Warhammer Army Project/Dwarf
- 1 Notable Changes
- 2 Why Play Dwarfs
- 3 Army rules
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Unit Analysis
- 6 Regiments of Renown
- 7 Building Your Army
- 8 Tactics
- 9 External Links
Dwarf strengths have been absolutely weakened in the book, or relatively weaken from the edition changes, in a lot of cases both. The opposite can be said about your weaknesses- Dwarves in 9th have less of a shooting advantage, mobility, armour, steadfast, death stars and powerful rune characters than ever. I imagine Mathias Eliasson often faced a Dwarf Player who pushed all the cheese of 8th edition. The list probably included an unkillable Lord, a Thane o' Pane and enough warmachines & Gyrocopters to make the Royal Artillery Museum doubt itself.
- New resolute allows Cold-Blooded leadership on break test taken in the first round of combat.
- With Casting Value bonuses lowered from +4 to +2 on level 4 wizards, your dispelling is easier than ever.
- Your CV normal dispel boost went from a maximum of +4 (Natural Resistance +2 and Master Rune of Valaya +2) to a Maximum of +7 (Runelord +2, Natural Resistance +2, Master Rune of Spellbinding +1 and Master Rune of Valaya +2,).
- This is before regular Magic Resistance, if a spell was targeting a unit with Three Runes of Sanctuary this would increase to a +10.
- Cheaper cannon and bolt thrower.
- Some runes are cheaper or better (Rune of Adamant with a 40% reduction, second Rune of Might 25% reduction).
- More runes
- Runelord channels like a level 4 wizard.
- Your army is wearing what effectively is medium armor at the least and Full Plate at best at some competitive costs.
- That is pretty much it, Mathias Eliasson is going in the book.
- 9th Edition does not favor infantry, Dwarfs will feel the impact hits and get their Steadfast broken more often. On top of that infantry weapons that got the largest buffs are bows and spears. Both absent from the whole Dwarf Book.
- Shield wall is no longer a near universal trait. Now only on Iron Breakers.
- No +1 Str on the Charge.
- with the changes to charging your infantry's maximum charge range is 9 inchs. In addition models get a I bonus when charging.
- Cannons and Bolt Throwers were nerfed across the board, Dwarfs included.
- Bolt Throwers are more accurate at long range, but dont ignore armour anymore, so they're generally better against anything with less than a 3+ armour save.
- Universal heavy armor is gone.
- Characters are slightly weaker due to lower runic item allowances putting them in line with most other army books.
- Shield Bearers no longer create a +1 save, 5 wound monster without spending a point in magic allowance for 40 points.
- Need to have at least as many units of Warriors as Longbeards.
- Organ Gun (and Grudge Throwers) can no longer have a rune of forging.
- Your ability to field gyrocopter/bombers is reduced to one in a 2000pt game from eight in a 2000pt 8e.
Why Play Dwarfs
- Because you like to piss people off by legally taking 20 war machines in 3,000 points matches.
- You also like Leadership Standard of 9 and a Toughness Standard of 4.
- Also if you have a thing for alcoholic midgets (Who doesn't like that?). Also, DEM BEARDS IN HELICOPTERS and zeppelins.
- Your movement is an abysmal 3".
- Your initiative is equally pathetic for the majority of your army.
- While you can bust magic like a champ, you lack casting.
- Your entire army's lost a lot of armour, so you're far from the unbreakable colossi of yore.
Ancestral Grudge: Hatred Skaven/Greenskins/Hobgoblins; No more is the table of additional hating, and we are writing this down in the book.
Resolute: The Dwarfish version of Cold Blooded. Unlike the longshanks in silly pajamas, your entire army doesn't need a leader to stop breaking.
Relentless: No Leadership test for marching close to an enemy. Good, even though Leadership isn't too much of a problem.
Natural Resistance: Unless you're letting an allied wizard tag along you get +2 base to dispel. NEVER EVER FORGET THIS.
- Dwarf Handgun: Your basic handgun that re-rolls 1s to hit.
- GROMRIL ARMOUR: add a +1 Armour to the armour type your wearing.
Dragon and Daemon slayers have a tidy list to improve themselves as legendary warriors. Daemon Slayers can take two, while Dragon Slayers can only take one.
- Wards of Grimnir: 20pts. 6++ Ward Save and Magic Resist 6+ against missiles of all kinds. Unless you bought a Master Rune of Grimnir, this is all you'll get.
- Skavenslayer: 25pts. Extra attacks based on how many models are in b2b, making this ideal against horde-heavy armies.
- Beastslayer: 25pts. Wounds dealt are doubled for Combat Resolution., add this to Skavenslayer and you could one dwarf route many things.
- Killing Blow: 20pts. Right there. It's a rule.
- Vampire Slayer: 15pts. Adds Multiple Wounds (d3) against enemies above T5.
- The Red Axe of Karak Eight Peaks: All those Orcs, Goblin and Skaven grudges have to count to something. Great if you are going up against those two armies... Otherwise you paid 40pts for making your attacks magic.
- The Hammer of Karak Drazh: For 20 points you get a magic weapon that grants +3I and causes anyone you hit to drop down to I1. Good against high Initiative ASF units for taking away their re-rolls and against some characters/monsters for allowing your troops to attack before the enemy they're fighting, which is incredible for only 20 points.
- The Magnificent Armour of Borek Beetlebrow: For 45 points it gives you a 2+ armour save and a 3++ ward against S6 or higher. It's great if you plan on taking on lots of monsters, and even without the 3++ Ward you can still have a parry save if you grabbed a shield.
- Silver Horn of Vengeance: Even more grudge-holding. For 30 points it gives 1 turn of all dwarfs within 6" devastating charge (good for when the enemy reaches a gunline), and once used, causes fear in all elves. This can really bring the hurt with your Longbeards and Elite units, everyone striking with two attacks and at S5 or S7 with great weapons will crush everyone in its path, and it also has good synergy with Slayers armed with two hand weapons.
- The Fiery Ring of Thori: For 35 Points you get a S4 flaming breath weapon. This is a great item, and there's very little reason why you cannot put this on a character (even if it's a minor one), Breath Weapons are perfect for dealing with the hordes you'll be up against.
- The Golden Sceptre of Norgrim: For 30 points, you give the unit +1 to either armour, movement, or strength for the turn. Any of these are a good choice granting Average movement, boost a unit's strength to 4 or 5, or make a unit even more unkillable.
- The Banner of the Lost Holds: For 60pts it's unit rerolls to wound. That sounds good but it can only be put on your BSB and is usually not the best choice for doing so. It can also be used by a slayer unit if you field Ungrim Ironfist!
Runes come in many different flavours: Weapon runes, Armour Runes, Talismans Runes, Banner Runes and Warmachine Runes. An important thing to note is that apart from Warmachine runes, all characters can use any kind of rune. However some specific runes only allow certain characters to use them (e.g Runefolk) Also remember that Slayers (Dragon / Daemon) can only equip weapon runes. Like before Runes come with rules. They boil down to, only 3 runes a weapon, no duplicate rune combination, and runes can only be put on Hand Weapons so don't buy other weapons for your Dwarf. Runes stack now, for example, It costs 25 points to get a basic dispel rune but then costs 45 to get 2. And then when you take 2 stacked dispel runes on one character they do not have the same effect as 2 separate dispel runes on 2 different characters. They got rid of a few Runes too, no more Master Rune of Kragg the Grim, but they've changed a few as well, and maybe not for the better.
- Master Rune of Alaric the Mad: 40pts. The generic ignores armour thing. With how common ward saves are now (and with how high Dwarf Lords can increase their Strength) armour isn't really that much of an issue for you anyway. If you are up against things like Heavy Cavalry then this can help if you put it on a lesser character.
- Master Rune of Death: 40pts. Heroic Killing Blow. It's pretty pricey, but it gives you a way to instantly kill monsters.
- Master Rune of Dragon Slaying:' 40pts. This one really isn't worth it, any dragon out there can easily avoid your Dwarf Lord with this rune making it pointless, and its effects can be duplicated almost just as well with Runes of Might. And that's if you intend on fighting it rather than letting your war machines run it down.
- Master Rune of Smiting: 40pts. Multiple Wounds (d6). Works well on character killer builds and even if you cause only one unsaved wound you'll still kill nearly every Lord character 50% of the time.
- Master Rune of Skalf Blackhammer: 30pts. Your cheapest master rune at 30 points. You wound everything on 2+ and everything in magic armour on 3+. It works fine against high Toughness targets, but then you're usually stuck fighting them in combat for a few turns anyway.
- Master Rune of Breaking: 25pts for breaking magic weapons only on a 2+, when you hit. This one is pretty great, especially with how many magic items are going to be showing up in an opponents army. If you have the points to spare, it's well worth taking.
- Master Rune of Snorri Spangelhelm: 25pts for ALWAYS hitting on 2+s. Awesome, there's almost never a reason for not being able to fit this in your loadout somewhere.
- Master Rune of Swiftness: 25pts for ASF on dwarfs. This is amazing. It also gives you rerolls to hit against any army with Initiative 3 and lower (aka most human armies) and can be stacked with the Rune of Speed for re-rolls against almost everyone.
- Master Rune of Banishment: 20pts. Lets you re-roll to wound the undead. Only bother against the Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts.
- Master Rune of Flight: 20pts. Gives you a single 12" attack with your Lord that always hits on a 2+. Not a good idea to take this on its own as one more wound usually won't help you all that much, stack it with the Rune of Might for monster/character sniping.
- Master Rune of Kragg the Grim: 15pts. Lets a Great Weapon take runes, which can open up some flexibility.
- Rune of Demon Slaying: 25/50/100pts. Only works on Daemons but if you're tailoring a list and don't mind your Lord choice being pretty squishy, go ahead and get it 3 times. The first two ranks are good facing Daemons, but the third is not so great as it leaves you without any additional magic defenses.
- Rune of Fire: 10/45/75pts. One rune isn't anything to write home about, but with how great Breath Weapons are two runes are awesome. The third is not worth it as it leaves you with barely anything left for magic armour.
- Rune of Fury: 15/30/60pts. All around really good, Frenzy is much more easily reigned in than it was before (and Dwarfs have great leadership across the board anyway), and the third rune is fantastic if you plan on getting stuck in combat against horde armies.
- Rune of Cleaving: 10/30/50pts. All three of these runes are pretty decent choices, and they have great synergy with nearly every other weapon rune if you have any points to spare you can't go wrong with one or two of these runes.
- Rune of Striking: 10/35/50pts. This can be useful, especially with the loss of the grudge table. If you're after Hordes then go up to the second level, the first and last levels aren't really worth it as Dwarfs already have a high enough Weapon Skill.
- Rune of Might: 30/40pts. Good for a monster hunter character or a character killer. Two of these plus the Master Rune of Swiftness pretty much guarantee you'll drop any monsters/Toughness 5 characters stupid enough to attack your Dwarf.
- Rune of Dismay: 15/25pts. Grants Fear or Terror. Don't bank on Terror being a game-changer.
- Rune of Parrying: 25pts. Another great rune if you're making a Lord who murders in challenges or wants to protect a character against low WS opponents (making them hit the dwarf on 6's).
- Grudge Rune: 20pts. Perfect for character killers, this and 2 Runes of Cleaving is pretty formidable in challenges.
- Rune of Speed: 5pts. Same as before, +1 initiative for each copy. Great way to get magic attacks for only 5 points.
- Master Rune of Adamant: Gives the wearer T10 for 60pts. If combined with the Rune of Parrying the character becomes nearly invincible against anything that doesn't auto-wound him, making a fantastic tarpit that deals good damage if you give your Dwarf a great weapon. Especially if you stack that greatweapon with The Master Rune of Kragg+2 Runes of Speed to offset the Initiative penalty. If you want to try something else, get Master Rune of Swiftness and then pick whatever else for your remaining 15 points.
- Master Rune of Steel: Forces enemies to re-roll to wound. If you spent more on your weapon and want a security policy, this won't go wrong.
- Master Rune of Gromril: Unmodifiable 1+ armour save for 30pts. In every army other than dwarfs, it would be epic. Sadly this is easily achieved by a rune of stone which you were going to take anyway. If you want to take it though, put it on a thane and send him off to bother lower tier heroes.
- Rune of Fortitude: The first rank is fantastic, who doesn't want a T6 character? The next two ranks are not as worth it, you can get a better Ward Save elsewhere and ignoring Multiple Wounds, while useful, leaves you with a lean weapons budget.
- Rune of Iron: The first two runes are fantastic, combine those with the Rune of Fortitude and shieldbearers and you have a T7 6W character that still has a decent amount of points to spend on magic items. ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶r̶d̶ ̶r̶a̶n̶k̶ ̶i̶s̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶t̶h̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶R̶e̶g̶e̶n̶ ̶S̶a̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶l̶o̶n̶g̶e̶r̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶a̶k̶e̶n̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶W̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶S̶a̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶W̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶S̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶e̶l̶s̶e̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶.̶ In 9th edition, regen saves apply afterward saves, but don't work against flaming attacks or killing blow, and the wounds still count towards combat resolution.
- Rune of Preservation: 25pts for immunity against Heroic Killing Blow. This one is a bit situational and is only really great if you're list tailoring.
- Rune of Resistance: Lets you re-roll armour saves. You already have some damn good armour, but this can save you in a challenge against other heroes or lords.
- Rune of Shielding: For 25pts you get a 2++ against shooting. Put it on a Runelord on an Anvil, but otherwise, you can do just fine with the "Look Out Sir!" rule.
- Rune of Impact: If you have 10 points to spare, then one impact hit isn't that bad. Consider it another attack that auto hits for 10 points.
- Rune of Stone: Same as before, 5 points for +1 armour. The epic rune that ignores the rule of pride (e.g can take it on each of my thanes), the only reason you won't take this on everyone is if you used up your full points allowance elsewhere.
- Master Rune of Kingship: Gives a Dwarf Lord Stubborn and Immunity to Terror. While it all sounds nice, it's also half your allowance down the drain.
- Master Rune of Balance: 50 points for a 4+ chance of stealing a power dice. Not as good as it once was, but if you have the points to spare there's no harm in adding it to a Runesmith.
- Master Rune of Spellbinding: 20 points for +1 to dispel is a pretty neat grab.
- Master Rune of Spite: Generally your points are better spent on armour so that it's effects don't have to come into play, though if you're making a Slayer themed list this one can prove useful.
- Master Rune of the Challenge: Single-use power to force an enemy to charge you or run away like sissies. Might have use if you want to lock up an elite unit, but it's just as likely to be a trap.
- Master Rune of Passage: 10 pts to auto-pass Dangerous Terrain tests. Good on a Runesmith or thane for helping a Horde pass through terrain pieces.
- Rune of Warding: The easy Ward Save runes. These are a bit better than before since with Hand Weapon and Shield your character has only a 6++ Ward Save by default when in close combat against S8 and lower (aka everything he wants dead) so the second and third rune will help you, and "Look Out Sir!"/Master Rune of Grungni should protect your character well enough outside of combat.
- Rune of Spellbreaking: Dispel Scroll that can be taken on more than one Runefolk. Same price as a dispel scroll. For 20 more points you get the stack which is the same except you have a 50% chance to remove the spell from the wizard. 1 is a must take (and you can take them across multiple Runesmiths), though 2 stacked are only really worth it if you know your opponent is going to be using spells like the Purple Sun or buffs like in the Lore of Life.
- Rune of Fate: 2++ Ward against your first wound. Too situational, don't bother.
- Rune of Luck: This rune can be worth it if you have a point sink Lord that you don't want to lose to a characteristic test, otherwise it's more of a way to bypass the Rule of Pride concerning Talismans.
- Rune of Furnace: 2++ ward against flaming attacks for 5pts. A great way to bypass the Rule of Pride, and with how common flaming attacks are becoming it can be handy to have on a character. Also very important when facing Lore of Metal.
- Rune of Brotherhood: Dirt cheap at 5 points, but not allowed on those on Oath Stones or Shieldbearer. Now your dude can scout with rangers or ambush with miners.
- Master Rune of Groth One-Eye: Dwarfs have great leadership and Resolute across the board, and giving everyone within 12" stubborn means you'll almost never fail a break test, especially if the general is nearby. A great choice to put on a unit of Hammerers.
- Master Rune of Stromni Redbeard: An extra +1 combat res to all dwarf units within 8", can be great in larger games but is usually outshone by Runes of Battle. If you want to take it anyway it stacks fairly well if you have another unit with the Runes of Battle.
- Master Rune of Valaya: 65 point drop for a total of +4 to dispel (+2 for being Dwarfs, +2 for the banner) and at the start of each magic phase, each Remains in Play spell is dispelled on a 3+. A fantastic rune and for general lists and the one rune you never want to go without. With how powerful magic is, this is the best protection you have against Init test or die spells (like the Purple Sun) as well as making the opponents army much weaker because you can almost always dispel spells like Throne of Vines every turn without wasting power dice.
- Master Rune of Grungni: Another fantastic rune and perfect for gunline lists since it even gives your cannons within 6" the 5+ Ward Save.
- Master Rune of Fear: Grants an entire unit fear, rather than Rune of Dismay only giving it to one, and only for 5 extra points.
- Rune of Battle: The first two runes are good, but the third can only be put on the BSB and costs a bit much to be worth it since you'll already be getting +3 combat res from just the banner alone, attacking in one more rank is usually overkill at that point.
- Rune of Slowness: The first two runes are good for ensuring your enemies fail their charge, and then get countercharged by you (or shot at again, which can do more damage), and it has good synergy with the Silver Horn to get you those extra attacks when you charge. The last rune giving opponents ASL is still really helpful with your Initiative 2.
- Rune of Sanctuary: Magic Resistance isn't as great as it used to be, and it won't stop that Purple Sun from wiping out a unit, but you can still make use out of the first level, as adding/not adding it allows multiple units to take the Rune of Battle on their banners too.
- Rune of Stoicism: Another easy way Dwarfs can get stubborn. A good banner if you didn't want to put the Master Rune of Groth One-Eye on that unit of Hammerers. Put it on and have fun never running away.
- Rune of Guarding: BSB only. Since this only grants the bearer a 5++ Ward Save, one might as "why?". That is a very good question, because there's the Master Rune of Grungni that exchanges the Ward in combat for giving it to multiple units.
- Rune of Courage: All of the Dwarf units that can carry this will not get much use out of it anyway, it doesn't work well with other banner runes, and Dwarfs already have great leadership. If you're up against a lot of Undead or Daemons it might be somewhat handy, but there's generally better banner runes.
- Strollaz' Rune: Vanguard for 15pts. Really nice on dwarfs, you can build an army around this rune (since you can put it on more than half an army), consider it an extra turn without getting shot at. But don't bother taking this on Rangers since they still have to remain 12" away from the foe and still can't charge first turn, if you go first. Works really well with Irondrakes.
- Ancestor Rune: This is another rune you can build an army around, With the Master Rune of Groth One-Eye giving you Stubborn, you can essentially make a unit Unbreakable in combat for one round (or even without Stubborn if you didn't lose by much). If this rune had a downside it's that it doesn't stack well with the other runes for normal units.
- Rune of Kadrin: Anything that lets you re-roll hits is a welcome blessing, even if you need to roll a 1 for it to work.
- Rune of Determination: Why did they copy the Ancestor Rune?
- Ancestor Rune (Copy): Despite also being Ancestor Rune, this one works differently. Rather than breaking at a very small chance, this gives a chance to actually become Stubborn.
- Master Rune of Grimnir: Gives Slayers within 12" of this a 5++ Ward against missiles, which is their lone protection against anything shooty.
- Master Rune of Immolation: The ultimate Greater Good Rune. For 30 points you can detonate your warmachine at will, after combat, to cause 2D6 S4 flaming hits to enemies. Not bad and it can really help you screw over war machine hunters and prevent them from running through the rest of your gunline.
- Master Rune of Disguise: Not a bad rune/way to get hard cover if you don't want to pay for more Master Engineers.
- Master Rune of Skewering: If you ever decide to bring a bolt thrower, this makes a guarantee that one hit will make it through on a 2+ to hit.
- Rune of Penetrating: The first rune is excellent on every warmachine besides cannons, the second one isn't nearly as good, you can almost always spend those 10 extra points elsewhere.
- Rune of Accuracy: For 25 points you get +1 BS or reroll the scatter dice if you use one. Almost mandatory on Organ Guns and Grudge Throwers.
- Rune of Forging: For 25 points you can reroll an artillery dice whenever a missfire occurs... Almost mandatory on Cannons and arguably ̶O̶r̶g̶a̶n̶ ̶g̶u̶n̶s̶ only available on cannons now.
- Stalwart Rune: Does a good job at speed bumping Warmachine Hunters, but it also costs the same as the Master Rune of Immolation which can kill those hunters outright. Take it if you already have the Master Rune of Immolation on something else, but otherwise it's not that good.
- Flakksson's Rune of Seeking: For 15 points your bolt throwers get +1 to hit against flying foes. This won't help too much against flying units, but it can cause lone fliers like those overpriced HQs a lot of grief.
- Valiant Rune: Yet another means to make your war machines speed bumps by making them Stubborn for 5 points. If you're really hurting for price, this can quickly fit in your list.
- Rune of Burning: For 5 points you get flaming attacks. This is arguably the best rune in the book because it allows you to set up different warmachines with very similar runes and bypass the rule of pride and it makes anything with regen, flammable or Ethereal (Runed cannons are magical) wet themselves.
Note: A lot of the units in this army perform function that a cannon can do much better, and as dwarfs cannons are so cheap some units you should just drop in favor of another cannon, or in some cases another three (see slayers).
Lords & Heroes
Note: Named characters are almost always overpriced. In most cases, it's easy to emulate their abilities from scratch and save quite a few points. That's not to say they're worthless; named characters do have some unique abilities and combos, but make sure you're getting your points worth.
- Thorgrim Grudgebearer: At 500 points he's more usable than he was before and can be fielded now in 2000 point armies. Thorgrim is more of a buffer than a close combat machine, the biggest of which is giving his unit Hatred while letting them have the effects of Hatred (O&G/Skaven) last every turn. His axe wounds on a 2+ ALWAYS except against magic armour (3+), has always strikes first and against giants has multiple wounds (D6). 18" inspiring presence and his unit gain Immunity (Psychology). An interesting little rule states that he MUST be your general and that if he dies your entire army gains frenzy. On the downside, he cannot "Look out Sir" when he joins a unit (but with 7 wounds it's not a deathknell).
- Thorek Ironbrow: 350 points!. You can play him in 2000pt games now, though he's overpriced for what he does. Re-rolling one dice for the Anvil of Doom per turn (though another 1 kills his understudy), +1 to cast, has a new spell (grants Fear to Dwarfs within 24") and he costs 145 points more than a normal Runelord on Anvil. Lastly, as the Anvil is a Warmachine, Pit of Shades, Dwellers Below, and Purple Sun all instant kill him with no saves allowed even if he himself has a 1+ save.
- Belegar Ironhammer: The true Close Combat Lord, he's geared for character killing, able to unleash a total of 8 close combat attacks (only once per game though) as well as take anything most other characters can dish back. The downside is that you can make a Lord character just as good if not better from scratch.
- Kazador Thunderhorn: King of Karak Azul. He's a pretty hardy mofo when you put his gear together, 5+ armour compensated by T6, 4 S5 HKB attacks at WS8 and I4. He also has a single-use horn that forces enemies within 24" to test Ld to charge.
- Ungrim Ironfist He's a pretty nice hero or monster killer due to Slayer, Strength 6, Killing Blow and D3 wounds on monsters, he's also pretty tough when facing Dragons due to his 2++ Ward vs. Fire. That, along with a slew of other foes because Flaming is omnipresent in tournaments to get rid of regenning units. Other than that he'll fuck up a few Lords and he'll weather a few hits, overall cool for Slayer-themed lists, but otherwise he'll be slightly fucked because he can only join Slayer and Doomseeker units (which are now Core thanks to him). Slightly overpriced at 350 points, but WS9 and T6 is pretty nice, meaning that even Tyrion hits you on a 4+. Something that is often overlooked is his ability to buff your slayers, taking Ungrim means 1 slayer unit in the army can buy +1S and Wards of Grimnir.
- Alrik Ranulfsson: King of Karak Hirn. He is another mandatory general who places severe restrictions on the war machines, guns, tanks, and other fun things the Dwarfs get. Take him only for a mob-heavy army. His axe is a great weapon with the Grudge and Breaking runes, his heavy armour gives a 2++ Ward Save against all shooting and a 5++ otherwise. On top of this, he carries his book of (avenged) grudges to confer him Hold Your Ground and he has the ability to ferret out hidden assassins.
- Byrrnoth Gundadrak: Voyager-King of Barak Varr. He's a pretty strong thane with a good axe, though only a 5+/5++ save.
- Kragg the Grim: Master Runelord of Karaz-a-Karak. Here's a proper foot-slogger of a Runelord, except he's bafflingly even slightly more expensive than Thorek. He throws 3 S10 flaming attacks each turn and hasa 1+/5++ save, making him a secret nightmare. He also has Dispel Runes and a Rune of Balance to ensure that he can actually do more in the magic phase.
- Kadrin Redmane: Runelord of Karak Varn. He's not much as a combatant, with his weapon demanding the enemy test Ld for the thing to even negate armour. Meanwhile, his shield offers a 2++ against mundane and magic missiles. The best thing he has is his 195 point pricetag.
- Grombrindal The legendary White Dwarf. He's a very expensive character but what an awesome guy at 450 points: LD 10 with M3, 1+\4++ save, a magic axe with +2 strength and re-rolls hits and wounds, and Hidden. Despite being Unbreakable, he can join all units, though this will bite him in the arse when his team flees and he's left to fight on his own.
- Garagrim Ironfist: War-mourner champion of Karak Kadrin. He's a Dragon Slayer that deals d6 wounds to enemies T5 or higher with Deathblow and, while never the general, lets a Giant slayer unit take a weapon rune. His axes are even better since they have Thorgrimm's rule of wounding at 2+ on top of nominating a sworn enemy (for +! to hit and wound them) and Impact Hits on the charge.
- Burlok Damminson: Guildmaster of the Engineers. He's got two special perks: ASF and a special attack that's S6 ad his base Initiative of 2.
- Grimm Burloksonn: The Master Engineer to trump all others, especially now that he has such a fabulous cost of 95 points. Able to unleash a good amount of firepower on his own and decent in close combat, though he's better staying back and buffing your units with one of the following (unlike regular Master Engineer only on a roll of 2+ though!):
- Artillery Adjustment: Allows a friendly War Machines to his BS of 5 and the ability to re-roll an Artillery Dice which can be the bounce on a Cannon or a Flame Cannons scatter. Useful for all war machines, esp due to the changes to the Organ Gun, use it if you want to snipe that enemy wizard or kill squishy things with stones.
- Increased Range: Does what it says on the tin. Increases the units Crossbow and Handgun ranges by 2D6, so your horde of 40+ Quarrels can now hit more things! Use it if that one enemy unit is just out of reach.
- Superior Volley: Models in the unit may re-roll any to hit rolls.
Again, useful for Bolt Throwers and Organ Guns (Organ Guns roll to hit now).IRONDRAKES. For Organ Gun you would use Artillery Adjustment because it also grants that re-roll for the artillery die.
- Josef Bugman: The epitome of a dwarf grudge holder, and at 165 points he sits between a cheap Lord or a wallet killing Thane with stats more toward the former. As long as he's alive his unit rolls on a 2D6 table of which two of the results are great and one result that can hurt you, while his unit can heal a wound each turn.
Note: While named characters are judged against their generic counterparts, generic characters are examined based on their role in your army.
- Dwarf Lord: Generic combat lord. A good combination of rune items can make him incredibly nasty in close combat. Oathstone is a decent choice to put him on since you're unlikely to be moving around much but better yet are Shieldbearers, 5 points for +2 additional WS5 S4 I3 attacks plus he counts as infantry still so he gets his lookout sirs.
- Be advised, Runes can only be put on Hand Weapons so if you want to get one, getting him a Great Weapon will be pointless without the Master Rune of Kragg the Grim, and that's' already 15 points of runes spent...
- Runelords/Runesmiths: Runesmiths are your closest equivalents to Warrior Priests filling the role of Wizards. Always take 1 with a dispel rune for 85pts or buy a scroll. Though they have lost their free dispel dice, they now channel dispel like wizards, grant Armour Piercing to whatever infantry unit they're a part of, and have Magic Resistance 5+. Sadly Runelords have taken a serious hit with the new Army Book as anything that can be done by them can usually be done by a much cheaper Runesmith besides the Anvil of Doom. Unless you want the anvil, do not bother taking the lords.
- Daemon Slayer: Same as before but forces successful ward saves to be re-rolled and does D3 wounds to Monsters. It's nice now that when kitted out properly, he can be guaranteed to kill a Daemon prince, with some weapon runes he comes out at a good price and is a worthy consideration. Be careful as he can get focused and destroyed quite easily, and at much greater impact being a lord choice, unlike dragon slayers, with the only consolation being that they aren't ever your general.
- Thanes: Very solid Hero. Comes in two builds, the 'Thane o' pain' and the 'Tank thane'. Basically, the names say it all. Tank thane concentrates on staying alive, and therefore uses armour runes. The Thane o' pain operates on the philosophy that if the enemy is dead, then it won't attack you back. Use a rune of Snorri Spangelheim, a rune of cleaving, and either a grudge rune if you have it in for one particular character, a rune of FUREH, or, when fighting tough enemies (orcs and ogres etc.), a rune of might for strength 8.
- Master Engineers: Buffs your artillery, and can make one entrenched (counts as being behind heavy cover and enemies take -1 to hit it). Great if you are playing a shooty list. Also gives your cannons and grudge throwers free artillery die re-rolls which can save your ass many times over. If you take one, they work best with an organ gun, which takes most advantage of their BS 4 and an artillery re-roll.
- Dragon Slayer: Deals D3 wounds on each attack against monsters. When cheaply kitted out these guys can do some nice damage. Worth taking one and run him alongside the rest of your army as a threat to monsters if you don't have cannons or warmachine hunter defense.
- Brewmaster: The generic version of Bugman. He's far more of a support hero than a combatant and gives a unit's front a bit more protection. He also has a bunch of casks to share with his team, though you need to roll a d6 and avoid a 1 that gets them hammered and less fit for battle: Bugman's XXXXXX (+1 Strength), Dwarf Special Reserve (Immunity to Psychology, which is more a fringe benefit), and Troll Brew (Regen (6+)).
- Shieldbearers: Lords only. Have 2 Dwarfs hold up your Lord to make him more intimidating. For 5pts, you add 2 mount attack and 2 to the unit strength. Because they are infinity your lord still benefits from Look Out Sir.
- Oath Stones: Lords and Thanes only. Your unit can never flee a charge, but they are never disrupted and can parry any attacks to their flanks or rear. They're fairly inexpensive and gives a hefty defense, so you can never go wrong with taking one thane with this.
- Anvil of Doom: Runelords only. 2 wounds, a 5++ ward save, and some guards to fight alongside your Runelord though they get no upgrades. It adds a bonus die to all power and dispel pools. It also gives some bound spells to use. The big weakness? You're now a War Machine. An Initiative 3 War Machine, which makes you an ideal target for spells that target your Initiative.
- Hearth & Home: Gives all dwarfs within 24" Immune to Psychology. The entire army already has little to worry about with morale, so why use this? could be used against terror, chain route, or mind-affecting ability shinanigans.
- Oath & Steel: Gives a unit within 24" +1 to their armour save. You will want this a lot, especially when combo'd.
- Wrath & Ruin: Blasts a unit within 24" with 2d6 S4 hits.
- Dwarf Warriors: These are your
bread and butterbeard and ale. They have Toughness 4, Leadership 9 as standard, but have been demoted to only light armour for only a point difference. Spend a point for medium armour and you can begin to approach your 'ard past. Give them shields if you don't want them to die or give them great weapons if you want them to kill shit. Always take them in big units of 30+ with full command, they may not be the most expensive units but those points add up fast so you need to make sure they are formed up as a horde to get the most attacks out of them.
- Longbeards: 5 points more than a dwarf warrior with the medium armour standard and the option to go heavy. They are better at killing shit and not running away, being immune to panic. They also allow nearby units to re-roll failed panic tests when not fleeing, which is nice if your BSB is out of range. Generally better with a hand weapon and shield at S4 and good for making sure your flank units don't run away, but in terms of close combat, hammerers and ironbreakers are better for points in all regards.
- Quarrelers: No such thing as Dwarf crafted crossbows these days. Reduced to Light Armour, still can can take shields and great weapons. Shields are good if you want to get into a shooting match with Wood Elves. Take these guys as your general core as crossbows will generally outrange all other armies at 30" and great weapons will still allow them to hit any kind of anti archer unit and come out smiling. 40 man horde of these stubbies with great weapons is a scary prospect to charge against especially with new improved stand and shoot.
- Thunderers: Handgun Dwarfs. Similarly demoted to Light Armour and upped a point, they still put the hurt on units plus with Shields and a rune of Groth One Eye nearby they make a surprisingly tough anvil to setup a beautiful countercharge with that unit of Great Weapon Quarrelers you have sitting beside them. Now reroll 1s to hit.
- Hammerers: Same obligatory unit that you love, except they cost 1 (2) more points (if you upgrade to Heavy Armor, which you should). Still stubborn with a Chaos Warrior stat line but with less armor, wounds, and initiative. Toss your general in the unit for immunity to Fear/Teror.
- Ironbreakers: Elite Tarpit. For 16 points each, you get WS5, T4, Ld10, a 5++ parry 2+ armour save. These guys really got the most love in the update and NO one wants to get into a fight with a horde of these with a Runesmith. Keep them near your BSB
- Miners: Your ambushers got the actual ambusher rule, but now lost their cover upon entry They are very good against static armies that take war machines and the like, take in small groups of 10 or so and go war machine hunting or rear charging with them. As far as upgrades go, the drill isn't bad, but don't take the charges. Your miners should do the charging. They shouldn't be charged.
- Slayers: This unit has changed a good deal, and it's debatable if it's for better or worse. Slayers still wound on 4+ instead of raising their strength unless they needed a lower result, but that's it. Gone is the way to make all attacks when they die. Gone is the extra powerful weapons. Take them if you wish, but you have other slayers now, the Doomseekers.
- Rangers: Sadly the days of scouting hordes are over. Having been moved to the special section, rangers have now the same role as chameleon skinks, shades, and shadow warriors. If you have any Quarrelers with Great Weapons to spare that aren't fulfilling your core requirement, then you should swap them for Rangers, because they have throwing axes and scout for two points cheaper.
- Deathroller: It's weird to think about how Dwarfs made the Imperial Steam Tanks but never had one of their own until this. This here is still subject to randomized movement (and thus the mishaps of rolling snake eyes), but no longer has all the micromanagement of points and deals d6 impact hits each turn (though a 6 here also gives mishaps).
- Cannons: At 100 points cannons are so-so. They are necessary but usually aren't worth taking more than twice unless you're running a very heavy gunline list. Of course, the price goes up as you add runes and engineers, which you should do to make it very reliable, and if you still have the battle for skull pass model (which is a tiny as fuck cannon model), be sure to field those. Cannons are best vs models with high numbers of wounds, good saves, high point cost or any combination of.
- Grudge Thrower: It's a standard stone-thrower for 80 points. It can be buffed up with runes and engineers, the right combination can make this a very effective war machine. These can seriously troll T3 armies. Take a rune of accuracy and penetrating for to get str 4, re-rolling to hit, blasts, a bit more expensive now but still worth that Ironbreaker/Hammerer unit you traded for it.
- Bolt Throwers: Not terrible, with a pointcut from 8th to 45pts, can 2 for one choice, and now Lacks long-range penalties. this is more reliable and accurate than a cannon.
- Firethrower: If you wanted a flamer but don't like it being exposed as a War Machine, this gives a weaker, but tinier, model. However, this size reduction also means that it has no place for runes.
- Irondrakes: If you were ever worried about those Chaos Warriors posing a threat, just take these guys and you'll never have to worry about them ever again as they absolutely murder high Toughness high Armour squads and pump out far more shots than your warmachines, as well as making excellent Monstrous Infantry killers. However, their guns are half the range of a handgun in exchange for S5 flaming hits that are quick to fire. Their models also look badass.
- Doomseeker: With Giant Slayers becoming Slayer champions, these become your bigger slayers. Each has the Wards of Griminr (6++ Ward and 6++ magic resistance against missiles), Skirmisher, Unbreakable, and now instantly deal d6 hits against enemies in b2b while having -1 to hit them. While random hits is inconvenient, they do make for a better wall than the Troll Slayers.
- Organ Guns: The rage machine from previous editions is revamped and is now BS based, but rolls two artillery dice rather than one. It can also now be given up to 50 points of Runes, as well as putting an engineer on it allowing it to hit a lot more than it previously could. Also, the range is now 30" allowing them to keep up with your Crossbows in range and even hit those elves trying to snipe you.
- Flame Cannon: Against Gobbos, Monstrous Infantry, and Skaven, it can be used very effectively to cause panic tests on any large unit, being able to throw down a S5 flamer template is amazing in fantasy, especially when it can cause d3 wounds. Don't be worried about taking one as its range is a lot longer than it looks, be sure to give it runes though, nothing's worse than having your cannon blow up when you really need those Night Goblins to panic.
- Gyrocopter: Gyrocopters are the dwarf equivalent of great eagles and moved to Rare. Changed only slightly from the previous edition, they now have a gun choice, either keeping the old one (a str 3 armour piercing flamer), or a gun that fires d3 str 5, flaming, armour piercing shots. They also get their bombs, which can be handy when harassing opponents trying to approach your gunline or positioning behind units about to flee so they take Dangerous Terrain tests. Though they lack vanguard. Be careful of all the dragons.
- Gyrobomber: An alternative to the Gyrocopter that can wipe out entire hordes on its own, this thing will be a firing magnet, and as such can be used to distract the enemy away from a gunline, or stop the enemy from shooting your own guys if running a close combat list.
- Grudgebreaker: A super-heavy tank with axes for hands. DORF MECHA! They're also subject to steam engines and all that entails, but they have the perk of actually fighting in combat with randomized attacks (rolled like movement) and S6 and protected with a 1+ save.
- Rune Guardian: Iron. Dwarf. Golems. Each is monstrous infantry that's a little better than the living ones while having 3+ armour, M6, and Unbreakable, and be enchanted weapon runes. However, their massive weight makes them unable to march and unable to take any initiative tests since they only get I1. BEWARE THE SPELLS TARGETING THIS!
- Thunderbarge: The Dwarf Zeppelin. They're jumbo bombers that can now be hit by hovering units but don't block the way for other models. It's also equipped with a cannon that lacks grapeshot and whose misfires can break it for the game.
Regiments of Renown
Building Your Army
Buying Your Army
Buy a battleline set or two to start, you can get a couple for the same price as a battalion from the official site if you know where to look. Do all of the warriors as the same type, 40 warriors in one unit is far more effective than two units of 20. The shooty dwarfs should be assembled depending on who you usually face. Thunderers and quarrelers should generally have shields. The 4 cannons are really good both ways.
Next, buy a dwarf lord with shieldbearers. Gyrocopters will never go amiss, but make sure that you can afford it if you made the cannon into an organ gun. Keep buying more dwarfs, a Runelord is no longer a good choice due to barely being better than the Runesmith for 60 pts more, but a BSB is still ever-useful.
If you feel you need to stretch your converter's wings and make something unique/different or aren't all that impressed by the dwarf miniature range, learn first and foremost how to green stuff beards. To make models look really good is easy, any detail you don't like just cover it with green stuff beard, and any model will always look better with an extra big bushy beard on top except for those otherwise stated. Old Longbeard models are a good reference for these conversions. Also, braids on either side of the beard add a Celtic feel to the models which is reminiscent of the previous incarnation of Dwarf fluff when they were a little less viking-y. More beard seems to go a long way, especially because the plastic sculpts don't really compare to any of the newer models coming out. Also bigger round shields do absolute wonders for Dwarf models, using thumbtacks or converted marauder shields make your models look amazing.
Repeat after me. War machines and lots of shit that refuses to die.
- In 2000 point games and above, try to have a Runesmith with the Master Rune of Balance and park him behind some dwarven lines. The Anvil looks nice seeing as it provides you with one Dispel Dice and some spells and with the Master Rune of Balance the Runelord can steal a power dice on a 4+, all for 305 points but as mentioned above it's too easy to kill and with how much the Anvil costs you will get more Mileage out of several Runes of Spellbreaking and the Master Rune of Valaya, also with the the Master Rune of Valaya only costing 65pts you can give it to a unit of Hammerers to free up your bsb to carry other runes.
As the rulebook has set your army up to nearly never make the first move in anything from army placement to attack rolls, it is a good idea to theme your army around getting the enemy to come to you. try for at least 1 dwarven cannon just incase another git brings a cannon then you won't have to take 5 turns of cannonballs to the face (OUCH!).
Because dwarfs have such shit movement (M3), it's a good idea to just let your combat units wait for a bit while your opponent marches towards you, especially against armies like Beastmen, Skaven, OaG, WoC, Daemons and other armies with not much shooty shit (beware as both Skaven and O&G can sometimes field nasty gunlines). As they're coming towards you, start fucking them up with your war machines, thunderers and quarrelers. Once you've weakened them a bit, charge in for the kill with your combat units. Warning: this tactic will get you bum-fucked against elves, empire and armies with lots of missile fire/magic.
VS monsters of any kind CANNONS. MORE CANNONS. Side note: Consider flaming Organ Guns, dwarfed by master engineers.
VS Skaven This matchup is easier than ever with the improved Dispel ability of your army, aswell as easier to break/less powerful Steadfast. The removal of irresistible force and the dreaded 13th ensures there magic phase will be lack luster. They dont have cavalry so you dont have to deal with 9th editions buffed cav.
VS Bretonnia With the changes to Lance Formation and the Blessing this is a tough match up. They'll always get a 5++ ward (re-rolling 1s often too) against all of your shooting and when they get into combat (they will always get the charge bonus) they'll wipe small units and potentially break your steadfast.
VS Vampires/Tomb Kings Kill those darn Wizards. Use Cannons, Catapults, Gyrobombs, everything. You cannot win in a war of attrition. The loss of a 2/3rds chance of your characters hating their characters makes this matchup even worse.
VS Wood Elves Artillery this went from being one of your stronger matchups to one of your weaker ones. If they get a magic phase reducing your toughness or ballistic skill, they will outshoot you with there multiple shots and armour piercing. And you will never catch them as they get no penalty for moving and shooting. Ensure your warmachines have a quarreler bodyguard to protect vs scouts. Bring the flames if they go heavy on forest spirits.
Ogres Bring those great weapons and war machines. Luckily they lost stomp and the chance of reducing your chance to hit from fear. If you can survive the first round of combat (with its impact hits) your Warriors and Longbeards with great weapons match up favorably vs Bulls and Iron Guts respectively. With steadfast and a higher leadership you should prevail. A few war machines need to be flaming and give a character a flaming weapon to beat the troll guts spam. Use quarrelers and a Gyrocopter to keep those Saber cats off your artillery. To deal with the inevitable challenge busting Tyrant/Bruiser, pimp out your Lord with two Runes of Might ,two Runes of iron, a rune of warding, Gromril, shield and shield bearers for a T6, 6 Wounds, 4 str8 multiple wounds attacks, 2 str4 attacks, +2 armor, +5 ward (+4 in close combat) for 294 points.
Hill Defence Stick a cannon and a grudge thrower on a hill. Array your units so that they are protecting the hill. Behind, and out of sight of the enemy, place your secret vengeance weapons- gyrocopter and anvil of doom. The plan is to use the artillery to whittle down the enemy with your war machines, then break the enemy in CC. At that point, the gyrocopter comes swooping over the hill and smashes into the fleeing units before they get a chance to rally. Beware of shooty armies and spells and template effects. This strategy requires ranks and outnumbering when you reach combat. If you can't break the enemy, the last ditch option is to use the gyrocopter to shred them into little tiny pieces using the bombs and gun.
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