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Top Total Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions, as told by the devs

We speak to the Total War: Warhammer 3 dev team to find out what their favourite Immortal Empires factions are ahead of the combined map's beta release

Two of the Total War Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions clash on the battlefield

Creative Assembly seem just as excited about Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions as we are, as we managed to get some members of the development team to open up about their favourite Immortal Empires starting positions in the combined map.

Bringing together a decade’s worth of Total War development, Immortal Empires will represent the ultimate Warhammer fantasy strategy game experience. Whether you’re going to lead classic factions such as Bretonnia or The Empire, or newcomers like Kislev and Cathay, the Immortal Empires map will give you the ultimate sandbox to revel in your chosen fantasy. Just try not to get lost navigating those sea lanes.

Total War Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions Bretonnia start

Alberic De Bordeleaux of Bretonnia

William Wright (Senior Designer)

Imagine this: after decades of studiously governing your Dukedom, you finally get a bit of time off and head to sunny Lustria for a bit of rest. You step off the boat, dreaming of sipping Pina Coladas from the Grail itself – only to find the resort has been overrun by dinosaurs with solar-power laser guns.

Not only does Alberic’s campaign lean into the absurd potential of the Warhammer world, it’s effectively Monty Python and the Holy Grail meets Jurassic Park, and it also highlights the emergent storytelling that is the core of the Immortal Empires experience. Whatever happens, there’ll almost certainly be some new crisis that you’ve got to deal with: a Duke’s work is never done!

Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions: Empire soldiers run up to a wood elf treant

Drycha of the Wood Elves

Ben Leech (Designer)

Do you like trees? And I mean really like trees? I like trees, so I’ve been playing a day in the leaf of Drycha. Back in the good ol’ thymes it was just the tree spirits that ran the show down at Athel Loren, but since the elves cropped up, things just haven’t been that rosy. Away from Athel Loren, Drycha plots a birch and rescue operation to free her master, the Ancient Treeman Coeddil, from his prison in the Wildwood.

There’s never a dull moment when it comes to the defence of the glades, which means stopping some pesky rats from trying to make all wood things come to an end. Drycha doesn’t moss around, so it will soon be time to address the wider world. More glades have been added around the map in IE, which means more chances to sprout out a good place to plant yourself around the map. Not too mulch to handle for Drycha though. My rating on her campaign: blooming marvellous.

Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions: Lokhir Fellheart holds twin blades

Lokhir Fellheart of the Dark Elves

Anuji Malhotra (Designer)

Yo ho, a pirate’s life for me, we extort and pilfer, we filch and sack. Step aside Vampire Coast, it’s time to unfurl my black flag and strap on my Sea Dragon Cloak, a real pirate is on deck! I’ve recently been having a blast raiding with Lokhir Fellheart in Immortal Empires.

The Krakenlord has an eye for good booty, picking his starting position wisely on the eastern coast of distant Grand Cathay. Your Black Arks are invaluable in Immortal Empires, as the wide rivers and canal networks winding their way through the Cathayan heartlands allow Lokhir to penetrate deep inland, almost as far as the Great Maw, while still reaping the benefits of waging amphibious warfare.

Then, our Arks sailing low in the water overburdened with the riches of the East, we run for the open ocean. With three Sea Lanes in easy reach, and a Dark Elf speed boost when travelling on those Sea Lanes, the world really is Lokhir’s oyster. I’m looking forward to sailing the bloody seas, nay circling the whole bloody Warhammer World, in a long and fruitful campaign. A pirate’s life for me!

Total Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions: Snikch jumps out to surprise his foes

Deathmaster Snikch of the Skaven

James Martin (Senior Designer)

To me, a campaign as Clan Eshin is essentially ‘A Plague Tale: Cathay’. Starting out in the Xing Po region, you’re surrounded by people who won’t be too happy to see a rat infestation. It is from here that my grand under-empire will spread and consume the east before I begin moving west through the Mountains of Mourn.

I still have my Biker Mice From Mars toys up in the loft, so seeing rats driving bikes and fighting bad guys is mind-blowing, and that’s obviously why I love to play Skaven now. Even if Snikch isn’t a leader like Throttle or as strong as Modo, to me, he’s always been as cool as Vinnie, looking to take on the biggest foes for himself and destroy them. I’ve already got my end game army ready; the charge will be led by some actual Biker Mice on the Doomwheels and Doom-Flayers, closely followed by my hidden army with Snikch, some Assassins, Death Runners and Gutter Runners. Many scheme-plans to enact, let us begin – yes-yes!

Total War Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions: Grombrindal charges into battle with this axe

Grombrindal of the Dwarfs

William Hakestad (Designer)

Grombrindal is a relatively simple campaign, with no sweeping mechanical framework to drive me forward, no strict narrative to follow. Just me, an angry dwarf, and most importantly, a starting unit of Irondrakes. While the idea of taking the fight to Malekith of the Dark Elves and settling one of the oldest grudges in the book is tantalising, my heart calls for one thing, first and foremost: burninating the Skaven.

With a series of mountains filled with rats standing between me and Malekith, I engage in a fiery campaign to turn every last Raki between here and Naggarond into ash. The settlement layouts in Warhammer III make for a gruelling grind for most dwarf units, one they’re well equipped to slowly carve through, but the Irondrake most of all benefits.

My grudge-fuelled rampage against the Skaven ends up sparking something with Malekith. In crushing our mutual foe so totally, and with Valkia bearing down from the North, we’ve just enough mutual respect to put the oldest grudge to the side, if only for a single battle.

Archaon the Everchosen, Warriors of Chaos

Mitchel Heastie (Lead Designer)

How could I not pick the Everchosen himself? The ultimate villain of Warhammer fantasy has had a glow-up since Warhammer I and II, and he’s now in position to become the true leader of Chaos. The new Warriors of Chaos update allows him to pull together a truly absurd array of nightmarish gribblies and multi-hued mortal devotees to become the true world-ending threat he was always meant to be.

But it’s the restrictions as much as the possibilities that make the campaign great. Because you need to synergise your commanders with their units and can only get the most elite units by promoting your veterans, every army you build develops their own theme and story. It really feels like the closest we’ve ever gotten to replicating the satisfaction of building and painting your own Chaos army on tabletop – something that’s uniquely yours.

Total Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires factions: Nakai the Wanderer

Nakai The Wanderer, Lizardmen

Al Bickham (Principal Development Communications Manager)

If you’re breaking the seal on Immortal Empires for the first time, may I recommend Kroxigor chungusaurus Nakai the Wanderer as your travelling companion? Not least because there is an inordinate amount of wandering to be done across this mega-map if you so desire.

Nakai offers an infrastructure-lite and hyper-mobile playstyle. When you take a settlement, you hand it straight off to your AI-controlled perma-vassals who provide you with coin each turn for every settlement you give them – then off you trot to the next conquest. Nakai has his own Horde recruitment infrastructure which he develops on the hop, so in short, he’s about the most footloose lord in the game.

His new starting position at the most south-easterly point of the map means Nakai has his back to the wall from day one, with the entire map laid out in front of him to explore. Nakai’s nomadic nature also means you get to enjoy the variety of fighting pretty much every race in every environment in the game.

Balthasar Gelt of The Empire

Nicolas Graber (Senior Designer)

What is better than the smell of napalm in the morning? If that is your kinda style, the man in the mask (not you, Lokhir) is still one of the best options to choose, despite being introduced way back in 2016.

Initially, you will have to deal with a Greenskin incursion, but steel, faith and gunpowder will help you with that, and then there’s all the other threats to consider as well. This run quickly becomes a game of balancing diplomacy and protecting the Empire from threats within and without.

My main priority is usually to make use of our quick deal feature to ensure as many Empire factions as possible are aligned on where the real danger comes from. This campaign really drives home the feeling of a great human empire beset by all sides, a struggle to survive in this brutal fantasy World.

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The Total War: Warhammer 3 Immortal Empires release date is August 24 as a free update alongside the Champions of Chaos expansion, the first official Warhammer 3 DLC to release post-launch. Immortal Empires will initially launch in a ‘beta’ state, and will be iterated on over time. Hopefully the developers have inspired you in who you want to pick when the grand campaign lands, but if not, there’s plenty more to choose from!