Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki
Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki

Karl Franz is an Empire Legendary Lord introduced in Total War: Warhammer. He is a melee specialist with strong buffing abilities and a unique mount called Deathclaw. Franz, along with Volkmar the Grim, are the two Legendary Lord choices for Reikland.


The Emperor leads his army into battle.

For the Empire! For Sigmar! For GLORY!

The Emperor is Karl Franz, Prince of Altdorf and Elector Count of Reikland. Karl Franz is said to be the greatest statesman the Old World has ever seen. He is also a military genius and a valiant general. The Emperor frequently takes personal command of his soldiers, wielding Ghal Maraz, the fabled hammer of Sigmar, like the Warrior God of old, smiting enemies of the Empire with every blow. Karl Franz often rides to battle on the back of Deathclaw, reputed to be the mightiest Imperial griffon that ever lived. A powerful bond exists between the beast and its master, one forged in countless battles and many adventures. During the Battle of Blood Keep, Deathclaw stood over the prone form of the wounded Emperor for three hours, slaying any who came near until the Reiksguard could hack a path to their fallen Lord.

Threatened from without by races bent on evildoing, and from within by political infighting and petty ambitions, The Empire has held together throughout the ages in a fragile alliance, often teetering on the brink of disaster. But now there is a measure of stability and hope for mankind. For one man is fated to negotiate the treacherous webs of Imperial politics and overcome countless entrenched rivalries to bind the warring provinces under his banner.

A man of astounding military prowess, as gifted a warrior and commander as he is a statesman. That man is Karl Franz; Prince of Altdorf, Elector Count of Reikland and Emperor. Soaring aloft on Deathclaw, most ferocious of the Imperial Griffons, and wielding Ghal Maraz, the fabled hammer once held by Sigmar himself, Karl Franz inspires the men he leads to feats of courage and heroism. A military genius and the greatest statesmen the Old World has ever seen, he is the Empire’s greatest hope for survival in a brutal, war-torn world.

Gameplay attributes[]

  • Heir of Sigmar: The natural charisma and fame of the Emperor result in reduced costs for building massive armies and increased availability of recruits.

Campaign Effects[]

When picked as your starting legendary lord:

Strengths and Weaknesses[]

  • Armour-Piercing: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
  • Armoured: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage.
  • Duellist: This unit is best used to attack individual targets such as Lords or Heroes. As it can only damage very few individuals at a time, it is not suitable against hordes of weak enemies.


Abilities (MP)[]



  • YouTuber's Zerkovich spotlight on How to play KARL FRANZ Campaign! - Warhammer 2 Beginner's Guide
  • Franz is one of the best duelist characters in the game and can also buff nearby units to greater feats of strength. Activating Ghal Maraz allows him to do high amounts of damage in a burst. The Reikland Runefang gives Leadership and Melee attack to nearby units when activated, allowing the troops around him to hold and land more hits. Franz is not great for clearing out hordes of infantry unless he is mounted on Deathclaw and can rely on Fear/Terror to rout infantry away. In Multiplayer, save Franz for engagements against optimal targets. He should be fighting whatever the biggest threats are in your enemies army (obviously if they are anti-large armor piercing units that is not the case) You do not want him to take a bunch of damage unnecessarily as he has no means of healing outside of a Jade Wizard.