The Empire tech tree consists of technologies that unlock new advantages throughout the game. Research takes place constantly, but the rate at which discoveries occur can be increased by using heroes to spy or building additional research buildings at your settlements.
|Imperial Harbour||Temple of Sigmar|
Research points: 1000
| State Troop Sergeants |
Usually sporting impressive facial hair, barking orders, and instilling discipline, every regiment needs a decent sergeant.
| ||Regimental sergeants in Elector Count armies are made of stern stuff. They are veterans of many battles and have probably seen things that would turn the stomachs of the average man. Such bravery sees them rise in the ranks, leading regiments and steeling their men when wavering or barking orders in the midst of battle. The Empire needs men like these, but the very nature of their occupation means they are rare souls indeed.|
| State Troop Standards |
As regiments gain renown, their standards become talismans that are just as important as their sword-arms.
| ||Some regimental standards are hundreds of years old - physical representations of their regiments, even as members join and die in battle, or - if they are lucky - are relieved of duty and sent back to their old lives with a modest pension. The latter is rare, for there are always wars to fight for the Empire and for Sigmar!|
| State Troop Musicians |
A regimental musician beats out a regular tattoo to aid marching, even speeding units along when the meter quickens.
| ||Regimental musicians play drums, horns, or maybe other, more exotic instruments. There are plenty of examples throughout history; the Wolfenburg Jaegers, for example, had a flautist who played an instrument made from the arm bone of a Catrazzian Birdman. In any case, a musician is there to play a tune to keep the men in time and boost their morale.|
| Draft Irregulars |
A ready supply of fresh, professional soldiers isn't always possible, so drafting in irregulars can keep numbers up.
| ||The Empire is unique amongst the nations of men in keeping a standing army on its books. It has been so for centuries, perhaps as early as Hedrich I - although his army were tribal warriors, not the professional soldiery of the present day. Still, when fighting on many fronts the army regularly runs low on regulars. At these times, others must be drafted in, either by press-ganging or by payment of a retainer in lieu of a full salary.|
| Supply Wagons |
An army can only march as far as its supplies will last. Wagons loaded with goods allow for larger forces.
| ||Wagons crammed with supplies and looked after by stern and bearded quartermasters follow in an army's wake, enabling it to range further from home and ensure that it is fed and watered. Such wagon trains also need protection, of course, for while allowing armies a longer leash, that same leash can easily be cut if exposed to the enemy.|
| Volley Fire |
Missile units that train together excel at firing a deadly hail, so not all members of the regiment have to see the target.
| ||An Imperial crossbow and handgunner regiment is a formidable force. Some eagle-eyed members can pick off a noble's plume at a hundred and twenty paces with their crossbows, yet the secret of volley fire is not range nor even sight of the target, but firing as one into the sky to rain a hail of death upon the unfortunate enemy.|
| Mass-Produced Small Ammunition |
Industrialised production of ammunition for handguns has allowed the Empire to hoard large supplies.
| ||With Bretonnia the exception - as they see black powder as unchivalrous - the other nations look enviously upon the Empire and their ability to deploy massed handgunners on the battlefield. The secret of black powder is still one only shared between the Empire and the Dwarfs, and - despite diplomatic and espionage by the likes of Estalia - the formulation and the ability to mass-produce ammunition remains with Sigmar's people.|
| Gunnery School Siege Masters |
Veteran gunsmiths work at their great inventions, racing their peers to create the largest artillery pieces.
| ||Siege Masters is an ad hock term given to Master Engineers and veteran gunsmiths that excel in creating larger, heavy calibre guns and cannons. This has led to some catastrophes during the testing phase and the loss of many apprentices' lives. However, some results have been successful, giving the Empire the edge in siege warfare - or so they claim, much to Dwarfen consternation!|
| Rifled Barrels |
The discovery of barrel-rifling led to increases in speed and accuracy. Both Dwarfs and men claim credit for this invention.
| ||Decades after the rifle came to prominence, someone discovered that spinning the shot as it left the barrel via rifling the inside increased both the weapon's distance and its accuracy. Whether this someone was a man or Dwarf is contested by both races. What is certain is that rifling techniques work, but are not the easiest to mass-produce due to the intricate machinery required.|
| Veteran Gunners |
Veteran Gunners are able to spot a target with unerring accuracy - they've probably survived the odd misfire too…
| ||Gunnery crews are trained at the Imperial Gunnery school at Nuln and then shipped, with their cannons, all across the Empire in its defence. It's these grizzled folk who can range a target with a quick glimpse, factoring in such variables as wind speed and gradients. Veterans also tend to name their artillery pieces, which is why cannons known as "Bertha Bristle Breeches" and "That Bastard, Jack" have scoured the Empire's foes for many years.|
| Imperial Architects |
The Imperial Architects are an eccentric bunch who have always had, well, let's say 'fanciful' ideas about how a building should look…
|The eccentricities of the Empire's architects is well-known. Each is desperate to outdo the others with their opulent, grandiose and impractical designs. Yet somehow, as if in defiance of gravity, the buildings remain upright and get taller and more crooked every year. The grander structures are more than simple curios - great edifices like the Imperial palace and the Grand Temple of Sigmar are true man-made buildings of wonder.|
| Firing Drills |
Packing a wallop when they strike, artillery crews are also measured on their firing rates; the faster the better.
|The better the firing rate of artillery pieces, the higher the chance of scoring multiple hits. The Empire pride themselves on their rapidity in this matter, honed by many firing drills. The Dwarfs, in comparison, prefer a more measured approach by ensuring that the first shot hits the target or achieving the same rates by technical means such as their Organ Gun. For the Empire though, a well-drilled crew is a successful one.|
| Fishing Fleet |
As the fishing fleet leaves port, a prayer is said to Manann in the hope that he will provide a generous bounty.
| ||Considering its size, the Empire has relatively little coastline and is land-locked on three sides. Therefore, fishing fleets must either venture into the Sea of Claws or trust the Old World's gargantuan rivers to provide a decent haul. Prayers to Manann or even Stromfels can help, along with the odd sacrifice of a cat thrown overboard - usually garnered from one of the port's dingy alleys.|
| Mercantile Fleet |
The merchant fleets travel far and wide, collecting wares from Ulthuan, Ind and Far Cathay.
|The merchant fleets are another arm to the Burgomeisters' trade monopolies. The Empire's nobles have had a taste of the exotic for decades, so the merchant barons have chartered ships to appease their desires and make a rich profit off the back of such enterprises. Of course, plying the seas of this world is not without its dangers - and not just from enemy fleets either - so merchants must weigh up the risk of investing in such ventures against a potentially lucrative reward.|
| Sea Charts |
Charting the seas has always been a perilous venture. For confirmation, just ask Admiral Roth's father…
| ||With whole landmasses still unknown to even the most educated of the Empire's scholars, it is no wonder that the seas beyond the Old World still largely remain a mystery - a conundrum that only the High Elves have solved. Yet there are, of course, sea charts such as those created by the so-called Mapwright, that show coastal areas and even trade routes used and jealously guarded by the Elves.|
| State-Issued Infantry Armour |
State Troops are often issued with armour plate to ensure unit cohesion and a modest level of protection.
| ||How the local State Troops are armed and armoured is the responsibility of the province's Elector Count, and to a lesser extent, his Grafs and quartermasters, varying greatly depending on the needs and desires of the Elector. Some favour a unified approach, some do not care what their soldiers go to war in, while others simply don't fancy the expense of providing forged armour for mere commoners.|
| State-Issued Weapons |
Although the cost falls to each individual soldier, it is expected that all will use standardised equipment.
| ||States Troops are not Free Company, but are expected to be armed with weapons of similar quality. This is to ensure the regiment functions as a capable unit, because only disciplined men, working as one, who can overcome the dread things they have to face in battle. Of course, the cost of such weapons comes from individual soldiers' purses. After all, no Elector is going to bankrupt himself by providing essentials out of his own pocket.|
| Improved Light Cavalry Armour |
Light Cavalry need to be mobile, so shun full-plate armour. Regardless, some protection is still required.
| ||Fast cavalry units such as Pistoliers and Outriders have much lighter raiments than the Empire's Knights, as their function is very different. Pistoliers use their manoeuvrability to find good firing spots from which to harass the enemy, quickly moving on when they are inevitably spotted. As a result, a lighter armour is necessary to enable them to swiftly ride away and repeat the process elsewhere on the field.|
| Improved Heavy Weapons |
Refined ore techniques create stronger steel, making for more durable blades and heavier weapon heads.
| ||While the Dwarfs were the first to fashion iron and turn it into steel, it can be argued that in the latter ages the innovations of the Empire have moved the technology onwards even further. Metal-workers, engineers and smiths have created much strange and exotic weaponry, although the largest orders are for heavier, larger weapons or longer, harder lances.|
| Full Plate Mail |
The secrets to forging full-plate armour are passed down to chosen smiths under the patronage of the Knightly Orders.
| ||The secrets of forging stronger steel are held exclusively by Dwarfs and men. It was the Dwarfs that were the world's first true metalworkers, but thanks to centuries of alliances they have shared some, if not all, secrets of the process with the nascent Empire. Soon human smiths were super-heating iron and adding charcoal to create stronger, more pliant steel - the perfect material for making full-plate armour.|
| Thick Tank Plating |
There are eight Steam Tanks left in the world, of which only a few have been 'improved' with thicker armour plate.
| ||Steam tanks are known as Iron Behemoths, for they are all but indestructible. However, this isn't quite true, as twelve were originally manufactured but only eight remain. It therefore stands to reason that they can actually be damaged after all. To this end, an even thicker armour has been developed which improves defence but makes contraptions heavier - not necessarily what you want on the notoriously-muddy battlefields of the Old World!|
| Rally Lesser Nobles |
The young nobles of the Pistolkorps are called to war, many eager to prove their worth in battle!
| ||Some spirited young nobles gather their friends and found Pistolier regiments of their own, but most join the ranks of the Pistolkorps, a military organisation funded by the Emperor, the Imperial Engineers School and sponsored by several Knightly Orders. Once a rally call goes out, the local Pistolkorps chapter sees frenetic activity as nobles jostle to be represented in the forthcoming war.|
| Warhorse Breeding |
Selective breeding allows the Empire to have good supply of steeds, capable of carrying heavily-armoured Knights into battle.
| ||Bretonnians like to carp on about how their steeds are the best in the known world, but the liveries of the Empire can certainly compete. Empire warhorses are large, war-tested beasts, capable of charging at full force with a heavily-armoured Knight on its back without rearing in panic. This isn't by chance, of course, such steeds are hand-reared and trained to perform on battlescapes where blood and magic are flying about.|
| Mounted Musicians |
Musicians on horseback help co-ordinate charges with a siren blast of the horn, ensuring a wall of hooves and lance approaches the foe!
| ||Those that that can beat a regular tattoo while their horse gallops or sound the horn at the Preceptor's command aid a unit's cohesion. A co-ordinated charge is always better than Knights acting individually, as they are wont to do on occasion for personal glory. However, should a Grand Master hear of such idiocy then the Knight responsible faces expulsion - told to go and join those vain, glory-hunting fools in Bretonnia.|
| Knightly Preceptors |
Taken from the Inner Circle, Preceptors are veterans and champions of the Knightly brotherhood.
| ||The noble-born warriors of the Empire do not form part of a standing army, for to do so would mean rubbing shoulders with the common soldiery. Instead, they typically fight for one of the Knightly Orders - heroic brotherhoods of warriors. From their ranks the veterans, the Inner Circle Knights picked to fight with retinues of less-experienced, but still deadly warriors, guide them to victory.|
| Reiksguard Standard Bearers |
The Reiksguard are the personal army of the Emperor, the standard they carry a symbol of his military might.
| ||Standards are key to a regiment's success on the battlefield. The bearer chosen to hold it aloft in battle knows they occupy an honoured position among their peers, for the rallying power of the standard can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Reiksguard are a different breed of warrior, brave and proficient in arms. Their standard bearers are of such calibre that the flag will be kept flying no matter who they face.|
| The Inner Circle |
The Knights of the Inner Circle are the elite of the elite, amongst the best fighting men of the Empire.
| ||An Order's veteran Knights form its Inner Circle. Together they form retinues that often accompany the Grand Master, or some other commander of great import, in battle. Potential candidates are invited to attend the inner workings of the Knightly Order following a great feat in battle. However, this alone is not enough - the candidate must also epitomise the virtues of the Order.|
| Purge Dark Cults |
The Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar - or Witch Hunters - can be sent under an Arch Lector's order to purge vile cults.
| ||Although it is the remit of Sigmar's Templars of the Silver Hammer to seek out and destroy the cults of Chaos and Necromancy, should a Warrior Priest come across such a fell conclave it is his duty to gather a party of locals or hired swords and do the job themselves, should the Witch Hunters be absent.|
| Divine Sanction |
The Grand Theogonist himself has judged this region and declared it pure and free from fell taint.
| ||The Grand Theogonist and his Arch Lectors are not ones for sitting behind desks in the Grand Temple's vestry. They often tour the provinces, subtly enforcing the tenets of Imperial rule, as well as confronting enemies and banishing Chaos wherever it rears its ugly heads. Following a successful visit they give their divine sanction and declare the area free from corrupting influences, although one can never truly banish evil from the world.|
| Ecclesial Writ |
When the Dark Powers gather, the Cult of Sigmar sends its champions to rid the realm of its taint.
| ||Fighting Chaos and all the other evil that confronts the Empire is an ongoing concern, with no true victory in sight. All a Grand Theogonist can do is keep evil at bay by using his considerable resources - whether that is his battle-hardened clergy, penitent nobles and Grafs, devoted Knightly Orders or the Holy Order of Templars.|