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Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

So, I've been frustrated with the Dwarf rule book for quite a while. Don't get me wrong; it's not bad. It's solid. Nearly everything in it can be expected to perform, and consistently. It's just that...Dwarfs are boring!

Okay, they're not really. They're just very, very tactically limited. You can shoot stuff with cannons and catapults and crossbows and hope that it's all dead before it gets to you. Or you can shoot stuff with cannons and catapults and crossbows, and then hack stuff to bits with great weapons. Or, if you want to mix things up, you can shoot stuff with just one cannon and a few crossbows, and then use some Rangers and Miners, most likely with an Anvil.
I remember a discussion in another thread a while back about a complete tactical-overhaul on the grumpy stunties, and I liked where it was headed. Small bands of hardened veterans emerging from dark tunnels, their axes keen and their faces grim. Or great behemoths of enchanted metal, belching steam and fire. There are really exciting aspects to the Dwarfs of Warhammer that would make them versatile and dynamic; they're just hopelessly underplayed in the current book.
I love the idea that Dwarfs are so stubborn and set in their ways that they refuse to change. But I'm not a dwarf. I want new toys, and options. I want to have even more fun.

Quick note: I hope no one thinks I'm calling Dwarf players boring or tactically simple. The Dwarf army essentially ignores half of the aspects of Warhammer, and if you're happy with the half you've got, that's cool. And if you can win with that half, even cooler. I just think you should have the option to mix it up, if you so choose.

So I had a few ideas:

- Miners and Rangers are cool. They're different sorts of units, and offer different ways to play a game, but they're only two units. So what about elite miner-warriors, all Stubborn and super-tough, or Rangers who Skirmish, Rangers with traps, or maybe something as simple as Rangers as a Special choice?

- The Organ Gun, Flame Cannon, and Gyrocopter are weird devices for medieval times, but not for Warhammer. A few more such things could go a long way to diversifying the army. How about a Big Cannon, something along the vein of the Chaos Dwarf Mortar? Or a steam and rune-powered tunneling dragon/worm/tank, with a big drill and a hold full of dwarf warriors?

- A Lore of Runes. I know, I know, but let's consider it for a moment. Here's an army that cannot, ever, participate in 25% of the game, except to try and stop you from doing it. Dwarfs don't use magic they say. Dwarfs don't use cavalry. Don't field monsters. Don't skirmish. Blah blah blah, I say.

I'm curious as to what the fine people of Dakka can come up with; I'd like to put a FanDex together for casual games, and I'm asking for some collaboration. In the mean time, I made a passing attempt to fine-tune the Dwarf book as it currently stands, which I'll post after this (it's kinda' long). Keep in mind, I basically went down the army list, making changes as I went, and never looked back. Well, I looked back twice, but it's probably a little rough.

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin


Army-wide rules:

Ancestral Grudge: Dwarfs hate Orcs, Goblins, and Skaven. After deployment, pick a model in your opponent’s army, such as Bestigor, High Elf Spearmen, or Pink Horror, to hold a grudge against. Friendly units hate any unit containing that type of model. If you choose a model from the Dwarf army book, friendly units only hate the unit containing that specific model—Dwarfs hold grudges against each other, but not against all of their own kind!

This rule is significantly more potent than it used to be, but I think it’s reasonable. Dwarfs struggle against Skaven armies because they lack any way to get lots of attacks, and the second clause would only help the Dwarfs (a) take out that one awesome unit, in which case this rule will do nothing for the Dwarf units that don’t engage it, or (b) punish armies that take tons of the same unit type. But besides all of that, this would probably be the first thing to go.

Resolute: Dwarfs flee and pursue 2d6-1”.

Relentless: Dwarf units are never march-blocked.

Shield Wall: A tried-and-true tactic of every hold, countless hoards and hosts have been broken upon a sturdy line of dwarfs, fighting as one, their shields locked together to form an implacable wall of steel and determination.
At the end of any combat involving a unit of Dwarfs using hand weapons and shields, the Dwarf player may choose to remove any enemy units engaged to the Dwarf unit’s front arc from combat, placing them 1” away. If this is not possible and the Dwarf unit is not to any other side, the Dwarf unit is moved 1” back. If the Dwarf unit is engaged on multiple sides or there is not enough room, the enemy unit is not removed from combat. In addition, the front rank of a Dwarf unit is considered an obstacle (enemy units lose all benefits from charging and are at a -1 to shoot).

Here’s an attempt to make shields better, since the concept behind Dwarfs is currently all about ranks of dudes with shields. I’m not sure if it’s good enough, and it would probably just encourage Dwarfs to buy even more war machines, since it opens up more opportunities to shoot. But I think it’s a start.


Gromil armour’s cool, but what about a gromil shield? Giving Dwarf characters isn’t really necessary, but +1 armour won’t really be making that much of a difference. I’d actually wager that most Dwarf players would prefer to keep their shields cheap to save points. 2-3pts is a drop in the bucket, but 4-6pts may mean the difference between a rune and not.

Dwarf Lord 140pts:
• May carry a gromil shield (+6pts)
• May have an Oath Stone (+20pts)

5pts cheaper, the Oath Stone 10pts cheaper.

Runelord 145pts:
M 3 WS5 BS4 S4 T5 W3 I2 A2 Ld9
• May carry a gromil shield (+6pts)
• One Runelord may bring an Anvil of Doom to battle. The Runelord becomes part of the Anvil’s crew. A rune is struck correctly on a roll of a 2+, or on a 4+ if struck with ancient power. If the rune is not struck correctly, roll a d6. On a 2-6, nothing happens, but on a 1, something has gone wrong. Roll a second d6 and consult the Failed Rune table.

D6 Result
1 Disaster! Remove the Anvil and its crew from play.
2-6 The rune has no effect, and the anvil cannot be used to strike runes next turn.

5pts more, -1WS and -1I. The Anvil is a ton more reliable. But too much? A 125pt Dwarf Cannon has less than a 1% chance of blowing up, so I figured this thing should be about as sturdy.
As a side note, considering re-writing the Runes on this thing. Maybe adding a few more and/or the option to strike multiples, but at the very least changing them up a little.

Daemonslayer 100pts

10pts cheaper


Thane 65pts

• May carry a gromil shield (+6pts)
• May have an Oath Stone (+15pts)
• One Thane may carry the army battle standard for +25pts. He may have a runic banner (no points limit), but cannot carry any other Runic item.

5pt cheaper Oath Stone and the ability to have a shield or great weapon as the BSB.

Runesmith 70pts
• May carry a gromil shield (+6pts)

Master Engineer 50pts
• May carry a gromil shield (+6pts)
• A Master Engineer can join a war machine crew, increasing its wounds and attacks according to his profile.

20pts cheaper. Even as he is here, he’ll have a tough time making his points back, and a smallish unit can score a handful of points on him. Joining a crew like the Runelord joins the Anvil makes more sense.


Dwarf Warriors 8pts

Equipment: hand weapon, heavy armour, and shield.
• A unit of Warriors can be upgraded to Longbeards for +2pts/model. You cannot have more Longbeards than Warriors.

Shields are an automatic and free upgrade, Longbeards cost 1pt less.

Quarrellers 10pts
Equipment: crossbow, hand weapon, light armour, and shield.

1pt less, shields are an automatic and free upgrade.

Thunderers 11pts
Equipment: dwarf handgun, hand weapon, light armour, and shield.

3pts less, shields are an automatic and free upgrade.


Hammerers 12pts

Equipment: great weapon, hand weapon, heavy armour, and shield.

Shields are an automatic and free upgrade.

Cannon 90pts
Equipment: hand weapon, light armour
• You may add an Engineer to the crew for 10pts

Engineers cost 5pts less. Cannons should probably be re-worked in general, to kill more infantry and to fire less often, I think.

Bolt Thrower 45pts
Equipment: hand weapon, light armour
• You may add an Engineer to the crew for 10pts

Engineers cost 5pts less. Bolt throwers need a boost too, maybe something like not reducing their strength when they pierce ranks.

Miners 11pts
Equipment: blasting charges, great weapon, hand weapon, heavy armour

Blasting charges for free. Maybe make them more usable. D6S4 AP flaming hits and…automatic panic test? Dangerous Terrain? A small template instead? That last one wouldn’t be free, of course. Maybe they rig a spot on the map to explode?

Ironbreakers 15pts
Equipment: hand weapon, gromil armour and shield
Special Rule:
Grim Vigil- models with this special rule have a 5+ Parry save.

2pts more for +1 armour and +1 parry. They still can’t hold their own against other units, but it’s a lot closer this way.

Grudge Thrower 80pts
Equipment: hand weapon, light armour
• You may add an Engineer to the crew for 10pts

Engineers cost 5pts less.


Flame Cannon 160pts
The Flame Cannon is crewed by three Dwarfs and an Engineer
Special Rule:
The Flame Cannon may be fired in the same manner as a fire thrower in the Warhammer main rulebook, except that the Flame Cannon may place the flame template anywhere within 18” in its line of sight, rather than at the end of its barrel.

20pts more for a free Engineer and 18” more range. Maybe now people would field it?

Organ Gun 120pts
The Organ Gun is crewed by three Dwarfs and an Engineer
Special Rule:
To fire the Organ Gun, roll two artillery dice. Unless both dice result in a Misfire!, you may re-roll these dice, though you must accept the second result. The Organ Gun fires shots equal to the total rolled. Roll to hit as normal. The Organ Gun does not suffer a penalty for shooting at long range, through cover, or multiple shots.

A free Engineer, the ability to re-roll Misfires on the first roll, twice as many shots, but Misfires on the second roll could blow it up, and you need to roll to hit. I’m sure people will complain about that last part, but it seems more in line with how the rules work now. It’s more lethal overall, but also a little more than twice as likely to cause a painful Misfire.

Gyrocopter 140pts
Special Rule:

To fire the steam gun, place the flame template with the narrow end touching the front of the gyrocopter. Any models touched by the template are hit. Note that the gyrocopter cannot march and shoot.

It can’t march and shoot, but there are no partials. I think it’s got potential to be awfully stupid this way, but the awkwardness of its rules forced my hand.

Slayers 18pts
Troll Slayer M3 WS4 BS3 S4 T4 W1 I3 A1 Ld10

Unit size: 5+
Equipment: hand weapon
• A unit may be upgraded to Giant Slayers for +7pts/model. Giant Slayers have +1WS, +1T, +1I, and +1A
Special Rules:
A Glorious Death-
a model with this special rule must declare a charge against the nearest unit of war beasts, monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry, monsters, or unique models within its line of sight, unless it passes a successful Leadership test. If this test is past, the model must move as close to the unit as it can this phase.
In addition, if a model with this special rule is killed in a close combat phase before it has attacked, it may resolve its attacks as if it were still on the table.
Runic Tattoos- a model with this special rule has a 5+ Ward save and Magic Resistance (3). Against war beasts, monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry, monsters, and unique type units, this Ward save decreases to a 6+.
Slayer- a model with this special rule are treated as having sufficient strength to wound war beasts, monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry, monsters, and unique type units on a 4+, up to a maximum of strength 6, before bonuses from weapons.
Slayer Axes- a model with this special rule may choose whether to fight with two hand weapons or one great weapon at the beginning of each combat phase.

7pts more for +1S and +1I, as well as better Slayer and Slayer Axes rules, Skirmish, and two potent new rules. The Giant Slayer upgrade costs 2pts more overall for +1T and +1I, and is unit-wide, though I think it might make sense to make it like a regular champion. The Dwarf Slayer is the closest thing Warhammer has to a mascot, so they should perform. The Runic Tattoos make them durable against arrows, magic, infantry and cavalry; the things they’re not supposed to deal with, while A Glorious Death forces them to engage the strongest/scariest/toughest thing they can find. Dwarf players will want to avoid using them like arrow-sponges and speed-bumps, and their opponents will want to keep their big gribblies far, far away from these guys.

So...what say you, people of Dakka?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2012/02/17 19:04:06

Made in us
Hunting Glade Guard

Bluffs and hills of Wisconsin

Why not give Iron Breakers Stubborn? If any army in the game could justify multiple Stubborn units it's the dwarves, and their fluff is basically the definition of Stubborn.

Also why is the Anvil so unreliable again? It makes sense for joke armies like the Skaven and Gobs to have things blow up in their face but the dwarves have OCD for quality control. It seems like an anvil exploding should be a Biblically rare event for them.
Made in us
Lord of the Fleet


I'm no real dwarf expert, but maybe to add in some more flavor there should be the inclusion of the Slayer Goblin Hewer and the Slayer Pirates from DoW

And slayers should be more...tactically flexible to show how far they're willing to go. Maybe give them the options to either be ranked or skirmish, maybe give them throwing axes, perhaps devastating charge. Maybe even scout/vanguard

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2012/02/18 13:54:30

Made in gb
Voracious Voidraven Gunner

In the Casualty section of a Blood Bowl dugout

Yeah, I know what you mean.

I used to play Dwarves, in fact they were my first WHFB army. I really liked the little stunties, and their grim expressions of determination while bracing themselves against a charge of greenskins is a great image. Long have people been saying that "oooh, dwarves should have a mechanical juggernaut for Lords to ride on" and crazy stuff like that. Indeed, I've been very Dwarvish about all that, simply saying no.

However, the thing that's shaken stuff up is Storm of Magic.

Storm of Magic's awesome, and it's made me realise how cool magic is. I'm now obsessed with it. Hence, my Dwarf army is being neglected. Magic is fun, and adding more Magic to the Dwarves would probably make it more enjoyable for me. Yet, I don't want to ruin the dwarf image of being so opposed to Raw Magic. This thread's inspired me to think of a solution, I'll post it in WHFB Proposed Rules soon...


9th Age Fantasy Rules

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

@Greenleaves: in this incarnation, I think giving Ironbreakers Stubborn would just end up making them Hammerers take two. Great weapons exchanged for shields and +1 armour, and losing the Bodyguard rule. Really, now that you mention it, their equipment choice looks no better than the Hammerers, point-for-point, and they lose two rules, one of which is amazing.
I'd be all for multiple Stubborn units, but I think they'd need serious re-working. Ironbreakers might end up as one of those super-expensive and elite infantry units, which would be fine with me.

As to the Anvil, I made it about 8 times more reliable. It used to be: 2+/4+ to hit the rune, roll on the table if you fail, roll a 1 to blow up.
I'm thinking, though, that the Anvil should have a full makeover. They wanted it to function as a war machine, but what about bound spells instead? Maybe a .4% chance of exploding is too much. Maybe it should just be 0%.

@kenshin: The Goblin Hewer is a cool device; I've seen it played as an Organ Gun many a time. The only concern I have is giving the Dwarfs five new war machines to perpetuate the old gunline even more, so if I add in a few, I want to make sure they cover a lot of ground.

Slayer Pirates arrr cool and funny, but they don't fit the Nordic-style of the dwarfen throng.

Slayers with throwing axes could make sense. I've only read a little from the books, so I'm not sure if this follows, but I think it could work.
As for being tactically flexible: Slayers shave their heads and swear to die in glorious battle, the bigger and more brain-meltingly horrifying the foe, the better. They're really supposed to be concerned with that sort of thing, and nothing else.
Hatred of everything might make sense. Devastating Charge would, as well as Frenzy (though they effectively have a form of Frenzy already). Skirmish is basically always going to be better for them than rank-and-file. The extra maneuverability will help them more than 3 ranks. They're Unbreakable, after all, and they don't care about Steadfast troops, since they're monster-hunters.

@The Shadow: glad you agree! The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards some sort of bound-spell system for Rune-dudes, like Warrior Priests. Something--anything--to give them more options.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2012/02/18 18:08:49

Made in gb
Voracious Voidraven Gunner

In the Casualty section of a Blood Bowl dugout

@ Warpsolution: I'll PM you when I've finalised the thread. If I remember...


9th Age Fantasy Rules

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin


So a few things I've been considering:

- The Concept. The shoot-and-hold-the-line concept covers basic Warriors and Hammerers, as well as all the ranged units. Tunneling/ambush tactics fit right in there with Rangers, Miners, and Ironbreakers, and gives the Dwarfs a way to be maneuverable despite their M3. Then there's the high risk/reward monster and war machine concept, where the unhinged steampunk Vikings known as the Engineer's guild comes in. If these three aspects can be represented (something like 50-25-25%), I think we're pretty far along.

- Characters/Units:

Quick quesion- which army books have less than 6/6/4 choices for Core/Special/Rare? Which have more?

1. Runelords and Runesmiths get a short list of bound spells. Side note: how much to Lectors/Priests cost? They could probably be in the same range. The Anvil can offer more spells, as well as bonuses to casting them.

2. Master Engineers can entrench war machines or units. Entrenched units are treated as defending a wall (lose benefits for charging, -2 to shoot) unless they move.

3. Offer the Longbeard upgrade to Quarrelers and Thunderers, giving them +1BS and, I dunno, heavy armour or +1I.

4. Remove the 0-1 choice on Rangers, but put a limit on them like Longbeards. Give them throwing axes for free and allow them to Skirmish for +1pt/model.

5. Bump Ironbreakers to a mighty 18pts/model, give them Stubborn and two attacks. Then, allow them to deploy normally or as Miners.

6. Miners cost 14pts/model and can be deployed as normal or, if the Prospector has a Steam Drill, via tunnel, like Gutter Runners. The Steam Drill allows you to re-roll the d6 to see when they show up and the Artillery die for the scatter. They have Blasting Charges, a move-or-fire shooting attack with an 8" range that causes d3 S4 flaming hits per successful hit, and a 30pt upgrade "Powder Keg", that works like the Clan Eshin Bomb item.

7. Move the Organ Gun to Special. It's been around for a while now. As for Organ-spam, they're a lot more prone to exploding now...

8. Rare: Drill-Tank. T8 with a 3+ Armour Save. Big ol' chariot-thing that works like the Steam Tank but less potential for devastation (to either side). It tunnels and can carry Warriors, Longbeards, Quarrelers, Thunderers, Ironbreakers or Miners, like a building.

So...what say you to that?

Made in us
Killer Klaivex

Oceanside, CA

The problem with dwarfs is they are boring.
You get about 5 units.
Guys with move or fire ranged weapons.
Guys who are hard to kill.

Long Beards, Ironbreakers, Hammerers; they are just more expensive versions of the same thing.

They need another option or two for flavor.
I'd like to see a dwarf version of a corpse cart; a slow moving chariot with some nice special rules.
Then something big. GW likes the big kits, I'd like the dwarves to have an option for something epic.


 thedarkavenger wrote:

So. I got a game with this list in. First game in at least 3-4 months.
Made in gb
Ork-Hunting Inquisitorial Xenokiller

They should have a version of the dwarven centurion from skyrim. If the dwarves had that in their next army book, I would so get an army of them. Its possible too. If the Empire have tanks and steam machines and such, the dwarves could have something similar.

I had the idea once of a random unit for the Empire book.
A unit of smallish steam powered suits armed with micro cannons. They had the power of steam so they could move and operate, and were led by a wizard of metal to control them. The fluff was the dwarves designed these suits, and the Empire provided the means to ensure their control. Instead for the dwarven machine it can be controlled by some sort of rune perhaps? As the new armies are released, each is accompanied by a new large unit;
Tomb kings: Sphinx
Vampire counts: Coven throne
Ogre Kingdoms: Thundertusk/other thing (Cant remember its name)

Edit: Although I do understand why some people would be against it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2012/02/18 20:27:47

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Tamurkhan has come out with Chaos Dwarves so you will need to differentiate yourselves from them.

-They got fodder in the form of Hobgoblins, which really helps in a 8th Steadfast world.

-The got mages.

-They got the best war machines in the game. But they can also explode pretty bad and are very expensive.

-Their troops are nearly identical to Dwarfs, maybe a tad more elite and without separate units for thunderers/hammerers (you just buy the items).

-They got MI and a few MO (Tarus and Siege Giants).

-They got their weird Centaur things and Hobgoblin cavalry to get some speed/flankers.

Having something (magic) is generally more interesting than negating something. Cuz it's more active. I can see Runelords, and the entire rune system, being replaced with essentially "magic." Basically just a buff list that is fairly weak in exchange for having more friendly miscast rolls.

Runes are going to go. You might not like it, but I see that as a near 90% certainty. It doesn't make much sense in 8th or work well to maintain and balance that large a list of different items at different point values.

Dwarf stats/costs aren't going to change much because they based Tamurkhan off them and that's as brand-new as you can get. Dwarfs have cheaper war machines that are pretty reliable. The cheapest CD war machine is 100 pts and they go up to 340 with upgrades.

Take the war machine runes out of the list and make them upgrades on each machine directly.

For Dwarfs to become more rounded, they need to be more rounded. They need cheap units (young recruits? human mercenaries?) that can redirect and tarpit. They need monsters of some kind. And maybe a cavalry or MC or war beast or whatever. It doesn't have to be traditional, like some dragon. But having 2 types of units in your entire army is kind of limiting. 3, I guess, counting Gyro.

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

@Duke and Matt: we seem to be in agreement, then. Do you think that giving Dwarfs more options for unusual deployment/movement would be enough?
I mean, Dwarfs have 5 units/2 unit types, sure. But Skaven have 7-6 units/4 unit types; not that much more, but tons more versatile. I think Dwarfs should be more diverse than they currently are, sure, but probably still a little more rigid than other armies?

I don't see cavalry or monstrous infantry or cheap infantry being a part of any Dwarf army, though. They're one of those middle-of-the-road armies; not hordes, not super-elite.

As much as I can see Runes being a thing of the past, I also have a hard time seeing Dwarfs gaining access to the Common Magic Item list, unless Games Workshop raises up the white flag and says, "same cost, same rules, but Runes, not magic".

As for new units, Dwarfs already have 4(5) Core, 7 Special, and 3 Rare. How many units can we reasonably add?

So 1. Rune-lore/Anvil re-do 2. Some steampunk goodness. What else? What do you think of the Rangers/Ironbreakers/Miners/Slayers concepts I've put down thus far?

Made in us
Lord of the Fleet


Maybe add in the Copter Backpacks from warhammer online for a flying unit?

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Warpsolution wrote:As much as I can see Runes being a thing of the past, I also have a hard time seeing Dwarfs gaining access to the Common Magic Item list, unless Games Workshop raises up the white flag and says, "same cost, same rules, but Runes, not magic".

Why? Nearly all the very big Order-side MAGIC items in WHFB are Dwarven-made. And even a bunch stolen by Chaos. They clearly have magic items. What, they give other races magic items but don't use them themselves? That makes no sense. Chaos Dwarfs have a normal magic item list like any other 8th army. Basically 1 page. Their sorcerer lords also get a darkforged item that gets a random enchantment (which is pretty nice).

Dwarfs will be like anyone else. That's the whole point of the BRB. It makes balance vastly easier and allows army books to have a much longer shelf life.

But if you really want to rewrite Dwarfs, you need to get the Tamurkhan book and look at CD. Otherwise you're going to duplicate armies or step on each others' toes.

Made in nz
Armored Iron Breaker


Give me BSB a shield, and possibly a zepplin and I'll be happy... oh and make all dwarfs one point cheaper. But don't touch anything else. Change the fluff a bit and thats all. Everything else is fine as it is

Dwarfs: Lots

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."

Check out my blog at: averydwarfishblog.blogspot.com 
Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

@Duke: You've got a point. The Runefangs are runic, but listed as magic. That's all she wrote, then, I suppose. No more Runes.
As to the Chaos Dwarf book...I'm not buying it, long story short. Not now, anyway. I don't know anyone who plays Chaos Dwarfs, and it's not like I'll be taking this FanDex to a tourney, so I'm not too worried. But I will look to you to help me avoid being the same army.

@ParatrooperSimon: That's the point, though. Dwarfs are a solid army, but they can field:

- Infantry. With move-or-fire weapons and/or great weapons or shields, but never shields because they're awful.
- 1 unit of Scouts.
- Some Miners.
- War machines.

It's so limiting! I don't care if this book were perfect; it's still very rigid. You can field three lists; the gunline, the gunline-with-axes, and the Anvil list.

I kinda' wish I could more direct responses to all the stuff I'm saying, rather than nine separate threads.
Anyway, though, on to more thoughts:

- the Dwarf army book is largely based off of Nordic culture and military. I don't want to take away from that. I don't want Dwarfs to get really, really steampunk, for example. Mostly, I want to preserve the feel of them, but with some different tactical options.

On that note: I'm sure plenty of you have heard my oft repeated rant about paying a points premium for stats that don't always pay off. I2-9 is all the same to I10, but I9 still costs more than I2.
I've realized that Dwarfs are very much about paying that premium and being all-around good in as many situations as possible. Compare the Dwarf Warrior to a Skaven Stormvermin: M3 to 5, T4 to 3, I2 to 5, and Ld9 to 5. Even with the halberd, Stormvermin are coming in behind, point-for-point, because of that Ld. But when a bunch of them are alongside your general, they're both suddenly Ld10.

The lesson I've learned: Dwarfs are solid troops, meaning they do equally well in many situations. They don't depend on gimmicks to succeed; there's no way to cripple them through tricksy-tricks. But that also means that, when Dwarfs go up against troops that are simply better than they are in a given situation, they don't have any significant way to deal with it.
I think it's a cool tactical idea, and I'd like to preserve it, mostly.

- the more I think about it, the more I'm liking the "M3, but manueverable" concept, with Rangers and Miners and their ilk coming to the fore. Does anyone think the burrowing-tank-thing would be too over-the-top? 'Cause I was thinking...what if Dwarfs had the option to buy a transport for a unit, so it could pop up in the middle of battle, drop its guys off, and then sink back down into the depths? Like the Warp-Grinder, but more reliable and, ya' know, not awful. Basically, Dakka, I'm talking about Dwarfen drop-pods.

- which leads me to another idea. If these tunneling-tanks chew their way up through the earth and into a unit, I was thinking something sufficiently devastating would happen, like a large template of S5 AP hits (keep in mind, this thing would be expensive and still pretty random), and then let the Dwarf player put down a piece of Dangerous Terrain from the crater of broken stone it left behind.
And what if the bomb Miners could get would do something similar? And the Anvil? Wrath and Ruin forcing a Dangerous Terrain test?
And what if the Relentless rule also said: Dwarfs don't need to take Dangerous Terrain tests, because they're so damn sturdy, surefooted, and just all-around tough-as-nails? Maybe they still suffer from magic that forces the tests, but not from mundane terrain?

Guns, check. Stalwart shield wall/lots of axes, check. Modifying the battle field and being super mobile despite M3...check?

It's not a cure-all, but I think that could summarize the Engineers/Rangers/Miners aspect pretty well, in different ways. The rest would probably be just making Ironbreakers and Slayers better and offering a few new toys. Oh, and maybe putting a limit on the tunnel-tank upgrades so you can't field the Stunty-flower Garden of Death army. But maybe not.

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

How about this?

Ancient Runes:

Magic Weapons:

The Axe of Alaric the Mad- 100pts

Great weapon. The wielder receives a +1 to hit. In addition, the wielder is always treated as having a Strength score of his target’s Toughness+2. No armour saves may be taken against wounds caused by the Axe of Alaric the Mad.

The Hammer of Skalf Blackhammer- 60pts
The wielder has +1 Attack and the Flaming Attacks special rule. Every time the wielder successfully hits and wounds, the victim’s armour, shield and any special or magic weapons they carry are destroyed on a 4+.

Magic Armour:

Starbreaker Bulwark- 80pts

Gromil armour. The wearer has +1 Wound, and any attacks against the bearer greater than Strength 5 are treated as Strength 5.

The Master Rune of Gromil- 50pts
This armour grants a 1+ armour save, and allows the wearer to re-roll failed armour saves.

Rune of Stone- 5pts
This armour adds +1 to the wearer’s armour save.

Magic Standards:

Runic Standard of Stromni Redbeard- 140pts

This banner grants +1 combat resolution to any combat involving friendly Dwarf units within 12”. Models in a unit with this standard have Magic Resistance (3).

Strollaz’s Banner- 100pts
After deployment, all friendly Dwarf units within 24” of this banner may make an immediate move (not a charge). Units that make this move count as having moved during the first turn for purposes of shooting. Models in a unit with this standard have a 4+ Ward save against shooting attacks and direct damage spells.


Master Rune of Kingship- 100pts

Dwarf Lord only. Grants the Unbreakable special rule a 5+ Ward save to the model and any unit he joins.

Rune of Fate- 55pts
A model with this item may re-roll a single d6 each turn. This may be a roll to Hit or Wound, as well as an armour or Ward save or one of the dice for a psychology test or break test.

Rune of Preservation- 15pts
The special rules Killing Blow and Poisoned Attacks have no effect on the wearer.

Arcane Items:

The Spelleater- 85pts

The bearer may re-roll one dispel dice in each magic phase. If any enemy wizard within 18” of the bearer suffers a miscast, the spell that wizard was attempting to cast is forgotten in addition to the effects of the miscast.

Master Rune of Balance- 55pts
During the enemy’s magic phase, after all power and dispel dice have been generated, subtract one die from the power pool and add one to the dispel pool.

Runestaff- 35pts
Grants a +1 to dispel attempts.

Enchanted Items:

Bugman’s XXXXXX- 60pts

Before the close combat phase of each Dwarf turn, if the bearer has not moved (besides a reform maneuver), the bearer and any other character in the unit may regain 1 wound, while the unit may regain d3+1 wounds. The bearer and any unit he joins is immune to the Fear and Terror special rules.

Horn of Challenge- 40pts
Bound spell (power level 4). Contains the spell Tomb and Trial.

Runic Lore- Grudge Magic, Wordlore, Sigil-Carving
Ancient Power (Lore Attribute)

Whenever a Runelord or Runesmith successfully casts the boosted version of a spell, roll a d6. On a 4+, add one dispel die to the Dwarf’s pool in the enemy’s next magic phase.

1. Hearth and Hold (Cast on a 6+)
Hearth and Hold is an augment with a range of 12”. The target unit gains the Stubborn special rule until the start of the caster’s next magic phase. The caster can choose to affect all units within 12”. If he does so, the casting value of Hearth and Hold increases to 12+.

2. Gold and Glory (Cast on a 7+)

Gold and Glory is an augment with a range of 12”. The target unit may make a move at the start of the shooting phase. This may be a charge. The caster can choose to affect all units within 12”. If he does so, the casting value of Gold and Glory increases to 14+.

3. Cinder and Sunder (Cast on a 7+)
Cinder and Sunder is a hex with a range of 36”. The target unit suffers a -1 penalty to Wound rolls until the start of the caster’s next magic phase. The caster can choose to give the unit a -1 to Hit rolls as well. If he does so, the casting value of Cinder and Sunder increases to 14+.

4. Tomb and Trial (Cast on a 8+)
Remains in play. Tomb and Trial is a hex with a range of 36”. The target unit gains the Berserk Rage special rule, and treat all Dwarf units as if they caused Fear. The caster can choose to lower the target units Leadership value by 1. If he does so, the casting value of Tomb and Trial increases to 12+

5. Wrath and Ruin (Cast on a 8+)
Wrath and Ruin is a direct damage spell with a range of 36”. Place the small round template anywhere within range—it then template scatters d6”. Any unit touched by the template takes d6 S4 hits. Place a piece of dangerous terrain where the template resolved. The caster may choose to use the large template instead, causing 2d6 S4 hits. If he does so, the casting value of Wrath and Ruin increases to a 16+.

6. Oath and Honor (Cast on a 10+)
Oath and Honor is an augment spell that affects all units within 18”. All friendly Dwarf units within the spell’s range gain +2 Toughness and are immune to Psychology until the start of the caster’s next magic phase. The caster can choose to grant all affected models +2 additional Toughness and the Stubborn special rule. If he does so, the casting value of Oath and Honor increases to 20+.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/02/19 21:48:48

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

I think from a gross fluff point of view, CD are steampunk and Dwarfs are old tech. Gyrocopter asside, a blimp/zeppelin is perfect for Dwarfs. A glider. A land sail boat.

It's hard to gauge magic items, but they seem to be undercosted and the upper upper end are far too powerful. Buggmans should be 1 use only. Master rune of balance is pretty powerful. So are spelleater and kingship. You need some more mid-level items. Nothing should be giving entire units that much power. 5+ unbreakable, ward to a whole unit is silly. They become Bloodletters with gromril armor.

The lore attribute is waaaay too good. Hasnut's (CD) is actually crap. Most spell lore's is actually crap. A few are really good. Like TK and Life. Look at Metal, Fire, Shadow, Heavens, etc. An entire dispel die is really hard to come by. I say something like, for every successful cast, on a 4+ the Runelord gains +1T until the start of next magic phase.

I'd say the list overall is a good start. I think #6 is way too powerful. Tomb and Trial is also too tough as the base ability inadvertently affects multiple units (by treating ALL dwarfs as if they cause fear) and auto RIP. Cinder is very close to CD spell Ash Storm.

I think the Dwarfs should mostly be augments. Like TK. That is representative of Runic magic. Cursing people doesn't seem as Runic. Or as Dwarfy.

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

The genre generalizations are good ones. It's just trying to figure out what's going too far and what isn't.

The magic items are, for the most part, runic devices with a few cost adjustments. The first weapon is too good, now that I look at it (it's a Runefang that trades auto-wound for 2+ wound and +1 to hit).
I'm confident the standards are fair. The Talisman of Kingship was weird, but before it was just so awful (Stubborn and Immune to Terror...on a Dwarf Lord...so...his Hammerers gain zero benefits), and I figured it should be in there. I think Unbreakable makes sense, so what else should go with it?
Balance is just what it used to be, only 5pts more. And Spelleater only works if they miscast, aside from turning a 1 into something better for dispelling...but I guess that gives you another shot at auto-dispelling...still, do you really think it's too good for 85pts?
I guess I'm trying to go with the trend of a short list of expensive items, but more middle-level items is still a good idea. I was thinking Dwarfs should be one of those armies with a slightly longer list of items, since they're all about making cool stuff?

The Lore attribute is the reverse of the Little Waaagh! lore attribute, except:
- it's a 4+, not a 5+
- it doesn't steal the die
- it's a dispel die, not a power die
- it only works if you cast a boosted version.
So is the Little Waaagh! considered way too good, or is this one okay? 'Cause it's got to be one or the other.

As for the spells...heh. I totally forgot that I still want 'Smiths granting bonus dispel dice, so most of them should be downgraded. How about:
1. as-is
2. casting value 8+
3. grants flaming magical attacks and MR2 (more Cinder, and magical sundering, rather than material), improved range boosted (6+/9+)
4. Make it exactly like the Master Rune of Challenge
5. as-is
6. +2T to one unit, +2T to multiples boosted

That way it'll be 4 augments instead of 3, one Hex instead of 2, and the Wrath and Ruin one.

Also, I'm really starting to love this idea that Dwarfs can pop out of the ground and hurt you in doing so, but the giant tunnel-transports do seem to be erring towards Chaos Dwarfs. But more blasting charges could do the trick.

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Power dice are 2D6. Dispel dice are 1. Not only that you have a hard limit on spells in that you can only cast the # of spells you have. If you only got a lvl 4 you can only cast 4 spells, regardless of your dice. And more dice = more chance to miscast. There's no downside to having infinite dispel dice. And Little Waagh kinda blows as a list. But basically, you could have both worlds of mega dispelling Dwarfs AND an actual spell list. I think those have to be divorced. That's another idea, adding +1 MR to any buff, that can stack with itself. Of course that only protects against DD/MR, but such is life.

The Hashnut list Lore is if a DD or MM itargets a unit with Flammable special rule, the caster adds D3 to their casting total. Which is probably one of the worst Lore attributes in the game. Admittedly, Ash Storm makkes a unit flammable, but that has to be cast and not dispelled first. So basically, a vast majority of the time the Lore Attribute will not be used whatsoever.

All the magic items in 8th run the gammut from low to high. Point totals for CD items are:

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

I see what you're saying. I mean, no matter how many Dispel Dice you have, all they're doing is preventing something, rather than actively achieving something. You can never win a game through defensive might alone; you also need to kill stuff. And while you could argue that preventing a spell would, in a way, help you kill stuff (that stuff not being buffed, or your own guys not being hexed/dead), you're still better off with a regular magic defense and a better magic offense.
That said, I think I'll change it. At least make it a 5+.

Also, I was thinking that these spells would be like Warrior Priest's prayers; every 'Smith gets them all, with no bonus to cast them. That way, they can keep their bonus dispel dice, since they won't be very strong in the magic phase. And they won't Miscast; a sort of low-risk/low-reward system that Dwarfs favor.
I'd really like to preserve some sort of uniqueness to the Dwarf army, in terms of magic. Something that sets them apart from wizards and spells and Lores, if only a little something.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/02/20 02:08:16

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

No no. Old Dwarfs are going to be gone. Scrub your brain. Warrior Priests aren't going to keep that either. Don't base something new off something ancient.

Unique is what they took out. Because it leads to old books that are way out of balance and out of date, which is the situation we're in now were some armies are simply borked.

The BRB lists bonus to Dwarfs dispelling. Which is case enough for Dwarfs having relatively crap magic. Because having both is too good (obviously).

That said, CD have access to Metal, Death, Fire, Hashnut.

Ogres, TK have access to multiple Lores. Only poor O&G have access to only 1 (2) Lores in 8th books. I see Dwarfs easily having access to Metal. Maybe Light also? Doesn't have to fit perfectly.

Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin

Fair enough. Those ideas that really stand out do have a tendency to get crazy as the years roll on by.

That's an interesting thought, though: dwarfs get a +2 to Dispel. Now, that could get stacked on top of their wizard levels, but that seems a little silly to me. It could mean that, without any 'Smiths, or if they've all had their concentration broken, Dwarfs still get a bonus. Substantially less awesome, but then maybe the Lore can be more like normal ones.

Still, I think the innate Dwarfen mistrust of magic should be taken into account. They don't tap into the winds of magic themselves, oh no. They forge and carve runes that draw in the magic and do stuff. Slower, less potentially devastating, but safer. That price-premium for a milder bonus with a milder set back, once again.
With that in mind, it would make sense for Dwarfs to only use their own Lore. I mean, if anyone's going to refuse learning any other way of doing things, it's Dwarfs. Metal does make a ton o' sense, though. Fire and Light make less, but still plenty.

A few other things:

- If you dropped a Chaos Warrior to M3 and I2, increased his Ld to 9, stripped him of his chaos-related special rules and gave him some Dwarf ones, in addition to Stubborn, would he be about equal in value? I currently think so. But do you guys?

- I'm thinking about war machines now. And I'm thinking that the Rune system should be kept around for them, more or less. Maybe take out the Rule of Pride, since it'll only really effect bigger games. I think it's reasonable, because unlike the other Runes, these ones are wholly unique. No one else enchants their war machines, except Chaos Dwarfs, but that's a different sort of thing. Maybe just a few Runes per machine.
Ans as to zeppelins/airships/etc., I have to say, I'm just not seeing how you could possibly justify a helicopter and a blimp as two separate units. I think some upgrades for the 'copter, or at the very least conversions, are all that can be done without being redundant.

- A big question, here: Warhammer armies, to my knowledge, are based off of historical ones in their units and play-style. The Dwarfs, as far as I know, are very much Nordic.
But...what if they weren't? 'Cause I'm thinking about a medieval version of trench warfare.

Made in us
Lord of the Fleet


Very interesting analysis going around here

Warpsolution wrote:
- A big question, here: Warhammer armies, to my knowledge, are based off of historical ones in their units and play-style. The Dwarfs, as far as I know, are very much Nordic.
But...what if they weren't? 'Cause I'm thinking about a medieval version of trench warfare.

Hussite War Wagons?

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Well, Chaos Dwarfs are steampunk. They got trains and sort of WWI artillery. Steam Tank is fairly WWI. Their robo horses are steampunk.

As for the Chaos Warrior look, units aren't balanced to each other across armies. Armies are balanced to each other. You'll see the exact same unit have different costs in different books, some is because of age of the book, but some is because it's going to cost a different amount in that army. If everything had to be balanced to Saurus Warriors and Bloodletters and Chaos Warriors, nearly every main Core unit would need a buff. But that's not how balance is done, or every army would look nearly exactly the same.

You have to take the totality of Dwarf army operation and competitiveness into question. Suddenly giving them magic changes them massively. As does removing the rune system. Etc. But whether an Ironbreaker is equivalent in a point:value way to an Ogre Maneater is never a pertinent question. Except when you're playing and you want to know whether it's a good idea to attack.

Made in gb
Dark Angels Librarian with Book of Secrets


it may be just me but i want golems.
rune powered hunks of stone that resolutely stride across the battlefield and punch groin.

just give them MR 2 and the same stats as a ogre, simples

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Warpsolution wrote:.

- A big question, here: Warhammer armies, to my knowledge, are based off of historical ones in their units and play-style. The Dwarfs, as far as I know, are very much Nordic.
But...what if they weren't? 'Cause I'm thinking about a medieval version of trench warfare.

the Dwarfs are Romans

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2012/02/20 23:36:33

Made in us
Lord of the Fleet


Formosa wrote:it may be just me but i want golems.
rune powered hunks of stone that resolutely stride across the battlefield and punch groin.

just give them MR 2 and the same stats as a ogre, simples

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Warpsolution wrote:.

- A big question, here: Warhammer armies, to my knowledge, are based off of historical ones in their units and play-style. The Dwarfs, as far as I know, are very much Nordic.
But...what if they weren't? 'Cause I'm thinking about a medieval version of trench warfare.

the Dwarfs are Romans

Seeing how GW is in love with monster kits, I could see this

Dont see how they're roman though, they dont use swords or spears

Made in au
The Dread Evil Lord Varlak

Formosa wrote:the Dwarfs are Romans

How so?

With pointy hats and sheild walls I thought they were going for more of a loosely viking thing.

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

John Kenneth Galbraith 
Made in us
Killer Klaivex

Oceanside, CA

Warpsolution wrote:How about this?

[b]Runic Lore- Grudge Magic

I was thinking, instead of a lore of magic, what if dwarfs had access to a good number of bound spells through runes?
That would give them a magic phase, while not having true wizards, or having miscasts.
I was thinking about 8 or 10 runes that are bound items. Maybe had the runesmith/master get a small bonus when using the item; +1 for smith, +3 for lord.

They'd have more magic items than most armies, but wouldn't have a unique lore, and still wouldn't have wizards.


 thedarkavenger wrote:

So. I got a game with this list in. First game in at least 3-4 months.
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

HawaiiMatt wrote:That would give them a magic phase, while not having true wizards, or having miscasts.

Which would be too good. 8th is all about having access to both that spiffy BRB miscast table as a result of overindulging in power dice. Changing that again tries to take it to a different version. Dwarf war machines can still blow up.

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