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As Edition 7 is upon us, and I have been idle too long throughout it (or using Empire...), I decided recently to dust off my Chaos Dwarfs and play some games. As a result, I decided a Tactica article might be in order to give new and veteran players some ideas, and opponents hints on beating Chaos Dwarfs. Each unit type will be broken down into a brief overview, strengths and weaknesses. The first section, Lords, is below. I hope to build on this a section at a time, and later add further tactics.
Chaos Dwarf Lord
This is a good, solid character, still a match for many Lord-levels from other armies. A lord seems to be an appropriate device against High Elves, also, as they have a very high toughness. In addition, there are a few magic items worth considering, such as the Obsidian Blade, which destroys the opponent's shield and armour.
Strengths: High toughness, good strength, access to reasonable magical equipment.
Weaknesses: Slow, limited access to magic items, high points cost of mounts.
Bull Centaur Lord
Quite simply a monster! These are easily a match for most Lords, and will certainly give a Doombull or Daemon Prince a good fight.
Strengths: High toughness, speed, superior fighting ability.
Weaknesses: Limited equipment, high points cost, limited access to magic items.
Useful, particularly compared to other armies' mages. The Sorcerer Lord does not have to be protected as carefully as wizards from other armies, so can happily sit in your heavy infantry or with war machines.
Strengths: Good toughness, access to magic items, reasonable lores of magic.
Weaknesses: High points cost of mounts, limited armoury for magic items, slow.
A good, medium level mount, which provides an excellent delivery system for a Sorcerer Lord and give some extra bite in combat. It will struggle against large units, however, due to large base size and more ranged capabilities.
Strengths: Good medium level mount, speeds up movement of sorcerer, breath weapon, reasonable fighting ability, terror.
Weaknesses: Struggles against tougher or more numerous opponents, high points cost.
Heavy-duty, high power mount. The Great Taurus will certainly stand a chance against manticores, griffons, daemonic mounts and wyverns, but will not easily challenge dragons.
Strengths: Less frail than Lammasu, fast, high stats, breath weapon, terror, immunity to fire-based attacks.
Weaknesses: High points cost.
O.O Someone actually posting here? It's about time.
This is a good idea, and something I would like to see succeed, as my CD's are still in production, and I could do with all the help I can get when I take them to the field.
Basically, the fact that our magic item list is still the tiny RH one is a hindrance to an otherwise strong character line-up.
Note to readers:
I am writing this for the benefit of the community, so all feedback is welcome. In addition, as I am writing this Tactica a section at a time, please do post suggestions and queries and it can be edited and improved while I am still writing it. I hope you find it enjoyable and useful.
Chaos Dwarf Warriors
These are the armys bread-and-butter regiments. A Chaos Dwarf army will struggle and likely fail without at least a single regiment. Chaos Dwarf warriors are tough and tend not to go anywhere in a hurry.
Strengths: High toughness, access to great weapons, heavy armour, shields, High weapon skill, ignores greenskin panic, high Ld.
Weaknesses: Slow, usually few in number and thus easily overwhelmed.
Chaos Dwarf Warriors with Blunderbuss:
This armament really deserves a paragraph of its own. The Blunderbuss sums up the Chaos Dwarf army perfectly, and is also a potent weapon when used in ranks.
Strengths: Potential high strength shooting, good combat capability, heavy armour, never suffer shooting penalties.
Weaknesses: Units become less useful as they suffer casualties, short range, slow, may only cause one wound per hit.
Hobgoblins (with no upgrades)
These little guys really are no better than the average gobbo, but they do have their uses. A cheap, expendable unit is always useful, even as a meat shield.
Strengths: Cheap, expendable, do not panic Chaos Dwarfs.
Weaknesses: Poor fighters, no save.
To make hobgoblins slightly more useful, light armour is worth the extra point. It is also a good idea to give them bows, for some ranged support (which works nicely in conjunction with the Blunberbusses). If you want to use them for flanking actions, shields are worth the effort.
Strengths: Cheap, expendable, average armour, access to shield or bow, do not panic Chaos Dwarfs.
Weaknesses: Need to use more carefully (more points), bow upgrade expensive, poor statline.
Although the wolf is an upgrade for hobgoblins, mounted hobgoblins really deserve their own entry. They are easily among the most useful units in the army. They are fast cavalry and act as a useful flanking or war-machine hunting regiment. In addition, they make a good deterrant for charges.
Strengths: Cheap, fast cavalry, access to shields, light armour, bows, cheap command upgrades.
Weaknesses: Bow upgrade expensive, 10+ minimum unit size, not as expendable as pedestrian hobgoblins,
Well done Xan, this stuff will be very useful to the Librarium folk.
Perturabo! Where have you been? We've missed you on CDO. But I see you are posting again on there!
Think Chaos Dwarfs suck? Think again.
Hobgoblin Bolt Thrower
The most reliable war machine in the army, but crewed by hobgoblins...
[U]Strengths:[U] Good strength, no misfires, low points cost.
Weaknesses: Low BS, hobgoblin crew.
Without doubt the least reliable war machine. Crewed by Chaos Dwarfs, it still has a good psychological effect on the opponent.
Strengths: Good destructive capability, tough high Ld crew, reasonably low points cost.
Weaknesses: Wildly inaccurate, Special choice.
Tough unit, reasonably low points cost. Their "Armed to da teef" rule makes them particularly tough and useful.
Strengths: Good S, T, WS and A, "Armed to da teef," No animosity.
Weaknesses: Usually small units, as points cost adds up.
Please continue. This is really useful!
Victory is achieved through mettle.
Glory is acheived through metal.
My apologies that I have not continued for some time, and now hopefully can continue it with a view to closing.
Anyway, to continue...
One of the slave units. Very cheap, so you can have huge units of them. Always pays to keep the general nearby though, and it will give them a bit of staying power. However, it doesn't matter at all if they flee, are run down or entirely wiped out, as the Chaos Dwarfs ignore it all anyway!
Strengths: Cheap, big units that can win on combat resolution, expendable, access to bows, inexpensive command, Chaos Dwarfs ignore greenskin panic.
Weaknesses: Weak and ineffective, Special unit, low Ld.
Another Slave Unit, again low in points cost. Choppas are great, and you still have a reasonable basic toughness.
Strengths: Low points cost, good combat capability, Big 'Uns upgrade, variety of weapons options.
Weaknesses: Special unit, low Ld.
You can never have too many Hobgoblins, and if you have a free special choice, these are the ones to choose.
Strengths: Poisoned attacks, two hand weapons, Lap round rule,* Cheap in points.
Weaknesses: Very average statline, low Ld.
*The lack of lap-round in Edition 7 translates as expanding frontage, thus enemy units may not expand frontage, while sneaky gitz may.
Now we're into rare units, and this is the easy part.
Take these if you have a single rare choice, particularly in armies under 2000 points. Chaos Dwarf armies tend to be heavily pedestrian with (very) light cavalry, and these underrated heavy cavalry really are worth their weight in gold (and I can confirm, owning some lead originals, that they are quite weighty!). Point for point, these guys are potentially the best heavy cavalry in the game.
Strengths: Good S, T and Ws, Decent armour, great weapons as standard, Cavalry, reasonably inexpensive, cheap upgrades, fast!
Weaknesses: Rare unit, can badly suffer from shooting, expensive command group.
I recently found the rules for these guys and since I'm collecting and playing with dwarfs and my friend having chaos, we decided to maybe start making a team together.
With many new army books coming out. I really don't see how the Chaos dwarfs can keep up. they are good enough when it comes to defensive magic I suppose. but their heroes really doesn't match with anyone when it comes to their cost.
with only chaos dwarfs counting towards the "core-must" you got a slow core. and it makes it hard having an offensive army list.
with cheap bolt throwers and the Earth shaker which really seems great towards other shooty armies. It could make up for the lack on good ranged coreunits. I also like the idea of a black orc counter flank unit with the extra movement and strength 6 or an extra attack.
the only reason I see for this army to have any big strengths compared to an ordinary dwarf army would be the heavy cavalary. those bull centaurs is amazing. and make a great shock troop for the cost.
There's a lot of lacks in countering special rules like killing blow, and first strike, or etheral units. These problems will all come down to the General's skill.
The different greenskin units gives a lot of flexibillity to the army, they do lack some of the cunningness, not being able to have fanatics or big'uns you're stucks with some offensive units without many of the bonuses you would have as orcs and goblins.
The fast cavalary is also a great addition for it's points. but without spears they really don't make any impact on the charge and the general really have to be superb and clever to find a position and task for these buggers.
"Stand fast, for the honor of your Clan"