We know that Cathay, Kislev and Chaos Daemons are confirmed. Beyond that, there are so many factions that could be made that I figure it might be worthwhile to have a list.
Ogre Kingdoms: This army had a completely supported from 6th edition to End Times. In fact, with this army you may as well just add any new models introduced in AoS if there are any because they have fundamentally visually remained entirely unaltered by the setting reboot. This needs to be its own army, no doubt. It'll be a bit tricky as it will be an army where everything but their little goblinoid buddies is large which means that every other army will know to bring their anti-large stuff against it, but…. well, in a campaign map with so many distinct armies, does knowing anti-large will be generally effective against one really make much of a difference? I think it will only matter in multiplayer free battles.
Chaos Dwarfs: Chaos Dwarfs have a pretty expansive roster. They were supported in 3rd to 5th edition and from 8th edition as a Forgeworld army. They really need to be a distinct army type wholly onto their own. The only questions in regard to Chaos Dwarfs is as to whether they should get to keep using greenskin slave units (no other slaving army actually gets to field its slaves) or they should field just their own units. And then there are questions as to how to implement their train. Yes, they have a train unit where in tabletop you could add as many cars loaded with siege weapons as you liked. But otherwise it is a pretty well laid out and robust army with the biggest issue is there only being a few established characters.
Hobgoblin Khanate: Hobgoblins have existed since Warhammer 1st edition, but stopped appearing explicitly around 5th edition. I think everyone has a pretty good idea what their roster should look like. Really the only disagreements are about what the super elite cavalry should ride– whether it be bigger wolves or liondogs or tigers or scorpions. If the Chaos Dwarfs get some of their units, then probably when playing Chaos Dwarfs you only get the basic tier 1 to 2 units and maybe heroes, but when you play Khanate you get access to the units up to tier 5 and their beasts unit chain and lords and heroes. There are really only 3 properly established characters with their supreme leader holding the title "Hobgobla Khan" but scant details on him. It seems like they would probably make for a good horde faction since they are nomads. Personally I hope to see Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblins clearly separated as I am a big fan of Hobgoblins and don't want to be forced to play as a Chaos Dwarf lord to play as them. But there are a few others who seem to aggressively have the polar opposite opinion, as though they have no faith the Chaos Dwarfs can survive on their own merits without absorbing the entire Hobgoblin roster into themselves.
Savage Orcs: It might be too late for this, but given that WarHammer 1 split the Greenskins into "Greenskins" and "Savage Orcs" with the later group having a horde mechanic… seems like having savage orcs and forest goblins function as a horde style army while other orcs and goblins were linked to cities was a lost opportunity in the least. I recently did a playthrough of WarHammer 1 as the Skulltakers and while it was incredibly frustrating due to the fact that they were not properly designed to be a faction that was meant to be competitive or even played– it felt like they were just a few tweaks away from working. But I suppose the idea of establishing the Savage Orc/Forest Goblin style as distinct from the Black Orc/Night Goblin army style was thrown away many years ago. Still… its something that could be done. Especially if one were willing to dip into AoS enough to steal some ideas off those Bonesplitterz and Spiderfang models. I do find it a bit odd how all the different kinds of humans and Elves can be seperated out, but all the Orcs and Goblins got dumped into a single bucket rather than being separated into distinct armies with their own benefits and drawbacks. Maybe this is more a task for the mod community to take up.
Ind: Basically just India. A lot of the mechanics of the other human units can probably be ported over and given a face-lift. They have elephants and trained battle tigers. They also have monkeypeople (who also work with Cathay), tigerpeople and hawkpeople– clearly based on the Vanara, Rakshasha and Garuda (I don't know why they shy away from using those terms). So most of this can be a basic human faction with different skins with additional trained beasts and beastmen units.
Southern Realms: Exists already on the map and has since Warhammer 1. They would be represented by the army "Dogs of War" except that was primarily a very character-driven list of various mercenary units. Still– we basically know what to expect here and they have no shortage of characters– in fact, they have an overabundance of them. There have been mods that add them to the game since WarHammer 1 (in fact, I just finished a playthrough as Tilea). They are an army that can combined humans, dwarfs, halflings and maybe some elves. Whether they should get the Greenskin, Undead and Dark Elf Dogs of War units or those should just be Regiments of Renown for their respective races is up in the air. Seems like their main Ogre character is needed to be part of Ogre Kingdoms and their main Hobgoblin characters would make most sense as the main Hobgoblin Khanate characters.
Halflings: While they exist in the WarHammer mythos as a distinct race from humans, and there technically have been rules to play as an entire army of only Halflings, I wonder if they really need to be anything more than a single building chain with 4-6 possible units available to Empire and Southern Realms. I mean– I get that someone might possibly want to play a game with a Halfling lord and Halfling heroes in addition to using Halfling units, but… it is a very shallow and limited roster to be honest. Furthermore, they don't canonically control any region beyond The Moot even if they exist in some number beyond there. I also don't know if there are very many established Halfling characters that would be seen leading a Halfling army. I suppose they might work as some sort of horde army– a Halfling mercenary company that wanders around the map and tries to make friends with humans, dwarfs, ogres and elves while fighting the others. In the very least we know that Halfling infantry, archers, cavalry, and siege weapons exist and I could easily see them hiring Ogres as monsterous infantry– so though their roster is rather shallow, it does cover all the bases.
Araby: Should have already been a thing. I am sure there are fan mods that add them to the game. This nation played a fairly big part in the lore of the world and the most controversial parts of it– well, the whole way Total War WarHammer is set up allows one to easily side-step it. They had a whole army lists– albeit in a different scale from regular Warhammer. I don't know– are flying carpets and genies somehow inherently offensive as elements of their army? Because I don't really see any elements here that exist on surface level that ought to offend anyone. Maybe give them some Rocs or something else pulled from the stories of Sinbad. And the fact that idiot writers decided to inject actual Islam into the setting rather than sticking with the Middle East Folktales is bad, but also doesn't need to inform anything about how they look or play or act. Everything else is fine. Sultan Jaffar and the Golden Magus would be nice characters to the setting and help widen the definition of "human" from meaning just "Europeans".
Nippon: It's sengoku/edo period Japan with its samurai and ninja– at least as interpreted by someone who understood virtually nothing about the culture. CA has done Total War Shogun, so this is basically that– but gets to dip into mythology too. Maybe they can have certain youkai units like Oni or Tengu, but I don't know how many of them would make sense for an army. There are a couple named characters for this faction, but they are all based on real people as far as I know.
Norse Dwarfs: Does Kharak Drak need to be its own army? Well– certain people who made mods certainly thought so. It might be best represented through some sort of building chain that allows you to create Dwarf units that don't take any attrition through traveling through snow terrain and thus are particularly good at fighting Norse/Chaos. Unfortunately their primary character, the White Dwarf, has already been added to the game. But I guess adding the building chain to the Dwarfs and changing his starting location would be enough to implement this faction.
Kurgans/Tang/Hung/Albion: I think the biggest issue here is that Norscea was introduced as just "Norscea" rather than a more general concept of "Northern Tribes". Because all of these factions basically use a combination of barbarian humans and some magical pre-old ones beasts. Just rename Norscea into "Northern Tribes" and then use the excuse that they now include Kurgans to add some cavalry units and Albion to include Feng Beasts, Pixies and Albion Giants (as well as a 5th non-chaos allegiance type) and you pretty much have them all worked out. I suppose, depending on tribe, there could be different skin colors and such– but it seems to me that would be a pretty easy thing to implement as an expansion to the Norscea pack.
Sea Elves: Pretty much only come into play because of the existence of the Lost Isles and other holdings in the east. The Sea Elves are an off-shoot of High Elves that they still basically have allegiance to Ulthuan. Thing is– so far from home, a lot of their units would obviously been quite different than those that start in Ulthuan. They could potentially be something just a few shades removed from typical High Elves– at least to the extent the Empire, Kislev, Bretonians and Southern Realms are different.
Khuresh: A region that is ruled by Naga– a.k.a. snake-people. Well, officially the line written about the area is "snake people and blood naga" but since naga are literally just snake-people… who knows what to make of this. Ask me a couple months ago and I would have said to just group all of the Beastmen of Ind, Cathay, and Nippon together with this Naga group– but apparently the Naga are more like corrupted, super evil Lizardmen while all of the other Beastmen have about the same morality range as humans while the Naga are particularly malicious and sadistic. Everything known about them is based on a single set of models produced around 1990 and a few lines of lore. There are no developed characters at all– everything here would be invented whole-cloth.
Jade Vampires: This is an odd one because I don't know if Jade Vampires count as part of Cathay. Since the undead that live in the west don't count as part of the human factions there, it would be a bit weird for the vampires that live in the East to count as a core part of Cathay. I suppose, in the least, they aren't nearly as actively hostile to the regular humans that live around them as the other undead factions are to the humans who live near them. They are another off-shoot of Nagash's influence though– the part of his servants who never got any spotlight. Making them a distinct faction from Cathay might be a good way to implement ideas like the Terracotta warriors that might feel a bit out-of-place in the main Cathay army as they are very supernatural and kind of grim and death focused. I think there might have been one Jade Vampire that received mention in all of the history of Warhammer and I don't know that we can even surmise it was a particularly important one.
Legions of Nagash: The lord of death, Nagash himself. His army could obviously contain a broad spectrum of all of the other undead factions in the game– at least their more generic units lest the inclusion of this faction nullify the need for the existence of other others. He might have a few of his own units as well. It might be interesting mechanically for this to be a horde army as its core is going to revolve around wherever Nagash is and he is likely to not wish to leave anything but death in his wake. That would also further give reason to play as one of the other undead factions rather than the grand-daddy of them all.
Amazons: Semi-immortal women warriors that live in Lustria and have access to the same Old Ones technology as the Lizardmen. It is not clear if they are humans who have been enhanced by Old Ones tech and just have a matriarchal culture or an asexually-reproducing off-shoot of humanity that was created by them. Maybe they ought to just be a new set of units added onto the Lizardmen rather than their own army because the amount of stuff they have is actually super limited. They could also potentially be part of Dogs of War as that's how they appeared in the last version that had actual rules. I am not sure there are any characters to create this faction around– though I could be wrong.
Fishmen: A bit of a meme idea, but… yes. Canonically there are people who live under the oceans. They can obviously emerge to attack the land dwellers. Exactly what such a thing should entail is unclear, but obviously one could take inspiration from the Cthulu/Lovecraftian mythos and the Murlocs/Naga from Warcraft. Having their own cities placed out in the ocean would be a bit weird as no one else could actually assault them and thus– the faction would be functionally unbeatable. At the same time, unless they function by horde rules– I don't know how else they could work. Since this is just a group of people barely mentioned in lore, there is little definitive to say about them.
Pygmies: I hope the person who created this lives in a specially tailored kind of hell. It might have been cool to have what amounted to dark-skinned Halflings, or even establish that the original ones were dark skinned… but… its like this was created by a member of the BNP to be as intentionally demeaning and offensive to all Africans as they possibly could be. Unlike whatever racist things might have been written about Araby, Ind, Cathay or Nippon– this whole concept probably cannot be salvaged. Which sucks only in that it is the closest thing to black people ever included in Warhammer except for….
Lumbria: It's basically Australia only if mythology is real and white people never invaded and exterminated them. Maybe one could even get away with including some Maori culture here too. The people here were described as "large pygmies" which… really just means "black people". The fact that anyone has gotten a description of them means that people have traveled there and left alive to tell the tales. While there are absolutely no named characters here, in fact the entire place is described as semi-mythological… we do know which cultures it is meant to represent. The fact that so little has been stated about it could really serve as an advantage here as it has no fundamentally offensive elements established. The people here are human, they are black and… that's it. This would probably need to be its own army, but could definitely pull mechanically from a lot of the other human armies in the game.
Anyway– I think that is all the possible factions I could think of. Obviously most of them are missing requisite characters– particularly if it is an expectation that every race/army you play with gets a full roster of 4 Legendary Lords it is going to cause some issues. They might only be functional if one is willing to accept that playing as the particular faction puts you at a disadvantage in some respects and that doing a playthrough as that group is going to be harder than others, and primarily they exist in order to add flavor to the kinds of enemies you might be facing in different corners of the world.
And if CA doesn't tackle them all themselves, I do imagine that modders might eventually come around to creating all of them. The modding community for this game is fantastic and has actually filled in the gaps in a lot of cases where CA didn't tackle things themselves.
I think this list really serves more as an exercise where I have educated myself about what exists within the WarHammer world and wanted to share it with others with some basic ideas as how they could be implimented.
But its possible that I missed something in this list. Maybe by tomorrow I will realize I forgot to mention such-and-such. If you know something I didn't manage to include, go ahead and give a comment to add it to this list. But there still being so much to expand on ought to give people hope that the life-cycle of WarHammer III could be quite long with plenty of expansions to add.
Which of these factions would you be looking forward to?
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