Warhammer Army Project/Chaos Dwarfs
(had copied pasted the 8th ed page to save time on the framework)
Created by Mathias Eliasson, this project was a homebrew attempt at giving many of the units, nations, and factions that never got Armybooks of their own (and those left behind and never got one in 8th Edition) such a thing.
It should also be noted that Eliasson is constantly updating his work, so don't expect this page to stay current forever. If anyone wishes to actually update this page and the items that need it, later on, go ahead.
- 1 Why Chaos Dwarfs?
- 2 Notable Changes from 8e
- 3 Army Rules
- 4 Magic
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Unit Analysis and Summary
- 7 Building Your Army
- 8 Army composition
- 9 Flame, Smoke and Ash Tactics
- 10 External Links
Why Chaos Dwarfs?
Also: Why play a Forgeworld army and get all the neckbeards to claim cheese while they are deploying layer after layer of cheddar?
If you are a new player, Chaos Dwarfs were supported until 5th edition and then got into Squat territory. In July 2011 Forgeworld released Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos, which contained a WHFB army list for a faction of Chaos Dwarfs. Which is awesome, but loses part of the Babylonian look the older army had.
What does the Legion of Azgorh offer and what are its main weaknesses?
- They are Dwarves with possessed war machines, a Babylonian look (not anymore in the troops, but you still have great centrepieces as the Taurus or the Lammasu)
- The warmachines are often called overpowered, and it's true, but this is compensated by the rest of the army.
- You can field a small, elite army composed of Chaos Dwarfs and their war machines or go into battle with a huge Hobgoblin horde.
- K'daai Destroyer. This beast deserves a point of its own. It can wreck completely an army, but is easily countered by a lot of stuff or a 5 point talisman. However, if used properly, accompany with a cup to drink your opponent's tears with.
- Their own magic lore, Hashut is a solid choice and goes very well with the rest of the army.
- Their Sorcerers double as Engineers and can use magic while doing so.
- Elite army, all the CD units are very expensive save for the Hobgoblins, though it gets evened out with the war machines.
- Few of the units have any real synergy with each other, with half the army list favoring a stationary, defensive battle plan and the other half needing to quickly get into combat to be most effective.
- Most of your synergy will be Ashstorm based.
- The equipment is expensive, Blunderbuss 'specially.
- If you go Hobgoblin-heavy you only have 3 options and they are cannon fodder at best.
The army has two viable yet very different play-styles. By virtue of access to many top tier war machines, engineers and wizards, Chaos Dwarfs can be played similarly to their western cousins, the Dwarfs, just with the added benefit of hurling magical death as well as rockets and molten lava. That's just good customer service! Alternatively you can skimp on the artillery and go full frontal assault, a la Chaos Warriors lite, complete with lots of fast monsters and rock solid elite infantry. Mixing the two styles sees the army lose a lot of its effectiveness, particularly against canny opponents who will pull apart stranded combat units or unguarded warmachines piecemeal.
All in all, the Legion of Azgorh ends as a middle-tier army, that will get an opponent caught off-guard the first few times. What do you mean 24" reach flamethrowers?
Notable Changes from 8e
- Relentless: Chaos Dwarfs don't test to march if they're near enemies, which is very welcome, given their low movement value.
- Contempt: All Chaos Dwarf and Bull Centaur treat their slaves as expendable. So use them as the shields they are and don't mind them dying in droves.
- Resolute: During the first round of cc, a Dwarf rolls 3d6 drop the highest for their break test.
- Animosity: You remember it well from the Greenskin list. If the unit is not stuck in, fleeing, under Unit Strength 5, or within 6" of a Chaos Dwarf of Bull Centaur, they need to roll d6 to either roll for panic, act normally, or deal d3 wounds for +1 to hit that turn.
- Backstabbers: If a Hobgoblin unit of Strength 10 or higher breaks a unit and does not pursue, d6 S3 hits to the enemy per 10 models.
Lore of Hashut
Attribute: Killing Fire: If any sell targets a unit without armour (and isn't an animated construct), your wizard gets +D3 to their casting. While this doesn't laser focus as much on particular armies, but this does hamper its usefulness on elite units.
- Signature: Breath of Hatred: Range 12", Augument, cast on 6+ gives hatred to unit within a range. Roll 15+ on casting to have a 12" big bubble.
- Burning Wrath: Range 8", Magic Missle that causes D6 S6 flaming hits cast on 6+, however you may cast boosted version on 12+ giving 2D6. The short range is a serious bitch for this to be useful.
- Dark Subjugation: Range 24" hex cast on 8+. Subject must do LD test at -3. If they fail, they eat -1 Ld. Unfortunately,this won't affect anything immune to Psychology
- Curse of Hashut: Range 18", Direct Damage, targeting a single model. 2D6 minus target Toughness number of hits that wound on 4+ with no armour save allowed. Cast on 10+. A superior sniping spell.
- Ash Storm: Range 24", hex, affects target unit till your next magic phase. Unlucky bastards have -1 to hit in CC, -2 to hit in shooting, can't march, fly, or charge - just move. Unit treats all terrain as dangerous. Wizards can only cast spells on themselves, and UNIT IS FLAMMABLE. Team up with Zhakan if you just want the unit done and you don't care how BS it is. Or force them to flee into the dangerous terrain that's everywhere.
- Hell Hammer: Castable at 13, direct damage, range 3D6 in a straight line like a cannonball. Each model gets S6 hit with D3 multiple wounds. If unit gets a wound, it has to do the panic test. Boosted version is castable at 18 and doubles the range.
- Flames of Azgorh: Unlimited range. Direct Damage small round template, scatter D6. Models touched get S6 hit with multiple wounds (D6). Model directly under the hole takes Toughness test at -2 and if failed is slain with no saves allowed. Any saves. Cast on 18, boosted at 25, but you can use large template there. Two key words - unlimited range. Just put the template at the target and cast it. Brutal. Although you risk miscast. Hell - with 6 dice rolls you'll probably get one. With lvl 4 Prophet you'd need 21 on 6 dices that means 5 x 3 and 1 x 6 i.e. Possible. Just use it after sniping enemy wizards with your Dreadquakes and Hellcannons. You don't want such an effort to be auto dispelled by the scroll, do you?
- Blackshard Armour: The armour of your big boys. Full plate with a 5++ ward against non-physical flaming attacks (read: torches).
- Blood of Hashut: Single-use items for Sorcerer-Prophets for 20pts. So, while in CC, INSTEAD of throwing standard attacks, you may use Blood of Hashut. You pick a single model in direct contact with yours, declare usage and roll a dice, hoping for a 2+ that means success. It gives you D6 automatic Armor-Bypassing Magical Flaming hits with a to-wound roll equal to the opponents armour save. So a Chaos Lord with Chaos Armour and Enchanted Shield (2+ in total) is being wounded at 2+.Nice, if you expect your Prophet to be engaged in close combat. Actually brutal.
- Naphtha Bombs: Exclusive to Sorcerer-Prophets and Daemonsmiths. Small throwing weapon, hit causes D3 S3 hits, armour piercing and flaming attacks. 1 on to-hit roll causes automatic flaming wound on the bearer. Not really that great, units won't really care about D3 hits and monsters usually have high toughness. Can be nice on something flammable (hello Ash Storm) but still has only S3. Only if you have the 15pts to spare. Can also be taken by the Infernal Guard Overseer for 5pts!
- Darkforged Weapon: Magic attacks, roll at the beginning of the game for a special ability. If you have multiple Sorcerer Prophets, duplicates must be re-rolled. You will hardly be able to get your Sorcerer Prophet to be a real fighter Lord, even with 100pts magic items. And if you buy a magic weapon, your Darkforged weapon is lost. Two special abilities add to your magic capabilities (+1 to channeling or +1 to dispel, yay!), one is a S3 flaming breath weapon (hooray) and three have effects in close combat. You get either Hatred, Multiple Wounds (D3) or always wound on 2+, with the huge caveat that 1s on to-wound rolls inflict a wound on the Prophet instead (no saves!). Ouch. All in all, even with one of the three abilities for close combat, your Sorcerer Prophet is still not a fearsome adversary. On the other hand, you really have to decide whether you want to spend lots of points for a magic weapon in order to make him a halfway decent one.
- Dark Mace of Death: A weapon that gives KB while also giving a single-use instant wound to all models in b2b, mounts included.
- Obsidian Blade: Grants hatred and piercing 2, letting you mock heavy armour for only 25 points.
- Mask of the Furnace: 6+/4++ with Fear and Immunity to flaming attacks.
- Armour of Bazherak the Cruel: 2+ armour that grants magic resistance 2 sounds nice, but at 50 points it's a bit lacking. Especially since it lacks a Ward, that means that normal weapons can run it down.
- Chalice of Blood and Darkness: Strip d3 dice each from each side's pools during the magic phase. If both sides lose 1, your bearer eats an armour-negating wound, on a double 6, the enemy can't recover one wound previously lost...which has uses, but not a tremendous lot.
- Daemon Flask of Ashak: Single use 18" bubble of panic that instead deals 1d6 immediate wounds to chariots and buildings.
- Black Gem of Gnar: Single use ability to stop the bearer or anyone in b2b from fighting in close combat for a turn.
- Gauntlets of Gazrakh: Adds +1S, but in the event that the bearer rolls a 1 to hit, they attack a friendly model in b2b.
- Stone Mantle: Chaos Dwarfs only. Adds +1T but as a price robs -1I. Granted, most of your army's already trapped at I2, so this won't mean much unless you fight other dwarfs.
- Banner of Slavery: All Hobgoblins, Orcs, and Goblins within 12" of this banner are immune to panic. If you plan on spamming greenskins, then you'll be wanting this to keep them together.
Unit Analysis and Summary
Lords and Heroes
Note: Under the current edition, named characters tend to be overpriced; you can pretty easily emulate most named characters from scratch and save yourself some points. That said, a few named characters do have abilities and wargear or wargear combos unique to them, so if you need to have them, go ahead. Just make sure you're really getting your points worth.
Drazhoath the Ashen, Prophet of Hashut: Commander of the Legion of Azgorh and thus the only one with a legit model. He comes with +1WS and +1W, both very welcome. He lacks the regular Darkforged Weapon and comes with three magic items: The Hellshard Amulet confers a 5++ Ward Save (topping Drazhoath at a comparably mediocre 3+/5++) which inflicts a S2 hit on the attacker upon successfully saving a wound. Nothing to write home about. His Graven Sceptre never wounds worth than on 4+, regardless of Toughness. A roll of 6 on a Darkforged Weapon would be better but also risk inflicting wounds on the bearer, which Drazhoath does not have to worry about. It is an OK item, but since you still only wound with S4, your opponent will have a good Armour Save. Cinderbreath, Drazhoath's pet Bale Taurus, not Drazhoath himself will be bringing the pain in close combat, you definitely cannot just send him into combat with anything and expect success, he is not Karl Franz. His third magic item is pretty sweet though, the Daemonspite Crucible gives +1 to all casting attempts, putting Drazoath offensively on Level 5 and on par with Teclis or Nagash. Should Drazhoath or Cinderbreath (!) kill a wizard in close combat, this increases to +2 (once). This is huge! Wizards are usually not the best fighters (expect Chaos and Vampires), so should you see anyone carelessly strolling around the battlefield - go get him! Afterward, you cast with +6! Additionally, Drazhoath and every Chaos Dwarf unit in 12" get +1 to combat resolution, which is very good. Lastly, Cinderbreath has an incredible S5 breath weapon, which is simply awesome.
- So, to recap, Drazhoath has the same problems a regular Sorcerer Prophet has: He is just not as tough as the Lords from other armies, neither offensively nor defensively. On top, you can kit out a regular Sorcerer Prophet to be a better tank (2+/4++) or have T6 (and therefore be more resistant to the Sorcerer's Curse). On the other hand, Drazhoath has an increased profile, confers a unique combat resolution buff, is a superior caster (even the Darkforged Weapon abilities cannot compare) with the potential to be downright terrifying (Crucible) and Cinderbreath dishes out a S5 breath weapon once in the game. Drazhoath costs 570pts which, for a kitted-out Sorcerer-Prophet on Bale Taurus, is actually quite cheap, a naked Level 4 Sorcerer Prophet on (inferior) Bale Taurus starts at 525pts and you cannot mold him into Drazhoath (more detailed comparisons with generic Sorcerer-Prophets on the discussion page). As far as Sorcerer-Prophets on flying monsters go, he is not a bad choice, but you should be aware that he will be a valuable target for your opponent (cannons and other war machines, first and foremost, but also other flying character hunters) and he needs a solid battleplan and careful placement. His model is gorgeous though and should at least stand-in for your Sorcerer Prophet on Taurus, should you decide to field one.
Zhatan the Black: A scary motherfucker who terrifies all greenskins. Hobgoblins in his army won't dare bicker in his presence and enemy greenskins, hobgoblins, gnoblars are all terrified of him while he hates everything. His weapon is S+2 and instakills the flammable (Making him a dream against Tomb Kings) and his amulet makes his unit immune to spells, which can be a handicap depending on the circumstance.
Astragoth Ironhand: High Priest of Hashut who's so old that he's cyborgized himself in order to prevent the curse from killing him. He's a scary ML4 Sorcerer who's so robotic that he's unable to charge or march past his blistering base speed of 6 and can gain 3 additional attacks if his base 3 hit. He's got a nice variety of lores (Hashut, Fire, Death, Metal) to add to his utility and is at least tough enough to withstand a round of combat
Ghorth the Cruel: A conniving Sorcerer-Prophet. He has a weapon that insta-wounds with no saves on a 6 to-hit and has an amulet that gives him a 5++ ward and gives his unit frenzy. He also has the single-use Chalice of Fire, which lets him remove d3 die from the enemy's power/dispel pool. The Frenzy makes him more than welcome in a frontliner mob, though don't expect him to hold up any longer in a fight than the base dorf.
Rykarth the Unbreakable: Captain of the Immortals, meaning he can only join them. His special weapon is a great weapon with Piercing 1 and d3 wounds, pretty nightmarish against other heavy-armor units.
Shar'tor the Executioner: The huge-ass Bull Centaur hauled over from AoS. As expected, he operates best with a list full of them, as he lets any within 12" re-roll to charge. He's got two tricks in the magic phase: A Bound spell that gives a unit a needed 6++ ward, or he can channel his mask for the chance to deal instantaneous armour-ignoring wounds. Then there's his axe, a beastly thing that lets him double all damage dealt on a 6 to hit.
Hothgar the Renegade: Expensive specialist Daemonsmith. His Blackshard armour offers him a 5++ save against magic and flaming attacks while his Hellfire Pistol deals d3 burning S4 shots.
Gorduz Backstabber: The most elite and most treacherous of Hobgoblins. He's unique in that he gets a 4++ ward if he's at his last wound while his weapon is poisoned with KB and piercing 1.
Note: While named characters are judged against their generic counterparts, generic characters are examined based on their role in your army.
All Sorcerers have to test Toughness when they Miscast or lose a wound. They can also wear armour.
- Sorcerer-Prophet: The only regular Lord choice for the army. He is a Level 3 Sorcerer with Lv4 upgrade. Has all the regular Chaos Dwarf stuff, and also a special weapon that has his own table of minor special abilities (as Daemons do now). They have access to the Lore of Hashut, Metal, Fire, Shadow, or Death. Works best with Death magic -- LD10 spirit leech, Hell Cannon causing panic tests at -4 LD FTW -- however the lore of Hashut can too be quite effective in static gunline lists with ample artillery. The Sorcerer Prophet while possessing decent stats is far from a beatstick, though a tooled up one with Blood of Hashut can with a little luck meltdown heavily armored characters into pools of piss and blood. They also get access to 3 different mounts. It is recommended to buy them 2+/4++ saves.
- Overlord: The basic non-casting Lord of the Dwarfs. He's a pretty tough dude with his own loadout of weapons and access to the Bale Taurus and Lammasu. If you need a budget Lord so you can load up on other slots, then he's the best bet.
- Despot: The only BSB choice, so you will need one. He has access to 50 points of magic items and can get a shield even when BSB, so you can protect him easily. Magic banners aren't expensive enough to put on him so you can give him magic equipment and give the magic banner to a unit. This hero is tough, with a 2+/4++ save, T5 and 3 attacks, so make the most of it.
- Daemonsmith Sorcerer: Wizard-Engineer too. Has access to to the same lores as Prophets. May upgrade to Level 2 Wizard. Give him the Lore of Fire, keep him at the back next to your war machines to give them rerolls and use him to throw Fireballs at the enemy. If you want K'daai, you need him to field them.
- Hobgoblin Chieftain: This is the cheapest Hero choice in the army. You can mount him in a Wolf, give him a few upgrades (light armor, shield, and spear) and send him to hunt war machines for little more than 50 points. It can also be used to redirect charges, as HE eagles, or put inside a Hobgoblin unit to benefit from his Ld7, unnecessary as you will spend most of your time within your General's inspiring presence area.
- Bull Centaur Taur'ruk: A Centaur hero, he is considered a Monstrous Beast, and his profile is
appallingappealing for a Hero choice, with 4 Wounds, Strength and Toughness 5 among other things. For 20 points you can get him to 1+ without magic items. The only catch is that to get this guy in your army you have to get a unit of Bull Centaurs too.
- Altar of Hashut: This is your answer to things like the Chaos Warshrine. A Daemonsmith near it can sacrifice goons (risking panic) and roll a die and add the number of sacrifices to the effect. This allows one of a decent variety of abilities to be cast.
- Great/Bale Taurus: Your principal mount for hitting the enemy hard is a powerful flying monster with flaming attacks and it cannot be wounded by spells from the Lore of Fire but heals D3 wounds if hit by one. They also hit everyone in close combat with them automatically with S4 (save the rider), and have successful non-magical wounds done to it re-rolled. A Bale Taurus has +1T and +1W and also features a flaming S4 Breath Weapon for 80pts extra.
- Lammasu: This little guy is taken from the Storm of Magic book, and has a nasty CC aura (all magic weapons aside from the rider's in base contact do not function). Watch as big boss-man Karl Franz goes from being the Teddy Roosevelt of Warhammer to George Bush reading fairy tales to Kindergarteners. It is a Level 1 caster (can upgrade to Level 2) and has access to Lore of Shadow, so you can get a sorcerer mount for your sorcerer (yo dog). However, as he will only get level 2 don't count on Mindrazor, but you can get access to some Hexes. The army's only access to lore of shadow.
- Giant Wolf: The only mount option for a Hobgoblin Khan, confers Fast Cavalry rule on the Khan, which is lost when he takes a shield (like the regular wolf riders)
- Palanquin: Exclusive to Sorcerer Prophets, including Ghrorth. This adds +1 to the Prophet's armour save as well as netting 4 WS5 S4 attacks at I2. It's also the cheapest mount for them at only 35 points.
- Chaos Dwarf Warriors: This unit is the core of your army, given medium armour and the option for great weapons and heavy armour. Also can take a tag along with a big gun.
- Inferno Gun: Available to Warriors and Devastators. A miniature war machine that deals S5 Pierce 1 attacks, but it requires the team firing it to sit still and it's prone to misfire.
- Bazukas: Available to Warriors and Devastators. A man-portable Stone Thrower that always deals d3 wounds, but requires the crew to be stationary.
- Devastators: Stunties with blunderbusses or crossbows. Blunderbusses are short-range shooting weapons and make them 13 points per model. This weapon has some special rules that make it interesting: Multiple Shots 3, S3 Armour piercing, and no multiple shots or Stand and Shoot penalty. As they stand more still then Warriors, better candidate to have an Inferno Gun or Bazukas.
- Infernal Guard: Now the stronger Dwarfs, handicapped by how many Warriors your field. These guys have a good profile and come with 3+ armour save and a 5+ ward save against flaming attacks. They also have access to a regular 6++ parry save due to their shields. Their weapon options include ENSORCELLED HAND WEAPONs (a straightforward option of +1 magic Strength), Fireglaives (Halberds and Handguns in one weapon, 18" S4 Armour piercing)
- Hobgoblin Warriors: These guys are small, sneaky, and can be spammed for a relatively low cost. You can replace them bows for 2 points. They benefit from your General's Inspiring Presence so they can be used as a tarpit.
- Sneaky Gitz: A special sneaky kind of Hobbo with poison. For each round of combat, they're in, they can add another rank to fight, making a prolonged fight almost even out.
- Hobgoblin Wolf Raiders: Fast Cavalry for Hobgoblins. They exchange Backstabbers for speed and the ability to add +1 to hit on a turn they charge an enemy's flank or rear but suffer -1 to combat resolution if charged.
- Hobgoblin Spear Chukka: A crude little bolt thrower that can misfire on a 1 to hit. You can grab of them per unit of Hobgoblin warriors you have.
- Goblin Slaves: You now have Goblins, in all their elf-fearing glory, as minions as run by one hobgoblin who refuses all challenges. These are handicapped by how many units of hobgoblins you field.
- Orc Slaves: You can now have Orcs in your army, overseen by one hobgoblin who refuses all challenges. These are handicapped by how many units of hobgoblins you field. Like in their native army, they ignore Goblins if they flee.
- Immortals: These are your heavy infantry, each with a 2+ save, MR(1), and Stubborn sticking them as walls. They get 2 swings of a great weapon to give as hard as they get. not something you want to engage.
- Acolytes of Hashut: You know how Bretonnians have Grail Reliquae which have them place the remains of a knight in their unit or how the Slann sit in the midst of their minders? Now you have that, but now with a buyable petrified Sorcerer in the middle of the ranks. While the unit gets magical attacks and a per-turn bonus of either hatred, KB, or a 6++ ward, buying the sorcerer gives them Fear, +1 to combat resolution, and Magic Resistance 2.
- Zealot Berzerkers: The Chaos version of Slayers. These guys get Resolute, Frenzy, a 6++ ward and an immunity to fire as well as the option to become skirmishers at no cost.
- Bull Centaurs: your Dwarfs cavalry, speed of bull + toughness of Dwarfs. well-protected at lest a 3+ sv regardless of loadout and they hit hard. A step up from wolf.
- Bull Centaur Renders: Monstrous Beast Bull Centaurs that can combine Heavy Armour with their natural armour to get 2+ base armour. Have 3 attacks and T5 on top of that save. You can give them Great Weapons, additional HtH weapons, or a Shield. They make for great flank protection or, in bigger units, flank crushing. They can have magic banner so great for an extra inch of move or classic flaming attack to hunt down hydras and trolls.
- Black Orcs: Remember that fluff bit about these guys being Chaos Dwarf experiments? Yeah, now you own them. They're almost triple the price of a normal mob, but they have Choppas, their flexible loadout, and immunity to psychology. These bastards are also not subject to animosity.
- K'daai Fireborn: Monstrous Infantry. They share Unbreakable, Unstable Animated Constructs like the Tomb Kings. Their rules make it so that they end up killing themselves a lot of times, and the longer the game, the weaker they will get. Each game turn, from the second onwards, they take a Toughness test (at their T4) that, when failed, leads to losing D3 wounds, and each model has only 2. They cause Fear, inflict automatic S3 Flaming hits to every model in BtB, and have a 5+ Ward save, S5 and can dish out a fair number of attacks and wounds. Keep in mind they are Flaming, so any of the 2+ Ward or immunity against Flaming attacks will keep them locked forever.
- Bull Centaur Chariots: Each of these has a Bull Centaur shove forward some crazy contraption that automatically hits anything in the front arc but leaves them to fight the sides and rear.
- Whirlwind: A Bull Centaur chariot that deals d6 S5 hits at the start of each round. chops up infantry in front of it.
- Tenderizer: A Bull Centaur chariot that deals d3 S6 hits that deal d3 wounds each round. A Buzzsaw designed to carve up monsters.
- Iron Daemon War Engine: This expensive unit has 2 setups and uses, depending on what upgrades you get it. It has a whopping S6, T6, and 6 Wounds (always Hellbind for S8, T8, W8), and a base movement of 5. Obstacle Obstacles don't slow it (only water). Iron Daemons cannot wheel on the charge. When the Iron Daemon charges, it moves directly forward, no wheels to maximize, but it "closes the door".
- The first version is the default one. It comes with a Steam Cannonade. This weapon is the bane of Monsters, War Machines and lone characters up till 18" range, because roll the Artilary Dice for shot, Roll To Hit (no penalty for moving) and To Wound with S5, armour piercing shots. This version deals D6+2 Impact Hits and stomp in following turns with S6
- The second version is the Skullcracker upgrade and it substitutes the Steam Cannonade. It deals 2D6 Impact Hits and stomps and gains +1 To Wound against fortifications and buildings.
- Deathshrieker Rocket Launcher: This machine comes cheap at 100 points. It works as a Stone Thrower with a Large Blast, without double Strength or multiple wounds, at a base Strength 3. If the center of the Large Blast misses the unit (note, the center), roll an artillery dice, change the template for the small one and move it towards the center of the closest unit friend or foe by that amount of inches. If a Misfire is rolled in this die, then the shoot explodes in the air inoffensively. It also has an alternate firing mode at S8 D6 Multiple wounds without Blast, doubling very well as a Monster hunter, especially when we take into account the Daemonsmiths.
- Magma Cannon: This cannon makes the Dwarf Flamethrower pale, as it works exactly like one, but better in every aspect. At 145 points, we are looking at the ability to drop Flaming S5 Templates with D3 Multiple wounds at 24" range. Nasty. Take at least one in every game for deathstar-rapey goodness.
- Dreadquake Mortar: This piece of artillery has both the longest reach in the game and access to a special upgrade, the Slave Ogre. Without it, it is subject to Slow Reload (firing every 2 turns unless a 3+ roll is made). with Ogre upgrade is purchased, the Mortar has T7 and 7 Wounds, making it into a very tough and hard to remove unit. It fires like a Stone Thrower, with S5 (10 under the hole), armour piercing with range 12"-72". Any unit who takes a casualty from it has to test for Dangerous Terrain if they wish to move (charging, reforming, everything counts) or try to shoot Move or Fire weapons. On the other hand, it's very expensive, so think carefully before taking one (particularly since your Rare slot also includes the K'daai Destroyer).
Also it hits the target with the small template (3"), same as Hellcannon. That was a subject of discussions on may forums, but rules clearly state it shoots exactly as a Stone Thrower.
- Hellcannon: It fires as a Stone Thrower with S5, and forces Panic tests (with -1Ld penalty) on units suffering casualties from it. It is considered a Monster, and has its own Misfire table, that goes from eating its crew to mindraping nearby Wizards. It has to test Leadership every turn, and if failed it gets a free turn and a 3D6 automatic move that will eat any Light Cavalry unit nearby trying to kill it. Even better than the Warriors of Chaos version due to Daemonsmith re-rolls. A solid choice. It's also the only non-Hobgoblin model you can get for Chaos Dwarves without having to pay Forge World prices.
- Juggernaut Siege Tower: A massive motherfucker of a chariot with a 3+ save and Terror and Unbreakable, but don't ever send this thing to punch things. The siege cannon can't pursue or charge well, but it does have five fireglaives garrisoned and two S7 d3 wound-inflicting cannons as well as the angry Bull Centaur pushing it to fight on the other arcs. Not that it's help much.
- Kollossus: A GIANT FUCKING CHAOS DWARF ROBOT. HOLY SHIT. It's got a 2+ save and as strong as a daemon, and if it dies, everyone in b2b eats an S5 explosion. It also has a suite of upgrades to customize it, though each can only be bought once per army unless mentioned otherwise and each Kollosus can only buy up to two.
- Lava Thrower: Want a Breath Weapon that burns and ignores armor? This is yours for 50 points.
- Greathammer: This adds +1 Strength. Buy a second for a bonus attack.
- Daemon Crystal: Magic Resistance 3. Just in case you fight a caster-heavy army.
- High-Powered Engine: Adds +1 M/S/A, but it doubles all damage taken because of the high maintenance.
- Furnace of Hashut: A Kollossus can trigger this to add +2 M and +d6 attacks, but it eats d6 S6 hits that pass through the armor
- Crush: You own an S10 d6 wound stomp attack.
- Armoured Plating: Want a 1+ save? This is how for only 15 points, the cheapest of the upgrades.
- K'daai Destroyer: Remember how we said that this thing deserved a point to its own? We meant it. Don't get it into combat with: characters with the dragon helm or dragonbane gem, dragon princes, or stubborn/unbreakable blocks, and don't let it overrun off the board. Otherwise, this thing will quite happily kill half an army for you, especially with its special upgrades.
- Razor Horns: You're already a monster, but who'd turn down d6 Impact Hits?
- Gore Blades: Punish your enemy for their foolishness. If they roll a 1 to hit this guy, they eat an instant S3 hit.
- Brazen Wings: Flight? S4 Flaming Breath Weapon? Well shiet, you just got a dragon!
- Dark Colossus: 2 extra wounds, just in case you feel like you need them.
- Chaos Siege Giant: Your other option for a monster besides the K'daai Destroyer. It costs only 60pts less but is basically worse in every way. Giants have a random attack system, so you're never quite sure what they will do, which is bad in the first place. It can be quite effective if you roll the right attack against the right opponent, but it can also be a wasted turn. It comes with two upgrades: Runes of Hate lets you re-roll your random attack roll (important) and gives berserk rage (not good, but negligible at LD10) but increases the costs to a solid 225pts - only 50pts away from the Destroyer! Scaling spikes are pretty much useless unless you're in an actual siege (Siege Giant, duh!). Siege Giants compete for your precious rare allowance and are the worst of the choices. Take only if you love giants and/or have your list somehow tailored to it.
Building Your Army
You have three options:
Option 1: You are a rich lunatic and you want to play WHFB's version of the Death Korps of Krieg. Buy all the stuff direct from Forge World. Weep (or laugh) as your basic core units cost £80 for twenty guys with full command. Yes, the models are super awesome (especially the war machines) but a 2000pts army of these guys will set you back by literally jillions of money.
Option 2: You are a sensible chap who is a dab hand at converting. Use GW's regular plastic dwarfs and use your modelling skills to turn them into Chaos Dwarfs. Just put spikes everywhere, a fun conversion idea used by a clever guy is to use a thumb tack for the signature hats. You might need to get more inventive to make their war machines from scratch however. The new plastic Irondrake models are perfect for converting into Chaos Dwarfs with blunderbusses.
Option 3: You are a sensible chap who doesn't play Warhammer at GW stores. Get an army of Abyssal Dwarfs from Mantic Games. They're all plastic and it costs £50 for about 60 models. Their infantry models are nicely detailed and look suitably Chaotic, though their options are still stuck in the "metal add on" phase. The war machines leave much to be desired however. As these are not GW's models, you'll probably be lynched by GW staff if you try to use them at one of their stores.
Update to pts 2&3 from "Different Legion of Azgorh fanatic".
Alternatively, f*ck Matic Games, and do a bit of google. Eventually you'll find Spanish company called Norba Miniatures . Their Infernal Dwarfs are an absolute ripoffs of what Forge World did. Quality's less detailed, models require bit of cleaning, but at the end you'll get something that looks as closest on the market as possible to these from FW. Plus they allow you to buy models with either hand weapon/shield, fireglaive or great weapon. Just be aware it may even take 3 months for them to do the casts and dispatch. Still - 12-15 EUR for group of 10? Here's my money!
If you feel like giving 23 GBP-donation-for-those-in-need, buy a command squad from FW, chop off some bits, and add others. Have some leftovers like axes from Khorne's End of Times bulky Skullreapers/Wrathmongers - use them. That way, you'll make a 3 properly grimdark and custom made Castellans.
If you aim to get less Ironclad-Mordor-More-Babylonian-Pointy-Hats-Look check out Russian Alternative . Although I've heard that quality of the cast is not the finest.
Now the funny thing - if you have a hand for sculpting, get a green stuff or some thick modelling mass, get a scissors, knife or wire cutter and sculpture some flames. Just grab a piece of previously glued to a model green stuff and pull. Then paint, then make sure to use some tough hairspray on the model, to keep it solid.
Bale/Great Taurus - Take Scibor Miniatures  under consideration. They have some wingy bulls generals is their Moscal army. Also - check their range as well. If you want to add a bit of Old-Matiushka-Russia charm to your army, then you had found the right place, comrade.
Lammasu - the closest equivalent is Manticore. Check out Raging Heroes  website - they have nice Manticore in the range + extra payable head of Lammasu. Or just buy this head, do a measurements on your Taurus, chop off its head in a right spot with a tiny modelling saw in and use some magnets or magnetic tapes so you'll have a model with fully changeable head - depending on situation.
Bull Centaurs - Scibor Miniatures and Norba Miniatures. I think first have 3 or 4 different models, but Norba has cheap 3-packs and again with different weapons.
K'daai Destroyer - Monstrous Arcanum and Tamurkhan (both FW) state that these may be bulls, warriors, deamons or f*ck-knows-what, just with blazing flaming bodies and on properly sizeable base. As FW project was (let us admit) crap, you have to find a model just yourself. The FW WIP was abandoned with the End Times and turned into Skaarac the Bloodborn, Great Khorgorath of Khorne. You can of course get him and retcon a Destroyer out of it, but we aim for something much less than
145 152 GBP. For only £20 you could pick up the "Magmic Incantations" box from the Fyreslayers line, the "Molten Infernoth" makes for a pretty stellar destroyer albiet one on the smaller side of things (it's still 2/15ths the price of Skaarac and 1/3 the cost of a Maw-krusha) If you like modelling, I seriously suggest taking Maw-Krusha from AoS Greenskins. Bulky bastard, I did however chop off wings in mine. Don't forget to get some green mass to sculpture some nice flames. Or just take WH40k Forgefiend. Or better yet: scratch all of that. The Russian Alternative have just released a model for the K'Daai Destroyer and it looks pretty awesome , and it comes at 1/5 the cost of that aweful Skaarac abomination.
Hobgoblins - get yourself a pack of Stormvermins and/or Clanrats, chop off their heads and tails, add some bits and pieces from other armies - if you have them accessible - and some Gnobblar-Goblin-Nightgoblin heads. You may chop off Skaven shields and glue some from different armies but you'll need bit of skills and green mass to hold it tight. Just think - Hobgoblins with Dwarven shields? "My grudges are itching just on a thought..." Have some Black Orks or any Orks? Sweet - fit them in as a place fillers. I have a massive warboss chained to the rocks, with banner pole attached to his back and he's my equivalent of 4 hobos including standard bearer. If you like modelling and customisation - this is for you.
Hobgoblin Wolf Riders - have not many alternatives again. Original wolf mounted Goblins from GW or Russian Alternatives.
Hobgoblin Khans - Many options for mods. Check the advises for Hobgoblins above, remember to glue to him loads of random knives, swords, pennants or just leftovers from different armies, to make him outstanding of the crowd.
Currently not many alternatives in regards to warmachines.
You may use some Empire or Dwarf Hellblaster/Cannon/Flame Cannons to make Deathshriek or Magma Cannon. It will require some bits and pieces and modelling skills, but shouldn't be much complicated.
Iron Daemon - empire Steam Tank plus loads of mending. Maybe something from 40k, but it is either too futuristic or too wallet draining. I bought the original and in this case recommend doing exactly the same.
There are no reasonable alternatives for Dreadquake if you want to stick to its size. Well you can use old Earthquake from 6th edition, or check Mantic, but it won't help you if you want to have it mounted on Steam Carriage. Unless, you have 2 Hellcannons and a friend who owns the modeling/gaming store with loads of bits and pieces. I also considered buying model of one of the IIWW Nazi German or Soviet Russians train mortars or train cannons, but you would have to compare the scale, do the mendments, have to had lots of spares and to be honest lot of free time to do mendments.
Siege Giant - another modelling opportunity. You need Giant from GW. Or have fun and buy Beastman Cygor. In both cases you'll have to use green stuff and bits and pieces to do some armour for him. I don't know about other alternatives. Rotten Factory has Giant - just google.
Hellcannon - Original, or ugly bastard from Norba Miniatures, or Rotten Factory - they have 2 types of Hellcannons - proper one, and mutilated heavily mutated something with big tusks and 6... limbs. This one is perfect for Nurgle / Tzentch WoC, However we're talking about LoA - so the first one would do the job (or would get the job done :) ).
These are the main core unit of your army. Better than their Dawi hold dwelling cousins, they have a 3+ save (with a 5++ against fire based attacks) plus a shield and a base Strength of 4. However, such a sweet statline doesn't come cheap, and units between 20 and 25 is usually the way to go. They can also take a magic standard, which is nice! Good, standard option to fill the core. Don't expect much from them, but they should be able to go toe to toe with any other core unit and give a decent account of themseves.
The warriors have additional 2 weapon options, and these really dictate what you do with the unit. They can have Ensorcelled weapons for 2 points, fireglaves for 4 points.
- The Ensorcelled Hand Weapons are a great choice for a hammer/anvil unit. It makes them strike at S5 (with easy access to hatred). Still, count as a hand weapon so they can use shields for 2+Sv, makes them pretty durable. As Chaos Dwarfs are only M3, they make a great anvil unit, but your opponent will easily be able to avoid them unless you force them to come at you...For me this is the optimum choice for warriors, they are tough and hit like a ton of bricks. For the Dawi Zhar lord that wants a combat army...yes please to 24 with Ensorcelled weapons.
- Next up is the fireglave. This is a great 'mid' option. A combination of Polarm and handgun. This is a great choice, the only downside being its points. You'll want to make sure everyone can fire (so 2 ranks) but the unit is also a combat one (so 4 ranks). I usually allow my opponent to charge my 2 deep lines, rely on my Ld10 hero to make sure I stand and can reform for the next turn of combat. Not my preferred choice, but ok. Maybe a unit of 18 or 24.
Flame, Smoke and Ash Tactics
Update from "different Legion of Azgorh Fanatic"
You have some straightforward tactical options, and some unusual bits you may want to add. You have dwarfs, strong artillery, monstrous cavalry, monsters/daemons and cheap infantry. Potentially with no synergy, but to find one, you'll have to look deeper. So, below you'd find some tactical bits and pieces.
Chaos Dwarf Infantry
Infernal Guard (core) or Ironsworn (special).
For better damage output go for Infernal Guard. They would fill up Core requirements, and their single model is cheaper - 12 vs 17 pts.
The first difference is in WS 4 vs 5, but your basic WS 4 will be enough in most cases. If in doubts check your To Hit table.
Next difference is in S - 4 vs 5. You can upgrade your Infernals' strength by adding great weapons or fireglaives, which you cannot do with Ironsworn - they have enscrolled weapons with +1 to S straight away. In first case Infernals will have S6 vs S5 Ironsworn. Initiative won't matter much, unless you're playing against Dwarfs or other low I armies. And you will have 2 or less anyway.
In second case (fireglaive) it will be S5 vs S5, and point value 17 per each model, but Infernals will give you nice output in shooting phase, and Ironsworn will remain with better armour save. Situational, as depends who would you field it against and in what role.
Ironsworn should be more comparable to Dwarfen Ironbreakers. Almost same stats, same Armour Save. But Ironsworn have S5, and cost you 17 pts and Ironbreakers S4 and 14 pts. Ironsworn also have flaming attacks ward save 5++. So I'd say they have potential, if you're looking for damage delivering tarpit. With AS 3+, T4, S5, they will be able to hold and crumble most of the core or special infantry units in the game. Due to a tarpit nature, I strongly suggest adding a Castellan to ensure their stubbornness.
Hobgoblins and Khans
Using them as small flanking units doesn't make sense. Not much damage output. Equipment depends on who you'll play against, but in my opinion their role should be same as horde of Clanrats - tarpit.
If given bows you'll get short range shooters dealing damage on same basis as night goblins. Mediocre the most. If with 2 hand weapons - good amount of low S attacks against low or none armoured units. I believe however in shield and hand weapon armoured slowing/supportive horde or 5 models wide column. Why? I've been tarpitted too many times by block of 50+ clanrats with spears and shields, so eventually I made some conclusions :)
In my last game block of 28 hobgoblins (hand + shield) + 2 khans, managed to stop 4 Stormfiends coming from the undergound. I lost like dozen of them in first round of CC, but somehow managed to kill 1&1/2 Stormfiend. Of course my greenskins had been decimated eventually, but bought me some time for fireglaivers and great weapons to save my cannons.
Your Hobgoblins also have these throwing knives to be used in stand and shoot reaction or just on proximity. But it's not over. Good idea is to insert 3 or 4 (or more) khans on foot in the unit.
Khans on wolfs are famous among many discussions as re-directors and lone characters/war-machine hunters. I've read opinions of people who had real boners for khan on wolf - but that will not work against experienced generals or when you play on 60 inches or more wide battlefield.
I played lot as Dwarfs and get my opponents eventually used to a surprising appearance of miners on their backs. So much, they eventually started doing the same. I played against Skaven and had Stormfiends on my ass once, and it wasn't pleasant (I played Dark Elves that time and eventually nerfed them with shooting and magic). Similar as with Snitch, who single handedly raped my 3 war-machines once. One of my opponents recently purchased Wulfrik, and I can bet money I'll have an ambushing Marauders on my ass next time (didn't). So no. Don't bother about Khan on Wolf. Your so called "lone war-machine hunter/ shooting re-director" must have some proper armour.
Now - about my idea - few khans in a hobgoblin heavy brick. Once we had 4 armies battle. One of the opponents struggled to meet the point criteria with his O&G army. I suggested him, to turn some of his Nightgoblins in the unit to a heroes. Guy set up a 50 models strong unit of Nightgoblins with 10 heroes, and they all had Great Weapons. It was all legit and, fuck me... we all regretted it. This unit shattered 6 Skullcrushers of Khorne and at some point guy had no opponents around this unit. We were too scared.
You can't give your khans GW, but with S4, just keep giving them extra hand weapons, magic weapons and other items to fill up your 25 pts allowance. Seeing your LoA heavy army, and shitloads of artillery, K'daai & Bullcentaurs, there is a strong chance your opponent will ignore this core requirements filler of hobos. At least till their 1st round of close combat.
Also - don't bother about animosity. O&G Animosity may cause troubles. Yours has 16.6% chance to impact you in good way, and 16.6% of giving bad results. Still - would be nice to have Castellan with Banner of Slavery right behind them. Just in case.
So in summary - block or few of 50 or 50+ hobos with few khans inside units and Banner of Slavery behind them. one of the Khans may have Shield of ptolos, to give the whole unit 1+ Armour Save against shooting.
Everyone keep diminishing Greenskins role in LoA army, so prove them wrong :)
Artillery & Rape Train
Hashut sent his blessing on you in this category.
Dreadquake Mortar - make advantage of its range 12-72. Always take Ogre to avoid slow loading and to add extra 4 wound. Shoots S5 (S10 in centre) with your small template and should be directed to enemy's wizards, artillery, buff wagons, cavalry.
When taking Hellbound upgrade - be aware, as it bounds a daemon in your war machine and that means lore of light or Luminark may do a bu-bu to it. It is bit fucked up, and to be honest you have to discuss it with your mates, but me and mine established eventually that Hellcannons and Hellbound Warmachines - as crunch keeps saying about bounding daemons in these - are daemonic. And that leads us to next paragraph - how to use your Mortar and artillery.
First of all - fuck the infantry with a rusty blade. Your infantry would and should deal with them. Dreadquake has task of destroying dangerous stuff, or to stop them from moving due to a Quake. So, unleash wrath of Dawi Zharr against Sorcerers, Warmachines, Monsters and This Empire General on a Gryphon. SNIPE. Turn your Daemonsmith to a sniper using a train-wagon-mortar. One of my Dreadquakes recently survived Empire's Luminark, and 2 shoots from cannon. With 1 wound left.
In my last game I had 2 Mortars, Hellcannon and Deathshriek - not to mention blunderbusses, fireglaives, throwing knives and shooting Iron Daemon. Basically the only non shooty unit in my army was K'daai Destroyer. And boy - against Empire (tank, 3 cannons, 2 hellblasters, Luminark), Skaven (wheel, 2 zzzapguns, around 6 jezails, bell) and Chaos (2 Hellcannons, warshrine) I've been shooting all around like a fucking maniac.
You have an idea now, how me and my mates do play our games - "No hard feelings but fuck you, fuck you and especially FUCK YOU!!! No remorse, no respite, no regrets".
Remember that as standard - all Artillery in the game is Move or Fire, so cannons hit by Dreadquake's template have to pass the test if want to fire. As per description of Quake.
Daemonsmith nearby obligatory. Steam Carriage only as hard cover if you think you'll be eventually within your foes shooting-non-artillery units. But Dreadquake on carriage looks soooooo damn good :) If towed by Iron Deamon, you may maneouver with your choo-choo-rape-train to give a mobile hard cover to some of your infantry units.
And remember - as per FW FAQ - you have to use small template. If you have doubts - it shoots as Stone Thrower from Rulebook, and Stone Thrower uses small round template.
Deathshriek - I never fire at characters with it. IT IS A WASTE OF A SHOT. Even with daemon-smith's re-rolls it's still too random - cos u have to get a direct hit. In terms of character on foot it's almost fucking-impossible. If you aim at something big or on flyer, or Chariot, or buff wagon it looks slightly better. But still - sniping shot is an act of desperation.
It is good however on delivering fire damage to flammable units (Hello Ashstorm my old friend...), or low AS infantry blocks. You use a large template, and roll, but if you missed the unit, you try to hit again with small template. So technically you roll to establish where, then you re-roll due to a daemon-smith's re-rolls and if dices still hate you to guts, you roll 3rd time to get the hit into the target with small template now. Deathshriek is cheap comparing to Hellcannon or Dreadquake and less reliable, so I took mine for LOLZ.
Played 12 rounds - 4 armies - 23k-ish points game. Kept missing tragically through 11 rounds (1 hit), and then in 12th with a sniping shot actually managed to deliver tactically critical hit and destroy Empire's Great Cannon. Nice!
Hellcannon - Daemonsmith's re-rolls make it more reliable then when set up in WoC army. Main thing to remember is it is Monster. Monster with Handlers, that shoots, and it is how it should be treated. Also as Monster it Thunderstomps when charged. Solid choice. But I'd go for a Dreadquake due to a range and Quake, and amount of wounds it can take.
Magma Cannon - If you plan to sit around that hill and not to move for x rounds, DO take it. With Ashstorm it will leave ruin and smoking melting boneyard of your foes. 24" range? D3 wounds, proper S? Brutal. Just make sure you didn't take too many, cos your friends may stop playing with you. Pity it has AS 3+
Iron Daemon - shooting - May move and shoot, may act even, when you'll roll 2 x misfire, as you'd blow the cannons only.
The way it moves is slightly different than normal unit, yet similar to Empire's Steamtank (btw: THAT THING IS BROKEN. I fragged it from 10W to 2W, and still couldn't kill the fucking thing. And it was still shooting. F*CK!!!)
It is a brutal and reliable machine, that grinds through infantry, and the only thing you have to be careful about are direct hits from cannons with S10. Short range of steam boiler cannons - 18 " only, but very reliable. Mine shoot to death Deathmaster Snitch, finished severely wounded Doomwheel, and stopped Skaven Bell and 40 clanrats. I can only regret I have only 1.
And don't forget about Thunderstomp & Impact Hits
Iron Deamon - cracking
I didn't use one - I wanted but FW removed it from its range. Simply speaking - Iron Daemon that does not shoot, but uses steam power to keep these drills running. Even more brutal when in combat with 2D6 Thunderstomps (compering to 1D6 of normal Iron Daemon), but has to get there.
Monsters and Monstrous Cavalry
K'daai Fireborn - Main issue with their Burning Bright is that since turn 2 you have to test their T.
Let me remind you how Characteristic Test looks like - If you'd roll less or equal to your characteristic, you had passed. In this case roll of "1" is an auto pass. Fireborn have T4, which gives them 33% to fail the test. If failed, you have D3 wounds for each failure, and with your W = 2 that means YOU JUST HAD FRAGGED YOURSELF.
Useless. Ignore. Don't bother.
Well, ok, you may take some for lolz, as an expendable units, or if the battlefield is small and you expect CC since round 1 or 2.
The models look fab, have to say.
K'daai Destroyer - Starting with important stuff - Burning Bright with T6 - You pass the test if 1D6 = T or lower, so pass on 1-5 in this particular case (characteristic tests always fail on 6). Avoid all spells lowering T stats.
It does not have an official model, so it leaves you with bit of creativity or some of the alternatives (see above). It goes on the base 100 x 150 mm so such as - Arachnarok Spider, Hellcannon, or 3 chariots
Like the Fireborn they are unbreakable but also unstable, which means that losing a combat will still hurt. Daemon in terms of spells from light lore, so watch yourself. And unit eater if you'd manage to get it in contact against block of foes.
I have one as it has highest I in the whole army (I5), and I needed something big and bulky to counter Stormfiends as soon as they'd appear (know your enemy). It's awesome, but broken - things resistant to fire or magical attacks will stop it. Yet - had mine fighting against 40 Empire Halberds, Sigmarite Priest and 10 Great Swords. He killed most of them, then eventually destroyed them to a point they lost steadfast, made them run like a lil' bitches, chased them and killed the rest. Only to be smashed by Hellblaster. Fair Trade in terms of points, and epic LOLZ in terms of fun. Next time I will field LoA, I am sure my opponents will try to frag it to death, along with Iron Daemon :) So - 50 models. 3 rounds of CC. And I had 1 wound left at the very start. Had some amazing rolls, and my opponent rolled 1 "6" to wound in 3 rounds of CC.
It's same thing with Destroyer as with Empire Steam Tank - first wound on it will hurt the most, and the rest of them is inevitable.
Bull Centaurs - solid choice. taken only as a blocker to other Monstrous Cavalry or Cavalry. I had them facing Demigryphs, Skullcrushers and Dragon Ogres, so Great Weapon is the logical option. However with low initiative, in the battle on attrition against the aformentioned, they will eventually fail. Maybe they would have more sense in 7th, but not in 8th edition that elevates infantry, war-machines and supportive magic rules - better buy more Dawi Zharr :)
Siege Giant - I have no good opinion about giants at all. Once my Chaos Giant had been eaten alive by giant rats as they wounded him more than he did them - He failed on LD, run away few inches, and they just followed finishing him off. So this variant, even if armoured, still has random attacks. And that makes giants in my eyes un-re-li-ab-le. Period. If you really want to spent 200-ish points on something, you have better choices.
Case for Castellans
First of all - you don't have good fighting lords. You just have Drazoath - that is mediocre in terms of stats and skills, although the model itself looks nice. Fighting Prophet is... decent, but it cannot face Karl Franz, Lord on Dragon, Archaon, or any posterboy Lord. So you have to use what you got - these versatile heroes and make sure to have quite a few.
So with your Castellan - you basically get the stats of Dwarf Thane with LD9 instead of LD10 for 40 pts more. What saves you in here are good LoA magic items, access to magic items from main rule-book and 75 pts big slot to fill.
And that is the real charm of Warhammer - what gives you a real twist - finding a balance. A bloody zen in the Hashut garden. Gold proportion in between units in your army and army's composition. As LoA really rely on your infantry, guns and Prophets, use Castellans as supportive character. Their presence in a unit makes your infantry Stubborn (and your standard Armour Save is 4+ with 5++ Ward Save against flames). Give them some real damage dealing weapons, and see the world burns.
Of course - what you get to your Castellans depends on location, tactics and who you intend to play against. If opponents will be moaning "you fielded too much artillery", well, your excuse is - lack of Lords, apart of one sad type and one sad character only to be used in AoS (fuck AoS). And after all Legion of Azgorh is just a penal company/border garrison of the Empire of Fire and Ash.
I established 3 types of Castellan build.
1. "Incoming fire from the sky" Castellan - if you have a spare Castellan, give him Arabyan Carpet, Shield of Ptolos, and either fireglaive or great weapon. And use him as a shooting regiment, wizard or war-machine lone hunter.
2. "Must obliterate this scum" Castellan - Black Hammer of Hashut for 2+ to S, and to kill outright flammable model, Potion of Speed to make his Initiative upgraded from 3 to 6, and some defensive equipment to discard hits in fight. As you can see it works perfectly with Ashstorm.
3. "Hold the line you maggots" Castellan - Tankish armour or Ward Save, Great Weapon and Pistol, or Fireglaive. Just to have Hero in Unit with damage output. May want to add ironcurse Icon for 5 pts - that gives whole unit 6++ Ward Save against shooting from warmachines.
Casters and Casting
OMFG - Dwarfs that can excel into sorcery.
Ok - Dwarfs wielding magic. That is just against their nature. And sooo awesome. It may catch your enemy off guard. And what Legion of Azgorh represents is much better than 8th ed. Dwarven Anvil of Doom. I still remember 7th ed Anvil and boy, that was something, but in 8th it devolved into supportive role the most.
But speaking of magic. Daemonsmiths have access to Fire, Metal and Death. Prophets - all the above plus Hashut. If taking Lammasu you also have Shadow. But Dawi Zharr, in case of miscast, turn slowly and painfully into stone.
So what Lore to choose?
1. Hashut - always. Some boosting spells, 2 deathstars. If you have just one Prophet, think about who you play against and what would support you the most, but if you have 2 or more Lords in the army (aka playing big game), Lore of Hashut is a MUST BE.
2. Metal - always if you play against enemies who actually use armour save. It seems to be optional against Skaven, Vampires and Goblins - basically all the hordes, but even they do have some units with armour save 5+/4+. And you can always use it as a flaming attack combined with Ash Storm or just use glittering scales. There is always at least one gap to fill with Metal.
3. Death - It is my 3rd choice in this army. It is good, might be great in sniping characters (not many casters can pull off Spirit Leech at LD9 or even LD10!) - I just keep using the ones described above.
4. Fire - Nah, Meh, Ugh. I took it once as Dark Elves, and don't remember doing anything spectacular with fire. If I had to take something, I'd rather take Ruby Ring of Fire with Fireball (hello Ash Storm). Some players mount a Prophet on Bale Taurus, giving him Lore of fire, and keep casting it on themselves, each time Taurus would be wounded (Fire Lore cures its wounds), but really? Would you waste chance to take good a lore for Lore of Fire?
So - your casting and your miscast penalties - how it actually works? You did roll 2 sixes, have a miscast, did the results and then do a Toughness test. Prophet passes on 5 or lower, Daemonsmith on 4 or lower, Prophet on Bale Taurus on 5 or lower as Bale Taurus is a Monster, and its stats do not count here. If you pass - it's all good in a Dawi Zharr hood. If failed - you receive 1 extra wound (non-save-able in any way), but your Toughness goes up by 1 for the first time it happens.
Considering your Prophet is your only Lord type, and you probably packed loads of points on it, loosing like 400-ish points may hurt. You have 2 good options to raise Toughness of your magicians. One is to give him Potion of Toughness for 20 pts and drink it in a round you plan to cast heavily. That gives you +3 to Toughness for a round. Case closed. The other option is Stone Mantle, which lowers your Initiative from 2 to 1 but raises Toughness from 5 to 6 instead, permanently. 40 pts, and TBH - like your Initiative ever mattered. Unfortunately it costs 40pts so you cannot combine it with the Mask of the Furnace, so you cannot have it together with a really good armour save and a good ward save.
Rest of the items is pretty standard. I bet you will give your Prophets the highest Ward Saves, Earthing Rod, Dispel Scroll and others. After all, as you have sorcerers in the army, you don't have the dwarven 2+ to dispel resilience to magic, right?
In my humble opinion, your Prophets & Daemonsmith should be focused not on Close Combat, but on supporting your units with magic and providing re rolls to your artillery. Leave a unit of Ironsworn near them. Or solid block of Hobbos, so you'll be able to protect your magicians and Dreadquakes efficiently against any ambushers, scouts etc. Add extra Castellan, built to hold enemies and deal some damage. After dealing with pesky ambushing scums, you may have a chance to use them as a second wave.
Me and my friend do understand profits coming from a solid cannon fire or just shooty units, so fitting your Prophet on Bale Taurus and therefore giving him offensive role seem to be pointless in my opinion.
1. As a CC or supportive Lord, Prophet will lose fight against solid Generals.
2. As a flying terrorist dropping bomb (as described may points above), he is too exposed and will be shot to death. Even if set up behind K'daai - what makes him in theory invisible for shooting due to the fact visual is being blocked by massive and bulky shape - you risk your enemy to focus fire on this part of your army. 3 direct hits from cannons and both your monsters are gone. Sad.
3. Setting your Prophet on Lammasu may be awesome if you would challenge hero or general to a duel. Lammasu has anti-magic aura, so Ghaz Maghal, Runefang, Hellfire Sword or any magic weapon is simply being switched off. But Lammasu itself is pretty weak monstrosity in terms of stats.
Prophet and Daemonsmith on foot DO benefit from 'Lookout Sire' version for Dawi Zharr. It is called 'Infernal Engineer' and aforementioned characters, if wound is inflicted by shooting attack may be successfully saved by war machine crew member. Exactly same way as it works in case of Grimm Burlocksonn from Dwarf 8th ed. rulebook.
Conclusion - I consider Prophets and Daemonsmiths as purely supportive, and their prime role is to provide re-rolls to your artillery. Advance with your infantry, keep diminishing strength of your enemy with your artillery, protect gun-line with some infantry, and use them as a second wave.
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