Dwarf Item/Rune Analysis
The Hammer of Karak Drazh – Expensive for an item that will rarely have any benefit. Even when this item gives you a benefit of the +3 initiative the fact that you reduce the enemy initiative only in that close combat phase is pathetically useless.
Red Axe of Karak Eight Peaks – A great Item that has loads of benefits…if you are fighting Skaven or Orcs & Goblins. Otherwise, it is useless.
Magnificent Armour of Borek Beetlebrow – Expensive armour that to be worth the points you need to know you’ll be fighting very high strength enemies. Against anything less than strength 6 this armour is not worth it.
Silver Horn of Vengeance – If you’ve built part of your army strategy around this item it could be a very nasty surprise for your opponent, especially if he is of the Elven variety.
Fiery Ring of Thori – A S4 Breath Weapon for a decently low cost. You can rarely go wrong having this in your army.
Banner of Lost Holds – Very expensive and can only be taken by our BSB. Being able to reroll To Wound rolls is huge, especially for any Lords or Thanes. That being said to really get your money’s worth you almost need to ensure this goes in a Death Star unit or at the very least a unit you KNOW will get to crush the opponent’s main unit. A good banner, but still somewhat situational.
Master Rune of Skalf Blackhammer – The most expensive Weapon Rune and while it is nice to almost auto wound an enemy, the fact that you’re still hitting with your base strength modifier means anything you would want to invest these kind of points in to kill will have a very good armour save. There are much better options if you want to kill a high toughness enemy and they cost significantly less.
Master Rune of Smiting – D6 wounds is great and I imagine there may be a build or two out there that can really make this work, but it is a very expensive rune. We Dawi have many options for causing multiple wounds (Cannons, Grudge Throwers, Gyrobombers, etc) so this is not necessarily needed.
Master Rune of Alaric the Mad – Since most Characters that would use this can get a great weapon and most likely will have Armour Piercing due to a Runesmith this is rarely a good choice. Perhaps if you are running it on a Slayer that has a specific mission to take out a heavily armored foe…but even then you still have to wound that foe and they will most likely have a high toughness. This Rune is situational at best.
Master Rune of Breaking – You can really mess up someone’s plans with this rune if especially if used in a challenge. The problem is, as with most weapon runes, there are combinations and runes out there that are more effective in taking out the enemy than simply disarming him.
Master Rune of Dragon Slaying – Great rune…if you know a Dragon will be on the other side of the table…otherwise, useless.
Master Rune of Flight – You can do some pretty nifty stuff with this rune, but you have to get in at short range and then “shoot” with this and it may not even hit. You would really need to build up a strategy around this rune to have it worth it as it is a rare case where you would be in range to use this rune and you would not want to charge.
Master Rune of Snorri Spangelhelm – Dwarf Weapon Skill is already very high so you often are hitting at a 3+ anyways. On a Slayer, this could be a good rune to ensure your deathblow makes its mark. That being said, this is a pretty cheap way to ensure you almost always hit in combat and that is definitely worth something.
Master Rune of Swiftness – This has many of the same ups and downs as the Master Rune of Snorri Spangelhelm with the difference that such a rune could very well be a cheap way to ensure a Dragon or Daemon Slayer gets a bunch of attacks before dying.
Rune of Daemon Slaying – If you know you are fighting Daemons, lots of cool ways to own your opponent, otherwise, useless.
Rune of Fire – This rune can be an easy, cheap way to give your Characters a magical, flaming attack to deal with those pesky ethereal and regeneration saves. Two of these runes give you a breath weapon, but the Fiery Ring of Thori is cheaper and does the same thing (though you don’t get the magical/flaming attacks). Three of these runes is very expensive and simply gives the breath attack D3 wounds. Worth the single rune for sure, possibly worth two if you have already used the Ring of Thori elsewhere. Three of them are not worth it in my opinion.
Rune of Fury – This rune grants an extra attack for one, adds Frenzy for two and adds the ability to add attacks for each successful attack made for three. For the single rune this could be worth the cost, though the extra cost for Frenzy and extra attacks is debatable. With the right Slayer this could be quite the blender if you have the right target and he survives to use his attacks. It could be paired with the Master Rune of Snorri or possibly Swiftness to good effect.
Rune of Dismay – If Dwarfs had lower leadership, this may have been a good choice, as it is, the Fear/Terror/Leadership minus are really only going to be worth the points against low leadership armies. For the Dwarfs, this rune is situational at best.
Rune of Cleaving – This rune was the one that could have made all the other weapons runes worth their cost, but alas they went about it in a very strange way. The first rune, while cheap, only grants Armour Piercing, which in our army meta of needing to bring multiple Runesmiths which already confer this ability makes this Rune useless most of the time. A second rune gives you the +1S but at a cost more than the +1S sword from the BRB. The 3rd rune gives Killing Blow which is an OK rule but you are using up all of your weapon rune slots to get there…is there use for the Rune of Cleaving? Yes, but it could have been so much better.
Rune of Might – Finally! A weapon rune that is actually worth taking! If you are going to use a runic weapon and actually try to do anything worthwhile with it, there is a very good chance that weapon has a Rune of Might on it. It is somewhat situational as it only doubles the user’s strength vs. a T5 or higher enemy, but to be honest this is exactly where we need the strength bonus anyways. A second rune adds the D3 multiple wounds rule and is priced OK for what it does, but the issue here is that you’re taking points away from the oft needed armour runes. Overall you can rarely go wrong with this rune unless you are fighting an army entirely made up of Goblins.
Rune of Striking – This rune gives bonus’s to Weapon Skill and can even give re-rolls for failed to hit rolls. Overall, the costs for these runes are reasonable but because Dwarfs often have higher Weapon Skill compared to our opponents the benefit is more situational than it would seem at first. Still the ability to reroll failed hits is well priced and could find use in a few builds.
Grudge Rune – The rune is fluffy, but almost useless. Even at its bargain price, the Grudge rune requires you to tell your opponent which of his Characters your Character will be going after and any opponent worth his salt will ensure that you never get to make those points you spent worth anything.
Rune of Parrying – Enemies have a -1 to hit your character in close combat. This is basically a defensive rune on a weapon which allows you to not take an armour rune slot. As you will most often be building a tank character as opposed to killy character this rune becomes very attractive. Even by itself, you will rarely regret spending points on this rune.
Rune of Speed – This is the cheapest weapon rune and therefore an excellent way to avoid the Rule of Pride or to simply give your character a magical attack to deal with ethereals. Each one gives you an additional +1 to Initiative and therefore gives you almost the same benefits as the Hammer of Karak Drazh at a fraction of the cost. The only reason this wasn’t a blue is because an initiative bonus is of limited advantage to a Dwarf since we have such low Initiative to start with.
Master Rune of Adamant – Toughness of 10 is amazing, but it comes at a hefty price. In addition to being the most expensive armour rune in the book, you cannot take any other armor rune with this rune. This rune can be powerful when combined with a Lord on Shieldbearers but leaves you precious few points to do any other runic items. There really are much better options and very few situations where T10 is a better option than other runic combinations for the same cost.
Master Rune of Gromil – This is how you get a Thane a 1+ armour save. The Lord can get a 1+ save along with 2 extra wounds for just a few more points by adding Shieldbearers so this rune is really just for a Thane. This also makes a good option for a BSB that you don’t plan to put a Runic Banner on.
Rune of Fortitude – In a Dwarf world where the tank is king, the Rune of Fortitude is one of the standby armour runes. With a single rune you can get +1T for a decent point cost. Add a second and get a 5+ ward save for good measure. These are both great bases for combos that can make your Thane or Lord super hard to kill. A third Rune of Fortitude affords you some additional protection against multiple wounds but tends to be a bit pricy for what it does.
Rune of Iron – When taking runic armor, a combination that includes the Rune of Iron is almost a no brainer. The first rune gets you +1 wound, the second adds +1 Toughness and the 3rd adds 5+ regeneration. You will rarely see a competitive list that doesn’t include this rune in some combination.
Rune of Shielding – This rune gives a 2+ ward save against shooting and magic missiles and does so for a reasonable price. The problem is, however, that you will rarely have an opportunity where a character would be susceptible to even suffering a wound from shooting or magic missiles. Maybe on a Master Engineer assigned to protect some war machines? It is very situational.
Rune of Preservation – This used to be a staple in our old book and while it is still very useful, many builds that are meant to be defensive in nature often don’t find room for this rune on their armour. It is OK for points so it will never be a bad choice, there are simply many more options that often push this rune out of the running.
Rune of Impact – This rune is cheap and gives an impact hit at the wearer’s base strength. It is only one impact hit and only hits on the charge so the question is how many times do you plan for your character to charge in the game and is this one time attack worth the extra points? In my opinion, it is rarely worth it.
Rune of Stone – This gives +1 to your armour save. The cost of this rune is a steal and the Rule of Pride doesn’t apply so you can give it to any amount of characters. This means that you should never have a character that doesn’t have at least a single rune…and that rune should be the Rune of Stone.
Master Rune of Groth One-Eye – You can have a 12” bubble of stubborn Dwarfs. Do I really need to say more? The only reason this didn’t fall into the must take category is because the rune cost keeps it locked to either the BSB or a unit of Hammerers…who are already stubborn. It is still a great banner and Dwarf enemies will hate the name Groth One-Eye!
Master Rune of Stromni Redbeard – This runic banner had so much potential if it had only been cheaper! As it is, you could use the points spent on this to instead bolster your units or gain other banners that are so much more useful! I don’t ever expect to see this Banner hit the table. It really is too bad…I consider this banner a missed opportunity.
Master Rune of Valaya – I expect I will get some amount of pushback by not making this an auto include banner. As it is this banner is amazing and in any game of over 3000 points I agree this may become a purple. But below that mark, this banner is simply awesome even if not an auto-include. The additional +2 to dispel is very helpful, especially against magic heavy armies. The secondary ability which helps to dispel remains in play spells is only marginally helpful since we can use the power dice we generate in our own magic phase to do the same thing. We would only need them for anything else (casting spells) if we took an Anvil of Doom…which we shouldn’t be doing anyways.
Master Rune of Grungi – Yet another amazing choice for our banners! A 6 inch bubble of 5+ ward saves against shooting and magic missiles is awesome. Add to that fact that the bearer of the standard gets a 4+ wards save. If you could take this on something other than the BSB it would be an auto include. Still, this rune is pure awesomeness.
Rune of Battle – This rune, like the Stromni Redbeard rune had so much potential! If only it had been 10 or 15 points cheaper! Alas the biggest problem with this rune besides its slightly overinflated price is the fact that it suffers from being a substandard rune choice amongst so many other good ones. There are still other runes that are cheaper for dealing with Rule of Pride issues so you really won’t see this rune except in very specific builds or very large armies.
Rune of Slowness – This is a great option and very affordable for what it does. The basic idea here is to cause your enemy to fail his charge so you can charge instead. This works great on great weapon Longbeards, Hammerers and even Ironbreakers. It is absolutely AMAZING on Irondrakes. Watch your opponent cry as he charges, takes your Drakegun stand and shoot, then fails his charge so you can shoot him again next turn and if he is brave enough, take another stand and shoot reaction to charge again. On a unit of Irondrakes, this rune really becomes a must take item.
Rune of Sanctuary – This rune is of very limited use on its own due to the fact that Runesmiths give Magic Resistance to any unit they join. The real benefit in this rune is its very low points cost which makes it an ideal rune to use in order to avoid the Rule of Pride. There is also some limited application in higher points games to confer a higher Magic Resistance since you can stack this rune.
Rune of Stoicism – This is Groth One-Eye’s little brother. This just gives stubborn to the unit bearing it and at a very reasonable price. Take it for all the reasons you’d take One-Eye but you can put it on unit standards.
Strollaz’ Rune – This is how you make your Dawi an effective all close combat army. The rune grants Vanguard and is very reasonably priced. You can build a list with multiple banners with this rune on it and be in your opponent’s face on Turn 1!
Rune of Courage – This rune grants immunity to psychology. We are an army of Leadership 9 warriors; we will very rarely care about panic. This rune is at best an add-on in order to avoid the Rule of Pride.
Ancestor Rune – To take a Leadership test on one die is great…but it is pretty situational at the best of times. Still, this can sometimes be better than a re-roll of normal leadership if you get caught in a bad combat situation. It could save you, but you often won’t find the room to fit this in compared to other, better Banner Runes.
Master Rune of Balance – Despite the Grumbling of my fellow Dawi over the nerf this rune received, I still believe the Master Rune of Balance to be an OK choice, especially in high point games. The biggest problem this rune has is that it competes against the Master Rune of Valaya as our key magic defense item and it will lose to Valaya every time. Stealing a power die from your opponent is very powerful but since it now goes off only half the time it is simply not reliable compared to Valaya and therefore a secondary choice. Still, in those games where you can fit in both of them, the Master Rune of Balance becomes much more fun.
Master Rune of Spite – A nice, fluffy rune that is almost useless. If you have a character kitted out to do any sort of battle whether it be as a tank or killy, there are so many better options. If it were 10 Points cheaper, then maybe it would be worth it. I originally rated this as a red/bad choice but then someone pointed out here on the forums that you could put this on a cheap but still important character like a Runesmith and it could be used to actually kill a challenge or assassin character. This idea, while obviously situational is very plausible and would be very funny. I plan to try this out very soon.
Master Rune of Passage – See Master Rune of Spite above. Of all the things you can control in your competitive force, terrain is rarely one of them. I’m not sure this would be worth it even at 5 points.
Rune of Warding – Add +1 ward save for each one and it is reasonably priced. Any character kitted out with any sort of protection will usually have at least one of this rune.
Rune of Spellbreaking – The most important rune in our arsenal. One is a dispel scroll, two kill the spell on a 4+ roll (the old Spelleater). Take it as a breaker or as an eater, I don’t care…just make sure you have one per Runesmith/Runelord. Period.
Rune of Luck – Gives a re-roll that can be used offensively or defensively and could save your Dawi hide at a key part of the battle. It is cheap enough to be used as a way to avoid the Rule of Pride on other Talismanic Runes and therefore is extremely useful.
Rune of the Furnace – You get a 2+ ward save against flaming attacks (you’d be surprised how many are out there) and it is so cheap it is the first rune one goes for to avoid the Rule of Pride. It is a no-brainer choice.
Master Rune of Immolation – This rune is interesting, fluffy, and fun. However...competitive...it is not. I have seen some strategies that leave a war machine park flank exposed with a war machine that has this rune on it as a way to trick or weaken the enemy. The idea has merit but you have to build at least part of your force with this rune in mind. To make things worse, you will probably never be able to pull this trick off against the same opponent twice.
Master Rune of Disguise – This rune has gotten so much better with our update. Now you get hard cover and you get it for a decent price. The downside is that compared to the bonus given by the Master Engineer, this is second rate. Still, to add an Engineer cost quite a bit more points so overall, not a bad rune.
Rune of Penetrating – A single rune gives the +1 Strength and a second gives a reroll to wound. A single Rune of Penetrating should be mandatory on a Grudge Thrower and seriously considered on a Bolt Thrower. You could also have some fun with an Organ Gun, but there are usually much better runes to choose from.
Stalwart Rune – This rune is cheap enough to use as a Rule of Pride bypass but with war machines you will most likely not see the need. It is an interesting bonus for the +1 combat resolution, but with such low armor and only 3 wounds, you will rarely get to benefit from the combat resolution. Adding a second Stalwart Rune in order to get Unbreakable is more helpful but comes at double the price and would rarely be worth that additional cost.
Rune of Accuracy – A must take with a Grudge Thrower, Organ Gun and perhaps even the Bolt Thrower as well (wait, why are you taking a bolt thrower?). The Organ Gun and Bolt Thrower also benefit from a Master Engineer, so there are other ways to make these war machines more accurate as well. Bolt Throwers will usually only get 4-6 shots per game and they need to ensure high success for to hit rolls. No matter how you cut it, this rune will be in the vast majority of Dawi Throngs.
Rune of Forging – There is rarely a reason you shouldn’t take this rune on two thirds of your war machines. This is why we are better than the Umgi. Nuff said.
Flakkson’s Rune of Seeking – This rune is cheap and very situational. If you know you’ll be facing flyers and you are taking bolt throwers, than this is a no brainer.
Rune of Burning – So cheap and can take away Regeneration. You should always have at least one war machine with this rune.
Edited by Greyhnir, 05 March 2015 - 02:36 PM.