Factions and Eras

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A faction is a group of units that are not necessarily of the same race. These are sets of units available to a particular leader and often reflect alliances between various races or divisions within a race. For example, Northerners cover orcs, trolls, and other races who often ally with the orcs in war. On the other hand, Loyalists only cover humans who are part of the army of the kingdom of Wesnoth or those who use a similar military system like the city-state of Elensefar. Other humans are parts of non-default factions such as outlaws.

Factions in multiplayer are determined by an era. Eras are groups of factions that cover a particular theme - for instance, the Default Era covers the common races that appear frequently during the history of Wesnoth, such as Undead. In eras, the units a particular faction can recruit are internally consistent with the version of the era. On the other hand, "factions" as they appear in single player campaigns can change according to the plot of the campaign. In the campaign Northern Rebirth, the player can only recruit peasants and woodsmen in the first scenario but gets more diverse recruit lists later on. The factions in single player usually do not match up completely with the factions in multiplayer.

The Battle for Wesnoth has a diverse amount of multiplayer factions. There are six factions that are currently in the Default Era, which comes with the game. Other factions are made by users and available as add-ons, usually packaged in eras with other factions. What follows is a list of the major factions, as sorted by era.

Default Era

Default
Maintainer(s) the Wesnoth MP developers
Factions Drakes, Knalgan Alliance, Loyalists, Northerners, Rebels, Undead
Current Version(s) 1.12 (stable), 1.13 (development)
Wesnoth Version(s) 0.4+
Forum Thread N/A
Unit Trees Wesnoth Unit Trees (1.12)
Status Active


The Default Era is the default multiplayer era for the Battle for Wesnoth. It currently contains six factions, consisting of a wide variety of units.

Factions

Drakes

Main article: Drakes

The Drakes are a faction of dragon-like Drakes and their lizard Saurian allies. Drakes are descendants of dragons, but smaller in size. Saurians are far smaller and from different ancestry. Together, the Drake faction has high mobility but low defense, leading to unusual tactics for a Default faction.

Knalgan Alliance

Main article: Knalgan Alliance

The Knalgan Alliance is a faction of Dwarves and their outlaw Human allies. Dwarves are an old race who live underground and have tough, but short, warriors. The outlaws are humans who are not socially acceptable among others of their race, but have become allies of the dwarves due to common enemies. This leads to a combination of tough and defensive dwarves who are only good on certain terrain and humans who can cover ground that dwarves are not good at fighting in.

Loyalists

Main article: Loyalists

The Loyalists are a faction of Humans who are loyal to the throne of Wesnoth. Humans are a versatile race who specialize in many different areas. Similarly, the Loyalist faction is a very versatile melee-oriented faction with important ranged support from bowmen and mages.

Northerners

Main article: Northerners

The Northerners are a faction of Orcs and their allies who live in the north of the Great Continent, thus their name. Northerners consist of the warrior orcs race, the enslaved goblins, trolls who are tricked into combat by the orcs, and the serpentine naga. The Northerners play best by taking advantage of having many low-cost and high HP soldiers.

Rebels

Main article: Rebels

The Rebels are a faction of Elves and their various forest-dwelling allies. They get their human name, Rebels, from the time of Heir to the Throne, when they started the rebellion against the evil Queen Asheviere. Elves are a magical race that are masters of the bow and are capable of living many years longer than humans. In harmony with nature, the elves find allies with the human mages, certain merfolk, and tree creatures called "Woses." Rebels are best played taking advantage of their high forest defense, mastery of ranged attacks, and the elves' neutral alignment.

Undead

Main article: Undead

The Undead are a faction of undead creatures and human practitioners of dark arts that usually accompany them. Often, these "Dark Adepts" are the units that do the most damage for the faction, but they have a major vulnerability - their practicing of this forbidden, evil magic has consumed all their energy and so they have no melee attack at all. The Undead are a very aggressive faction and the most powerful Default Era faction at nighttime.

Khalifate

Main article: Khalifate

The Khalifate are a faction of humans from the deserts and hills of the southern lands. Lacking magic users, the Khalifate instead specialize in using terrain features to coordinate attacks at dawn or dusk. Their ranks boast lawful and liminal units, healers, high-accuracy melee fighters, and fearsome horse-mounted archers. While Khalifate units tend to be more expensive than those of the Loyalist faction, they make up for this with high mobility — especially on hilly terrains.

The Khalifate are a quite new faction to wesnoth - they are only availaible in multiplayer and add-ons.

Major User-made Eras

All eras and factions can be found on the server via the Add-Ons button. The following eras are some major eras, which contain many factions and are somewhat polished. For all factions and eras, visit the related forums.

Era of Myths

Myths
Maintainer(s) Shiki, originally JW
Factions Celestials, Devlings, Elementals, Therians, Vampires, Wargs, Windsong
Current Version(s) 5.18.0
Wesnoth Version(s) 1.2+
Forum Thread EoM Thread
Unit Trees EoM Unit Trees
Status Active


The Era of Myths (EoM) consists of seven original factions based on myths and legends. It has been translated into German and partially Latin.

There are two campaigns using this era:

  • Count Kromire, a vampire campaign
  • War of the Dragon, a windsong campaign


Factions

Celestials

Main article: Celestials

The Celestials are a very spiritual race, believing that there is power in Light and Darkness; and they choose to side with the Light. They believe in this so heavily that they keep their settlements lit at night through bonfires and the aid of a rare species of pixie that radiates light from it's skin. They name these pixies Light Archons and worship them as demi-gods. Celestials also believe something to the effect of "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts." Working together they can achieve great accomplishments quickly.

Devlings

Main article: Devlings

Tiny (but very angry) demons who delight in pestering other races and causing general mischief. Their small size makes them very weak, but they have large numbers and employ many sneaky tactics to overwhelm their enemies.

Elementals

Main article: Elementals

Spirits of nature, bound into physical form by magic. Most are strongly tied to specific terrains, and can heal when stationed there.

Therians

Main article: Therians

The Therians, a.k.a. Shifters, are a community of humans separated from the rest of Wesnoth in the lands to the south-east. Living their lives unaware of the turmoil the rest of Wesnoth faced, the Shifters focused on studying the arts of magic. Upon the discovery of the art of shapeshifting a new way of life began. Every village in the Therian community has a school dedicated to the arts of magic with a heavy emphasis on the art of shapeshifting. This is why they are known as the Shifters.

Vampires

Main article: Vampires

The Vampires control several cities and villages. They feed upon the human (slave) population that lives there. Vampires themselves are very seductive and attractive creatures. Their mages use fire- and shadow magic, boiling the blood of their victims and destroying their souls.

Wargs

Main article: Wargs

These manwolves live mainly in (snowy) forests and hills. They are a very peaceful race, only fighting to protect their sacred Mother Nature. Their alliance of nature includes not only werewolves, but humans, woses, and fairies.

Windsong

Main article: Windsong

The Windsong are essentially historians: they spend centuries at a time hiding in their Foundation, located on an island in the frigid northern seas, simply watching and recording what goes on in the world outside. However, when the balance of power in the world seems to be tipping, they leave their sanctuary to set it right, believing that any nation which becomes too powerful will cause the world to end.

Imperial Era

Imperial
Maintainer(s) Turin, Temuchin Khan
Factions Arendians, Cavernei, Frost Elves, Lavinians, Marauders, Orcei Gladiatores, Wild Elves
Current Version(s) 0.21
Wesnoth Version(s) 1.2+
Forum Thread IE Thread
Unit Trees IE Unit Trees
Status Inactive


The Imperial Era (IE) is set in a world known as Orbivm, and is the basis of several campaigns. It includes six unique factions (as well as a modified Dwarvish faction, the Cavernei).

Factions

Arendians

Main article: Arendians

The Arendians are a nomadic culture, living in clans that move around following the herds of game animals which roam the Arendian plains, which lie to the north of the land of Lavinia. They do however have a few permanent settlements for trade reasons.
Despite their nomadic culture they have a king and royal family, whose origins came from one of their warriors of myth, who slew the greatest dragon to blacken the Old Continent's skies, Gresh. In achieving this he united the clans into one nation and founded Arendia as it is today.
The Arendians people are obsessed with honour and bravery, to the extent of throwing out people who break their word, commit adultery, or flee from battles, these lone wanderers roam the lands attempting to redeem themselves in the eyes of their people.

Frost Elves

Main article: Frost Elves

When the Orcs first arrived in the lands north of Wesnoth, many Elves were forced to flee their ancient homes. While some crossed the ocean to the north of the Old Continent, most took refuge in the forests that have ever since housed the North Elves. Adjusting gradually to their new environment, these Elves survived and their descendants became quite adept at survival in the arctic wastes. They have become great hunters and skilled beast-tamers, and have developed some highly specialized units that maximize their snowy, icy environment.

Lavinians

Main article: Lavinians

The Lavinian Empire, based in the plains of Lavinia in the center of the Old Continent, is the dominant force there, rivaled only by the Aiyira. They are threatened occasionally by the northern Marauders, and they are not good sailors, but on land they are unstoppable. This is true especially of their homeland, and of the Nemidian lands to their southwest.

Marauders

Main article: Marauders

The Marauders are a group of humans, isolated in the cold north, and toughened by the lack of Allies, they live as tribes and each tribe can be from a small village to a large set villages led by a Warlord. Diverse in skills but they do not meddle in magic. Having to defend themselves against all foes they are as strong and hardy as any and fear is no barrier to them.
The Marauders' lone ally is the North Elves, and they are only allies because any war between them would be fruitless and a waste of lives, and because of their mutual enemy, the Wild Elves.

Orcei Gladiatores

Main article: Orcei Gladiatores

These orcs and goblins are forced by the empire to participate in vicious gladiatorial games. However, they have recently begun to rebel and put their fighting skills to use breaking free from their masters.

Wild Elves

Main article: Wild Elves

The Wild Elves live in the forests to the east of the Marauders. They are a solitary folk, disdaining all men and defending their borders with their lives. They have a strict sense of honor, and they see themselves as the only true elves left. All other elves they view as traitors.

Inactive User-made Eras

Extended Era

Extended
Maintainer(s) Noyga
Factions Aragwaithi, Chaos, Dark Elves, Drakes, Dwarves, Sylvans, Kalifa, Loyalists, Northerners, Outlaws, Sidhe, Steppe Orcs, Undead
Current Version(s) x.34.0
Wesnoth Version(s) 1.2-1.4
Forum Thread EE Thread
Unit Trees EE Unit Trees
Status Inactive


The Extended Era (EE) contains a number of unique factions, as well as modified versions of many of the Default factions. EE is not set in any particular time period. Extended Era was not uploaded on Wesnoth 1.6 and is currently inactive.

Unique Factions

Aragwaithi

Main article: Aragwaithi

A strong, agile race of Humans from the southern deserts. They have extremely high damage and good abilities, but are very fragile.

Chaos

Main article: Chaos

These warriors of darkness have given their souls so that they might serve the Gods of Chaos alongside their demonic followers. Their ranks include both Humans and Demons, and they are devastating when played very aggressively, especially at night.

Dark Elves

Main article: Dark Elves

Cave-dwelling Elves who have devoted themselves to darkness and delight in cruelty. They are accomplished in both magic and swordplay, and do well within their cave homes, but are unaccustomed to the outside world.

Kalifa

Main article: Kalifa

A faction based on the armies of the Persian Empire, the Kalifa are strong in melee combat and have sturdy units, but poor ranged abilities and relatively poor mobility.

Sidhe

Main article: Sidhe

Also known as the wild elves, these view themselves as superior to other races, and even disdain the company of other elves. Their nobles are powerful mages, but they are generally frail in combat and poor in melee.

Steppe Orcs

Main article: Steppe Orcs

Calling themselves the "Steppe's Children", the Steppe Orcs one are of the nonaligned tribes dwelling on the Wild Steppe of the far north, outside the authority of the Orcish Clannate. Their tribe has never known wealth and the hardship of their lives, extreme even by Wesnoth's standards, has left them incredibly hardened. Semi-nomadic in nature, they wander the frozen vastness of the plains, establishing temporary camps in which to wait out the harsh northen winters. While not overly warlike in character, constant clashes with human barbarians and the Northern Elves has caused them to be territorial and wary of all outsiders.

Other Playable Factions

Free Saurians

Main article: Free Saurians

Saurians who live in a society separate from the Drakes.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2009, at 18:27.