Thrones of Decay, More Hammer, More War

Manufacturer: Creative Assembly Thrones of Decay, More Hammer, More War

Total War: Warhammer was released just shy of eight years ago and since then Creative Assembly have been adding to it, with two additional full games as well as a horde of DLC and Free-LC along the way.  It’s grown to the point it seems to have hurt their latest game, Total War PHARAOH.  It’s an interesting game in it’s own right, however for many it is hard to pull yourself away from just one more campaign with a Lord you haven’t tried yet.

The Thrones of Decay DLC adds three new Legendary Lords, Elspeth Von Draken for the Empire, Malakai Makaisson for the Dwarves and Tamurkhan the Maggot Lord for Nurgle as well as a handful of new Lord, Heroes, and troops.  They are all usable in both the Immortal Empires and Realms of Chaos campaign. 

The free update still gives you a new Nurgle Legendary Lord, Epidemius the Tallyman and adds the Gold Wizard hero, an impressive spell caster that can end up mounted on a pegasus.  The patch also completely reworks how Nurgle plagues are created and an immunity period so you can’t constantly spam a target with the same plagues.  The Nurgle tech tree has also mutated.  The way the Great Book of Grudges works and is displayed has been made more obvious, same with Oathgold.  The Forge should be a little less hard to feed with hard to find resources as well.   Lastly, Imperial Authority for The Empire has been separated from the Elector Counts system, and all members of The Empire can now play.  The separated Electors Counts system is now the exclusive property of Karl Franz and summoning the Counts will transport the Counts entire army to Karl, if they are not otherwise engaged.


$22.92 USD, or $8.99 USD per hero

Manufacturer Description

“Thrones of Decay is a showdown of maggots, machines and mohawks as new paid content is unveiled for the Empire, Dwarfs and Nurgle alongside a host of free updates for all players including a new Legendary Lord, the Nemesis Crown campaign mechanic, and race updates.”

A Little Something For Everyone

The Gold Wizard will be available to all after the release of the new Warhammer III patch, using the Lore of Metal and can be leveled up to mount a barded warhorse or Imperial pegasus.  If the battle gets close to your spellcaster, the Gold Wizard carries a large metal staff to convince enemies to make space.

The Nemesis Crown is a new artifact can be discovered by following in game hints and claimed or hidden again after a custom battle.  If you chose to hide the Nemesis Crown, everyone has to start hunting again from scratch.  If you choose to keep it, you need to prove your worth by winning battles over a set number of turns, else it will disappear to be hunted for once again.  If you do manage to keep it you can level it up by winning battles, which you can track with the new Nemesis Crown button on the map.

Nurgle’s followers will have to design their own custom plagues now, choosing three symptoms to chain together into a nasty gift for your enemies, similar to a certain goblin’s cooking.  The available web of symptoms will change after every third plague you unleash to keep things interesting and to allow you to infect cities which you’ve already hit, as they gain temporary immunity to past infections.  The symptoms all have negative effects on your enemies and positive effects on your own troops or territory.  You can also boost the plagues chance to spread, it’s duration and even shorten the immunity period.

Epidemius, Nurgle’s Chosen Tallyman

Epidemius is free to everyone, giving you a change to spread Nurgle’s plagues with a new Lord.  He has a Tally of Pestilence resource, gained by spreading plague and corruption across the world.  As the Tally increases, several passive effects apply to his towns and armies, giving them a boost on the battlefield.  You need to keep spreading your corrupted influence fast enough to prevent the Tally from falling and you lose those special skills, bonuses and abilities.

Nurducken! Tamurkhan, the Maggot Lord

It might look like Tamurkhan, the first of the new Legendary Lords in the Thrones of Decay DLC, is a mutated Ogre Tyrant.  That’s just his current host, as the Maggot Lord is actually a huge corpse maggot inhabiting the Ogre.  That makes him even tougher than an Ogre Tyrant, as you have to get through a lot of corrupted flesh to reach your actual target.  If you happen to get so lucky, his Feast of the Maggot Lord ability will deliver serious damage to the attacker, possibly outright killing them while granting Tamurkhan a nice chunk of fresh health.

He is able to recruit up to six Chieftains, unique heroes which bring impressive benefits to our armies.  Their loyalty must be earned, you build their Fealty by performing specific tasks to upgrade their special abilities.  Once a Chieftain becomes Devoted, a new one will unlock for you to recruit and then work on your

Malakai Makaisson Likes Big Explosions And Drinking Buddies

Malakai Makaisson is the second Lord in the Thrones of Decay, a Slayer that owns his own airship and has a penchant for firearms and artillery.   He also comes with two drinking buddies, Felix and Gotrek in his army, no need to build them a fancy pub and hope they show up.  That makes your starting army rather powerful, even without the heavy artillery, and brimstone gyrocopter.  He also has an airship, The Spirit of Grungni, which can be summoned during battle to lay serious pain down.

The Spirit of Grungni has it’s own building tree and population, similar in use to Count Noctilus’s ship in The Vampire Coast DLC.  It provides unique troops and specific benefits to his army.  If you want Slayer Pirates, Goblin Hewers, Thunderbarges or to recruit a Daemon Slayer you will need to enhance the ship.

Malakai gets bored sometimes, and likes a bit of adventure from time to time.  Malakai’s Adventures consist of completing several objectives, things like fighting specific races or making choices in random events.  Fulfilling the objectives give you bonuses and bring you closer to the final step, which is a custom battle you need to win.  The rewards are worth it, and each adventure offers a different one to ensure your supremacy.

Elspeth von Draken, Definitely Not A Necromancer

There is a new Lord in the Empire, Elspeth von Draken, The Dark Lady of Nuln and ruler of the Black Tower.  She is a powerful magic user and caretaker of the Gardens of Morr, a new building type in Thrones of Decay.   You can only build a limited amount of them, but doing so unlocks unique buildings to add to the city you created the Garden in, as well as being able to teleport to any of your Gardens instantly.  It does cost you a bit, and takes five turns to cool down once used.

Elspeth is also fond of firearms, and has access to the Imperial Gunnery School.  You earn Schematics as you fight battles which can be used to unlock a variety of upgrades for your gunnery units, be they on foot, mounted or wheeled.  As you improve your troops you unlock higher levels of the Imperial Gunnery School to grant even larger bonuses and to unlock the Amethyst Armoury.

The Amethyst Armoury can upgrade Elspeth’s unique Amethyst troops, which can be recruited if you meet certain prerequisites, or to buy powerful one shot magic items to add to your Lord or Heroes.  There are several new troop types accompanying her, including the immense Marienburg Land Ship, the Knights of the Black Rose and the Hochland Long Rifles who specialize at hitting small targets from very far away.

The Best Changes Are Free, But Guns Are Fun

The patch that accompanies the Thrones of Decay DLC has all the best parts of this update.  The reworking of Nurgle is interesting and troop management makes more sense with the changes to the cities.  The changes for Dwarf Lords also make playing them easier, the Book of Grudges plays a more interesting part in your game than it did previously, and is easier to wrap your head around.  The same goes for Oathgold, which previously was in some ways easier to ignore than to try to leverage.  The changes to the Empire make Franz more powerful, and splitting Elector Counts and Imperial Authority makes sense.  You will also see some interesting changes to others, such as Balthasar Gelt who has headed off to hang out in Cathay to write up Arcane Essays that give his mages access to immensely powerful spells.

The unique features of the DLC aren’t quite as interesting, unless you have run out of Lords to try out and want to give someone new a shot.  If you enjoy heavy artillery and firearm troops then you will enjoy Elspeth and Malakai, as they grow in power their gunpowder troops become awe inspiring.   The Chieftains that Tamurkhan can unlock are interesting, and give you access to troops you wouldn’t normally have when playing Nurgle but the changes to plagues are more interesting and you get them for free.

If you have money to spare, and some time to put back into Warhammer III you won’t be disappointed but giving the paid Throne of Decay DLC a miss won’t deprive you of major changes to the game.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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