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Hardest Legendary Lord Starting Positions In Total War: Warhammer 3



  • Starting location impacts how fast factions can progress, especially with tough opponents nearby – a challenge for even experienced players.
  • Overextension is a risk for leaders like Arkhan and Grombrindal, making it difficult to build up armies quickly against powerful foes.
  • Lords like Mannfred and Ku’gath face early-game struggles against neighboring factions that counter their units and abilities, slowing momentum.



The Immortal Empires map in Total War: Warhammer 3 is mammoth in scale. Starting with more than 250 independent factions warring for control, it is easy to be overwhelmed, especially for some of the playable Legendary Lords who start near fearsome foes or at a distinct disadvantage that will slow them down.


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Starting location can have a big impact on how quickly factions can get up and running and working as effectively as they should be. Completing a campaign with one of these Lords is a worthy challenge for the mightiest generals, and may also be a tricky test for new players who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Total War.

1 Arkhan The Black

Being Overextended Becomes A Problem

Arkhan the Black Total War Warhammer

Arkhan the Black starts an Immortal Empires campaign in the south near the western coast of the large desert. This gives him room to overextend himself at the beginning of the game, and he will quickly find himself at war with Dwarf war machines, Bretonnian cavalry, and even other Tomb Kings as they start to eclipse players in power.

Players’ starting armies are horde units that are effective against slow-moving enemies, but Arkhan will often be fighting against fast and evasive armies that have very high armor. The distance between settlements will also pose a threat, leaving wide stretches of the starting province undefended if Arkhan ever manages to expand.

2 Malagor The Dark Omen

Sandwiched Between Two Powerful Foes

Malagor The Dark Omen Total War Warhammer III

Malagor leads a Beastmen faction from the Badlands, which means a squabble between a huge swathe of armies grappling for enough power to conquer the whole region. Malagor’s empire works best when raiding and razing for income and aggression but this chaotic start will force the Beastmen into a defensive position where they will have to eliminate the weakest one at a time until they are a force to be reckoned with.


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Malagor’s armies are incredible melee combatants, but players find themselves sandwiched between two of the most effective melee-focused armies in the game, Skarbrand’s Khorne faction and Wurzag’s Orcs. Developing a strong midgame can often be slowed or halted entirely by these long wars of attrition. In some cases, Malagor’s best option is to retreat far away enough to start over and build up elsewhere.

3 Grombrindal The White Dwarf

Tough To Get Armies Up And Running Quickly

Grombrindal The White Dwarf Total War Warhammer III

Grombrindal, the White Dwarf of legend, is a powerful leader who is stunted by his empire’s position in Immortal Empires. He finds himself fighting Skaven as his first main opponent, but these enemies will quickly be joined by the Dark Elves of Naggarond. Add to this the consistent aggression of Valkia and her Khorne units razing undefended claimed land, and Grombrindal can find it quite hard to get his armies up and running and can especially struggle with his economy.

His faction is one of the most straightforward Dwarf factions to play, with strong backline artillery pieces that can shred slower enemies; the majority of his first enemies are much too fast. Valkia is an incredibly powerful lord that can fly into one’s backline to disrupt a whole formation. Grombrindal’s best chance is to hunker down into a defensive position until there is a weak enemy that he can move into and expand inch by inch.

4 Mannfred von Carstein

Neighboring Factions Can Counter His Units

Mannfred von Carstein Total War Warhammer III

Mannfred is a lord who had much more early-game ability in previous Total War titles. His starting army is quite small, and the low winds of magic in Total War: Warhammer 3 means that his early game suffers from a lack of powerful spells. His starting opponents are likely to give him a lot of trouble, with Volkmar starting to the player’s west with an Unbreakable army that counters the player’s units that should normally inflict fear.


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Volkmar’s army also quickly has access to flaming attacks that are particularly strong against Mannfred’s undead forces. As Mannfred expands he will be fighting Dwarfs and Lizardmen, perhaps even the Tomb Kings and Khorne. Each of these factions excels in wiping frontline infantry – players will be fighting an uphill battle with low armor and low-damage horde units that will struggle against highly armored enemies.

5 Ku’gath Plaguefather

Ghorst & Imrik Will Make Gaining Momentum Difficult

total war warhammer 3 ku'gath plaguefather

Another Legendary Lord who begins near a faction that acts as a hard counter to all the player’s abilities is Ku’gath. The Plaguefather begins in an isolated position, and as players emerge, will be opposed by Helman Ghorst. Ghorst is one of the most powerful leaders, with necromantic abilities that can quickly outpace Ku’gath’s army. Ghorst’s faction ability negates poison damage, making Nurgle’s special skills useless against his forces.

The next enemy that is likely to enter the fray is Imrik, who brings with him plenty of fire damage from his dragons that will do additional damage to Ku’gath because of his regeneration ability. All of this serves to slow down a faction that already struggles to build momentum due to the Nurgle cycle mechanic, making the first 25 turns a slog of slow factions bashing against each other until Ku’gath can force a victory.

6 Lord Mazdamundi

Multiple Fronts Makes Solidifying Gains A Hassle


Starting with a fairly low-power army, Lord Mazdamundi can struggle to get started on the Immortal Empires map. While he doesn’t start in a particularly crowded area, the main foes around him are very powerful and will move in when Mazdamundi is weak or leaves a settlement unguarded. Norsca and Slaanesh will be the first opponents and will bring more effective frontline units until the Lizardmen economy starts to build. Any expansion only reveals more enemies, pitting the Lizardmen against Skaven, Orc, and Dark Elf factions.

Mazdamundi is forced to choose one front to fight on while taking heavy losses and potentially losing a lot of land to the front that he ignores. If any nearby factions are left for too long, they will grow in power and snowball with all their gathered momentum, able to crush Mazdamundi and his weak starting units before the Lord is given a chance to fund more expensive soldiers. If the Empire also decides to declare war, Mazdamundi can simply be left behind in the race for power due to constantly having to defend and fight in long, drawn-out wars all across the campaign map.

Total War Warhammer 3

Total War: Warhammer 3

February 17, 2022

Strategy , Tactical

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