Magic has always been an important element of Total War: Warhammer, but with Total War: Warhammer III, the winds of magic are getting much stronger. New rules for magic are coming along with the third entry in the strategy game series, which should make spellcasters more fun to have around – or more of a significant problem to face on the battlefield.
All armies in Total War: Warhammer III will now have a reserve pool for the winds of magic, which can be drawn from to replenish the active magic pool available to spellcasters in each army. Depending on the winds of magic active in the area an army is located, that reserve will either increase or decrease, and several factors can influence the rate at which magic reserve is generated or lost each turn.
For daemon factions, this is particularly important: having low magic reserves will result in debuffs to unit replenishment rates, leadership levels, and physical resistances. Conversely, having high magic reserves grants bonuses, depending on which Chaos faction the daemons belong to. For Tzeentch forces, for example, their barrier recharge speed increases at high reserve levels, whilst Korne forces (which have no spellcasting units out of general principle) will see their magic resistances increased.
All bets are off, though, once you venture into the Chaos Realms, where the winds of magic are apparently blowing at gale force pretty much all the time. Magic reserves are always infinite in these areas, and the only restraint on magic use will be how quickly you’re able to draw reserve magic into your active pool.
While in battle, a different lore of magic will be ‘ascendant’ at any given time. While a lore is empowered, any spells cast will charge up that lore’s Cataclysm spell, and you’ll have a limited window of time to cast it once it’s charged. Each lore has a different Cataclysm, each with its own super-powered effects, as detailed on the Total War blog:
Lore of Beasts
- All units become immune to psychology and gain charge bonuses.
- Cataclysm Spell: Merciw’s Monstrous Regiment.
The strength of the wild is imbued on one unit’s weapon damage, armour-piercing, melee attack, and physical resistance.
Lore of Life
- All units gain perfect vigour.
- Cataclysm Spell: Storm of Renewal.
A tree sprouts from the ground as raw life-energy flows across the battlefield, providing a huge regeneration aura.
Lore of Death
- All units gain armour-piercing melee damage
- Cataclysm Spell: Ashes & Dust.
A suffocating dust cloud chokes the life from enemies in a wide area after a short wind-up.
Lore of Fire
- All units get bonus melee attack
- Cataclysm Spell: Magma Storm.
A massive eruption protrudes from the ground, burning everything in the area in magical fire.
Lore of Heavens
- All missile units deal extra damage and extra armour-piercing damage
- Cataclysm Spell: Thorsen’s Thunderstorm
A great storm develops above the battlefield, annihilating an area with lightning bolts.
Lore of Light
- All units gain magical attacks and immunity to psychology.
- Cataclysm Spell: Time Amok
The flow of time is altered over a portion of the battlefield, improving allies’ reload skill, speed, and melee attack.
Lore of Metal
- All units receive bonus armour and missile resistance
- Cataclysm Spell: Gehenna’s Golden Globe
A great molten sphere emerges from the earth and rolls across enemy forces.
Lore of Shadow
- All units get faster charge and movement speed
- Cataclysm Spell: Dance of Despair
A haunting tune envelops enemies in an area, reducing their leadership, melee defense, and melee attack.
As we alluded above, Khorne lacks any spellcasting units, and so the forces of Khorne receive additional spell resistance bonuses while they’re fighting in Storm of Magic conditions in the Chaos Realms.
The Total War: Warhammer III release date is currently set for early 2022.