16 Sep 2014

Dwarfs - Unit Overview - Lords and Army Special Rules

Hello there everyone, my name is Learn2Eel and welcome to my newest set of Unit Overview articles focused on the "stunties" - the mighty Dwarfs from the Warhammer Fantasy setting. While much of the background Games Workshop employs is heavily inspired by sources such as Tolkien, their own version of Dwarfs has proven most successful by carving out their own identity and distinct traits. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran when it comes to all things small and bearded, I hope you find this a useful series and hope you enjoy it!


Army Special Rules

Ancestral Grudge - While the very nature of this special rule makes it such a random influence on games featuring Dwarfs, I think anyone that says it is anything but a nice little bonus for combat-based Dwarf armies is kidding themselves. Having guaranteed army-wide Hatred against all Skaven and Orcs and Goblins units or characters is very handy but obviously limited, though having some form of Hatred against all other armies can make for some interesting match-ups. That there is an even chance of your army having Hatred against the opponents' entire force to merely your General possessing Hatred for your opponents' General makes it an added bonus rule that, Thorgrim aside, is impossible to really plan for. The limitations with this special rule are such that it won't help Dwarf gun-line builds but is as likely to give such an army-list total Hatred against all opponents, as it is for a combat-centric force to merely have Hatred between Generals. Heck, the chances of your General reaching the enemy General or characters fighting each other could range from massively slim to somewhat likely depending on how your army list is constructed. Re-rolls to hit on the first round of combat is nice, but ultimately this rule is too random to be called anything but a small addition that makes Dwarf units ever so slightly more valuable.

Dwarf-Crafted - While many will begrudge the reduced effects of this special rule in the latest iteration of Warhammer: Dwarfs, this is nonetheless a very handy trait for Dwarf ranged weapons that further characterizes the stalwart defensive nature of the army. A Dwarf gunline is a terrifying build and always will be for its incredible firepower and extremely tough infantry core, so removing the -1 To Hit penalty for Stand and Shoot charge reactions just further emphasizes the strengths of that list type. Dwarf Quarrelers and Dwarf Thunderers tend to be far more effective than their Empire equivalents (Crossbowmen and Handgunners) not only because of their increased survivability and staying power due to high Toughness and Leadership, but because they can actually make a tangible difference to the ensuing combat when performing a Stand a Shoot charge reaction.

Resolute - Many will rightfully point to the almost universal Movement 3 of Dwarf units and remark that this special rule is limited even for combat-centric builds because the army is easily the slowest in the game. Regardless, Resolute is an awesome special rule to have as it not only provides that extra incentive to avoid the dreaded (and boring) Dwarf gunline, but also can make a huge difference in how you view certain melee units. In the case of Hammerers, for example, you can have a unit that dishes out two Strength 7 attacks at Weapon Skill 5 with Always Strikes Last per model - for anything that can't kill the Toughness 4, 5+ armoured models in droves before they attack, they may as well just give up on life. Even the basic Dwarf Warriors become the rough equivalent of Orc Big 'Uns (excluding the Choppas special rule) if they actually manage to charge an opponent which, with widely available chaff Gyrocopters and Runic Standards that provide Vanguard, is not entirely out of the question as many fellow war-gamers would have you believe. While this special rule will definitely make itself apparent much less frequently than its counterpart in Shieldwall, I maintain that it provides some great incentives to play a more mobile, melee-oriented Dwarf army the likes of which I feel can sometimes be too rare in both the local and competitive scenes.

Relentless - Of all the special rules Dwarfs have, this one might seem the most superfluous at first given their universally high Leadership - even the most basic Core units are Leadership 9! - but once you consider how important march moves can be at any given point, this special rule is still quite useful. Whether you want to close the gap to the main enemy lines despite nearby chaff units or need to avoid a pursuing infantry unit, having a guaranteed march provides you with that safety of knowledge and allows you to properly predict your movements without fear of being denied. This is generally most useful for Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers that are essentially the Dwarf equivalent of chaff and absolutely need to keep mobile so that they can avoid unwanted combats and provide pressure or charge redirection where necessary.

Shieldwall - Considering that all Dwarf Infantry (i.e. almost every unit in the army) are Movement 3 and are mostly built around defence rather than offence with their high Toughness and saving throws in place of high Strength, Attacks and Initiative, this is undoubtedly the best army special rule they have now. Having a +1 bonus to their parry saves for one turn really earmarks Dwarfs as the premier army in the game for sheer ruggedness and survivability with most enemies sure to bounce off Toughness 4, 4+ armoured units with a 5+ parry - and those are the basic Core Dwarf Warriors with shields! Considering that most armies will be getting the charge off against Dwarfs rather than the other way around given their lack of mobility, this special rule will come into play more than perhaps any of the others Dwarfs possess. Given that Hammerers and certain variations of the Core units are the only ones not focused entirely on being an anvil, Shieldwall is immensely valuable and can make a huge difference when you absolutely need to win or even "draw" a close combat.


Natural Resistance (to magic) - While the complete lack of spellcasters does severely limit the competitive usage of Dwarfs as they are utterly bereft of so many ways to buff or destroy as an addition to their regular forces, that they at least have a decent innate defence against magic is a compromise justified by their background. Having a permanent +2 bonus to dispel attempts that is never subject to "losing focus" such as when an opposing spellcaster fails a dispel or casting attempt is definitely nice and reliable, while the army can channel quite a few dice with the cheap and very useful Runesmiths. At the very least, Remains in Play spells are usually very easy to dispel for Dwarfs in their own Magic Phase as, after all, they won't be throwing magic dice at casting their own spells! When this combined with the Runic Standard Master Rune of Valaya, a Dwarf army can have a permanent +4 bonus to dispel that can be continuously used even in a Magic Phase where you have already failed to dispel something. Throw in access to not one but potentially infinite "dispel scroll" equivalents manifesting as Runes of Spellbreaking that are only constrained by points and the Rule of Pride and magic defence most certainly is not an issue for Dwarfs provided they spend  roughly two hundred or so points on it. This doesn't really make up for the lack of spells outside of the (ineffective) Anvil of Doom but it does allow Dwarfs to use builds entirely lacking in magic better than similar lists from other army books.


Lords

Thorgrim Grudgebearer - As far as Dwarf Lords go, the High King Thorgrim surprisingly isn't as well equipped as you would expect for a character of his price and stature. Regardless, this is a Lord choice with so many different abilities that earmarks himself as arguably the toughest single character model in the game perhaps aside from Nagash. Toughness 5 and 7 Wounds with a 2+ armour save and 4+ ward save make for one of the toughest Dwarf Lords you could have with the points restriction on Runes, though not really the match of the patented Toughness 6, 6 Wound, 1+ armoured build with a 4+ ward save. Where Thorgrim really distinguishes himself on this front is that he has a jaw-dropping 2+ ward save against any attack - shooting or close combat! - with the Killing Blow, Heroic Killing Blow or Multiple Wounds special rules. While it is important to note that he is not immune to those special rules, a 2+ ward save is definitely the next best thing and is made even more ridiculous by his exceptional armour save and ridiculous number of wounds. Thorgrim may as well be a living tank given how insanely difficult it is to kill him, while his inability to benefit from Look Out Sir rolls really isn't much of an issue given he will have a 2+ ward save against of the weapons that should worry him. Of course, paying so many points for a character just so they can sit there and soak up damage isn't really all that great considering that model is also Movement 3 in a universally slow army that can easily be avoided by any characters of note such as mounted Elf combat Lords or Blender Vampire Lords.

When Thorgrim actually does manage to make combat against a suitable target worthy of his immense price tag, you get left with a measly four attacks at Strength 4, resolved at Initiative-step 4 and backed by Weapon Skill 7. While his Runic Axe always wounds opponents either on a 2+ or 3+ based on whether they have magic armour or not, that it is only Strength 4 for armour-modifier purposes means that any character or unit with a 1+ or 2+ armour save can comfortably survive his attacks. Gaining the Multiple Wounds (D6) special rule against Giants and Chaos Giants is nice given that those two lack armour saves, but otherwise Thorgrim's damage potential is decidedly lacking. Even chucking in Always Strikes First isn't that handy at first glance given Thorgrim is a mere Initiative 4 and thus won't get re-rolls that often, though it must be stated that his Great Book of Grudges does alleviate this issue. When rolling for the otherwise entirely random Ancestral Grudge special rule, an army featuring Thorgrim gets to add a +3 modifier to the D6 roll, meaning at bare minimum friendly characters will "hate" enemy characters. In fact, any roll of a 2+ will grant your entire army Hatred against the enemy forces, while the total roll of a 7+ provides both Thorgrim and any attached unit re-rolls to hit against enemies in every round of combat rather than just the first. As cool as this might seem once you throw in the extra four Strength 4 attacks from his Weapon Skill 5, Initiative 3 Thronebearers, Thorgrim himself is really quite lacking as a combat Lord - his damage output is great only against weakly armoured foes, where armies like Dark Elves or Warriors of Chaos will just laugh at the High King's efforts. He is very good against Monsters in general but otherwise lacks both the attacks and Strength to really punch through infantry clusters or well armoured opponents.

Still, Thorgrim wouldn't be the High King if he didn't have lots of nice buffs for your army even when considering the awesome +3 bonus to the Ancestral Grudge special rule he provides. Not only does he have to be the General, but Thorgrim also has an impressive Inspiring Presence range of 18" with Leadership 10; chuck in the Immune to Psychology and Stubborn special rules on both himself and any unit he joins and it is almost impossible to force the High King and his guardians to flee. On the off chance that Thorgrim is slain, the entire Dwarf army gains the Frenzy special rule which, given their high Leadership, is actually a nice buff that stacks very well with his boost for Ancestral Grudge. Still, for the points you pay I don't feel Thorgrim is really worth it given that you can make a Dwarf Lord almost as tanky with half the points allowance, and don't even mention the damage output said Dwarf Lord can have. As most Dwarfs are already Leadership 9 or 10 the increased Inspiring Presence range really isn't that helpful, while the buff to Ancestral Grudge is only prevalent for combat-based Dwarf builds - remember then that Thorgrim cannibalizes the points you could otherwise spend on true damage-dealers like Hammerers or Irondrakes. He doesn't provide nearly enough positive effects for a Dwarf army that is still heavily constrained by its lack of mobility and fails to address the severe lack of damage output many Dwarf characters suffer from. The High King will doubtless prove a huge thorn in your opponents side if he manages to make it into combat with their most valuable combat units given his ridiculous survivability, but seeing as experienced players can easily out-manoeuvre a Dwarf force the High King is just far too limited given that he is also the most expensive character in the army book.
Competitive? No.

Thorek Ironbrow - While the character may see renewed popularity if only because he makes such an awesome (if short-lived) appearance in the Nagash: End Times book, Thorek sits in the same corner as Thorgrim by paying far too much over a similarly equipped generic character for what he does. Unlike Thorgrim, the generic equivalent of Thorek is also not worth it in a competitive environment with the dramatic changes to the Anvil of Doom and Runelords in general - as an aside, Runesmiths are the way to go out of the three options. An Anvil of Doom is a War Machine and Unbreakable with all that entails, while its innate bound spells - the main reason you are supposed to take one - only function if it remains immobile. This means it will not only stay separate from other units but it has to keep still which considering the limited range of its bound spells is really rather limiting, and the defensive boosts it provides to a Runelord really don't make up for the fact that it can't get Look Out Sir rolls or join units. One or two well placed cannonballs will quickly put an end to an Anvil of Doom and ends its miserable, expensive existence.


Now, throw all of that onto Thorek Ironbrow who shares an identical profile with a Runelord aside from a slightly boosted Leadership 10 and a few other extra abilities. Magic Resistance 3 and a natural 5+ ward save ensure Thorek won't be daunted by magic missiles and direct damage spells any time soon, and his 1+ armour save at least makes Thorek a very tough character between Toughness 5 and 5 Wounds. Disappointingly, Thorek really offers little otherwise over a regular Runelord on an Anvil of Doom. His pair of armour ignoring attacks at Initiative 3 aren't really worthwhile considering that Thorek will quickly be shot down by war machines rather than be engaged in combat, while the effect of destroying magic items probably won't make a difference against characters that can just kill him in one round of combat before he strikes. Thorek really doesn't belong in combat and lacks the means to get there, while he is far too easily picked off by war machines despite his high cost. So what actual benefits does he provide over a regular Runelord on an Anvil of Doom? He shares the same Innate Bound Spells but gains a +1 bonus to cast them which I guess makes him the equivalent of a Level 1 Wizard, while he can re-roll a single dice on a failed casting attempt when using one of the Bound Spells. Sadly, those are the only noteworthy improvements Thorek provides and, given how lacking an Anvil of Doom usually is and how obtusely priced Thorek is in comparison to a Runelord, I just don't see a competitive army list ever featuring the Master Runelord.
Competitive? No.

Ungrim Ironfist - No matter what your opinions might be on Slayers, there is little denying that Ungrim is easily the best combat-centric Dwarf Lord special character in the army book and puts both Thorgrim and Belegar to shame with his great mix of survivability and damage potential. Weapon Skill 9 and Initiative 5 are pretty much exclusive to Thorgrim as far as Dwarfs are concerned, while four attacks at Strength 6 with the Killing Blow special rule make him a deadly opponent to monsters and characters alike. He makes mince meat of opponents such as Necrosphinxes with his Slayer rule allowing him to always wound on a 4+ at worst which greatly complements his Strength 6 for armour modifiers, making him the perfect monster hunter. Throw in the Multiple Wounds (D3) special rule and forcing opponents to re-roll successful ward saves against his attacks through the Dragon Slayer and Daemon Slayer special rules, respectively, and Ungrim will absolutely tear apart anything that doesn't classify as "ranked infantry". In case you are worried about high Initiative opponents killing him before he gets a chance to strike, not only is Ungrim very durable but he also has the Deathblow special rule; this allows him to at least attack once when he dies regardless of whether he has already attacked in that round of combat.

That he is Toughness 6 with the usual 3 Wounds, a 3+ armour save and a 4+ ward save ensures he will get to strike against all but the most damaging high Initiative opponents such as Nagash or Crone Hellebron. In addition, Ungrim possesses a 2+ ward save against Flaming Attacks that will see even the horrifying K'daii Destroyer halted in its tracks against the Slayer King, while Aenarion's descendant in Tyrion may as well just give up against a combat Lord that is possibly more valuable than he. Unlike the other three special characters in the Lords slot, Ungrim is not only appropriately priced for what he does but brings a potency unseen from other Dwarf Lord builds. That he doesn't provide this damage output at the sacrifice of survivability makes Ungrim easily the most valuable special character in the slot and arguably the best combat character in the army book for competing against opposing Lords and monsters. That he is restricted to joining Slayer units might not be a downside for some but being limited to those units does hamper the army in the list-building department, forcing Ungrim to fight with the death-seeking fanatics rather than at the head of a formation of Hammerers or Ironbreakers. At the very least this does mean Ungrim is permanently Unbreakable, can provide a Leadership 10 Inspiring Presence and also allow a single Slayer unit to take 100 point Runic Standard. If you are going to pay a lot of points for a combat Lord that is heavily constricted by the fact that he is a Movement 3 Dwarf, Ungrim is your best bet as far as the special characters are concerned.
Competitive? Yes.

Belegar Ironhammer - Given the profile of the Slayer King above, I could be forgiven for harbouring some disappointment over the rules for this all-new special character. Belegar reads very much as a generic Dwarf Lord with some very minor improvements to counter-balance being priced at double the base cost of his generic equivalent. His stats are mostly identical save for a slightly boosted Weapon Skill 8, while adding Stubborn on top of Leadership 10 would be amazing in another army but really isn't that big of a deal for Dwarfs - especially if you use Hammerers. Having Always Strikes First with Initiative 4 is decent, while a magic weapon with a +1 bonus to wound is actually quite useful against Monsters given how lightly armoured they usually are. Unfortunately, like Thorgrim, Belegar is a mere Strength 4 (Strength 5 on the first round of combat if he charges) which means that his strikes will bounce off of opponents with good armour saves, forcing him to pair up with a Runesmith for that all important Armour Piercing. The +1 bonus to wound also isn't that great with only 4 Attacks and don't really help to maximise his damage output, though his once-per-game ability to double his total attacks to a whopping eight is certainly impressive.

Unfortunately, it really isn't enough given that, again, any Hero choice character with a 1+ re-rollable armour save can grab a book and sit there as docile and complacent as you can imagine while Belegar futilely attempts to kill them. Strength 5 is the absolute bare minimum I ask of an expensive combat character and given the Dreadlord, Chaos Lord and even Dwarf Lord builds you can design with an equal points allowance as Belegar, he just isn't worthwhile at all. As for tankiness, Belegar has a 3+ armour save and 4+ ward save in addition to a handy immunity to both Killing Blow and Heroic Killing Blow, though his three wounds and the general lack of either special rule from most dedicated combat units sees that he doesn't compare even to Ungrim in this category. Not only is Belegar a vastly inferior fighter to Ungrim but he is also even easier to kill, trading Toughness 6 and Unbreakable for the less useful immunities and Stubborn. He might be cheaper than Ungrim by a not insignificant amount but if you are going to take a dedicated fighting character then you should be spending the extra points to make them work, and Ungrim fits that category better than Belegar or Thorgrim. At the very least, I expect a special character to offer something unique over standard choices but Belegar provides nothing that a far superior and similarly priced Dwarf Lord on Shieldbearers can't also do.
Competitive? No.


Dwarf Lord - I will preface this review by saying that combat characters are generally taken because they provide you with a Leadership 10 general and a source of heavy damage output that your regular units can't provide. They act as a linchpin for a given unit or even your entire army depending on what, if any, support abilities they possess. With this in mind, Dwarf Lords (and the special characters above, barring Ungrim) buck this trend by instead giving you some of the most heavily defended victory points you could possibly hope for. Losing the General of an army isn't a massive loss unless you are using the now outdated General of Undeath rules for Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts, or if they are also your main spellcaster. Generally speaking you want to avoid investing massive points into characters so that they don't give your opponent an easy 400-500 victory points just for slaying them, the notable exceptions being Greater Daemons, Vampire Lords and Warriors of Chaos Daemon Princes. Enter the Dwarf Lord, possibly the most survivable generic character in the game for his or her price and unit type. If you want a damage-dealing monster in the metaphorical sense, look elsewhere; even outfitted heavily with runes, there is only so much melee presence a Dwarf character can provide without sacrificing too heavily on defence.

A Dwarf Lord lacks the mobility, special rules and stats to really become a true terror on the battlefield, though what he can do is provide a unit with a virtually immovable anvil. Toughness 5 with 3 Wounds and a 4+ armour save stock is generally only matched by a Chaos Lord for sheer survivability, but none can match a Dwarf Lord with the now essentially mandatory Shieldbearers upgrade. Paying less than 50 points total to add +2 wounds to a Dwarf Lord and provide them with a 2+ armour save that can still be improved, keeping the Infantry unit type and still being able to join units and benefit from Look Out Sir as normal may as well be the best bargain around. Chuck in runes and a Dwarf Lord can easily reach Toughness 6 with 6 Wounds, a 1+ armour save and a 4+ ward save and not only will you still have around thirty points to spend on weapon runes or further defensive items, but the Dwarf Lord will still not have exceeded the 300 point mark. Good luck killing that character with the equivalent amount of points in anything, and if that's not enough you can still add a 2+ ward save against Killing Blow and Heroic Killing Blow attacks or an even more ridiculous Toughness 7. From there, all you need to do is give the Dwarf Lord a great weapon for four Strength 6 attacks at Weapon Skill 7 with Always Strikes Last and you will have yourself the most unbelievably durable Lord choice in the game that can still hide in units as normal while dishing out a respectable amount of damage. That this character will still come in at nearly half the cost of Thorgrim is just bonkers and allows you to proudly boast of your Lords' truly "unkillable" nature.
Competitive? Yes.

Runelord - If ever there was a more pointless Lord choice in an army book when compared to its "lesser" Hero version, the Runelord would surely like a word with them. As I mentioned in my review of Thorek, the Anvil of Doom is nowhere near worth its points cost and that it remains a Runelords defining trait over the significantly less expensive Runesmith sounds the death knell for this character competitively. If you really want to take an Anvil of Doom, you waste the impressive Armour Piercing benefit a Runelord provides to both himself and his unit. If you don't take an Anvil of Doom, you are far better off taking two Runesmiths for the same points cost that provide you with double the channel attempts and the potential to give two units Armour Piercing rather than just one. Considering how inexpensive it is for Dwarf characters to get impressive saving throws, I see almost no point in taking a Runelord over a pair of Runesmiths - especially as the latter option allows you to take two Runes of Spellbreaking on separate models for two dispel scrolls in the one army list. That the Runelord is Leadership 9 rather than Leadership 10 and features otherwise barely improved stats just cements his position as a sub-par character in an army list that cannot afford to waste any points given its highly elite nature. Being able to take more points in runes is basically worthless given that these characters lack the profile to really be a melee beast and thus don't need any unnecessary points spent on them, while providing Magic Resistance 2 instead of Magic Resistance 1 isn't much of a bonus for what amounts to a lacklustre Lord choice.
Competitive? No.

Daemon Slayer - When you take a Lord choice that is purely oriented around fighting in close combat, I ask that the model is both capable of being your General, is at least moderately survivable and, failing either of these categories, has good mobility to maximise their damage output in a standard six-turn game. While the Dwarf Lord gets away with reduced combat stats because he forms an anchor and provides you with a handy Leadership 10 General, the Daemon Slayer is a confusing model because it begs to be your General but is incapable of performing that role. Spending points on a "fighty" Lord choice like a High Elf Prince or Dark Elf Dreadlord is done because not only are they one of a few select Leadership 10 options for your General, but because they can be far more survivable than your other options for that mantle of authority. While these types of characters are generally outweighed in sheer usefulness by Level 4 or greater wizard options because close combat Lords are inherently limited to a singular purpose, choices like the Prince or Dreadlord at least safeguard those 100 Victory Points for slaying the enemy General that any opponent craves. They can also still be incredibly deadly in close combat and have numerous mount options to diversify their place in an army list, getting themselves into combat as quickly as you desire.

For the Daemon Slayer, you may as well forget all of the above advice. Toughness 5 with 3 Wounds are the only defence a Daemon Slayer has which won't against your standard Ogre Blade wielding Lord choice, with no option for armour or ward saves of any kind. There is no mobility here with the Daemon Slayer restricted to joining other Slayer units and having a pitiful Movement 3 and no mount options. A Daemon Slayer can never be your army General despite being Leadership 10 and Unbreakable with all the usual Dwarf special rules like Ancestral Grudge, Relentless and Resolute. The profile of a Daemon Slayer isn't even that much improved over a Dwarf Lord, with the Daemon Slayer having slightly higher Initiative and the ability to freely swap between a great weapon or pair of hand weapons. The former of these two weapon options is generally superior as even despite wasting that sweet Initiative 5, four Strength 4 attacks are not going to worry any serious dedicated melee unit or character. What makes this rule redundant is that if you actually spend more points on a Daemon Slayer to get them some truly impressive close combat capabilities through runic weapon upgrades, you can no longer switch between those two generic weapons. Why pay for that special rule as a stock ability if the Daemon Slayer has sub-par close combat abilities that thus require extra investment on what is already a badly priced model?

Another point of note on characters like the High Elf Prince is that being the army General and having greater defensive capabilities justifies their cost compared to the equivalent points in damage-dealing regular units such as White Lions or Swordmasters. For a Daemon Slayer, what does he really bring over ten or more Slayers that are roughly the same price in points? The Daemon Slayer and Dragon Slayer special rules for the titular characters do make them very scary against monsters and Daemonic enemies, but ultimately they just come across as sub-par fighting choices. They aren't terrible by any means but I just cannot see the value here given that they lack saving throws of any kind. However, if you want a model that will absolutely tear apart most enemies then take the following three Runes; one Rune of Daemon Slaying, one Rune of Fury and the Master Rune of Alaric the Mad. Slayers always wound on a 4+ unless a better roll is required, and as such the Rune of Daemon Slaying means your Daemon Slayer will always wound on a 3+ and additionally have a +1 to hit bonus to maximise his damage output. The Master Rune of Alaric is taken so that the Strength deficit is no concern by completely ignoring armour saves which ensures that your five attacks that always wound on a 3+ and (likely) hit on a 3+ or 2+ will tear through even the most heavily armoured foes. Forcing opponents to re-roll successful ward saves and inflicting Multiple Wounds (D3) for every unsaved wound will do the rest. Toss in the Deathblow native to all Slayers and you will have yourself a sub 250 point model that will statistically kill most characters and monsters in one round of combat, while subsequently fulfilling his suicidal Oath in the same breath. If two Master Runes could be taken on the same weapon then replacing the Rune of Fury with the Master Rune of Swiftness would turn the Daemon Slayer into a truly terrifying opponent even for Blender Vampire Lords, but alas, such is not meant to be.
Competitive? No.

Summary!
The Dwarf Lord and Ungrim Ironfist are the obvious picks of the Lords slot for varying reasons, while the rest of the cast are generally over-priced or limited given their respective price points.


Thank you all for reading this article! The Dwarf army-book does tend to suffer somewhat from poor internal balance with some options being clearly superior to their competitors in the same slots, but generally the book is well written with lots of cool rules and options to make up for the Dwarfs lack of hitting power in a melee and terrible movement speed. I hope you found this article useful to your efforts as a young beardling or as a veteran of the World's Edge Mountains and all the horrors they have spat forth over the millennia, and I wish you all to have a lovely day! Thanks again! Eel out.

5 comments:

  1. Not only can Dwarf Lords be really sturdy, but they can come with amazing damage potential vs. tougher opponents as well. Normal Dwarf infantry with GWs can kill rank and file just fine, but a Dwarf Lord's ability to inflict 2x S D3 wounds attacks on anything T5+ makes him one of the most potent monster/char killers in the game. I would not go anywhere near him with my Vampire Lord, since he can still spot 1+/4++ and cleave your face in 2.

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    1. That is certainly true and something I actually forgot all about, I always thought the stats were a bit too limiting for a Dwarf Lord to be a real hard hitter but those weapon runes are there for a reason! I guess the only types of characters he would have to worry about are the pesky Elf ones like a Prince in a Banner of the World Dragon unit, but then sure enough the rest of the unit falls very quickly to massed Strength 5+ attacks.

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  2. High Elves also have a ridiculous item vs. Dwarfs especially that's borderline unfair. For 10 points, they cause Terror vs. Dwarfs, and at the start of each combat phase, roll a D6 for every magic item carried by a dwarf in btb with it. On a 4+, that magic item is destroyed and cannot be used for the rest of the battle. It's utterly ridiculous and so much more powerful than the Dwarf equiv, the Silver Horn of Vengeance.

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    1. Agreed, that item is just flat out ridiculous for 10 points. Usually the "exclusive versus another army" magic items either don't do much or are over-priced, but the Cloak of Beards pretty badly bucks that trend. I wouldn't be adverse to taking it all the time even without knowing what army list you will face up against as it is only 10 points and screws over Dwarf characters!

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  3. Every time you post about a thing it makes me want to play that thing :P

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