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Reimagining The Warhammer Dwarfs - Input Welcomed!


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#1 Kallstrom

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 11:51 AM

Hey!

As a little thought experiment, if we were to remake the Warhammer Dwarfs from the ground up, what parts would you add/remove/change compared to how Dwarfs are played in Warhammer (in 8th edition, for example)?

While taking inspiration from the lore and rules for Dwarfs in Warhammer, what changes could be made?
Below I will write some thoughts I have regarding what I would change. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions either for what I write below, or to hear your own adjustments to the Dwarf army. If we could redesign everything, what would we change, and why?

Personally I love the idea of gyrocopters, and back when I played the computer game World of Warcraft I always used the steampunk-looking helicopter as a mount over any flying dragon or manticore, but in my personal opinion I find that my view of a Dwarf army consists of infantry and war machines. Steel, beards, and gun powder. So no flying helicopters, no monstrous statues, no cavalry, etc. With that in mind I will try to create a Dwarf army that consists solely of infantry and war machines! But having only infantry and war machines removes our best chaff options, which creates a problem for an army that wants to do something other than sit in the corner and shoot at the enemy until they reach the dwarven line. Hmm, could an army of infantry and war machines work around this design problem somehow?

Also, Dwarfs have been known to be a bit boring to face when consisting of a gun line, and being shut down in the magic phase can't be so fun either for our opponents. So the question is, can we make a Dwarf army that at least feels more fun to face than previously? An army that is built around negating the enemy (we shoot and they remove models, they cast spells and we deny them) is not so fun. But our strengths as an army are built around negating pour opponent and stopping them from playing, which is a bit backwards. It is the same with skirmish armies that run around and cannot be caught, they negate an aspect of the game to their opponent and thus can become hard to counter and not fun to play against). Shooting could be fun to some extent for both parties, but when facing a gun line and the only transaction that occurs is that the Dwarf player is rolling dice and the opponent is removing models is can't be viewed as an engaging game for both parties.

So, we want to avoid creating an army that lends itself too well to a gun line approach, and we want to create an interesting magic phase. In order to make gun lines less viable one could boost the melee approaches in the army, which GW has already tried to some extent by giving the Dwarf army some melee bonuses in their 8th Edition army book. Dwarfs get +1 Str on the turn they charge, and they get +1 Parry save. However, to me it makes little sense that Dwarfs gets a Strength bonus when charging. Dwarfs are not massive creatures, and what is the lore behind getting more strength when charging? The improved Parry save I can understand, it lends itself nicely to the armored and stoic dwarfs and their potential shield walls - but if that were to be the only melee bonus it would still spur the Dwarf player into building a defensive list over a offensive list, and that circles it all back to more of a gun line army. 

The Dwarfs needs an incentive to be in melee, and also to be the ones trying to move into melee.What could be considered fluffy and lore-friendly when it comes to charging dwarfs? This has to be pondered some more, so any tips regarding this aspect would be welcomed. 

Now, regarding the magic phase, I'd say that when reimagining the Dwarf army one could try to stay with the theme of the army without sacrificing the fun of the army. As mentioned above, negating an opponent is less fun than actually bringing some new aspect that adds to the game play. In this case I want to go away from the fact that Dwarfs are magic resistant and cannot wield magic in a traditional sense, and instead give them access to magic. More specifically, the Lore of Metal and the Lore of Light. Why? Because it feels like fitting lores for the dwarfs, and having access to spells that can buff your melee troops in close combat can give an incentive to the Dwarf player to actually chase after the fights on the battlefield. The Lore of Metal could be coming from Runesmiths, and the Lore of Light from Runepriests (where the latter replaces the previous Runelords position in the Lord section of the army). In that case the Dwarfs would have access to Lore of Metal on a hero level Wizard (level 1 or 2) and Lore of Light on a lord level Wizard (level 3 or 4). Another idea would be to just give both the Runesmith and the Runepriest access to both of those Lores, but that one remains a hero level caster and the other one a lord, so that the Dwarf player gets access to both lores ranging from level 1-4.
Giving the Dwarf player access to magic would be a powerful buff, and it had to be mitigated from someplace else in the army. An idea would be to revamp the Runic system so that the Dwarf player does not get access to as much defensive runes when it comes to negating the magic spells from the opponent - so that both players have more of a normal magic phase (slinging spells around instead of the dwarf having almost no magic phase most of the time and the opponent being shut down in his). 

That brings us to the runic system, which I think could be reworked somehow to make the system more engaging to interact with when it comes to list building, and also so that it makes more sense when playing a game. Having set bonuses for combining certain runes, or having the runes contribute to the game play in other ways than stacking special rules onto our characters could be an interesting idea. Maybe the runes could be in a dormant state, needing to be activated somehow during the battle? The runic system works like invisible upgrades for the characters and that could be confusing to the opponent that tries to remember what every rune means and does. The fact that the runes also has lore names makes it even more confusing, so now both players have to remember the name of the rune And what it does, like for example this made-up rune "Rune of Beer" that gives the character the Stubborn, Stupid, and Hatred special rules. This system needs to be more intuitive and forgiving with the way it adds complexity to the army somehow.

We also have a problem that when it comes down to it most of our units in the army consists of the same kind of troops - a bearded dwarf with a weapon clad in various pieces of protective gear. It is hard to create a lot of uniqueness for an army that in the beginning does not offer a lot of material to work with. In Warhammer the various different Dwarf units are mostly given different weapons and special rules to set them apart, and maybe not a lot more can be done to differentiate between them. However, if I were to give it a try I would maybe shuffle around the infantry units to something like this (not including the Irondrakes, mainly for personal reasons, but also to give Thunderers a more distinct role):

Core:
- Warriors, can now also use spears and halberds. Can be upgraded to Longbeards, Longbeards gain the Stubborn and Flammable special rules (they have long beards, after all!)
- Miners, can throw bombs, and can Ambush as normal. When upgraded with a Drill for the Champion they can get to "Deep strike" (appear anywhere on the board, but scatter 1D6). 
- Quarrellers, can be upgraded to Rangers. Rangers get +1 BS but otherwise works as before.

Special:
- Slayers, their rules are fluffy but do they make sense? Why would a Slayer actually always be wounding on at least a 4+? Adding Doomseekers would be a nice touch, though.
- Hammerers, gets Gromril armor, they are an elite unit after all.
- Ironbreakers, not sure what to give the Ironbreakers to make them fun and engaging to play with. Bombs to throw? Something else?
- Thunderers, either get to fire in ranks of 3 or some other special rule to make them stand out a bit. A dwarf with a handgun should be a fearsome foe.


And as a final thought I think that Dwarfs superior craftsmanship should be shown a bit more on the battlefield. Maybe give all Dwarfs at least Heavy Armor (besides the Slayers), and that dwarfs are immune to Armor Piercing effects (but not effects that negate armor completely)? 

bb5f29a644c9dd262999310abbf12b82.jpg

Any thoughts on the ideas above are appreciated! 

Cheers!



#2 Zidane_blade

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 02:32 PM

Sorry this is so counter productive, and I do hope someone else picks up the mantel and plays along.
But I actually like the dwarfs from 8th. I would have liked the Anvil to work a bit more wholesome, but guessing showing up and charging in the same turn was apparently too scary for some 😅

But really enjoyed reading your experiment!

Edited by Zidane_blade, 03 May 2020 - 02:36 PM.


#3 Kallstrom

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 04:00 PM

Sorry this is so counter productive, and I do hope someone else picks up the mantel and plays along.
But I actually like the dwarfs from 8th. I would have liked the Anvil to work a bit more wholesome, but guessing showing up and charging in the same turn was apparently too scary for some 😅

But really enjoyed reading your experiment!

Thanks! Hehe, and no worries, I think that the Dwarfs overall are a very solid and straightforward army in the 8th edition of Warhammer, so this thread is just a thought experiment to see if something can be done to "mix it up", so to say. The Anvil of Doom could indeed use some work, maybe something like this?

Every friendly magic phase the Dwarf player gets a number of dice equal to the current turn number, and the dice generated in this way can be used to cast spells with the Anvil of Doom. The Anvil could have 5 bound spells that needs various casting values to get off, and combined with regular dwarf Wizards in the army it could pose more of a threat to the opponent who now have to divide his Dispel dice to dispel both the Anvil of Doom and the dwarf Wizard.
The Anvil of Doom can only cast its bound spells with the dice generated by the turn number, and may not use regular Power dice to cast its spells. Unused "Turn dice" generated by the Anvil of Doom are discarded at the end of the Dwarf Players turn. Every turn the Dwarf Player may discard up to 1 of the generated "Turn dice" to restore 1 Wound on the Anvil of Doom.

The five spells:
1: Rune of Thunder. A magic missile, pretty standard, so 2D6 Str4 with a 24" range or 1D6 Str4 anywhere on the battlefield. Cast on a 5+.
2: Rune of Endurance.  Stubborn buff for a Dwarf unit anywhere on the battlefield, if cast on a unit that is already Stubborn they take their Break test with 3D6 discarding the highest roll instead. Lasts until the Dwarf players next turn. Cast on a 9+
3: Rune of Shielding. Gives all Dwarf units on the battlefield Magic Resistance(1), and when cast the opponent must add 2 to any required casting value when targeting a dwarf unit on the battlefield during his next magic phase. Cast on a 10+
4: Rune of the Mountain. Can be cast on a friendly Dwarf unit that has charged into combat on this turn. That unit gets the Devestating Charge or Thunderous charge special rule until the end of this turn. Cast on a 8+.
5: Rune of Awakening. When cast the Anvil of Doom turns all friendly dormant runes on the battlefield into its activated state until the Dwarf Players next turn (this requires a rework of the runic system with maybe some runes having a boosted version of itself, like for example a rune that gives a Dwarf character D3 multiple wounds now instead gives it D6 multiple wounds when "activated".) Cast on a 7+.

The Anvil of Doom may be made into a Chariot and is then placed on a 40x60mm base (maybe bigger? as long as it fits inside a dwarf unit footprint-wise). The Anvil of Doom may then join a Dwarf unit and is placed in the middle of that unit (or as close to the middle as possible). The Anvil gets 1D6 Str 6 impact hits when charging into combat. It also gives the unit that it is in Magic Resistance(2).


The casting values above have not been given much thought, so it could use some math hammering to be sure. The important part is that the Dwarf player has at least something to try to cast on turn 1. With the bound spells above the Dwarf player is offered some offensive buffs and some defensive buffs. More spells could surely be added that affect the terrain, movement, etc but keeping it to a total of 5 spells seems like a good cap so it does not become overwhelming - but still remains a bit more interesting than only having three spells.



#4 Luigi

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 12:42 AM

I've always liked the idea of dwarfs with polearms. 

An impenetrable phalanx  of locked shields and spears sounds very dwarfy to me.

I also never really liked the slayers too much, both in fluff and on the tabletop. I have, however, had success and fun by running a naked dragonslayer and just having him charge into anything.

I like the ideas for the AoD as what we have now (or had before the end) was extremely lackluster.

Artillery wise... I'm not sure. I just like artillery of all kind. I would perhaps change the flame cannon a bit and have the bolt thrower be either cheap OR efficient. As of now it's neither. Maybe have a bonus of some sort to your bolt-thrower for each unit of quarreller; as to perhaps give the chance of branching out thematically (gun powder VS more traditional dwarfs).

I do like the gyrocopter, so I won't really comment on it.

I also like miners and I think that they could use some sort if machine or larger model: a tunnelling device, some sort of battering ram used to clear mine tunnels from goblins and skavens.


Ironbreakers: give them a rule to represent something akin to the Roman testudo. I'm not sure maybe an armour/ward save against missile fire?
 

 

 



#5 Thorfar Salokin

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 08:07 AM

Interesting question - not sure that I could add much by way of units but agree on the Hammerers not having gromril. It bugs that empire greatswords have a better armour save!

Rune magic is another one. Usually dwarfs have to invest in plenty of magic protection but there's nothing to stop your opponent ignoring it altogether so having our rune users being more offensive would be great

#6 Turgin Ironbeard

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 04:11 PM

4" Move.

 

I think with this change alone, MASSIVE amounts of issues are fixed.

 

The Halflings in the WHFRPG 2E get move 3", Dwarfs 4".

 

Again, 4" move.

 

Should address army wide slowness, as well, there's also the apparent need for more and better lore interpretation onto the tabletop.

 

As far as that goes, I have some ideas in progress, among them:

 

- Runeforging, an advanced/other form of Runesmithing, which would allow for the binding and casting of Rune-bound spells. Might be needed to spend a turn on the table to bind and then cast, so what other armies can do in one turn a Dwarf army will need two turns to pull off. Or two Anvils of Doom.

 

- Less risk for bad anvil forging. Or at least, on a failure, it has no effect. Loss of an Anvil just means a really powerful Runelord just became a Slayer next time they must fight.

 

- The above 4" move.

 

- I think the lack of incentive to take Ironbreakers over Irondrakes, maybe some other unit with Iron in the name, or make Hammerers an upgraded Ironbreaker into a variant of Irondrakes might do something.

 

- Points pinching per model needs to be done a little bit better. I'm trying to work on a balancing equation that makes the standard human statline of WH40K work for WHF As well, along with the 4+ WS 4+ BS S 3 T 3 Init 3 A 1 W 1 Ld 6 Sv 5+ work a bit better. The problem is that in Fantasy, that's two points freed up from the 5+ Sv because no Empire Militia gets Light armor.

 

On the above points pinching example....

Empire Militia:

M WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv

6 4 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 6+

OR 7 M, - Sv

 

+1 point free, so 4 points total (Every 4 pts, +1 free.) So, a 1 pt Shield, or 1 pt second weapon, for an extra attack

 

Dwarf Warrior:

M WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv

4 4 3 3 4 1 2 1 7 5+, 4 points total (-2 from M, +1 Ld, +1 Sv). So, 1 pt Shield, per above.

 

And, introduce Plate armor.

 

On the models, Light armor is Leather.

 

"Heavy" is chainmail shirts.

 

New setup for saves:

Light is 6+

Medium is 5+

Heavy is 4+

 

Shield remains +1 to the save.

 

This way, models that either forgo armor like the Militia are quicker of foot, yet still balanced around the statline just altered for each army.

 

Dwarfs would still pay +2 pts for Great Weapons, just I had thought different stats were needed for a Dwarf Warrior. A free Shield is nice, and it's now 6 pts for a Dwarf Warrior with both Shield and Great Weapon. Improving to Heavy Armor would be a choice and a further point.

 

Dwarfs at 7 pts each and the normal statline, just +1 Move would fix lots of issues. The rub is, most Holds would gladly put their lads in plate, so, why not let that happen? Seems reasonable enough to me.

 

Thoughts please?

 

Edit:

 

On Hammerer's, give them both Gromril Chain and Gromril Plate. 2+ Save; 6+ Light, 5+ Med, 4+ Hvy, 3+ G-Med, 2+ G-Hvy.

 

Edit 2:

 

On Dwarf Warriors, Halberds in the RPG are basically both Spear and Halberd. For +1 Pt, the model in this case gets a combined Spear-Halberd. Already having the Great Weapon at 7 pts, what might this do? Dwarfs with +3 S to 2H Melee would be amazing, and could be a really nice way to reflect my racial idea of a weapon for the Dwarfs.

 

The racial weapon in question is as follows:

 

As the fireman's axe handle is designed, it's not that far off from being able to give a Dwarf a same-height as they are axe handle, that can be swung in either one or two hands.

 

A "I swear too much" Axe as it were.

 

Per TT and RPG, 1H Axe or Pick as it's now a Halberd, and Axe is Biting, 2+ in RPG min dmg, or, d2 Damage and can now Cleave, and drop two 1 W models. 2H, it's even better, as there's now three options. Spear, Axe, and Pick. Spear 2H would be +3 S, Reach. Spear 1H is normal +3 S on TT. 2H Axe is Biting and the +3 S, 2H Pick is Armor Piercing 1 and +3 S. Still nice.

 

Edit 3:

 

Fixed the Spear.


Edited by Turgin Ironbeard, 05 May 2020 - 06:11 PM.


#7 Kallstrom

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 07:57 PM

An impenetrable phalanx  of locked shields and spears sounds very dwarfy to me.

[...]

Ironbreakers: give them a rule to represent something akin to the Roman testudo. I'm not sure maybe an armour/ward save against missile fire?
 

I agree that a wall of steel in form of a shield wall feels very dwarfish, and spears would go well with that sort of formation. Spears might not be the most practical weapon when fighting underground, but surely heavily armored dwarfs are needed to fight foes above ground too and above ground spears might be called for!

Maybe the Ironbreakers could be given spears as an optional upgrade (a spear that still makes you able to Parry)? A Str4 spear-wielding Ironbreaker could be quite nice and give them a much needed punching edge. Having fought so much in narrow passageways and in tunnels underground could have forced the Ironbreakers to develop a certain fighting style that suits such a climate for spears so that not only do they keep their Parry save but they could also keep their spear bonus - even when they are the ones charging!
I think of the scen in the third Hobbit movie where all the dwarfs form a shieldwall just to go from a standstill to a charge without breaking the shieldwall nor the position of their spears. Ironbreakers should be able to do something similar.

657c431be730be15819b6795dc0fdbe7.jpg

Overall it is not a huge buff, it might give the Ironbreakers about 5 more Str4 attacks in Close Combat, but at least it is something. Giving the Ironbreakers spears would also give them a very unique and distinctive look on the battlefield. It is vital that the spears still nets the Ironbreakers a Parry save though. Further buffs might be needed even.



#8 Kallstrom

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 08:15 PM

4" Move.

 

[...]
 

And, introduce Plate armor.

 

On the models, Light armor is Leather.

 

"Heavy" is chainmail shirts.

 

New setup for saves:

Light is 6+

Medium is 5+

Heavy is 4+

 

Shield remains +1 to the save.

 

[...]

 

As the fireman's axe handle is designed, it's not that far off from being able to give a Dwarf a same-height as they are axe handle, that can be swung in either one or two hands.

4" Movement would be nice, and it sure could add some incentive for the Dwarf player to actually move around a bit with his army. If I remember correctly the Ninth Age gives the Dwarfs the opportunity to make a 3x March Move (so a total of 9" when marching, instead of just moving 3" when moving normally). But giving the Dwarfs a straight up Movement buff to 4" sure could work. I think it is justified. If Dwarfs are to be slower than Humans I think the general scale of movement has to be altered somehow, having most infantry ranging from 4" to 6" (and placing normal humans on the 4" mark) leaves not a lot of room for beings that might be slightly slower than a human. Dwarfs are already "slower" than humans by having Initiative 2 instead of 3, so giving them M4 should not be so farfetched while still keeping with the racial lore.


I like the idea of a more broad and logic scope of armor saves. Right now Light Armor feels almost useless to me as most things are either Str4 or Armor Piercing that tries to hurt you, and if you get lucky and get hit by a Str3 attack you still only has about 1/6 chance to save yourself from blow. That does not feel like reliable protection, armor should surely protect the wearer a little better than that? I can understand it from a mechanical gameplay point of view, because if all one did was roll armor saves the entire game because armor saves got a huge buff it could get a bit boring if no models got removed from the battlefield. But as it stands now even in a model is covered from head to toe in armor a stiff breeze can still render it useless.. 
Maybe Strength bonuses should not negate Armor Saves? So that even if you are hit by a Str6 blow (wounding a Dwarf on a 2+) we would still get our +4 armor save from rocking heavy armor and a shield. That way armor would feel a bit more logical and practical, but it sure could be a bit too powerful if that were to be the case, and it would require a rewrite of the main rule book regarding how Strength works, so I guess it is a no go.


Did I understand you correctly regarding weapons that the dwarfs use one weapon but that they can use it in different ways depending on the situation (like wielding an axe in either 1 or 2 hands), and thus gain different bonuses depending on their chosen setting? It would work a bit like the "Weapon master" special rule that lets the unit choose which of their available weapons they want to use at the start of a close combat - and it could be explained in a way that dwarfs are superior craftsmen and for that reason has made weapons that with ease can be used in different ways depending on how you hold them.
I think Chaos Dwarfs had access to a rifle in their army book that worked as a halberd when the unit was in close combat, so the concept of dwarfs having access to weapons that can be used in different ways depending on the situation is nothing new in Warhammer, so there is definitely credence for it already. :)

2d3aacfaa39b6b0b77b5e2efcec0a567.jpg


Edited by Kallstrom, 05 May 2020 - 08:16 PM.


#9 SvenIronhand

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 02:20 AM

If we have to reimagine the Dawi, I'm thinking more "barbarian" in aesthetic. The Empire already has high technology (for a fantasy setting, anyhow) and there isn't really a faction with that aesthetic in the forces of Good. Let the Dawi Zharr have their heavy industry, smoke-stacks and slaughterhouse factories filling the air with smog that smells of the dead. It may be a rip off of Tolkien to create such a dichotomy, but I don't really care. 

3-Things-About-Germanic-Tribes-2.jpg

 

Think this, but with Dwarfs.
 

I would keep the shield wall, but make the Dwarfs very good at close-range shooting with javelins, throwing axes, and the like. The basic Dwarf Warrior or Longbeard could trade out his hand weapon and shield for a overly long pike. Or alternatively, they could take great weapons. I would make the pike Dwarfs slower than the other Dwarfs, to represent the ordered formation of the former and the wild charges of the latter. 

The Slayer equivalents would fight in nothing but a loincloth. This would make them "soft", but they would have good morale and be faster than the Dwarf Warriors in their suits of mail. 

 

I would replace the artillery with chariots - pulled by boars, of course. These would be manned by a driver and a bow-dwarf. In addition, they would have the option to take spiked wheels. 

As for magic, they would be what we call shamans. 


Edited by SvenIronhand, 06 May 2020 - 02:25 AM.


#10 Turgin Ironbeard

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 04:09 AM

 

4" Move.

 

[...]
 

And, introduce Plate armor.

 

On the models, Light armor is Leather.

 

"Heavy" is chainmail shirts.

 

New setup for saves:

Light is 6+

Medium is 5+

Heavy is 4+

 

Shield remains +1 to the save.

 

[...]

 

As the fireman's axe handle is designed, it's not that far off from being able to give a Dwarf a same-height as they are axe handle, that can be swung in either one or two hands.

4" Movement would be nice, and it sure could add some incentive for the Dwarf player to actually move around a bit with his army. If I remember correctly the Ninth Age gives the Dwarfs the opportunity to make a 3x March Move (so a total of 9" when marching, instead of just moving 3" when moving normally). But giving the Dwarfs a straight up Movement buff to 4" sure could work. I think it is justified. If Dwarfs are to be slower than Humans I think the general scale of movement has to be altered somehow, having most infantry ranging from 4" to 6" (and placing normal humans on the 4" mark) leaves not a lot of room for beings that might be slightly slower than a human. Dwarfs are already "slower" than humans by having Initiative 2 instead of 3, so giving them M4 should not be so farfetched while still keeping with the racial lore.


I like the idea of a more broad and logic scope of armor saves. Right now Light Armor feels almost useless to me as most things are either Str4 or Armor Piercing that tries to hurt you, and if you get lucky and get hit by a Str3 attack you still only has about 1/6 chance to save yourself from blow. That does not feel like reliable protection, armor should surely protect the wearer a little better than that? I can understand it from a mechanical gameplay point of view, because if all one did was roll armor saves the entire game because armor saves got a huge buff it could get a bit boring if no models got removed from the battlefield. But as it stands now even in a model is covered from head to toe in armor a stiff breeze can still render it useless.. 
Maybe Strength bonuses should not negate Armor Saves? So that even if you are hit by a Str6 blow (wounding a Dwarf on a 2+) we would still get our +4 armor save from rocking heavy armor and a shield. That way armor would feel a bit more logical and practical, but it sure could be a bit too powerful if that were to be the case, and it would require a rewrite of the main rule book regarding how Strength works, so I guess it is a no go.


Did I understand you correctly regarding weapons that the dwarfs use one weapon but that they can use it in different ways depending on the situation (like wielding an axe in either 1 or 2 hands), and thus gain different bonuses depending on their chosen setting? It would work a bit like the "Weapon master" special rule that lets the unit choose which of their available weapons they want to use at the start of a close combat - and it could be explained in a way that dwarfs are superior craftsmen and for that reason has made weapons that with ease can be used in different ways depending on how you hold them.
I think Chaos Dwarfs had access to a rifle in their army book that worked as a halberd when the unit was in close combat, so the concept of dwarfs having access to weapons that can be used in different ways depending on the situation is nothing new in Warhammer, so there is definitely credence for it already. :)

2d3aacfaa39b6b0b77b5e2efcec0a567.jpg

 

 

Str would have no effect on an Armor Save, yet some weapons would start to get AP 0 to AP -x added in, a la 8th Ed. WH40K.

 

And on the 4" move thing, I was figuring Humans would be 6" base. Maybe slower as their armor rating goes up. Dwarfs would not have this problem: they would start at 4" and stay at 4" no matter the amount of metal one puts on a Dwarf.

 

Dwarfs marching is a thing of terror, to be honest. In my interpretation of WHFRPG, 2E, the Dwarfs are:

 

WS 40

BS 30

S 30

T 45

A 25 (Init)

Int 30 (average person)

WP 30, with mods (Proto Ld, just in this system, things are different. Command is a separate Skill.)

Fel 20, or, rather gruff and offputting, so in general, -10 to an average Human

 

So simply put, it's that T 45, or +15 to a Human's T 30 that makes all the difference. And, add Sturdy so Heavy Armor doesn't slow them, and Night Vision, along with Grudge-born Fury and you start to get a hard hitting, heavy fighter that doesn't care how much metal they carry. The Dwarf weapon images in the various Codex books really sum it up well.

 

Dwarfs are actually tough, stocky, and sturdy. They can seriously mess someone up in a scrap.

 

And that weapon as you hinted at, the Chaos Dwarf Halberd Rifle hybrid, is quite like the historical and example weapons I have in mind.

 

Halberd head with:

- Spear

- Axe

- Pick

 

1 or 2H, +3 S when used in two hands, just no shield too.

 

8 pt Dwarf Warrior, 4+ base heavy armor save, 3+ with their shield.

And high S does nothing to armor saves, AP is now brought in as its own stat.



#11 Thorfar Salokin

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 03:52 PM

I see the point about the 4" move resolving many of the dwarf army issues.

My only thought there is that it's not just distance that hampers our manoeuvrability but numbers. All our units cost lots & I've had some battles where I'm outnumbered 2 or 2.5 to 1. There are some tactics to negate this but even so the tendency is to hold a position where your flanks are secure.

In addition some horde armies are quick-quick man thing causing even more caution

One idea I tried to prevent this happening was the 'iron tide'. No range, no war machines - just characters & cc units. Worked reasonably well in that the extra units helped prevent flanking & the main units crushed the enemy against the opposite table edge. That said success might have been partly due to doing something your opponent wasn't expecting, cutting down room to rearrange units & putting them on the back foot. I'd imagine a regular opponent would soon adapt causing the dawi a few problems!

#12 Zidane_blade

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 04:41 PM

I see the point about the 4" move resolving many of the dwarf army issues.

My only thought there is that it's not just distance that hampers our manoeuvrability but numbers. All our units cost lots & I've had some battles where I'm outnumbered 2 or 2.5 to 1. There are some tactics to negate this but even so the tendency is to hold a position where your flanks are secure.

In addition some horde armies are quick-quick man thing causing even more caution

One idea I tried to prevent this happening was the 'iron tide'. No range, no war machines - just characters & cc units. Worked reasonably well in that the extra units helped prevent flanking & the main units crushed the enemy against the opposite table edge. That said success might have been partly due to doing something your opponent wasn't expecting, cutting down room to rearrange units & putting them on the back foot. I'd imagine a regular opponent would soon adapt causing the dawi a few problems!


Being able to choose different tactics is a strategy in itself, if you ask me 🙂 I mean, when your opponent try and adapt, you use a different list which he isnt prepared for.

#13 Luigi

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 04:33 PM

Maybe the Ironbreakers could be given spears as an optional upgrade (a spear that still makes you able to Parry)? A Str4 spear-wielding Ironbreaker could be quite nice and give them a much needed punching edge. Having fought so much in narrow passageways and in tunnels underground could have forced the Ironbreakers to develop a certain fighting style that suits such a climate for spears so that not only do they keep their Parry save but they could also keep their spear bonus - even when they are the ones charging!
I think of the scen in the third Hobbit movie where all the dwarfs form a shieldwall just to go from a standstill to a charge without breaking the shieldwall nor the position of their spears. Ironbreakers should be able to do something similar.

657c431be730be15819b6795dc0fdbe7.jpg

Overall it is not a huge buff, it might give the Ironbreakers about 5 more Str4 attacks in Close Combat, but at least it is something. Giving the Ironbreakers spears would also give them a very unique and distinctive look on the battlefield. It is vital that the spears still nets the Ironbreakers a Parry save though. Further buffs might be needed even.

I agree that a wall of steel in form of a shield wall feels very dwarfish, and spears would go well with that sort of formation. Spears might not be the most practical weapon when fighting underground, but surely heavily armored dwarfs are needed to fight foes above ground too and above ground spears might be called for!

 

That's exactly how I envisioned the shield wall. And making spears an IronBreaker-only weapon would definitely help differentiate them. I like that idea!

The 4" movement DEFINITELY helps. Not only the dwarfs, but the whole game.
In KoW for instance, the dwarfs are still the slowest (4" movement) but everyone's movement has been increased by an inch. 
This make the game much more fluid and engaging.

The 3x3" march is also a cool idea, I'd definitely be in favour of that



#14 -Thunder Shark-

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 09:01 PM


For lore I would like one major lore change to be that under High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer the dwarfs have finally escaped decline. Meaning that the Empire of Karaz Ankor is recovering via the dwai finding forgotten runes, maybe a slow population regrowth, and the reclamation of some but not all holds and mines. However even if the race is recovering the dawi are still in the early stages of recovery and no where near the glory of the golden age. The Greenskins and Skaven are of course still a threat but they no longer have the upperhand. There could also be more some generational tensions younger generations feeling like the older generations are too narrow minded and the older generations think the younger old are irreverent and too creative.

 

I like the previous posters idea of giving the dwarfs spears. 

But maybe add some exciting models like golems(maybe golems have been recovered and possibly newer golems are being built) and also for the dwai Steam Tank but make them more cool looking and less silly then ones of a certain mmo. Dwarf runepriests that cast spells form the lore of light could work but it would be tricky. 



#15 Lord Alisk

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 11:14 AM

There's a lot of really interesting points being raised here, around army aesthetics, fluff, rules, etc. I want to discuss everything, but I shall try to be disciplined and focus on just the rules side of things - otherwise my post will be excessively long. I've a tendency to being an old rambler at the best of times...

 

For my own 2 pence worth, I think with the 8th ed dwarfs there are some issues which are integral to the game system, so would probably  need tweaking the core rules to fix. I could go on and on about rules tweaks I'd like to see in the core rules of 8th ed (which is, on balance, my favourite edition - I've played 4th-6th and 8th - I missed 7th as I was trying to be 'cool' at that part of my life).However, for the purpose of this post I'll focus on stuff within the dwarf book (though I'd be very happy to cogitate and postulate on hypothetical core rules changes). Also, I do quite like the core of the dwarf book for 8th. I wouldn't want to see new units, and I do

 

If I had to suggest tweaks, I'd suggest:

 

- triple movement for marching. I'd prefer this to base M4 as it replicates what I'd imagine in the fluff - dwarfs are better at endurance marches than humans (going 9 not 8 inches when marching), but less fast at running (charging on average in inch less). That makes sense to me. 

 

- dwarf armour - without a wholesale tweaking around the core rules for how armour and combats work (which I would cautiously welcome), I'd suggest giving all dwarf armour 'dwarf forged' (or  some such) as a special rule. This would mean that any attack with 'armour piecing' loses that benefit. Attacks without armour piercing have one less AP than normal (so no armour save change for S4, -1 for S5, etc). That'd make dwarf armour more effective (which the fluff suggests it should be) without fundamentally changing the armour rules.

 

- slayers never really worked for me rules-wise. I like  the fluff and the models, but they had the issue of being monster slayers who were not very good at slaying monsters. I'd firstly give them a ward save against stomp and thunderstomp attacks (I'd imagine they'd be particularly good at avoiding that sort of attack), and I'd give them some bonus for fighting monsters, monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry and war beast troop types. It'd need a points tweak, but I'd leave normal slayers more-or-less as is now, more-or-less, give giant slayers a killing blow type attack which only works against monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry  and war beasts, with dragon/daemon slayers getting this against true monsters too. There would need this to be balanced somewhat with the points cost, but then from a narrative point of view I don't see any issue for slayers (or at least 'senior' slayers) going through monsters like a hot knife through butter, and gives more gradation with the different types of slayer (so 'normal' slayers aren't that good at killing stuff, but are still unbreakable - which seems fair enough as I'd imaging 95% of slayers get eaten by trolls within a week of taking their oath).

 

- magic - I'd wholeheartedly agree that dwarfs having an 'active' magic phase would be beneficial, but I'd be uncomfortable them using the winds of magic like other armies for fluff reasons. One model I think might work as a base for further adaptation was the Tomb Kings magic from 6th ed, whereby the magic was always cast,  but more powerful magic users cast more spells and used more dice to establish how hard they were to dispel. the dwarf magic would focus on buffing your units (+1 save, immune to psychology, stubborn...). Anyway, that gave TK magic back in the day a lot of reliability and a sense of grinding the enemy down with lots of little spells, which would, I'd say, give an appropriate feel to dwarf magic too. So rune smiths would maybe cast 1-2 minor buffs a turn, rune lords 2-3, and the anvil of doom would give something extra nasty, but you'd pay the points for that. 

 

- Equipment - I'd like to see the routine use of throwing axes, actually. Partly that's because it fits the Dark Age aesthetic I think suits dwarfs very well, but it also mitigates against their lack of manoeuvrability considerably, and encourages getting up close and personal which I find would help games generally. I like the idea of spears, but I am actually slightly ambivalent about them being used for iron breakers. I see the argument for them, but on the other hand if one if fighting in cramped tunnels, as iron breakers are supposed to be, using a weapon more than twice as long as you would be totally unwieldy. Also, gromril armour on hammerers is a no-brainer (greatswords have the  equivalent, for goodness sake...)

 

I could go on (and on, and on...), but  that's probably enough for now, and might mean not everyone dies of boredom before getting to the end!

 

Thanks for this - it's a really enjoyable discussion.



#16 Turgin Ironbeard

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Posted 08 May 2020 - 05:13 PM

On points raised.

Spears are too long in concept to me too. Dwarf Halberds as I call em are as tall as a dwarf, and would be likely short spears in that mode.

Hammerers with Gromril is a must.

Changes to core rules of WHF may need to be discussed.
That said, Dwarfs as the only army wirh Siege armor, Plate, makes sense to me. Would truly make Dwarfs as a force stand out.
WHFRPG 2E note, Dwarfs showed Manlings how to make Plate.

Slayers should have more Runic Weapon points, just as a second weapon. 75 x 2 say.

Rune Magic would be best done on the Heathen concept of Bindrune magic in game: Tomb Kings in performance, small spells not vulnerable to the winds of magic whigh only buff Dwarf units.

Army wide or unit types is not info I have, I haven’t seen TK’s magic phases enough for balance notes.

M 4” or 3x3 when marching... 4x2+1 gives the same result. Dwarfs with 4” base Move seems solid, and fluffy, “when marching, Dwarfs add 1” to distance marched. Thus, 9” total.”

Still, great points all.

#17 Kallstrom

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 10:01 AM

I would keep the shield wall, but make the Dwarfs very good at close-range shooting with javelins, throwing axes, and the like. The basic Dwarf Warrior or Longbeard could trade out his hand weapon and shield for a overly long pike. Or alternatively, they could take great weapons. I would make the pike Dwarfs slower than the other Dwarfs, to represent the ordered formation of the former and the wild charges of the latter. 

The Slayer equivalents would fight in nothing but a loincloth. This would make them "soft", but they would have good morale and be faster than the Dwarf Warriors in their suits of mail. 

 

I would replace the artillery with chariots - pulled by boars, of course. These would be manned by a driver and a bow-dwarf. In addition, they would have the option to take spiked wheels. 

As for magic, they would be what we call shamans. 

Throwing axes and javelins feels dwarfish to me, so more access to those kinds of weapons would be cool. Chariots also feels dwarfish, like a sturdy war platform pulled by boars as stubborn as the dwarfs ontop. 
For these more tribal-esque dwarfs shamans would be a nice fit also, what kinds of lores would they have access to? Or would they be using bound spells?
 

 

For lore I would like one major lore change to be that under High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer the dwarfs have finally escaped decline. Meaning that the Empire of Karaz Ankor is recovering via the dwai finding forgotten runes, maybe a slow population regrowth, and the reclamation of some but not all holds and mines. However even if the race is recovering the dawi are still in the early stages of recovery and no where near the glory of the golden age. The Greenskins and Skaven are of course still a threat but they no longer have the upperhand. There could also be more some generational tensions younger generations feeling like the older generations are too narrow minded and the older generations think the younger old are irreverent and too creative.

Agreed, I would also like it to see dwarfs being rekindled as a race instead of in a constant slow free fall into dwindling doom. At least the dwarfs should be self-sustainable or in limbo with good prospects of going forward and expanding as a race. Reclaim holds, make the population prosper. The generation gap that you mentioned and the difference between the generations could be a nice twist to it and explain their state (slow but steadily going forward). 
 

 

 

If I had to suggest tweaks, I'd suggest:

 

- triple movement for marching. I'd prefer this to base M4 as it replicates what I'd imagine in the fluff - dwarfs are better at endurance marches than humans (going 9 not 8 inches when marching), but less fast at running (charging on average in inch less). That makes sense to me. 

 

- dwarf armour - without a wholesale tweaking around the core rules for how armour and combats work (which I would cautiously welcome), I'd suggest giving all dwarf armour 'dwarf forged' (or  some such) as a special rule. This would mean that any attack with 'armour piecing' loses that benefit. Attacks without armour piercing have one less AP than normal (so no armour save change for S4, -1 for S5, etc). That'd make dwarf armour more effective (which the fluff suggests it should be) without fundamentally changing the armour rules.

 

- slayers never really worked for me rules-wise. I like  the fluff and the models, but they had the issue of being monster slayers who were not very good at slaying monsters. I'd firstly give them a ward save against stomp and thunderstomp attacks (I'd imagine they'd be particularly good at avoiding that sort of attack), and I'd give them some bonus for fighting monsters, monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry and war beast troop types. It'd need a points tweak, but I'd leave normal slayers more-or-less as is now, more-or-less, give giant slayers a killing blow type attack which only works against monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry  and war beasts, with dragon/daemon slayers getting this against true monsters too. There would need this to be balanced somewhat with the points cost, but then from a narrative point of view I don't see any issue for slayers (or at least 'senior' slayers) going through monsters like a hot knife through butter, and gives more gradation with the different types of slayer (so 'normal' slayers aren't that good at killing stuff, but are still unbreakable - which seems fair enough as I'd imaging 95% of slayers get eaten by trolls within a week of taking their oath).

 

- magic - I'd wholeheartedly agree that dwarfs having an 'active' magic phase would be beneficial, but I'd be uncomfortable them using the winds of magic like other armies for fluff reasons. One model I think might work as a base for further adaptation was the Tomb Kings magic from 6th ed, whereby the magic was always cast,  but more powerful magic users cast more spells and used more dice to establish how hard they were to dispel. the dwarf magic would focus on buffing your units (+1 save, immune to psychology, stubborn...). Anyway, that gave TK magic back in the day a lot of reliability and a sense of grinding the enemy down with lots of little spells, which would, I'd say, give an appropriate feel to dwarf magic too. So rune smiths would maybe cast 1-2 minor buffs a turn, rune lords 2-3, and the anvil of doom would give something extra nasty, but you'd pay the points for that. 

 

- Equipment - I'd like to see the routine use of throwing axes, actually. Partly that's because it fits the Dark Age aesthetic I think suits dwarfs very well, but it also mitigates against their lack of manoeuvrability considerably, and encourages getting up close and personal which I find would help games generally. I like the idea of spears, but I am actually slightly ambivalent about them being used for iron breakers. I see the argument for them, but on the other hand if one if fighting in cramped tunnels, as iron breakers are supposed to be, using a weapon more than twice as long as you would be totally unwieldy. Also, gromril armour on hammerers is a no-brainer (greatswords have the  equivalent, for goodness sake...)

 

I agree that dwarfs could be slightly slower than humans, but to me the built-in stats for the armies in Warhammer is not nuanced enough to bring that subtle difference to life. The movement statistics are capped between 4-6 for infantry for all races besides the dwarfs. If we were to bring those numbers around to maybe 8-12 (doubling all numbers), the humans could get M8 and the dwarfs M7, for example. It would still make them slower, but still allow for some more freedom with their movement. With the spectrum of M-values we have now we cannot just double the M value of all armies because that would bring the balance all over the place (turn all infantry units into olympic sprinters), the solution of giving the dwarfs M3,5 seems a bit complicated, too. There might not be an elegant solution to this besides either keeping them M3 or giving them M4. Being able to Marchx3 is good but is it enough to motivate the dwarf player to go and look for fights? Personally I can live with M3, but when you are as mobile as a brick you tend to act like a brick - hence why dwarfs rather stay back and wait for the enemy to smash into their shieldwalls than go and chase after the enemy themselves. :) 

I like the addition to your armor suggestion that it also negates the first AP from Strength blows too. I wish that AP and Strength was too different values without an overlap but without changing the rules in the main rule book I like your armor suggestion. Dwarf-forged armor should be better than other races, in my opinion.

Haha, yeah I never really understood why dwarfs who just took their Slayer oath became so good at killing monsters out of nowhere. As you said most troll slayers would probably just get eaten by trolls when they went out into the world to kill trolls, because why would the fact that you colored your hair make you become a better fighter? I like that the Slayers are unbreakable, that fits the lore and psychology of the dwarfs, but maybe the regular Slayers could be toned down a bit when it comes to their monster slayer potential. Surely some slayers become successful and rise to the rank of a slayer of certain monsters, but most of them would surely die on the quest to become a monster slayer of any sort. Maybe that could be represented in the rules somehow. The slayers could be unbreakable and have slayer axes, but when fighting monsters of any kind they get Frenzy - and if they manage to kill a certain type of monster they get a bonus for the rest of the game. Monsters could be bundled into certain categories that gives different bonuses. Beasts, monsters, daemons, etc.

Hmm, I remember something about "incantations" for Tomb Kings. Would these auto-casted spells not be dispelled with the same ease as most armies that focuses on bound spells would? Warhammer Armies Project (a spiritual successor to Warhammer) made it so that bound spells always gets one extra free die to be used when cast as long as you use at least one of your own power dice in the casting attempt. That way bound spells become a bit more dangerous as they drain the dispelling armies defenses better with all those extra free dices that adds to the casting values. Maybe dwarfs could get something similar. Maybe they could use the Lore of Metal and Lore of Light, or even a new made up lore with fitting dwarfish spells, as bound spells - and that for every spell (rune) they cast they get to add a D3 to their casting value (that is if the dwarfs have no wizards that adds wizard levels and casting bonuses already to their spells). That way they get a little extra power, which negates some of the dispelling bonuses of the enemy army (because when facing a level 4 wizard you really are fighting an uphill battle when your army only consists of bound spells). 

What if all dwarfs in the army got access to throwing axes, almost like a racial trait (for no extra cost)? That would give dwarfs an upper hand in close quarters, which is where we want to motivate them to be a little more.

That Hammerers did not get gromril in 8th was surprising, but that they received 2 attacks instead was a welcomed surprise. I reckon that with gromril on top of that there would be little reason to take ironbreakers over hammerers, so they might have wanted to differentiate the units a bit by making hammerers the more offensive choice. What if we gave Hammerers gromril, and they get to keep their two attacks, but we removed their stubborn and put that on the ironbreakers instead? That would make their role as a hammer and an anvil on the battlefield even more clear.  

 



#18 Turgin Ironbeard

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 04:01 PM

Throwing axes is a good idea. Army wide? Yes, that’d be a dwarf thing to do.

I thought marching increased movement, thus the x 2, they just get one more inch.

Gromril on Hammerers makes sense. I would personally either 0 to 1 the unit, or make a 0 to 1 option with a Lord for Kingsguard.

The Kingsguard can be Siege, or add Plate or Gromril plate, +1 or +2 to armor save, as no shield. If the unit can go that for any, why not consider fearless for Ironbreakers?

#19 -Thunder Shark-

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 05:12 PM

If we have to reimagine the Dawi, I'm thinking more "barbarian" in aesthetic. The Empire already has high technology (for a fantasy setting, anyhow) and there isn't really a faction with that aesthetic in the forces of Good. Let the Dawi Zharr have their heavy industry, smoke-stacks and slaughterhouse factories filling the air with smog that smells of the dead. It may be a rip off of Tolkien to create such a dichotomy, but I don't really care. 

 

As for magic, they would be what we call shamans. 

I respectfully disagree with this direction for the Dwarfs of Karaz Ankor in fact the use of guns, cannon, gyrocopters was what drew me to them. 

That being said another alternative would be to have a third dwarf faction that is barbarian in nature maybe the dwarfs of Karak Zorn or a branch of dawi that split of prior to settling in the Worlds Edge Mountains.


Edited by -Thunder Shark-, 09 May 2020 - 05:14 PM.


#20 Thoric

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Posted 09 May 2020 - 08:56 PM

Hail, Dwarf-brothers!

The problem is not how Dwarfs works in the 8th edition. The problem IS the 8th edition in itself. It changed deeply the nature of Warhammer respect yo all the previous 7 editions. Too much is entrusted to dices (the rules on the charge are ridicoluos). Everything is done to multiply the number of attacks. It is really a poo poo, for not using other words. The perfect edition of Warhammer, was the 6th. And this is not a coincidence. Gav Thorp and Alessio Cavatore worked with just one idea, when they created it: BALANCE. It was the perfectly balanced edition. From the point of view of the Rulebook and from the point of view of the Army books. About Dwarfs the srmu book of 2005 was perfect. Nothing to add, remove or change.




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