Imperial Dwarfs: A few questions and a 2000pt list

I’m new to Kings of War, I used to play WHFB starting way back in its 6th edition and was planning on starting a Dwarf Army when AoS happened and ended up dropping out of the hobby for years.

I’ve had the 3rd edition compendium for a few days now and I’ve come up with an army list I’d like some feedback on, and a few questions since there’s not a lot of info out there. First, the list:

Earth Elementals Horde
Bulwarkers Horde, Blessing of the Gods
2x Ironguard Regiment
2x Shieldbreakers Troop, Blade of Slashing, Mace of Crushing
2x Rangers Troop
2x Sharpshooters Troop
2x Mastiff Hunting Pack, Throwing Mastiff
2x Ironbelcher Cannon
Stone Priest, Bane Chant, Conjurer’s Staff
Army Standard Bearer, Lute of Insatiable Darkness
2,000 points

And second, the questions:

It seems like most lists have Brock Riders, are they really that essential? I’m not opposed to the concept, I just can’t find dwarf cavalry minis that I don’t hate.

From what I’ve read Bulwarkers don’t seem well liked, with most suggesting that Ironclad do the same job cheaper, but between the extra attacks and Phalanx they seem worth it to me, have I got it completely wrong?

Opinions on Rangers seem to vary wildly, I like the concept of them, but would I be better off taking Berserkers instead?

Given the amount of static shooting in the list, would a Warsmith with the Sacred Horn be more useful than the standard bearer with the lute?


Couple quick thoughts:

The Royal Guard formation is very good and basically remixes the units above in bold. I’d recommend rebuilding the list around the formation.

I’ve never seen troops of Dwarfs? With the exception of Sharpshooters and maybe Berserkers. You get a lot out of being regiments and are generally too slow to get much chaffing potential out of Sp 4 troops. I’d recommend combining these 4 troops into 2x Ranger regs or 2x Shieldbreaker regs w/ throwing mastiffs. (You’ll also find throwing mastiffs are both great fun and an important way to extend your reach.)

The list is vaguely missing an inspiring source? Which is usually made up by Golloch’s Fury or Faber Ironheart these days. I’m sure 2k makes stuffing one of those in tough but Faber is well worth it for the many things he does. Including being a good excuse to run your favorite Dwarf in power armor mini.


as @Boss_Salvage posted, I see dwarves pretty often in hordes and regiments, but troops often. Except of course, the sharpshooters, who are a good addition to many armies.

I’d combine the ironguard to a horde, shieldbreakers to a regiment (expand to a horde if you have the models), and rangers to a regiment. This leaves quite a few points to spend, which I would spend on characters and war machines and (if possible) a greater earth elemental, which is a powerhouse in itself. The iron beast and/or kings on large beasts are good additions to bolster you armies’ offensive power.

If you’re going to use the elementals, why not upgrade the stone priest with the surge spells? The pivit => move → surge trick is a good way to guard flanks and rears from more mobile oponents.

If you’re limited to Warhammer models (in which dwarves only had infantry and war machines) I’d add some characters. A dwarven king or berserker lord with wings of the honeymaze is a great way to get some speed in your army (king if you want staying power, berserker lord if you want offensive power). A warsmith will bolster your guns (good!) but be aware that shooting will not win you the battle. It never does… (grumble, except when you’re sylvan kin with only glade stalkers… grumble…)

When you’ve decided to switch over to Kings of War entirely and want to add some non-warhammer minis. I’d go for a steam tank/iron beast and/or a pair or trios of kings on large beasts. These are the real showrunners of dwarven armies at this moment. Brocks, as you asked, are very good too, but are limited by being one of the few mobile options in a very slow moving army. Moreover, their movement of 8 makes them on par with other heavy cavalry, but will be outcharged by fliers and lighter cavalry, which sucks.


Brocks are good but all infantry lists are also solid. Especially with throwing mastiffs.

Mastiff Pack can be a good, cheap ‘speed’ element too.


The only time i come across lots of dwarf infantry troops is in the throwing mastiff spam list - de5 ironclad, 10/12 nerve with mastiffs are annoying for 85pts

You can’t easily shoot them off, chaff cav can’t kill them, the throwing dogs can hurt and, depending on scenario etc you just plonk them on objectives


Thanks everyone for your advice. The royal formation does look good, don’t know how I missed that first time round. I like the idea of the Greater Earth Elemental, but for the points it just seems worse than the elemental horde.

How does this look for a revised list?

Royal Guard Formation
-Ironclade Horde, The Anvils of the Mountain
-2x Bulwarkers Regiment, The Hammers of the King
-Army Standard Bearer, The Lord’s Bannerman
Stone Priest, Surge, Bane Chant, Conjurer’s Staff
Earth Elementals Horde
2x Shieldbreakers Regiment
2x Rangers Regiment
2x Sharpshooters Troop
2x Ironbelcher Cannon
1,960 points

It only leaves room for Throwing Mastiffs on two units, three if I drop the Stone Priest’s staff, and no mastiff packs. I like the idea of the elementals but they’re not a must-have for me, would it be worth dropping them and swapping the Stone Priest’s Surge for Radiance of Life (or maybe swapping the Stone Priest out entirely for a Flame Priest) to fit in a couple mastiff packs and throwing mastiffs on everything but the Rangers and Sharpshooters? Like this:

Royal Guard Formation
-Ironclade Horde, The Anvils of the Mountain, Throwing Mastiff
-2x Bulwarkers Regiment, The Hammers of the King, Throwing Mastiff
-Army Standard Bearer, The Lord’s Bannerman
Stone Priest, Radiance of Life, Bane Chant, Conjurer’s Staff OR Flame Priest, Fireball 10, Bane Chant, Conjurer’s Staff
2x Shieldbreakers Regiment, Throwing Mastiff
2x Rangers Regiment
2x Mastiff Hunting Pack, Throwing Mastiff
2x Sharpshooters Troop
2x Ironbelcher Cannon
1,975 OR 1,965 points


Think I prefer the surge-less list? Especially for a new player.

If you take the Flame Priest, give him the Inspiring Talisman so you have two sources of inspo. I’m partial to the radiance and rerolled BC on the Stone Priest myself.

Then I’d use the extra points to give the horde something tasty, or give the Priest a spell to cast when he’s waiting for something to BC.


Thanks again for the advice.

To be honest the worst part of losing the elementals is the minis I had in mind for them would’ve been the easiest to paint; grey primer coat, stone effect spray paint, a little bit of dry brushing to highlight the high points, would’ve looked great.

The list I’ve settled on is:

Royal Guard Formation
-Ironclade Horde, The Anvils of the Mountain, Throwing Mastiff
-2x Bulwarkers Regiment, The Hammers of the King, Throwing Mastiff
-Army Standard Bearer, The Lord’s Bannerman
Stone Priest, Radiance of Life, Bane Chant, Conjurer’s Staff
2x Mastiff Hunting Pack, Throwing Mastiff
2x Shieldbreakers Regiment, Throwing Mastiff
2x Rangers Regiment
2x Sharpshooters Troop
2x Ironbelcher Cannon
1,975 points

I’ll need to have a good look at spells and magic items for the remaining 25 points. Lute of Insatiable Darkness is tempting for a second source of Bane Chant.


hehe, stone-elementals are often seen at tournaments (here’s one I faced once ) as the wall of defense 6+ is hard to resist. Here’s the tournament review from my humies’ perspective:

That said, in the current state of the game, defense isn’t worth as much as nerve. Crushing/thunderous/piercing is easy to come by and there’s always band chant. This is why the greater earth elemental (crushing 3) is much better than the crushing 1 regular elementals. That, and the square base, which is much better for surging.

If you’re not using surge (which is a good advice from @Boss_Salvage ) I’d steer away from the elementals. If you really, really want defense 6+, there’s Ironguard and dwarf kings, both which are not shambling. In an army which is already very slow, it does not help if part of the battle line cannot go “at the double”.


Not necessarily. They are great way to project threat though and some speed is very useful.
They are not particularly hard hitting cavalry, but have good nerve.

The issue is that dwarfs are fairly reactive, being so slow.
Which means that the phalanx only has an obvious effect if your opponent chooses to charge your phalanx unit with their cavalry, which they wouldn’t, apparently wasting the rule.
Damage dealing units that are infantry or large infantry ignore the phalanx aswell.

There’s more to it though; Having a unit that can stand up to (or just disincentivise) a cavalry or flyer charge is valuable, if you can get it in the right place. Getting slow units in the right place is a challenge, but the same can be said for pretty much the entrie dwarf list.

Ironclad are more cost effective, but have fitting limitations.

Rangers are a little less capable than they should be, so are disregarded by some more competitive players.
Units that fight and shoot are difficult to balance.

They are versatile and do something that dwarfs struggle with: project threat. They can scout up and threaten objectives turn 1 (especially useful in Loot) and the offer shooting or combat as needed.

I take them 'cause they’re cool and I like versatile units.

De 4+ is softer than the rest of the list though.
I like regiments because they have the nerve to get in a fight. Troops give a similar threat, but will rout if your opponent decides to get rid of them.

Shameless plug: you can see how beserker brock riders, ironclad and rangers prefrom in my dwarf battle reports!
New one coming this weekend.
Not a typical dwarf list though and I’m a mediocre player, so consiser any advice or thoughts I have accordingly. :sweat_smile:


In a way its very much find a list that works for you - play style and regular opponents will often impact this more than just finding a list by committee or stealing a netlist online!

It’s a bit of an choice with the elementals.

A horde, GEE and stone priest with BC is about 550pts - inspiring and the surge/bc combo along with de6.

If i wasn’t looking at a surge caster, a couple of EE regiments (130pts for de6 -/15) are hard to shift and the priest with the RoL swap and BC then becomes really handy?

Just a single surgeable unit (GEE) and lots of dwarfs then stone priest, take the free RoL swap, BC and give him tome of darkness. It still benefits from the Stoneshapers rule, saves you 5pts and you shouldn’t need more than surge 5 anyway


Thanks again everyone for the advice. Next step for me is getting the minis, I’ve already got some ideas in mind; I like the look of the Oathmark dwarf range.

It’s interesting to see the opinions on the elementals, a couple reviews I’d read online said the greater elemental was always a worse choice than a horde of the lesser elementals because of the number of attacks. If I expand the list to 2,300 points I’ll probably put Surge back on the Stone Priest and add a greater elemental, or maybe a lord and another pack of mastiffs, who knows? That’s a problem for future-me.

And thanks for tournament/battle reports, the plugs may be shameless but I actually like reading battle reports.


The oathmark stuff is really nice for the bulk of your rank and file combat stuff and rangers. Fireforge have some plastic goat riders and some infantry kits as well.

Earth elementals in unit & titan version have different roles/use, so depends what you want.

Regiments are pretty cheap comparatively, solid and hold objectives nicely.

Hordes unlock, take a lot of killing but are never going to chew through stuff without help.

Titan is a beast with high nerve, big CS and as a square based unit really easy to surge in


Well i like the way you’re going with your list! I also take a Dwarf Infantry list, and it can definitely do well in a competitive environment.

Looking at your most recent list, i think the Cannons are not so great anymore (you can’t shoot over your units without penalty like you used to). I personally prefer Flame Belchers, but Organ Guns are probably good too. Both tend to be very scary for your opponent and can do alot of damage in pairs. Well worth the investment even if only because of how intimating they can be.

I don’t like Rangers either. The Scout is great for Dwarfs but i feel like they just aren’t tough enough or punchy enough to justify their cost. That said, i think taking them in pairs is the way to go - that way they can at least support each other.

Definitely find a way to add the Brew of Strength to your Ironclad Horde. That’s what I do and the added killing power is absolutely worth the investment.

I’d also merge the Shieldbreaker regiments into a Horde, but that might be personal preference.

Finally, I’d really think about adding a third source of Inspiring somewhere. You really want the bulk of your army to be Inspired, but that becomes hard when you’ve into got two sources. Especially when those two sources want to be with the bulk of your infantry where their auras are strongest.


Great thread and some great replies here! I haven’t faced nor fielded the Dwarfs yet myself, so I’m wondering if I could pick your brains on a few units not covered yet in detail?

  • Ironwatch Rifles / Crossbows. I want to like them, but just can’t think of a place unless one is doubling down with multiple ranged hordes and a very static gunline, which is very unappealing to me! Though they are arguably less mobile and have fewer attacks, the longer range and better Ranged stat makes a few units of Sharpshooters more desirable to me. Is that the general take on comparing these units? Is there a place for the various Ironwatch units in a typical list? And if so, which version?
  • Steel Juggernaut. I like my sources of Inspiring to do more than stand around and look pretty. Faber Ironheart was mentioned briefly, and this knockoff seems expensive, but looks to bring a good number of options to the table? The ranged attack isn’t great, but it’s there, and otherwise it should be a decent fighting unit than can score objectives and make use of flank charges and such. How do folks feel about the generic version?
  • Berserkers. I wish they had CS or at least TC, but hey, you can always bring a Bane Chant to help them out. I don’t think a regiment will have the best returns since their other stats are a bit lackluster, but they have some good Nerve for their unit size and for their points. In a typical list, would a -/15 troop of Berserkers here and there be worth considering? Thicker chaff to throw it in front of something scary?

Thanks for any insight! This is a good thread of ideas.

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Your question about Ironwatch reminded me about VWG’s batreps, as there are a number of Dwarf ones, many of them recent. Bard was struggling to get much out of his crossbows and (spoilers) ended up feeling worse and worse about them.

Victoria Wargaming is here on YouTube: Victoria Wargaming - YouTube
Check both Videos and Live for their very long form bat reps (originally streamed live).


There are a few good things to say about each unit (below), but I think all of those are definitely sub-par.

Ironwatch and beserkers are examples of a problem with some units in KoW that I don’t think has a good solution or really needs to be solved tbh.
Especially in “generic fantasy armies” there are units that fill similar roles to other units (in which case one unit is always more cost effective) but have to be in the game because they’re expected to be. Either because it’s a trope, new players looking to try KoW with existing collections will need them and/or Mantic sells/has sold the models.
The unit stats represent the relevant models well and cost what seems to be a appropriate, but the units are not as efficient as other options. They’re not in the list to be taken by competitive players though, they’re there to give you the option of taking them if you want to.
Same goes for dwarf lords, skeletons, probably most archer and chariots in general (ogres having chariots instead of cavalry is sensible though).

Ironwatch are Me4+, US 3 and unlock though, which makes them a little more handy than other shooting units.
They can fight off chaff units; unlike sharpshooters who have no close combat ability.
I like to think of ironwatch rifles as an organ gun crossed with ironclad.
They are a bit expensive for that role though.

I’ll also note that cost effective shooting and unlocking units get spammed and that’s awful for the game.

I feel like the stats for beserkers fit the concept really well, but the concept doesn’t fit.

The steel juggernaut is nicely versatile and so almost good, but needs a little bump. Something like an extra attack or two.

There is apparently a dwarf release next year, so it’s possible that a bunch of units are getting rethought.


Thanks for the recommendation, I wasn’t aware of the Fireforge range but they look great, the weapons and armour are definitely a better fit for an army with gunpowder. I had planned to use ballista models in places of cannons and crossbows for the sharpshooters to better fit with the Oathmark minis, but I’ve ordered some FIreforge minis instead.

The goat riders are probably the best dwarf cavalry minis I’ve seen, but I’m still not keen on them, the goats really need some barding.

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I’ve dabbled with an Ironwatch Crossbow regiment in the odd game, but honestly they’re hard to justify. Put simply, Sharpshooters are far better for the points as a ranged option.

That said, I don’t think Ironwatch are a bad unit. They’re much better in melee than the ranged units you tend to see in other armies, and are tough enough to fight off the kind of light chaff that’d normally hunt ranged units down.

I think a single regiment of Crossbows could be useful for holding down a flank objective, and there’s real potential in taking a Horde of Ironwatch. Basically your opponent can’t ignore their ranged damage output, yet they’ll be pretty decent in combat too. The Elite or Vicious item will improve their damage output in both phases, but something like the Dragonshard Shield would let them tank almost anything on the charge, setting you up for a flank charge from supporting units.

They’re good, but it’s hard to fit them into one of your limited hero slots. If you have room for a fighty large-infantry type hero then Faber Ironheart is almost always your first choice. After that you’re comparing a Steel Juggernaut to a support hero like the Stone/Flame Priest (which are invaluable for Dwarfs) or a Dwarf Lord on Large Beast. And the latter is generally better at almost everything for just 25pts more.

I LOVE my Berserkers. They’re surprisingly tough for their cost and tend to be great as “thicc chaff” or flanking units for your main line. They won’t fold under pressure like cheaper chaff units, and they’ll hit VERY hard should they get the counter charge (which is more often than you might think). My current 2k list has two troops of them, and I rarely regret their inclusion.


Coming this weekend - 40 player event. It’s 2300, rather than 2000, but there are 4 Imperial Dwarf lists (none of the other dwarf types though).

Faber and sharpshooters are taken heavily - no crossbows/rifles.

Lists etc available via the link