View Full Version : Dwarf help for my battle

13-10-2009, 09:12
Hi guys, I played the against the dwarves for the first time today. As a newcomer to Warhammer we had already decided to allow a Lord in a 1000 point game, no magic phase, and no magic items so I can master the rules first. I had 1000pts of High Elves and was against an army that was 'roughly the same, so I was told'. I just wanted to play so wasn't fgoing to start checking or arguing etc. It's not that big a deal really but I was curious.

Basically, I just wondered if anybody could tell me if they were the same as I'm beating myself up for being massacred. I don't want details of points etc but a total or rough approcximation would be nice.

This was my opponents force:

Dwarf Cannon.
20 Thunderers.
20 Miners.
20 Warriors with Hero (Thane?).
20 Warriors with Lord (On shield?).

Against which I had:
20 Swordmasters with Lord.
20 Spearmen.
16 Archers.
6 Shadow Warriors with Hero.

During the battle the thunderers massacred my Spearmen in two volleys whilst the cannon managed to take out half of my archers whilst they approached within range as he did not move all battle.

The swordmasters managed to wipe out one unit of warriors before being engaged in the flank and were subsequently lost. Before the end of the battle the shadow warriors managed to kill most of the cannon crew.

It was enlightening, and I made many errors - I should not have pursued to destroy the target unit and expose my flank for example!

It just seemed to me that the dwarfs were very very powerful, and with basic units too. I'm not a power gamer and don't want to have to use a lord on dragon etc all the time to win. I don't mind losing but I like to win sometimes. The main issue currently is I refuse to field unpainted units. For this reason I have yet to field a repeater bolt thrower or mage but both will be added later to my main list.

Any thoughts at all are welcome, or you can just laugh...

13-10-2009, 09:22
These armies don't seem to match up favourably in the High Elve's favour. As you point out, the Dwarfs didn't move and this was because there was no need to!

To get around an army like that you need to hit it hard and fast with multiple units. My Dwarfs personally hate cavalry, which is something you might want to consider.
Using the army you were, you should aim to use the terrain to your advantage. Hide behind woods, hills etc. so that he can't see you with his cannon and get round the flanks.

If you were going to change the army you might want to try and force him to come to you, he only has 24" range with his Thunderers and they can't move and shoot! With a bit of magic and some shooting of your own you can stay out of range and make him come to you - exposing flanks, breaking up battlelines etc.

Don't know how helpful that is to you, don't give up, Dwarfs are hard but sloooow!

13-10-2009, 09:35
Thanks for the reply. I am aware of that. My force does include many other units but as they are not painted yet I refuse to field them - hence the 100 points limit too. The Store Guy had access to the whole Dwarf Army they had painted there.

There was only three hedges to act as terrain but they were in the centre. The cannon and thunderers were on a hill that overlooked them easily though.

The next units to be painted are 5 Dragon Princes and a Repeater Bolt Thrower, with a Mage after them. These should balance my army to around 1500 points I think until I can paint and add more.

I think I will put this down to a poorly prepared list and available models and a lack of experience. It is nice to just know that I will one day stand a chance against dwarves though as they are the natural enemy of my army historically.

13-10-2009, 09:39
I play dwarves so ... Don't face him head on. Put your archers in a forest so it will be harder for him to hit you with thunders. Consider spliting your swordsmen in two units of 10. Put your lord in your spearmen unit and maybe even your hero depending on his deployment.

The main key to winning with what he has at the moment is to get the flank. If you can get that he crumbles.

He should deploy hugging a corner deploy so that you will attack his flank. Deploying head on you will lose since he has more static combat resolution. Basically if you can't get a flank you will lose.

13-10-2009, 09:41
oh by the way you will always have problems against dwarves. Its just a hard match up.

13-10-2009, 09:54
Facing dwarves on a basically open field is going to go badly for you for quite some time. It's just a bad match up.

At the very least you need more terrain to manuever around and block sight lines. Without access to your spells or faster units, you'll get rocked repeatedly unless the dice gods turn on him.

13-10-2009, 10:03
I guess the strengths in my army lay mainly in what I haven't yet fielded then, particularly against stunties...

More terrain will be the first port of call and some late night painting sessions I think...

Thank you all for your help.

13-10-2009, 10:26
Why did you allow Lords, but disallow magic? It sounds like you were playing the "Let's kick the n00b around" game. Play according to the rules next time, and try to see what can be done with deployment, so he doesn't just "happen" to get the hill in his deployment zone.

13-10-2009, 10:38
Add eagles, these are warmachine hunters and expandable units, they can threathen his cannon so either he uses valuable missilefire on that one instead of your important units or he ignores it and ends up fighting a bird (or two) with a cannon.

13-10-2009, 10:56
Why did you allow Lords, but disallow magic? It sounds like you were playing the "Let's kick the n00b around" game. Play according to the rules next time, and try to see what can be done with deployment, so he doesn't just "happen" to get the hill in his deployment zone.

We allowed a lord each as i had it painted. In this case I was the 'noob' so don't feel i was kicked about by allowing al ord. They had little effect in the battle anyway - no magic items either remember. There was a hill in both sides but due to no movement from the dwarves I had to abandon it as was woefully out of range.

As for following the rules - the point was to practise the rules read in the rulebook to get a better grasp of them, nothing more. Once I have mastered the basics I will introduce the rest - Lords don't have anything that requires special rules after all, just a higher stat line.

13-10-2009, 10:58
Add eagles, these are warmachine hunters and expandable units, they can threathen his cannon so either he uses valuable missilefire on that one instead of your important units or he ignores it and ends up fighting a bird (or two) with a cannon.

Oooh, I have three eagles in my LOTR collection actually, they can be rebased easily I suppose. I just never thought a bird would be good landing on spears, but war machines... They can be painted like magpies and run off with the new shiny cannons...

13-10-2009, 11:24
Just remember you can go ahead and use your lord as a hero. Unless he is built in a peculiar way that precludes that. I would also add in magic because while a Dwarf army loses nothing at its exclusion any other army loses quite a bit. He has no magic as it is so it is no big loss for him. Finally you really do need at least a little terrain. Most WFB only have a few features down on the board so it isn't too complex but they need to be present so they can be used by those that need them.

- Do not allow lords at 1000 points or less, keep them as a 2000 and above thing and just use your Lord as a proxy for a hero instead. It is best to learn to use your more limited hero choices first because it teaches you how characters should be used.
- Terrain rules are fairly simple so use them, they don't add mass amounts of complexity to the game but they do add a lot of choices to the game for cover and LOS blocking.
- If you are going to keep magic out of the game then avoid doing so against the one army that does not care about losing it. Taking magic out of the game is a handicap only for armies that use it and Dwarfs are fine with ignoring it, more points for artillery.

I understand taking things slow but most of the troubles here were caused by the house rules added to the game. Next time play by the book but take the time to learn things in game. If your opponent is a fine upstanding gent then the slightly slower game should be no problem. If you go tossing around house rules like that before you know the game then you risk learning the wrong lessons early on. So add in all the rules again and play by the book, even if it means taking it slowly. Once you understand more about the mechanics then it is time to start doing wonky things like changing unit allowances at different point levels.

As for playing Dwarfs under proper conditions hit them fast and hit them in the flank. They maneuver poorly and lose their biggest advantage when struck in the flank. Work too slowly and he will pick you apart while maneuvering into a harder to assail position before you can take advantage of his weakness. Better to get in there fast using cover where you can and striking where he is weakest. And try to stay out of protracted combats because after a while his endurance will wear you down and allow him to hit you in the flank, which can get messy with Dwarfs.

13-10-2009, 11:33
Good points Ronin_eX!

13-10-2009, 12:01
I think you may have misunderstood the circumstances around this battle.

This was my first proper battle using more than a regiment per side. A week ago I was in store and told to pop along with my army and the manager would play me and talk me through - having only really read the rulebook i needed to practise in a game situation and implement it.

Upon arriving at the store, the manager cleared a table which already had terrain set up though it was more spartan than i would have used at my home for example.
We agreed to concentrate on the basics and so dropped the magic - as well as that I did not have a mage painted - we also dropped the special weapons etc to be able to pick a force quickly.

The store manager selected the store's dwrafs to use, it was not my choice of opponent. I understand all the points you are making, but it wasn't a case of avoiding the terrain rules as i have read and understand them, it just wasn't used much in the battle due to a lack of terrain. Thank you all for the advice, I just wanted to point out that some of the points you are making don't really apply as they weren't active decisions on my part or an arranged battle to use these forces on purpose. It was simply to allow me to practise the rules. My question, was so that for my next game, I could either learn what i did wrong or just accept it wasn't balanced and not to worry about ti too much. I've decided to finish painting my other units before I play another battle and will then ensure I have a balanced force and that the terrain is set up specifically for the game and using all rules. Now I've tried the basics I don't mind complicating it more with the magic etc and can then work out my tactics in time.

ps, I chose my high elves for my first battle as i understand my vampire counts would complicate it a little too much for now!

13-10-2009, 12:50
I think we understand well enough. Please notice that any criticism isn't directed at you, it's at the store manager who seem to have treated you in a bad manner. You did what you could, I'm just trying to say (in a somewhat circuitous way) that you were given a bad deal, and shouldn't worry about it that much.


13-10-2009, 13:15
I have always found bolt thowers to be a good choice agaist dwarfs get two and drop the archers and shadow warriors s3 verse t4 they never kill as much as you would like, hero on a eagle too give him the reaver bow and a lance will take out cannon crew or kill some thunders, magic is up to you, I go againt dwarfs all the time with no magic go all out for hitting power can be very affective if you can slient his guns early, send any spear men you have againt warriors with great weapons hopfully they dont have shields as i find thats there best match up for them, and take a unit of calvery, sliver helms should do cause they will draw alot of fire if not they will be charging his thunders on turn 2, one other word on the bolt thower and eagle mounted hero consentrate fire on one unit per turn dont worry about going for panic tests pound that unit, also go for the lighter armed troups so you can maximise wounds.

Been playing againt dwarfs for along while now, just go with the high strength attacks and you can go wrong. hope this helps in any way

13-10-2009, 13:37
Thanks again.

I dislike the Silver Helms models but have five dragon princes. I may use them as either if my opponent agrees (Downscaling is less of abuse isn't it?).

I've heard dwarves are very good at magical defense so going light on magic may be a good idea for that.

Has anybody else considerd ever gaming against themself or is the result going to be too biased? I was thinking of practising by setting up both my armies on my table and gaming, giving myself as much time as i need to check things in the rules as needed without annoying my opponent with slow play.

13-10-2009, 13:54
The whole concept of gaming against yourself will never work. Are you going to move that unit into charge range? Are you going to pursue the fleeing models knowing that your unit may get flanked? All questions usually asked in a mormal game but now you have both sides...also would be tough to stay objective with both armies and probably just wind up confusing yourself.
As for Silverhelms? I like them lol :D hopefully they get shunted back to core as Helves are one of the only armies right now with access to cav but not as special. Big handicap IMO.

13-10-2009, 14:02
If you have dragon princes use them, but you want them to draw fire so you need numbers to soak up any wounds, in a battle of this size I thought the cost of sliver helms would get you that armour and that charge range you need to close the gap on his firepower

13-10-2009, 14:39
Five Dragon Princes is the same cost as seven Silver Helms but you get the extra attacks and weapon skill though identical survivability. If they can cross the range before getting killed I believe they can earn back the same points quicker than Silver Helms could, and if their numbers fail them once combat becomes drawn out then hopefully they'll have done their job...
Now, silver and blue like GW, or silver and white...