: Games Workshop tried to flesh out every RoR with tons of lore, so between that and trying to explain everything this post is Huge, Explore this thread at your own peril! I highly suggest settling in with a cup of tea, taking breaks or just reading what peaks your interest.
Links to the Rest of the Series
This is part 1 of a 4-part series covering The Dogs of War and the Southern Realms as factions: who they are, what their units are and how could this function within Warhammer 2. Part 1 will cover the Dogs of War Rogue armies themselves, as well as the Border Princes, While Part 2 will Cover Tilea and Estalia, part 3 will cover the Outlaw/Pirate units that will be shared across all the others and part 4 will be everything that’s left over.
It’s no surprise that CA hasn't decided to tackle the Dogs of War/Southern Realms yet, because it’s basically 3 factions in one! with an incredibly bloated roster of units and characters that were mentioned in various sources across 30 years of GW material. Many of the units are from all the other factions in the Warhammer world (Including 6 that aren't even in the game yet) and alot of these units like "Tichi-Huichi's Raiders" might actually be better implemented to their own races rather than the Dogs of War, so CA are likely keeping it in the wings while they decide how best to use this mountain of resources.
With this in mind, I’ve attempted to divide the content up into different sections in such a way that would allow us to get the most out of the material, with subsequent updates, DLC etc.
Who are The Dogs of War?
Dog of War is a polite term for a mercenary in the Warhammer World. There is a common misconception that "the Dogs of War" are exclusively connected to Tilea, but this is untrue, Tilea and Estalia are just some of their best customers. Dogs of War are rogues and ruffians from every race and creed imaginable: from Cathay to the Amazons, from Vampires to the Empire, the Greenskins; you name it and there is probably a mercenary regiment from that race within the Dogs of War roster.
These Mercenaries follow the coin and live nomadic lives, roaming from master to master, playing both sides of a conflict trying to get as rich as they can without getting killed.
How They Should be Implemented
The Rogue Armies in Warhammer 2 that are a mixture of different faction’s rosters, already function as a stand-in for the Dogs of War. These Rogue Armies should be updated with a proper Dogs of War roster; plus some units from the factions they are themed around (for example: Vashnaar's Conquest is themed around the Dark Elves and Chaos, therefore: they should get limited access to chaos and Dark Elf units, on top of getting a full Dogs of War Roster).
- A few of these Rogue Armies could get Legendary Lords and become playable as a Horde Faction.
- These playable Dogs of War armies would be able to sign contracts with other factions and work under them. you would get missions from your employer, steady income and so on.
- The missions would have a short timer on them, forcing you to prioritise them while on the job.
- Other factions would compete to give you a higher price in exchange for you breaking your current contract and siding with them instead.
- Dogs of War Armies would have a Reputation metre that shows how trustworthy they are. This would be integral to you getting new contracts, especially with the forces of Order factions. if you fail to complete a mission on time, betray your employer or allow them to be destroyed then you will lose reputation (They could also make it so that you get different reputation metres for the Forces of Order and the Ruinous powers, so if you work for one group then the other hates you more)
- You would also have a fame metre, which you increase by winning battles (the more decisive the better), defending your benefactor and completing side objectives in the missions you are given. The more fame you amass, the more in demand you become and the higher pay you receive.
- You must compete with other Dogs of War armies for contracts (a leaderboard could exist as It does with the Vampire Coast). This would give you something to do between contracts, as you hunt down competitors to shut them down and get ahead of them.
The Border Princes
In the Borderlands, Between the Lands of Men and the Badlands, lies the Border Princes: a collection of city-states populated by exiles, pirates, adventurers and outlaws from the Empire, Bretonnia and even Kislev. They are the ones we know the least about and don't seem to have a unique culture of their own; they're just a collage of the other factions from the surrounding area and it is assumed they rely heavily on mercenaries. These city-states are constantly at war with one another and for a single Prince to Last more than a few years is almost unheard of, because the statesmen in their court are just as eager to stab them in the back as the neighbouring Kingdoms are.
How They Should be Implemented
Like the Dogs of War Rogue armies, both Border Princes: Leitpold and Gashnag, would have a full mercenary roster, with Lietpold getting some units from the Empire, Kislev and Bretonnia (disgraced Bretonnian Knights, Ex-Imperial soldiers etc), while Gashnag would have access to Vampire Counts units.
Border Princes Legendary Lords
Dogs of War Legendary Lords
Generic Lords and Heroes
Dogs of War Units
(optional) Info on these characters and how they could work in WH2Gashnag the Black Prince
The Border Principalities are wild land’s, ruled over by dozens of robber barons and petty nobles. These small provinces war with each other practically daily and are beset by Greenskin Raids, bandits, chaos beasts and anything that pours out of the Badlands. Yet there is one town, protected by a soaring dark citadel, which has been unscathed for centuries, outliving every other dynasty that surrounds it. This is the small kingdom of Gashnag: The Black prince of the Strigoi.Lietpold the Black
While many Strigoi before him have attempted to plant their flags proudly in the sand and carve out a mighty empire through open warfare, Gashnag has employed a more Lahmian approach over the years. He has a network of spies and agents who act as proxy for most of his dealings and he has paid off many bards throughout the Old World to tell tall tales that he was once a handsome prince, transformed by a witches curse and that only true loves kiss can break the spell.
Despite his beastly appearance and Vampyric blood, Gashnag has wit, guile and even goodness within him. He personally rides out in the dead of night with his men to protect his people from Ogre incursions or whatever else wanders into his lands hoping to cause mayhem. Though his subjects never see them, entire armies of Crypt Ghouls are known to stalk neighbouring kingdoms, terrorising their forces, destroying their crops to deter anyone thinking of trying to dethrone him.
This Border Prince has been branded with many monikers in his time: Leitpold the Black, the Bloody, the Butcher, the Turncoat, the Thrice cursed; his exploits of bloody conquest and dirty treachery have made him a legendary villain all across the old world, often discussed with venomous words over a few Bugman’s in taverns across the Old World.Asarnil Dragonlord
His enemies are as numerous as his flaws and yet even those who hold him in the lowest regard could never fault his martial prowess, nor his tactical genius. Still, his vile behaviour might see him succeed in the short term, yet the long-term results find him with few allies and fewer friends of any repute; his forces often comprise of the lowest scum imaginable (even among mercenaries of the region) yet even among this detritus, his vile nature puts all others to shame.
Lietpold should start in Akendorf next to Blackfire Pass and control the top half of the Border Prince territory and he should buff Pirate and outlaw units (which I will cover in part 3) and DoW from more evil factions.
Asarnil the Dragonlord was previously the son of an Elven hero and Prince of Caledor. He lost his title and all his inheritance when he disobeyed the Phoenix Kings orders; Following his exile, He has become famous the world over as a powerful and mighty mercenary, who rides atop his terrifying dragon “Deathfang”.Gilead Lothian
Asarnil distinguished himself in the “Great War Against Chaos” which took place around 200 years before the beginning of Warhammer 1. He led his fellow Dragon Princes in the “Battle of Finuval Plain” and after the dust had settled, Asarnil was to link up with the rest of the High Elf forces and March to Lothern to lift the siege and save the Phoenix King. He received word Before he set out that The Dark Elves were regrouping and planning an attack on his home of Caledor; which lay mostly undefended, with the bulk of the army marching to Lothern. Asarnil could not stand idle and lead his fellow Dragon riders back home, saving the day and driving the Druchii back into the sea. In his triumph, he headed back to the rendezvous with the Phoenix King, confident that great rewards and honour awaited he and his men; but instead he was met with the Phoenix Kings wrath. Asarnil rejected the Kings judgement, enraged that he would be accused of betrayal for saving his kingdom and so the Phoenix king banished him from all of Ulthuan until he accepted the kings punishment.
He flew from the Island he called home and headed for towards the old ruins of an Elven city in the south of the old world. Upon his approach he realised that the humans now inhabited the lands and he stopped at the city state of Remas in the lands of Tilea. The Prince of Remas quickly requested to higher Asarnil to aid him in a war against another city state of Miragliano (also Tilea in game).
Asarnil agreed and proceeded to destroy Miragliano’s entire navy single handedly atop his mighty dragon “Deathfang” and since that day: His presence on the battlefield has always spelled victory for whoever has the coin to hire him. He still has a dream of returning to his home one day, triumphant and laden with the riches he has won, but for now, his lance and sword remain up for hire.
Gilaid, along with his companion the ageing Weapon Master Fithvael, might just be the last remaining Elves of Tor Anrok: a once proud colony of the High Elves situated in the Borderlands. After the War of the Beard he, his friend and his twin brother wander the Old World in search of the last vestige of his kinsmen. His Twin is murdered trying to save him from bandits and the two were so inseparable that this kills something inside Gilead and (like everyone in the Warhammer setting) his life is consumed by a quest for vengeance. Mengil Manhide
After the Death of his brother Gilaed and Fithvael wander almost aimlessly, acting as mercenaries, slaughtering any evil they can find and looking for any survivors from their home (who may not even exist). Bies mentioned these two could be another Gotrek and Felix type duo for the Wood Elves and High Elves which I agree with, but they could equally be made into a playable DoW faction of their own.
Mengil is a sadistic cannibal who was banished from his home of Clar Karond by his father, until he hunted down and killed an escaped young Norscan slave. Mengil did not only kill his quarry, in his revelry: he smeared the blood of the Norscan across his face, drank deep from the man’s heart, ate his flesh and fashioned his skin into a cloak. His father was so impressed that he gave him the title 'Manhide'.Ulther Stonehammer
He joined the Corsairs of Clar Karond and though he was a tenacious leader who could always achieve victory: he was despised by his superiors for risking too many men and bringing back few slaves in return; such was his blood lust that he would kill even those who surrendered to him; hacking at their bodies long after the life was drained from their eyes. Within half a century Mengil was leading the majority of the raids launched from the Black Ark known as "the Citadel of Spite" as he ravaged the coasts of Ulthuan, Araby, Norsca, Bretonnia and Estalia. He was still terrible at retrieving slaves, but his superiors came to be satisfied with the sheer terror he sowed in the hearts of their enemies.
For a time, His Black Ark controlled the entrance to the Tilean Sea: preying on the merchants, smugglers and all who lived on the coastline, until one day, while Mengil and most of the men were away on a raid, the Citadel of Spite was attacked by High Elf warships and forced to retreat; leaving the raiding party stranded and the Ark did not return. Since that day Mengil and his raiders (known as Manflayers) have made a name for themselves as feared sellswords and assassins in the old world. Mengil has also returned to Naggaroth several times, where he is readily employed by the Dreadlords as an assassin to take out potential rivals.
Ulther Stonehammer is the rightful heir to the once great Dwarven hold Karak Ungor, which was overrun many generations ago during the Goblin Wars (Karak Ungor is controlled by the Red Eye clan just above Karak Kadrin in game). His clan and Kin have settled within the refuge of Karaz-a-Karak ever since, regularly and failing to retake their rightful home.More Information and sources will be in the Posts directly below this.Source list
On his deathbed, Ulther’s father charged him with the task of being the one to finally achieve their centuries long goal of retaking their hold and their honour along with it. Upon his father’s death, Ulther refused to be crowned the next king until he’s able to do so in the throne room of Karak Ungor, like his ancestors before him. He has rallied any and all willing and able forces to his side and now conducts an unorthodox guerrilla war against his enemies north of Karak Kadrin; even recruiting Imperials and Kislevites from nearby provinces who want the Green Tide wiped from the face of the earth as much as the Dawi do.
Ulther could be the only settlement-horde hybrid of the bunch. He would start as a horde and be unable to capture proper settlements until he retakes Karak Ungor. This is obviously due to him not wanting to be crowned king until he retakes his ancestral home.
Ulther would get the full Dogs of War roster with Dwarf, Kislev and Empire units thrown in.
-DoW 5th edition page 6, 42, 43
Gashnag the Black Prince
-Warhammer RPG 2nd ed Night’s Dark Masters
-Gilead’s Blood (Novel)
-Gilead’s Curse (Novel)
Lietpold the Black
-Forge World Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos pages 158, 159
-White Dwarf #298
-Warhammer RPG 1st ed Stone and Steel
-White Dwarf #233, #252
Al Muktar’s Desert Dogs
-DoW 5th ed Army Book p40-41
-White Dwarf #308
The Bearmen of Urslo
-White Dwarf #225, #252
Chaos Dwarf Renegades
-Citadel BC6, 0310
-White Dwarf #252
The Fireheart Lizards
-White Dwarf #407
-White Dwarf #331
-Storm of Chaos p66
Harboth’s Black Mountain Boyz/Orc Archers
-Citadel RR5, RRD3
High Elf Rangers
-various brief mentions throughout Town Cryer, White Dwarf etc
-Citadel RR15, RRD9
Kanac’s Lizardmen Raiders
Knights of the Cleansing Flame
-Citadel RR17, RRD10
the Lost Kindred
-citadel Journal #37
-Wood Elf 6th ed Army Book p16, p59
-White Dwarf #170
Ludwig’s wondrous Grenadiers
-Dwarf 6th ed Army Book
Lumpin Croop’s Fighting Co*k’s
-White Dwarf #252
Mad Mullah Aklan’d’s Death Commandos
-White Dwarf #298
Marienburg Land Ship
-Forge World Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos pages 153 - 156
Mordax, the Great Imperial Dragon
-White Dwarf #91
Notlob’s Orcish Bolt Throwing Engines
Oglah Khan’s Wolfboyz
-White Dwarf #231, #252
-White Dwarf #309
-Forgeworld 6th/7th edition
Richter Kruger’s Cursed Company
Ruglud’s Armoured Orcs
-White Dwarf #92
-The End Times Vol III: Khaine
-Conquest of the new world p15
-White Dwarf #252, #305
Ulther’s Dragon Company
-Warhammer RPG 1st ed, Stone and Steel
-White Dwarf #205