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Proposed Canon

A Warlord is a Commander that has Leadership abilityErf-b1-p040aSame-site.PNGErf-b1-p084aSame-site.PNG. That special (or natural) ability grants a combat bonus to units under their command.

As Commanders, Warlords also control their stacks in combat, allowing for directed attacks (or preventing combat, as opposed to an unled stack, which must auto-attack when in contact with non-allied units.Erf-b1-p040aSame-site.PNG


Every unit with Leadership is a Warlord, but can also be called a Commander, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.Erf-b1-p040aSame-site.PNG

However, Warlord is a specific term for leaders with the Leadership ability. Commander is a more general term, and also encompasses Casters, who do not have Leadership.Erf-b1-p084aSame-site.PNG Both CastersErf-b1-p017Same-site.PNG and WarlordsErf-b1-p007Same-site.PNG can and have been called "Commander," even insisting on it,Erf-b1-p083Same-site.PNG while both have also been referred to with their more specific terms. (Incidentally, Wanda Firebaugh was once referred to as "officer,"Erf-b1-p005Same-site.PNG, which we can only assume is a rarely-used synonym.)

Usage as Leaders

Warlords are almost universally chosen over Casters to lead stacks; there are several reasons for this.

  • Warlords are more common than Casters and therefore more expendable
  • Casters are hard to replace
  • Warlords may be, in general, more competent fighters
  • Casters may have more tactical value elsewhere
  • Warlords offer Leadership bonus to their troops, making them more effective
  • Casters don't have leadership and generally offer no bonus to troops

An exception to this commonly accepted usage of Warlords to lead stacks comes when a caster leads a particular kind of unit, such as ones that have been created using their discipline of magic, such as when a Dirtamancer leads a stack of golems, or uncroaked are led by a Croakamancer.Erf-b1-p084aSame-site.PNG These special bonuses make these particular units (and those units only) far more effective when led by the right kind of Caster. This makes a serious case for having those Casters leading those stacks rather than a Warlord. Another good reason is if Warlords are in short supply and you need to do more than auto-attack the enemy.


Infantry units can be promoted to warlord in the capital (although at a high cost)Erf-b1-p043aSame-site.PNG or popped, either by a side in one of its cities, or, rarely, as a barbarian in the wild. WoT-6051503


Chief Warlord is not a separate class, but is a subclass of Warlord. A Chief Warlord provides bonuses that other Warlords do not.

Ruler seems to be a separate class of Unit (Rulers grant units in their stack a bonusErf-b1-p115Same-site.PNG, but it is not clear whether that bonus comes from Leadership ability or as a result of some special rule).