Chief Warlord is a unit. Apparently, Chief Warlord is not a separate class of units, but rather a subclass of Warlord. Alternatively, it may not be a subclass, but merely a designation to a particular warlord (likely defaulting to the highest level and/or longest serving, but able to be selected by the Ruler).
A Chief Warlord's primary function is to lead troops in battle. He can claim a city. Apparently he is also responsible for the war strategy. Apparently chief warlords can also take over diplomatic tasks and form or dissolve alliances that are binding for his side.
Bonus to Units
Chief Warlord is formally a Commander of all units of his side and (at least) a part of his Leadership bonus applies to all units of his capital. It is stackable with other bonuses and apparently not affected by distance. It is not clear whether a bonus that Chief Warlord gives to units in the same hex is the same or a separate bonus. Units in Chief Warlord's personal stack have his full bonus.
Known Chief Warlords
Active or deceased (croaked) chief warlords:
- Manpower the Temporary to Gobwin Knob
- Parson Gotti to Gobwin Knob
- Prince Ansom to Jetstone
- Caesar Borgata to Transylvito
The plot implies that an Uncroaked unit cannot be a Chief Warlord. When Manpower is killed at the battle of Warchalking, Stanley sends Wanda to uncroak him, and also orders her to select another leader to be promoted into his place. That replacement would have been unnecessary if it were possible for him to remain Chief Warlord in his Uncroaked state. It is likely that this is because a Chief Warlord need to have the upper-level functions lost in an Uncroaked Warlord. The Chief Warlord needs to give orders, not take them.