Well, this first was just an idea for a woodelf or skaven faction, quickly spreaded in my mind, infected all possibilities of such a feature.
The idea of a portal is quite easy, one enters one side, one leaves the other, as if one steps through a door. The implication for the total war Warhammer game would be, that you could do the same thing is a whole army. There were several reasons why such a thing would be handy, but one most important for me, are the far too long travel times of an army, the very homogenous distribution of factions at the moment, and a rather lame invasion of chaos, which either start at the north or south of the map. A journey from Ulthuan to Altdorf, take far too long, and in case Tyrion would like to help their friends of the Empire against the chaos, he probably would just see some burned ruins when he arrives. If I now think about the 3rd Warhammer Game, which might expand towards the eastern part of the world, and Malekith thinks that he would really like to slaughter that tigers of Gildadresh as well, he might take a few years to do so.
The thing is, portals or teleports are not completely absurd in Warhammer, Teclis is teleporting right at the beginning of Warhammer Totalwar 2 to Lustria, and in Warhammer Vermintide 2 (spoiler alert), the Skaven build a giant portal which teleports Norscan Babarians to Helmgart, while the Heroes of the game use a Shadow gate system which resembles high elven architecture.
That’s why I asked myself, why such a feature is not currently present in Total Warhammer, and what implications that might would have, or even how such a feature could look like?
In my opinion, such a feature would allow to make complete chaotic Wars. High elves could suddenly appear in the old world, Skaven from Lustria might travel directly over skavenblight and invade the southern kingdoms. The game would be much quicker, and the mayor factions would be introduced much further. The player has to think more differently about certain areas and might be even more surprised to see completely new strategies occurring with them.
Notable, one might think, that these portals would be game breaking. For the most factions these “portals” were only used for late game. About when the first chaos invasions occur, it might be useful, to regroup armies. Also, Only a very few make use of these in an early campaign, but it should fit their playstyle and lore, and shouldn’t be totally imbalanced.
The Portals (or very fast transportation) were not used for instantly invade any faction. Some factions are more likely to use them as such ( Skaven for example) while others could only use them to tactical maneuver their units in very short numbers (Alith Anar). Some allow an instant travel, some just let one jump from one to the next as a short cut. They work for every faction a bit different, and some don’t even have an access to this.
Let me explain every portal style, what I imagine would suit very good into the current game, and might even necessary for the third game.
Wood elf world roots
I explained it in another post, since I think, this might be a feature to completely revamp this faction. The woodelves own one of the most powerful kind of portals. They can “teleport” nearly instantly, from their Oak of the ages, to certain root nodes. Actually, they are travelling along or inside the roots of their giant tree (I don’t know how really… Magic…). The whole army (20) is directly transported to the end node, without any loss or chances to do be weakened. If one army used the node, it is blocked for that round. Therefore, they stay mostly in their forests, but are also deadly and feared intruders, appearing out of nothing in certain regions.
Luckily or unlucky, they can’t teleport everywhere directly. The greater their oak is, the more nodes were activated farer from the oak, which can be used for transport. At first, They might have an root node only at Bretonia, the Reikland and Estalia, but with growing of the oak, in the end, the Woodelves could directly jump to Lustria, Nagaroth or Nehek. If they don’t start in Athel Loren, they rebuild the root network the other way around (look at the post about the Wood elves if you don’t know what I mean)
One cool thing is, that these roots are not visible, for nearly every faction. Beside the Beast men, only if they were used, the entrance is seen by others for a short duration. If they attack the root node, the node is closed for limited period. Therefore, that roots are not useable for the most factions, and beastmen can only use them to jump to the next node.
The world roots also allow for trading relations (with every faction in that or surrounding region)
for more information about world root lore maybe check out the wiki : https://warhammerfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Worldroots
I also made a complete post about the revamp of the woodelf faction, maybe check it out. This might explain why I would like to “give” them the most powerful portals.
the barely visible M's indicate start locations (see wood elf post for more information
Here is the link of my other wood elf suggestion, which is highly related to this post. https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/236016/lets-make-woodelves-great-again#latest
What would be more convenient than a gate which is directly taking an army from Skavenblight to Norsca, or Lustria or the other way around. Probably a more save portal which is doing the same. Eventhough it is a masterpiece of Skaven technology, the rats inventing it, can’t explain to themselves, why sometimes more rats entering the gate than leaving the other side. Sometimes a rat has more than just one head.
The Portal Gates connect every start location of the skaven. These positions are fixed, and it always need the other rat faction to build the portal at his location as well. If the portal is built (first tier at settlement level 3) the factions owning a portal are known to each other, and could either invade or confederate with each other.
Unluckily, the gates are not completely safe, so every army pass the gate, has a chance to lose 50% of it’s soldiers. This chance decreases the more advanced the gate gets, and even allow later in the game to directly transport 2 armies at once. This is a very powerful transportation, but the limited locations, make it quite predicable where the army will appear.
It doesn’t need any further explanation, that only skaven are crazy enough to build such transportation. Still Military partners are welcome to use them (e.g. norsca), even if they suffer from same disadvantages.
Skaven also use such gates, to trade goods with their related ratmen.
The Shadow Bridge network
(High elves, Dark elves)
The shadow bridge network is less powerful than the skaven ones, but also has its advantages. Since the Druchii are highly rely on their arks, they are not that dependant, or even interested in establishing it. After an elven faction (beside woodelves) conquered the Shrine of Loec, it gets access to the shadow bridge network. An ancient portal network connecting Ulthuan, the new World, and the old World, with several pillars, which allow fast travel from one to the other.
Unfortunately, the Shrines are quite small, and can only account for very small numbers of units. Armies can be only transported in smaller units at once, so 5 Units (later 10) were carried over at once, while the rest of 15 is waiting for the next round. all units on both sides are vulnerable targets within that time.
This gets even worse, since all nodes which were used for that process (even all in-between) are blocked for that period. So, another army can’t use it at that time. This is only very feasible for quick reaction forces, trying to help each other, or to set clever ambushes. Great invasions, should still be made in the classic approaches
cool about them is that these shadow bridges are used through out the world. The army can be teleported sheer anywhere, since these pillars are set through out the known world.
Alith Anar can use the network right from the beginning and transfer 5 units more than other LL.
Teclis can teleport after reaching a certain level, teleport himself and 4 more passengers (or units) directly to a pillar. This might be useful to escape certain fights.
barely visible Questionmarks indicate possible new locations for warhammerIII?
Dwarfen underground Steam trains:
Giant tunnels were connecting the main dwarfen holds, centuries ago. With help of their steam engines and construction of rails, the dwarfs might be able to directly connect the main dwarfen keeps with gigantic underground/mountain railroads. The idea about it is quite simple: Every main settlement of a mountain region can be, if it is in possession of a railroad station, and the destination is in possession of railroad station as well, travel directly to the next mountain region. The journey cost only 1 round per region traveled.
Probably, for some stations it might be good enough to just travel there by marsh stance, but a longer journey, like from the north to the south, might be a lot faster using the trains.
One disadvantage of this transportation is however, that the underground lines are big, and possible dangerous. A lot of hostile threats are lurking in the dark tunnels. Possible, the train can be attacked by an underground army (orcs, skaven). Therefore, a quite easy journey could end as a disaster, if the dwarfs are not careful.
While the dwarfs are the most common users of this kind of transportation, the empire of men is also familiar with such kind of technique, and might be able to use it as well. (still only mountain regions are connected). Moreover, Skaven and can hijack this transportation, and use it for themselves as well.
Off course, the dwarfs use such clever invention also for trading. Every connected region can directly trade with each other.
The Gates of Nagash (Tomb kings, vampire counts)
An ancient secret, known to only the most proficient learners of the legacy of nagash, is kept in very few places through out the world. Once the great Necromancer, had the ambious dream, to conquer the known world, and invade his enemies directly from the sand deserts of Nehek. At the moment at only two, places are gates directly connected to each other, and the dark magic allows the undead to travel through it. They can directly enter the black pyramid of nagash, and will jump in the red desert of Nagaroth. Possible another gate is placed in the dark lands.
They can be built in a Tier 5 settlement. The Teleport can only happen if both sides are willing to let it happen (The both factions need either to be military partners, or the portal most be in possession of the same faction. There are no penalties, or chances it might get wrong.
This magical gate is only known, to either devoted servers of Nagash, or people keen enough, to challenge his power to manipulate it for themselves. Therefore, only Vampire Courts or the Tomb Kings can use such gates. Unfortunately, everyone using the portal have to initiate a rite, which informs every faction, that the portal is used. As long the rite is active, the armies can travel.
Beside the very large distances, and the secure travel, the gates do not have any advantage.
Gates of the old Ones
(lizardmen, factions of order)
The gates of the old Ones work very similar to the Nagash gates. They are placed in lustria, southlands, and Albion. They can only be built it Tier 5 settlements. Every military ally, following the great plan might be enter the gates, travel across the world. Since there are not very many, and still they might misunderstand the plan, possible only the Lizardmen are traveling with them. The portal in Albion allows them to get involved in the old world. Likewise tomb kings, the lizardmen have to initate a rite to open the gates.
The stream of the Deep
(vampire coast factions ,other pirate lords)
The faction which might hate such a feature the most would be the pirates, which highly depend on the transportation on sea and possible ambushes of such armies. But even for them such a feature might be a total win. While some factions might completely ignore the potential dangers of traveling by sea, the Vampire Coast can use a similar mechanic to get their ships to a different ocean.
I imagine that their ships can dive into the ocean, and a magical stream is bringing them to certain locations, where they can dive up again. Possible some of the crew get missing by the speed of the ship, and the rather hostile environment of being under water (I presume 25% of all crew members), but a few might not harm the overall ship integrity. The cool thing it is rather fast (only 2 rounds), and it allows to jump to nearly impossible locations, e.g. the western ocean of lustria, or the eastern ocean of Nehek.
Only the most feared pirates know such a secret. If the galleons graveyard is owned by the Vampire Coast faction, it can also use the Mael stream, and avoid completely any damage from it. Lokhir felheart, even he is not undead, or possible other aggressors of the sea, can get the access to the Mael Stream, if they get to own the Galleons Graveyard. Therefore, this location is very attractive for every pirate faction, and count noctilus is profiting from it right from the beginning.
As explained above, the journey takes 2 rounds and a message is given to all other pirate factions, that the said faction uses the deep stream. If another hostile faction is entering the Mael Stream at that moment as well, both factions automatically fight each other in an underwater battle.
Note that every faction can only send a single ship at once down the stream.
There are many consequences, rising from such a system. Possible it is a complete game changer. It should still follow some rules: the most powerful ones, are at the same time the most known and therefore often attacked, while the less powerful ones only allow some new tactical maneuvers, which spices the campaign gameplay. I think such a feature becomes at least at a point necessary, when the map is expanded further. What are your thoughts about this?
Note about the pictures : the Tomb King and lizardmen Portals are not warhammer related pictures. I do not own any of the provided images (beside the dots on the maps, lol)