Dwarf army builds - with walking dwarfs as the core?

Having just fallen into a great deal on a bunch of old-school dwarfs, I of course would love to play them in KoW. However, most dwarf lists in KoW seem to revolve around the non-dwarf, or at least non-walking dwarf units like elementals and brock riders.

Having struggled to make normal human infantry work, and having painful experience with how slow speed 5 infantry without pathfinder is, I can see why. In a game where speed and mobility is king, speed 4 is utterly terrible! You suck at a ton of scenarios, especially if you go second, you will never get the first charge, and you have no tactical mobility. Playing a few games with a balanced free dwarf list just confirmed how badly speed 4 sucks.

But I still want to play with my little dudes, so looking for input on some more skewed lists / playstyles. All lists are 1995 (the best pts cost to play):

Shooty - “Short legs are fine when everyone packs a gun”.
3x Shield breaker horde, 1x macwars, 1x jesse´s boots, 3x throwing mastiff
3x Mastiff hunting pack, 3x throwing mastiff
2x Cannon
1x Organ gun
1x Sharp shooters
1x Golloch´s Fury
1x Berserker lord, brock, blade of beast slayer
1x BSB, lute
1x Flame priest, inspiring, bane chant
14 drops

Gameplan: Play defensively, hurting the enemy from afar, and then finish with a scenario win with the decent melee elements. I stayed away from ironwatch, as static infantry shooting seems so incredibly lack-luster in 3rd. The shield breakers all have mastiff chaff, so they might have a chance of not being double / triple charged at least. Not totally sure there is enough shooting to actually pull off the waiting game though.

Def 6 is cool - grind you way through this you speedy fucker!
3x Ironguard regiment
1x Shield breaker horde
1x Shield breaker regiment
2x Mastiff hunting pack
1x Dwarf lord on large beast
1x Golloch´s fury
1x Greater earth elemental
1x Stone priest, bane chant
1x Berserker lord, brock, blade of beast slayer
1x BSB, lute
13 drops

Gameplan: Try to stay fairly clumped together to be able to support each other and get some juicy flanks when the enemy bounces off all the def 6. I originally had another lord on beast, but added the mastiffs and BSB instead, as most armies have at least one unit that just plows through even def 6 15/17. I also did some switching from my original draft of practically all def 6 to add the harder hitting shield breakers in. Very little shooting however, and no tactical flexibility from movement, so need to make a plan for how to grind out a scenario victory.

I´ve also been eyeing free dwarfs, for example an “all scouting” list with rangers and shield breakers, but they are both so incredibly expensive, so not very confident that is a good route.

Thoughts on the play styles or lists? Interested in playing foot-dwarfs and want the answer yourself? Tell my which list to test next.

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a) Best of luck to you in your quest, Dwarf armies made of Dwarfs look great and are fantasy af. Also eternal underdogs, which I’m about.
b) My clubmate has run Dwarfs since the deep dark of WHFB (and recently finished writing one of the two Dwarf novels Mantic is publishing in the near future!), and has kept up the enduring struggle to make foot / combined arms stunties work. I think the last time we played he was running a Def 6 or GTFO late 2E list, which I melted to slag with my fire elemental skew list, or I might have faced his But What About Troops? 3E list, which had a load of troop versions of infantry I normally see in hordes, which was cool and had a ton of drops, but ultimately got mulched by my Trident Realm (heartpiercers before they were cool).

Which is some preamble to say that here’s what he took to the US Masters this month:

Ironguard Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironguard Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironguard Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Shieldbreakers Horde
Shieldbreakers Horde
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment - Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Mastiff Hunting Pack - Throwing Mastiff
Mastiff Hunting Pack - Throwing Mastiff
Mastiff Hunting Pack - Throwing Mastiff
Steel Behemoth - Golloch’s Fury
Berserker Lord - Mount on a Brock, Blade of the Beast Slayer
Dwarf ASB - Lute of Insatiable Darkness
2300

Some of this was him finally caving to the meta and sourcing some mastiffs to add to his OG Citadel Dwarfs (spoiler: 3D prints ftw), but there’s a lot of smart stuff going on. I dig the De6 regiments and obviously all the tossed dogs is a decent short-range pressure tactic.

EDIT: Damn, a lot like your second list with brocks instead of greater earth and a LOT of shooting to fill to 2300 :smiley:

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I have this on the building table at the moment. I really wanted to go a less ‘fantastic’ army where the whole list is essentially foot dwarves.

Dwarfs
Bulwarkers (Regiment) 135
Bulwarkers (Regiment) 135
Shieldbreakers (Regiment) 125
Shieldbreakers (Regiment) 125
Ironclad (Horde) 180
Ironclad (Horde) 180
Flame Belcher 90
Flame Belcher 90
Sharpshooters (Troop) 100
Sharpshooters (Troop) 100
Steel Juggernaut 150
Steel Juggernaut 150

Warsmith 95
Lute of Insatiable Darkness 25

Flame Priest 65
Bane Chant (2) 20
Increase to Fireball (10) 15

Flame Priest 65
Bane Chant (2) 20
Increase to Fireball (10) 15

Dwarf Lord 105
Trickster’s Wand 15


Total Unit Strength: 24
Total Units: 16
Target Points: 2000
Core (Target%): 2000 (100%)

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Thanks for the input, def 6 list getting crushed by proper melee armies is indeed a fear. That list is fairly similar indeed, the added shooting gives some nice tactical options. Mastiffs seem like they are totally necessary unless you just run elementals. Lacking nimble and only Spd 6 is kind of lackluster, but they can still get in the way at least some of the time.

IMO it seems like the dwarf rooster is just a bit underpowered and bland. I took a look at Abyssal dwarfs, and those guys just do everything better. Way better shooting, vicious on everything, way better cavalry, individuals and uniques, better chaff, even better elementals!

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Interesting list. A ton of drops and 50 fireball is cool. I did look into a similar list, but leaning even heavier into short range firepower. The flame belcher being a warmachine, and thus only moving 4" each turn was my biggest hurdle to that list. Would love to hear how it works. Got an 80s dwarf flame thrower I would love to use.

The Flame belcher is underrated. I use two with a warsmith along with a steel behemoth for some nasty 12 inch firepower.

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The speed of the war engines is definitely something that concerns me.

I am wondering if their slower movement is a bit of a defensive advantage in that they’ll be further back from the action early on so less likely to take a charge, but mid to late game should be in place to support what’s going on.

I think having steady aim they may be surprisingly good at handling stuff that gets into the back lines.

I am going to use 2 with a warsmith and 2 flame priests :wink:

Love to hear that they work for you. Warsmith seems very expensive for his buff, but that combination might be one that actually works out

hoping to keep the sharpshooters close enough to him to get the buff there too, but may not end up being the case.

Once I have it all painted (i try not to play with unpainted minis… or i’d only play with unpainted minis :wink: ) - i’ll debut it on stream.

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Judging from the COK leaks, warsmith is likely to inspire all so it will be less of a tax. He also has 4 piercing 1 attacks so don’t forget about that too.

Nice. Rat 3+ would be fitting too IMO

You mentioned looking at Free Dwarfs, and I’ve been surprised to see how rare they are on the table, I think amongst the least represented factions? Maybe I’m misremembering, however when their 3E rules dropped I was sure we’d see most Dwarfs playing as Free ones. Perhaps some of my thinking was based on how hot rangers were in 2E, and how extra hot that Herneas’ rangers formation was? While I’m not sure what rangers lost, I’m guessing it was either significant enough or came at enough of a cost to junk the faction :confused:

But also I love having wide access to pathfinder, so might be applying that desire to Dwarfs, who might care less than I do.

My “dwarf list with dwarfs in” is along these lines:

Army: Dwarfs

Points: 2300

Unit Count: 16

Unit Strength: 25

195, Ironclad Horde

Throwing Mastiff

260, Bulwarker Horde

Hammer of Measured Force

Throwing Mastiff

210, Berserker Brock Rider Regiment

Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding

165, Ironguard Regiment

Throwing Mastiff

140, Shieldbreaker Regiment

Throwing Mastiff

115, Ironwatch Rifle Troop

115, Ironwatch Rifle Troop

185, Ranger Regiment

80, Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment

Throwing Mastiff

80, Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment

Throwing Mastiff

200, Dwarf Lord on Large Beast

160, Berserker Lord

Blade of the Beast Slayer

Brock

75, Dwarf Army Standard Bearer

Lute of Insatiable Darkness

120, Flame Priest

Inspiring Talisman

Bane Chant (2)

Fireball (10)

90, Ironbelcher Organ Gun

110, Ironbelcher Cannon

Rangers are just so incredibly expensive. You pay the price of a full-blown horde, but get a regiment that is just decent at everything.

Pathfinder is nice on the shield breakers, but they also get fairly useless scout, and end up paying premium infantry price for again being just decent at what they do.

If you are running an elemental army, then free dwarfs might be better, with the special character elemental and shaper. Brocks are also better in free dwarfs with Sverri, and Herneas looks pretty good. Other than that, they are just worse dwarfs.

My current free dwarf draft is:
Crashy Smashy
5x Shield breaker regiment, throwing mastiff
4x Mastiff, 2x throwing mastiff
2x Dwarf lord on large beast, healing brew
1x Sverri Egilax
2x Berserker lord, brock, blade of beast slayer, mournful blade
14 drops

Might actually be stupid enough to work?

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Does it work well for you? Seems to have quite a lot of tools, but also looks more like a friendly softer list.

Like most of my armies! - since I build stuff first and worry about the list afterwards :wink:

You’ll get more mileage out of spamming regiments that’s for sure.

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I’m digging that list quite a bit, feels like it’s looking to play 3E, though some reps will show how well :grimacing:

Yep, need some more games with the different style lists. Got some games lined up next week :slight_smile:

Got another idea based on the good dwarf review posted here: Army Review: Dwarfs – One Northern King

Because of their terrible speed, some dwarf units get very good stats for the points. This is probably not a list I will bother building, as it actually contains way too many dwarfs for my liking, and it is very one-dimensional, but I think it is a viable list. Might proxy it once just for fun (got 30 free points for items):

Just add more dwarf
5x shieldbreaker horde
5x mastiff troop, throwing mastiff
2x Dwarf lord
1x Berserker lord, blade of beast slayer
1x Rhordin
1x BSB, lute
15 drops

Mastiffs + lords as an initial skirmish line, then just grind with the endless hordes of shield breakers.

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That’s a lot of Dwarf O_O Tho I mean you did want walking core …

With the extra points, I’d be tempted to drop one of the mastiffs’ throwing mastiffs and give a lord some wings, unless that violates the theme you’ve got going on.

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