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Many people are unaware that Chaos Dwarfs are a legal (even in tournaments) army, despite having no miniatures currently produced. This makes collecting Chaos Dwarfs a converter's dream. In style alone, you could choose helmeted, 3rd Edition-style models, the Assyrian Bighats of 4th Edition or even the masked workers who man the hellcannon. But this article is set to focus on using the Chaos Dwarfs in an enjoyable and competitive way on the tabletop. This guide is by no means exhaustive, but is a mere introduction. Anyone interested in further advice is welcome to PM me.
These guys are the top of the pyramid. They sit in the council of Sorcerers on the second level of Zharr Naggrund discussing how to get slaves, the best means of torture or just how to be cruel to orcs. The sorcerers are the High Priests of Hashut, the bull-god. In game, they have lower leadership (they don't really need much, when the combat people can provide that) but the sorcerers really pack a magical punch. They are a pretty generic magic-user, but being dwarf-kin have a slightly higher toughness. They always benefit from a level 4 upgrade and often a Lammasu- a rare mutation of the Great Taurus- if you really want to make the most of them. I find that, if you include a Sorcerer Lord, it often helps to give him a magic weapon and Lammasu. That way, he can also do some damage in combat if needed.
Not really a high-power mount, but certainly can be used like one. They are great for enhancing the combat capabilities of a Sorcerer Lord. Add their magic resistance to this and you really have made your sorcerer into a more-than-capable combat powerhouse. A Lammasu is often worth the points just as a defence for the Sorcerer on top of it. That, and it really freaks out your opponent when you put on the table a giant winged, bearded bull with a leering Chaos Dwarf face, because these monsters are so rarely used.
Chaos Dwarf Lord
These are the most influential of the Sorcerer's Lackeys. In game they are more than respectable combatants and easily a match for any (non-special) character of another race. Again, high toughness means you can relax and tool him up to have a 3+ or 2+ armour save and still be safe. A good piece of wargear is the Obsidian Blade. Anyone hit by the weapon gets no armour save and their armour is destroyed. It is always amusing to use these, especially against 1+ armour Chaos Lords. They don't laugh as much when they run across the battlefield without any armour on. Chaos Dwarf Lords do well when leading large units of infantry, but do equally well riding atop a Great Taurus.
Great Taurus mount
This is the Chaos Dwarfs High power mount. This is the common variety of the Lammasu, formed when Hashut honours a champion. The chosen warrior will fill with fiery energy before transforming into a gigantic winged bull, aflame with ethereal fire. Unlike daemonic possession, this really is permanent. This beast is expensive, weighing in at 230 points, but can easily pay this back. Just keep it out of the way of artillery. Other than this, make sure you use it's mobility to full potential. Flanking is something that these do best, as well as removing troublesome miners that appear behind your lines. Good also for countering Tomb Swarms and Scorpions.
Bull Centaur Lord
This is where the fun begins! This is the Chaos Dwarf response to a Doombull or Ogre Tyrant. Bull Centaur Lords really are great as lone characters, but always do better with a unit of Bull Centaurs to support them. Heavy armour really is a must here, and the Black Hammer of Hashut does well to complement their already formidable strength. If in doubt, Great weapons work, as these Temple Guard leaders can really take a beating and then give one back. Another attack from the sword of striking is nice, too. This will allow most characters to be slain outright. Couple this with decent speed and you really will make ogre players cautious.
Chaos Dwarf Hero
Decent Hand to hand skills and good statistics. These are to be used in a similar way to the Lord, really, although they are handy on their own to stop march moves. The Black Hammer of Hashut also allows them to deal with any irritating Treemen. Sadly, no mounts.
Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer
As the sorcerer, these guys work best in twos. One should have the Chalice of Darkness, the other should be the scroll caddy. This allows for some good dispelling capabilities, and average casting. Sadly, the chalice removes dice from both players pools, so is best reserved for magic-heavy opponents such as Vampire Counts. The best Lores are usually Shadow and Fire. If I take a Sorcerer Lord, the sorcerers get death and shadow. Shadow is good for shocking the opponent by moving Chaos Dwarfs ridiculous distances. Excellent for disabling war machines, if used on a Chaos Dwarf Hero. Death and Fire are great for offensive spells. That is their main use in the army: complement the artillery.
Bull Centaur Hero
As with Lord really, an insanely useful choice, but the points reflect it. In bigger games, I take a Bull Centaur Lord and Hero and put both in a unit of Bull Centaurs. This really is the untimate in fast and strong heroes. Worth it's points twice over, if used correctly. Like the Lord, the Bull Centaur Hero can be well used to accept and give out challenges, and win most of the time. The powerhouse unit of Bull Centaurs should be used to take a flank, as it will eliminate heroes and units with ease.
These really are awful! I do tend to use them in larger games, though. My advice is DO NOT TOOL THEM UP! They are unreliable at best, but can really dish out some damage when put in a large unit of hobgoblins or hobgoblin wolfboyz. The extra Ld helps. Armour is worthwhile, and shield and/or great weapon recommended. Sadly, no spears for hobgoblins.
Solid Gold! Large units help, and you MUST take your minimum requirements from these, as hobgoblins do not count towards the minimum. I prefer the hand weapon and shield combination, as the shield wall tends to last longer than the great weapons. Great Weapons are very useful when against the heaviest troops, though. The favourite, however, is the Blunderbuss. They are like no other weapon in Warhammer. Their "fire zone" means that they can be very devastating, especially when "standing and shooting." The 12" range of the fire zone means that it is all down to chance, and rolling 4+ for every model in the zone, but when you consider that BBs do not suffer modifiers and their strength is increased by every rank of 4 up to 5, they really can turn the tide.
They are mangy, despicable and sneaky, but really useful. At 2 points each, you can afford lots of them. I usually field 2 units: 1 with hand weapon, shield and light armour; the other with bow, hand weapon and light armour. Add to this a unit of wolfboyz with light armour, hand weapon and shield and you have a good auxilary core. The wolfboyz are good, cheap fast cavalry, but no spears mean weak attacks. They also have unit size 10+ meaning they are not very manouverable, but the addition of bows gives them another purpose. Best used for flanking. Another tactic is units of 10 unarmoured and unupgraded hogoblins as a meat shield.
At first, this seems dismally inaccurate and overpriced, but really is great fun to use and devastating when it hits. This is one for the fun factor.
Hobgoblin Bolt Thrower
At 30 points each, 2 to a choice, these are great. Good on a hill or front line between 2 heavy infantry units.
Great! They have 2 poisoned attacks, no armour, they lap round and are only 5 points. A must! Work best in units of 30.
I don't need to tell anyone how good these are. Armed with 2 hand weapons or great weapons, they make a good heavy unit to accompany the weaker greenskins. Being created by Chaos Dwarfs, they are naturally better than normal greenskins and are a great delivery unit for a beastly Black Orc Boss.
Orc Boyz and Goblins
Decent if you have spare choices, but stick to the other options first. Goblins are best in big units (at least 30) and armed with spear or bow. Orc Boyz are best upgraded to Big 'Unz and given spears. That way, they perform a good speed bump or attack unit or even missile unit role for fairly cheap. Just, don't rely on them winning you battles.
Into rare, these are the nearest thing to cavalry. These can be nasty when used well. It is worth paying 1 point to upgrade light armour to heavy, and, though they don't get all the cavalry bonuses, they are more than capable of handling most infantry and cavalry. Great weapons make them excellent knight-hunters, and 2 hand weapons help them deal out lots of attacks. Good for infantry and light cavalry.
Here the fun starts. This is the most effective way to tackle cavalry-heavy or elf forces. A cannon that acts like a stone thrower with good range and the ability to inhibit range. It doesn't get any better!
I hope I have convinced you that Chaos Dwarfs are a worthwhile and interesting army, and have almost infinite potential to play or convert. Any questions, please PM me. Hopefully, GW will make rules for Immortals and the Kollossus as mentioned in Grudge Bearer. Time will tell...
Hey Xan, I already wrote one ages ago. But mine was not as detailed as yours....
Your on my turf boy....:lol:
By day he fought with sword and shield.....
By night he fought with pen and parchment.....
He was....The Warrior Poet.......
Fear the ANZAC Clan!!!!!
ORDER OF THE SHADOWY FLAME!!!
Do you have uber micro...????
As a piece of advice, use thumbnail hotlinks for your images rather than the fullsize photos....because they are so large as to be impossible to see.
A great thing about Choas Dwarfs is many people haven't played against them so you have the edge in that respect. THe great mix of slow but durable dwarfs with fast bull centaurs and wolf riders means the Classic Horns of hashut manuver works very well, (effectivly a pincer attack) In some respects Choas dwarfs can act like a super dwarf army, with war machines slowing the enemy advance and choas dwarfs holding the line but with the added addition of Flankers.
Good tactic. My usual tactic is one I call the Rain of Fire, in which I put all my Chaos Dwarf units together to form a battle line and my artillery behind. I support the line with slaves and hobgoblins.I then let my opponent come to me, slowing them with Wolfboyz and missile fire. When they hit my line they usually head for the weakest point (which they often decide is the Sneaky Gitz and the Banner of Slavery-bearing unit of Warriors) and then I use my fast units such as BCs and Wolfboyz to close round their forces and hold them until my infantry closes the circle. Just to finish the trap, sometimes I land Taurus and Lammasu next to enemy units.
As an addition to that which I am sure you do any way you can alsao funnel the enemy with some earth shaker shots. Concentrate on one side of the enemy line hence ensuring half his army reaches the army before the other half, great for disrupting armies which are already quite slow such as Undead (if you unit isn't marching that turn any way they are in real trouble!) and armies that need the army to strike all at once such as Brettonians.
Yes, it's quite fun to completely dissolve cavalry charges with Earthshaker shots. Here is one of my less orthadox tactics:
The Hooves of the Bull
Deploy a solid infantry line with your strike force at the centre and flanks. When the opponent's units charge, ensure the strike force is free, before forming to fit through the enemy line. This then frees the faster units for a rear charge. It is a good idea to give up on any idea of straight out combat winning, so charge as many units as possible. With no rank bonus and hopefully a successful turn and plenty of ranks and command on your side, you're likely to win most combats. The "big nasties" (Taurus, BC Characters and Lammasu) deal well with the rest.