Sunday, September 1, 2013

Some thoughts about my army list

As I've never played Warhammer (and maybe never will), it may seem strange to try to build an dwarf army list. Actually, considering that I keep buying stuff on eBay whereas I have enough models to field a 4000 or 5000 points army, I think it's rather a sound idea :o)  So, my goal is to build an efficient and balanced list in order to define my purchasing and painting priorities...

Rank and file

Let's start with the shooting troops. Up to now, I have completed a unit of 10 crossbowmen and the second one is still waiting for its two last quarellers.

Since I have some extra models (can't help buying them!), now I'm considering adding a third ten crossbowmen (the two warriors with an axe have also a crossbow attached in the back).

So, unless somebody tells me it's a big mistake, I'm going to forget the idea to field a unit of thunderers: first because firearms don't exactly fit with my idea of an army of the Crusades, and second, because I'm afraid it could be really boring to fight against so many shooting troops...

And now, fighters. For the moment, I've simply painted a regiment of 20 dwarf warriors with double-handed axes and light armours. On second thought, maybe it would be wiser to buy an extra protection for them: that means aligning on the first rank the few guys carrying a shield... not my favorite models, but you have to make the best of things!

As you can see, I'm also thinking about strengthening this regiment with new warriors to make me paint some recent acquisitions. So, if you have any hints on the ideal size of a fighting unit (5x5, 6x4, 8x3...), let me know!

For my second regiment, I intend to equip my dwarf warriors with shields and spears. Not sure about their tactical interest, but since I've painfully collected about two tens of  spearmen, I feel obliged to use them. So let us consider 20 warriors including a standard bearer, a musician and a level 5 hero to lead them.

Now the 'improved' fighters. First and foremost, I want to include some of the beautiful imperial dwarfs designed by the Perry brothers. I think they'll make perfect veterans or 'Longbeards' for my army. I will align the maximum of them (meaning 20), including standard bearer, musician, and a level 10 hero.

And finally, the elite warriors: hammerers. I hadn't planned to include them until now, but I've recently started to work on dwarves equipped with double-handed hammers for a painting contest, so... I think I'll use them as bodyguards for my army general. Again, I'm not sure about their number: maybe 16, including the level 20 hero and a standard bearer.

So, if we sum up:
  • 390 points for 30 dwarf crossbowmen, 
  • 325 points for 23 dwarf warriors with double-handed weapons, shields, standard bearer and musician, 
  • 252 points for 19 dwarf warriors with spears, shields, standard bearer and musician,
  • 394 points for 19 longbeards with standard bearer and musician,
  • 256 points for 15 hammerers with standard bearer,
which makes 1517 points, half the budget in rank and file... seems reasonable to me, doesn't it?

War engines

First, the war machine I have already painted: a fire thrower.

Then, what needs to be done: again, nothing to 'modern', considering the medieval look of my troops. So, I'll take a second fire-thrower, a stone-thrower (actually Haekel's Gob Lobber), a bolt-thrower, an old bombard and the flame cannon, which gives a total of 440 points:
  • 120 points for 2 fire-throwers, with light armour for crew,
  • 60 points for a 3-man bolt thrower, with light armour for crew,
  • 125 points for a flame cannon, with light armour for crew,
  • 75 points for a cannon, with light armour for crew,
  • 60 points for a stone-thrower, with light armour for crew.
To be honest, I have some doubts about the second fire-thrower and the flame cannon: the models are not very well sculpted and are difficult to paint. I hope they're worth the effort in terms of lethal power!


As mentioned before, my general will be a level 20 hero with heavy armour, shield and double-handed weapon.

The longbeards will be led by a level 10 hero with heavy armour, shield and double-handed weapon.

And the two last units will receive one level 5 hero each, equipped with heavy armour, shield and double-handed weapon.

Ah... I almost forgot the wizard: just one Level 15 for the moment, but considering the number of models I have,  I will proably replace him by two lesser sorcerers in the future.

So, let's do the math:
  • 174 points for the army general
  • 203 points for the wizard
  • 94 points for the Longbeard leader
  • 72 points for the two champions of the units of dwarf warriors
  • TOTAL = 543 points
Which gives me about 350 points left for improvements such as magic artefacts, additional heroes, war engines or units. Any suggestion?

Are mithril armours worthwhile for instance? Would it be a good idea to add a fast moving unit to this dwarf army? I have only two dwarf knights left to paint to add an Old World contingent of 5 'count as' Imperial Templars (291 points)...

Any advice is welcome ;-)


  1. This must be one of the best painted old-school dwarf armies ever painted! Really clean and sharp paintwork, congrats!

    - Kari

    1. Well thanks, but as you can see, I'm far from the end!

  2. Correction. It's one of the best painted dwarf armies of all time, irrespective of the era. Stunning work, I tip my hat to you sir!

  3. I think examples of sound tactical advice might be few and far between at the moment! Most of us are still relearning the basics of the Oldhammer editions. I would suggest that fast, mobile units give you a tactical edge and add a nice dimension to gameplay, while one or two characters with mithril armour in the front rank of combat units will make a real difference to the combat resolution making those units very tough nuts to crack.

    1. Hmm... I may try to finish this unit of dwarf knights then. I have to change the mace of the champion for a cavalry lance, and find time (and courage !) to paint two more poneys and riders.

    2. Blue is quite right to mention the 4 wide 5 deep convention that suits 3rd edition infantry. May I also echo the thoughts of others and say your vibrant painting style is very beautiful indeed!

  4. I find units of 25 to be a great size when deployed 5x5...5x4 is good too for the point savings...this gives a good frontage and maximum rank bonus for combat resolution. The one place I prefer a wider shallower unit is with spear/pike armed units (7x3 is good) because it maximize the number of models tht can attack from the second rank.

    those are my thougts...other than that just run with it and see what works for you.

    1. OK then 21 spearmen and 25 axeman... shouldn't be a problem, I have some spare :p
      Thanks Blue for the input!

  5. I also unfortunately don't have any tactical advice (have never played Dwarfs), but I've been watching this army come together for a little while now, and, echoing those above, would like to say you have one of the best painting styles I've come across. It's almost as if you treat each model as an individual showpiece. My favorite aspect is your faces; you impart life-like character on each model. Looking forward to watching the rest of this army come together.

    1. Well thank you, I'm glad you appreciate my 'style'. I paint each dwarf separately and try to be as clean as possible (although I could sometimes spend more time on some details).

  6. This is the best painted dwarf army I've seen to date, and I've seen some good ones. Your style is pristine, and with the character in those dwarf models you're really getting the most out of them. It's going to be quite the army. If you do decide to play, and dare I say, enter any tournaments, prepare to win every painting prize going.

  7. Blah Blah Blah...
    The "Haekel's Gob Lobber" That the piece this army needs :P


    1. Hours and hours of painting for only 60 pts. I'm not sure it's worth the effort :op

  8. Honnêtement blue a raison, les lanciers en 7x3 c'est très bien et les guerriers en 5x4 ou 5x5 c'est très bien aussi.
    Bon par contre après pour les troupes a prendre, perso je joue avec les figs que j'aime et les armées ne sont jamais optimisées... J'ai très souvent perdu a cause de ça mais je m'amuse avec les if que j'ai pris plaisir a peindre...
    Donc perso en V3 les arquebusiers sont vraiment pas terrible en terme de jeu, mais les fig sont réellement belle et sympa que moi je kif alors j'en prend... Pis honnêtement c'est marrant, si tu fais un pour toucher ton nain se prend un touche de F4 car il a fait une mauvaise manip ou alors la poudre a brûler plus vite que prévu, bref, en plus c'est tir ou bouge et un tout sur deux... Mais moi ça m'éclate, ça met un peu de réalisme :)
    C'est sûrement pour cela que j'aime jouer les orcs et gobs aussi, ils se tapent dessus tout le temps, les trolls des fois ne font que dormir toute la
    Partie donc c'est marrant :)
    Bref le but est de passer un bon moment et de se détendre... C'est pas de la compèt...
    Si ton adversaire est sur la même longueur d'onde tu t'amuseras bien et c'est le but...

    1. OK, je vais rester sur mes arbalétriers et garder les arquebusiers pour une armée plus "moderne", de type Marauder Renaissance.
      Et j'ai trouvé un 21e lancier... me voilà sauvé :o)

  9. Salut !! Tu ne prends pas une unité de tueurs?
    A++ Nico

    1. Ben pas si je finis les chevaliers : je ne pense pas avoir assez de points, surtout si je veux booster un étendard ou une arme pour le général. Ceci dit, vu le tas de tueurs en attente, c'est vrai que c'est dommage de se priver d'une occasion de les peindre...

  10. Pis les tueurs tu peux les jouer dans ton armée typée croisade et dans une armée plus moderne comme tu dis ;) dailleur je te recommande les fig de white knight, ils sont 100% compatible avec les anciens maraudeur renaissance et les figs sont très belles! Je vais me faire un contingent de ce type :)
    Sinon les tueurs en terme de jeu c'est une valeur sûre, ils sont frénétique et ne déroutent pas il me semble donc moral infaillible!