but your artillery totally kicks posteriors. That's not to say they should be played as a turtle race (although you can definitely do that), the Empire's cavalry although slightly slower than average (the average is 75, they are 66) can totally kick posteriors as they are quite tanky as powerful (although not on Bretonnia's level and arguably Vampire Count's Blood Knights) once they get into action, and your archers and gunners are very good.

Dwarves Artillery Turtle

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2. Dwarves

Take everything I said about the Empire's turtle strategy and multiply it by 2. The Empire has that as a great option, although they're much more versatille, the Dwarves are designed for that.

Unlike the Empire's below average infantry, Dwarves' infantry line is one of the best, super tanky and super easy to play against AI. They lack speed, but more than make up for this in ressistance and armor.

You can easily box yourself in with artillery in the back and ranged units in the middle, force the AI to come to you and you've won. The AI likely makes huge blob and doesn't avoid any damage. Their units in general also have a lot of leadership and a lot of melee defense.

The Dwarves are basically masters of defense. No other faction can grind out the enemy and outlast them that much. With other factions like High Elves you can pull up a lot more tactics. Because you have decent infantry, decent cavalry, decent archers.

Dwarves just do one thing and they do it well. Dwarves are mostly artillery and slow but good infantry units, archers are decent but not the star, pretty much every other factions has a good mix of different kind of units. There are excections like Vampire Counts on missile or Bretonnia on infantry, but it's hard to think of a race as inflexible with their playstyle as the Dwarves. Which, being inflexible is fitting for the Dwarves. (I just got my name in the book of Grudges, you'll understand what I mean once you play the Dwarves campaign)

Simply put, the Dwarves are very easy to play even in multiplayer on lower levels. The Dwarves are not good to learn first because again with turtle artillery they will carry you and deny you a lot of tactics that are used by other factions.

Remember that tactic you can do with the Empire because the AI is too dumb to notice? Basically get artillery and just box yourself in? Get that tactic and raise it to 11 and you got the Dwarves. At least the Empire has weak infantry, the Dwarves don't. In fact, the Dwarves have some of the best infantry in the game.

They are a race specifically designed for that. Their very thing is that. Lowest speed in the game, tankyest infantry in the game, best artillery in the game. In multiplayer, you never try to outduel Dwarven artillery with your own, Organ Guns and Cannons are just pure hell, defend them with Ironbreakers and laugh while the enemy tries to get in.

Take notes AI! How to shutdown Dwarves or turtling using Empire in multiplayer? How do you counter-play them? Load up on anti-infantry. Anything with high armor piercing and bonus vs. infantry is almost guaranteed to have a favorable matchup against most of the Dwarves army. Foot Squires, Squig Herd, Doomflayers, Tomb Scorpions, Mournguls, etc.

Their weakness are no cavalry or monsters meaning no flanking options. Being flanked by a Dwarf is like being beaten by an old lady. Where as the Empire has flanking options, and the Dwarves have slow infantry. Where as the Empire doesn't.

So you can pretty much move around however you want with the Empire, but you can't do that with the Dwarves. Another weakness is that they have no magic, their magic is focused on making their tanky units even more tanky. And again, the Empire has magic.

So the Empire, even if they can use the same artillery turtle they have a much more flexible playstyle due to weaker infantry but compensating with speed, cavalry, magic and overall flexibility in the game. The Dwarves don't, just wait out with your Ironbreakers and defeat the enemy with Organ Guns and Cannon.

To beat the Dwarves, simply rush the Dwarves (just like the AI!). You can't out-artillery them, and in a skirmish fight you will lose, Dwarf players really love it when you take your time. Ok, rush them, but not like the AI. Protect your powerful units from Dwarves ranged units, while trying to outmanouver and flank them (because remember low mobility, lowest speed in the game) and engage their ranged units with your infantry. Disrupting those units with your cavalry, flying units, magic is very important. If you can get rid of Dwarves ranged units you pretty much have the win in the bag.

And for their infantry, bring armor-piercing units, because Dwarves really don't have a lot of options there. If they try to box, pick a side and attack with all your strength there, there's no point to attack from all 4 sides. It will force them to come out of their box leaving them exposed, and then you can flank since they lack any mobility options to counter your cavalry.

The Kislev Trap

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Kislev is the race you play as in the tutorial, so it should be the easiest race to play, right? WRONG.

The game recommends Grand Cathay for a reason. While Kislev are the protagonists of the Ursun story, they are also one of the most difficult factions to play.

Their units are strong, and it's not the fact that they have hybrid units that's the issue, but their lore accurate bad geographic position.

Kislev is a very centralized country, as such you have 3 very important cities: Kislev, Praag and Erengrad. While the rest of the settlements are kind of meh. Still useful but not as useful as these ones.

Aside from that Kislev starts in such a bad position that they had to buff Tsarina Katarin and Kostaltyn by giving them one big city and a minor settlement in Immortal Empires so that the AI won't die as soon as the game starts.

This is lore-accurate, Kislev is a very challenged country, surrounded by threats and especially chaos. However, you can see how you can't have a faction that's easy to play and at the same time lore accurate when the factions' lore says that it's very difficult to survive in there because you're constantly attacked by Chaos and others.

Looking at the Kislev start map for The Realm of Chaos the threats become apparent: In the north-west you have Norsca & Demons of Chaos and you are the first order faction they border with, in the north you have a good Skaven lord at the Black Blood Pass that will be your main nemesis early game and after that you'll still have more Chaos coming from the north, in the North East you have more Norscan tribes and after that more Chaos. In the East the Chaos Dwarves will be perhaps one of the biggest threats you face. In the south you will have the Vampires and Drycha that will attack you. In the south-west it's your only saving grace, there is the Empire, but the best it can do is buy you time because the Empire will be invaded by Norsca, Vampires, Drycha and Ogres. And if it fails, then you will really have 0 friendly borders.

It's a very fun campaign for a challenge. But wouldn't recommend it to a new player. You can always play on easy but playing Kislev on easy is harder than playing Cathay on easy.

High Elves, Cathay, Tomb Kings, Lizardmen

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Ok, so I said I wouldn't recommend starting the game with the Empire or Dwarves simply because their artillery turtle game is too good and you can win the game without really playing the game. Or Kislev because their starting location is too hard.

So what should you play instead?

As I said before, these are only suggestion, but for an easy to learn and very balanced roaster I would recommend either: High Elves, Grand Cathay, Tomb Kings, Lizardmen.

High Elves: Flexible, Firepower, Cavalry.

Grand Cathay: Defensive, Firepower.

Tomb Kings: Flexible, Monster-heavy.

Lizardmen: Flexible, Monster-heavy.

The only odd one here is Tomb Kings but not for battle reasons.

These 4 factions have pretty much everything and it's up to you how you use them. Yes, it says that the High Elves are "Firepower, Cavalry", Cathay are "Defensive, Firepower" and Tomb Kings with Lizardmen are "Monster-heavy" but that's pretty much their main thing, their winning ticket, they have many other things beside that and you don't win by spamming firepower, cavalry and monsters so you will be forced to use the whole roaster of your army even against a dumb AI.

High Elves. High Elves are in essence the Empire but the late game great artillery is replaced with late game great Dragons. All 3 elves factions (High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves) have units with sligthly less HP and deal slightly more damage than of other races. They are more of a glass-cannon than the human races. So you'll be able to hold the line less but also deal damage more. Elves in every fantasy setting are a bit more glass-cannon than other races, weaker physically but expert fighters, that's the case here.

Grand Cathay. Grand Cathay are essentially a mix between the Empire and Dwarves, it's a faction very much about its infantry, in particular it's long-range capabilities combined with all the missile units, it has the most artillery of the new factions, with battle harmony and the defensive stance Cathay tries to stay back and blast things as much as possible. But it does have some big beasts like the Santinel, Dragons, flying units and some cavalry but not a great deal. Not quite as tough as the Dwarves, but tougher than the Empire and with more versatility than both. For those who like to play defensive and use a lot of missile and artillery without cheeseing the game like with Empire's Helstorm Rocket Battery or Dwarves' Organ Guns and Cannons. Unlike the Empire, Cathay's infantry doesn't need support to keep them standing, they ain't sub-par infantry.

Tomb Kings. The Tomb Kings have a weird mechanic that your unit limit is based on how much recuritment buildings for that unit you have, but is about their campaign not the battle. In battle they fight just like explained, balanced. If you are willing to overlook the fact that their armies cost no upkeep but you have to build more military units to recruit the same unit of that type, which is an unique campaign mechanic just for them, you will find that in battle they are quite balanced and will engage you in the total Total War experience. And the fact that instead of routing they die like all undead (Tomb Kings, Vampire Counts, Vampire Coast) will train you to keep your units from routing. You can learn how to manage rout later with High Elves and Lizardmen. Better to learn the essence of making a good fight first.

Lizardmen. And, finally (may the Gods forgive me for saying this) the Lizardmen. I really don't like the Lizardmen but have to admit they are a very good starter race. Despite fanboys complaining that "Lizardmen got no love in Warhammer 2" they got the highest amount of love in Warhammer 2, more than any other faction. You have 7 legendary lords to pick from, more than any other faction. They have a very balanced roaster with a focus on monsters. The only downside is that you're playing as the Lizardmen.

Final disclaimer (already said it 3 times), pick whatever faction you want first, these are just the 4 that I recommend because playing them will give you the essence of Total War. And then that can be translated easily in any other faction. Where as the opposite isn't always true.


Best Campaign Units For Faction (1-8)

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In case you just want to recruit the best units, here are some tier lists for the campaign from LegendofTotalWar (check him out on Youtube).

The top class is basically a "doomstack". A doomstack is when you can win by only, or mostly depending on the case, just having that unit in your army. It's usually a very powerful level 5 unit, but not always. A are always good, B definetly punch above their weight, C is average, D is below and E-F if there is don't bother. Or do bother on lower difficulties where you try to use all possible types of units.

Keep in mind that these are only the best units for the campaign, not best units in general. Why? because in campaign you have: recruitment cost, upkeep cost, you need to build that building to recruit that unit. LegendofTotalWar looks at how convenient these factors are beside the efficacy of that unit in battle. A unit may be very good, but if it's very expensive don't bother. Other units on the other hand may not be as good but their cost-efficiency ratio is amazing so that's why you must recruit many of them. They do a lot and pay little. You don't have this in multiplayer, so keep in mind that these tier lists don't translate well in multiplayer battles.

Just look at what units in game match the tier list pictures. Eventually, check out LegendofTotalWar's [faction name] Unit Roster Tier Ranking videos if you want a more in-depth explanation for why that is as well as more insight into the faction.

1. Empire:

Hellstorm Rocket Battery -> One of the longest ranges out of artillery units, deal a lot of damage.

Steam Tank -> Insanely powerful, but also insanely expensive.

2. Bretonnia:

Royal Hippogriph Knight -> They can handle sieges and field battles.

3. Vampire Counts:

Skeleton Spear -> Completely free upkeep from reserach. Allows you to drown the world in bones.

Mortis Engine -> Expensive but just having 1 of them in your army very powerful. Melts infantry, including Dwarves from the Mortis' area of influence. And increases magic regeneration.

(Tier A) Varghulf -> Great siege attacker.

(Tier A) Terrorgheist -> Best thing to doomstack with if you don't want the skeletons.

4. Dwarves:

Bugman's Rangers -> A superior version of the rangers.

Organs Guns -> Very high damage dealing unit and very reliable. Obliterates units at all ranges.

5. Orcs:

Nasty Skulskers -> Very squishy armor-piercing high damage unit.

Night Goblins (Fanatics) -> Their spinning loons ability is able to take out vastly superior units.

Arachnarok Spider -> They are heavy hitters. Really good vs other monsters and cavalry.

Doomdiver Catapults -> Not very accurate but big damage.

6. Norsca:

War Mammoth -> Arguably best anti-infantry unit in the game, it's splash attack is so good.

7. Warriors of Chaos:

With Chaos you need to put the units where they are going to get the most amount of use based on their dedication. Dedication is linked to whatever they are marked as. Get units that can get good benefits for their dedication.

Marauders -> All high potential, because they are the beginning of strong units later.

Chaos Warriors -> The same potential thing goes with Chaos Warriors. Good for all of them.

Chosen -> Chosen are very good units for all dedications. The chosen of a dedication are stronger than the undivided chosen is just that the undivided chosen have a step up.

Aspiring Champion -> Undivided Chosen can become Aspiring Champion, but for the other 4 dedications they cannot, that's the limit for them, but they are still very good.

Forskaen Tzeench -> Only the Forsaken of Tzeench has high potential, but ONLY for Vilitch the Curseling due to -50% upkeep reduction and they can become Chaos Spawns of Tzeench.

Fleshhounds of Khorne -> These are very good.

Marauder Horsemen -> All of them have high potential because you can make them more powerful with obsidian.

Chaos Knights of Khorne, Tzeench and Slaanesh -> Only for these 3 is worth it. Khorne and Tzeench has upgrades, but the Slaanesh ones are very quick even if it's the end of their limit.

Chariots -> Can be boosted by the Tursks resources.

Trolls Undivided -> The Spice resource gives them extra melee attack.

Dragonogre -> Undivided, but mostly on Legendary Lord Suneater.

Dragonogre Shaggots to Nurgle-> Nurgle lords can make the best out of them. They will only get their full potential with a Nurgle character.

Feral Manticore Undivided -> Very good units.

Chaos Giants Nurgle -> Nurgle armies give them the best chance because just like Dragonogre Shaggots have great regeneration and they have a lot of HP.

Bloodletters of Khrone -> Obviously into Khorne armies, but should be given to a Daemon Prince. If you want a Mortal Khorne character, Chosen are best for them.

Pinkhorrors of Tzeench -> Not the blue ones, the blue ones are bad, but the Pink horrors can be upgraded into exhalted pink horrors which are good.

Demonettes of Slaanesh -> Can be upgrade into exhalted Demonettes.

Plague Bearers of Nurgle -> Nurglings are bad, don't upgrade into anything. High potential.

Beast of Nurgle -> Is a fairly good unit.

Flamers of Tzeentch -> Pretty good unit.

Fiends of Slaanesh -> Not because they are good units, but because you can improve them a lot with research, boon of Chaos.

War Shrine of Nurgle -> Provides regeneration for the army.

War Shrine of Khorne -> Boosts their stats considerably.

Bloodthirsters Nurgle -> Highest benefit in a nurgle army because of its ability to heal.

Great Unclean One Nurgle -> Same idea, HP regeneration.

Keeper of Secrets Nurgle -> Same idea, HP regeneration.

Lord of Change Tzeentch -> This unit should just be kept in Tzeentch army.

Soulgrinders Nurgle -> All in nurgle except the Tzeentch one, goes into Tzeentch.

Skullcannon of Khrone Khorne -> Can regen, doesn't have crew, it's fast artillery.

8. Beastmen:

Jabberslythe -> They just cause a lot of destruction. Anti-infantry.

Ghorghon -> Anti-large damage dealer.

Best Campaign Units For Faction (9-16)

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9. Wood Elves:

Waywatchers -> Arguably one of the best archer units in the game.

Bladesinger -> Quite expensive but you can boost them a lot.

Forest Dragon -> Very strong unit that you can keep healing.

Treemen -> Best doomstack for Wood Elves, second is Waywatchers, third Dragon.

10. High Elves:

Sisters of Averlon -> The Waywathers of the High Elves.

Arcane Phoneix -> Very good unit, huge step up from other dragons.

Star Dragon -> Lot of health, super health, but really expensive.

Sentinels of Astaril -> Yvresse only, same role as Sisters of Averlon.

Knights of Tor Gaval -> Yvresse only, strongest doomstack, second is Arcane Phoneix.

11. Dark Elves:

Shades (Dual Weapons) -> Takes 1 turn to recruit and very powerful.

Hydras -> Really good. Regeneration, not the best fighters ever, but breath attack and regen.

12. Lizardmen:

Stegadon -> Tier 4. Their best unit is not a DLC. Not even a tier 5 unit.

Ancient Stegadon (Engine of the Gods) -> Also tier 4 like Stegadon. Anihilates infantry.

Feral Carnosaur -> Even if it goes rampage it's okay because it's so strong in melee.

13. Skaven: Yes-yes

Ratling Guns -> Doomstack, one of the best unit melters in the game, high priority for enemy.

Warplock Jezzails -> Doomstack.

Poisoned Wind Mortars -> Doomstack. These work best in combinations of all 3.

Brood Horror -> Possibly the fastest monster unit that is on the ground in the game. Hit and Run.

14. Tomb Kings:

Tomb Scorpions -> Very powerful unit because it moves a lot and is hard to hit in combat.

Khemrian Warsphinx -> The only problem is that it's a very expensive unit. Good vs infantry.

Necrosphinx -> Anti-large.

Hierotitan -> Weakest of the 4 but still a very good unit.

15. Vampire Coast:

Necrofex Colossus -> On its own is not that good, but one of the fastest you can make in game.

Queen Bess -> Can only recruit 1 but is very good. As long as you don't shoot your own troops.

16. Kislev:

Ice Guards -> Exceed expectations if you build them right, boosting them with research.

Little Grom -> On its own not that great but you can boost it with research and good for siege.

War Bears -> Even without boost just very powerful. Hit like a truck.

Light Sled -> Difficult to use but can punch way above its paygrade due to Ice Charioteer trait.

Best Campaign Units For Faction (17-24)

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17. Grand Cathay:

Jade Warriors -> The heroes Gate Masters boosts the Jade Warriors a lot, Jade Standard stacks.

Jade Warriors (Helberds) -> The Celestial General also boost them with Inspiring Presence line.

Jade Warrior Crossbowmen -> Doomstack.

Jade Warrior Crossbowmen (Shelds) -> Doomstack.

Celestial Dragon Crossbows -> They have armor piercing and better missile strength.

Fire Rain Rockets -> This is a shorter range version of the Empire's Helstorm Rocket Batteries.

18. Ogre Kingdoms:

Stonehorn -> Tier 4. Even a few of these units in your army is a massive difference.

Stonehorn (Harpoon Launcher) -> This one is Tier 5 and has a missile atack.

Gnoblar Scraplauncher -> Not spammable but a few of this artillery in your army is quite good.

Ironblaster -> Artillery that blasts everything to smithereens.

19. Khorne:

Bloodthirsters -> Arguably one of the strongest units in the game, but can't heal. Anti-large.

Soulgrinder -> Okay missile attack, basically a cannon, fights melee.

Blood Shrine of Khorne -> Really good unit with a lot of utility. A melee version of skullcannon.

20. Tzeentch:

Chosen of Tzeentch -> Tzeentch really benefits from the Chosen because of durability.

Chosen of Tzeentch (Helbards) -> Same as anti-infantry variant, this is anti-large.

Lord of Change -> Doesn't use winds of magic to use magic, can generate winds of magic.

Soul Grinder of Tzeentch -> Very good with dealing with single units and pretty good in melee.

Mutalith Vortex Beast -> The best unit for Tzeentch, anti-large, and attack buffs around them.

21. Nurgle:

Beast of Nurgle -> Regenerate passively, good in combat, slow but not stupid slow.

Soul Grinder of Nurgle -> One of Nurgle's fastest units, and mortar type artillery, good vs infantry.

22. Slaanesh:

Seekers of Slaanesh -> Great heavy hitters against single entities.

Heartseekers of Slaanesh -> The exhalted version.

Exalted Seeker Chariot -> Good versus groups not single entitie, need to charge through infantry.

Soul Grinder of Slaanesh -> Only Soulgrinder without missile attack, most value if you have many.

Keeper of Secrets -> Fast unit, tons of damage, can spellcast.

23. Daemons of Chaos:

- See the Warriors of Chaos roaster.

24. Chaos Dwarves:

- You got Greenskin units that doesn't take up unit cap so just fill up your roaster when you can't recruit any of the good units.

- As for the good units you're not going to have an unlimited supply of armament at least until later in the game. Spending your armament wisely is really what this is all about.

Hobgoblin Cutthroats -> Not nearly as good as the Chaos Dwarves but good enough.

Hobgoblin Archers -> Same as above, good as the cheap infantry. The replaceable ones.

Hobgoblin Sneaky Gits -> Good on utility, good at getting at the back of the enemy.

Hobgoblin Wolf Raiders (Spears) -> Decent, not as much utility as the first 3.

Hobgoblin Wolf Raiders (Bows) -> Same, decent, not as useful as the first 3.

Infernal Guard -> Great frontline unit.

Infernal Guard (Great Weapons) -> Very good frontline unit.

Infernal Ironsworn -> The Chaos Dwarfs version of Ironbreaker. Holds the line well, magic attack.

Chaos Dwarf Blunderbusses -> If positioned correctly, can just melt enemy units.

Bull Centaur Renders -> Shield version.

Bull Centaur Renders (Dual Axes) -> Anti-infantry version.

Bull Centaur Renders (Great Weapons) -> Anti-large version.

Hellcannon -> Blows the enemy while the rest of the army holds the line, good vs multiple units.

Iron Daemon – Dreadquake Mortar -> An absolutely insane artillery piece.

Skullcracker – Dreadquake Mortar -> Works great in team with Iron Daemon.


Singleplayer Campaign Tier List

Why specifically "Singleplayer Campaign" tier list? Because a race can be very good in battle but have a crap economy, or be very bad in battle but have a very good economy. So it doesn't matter if you are weak, if you are able to provide more armies than the enemy can handle you will probably win.

This is an extreme example, things are never that black&white but this tier list is a combination of the battle capabilities of each race combined with their campaign circumstances. This is why it will differ so much from the other tier list I will make "Multiplayer Battle" tier list which is just the battles, with no consideration for the campaign. And I specifically mentioned "Multiplayer Battle" because if you want to play singleplayer battle, just use the Dwarves and hide in a corner.

Yes, the same tactics from multiplayer also work in singleplayer, but it doesn't translate vice-versa simply because the AI is too dumb. You can bit both the AI and a good player with Bretonnia hit & run but you can't beat a good player with just standing around in the corner with Dwarves / the Empire.

Singleplayer Campaign

1. Khorne -> You spawn armies out of nothing, you fight endless battles, there is nothing that can even come close to matching the sheer destructive power of Khorne, not even Beastmen.

2. Vampire Counts -> You just use hordes to hold the line with just a few elite units wins you the battle, and their economy is very early game focused so you start your campaign on a high note.

3. Warriors of Chaos -> You can recruit units instantly on the campaign map and you never have to replace them, just like Vampire Counts, you can also convert them into higher tier units over time.

4. Greenskins -> Because of the lower supply lines they can field more armies, they have a much stronger economy than the Greenskins should have, and they make a ton of income from fighting battles.

5. Chaos Dwarves -> Unlike the previous 4 races, the Chaos Dwarves are very late game focused, their early game is a bit weak because of lack of access to good units, but when they truly start to shine is in the late game when you gain full access to Tower of Zharr, reserach a good portion of their technology and finally start to get some good units. From then on, you are hard to stop.

6. High Elves -> The economy boys. High Elves and Dark Elves are very rich. But they take much longer to get going that the first 4 races and they can't reach the same level of strength as Chaos Dwarves late game. They are sort of the balanced option between these ones.

These were the cream of the cream.

7. Norsca -> Similar to Orcs, they have a much stronger economy than they should and get a lot of post-battle loot income. But their units are not quite as strong as the Orcs' and they are a lot more expensive. Not to mention they have a much harder time deal with difficult situations. But they can get a lot of unique bonuses to resource buildings which can make their units very powerful.

8. Kislev -> Kislev has good units and perform much better than you would expect. Similar to Norsca and Warriors of Chaos they get bonuses with each resource building they have so their campaign can snowball. GET IT, SNOW, KISLEV, SNOW, GET IT! ok, I'll go back to my corner. And for being an order faction they actually have a pretty decent post-battle loot income. You can also confederate other Kislevites and have a good start to your campaign.

9. Grand Cathay -> Mostly because of how dirt cheap everything is for Grand Cathay. They have a lot of cheap armies that perform much better than they should, they can spam a lot of armies to do very well in their campaign. They have cheap buildings as well. And they start out with some of the strongest lords in the game.

10. Beastmen -> They used to be the worst faction in Warhammer 1, best faction in Warhammer 2 and balanced in Warhammer 3, truly they came full cyrcle. Races that have armies limit like Beastmen got the short end of the stick because the other races can beat them by sheer overwhelming numbers. The beastmen are stuck in a loop of not many armies and no good unit for a good portion of your campaign, it takes a while until you reach Minotaurs and Bestigors. But they have strong mechanics with being able to ambush, not having to stay in 1 place, and strong bonuses with their Hearstone buildings to get them out of difficult situations.

11. Dark Elves -> The other good economy guys. While they are rich and like the High Elves can increase their wealth indefinetly, they have some difficulties dealing with enemies in the early days of the campaign, possibly some public order issues and very expensive units. More than the High Elves who also have expensive units. They mostly come alive in the late game but where the Chaos Dwarves would dominate by this point, the Dark Elves would still struggle.

12. Slaanesh -> They have a terrible economy, expensive units, low replenishment, a terrible technology tree, and despite all of this they are still good. They have decently strong armies and can summon 3 armies on top of that. They can get a decent amount of post-loot income, but they don't have the ability to fight all that many battles to truly make use of it. And if you want to seduce enemy units most of that will be spent to win battles.

13. Skaven -> They take way too long to get going. Even if you spam all armies of Clan Rats you simply get too little food. Your economy is terrible. It takes them to long to get going, but once they get going they get going, with a tons of tools available to them, from units of all kinds, to campaign mechanics such as ambushes and enemy not knowing what settlements you actually have, to nukes or masters assassins or mutated monsters depending on the lord. They are very fun to play because they have so many options.

14. Bretonnia -> They have a decently strong economy, cheap and effective ranged units with peasant archers, one of the strongest cavalry in the game and very powerful lords. But hey, their infantry is one of the if not the weakest in the game. They are the cavalry faction. They start out slow but after they get some Grail Vow units they can start conquering at a decent pace. If they had free knights available to them they could have easily been in the top 6.

Singleplayer Campaign Tier List 2

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15. Wood Elves -> They are a very unconventional race. Not really a race that falls in line with the others. As they don't do much in terms of conquering the map, instead they just sit there and defend, like any good Wood Elf should. Not saying they can't go out and conquer, but by judging them on how quickly they can conquer or how strong their empire can become they would actually rank much lower than this but that's because you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. They are not meant for that. Playing the campaign the way it is designed they can be pretty good. Beating Wood Elves in their own territory is a mess. It's like Warriors of Chaos but the Warriors of Chaos are richer, more defensible settlements, with better armies and the campaign is designed for exploration.

16. Lizardmen -> Their armies can be very strong, much stronger than most factions in this game, but at the same time their units are very expensive and they don't have a great economy like the elves. Their post-battle loot is equally bad. They are quite weak and bland, until you get going and have a big empire. They don't have any extra special mechanics to help them out.

17. Dwarves -> THAT'S GOING TO THE BOOK. They don't deserve a higher spot. THAT'S GOING TO THE BOOK. They have an economy as bad as the Lizardmen, they have to pay more to get their income buildings to get less income than the other races, while also having to build up an additional tier to get the same amount of income as the other races. They have high income from their settlement buildings, but Khorne settlement buildings make more income. Their early game can be quite weak but their saving grace is their highly armored units which can be difficult for other races, and players, to deal with.

18. Vampire Coast -> Really expensive units for a terrible economy. Really weak armies as their armies are mostly glass-cannons which yes are powerful but once you get in melee they aren't that powerful anymore. They do have some useful mechanics with raising the dead and ship building which can give you a bit of an edge in your campaigns.

19. The Empire -> Fan favorite but shows its age. It's a faction that does everything, but can't do everything right. It's a jack of all trades master of none. They have weak armies which aren't cheap. A mediocre economy although better than that of the Dwarves, and the later the campaign goes you don't really get much stronger than when you started out.

20. Tomb Kings -> SETTRA IS PREPARING HIS ENDLESS LEGIONS TO MARCH AT YOU! They are very slow to expand when compared to other races because of their army limits, and it just takes too long for them to get going. They are incredibly slow to get going.

21. Ogres -> Their campaigns are honestly very horrible. Their economy is terrible, their buildings and units are expensive. Their settlements are very difficult to defend and build up. Their empire-building is terrible, they can get extremly rich in the late game the problem is getting there and not rage quit along the way.

22. Tzeench -> It just feels bad play. It has the same problem as Slaanesh, but without the free armies and much worse units, they require a lot of micromanagement to be kept effective in battle. They have a lot of funny and cool mechanics in the campaign, but they aren't as game-changing as summoning 3 armies are. Ultimately limited income and mediocre armies are Tzeench's issue.

23. Daemons of Chaos -> They have access to a huge units roaster with lords and heroes from across all 4 gods of chaos. But his economy is mediocre, the way he recruits units is terrible, he himself is a mediocre legendary lord and even though he gets a lot of useful tools, they mostly feel jumbled in there without any rhyme or reason.

24. Nurgle -> Expensive units that he recruits in a terrible way, grows very slowly, can't recruit units at full health, can't expand quickly because he can't defend his settlements, can't field many armies. Mediocre economy with overpriced settlements. Units that are very vulnerable to range attacks and mechanics that are more annoying than useful.

Multiplayer Battle Tier List

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Say you want to touch the multiplayer, play some of those battles or even a 1v1 campaign. The races in Warhammer are fairly balanced which is a miracle given how diverse they are, the worst faction is still decent and can beat the first faction in certain conditions.

In Warhammer it's not about "this race is strong, this race is weak" but more about "this race has these counters, this race has these counters". If anything, what makes a race powerful or bad is how many counters it has and by how many races it generally gets countered. Generally, because the army composition matters a lot. Just because you have a race that "counters" the enemy it doesn't mean you will counter the enemy, it really depends on your army composition.

For example Bretonnia is very good against Wood Elves because Bretonnia relies a lot on Cavalry while Wood Elves rely a lot on missile, it's just a matter of bad match up. So don't take these as set in stone, but only to make a general idea, of which races generally have few counters and which races generally have many, here's the tier list of the top multiplayer factions. It will probably remain this way forever because with Warhammer 3 launched things will never change.

This tier list is from the perspective of the average player. So no e-sports tier list just the strongest and the weakest factions for the average multiplayer player.

Multiplayer Tier List

Tier S:

Cathay -> Their frontline is insane, their cannons are insane, healing really strong.

Chaos Dwarves -> Overall isn't that strong but have some really good units including cannons.

Dark Elves -> One of the best roasters across all areas, performing well in everything.

Tier A:

Beastmen -> They are solid in battle.

Bretonnia -> Healing and mobility advantage is great and Bretonnia has both of these.

Dwarves -> The Dwarven box can be quite hard to deal with.

Lizardmen -> Access to insane healing, not great infantry but plenty of skirmish units.

High Elves -> Healing is still very strong, good mobility.

Norsca -> Ice Wolves, Skin Wolves and Death Magic are great.

Ogre -> Great healing, tons of options despite focus on ogre monstrous infantry and cavalry.

Tier B:

The Empire -> Empire is fine. Not great not terrible.

Greenskins -> Same as the Empire, a balanced faction in battle.

Vampire Coast -> Infantry and bombing is still pretty good.

Tzeench -> Spamming that magic is annoying.

Vampire Counts -> Some healing, okay not great magic cost, Grave Goard and Black Knights.

Tier C:

Tomb Kings -> Lord options aside Arkhan weak, hero options weak.

Khorne -> Their units are good but a bit too expensive for their worth.

Kislev -> Only infantry spam and bear cavalry are the real danger.

Skaven -> Their only real strength is their weapons team.

Nurgle -> Just have a strong frontline and you will be fine versus nurgle.

Warriors of Chaos -> Archeon is solo carrying this faction, the rest of roaster a bit too expensive.

Tier D:

Slaanesh -> Can beat Skaven, Beastmen, Greenskins, but when they don't counter they bad.

Daemons of Chaos -> Demonic units are weaker than undead or mortal they disintegrate.

Wood Elves -> Their ranged units while still strong aren't carrying games anymore like in game 2.


Basic Control, Magic

Think of this as an extra in-depth multiplayer guide. You can totally play the game without this guide, but this guide will make you a much better player. Sit back, relax, and learn Total War Warhammer.


CTRL + A -> Select all your units.

CTRL + LMB -> Select as many units as you want.

CTRL + LMB (double click) -> Select all units of the same type.

ALT + LMB (drag) -> Move your units in formation.

ALT + CTRL + LMB (drag) -> Rotate your units while moving in formation.

ALT + LMB (drag) + attack orders -> Attack with your units in formation at the same time.

ALT + Number Keys -> Instantly select your magic with selected unit.

SHIFT + Number Keys -> Instantly select your abilities with selected unit.

Magic cast + Hold LMB -> Change the direction of the attack. (can be cancelled by right click)

Area Magic cast + Hold ALT -> Freely move the spell.

BACKSPACE -> halt, useful if you accidentaly gave the wrong order.

SHIFT + RMB (drag) -> Drag your own costum unit path.

SHIFT + RMB -> Create checkpoints where you unit can go to, the last one can be attack.

ALT + RMB (attack) -> Forces a range unit to melee attack.

ALT -> Manually aim with artillery.

CTRL + NUMBER -> Create control group, there are 2 types: locked and unlocked. In locked group everything will move in formation at the speed of the slowest unit. In unlocked they forget about formations.



Basic Battle Formations:


The High Ground: (ANAKIN!)

Controls Guide Guide of Magic Guide

Armies Build

How to Build Armies:

1. Empire

2. Bretonnia

3. Vampire Counts

4. Warriors of Chaos

5. Norsca

6. Dwarves

7. Greenskins

8. Wood Elves

9. Beastmen

10. High Elves

11. Dark Elves

12. Skaven

13. Vampire Coast

14. Tomb Kings

15. Lizardmen

16. Kislev

17. Grand Cathay

18. Ogres

19. Khorne

20. Tzeench

21. Nurgle

22. Slaanesh

23. Daemons of Chaos

24. Chaos Dwarves


Unique Race Playstyle (1-8)

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Here I go more in-depth for each race's playstyle

For the basics, see Each Race's Playstyle and Each Race's Units Focus.

Ok, so you read this guide, but still can't pick a faction? oh boy, you're a hard one to please. Is your name Karen by any chance? just pick a faction you like best thematically as long as it's the Vampire Coast. Undead Pirates, what's there not to like?

Nevermind, I have to bring the artillery, not the Helstorm Rocket Battery that you can spam with the Empire Artillery Turtle strategy, I'll go further. Rather than a general description for each race, I'll describe their unique faction playstyle. If you can't decide after that then I'm sorry for you, you are sad and you should stop playing this game.

1. The Empire (Swiss Knife Army feat. Badass Artillery and Tank)


- Unlimited meme material

- Well rounded jack of all trades army

- Below average infantry, needs heroes or magic buffs to support them

- Good archers

- Lack monsters

- Have excellent cavalry

- Have excellent artillery

- Relatively cheap in terms of units cost

- Very good magic with tons of hero magic school options to pick from

- Very good hero selection

- Can play all playstyles

- Easy to learn, easy to master.

2. Bretonnia (Cavarly Army feat. Decent Archers and Artillery, terrible infantry)

- The best cavalry in the game.

- Cheap and one of the worst infantry in the game, even top tear infantry is bad.

- Decent archers, not great not terrible.

- Each lord must complete a "grail quest" to be able to have cavalry at discount price.

- Lack monsters

- Limited selection of magic

- Playstyle: hit & run, attrition, rush with mass cav, artillery spread.

- You need mobility and your cav micro on point to play effectively.

- Easy to learn, hard to master.

3. Vampire Counts (Rush Undead Faction feat. No Archers but Cavalry and Monsters and many weak minions like Zombies and Skeletons for the meat shield)

- Units unbreakable, don't run from a fight, lose morale harder, but when they do, disintegrate.

- Most units have pretty low stats but rely on healing

- Have no missile units at all

- Have most healing of any of the undead faction

- Excellent melee infantry

- Good magic chariots

- Some support chariots and some damage focused chariots

- Very good cavalry

- Good monsters

- Lore of vampires is the best lore of magic in the game.

- Playstyle: always a rush style, flank with the cavalry.

- Can play more of an attrition grind or more straight up rush

- You need to learn how to get rid of missile units.

- Medium to learn, hard to master.

4. Warriors of Chaos (Heavy Chaos Faction, what if we take the Empire but make their infantry stronger add monsters and make them a rush race instead?)

- Excellent infantry

- Excellent monsters

- Decent light cavalry

- Good heavy cavalry

- Good chariots

- Limited missiles, even more so than Norsca

- Relatively expensive in terms of units cost

- Good magic selection

- Their casters tend to be tanky, more expensive but with better stats

- Playstyle: rush, but with the Hellcanon you can do some artillery spread style or hit&run

- Out of the 3 chaos factions they are the easiest to learn.

- Very easy to learn, easy to master, terrible campaign conditions..

5. Norsca (Light Chaos Faction, hear me out, we take the Chaos but instead of strong we make them fast, we also keep the monsters but give them far more mobility)

- Some of the best monsters in the game.

- Very good speed for their units

- Many of their units have frostbite that slows enemies

- Decent infantry

- The worst lord selection in the game

- No heavy cavarly

- No artillery

- Decent light cavalry

- Mobility

- A good magic selection

- Even has a monstrous infantry caster

- Plastyle: rush, due to limited missile and no arty, can do some hit & run builds.

- Difficult for beginners to learn.

- Easier than Beastmen but you need to learn how to manage your mobility well.

- Medium to learn, hard to master.

6. Dwarves (Defensiest Defensive Tanky Army, tanky infantry w. huge armor and leadership, low mobility, very good artillery, do I need to draw you what to do with this type of combo?)

- Excellent infantry

- High armor

- High leadership

- Some of the best missiles in the game

- No cavalry

- The slowest faction in the game

- Only a handful of fast units

- Mostly relies on infantry, artillery and skirmishers

- No monsters

- No magic

- Some nice support abilities and are magic resistant

- Playstyle: artillery camp, can rush with some notable all Vanguard builds

- With high melee defense and armor can grind in an attrition fight as well

- Decent for new players to learn

- You need to make sure you don't pick up and bad habbits because of their unique playstyle

- Learn target priority

- Easy to learn, easy to master.

7. Greenskins (Rush and damage but low lead, let's take the Dwarves, make them more aggressive, more of a rush army, but give them low leadership and high damage)

- Low Leadership

- High damage

- Best light cavalry

- Poor heavy cavalry

- Excellent infantry

- Good monsters

- Not so good lord or heroes

- Can field a lot of monsters with probably the second best horde faction in the game.

- One of the best Vanguard factions with tons and tons of options for Vanguard

- Only have 2 lore of magic both unique to them plus lore of death with a specific lord.

- The unique lore of magic are very powerful and work well with the Greenskin units

- Can play almost every playstyle except attrition fights due to lack of healing and leadership

- Very difficult for new players to learn

- Certain styles definetly with the rush build are easier to learn than others.

- You will need to learn your match-ups pretty well as Greenskins get scared easily low leader.

- You will need to learn to manage routing units, especially the goblins.

- Medium to learn, hard to master.

Greenskins are basically "what if we make these guys really powerful but they get scared easily?"

8. Wood Elves (Archers Army, fire archers while moving while fire archers while moving while fire archers while moving and you have some powerful trees with lots of health and armor)

- The second best missile faction in the game.

- Very fast and very light like the Beastmen

- Only with a handful of high armor

- Play more into a hit & run or kite style

- Some decent monsters that allow you some rush-oriented builds

- You can definetly catch people off-guard especially with the speed of your advance

- Due to low armor and low HP they are one of the hardest races to learn.

- You do have to know your match-up

- Choose only the right engagements

- You need all of the Total War skills to play Wood Elves effectively.

- Hard to learn, very hard to master.

Unique Race Playstyle (9-16)

The Definitive Warhammer III All 24 Factions Guide image 726

9. Beastmen (I am speed, we lack armor and leadership, but boy are we fast, good monsters and have the lore of the wild, we have good archers and the rest of our army is next to yours)

- One of the fastest factions in the game.

- Has one of the best Vanguard selections

- Excellent summons with a variety of monsters

- Powerful bestigors and minotaurs, jabber and ghorgon

- Low armor

- Low leadership

- Good light cavalry

- Excelent chariots

- Pretty bad lord selection

- No heavy cavalry

- Limited magic

- A very powerful unique lore of magic, lore of the wild

- Playstyle: with their fast speed playing into more of a rush

- You can also do a bit of hit & run and with the Sai Gore a bit of artillery spread

- All Chaos factions rush, but Beastmen have the best missile options.

- Very difficult for beginners to learn because of speed and low leadership.

- Relies on terrain more so than any other faction.

- You will need to learn how to control mobile fast-moving units.

- Hard to learn, hard to master.

10. High Elves (The Civillized Army who flies and colonizes , Swiss Knife like the Empire but flying monsters instead of Artillery and a little bit more squishy but gives more damage)

- Generally untrustworthy because they are elves.

- High Stats and leadership

- Low HP (all elven units: high & dark & wood elves generally have less hp but more damage)

- All 3 elves factions are generally glass cannons with high stats and leadership but low HP

- Good armor

- The most expensive units in the game

- Two of the best casters: Tecles and Alario

- Some of the strongest flying monsters in the game

- A reasonably well-rounded roaster

- Decent artillery

- Decent infantry

- Decent cavalry

- Decent archers

- Very easy to learn, easy to master.

11. Dark Elves (Offensive Elves, high elves who are honest , slave economy, same as High Elves but with armor pierce and monsters over flying monsters, more rush but still balanced)

- High Stats and leadership

- Low HP

- Lower range on most of their missile units

- More armor piercing than the high elves

- Good monsters

- Good magic selection with a unique lore

- Can play into any playstyle

- Are a bit harder to learn but this applies to all elves as low HP isn't too forgiving for mistakes

- You'll definetly need to know your match-up knowledge

- And know how to choose the right engagements when playing as elves.

- Easy to learn, easy to master.

12. Skaven (The Horde of Rats, yes-yes, Ikit Claw! Ikit Claw! imagine numbers of the undead but for ranged units with lots and I mean lots of armor-pierce, monsters, disposable units)

- High numbers

- Terrible leadership

- Have fast infantry

- Lack proper cavalry or mobility

- Instead relies on excellent missiles, monsters and chariots

- Their unique only lores allows for good summonings

- All their characters are pretty cost-effective for the most part

- Playstyle: artillery and spread, attrition by endless summons and endless numbers

- They also have some pretty mean rush builds as well

- Difficult to learn as you'll have to manage lots of routing units and learn targeting priority.

- Hard to learn, hard to master.

13. Vampire Coast (Archers Undead Faction, ah, yes, you picked best faction, congrats! lots of guns so you have to position your missile, good range, good monsters, arty, lore of vampires)

- Units unbreakable, but disintegrate (all undead do: Vampire Counts & Coast, Tomb Kings)

- Lots and lots of numbers of missiles and really excellent damage

- Decent monsters

- Terrible infantry

- Are generally very slow

- Some fast units but no real cavalry or chariots

- Instead rely on missile units and artillery

- The best lore of magic in the game with lore of vampires

- Their own unique lore, lore of deeps

- Playstyle: can play into rush-style builds although they favor more the artillery camp builds

- With lots of missle units

- Can grind you down with attrition as well

- An easier faction to learn, but you need to be careful not to pick up any bad habbits

- You will need to learn targeting priority

- Easy to learn, medium to master.

14. Tomb Kings (Well-rounded Undead, different recrutiment in campaign, solid style in battle, monsters and chariots, but generally can do whatever you want. Settra doesn't serve)

- No heavy cavalry

- Excellent monsters

- Excellent chariots

- Less healing than other undead

- Lacking lore of vampires

- Have their own unique lore that gives a little bit of healing and some other powerful spells

- Playstyle: they can pretty much do it all with a very flexible army.

- They are one of the easiest factions if not the easiest faction in the game to learn.

- Because of their flexibility.

- The fact that they're relatively forgiving with their big armored tanky monsters.

- Really you'll just need to know the funamentals of Total War to play them well.

- Positioning and general map knowledge

- Best faction for new players.

- Very easy to learn, very easy to master.

15. Lizardmen (Monsters Army, this has been the worst faction in the history of the United States, best monsters, good infantry, decent speed and leadership, good missile, good magic)

- The best monsters in the game

- Decent infantry

- With mixed speed and leadership

- Some having high leadership and low speed, other low leadership and high speed

- Good missiles with all of them having either poision or fire damage

- Definetly can field a decent horde-style army

- Excellent magic with top-tier casters like Madzamundi and Slann

- Playstyle: grind and attrition style fights, rush you with monsters, kite with posioned missile.

- An easier faction to learn for beginners.

- Mostly you need matchup specific knowledge due to slow speed positioning and timing.

- Very easy to learn, hard to master.

16. Kislev (Hybrid army, with units that are decent in both melee and range, usually supported by cavalry, mounted bears or huge bears and other animals and ice magic)

- Very versatile with a lot of hybrid units, good at 2 different things but master of none.

- You want to engage specialized melee units in range, and specialized range in melee.

- Can spam almost anything and be effective in melee, 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.

- Decent cavalry.

- And some good laws on magic on their side.

- Medium to learn, hard to master.

Unique Race Playstyle (17-24)

The Definitive Warhammer III All 24 Factions Guide image 839

17. Cathay (Infantry Army, artillery and range to support them, very powerful lords, some of the most powerful lords in the game, like Dwarves but with somewhat more mobiltiy)

- Some of the most powerful legendary lords. The dragons.

- Harmony makes building your units difficult to deal with, but powerful once you understand it.

- They are not a weak faction, but they are very bland, very default. Quite traditional style of play.

- They have lots of gunpowder units and some fun lores of magic.

- If you like blowing stuff on mass and a sturdy fontline they are a decent pick.

- Easy to learn, hard to master.

18. Ogre Kingdoms (Human Eaters, hit and run with monstrous infantry, you don't have the numbers but you cleary have the size, hit and run with the big boys monstrous infantry)

- 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.

- They have armies with low numbers meaning you have to use their physical size for advantage.

- Medium to learn, medium to master.

19. Khorne (The angry chaos god, just forget everything you know about reason and attack them, no magic, no thinking, just blood for the blood god, attack and deal heavy damage)

- They focus on rush and attack.

- With a mix of demons and warriors.

- 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.

- No ranged units.

- Has no magic, it's all about blood, blood for the blood god.

- It's all about overwhelming the enemy with your own units.

- Easy to learn, medium to master.

20. Tzeench (The manipulative chaos god, as simple Khorne is, this one is complicated, you have shields, good range options, excellent magic you must use, a lot of versatility)

- One of the most ranged-focused factions.

- With a lot of options at all stages of the game.

- Has a shield mechanic that makes his units great for hit and run.

- Requires a lot of micro-management.

- Tons of demons and monsters to keep things interesting.

- Has powerful magic.

- Medium to learn, hard to master.

21. Nurgle (The stinky chaos god, it's a rush army but a slow rush army, like an imminent march of death army, units with high HP but low speed that are meant to be on offense)

- He is a lot easier to use than Slaanesh in a lot of aspects.

- Very weird playstyle, almost anything being super slow but also super tanky.

- You can take a beating before you reach the enemy.

- But still have a lot of health when you make contact.

- The best thing about the army is poision.

- Nearly every unit has poision and it's can take on basically anything way easier.

- Drag every unit down to your level and feel like the innevitable march to death that Nurgle's about.

- They are mainly a melee tanky army but have a couple of limited powerful range units.

- For magic they have the lore of Nurgle.

- Has some great monsters.

- If you are into death & decay, they play the part pretty perfectly.

- Easy to learn, hard to master.

22. Slaanesh (The sexy chaos god, it's again a rush army but different from blood beat Khorne and slow march Nurgle, this one's hit and run, and hit and run, and again, and again)

- Very strong but only if you can play them right.

- Where as Khrone deals tons of damage, Nurgle has lots of health, Slaanesh is speedy charge.

- 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.

- Their unique lore of magic is powerful.

- But they are harder to use than most, making their efficacy if you're an average player low.

- If you like hit & run and lots of chariots then a few monsters then you'll have a lot of fun with them.

- Hard to learn, hard to master.

23. Daemons of Chaos (The guys who won't pick which god to worship so they take a bit of everything, a little bit of here, a little bit of there, can make most unique combinations)

- Has access to all the units of Khorne, Tzeench, Nurgle and Slaanesh.

- Huge versatility.

- Everything said previously can apply here if you pick those units.

- Can make unique interesting combos.

- Easy to learn, hard to master.

24. Chaos Dwarves (Evil Little Humans, artillery and range to support them, infantry with lot of armor, lot like regular Dwarves except not that defensive and bit more on the offensive)

- They are like the regular Dwarves but with somewhat more options.

- High damage and extremely tough frontlines,

- Massive burst damage ranged

- High speed for some units and devastating war machines.

- And probably the best artillery in the game.

- Easy to learn, medium to master.


Thank you for reading, I hope this helps you understand the game better, and remember:

Remember, Kislev has a great economy, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise:

Good night, listen to this while you sleep:

Secret Ending

Huh, you found the secret ending, congrats! Who am I? Nobody, just the one who will sate all thy bloodthirst, the one who will bring ressurection, the one who will give thee wisdom, the one who will make thy lust flourish, but that's not important, what is important is that you say "yes" and press here:


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