Warhammer’s hand-painted centrepieces are the belles of the bestial balls. Often standing head, shoulder, knees, and toes above other units, they bring height to the tabletop sessions played across the planet – the huge models nearly able to sit at eye level with players and stare them out.
In adapting Warhammer for the Total War series of strategy games, developer Creative Assembly has relied on monstrous centerpieces to give new content some personality, a selling point with a horrendous toothy grin. We’ve seen it with the Hierotitan, lumbering through the dust to burn Dark Elves with its laser eyes, the Hell-Pit Abomination punching out a Black Dragon, and the Necrofex Colossus blasting swordsmen with its cannon-arm. Nothing sums up the Warhammer world quite like a gigantic, deadly monster.
The reveal of a centrepiece has become a staple for each newly announced race. This sets a precedent that we can follow: what other centrepiece monsters could we see revealed for Total War: Warhammer in the future? In the forests and mountains of the Old World, the jungles and caves of the New, and in the realm of Chaos, many more monsters stir, sensing their time draw near.
Imagine a Balrog made of iron and you won’t be far off. A K’daii Destroyer is a Chaos Dwarf war machine possessed by an elemental fire spirit of immense power. These huge constructs, forged in the Dark Lands and brought to life with mass blood sacrifice, are even a danger to their own troops. This is why they must be kept as ‘cold and silent metal’ until let loose on the battlefield, where ‘they burn bright and terrible, but briefly’.
Alongside the Bale Taurus, the Destroyer is front-runner for being the Chaos Dwarf mega-monster. But, unlike the Bale Taurus, the Destroyer never received an official model and was only ever vaguely pictured in the Monstrous Arcanum. The same was true for the Necrofex Colossus, and that got into the game as it gave Creative Assembly plenty of room to get creative.
You wouldn’t be at fault for thinking the Carnosaur was the best the Lizardmen has to offer, but deep in the jungles of Lustria, there are creatures far bigger.
Dread Saurian is the largest and scariest predator on the continent
While not quite as titanic as the Thunder Lizard, which can literally destroy cities by walking through them, the Dread Saurian is the largest and scariest predator on the continent. It’s so ancient that they used to fight the ancestors of the Dragons. Now they dwell extravagantly in Old One temples, effectively worshipped as demi-gods.
Since this was the year of the Elves, with both Asur and Druchii receiving much love, it seems likely that 2019 will be the year of the lizard-rat. Maybe we’ll see this fella make an appearance, then, just as the Kharibdyss did in June 2018.
Everything is bigger in the Mountains of Mourn – the people, the giants, the appetites, even the wildlife. Of these Ogre-Kingdom creatures, there are two we will undoubtedly see: the Thundertusk and the Stonehorn.
The Thundertusk is essentially a bigger and better mammoth, and Total War: Warhammer already has those. All eyes should be on the Stonehorn, then, as it’s a sabretooth mountain of rock and muscle, akin to nothing we’ve seen in the videogame series so far.
Often referred to as ‘a living fossil’ due to the density that makes up its colossal mass, Stonehorns will ‘take any opportunity to headbutt something to death’. Only the hardiest Ogre Hunters can tame them. Far more end up as trampled gore on the mountainside.
Bring the big guns
Centrepiece monsters are impressive but it’s centrepiece artillery that’s king. If Queen Bess in the Vampire Coast is anything to go by, we can likely expect massive Chaos Dwarf artillery pieces - whether that’s the Magma Cannon, or the colossal unit-killing, Dreadquake Mortar.
Look anywhere in the vast pantheon that is the Warriors of Chaos or Daemons of Chaos roster and you’ll likely see a monster that could serve as an icon. But in those rosters there are few creatures quite as iconic as the Bloodthirsters.
Known as Lords of Skulls, Drinkers of Blood, or Guardians of the Throne, these Greater Daemons of Khorne – mightiest of the Chaos gods – act as both his servants and his greatest daemonic warriors. They’re winged, horned giants that tower above the battlefield, clad in thick plate, wielding axes and whips as they reap unfathomable destruction – all in a futile attempt to sate their endless bloodlust.
Since Call of the Beastmen released back in 2016, fans who felt the Cygor didn’t quite scratch that big monster itch have been asking for the Ghorgon.
Imagine a minotaur so flesh-drunk it has mutated into the size of a Giant, sporting two extra arms and an insatiable hunger for meat. The Ghorgon is Beastmen ideology made manifest – that ideology chiefly being CHARGE, THEN EAT, YES?! A Ghorgon can consume an entire Beastmen tribe in a single night.
There is, however, a slight possibility we’ll get a Preyton instead, which is essentially a fiend from The Witcher 3 with wings. That, or the Jabberslythe, which is a tasty combo of toad, insect, and dragon.
Concept art for the Great Horned Rat, via Creative Assembly artist Rinehart Appiah on Artstation. Looks a bit Verminlord-y though.
While the ratmen of Clan Moulder have cooked up all manner of powerful monstrosities, none even come close to the power of the Verminlords. These arch-daemons are manifestations of the Skaven’s deity, the Horned
they’re quick and deadly, even capable of squaring up to other Greater Daemons
Rat, and as such represent all that is most celebrated by rat-kind. While huge in stature, they’re quick and deadly on the battlefield, even capable of squaring up to other Greater Daemons.
These harbingers of ruin also act as patrons for the Skaven clans and as such come in four main varieties: Deceivers for the assassin clans, Corruptors for the plague-bearers, Warbringers for the warlord clans, and Warpseers for the warlock engineers. At the head of all this is Skreech Verminking, Lord of Verminlords, who some fans think has already appeared as ‘The Screaming One’ during the Skaven’s first ritual cinematic of the Great Vortex campaign.
Rogue Idol of Gork (or Mork)
While the Greenskins got the Arachnarok Spider as a unique monster, it’s fair to say they never really had a centrepiece that adequately summed up their strange combo of wackiness and brutality – a role that could’ve been filled by the Colossal Squig. But now that ship has most probably sailed we may see the Rogue Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork) make an appearance.
These huge totems, clumsily fashioned from whatever battlefield wreckage the Greenskins can find, are brought to life by Orc Shamans to smash and batter their way through enemy lines. Rogue Idols are a true embodiment of the ‘Waaagh!’. They’re hulking and brutish golems who, even when they seem on the brink of collapse, somehow keep fighting.