Total War: Warhammer Empire Army Guide
(Last Updated On: May 30, 2016)

The Empire is known as a squishy but reliable faction. They have a lot of moderate units with a reliance on magic, cavalry and armored tanks. They can dish out some pain and take it, but players have to be smart about how they use their units on the battlefield. For a more in-depth look at the Empire, there are Total War: Warhammer guides available that cover the full extent of the Empire’s units and resources, offering tips and hints for maximizing their ability during combat.

YouTuber THFE Productions has over overview video of the Empire’s units, discussing their pros and cons and a few of their abilities. It’s a quick seven minute video just to help give you a crash course on the Empire’s army.

One of the heroes of the Empire is Karl Kranz. He rides on the flying Griffith the Deathclaw, earning his unit title as a “Flying Monster”. He has many special bonuses when used in battle, including an armored bonus so only armor-piercing weapons can do any real damage. He himself also has armor-piercing capabilities with his specialized hammer, and he’s a duelist, so he’s especially useful in one-on-one fights. More importantly, he can whittle out groups of enemies thanks to his ability to insight fear and terror into his opponents.

He gets a high-rate of armor, a rating of 100 to be exact. He has high leadership, he’s extremely fast thanks to the Deathclaw, he has moderate melee attack damage and sort of low melee defense, but his weapon strength is extremely high, one of the highest in all of Total War: Warhammer, and it’s made even more devastating thanks to a high charge bonus when he sweeps in on the Deathclaw to wipe out hordes of his enemies. It’s also possible to use Franz on foot, but he’s far more dangerous when riding Deathclaw.

YouTuber Loki Doki does a breakdown of Franz to showcase how he can be used in battle with a quick seven minute video below.

He notes that Karl Franz is better against counter-charges and flank charges on non-armor piercing units, as well as picking off other heroes in one-on-one fights, such as wizards, mages or other duelists.

Balthasar Gelt is another hero who is extremely powerful and is an irreplaceable asset on the battlefield. Gelt is a wizard with spellcasting abilities, and it’s his only bonus… but then again, it’s the only bonus he needs. He has extremely low armor, rated at only 20, along with above average leadership, low speed, moderately low melee attack and defense, but extremely powerful spellcasting abilities.

Gelt has buffs, debuffs and magic attacks, totaling 13 different ways he can help his allies or hinder his enemies. His magic is limited to the pool of the winds of magic per battle. Some of his spells include things like Metlashifting, which grants a 4% armor-piercing damage bonus to any allies within range of the spell. There’s also Searing Doom, which is a bombardment attack that stacks based on the amount of enemies it strikes, meaning it does more damage the more enemies that are targeted. He’s best used in a support role, buffing allies and targeting enemies as a sort of magical artillery nightmare. Loki Doki covers more of his skills in the video below.

Demigryph Knights can only be recruited in the mid-to-late portion of the campaign mode. They’re a very small but very powerful unit, having only 24 soldiers within each group. They can be recruited through the third tier of the Empire’s military recruitment manager. Before recruiting them you will need to first build the armory, which can only be built in a level 4 providential capital.

The Demigrpyh Knights also come in the form of halberd carriers, for the option of dishing out extra damage. They have 6000 HP in total, breaking down to 250HP per soldier. They can also cause terror in their opponents due to the fact that they’re a feared unit on the battlefield. You can see them in action with the video below from Total War Zone.

The Demigryph Knights also have high armor, high leadership, they’re quite fast, they have strong melee attacks, a charge bonus and moderate defense.

Up next is the Warrior Priest. He’s a melee specialist with a bonus battle prayer for buffing troops. He has high leadership, low armor, low speed, high weapon strength and moderate melee defense. In addition to buffs, the Warrior Priest also has some attack spells at his disposal, but be warned that his AOE spells can also damage allies, so use his attack spells cautiously when allies are nearby. Loki Doki has a quick video covering the Warrior Priest’s abilities if you fancy taking a look.

The Empire Steam Tank is a formidable beast that you may have heard about frequently. It’s an expensive steam unit that has a number of bonuses, including armor-piercing rounds, armored bonuses against attacks, it causes terror against enemy troops and has an unbreakable bonus.

Additionally, it has 100 points worth of leadership, it has moderate speed, extremely high weapon strength and it can dispense of nearby enemies using the hot steam spray.

Another similar unit is the Luminark of Hysh. It’s an artillery magic unit. It has a ball of illumination bonus and a magical aura. The only problem is that it has a very low rate of fire. The unit has extremely low defenses, and isn’t armored all that well, but it outputs 1050 points worth of magical damage, so partnering the unit with another unit to buff the accuracy to take out high-end opposing units.You can see the Steam Tank and the Luminark of Hysh in action with the video below.

The Helstorm Rocket Battery is another artillery weapon. It’s not good at moving and it’s not very good when it comes to accuracy, but it has anti-infantry bonus and a really good range of 450 with very high missile damage output. They don’t have much in the form of defenses, so if the enemy reaches the units they’re practically dead. But the range and the damage on the missiles should help stave off oncomers long enough to position some lesser units to wall off enemies and rout them away from the Helstorm Rocket Batteries.

Additionally, there’s the Helblaster Volley Gun. This is an armor-piercing missile launcher with only half the range of the Helstorm Rocket Battery, but offers similar output and better accuracy. In the video below, it’s described as a Gatling cannon of sort. It’s a good weapon to use if you want to thin out enemy troops in a mid-range skirmish. They’re extremely vulnerable, so continue to keep them well guarded if you plan on utilizing them in battle. You can see how much damage they output and how accurate they are with the video below.

The Mortar is a siege artillery weapon, it’s designed as an anti-infantry device. Like the aforementioned artillery weapons above, it lacks speed, armor and any sort of melee defense, but it has high range and high missile damage. According to Loki Doki, the Mortar is one of the best artillery on the Empire side. Due to their anti-infantry focus, they aren’t good against armored units and they don’t have high accuracy either.

Additionally, the Empire has the Great Cannon. These are anti-large units with armor-piercing rounds with a range of 450 and near 200 missile damage. These are units designed to take down Giants, Trolls, or spiders. Like the other artillery units, the Great Cannon does not have good defensive properties at all, so they’re best used at a distance and protected by other armored units. You can see both units in action with the video below.

The Empire Handgunners are a missile infantry unit. They aren’t entirely fast but they have moderate marching speeds. They have extremely low armor and they have moderate leadership, but their key to victory is the 135 range and high damage from their rifles with low ammunition.

The Empire Crossbowmen have slightly lower melee damage but they make up for it with higher range. Their stats are almost identical to the Handgunners, save they don’t have armor-piercing shots, so they’re better as anti-infantry against non-armored units. You can see how they play out with the video below.

The Pistoliers are a missile cavalry unit, which are very fast and get the vanguard deployment bonus, so they can be placed just about anywhere on the battlefield. They are weak against armored units, and they have a speed rating of 92. They have moderately low armor, fair leadership skills, low melee defense and low melee attack. They’re not very good when it comes to weapon strength but they have moderate range, so they’re good at moving fast around a group of enemies, doing pick and roll attacks. They’re basically a kite and flight unit.

The Outriders are a step up from the Pistolers, using a repeater rifle with armor-piercing rounds and a vanguard deployment bonus. They get double the range of the Pistolers at the cost of being just a little slower than the Pistolers. There’s also a variant of the Outriders with grenade launchers, giving up the armor-piercing bonus for an anti-infantry bonus instead. They have shorter range than the standard Outriders but higher range than the Pistolers. They have moderate stats across the board save for defenses, which is still relatively low. You can see each of them in action with the video below.

We’re finally out of the artillery and projectile section and now we take a look at the Empire Greatswords and other melee classes. The Greatswords are fully armored and receive an armored bonus along with armor-piercing and they are designed for anti-infantry, making them good against other armored Orcs or Dwarves. They don’t have good speed, thus making them more-so designed for counter-attacks against armored units. They have high leadership, moderate melee attack, relatively low melee defense and decent weapon strength for their unit size. You can see them in action with the video below.

The Empire Swordsmen are a standard sword infantry unit with their only bonus being that they’re shielded. They aren’t fast and they aren’t slow. They have moderate stats on everything, from armor, leadership and weapon attacks to charging, and defense.

The Empire Halberdier have an armor-piercing bonus and an anti-large bonus against dragons, Giants or Trolls. They also have moderate stats in armor, leadership, speed, melee attack and defense. You can see both the Halberdier and the Swordsmen units in action with the video below.

The Empire Knights are a shock heavy cavalry unit. They’re an armored and shielded unit designed to be anti-infantry. They have 100 points worth of armor, so they can absorb all sorts of damage while also getting a charge bonus so they can barrel through enemies while also doing decent melee damage.

The Reiksguard are the upgraded, elite version of the Empire Knights. They have an armor and shield bonus, and are also anti-infantry. They get 120 points worth of armor, and they have high leadership, above average speed for a cavalry unit, along with moderate melee attack, and almost below par melee defense. They get decent weapon strength and a charge bonus for running over opponents. You can see them in action with the video below.

The General of the Empire is a generic hero unit with an armor and shield bonus. He has 65 leadership points, 85 points worth of armor, moderate speed, high melee attack, high defense, and extremely high weapon strength with plenty of buffs. The General also has the ability to become a flying monster, riding on the Griffin into battle, giving him an additional terror bonus and much higher speed so he can traverse the battlefield quickly.

The Empire Captain is similar to the General, but with lower HP, and slightly less armor and leadership, He also has fewer buffs to utilize during battle and slightly lower weapon strength. He’s literally just a poor man’s General. The Captain also has an option of riding a Pegasus into battle, working as a poor man’s Griffin. You can see both of them in action in the video below.

Moving on to the Wizard classes. There are three different types. The first is the Bright Wizard, with a spellcaster bonus. He has extremely low defenses and is not good at melee combat. However, the Bright Wizard focuses on fire attacks and fire buffs, such as a magic missile, which has a 300 meter range, coupled with his melee weapon rating of 300, making him a worthwhile accessory for anyone who values burning their opponents into a crisp… from a distance. He can also buff allies with additional melee and missile damage, making him great for making long-range allies a lot more dangerous.

The Celestial Wizard also gets a spellcaster bonus, and has fairly low defenses. He has the same 300 point weapon strength rating as the Bright Wizard, except he has more curses to debuff enemy troops, such as a 34 point reduction in their melee attacks or a 15 point reduction in their armor. He can also use magic like the Comet of Casandra to wreck enemies with a large AOE attack, or chain lightning.

The Light Wizard is the third of the three classes, where his spells also focus more on debuffs and ally buffs. The only difference between the three classes of spellcasters here are the spell options at their disposal, otherwise their stats are all the same. He has access to the wind blast, thunderbolt spells, lightning and other large scale AOE attacks. You can see some of their attacks in action with the video below.

The Witch Hunter is the next class. He’s a sword and gun using class known as a missile specialist with a bonus for being an armor-piercing duelist. He’s what you would consider to be a hero killer. He has decent leadership, moderately low armor, decent speed, and decent melee defenses. His key element is sneaking into an army line and specifically taking out an enemy hero. He’s best used in a sneaky fashion so you can pick out a pesky hero unit on the opposing side and murder them real good. You can see how he fights in the video below, showing that he’s not good for taking out groups of infantry.

Total War: Warhammer is available right now for PC. The game has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from critics and gamers alike. You can learn more about this high-end RTS title by heading on over to the official website.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Loki Doki

    Hi there. Loki Doki here. great guide and thanks for including my videos

    • Cool of you to drop by. You have some great stuff on Warhammer and some of the best guides out there since you show both the unit stats and how the units work in combat. Keep up the excellent work, dude!

      • Loki Doki

        much appreciated mate, let me know if you want me to make anything specific. you can email at [email protected]