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Necronartum
11-06-2012, 19:49
Evening all,

A quick question for you Fantasy Dwarf veterans. I am in the process of converting to Warhammer Fantasy and have selected Dwarves as the army I will be playing. I went out and bought a few bits and have 32 Dwarf Warriors with Hand Weapons and Shields painted and have started on the second batch. Whilst I do this, I began perusing the tournament lists that exist and are relatively current (this year) to get an idea of what I should be fielding. I noticed that all of the lists I have seen have no units with hand weapons and shields, only great weapons. So my question is, why is this the case? I am aware of the differences between the two rule wise and am more after an explanation as to why tactically, great weapons seem so heavily biased.

Thanks in advance!

Mozzamanx
11-06-2012, 19:58
Dwarfs suffer from low Initiative and so the traditional penalty for using a Great Weapon is irrelevant. You are going to be striking last regardless of which weapon you choose.
Dwarfs are also naturally tough and feature relatively good armour, meaning that even against units with equal or lower Initiative, you can probably shrug off most of the damage.

However, fielding a Great Weapon ramps up your killing power from average (See- mediocre for a 10pt model) to very respectable. As well as making the wound rolls much sweeter, its important to remember that they will generally suck the value out of any expensive armour the opponent may be wearing.

While defense is important, I would argue that killing power is of more benefit. Especially in a Dwarf army where you cannot rely on a friendly unit of Cavalry to sweep in and save the day. Each unit must be capable of standing on its own, and therefore capable of fighting its way through to the other side of an enemy. HW/S will ensure you stay in the fight, but generally losing most rounds of combat because you cannot pump out the damage. Great Weapons ensure the fights are short, and generally in your favour.

SimaoSegunda
11-06-2012, 20:02
Dwarfs have low initiative, but high weapon skill. This means that against most enemies they will be striking last, but will have a good chance of hitting. Their strength is only average though, so giving them great weapons means that they stand a better-than-average chance of causing wounds with their (usually) better-than-average number of hits.

tmarichards
11-06-2012, 21:16
The low initiative means that just about every other unit in the game will be going before you, so there's no great loss in that respect.

Add in that Dwarfs across the board are WS4 and T4- this means that against the vast majority of the game, you'll be getting hit with just half of your opponent's attacks, and then wounded with half of those (frequently less). Bear in mind that your combat units already have heavy armour (thereby saving a third of the wounds that do get through to you) and you don't really take that much damage so the extra pip of save and Parry are less important.

The second part is that Dwarf infantry by and large only has one attack per model, and no access to re-rolls. As a result, you really need to maximise how much damage you can do with the attacks you have at your disposal.

Necronartum
11-06-2012, 21:26
Cheers guys. That clears things up for me. +1!

russellmoo
11-06-2012, 23:44
Also, the difference is due to the fact that dwarfs lack magic- so where a lot of armies can boost their low strength attacks with magic, or weaken the enemies defenses with magic- dwarfs have to do it with what they already have- this means you need Str 6 and lots of it- to counteract the effects of Enfeebling (-D3 strength), Wyssans Wildfrom (+1 toughness, a lot of the time making your enemy T5), and Flesh to Stone (+2 or +4 toughness).

Taking great weapons and being Str 5 or str 6 ensures that you can still do damage even when the enemy forces these buffs/hexes through-

Hawthorne
12-06-2012, 02:25
Plus very few core units have the option for Great weapons getting to strength 5 still wearing heavy armor, T4 and WS4.

Blast Hardcheese
12-06-2012, 07:21
If you do not want to put your shiny new models to waste, I say make them longbeards with HW/S. I have a unit of HW/S dwarfs that I painstakingly converted to all look unique and damn flashy. I field them as longbeards now, as the extra ws and str combined with high durability sees them winning combats. I never give them GW's as Hammerers do that job better and cheaper. They do go last, but can survive a lot of punishment. For standard warriors though, GW is the way to go. As for choosing dwarfs, in the words of Patton Oswalt "Thanks for joining the winning team."

GrandmasterWang
12-06-2012, 08:11
Honestly, hw/shield warriors are not bad at all. People go gw due to initiative and killing power as others have stated.

I have used a squad of 31 and 46 hw/ shield warriors to great effect so dont let the internet cause you to not use your pretty models. Against certain troops the parry and extra armor save really makes a difference. I use them to either break steadfast in conjunction with hammerers/ gws or to hold up something selling their lives dearly.

Hw/shield warriors look better than gw dwarfs also imo.

Just dont expect them to kill anything much and they might impress you

Montegue
13-06-2012, 00:45
Honestly, hw/shield warriors are not bad at all. People go gw due to initiative and killing power as others have stated.

I have used a squad of 31 and 46 hw/ shield warriors to great effect so dont let the internet cause you to not use your pretty models. Against certain troops the parry and extra armor save really makes a difference. I use them to either break steadfast in conjunction with hammerers/ gws or to hold up something selling their lives dearly.

Hw/shield warriors look better than gw dwarfs also imo.

Just dont expect them to kill anything much and they might impress you

I find that longbeards with shields work fairly well. When I take normal shield warriors they tend to get wtfpwnd.

DeathlessDraich
13-06-2012, 13:09
Honestly, hw/shield warriors are not bad at all. People go gw due to initiative and killing power as others have stated.

I have used a squad of 31 and 46 hw/ shield warriors to great effect so dont let the internet cause you to not use your pretty models. Against certain troops the parry and extra armor save really makes a difference. I use them to either break steadfast in conjunction with hammerers/ gws or to hold up something selling their lives dearly.

Hw/shield warriors look better than gw dwarfs also imo.

Just dont expect them to kill anything much and they might impress you

Yes, you're right. HW and shield does have its uses and should not be dismissed.



Evening all,

A quick question for you Fantasy Dwarf veterans. I am in the process of converting to Warhammer Fantasy and have selected Dwarves as the army I will be playing. I went out and bought a few bits and have 32 Dwarf Warriors with Hand Weapons and Shields painted and have started on the second batch. Whilst I do this, I began perusing the tournament lists that exist and are relatively current (this year) to get an idea of what I should be fielding. I noticed that all of the lists I have seen have no units with hand weapons and shields, only great weapons. So my question is, why is this the case? I am aware of the differences between the two rule wise and am more after an explanation as to why tactically, great weapons seem so heavily biased.

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to Fantasy. :)

1) Every army requires different strategies and will have a different feel. Dwarfs is an OK choice although I would recommend something else for those just starting.

2) Great weapons in the tournament lists you've seen is partially due to herd instinct amongst some tournament players. These players simply copy the lists of winners hoping that it would help them play better without the need to understand important strategies. This has happened right through 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th eds.

3)Both GW and HW are needed by Dwarfs for different reasons. Dwarfs units aren't as manoeuvrable as other armies and can expect to be charged. They have recourse to fewer tactical manoeuvres and tend to depend on Anvil and Hammer. GW will provide the S5 or S6 Hammer attacks whilst ...
at least some units will have to serve as Anvils and be able to hold against the best enemy units. Although most Dwarven units are able to hold to some degree, the 2 units that serve this purpose best are Ironbreakers followed by Dwarf Warriors with HW and shields. The latter is cheaper in points so your 32 HW and Shield Warriors will have a place in the army either as Warriors or Longbeards.

4) Other units that you need - Hammerers, Miners, More Warriors to upgrade to Longbeards, Some warmachines (Grudge Thrower, Gyrocopter, Bolt thrower etc and at least 2 characters (Engineer, Lord and Thane) and later you might add Ironbreakers, Thunderers and/or Quarrellers, Runelord and Anvil.

Best of luck
:)

bigbear bailey
14-06-2012, 22:15
I do think one unit of shields is useful though. A unit that is toug 4 with a 4+/6++ is pretty hard to bring down thus allowing you're slower blocks to get those flanks!

Montegue
19-06-2012, 02:05
,4+ 6+ doesn't do as much as you might think. Thirty great weapons at W's 4, on the other hand, can do quite a lot. Even a 3+ as isn't all that great depending on matchup.