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Cathay and Kislev won’t join Warhammer The Old World anytime soon

Games Workshop says there are "no current plans to bring Kislev or Grand Cathay to the tabletop" despite army updates in Total Warhammer 3.

Warhammer The Old World factions Cathay and Kislev - Games Workshop Total Warhammer 3 screenshot showing the new Kislev Frost Wyrm unit

The Grand Cathay and Kislev factions are getting tasty updates in Total Warhammer 3, but – in a blow to fantasy-China and fantasy-Russia fans everywhere – Games Workshop has confirmed we won’t be seeing them join Warhammer: The Old World as officially supported tabletop armies “for the foreseeable future”.

The news came buried in a post on GW’s Warhammer Community website on Thursday, listing a bunch of shiny new units coming to three Total War Warhammer 3 factions – Kislev, Cathay, and Tzeentch – as part of free content drops for TW3 DLC Shadows of Change, which launched on Friday.

“Fans of Warhammer: The Old World should note that there aren’t any current plans to bring Kislev or Grand Cathay to the tabletop for the foreseeable future,” GW said in a cheeky little italicized footnote.

There was much rejoicing among old-school Warhammer fantasy wargame fans in 2021, when Creative Assembly revealed Kislev and Cathay as launch factions for Total Warhammer 3, with the tantalizing hint that it had designed full tabletop rules for every unit.

And TW3: Shadows of Change, releasing today, adds iconic units like Kislev’s Frost Wyrm and Cathay’s Celestial Lion to the best Warhammer fantasy game‘s roster.

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But this fresh news snuffs out any hopes that would lead to them becoming full-blown Warhammer The Old World factions early on in the game’s life.

In the now-released The Old World rulebook, Grand Cathay and Kislev get two pages of lore each – but they’re not supported with rules in the Forces of Fantasy or Ravening Hordes army books, nor are they included as Legacy Factions like Dark Elves and Vampire Counts, which received barebones rule-sets just to allow fans to get their old armies back on the table.

Warhammer The Old World factions Cathay and Kislev - Games Workshop Total Warhammer 3 screenshot showing the new Grand Cathay Celestial Lion unit

Their role in the future of Warhammer: The Old World remains mired in mystery – especially after Thursday’s WarCom article.

On the other hand, Cathay concept art features in The Old World’s logo, and GW’s 2022 and 2023 dev diaries about the new game made frequent mention of Kislev, calling it a “perfect candidate for further investigation” – so we’d be shocked if they don’t make an appearance eventually (assuming The Old World sells well enough to endure long-term).

Given the relatively slow pace of rules and miniature releases expected for GW’s long awaited Warhammer Fantasy Battle reboot, however, we now suspect we won’t see hide nor hair of Warhammer The Old World Cathay or Kislev army lists, nor any new minis join the miniature wargame from these factions, until 2025 at the very earliest.

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We still don’t know all of the Old World factions that’ll get new minis in 2024 to follow the Bretonnia and Tomb Kings starter boxes. But, thanks to GW’s January 20 reveal video, we do know the first ones are likely to be Orcs and Goblins.

They’re getting two brand new plastic character minis – a Black Orc Warboss and a named Orc Shaman called Ogdruz Swampdigga – as well as a re-release of much of their classic plastic model range, six resin kits, 13 returning metal kits, and a newly repackaged Battalion army box.

Keep an eye out for Wargamer’s full guide to the Orcs and Goblins army. coming soon! In the meantime, in other Warhammer news, classic fantasy jousting game Full Tilt is back; a gigantic Tyranid invaded a Spanish carnival; and internet sleuths estimate one 40k kit makes GW about $500k a year.

For a deeper dive into the new Warhammer The Old Armies, we’ve got freshly researched guides on Warhammer Dwarfs, the ancient Lizardmen, perfidious Old World Skaven, and the mighty Warhammer Empire of Man.