Like its offshoot Warhammer 40000, Warhammer Fantasy Battles contains many playable factions and a large number of named characters.The playable factions are:
The Human NationsHumans are a relatively young race in the Warhammer world. They do not remember the departure of the Old Ones or the first coming of Chaos, nor do they have the depth of knowledge and wisdom of the elder races, and yet the fate of the world rests in their hands, for good or ill.There are dozens of human nations, but only the Empire and Brettonia are playable. Humans do tend to dominate the Dogs of War list, however.
The Elder RacesOld, declining, and yet proud beyond measure, the elder races were present in the Dawn Times, the first of their kind were sculpted by the hand of the Old Ones themselves, and thus tend to be far more resistant to Chaos than humans.
The UndeadMegalomaniacal in their pursuit of un-life, the dead have long and bitter memories.
The Forces of ChaosThe forces of Chaos would destroy the world just to watch it burn. They were barely turned back in their first coming by the combined might of the Elder Races, who were at the height of their powers, thrown back and contained in the North, the Chaos gods make their influence felt throughout the world.The most powerful of the factions, much of the Warhammer world is defined by the struggle against Chaos.
Ogre KingdomsHulking, brutal humanoids who began as members of the Dogs of War but were expanded into a full-fledged army in their own right in late 6th edition.
GreenskinsBig and mean or small and mean, these green-skinned monstrosities exist in a permanent state of war against anything and anyone they can see.
SkavenA scheming, treacherous race of rat-men whose warrens ring the underworld, constant enemies of the dwarfs, the night goblins, and all non-Skaven races. And each other, if we're honest.
Other FactionsComparatively minor elements of the Warhammer setting, these factions may have had army books/codexes of their own in past editions, but currently do not have that kind of support and survive mostly through the support of older fans and knowledge.