Help with Dwarfs

Hello everyone =)
I’m trying to building a nice army list for dwarfs (goal 2000/2300 pts).
I’m an old warhammer fantasy player, and I still own a few miniatures which are unpainted since ages, so I decided to use them for a KOW warband, buying what I lack.
The miniatures in my possession are:

24x Thunderers (Ironwatch rifles, or perhaps Sharpshooters with some conversion work?)
22x Warriors 1 handed and shield (Ironclad?)
14x Warriors 2 handed (Shieldbreakers?)
25x Miners
1x Cannon with servants
1x Thane
2x Dragon slayer
10x Stormcast eternals paladins (I’ve read someone uses them as Earth elementals)
50x Dwarfs with spears EM4 (Bulwarkers?)

I’m going to multibase everything, and I will almost certainly buy a Lord on large beast and a box of Brock riders or 2, but I really need a little help to understand which units I should deploy, so that I can do the math for a buying list =D

Thanks in advance!


I am also new and new to KoW and find myself in a similar situation.
So, I am interested in the answers also.
Tho I have a bunch of slayers and some how acquired quite a few “grudge ponies”(?) that I am tempted to convert into Brock Riders.


Hi Dario, welcome!

As I don’t play dwarves myself (but face them regulary) this reply will be more from a modellers perspective than a gamers’. This means that the aim is to have it look good instead of fielding only the most effective army. (which IMHO is more important than getting the most effective unit on the battlefield)

As for multibasing: I generally aim for ~8 models per troop (sometimes abreviated to PMC or Preferred Model Count) so that’s what I’ll be going for.

so going per model:

24x Thunderers (=> Ironwatch rifles, or perhaps Sharpshooters with some conversion work?)

I’d go for ironwatch, since this is the logical conversion to KoW. While these can make 3 troops, I wouldn’t do so. Ironwatch rifles are not up to scratch this edition (or the previous one, for that matter), and while the Rules Committee has promised to buff them, I don’t have the information how and what. I would build 16 of them into a regiment (or 2 troops) and use the remaining 8 as 2 troops of sharpshooters. As Sharpshooters are long-barreled rifles with shields, it’s an easy conversion for thunderers. :slight_smile:

22x Warriors 1 handed and shield => Ironclad indeed. They make great anvils. I’d use 16 for a regiment and keep the rest for conversions / unit fillers. Separate any banners you might have for an army standard bearer, as these are always useful.

14x Warriors 2 handed => Shieldbreakers. Just add 2 of the warriors and make it a regiment. (rip off the shields and do a weapon switch. or just use the musician/champion)

25x Miners => These have no direct counterpart in Kings of War, which means you can choose what to do with them. You might want to mix them between the 2-handed weapon warriors and go for a horde of shieldbreakers. The increased nerve does much to aleviate the decreased defense and 25 attacks with crushing strength is nothing to scoff at.

1x Cannon with servants => A cannon. Decent war machine.

1x Thane => Dwarven king. Don’t know if he’s good enough for use, but I see them flying around a lot. (using the wings of honeymaze magical artifact.)

2x Dragon slayer => Berserker lords. While they usually ride brocks when I encounter them, they are killing machines. I’ve also seen the wings on these guys for additional killing power, only their low defense makes them really squishy, so I’ve learned to blast them from the skies early!

10x Stormcast eternals paladins (I’ve read someone uses them as Earth elementals) => this is a good match. They also make great ironguard.

50x Dwarfs with spears EM4 > Bulwarkers, yes! They are quite good this edition, so this is at least a horde. (32 of them make a horde, add 4 warriors with shields for an additional regiment).

As for the buying list, I’d buy at least one regiment of brocks and a king on a large beast. Then depending on the kind of list you’re going to do either:

-a few more war machines
a horde (or two) of earth elementals, probably a greater earth elemental along with a stone priest or two.

These are two kinds of army lists I see on a regular basis. Both feature a core of dwarven infantry (because, duh) supported by some more mobile elements such as brocks, a brock lord and/or a king on a large beast. Then the army features either a couple of war machines or a number of elemental units with stone priests to do surge shenigans. If you want to buy a couple of earth elementals, there’s the Mantic ones. alternatively, Reaper has quite a selection. Mine are reaper too and were quite cheap.

Of the two, I like playing against the elemental list better. Dwarves are always at risk of turning the army into a gunline. Battles with and against a gunline aren’t so much fun and other armies do it better at (looking at you, Goblins and kingdoms of men)

As one of my friends has been trying to start his dwarven army for a few years now (and still not succeeding), I made a tutorial for his brocks. Here’s it, if you’re interested:

greets and good luck,



You could also do the Miners as Rangers. They don’t have a visible crossbow on them, but neither did the old gw rangers, if I recall correctly.

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Hello welcome to the fun house, you’ve got a solid core there certainly, multibasing will help stretch your forces so a 20 man unit can be as little as 11 for example, but I would suggest more looks better in most cases.

24x Thunderers (Ironwatch rifles, or perhaps Sharpshooters with some conversion work?)
Yes I would be tempted to convert one or two troops of sharpshooters and then leave the rest as Ironwatch, full 5 for sharpshooters and 7 or 8 for Ironwatch

22x Warriors 1 handed and shield (Ironclad?)
Two regiments of 11 here rock them as Ironclad or even Ironguard the choice is yours play a few games with both types and see what works best.

14x Warriors 2 handed (Shieldbreakers?)
Could be Shieldbreakers but I would be tempted to strap on some crossbows and run them as rangers.

25x Miners
These work perfectly as shieldbreakers

1x Cannon with servants

1x Thane
Hero, jobs a good one

2x Dragon slayer
Berserker Lord, give one the wings of honeymaze and send him hunting wizards and warmachines

10x Stormcast eternals paladins (I’ve read someone uses them as Earth elementals)
For a full dwarf army they can work as elementals, or you could use them as ogre palace guard allies from Basilea

50x Dwarfs with spears EM4 (Bulwarkers?)
Yes all day long.

I quickly threw this together it uses most but not all you have and it makes a solid 2000, you would probably want to get a priest in there for the Elementals though.

Ironguard Regiment(20) 150

Ironguard Regiment(20) 150

Shieldbreakers Horde(40) 205

Bulwarkers Regiment(20) 135

Bulwarkers Regiment(20) 135

Rangers Regiment(20) 185

Ironwatch Rifles Troop(10) 115

Ironwatch Rifles Troop(10) 115

Sharpshooters Troop(10) 100

Sharpshooters Troop(10) 100

Earth Elementals Horde(6) 220

Ironbelcher Cannon 110

Dwarf Lord 105

Beserker Lord 110 w/ wings 150

Total 1975 spend 25 on magic items, probably potion of caterpillar for the horde of shieldbreakers.

Anyway, I’m sure better players will come along and change all my advice, which is cool. But definitely get stuck in


Just to clear things up incase you didn’t know:
The smaller number if models is a thing in Kings of War because units have a set footprint and models are not removed or counted. The unit size must stay the same though. If your units are on individual bases you don’t need to rebase to multibases (there is a thread about it), movement trays that are the right size will make things easier though.

There is plenty of advice on which units are good or bad, but KoW is quite balanced. The difference between units are not as much as they are made to sound or you might be used to. A “bad” unit isn’t a liability that will cost you a game.

The units are good to be used as said above.
A note on sharpshooters: they go on 25mm bases (which translates to a 125x50mm troop) and are described as having shields be the front rank. So a few dwarfs with guns behind (presumably mobile) cover.

An extra idea is that you can mix models to represent different troops. Rangers have CS 1 (usually represented with two handed weapons) and crossbows. If you have a unit with two handed weapons and an obvious shooting attack that’ll do.
Maybe have a unit of miners with a few thunderers as rangers.

You can also have a few models from one units fill out another, especially in the back ranks. If you have 16 of something then fill out the back ranks (or spread out) a few warriors or miners.

Also note that heroes are separate and there are not rules for “command” (units still look cool with banners though), in KoW hero’s fill that role.
You can use and standard bearer as a standard bearer hero, for example. Any unit champion as a lord.
If you have the artillery crewman that looks like an engineer that can be a warsmith.
If you have 40mm square to put under a storm cast then you can run one as a steel juggernaut, but can be confusing if they are also being used as earth elementals.
Get creative! As long as a unit look like it is capable of it’s stats and abilities.

In terms of tactics, you do need to be mindful of damage output with dwarfs. Shieldbreakers in hordes, throwing mastiffs and shooting are a good source for you collection.
Dwarfs are slow and don’t usually get to charge first, which means that enemy units put damage on you first in melee, use shooting to make up for this before they get to you.

Also; you can read a review of Imperial Dwarfs (the list in the core rulebook) and Free Dwarfs (the ranger theme list in Uncharted Empires).

Shameless self plug; you can also read about my adventures with dwarfs and hopefully gain some insight into how the army works. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: have


Thanks everybody for the replies^^
I’m going to work onto this project once I’m done with the ongoing one (building a Blood Bowl pitch atm =P), but with this data in my hands now I understand a little better how I should proceed.
Now the next step is try to convince my partner in crime to buy/put together an army too XD
He should still have got some warhammer chaos, high elves and skaven minis somewhere ihihih.

A brilliant idea indeed =)

“Brocks & Rocks” are the way to go it seems for the stunties. They are not what I would call a top tier army in any way. Their regulars lack pop in their attacks even when artifacts are added. Artillery in general is not that great in Kings of War so you need lots of it - hitting on 5’s is arduous. Not to mention when artillery gets attacked its - snake eyes for sure when it comes to a nerve test.

In previous edition, your comments were 100% accurate. The best armies at that time consisted of brocks, rocks and glocks (guns). I feel 3rd edition has helped dwarfs quite a bit, especially dwarven infantry. While they do continue to require some support in the form of artillery (better than you’d think in 3rd), brocks or characters, the dwarven infantry has a LOT of resilllience for their point cost. Even the simple troop of simple dwarves brings defense 5+ and 10/12 nerve for only 70 (!) points.

Actually, of the rocks, brocks and glocks part of the army, the earth elementals seem the least reliable these days. They are very reliant on surge to be effective, and it;s hard to protect a single stone priest from disruption/sniping. Without them, the earth elementals are not that powerful for their high point costs and a crafty player will focus on other parts of the army.

The models I fear most these days are kings on large beasts. Always coming in pairs, sometimes in trios, a defense 6+ 15/17 (headstrong) model is hard to kill and with nimble and a 50x50 base, they are far more mobile than you’d like. That, and they have 7 attacks with CS and TC.

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I’ve been playing Dwarves and they just lack the old ‘haymaker’ on the offensive side. Their DF is great straight across the board, that is true. Plus, there is far too much terrain on my gaming groups tables ( average 12 pieces ), which is not great for my beards. Especially if I need to place potion of caterpillar and Sir Jesse’s Boots on my inits to deal with terrain. I apologize for being a cry baby but artillery is a tough sell as well.
On the positive side, I love steel behemoth’s & Lord on large beast with beast slayer sword combination. I have the models so I won’t stop playing ‘em :wink: