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jdripley

Build a Balanced Dwarf List

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I've noticed that quite often my dwarf armies are lacking in overall balance. They'll have solid melee fighters (because, I mean, comon. They're dwarves. Kinda hard not to, you know?), and after I add in all of the bears and maidens, there's no points left over for anything else!

 

So I want to make a Build a Balanced Dwarf Army contest. There won't be any award, other than the satisfaction of thinking up a sweet list. Here are the rules:

1. Must be a Dwarf army using either the core list of the Handmaiden's sublist. No mercs or any freelance stuff.

2. Build it to 1501 - you've gotta use a warlord.

<<edited - removed the solitaire requirement>>

4. Must contain AT LEAST one cleric with spells (note the plural)

5. Must contain AT LEAST one mage with spells (again, plural)

6. Must contain more than one model with a ranged attack

 

I guess, you don't have to follow all of the rules (i.e. maybe you take only one type of spellcaster).

 

Try to keep in mind how you'd take on the various "typical" armies - swarm, ranged heavy, magic heavy, flier, first striker, and all of that.

I have a few ideas on how I'd write a list for this, but I guess I'll hold off for now :D

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Troop 1 (507)

King Thorgram-118

Margara-83

+Familiar-15

+Fireball x 2-24

+Ice Shards x 2-16

Warriors x 4-156

Halbardiers x 2-80

+Musician-15

 

Troop 2 (403)

Fulambar-47

Gwyddis-91

+Familiar-15

+Cure 2 x 2-30

+Hold x 2-40

ForgeMaidens x 5-165

+Musician-15

 

Troop 3 (251)

Tohil-62

Piecer-57

Warriors x 3-117

+Musician-15

 

Troop 4 (251)

Tohil-62

Piecer-57

Warriors x 3-117

+Musician-15

 

Troop 5 (86)

Snorri Oathbreaker-86

 

Army Upgrade: Luckstone-3

 

#Points: 1501/501

#Models: 26

#Cards: 6

 

I think you've put some hefty stipulations in the force, the one I like least is the inclusion of a Solitaire, which I don't think is needed. If that stipulation was dropped I might just move Snorri into Thorgrams troop using champion. Originally I wanted a couple of Hefty Warrior+Piercer+Halbardier units but man do those Dwarves ever eat up the points. Best I can do, I'm sure there are better options, but I don't think the army would be slaughtered or anything, it looks relatively balanced.

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Yeah.... come to think of it, I'm not sure why I figured that a solitaire contributed to balance... I guess I was thinking of models like the stone golems and the animals which have pretty tough stat blocks and can be the "extra hard to take care of" model in the list. But there are plenty of models like that in the Dwarf list. We can remove the solitaire stipulation.

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Troop 1

Herryk Aesir

-Hold

-Cure 3

Warrior x3

Halberdier x2

Piercer x 2

 

Troop 2

Tohil Steadyhand

Margara Firetongue

-Ice Storm

-Chain Lightning

-Counterspell

Shieldmaiden x3

Halberdier x2

Piercer x1

 

Troop 3

Abjorn Jobkeg

Miner x3

 

Troop 4

Griffon

 

 

We've got ranged, mages, clerics, burrowers, and a flyer. Doesn't get much more diverse.

 

Here's the game plan:

The miners are on the board to make your opponent think twice about any move he makes and to completely destroy any caster or expensive archer that they have taken. Burrow up close and charge together.

 

The Griffon is pure distraction. He should draw arrows away from Margara and will serve as the charging model after Herryk unleashes his Hold later in the game. If there is another flyer in the sky, he will need support from your ranged models.

 

Keep the Maidens in a tight formation around Margara. Defensive magic will protect them, but you can't let the enemy get LOS to the low DV mage. Unleash the Ice storm on their strongest model. Unleash the Chain Lightning right before the sheild madiens charge.

 

Try to take your ranged attacks each round. A finding a high ground can do wonders for crossbowmen.

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Yeah.... come to think of it, I'm not sure why I figured that a solitaire contributed to balance... I guess I was thinking of models like the stone golems and the animals which have pretty tough stat blocks and can be the "extra hard to take care of" model in the list. But there are plenty of models like that in the Dwarf list. We can remove the solitaire stipulation.

 

Then the only change I'd make would be to use Snorri as a Champion. I went into the build thinking I have to use some of the Elementals, and then realized just how quickly Dwarf grunts eat up points.

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Here's my entry:

 

--Logan, Durgam, Ivar (holy symbol, Cure/3hp x2), Berzerker, Halberdier, Swiftaxe x2

--Freya, Margara (Stun, Ice/3hp, Counterspell, Fireball), Warriors x4, Piercers x2

--Gargram, Warriors x3, Halberdiers x2, Piercers x2

--Griffon

+ Luckstone = 1501 on the button

 

I figure that Freya and Gargram will take up positions in front, giving the opponent a nice wide line of shields to think about. Leave a gap in the middle where the bulk of the piercers will take up position (that way if the enemy tries to run at the piercers they'll get flanked by the two warrior groups). Logan's group will take up position a little behind the piercers so that after the initial clash the piercers can fall back and his troop can rush in and start chucking bodies around. Margara is a bit of a wildcard, she'll basically hide behind the line and take attacks as she can. The Griffon is also a wildcard (poor guy always is!), depending on the make up of the opposing army he may hang back out of danger until the battle heats up, or he might fly right over them to freak out the opponent, or maybe he'll sit tight above the dwarves waiting for the right moment to swoop down and lend his talent to the fight.

 

A simple modification would be to remove the Griffon and replace it with a Lesser Earth Elemental. With the extra points you could upgrade Ivar to Gwyddis (get rid of ivar's holy symbol too). I'm not sure I'd do that though, considering the role of the cleric in this list you don't need too much offense out of them, and Ivar does have Fearsome which Gwyddis lacks. Unless you planned on using some 3rd level spells, honestly I'd take Ivar in this list.

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I don't think that list is legal. Troop one contains two elites but only 8 models total.

 

EDIT: that should have been 7.

Edited by vejlin

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Bah! You're right! I had the appropriate number of models in there, then took one out so I could use its points in spells, and forgot to replace it. Let's say, switch one of Gargram's piercers over to Logan's troop, that ought to even it out.

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Hey is my attempt at a better rounded Dwarf force:

 

Troop 1: 698 pts

King Thorgram (Greater Armor)

Margara Firetongue (G.Familiar, 1x Counter Spell, 1x Fire Strom, 2x Ice Blast)

Durthen, Boar Rider (Greater Armor)

Piercer

3x Valkyries

 

Troop 2: 608 pts

Freya (Greater Armor)

Gwyddis (1x Holy Light, 2x Cure2, 1x Cure3)

Piercer

2x Shield Maiden (troop musician)

Warrior

Bear Rider

 

Troop 3: 85 pts

Dire Bear

 

Troop 4: 109 pts

Lesser Earth Elemental

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Just curious, given that my build was the only one to put an emphasis on using Musicians to get the extra movement, I'm guessing that it isn't something Dwarf players are considering as essential these days? Is putting 60 points in Musicians into buying another model or more spells a better investment in certain builds?

 

The first thing I think of right now is, I have to set aside points of musicians. Wondering if this isn't as common as it used to be in earlier versions of the game.

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I consider musicians an important part of my build. I never leave home without them. ^_^

 

But, I didn't submit a build for this contest because I don't think there is such a thing as a balanced list with those requirements. Unless you are playing in a tournament where everyone has to abide by those rules, you will get squished in no time flat. But, I have never gotten a mage or a cleric to do anything useful, EVER!, so I won't take one any more. Piercers are hit or miss. Sometimes they just kick major butt, but the next game they couldn't shoot themselves in the foot if they wanted to! :lol:

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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WildBill:

One thing I will suggest is that it may be worth giving spellcasters another go, especially given their now cheaper cost. In particular I've found Mages to be much more effective these days.

 

I don't tend to load clerics up with more than a couple or three spells, usually fairly cheap ones, and just rely on them using Healer to prove worthwhile.

 

Ivar with a pair of cheap spells, say a Cure two, and a holy Light spell comes in about the same price as 2 Dwarf Warriors so I don't think he is an unreasonable buy if he manages to keep one of your hefty models in the game for a few extra turns using Healer or a Cure spell. Just my thoughts.

 

Margara will have become substantially better in RCO8, just like all other mages did.

 

One thing I will say about having to include a Cleric + Mage in a build is that it is almost something I would never do, I'd usually choose to pick one of the other. I the case of the build I did I would drop Gwyddis in a flash and throw in more Warriors and Halbardiers without a second thought.

 

Dwarves are bloody expensive to field, forcing them to take a Mage, a Cleric, and a solo hurts more than it helps, as in most builds I would have considered making I would have probably included only one of those three things in order to preserve a higher model count.

 

Still I don't think the lists that popped up in this thread were too bad, they would at the very least be fun to play, but I'm not sure how balanced they would be.

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I think for the requirements the sublist is a better way to because you will need healers to keep your warlord, mage and cleric in the game long enough to pay for themselves... and since Skadi gets free adepts thats at least one healer in three different troops. I chose to only put them in two because I want Gwyddis to be able to heal Skadi with her cure3's and want them to hit together. Kara can stay back and snipe and weaken big targets with her critical 7 rav and then when the battle draws near do her 7 mav backstab. Ursula and the bears will do what bears do:)

 

My list is based around a fearless, warmaster companythat can heal itself up a bit.

 

Skadi GMA GMW

Gwyddis HS 2xcure3

4x forge

3x valkyrie

kara

 

ursula

3x bears

 

Valana

2x valkyrie

4x forge

Margara ice and counter

 

22 models

1484

3 cards

2 spys

12 warmasters

12 fearless

6 healers

4 shock

 

edit: didn't notice you needed more than one range, u can trade out kara for two daughters.

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Musicians: I used to use that upgrade quite often back when it was typical of a dwarf to have Bloodlust or Runner. The extra inch (well two, going from no music to music) often meant that I'd get the charge in before my opponent did. Back then the bulk of models only had one damage track, so I'd be able to Bane a good portion of one or two enemy troops.

 

Nowadays Dwarves are very much slower overall. Musician can make them more typical in movement, but it doesn't give them any special advantage. Since I can no longer count on getting the charge in first, I find myself building more defensively minded armies. I focus on DV and clerics so that the army can withstand a charge. I trust in the high MAV values of the Dwarves to return the favor in kind and demolish the opponent. In that strategy, speed isn't a huge factor because fighting will happen, either sooner or later.

 

Now, that's my particular playstyle. Somebody who focuses more on berserkers and swiftaxes and Halberdiers could certainly make more use of musician. They'd be doing more of a "hammer" approach, where I tend to go with the "anvil" approach. To me, fluff and story are as important as anything else in the game, and I tend to enjoy the flavor of an elite cadre of dwarves defending a pass at all costs.

 

All that said... one of my most successful RC07 lists had one troop of "anvil" dwarves, maidens and so forth, and another troop of "hammer" dwarves - halberds, swiftaxes, Logan, a Bear, and so forth. I used Musician for that troop, and the idea was to present the Maidens to the strongest portion of the enemy an use the fast troop to quickly deal with the enemy support. The maidens do an admirable job of standing tough even against strong enemy melee, so I had the time to demolish the enemy support, at which point I could use the 2nd troops speed and high MAV values to swing down on the enemy that was mixing it up with the Maidens. Anvil holds, Hammer swings... smash!

 

So music has its place in my strategy. I'd say, under 1500 points I tend to focus on either hammer or anvil, and due to my particular tendencies I often end up with an Anvil strategy.

 

 

re: "balanced army" rules I posted. Perhaps I ought to have written "well rounded army." My intention was to have lists generated that had something that could deal with any hypothetical situation that could come up in a game. It's hard to do with Dwarves since they're expensive and it's difficult to fit so many different types in one list, which is why it was a contest!

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