With Total War: Warhammer 3 serving as a culmination of the Total War: Warhammer trilogy, players now take their quest to save the world to the Chaos Wastes. While Total War: Warhammer 3 still allows players to engage in an all-out war against all the races of the hit Warhammer Fantasy franchise, those who want to stop chaos can forge alliances through various means, such as Confederacy.
Compared to usual alliance mechanics in other games, this Total War title adds a more thematic spin to the Confederacy gameplay system. Aside from the fact that only factions of the same race can participate in a Confederacy, what else should players consider when pursuing this method of uniting their factions?
What Is Confederation?
In most 4X games, a player can “control” another portion of land through total domination, usually in combat. This isn’t always the case in Total War: Warhammer 3 gameplay, as all races and factions have the potential to coexist due to various Diplomatic Options peacefully. Should players aim to “assimilate” a territory belonging to another faction, this can be done through a process called Confederation.
At its core, Confederation in this Warhammer game allows a faction to “absorb” another faction into its wing, provided they are of the same race. If successful, the absorbed party ceases to exist while settlements, units, items, and ancillaries become the belonging of the player.
What’s This Compared To Other Diplomatic Options?
One of the more important considerations before deciding on Confederation as a hardline approach to Diplomacy is comparing this option with other methods out there. Like other 4K games, Total War: Warhammer 3 has gameplay options that expand on Diplomatic Options depending on the player’s goals. Given the definition of Confederation in mind, players may want to compare it with the other options available:
- Non-Aggression Pact: A promise of not attacking either party but does not prevent raiding.
- Gift: Give money to the other party with nothing in return
- Trade Pact: A deal geared towards income generation for both parties
- Military Alliance: A promise to help each other in future wars
- Defensive Alliance: A promise to defend each other when attacked
- Vassals: One party subjugates the other as a vassal
- Declare War: Begin open hostilities against another party
- Peace Treaty: End a conflict based on various terms
How Does Confederation Work?
Although Confederation seems like a more “confusing” way of simply conquering another territory, this does serve as a nifty way to absorb another territory without declaring open warfare. Confederacy in this fantasy take on the WH40K experience is also a unique mechanic that allows inter-country conflict to be resolved more seamlessly – for instance, should two (2) states seek to outperform the other, the state to achieve certain points get to absorb the other. Of course, players need to understand certain stipulations and mechanics to perform Confederations smoothly:
What Are The Conditions?
Should players aspire to assimilate another country under a Confederacy, they need to remember that it’s not simply a matter of the event happening outright. Players will most likely have to fulfill certain conditions to Confederate the other party successfully or risk hostility from them. Here are things players need to remember:
- Racial similarity: The faction players who want to be Confederate must belong to the same race.
- Good relationship: Players must have a good relationship with the faction or state they plan on Confederating. Similar to other games, this process involves doing activities for the “benefit” of said party, such as giving them gifts (Diplomatic Option – Gift), or even attacking their enemies (Diplomatic Option – Military Alliance).
- Overwhelming military: Players who plan on Confederating another nation must have a much larger army to force the other country to give in to the proposal.
What Are The Setbacks?
Despite how attractive the notion of a Confederacy could be for players eyeing the unification of their race’s factions, there are setbacks players need to consider that may affect their long-term ambitions – similar to WH40K games like Dawn of War. Before directly setting their eyes on another country, here are potential negative downsides of the process:
- Money is not involved: Confederating another nation does not involve the money and resources they currently own.
- A significant uptick in costs: Considering how the other nation won’t bring their resources into the Confederacy, players need to consider the potential increase in costs that the Confederacy can bring into the fold with the new arrival.
How To Prepare For Confederacy?
One of the best ways to ensure a successful “conversion” or “assimilation” of another country or faction is to slowly “prepare” for the Confederation process. This process includes following some guidelines as the assimilating nation and ensuring the other party is primed to accept the terms of the former. Here are strategies to consider:
The positional advantage of potential Confederacy matters especially in long-term benefits. When choosing a nation to prepare for Confederacy, players should consider the location of the country to begin with. This allows players to determine the potential long-term repercussions of confederating certain nearby factions.
For instance, it’s best to Confederate nations along the border of one’s overall realm or between rival factions. That way, players of this fantasy take on WH40K have a “buffer zone” or another territory to defend them. Another consideration could be choosing Confederate nations friendly with rival factions, so players can cut off a defensive line of the enemy’s.
Maintain Diplomatic Ties
Another interesting thing players could do to prepare for proper Confederation is to maintain proper diplomatic ties with their target nations. This makes target countries much easier to absorb considering the players are already part of a benevolent network.
Aside from Diplomacy: Gifts, players can forge Trade Pacts and various Alliances to flesh out their relationships with other nations. It helps players to avoid extensive terms with nations they plan on pursuing in the short term to avoid wasting resources for the long haul. It also helps players to maintain a large army to “convince” the other nation to join their cause.
One important consideration players of Total War: Warhammer 3 may want to consider during Confederation is that other factions can commit to the same process. Players close to the borders of another race or faction may want to consider whether other nations of other factions are close to being Confederated as well.
In these situations, players must consider if it’s worth attacking these nations to avoid their acquisition by a rival Warhammer faction. After all, the player’s systematic advantages with Confederacy can easily be rendered useless if a similarly-powerful rival gets to Confederate another territory.
What About Specific Races, Factions?
Given how Total War: Warhammer 3 emphasizes the importance of different cultures and perspectives among factions, it makes sense for internal mechanics such as Confederacy to be affected by these things as well. Certain races or factions have specific extra conditions for Confederacy, which players may want to consider for their advantage. Here are some things to take note of:
Consider Faction Habits
Certain Warhammer factions and races also have Confederation habits that players must consider when starting a diplomatically-leaning campaign. While the above tips are general guidelines, certain factions may prefer to ally themselves with nations that follow certain habits or pre-requisites. Here are certain things to consider:
- Beastmen: More likely to Confederate if the absorbing faction is much stronger, regardless of the relationship. They may also use Dread to force other Beastmen Legendary Lords to use Confederation.
- Bretonnia: Players in this faction may research up to six (6) technologies that can unlock a dilemma, which, when solved, will unlock the option to start Confederating.
- Dark Elf, Dwarf, High Elf, Humans (some): Most likely leaning to Confederate with factions within their race when the Confederating party is much stronger and is in good relations with them.
- Greenskins, Norsca: Certain dilemmas are unlocked after defeating the leader of a rival faction, and only after finishing them will enable them to Confederate said nation.
- Lizardmen: They need a strong positive diplomatic modifier to accept Confederation requests.
- The Empire: The faction can force Confederations to happen with certain Fealty mechanics.
- Wood Elves: Once they upgrade their Oak of Ages to Tiers 2 and 3, this faction can have up to six (6) special quests and dilemmas that allow Confederations.
Absorb Other Nations During Events
Players who want other options for Confederacy may consider looking into events and missions. Certain races and factions have missions specifically geared towards Confederating a rival nation as a reward.
For example, the Kislev Campaign features “The Motherland” Quest wherein a losing faction gets absorbed by the winning faction in a series of events. Players can look into these incoming events or missions and plan ahead as to which nations they want to get involved in, especially if the said nation is a target for Confederacy.
Total War: Warhammer 3 is available for PC, Linux, and macOS.
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