Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki
Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki

Concept art of a strategy piece which Tzarina Katarin used to represent the forces of Grand Cathay in the Total War: Warhammer III announcement trailer. Note the Dragon wearing a breastplate, pauldrons, and holding a globe. Official Games Workshop art.

Grand Cathay is a playable race that will be introduced in Total War: Warhammer III. Cathay is a vast empire, the largest human nation in Warhammer Fantasy, based on the history of Imperial China and East Asian mythology. Though staunch opponents of Chaos, their location in the Far East makes them very isolated. Thousands of miles from potential allies, they have constructed a Great Bastion on their northern border to keep out marauding forces of Chaos.

How They Play[]


Grand Cathay, sometimes called Far Cathay, The Dragon Empire of Cathay and the Celestial Dragon Empire, is a vast empire, and the single largest human nation in the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

Located in the Far East, Grand Cathay is bordered to the west by the Mountains of Mourn and Ancient Giant Lands, to the east by the Far Sea and the island country of Nippon, to the south by the Hinterlands of Khuresh, and to the north by the Eastern Steppes and Chaos Wastes. To the southwest lies the mountainous border with the Kingdoms of Ind.

Grand Cathay is ruled by a leader known as the Celestial Dragon Emperor. In some lore, the names of several different dragon Emperors is mentioned. Other bits of lore say the Dragon Emperor may be immortal, or a dragon in the form of a man.[1][2] Games Workshop designers said that people may be "surprised at the hierarchy" of Cathay.[3]

Grand Cathay is a powerful nation of order that stands against Chaos. However they are also very isolated, located far from potential allies. Contact and trade with the High Elves and human nations of the Old World has increased in recent times, but is still fairly unreliable and limited. Between Cathay and the Old World lie great mountains, desolate Dark Lands, hostile factions. This means Cathay has largely been forced to defend itself without outside aid.

As a result, Grand Cathay long ago constructed the Great Bastion, a huge fortification along their northern border which prevents incursions from nomadic Hobgoblin hordes, as well as marauding bands of Hung, Kurgan and other forces of Chaos.

In Battle[]


Main article: Grand Cathay unit roster



In campaign[]

Playable Subfactions[]


provinces and settlements[]

In the cinematic announcement trailer for Total War: Warhammer III, a Total War style map of Cathay is shown with several province / settlement names:

  • Great Bastion
  • Lands of Stone and Steel
  • Celestial Riverlands
  • Warpstone Desert
  • Gunpowder Road
  • Nan-Gau
  • Shang-Yang
  • Forests of the... [last word covered]

Minor Factions[]





  • Before Total War: Warhammer III, Cathay is referenced in several items and followers, such as the Horn of Immortals and the Cathayan Slave Dancer.
  • In 2018, a group of Chinese Total War fans visited Creative Assembly in the UK, and presented them with a fan-made map of Grand Cathay, to show their desire for Cathay to become a playable faction.[4][5]
  • In 2019, Creative Assembly released Total War: Three Kingdoms, a Total War game set during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history (220-280 CE). The game draws heavily on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a 14th-century Chinese novel which is part history, part myth, and is set in the three kingdoms period. Total War: Three Kingdoms sold 1 million copies in less than a week.[6]
  • Games Workshop and Creative Assembly worked together to create Grand Cathay for Total War: Warhammer III.[7] Previously, Cathay had only existed as snippets of lore in Warhammer Fantasy books.[8]


  • Cathay is strongly based on Imperial China and Chinese fantastical elements. The Great Bastion is based on the Great Wall of China.