Part One: Dwarves vs. Lizardmen Every dwarf has very similar stats. The non-characters do not deviate from the following (except Slayers). Nearly everything has a hand weapon and shield or great weapon as their sole options. Regular troops have WS 4 and S3, elites have WS 5 and S4. Every Dwarf (save Ironbreakers and Slayers) has heavy armor. M3 WS4 or 5 BS3 S3 or 4 T4 W1 I2 A1 Ld9 Most dwarf generals learn that the win more battles if most of their troops have great weapons and are deployed in horde formation. Killing power is usually more useful in 8th edition than defense and with their low Initiative scores, dwarves don’t lose must with ASL. Hand weapon and shield units are usually used as tarpits, expendable chaff, and for holding objectives like buildings. Most great weapon troops can take shields as an option, but since it’s only good for missile fire, few players choose to do so. This tells you the basics. Dwarves pretty much always score more hits than the LM they are fighting, they are tough, but not impossible to wound. A dwarf with a handweapon will do respectable against most things the LM throw at them, but a GW will chop down most of our list easily. Their basic Core not only outfights our basic Core, but are cheaper meaning they win any war of attrition. If you can’t flank the dwarves, or outnumber them locally, or use augments and hexes to swing fights in your favor they will win fair fights. Dwarfs aren’t required to fight fair (we don’t, why should they?). LM lack ranged hitting power, dwarves excel in it. In most cases a Dwarf opponent who knows what’s he’s doing will castle up and blast you with war machines as you advance so not only will his troops outfight yours, your blocks will arrived on the field depleted by shooting. You need to either deploy several war machine hunters, take mitigating magic spells, and/or select units that will relatively undamaged by war machines. Dwarfs don’t have magic items, they have runic items. They are affected by anything that can affect magic items and do just about everything the BRB items can do on the whole, plus handy anti-magic abilities. Core Warriors: Regular troop, HW+Shield or GW. No special ability. In a straight forward fight, a horde of GW Warriors will kill Saurus or Skroxigor noticeably faster than the LM kill them. Warriors are cheaper than Saurus too, so wars of attrition are extra bad. If you aren’t outnumbering them, flanking them, or using magic to tip the scales, Dwarf warriors will beat pretty much all LM units save Temple Guard (who they tend to draw with). Longbeards: Elite troop, HW+Shield or GW. Immune to panic, other units within 6” can reroll failed panic tests. The special ability is not super relevant though because with Ld9 dwarves rarely panic and dwarf battlelines tend to be compact meaning most troops are in BSB range most of the time. The extra S and WS is what one should be concerned with. Long Beards can take Runic Standards. Quarrelers: Regular troop, HW, HW+Shield, or GW. I have yet to be impressed by what most missile fire in 8th ed can accomplish. Our blocks aren’t likely to be significantly damaged by crossbow fire, but they still fight like dwarves. Skirmishers are weak enough to not like being shot at, but if you have room to move around you can often avoid the firing arcs of quarrelers. Remember crossbows are move or fire. Since LM have little in the way of long ranged attacks, most Dwarf opponents will castle up and force you to come to them. A large block of quarrelers can shoot at you while you are advancing, then play like they are regular warriors and wail on you with great weapons. Handgunners: Regular Troop, HW or HW+Shield. A little less range than crossbows and moderately more expensive. They can’t take great weapons but they get a great consolation prize: +1 to hit in shooting due to a Dwarf special rule. With their unusual accurate shots they are deadly to our skirmisher units and can even get a few hits on chamo skinks. They are still move or fire, so you can deny them the opportunity to shoot at your juicier skirmishing units by dancing around the board. Rangers: A ranger is an upgraded unit of GW warriors, longbeards, or quarrelers that has Scout. As far as I know they are the only Scout in all of Warhammer that doesn’t have Skirmish (EDIT Ogre Maneaters can be given Scout and do not have Skirmish). Unless they take a special character (Josef Bugman), dwarves can only take one unit of rangers. They could take a small unit for harassment or a large unit to provide a significant threat behind your own lines. If you think your opponent might have rangers, try not to leave any strategically important buildings open or they will be near impossible to dislodge. Dwarfs usually finish deploying before most other armies. Another use for Rangers is for dwarf players who want to have the last drop to ensure a response to an enemy surprise deployment. Rangers can also take throwing axes, mostly for stand and shoot. Special, Infantry Hammerers: Elite with great weapons. Stubborn, when joined by a dwarf lord, they gain immunity to Fear and Terror as well. They hit at S6 and are stubborn. Basically they will tear through anything we have, an excellent deal for their points. They can take Runic Standards. Miners: Regulars with great weapons. Miners have tunneling which is functionally identical to ambushing in all important respects. If the unit champion is upgraded with a steam drill, they can reroll failed rolls to arrive. They have another optional upgrade: blasting charges. It sounds good but it’s essentially a very overpriced one use weak stand and shoot. If you leave anything in the back the miners may come for them. Also watch out if the dwarves seem to be funneling your troops to a side table edge, they may be trying to set up a miner flank charge. If you are facing an all comers list, there’s a good chance the dwarfs will have a very small unit of miners (5-10). Small units of miners are a popular dwarf remedy versus enemy war machines, but said unit is not likely to be more than an annoyance to a LM army seeing as we do not have stationary war machines. Ironbreakers: Elites with hand weapons and shields. They have gromil armor which boosts their save from 4+ to 3+. A block of these guys can tie up almost anything all game, they only inflict S4 hits though so won’t kill much. They are a little steeply priced for what they do, and consequently they are not a super popular unit choice. Troll Slayers: Slayers are the red headed step children of dwarf infantry. They can choose between fighting with great weapons or two hand weapons battle to battle. They are very good at killing big dinosaurs, but war machines are so good at that they aren’t really necessary. They don’t kill our infantry any faster than Hammerers and due to their lack of armor they die much faster. They are unbreakable, but dwarves have high Ld and don’t break very often anyway. Slayers have a max unit size of 30 so they can’t be formed into too deep of tarpits. It’s expensive but Slayers can upgrade as many units into champions (Giant Slayers) as they wish, this more than doubles their cost but it boosts their Strength, Toughness, and Attacks. Since Giant Slayers are technically champions, every close combat attack on them has to be individually assigned which can theoretically be a pain. If you do see slayers, this signals that the dwarf player is probably planning to take the fight to you or at least meet you half way as opposed to forming a castle and making you march at him. Shoot the slayers with whatever you have before they get into close combat: poison is your friend. Special, Artillery There are lots of runic upgrades to put on artillery. To go over each one would be overkill, so I covered the ones that crop up the most frequently. Note a warmachine can be rigged with a rune to explode if defeated in close combat, so if you are playing with a non-newbie who seems to be leaving a war machine open, it may be a trick. Cannons: Cannons are very good at killing big dinosaurs, moderately good at softening up infantry blocks, and poor at killing skirmishers (save Salamanders and Razordon where they are adequate if not good). Few dwarf lists don’t have a cannon or two. Most cannons will have runic upgrades and/or engineers to make misfires less likely/less severe. Plan ahead. Either don’t take big dinosaurs at all or take at least three for target saturation. Grudge Throwers: Grudge throwers are very good at softening up infantry blocks, moderately good at killing big dinosaurs, and moderately good at killing skirmishers. Most GTs will have the Rune of Accuracy meaning the player gets a reroll on Artillery dice scattering. They can also have runic upgrades to boost the strength of their hits making them extra nasty to Saurus blocks. Expect them to GT the crap out of any Temple Guard you bring. An Iron Curse Icon is not a bad investment. Bolt Throwers: They can buy some upgrades to boost accuracy and damage and the like, but the regular bolt thrower isn’t any different from the main book. Dwarf players who use BTs tend to like them because they are relatively inexpensive, so they are unlikely to have a lot of rune options (if any). Rare All three Dwarf Rares are warmachines, none of them can be boosted with an engineer or runes though. Organ Guns: Dwarf armies rarely enter the field without one. Many take two. They dish out lots of S5 hits and don’t need to roll BS to hit. They are pretty decent at shooting up most things they point at but they are usually used to defend the rest of the artillery line against skirmishers. If it’s on our list and says “Skirmisher” somewhere then the Organ Gun will obliterate them. Unless it misfires, expect to lose one unit of war machine hunters every round until the Organ Guns are dead. Gyrocopter The gyrocopter was seriously weakened by the transition to 8th edition, but it’s not useless. As a flyer that is exempt from the dwarf penalty to pursuits and fleeing. It’s got a long potential charge range so they force fleeing units off to flee further. They can also set up supporting flank charges or burn things. Their flame template does respectable damage but due to an old army book hold out, it can’t march and fire and partially covered models are only hit on a 4+. Flame Cannon Flame cannons collect dust on the shelves of dwarf players who long for the day when 8th ed makes them a reasonable choice again. To get an understanding for how much they suck, picture a Salamander that can’t move or fight, costs twice as much, only hits half of models partially covered with the flame template, and potentially explodes on a misfire. The one thing it can do that a Salamander can’t do is that it does d3 wounds. This makes them a moderate threat to Skroxigor and Kroxigor blocks. Characters Dwarf Lords: The dwarf’s basic fighty lord. Most will take the shield bearers upgrade which gives them more attacks and a better armor save. Dwarf lords are the only Ld 10 choice on the dwarf’s list that’s not a slayer, everything else is Ld 9. A dwarf lord will probably be loaded up with runic items to make him very hard to wound and very good at killing things. A Saurus character stands little chance of beating a dwarf lord without extenuating circumstances in his favor, so don’t seek out epic challenges. An Oldblood on a Carnosaur has a reasonable chance of winning, but the odds of said Carnosaur not being shot to death by a cannon before entering CC are low. A Dwarf Lord can lay down the hurt on our regular troops but on a point-for-point basis aren’t as effective as dwarf elite troops at slaying Lizardmen. Generally speaking Ld 10 isn’t necessary either, so you won’t see a lot of Dwarf Lords on the field, especially if you are facing a list designed for fighting LM and not an all-comers list. Thanes: The dwarf’s basic fighty hero. They have a wide variety of runic options and then to come in the basic flavors of Defensive Powerhouse, Offensive Powerhouse, and Half and Half. Most Thanes of any build are at least as strong as a Scar Veteran with the same points cost. Thanes are the dwarf’s only BSB option, so most Thanes you see will be BSBs. Most Thane BSBs you see will have the Master rune that gives them a +1 Armor Save and either be buffed with the Dwarf’s dawnstone equivalent, a Ward Save, or a nasty melee weapon. Rune Lords and Runesmiths: Runelords add two dispel dice to the dwarf player’s pool, runesmiths add one. These are cumulative so a dwarf player with multiple rune users can really sink your magic phase. In addition to the raw dice, they have runic upgrades. The Master Rune of Balance which causes the dwarf’s opponent to lose a power die and the dwarf player to gain another dispel dice. Fortunately they can only take one of those per army. Dwarf players can take multiple Runes which act as dispel scrolls though. The dwarfs don’t have anything in their arsenal to knock out IF spells though. Anvil of Doom: The Anvil of Doom upgrade turns a Runelord into a war machine. If the Dwarfs take an Anvil of Doom they get two dispel dice on top of what the Runelord already supplies. The Anvil of Doom has three powers. 1) they can immunize dwarf to psychology tests of various kinds, 2) they can smite enemies (EDIT: this effect also temporarily halves the movement rate of the target which is highly inconvenient for our faster units), and 3) they can give friendly dwarves free moves (which can be a march or a charge). 1) is relatively unimportant because dwarves have good Ld scores. 2) is relatively unimportant because the Dwarfs have GW troops and artillery to bring the hurt on. 3) is a game changer. A dwarf army with the anvil is highly mobile, replacing a traditional dwarven weakness with a new strength. If the dwarf unit are already in charge range, they can instead use their regular move to wheel around your flank and then use the Anvil free move to charge your flank. If they are out of charge range they can move into charge range. This is extra deadly if a large unit of miners are behind your main line. Basic Anvil strikings has a 1 in 6 chance of failure (and failures roll on a misfire table with a 1 in 6 chance of losing the anvil and runelord). Augmented strikings have a 1 in 3 chance of failing and misfiring, but affect more targets. The Anvil of Doom does not require Line of Sight for anything it does so it can be tucked away somewhere very safe from your war machine hunters most of the time. If an anvil is open take it down! You can rob your foes of mobility and magic defense in one go. Note the anvil’s guard and the runelord are a lot tougher than an ordinary war machine in CC. Demon and Dragon Slayers: Slayer characters are good at killing things, but they can only join Slayer units or fight alone. Their damage output is not usually that much better than a thane or dwarf lord of similar costs. That’s a lot of points in something that has no armor save at all. If you see Demon and Dragon Slayers it probably means your opponent cares more about the theme of his army than the competitiveness. Master Engineer: These guys boost war machines nearby, though only one at a time. The best value option is probably letting grudge throwers re-roll artillery misfire dice. Most will have a ranged weapon option. They can fire their own weapons while still boosting a nearby war machine. They also have the ability to entrench one war machine at the beginning of the game providing a war machine with hard cover (usually the most exposed one). Many dwarf players forget that bonus. You can show yourself to be both a knowledgeable player and a good sport by reminding your dwarf opponent to do the entrenchment if they forget. Most of the runes options just mimic BRB options or were already covered in the unit they are most likely to be associated with. The following runes bear special mention. Master Rune of Challenge: The Master Rune of Challenge can be wielded by any character. They can force an enemy unit within legal charge range after charges are declared to either declare a charge or flee. This is especially dangerous if you are trying to sneak a mobile unit around their flank by hugging the edge of the table. Then you are forced to either have a 95% chance of your unit fleeing the table or make a charge into a unit that is 95% likely to obliterate them in one round. Rune of Brotherhood: This rune can be taken by any non-Slayer character. It allows a dwarf character to join a unit of miners or rangers without impairing the deployment special rules of the unit. This rune can be taken by multiple characters allowing a dwarf player to play all or most of their army without doing normal deployment. Special Characters: The Dwarves only have three special characters in their current book. A boosted dwarf lord that bestows his unit with Hatred vs. all armies, a boosted runelord that has a lower chance of miscasting with the Anvil of Doom. The two mentioned characters cost A LOT of points so you aren’t likely to see them very often. The third character Josef Bugman. Bugman allows a dwarf player to take an additional unit of rangers. He also has a magic beer tankard that can heal a wound on himself or another character every round he’s not engaged in close combat. An army with Josef Bugman was probably designed around him (see the below entry on uncommon dwarf armies). Dwarf Broad Army Types The Castle: Bugman’s Brewery talk about distinctions between types of castles, but they all are the same principle. Line up large dwarf blocks in front of the artillery weapons, and position the artillery so they can see over the heads of the dwarf units, or shoot between the narrow gaps between the units. A wise dwarf player will position their castle so there is no good place to put scouts (either by having a wide castle or placing a few strategic units outside the castle “walls”. If there is a small gap it may be plugged partway with an entrenched war machine or have a line of single file warriors, handgunners, or quarrelers plugging the whole. The dwarfs stay put most of the first few turns of the game and let the artillery do its job as the enemy advances. Not only is this popular in general. It’s probably the best strategy to take vs. Lizardmen. Close the distance as quickly as you can and try for coordinated charges against the units you need to crack open their defenses. I haven’t come up with a better solution. If anyone on the forum has an idea, let me know. Gunline: Dwarves probably stretched from table end to table end and nearly everything shoots. The Gunline loses the defensive power of the castle but has a devastating amount of shooting. Because the entire back part of the table is full, it’s extra hard to get scouts through. The basic strategy is the same, shoot the advancing enemy as they come to you. Like before you want to close the distance as soon as possible. If you do get a units through you should be able to do a lot of damage, take out a shooting unit and then turn and rip sideways through their line. Infantry Army: The unorthodox dwarf player is playing with very few or even no war machines! Remember dwarf infantry tends to outclass ours so be careful with which fights you decide to pursue. It’s tempting to turn the tables on the dwarfs and keep your main line stationary while you try to whittle down the advancing dwarfs with poisoned shooting, salamanders and magic, but beware. The dwarf player freed up a lot of points not taking war machines and they are almost certain to have at least one big block of miners to arrive at the rear of your army to ruin your day which will reduce your incentive to hug your own table edge. Bugman Army: This is a rare army type. Around 75% of more of his army isn’t on the table, and you just finished. He took Josef Bugman. There are two large blocks of Scouts going to show up near the center towards your line, and at least two blocks of miners going to pop up wherever you least want them too. You need to take the initiative and go on the offensive right away or your most critical units will have rangers to the front and miners to the back, (or visa versa if you decided to turn a block around). Whatever unit doesn’t have Scout or Ambushers is probably a war machine or a unit left behind to guard the war machine. If you have units to go after the war machines, do so by all means. Taking out the artillery is less important than usual though because you will likely be in CC more quickly than usual and thus be unable to be shot at as much. EDIT: I discovered Bugman armies are half again as deadly with an Anvil of Doom. Then you can really get out maneuvered by dwarves which is unusual for M3 troops. If you see a Bugman list on the horizon, aim for a tight deployment because a wide battle line on your part will lead to a unit or two of yours being on the outs for most of the battle.