Post news RSS Total War: Wainriders Official Announcement and First Faction Preview

The Fourth Age Total War Team is very proud to officially announce the development of the Total War: Wainriders mod for Rome: Total War - Alexander. Wainriders is being built largely on the foundations established by the Dominion of Men but will be a stand alone expansion running on Alexander and will feature fully overhauled factions, an updated campaign map, and new mechanics and gameplay systems all designed to effectively transport the setting of the main campaign to T.A. 1864.

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The Fourth Age Total War Team Presents

Total War: Wainriders

Wainriders Teaser Trailer - Mod DB

The story of the Third Age of the north west of Middle-earth is one of constant struggle against the power, malice, and treachery of Sauron the Enemy. In T.A. 1851 a new chapter in this conflict began with unforeseen invasion of the Wainriders, a numerous and warlike confederacy of Easterling tribes, and took a terrible turn in T.A. 1856 with the shocking death of Narmacil II of Gondor in the Battle of the Plains and the defeat and rout of his army. For the first time in more than a millennium Gondor is threatened with destruction at the hands of an external foe and not even the wise can say how the conflict will play out in the coming years.

Yet this war, momentous as it is, is far from the only element of Sauron's long-planned revenge against the West. The North-kingdom of Arnor has all but faded away, and the remnant of Arthedain and its Elven allies are hard pressed once again by the might of the Witch King and the unrelenting forces of Angmar. Refugees from the shattered kingdoms of Rhovanion flee to the west and north, seeking new and safer homes in strange and wild lands. In the roots of the mountains Goblins and Dwarves clash in an increasingly bitter feud, while Wargs and other foul creatures prowl the darkening eaves of Greenwood the Great.

In the south the Corsairs of Umbar and the Tribes of Harad are regrouping, sensing weakness on their northern borders. And from the East the wains keep coming...


The Fourth Age Total War Team is very proud to officially announce the development of the Wainriders mod for Rome Total War - Alexander. Wainriders is being built largely on the foundations established by the Dominion of Men but will be a stand alone expansion running on Alexander that will feature fully overhauled factions, an updated campaign map, and new mechanics and gameplay systems all designed to effectively transport the setting of the main campaign to T.A. 1864 as well as it can be realised in Rome Total War.

Further details will be released in later announcements. For now, though there is much work yet to do, several factions have already been finished, and we will begin to preview these rosters over the coming months. Today we are very proud to share with you the units of The Western Horde, the vanguard of the Wainriders' advance west, the architects of the conquest of Rhovanion and the victory over Gondor at the Battle of the Plains, and one of two Wainriders factions in the mod. Enjoy!

The Western Horde

Few among the tribes know what, precisely, compelled their chieftains to strike into the west – not only with an army, but with livestock, goods, families. For some it is enough that they fight the people of Gondor, the tall and terrible Men of the West who punished the chieftains of their ancestors and destroyed their camps.

But since the time of the great sickness, the men of the East have grown strong. Now scarcely a year has passed since the Battle of the Plain, in which the army of Gondor was defeated and its king slain south of the dark, frowning forest that fringes the new land of the Western Horde. In that stroke, the fate of Rhovanion was sealed: its proud people, once allies of Gondor, now serve as thralls to the horde, or march in its hosts.

This new land is home for now, but the people are restless. While some chieftains are content to lord over the subdued Northmen of Rhovanion, others wish to pursue those who escaped to the north or into the west. And surely the folk of Gondor will want vengeance for the death of their king. Many in the horde yearn to seize the initiative that has recently been won, and set up camps across the Great River, to surround the fabled White City with fire and war.

Tier 1
Steppe Axes
The Western Horde Roster Preview

The nomadic folk of the East are ever ready for war; each man may be, in turn, a herder, a raider, or a warrior in a great chieftain’s host. But not every man can enjoy the prestige of fighting from a chariot, or afford to ride a horse into battle. Steppe Axes are the rough-and-ready fighters of the tribes, eager to seize spoils of war and earn honour under a successful leader. But while their ferocity can carry the day against ill-trained foes, their lack of discipline and poor gear make them unlikely to stand for long in a fight with superior soldiers.

Tribute Huntsmen
The Western Horde Roster Preview

Young men from the subjugated peoples of Rhovanion who have been gathered under the leadership of the Western Horde, these wary fighters are skilled with the throwing spear. They have been sent by their villages and families as a form of tribute to their Easterling masters, under whom they may screen a line of battle or deploy in ambush in the terrain they know so well. Though some of these men go to war willingly enough, others resent their servitude, and a war-leader would do well not to trust too much to their morale in heavy fighting.

Tier 2
Tribute Spears
The Western Horde Roster Preview

These hardy spearmen are of Northman stock, and serve in the hosts of the Western Horde after the latter’s invasion and subjugation of Rhovanion. While they do not share the ferocity and aggressiveness of their new Easterling rulers, Tribute Spears are strong and disciplined enough to hold a battle-line while the riders and chariots outflank and run down their foes – provided they are well protected from threats themselves.

Steppe Lancers
The Western Horde Roster Preview

Swift, light riders armed with spear and shield, Steppe Lancers are often in the van of any migration or assault of the Wainriders. Their speed makes them well suited for raids or flanking manoeuvres – or for chasing down fleeing foes. They are an essential arm of the Easterling hosts, supporting the chariot-borne chieftains and other warriors, although being made up mostly of men from poorer tribes they are not sufficiently armed for melee against a disciplined foe. If their headlong charge does not break the enemy, they are best withdrawn from the fight to charge elsewhere, lest they falter and flee themselves.

Tier 3
Easterling Warriors
The Western Horde Roster Preview

Away from their mounts, these Easterling Warriors are equipped in similar manner to the Horse Archers. Their primary weapon is a strong bow of horn, wood, and sinew. When overtaken or charging an enemy, they wield the narrow-bladed axe that is widespread among their people. While fighting from horseback or chariot is more prestigious, these folk of the Western Horde have adapted somewhat to their new life in the camps and villages of Rhovanion, and go into battle on foot, where they serve as a reliable and versatile arm of their host.

Easterling Horse Archers
The Western Horde Roster Preview

In the wide lands of the East, a horse allows a man to herd his livestock and travel great distances efficiently; a bow allows him to strike down threats from afar. It is no surprise, then, that when called to war, or on their great migrations into the West, many of the Easterlings fight as either riders or bowmen – or both. Easterling Horse Archers can inflict terrible loss upon lightly-armed foes, thinning their ranks with arrow fire and cutting down the rest with axes. Against the well-armoured forces of Gondor, their best stratagem is to harass and distract, wearing down the enemy’s resolve until stronger fighters can deliver a killing blow.

Wainrider Chariots
The Western Horde Roster Preview

These sons of chieftains and noble warriors cut an imposing figure on the battlefield, with their pointed helms glinting in the sun and their banners whipping in the wind of the charge. Their chariots are lighter and more easily handled than the larger war wains, pulled by a team of two horses who have been bred and trained for this single purpose. Armed with long-hafted axes, the warriors can sweep alongside enemy infantry formations, cutting down foes and withdrawing before becoming surrounded – or they may charge enemy cavalry, against which their chariots’ wicked scythe-blades can inflict terrible wounds. These chariot-warriors are reckless glory-seekers, and a war-chief who commands them must choose either to loose them in a ferocious initial charge, or hold them back as a reserve for a critical moment.

Tier 4
Sworn Spears
The Western Horde Roster Preview

Not all the Northmen caught up in the Western Horde serve unwillingly. Whether out of a desire for plunder or to prove their prowess in battle, some men were quick to declare their allegiance to the new masters from the East. Sworn Spears are among the most dependable of the Northmen in the Horde, more skilled and better-armed than the tribute-warriors drawn from the wreckage of Rhovanion’s princedoms. Wielding stout spear and shield and bearing a clutch of javelins, they can be trusted to hold a battle-line and earn their chieftain’s trust.

War Wains
The Western Horde Roster Preview

These fearsome wains bear some of the mightiest champions of the Western Horde. Built of stout wood and iron, and pulled by a team of four strong horses, they are fixed with scythe blades and spikes to ruin enemy formations. Each wain carries a driver and three spear-throwers clad in formidable scale armour and bearing large shields. While they are slower and less manoeuvrable than the lighter Wainrider chariots, War Wains are more resilient – small, mobile forts that can rain heavy spears from a distance and follow up with a punishing charge. Like all such vehicles, War Wains are vulnerable when at rest, as enemy infantry can surround them and dispatch the crew or horses. But in open terrain, and supported by other troops, these can be a devastating weapon.

Tier 5
Wainrider Chieftains
The Western Horde Roster Preview

These are the lesser chieftains and tribal leaders among the Wainriders, along with their picked men and guards, fighting on foot either due to the haste of their mustering or because the terrain of their campaign may not be suitable for the War Wains. Even away from their fearsome chariots these men are formidable warriors, throwing deadly spears before closing to melee with axe and shield. As they have much to lose in defeat and much to gain in victory, Wainrider Chieftains are less likely to flee than other Easterling fighters, and will serve as some of the toughest infantry available to the Wainriders.

Noble Guard (Bodyguard Unit)
The Western Horde Roster Preview

Finding that the rugged terrain of Rhovanion was sometimes poorly suited for chariot warfare, the leaders of the Western Horde have become accustomed to riding into battle on horseback. These men fight in a manner similar to the Chosen of Great Rhun, armed with a powerful bow and a long spear, and their armour and fighting skill is almost unmatched among the other warriors of the Horde. These are the bold and cunning war-leaders who have wrested the lands of Rhovanion from the Northmen, and their swift victories have even earned the grudging admiration of some of those subjugated peoples who fight now under their banners.

Special Units
Sworn Champions
The Western Horde Roster Preview

These are the mightiest of the Northmen who serve under the Western Horde, tall men of broad shoulder and impressive build, champions among their people and in the eyes of their Easterling overlords. Whether eager or at first unwilling, they have sworn oaths that bind them to their new masters, and now will fight relentlessly to honour those words. Lavished with the best war-gear and richly rewarded for their deeds in battle, the Sworn Champions are towers of strength in the ranks of the Horde.

Vassal Lancers
The Western Horde Roster Preview

Skilled riders though they are, the Easterlings tend to field lightly armoured cavalry who prefer to either shoot down their foes from afar or surprise their enemy with a sudden charge. Vassal Lancers are levied from the Northmen families and tribes that have been swept up by the Western Horde, and provide a strong arm of riders trained and equipped to fight in a prolonged melee. They are expert horsemen, armed with spear, shield, and sword, who can follow up a powerful charge with heavy strokes with their blades, whose skill at fighting from horseback has earned the respect of the leaders of the Horde.

Sword Wives
To be revealed...

Great Wains
To be revealed...

Disclaimer: All rosters are a work in progress and unit list may not be complete or finalised; appearance and description may change in the final release.

We hope you have enjoyed this announcement and roster preview. Follow the mod here to make sure you don't miss any announcements, the next faction preview will be going up soon!

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