View Full Version : Just faced against Dwarves for the first time...

15-03-2010, 04:11
Well, I just played a 1500 point game against dwarfs for the first time and...damn. These guys shoot like no other. Even in a 1500 point line up, they had 4 artillery and a **** load of shooters - so much so that cavalry never even made it! Hit after hit after hit, armor saves didn't even exist!

Very frustrating, but very good experience.

How do you handle armies that do heavy shooting? Rather, how do you balance your army list to be able to accommodate for it if they do use a lot of shooting?

I was running High Elves.

15-03-2010, 07:07
4 artillery for dwarves is a lot for 1500 I'd expect 1 piece for every 500-600 points.

but that aside the trick is target saturation, throw as many units on the table as possible, a couple units of shadow warriors and ellyrian reavers to deal with war machines and such. sword masters are great and will chop through his army no problem but unless you can screen or protect them effectively they are as good as dead.

Don't bother with mages unless you are gonna take 3 level2's. No dragon mage, he'll get shot to peices. also dragon princes over silver helms, most dwarf bolt throwers, cannons and GTs are flaming so you will be immune, but make sure you point this out to your opponent as many people don't realize they are immune.

2 bolt throwers will chop through his missile troops while safely staying out of range.

thats about it for now, more specifics for what list you were using and what models you own will also help.

15-03-2010, 07:55
Well I play dwarves and have an opponent who commonly runs High Elves, so I can say that I always find them pretty easy to shoot to death, but there are some things you can do.

1. make sure to set terrain to limit shooting. Also with cavalry use the banner that lets you ignore terrain. If done right he should only get one turn of shooting at the unit.

2. I'm going to assume that his artillery was an organ gun, 2 bolt throwers, and a grudge thrower/cannon. For the organ gun it can be disgusting so know that you want to run two units against each one so that at least one unit will make it there. For the rest they all have the same weakness. Try to deploy your units wider with less ranks. a 21 man 7x3 will take one less potential wound then a 5x4 from bolt throwers and cannons, and while a little easier to hit with the grudge thrower, it will take less partials.

3. Ward saves are your friend. Shield of saphery will save some wounds, and phoenix guards have the 4+ ward.

4. Be relentless and fast. Every turn you aren't in combat is another turn being shot.

5. Use shooting against shooting. Multi shot with your bolt throwers if you take them. They can take out his war machines and it will focus his attention against them. If he takes thunderers then your longbows will have range and he will have to move to shoot you. Start them so that they are just at the range of your bows and when he moves up step back a few inches. You can move and shoot he can't. If he takes quarrelers then start just out of range. Wait to see if he moves up or not. If he doesn't you can move forwards and shoot. Either way he has lost a turn to shoot at them.

6. Shadow warriors can be pretty useful. If you run two units of 5 you can hide from shooting first turn and then shoot while running circles around him.

Thats all I can think of right now, hope it helps. Oh, also so you know not all warmachines are flaming, that is a rune he puts on the machine, and if he knows he will fight you he probably won't take it more then once if he doesn't know about dragon armor already. And if you go ever go to 2000+ points from the sounds of him, expect him to take an anvil, probably the special char one. If it is the special one make sure he knows the FAQ updated to only give him one reroll a game for the anvils abilities.

15-03-2010, 13:50
It depends a bit on his list. If he mostly uses shooting with a max range of 24" you can shoot him for 1-2 turns before he can shoot you. Set your archers up just outside 24" from him (ie normal setup), chances are that he walks a couple of inches forward with his gunners to be able to shoot you next turn but still keep as far away from your units as possible. If he does this walk backwards and get out of his range again and then shoot him.

In the next turn or if he marches forward more than 5 inches move your fast units forward as fast as possible (you should get close enough to deny him Stand and shoot for your second-third turn charge).

If he uses 30" shooting ie crossbows you just have to be fast and target key units with your own shooting until combat starts. Use lots of fast hard hitting things and try to stay away from his combat characters since they can be really hard to kill.

15-03-2010, 17:11
Thanks for your responses, some good advice here I think.

I have to say, though, that my bolt throwers seemed to be useless targeting his artillery. I was always hitting the artillery with a single bolt throw and not the crew and then never able to land the wound on top of that. So it seems firing my bolt throwers at his archers/shooters is much more useful, is that right?

I took 2 level 2 mages but at 1500 points I didn't have many power dice, still, with no banner of sorcery and found myself doing minimal damage and wishing I had taken another unit of shadow warriors or archers.

Cavalry was shot to hell before it ever made it but I only ran 1 unit of Dragon Princes which was clearly a mistake as the rest of my stuff was slow and shot down 3 turns before it reached him. Phoenix Guard is clearly the better choice to Lions here, there was just not enough woods to hide in for this game.

I should have chose a bunch of archers who seem to have 6" range on his dwarfs rather than all of the spear man, that was another stupid choice.

Thanks for your input guys.

15-03-2010, 17:30
I should have chose a bunch of archers who seem to have 6" range on his dwarfs rather than all of the spear man, that was another stupid choice.

Thanks for your input guys.

Last time I played a Dwarf gunline with my Wood Elves, the game came down to my Glade Guard getting into close range for the Str 4. Don't count on your archers to do anything, as they won't, I'm afraid. The only way I managed to kill the Warmachines was by running 4 MSU dryad units, and only 2 made it! Both units of Wardancers died before getting there, sadly. My glade riders died horribly in one turn, too.

You're best bet is to get units like the Phoenix Guard and White Lions (they ARE very good here...their wounding on 2's is ESSENTIAL, and they have a 4+ save vs. shooting) as the core of your army. Take a couple units of 10 archers just to fill out core, and shoot at warmachines with them, praying that you'll kill something (but you most likely won't). Grab a few MSU of knights, either kind, and run them full gallop at the dwarfs. If they die, it will take them two turns to do so, which is two turns of the rest of your army safe from shooting. If they DON'T die, then run a unit of them into his Thunderers (important here...avoid the quarellers, keep them for the Phoenix Guard, as they're usually kitted out with Great Weapons) or warmachine crew. Get to that Organ Gun ASAP, it will ruin your day. If you're playing at 2k points, bolt throwers (multi shot!!!) for the warmachines, and an eagle to tie the warmachines up in combat. IIRC once you kill 2 of the crew, it can only fire every other turn, so if you suicide the eagle to get two kills, you're still ahead of the game.

15-03-2010, 17:37
The best way to beat dwarves is to play to their weaknesses. Now they are pretty good at stopping magic, but cant use it at all, so there is no need to spend points on things like dispel scrolls (or the elven equivalent). They are also very slow, so if you take a really fast moving army then you are gauranteed to outmanouvere them. The first things to target with your superior speed is the artillery. Those Dwarf cannons hurt! Then take out the big shooty units like thunderers. Finally, take out the combat units, these guys will be hard, so it might be an idea to use artillery of your own to deal with these.

15-03-2010, 17:40
4 at 1500 isn't that bad (an organ gun, two bolt throwers, and a cannon or grudge thrower) but if most the rest of his army was a buch of thunderers and quarrellers then he was running a gunline... which I frown on...

Taking the magic direction will be tough as they have great magic defence and a cannon of grudge thrower can knock out your RBTs in no time.

The real question is how many combat blocks does he run? If it's 0-2 I'd say rush him. Take a bunch of cheap spearmen and just ram them down his throat.

The item that gives you +1 for first turn will be critical.

15-03-2010, 17:57
Dwarfs are very difficult for high elves.
My dwarf opponent usually takes Thorek, 4 bolt throwers, 2 organ guns, and some quarrellers and thunderers. I can handle it with orcs (only lost once against him) but i'm not sure what i'd do with high elves. They can't take the damage.

I don't think there is an obvious solution. You need to get into combat. Use scenery so he doesn't have line of sight to all your units. Hunt down a few war machines with eagles/cavalry? Maybe pheonix guard could be good.

Also consider Sacred Incense, and have a look at the Lore of Life. Howler Wind, the Rain Lord and Master of the Stones are all good against his missile units or war machines. You won't need the +1 dispel from High Magic.

15-03-2010, 18:51
The one other factor I've found as a Dwarf player is that the smaller the points total for the game, the more relatively effective Dwarfs are. At Warbands scale, right up through to the 1500 range or so, Dwarfs have been much tougher against both normal armies and "good" armies (VC, DoC, DE, etc) than they end up being at 2250 and beyond.

15-03-2010, 21:38
load up on magic, and have all of your mages take either lore of life, or lore of metal. both are great at shutting down enemy shooting and dealing out serious damage to heavily armored troops.

15-03-2010, 22:15
Well, round here dwarves are universally considered the hardest army to beat, deamons of chaos (that i see lots here consider the most powerful army) just come (not so close) second. The infamous nuclear holocaust gunline they can field is expertly complemeted by cunning players with hard, relatively cheap and difficoult to rout combat units and the scarier death dealing, damage absorbing characters in the game bar none.
In short: a good challange! ;)
So, with high elves you say?
All elves are ridiculously frail, average in combat and somewhat overpriced, yet, compared to dwarves, they are pretty fast.
If i were in you i would give up archer units in favour of either cavalry or more infantry, possibly deployed in formations that wont suffer too much from the cannons (i.e. not ranked too deep). Some shadow warrios would help, and one or more bolt thrower, while not being terribly effective against the dwarves themselves, would force his own machineries of utter atomic destruction to waste some shots on them, givin you precious time as your combat units get closer to do their job. You'll probably need to execute multiple charges against all but the weakest missile units (dwarves are though and well armoured), but try to avoid concentration of forces: this creates dangerous fire corridors for artillery. I faced them often with my dark elves, and found even humble harpies, while not always able to rout their extra hard warmachine crews, can become quite a nusance for dwarves. I know HE dont have harpies, but i would try a great eagle (or two), just to see how it does.

16-03-2010, 00:38
Don't go for magic vs dwarves at 1500 points. He gets four 'free' dispell dice and you'll have 6 power dice. Not good odds for you.

Flying units like great eagles could be helpful - large targets will just be picked out though, unless you can hide them behind hills.

Shadow warriors can prove useful. Fast moving cavalry as well.

16-03-2010, 03:13
As a fellow H.E upstart, I played 1,000 points the other day against dwarves, just run everything naked, run multiple of untis and run moblie things!!!

I had two eagles that basically stood in front of RBT and Organ gun (RITUAL SUICIDE!!! ;)), then ran 3 units of S.M (7 wide, gave one guy the skeinsliver got me 1st turn!) a unit of archers and a unit of D.P with Ellyrion banne and lastly some Reavers. What I also found helpful was running my noble (general) on a G.E. as well as giving him a rerollsble A.S. I ended up putting him right behind one of the G.E so he cud charge the Artillary piece the next turn (meat shield). With so many S.M units one will eventually make it to his lines (two did in my game) and the D.P +2 save coming from behind a hill (thunderers I think my horses were LOUDER! ;)) made for a delicous suprise.

Its all about the doing damage to them b4 the can strike us, but you already know that JayC707. :D Silly Dwarves shootings for W.E! (jk XD)

Cambion Daystar
16-03-2010, 11:21
I have to say, though, that my bolt throwers seemed to be useless targeting his artillery. I was always hitting the artillery with a single bolt throw and not the crew and then never able to land the wound on top of that. So it seems firing my bolt throwers at his archers/shooters is much more useful, is that right?

Single bolt is almost never a good choice. I think only for a flank shot on cavalry with a good save it is the better choice.