Patch 4.2 Shadows of Change Content Additions – Part 3: Kislev


Total War
February 16 2024

Hi all, I’m back with the final update on the unit additions we’re bringing to Shadows of Change.

Hopefully you’re all up to date with the changes that are coming to Grand Cathay and Tzeentch as a part of Patch 4.2. But if you missed anything you can check out those updates below:

Part 1: Cathay

Part 2: Tzeentch

Before I get into all the details about what to expect with Kislev, I’m excited to confirm that Patch 4.2 will launch on Thursday, February 22.

As I alluded to in our last blog on Tzeentch, the team have been working hard to get this exciting new content into your hands and we can’t wait to hear what you think. Next week, we’re thrilled to say that Black Library author David Guymer is back with a brand new short story on the Witch of Kislev, and on Wednesday, we’ll be publishing the full Patch Notes for Patch 4.2 so that you can get caught up on what to expect when this all new content drops for Shadows of Change.

Let’s get to it!

Kislev 8th Edition Lore & IP

If like me you’ve grown up with Warhammer and been a long-time fan, seeing Kislev given new characters and units at the launch of Total War: WARHAMMER III was a special moment. Likewise with the additions of Mother Ostankya, Hag Witches and other units in Shadows of Change.

This new, uncharted ground for the faction, was one that we worked closely with Games Workshop on, from before the release of Total War: WARHAMMER III and through the development of Shadows of Change. Games Workshop took us through their various designs, concepts, and deep dives into the new and updated lore that they had created for Kislev.

Like with many things in life, this meant some ‘out with the old and in with the new’. Mother Ostankya is a good example of this. She is Kislev’s only true Hag Mother in the new and current lore that our game is based on. She is very much her own unique character, with her own motives, desires, magical items and history. This is why you see her charge into battle atop her sled, pulled by the Things in the Woods with her cauldron, rather than more direct references to real world mythology. This new take, like with all the other additions to Kislev, is what makes them exciting and brings them in line with the other races in 8th Edition and Games Workshop lore.

The same is true of other parts of past Kislev lore. The distinct Ungol and Gospodar split within Kislev is something that is no longer at the forefront of Kislevite lore, instead taking a back seat to allow us to tell new stories with the faction. There are still nods to this – the horse archers already in the game, for example – but there won’t be more implemented into our game now or moving forwards.

You can think of Kislev in a similar way to the books and resources that we use from Games Workshop in making our game. We focus on the newest army books (8th Edition or as close to as possible) and miniatures, rather than adding things from the early editions, RPG books, old miniatures or peripheral novels and supplements that no longer embody the core nature of the character, race, environment, etc. By doing this, we ensure that we’re showing you the most authentic version of the Warhammer world possible!

I hope this explains much more of our thinking, how we go about things and how we look to best represent the most current version of the lore in our game. So now let’s get to it and run you through the changes that are coming to Kislev as part of Patch 4.2.


Kislev Additions

I think I need to first address the elephant in the room when it comes to Kislev and the content that was offered at the launch of Shadows of Change and what wasn’t, the lack of a new spell lore for Mother Ostankya and the omission of Hag Mothers as a generic lord type.

I’ll start with the spell lore that we’re adding to Patch 4.2 for both Mother Ostankya and her Hag Witches to make full use of. “The Lore of the Hag” will be comprised of six new spells and a lore attribute focused on both hexing enemy units and overcasting to bless your own. I’ll go into more detail on what each spell does in the section below.

Coming back to the Hag Mothers now, as previously mentioned there is only one “Hag Mother” in the current lore of Kislev as told by Games Workshop and this is Mother Ostankya herself. This lore is very new as is Mother Ostankya herself in the IP, so I want to inform you as best as I can to share with you who she is, how she aids Kislev and why there are no other Hag Mothers in the lore or our game.

Mother Ostankya is a character of great importance to many Kislevites acting as a guardian of the land in times of great peril, but also to be wary of and not cross to avoid her wrath. It is her magic that is wielded in battle both by herself and her Hag Witches and her unstoppable force that brings both man and nature to fight for her cause and that of Kislev’s. With the exception of Mother Ostankya herself, the few other Hags of Kislev are not generals – they have no interest in leading armies themselves! Instead, they help enact Mother Ostankya’s will through aiding Kislev’s other leaders and their forces.

With this new lore in mind and staying as close and true to it, we needed to look for other Generic Lord option for Kislev to field instead of Hag Mothers and I think we came up with a good option thanks to Games Workshop’s help and guidance; the Druzhina.

More on him later. Let’s first take a look at the Lore of the Hag as I promised you and show you what fun new tricks Mother Ostankya has at her disposal.


Lore of the Hag (Spell Lore)

Available to both Mother Ostankya and Hag Witches, “The Lore of the Hag” features six new spells and a new lore attribute. The spell lore is focused primarily on disrupting and hexing enemy units, but with a twist, as when overcasting these spells, they become augments that you can use on your own forces! This compliments Mother Ostankya’s campaign mechanics of curses and blessings to provide more ways to play with this unique character in battle.

“The Hag Witches draw from the power from the woodlands, fens and oblasts of Kislev, holding those who stray into them terminally accountable. Incantations and curses take shape to summon forth the spirit-magic of the land, blessing the Kislevites who fight for it and cursing those who may see it harmed.”

Lore Attribute

Fate of Interlopers – Area of Hexes

“Those trespassing upon this ground soon find their fate is completely sealed; their end decided.”

  • Fate of Interlopers activates every time a lore of the Hag spell is cast. It provides a debuff to enemy units whilst buffing your own troops simultaneously.
    • Curse – Minor decrease of Leadership
    • Blessing – Increases Spell Resistance


The Forbidden Fens

“The Hag beseeches ethereal forces deep underground to seep upwards and hamper the progress of her enemies, draining all momentum from them.”

  • Curse – The Forbidden Fens
    • Area of Hexes – Negatively affects enemies Speed, Charge Speed and Vigour.
  • Blessing – Whispers in the Woods
    • Areas of Augments – Positively affects allied Speed, Charge Speed, Vigour, whilst granting Strider & Unspottable.


“The Hag’s cauldron erupts in a bubbling crescendo, splashing its contents – and the Motherland’s boundless wrath – all over her hopeless enemies.”

  • Curse – Witchbrew
    • Breath – Damages units in its path and applies the poison contact effect.
  • Blessing – Witchbroth
    • Breath – Damages units in its path applies a contact effect to friendly units, which heals them, boosts their Vigour and making them Immune to Enemy Contact Effects.

Curse of the Ancient Witch

“A hooded figure summoned by the Hag whispers words of terror, both mortal and immortal, to those who should never, ever have gone wandering in the woods…”

  • Curse – Curse of the Ancient Witch
    • Hex – Negatively affects enemies Missile Block Chance, Armour and will spread to nearby enemies within the spells spread range.
  • Blessing – Blessing of the Ancient Witch
    • Augment – Imbues Magical Attacks, positively enhances Armour-Piercing Missile Damage, Base Missile Damage & Reload Skill.

Vengeance of Spirits

“The Hag channels a malevolent spirit into an enemy’s soul to saturate their being and gradually tear them to bloody, miniscule shreds from the inside out.”

  • CurseVengeance of Spirits
    • Area of Direct Damage – Damages enemies within the radius and applies the “Silence” attribute which stops affected units from being able to use abilities or cast spells.
  • Blessing – Omen of Spirits
    • Area of Augments – Enhances the flow of Winds of Magic in favour of yours or allies spellcasters, dealing damage in the process.

Cursed Cauldron

“Conjured up from the Hag’s cauldron, spectral missiles shoot upwards to rain carnage down upon the foe.”

  • Curse – Cursed Cauldron
    • Vortex A static central vortex fires out projectiles that spawn smaller moving vortexes upon impact.
  • Blessing – Blessed Cauldron
    • Vortex – The same as the above, but this vortex no longer harms friendly units that are caught in the area of effect.

Malediction of Madness

“A sudden rush of nightmarish visions floods the victim’s psyche, driving them to a fleeting madness that debilitates even the hardiest warrior.”

  • Curse – Malediction of Madness
    • Hex – Negatively affects enemies Base Weapon Damage, Armour-Piercing Weapon Damage, Melee Attack and inflicts Rampage!
  • Blessing – Incantation of Mania
    • Augment – Increases Base Weapon Damage, Armour-Piercing Weapon Damage, Melee Attack and inflicts Rampage!

Druzhina (Lord)

The Druzhina is a character steeped in Kislev lore, a lesser noble that lives beyond the walls of Kislev’s great cities and tends to his own lands and his people. Ever ready to serve the Tzar or Tzarina, the Druzhina are well connected to the nature that surrounds them and bring with them to war items that have been handed down generation by generation.

They will act as a great addition to Kislev’s roster, bridging the gap that we had between the Boyars and that of Mother Ostankya in who could lead her armies.

“Druzhina are drawn from minor Kislevite nobility, and consist of landowning men of sufficient means that they can afford a horse, armour and weapons with which to defend the Motherland when called upon by the Tzar. As is befitting of members of the establishment, Druzhina have disdain for city-dwellers, and are keen on preserving the rural hierarchy that provides their power and status, but are also self-sufficient, resourceful and have a healthy attitude to the very real likelihood they will be killed during military service. The Druzhina’s main weapon of choice is the Great Axe – very nasty, when swung with conviction! – yet they also carry a bow.”

Gameplay Overview

Despite being a faction of Hybrid units, Kislev has lacked a truly Hybrid lord-type character to sit in between the melee-focused Boyar and the magic-focused Ice Witch. The Druzhina subscribes to this playstyle by supporting missile lines with his abilities, whilst holding his own in melee with a powerful armour piercing great weapon.

  • Hybrid – The Druzhina is able to deal significant single target damage with his bow and able to deal armour-piercing damage with his axe in melee
  • Missile Unit Enhancement – Units near to the Druzhina will benefit from increased missile stats
  • Ammo Replenishment – The Druzhina is only unit in the Kislev roster that can replenish used up ammunition for friendly units, making him an effect support character for Kislevite missile lines


  • Warhorse

The Golden Knight, Naryska Leysa (Legendary Hero)

Balancing out the Legendary Heroes on offer in Shadows of Change, meant us looking for a character to join Kislev’s ranks.

The Golden Knight is the champion of the Ice Queen. This is an honorary rank bestowed to the greatest warrior among the Druzhina (or occasionally in history, Boyars or even the common soldiery). Naryska is the daughter of the previous golden Knight, who died at the side of Tsar Boris. As a girl, Naryska learned swordcraft from her father, honing her skills as a warrior from the finest in the realm. Though she was derided by her peers, she stood forward as a candidate as the Guardian of the Tsarina when the Druzhina elected her father’s successor.

Naryska is tall and powerfully built, the physical equal of any mighty warrior. But her greatest attribute is her determination. Such is her drive, that she trains longer and more intensely than any other… and in battle she fights with a fury born of stubborn pride. In Kislev she is unmatched in combat.

Every Golden Knight is consecrated by the Cult of Ursun, and so Naryska bears both religious ornamentation and the favour of the Ice Court. In this way she unifies the divided church and state.

“The Queen of Kislev’s champion is known as “The Golden Knight”, an honorary rank bestowed upon the finest warrior from among the ranks of the Druzhina, although Boyars or even the common soldiery have, on occasion, risen to the position. The current incumbent is Naryska Leysa, daughter of the previous Golden Knight, who was killed in battle at Tzar Boris’ side. In spite of fierce opposition from her peers, Naryska was promoted to champion on merit, for she is easily the physical equal of any man and twice as determined, having learned swordcraft from the finest practitioners in the land. On the battlefield, she is a whirlwind of furious attacks born of her stubborn, prideful nature, and unmatched in single combat.”

Gameplay Overview

The Golden Knight is a heavily armoured guardian hero with a focus on protecting friendly characters and buffing the resolve of her comrades nearby. Wearing a full suit of armour and wielding the powerful magical sword, Urson’s Claw, she is a bulwark which many a foe will have difficulty overcoming.

  • Bodyguard – The Golden Knight is an exceptional protector, using her defensive abilities and stats to increase the durability of nearby friendly lords/heroes
  • Inspiration – The more damage sustained by the Golden Knight, the more determined surrounding friendly units become to fight on
  • Duellist – The Golden Knights durability and powerful sword allows her to go toe-to-toe with melee lords/heroes 


  • Warhorse

Kislevite Warriors (Unit)

We’ve come to better understand that not every unit in the DLC needs to be a centrepiece monster and headed in the other direction with this new unit plugging a much needed lower tier infantry gap.

The Kislevite Warriors armed with their halberds are Tier 1 troops that are decent at withstanding a charge and bound by their blood will fight to the bitter end for Kislev.

We’ve taken inspiration in their design from older Mordheim miniatures, just like the Druzhina in creating something with a much closer feel and look to the land and woods that Mother Ostankya protects.

“The grim and hardy appearance of these men of the Oblast tell tales of a lifetime of endurance. Nothing matters more to Kislevite Warriors than the defence of the Motherland against the insidious forces of the Ruinous Powers and the preservation of a way of life stretching back many centuries – tasks they undertake with grim determination and armed with razor-sharp halberds. They are deeply religious, cherishing the traditional Kislevite gods, but chiefly Ursun, the Bear-God, from whom they surely draw their strength in combat. Such men are also extremely loyal to the Tzar and his family, whom they consider to be important symbols of Kislev just as much as Father Bear himself.”

Gameplay Overview

Kislevite Warriors are halberd-wielding infantry that occupy a low price point within the Kislev roster. Because they don’t pay the tax of being a hybrid unit, Kislevite Warriors have more entities than a standard Kislivite infantry unit, which makes them an effective meat shield for the rest of your army.

  • Cheap – Kislevite Warriors are the cheapest true melee unit of the Kislev roster, making them a great pick in the early game
  • Anti-Large – Kislevite Warriors wield halberds which are great at combating monstrous infantry such as Trolls
  • Front Line Troops – With more entities than any other Kislev infantry unit, the Kislevite Warriors serve as a decent screen for your missile infantry.

Frost Wyrm (Unit & Mount)

You may recognise this name if you have ever ventured into Norsca or played a campaign of theirs. Now called a Chaos Frost Dragon the Norscan unit is very different to Kislev’s true Frost Wyrm. A hulking flightless beast, deadly in combat with its massive fanged jaws, scything claws and a vicious lashing tail.

The Frost Wyrm acts as both an individual unit, or a mount for Katarin or her Ice Witches.

“Frost Wyrms are creatures of magic who primarily roost in the Crags of Shargun. Swift and sinuous, who sleep away the warmest parts of the year in hibernation, venturing out onto the oblast to hunt prey when the weather is at its coldest. Their natural prey are the wandering herbivorous beasts which are easily devoured whole by an adult Frost Wyrm In times of famine they have been known to consume Chaos beasts too, taking savage delight in chomping down a Troll or Minotaur when the need arises.

Beings of Ice Magic, Frost Wyrms are naturally aligned to the witches of the Ice Court. In desperation an Ice Witch will travel to the Crags and beseech the slumbering Wyrms for aid and it is not unknown for a Frost Wyrm to answer their calls in times of coldest winter. The Ice Queen’s power is such that winter travels where she does – and no Frost Wyrm would ever refuse her.”

Gameplay Overview

The Frost Wyrm is a deadly mid-tier Monster which can move its way across the battlefield relatively quickly for a monster of its size. With the top end of the roster getting particularly crowded, the Frost Wyrm’s power level is comparable to that of a Dark Elf War Hydra or the Stegadon of the Lizardmen. This enables it to really stand out on its own as a unique pick when compared to the Elemental Bear or Incarnate Elemental of Beasts.

  • Fast – The Frost Wyrm is a fast for a creature of its size, which enables it to manoeuvre into position quicker than most
  • Frostbite – The Frost Wyrm utilises the Frostbite contact effect, slowing enemies that it attacks 
  • Mount – Katarin and Ice Witches may use the Frost Wyrm as a Mount

Mount for:

  • Katarin, Ice Witch

Ice Court Sled (Mount – FREELC)

I can’t tell you how pleased the team are to be finally realising the Ice Court Sled in game for you all. It’s been on our wishlist like many of yours for some time since the launch of Total War: WARHAMMER III. Katarin will now rightly be able to nip across the snow-covered plains, hills and mountains of her lands.

Note: Players will only need Total War: WARHAMMER III to access this piece of free content. Ownership of the Shadows of Change DLC is not required.

“The Ice Court’s reinforced sled is drawn by mighty steeds with breath like the winter wind, and whose flanks shimmer with glittering ice crystals.”

Gameplay Overview

  • Like the Wind – Pulled by six of the finest steeds that Kislev has to offer, the Ice Court Sled is the quickest way for Katarin to move around the battlefield.
  • Indomitable – The momentum of the sled allows it to push through enemy infantry lines with ease, making it an effective unit for disrupting and confusing enemy formations
  • Ice Guard Crew – Two members of the Ice Guard fire their bows from the sled, allowing it to also be used as a missile chariot in a pinch.

Mount for

  • Katarin

⬥    ⬥    ⬥

I hope you enjoyed learning about all the new characters, units and spells coming to Kislev, as I have an added treat for you lore lovers out there next week that I touched on at the start of this blog. We have once again partnered with Black Library novelist David Guymer to bring you a wonderful dark tale “Things in the Wood”, taking a closer look at Mother Ostankya and the kingdom of Kislev. Total War Account holders, please keep your eyes peeled for news in your inbox from Monday.

So, now you’ve heard all about all the new additions, the team wanted to gather together the content in its entirety to show you just what the Shadows of Change offering looks like now in comparison to launch.

(Slide the bar to see before and after)

That’s it for now, thank you for your ongoing support and feedback. The team and I are super excited for the future and will be talking to you more on what’s next in the not too distance future for Total War: WARHAMMER III.

For Sigmar!

Rich Aldridge (Game Director) & the Total War: WAHAMMER Team