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my army regularily gets thrashed by an artillery heavy dwarf army. i can tressurcet my models because of the size of their dispel pool and their runesmith is always hid at the back of his line so i can't reach him with nasty units what would be a good way to beat him?
I have a few ideas (as a dwarf player) but could do with a few specifics.
Is he running an anvil? If he is then this becomes a bit more tricky. There are a few handy units you should look into though.
Although Dwarfs will have magical war machines, an artillary heavy army will be unlikely to have too many magical waepons. If you throw in a unit of 2 of spirit host you should be able to hold up some of his shooting for quite a while, and quite possibly beat them eventually (units such as thunderers ets...) Wraiths could also be a good idea but I'd leave the Banshee at home due to Dwarf's high leadership.
Its a bit of a dirty trick this but Ghoulkin + Flying Vampire equals a dead war machine on turn one (most dwarf generals leave an Organ Gun at the front of their lines, should be target number one). The Vamp can then either go back to a unit or play the risky game of flying around terrorising the war machines. Note: NOT YOUR GENERAL!
Fell Bats!!!! Turn one, Vanhels them straight into the nastiest looking machine, outnumber him by fear, win. One down! This could be combines with a flying vampire to neuter a lot of things very quickly.
Dire Wolves. Only 40 points, they either distract him for a bit of shooting or they sneak round and start playing with the machines.
Although it would seem tempting to go with Heavy Cavalry units I would advise against it. Blood and Black Knights are expensive and will be torn to pieces by the inevitable Organ Gun(s).
Thats all I can think of for now. Dwarfs aren't the easiest match up for vampires but you should be ok.
Current painting project: 2300 pts of Dwarfs in 5 weeks.
the ethereal stuff will simply destroy any missile unit, but if those war machine are decked out in runes, they'll instead have a field day killing your ghosties!!! unless you know his war machines aren't magical, i'd probably play it safe and keep the ethereal stuff at home...
now a black coach used well could work! yes the dwarves can put lots of S7 on the board, but the coach does come with a ward save, and it causes terror! with a little luck and a screening/diversion unit, the coach could walk through the dwarves rear lines quite easily!
vampire w/infinite hatred + ghoulkin. talisman of the lycni, sword of battle, armour of the night or flayed hauberk.
flying takes too many bloodline pts, and it's dead handy to have the re-rolls in case you flub your dice... you've still go an 18" charge range, but with the armour of night you're also harder to hit! at best your opponent is -3 to-hit you with all missile weapons - just beware of magical missiles! (not an issue against dwarves obviously!)
another varient which i've been using lately against a high elf gunline is;
vampire w/infinite hatred, avatar of death (additional hand weapon). wristbands of black gold, talisman of the lycni.
i'm actually likely this guy even more! he's got a nifty 3+ ward save against shooting & magical missiles so he's even harder to gun down! you'll just need another vamp w/ghoulkin to help 'slingshot' him into combat turn 1... (or you could just wait a turn!)
the dire wolves however aren't so hot at anything beyond screening/redirecting... they're pretty poop all round in combat against pretty much everything! they can likely keep a war machine occupied for a few turns, but you will lose them against dwarven crew unless the dwarf player flubs his/her dice rolls...
remember, black knights move like ethereal models! don't give them barding as it only slows them down. run them up into forests, keeping them more than 2" in if you're not setting up a charge, otherwise of corse keep them within 2" of the edge of the terrain! or else hop them behind a solid building or some such obsticle... you've always got vanhel's/book of arkhan for magically charging them too!
- take 2 vamps w/dark acolyte in games under 2000pts. if possible, try and work a 3rd vampire in there, or a necromancer.
typically against dwarves & high elves, i try to make sure i get at least 6-7 power dice/phase in games under 2000pts, while in 2000-2250pts games, i'll aim for 10-11 dice to ensure i can get the important spells off!
- a corpse cart w/unholy loadstone can make sure you get the most out of your summon spells, and will help if one or two of your attempts get dispelled.
- take bound items. we have lots of nasty bound spells available! use those first to suck out some dispel dice, maybe even a scroll if you're lucky!
- stick to either skellies or ghouls for your core. it's easier to raise big units if you can concentrate on summoning just a single type! untill you hit that magical 2000pts mark, you don't want to spread your invocations between skellies & ghouls as you won't have enough power dice...
- the nightshroud will turn any vampire/wight king wearing it into a killing machine! it's also a solid item for your general at lower pts values as it lets you get the drop on anyone trying to assassinate him!
posting your army list you've been using and if possible a brief rundown of your opponent's list will also help us suggest ways to beat your stubborn opponent!
Probably right though. Its just last game I played against Vamps had 4 units of them. War machine crews ALWAYS fluff eventually.
Hope we are being of help.
Current painting project: 2300 pts of Dwarfs in 5 weeks.
i normally run a big unit of 20 skeletons, a unit of skeletons, 2 magic heavy vamps, konrad, 7 black knights.
what i really need to know is how to deal with his runesmith without magic as he counters pretty much every spell i cast
The only time I've ever played dwarfs was against a gun line and I massacred him. He couldn't shoot down faster than I could raise and my varghulf/fell bat flank team cleared a few of the tanks quite nicely. I didn't manage to kill his general. Both of our generals got locked in a 3 turn challenge that didn't end before the game did. Not too sure how do deal with that but I found the cannons no issue.
Two Power Dice for casting your IoN's will bring their dispel dice out and you'll have more success against their dispels.
2 vamps with Dark Acolyte and a Black Periapt since you won't be using your dispel dice. That gives you 7 PD against their 5 DD...add a Corpse cart with Miasma Bound and the Book of Arkhan or Rod of Flaming Death and you will present him with too many spells to effectively dispel, otherwise build your units big from the start...they are cheap enough and run Combat Vampire's/Wight King only. Then that runesmith is a big waste as you have taken his advantage out of the picture because of your army set up.
Trying to best Dwarves in CC without magic is pretty difficult. Ghouls might be able to do it with their higher stats, and combat vampires could make a dent, but the dwarves will likely be targeting the squishier regiment around him. That's why I don't like to EVER field a combat vamp- CR will take you down every time.
Dwarven magic defense is one of the toughest in the game if they do it properly. Running heavy casting is the best way to crack that little shell though. In under 2k we can run out 3 characters. I'm seeing them maxing out at 11pd.
You see, Mast of Black Arts is a fun little trick on a lvl1. If all that you need is enough dice to get some IoNs or Raise Dead off, you don't need a lvl2. Especially against dwarves, where you have no need for DD. This gives you 3 dice, a guaranteed IoN on that caster, and a garuanteed Raise Dead. You can use the Book to get your Vanhel's if needed, you can take the Black Periapt on another to gain an extra casting dice, and you can take either another bound, or some kind of combat equipment.
Now you have 12pd + 2 bounds.
Adding in Corpse Carts is always key, as they have an ASF bound circle that really bothers dwarves. Especially when you've got regiments of ghouls or black knights bearing down on them. Add in 2 of these for a fairly low price, and you've got yourself another 2 bounds that nobody wants to deal with. He is effectively trying to stop 16PD, 4 of which are guaranteed casts if he doesn't stop them.
Kit out your army with Ghouls- the toughness is better against S4AP handguns than skeletons with Light Armor, and the 2attacks makes them better in a fight. Really, I prefer ghouls over skellies in any situation. As they cost the same as skellies, you should be running large regiments of these- this negates your need for Summon-Specific Powers.
"But now I can't raise big units!" I hear you say. Oh well. That's what zombies are for. You can get 20 of these little guys for half the price of ghouls. Put them in a single-file line across your army and start piling IoNs into them. Anyone can raise zombies beyond starting, and you raise 5 on average, 10 at max. Against gunlines, nothing is better than a huge pile of angry zombies to suck down shots. If you can squeeze a helm of commandment onto one of your vampires (probably the guy with the Periapt), you can make them WS7 in combat, and if they're backed with 2 carts, such a big regiment will probably be able to benefit from potential ASFs twice over.
Smashing this regiment of WS7+ASF zombies into his front line will annoy him to death. Giving your zombies a banner will help their staying power. Only 1 banner can be counted in any fight, no matter how many regiments are present, so you've suddenly nullified all of his regimental standards (magic banner effects still work though). He only gets ranks from the highest number of ranks amongst his units. The only downside to hitting 3-4 regiments of dwarves with 1 regiment of zombies is that he'll be getting several Stand-and-Shoots. You might lose combat, but you'll be losing combat slowly.
From this point, you have several options. You can let this crumble your zombies until they're gone and your Ghouls are ready for the finishing blow. Or you can use any Vanhel's you might have to swing your Ghouls out around to the flanks and attack. You could use fliers to get his flanks, rear, or pound on his artillery. Or you could raise zombies behind his lines, and rear-charge him to negate his ranks and catch fleeing regiments.
Be warned- this is cheese extraordinaire, because you can ruin his day with nothing but 8pt models and a monster magic phase.
This tactic works well against any army that doesn't offer much offensive magic. If they have magic that can lash out, now you need to find a way to counter that, because they'll aim everything at knocking out that block of zombies. In higher-point games, I've actually shrank the regiments of ghouls behind the screen, and added in a general with 6PD of her own and the ability to raise Ghouls well above their starting values. It's funny to watch a worn-out regiment of Hammerers get hit by a fresh regiment of 40ghouls with a vampire. It is NOT funny to dodge flying dice-boxes (they have sharp corners).
A little off topic - it would be interesting to see if a Dwarf player would carry around a Spelleater Rune and use it on your Invocation. It's a dispel scroll with a 4+, lose the spell.
If you run up against an artillery/ranged army at below 2k points, you may be in for a serious struggle. If I were a Dwarf player, I would pack two bolt throwers and a stone thrower, and fill the rest out with crossbows, guns, and an Ironbreaker/warrior blocks. I wouldn't bother moving, I would just shoot one of your units until it fell apart and then move to the next one.
Due to this, I would really advocate a few things.
First, screening. Fell Bats or Spirit Hosts would be useful. Remember, artillery will be definitely be magical. A 20 point strength rune means that your Black Coach is one shot away from going bust. However, guns and crossbows aren't. Marching your Grave Guard or Black Knights behind a Host screen prevents them from getting pasted immediately. Just remember to keep a Corpse Cart nearby to maximize your ethereal model raising.
Second, Vanhel's Danse. Dwarves are slow, but they'll eat all of your troops. They're all at least T4 with L9. If they aren't shooting you, they also come with 3+ combat armor saves. If they are shooting you, they're all shooting at S4. Their guns hit on 3s at close range. They have horrible initiative, but you do too. You need to get your troops into combat before they get shot, and then make them stronger. The Cursed Book is almost mandatory in this situation. You want to maximize your bound spells and make him sacrifice as many dispel dice as possible. He should be carrying at least 5 DD, and 6 if he's smart. If he's mean, he'll have a Master Rune of Dispel - if he's really mean, a Master Rune of Valaya (+1 and +2 to dispel, respectively.)
Personally, I think Dwarves are underrated. They receive mediocre scores in terms of success, but they can be a real challenge to win against.