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Factions are tribes, peoples or nations on the campaign map that control settlements, amass armies and make war with one another. The player takes command of a faction when playing the campaign mode, or when playing custom battles, set-piece battles/quest battles or multiplayer.

Similar factions are grouped together into Races.

Races and factions have unique units and gameplay mechanics that set them apart from others.

For complete lists of all factions in campaigns, please see the navboxes at the bottom of the page.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Factions raise armies which move around the campaign map and battle other armies, or take settlements.

A faction is served by characters such as Icon general.pngLords (who lead armies) and Icon hero.pngHeroes (who have a variety of uses both in battle and out of it).

Faction may engage in diplomacy with one another, and can even confederate with other factions of the same race if conditions are right. A faction is destroyed when it controls no more armies or settlements.

"Major" factions are playable, while "minor" ones are AI-controlled only.

Hordes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Hordes

Horde factions do not control settlements, instead each horde armies constructs buildings in encamped stance. Example: Warriors of Chaos

Rogue Armies[edit | edit source]

Main article: Rogue Armies

Rogue Armies are semi-horde factions introduced in Total War: Warhammer II which can have units from several different races. Example: Vashnaar's Conquest

Races[edit | edit source]

A Race is a group of similar factions which generally use the same units and game mechanics. Each race featured in the game, such as the High Elves, carries certain racial traits and mechanics which grant factions of that race unique abilities or inabilities. Factions of a particular race receive a bonus to diplomatic relations between each other, and therefore tend to stick together. Some factions are also the main or "flagship" faction for their race, such as The Empire or Dwarfs.

A faction's race/category will be listed below it's name when conducting diplomacy.

See below for a list of racial categories in the game.

Race/faction and diplomacy[edit | edit source]

Main article: Diplomacy

Race and faction affects diplomacy. Factions of the same race or group have a diplomatic bonus towards each other. See the diplomacy page for a table detailing all the diplomatic racial biases. In the Eye of the Vortex campaign, completing rituals causes the other competing factions to dislike your faction. In some campaigns there is a Chaos Invasion which strongly affects diplomacy via the Shield of Civilization trait given to certain factions.

Also, in Total War: Warhammer II, the Naggarond and Cult of Pleasure factions have a large diplomatic attitude bonus towards each other, representing that Malekith and Morathi are family.

Factions of the same race may confederate if conditions between them are right.

All human factions, Vampire Counts, High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves, Lizardmen, Dwarfs, Norsca and Tomb Kings can trade with each other.

Race/faction and settlements[edit | edit source]

  • Each non-horde faction has a faction capital settlement, indicated by a golden border around the crest.
  • In Total War: Warhammer, the regional occupation affects which races can occupy which areas on the campaign map.
  • In the second game this was replaced by the climate system: different races and factions have different climate preferences.
  • Certain races like Norsca and Wood Elves also have special restrictions on where and how they can colonize.

Playable Factions[edit | edit source]

Total War Warhammer: Fully playable factions[edit | edit source]

Total War Warhammer II: Fully playable factions[edit | edit source]

Dark Elves
High Elves
Tomb Kings

New playable factions for old races:

Minor factions[edit | edit source]

Minor factions are less important factions, which are not led by legendary lords. They are often less aggressive and expansionist than major factions. They are not normally playable, though there exists faction unlocker mods to make them playable.

Introduced in Total War: Warhammer[edit | edit source]

The Empire Provinces

Bretonnian Kingdoms


  • A single human nation which uses Empire units. See our Kislev article for more information.

The Southern Realms

Dwarf Realms

  • A proud race of stalwart, well-armoured defenders with powerful steam and gunpowder technology. Dwarf Realms use Dwarf units. Example: Karak Azul.

Greenskin Tribes

Savage Orc Tribes


  • Legions of undead skeletons, zombies and bat-winged horrors led by immortal Vampires and Necromancers. Example: Mousillon. See Vampire Counts units.

Norscan Tribes

  • Savage northern humans who seek to raid and pillage in the name of Chaos, using Norscan units. Example: Varg.

Beastmen Warherds

Introduced in Total War: Warhammer II[edit | edit source]


  • New minor factions created for all the old categories from Total War: Warhammer.

Skaven Clans

  • Skaven

High Elf Kingdoms:

  • High Elves

Dark Elves:

  • Many minor Dark Elves factions.


  • Many minor Lizardmen factions.

Tomb Kings:

  • Some minor Tomb Kings factions.

Rogue Armies

  • Unique minor factions which can units from several different races

Navboxes[edit | edit source]

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