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- Emperor Karl Franz

The Empire.png
General data
TypePlayable subfaction
CategoryThe Empire
RulerKarl Franz, Volkmar the Grim
CampaignsThe Old World, Mortal Empires
Starting territoryReikland (province)
Racial capitalAltdorf
Distinct features
Bullet icon empire magic colleges.pngColleges of Magic:Harness multiple Lores of Magic to bolster the Empire's strength and destroy its enemies.
Bullet icon empire units.pngVaried unitsLarge and varied unit roster with a wide range of infantry, cavalry, artillery and other unit types.
?Fealty and Imperial AuthorityEmpire players can extend their authority across the empire by engaging in internal politics and quelling agitators in their efforts to confederate or go to war with the Elector Counts leading other major Empire factions.
For the province named Reikland, please see Reikland (province).

Overview[edit | edit source]

Reikland is a playable subfaction of The Empire introduced in Total War: Warhammer. It is led by Karl Franz or Volkmar the Grim and can be found in the western parts of The Old World.

The Empire is the largest human nation in the Old World. They are a proud country built on steel, gunpowder and faith in their patron god Sigmar. They are based on the real world Holy Roman Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries. Their army combines Spearmen, Knights and Cannons with fantasy elements such as Battle Wizards, Steam Tanks and Griffons.

How they play[edit | edit source]

A summary of Reikland gameplay:

  • Units: The Empire have an extremely large and diverse roster with almost every unit type represented. Infantry form the core of their army, backed up by strong cavalry and artillery.
  • Regiments of Renown: These are unique, more-powerful versions of regular Empire units.
  • Colleges of Magic: Reikland can recruit 7 different kinds of spellcaster heroes, who have access to a total of 42 spells – the most of any faction.
  • Imperial Authority: Empire players can extend their authority across the empire by engaging in internal politics and quelling agitators in their efforts to confederate or go to war with the Elector Counts leading other major Empire factions.
  • Good for Beginners: Of all the races in Total War: Warhammer, Reikland is perhaps the most similar to a historical Total War faction. Diplomacy and trade plays a major role in the initial stages of an Empire campaign, while combined arms tactics are required to achieve victory in battle. Players will be slowly introduced to magic spells and monster units as they play.

Background[edit | edit source]

For two and a half millennia The Empire has formed a bulwark against the encroaching forces of destruction. The Empire lies in the heart of the Old World, and it is the greatest and most powerful of all the nations forged by Men, greater even than the fair land of Bretonnia. But the The Empire is in constant turmoil, beset on all sides by enemies ferocious and foul, with even dark gods and their unholy followers desiring nothing more than the Empire's utter destruction.

Yet it endures, for mankind has a steely determination to not merely live, but thrive. The Empire’s armies are mighty with ranks of highly-disciplined troops and heavily-armoured Knights, led by valiant warrior-generals and supplemented by the arcane will of Battle Wizards and powerful machines of war.

While the Empire’s vast armies are constantly caught in the swirling maelstrom of war, facing all manner of threats within and without its porous borders, perhaps its greatest foe is, and always has been, itself. For the Empire is not one harmonious nation but a collective of fiercely independent provinces and city-states each led by an Elector Count – a powerful noble whose own interests often come before matters of his people or the greater good of the nation. It is from these men and women that an Emperor is elected; in the past the realm has been blighted by a succession of corrupt leaders, or been riven with internal strife as rival Electors fought for the throne. During such dark times the Empire was at its weakest and so its many enemies have taken full advantage.

And yet when mankind seems in greatest peril, the Twin-Tailed Comet arcs across the sky and a great leader comes to the fore. First it was Sigmar, the warrior-god that founded The Empire. Then two hundred years ago, Magnus the Pious marched to the aid of neighbouring Kislev, and purged the lands of Chaos, uniting the Empire under one glorious banner for the first time in centuries.

Now, a new Emperor has been crowned. He is untested, unwilling as yet to take up Sigmar’s warhammer. Furthermore, he is not the candidate many Elector Counts wanted. As a result the Counts are uneasy and in some cases outright hostile. So begins the reign of Karl Franz, and he has much to do: unite The Empire, secure its borders and bring prosperity to its beleaguered citizens. It is a time when dark clouds gather in the north, threats lurk in the Empire's dark forests; the dead walk again in Sylvania; The Empire's ancient allies are under siege, and the Greenskins are more belligerent than ever.

The Twin-Tailed Comet blazes across the sky once again, but is it an omen for good... or ill?

In battle[edit | edit source]

Unit Roster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Empire unit roster

In battle, Reikland has access to a large and balanced unit roster with a wide range of options. Their roster offers plenty of flexibility in terms of strategy. The backbone of their armies is infantry armed with a variety of weapons from greatswords to spears and handguns. They also have various types of knights and ranged cavalry, cannons and even magical artillery. The mighty Steam Tank is one of the game's most powerful war machines. The faction even has flying units and monsters, available as character mounts.

However, high specialization among units means that the day is won not through numbers or tactics, but a competent strategic approach through combined arms: mixing units and covering their weak spots with other forces.

Colleges of Magic[edit | edit source]

Bullet icon empire magic colleges.pngColleges of Magic: Reikland spellcasters have access to the Lore of Light, Lore of Heavens, Lore of Fire, Lore of Beasts, Lore of Life, Lore of Shadows and added in the second game: Lore of Death. This is a total of 48 spells, the most of any faction. Each type of Empire wizard has its own unique model (and in some cases unique mounts or abilities) to represent the various Colleges in lore. Note that Reikland does not have access to the Lore of Metal unless confederating The Golden Order as Balthasar Gelt is the only Empire character who can use it.

Imperial authority[edit | edit source]

Main article: Imperial Authority

Empire players can extend their authority across the empire by engaging in internal politics and quelling agitators in their efforts to confederate or go to war with the Elector Counts leading other major Empire factions.

Regiments of Renown[edit | edit source]

The Empire has several Regiments of Renown. These are elite, unique versions of standard Empire units.

Elector Count State Troops[edit | edit source]

The Empire has access to Elector Count State Troops. These are elite, unique versions of standard Empire units. You can recruit them by appointing or confederating with an Elector Count.

In campaign[edit | edit source]

Starting territory[edit | edit source]

  • Reikland (province) (Aldorf only when playing as Reikland, whole province when not playing as them)

Legendary Lord Choices[edit | edit source]

  • Karl Franz - powerful melee leader who can ride a flying monster
  • Volkmar the Grim - resilient melee leader with useful spell-like abilities

Faction effects[edit | edit source]

  •  ?

Karl Franz Lord effects[edit | edit source]

  • Campaign movement range: +10% (all characters)
  • Upkeep: -15% for Reiksguard and Greatswords units
  • Lord recruit rank: +2 (all provinces)
  • +10 diplomacy with Empire factions
  • +8 Leadership (Lord's army)

Volkmar the Grim Lord effects[edit | edit source]

  • Magic item drop chance: +20%
  • Weapon strength: +30% for Flagellants units
  • Upkeep: -30% for Flagellants units
  • +30% casualty replenishment for Flagellants
  • +12% Physical Resistance for Flagellants
  • +14 Melee defence for Flagellants

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Reikland plays similarly to traditional Total War factions, with diplomacy playing a major role in the initial stages of the campaign (uniting the Elector Counts with the strength of their arguments or the argument of strength) and strengthening the realm against future threats. Late game focuses on frontline affairs more strongly, as the Empire comes under attack from Chaos.
  • This faction starts with a fractured Empire, whereby the provinces of the Empire are ruled by Elector Counts over whom the Emperor has tenuous control at best. However, this same situation also allows for plentiful confederation options that allow other Empire factions to be merged with the Emperor’s via diplomacy. Dwarfs are a vital ally in any Empire game, as they have generally non-overlapping territorial interests and can provide a strong boost to trade. Bretonnia is an excellent ally as well, but can also be dismembered and annexed for special building chains and raw income (eg. Couronne), while Southern Realms can also play that role. Notably, the Southern Realms and Bretonnia can act as a buffer for Beastmen and Wood Elves, which have a habit of stomping neighbors into the ground thanks to the edge they have in low tier battles.
  • Numerous enemies, dissatisfied Elector Counts to the north and east, Chaos even further up, Orcs to the south, Vampire Counts in Sylvania and agents in the shadows, and Beastmen all around. Bretonnia, Tilea, Estalia and the Border Princes can become your enemies should relations turn sour. Lastly, the Dwarfs and their heavily armoured warriors will stop at nothing to settle any grudges with the other factions, try not to put yours on the list. With the Wood Elves and Beastmen apparent, Reikland has a challenging strategic situation, especially under an AI player.
  • Overall, Reikland is a very strong faction in both single and multiplayer games. Infantry, especially Halberdiers and Greatswords, can hold the line well, but their ace in the hole is their war machine and cavalry catalogue. Imperial commanders can snatch up Demigryph Knights for wiping out enemy beasts and dealing with large armored threats (though fielding them against Bretonnian massed cavalry charges is a good way to get them killed) together with the Reiksguard shock cavalry (excellent against weaker opponents). The Steam Tank shines among other war machines thanks to its versatility (ram and artillery), with Karl Franz being insanely powerful (though prohibitively expensive in multiplayer games). Heroes like the Witch Hunter, Jade Wizard, and Warrior Priests round out the roster for single models, though they might be more useful on the campaign map than in battle.
  • No flying units other than high level characters means that Reikland is effectively hamstrung when dealing with factions that love flying units, like Bretonnia, Wood Elves, or Vampire Counts. They have to deal with them defensively, using eg. Handgunners (accurate, high AP), Lore of Light, or the Luminark of Hysh to deal damage to the enemy. Combined with a trapping spell like Net of Amyntok enemy flyers need to be wary of wandering into enemy fields of fire.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • As with other factions with multiple Lords, Reikland is led by its main leader, Karl Franz, when controlled by the AI. Volkmar can still be recruited by the AI though.
  • Reikland, and the Empire in its entirety, has a special place in the Total War: Warhammer community, often being first place in community polls on their favorite faction.
  • In the Potion of Speed Update for Total War: Warhammer II the faction received a name change. Previously, they had the generic name "The Empire", sharing the name of their race.