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Watch Total War Warhammer 3’s AI duke it out for 750 turns

What happens when the Total War Warhammer 3 AI fights itself for over 750 turns, with no human intervention? A YouTuber decided to find out.

Total War Warhammer 3 - empire greatsword troops marching through a desert with a pyramid in the background.

One of the best things about a Total War Warhammer 3 campaign is that games can play out very differently, depending on which factions rise to superpower status and which wither and die in the early game. And with the recent Immortal Empires update, the sandbox has swelled enormously. But Youtuber The Great Book of Grudges (aka Nathan) wasn’t content to fight the computer-powered factions himself. Instead, he set up an AI-only Immortal Empires game, and let every single Total War Warhammer faction, all 278 of them, duke it out in the span of an incredibly long 766-turn campaign.

Nathan has run AI-only matches in previous Total War Warhammer games and “always found it fascinating how patches and updates can change the dynamic on the map”, from the dark elves’ early game dominance, to the infamous ‘ordertide’ of ‘good’-aligned factions. Now he “wanted to see how the AI played out in Immortal Empires, on the most ambitious Warhammer game to date.”

However, whereas an easy-to-use mod can help you set up a player-less Total War Warhammer II game, this didn’t yet exist for the third game in the series. “What I had to do was reverse engineer [the mod] and scripts involved by use of external programs and going into the game files itself,” the YouTuber explains. “Not a simple process by any means,” he says, adding that he’s not the most ‘in tune’ with modding. But it looks like it was worth it!

So how did this battle of the bots play out? Well, despite the long turn count, there was no one clear winner, with numerous factions making it all the way to the end game. But a ton of wild events played from a wood elf invasion of Norsca, to the dwarves wiping out the orcs.

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Commenting on the game, The Great Book of Grudges says: “It was curious seeing Chaos factions lasting so long. Aversion still comes into play so seeing the north being very Chaotic, particularly Vilitch who holds against Cathay so much, was surprising. I expected him to be killed off as soon as Cathay had the chance but he lasted until the end.

“[Tomb Queen] Khalida somehow ending up in the Empire was bizarre, never seen that before in my hundreds of hours playing Immortal Empires.

“Lustria being taken over by humans was very odd but kind of expected in a strange way? The Lizardmen need a rework in the future.”

Nathan adds that an important thing to note is that at the moment confederations are currently harder to do even for the AI. “While they still happen they are not as common which means a super power does not form.”

Immortal Empires, the Total War Warhammer III update bringing content from all three games together in one mammoth campaign, launched on August 23. Creative Assembly say it’s in beta right now, with plenty of balancing and bug-squashing left to do.