Total War: WARHAMMER III Kislev Roster reveal
Welcome to the Roster Reveal for Kislev! Unthanked in their endless task of standing as the bulwark against Chaos to protect the Realms of Man, the men, women, and bears of Kislev are resolute in not allowing their homeland to become corrupted. From the lowliest farmer to the mightiest bear rider, the snow leopards that prowl the wastes to the living embodiment of the land itself and the people’s god – all are prepared to fight for every inch of territory and never allow Chaos to gain a foothold. Should they fall, all will surely follow.
Below you’ll find lore, notes, and the odd detail on every unit you can recruit in these northern lands. Note that Total War: WARHAMMER III is still in development and everything is subject to change – hence why we haven’t given you the exact damage and health values for everything below. Consider these guidelines and the odd tease, rather than set in stone, and prepare to lead Kislev to conquer their daemons.
Kislev Unit Roster
Kislev Legendary Lords
Ascending to the throne and crown in the wake of her father’s bloody death fighting against the hordes of Chaos, Katarin has wasted no time cementing her grip upon Kislev. She is, in every way, a totalitarian ruler. She is stern and unflinching and will readily have rivals removed by agents of the crown if she cannot win them over with cold reason. The base of Katarin’s power, beyond hereditary right, is her extraordinary magical prowess. She is the greatest Ice Witch for generations, capable of magical feats more deadly and devastating than any other Ice Witch in Kislev.
The leader of the Ice Court, Katarin is more adept at training and maintaining the Frost Maidens who call it home and the Ice Guard who protect them. As the most powerful Ice Witch of her age she is unlikely to miscast, and as the ruler of Kislev she crushes rebellion and corruption wherever she goes.
Mounts: Warhorse or War Bear
Selection of unique spells, abilities, or skills:
- Loremaster, Lore of Ice – Katarin is a complete master of the lore of ice, making her spells deadlier, cheaper, and faster.
- Frost Fang – Katarin’s legendary blade, Frost Fang, bestows upon her a huge number of incredible powers, chief among them its titular, explosive spell.
Supreme Patriarch Kostaltyn
Ursun is not a vicious god (although he is both brutal and merciless in times of war). To his followers, he is fatherly and large. Kostaltyn is the Supreme Patriarch of the Ursunite Cult and as the highest ranking clergy in the nation, the de facto leader of the Grand Orthodoxy. With wild hair, wilder eyes, and wither-thin limbs, Kostaltyn is a ghoulish figure, robed in the finery of the resurgent Ursunite faith.
He is a howling, angry firebrand, screaming furious rhetoric at the enemy and urging the warriors around him to fight on with a fearful mixture of encouragement and threat. For he is himself fearless, able to recover from any wound quickly and thus inspire his flock to run pell-mell at foes that any sane person would flee!
With complete control of the faith that binds Kislev together, Kostaltyn whips his followers into a holy fervour. He despises the machinations of the Tzarina and her Ice Court and considers them usurpers and magic-wielding heretics.
Mounts: Warhorse or War Bear
Selection of unique spells, abilities, or skills:
- Ursun’s Ward – Kostaltyn is an unkillable paragon of his people, and even the most mortal wounds simply power him to greater heights of ferocity as he faces down his enemies.
- Man of the People – Kostaltyn’s fervor means he never lacks faithful, loyal warriors to send into battle.
Ranking nobles, Boyars are powerful men and women within Kislev. They each govern specific areas of Kislev, including scores if not hundreds of stanitsas, as well as larger towns and small cities. Especially large cities are governed by Boyars of singular prestige. This is a hereditary rank, although royal edict can raise one to the position. On the battlefield, they are tough and doughty fighters – the best in Kislev.
Boyars serve the people in battle as extraordinary warriors, leading their forces from the front and clashing with enemies of every kind. They are inspiring commanders and deadly foes.
Mounts: Warhorse or War Bear
Kislev has no colleges of magic. Instead, its sorcery is derived from within the Ice Court, and invariably reflects the brutal winters of Kislev. It is from this body that the Ice Witches are drawn. Their Ice Magic is the raw, murderous power of cold, harnessed as a weapon – from frozen ground that binds the foe’s feet to lances of icy death. While all magic is drawn from the raging Winds, there is no doubt that Ice Magic is strongest when used within the borders of Kislev itself.
Lore of Ice, which specialises in disrupting enemy movement, freezing them to death, as well as encasing allies in protective barriers or equipping them with armour-piercing weapons.
- Ice Sheet
- Ice Maiden’s Kiss
- Frost Blades
- Death Frost
- Crystal Sanctuary
- Heart of Winter
Lore of Tempest, which speeds allies and sends enemies to a swift death, harried from all sides by incredible blizzards and the biting cold.
- Gust of True Flight
- Biting Wind
- Hawks of Miska
Mounts: Warhorse or War Bear
When the Tzarina’s personal attention is not required, it falls to the women of the Ice Court to represent her might instead. Since the time of the Khan Queens there has been an Ice Court, a powerful political body devoted to preparing the noble daughters of Kislev to take on positions of power. It is from this body that the Frost Maidens – Ice Witches yet to complete their training – are drawn. Akin to an academy, the Ice Court schools the young women within its halls in matters of diplomacy, intrigue and sorcery.
Lores: Ice or Tempest
Mounts: Warhorse or War Bear
The sentinels of the Kislevite faith. Bombastic, loud, and proud of their creed, they exhort the warriors around them to acts of courage, protecting them with the power of faith. Patriarchs stride into battle bellowing the folk-songs of the Kislevite people with the cadence of battle-hymns – and mighty miracles of war are wrought by their belief. Bones of long-dead Kislevite heroes are carried in reliquary boxes, and those nearby take heart… although whether they hold any true magical properties remains a topic of speculation.
- Ursun’s Roar
- Dazh’s Song of Winter Sunlight
- Tor’s Battle Hymn
- Salyak’s Lullaby
Mounts: Warhorse or War Bear
Kislev Missile Infantry
Kossars are the mainstay of the Kislevite armies, regiments of grizzled and hardened fighters, drawn primarily from among the many thousands of foresters and trappers who keep Kislev’s stanitsas and cities fed. They fight with bows and axes, the two traditional weapons of the Kossars – symbolising the woodsman and the hunter. This ornate wargear is wrought to last a lifetime if well-cared for. Many is the wizened old Kislevite who has handed their axe down to their grandchild, telling tall tales of the countless Marauders or Chaos beasts it has slain.
While Kossars fight in regiments, they are not necessarily the most disciplined warriors, at least on the face of it. These hard-living layfolk of Kislev are fatalistic about the bitterness of warfare, drinking together by the fire at night and singing raucous anthems as they march, joking constantly at one another’s expense. They wear light armour, if any at all.
- Bow & Axe
- Bow & Spear
- The backbone of the Kislevite army, cheap and easy to build.
- As with all Kislev units, can keep their leadership in even the direst of circumstances.
- Early access to both bows and spears allows for a hybrid, powerful army from the off.
The Streltsi were originally armed with bardiches and handguns, in order that they could rest their firearm upon the crook of their polearm and thereby achieve greater accuracy. However, in an effort to get ‘one more’ shot off before the enemy closed upon them, the warriors would often run out of time to effectively stow their gun and ready their bardiche. Instead, the heavy gun was often simply reversed and used as a bludgeon. Eventually, Streltsi captains took the radical step of embracing this alternative approach and had their rotas’ rifles modified to include axeblades on the gun stock.
- Their signature gun-greataxe represents both the coolest hybrid weapon in Warhammer history and one of the best.
- Also based on a real 16th century weapon.
- Armoured and armour-piercing, with decent melee abilities to go alongside their shooting prowess.
In Kislev, the voice of a woman is equal to that of a man, and the worth of a ruler is judged by the wisdom of their rule and their might in battle. Perhaps that, more than any other reason, gave rise to the unusual sisterhood known as the Ice Guard. These are the warrior elite of the Ice court, a bodyguard for the Ice Witches, and who are imbued with the same magical power as their mistresses. They are fearsome and fearless, conditioned to put Kislev first and to face the vilest horrors of the Old World without hesitation.
The Ice Guard is staffed by formidable warrior women, sent to the Bohka Palace before they reach adolescence. These youths are then sorted for their aptitude for magic. Those with the gift begin a training regimen that will enable them to take their place within the Ice Court, a clandestine place of intrigue and power, typically headed by the senior matriarch of the Kislevite royal family. Each weapon these women wield is imbued with ice magic, glowing with its own inner light.
- Bow & Dual Sword
- Bow & Glaive
- Fearless and stout, the women of the Ice Guard will face any foe.
- Frostbite consumes targeted enemies, slowing them.
- Anti-infantry and anti-large variants make them another useful, hybrid unit for Kislev armies.
Armoured Kossars are full-time soldiers, either paid by the crown or simply supported by their wealthy families. As such, their time is spent entirely either training or carousing. They are dour, grim-faced killers on the battlefield, but after the battle is done, they are the most belligerent, boisterous, and hard-drinking of all the celebrants at a victory feast. Arrogance, reinforced by undeniable results – these are warriors as good as an ordinary man can hope to become. They wear heavy armour above the waist, and sturdy reinforced boots, though their legs are clad only in baggy trousers.
- Pistol & Axe + Shield
- Pistol & Greatmace
- Pistols, while limited in ammunition, give Armoured Kossars a great first punch.
- Greatmaces crush skulls and smash armour to pieces.
- Love a post-battle drink.
Regiments of hardened warriors, formed of lesser nobles and veteran soldiers elevated to higher status from the ranks of the Kossars, the Tzar Guard are formidable, durable melee troops. Originally, they were instituted to serve as the Tzar’s personal retinue, and while he would invariably travel with a large warband of Tzar Guard at his back, almost every army of Kislev now boasts a regiment or two of these hardened warriors. This is because every Boyar and Marshal needs a steady core to their army – veteran warriors able to act as the bulwark of the Kislevite battle line.
- Sword & Shield
- The most elite fighting force and personal guard of Tzarina Katarin.
- Hardy, difficult to kill, armoured, and with the option of carrying greatswords into battle.
- While slower than their less-trained peers, make up for it with incredible battle capabilities.
Much of Kislev is known as the Oblast, a huge, open wilderness. It is said that one’s horse is one’s life when on the Oblast – this is not a joke or an old wives’ tale, but rather the cold, hard truth. If a Kislevite rider is freezing, they warm their steed first. If they are thirsty, it drinks before them. Why? Because without a horse, if the hunters of the Dark Gods don’t catch them, the Motherland’s wintery embrace will make an orphan of their children just as readily.
- Can sneak up to enemy lines for Vanguard Deployment.
- Incredible speed from well-bred, cared-for horses.
- The quintessential hit-and-run attacker – don’t leave them in a straight fight for long.
Every settlement large enough will support a rota of Kislevite Winged Lancers, a cavalry squadron of hardy, well-trained warriors who form the offensive heart of almost every Kislev army. They are also a potent psychological weapon, for at full gallop they cause the very air to shudder and roar. Becoming a Kislev Winged Lancer takes dedication and effort… and a great deal of money to afford the thoroughbred steed, mail coat, breastplate and helm. Only skilled warriors are accepted into their ranks, for a stanitsa can ill-afford to equip layabouts, cowards or dolts in such a manner.
- Their powerful charges strike fear into all the enemies of Kislev.
- Slower but more devastating shock cavalry than their Dervish brothers.
- Faster but otherwise weaker than the Gryphon Legion.
The Gryphon Legion are a standing force of highly-experienced Winged Lancers, notable for their improved wargear, as well as their prodigious skill at arms. The first loyalty of these warriors is to the throne of Kislev – they place their duty to the queen above all other obligations. They often serve as a mercenary army for allied powers, at times when Kislev is not currently fighting a war. This gives them a wealth of experience fighting different foes, and ensures that their warriors can never grow lax or allow their skills to dull from lack of use.
- The most powerful charge Kislev can deliver, decimating backlines and striking enemies stuck on the anvil of infantry.
- Rival the most powerful cavalry of the southern territories.
- Not riding bears.
War Bear Riders
Just as the people of Kislev worship Ursun, Bear-God of the Motherland, so too do they respect his kin which dwell in the wild lands and forests. These are no slave beasts to be whipped or abused – their riders honour them, and they return this honour. Only in this way can man and bear join their might to drive the hated slaves of Chaos howling back into the oblast.
- Riding bears.
- Vastly superior to most cavalry at staying in a fight after they engage, overpowering enemies with their weapons (and bears).
- Can take on almost any foe, mostly due to all the bears.
Kislev Missile Cavalry
Horse Archers are often the only elements of a Kislevite army the foe encounters. They patrol the oblast constantly, ensuring roads are clear of bandits and roving enemies, and watching constantly for incursions from the north and east. Bands of Horse Archers are welcome wherever they go, for all know that they will fight ceaselessly to protect any Kislevite settlement from invaders. That said, being a Horse Archer is not necessarily a lofty calling – respected but not greatly envied, except by those who long for the freedom of the open plains and cold nights beneath starry skies.
- Similar speed and vanguard deployment capabilities to Dervishes.
- Additional power from ranged attacks makes them even more deadly.
- Despite their preference for bows, can hold their own in melee once their ammunition is exhausted or if they’re caught unawares.
Light War Sleds
In times of winter, the armies of Kislev must still range far and wide across brutal, snow-blasted terrain. For this reason, the Kislevite armies are often supported by War Sleds. Loaded with supplies, especially black powder and shot, they trail behind rotas of Winged Lancers or regiments of Kossar warriors. War Sleds are crewed by sturdy veterans who can be trusted to stand their ground, drawn from the ranks of the Streltsi and Kossars alike.
- Like chariots, only with a large number of angry men tied to the back of several bears.
- Just as capable of charging the enemy to rout them with the angry smash of bear-impact (bearpact) as they are to pepper them with long-range fire.
- A faster, less armoured option for the commander on the move.
Heavy War Sleds
The heavier War Sleds of Kislev are the Motherland’s answer to the Empire’s War Wagons. They are beautifully carved from timbers harvested from the great forests and reinforced with metal scales to protect their occupants. A combination of mancatchers, poleaxes, glaives and spears grant them deadly impact in melee combat, while handguns ensure that they can pack a punch at range. These War Sleds also carry an abundance of extra shot for prolonged campaigns.
- Like Light War Sleds, only absolutely covered in armour, with heavier bears.
- This slows them down but makes them hardier in combat and more likely to survive should they ‘accidentally’ charge an enemy back line.
- One of the best bear-per-capita returns in the army.
Kislev Monsters & Beasts
With the Tzarina at the head of the Ice Court, storms of death await for invading armies, and the beasts of Kislev stalk the forests and oblast, seeking out her foes. One such creature is the Great Sabre-toothed Snow Leopard, a fierce battle-cat that can be trained to protect the women of the Ice Court. Snow Leopards’ natural prey are wandering herbivores, but in times of famine they have been known to consume Chaos beasts, taking savage delight in chomping down a Troll or Minotaur when the need arises.
- More than capable of taking down humongous creatures in a large enough pack.
- Adorable snow cats, which is worth a lot on its own.
- Extremely fast and very capable at taking on any enemy that finds itself lagging behind the main force.
Some say that Kislev is alive, a Motherland which cares for its people and defends them in times of war. Outsiders call these claims old wives’ tales – but those who have seen the land literally rise up and fight know better. Elemental Bears are creatures of magical wrath, brought into sentience by the faith and devotion of the Kislevite people, and imbued with the spirit of the land. Massive, terrifying and crackling with magical energy, they are a brutal force of nature rising from the earth to fight beside Kislev’s children.
- Biggest bear around.
- As happy beating down the doors of a castle as it is causing terror among all the tiny bipedals below it.
- Unbreakable, irresistible, and the hardiest thing on the battlefield.
Kislev is not known for massed artillery. In fact, at many points throughout its history, the Boyars and Druzhina have been expressly forbidden from maintaining their own. In the reign of Tzar Alexis a dozen new cannons were commissioned, under the orders that “their roar would drown out the hordes of Chaos like the thunder of gods”. The Thunderers, as they were known, made a great difference in the battles that eventually saw the legions of Chaos thrown back into the northern wastes. By the time the fighting was over, most of the twelve Thunderers were lost… but a precious few remain.
- Long range, powerful, single artillery piece.
- Pulled by two bears as capable of ravaging enemies in melee as their brothers.
- Can charge and collide with enemies in a pinch.
We may be some time…
That’s all for the Kislev Roster Reveal – we hope it’s got you excited to play WARHAMMER III and conquer your daemons later in 2021. We’ll have another roster reveal, oh, let’s go with ‘soon’ and we’re always looking for feedback on what you want to see on TotalWar.com on Discord, or via our social media on Twitter and Instagram.