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"Our rules have changed; the only constant… is war."

"Almighty Sigmar, saviour of the Empire, give me strength… For though I dedicated my life to eradicating it, it feeds, it grows: devouring all… There must be a final answer, to halt its advance... But the tide of War seems endless - The brutal, unthinking bloodlust of the Greenskins, the twisted ambitions of the undead. And though the brave Dwarfen Kingdoms stand with us, truly, what hope is there? Against countless horrors that cannot be named, let alone fought by mortal means? And yet all this is nothing before what is to come… It whispers and roars, in the dark it is, against us, it is ... it is unstoppable (Demonic Possession)... I am unstoppable, I see it now... the beast that will devour the world..."
Narrator, Announcement Trailer

Total War: Warhammer is a Real-Time Strategy game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. The game features the gameplay of the Total War series with the factions of Games Workshop's Warhammer series. Released on May 24, 2016, it is the ninth title in the Total War series and the first title in a planned trilogy.

The drums of war echo across the land, as the factions of the Old World prepare for ceaseless war. The Empire, formerly torn apart by the greedy, and the selfish, are now united under their Emperor, Karl Franz, Elector Count of Riekland and Prince of Altdorf, the wielder of Ghal Maraz, the great warhammer of Sigmar Heldenhammer!

In the dark forests of Sylvania, thousands of undead warriors gather, commanded by their dark overlords, the mighty Vampire Counts led by the scheming and ambitious Count Mannfred von Carstein, self proclaimed Elector Count of Stirland, and true Emperor of Man, hellbent on forever enshrining the terrible midnight aristocracy, and bring about eternal night!

No longer hiding in their mountain holds, the brave Dwarfen Kingdoms are under a resurgence underneath their mighty, and noble, High King, Thorgrim Grudgebearer, who intends to cross out every grudge in the Dammaz Kron, and restore the ancient Dwarf Empire to its once glorious self, no matter what it takes.

In the badlands, a particularly brutal Orc Warboss, Grimgor Ironhide, seeks to unite the squabbling Greenskin tribes, whether they be Goblins or Orcs, and form the biggest Wagghhhhh!!! in known history, to crush any and all who oppose him, until only the strongest are left to fight on endlessly.

Stalking the black undergrowth of the Drakwald Forest, horrible tribes of mutated humans, known as collectively as the Beastmen, raid and pillage across the Empire solely motivated by their pure hatred of the notion of civilization, striking at the most vulnerable, and disappearing back into the dark depths of the trees, led by the Beastmen Warlord, Khazrak the One-Eyed, who seeks vengeance against his most hated foe, the Elector Count of Middenland, Boris Todbringer.

In the dreary glades of the ancient elven kingdom of Athel Loren, the mystic Wood Elves, and ancient forest spirits awaken from their centuries of slumber to guard their forests from the invading mortal races, and Beastmen raiding parties that dare trespass on their sacred groves. Their leader, the demigod Orion, King of the Forest, blows his horn, and signals the start of The Wild Hunt!

In the chivalrous nation of Bretonnia, brave knights, and hordes of men at arms prepare for the ultimate crusade, an Errantry War of untold proportions, to finally end the enemies of the Lady once and for all, led by brave King Louen Leoncoeur, Duke of Couronne, and Grail Knight of the Lady.

In the cold and cruel tundras of the far north, The Norscan Tribes have been starving for challenges and riches for too long and thus decides to venture south in their desire to please their gods, with Wulfrik The Wanderer taking the charge of this main assault against the civilized world.

In the far twisted Chaos Wastes, dark creatures, and savage warriors marshal, mortal servants of the Chaos Gods, the Warriors of Chaos, in insurmountable numbers, who intend to blot out the light of civilization, and finally bring about the apocalypse in the name of their dark gods, headed by the powerful and enigmatic, Archaon, the Everchosen of Chaos, and bringer of the End Times!

It is a dark and bloody age. An age of mythical monsters, an age of magic, an age of heroism, savagery, and endless war...

The gameplay differs considerably from previous games in the series in a number of ways, largely to be more in keeping with the Warhammer universe. Primarily, each faction plays notably differently from the others, with entirely unique unit rosters and a number of faction-specific strengths and restrictions that go far beyond those in historical Total War. Legendary Lords are major characters from the Warhammer lore that serve as your faction leaders and primary generals. They are functionally immortal (merely being wounded for several turns instead of killed) and thus lead your forces through the entirety of the campaign. Randomly generated, killable Lords much like earlier games' generals can be recruited as well. Agents have been replaced by Heroes, who perform similar functions but can also serve as powerful combat units on the battlefield. This is also the first Total War game to feature flying units, such as dragons and gyrocopters, and especially large, powerful units like Giants and the enormous Arachnarok Spiders. Other features, such as city-building, diplomacy and unit-building remain largely unchanged.

The first of the trilogy is set in the Old World and focuses on the factions of the Old World warring against each other for control over the titular landmass, before Chaos decides to kick start the End Times, and destroy everything. Playable Factions include the Empire, the Dwarfen Kingdoms, the Vampire Counts and the Greenskins. Four paid expansions, and one free expansion, added the Beastmen, the Warriors of Chaos, the Wood Elves, the Norscan Tribes and Bretonnia to the setting.

Many tropes that apply here also apply to Warhammer, and vice versa.

On September 28 2017, a sequel titled Total War: Warhammer II was released, which features the High Elves, the Dark Elves, the Lizardmen and the Skaven.


Total War: Warhammer contains examples of the following:

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  • Absolute Xenophobe: There are several traits that confer the character hating an entire species (such as "Hates Greenskins", for example), that usually give army wide bonuses in combat against them. An Inversion is also in the game, (like "Likes Greenskins", for example), which instead gives negative traits when fighting the faction.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Several examples.
    • Artillery wise, The Doom Diver catapult launches suicidal goblin fanatics into the sky to act as primitive, skyborn kamikaze fighters, The Hell Cannon shoots twisted screaming souls, the Holy Trebuchet catapults vats of holy water, and the Cygor heaves magical boulders.
    • While also having standard flaming arrows, peasant bowmen can be equipped with pox arrows, which have been stated to be covered in shit.
  • A Commander Is You: Each faction has its strengths and weaknesses, both on the campaign map, and the battlefield:
    • The Empire: A Balanced/Generalist faction, with splashes of Unit Specialization. They have a combination of light and heavy infantry, cavalry and artillery both mundane and arcane. Their strength lies in their ability to customize their loadout to take on all comers and the ability to counter pretty much any army... Provided you've done your research. The Empire still lacks large monstrous creatures and flying units, however.
    • Greenskins: A Spammer/Brute faction. Their Orc units are built for straightforward head-bashing and head-on collisions, their Goblin units being more numerous but also more fragile and designed to be used in sneaky ways to get the most out of them. Although they can suffer attrition from going too long without a good scrap, successfully raising an army's "Fightiness" to high enough levels and maintaining it will cause a Waaagh!, leading AI armies to spawn and follow the relevant Warbosses around the map and aiding their conquests. Good Greenskin strategic doctrine emphasizes momentum. The army is defined by units with large unit sizes and high attack power but correspondingly low armour and melee defence, and also low leadership, so while the Greenskins can do a lot of damage, they might not stick around long.
    • Dwarfs: An Elitist/Technical/Loyalist faction. They are slow-moving and small in number, but a combination of heavily armoured and disciplined infantry with devastating ranged weaponry and artillery can turn them into well-coordinated Mighty Glaciers. Their racial trait includes Undying Loyalty, to the point that they will not have civil wars, though their stubbornness can complicate their internal diplomacy. Unfortunately they have no cavalry and little mobility, and because most of the army is heavily armoured it means anti-armour units from other factions will have a field day picking them apart.
    • Vampire Counts: A Spammer/Technical/Espionage faction. They have a combination of strong, expensive units and weak, expendable units, all of which are heavily dependent on their hero units in battle who can support them with a variety of buffs. They have no ranged units whatsoever — not even artillery. They have a lot of big monsters, most of their units are scary and inflict morale penalties on the enemy, and can make a fair attempt at air superiority too thanks to all the flying units. Outside of combat, their strength comes from exploiting the use of Vampiric Corruption on the strategic map to shift advantage to themselves, which means their offensives require a lot of planning.
    • Bretonnia: A Spammer/Elitist faction. They have access to hordes of weak, but cheap peasant infantry backed by powerful artillery in the form of trebuchets and devastatingly powerful cavalry in the form of the best mounted selection in the Old World, such as powerful Questing Knights, Knights of the Realm, superhuman Grail Knights, and Grail Guardians. They also have a decent aerial game as well. Because of how specialised they towards cavalry however it means that armies with lots of anti-cavalry units will counter them quite hard.
    • Warriors of Chaos: An Elitist/Brute/Gimmick faction, less concerned about having overwhelming numbers of disposable units like many other factions and instead focused on having a few very powerful soldiers who pound the enemies into the ground and easily instill fear into the heart of the enemy. Because of their limited numbers, however, they can be very vulnerable to being enveloped and destroyed. Unlike most other armies, they maintain no settlements, which means that their hosts must be autonomous and keep their forward momentum going because they have nowhere to fall back to.
    • Beastmen: A Spammer/Guerrilla/Brute faction. They rely heavily on ambush tactics on the grand campaign, their hordes being invisible when encamped and capable of traveling through hidden "Beast-paths", with "Beastmen Ambush" being their default stance. In combat they hit hard but have really poor morale, relying heavily on their units' superior mobility and numbers to pound the enemy into the ground quickly and keep moving, and will fall apart in prolonged combat. Armour is also a rare thing in the Beastmen army. Much like the Warriors of Chaos they cannot maintain settlements, but have a unique ability to raze and corrupt a region, along with a mechanic similar to the Orcs' Waaagh!, spawning AI-controlled armies to assist your own hordes. Unlike the Warriors, the Beastmen do not suffer attrition when two hordes are near one another, meaning you can quickly creates new hordes in order to flood the map with your forces.
    • Wood Elves: A Glass Cannon/Ranger faction. Have some of the best archers in the game, with the unique ability to fire on the move, and some having angles of 360 degrees. In melee elven units are fragile, and thus need the support of the tree spirit units to fight in prolonged melee combat. They also have no artillery, limited armour and little in the way of beasts and monsters. In terms of the grand campaign the faction can conquer any settlement no matter the race, due to the fact that they need to take them to collect Amber, the race's unique resource. This allows them to purchase higher tier units, as well as units that aren't normally available to your choice of starting Legendary Lord, and complete their Wonder-based win condition.
    • Norsca: A Elitist/Brute Force/Gimmick, just like their parent army - the Warriors of Chaos. A relatively small number of extremely powerful warriors (Marauder Champions, Berserkers) supported by a number of extremely powerful monstrous units that pound the enemy into submission through pure violent power. Again, they have a small army so be careful not to be enveloped. They have a number of powerful quirks like their Berserker and Frost Bite abilities, which allow them to become insanely stronger the longer they remain in battle and significantly slow their enemies in combat, respectively.
  • Action Girl: Many examples, such as the Wood Elf Wardancers, and Sister of the Thorn. The Vampire Counts have several female fighters, but they're all certainly Dark Action Girls.
  • A Taste of Power: Done in two ways:
    • In the introductory battles for the faction leaders they will have several powers and artifacts that they otherwise won't gain until a much higher level. Karl Franz has Ghal Maraz for example, which he otherwise won't wield until very late in the game.
    • Starting armies all include a few high-tier units you won't be able to build for a while. They make opening battles much easier, but if you lose them they can't be replaced.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the Tabletop, Vlad is a charming, and noble, if highly ruthless, vampiric aristocrat. Him in his initial appearance? An Axe-Crazy Blood Knight obsessed with vengeance, and spilling the blood of his foes, resembling his son Konrad, more than himself. The Old World Edition fixed this somewhat, by making him Affably Evil on the diplomacy screen, but he's still little more than an animal on the battlefield.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While not by much, Mannfred Von Carstein is noticeably more heroic than in the original tabletop, especially compared to his End Times portrayal, being fond of giving his undead soldiers a Rousing Speech, as well as lacking any of his detestable backstabbing traits that made him infamous to Warhammer players.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Steam Tank. In the tabletop game, there was always a chance that they could malfunction with each action they took and disable themselves in a variety of ways. This is no longer a problem in this game. Same thing goes for any heavy artillery that could misfire from a bad dice-roll.
    • Minotaurs in the tabletop were severely underpowered (like most of the Beastmen's roster) for their cost. Here? Insanely powerful death machines that can tear apart lines on their lonesome, and slaughter anything before them.
    • Sigvald the Magnificent, on the tabletop, had a special rule where his player could actually lose control of his actions, as he could become distracted admiring the reflection in his mirror shield during battle and go wandering off on his own. Fortunately, his attention span is much improved for this game.
    • Chaos Spawn. Universally considered the single worst unit in the entire tabletop game (Which reached comical proportions in its counterpart, 40K). In Total War: Warhammer, they're a rather solid anti-infantry monster, nothing too special, but pretty good at their intended role, with the Beastmen variant even doing poison damage. In any case, a massive improvement.
  • Adaptational Expansion: Many examples.
    • Because of how poorly supported Bretonnia was in the tabletop and to make up for their somewhat limited unit choice, CA ended up flat-out inventing a number of units, such as Foot Squires, holy water-hurling Field Trebuchets and Royal Hippogryph Knights, to fill out their roster and make them more competitively viable and interesting.
    • A couple of the game's Legendary Lords (army generals and faction leaders representing specific characters), such as Helman Ghorst and Duke Alberic of Bordelaux, have only a couple paragraphs of description in the tabletop lore, but in the video game become much more developed characters, with their own unique models, items, backstories, abilities and quest battle chains.
    • Several mount options have become independent units, like the Chaos Manticore and Forest Dragon.
    • The Tabletop allowed you to take leader options for several of your units. Some of those add-on units have become their own units, like the Marauder Horsemasters for Warriors of Chaos/Norsca and the Nasty Skulkers for the Greenskins.
    • Perhaps the biggest example though, is the entirety of the new Norscan faction, which never had an official armylist in the tabletop. The faction as a whole incorporates quite a few Forgeworld models, alongside many units original to the video game, such as the Marauder Champions.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Dwarf fortresses in the Warhammer lore are an absolute nightmare to take by storm, featuring layer after layer of outer walls, while the inner halls are broken up by a series of easily defended gates and static defenses. They also can't be effectively starved out thanks to many hidden entrances in the mountains and access to the Underway; every successful conquest of a Karak has taken years of constant fighting. In-game they just get better garrison units.
    • In the tabletop, Black Coaches were fairly effective chariot units, with their special abilities granting them impressive killing power. Here? Near useless because of their high cost and lack of damage, even with their special abilities.
  • Alliance Meter: A fairly sophisticated one that includes factors from the lore like enmity between Elves and Bretonnians and between Vampires and Dwarfs. There are also a few Easter Eggs hidden in it like the fact that going to war with Greenskins improves your relationship with them.
  • Alpha Bitch: The female Vampire Count heroes, as well as Isabella von Carstein have the attitude of this, being highly selfish, and entitled members of the vampiric aristocracy.
  • Already Done for You: A Downplayed version, as it takes quite a bit to happen. The Badlands area to the south of the map are always a bloodbath between the Dwarf's and the Greenskins, in which there's a fifty fifty chance of either faction reigning supreme, (becoming a powerhouse as a result) and completely annihilating the other. Since the two are on different faction elimination victory conditions it's quite likely that Empire or the Vampire Counts will not have to fight the faction on their victory conditions.
  • Alternate Universe: While being very faithful to the original tabletop's fluff, Total War: Warhammer has quite a few deviations that land it squarely into this.
    • In this universe, a few famous characters that are dead in the current setting of the tabletop are alive. For example, the infamous Orc Warboss, Azhag the Slaughterer, bearer of Nagash's crown, is alive and well, while in the main universe's setting he's long dead, having been felled by Imperial forces. Another primary example is Vlad von Carstein, the long-dead founder of the von Carstein bloodline. In the main universe, he's been dead for centuries after being killed during the siege of Altdorf, having being betrayed by Mannfred. In Total War, he's been resurrected. While he was eventually resurrected in the main universe, during The End Times, that doesn't happen until quite a bit after the events of the game in the main universe. Furthermore, the love of life, Isabella, has been resurrected alongside him, free of Nurgle's taint, unlike in the The End Times.
      • Azhag was still alive when Karl Franz first became the emperor in 2502 IC. He was killed during his infamous campaign against the Empire from 2512 to 2513 IC.
    • The Greater-Scope Villain of the entire game, Sarthorael the Ever-Watcher, does not exist in the main universe.
    • Todbringer, the Elector Count of Middenland, was indeed a political rival to Karl Franz in the main universe, but he never sent military troops to assist rebels in deposing him. In fact, after several years of bitterness, Todbringer became one of Karl's most loyal and staunch supporters among the Elector Counts.
      • On the other hand, the military troops that Todbringer supposedly sent to assist the secessionists don't fly Middenland's colours, nor does defeating them worsen your relations with Middenland, so perhaps Todbringer didn't send them after all, and the Advisor was lying. That would be in character for him...
    • Perhaps the biggest example is Total War: Warhammer completely ignoring The End Times, instead, drawing much more from the non-canon Storm of Chaos campaign. Unlike in the main universe, it's entirely possible to avert the End Times, and defeat Archaon's massive horde of Warriors of Chaos and Norscan Tribesmen.
  • All or Nothing: If an army is intercepted and attacked while using the Underway/Beast Paths/Worldroots, they must win the ensuing battle, or the entire army will be completely destroyed — ostensibly because the routing survivors become lost forever within the maze-like paths inherent in the travel method.
  • All There in the Manual: Further backstory and flavor text on units, buildings and technology in the campaign are in the Warhammer Encyclopedia, which can be accessed only while playing the game.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Trolls are part of the Greenskins army roster. They are heavy melee units who can spew digestive acids at enemy units. Also, Chaos Trolls are members of the Warriors of Chaos, coming in vanilla and armored varieties. The Norscans, besides being lead by the King of Trolls, Throgg, can field regular Chaos Trolls, and Ice Trolls, which are not only unique to the video game, but also vomit shards of frozen ice instead of the normal acidic. All Troll units in general enjoy good killing power, but suffer from terrible morale, meaning to be used efficiently, its best to buff them with leadership abilities from your lord, or simply use them in flanking, and rear charges.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The forces of Chaos, which include the Beastmen, and Warrior of Chaos, will always be irredeemable monsters, that live off looting and pillaging towns and cities. Averted, surprisingly with the other "evil factions" like the Greenskins, who can be reasoned with, and the Vampire Counts, whom have always had the odd Noble Demon, or Token Good Teammate among their ranks.
  • The Ageless: Hero units do not age or die of old age like in previous Total War games. Partially justified in the case of Orcs, Dwarfs, Vampire Counts, and Wood Elves not really ageing in the same ways as humans do.note  Also justified in that it's deliberately vague how much time makes up a turn, unlike previous games; the entire campaign takes at most a few decades in-universenote , and seasons aren't changing.
  • And I Must Scream: Horrible fates await foolish people who dabble in dark magic, such as Chaos Sorcery and Necromancy.
    • Being turned into a Chaos Spawn, failed Champions of Chaos, whose faces are always in perpetual agony at the pain that their entire existence is now.
    • Forsaken have it a little less worse, being Chaos Champions too powerful to degrade into spawn, retaining their skill, mind (albeit driven insane), and body. As a negative, their bodies are fused to their armor and weapons, withering tentacles sprout on their back, and they grow giant crab arms!
    • Vargheists are vampires captured by their kin, and slowly turned into bat-like abominations over the course of centuries, locked in metal and stone coffins beneath the earth until they give into their bloodlust.
    • For humans, getting captured by any of the evil factions. Being eaten by the Orcs is the least horrible fate.
  • An Arm and a Leg: With the Blood for the Blood God DLC, certain undead units can continue to fight on even after losing a limb or even their head.
  • Annoying Arrows: Zigzagged. As a general rule of thumb bullets deal better damage than arrows and are usually armor-piercing, but archers can reload faster. Averted completely with the Wood Elves, whose hail of arrows will shred unarmored and armored units alike! Javelins and throwing axes are also pretty damaging, but have a much shorter range, and are a good deal rarer than the above.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: A core gameplay mechanic for the Empire Campaign. When Archaon becomes active to usher in The End Times, all Human and Dwarf factions gain the Shield Of Civilization stat in which they rapidly become very friendly to the Empire, making alliances, trade agreements, vassalization and outright confederation easier. The Empire must in turn use this to their advantage to stablize conflicts so they can focus on pushing back Chaos. Sadly, once this event ends, those alliances start to deteriorate and humans and dwarfs turn against each other.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: A single army can consist of twenty units per stack, further increased to forty if you engage the enemy with a reinforcing force. Also summoned units cannot be spawned if there's twenty, or forty units on the field.
  • Ascended Extra: Both Alberic, and Helman we're originally flavor text characters in the tabletop Warhammer, before given full Legendary Lord treatment, and unique models. Doubles as Adaptational Expansion.
  • Ascended Meme: After Norsca was released as DLC, Surtha Ek's memetic predilection for Chaos Chariots was given a nod after updating let all Norscan Lords be able to ride a chariot as a mount after level 12...except Surtha Ek does it straight from level 1.
  • Assassin Outclassin': If a hero tries to kill an enemy general on the campaign map, its quite possible for it to backfire, and instead end up with the general killing the assassin.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The various giant units, such as the massive Greenskin Arachnarok Spider, Beastmen Cygors, and utterly behemoth Norscan Mammoths are colossal, lumbering monstrosities that stride across the battlefield, wreck entire infantry formations with their steps, and due to the way mass works in the game, can simply walk over unit formations to reach whatever targets they have. As a negative, all ranged units equipped with guns. which normally require uninterrupted line of sight, can, due to their size, shoot over friendly infantry lines without hassle, making them rather weak to ranged units.
  • Amazon Brigade: The addition of the Wood Elves to the game brought in all-female regiments for the first time, such as Wardancers and Sisters of the Thorn.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Quest missions have a "teleport" option allowing you to do them without moving an army to the actual location where the quest battle takes place.
    • The entire battle UI can be customized in-battle, and some annoying visual effects, such as the arrow trails, can be turned off.
  • Anti-Cavalry: As is the norm for a Total War game, most units equipped with spears, halberds, and pikes will be fairly efficient at killing mounted units, though to shake things up, any unit with the "Anti-Large" trait will do well against cavalry, as well as monsters. Units that brace, will also be able to withstand frontal cavalry charges much better. However, Monstrous Cavalry, such as the Empire Demigryph Knights, will be significantly harder to take down, even by dedicated anti-large units.
  • Anti-Infantry: Similar to the above, any unit with the trait "Anti-Infantry", will do rather well against infantry units. Monstrous Infantry, and giants, especially, will almost certainly be very good at killing foot soldiers, and other infantry units.
  • Animate Dead: Vampire Counts can raise hordes of undead warriors, both on the battlefield, and the campaign map to serve as expendable Cannon Fodder.
  • An Axe to Grind: Warriors of Chaos and Dwarfen units use axes extensively. Generally, axes do superior damage, but are slower than swords.
  • Armor Is Useless: Zigzagged. A high armor rating will actually protect units from regular damage, especially when combined with a shield to protect from ranged attacks. A lord, or god forbid a legendary lord, with high armor rating due to upgrades, and rare items, can be nearly impervious to normal units, and go undamaged against entire battalions. That said, armor-piercing damage, which a few specialized units like Imperial Greatswords have, automatically neglects a good portion of the enemy's armor rating, and actually cause more damage the higher the armor rating is.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: A dedicated damage type, is armor-piercing, which several, usually high tier, and expensive, units have. Usually great weapons, such as claymores, or two-handed axes, as well as gunpowder units, will posses it. Additionally, the higher the armor rating, the more damage armor piercing units will do against it.
  • Arrows on Fire: Peasent Bowmen can be upgraded to fire flaming arrows.
  • Artificial Brilliance: In comparison to past Total War titles, Total War: Warhammer's artificial intelligence is rather cunning, both on the campaign map, and the battlefield. This is somewhat ironic considering TWW's status as being the sole fantasy setting in a series of historical wargames.
    • On the campaign map, nations will be much more tempered, usually declaring war only when its feasible for them to fight you, and suing for peace the moment they know the war has turned against them, which ends as well as you would expect. Some factions will even try to turn you against your allies with bribes of gold. The AI will also be a much better ally, coordinating its forces with your own to strike against enemy held territory, much better than in previous games, in which having allies was usually more of a hindrance than an advantage. Also because of the "Shield of Civilization" trait, nations will work together efficiently to destroy a common foe, regardless of past history, due to the incoming apocalypse, instead of foolishly pursuing a suicidal aggression against you.
    • Even more so than the campaign map, on the battlefield, the AI will efficiently use smart tactics to destroy your army, especially on higher difficulties, such as utilizing their cavalry to flank, using monstrous units to break your infantry formations before sending their own in after, exploiting gaps in your lines, and targeting your vulnerable units with destructive spells. Even more impressive, the various factions will use their own strengths to combat you. Dwarf armies, for example, will turtle up, instead of rushing your position, using their impressive artillery and ranged units to win.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The enemy AI has no concern whatsoever for protecting their artillery. They will leave their artillery all alone and exposed while the rest of the army advances in front of them, making it easy prey for flying or cavalry units.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!:
    • The Greenskins and the Warriors of Chaos are the two super-aggressive factions in the campaign that need to keep attacking no matter what. If the Orcs stop for too long, their Fightiness meter empties out and infighting occurs, lowering troop morale and combat effectiveness. If Chaos stops for too long, they run the risk of bankruptcy due to their economy being exclusively reliant on looting.
    • The DLC factions, the Beastmen and Wood Elves, also live off this trope, though unlike the above, they rely much more on fast striking ambushes, and coordinated guerrilla attacks, being much more like Glass Cannon than the Mighty Glacier traits of the Warriors of Chaos.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: As the warscape engine allows thousands of corpses to persist on the battlefield, its entirely possible to see your Lord standing on a body littered battlefield by the end of the fight.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: This being Warhammer there was bound to be a few examples.
    • Sure, the upper tier Chaos units look and feel awesome, being dark armored Elite Mooks and monstrous dragon centaurs, but they are awfully expensive, especially in multiplayer. The sheer cost versus effectiveness ratio of Chaos's unit rooster is one of the reasons it's considered lower tier in multiplayer matches.
    • Greenskin Trolls as well. It's initially a cool sight to see a horde of these monsters swarming and crashing into a line of Imperial soldiers... until they route mere seconds later, due to their horribly poor leadership. Cool factor aside, its best to take a few more Orc Big' Uns.
    • Same thing goes for the Savage Orcs, at least in terms of PVP. Though it might be cool to sport an army full of insane caveman greenskins that even most other orcs consider to be absolutley insane, that coolness factor goes right out the window when they die like flies towards even basic ranged units due to having next to no armor. Sure, they might absolutley butcher almost any ranged unit in close quarter combat, but good luck getting them close enough to a skilled player's rangers for them to ever do the job.
    • Gelt and Kemmler in a nutshell. Think it would be a blast to bring the most powerful wizard of The Empire or the mightiest living necromancer to the battlefield? That might have been the case if their stats were not absolute garbage compared to nearly every other Legendary Lord in the game. Most players rather pick a regular lord and a different magician for a much cheaper price. Kemmler's situation got a bit better with "The Old Friend" DLC where he could finally summon his favorite undead champion Krell, but even then, people fear fighting Krell more than they do Kemmler.
    • Vortex spells. Sure, that giant orb/moon/skull/tornado/etc of fire/light/darkness/thunder/etc might be able to cause some massive devestation if you're lucky, but due to the fact that you have next to no control of where they go once you have summoned them, you have an equal chance of that thing simply wandering away from the enemy troops and onto an empty patch of land or even going into your own forces. The main exception to this is the ever popular Pit of Shades from the Lore of Shadows, due to the fact that it actually remains still when cast.
      • Most destruction spells fall into this category, especially if you play with larger unit sizes, as the damage doesn't scale. There are a few usable direct damage spells in the game that can be useful, but most destructive spells simply cost too much and don't do enough damage to be cost-effective, and that's if they actually hit their targets.
    • There is no unit that even comes close to dealing the massive amount damage that the Luminarch does, being able to kill lords and giant units in two or three shots. However, due to the fact that it only has about ten shots and that they are easy to dodge by any player who keeps any sort of attention on it, the Luminarch is hardly, if ever, used in PVP.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: All lords in the game are elite warriors that can take on entire infantry units singlehandedly. Fluffwise, most members of royalty, are all asskickers to the highest degree. Special mention goes to Emperor Karl Franz, and High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer.
  • Badass Army: Every playable faction. This is Warhammer, after all.
    • The Empire's Imperial Army. Disciplined, well-trained, and well-armed, the various State Troops of the Elector Counts are among the most professional armies of the Old World. With nothing but steel, faith, and gun powder, these professional soldiers fight the supernatural threats of the Warhammer universe and often win.
    • The Dwarfs, unlike the above, do not have a standing army, instead relying on local militia to form up the ranks of its military. These "militia" consist of hardened warriors, equipped with the finest weapons and armors, and an unbreakable will to defend, or reclaim their holds. Some of these warriors, such as the famed Longbeards, are centuries old, and bring unmatched experience. The Dwarfs have been fighting a war against the Orcs, and Skaven for untold millenniums and stand strong.
    • The Knights of Bretonnia, famed throughout the Old World as its best cavalry, together with the better armed peasantry and the mages of the Cult of the Lady. Lacking even the gunpowder weapons wielded by the Empire, they charge into the fray with their lances in formation, designed to send as many bodies flying as possible, while calling upon the blessings of the Lady to carry them through tough spots.
    • The Greenskins, who have earned well their alias as the Green Tide. Rampaging across the lands of man in vast hordes, they compensate for their lack of advanced technology and sophistication with a mix of great numbers, plentiful muscle and dirty fighting tactics. A surprisingly diverse and adaptable race, they are joined in their never-ending War for Fun and Profit by other monster races that share their outlook on life and make up the rest with whatever's on hand.
    • The Warriors of Chaos. Each and every one of them is an unapologetic hardass. Marauders, their most basic unit, are ripped-as-all-hell viking warriors from the frozen, monster-infested north. They just get bigger and scarier and more hardass from there: clad in steel armour forged in the fires of Hell, and hefting swords and axes most men of the Empire would barely be able to lift.
  • Badass Beard: Dwarfs usually measure their badassness with the length of their beards. Irondrakes, take an extra step, and wear beard armor.
  • Badass Grandpa: A staple of the Dwarfen Kingdoms. Not only is their leader, Thorgrim very old even by Dwarf standards, their bread and butter infantry unit, the Longbeards, are all aging Dwarf warriors that have grown out their grey beards, and kick serious Greenskin ass.
  • Badass Baritone:
    • Once you hear Karl Franz's voice, you'll understand right then and there why men follow him.
    • Thorgrim Grudgebearer takes the deepness dial Up to Eleven, scrawls 12 - 20 in Khazalid and then cranks it all the way up.
    • And in turn came the narration for the Chaos trailer, probably Archaon, who sounds like 30 Death Metal bands all mashed together.
    • Mannfred von Carstein brings a heavy, throaty voice deep enough to send shivers down your spine.
    • Grimgor Ironhide has a voice so heavy it drops like an anvil.
    • Orion's voice is as deep and primal as would be expected for a demi-god of the forest.
  • Badass Boast: The entire Chaos trailer is one of them doing this.
    Archaon: To the ordinary, we are unknowable. Fallen. Corrupted. Rightly feared. You cannot understand our origins, our motives. The dawning realization that we are not "fallen". We. Are. Ascended.
  • Badass Normal: The average Empire soldier has nothing going for him but the weapon in his hand and the partially-armoured shirt off his back. The average Dwarf warrior has his weapon, his armour and his beard, but not much else. Bretonnian Knights charge head on against the horrors of Chaos, yet are nothing more than human warriors clad in armor. They can still hold their own in battle against Orcs, Trolls and other monsters of the Warhammer world.
  • Badass Family: The Von Carsteins, consisting of Mannfred, Vlad, and Isabella which is entirely made up of highly competent Evil Overlords.
  • Badass Longcoat: Imperial Witch Hunters wear dark, leather ones.
  • Badass Preacher: Empire Warrior Priests and Arch-Lectors, a hero and generic lord respectively, are members of the Cult of Sigmar, and are equal part priest and dogmatic warrior, with both possessing unique battle-prayers that can turn the tide of battle.
  • Bad Moon Rising:
    • The Curse of da Bad Moon spell of the Da Little Waaagh! magical lore, which summons a green moon that burns anything under it.
    • Occasionally, you will be informed that Morrslieb, the skull-faced second moon, is growing full in the sky and creating a bad omen for your marching armies. Considering Morrslieb is made entirely of Warpstone, a Chaos-born mineral, your people have good reason to be nervous.
    • Morrslieb becomes a focus with the Call of the Beastmen DLC pack, bringing in events that occur based on the phases of the dark moon.
  • Battle in the Rain: A random weather effect, that doesn't effect gameplay in any way, unlike past Total War games. It does add a lot of ambience, however.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Norscans, a Viking-esque people who raid and plunder the Old World for their gods favour and blessings. There's also the Beastmen, a savage collection of mutants that plague the dark woods, who are heavily inspired by Germanic tribes.
  • Being Good Sucks: Averted, unlike most Total War games. Conquest by diplomacy, in the form of peaceful confederations, is perfectly viable now. Also, diplomacy as whole is encouraged much more, due to Military Alliances now counting in the victory conditions, and because of the regional occupation system, conquering some races bring no benefit to the player faction.
  • Beast of Battle: Most factions get at least one.
    • The Empire has the loyalty of gryphons and demigryphs (flightless gryphons) that which are far more dangerous than the soldiers who ride them. With the right DLC, you can recruit Amber Wizards who can use the Lore of Beasts to summon and control a manticore in battle.
    • The Greenskins can tame the house-sized Arachnarok spiders and herd them into battle, mounting artillery on their backs for good measure, and squigs, best described as giant hungry mouths on hopping legs, often ridden by goblins.
    • The Vampire Counts get Vargheists, vampires that have been warped and mutated into insane batlike monsters after having been trapped in their tombs for centuries. Varghulfs are also former vampires, but unlike Vargheists their transformation was due to them willingly surrendering themselves to their bloodlust, and have turned into flightless, tank-sized bat-like horrors. At the highest level the Vampire Counts can bring in Terrorgheists, undead bats the size of dragons. Some units also gain undead dragons as mounts.
    • Bretonnia has royal pegasi and hippogryphs, flying beasts that carry their knights into battle. They come in two flavors, mounts to various heroes and lords, and as separate units mounted by knights.
    • The Warriors of Chaos get Chaos War Hounds, mutated wolf-like beasts with scales and horns, which also come in a poisonous version. High level heroes and lords can ride chaos dragons as well. They also have manticores, both as mounts and as individual units.
    • The Beastmen bring in the Razorgors (mutated boars) and their own warhounds, along with technically all units being beasts of battle.
    • The Wood Elves can send great eagles and forest dragons after their enemies.
  • Beneath the Earth: The game has underground battles and sieges, usually set in and around Dwarf Karaks and the Dwarfen Underway, although only certain factions — such as the Dwarfs and Greenskins — can freely access all underground stages.
  • The Berserker: Whole factions of them, such as the Greenskins and Warriors of Chaos. Specific examples include the Dwarfen Slayers, dishonored Dwarfs that seek a glorious death in combat with giant monsters, and the Imperial Flagellants, crazed zealots that desire pain to bring them closer to Sigmar. Both of these units have zero armor, and a very high damage output, making the player use them in highly aggressive strategies.
  • Bread and Circuses: Several edicts in the campaign imply mass festivities going on in your Empire, improving public order and growth. The Empire has its own holiday Festag, which is heavily implied to be the Warhammer equivalent of Christmas, and leads to much revelry and celebration.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A very effective tactic in the mid game is to offer large sums of gold to factions of the same race, to get them to confederate with you. Which means you can quickly knock off many locations on your victory conditions. It's easy, and expansion without conquest. It's far easier to do, if you already maintain good relations with them, and as plus you automatically gain control over all their armies and lords.
  • BFS:
    • Imperial Greatswords, the best of the best in the Imperial State Army, carry massive Zweihanders into battle, which deal armor piercing damage.
    • Bretonnian Foot Squires, solid mid-tier infantry, bear heavy claymores. Questing Knights wield them too, but are mounted on horseback.
  • BFG: Several large artillery pieces exist, belonging primarily to the Dwarfs and the Empire.
    • The Imperial Great Cannons, which are the premier anti-monster killers in the game.
    • The Dwarfs have numerous heavy artillery, but special mention goes to the Organ Guns, which, as their name suggests, looks like a twisted piano that fire four shots at a time, and wreck infantry formations like nobodies business.
    • Last but not least are the hulking Chaos Hell Cannons. Manned by Chaos Dwarf crews they are the biggest artillery piece in the game, and fire homing, screaming hulks of warp energy. The sheer damage and their ridiculous accuracy make them some of the deadliest units in the game.
  • Big Bad: The Grand Campaign plays with this — major factions that may be massively important and central to the story of one race may have nothing to do with another. As such, the game falls back on a Big Bad Ensemble where figures like Grimgor and Mannfred, although both intimidating villains in their own rights, end up being handled as local threats to the Empire and the Dwarfs respectively that can grow to become more than that if left unchecked. The closest the game has to a true Big Bad is probably Archaon the Everchosen, faction leader of the Warriors of Chaos. A victory condition for most campaigns is to keep him in a wounded state and his hordes confined to the Northern Wastes where they can't do any harm.
    • Boris Todbringer is the main opponent in the Eye for an Eye campaign.
    • Morghur the Shadowgave is this in the Seasons of Revelations campaign.
    • Greater-Scope Villain: The Warriors of Chaos campaign reveals that Sarthorael the Everwatcher is the true Big Bad, manipulating the player for every campaign.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Von Carsteins in a nutshell. Isabella and Vlad hate Mannfred, their 'son', and Mannfred in turn despises his parents.
  • Big Damn Heroes: An in-game mechanic, with reinforcing armies capable of assisting besieged garrisons and enemies. Also, during the bleakest part of the campaign, the Chaos invasion, allies, of both friendship and convenience, will bum rush to the North to assist you in fighting the hordes of the Everchosen.
    • Grombrindal is famous for these moments in lore and consequently he gains the ability to reinforce from much further away allowing him to arrive in the nick of time.
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears, Halberds, and Glaives, are used extensively.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The warlike Empire, the vengeful Dwarfs, the oppressive Kingdom of Bretonnia and the grotesque Wood Elves vs. the sinister Vampire Counts, the bloodthirsty Greenskins, the savage Beastmen and the apocalyptic Warriors of Chaos.
  • Black Comedy: This setting thrives on this. For instance, you may or may not have noticed during the Battle for Blackfire Pass developer walkthrough that the Giants were picking up and storing terrified Imperial soldiers in their trousers/loincloth to eat later. It's a tribute to the tabletop game, where this was referred to as "Stuffed in the Pants."
  • Black Knight: The entire Warriors of Chaos faction is basically the love-child of this trope and Horny Vikings. There's also literal Black Knights as a unit for the Vampire Counts.
  • Bling of War: Oh yeah. The Empire, and the Dwarf leaders deck themselves out in impractical golden armor, with various decorations, and gemstones, the most noticeable being Emperor Karl Franz and Count Boris Todbringer, the latter whose helmet sports a miniature golden castle along with a massive blue plumage on the top.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The "Blood for the Blood God" DLC turns this practically Up to Eleven. Previously bloodless battlefields become filled with torn up corpses, gallons and gallons of blood, and ripped up limbs. It also adds a dismemberment system to the game, and makes the monster kill moves a thousand times more disgusting.
  • Blood Knight: Deconstructed and reconstructed by the Greenskins. Deconstructed because their pathological need to fight means that if a Greenskin army goes too long without fighting, they'll start fighting amongst themselves and weaken their own numbers, which makes holding out for reinforcements a risky business however much you need them. Reconstructed because the player will have ways to deal with this, such as setting up raiding camps, to satiate their battle lust and in fact this enthusiasm for smashing things up can be exploited to make them more effective troops through frequent and bloody battles, improving their overall performance.
    • Somewhat enforced by the Wood Elves' Wild Riders and Dwarf Slayers. The former are Orion's huntsmen that are made to charge into the enemy and the latter are Dwarfs sworn to fight and die for honor. The more blood they spill, the better.
  • Blood Lust: Minotaurs become intoxicated by the mere smell of blood, which is described as a condition called "blood greed". In any case, they get passive bonuses while in battle, because of how violent they get at the smell of blood.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass:
    • The Imperial Reiksguard, brave Knights sworn to defend the Prince, and Elector Count of Reikland, who happens to be Emperor Karl Franz, a member of royalty who has no problem with taking the field himself, and smashing Orcs skulls in with his massive warhammer.
    • Da Immortulz's, an elite regiment of Black Orcs that guard the monstrously powerful Orc Warboss, Grimgor Ironhide. They were seemingly cut from the game despite appearing in earlier preview builds, and in the current game are represented as a banner that you can give to Black Orc units.
    • Besides the above mentioned examples, as whole, unlike previous Total War games, this trope is averted, as generals (now, like the tabletop, refered to as Lords) don't have a unit of bodyguards accompanying them.
  • Body Horror:
    • Some of the more daemonic Chaos Warrior units look...sickening, due to the various mutations, and "blessings" brought upon them by their patron gods. The worst example are the Chaos Spawn, which can be best described as a giant monstrosity with pink flesh, tentacles, and crab claws fused together. Not helped by the fact they were all once human champions of Chaos.
    • The Beastmen variant is even worse, being an unholy amalgamation of horse and cow limbs.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • While certainly not very flashy, especially compared to your later tier infantry such as Greatswords, State Infantry in all three forms will be the bulk of your army for the entire play through as the Empire. Combining cheap value with surprisingly decent stats. The Empire as a whole operates on this trope, forgoing lavishness for practicality.
    • Dwarf Warriors, despite not being nearly as cool looking as the later Dwarf units, such as Ironbreakers, and Hammerers, will do fairly well all the way up to the late-game, and also come in great weapon variants, helped by their rather high armor rating, and decent leadership, for such a low tier unit, giving them impressive staying power against alot of the other factions infantry.
    • Zombies, despite having abysmal stats, make excellent tar pits and arrow sponges, due to their large health pool, immunity to morale effects and the fact they barely cost anything to replace, and can be replenished instantly, making use of the raise undead mechanic on the campaign map. If you can raise a unit of Zombies in the enemy backlines and have them come up behind an already-engaged enemy unit, the resulting morale penalty from being surrounded might be enough to force a rout, which might cause the rest of his army to break and run for it. You're The Undead, many of your units are really scary, you should play to that.
    • Buff spells are generally more cost effective than spells that can damage the enemy, save for a few good direct damage spells. Most of the buffs have a low cost, and when properly applied on certain units, they can be utterly devastating. A few other situational spells, like the Net of Amyntok (which renders enemy units stationary for a short time), are not flashy and don't do any damage, but in the right circumstances they can turn the tide of battle.
  • Boss In Mooks Clothing: Every, and any of the giant units, from the towering Arachrok spiders, to the colossus Chaos Giants. When someone fields one of these, expect a tough fight ahead.
  • Bottomless Magazines: While ranged units do have a finite supply of ammunition, this is the first TW game in which gun units (such as Pistoliers, Outriders, Handgunners, and Thunderers) do not have any reloading animations. They will just fire endlessly until they run out of ammo without ever appearing to reload, giving the impression that their guns hold dozens of rounds even though they are supposed to be single-shot muzzle-loaders.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Why is Grimgor based in the Badlands out of Black Crag? Because the local Warboss, Gorfang Rotgut, decided to challenge his superiority. Grimgor responded by marching his army south, kicking Rotgut's ass soundly and sending him running for the hills.
  • But Thou Must!: Random events will occasionally spring up which force the player to make a choice between two or more courses of action. In some cases, those courses of action have exactly the same result. For example, Dwarfs might be wronged somehow, and are forced to decide between doing the traditional thing and seeking to redress the grudge immediately, or the practical thing and let the petty thing go so they can focus on more important matters. Of course, being Dwarfs, the only choices they can actually make are variants on "Settle the grudge."
  • Call That a Formation?: Zigzagged. Soldiers can no longer get into special formations (barring Bretonnian Knights who have their lance formation) during a battle. That being said, disciplined units like Imperial State Troopers will always fight in an organised formation, while other units, like Ork Boyz will rush into combat in disorganised mobs, staying true to the spirit of their army.
  • The Cameo:
    • During a Vampire Counts campaign, you might be visited by Count Noctilus, the Big Bad of Dreadfleet, who will request supplies and funding for his future operations within the Galleon's Graveyard.
    • Wulfrik the Wanderer makes an appearance during the flavor text of loading screens, doing what he's most known for - Goading a champion of another race (in this case, a Dwarf) into a duel, by grievously insulting them in their own language. This proved to be an Early-Bird Cameo for his inclusion into the game a year later.
      "Face me if you dare, stunted whelp, or do you lack even an elven maid's courage? I thought the Sons of Grungni were great warriors, but perhaps you are no true dwarf. Indeed, maybe you are instead some breed of bearded goblin; though in truth, I have seen a finer beard on a troll's backside."
    • Chaos Dwarfs, a major faction in the lore, appear as the crew that man the Chaos Hellcannons.
    • Another possible quote in the loading screens is from Gotrek Gurnisson, the first half of Gotrek & Felix.
    • While not in the game itself the tie in "Prince of Altdorf" novella features appearances by several important characters who are not yet featured in game. Perhaps the most notable is Teclis, the high elven loremaster.
  • Cannon Fodder: Most low tier infantry units are this, besides Dwarf Warriors and Imperial State Troopers, but special mention goes to the Zombies and Skeletons of the Vampire Counts, being massed hordes of undead warriors that's only use is to absorb damage, and swarm stronger units with superior numbers. And that's not even getting into the Peasant Mob of Bretonnia, who are simply regular farmers forced into battle with nothing but rusty pitchforks and lumber-axes. Just like peasants in previous Total War titles, they're universally considered useless as afforded by their low stats, and abyssal leadership. Unlike the above, who have large health pools, and good leadership, the peasants will route almost moments after getting into a melee.
  • Cap: Heroes have a limit, which is determined by having certain buildings, hero skills, and technology that increase the amount you can field. Certain Units, like the powerful Aspiring Champions, have a limit to how many of them you can field in a certain army.
  • Car Fu:
    • The Steam Tank deals with melee units by ramming them.
    • As a last ditch attack, gyrocoptors will ram enemy units from above.
  • Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: Zigzagged, for once. As long as you maintain good relations, an ally is unlikely to turn their back on you, unlike in the older games. However, after the Chaos Invasion, alliances formed out of the convenience have a much higher chance of ending, and the offending faction backstabbing you in classic Total War fashion.
    • The Empire has a Trustworthiness rating that encourages the player to avert this trope. If you attack anyone with whom you just made a peace treaty (or with whom you have existing trade agreements or alliances), then everyone else will be much less inclined to deal with you too.
    • Storywise, after having received his blessing beforehand Tzeentch backstabs Archaeon by sicking his favored Lord of Change, Sathorael, against him in an attempt to usurp the mantle of Everchosen; Sathorael then betrays his minion, the adviser, who had just backstabbed' you. Given this is Tzeentch its hardly surprising though.
  • Church Militant:
    • The Empire has two, which are highly militarized. The Cult of Sigmar, which the Warrior Priests, and Arch Lectors are members of, who worship the founder of the Empire, Sigmar Heldenhammer, which is often opposed to another Imperial cult, the Cult of Ulric. Much of the conflict stems from the fact that Sigmar, before ascending into godhood, worshiped Ulric. One of Volkmar's quest battles leads him to deal with an army sent by its leader, and the Cult itself is present as a faction in the "Eye for an eye" campaign.
    • The other major one is the Cult of the Lady, the main Bretonnian religion that every Knight is a member of. Unlike the above, Bretonnian commoners are forbidden from worshiping her.
    • The Cult of Myrmidia, slightly smaller than the other three, venerate Myrmidia, a foreign goddess of war and luck. An Imperial Knightly Order, the Knights of the Blazing Sun, are fanatically devoted to her, and her temples are scattered around the Southern Realms.
  • Civil Warcraft:
    • Very common, particularly early in any given campaign. Each race is fractious, with small collections of provinces generally controlled by local powers, and one of the things a player will have to do early in a campaign is to unite these provinces under their rule. Whether this is by conquest, diplomacy, intrigue, or economics will depend on the player and the race they are playing.
    • The closest thing to an exception is Dwarf factions, who, while the individual factions can still go to war with each other, do not suffer from rebellions of their own people. They have to deal with Orc/Undead/Chaos uprisings instead, depending on the levels of corruption.
  • Clever Crows: The Advisor is heavily associated with Ravens, always being an accompanied by a white-raven on his shoulder during the intro cutscenes. Which is major Foreshadowing for the fact he's a servant of Sathorael, a Greater Daemon that takes the form of a massive, bird-like creature and is in turn a servant of Tzeentch, the Chaos God who has Clever Crows as an Animal Motif.
  • Colony Drop: Wizards of the Celestial Order can channel the power of the Wind of Azyr to cast the Comet of Casandora, an iconic high level spell from the tabletop game, upon their foes.
  • Cool Sword: Numerous examples, the most prominent being the various Runefangs wielded by the Empire Elector Counts and Archaon's legendary Daemon sword, the Slayer of Kings.
  • Cool Helmet: Many historical European helmets are present, which the Knights of the Empire, as well as Bretonnia wear. Though what really takes the cake is Boris Todbringer's, which features a golden castle on its top, and the Knights of the Blazing sun, which takes the form of a golden skull.
  • Color-Coded Armies: To differentiate armies of the same race, factions wear different colours to each other. Most notable are the various State Armies within the Empire, which all wear different uniforms based on what Province they fight for.
  • Combat Medic: The various battle wizards with healing spells. The Vampire Counts also have several units, like the Corpse Cart, that give off a passive healing buff to units around it.
  • Cold Sniper: The Wood Elf Waystalkers, a specialized hero unit that excels at picking off enemy lords and heroes undetected, and providing sniper-arrow fire, all the while remaining completely hidden from the enemy. Most of their unit quotes are cold, and detached.
  • Comeback Mechanic: If a faction's settlements are completely destroyed by a different one, the Lord of the nearly-defeated faction is the last chance for them to recover. The Lord has to be defeated in order for their faction to be completely removed from the game. This means a landless Lord can flee towards a remote settlement, hopefully recovering while their attacker gets concerned with more pressing threats.
  • Comic-Book Time: Turns don't seem to correspond with any particular amount of time passing. Nobody ages and seasons don't change. Geheimnisnacht (which is literally one night) lasts for three turns, which is also long enough for a settlement to build a stone defensive wall or an army to cross a nation.
  • The Computer Isa Cheating Bastard: The AI gets many different kinds of bonuses, ranging from upkeep to melee defence, depending on which difficulty you choose
  • Conscription:
    • The Empire Free Company Militia unit is made up of conscripted Imperial citizens that are usually forced into war to provide additional padding to an Elector Count's army, serving along the more disciplined and elite State Troopers. Unlike many other examples though, a Free Company detachment usually has several retired, but hardened State-Troop veterans among their ranks in leadership positions, making them surprisingly decent combatants, and excellent guerilla fighters.
    • Bretonnian men at arms are levied from local farms and villages, though unlike the above, they are very poor soldiers. Bretonnia has an entire mechanic, the peasant economy, dealing with this.
  • Continuity Nod: Many of the achievements for the game are unlocked by taking actions that reference specific events from the wider lore, like constructing a particular kind of building in a particular location. A player would either have to stumble onto these, or know a ridiculous amount of trivia about the lore to be clued into their existence and significance. It even contains references to the End Times, which the game doesn't even follow.
  • Continuity Porn: The game contains a vast amount of references and callbacks to the now-destroyed Warhammer setting, and is considered the definite, modern version of the "World that Was".
  • Corpse Land: Sites of major battles will leave monuments on the strategic map in their wake, detailing the number of the dead. This has a mechanical impact, as The Undead can visit these sites to raise much more powerful versions of basic units than they could elsewhere, the equipment and magical essence of those slain in battle translating to better troops.
  • The Corruption: A gameplay mechanic for Vampire Counts and Chaos.
    • Vampiric Corruption represents both the influence of the Counts as well as the foul magics they channel to sustain themselves and their undead servants. Living units on corrupted lands take attrition damage, while undead units away from the corruption take damage as the forces that animate them slip. Since Vampiric Corruption can be spread to other provinces via magic, constructions, and the influences of hero units on the strategic map, and this causes no diplomatic fallout, it can be used to undermine areas and prepare for an invasion without calling down the wrath of entire empires. Further, it doubles as strategic Morale Mechanic for the Vampire Counts: living provinces that gain too much Vampiric Corruption will find themselves attacked from within by spontaneously rising undead armies, while Vampire Count-dominated lands that have too little corruption will spawn revolts as the still-living peasants find their collective spine and gather their Torches and Pitchforks.
    • Chaos Corruption works similarly, but given how Chaos holds no lands it's much more a mechanic for making sure that land Chaos razes is never resettled. It causes heavy instability in provinces and makes other armies suffer attrition in corrupted territory. Especially important to Chaos strategically is that high Chaos corruption increases the rate their armies recover from casualties, as the warp empowers them. This means that they have to balance their need to press forward with their need to consolidate, lest they find themselves too far overextended and their powerful armies suffer a Death of a Thousand Cuts at the hands of mere mortals.
  • Crapsack World: The original Crapsack World! Accept no substitutes! Case in point, no matter what species you are, you've been screwed the moment you were born, with plague being the best release you can hope for, especially for civilians. If your'e an Empire citizen, you'll probably be murdered, and eaten alive by Beastmen raiding your village. If your'e a Bretonnian peasant, you'll toil away until your body rot in the fields for your knightly overlords, being only able to keep ten percent of your entire yield, or disappear in the forest, and end up as a meal for the Wood Elves! If you are a Dwarf miner, expect to get overrun by hordes of Night Goblins, and slowly tortured to death! No matter who you are, life sucks in the Warhammer universe.
    • A World Half Full: However, unlike The End Times, those who play the "good" races —specifically The Dwarfs, Wood Elves, and The Empire — can make a significant improvement to the world by late game, even more so if they defeat Sarthorael the Ever-Watcher.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Some of the cooler, but less useful units are just too expensive, and situational to properly justify their price in multiplayer. The most prominent example are the Dwarf Slayers, whom excel at fighting monsters, but pretty much get stomped on by anything else because of their zero armor rating. This combined with their rather high price, make them very uncommon in multiplayer matches.
  • Critical Existence Failure: After a faction is destroyed, or confederated with, all of their heroes just spontaneously die.
  • Crosshair Aware: Powerful spells like the Big Waghhh's Foot of Gork show a indicator of where they're going to hit to the opposing player, giving them an opportunity to avoid the devastating results of being caught.
  • Culture Clash: Plenty of examples, such as the Dwarf engineering guild and Imperial Nulhn School of Engineering being at each others throats, caused by the differences in Empire and Dwarf culture as an in-game event, though its seen more as playful playful bickering due to how close the two races are, at least in comparison to the rest of the world. Bretonnian Diplomats on the diplomacy screen snicker at Imperials too for being backwater.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Very possible for a skilled player. If one lays a one sided beat down upon their foe, they're usually rewarded with a "Decisive" or "Heroic" victory.
  • Cut Scene: Each faction gets a unique intro, which uses in-engine graphics, but look very nice, and introduce the themes, and personality of each race quite well. There's also the gorgeous intro cinematic, which was made with CGI.

     D-I 
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The combination of heavy armor and insanely huge health pools on enemy lords often requires one to go to absurd lengths in order to kill them. Killing them sometimes requires you to spend several minutes hacking away at them with your entire army after theirs has routed.
  • Dark Fantasy: The same as its source, although in some areas, Warhammer has a closer color palette to High Fantasy works, just look at the image above!
  • Darker and Edgier: Is among the darkest in the Total War series, surpassed only by Attila, as afforded by its horrid Crapsack World. While the threat of factions like the Mongols, Huns, and Timruids have been a scary prospect in past games, nothing can compare to the prospect of the actual world ending, and all the horrors the good factions have to face. That said, it's Lighter and Softer compared to its source material, as TW:W is significantly less bleak, by its A World Half Full nature.
  • Dawn of an Era: The game starts right after Karl Franz's coronation, and ascension to Emperor, whose sole purpose in life is to forge an Empire stronger than any before it. It's also considered by the Dwarf's to be the beggining of the Age of Reckoning, a time when all their grudges will be fulfilled, and they'll reclaim all their Karaks. Depending on who you play as, you can either achieve these dreams, or crush them.
  • Death Seeker:
    • As in the tabletop setting, Dwarf Slayers are this, reflected by the lore and gameplay mechanics. Dishonored Dwarfs are usually given two choices, to serve in the submarine division or join the Slayer Cult (with most choosing the Slayer Cult). After which strip off their armor, grab an axe, and go out to regain their honor by finding the largest monster they can find and fight it to the death. This repeats until they're finally killed. In-game, Slayers have great offensive abilities, and are very good at killing monsters, but die very quickly.
    • Imperial Flagellants as well, though they're more "pain-seekers' than "death-seekers", even though they don't mind being killed at all, as they have already accepted the world is about to end.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: It's quite possible to just throw regiments of weak infantry to take down a Lord, or particularity nasty monster unit. A viable tactic, but expect very heavy losses.
  • Death from Above: In addition to artillery, there are plenty of flying units, a first for the Total War series. Some, like dwarfen gyrocopters, primarily attack from range by dropping ordinance or firing guns. However, most are melee units, albeit ones that can initiate a charge against practically anything on the battlefield, usually with a large charge bonus as they swoop down to rake and crush anything they land on! Beware though, once a flying unit is committed to such a melee battle it remains grounded until it can clear enough space around it to get a running start back in the air. That means that an opposing force can throw infantry at it to keep it surrounded and grounded long enough to do some serious damage to it.
  • Decapitated Army: If an armies Lord is killed, all units, bar a few special ones, loose an increasing amount of morale, until they eventually route. In the case of the Vampire Counts, if the Lord is slain, the army begins to disintegrate and crumble, since the magic that was powering them is now gone.
  • Dem Bones: Skeleton Infantry. Graveguard are the heavily armored variant of this.
  • Demonic Possession: The narrator of the first trailer, later revealed to be the advisor, gets possessed by a Daemon after reading a tome of Tzeentch.
  • Demonic Invaders: The Warriors of Chaos, which invade the Old World after a certain amount of turns in the name of the Chaos Gods.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The official YouTube channel has uploaded a video of one of Sigvald the Magnificent's quest battle speeches titled Sigvald the Magnificent's Magnificent speech.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • The nonstop attacks by the Orcs and Vampire Counts against the Empire causes the narrator of the first trailer to cross this while reading a tome of Tzeentch.
    • What happens to your entire army when everyone's leadership runs out, leading to a mass route. If an army's Lord dies in combat, expect a massive plummet in morale, leading to an army-wide version of this much earlier.
  • Dirty Coward: Nearly all Goblin units have pathetic morale, and will usually be the first ones to run away when things begin to go sour, despite being as bloodthirsty as their Orc cousins.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Vlad Von Carstein is an infamous example. First he starts off with Blood Knights. Blood Knights, a tier 5 heavy calvary unit, that will likely score him hundreds of kills per battle. Second, is his unique ability "Coven of Undead", which gives a massive faction wise boost to XP, turning the normally squishy Vampire Count early game units into scarily powerful legions of Elite Mooks. Last but not least, he gives all armies under his control Vanguard deployment, which makes the Vampire Counts one main weakness, the complete lack of ranged units, essentially meaningless. All these bonus, he'll have them in thirty turns or less.
    • Imperial Mortars. At surface glance they're unimpressive, until you realize that, unlike every other artillery piece, mortars don't require line of sight and have extreme range. This, combined with them being excellent at tearing apart globs of infantry and disrupting unit formations, makes them very viable all the way up to the late game, despite being at the bottom of the artillery building chain.
    • Surtha Ek begins the game with a chariot mount, two chariots and a war elephant in his army, and if you can defeat him by routing as Norsca or Wintertooth you can confederate him and get a powerful lord, two mid-tier and one end-tier unit as fast as turn 10, which can boost Wulfric/Throgg's army significantly (or just use Surtha as a four-unit stack-killer crew). This is a double-edged sword however, as your economy will probably not be up to snuff for the upkeep costs that early.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: The game encourages steady expansion, but it also rewards caution; spread too fast and too soon, and you won't have much time to prepare for Archaon's invasion of the Old World.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: All ranged units, whether they be heavy artillery or simple crossbowman, barring a handful such as elite Wood Elf Archers and Steam Tanks, cannot fire while on the run.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: The forests of the Old World cover vast swathes of land, including most of the Empire. Almost everything that lives in them is very, very bad. There's hordes of savage Beastmen that will devour you. Roaming bands of Forest Goblins that will slowly torture you to death for sport. Xenophobic Wood Elves that will just as likely turn you into a living pincushion, then help you out of the woods. Mechanically, Beastmen and Wood Elves will get bonuses when fighting within forests, and will likely be, on the campaign and battle map, the most likely spots for ambushes.
  • Downloadable Content: Pretty much expected from a title attempting to (eventually) include every faction of Warhammer Fantasy in the game. The current plan is for there to be three main releases, each being standalone but can also combine together in a way that has yet to be explained, with numerous paid and free DLC packs peppered in between.
    • For Free DLC: Blood Dragons note , Amber Wizard note , Vlad von Carstein note , Wurrzag da Great Green Prophet note  who also came along with three new Chaos units note , the Grey Wizard note , the Jade Wizard note , Isabella von Carstein note , and Bretonnia note 
    • For Paid DLC: the Warriors of Chaos Race Pack note , Blood for the Blood God note , Call of the Beastmen note , The Grim and the Grave note , The King and the Warlord note , and the Realm of the Wood Elves note .
    • There is also promotional DLC, the first being the famous mascot of Games Workshop's subscription magazine, Grombrindal the White Dwarf as a Legendary Lord, which can be accessed by purchasing the November 2016 issue, going to a local retailer and get a free code, or wait for the free release several months later.
  • Dracolich: Zombie Dragons are available flying mounts for the Vampire Counts. Terrorgheist's are also similar, though instead of reanimated Dragons, they're the reanimated corpses of dragon sized bat-creatures native to Sylvania.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Empire Captains, and Dwarf Thanes are disciplinary drill officers, who push their soldiers to the peak of their performance, especially if you spec them towards giving soldiers passive bonuses.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Empire gives these to its Warrior Priests and Karl Franz intends to take up Sigmar's legendary Ghal Maraz, the titular Warhammer of the series. The Grim and the Grave added the Arch-Lectors, warrior priest lords that duel wield giant hammers. The Dwarfs have their own, given to their basic and advanced infantry.
  • The Dung Ages: Niniety nine percent of Bretonnia's population lives in complete squalor.
  • Dual Wielding: Several examples. Arch-Lectors duel-wield warhammers, giving them impressive killing power. Slayers wield two battle axes, which, while charging, deflects arrow fire. Wardancers wield a sword in each hand. Finally, Mannfred Von Carstein wields a sword, and black scythe in conjunction
  • Easy Logistics: Especially glaring due to Warhammer coming right after Attila, the most management intensive in the series, Food has been completely removed from the campaign, as has the Imperium rating. Taxes have been significantly simplified as well. All you really have to manage is your income, public order, and corruption.
  • Eating the Enemy: Orcs and Beastmen off screen eat captured prisoners of war to replenish their numbers. Some units, such as the giants, squigs and arachnarocks will gladly eat their foes in the middle of a battle.
  • Earned Stripes: Units will earn experience as the gain kills in battles, which is shown by a symbol on their unit card, showing their level of veterancy , which in turn increases their stats. Regiments of Renown cant earn veterency, as they already start off at the max veterency cap.
  • Easing into the Adventure: Each faction starts beside a weak faction, such as the Empire Secessionists, their at war with, making them easy pickings to the player, and a free chance to expand early.
  • Easy Communication: Just like in the other Total War titles, units can be ordered by a single click, no matter how far apart they are from their commander. Especially egregious is the fact Officers in units no longer exist.
  • The Emperor: The Empire has an elected one, much in the same vein as its historical inspiration the Holy Roman Empire. The current incumbent is Karl Franz of Reikland, an overall ultra-nationalist Benevolent Emperor who can easily crush an Orc Warboss's skull if it strikes his fancy.
  • Enemy Mine: In the mid to late game when the Warriors of Chaos begin their grand crusade to bring about The End Times, many factions will gain the "Shield of Civilization" diplomatic trait, which gives other factions who are at war with the Warriors of Chaos large bonuses in diplomacy with them as other more petty differences are set aside in the face of a greater threat.
  • Enemy Chatter: Zooming into units reveals a staggering amount of context sensitive chatter from your, and the enemies soldiers, discussing the foe their facing, the dialogue in question being unique depending on which army you're facing.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Elite units in general look far more ornate and intimidating than their lesser counterparts, and perform much better in battle. Imperial Greatsword, for example, wear full plate mail, compared to the much more modest looking Imperial State Soldiers, and the elite Knights of Bretonnia get more lavish and decked out in equipment as they advance through the totem pole of knighthood. As a negative, universally elite units, whether they be the disciplined black orcs, or heavily armored Bestigors, cost far more than lower tier units, and investing in them too much is an easy way to bankrupt ones self.
  • Elite Army: While its possible to field entire armies of elite units (if you have alot of money), the Wood Elves units as a whole are cut above their equivalents, at the price of a universally highish upkeep for their units.
  • Elite Mooks: The illustrious "Regiments of Renown". Beefed-up variants of existing units with unique appearances (including weapons, armor, and colors), stats, and special abilities, you can only recruit one of every type, and the Lord who does needs to be a certain level. Recruiting them is also done in a special menu, on the fly, making them sort of an equivalent of the mercenary feature found in previous Total War games. Besides the Regiments of Renown, each faction also has a handful of super expensive high tier units,
    • Vampire Counts have their Grave Guard, disciplined, armored skeleton warriors that provide excellent staying power on the battlefield, as well as the feared Blood Knights, mounted Vampire Knights of Aborash, the Blood Dragon, that can tear through lesser armies on their own, the latter being ridiculously expensive, but able of going toe to toe with any Knights the Empire and Bretonnia have to offer. The Sternsmen are an even better verision of the regular Graveguards due to possessing better stats and regeneration.
    • The Greenskins' Black Orcs avert the Stupid Evil tendencies of their brethren and are terrifyingly intelligent heavy infantry that can destroy enemy formations in seconds, wielding massive great axes and wearing armor of black iron. And that's not even getting into their Regiment of Renown, the Krimson Killaz, a pack of even bigger Black Orcs who dual-wield great axes!
    • The Empire have their BFS-wielding Greatsword Infantry, sturdy heavy infantry able of going on the offensive and doing great damage with their armor-piercing weapons. Alongside them, the Empire can field Demigryph Knights, brave knights who ride terrifying demigryphs, which can shred infantry and monsters alike, a borderline Game-Breaker in multiplayer. And if you thought the regular Demigryph Knights were bad, wait untill you face the Royal Altdorf Gryphites, who not only hit harder than the regular ones, but also causes terror.
    • The Dwarfen Kingdom's Ironbreakers are heavily armored Dwarf warriors able to hold for long periods of time, and are the single best defensive unit in the game, wielding secondary blasting charges that they can chuck at the enemy for explosive splash damage. And then you have the even tougher Norgrimling’s Ironbreakers who have even better stats and Vanguard Deployment.
    • The Warriors of Chaos sport the Aspiring Champions, a pack of borderline mini-bosses with magical blades and shields who inspire their fellow Warriors of Chaos to continue the brutal bloodshed while curb stomping nearly any other infantry unit in the game. And making matters worse, these guys also have Vanguard Deployment. There's also the infamous Chaos Chosen essentially, a direct upgrade from the standard Chaos Warrior units, viking Huscarls blessed by the power of Chaos Undivided, and even share the same three variations of axe-and-shield, halberd and greataxe. Their also far stronger then regular Chaos Warriors, wearing even tougher armor, and wielding stronger weapons. They cost a ton but are easily the best infantry unit in the game, and will handily stop their equivalents into the ground.
    • The Kingdom of Bretonnia brings along Grail Knights, knights who have spent years questing for near immortality and great power, granting them unlimited stamina and burning lances. Unlike most other cavalry, they can charge in different formations and they never tire thanks to the blessing bestowed upon them from the Lady of the Lake, meaning that these guys can make endless circle charges where even the notorious Demigryphs would eventually begin to wear down.
    • The Wood Elves, possessing the best archers in the game, have the Hawk Riders as their greatest ranged units, being expert marksmen who ride giant hawks into battle and fire at almost any direction as a result of their height. And unlike most other ranged units, they are quite capable in melee as well due to the razor-sharp talons and beaks of their mounts.
    • The Beastmen brings forth the Bestigor Herds, ther biggest and meanest cloven freaks that are not minotaurs. Though they may not be as heavily armored as many other elite mooks from the other factions, they make up for it in greater speed and mobility, able to outrun many other equivalents from their foes.
    • From Norsca comes The Marauder Champions, arguably the strongest non-augmented infantry in the game, armor-clad vikings from the cold north who are on their way of joining the elite ranks of the Chaos Warriors. Hell, they are even stronger than the regular Chaos Warriors already and they have not even gotten their magical unholy armor yet!
  • Evil vs. Evil: The evil factions — the Orcs, the Vampire Counts, the Warriors of Chaos, Norsca and the Beastmen — can, and likely will, fight each other, in addition to each starting out as multiple smaller factions at odds with each other, like every other race. Their early campaigns will be full of infighting until one rises above the rest.
  • Elves Vs Dwarfs: The Wood Elves and the Dwarfs can get into military conflicts, with one of their Legendary Lords, Durthu (who is an evil tree person), absolutely hating their guts. On the diplomacy screen, the Wood Elves will be very snarky towards a Dwarf player, usually insulting their height among other things. As of the Old World Edition Dwarfs can get grudges related to Wood Elves.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: The bullets from every black powder small arm in the game leave a visible white streak in their wake allowing you to see them all the way to their target. Arrows also seem to leave highly visible while lines behind them as well.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Once the Warriors of Chaos launch the End Times, the Vampires Counts, and Greekskins have to fight them off alongside the forces of order.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Many of the evil factions leaders speak in deep, gravelly voices, such as Archaon and Mannfred Von Carstein.
  • Evil Smells Bad: The Greenskins seem to have a thing for either leaving their... leavings behind upon a sacked settlement, or flinging it at the enemy from towers.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Three major examples. In-game its represented by heavy attrition damage to armies not native to the regions.
    • Sylvania. Which is a former Imperial province that's covered in dark forests, filled to the brim with vampiric horrors, undead legions, and other nasties. Its noted that human communities are always boarded up, and the peasants are constantly fearful for their lives.
    • The Drakwald Forest, which is infested with the Chaos-worshiping Beastmen and other nameless horrors that lurk in the deepest parts of the wood. Several Imperial expeditions have gone in attempting to purge it to no avail, as there's just too many Beastmen for them to handle.
    • Norsca, which is the breeding ground of chaos. Only the most hardy humans, the Norscans, survive here. Filled with trolls, chaos monstrosities, and Dragon Ogres, you're likely to be some beasts meal, if the weather doesn't kill you first.
  • Expansion Pack: There will be three modular releases that serve as standalone expansion packs to each other, able to be played on their own or combined into one massive setting.
  • Fallen Hero:
    • Archaon the Everchosen was formerly a warrior priest of Sigmar, a noble warrior, that went completely insane after learning that he was destined to become the herald of the Apocalypse. After a suicide attempt in one final attempt to remain faithful to Sigmar, he decided to completley embrace Chaos, cast off his name, and became everything he once fought against.
    • The Vampiric Blood Knights were once chivalrous knights of the Empire, before being forcibly given the Blood Kiss, and turned into dreaded undead warriors. Downplayed however, in that most kept their honor, and refuse to harm innocent civilians.
  • Faceless Mooks: Chaos Chosen wear all encompassing helmets that hide their entire faces, along with their black, spiky armor.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Lots, which makes it pretty fitting for a Total War title.
    • The Empire is basically one to the Holy Roman Empire.
    • Norsca and the Warriors of Chaos are ones to the Vikings and migration-era Germanic tribes.
    • Dwarfs have a good bit of Nordic influence as well, albeit more "strength and honor" and less "rape and pillage".
    • Bretonnia resembles Norman England, with French knights and lords leading armies of expendable bowmen and spearmen, plus nods to Arthurian myth.
    • Kislev is one to the Slavs, especially Tsarist Russia and Poland.
    • Estalia is the Iberian peninsula of the middle ages and the Renaissance, before the rise of a united Spain.
    • Tilea is Renaissance Italy, during the time of the mercantile city-states.
    • The Orcs and Goblins are based on 80's era British football hooligans.
    • The Beastmen are basically exaggerations of the barbarian hordes who brought down Rome mixed with medieval pagan stereotypes; Malagor in particular resembles Satan (cloven hooves, horns, desecrates altars, etc).
    • Wood Elves are the Celts. Their settlements feature a lot of standing stones with glowing runes, their leader is horned avatar of the god Kurnous AKA Cernunnos, and their armies had a hit and run style.
  • Fanservice: As in the tabletop, the female units, usually wear very revealing armor, that show off their various assets. Special mention goes to the Axe-Crazy Wardancers of the Wood Elves, whom wear little clothing, and Isabella Von Carstein, whose eerily perfect in her doll-like beauty, and ample chest. Her sultry, seductive Romanian accent is just an added bonus.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted. Warhammer being the setting, the game has firearms and cannons as standard-issue weapons fielded by the Empire and the Dwarfs, whose technology is constantly advancing. Played straight with Bretonnia, which ''forbids' the use of firearms to prevent the peasants from using them to rise up against the nobility.
  • Fearless Undead: The Vampire Counts' armies will not break and run, ever. However, the major drawback is that, as the battle turns against them, the magic holding undead units together will begin to degrade. If things get bad enough the unit, and sometimes the entire army, will spontaneously crumble into dust.
  • Femme Fatale: The all-female Vampire Count heroes operate as this, being darkly attractive undead women, that can engage in espionage such as sabotage and assassination.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted, as allied artillery can do as much damage to your troops as the enemy. Also ranged units, such as gunners or archers, can accidentally hurt or even kill friendlies if they run into their line of fire.
  • Finishing Move: Much less than previous Warscape Total War games (much to the pleasure of the fanbase), as Total War Warhammer was a return to the formation animations of the older titles but there's still several. Most Monster units get at least one, such as Squigs devouring a person whole, and Lords have a unqiue animation for killing off a large monster.
  • Final Battle: Several of the newer factions (Beastmen, Wood Elves, and Bretonnia) have special Quest Battles they must fight to win the campaign:
    • Beastmen: "The Fall of Man"; the Beastman hordes battle against the last alliance of men led by Karl Franz and Louen Leoncoueur.
    • Wood Elves: "The Oak of Ages"; with the Oak restored, the Wood Elves and their spirit allies must defend their land from a massive onslaught of Chaos Warriors and Beastmen seeking to defile it.
    • Brettonia: "War of Errantry"; the Bretonnians launch a holy crusade against either the Greenskins or Chaos to finally rid the world of their evil.
  • Final Boss: Archaon the Everchosen to most other factions. He has to be wounded or killed, and his forces confined to the Chaos Wastes, for most factions to have a campaign victory. If you're playing as him, the daemon Sathorael the Ever-Watcher serves this purpose.
  • Fisher King: The landscape in territories will change to reflect the influence of the power that owns it. For example, Empire-owned lands will be farmed and developed Arcadias, Vampire Counts turn the countryside into withered and haunted Uberwalds, Chaos-occupied lands turn into lava-flowing, obsidian-cracked, arcane portal-filled Mordors, Orc lands are festooned with crude totems, ramshackle fortifications, and giant mushrooms, Wood Elf lands become covered in lush forests, etc.
  • Flaming Sword: Burning swords of various sorts are wielded by both Chaos Barbarians and Bretonnian heroes.
    • Gameplay wise, flaming weapons deal greater damage to enemies with regeneration, so they can be particularly useful against Vampire Counts units.
  • Flavor Text: Tons of it, almost to the extent of the massive in game encyclopedia being almost as detailed in background information than an actual Warhammer codex. Besides extensive backstories and details about the various units and heroes, everything minor, such as buildings, items, and even general ancillaries has a small piece of fluff below it.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Any non-aggression pact or alliance the Vampire Counts form with the Empire, Bretonnia, or Dwarfs, will ultimately end. Since the Vampires must destroy all three of them to win the campaign, while the Empire and Dwarfs must destroy them.
    • Likewise Archaon must be defeated in order to win the campaign. So while the Vampire Counts or Orcs may be able to put off fighting him (assuming they're not already at war with the Warriors of Chaos when he shows up), unless someone else defeats him they'll eventually have to fight him.
    • Chaos will invade. It's only a matter of time, and how well you've prepared for them.
  • Fragile Speedster: Light Calvary, and Missile Cavalry are this, in comparison to the Lightning Bruiser Knights, and Monstrous Infantry. While really fast, they have universally low hp, and armor making them very squishy in melee, and will get ripped apart by concentrated range fire, making them only good at harassment, skirmishing, and flanking.
  • Frontline General: As with all Total War games, your generals (lords) give stat bonuses to nearby units, so it's best to keep them close to the front lines. Furthermore, since lords are far more durable than generals in previous TW games, it's perfectly okay to send them into the thick of battle. Just don't get carried away and try to take on a whole army with them alone. Having a general fighting, or at the least near the frontline is actually encouraged, due to Lords having powerful abilities, that when activated, give insane stat buffs.
  • Game Mod: Several, which range from new unit packs, to complete overhauls.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Giant tree monstrosities exist as several types of units for the Wood Elves, and the factions main goal, especially Durthu's sub faction, is too punish the mortal races for defiling nature.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: A problem with the scripted Chaos Invasion in the campaign that the developers are still working on, months after the official release. After the cutscene for the event ends, one of the Chaos armies is shown where it spawned in the Wastes. What can happen is the player is now unable to move their armies or end their turn. This sends the game to a screeching halt, as it can no longer progress past the scripted event. This bug strikes at random, and only happens after the player has spent anywhere from 55 to 110 turns in the campaign.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the lore, some factions will not ally with certain factions due to bad history between them yet this has a minimal effect on game play. So don't be surprised that the Dwarfs formed an alliance with their long time enemies, the Greenskins! However, this is averted with the Chaos factions (the Warriors of Chaos and Beastmen) which cannot ally with the other factions but their own.
    • Legendary Lords are most commonly depicted wielding their most iconic gear. Gameplay-wise, though, it's those very items they tend to need to complete late-game quests in order to receive. Karl Franz, for example, is clearly shown carrying around Ghal Maraz even though he doesn't actually fight in the battle in which he's supposed to get it until fairly late into the game (waving the eponymous hammer above his head in the pre-battle cutscene speech even as he talks about he hasn't picked it up yet...). Perhaps the most ludicrous example goes to Balthazar Gelt, though, who bombastically announces himself as SUPREME PATRIARCH every third time he's clicked yet doesn't actually win the title until his last quest battle (in fact, because of how the Office mechanic works, even afterwards the role in practice might end up filled by any random Lord). To add to the confusion, Gelt introduces himself as Supreme Patriarch even in the cutscene preceding one his earlier quest battles, which have to be done in order... Just what's wrong with the timeline?
      • To circumvent this issue, many of the recent quest battles for other lords doesn't so much involve getting their hands on the gear that is already on their model, but rather empowering it further.
  • Geo Effects:
    • Strategically, some terrain can induce attrition on forces moving through it, the harsh terrain and weather taking its toll on exposed armies. However, certain races have immunity to some specific terrain attrition, primarily from terrain that they are used to surviving in. Dwarfs take no attrition from mountains, Warriors of Chaos suffer no attrition from the Chaos Wastes, Greenskins suffer no attrition from moving through the Badlands, etc.
    • Tactically, hills provide obvious line of sight advantages for artillery, missile units, and directed magics. Melee units can hide behind hills until the enemy gets close enough to charge, and patches of trees can be used to set up ambushes. Ponds can be forded, but will slow units down and leave them exposed when passed through them, which defenders can exploit by keeping the water between them and the enemy.
  • Giant Flyer:
    • For the Empire, Karl Franz can ride his gryphon Deathclaw for aerial support, and Amber Wizards ride smaller Jade Gryphons, in addition to learning a spell to summon a manticore. More generally, hero units can ride pegasi in battle.
    • Bretonnia gets Pegasus Knights as a unit in addition to pegasus-mounted heroes like the Empire’s, and King Louen Leoncoeur rides the hippogryph Beaquis.
    • Orc heroes can ride wyverns.
    • The Vampire Counts have access to Vargheists, giant, degenerate batlike vampires, and Terrorgheists, undead bats the size of dragons. Their lords can also ride zombie dragons.
    • A two-headed chaos dragon is a possible hero mount for the Warriors of Chaos, who also get a manticore as a unit and mount option.
    • Wood Elves get giant hawks for flying archers, and giant eagle units as well as mounts for their Glade Lords. The biggest and baddest of their faction, however, is the Forest Dragon.
  • Giant Spider: The absolutely huge Greenskin Arachnarok Spiders, massive arachnids that can crush anything beneath their massive legs, that haunt the dark forests of the Old World. They like to devour soldiers live, and spit their armor back out as a kill synch. Much smaller examples include the spider forest goblin riders ride, and spider broods, which are spawned by the unique RoR, the Broodmother, an even nastier example of the above mentioned Arachnaroks.
  • The Ghost:
    • Several factions and characters not yet featured in the game are mentioned or alluded to, including the Skaven, and the High and Dark Elves.
    • Several units from the tabletop that didn't make the game, most infamously the Beastmen Jabberslythe, appear in campaign events, and/or are mentioned in flavor texts.
    • In the case of the Beastmen and the three Elven races this proved to be Foreshadowing.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Almost every artillery unit in the game. Artillery pieces are manned by a small crew carrying the bare minimum of weaponry, so they tend to get slaughtered by anything that engages them in melee. The two main exceptions are the Empire's Steam Tank, a massive warmachine that can ram enemies that get too close or scold them with searing hot steam, and the Beastmen's Cygor, a huge stone throwing giant who is more than capable of defending himself. The giant boulders he hurls across the map are equally effective for crushing his enemies up close.
    • Most battle mages, while able to deal considerable damage with spells, will die very quickly if ever brought into a melee.
    • Ranged units in general, as standard for Total War, can deal great damage from a range, but die fast in melee. Ranged Dwarf units subvert this, by being, due to having decent armor, quite hardy even in melee, and can go toe to toe with low tier infantry.
    • The Wood Elves as a whole exemplify this, with their units being able to cause havoc from a distance, and deal decent melee damage, but being terribly squishy.
    • Similar to the above, the Beastmen rely on their high charge bonus, and universally fast units to strike hard, and quickly against their opponents, and do rather poorly in battles of attrition.
  • Global Currency Exception: Subverted. Chaos, and Beastmen, uses 'favor' and the Vampire Counts use 'dark magic' in place of gold. However, this won't stop you from negotiating with the gold-economy races using the supposedly intangible currency.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: When you face invasion by the Warriors of Chaos, you will get a huge diplomacy bonus called "shield of civilization", which will enable you to ally with other factions and direct their armies to help repulse the oncoming hordes.
  • Grim Up North: Norsca, the harsh land with the equally harsh people, borders the Chaos Wastes, and the uncontrolled magical energies blowing off them cause reality itself to become hostile. Naturally, Warriors of Chaos originate from here.
  • Guide Dang It!: There's an extremely helpful feature that lets you teleport your hero's army to a quest battle and back for a few thousand currency instead of walking a major force entirely across the map and back over dozens of turns. This is not explained anywhere in the game except the tooltip for the button itself, which was originally the same size and shape as the 'zoom to event' button next to it. This was eventually fixed in Update 1, by making the teleport button much larger and more distinctive.
  • Guns Akimbo: Empire Pistolier units wield two pistols at the same time.
  • Hard-Coded Hostility: The Warriors of Chaos and Beastmen are totally unable to negotiate with the majority of the human, elvish and dwarfish nations unless it involves declaring war, and wars cannot be stopped once they start. Likewise, those races are unable to negotiate with the Chaos races during their own campaigns.
  • HA HA HA – No: One message when clicking on Norscan Lords has them cackle for a few moments before growling "I think not".
  • Heavily Armored Mook: All factions have at least a few heavily armored units, but the Warriors of Chaos really take this to the extreme. All their units are so heavily armored that on harder difficulty levels you almost need an entire army of armor piercing units to beat them.
  • Hero Killer:
    • The Beastmen melee hero Gorebull has earned this reputation among Total War players, as after only a few levels it can combine absolutely ludicrous melee damage with a charge attack that leaves the target stunned and vulnerable. Essentially, a hero unit that fights a roughly equivalent-level Gorebull will lose. Badly.
    • The Greenskin faction leader, Grimgor Ironhide. Due to his rather insane stats, even when not upgraded, most engagements against other lords, or even legendary lords, will be over very fast, resulting in a hilariously one-sided victory for him. In the lore, during the Storm of Chaos, Grimgor was the one who offed Archaon.
    • And that's not even getting to Wulfrik The Wanderer, who when mounted on his War Mammoth, might just be the most powerfull Hero Killer in the game, due to how nearly all of his stats and abilities are geared towards killing enemy lords and heroes.
  • Hero Unit: The game will let you take control of the Faction leaders to be used on the battlefield. Named faction leaders within the lore can be used, but cannot die, instead becoming injured and re-recuitable after a number of turns, while other generic characters can be Killed Off for Real. Agents, as seen in previous Total War games, have also been expanded into something resembling this, and can now serve as highly capable heroes on the battlefield itself in addition to the various functions that they perform on the strategic map. The Heroes are as follows and are divided into three classes: Legendary Lords (named characters with special exclusive equipment and bonuses), Lords (generic army leaders) and Heroes (agents/combat units).
    • Empire
      • Karl Franz (Legendary Lord)
      • Balthasar Gelt (Legendary Lord)
      • Volkmar the Grim (Legendary Lord)
      • Boris Todbringer (Legendary Lord)
      • General of the Empire (Lord)
      • Arch Lector (Lord)
      • Warrior Priest (Hero)
      • Witch Hunter (Hero)
      • Captain of the Empire (Hero)
      • Bright Wizard (Hero)
      • Light Wizard (Hero)
      • Celestial Wizard (Hero)
      • Amber Wizard (Hero)
      • Jade Wizard (Hero)
      • Grey Wizard (Hero)
    • Dwarfen Kingdoms
      • Thorgrimm Grudgebearer (Legendary Lord)
      • Ungrim Ironfist (Legendary Lord)
      • Belegar Ironhammer (Legendary Lord)
      • Grombrindal, the White Dwarf (Legendary Lord)
      • Lord (Lord)
      • Runelord (Lord)
      • Thane (Hero)
      • Master Engineer (Hero)
      • Runesmith (Hero)
    • Vampire Counts
      • Mannfred von Carstein (Legendary Lord)
      • Heinrich Kemmler (Legendary Lord)
      • Helman Ghorst (Legendary Lord)
      • Vlad von Carstein (Legendary Lord)
      • The Red Duke (Legendary Lord)
      • Isabella von Carstein (Legendary Lord)
      • Master Necromancer (Lord)
      • Vampire Lord (Lord)
      • Strigoi Ghoul King (Lord)
      • Banshee (Hero)
      • Necromancer(Hero)
      • Vampire (Hero)
      • Wight King (Hero)
    • Orcs and Goblins
      • Grimgor Ironhide (Legendary Lord)
      • Azhag the Slaughterer (Legendary Lord)
      • Skarsnik (Legendary Lord)
      • Wurrzag da Great Green Prophet (Legendary Lord)
      • Orc Warboss (Lord)
      • Goblin Great Shaman (Lord)
      • Night Goblin Warboss (Lord)
      • Orc Shaman (Hero)
      • Night Goblin Shaman (Hero)
      • Goblin Big Boss (Hero)
    • Warriors of Chaos
      • Archaon the Everchosen (Legendary Lord)
      • Kholek Suneater (Legendary Lord)
      • Sigvald the Magnificent (Legendary Lord)
      • Sarthorael the Everwatcher (Legendary Lord)
      • Chaos Lord (Lord)
      • Chaos Sorcerer Lord (Lord)
      • Chaos Sorcerer (Hero)
      • Exalted Hero (Hero)
    • Bretonnia
      • King Louen Leoncoeur (Legendary Lord)
      • The Fay Enchantress (Legendary Lord)
      • Alberic of Bordeleaux (Legendary Lord)
      • The Green Knight (Legendary Hero)
      • Lord (Lord)
      • Prophetess (Lord)
      • Paladin (Hero)
      • Damsel (Lore of Life, Beasts or Heavens) (Hero)
    • Beastmen
      • Khazrak the One-Eye (Legendary Lord)
      • Malagor the Dark Omen (Legendary Lord)
      • Morghur the Shadowgave (Legendary Lord)
      • Beast Lord (Lord)
      • Bray Shaman (Lore of Beasts, Death or the Wild) (Hero)
      • Gorebull (Hero)
    • Wood Elves
      • Orion the King in the Woods (Legendary Lord)
      • Durthu Oakheart (Legendary Lord)
      • Glade Lord (Lord)
      • Ancient Treeman (Lord)
      • Spellsinger (Lore of Life, Beasts or Shadows) (Hero)
      • Branchwraith (Hero)
      • Waystalker (Hero)
    • Norsca
      • Wulfrik the Wanderer (Legendary Lord)
      • Throgg the Troll King (Legendary Lord)
      • Marauder Chieftain (Lord)
      • Shaman-Sorcerer (Hero)
      • Skin Wolf Werekin (Hero)
      • Fimir Balefiend (Hero)
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The standard tactic for Missile cavalry to harass enemy armies. While most unmounted ranged units avert this, Wood Elf archers can fire while moving, making them particularly annoying.
  • Hobbits: While they don't appear in the game, they have a heavy presence in campaign events and the background. Halflings in the Warhammer universe take the vices normal to other works' Halflings and overemphasize them, being sloth-like hedonists that dwell in the Halfling's Moot, which is its own imperial province, though for gameplay reasons Stirland controls it in-game. They really don't get along with their human neighbors, even if they're technically part of the Empire.
  • Horse of a Different Color:
    • Greenskins are all over this. Orcs ride war boars and their Warbosses can ride Wyverns. Goblins can ride giant wolves or giant spiders. The King and the Warlord, which introduced a number of Night Goblin units, brought Night Goblins who ride squigs.
    • Human cavalry and mounted hero units get gryphons, hippogryph, demigryphs (which are wingless gryphons) and pegasi.
    • The Warriors of Chaos have a unit mounted on a manticore.
    • Wood Elves can ride on giant hawks, unicorns and elk, and their lords can ride giant eagles and forest dragons.
    • Unique mounts for Legendary Hero Units include Karl Franz's giant gryphon Deathclaw, King Louen Leoncoeur's hippogryph Beaquis and Azhag the Slaughterer's wyvern Skullmuncha.
  • Horny Vikings: Two examples,
    • The Norscans, and by associate, the Warrior of Chaos, have a heavy Viking influence, speaking in Nordic accents, and wearing stereotypical Viking equipment, except with alot more spikes, and black plate armor.
    • The much nobler Dwarfs also have this motif, speaking in similar Nordic accents, using primarily axes, and wearing horned helmets. Blood oaths are also a huge thing to Dwarfs as well.
  • Horse Archer: Greenskin Wolf Riders can wield bows (and look like Mongolian Archers), and some Wood Elf Calvary fire arrows while mounted on purebred Elven steeds. The mounted Youmen Archers of Brettonia also serve this purpose, but they are not as good at this as most others due to being mere peasants.
  • The Horde: Just like in Attila, the horde mechanics return. The Beastmen, Warriors of Chaos, and a handful of Savage Orc Tribes travel in hordes, and their primary income is sacking and pillaging.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The primary antagonists of the game, the Warriors of Chaos, are mostly composed of humans who willingly serve the Chaos Gods, the ultimate evil in the Warhammer universe.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: All races have an option that will allow their forces to replenish faster. For the Greenskins, and the Beastmen, it involves eating their captives. How this replaces their casualties is a mystery.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): If the Dwarfs capture Black Crag, the Greenskin capital, its settlement tiers are not referred to as "Black Crag (Occupied)", but as Karak Drazh, the dwarfhold's original name.

     J-P 
  • Jack of All Trades: The Empire has strong army options all around, but lack the amazing specialization units that other factions posses, but have none of the crippling situation only stuff too.
    • The same is for the Greenskins, having lots of options with Orcs and Goblins as the main bulk with Trolls, Spiders, Giants and Doom Diver Catapults as the support. They are more melee-focused than the Empire, though.
  • Large and in Charge: The Lords and Heroes are somewhat larger than the normal units, who usually only reach to their chests, making them look like mini giants in comparison. Some mods resize the Lords and Heroes to a more believable level.
  • Large Ham: Every faction leader worth his title piles on ham with every word.
    Karl Franz: Now is the time, Men of the Empire, to UNITE! Beyond the Pass, a Greenskin Warboss draws to him ALL that is FOUL, an Orc Horde BEYOND IMAGINING! As Sigmar fought, so shall we. We will becoming part of the Legend! We will WIPE the Orcs from our door! And only when this has been done, when our nation has healed, shall I take up GHAL MARAZ! FOR SIGMAR! FOR THE EMPIRE! FOR THE WARHAMMER!
    • Thorgrim even hams up saying his own name.
    HIIIIIGH KING THORGRIM GRUDGEBEARER!
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: As in previous Total War games, factions who are about to lose, or know they will lose will offer a ceasefire, usually with the added bonus of gold or some other incentive. Players can turn them down
  • Knightly Lance: Most Imperial, and Bretonnian Knights wield massive lances in combat, in the Knights of the Blazing Sun's case, flaming lances.
  • Knight in Shining Armor:
    • Bretonnian Knights are dark deconstructions of this trope. While they may act like brave defenders of the land, wear shiny armor, go off to rescue damsels in distress. slay monsters in the name of the Lady and swear knightly oaths, they are quite frankly horrible, to their peasant serfs. They exploit them in daily life (to the extent of taking ninety percent of their crop yield), and treat them like meat shields on the battlefields. Tragically, even the most noble among them who actually do care about the commoners simply don't understand, due to their upbringing and lavish lifestyle, of the peasants' needs and how much they're actually suffering under the knights' rule.
    • In contrast, and rather ironically considering they're far more grim and cynical, Imperial Knights fit this trope much better, even if they're more soldiers than a proper, medieval Knights. Most are rather kind to the State Troopers serving under them, and because of how commoners are treated in the Empire (which is much better than in Bretonnia, as they're an active, and quite large middle class) they're far less snooty and rude towards them as a result.
  • Leave No Survivors: Any battle will often have the victor take prisoner those survivors of the defeated force who could not manage to flee. The victor is then given the option to release the captives, or execute them. Releasing can mitigate diplomatic fallout from engaging an opponent one wants to bring to heel rather than outright destroy and will net some income from ransoming them, while executing them will often give some bonus to victorious army but at the cost of steep diplomatic penalties with the defeated and their allies that may make reconciliation difficult.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Most monster units are surprisingly fast for their size, and can clear the distance between them and the enemy line almost as fast as cavalry. It goes without question that they can tear apart normal soldiers like nobodies business. Special mention goes to Kholek Suneater, one of Chaos's Legendary Lords, whom, despite being massive can outrun most units, and smash them to pieces with his huge, lightning covered warhammer.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shields provide a hefty bonus against missiles. It's usually a wise idea to take shielded unit variants over their unshielded counterparts.
  • The Lost Woods:
    • A general motif for the Vampire Counts. Their brand of The Corruption is marked by the spread of dark forests across the land they encroach, and they have a building chain consisting of upgrading a dark forest from a Sinister Copse (allowing the raising of Fellbats and Dire Wolves) to an Abyssal Wood (for raising Vargheists) and into a Haunted Forest necessary for raising Varghulfs and Terrorgheists.
    • The Beastmen make their home in the darkest forests of the Old World, and can use the Beast Ways, hidden paths in the wilderness known only to them, for fast travel across the map. When battles take place in the Beast Ways, these appear as gloomy, layered Lost Woods: the ground level where the battle is actually fought is thickly covered in regular trees, while the borders and roof of the map are bounded by absolutely titanic trees covered in giant mushrooms and organic growths, whose stumps appear in the battle map itself as terrain obstacles.
    • Athel Loren, the home of the Wood Elves. It's a magical forest and Eldritch Location that is alive in the most literal sense and home to forest spirits, ancient treemen, giant hawks and eagles and forest dragons. Mechanically, only the Wood Elves can inhabit it and the other factions suffer attrition damage when inside.
  • Massive Race Selection: Planned. The developers intend to release expansions and DLC for all 15 armies in the 8th Edition of Warhammer, as well as sub-factions with their own characters and themes. The best known armies were available at launch: the Empire, the Dwarfs, the Greenskins, the Vampire Counts and the Warriors of Chaos. Bretonnia was present from the early game with a limited roster, and was fleshed out in early 2017 with a full roster and two new Legendary Lords. Other expansions have added the Beastmen and the Wood Elves so far. Clan Angrund and the Crooked Moon factions are variant Dwarf and Greenskin campaigns that start off with a crippled economy and no access to orc units respectively.
  • Mordor: Vampire Count controlled lands, and places with massive Chaos corruption turn into this, the later having massive jagged obsidian rocks spouting from the ground, along with Lava lakes.
  • More Dakka: Imperial Hellblaster volley cannon are basically medieval Gatling guns, and have a very high rate of fire.
  • Morale Mechanic:
    • Tactical-level morale is present as in both the tabletop game and the wider Total War series, with units holding or breaking depending on battlefield conditions and their own discipline and leadership. However, there are also strategic-level morale mechanics that vary from faction to faction:
    • Greenskins are literally born to fight, and they have a "Fightiness" gauge that goes up the more frequently they do it. Getting this gauge high gives them substantial combat bonuses as well as spawning free units to continue to keep their momentum going as the Greenskin enthusiasm for war pushes the green tide onward. If their Fightiness drops too low, your army will suffer attrition due to the frustrated troops fighting each other.
    • Dwarfs tally all the grudges they bear against those who have wronged them, and they get rewarded for settling those grudges. However, keeping the overall amount of unsettled grudges low results in increased efficiency and satisfaction within the dwarfen population, while letting lots of grudges go unsettled for too long will result in discontentment, shame, and a lack of proper dwarfen pride and respect within the holds.
    • Vampire troops, being mindless undead, take their morale from nearby hero units who channel the magic that animates them. Units that take damage too far from a hero to support them will start to crumble and fall apart. On a strategic level, Vampiric Corruption represents both the channeling of fell magic and influence of will of the Counts, and high levels of it keep the still-living peasantry terrified and suppressed and the younger, more ambitious vampires in their place, while low levels of this embolden the living to smite the unholy and weaken the Counts' power.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules:
    • In the campaign, you need to fulfill certain requirements before you can recruit additional Legendary Lords for your faction. The AI does not have this restriction, however, and can recruit all of their Legendary Lords at any time. It's not uncommon to see both Mannfred von Carstein and Heinrich Kemmler active in Sylvania, even when the Vampire Counts only control Drakenhof and haven't even built the city past Tier 3 yet.
    • When colonizing a ruined city the player must use some of their men to set things up, which will then naturally replenish over the next few turns. The computer however seems to have full stacks after one turn of setting up a new city.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Heinrich Kemmler can occasionally be heard asking "Where is Krell?" referencing that the Lichemaster's undead bodyguard isn't present in this game, despite them being otherwise inseparable.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The Vampire Counts faction in a nutshell, bringing all the classic undead monsters to the Total War franchise for the first time, including zombies, skeletons, ghosts, bat monsters, and banshees most under the magical thrall of their Vampire masters, but some dark abominations serve them willing.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted. Unlike previous Total War games, capes worn by units and heroes are fully animated.
  • No Cure for Evil: Inverted, at least in the games early days. The only faction that had access to a reliable healing spell at initial release were the Vampire Counts through the Lore of Vampires. Two order factions, the Wood Elves, and the Empire, later gained access to healing with the Lore of Life.
  • Not Playing Fair With Resources: Full-force when the AI is controlling the Warriors of Chaos and the Beastmen. For the player, the amount of upkeep an army stack requires essentially means that one stack will make you break even, two stacks will require a city sacked every 10-20 turns to make ends meet, and three will need one every 5-10 turns (note: the slow speed that these factions replace losses means such a strategy is unsustainable). Four stacks and above is right out. The AI will gleefully ignore any and all of these monetary constraints as it steamrolls 5 full-strength army stacks at you.
  • One-Man Army: Characters and generals in Total War: Warhammer are miles above your average soldiers, and are capable of soloing entire units of low-tier soldiers before breaking — usually, they require your own general or specialized elite units to put down. Total War veterans may get flashbacks to the original Medieval: Total War.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Wood Elves can field forest dragons with deer-like antlers as high-tier units. Additionally, corrupted two-headed chaos dragons appear as mounts for the Warriors of Chaos, while undead zombie dragons serve the same role for the Vampire Counts.
    • There are also wyverns that Orc heroes can ride, which have two wings and two legs and move on the ground like bats, as opposed to the four-legged and two-winged actual dragons.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Contrary to popular belief, the Warriors of Chaos are not daemons, merely being their mortal servants. In Warhammer Fantasy, the Daemons of Chaos have their own faction and army list, with CA already confirming that they will be added eventually. However, there is one true daemon in the game currently, Sathorael, a greater Daemon of Tzeentch.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Giants in the background material are a drunken, inbred Racial Remnant of a once glorious race of sky-titans overthrown by Ogres who fight for whoever can help them fulfill their inebriation hobby, although on the tabletop they only fight for the Beastmen, the Greenskins (whom they get on with due to similar interests) and the Ogre Kingdoms (who often enslave them). They form part of the Greenskins roster and may well appear in the Ogres' roster when it appears. There are also mutated and horned Chaos Giants, which are a unit for the Warriors of Chaos and Beastmen, the later of which is covered in thick fur. There's also a breed specific to Norsca, which is somewhat similar in appearance to the Chaos Giants, except they have glowing red eyes, and wear animals furs.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: One of the Empire's cavalry units are the Demigryph Knights, who ride demigryphs, gryphons without wings and with cat-like front limbs. There's also more standard gryphons, which are much larger than demigryphs and can have the back halves of any kind of large cat. Bretonnian heroes can also ride hippogryphs.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Multiple factions have access to magic-using Hero Units, but they're individually limited to only one of the various Lores of magic. Multiple such lores are present in the original setting, eight being drawn from the Winds of Magic — Lores of Beasts, Death, Fire, Heavens, Life, Light, Metal and Shadow — as well as other lores unique to certain factions. Each faction is limited to a small number of lores, likely for balance reasons.
    • The Empire can only use the Lores of Fire, Light, Heavens and, through Balthasar Gelt, Metal. Through DLCs, they can also get the Lores of Beasts, Life and Shadows.
    • The Vampire Counts are limited to the Lores of Death and their own unique Lore Of Vampires, a school of magic heavily based around summoning undead troops and keeping them alive and strong.
    • The Warriors of Chaos use the Lores of Death, Metal, Shadow and Fire. Same thing goes for Norsca, but they need Fimir Balefiends to cast from the Lore of Shadows.
    • The Beastmen have the Lores of Death, Beasts and their own unique Lore of The Wild, the Evil Counterpart to the Lore of Beasts wich is less supportive and more destructive in nature to reflect the twisted nature of Beastmen.
    • The Wood Elves have the Lores of Life, Beasts, and Shadow in order to stay attuned to nature in as pure of a way as possible.
    • The Kingdom of Bretonnia, where magic is generally distrusted and avoided, has the Lores of Heavens, Life and Beasts restricted to the Damsels, priestesses of the Lady of the Lake, and is otherwise devoid of mages.
    • The Greenskins only have their own unique lores. Orc shamans use the Lore of da Big Waaagh!, while Goblin shamans have the Lore of da Little Waaagh!. Both can basicly be seen as the Confusion Fu of magic since the casters honestly only have a minor idea of what they are truly doing with each spell that is powered as much by the Winds of Magic as they are by the Greenskin's own violent and uncontrollable energy.
    • The Dwarfs, who have a strong dislike for regular magic, make use of Rune Magic, a less powerful but far safer form of spellcasting that doesn't require directly tapping into the Winds of Magic, but instead use mastercrafted runes to get the job done.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: Played for Laughs. The description of a promotional video featuring three Creative Assembly employees taking on ludicrous numbers of zombies with Empire Handgunners reads:
    Joey: Do you Fear the Walking Dead? Wait –- pretend we didn’t say that, we’re probably not allowed to. Uh... do you fear some zombies?
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Less than you would expect from the franchise, but an ambient track for the campaign has some pretty epic chanting in it.
  • Plot Armor: Legendary Lords (and the leaders of minor factions) can only be killed when their entire faction is wiped out. Otherwise "killing" them results in them becoming wounded and sitting out several turns while they recover.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Night Goblin units have poisoned weapons that inflict a debuff on whatever regiment is hit by them. Helman Ghorst, a Legendary Lord, buffs his entire army with poison damage as a special ability.
  • Praetorian Guard: A few examples for sundry faction leaders. As Authority Equals Asskicking is in full effect in this game, all are examples of Bodyguarding a Badass as well.
    • Grimgor Ironhide's "Immortulz", a band of tough-as-nails Black Orcs.
    • The Imperial Reiksguard, the greatest non-Demigryph knights in the Empire, for Karl Franz.
    • Thorgrim is carried into battle by his Thronebearers, who are more than capable of handling themselves in a fight.
    • Archaon has the Swords of Chaos, his personal regiment of Chaos Knights. They aren't represented on the battlefield, however, and are merely mentioned as flavor text for a skill that buffs Chaos Knights in Archaon's army.
    • Orion has his Wild Riders, and while she doesn't appear in the game, his counterpart Ariel has the Sisters of Thorn.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • The Warriors of Chaos and the Norscan tribes, being basically fantasy vikings who worship gods that revel in chaos, war and slaughter, fit the description quite well.
    • To a lesser extent, the Dwarfs are this too, if far more honorable and benevolent.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Averted with the female and male variant of the Wood Elf Gladelord. The male variant has stats focused on melee combat while the female variant focuses more on ranged damage.

     Q-Z 
  • Rain of Arrows: You can expect to deal with this any time you face the Wood Elves in battle. But it's possible from nearly any faction as most of them have archers or crossbowmen.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: While all Total War games have had this as an option, it has a stronger incentive here than elsewhere due to faction limitations on territorial settlement. In a (supposed) example of Gameplay and Story Integration, many factions simply have no interest in actually ruling certain territories: Greenskins might sack human cities but they do not establish a ruling bureaucracy and tax the citizens afterward, Warriors of Chaos seek only to level civilized areas for the glory of their gods rather than rule them and no one else but they can survive living in the Chaos Wastes, and humans are unwilling to settle in underground holds, with the official explanation being their lack of knowledge of the necessary agriculture. Many of these factions have little interest in negotiating with certain other factions, so diplomatic fallout is not as pronounced as it might be in other Total War games. Hence, a lot of offensive military action in other's territory is done to gather plunder, remove strategic threats, or both, rather than to expand territory.
    • Greenskin armies in particular need to set up raid camps when they're not battling any other armies, else their urge to fight will cause them to turn on each other out of boredom and take attrition damage. This allows them to perpetually stomp over weakened enemy territory and slowly bring in loot.
    • This goes double for Warriors of Chaos, who have no settlements to manage and derive income from. They have no need of treasure or food, the favor of the dark gods gives them all the motivation and sustenance they need. But the Ruinous Powers are fickle, and require frequent tribute in the form of battle, sacrifices, and defilement. Thus to maintain their eldritch favor Warriors of Chaos hosts must frequently assault and sack civilized settlements, lest their gods' attention drift elsewhere and their otherwise great power ebb.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Karl Franz is among the most efficient and noble bearer of the title of Emperor in all fictional history. In any case, he's a marked contrast compared to some of his predecessors, as he himself states.
    Karl Franz: The Empire — led by the craven, torn apart by the greedy. Weakened and exposed. Forever on the defense, but no longer.
    • Thorgrim as well, who despite being an ardent traditionalist, is still quick to adopt to technological and military innovations that will aid his people on the battlefield — albeit grudgingly, ha! He has promised to put right every single grudge in the Book of Grudges, but a lot of those are against the Orcs and Goblins anyway.
  • Red Baron: Several Legendary Lords are decorated with suitably-dramatic titles and nicknames, such as Lord of the End Times (Archaon) or The Slayer King (Ungrim Ironfist). Later taken to an extreme with the Red Duke, who is referred to only by his moniker in-game.
  • Rousing Speech: Total War fans by and large applauded Warhammer for the return of Medieval II style pre-battle General speeches, although they are only used in quest battles. Both battles shown in trailers — one Empire vs. Greenskins, the other Dwarfs vs. Greenskins — featured Karl Franz and Thorgrim Grudgebearer making such speeches to rally their troops.
  • Savage South: The Badlands, south of the Empire and west of the World's Edge Mountains. It is primarily a harsh, arid area but also includes the Marshes of Madness. This in turn makes it an ideal place for the Greenskins to grow their strength before striking out to Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • Say My Name: Each unit has a chance to say their own name in dramatic fashion as one of their selection quotes. Grimgor Ironhide, however, demands that others say his name for him.
  • Screw Destiny: It's said to be the End Times. If you happen to not be the Warriors of Chaos and win, the prophecy about the inevitable end is derailed despite the best efforts of a Lord of Change.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: High tier Chaos Units take this to the extreme, with heavy spikes, demented helmets, and giant shoulder pads a plenty.
  • Scenery Porn: The game has some of the most detailed and scenic environments in a Total War title. However many are just set pieces in the distance that cannot actually be reached. So while there may be stunning castles displayed in the map, they are only there to look pretty for the most part.
  • Sea Monster: A giant, angler-looking fish appears off the coast of Norsca on the campaign map, big enough to swallow a ship whole. It heavily resembles the infamous Black Leviathan from Man O War. The Beastmen, while traveling by water on the campaign map, ride massive narwhal-esque creatures.
  • Starter Villain: Each non-Chaos faction starts in control of only their capital city, and is immediately at war with a minor faction that controls the rest of the province. These factions are the Empire Secessionists (Empire), Templehof (Vampire Counts), Bloody Spearz (Dwarfs) and Red Fangz (Greenskins).
  • The Siege: Or Storming the Castle, depending on which faction's fighting which. An enduring element of the series that reoccurs here as well. However, in this iteration only provincial capitals can be besieged; the smaller settlements in the province around them not having the fortifications that would make a siege necessary. If an attacking army is willing to spend enough time besieging a provincial capital, they can starve their opponents out, but even if they would rather storm the place spending a few turns besieging can grant them the benefit of being able to build some siege equipment, like battering rams and siege towers, which will help them get past the static elements that favor the defenders.
  • Siege Engines: A large variety of artillery pieces are available to the Empire, Dwarfs, Bretonnia and the Greenskin's, along with the standard siege towers and battering rams. Noticeably, the Beastmen get living siege engines in the form of the Cygors, massive, boulder throwing giant cyclops.
  • Secondary Fire: Empire Siege Tanks, besides having their massive cannons, also have a steam gun that allows them to shoot scalding steam when enemy units get too close.
  • Skewed Priorities: Dwarfs, naturally. An incident in the backstory has some goblins set off explosives in a mountain valley, killing ten thousand Dwavern miners. Rather than declare a Grudge against the Greenskins who were responsible for the disaster, the Dwarfs instead declare a Grudge against the mountain and swear that they will not stop until the mountain has been mined to exaustion.
  • Shout-Out:
    • An Empire player may see his character attract a peasant follower, who is described with the phrase "there's some lovely filth down 'ere!"
    • When selected, Chaos characters will occasionally ask if you are a god.
    • The Empire Bright Wizard shouting "Flame on!" when selected.
    • One random event during the Chaos campaign notifies you that the Eye of the Gods has closed, due to the Ruinous Powers turning their attention to other champions. The option that involves getting the Gods' attention back on you is named "Witness Me!"
    • One of the Vampire Counts character quotes when selecting them to move is "Walk this way."
    • The achievement for recruiting your first Terrorgeist as the Vampire Counts is "This is Bat Country".
    • The Bretonnia campaign has special events titled "Green and Peasant Land" and "Green-skinned and Unpleasant Land", both clear references to And Did Those Feet In Ancient Times
    • Dwarf units can be heard to shout "Now is the season of our discontent!" in battle when idle.
    • When a Runelord is clicked on the campaign map, they will sometimes say "Hi-oh!"
  • Summon Magic: Some Lores of Magic can summon units, that disappear over time. These include the Lore of Beasts, summoning a manticore, the Lore of Vampires, that can summon zombies, as well as skeletons, and the Lore of the Wild, that conjures a cygor. Though some Lords, and units have unique abilities that allow them to use this trope.
    • Herman Ghorst can summon graveguards, and a wight king unit to the battlefield.
    • Morghur has two separate abilities that allow him to conjure dreaded Chaos Spawns.
    • The Broodmoother, a unique Regiment of Renown for the Greenskins, can spawn giant spider broods to fight her enemies.
  • Sword and Gun:
    • Empire Witch Hunters fight on the battlefield carrying a sword and a pistol.
    • Empire Free Company units are armed with pistols and sabers.
  • Squishy Wizard: Almost literally. As powerful as their magic is, Imperial Wizards will almost certainly get stomped on by most units if thrown into a melee. This is averted by the Amber Wizard, solely due to the fact you can mount him on a gryphon which will significantly increase his usefulness in melee. Also averted by the Vampire Count Lords, and Vampire heroes, which are all casters, but excel in melee combat.
    • Zig-zagged with Fay Enchantress: with 15 armour and low melee stats, she indeed seems to be a good example of this trope. However, her "Mist of the lady" skill casts an aura around herself that deals constant magical damage on nearby enemies. She also has 60% resistance to magic, which makes her surprisingly tough against magic infused weapons used by many heroes, lords or elite units.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: The basic concept, Ranged beats Infantry -> Infantry beats Cavalry -> Cavalry beats Ranged, is still present but the fantasy nature of the setting has added several more concepts to the equation:
    • Firstly, every unit in the game can be sorted into categories of Armored or not, Large or not and Shielded or not, which largely determines what sort of weapons will be effective against them; Armored units are more resistant to the effects of most weapons but conversely will take bonus damage from weapons considered armor-piercing, Shielded units gain a defensive bonus against all ranged attacks and Large units are more vulnerable to single-target high-damage attacks and polearms, particularly when charging.
    • Infantry makes up the bulk of most armies; large units of durable, close-combat equipped troops intended to grind down the enemy in melee or counter specific enemy types with their wide variety of equipment. Can't really catch Ranged Units and are tempting targets for Artillery, Cavalry and Monsters, but they can usually equip themselves to be more effective against the latter two.
      • Greenskin Orc Boyz are a quintessentially basic and straightforward infantry unit. with one-handed weapons, shields and a reasonable movement speed.
      • Chaos Chosen with Halberds are an elite unit of Armored Anti-Armored Anti-Large foot-soldiers, particularly good at destroying Heavy Cavalry and Monstrous Infantry.
      • Empire Flagellants wear no armor and wield two one-handed weapons making them inclined more towards dealing damage rather than taking it. Fragility isn't an issue as their Unbreakable attribute ensures they will fight to the last man.
    • Ranged Units are able to damage other units at little-to-no risk to themselves, though this comes at the cost of being seriously disadvantaged in melee. Particularly effective against Flying and Monsters but very vulnerable to Cavalry.
      • Dwarfen Thunderers combine Armored with Shielded to make themselves one of the most durable Ranged Units in the game and, being Dwarfs, are no slouches in melee combat. Well-made Dwarfen firearms are best used for blazing away at the enemy's Armored units.
      • Greenskin Night Goblin Archers are at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Thunderers — they are noticeably poor at dealing with Armored units and are abnormally fragile even by the standards of other Ranged Units but are conversely very good at concealing themselves until they actually need to start shooting with Poisoned attacks. As an added bonus they come with the ability to fire of Fanatics for some random destruction.
      • Wood Elf Waywatchers might be the single best archers in the entire Old World; they're unparalleled at concealing themselves, are able to fire in a full 360 degree arc while moving and fire arrows that hit hard enough to bring down a Chaos Chosen. Their only real weakness is their small unit size (and thus small number of shots) makes them unsuited to dealing with large groups of weaker units.
    • Cavalry is fast-moving, Large (including goblin cavalry) and hard-hitting on the charge. Demolishes Ranged Units in close combat, but susceptible to getting bogged-down against Infantry and really shouldn't charge any sort of spear or polearm head-on.
      • Greenskin Goblin Wolf Archers are light cavalry armed with raged weapons. Horse Archer to a T but surprisingly effective in melee combat, albeit against non-melee units.
      • Bretonian Grail Knights are some of the most elite conventional Armored cavalry in the world. Limitless stamina and magical attacks thanks to their infusion of magic from drinking from the grail.
      • Empire Demigryph Knights are an Armored hybrid Monstrous Cavalry unit and utterly devastating in close combat, scattering anything short of a dedicated counter-unit.
    • Artillery is best though of as a less-mobile but more-effective form of ranged unit. While no soldier wants to take the full force of an artillery shot, most forms of artillery are usually calibrated to be effective against one particular unit type above others and will be tangibly less effective against their non-preferred targets. Artillery crews are universally poor in any form of combat but particularly struggle to hit fast-moving Cavalry or Flyers.
      • The Empire Luminark fires a single high-damage long-range projectile making it one of the best Hero and Monster snipers in the game verging on Crippling Overspecialization.
      • The Dwarfen Organ Gun is short-ranged by the standards of Artillery but fires a decent number of Anti-Armored projectiles each capable of killing several men at a time.
      • The Greenskin Rock Lobba has no particularly outstanding traits beyond its high-arcing projectiles being best employed against large groups of Infantry.
    • Monsters are single-model units with enough health and damage for an entire unit of lesser soldiers. Their area-of-effect attacks are very effective at destroying massed infantry and they usually come with Fear (which causes morale damage to units they're in perception range of) and Terror (which causes drastic morale damage to units they're actively fighting). The flipside to this is that they are naturally Large targets and are particularity vulnerable to specialized Artillery and certain spells. Ranged Units in general tend to be able to shoot at them with impunity, even while they're engaged in melee.
      • The Vampire Counts Varghulf is by the standards of monsters much smaller than other examples but conversely is much faster, being able to keep up with most forms of Cavalry. Still very dangerous in combat, being a regenerating undead and all that.
      • Chaos Giant: The quintessential monster. Smashes Infantry with area-effect attacks and scares everything else.
      • Greenskin Arachnarok Spider: More comfortable in rough terrain than other monsters and has nasty Poisoned attacks.
    • Monstrous Infantry is a halfway house between larger Monsters and smaller Infantry weighted more towards the "monster" than the "infantry" — scary and very good at destroying smaller infantry but vulnerable to specialized weapons over specific unit types.
      • Vampire Counts Crypt Horrors get around the usual morale problems by being undead. Poisoned attacks make them a top-tier assault unit.
      • Chaos Trolls are representative of Trolls in general; nasty brutes with regenerative abilities but bad morale and a decisive lack of specialized equipment.
      • Wood Elf Tree Kin are a more defensive take on Monstrous Infantry, being not particularly fast but Armored and very good at tying down enemy units for the Wood Elves to outflank. Being Wood Elf units makes them even more dangerous in forests.
    • Flying isn't so much a distinct class of unit but rather a qualifier attached to other unit types that trades an increased weakness to "Ranged Units'' for much greater battlefield maneuverability and the ability to pick their melee fights with impunity.
      • Vampire Counts Fell Bats are very quick but very weak and not really able to engage anything more competent in melee than Artillery. They make excellent scouts though and can always tie up a Ranged unit at a critical moment.
      • The Wood Elf Forest Dragon is a top-tier Flying Monster, a giant wrecking ball poised to descend upon helpless Infantry.
      • Bretonian Pegasus Knights take everything good about Bretonian knights and make it fly. Oddly enough this is somewhat of a disadvantage as now they're even more vulnerable to getting bogged down in melee, but used well they can deliver devastating charges anywhere on the battlefield, moving quickly and directly between targets.
    • Heroes are a mixed bag; they are all single-man units but run the gauntlet from weak wizards with powerful spells to melee specialists to highly dangerous Flying Monsters like Karl Franz or Azhag when they have access to their top-level mounts. They do usually give considerable buffs to the armies they are embedded into.
      • Empire Witch Hunters are effectively assassins, both on and off the battlefield, and employ single-target high-damage abilities to counter other Heroes.
      • Beastmen Gorebulls are the quintessential Fighter heroes, effectively a one-man unit of Monstrous Infantry.
      • Wizards as a whole are categorically poor in combat, particularly against other heroes, but are able to manipulate the Winds of Magic in a number of ways, which, depending on the wizard, can run the gamut from healing and buffing/debuffing to casting powerful damage spells against enemy troops.
    • War Machines are a mixed bag of constructs with varied attributes and battlefield roles, though they are typically Large small or single-man units.
      • The Empire Steam Tank is the ultimate expression of every form of chariot combined, simultaneously able to shoot at both long and short ranges yet still capable in melee.
      • Dwarfen Gyrocopters are a fast-moving Flying Ranged Unit best employed against Artillery crews and Monsters — outside of area-of-effect attacks they simply don't shoot enough to reasonably deal with large units of Infantry
      • Vampire Counts Corpse Carts frequently show up as mounts for Necromancers and this reflects their battlefield role: poor in actual fighting but with a number of effective supporting abilities.
  • Take Over the World: Normally averted; races can only conquer certain territories on the map, fitting with the lore (Humans and Vampires can only take territory belonging to other human or vampire factions, with the same applying to Dwarfs and Greenskins). The exception to this are the Wood Elves, who can conquer any province on the map regardless of who controlled it originally.
  • Tank Goodness: The Empire Steam Tank is one of the most devastating units in the game. It can blast away with a cannon at long range, while its ability to run over soldiers and scald them to death with burning hot steam it near suicidal to try and overwhelm it with infantry.
  • Terraform: Certain factions live in environments that are not habitable by others, thus requiring you to "terraform" their provinces when you conquer them. For example, the Vampire Counts live in lands full of "Vampiric Corruption", which will cause attrition damage to any human armies not stationed in the provincial city. Thus when you conquer their provinces as the Empire, you'll need to purge the lands of corruption with special characters or buildings. The reverse is also true, as Vampire and Chaos armies will take attrition from lands that do not have high enough levels of corruption (though they can avoid this by raiding enemy provinces on their way to the next target).
  • Tech Tree: Each faction has access to a technology tree, but as a twist, everything faction unlocks its technology in different ways. For example, The Empire gains sub branches on the tree by building special buildings.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet:
    • Several Dwarf units have access to Satchel Charges, thrown bombs that do decent splash damage and are excellent against large mobs of low tier infantry.
    • Goblin Nasty Skulkers can throw down Smoke Bombs, which severely slow down, and reduce units charge bonuses.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: By way of Fantasy Counterpart Culture, the Dwarfs' racial strategic objectives are based on settling grudges against those who have wronged them. As wrongs are done against them in the campaign, new grudges are automatically generated and added as objectives for a dwarf player to seek vengeance in pursuit of.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore:
    • The book the narrator is reading in the announcement trailer is a tome of Tzeentch — cue Daemonic Possession when he reads too much of it.
    • The books of the necromancer Nagash contain the secrets of black magic used by all modern necromancers, who specifically sought them out for their dark power.
  • To Win Without Fighting: The confederation option gives you the ability to annex factions of the same race without fighting them. In order to confederate, you'll need a very high diplomatic rating with the faction, and probably need to be significantly larger and more powerful than them as well. There are also downsides to doing this. Confederating with a faction will give you a significant public order and diplomacy penalty that will last several turns. Also, since the AI is terrible at managing provinces, the ones you take over may actually be a temporary drain on your economy, as you might have to scrap several buildings and then fill the slots up from scratch.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The announcement trailer somewhat spoils the existence of the Lord of Change that appears in the Grand Campaign.
  • Trick Arrow: The Wood Elves have access to three types of special arrows, Starfire Shafts (Flaming Damage), Hagbane Tips (Poison Damage), Swift Shiver Shards (Magical Damage).
  • Underground Level: The game features battlefields in the vast tunnels of the Dwarfen Underway (which only Dwarf and Greenskin armies can regularly access) and when Dwarf Karaks are besieged.
  • Units Not to Scale:
    • This is played straight on the campaign map, army leaders will appear larger than cities!
    • Averted, mostly on the battlefield, as units will be on scale with each other, and buildings. Though general units, will always be slightly larger than their men. While it makes sense for the Orcs, its pretty jarring seeing Ungrim Ironfist being almost as tall as a human.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Empire of Man, though still large and quite powerful, has been torn apart by infighting, and incursions from the many hostile races of the Warhammer universe. Of course, Karl Franz aims to change that.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Continuing a trend from Total War games from at least as far back as Rome: Total War, the best place you can be when two armies are attacking you is between them. In normal military tactics this would be a disaster, but here it means you can simply deploy your entire force within inches of where the enemy reinforcements are coming in and hit them before they have time to form up, causing a very easy rout. This gives the main army a large leadership penalty and makes it even easier to rout them when they finally reach you.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Played straight with the Warriors of Chaos and the Beastmen, who need to win by slaughtering the race of man, and bring down civilization. Firmly averted with the other factions, though difficult, as one can confederate to get all the settlements needed for their victory condition, and then use their allies to beat back the Chaos Invasion.
  • Walking Wasteland: The territories controlled by Vampire Counts turn black and blighted with the vegetation withering from their necromantic powers. Those ruled by the Greenskins turn into barren wastes full of skeletons, tribal totems, and giant mushrooms. In perhaps the best example, territory held by Chaos turns into a nightmarish hellscape, full of rivers of lava, jutting masses of obsidian, and arcane portals.
  • War Is Hell: This is Warhammer we're talking about, though like it's source material, crosses over with War Is Glorious
  • War Elephants: Or War Mammoths in this case. Behemoth Mammoths corrupted by the power of Chaos, and used as walking platforms of destruction by the Norscan Tribes.
  • Warrior Monk:
    • Most members of the Cult of Sigmar are barring the Witch Hunters, being religious priests, that train themselves in opposing Chaos, wielding both hammer and holy magic to do so.
    • The Cult of Ulric has similar warrior priests in the background, but aren't represented in the game currently, although the cult itself shows up in the Beastmen mini campaign.
    • Bretonnian Questing Knights forsake their lands, and holdings, to go on a quest that often lasts decades, to become a Grail Knights. All the while praying too, and venerating the lady, and swearing various oaths of chivalry. Their less religious than most examples but they count, and are very prominet members of the Church of the Lady. Grail Knights are similar, but are much stronger, and are living saints, instead of just holy warriors.
  • We Have Reserves: A legit, if taxing, method of winning battles is just to drown out the opposing force in waves of cheap infantry. Some factions, such as the various Greenskin factions and Vampire Counts, have this as an intended method of fighting, the latter being able to instantly replace fallen units with a click of the "Raise Dead" button. Though the veterancy system slightly discourages this as raised units have no experience, the Vampire Counts can work around that too as they can eventually recruit entire armies of maximum-experience fodder in a few turns for almost nothing from almost anywhere.
    • This can bite the Vampire Counts hard against Chaos later on as there are upper limits to the number of armies you can have on one side of a battle (4) and the number of units that can participate on one side in a played battle (40). Since Chaos tends to feature multiple full stacks of high-tier units that stick together, these rules prevent you from simply drowning them with skeletons and force you to bring heavy firepower and expensive units.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • An actual mechanic for Greenskins. If a Greenskin army goes too long without fighting another enemy, their animosity will overcome their discipline and their need to fight will spill over into fighting among themselves, causing attrition damage. This is less of a problem in their own territory where they can expect perpetual reinforcements, more of a problem when in enemy territory with no enemies about. Fortunately, setting up raiding camps can help with this.
    • Despite being the Emperor, Karl Franz is only in control of Altdorf at the beginning of the game - the rest of the Empire is controlled by the various Elector Counts, who will happily start wars against each-other and even Karl's own faction.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If the player tries to move a lord or hero to an unreachable location, they will protest against it. The same clips are used if the player selects lords or heroes belonging to a hostile faction.
  • World of Ham: Considering this is the result of the hammiest of Tabletop Wargames and the hammiest of PC Grand Strategy franchises joining forces, it should come as no surprise that this game lives and breathes Ham.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: After capturing a city, the local population is almost always displeased with the development, and hefty public order bonuses are levied against the player for a handful of turns (which is dependent, in terms how big the penalty is, on the method you used to capture the city. Occupying and Looting will make them despise you.) like all previous Total War games, but in this one, especially it makes even more sense since the occupiers are usually members of a completely different species, leading to revolts and uprisings galore.=
  • A World Half Full: In contrast to the dark nature of Warhammer Fantasy, and the brutally nihilistic End Times, this incarnation of Warhammer Fantasy's world is much more idealistic, while remaining just as dark. Despite the sheer hopelessness of the setting, and all the horrible foes, it's very possible to make the world a better place for the common people, while playing as the Empire, The Dwarfen Kingdoms, and the Wood Elves.
  • You All Look Familiar: Not nearly as bad as some of the earlier titles, as the vanilla game has a rather diverse set of faces, uniforms, and equipment, but the DLC factions, the Wood Elves, and the Beastmen, unfortunately have this, as every elf has blonde hair, and every Beastmen brown fur. Several mods fix this.
  • You Call That a Wound?: "Legendary Lords" (the major faction leaders) cannot be killed unless their entire faction is wiped out with them. If they fall in battle, they are instead put into a "wounded" state that will take them out of the game for many turns. Other heroes and lords can be Killed Off for Real, but sometimes they manage to survive and recover in the manner of Legendary Lords.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: All lords for the Empire, including the faction leader, need to spend a skill point just to get a horse to ride into battle. You would think that would be standard issue for them, particularly since they are standard issue for all generals in previous Total War games.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Greenskins do this as a matter of course, relying on their huge numbers and brute strength to overwhelm their enemies. They also get the "WAAAGH" mechanic where, if a Warboss's Fightiness goes up high enough, computer-controlled Greenskin armies start spawning and can be commanded in a limited capacity by the Warboss that began the Waaagh!.
    • This is also a common tactic of the Vampire Counts. Since they have no ranged infantry or artillery, their general strategy is to try to smother their enemies with huge numbers of melee attackers.

"War is upon us. It is unending."

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