Welcome to Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs: Introducing Astragoth Ironhand

Features & Mechanics

March 14 2023

The ‘honestly not really that secret’ secret is out of the ‘wait, did I not shut this?’ bag – at long last the missing puzzle piece of the WARHAMMER 3 experience you’ve all been waiting for is on the way. And we can guarantee that once this lot have rocked up, things are never going to be the same.

We can finally confirm that Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs will be arriving in Total War: WARHAMMER 3 as part of Update 3.0 on April 13th!

You can pre-order Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs hereand if you do so by April 20th, you can grab 10% off the launch price!

You can check out our announcement trailer right here:

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Today we kick off a series of deep-dives into this upcoming troublesome trio with a closer look at Astragoth Ironhand. But before we get stuck in, we’ve got a quick update on our DLC plans:

Legendary Characters

Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs includes three ferocious and foul Legendary Lords: Astragoth Ironhand, High Priest of Hashut; Drazhoath the Ashen, Sorcerer Prophet of Hashut; and Zhatan the Black, commander of the Tower of Zharr. They are joined by the one and only Legendary Hobgoblin Hero himself, Gorduz Backstabber. This maniacal group intend to construct the Great Drill of Hashut, with which they will burrow through the very fabric of reality itself to conquer both the known world and perhaps also far more. 

Releasing three Legendary Lords with an additional Legendary hero is new for us, and is the path we’ll be following for future releases. You told us you wanted more Legendary Heroes, and we agree! These new Heroes can be recruited and used by all of the Lords in any given pack, offering up a lot more playstyle flexibility than before.

In the case of Gorduz, his appearance improves hobgoblins across the board, allowing more players to tap into his amazingly quick wolf cavalry!

In the first of a series of deep-dives into this upcoming troublesome trio, you can read about Astragoth and Gorduz below:

Astragoth Ironhand

Astragoth Ironhand is the oldest living sorcerer-prophet of the Chaos Dwarfs. The High Priest of Hashut and once the most potent sorcerer to walk the Plain of Zharrduk, Astragoth’s waning powers are a result of prolonged petrification, leaving him bound to a mechanical device that grants him movement.

Astragoth takes his place on the battlefield as an armoured caster with a mixed spell lore (Fire and Hashut), able to cover plenty of ground at a respectable speed and hold his own up close against enemy combatants.

But on the campaign side of things, this High Priest has a few more tricks up his metal sleeves, excelling in the Tower of Zharr by generating more Conclave Influence than any other Dawi-Zharr. All of which makes him all the tougher to usurp.

Gorduz Backstabber

Having outlived most of his fellow tribal leaders, Gorduz Backstabber’s naturally distrustful disposition and lashings of cunning grant him an enduring talent for survival. With thick scars crisscrossing his shoulders, Gorduz’s luck carries him far on the battlefield.

Focusing on melee combat, this sneaky fella works his way behind enemy lines either on foot or mounted atop a giant wolf for faster movement.

Gameplay wise, Gorduz Backstabber is a force to be reckoned with, adding some serious versatility to hobgoblin armies. His presence in an army grants incredibly powerful buffs and stat bonuses, and he has some extremely handy skills – he can keep ammunition flowing with ‘Shoot ‘Em!’, or enable vanguard deployment for all hobgoblins with ‘Sneaky!’. And if stealth isn’t your style, ‘Get Tha Gitz!’ summons a band of hobgoblin cutthroats to command.

Whether Gorduz Backstabber is nestled in among your army or breaking off from the pack to cover ground with a lesser generic Lord of the Dawi-Zharr, he’s an invaluable asset.


Economy & Labour

No thriving faction in WARHAMMER III is complete without a robust economy to fund their infernal war machine, and the Dawi-Zharr are no different. The Chaos Dwarfs need labourers, and they can acquire them by besting their foes in battle or via the Convoy mechanic (which we’ll have more detail about in the third part of this series in a couple of weeks), before setting them to work in mining outposts to harvest raw materials.

Raw materials are crucial for the Chaos Dwarfs’ empire building and a necessity for constructing the more advanced buildings and structures. Beyond that, they can be converted into armaments that unlock the true strength of the dwarfs’ fiery military.

Acquire labour > harvest raw materials > construct nightmarish buildings and forge hellish weapons > bolster the Chaos Dwarfs.

Plus, let’s not forget the power of the Treasury! Earned by winning Battles, constructing outposts, utlilising factories and selling armaments via convoys, the Chaos Dwarfs have many avenues with which to earn some serious coin – and it’s up to you to ensure the gold keeps on flowing.

The Tower of Zharr

The Tower of Zharr stands tall within the Chaos Dwarfen capital of Zharr-Naggrund. It’s a political battleground for the Dawi-Zharr, and key to their success as an almighty faction of Chaos.

Vying for seats within the tower will grant a diverse range of bonuses and rewards to the Chaos Dwarfs. It also presents an opportunity for some competition between the factions outside of warfare thanks to multiplayer compatibilityadding a cooperative edge to the campaign experience in the form of Districts.

Districts can benefit the entire culture of the Chaos Dwarfs, encouraging all to work together to enhance Zharr-Naggrund for everyone’s benefit.

With the chance to experiment with a variety of playstyles, and try your hand at some sneaky diplomacy – with the potential for some serious backstabbing – the Tower of Zharr is one of the most in-depth, unique and versatile campaign mechanics in Total War: WARHAMMER to date.



Stand Tall with Bull Centaurs

Serving the Legion of Azgorh, the Bull Centaurs are a monstrous addition to the Chaos Dwarf roster. Rocking the upper torso of a Chaos Dwarf and the body of a ferocious bull, these powerful melee combatants are fearsome beasts that, thanks to their high armour and favourable stats, can play both offensive and defensive roles. But don’t let their hulking size or preference for great weapons fool you – they are most definitely keen-witted.

Take to the Skies

Bounding across the battlefield on four legs isn’t the only way to manoeuvre your units.

The Bale Taurus is a gigantic monster with, again, the body of a bull, but this time coupled with the membranous wings of a dragon! Ridden into battle or flying solo, the Bale Taurus burns with horrific intensity. Weapons that strike it liquify into molten metal, and the monster sets the ground ablaze as it moves, ready to devour its foes whole. The more commonly spotted Bale Taurus won’t be the only one on the battlefield, however. The Great Bale Taurus, reserved for the most powerful great dwarfs, will be an for those wanting to go bigger. 

Alternatively, the Lammasu, which is thought to be a rare and interesting mutation of the Great Tauri. It is not a being of rage, but instead a manifestation of sorcerous intelligence. Though not as powerful as its cousin in combat, the Lammasu is instead able to employ magic, launching fireballs at the enemy, or transporting allies on shadowy mounts in a blink of the eye. Alternatively, as they are blessed with a uncanny, insidious charisma that can befuddle enemies, they may simply choose to let death creep mysteriously through enemy ranks. 


Up Next

We’ll be sharing a more in-depth look at Astragoth Ironhand and the gameplay elements discussed above in an upcoming Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs showcase, so keep an eye on the official Total War channel and our socials for further info!

Beyond that, we’ve got more blogs and videos on the way very soon showcasing our other two Legendary Lords from Forge of the Chaos Dwarfs, and we’ll of course have a full set of Patch Notes when the Chaos Dwarfs arrive in Update 3.0 on April 13th.

See you on the battlefield!

— The Total War Team