Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Dwarfs
"Kazukhan-kazakit-ha! (Look out, the Dwarfs are on the warpath!)"
- – Game battle chant for Dwarfs
This is the tactics page for the Total War: Warhammer version of The Dwarfs.
- 1 Why play Dwarfs?
- 2 Universal Traits
- 3 Legendary Lords and Subfactions
- 4 Units
- 5 Tactics
Why play Dwarfs?
- Because you want to sit and watch as your enemies are blasted away while coming towards you.
- Cause you're under 5'5 and want vengeance for all the short jokes.
- You don't want to do too much micro, so an army without much in the way of mobility and cavalry doesn't bother you as much.
- You enjoy having infantry that won't die after being slapped by a wet noodle.
- Slay everything without a beard!!
- SATISFY THE GRUDGE!!!!
- Durability: You are a tank faction. Most of your units are categorized with high armour, melee defense and leadership. Even your tier one and chaff are very tanky compared to counterparts from other factions. This is further supplemented by the innate magic resist many of your units have, which slightly compensates for your otherwise complete lack of magic. Additionally, with their naturally high leadership, dwarfs do not usually break unless hopelessly outnumbered or if you screw up massively by getting cavalry charged in the rear. Frankly, your units will hold out forever.
- Your magic resistance got nerfed in the third game to only resist magical spells. Still useful, but now units with magic attacks, I.E Daemons, are going to be way better at cracking you open.
- Range: Guns, guns and more guns! Dwarfs have some of the best blackpowder units in the entire game. Thunderers and Cannons can lay a whooping on anything they are firing on, and their artillery isn't anything to sneer at. Even their non-AP range units are very good for their price, and it's not hard for them to earn their points back as long as they are defended.
- If they get close, Nut 'em!: As if being being one of the best factions at shooting was not enough, their missile units can also hold their own in close quarters better than most.
- Airforce: Gyrocopters with their anti large can get you control over the air, and their ability to kite monsters into oblivion is a good skill to have. Even Gyrobombers have a niche for their blob killing capabilities after recent buffs.
- Runes: Where other races rely on the fickle Winds of Magic, you have your reliable runes. Runes supply surprisingly good buffs and debuffs that can help your army out, making them a great way to make sure your infantry stays in the fight a bit longer. The fact that they aren't limited by a power reserve also means that they'll remain a viable option well into the latter stages of a fight, where other factions might begin to tap out of their mystical power.
- Anti-large: You laugh when the enemy brings big monsters. With all your AP missiles, Anti Large artillery and slayers, you have the one of the easiest times killing monsters out of any faction in the game.
- Strong Economy: It's campaign specific but yeah, it turns out the species who's renowned for being the best at making shit is also one of the best at making money. The resource building chains go up to level IV instead of stopping at level III, you can mass produce Dwarf Beer anywhere. Putting together Doomstacks of Top Tier Dawi troops is easier.
- Good for Beginners: Everyone was just starting once, if you are new to Warhammer Total War or just Total War in general the Dawi are (ironically enough) forgiving. Something like the Wood Elves is fragile and has a limited margin for error, Dwarfs on the other hand have more of a fudge factor in most match ups. Not to say that it's easy mode playing dwarfs, but the likelihood of things going pear shaped in a second is lower.
- Lack of Mobility: With no Cav, monsters and slow infantry, Dwarfs are the least mobile faction in the game. You will spend the majority of the game standing still.
- Lack of Magic: Though your most recent rework makes your runes a damn good alternative, you don't really have magic. This can pose a problem when you face similarly physically durable armies in battle and lack a reliable, magical alternative for damage. Additionally, though you defensively have a 25% resistance to the arcane, many large vortex spells will still sting quite a bit and your complete lack of magical healing means it'll be hard to bounce back from the damage you do take.
- Chariots: Chariots are the bane of a Dwarf players existence. They don't have any real way to lock them down and, as you'd expect, AP anti infantry can really kill what the Dwarfs want to do on the battlefield. Due to the rework to how bracing and knock down works, this isn’t as bad as before, but chariots can still be a problem
- Predictability: Most veteran players know what's going to happen when Dwarfs are picked. They are going to go for a cheap, numerous and sturdy front line and a lot of guns and artillery. This means that Dwarfs are easy to plan for as they only have one real viable tactic. Building an army around fighting Dwarfs is something players from all races know how to do.
- Lack of Good Lord Options: Do you like the Runelord or Thorek? No? Well you better start because in multiplayer they're your only viable options. Grombrindal is an ok duelist but honestly Dwarf lords in general kind of suck. With no mounts and no way to stick to their targets it's hard for them to get anything done. This problem got better with the Twisted and the Twilight due to the changes to knockdown effects, but sticking to targets will still be hard
- Hard campaign: With all the changes to the factions around them, the Dawi have fallen on some pretty hard times. The lifetime of WH2 dotted the landscape around Karaz-A-Karak alone with a huge number of guaranteed enemies that you will have to look out for, with your most reliable allies in the Empire being very far away. The other subfactions don't fare much better and your slow growth seriously hurts your ability to expand, especially when compared with your most dominant enemies, the Greenskins of the Badlands and Clan Mors further down the road.
- DLC: A con for everyone, but fortunately you get off easier than many others. Unfortunately, a couple of your best units, namely Runelords and Rangers, are in fact locked behind DLC and if you want to really use your Dwarfs to the fullest, you'll need to pay the toll.
- The Great Book of Grudges: The fact that the sacred Dammaz Kron went unmentioned on this pages for so long merits an entry on its own. The Book of Grudges documents every slight committed against your faction, including legendary grudges that you start out with. Whenever something bad happens, i.e. you lose a settlement, get raided or a hostile faction repeatedly traspasses on your turf without you allowing it, it merits an entry in the book. These entries can (and will) accumulate over time, and depending on how much your Dorfs disliked the transgression, will vary in severity, which fills up a meter that gives you some penalties and some bonusses. High severity from unresolved Grudges gives you minor public order and research speed penalties, but it also gives all of your armies a charge bonus (since the Dwarfs are so pissed off) and increases the chance of Slayers and Giant Slayers popping up in your Regiments of Renown pool, where they can then be recruited instantly into your armies. Resolving Grudges and Legendary Grudges (such as retaking Karak Eight Peaks as Belegar Ironhammer) also earns you powerful bonusses (Money, Oathgold, small Buffs for the entire faction ) and special Runes.
- Oathgold: The secondary resource of the Dwarfs. Practically identical to the Mortuary Cult of the Tomb Kings, with the key difference being that the Dwarfs can make much more stuff with Oathgold and that the stuff is much more abundant. Oathgold is earned through resolving Grudges, doing missions and quests, Gold Mines and some special buildings such as the Brightstone Mine in Mount Gunbad. Oathgold, combined with trade goods, can be used to create items for your Lords and Heroes, which makes it downright trivial to kit out every single character on the map with some special gizmos to make them really powerful. Oathgold can also be used to make Character and Banner Runes, the former can be applied as equipment to individual characters (with up to 3 individual runes at maximum), the latter functions like Banners that you can give units to give them special bonusses and abilities.
- Expert Charge Defense: Barring Slayers, every single one of your units has Expert Charge Defense, which nullifies charge bonusses and also the momentum of units charging into your staunch line of angry Dwarfs.
- Magic Resistance: Every Dwarf has a built in 25% Magic Resist (Spell Resist in WH3). Consult the main page for WHFB Dwarfs as to why.
Legendary Lords and Subfactions
- Thorgrim Grudgebearer: The high king himself, and the only large non-war machine unit in your roster, as he is carried on a massive throne sled by some burly dwarfs, Thorgrim isn't huge on offence, better than say mid-tier combat lords, but he's mostly just a hard to kill brick of leadership. Dwarfs in range of him just become slightly harder to break, which isn't saying much given their default morale, and he's not easily sniped. This results in him being kind of underwhelming, you know he's not going to die like a bitch, but you also know that he's not exactly going to recoup even a quarter of his cost. Is kind of safe in campaign play for beginners, but Grombrindal is overall superior. - Pass.
- Ungrim Ironfist: The Slayer King, bane of anything taller than six feet, Ungrim is the opposite of Thorgrim; all offence, with low defence. Ungrim is actually pretty good in terms of being a hero-killer and monster-hunter, he's not going to solo Tyrion or Kroq-Gar, and don't even think of monster lords like Kholek or monstrous mounts such as a Tomb King on a war sphinx, without a unit to bog them down. The problem with Ungrim is that while he can throw hands and live up to his title, he eats a lot of damage for a dwarf, or just in general for a combat lord, he's easy to snipe with massed missiles if caught in the open, and while he can butcher most things sent his way, he'll only be able to do this once or twice in a battle before he's at serious risk of dying. Don't let that 120 armour & unbreakable make you think he's a tank, Ungrim's Melee Defence is quite low for a combat lord, and that low dwarf speed means he can by kited to death. Thorgrim lacks the damage to recoup his cost, Ungrim lacks the defence to recoup his costs. If playing with an ally that has access to Lore of Life he can be kept alive, but you're asking a lot of resources to support the Slayer King. - Pass.
- Grombrindal: THE WHITE DWARF, Grombrindal doesn't bring anything really special to the table, he's a decent duelist, although lacking the balls-to-the-wall offence of Ungrim Ironfist, Grombrinal is nowhere near as risky for a combat lord. The flashbomb ability can lockdown mobile heroes and give the white dwarf a few easy hits. Doesn't quite bring much for the rest of the army, but is the best legendary lord for cost-benefit tradeoffs. He can fight, he can survive, and he can make the entire army Unbreakable with a reusable map-wide buff. - Niche but competitive in that niche. In Campaign, he is easily the best LL the Dwarfs offer. His blue skill tree affects your entire faction and the four blessings you can choose every 20 turns (10 after picking a specific skill) are all very powerful, a whopping +25% Research Rate is no joke, as are +10 Melee Attack and Defense for every unit in Grombrindals army.
- Belegar Ironhammer:(DLC) Belegar is really just a wall, he's harder to kill than Thorgrim as they have comparable stats, but he has a silver shield for 55% missile resistance. That's all. Just an insanely hard to kill lord, sure his offence isn't terrible, being better than Thorgrim's on base stats and a nice buff can be popped to go higher. But honestly you're paying a lot for a lord that won't die, and generally speaking Dwarfs in Total War: Warhammer aren't a faction that is centred around their generals or heroes. No real wizards to throw high-impact spell effects, no mobile heroes that can exploit small gaps to flank units or hunt down supporting pieces like buffers, wizards or artillery crews. The only upshot to taking Belegar's subfaction in multiplayer is getting access the ancestor heroes who are damned hard to kill, but are also the only dwarf units that are scared of magic damage, which can sort of be a mind-games thing because the default assumption to seeing Clan Angrund picked is that ancestor heroes are on the field, so grab some magic damage to delete them, but then seeing that there are no ghost dwarfs means that the magic damage is actually a big waste considering all dwarfs have 25% Magic Resistance. - Pass.
- Thorek Ironbrow:(FLC): With the rework comes a new LL and Thorek serves this role, being the latest (and most likely last) new contender in the Lustrian Thunderdome in the Vortex Campaign, and starting at the southernmost tip of the map in Karak Zorn on Mortal Empires. He serves as a supercharged Runelord with access to a unique mount that messes quite a bit with enemy spellcasting and improved Runic Magic on his own part. In the campaign, his legendary conservativeness translates into bonusses for "traditional" Dwarfen ranged units like Quarrelers and Grudge Throwers. Not to worry though, since he starts with a Rune of Burning that makes the Catapult projectiles FUCKING EXPLODE and dramatically increases the combat value of Quarrelers in his own Army quite significantly (arguably making them even better than Thunderers). His campaign goal revolves around finding several lost Dwarfen artifacts, which can then be used to craft powerful buffs for your whole faction. He also can make enemy casters explode. - Best Multiplayer lord pick.
- Dwarf Lord: No, just no, he suffers from the same issue that the legendary lords suffer from, being too slow. But wait there's more, the generic lord is easier to kill in combat, provides less army support, and does less damage. He's not even the cheapest option to help save costs. I mean he has a shield, but its only bronze. Unless you've got some kind of bet riding on a battle and there's a specific stipulation that you cannot use any other lord, screw the money because he's too crap. That said compared to generic foot lords in other factions he's quite difficult to kill, which is more advice for fighting Dwarf Lords in campaign really. PASS
- Runelord: (DLC) Yes, yes yes. The one competitive General in multiplayer, the Runelord is just a walking bubble of passive buffs that make your low tier units good, and your good infantry units even better. Has good active abilities, like Master Rune of Oath & Steel which gives +30 armour to all dwarfs in range, or the Rune of Speed which adds 45% speed and 24 melee attack to all dwarfs in range. This is the lord pick that supports the dwarf army, and don't think he's some kind of wizard that dies when someone looks at him funny, while the melee defence is low at 40, the Runelord has the same 120 armour as the other lords, plus up to 35% missile resistance, sharing 20% of that with nearby allies. Slapping him on an Anvil of Doom gives a special ability that causes enemy casters to automatically miscast for minor damage when near him. TL;DR fucks magic, gets buffs. - Good if you want Thorek but a bit cheaper.
Legendary Heros (Clan Angrund Only)
All Clan Angrund has such a strong relationship with their ancestors, they come back as ghosts. like all ghosts, they have a 75% physical resistance instead of magic resistance, With magic attacks, Unbreakable, but no armor and less heath than normal. they have Frear and terror making them good at chasing the enemy off. They themselves are weak to magic attacks, but who takes that much offense magic against dwarfs anyway?
- King Lunn Ironhammer: is one of the two ghost Thanes, being the offensive one, with slightly more Melee attack than a normal thane.
- Halkenhaf Stonebeard: the other ghost Thane, being the most defensive of the par with significantly lower melee attack but a very high defense of 65 and silver shield, letting him minge with enemies for a protracted time to proc terror routs.
- Throni Ironbrow: Mostlickly to take as he is a Runesmith, so someone that needs protection while also being in the front lines.
- Dramar Hammerfist: the ghost engineer so paying extra for a harder to kill gun lines buffer and better at chasing away those that try to disrupt them.
- Master Engineer: Basically a must if you're running more than 2 artillery pieces, buffs artillery, has a decent sniper rifle of his own, not great in a fight with anything beyond hound packs and light cavalry, so don't expect him to be an effective guard for the cannons he's buffing. However if there is another unit nearby casting Entrenchment right before they rout will make the unit hold the line and fight even after being routed. On campaign they also boost your army's mobility. Aaaaaand the Dwarf Rework happened, buffing him even further with the ability of the Vampirate Gunnery Wight to restore lost ammo to artillery pieces for up to five times. Just too good to miss out on if you're bringing a bunch of cannons (and who doesn't, honestly).
- Runesmith: Basically a squishier version of the Runelord, has many of the same buffs, both passive and active. With the Dwarf rework, these guys have gone from being merely decent to amazing. While utilizing a rune puts every other rune on a shared cooldown, this only applies per caster; having multiple Runesmiths allows you to stack multiple buffs simultaneously or across multiple units without having to wait out the full 60 second global cooldown. They might not necessarily be an auto-include persay, but having one or two of these guys in your army is strongly recommended.
- Thane: While they still suffer from being slow, Thanes can be used more aggressively than legendary lords. Kit them out with the Rune of Slowness to gimp enemy mobility, or give them the Ironbeard's Ring and coordinate with a source of fire damage: Flame Cannons, Dragonback Slayers, Warriors of Dragonfire Pass, basic Irondrakes, or Brimstone Gyrocopters, all of these will deal serious damage to units inside the debuff aura.
- Miners: The closest thing to cannon fodder in the Dwarf Roster, miners are cheap AP units. Also give "speed" and breadth to Dawi list by vanguarding.
- Dwarf Warriors: Did you know that a unit of Dwarf Warriors costs 475 gold but can hold against 3 units of Empire Swordsmen, costing 400 gold each, for just over 2 minutes and racking up roughly 90-100 kills before dying/breaking? Dwarf Warriors aren't great, just good, and are very much just a shield wall frontline. Dwarf Warriors are very cost-effective starting units. They will trade positively against most infantry that are tier 1-3 excluding units with high AP values or anti-infantry buffs. Dwarf Warriors aren't the same as elite heavy infantry however, they will break in time, if rear charged, if attacked by great weapon units, if hit with leadership debuffs, or if attacked by characters. This is a unit that buys time for a unit in the second line to get in position to assist, do not assume you can just deploy them as a single line and have artillery sit safely behind them.
- Warriors of Dragonfire Pass(ROR): Slightly better warriors that deal fire damage in combat, not a guaranteed pick most of the time, but good against any faction that is vulnerable to fire, consider pairing with a Thane carrying Ironbeard's Ring to boost damage.
- Dwarf Warriors (Great Weapons): You know how Dwarf Warriors can hold frontlines for a time but need a second line unit to assist them, this is cheapest of the second line units. Regular warriors have shields, 40 Melee Defence, and charge defence against large units, Warriors with Great Weapons don't have those defences, they get armour piercing damage which is the kind of offence needed to make up for the vanilla warriors' shortcomings. Don't try and use them as a frontline unit, and replace them when you can with other melee infantry.
- Longbeards: Warriors +1 really, they buff the leadership of other units (it's the generic Encourage passive so no stacking with lords), so consider mixing them with warriors. Cost-wise your mostly paying for better Melee Defence, better Leadership, the leadership aura, and Immune to Psychology compared to vanilla Warriors. A common question is which is better for cost, Longbeards or Warriors, but outside of fighting undead armies that have tons of fear/terror effects, the answer to the question is; use both. While the differences between the two units are obvious in comparison, to the player on the other side of the battlefield it doesn't matter much because a Dwarf line is still a solid formation that is hard to break. Longbeards work good in the wings to buff leadership in the flanks, and having warrior units means you can save gold for more missile units and artillery.
- Longbeards (Great Weapons): While the difference between shield Warriors and shield Longbeards isn't much, the great weapon variant favours the Longbeards. Being behind the line means you can reposition them to apply their auras and a common occurrence is for fast-moving skirmish infantry to run around the frontline and charge the second line units. GW Longbeards can handle these surprises a lot better than the GW Warriors, but on the other hand, you may not be deploying wide enough to need the aura effects, in which case the Warriors can save you gold.
- The Grumbling Guard(ROR): Not too bad, stat wise its a bit more armour & melee attack, 10 more leadership, and 13 more Melee Defence, which puts them at a whopping 51 Melee Defence. You don't get any improved damage output with these guys, instead you get an ability that replenishes 9% of vigour for them and nearby allies. This may not sound like much, but fatigue debuffs are crippling for units, and Dwarfs rely on grinding things out so even a small vigour buff to some units is good even if it just moves them from exhausted to very tired. But wait, this ability has infinite uses and a low cooldown so spam it away. While Hammerers do the same job but better, the Grumbling Guard are fantastic for keeping Ironbreakers in better condition than their enemies.
- Slayers: Slayers are kind of weird. They're unbreakable, quick (for a Dwarf), hit hard, and do a lot of damage with no consideration to survivability. This means that they can seriously fuck up higher-tier units but on the same time are vulnerable to cannon fodder. It does not matter if you're a crappy goblin with a crappy spear, it's getting through a Slayer's hide as much as a Chosen's Daemonforged Axe. When using Slayers, hold them back so that other units, especially ones with charge defense, take the brunt of the charge before moving the slayers to counter-attack, and while it might cost you the charge bonus, having them attack through the buffer unit really improves the lifespan of your slayers (Probably much to their chagrin). Note that if you ever leave them in the open, missile units just have to imagine shooting them to wipe the unit, which is an expensive mistake. Also a definite must take against vampire counts and Tomb Kings with all their fear effects but do not ever think about using them against Vampire Pirates because they will get shot to pieces before any fear/terror units get close for the unbreakable to matter. Also, leave them at home against Wood Elves, or if you have fore-knowledge that your opponent likes horse-archer tactics.
- With the Dwarf rework that dropped together with Thorek Ironbrow, they went from terrible in Single Player to a pretty good choice for the early game, since you can now recruit them anywhere as long as your grudge meter is up. It also makes unlimited Slayer Doomstacks lead by Ungrim Ironfist a terrifying sight to behold.
- Dragonback Slayers(ROR): Slayers with better MA & MD, and they get physical resistance on top of the shield defense. The real value comes with their passive that activates in melee, it gives them fire damage, fire resistance, and applies slow debuff and the flammable trait for weakness to fire (doesn't stack if the enemy already has the flammable trait, but will stack with other effects of a different name that reduce fire resistance). The physical resist, slow debuff and the combo of fire damage and flammable debuff makes this unit a generally better pick over vanilla slayers, note that they do not get the fire resistance outside of combat so getting hit by flaming missiles outside of combat will hurt, the lore of fire spells are still subject to dwarf magic resistance though.
- Giant Slayers: These are just super slayers, too costly to run a lot of. They will instantly blend light cavalry units like Marauder Horsemen or Ellyrian Reavers that dare to charge them, not that you should be using them to counter these units, it's just funny to see happen. Giant Slayers are basically Ungrim Ironfist as many Dwarfs instead of one. What they don't kill will be pretty close to death. Cannon fodder might counter slayers, but Giant Slayers dish out enough melee damage that you only need to worry about elite infantry and high mass units charging them. More vulnerable to shooting as they don't get the missile defense that Slayers get, these guys are expensive but do the job. Not recommended as a staple unit in army builds due to their cost, but good to pick if you're against monster or cavalry heavy armies.
- Hammerers: Your well-armored, AP Damage dealing elite Dwarfs, not the same tank as a Longbeard but will deal serious AP damage. They have two major problems, though: First is the issue that they are not as tanky as their ungodly pricetag might suggest, the second and far worse one is that they are more of an offensive unit meant to break through enemy lines - in a faction whose entire shtick is turtle up and grind it out. In practice they often fall flat because they bring neither the tankiness of Ironbreakers that makes them withstand charges from Black Orcs, Swordmasters and the like, nor do they have the speed and offensive power needed to compete with units they are supposed to go toe to toe with, demoting them to mere chaff clearing duty, for which you have far more efficient options for. It's best to not bother them, sadly.
- Peak Gate Guard(ROR): The ultimate anti-armor unit, they go through heavily armored units like swordsmen through skavenslaves and then let other Dawi also participate in the fun.
- Thunderers: Like Empire handgunners, but you don't need to babysit them as much. A very useful unit even in the lategame that won't break the bank.
- Irondrakes: Where the fun begins. Ridiculously high damage output, solidly armoured. Need positioning to work right, but will absolutely demolish anything that you point them at. Their flamethrowers are considered artillery so they cannot be blocked by shields and inflict morale penalty upon anything they hit. They are surprisingly strong in melee against infantry if not deployed in a thin line because the back row can use their flamethrowers at point-blank, but not against cavalry as they'll pierce till the back row.
- The Skolder Guard(ROR): Replaces Lava for Steam to be an anti-armor unit. Much tougher than an Irondrakes with Physical resistance which is nice to have when the enemy gets a sneaky charge. They will multch full-plate units quickly given they have an even faster reload speed but watch out as you will also burn through the Irondrakes limited ammunition just as quickly.
- Irondrakes (Trollhammer Torpedo): the Anti large version of the Irondrakes, having rocket launchers instead of Flammers. Often times Irondrakess can just melt through the armor of most things they are pointed at, sometimes they are Calvary or monsters that have enough armor to shrug off that current of magma.
- Quarrellers: Boring but practical. Like dwarf warriors, they're able to trade shots with the tier 1 ranged units of pretty much every other faction and winning. They also come with armor piercing, which makes them a budget option for shooting stuff like chaos warriors. However, they do less DPS per gold spent than similar units like empire crossbowmen and darkshards.
- Quarrellers (Great Weapons): Similar to Quarrelers, except they give up shields in exchange for armor-piercing melee weapons. Won't win much in close combat, but they'll take down more enemies before they're overwhelmed, particularly against squishy units like harpies.
- Miners (Blasting Charges): take that Cheap miner, then give them a single volley for bomb-throwing. Each model only gets one bomb, so make it count. Turn off Fire at Will and select the targets manually. A well-thrown Blasting Charge will decimate most charging infantry.
- Ekrund Miners(ROR): A regiment that Gets 3 Blasting Charges instead of 1. Depending on how well you managed them, that's paying less gold then recruiting 3 Blasting Charge Miners which matter very much in the gold restricted multiplayer.
- Ironbreakers: The fact that Ironbreakers are one of the toughest units in the game would make them a key part of a Dawi late game army. Add to that blasting charges and you have something which can stomp most other infantry into the ground, blowing away a quarter of their hitpoints and ruining their charge before finishing off the survivors. Their only downside is that their damage in hand to hand is not that great, but that's what thunderers, slayers and artillery is for.
- Norgrimlings Ironbreakers:(ROR) Even better Ironbreakers, With bigger model size (so more bombes and unit health), a faster throwing arm, Vanguard, and Immune to Psychology. Overall a more powerful unit that can holds back the hords for longer while dealing more casualties.
- Rangers: Sneaky Dwarf Quarrellers getting Vanguard and Stalk for a surprise Dwarf ambush. They have better speed to help with positioning and catching enemies at least when compared to other Dawi. They're armour is pretty good for most armies, but among Dwarfs they're on the lower end of defenses.
- Rangers (Great Weapons): Ranger equivalent of Quarrellers(Great Weapons) with one key difference; unlike the great weapon Quarreler the Rangers give up their crossbows entirely in favor of shorter ranged, higher AP throwing axes. Surprise AP flanking is a thing any Dwarf list could ask for. Keep in mind that each dwarf only carries 8 axes, so they'll run out much quicker than other rangers. Once they run out of throwing axes they become a decent anti-armour skirmishing unit, although they're low defense means they need to chose their opponents carefully.
- Ulthar's Raiders(ROR) a unit your should be more careful with than just normal Rangers with Great Weapons, as they get the Witch Hunter's ability to Mark a unit for death. You do get a fair amount of range despite having only infantry speed, being able to strip an enemy of a lot of their protection they had against ranged weapons. Good take if your using a Focus fire strategy, assuming your can keep the Raiders safe while making back their cost.
- Bugman's Rangers Surprisingly not a ROR. Improved Rangers, having the regenerative and drunkenness properties of Bugman's liquid courage. they are better at fighting off harassers while their improved shooting and HP recovery help them win archer fights. These are to Rangers as Longbeards are to Warriors: a straight upgrade assuming you can afford it. In MP, they can last longer without support and work best if you're good at micro. If not, you're probably better just leaving them at home in favor of more units of regular rangers.
Does not exist. See Slayers, Rangers and Air Units if you want something fast, you beardling.
- Bolt Thrower: Your cheaper anti-large Artillery. More accurate and shoots faster than a cannon, but outclassed by them in splash and penetration power. Best used to take out elite cavalry and monsters in the early campaign.
- Grudge Thrower: Your first artillery unit. Fills a role like an Empire Mortar as a long-range anti-infantry weapon giving it has the largest radius of splash damage on impact.
- Gob-Lobber (Grudge Thrower)(ROR): Like the Grudge Thrower, but better. Also has live Goblins bolted to the projectiles. Causes morale penalties to targets, which stacks with the penalty for being hit by artillery.
- Cannon: Your classic artillery. Slow to fire but harder to dodge, best used as an Anti-large weapon while also killing models in high armor units, through can have difficulties hitting if the enemy zigzags too much like most Artillery units.
- Organ Gun: An effective armor unit clearer by being 4 mini cannons per model. Organ Gun is one of the best artillery at clearing out infantry but not efficient when eliminating swarms of the cheap chaff that is more common in mulitplayer.
- Flame Cannon Jack-of-all-trades artillery. Great area damage to deal with blobs of infantry and while it doesn't cause AP damage its base damage is high enough that it doesn't matter.
The closest thing to "cavalry". Flying Bombers. Fill a role as the fast-moving guns to shoot at enemy flanks and drop anti-infantry bombs. the rotor blades can also dish out a good amount of melee damage but having almost no melee defense makes them relatively fragile despite having high armor. They are often safe in the air but keep them away from other flyers and AP missiles. Despite this, they are absurdly fast having speed in the 200s to run from most problems (only Pegasus Knights or Hawk Riders could catch them without nets or debuffs). To use effectively will require some mico.
- Gyrobomber: Your dedicated bomber and sacrifice other aspects to be best at that. As a single mobile dedicated to hovering over infantry to drop annihilating bombs multiple times during a game, they obviously require the most micromanagement. A well placed carpet bombing can absolutely devastate the enemy frontline, and its machine gun can put out Ratling-Gun levels of DPS on a much more mobile platform.
- Skyhammer(ROR): Drops cluster bombs so be aware that the damaged area is greater than the marker shows. Basically the Dwarfs answer to big aoe magic to obliterate chaff and elite units alike.
- Gyrocopter: Your anti-infantry skirmishers, shooting and bombing out those enemy gunners and artillery that though safe so far in the back. Also good at harassing the harassers that thought they could run a circle around the slowly pivoting Dawi gun lines.
- Gyrocopter (Brimstone Gun): Switches from general anti-infantry to majority AP damage to harass and focus down targets with more armor. Generally speaking, superior in almost every way to regular Gyrocopters. Fire damage puts a serious dent in units with regeneration (and Wood Elves) and the lower base damage is negliable when you take AP into consideration.
Dwarfs are one of the most unique factions in the game battle wise with an utter lack of mobility and magic and focusing everything on tanky infantry that can deal decent damage and powerful guns and artillery. Unfortunately for them, this uniqueness means that unless you're fighting other Dwarfs you don't have any balanced match ups against other races. Against some you have a clear, obvious advantage and tend to stomp and against others they give you swirlies in the bathroom for your lunch money. This is why most competitive players think they're one of the best counterpick factions as you can avoid your bad match ups and play in a favorable situation. Anyway, here's how you can satisfy the grudge against the other races:
- Beastmen: A rush faction, Beastmen will have a hell of a time against you if you play your cards right. Their complete lack of armor leaves them quite vulnerable to Thunderer fire on the approach and Bolt Throwers can slice through Minotaurs and Cygors with relative ease. Keep a solid screen of staunch Dwarf Warriors between your ranged units and the enemy and bring (Giant) Slayers to turn the Bestigor and Centigor Herds into ground beef.
- Bretonnia: The peasantry of the Bretonnians can safely be ignored (except Foot Squires, after their buffs they can actually fuck you up pretty good), as they'll struggle to do anything to your heavy armor. Instead, you'll want to focus on bringing down their armored cavalry, particularly the Grail Knights and Grail Guardians leading the charges into you. Trollhammer Irondrakes serve fantastically as a powerful Horse-B-Gone tool and your Giant Slayers can chunk through most of their cavalry so long as they're not the ones receiving the initial charge. Bolt Throwers are, again, a powerful tool to use while the Bretonnian cav is on the approach. Just make sure that you keep your flanks thoroughly secure.
- Chaos Warriors: For Grungni's sake, keep your distance! Chaos Warriors are as tough as you are and hit harder in melee. Stock up on thunderers and cannons, and bring some great weapon fighters to finish them off. Slayers can help as long as you're careful to make sure the enemy can't hit back. Keep your eyes out for flanking cavalry and chariots, and pray to the gods you can shoot those heathens before they reach your lines!
- Dark Elves: This is a really tricky matchup for you; Dark Elves are fast and bring absurd AP damage in melee and at a range. Your biggest advantage is your superior range and you'll need to lean on it heavily to stand a chance. Grab cannons, grudge throwers, rangers, and quarrelers and hope to Grungi you can shoot them down before they get close enough to return the favor.
- Dwarfs: Hopefully you have a general idea on the strengths of this faction, you're playing as them! Anti-Armor, full stop. Organ Guns, take the Skolder Guard and bring some Hammerers to crack open your opponent's can.
- Empire: The Empire can be a tricky one because they're almost as good at artillery as you are while also having good cavalry and skirmishers. You'll need to stock up on gyrobombers to disrupt their flanking cavalry and slayers to take out their knights. Irondrakes can also work well at deleting any aggressive demigryphs or knights. Beyond that, you should double down on your strengths and keep your artillery safe; the human lines will break before yours do.
- Greenskins: As satisfying as it is to bury an axe in a greenskins skull, your better off dealing with these guys from a distance. Quarrelers and rangers are your friends here; quantity is as important as quality when fending off a green tide. Organ Guns and Cannons will be better at dealing with monsters than your slayers, you don't want to send unarmoured units against Arachnarok Spiders or Rogue Idols. Don't forget your irondrakes and/or your flame cannons, they can melt down anything from goblins to stone trolls. And keep your flanks protected from chariots and pump-wagons, they can wreak havoc on your lines and just ruin your day.
- Grand Cathay:
- High Elves: Don't let the War of the Beard fool you, this will be one of your hardest match ups. High Elves have a lot of things that threaten you, but the things to fear the most would be their Chariots, Mages, White Lions and
Sisters of Averlorn(they do magic damage so their AP isn't as useful as you think). Seriously, any High Elf player who knows what they're doing is going to spam White Lions and it is going to SUCK. Your best bet is to spam either Gyrocopters or Cannons and spread the field. Force the High Elves to have to either attack your artillery emplacements one at a time, allowing your others to fire freely, or use your air power and artillery to spread them apart and pick off pockets. Hammerers also have a niche in this match up because they beat White Lions pretty hard one on one and with support from guns or chaff they can go toe to toe with Swordmasters (Though don't count on that). Of course, these plans aren't perfect. There's a 99% chance they will bring Alarielle for Tempest and heals to deal with Gyros and they have plenty of mobility to get at your cannons to give the White Lions time to get in. Sadly this is one of those match ups where even if you bring the most optimized Anti Elgi list possible, there's still a pretty decent chance you'll lose. Avoid this match up if you can.
- Khorne: It's Khorne, c'mon. These guys should be treated like WoC but now you really don't want them to get close. Bring plenty of armor-piercing infantry and ranged. If you want to live, protect your artillery from Khorne's furies and calvary.
- Lizardmen: Lizardmen are a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, you can scoff at all the skinks as they ping impotently off of your armor (unless they're the Red-Crested variety). On the other, Saurus are just as stubborn as you are and will take days to chew through without good AP. Bring some Hammerers to eek out an advantage in the inevitable grindfest you'll end up in. Take advantage of the Lizardmen's dearth of ranged firepower and massacre their forces with Irondrakes and Thunderers while your Dwarf Warriors hold their front line at bay. You have excellent anti-monster units in the form of your Giant Slayers who absolutely will butcher any big dinosaur thrown into your ranks so long as you have some chaff to help trap and soak the damage the beasties can toss about. Though Skinks will largely prove a minor nuisance at best to a majority of your forces, you will definitely want to screen your (Giant) Slayers from the Skirmishing variety. Key players to watch out for are going to be the Slann Mage-Priests, Skink Priests and Kroxigors. Slann, especially fire/high slann and Heavens Skink Priests can wreak utter havoc upon your forces with the myriad of vortex spells they can toss out like candy from a parade float and they should absolutely be prioritized if you find them on the field. (Sacred) Kroxigors, if fielded, are surprisingly vicious anti-infantry monsters and will bowl over a majority of the infantry they're pointed at. Giant Slayers and Trollhammer Irondrakes serve as a solid counter, but you'll still want to swamp the Kroxigors in chaff to mitigate the damage they deal in turn.
- Norsca: This is an easy fight for you. All of that monster hunting anti-large equipment the Norscans bring is going to fly right over your head as you bury your axes in their unarmoured pecs. Bring plenty of cannons and bolt throwers to shoot down enemy mammoths, and bring some irondrakes to shoot down anything else. Norscans are usually unarmoured, so you can trade your thunderers for quarrelers for the better range. Stick to the basics and you'll do fine.
- Nurgle: Holy shit, a faction that might actually be slower than you! And it seems like you will have a hefty advantage as they don't really have a lot of ways to stop your artillery. The biggest thing you will probably have to worry about is their air force, and Furies and Rotflies will be gunning for that back line. Keep some slayers near your guns and get ready to surround them if they try to land. After that you just got to deal with Nurgle's rush of Plaguebearers and Nurglings, and I hope you're ready for nothing to ever die ever because that's likely what is gonna happen when Dawi and Nurgle clash. On the ground, Plague Toads and Pox Riders will likely be your biggest threat with their anti infantry, but they're also big models so guns and slayers should do the trick. Expect a Herald as the commander, and if he's dumb enough to bring a Great Unclean One, laugh and shoot it to pieces. With the new debuffs fire damage does to healing it might also be wise to break out the Irondrakes and Flame Cannons -- you'll have plenty of time to lob napalm at those shambling hordes of Plaguebearers.
- Skaven: This is probably the closest we'll get to a 40k-esque matchup (you know, aside the irony of neither the Dwarfs or Skaven being in that setting). Between your guns and artillery and their guns and artillery, most of the damage either of you will be dealing to each other will be done from afar. A majority of the Skaven infantry is quite helpless against your frontline infantry, but you'll have a hell of a time pinning anything down with the Skaven's quicker movement speeds. Grudge Throwers are going to be king against most Skaven infantry builds while Bolt Throwers or Cannons should be fielded to snipe any Warp-Lighting Cannons, Plagueclaw Catapults or Hellpit Abominations they have downfield. Warplock Jezails will be a priority target to focus fire down, as are Warpfire Throwers and Poison Wind Globadiers should they start getting too close. Aside utilizing their missile units against them, Skaven have absolutely no aerial presence, meaning your Gyrocopters will have virtually free reign to gun down rats at will.
- Slaanesh: Fast, and tons of armor-piercing to crack open your lads. Try to destroy Slaanesh's hedonites with ranged firepower before they get close and hump their way into the Dammaz Kron. Slaanesh's units don't have much armor, which makes destroying them with ranged easier, but also means leaving the great weapons and thunderers for axe-and-board and quarellers.
- Tomb Kings: The good news is that Tomb Kings don't like fire, and you have fire aplenty. Brimstone Gun-equipped gyrocoptors are your fastest fire-delivery system, but irondrakes and flame-cannons are useful as well. The bad news is that you don't like chariots, and they have chariots aplenty. Use every trick you can to soften up the chariots before they hit your lines; but it's unlikely you'll be able to stop them all. Grab some giant slayers to finish off the ones that survive your barrage and hope it's enough to keep them down. Tomb Kings infantry is no match for you, so you should build your army against their monsters and chariots.
- Tzeentch: Ooh, here is somebody that's going to hate you. Tzeentch units are squishy and their ranged units only have middling range and are better for kiting. He also has no artillery other than Soul Grinders, few big monsters outside of Lords of Change, and relies heavily on spamming spells to activate their army abilities. Bring a Runelord or Thorek on an Anvil of Doom and laugh as their casters explode. Otherwise, pound them into dust with artillery, as they have few answers to an army with better range than them. Just guard the back line against Furies and Doom Knights.
- Vampire Coast: The most common Vampire Coast strategy is to bunker up with a large number of cheap ranged units and heavy artillery. If that sounds familiar it's because it's the same thing you like to do, you're just better at it. Bring plenty of cannons and some slayers to deal with the enemy monsters (hint: kill the necrofex colossi first). Once the big monsters have been dealt with the pirates are basically just an inferior version of you, clumps of quarrelers and thunderers are plenty to take down the zombies. And remember not to bunker up too tightly; you may have magic resistance but Winds of Death will still hurt.
- Vampire Counts: Virtually nothing that makes up the rank and file of the Vampire Counts will pose a significant threat to you. Skeletons and Zombies will only serve to slow down your already plodding advance and only deal any meaningful "damage" to you simply by sponging your limited ranged firepower meant for something else. The only standard units that you'll find yourself at a significant disadvantage against will be the Cairn and Hex Wraiths, given your general lack of magical damage. You'll want to engage them with missile attacks for maximum effect and make sure that you are braced for their charges. The main thing you should be focused on taking down will be the Lords and Heroes leading the army; without them, the undead hordes will quickly fall apart (literally). They also pose the single biggest threat to everything you have, as their Lore of Death casters can delete swathes of your army with a single well placed cast if you are positioned carelessly.
- Wood Elves: Wood Elves are an extremely annoying foe who are fundamentally the exact opposite of you. Their infantry can run circles around yours and they can deal frightening amounts of damage against their intended targets, but you'll snap their twiggy spines if you whip 'em with your beards. In general, you're going to be engaged in a very tedious game of "keep away", where the Wood Elves are going to be dancing just outside of your reach while their Glade Guard and Waywatchers pepper you with AP arrows and occasionally test your flanks for weaknesses via Wild Rider/Great Stag Knight cycle charges. Fortunately, you do have a couple tools the elves don't: Artillery. Grudge Throwers excel against WE infantry and can discourage them from trying to camp too far away while Bolt Throwers and Flame Cannons will make mince-meat of the cavalry/forest spirits that may try to break through your lines. Speaking of forest spirits, irondrakes will incinerate them. Slayers also help against the bigger tree spirits in theory, but the range power the wood elves bring make them a dicey proposition. As far as their melee infantry options are concerned, the only ones that majorly threaten you are the Bladesingers; their anti-armor magical attacks will scythe through your armor will jaw-dropping speed. Use Thunderers to soften them up on the charge then use Slayers to cut them down swiftly.
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