Throng of Barak Varr

Old World finally arrived with a bang. Feels familiar and yet different. With this move back in the timeline ive expected many units to dissapear or get replaced. For the moment however it looks like most of the things are back as they were at the end of the 8th. I was kinda dissapointed with this at first but lets not jump to conclussions as of yet. Im really hoping they will bring some more flavour with journals and expansions later on. We will see how things will be one year from now. For the moment im really eager to this new game out so with that goal in mind ive recoverd my very first warhammer army from the depths of my closet. The dwarfs (or dwarves how they used to be called). At this point in time i havent yet played any games so many of my impressions and ideas have yet to pass the judgment of the battlefield.

First thing first lets talk about the bases. Probably the most dividing thing about new rules that hit the community with quite a force. For me the change is welcomed as the old sizes were already too small around 6th edition or so. I had many units that ranked up only if i placed specific model in correct places. So making this change really brings some comfort back. It makes units looks better too.

Saying all that im not too crazy about rebasing my existing models. especially with the risk that this game may still at this point fail to capture the hearths of my friends. Fortunatelly converter bases and trays became a very popular items and many companies now produce their own versions. Ive bought few of them then and started preparations for first games. Only things ive made new bases for are warmachines which didnt had any last time ive used them.

There is one thing though. All those convertion trays are made with previous editions in mind. After reading new rules it got to me that different shapes of units may become popular now. Especially long lines of single rank shooters since you again can shoot from first rank only most of the time. Also wider melee units may become a thing. Max rank bonus is now +2 so there is less incentive to have more than 3-4 ranks. Another thing is that you can fight will all units in first rank even if they dont touch the enemy. I imagine units with two handed weapons would want to use this tactic.

Having bases sorted its time to dig in to the army list and create a rooster for a test game. I want to keep things simple and not to paint to much stuff before first game. I also want to test few things that cought my eyes. First of all the skirmishing ranger with BS4. Those boys looks like got some update. I wonder if that means new models are on the way too. At the end of 8th Bugman Rangers were still the official models for this unit. Its literally some of the first models ive ever bought all those thirty years ago. I cant belive they are still around. I admit they are great models, some of my favourites in Dwarfs army, but come on. On the other hand many updates to other entries in Dwarf army were not very successfull model-wise so maybe its a good thing they keep those around.

Another unit that looks cool on paper are slayers. Unbreakable and causing damage on death sounds promising. Artillery took a hit, mostly due to not so great artillery runes. Probably still a solid option. Many other bits and pieces also got moved around and changed. Damage dealing capabilities are lower for most armies now so im curious how it will turn out.

Ive also wanted to add some new units. Many nice things came out during those years from smaller companies, especially for 3d printing. Highland miniature make a lot of nice alternatives for dwarfs that are very much to my liking. Warriors and Longbeards are going to be first additions, but more on that next time.

First battle is behind me. I must say im rather happy with new system. Smaller units, less destructive abilities and more focus on manuvering is a good change in my opinion. One game is of course not enough to get a full picture but it really got me interested again in the game.

Ive managed to test few things in my Dwarfs. So far its as ive expected. Rangers are solid harassment unit. Shooting without BS (cannons, templates) is better for Dwarfs than BS based shots. I had 3 bolthrowers and maybe hit two times during entire game. Yes i know its bad luck and statisticly i should get one hit every turn if i field 3 of them. Still it felt those points can go somewhere else. Lack of runes that increase to hit chance is really impacting this unit. Same feeling about gyrocopter guns other than the steam gun. Didnt had much luck with them too. Ill test them again at some point but for now i find other options more tempting.

Close combat works much better. Armored units got more powerfull and thats a good thing for some Dwarf units like ironbreakers. Not so much for those with less armour. I had high hopes for Slayers deathblow ability, which inflict damage on death, but again it was completely useless in this game. I have many things to test still. Im very curious about miners and Longbeards

So whats next for my Dwarfs? I created a list of what i want to paint and in what order:

  • 2 cannons and Grudgethrower (almost done)
  • unit of 20 clansment from Highland Miniatures
  • Runesmith
  • 35 clansmen (gw plastic)
  • 30 longbeards (Highland minis)
  • Characters
  • Refresh rangers a little bit
  • Gyrobomber again from highland
  • Banners for some units like miners and rangers
  • 40 slayers
  • Anvil of doom

Some of those will probably get reordered. First three items i want to done quickly but rest will get some work in free time between games but without any deadlines.

I also want to get coherent colour scheme this time araound. My old dwarfs were rather generic and i still use many warmachines that are painted in a way that i can reuse them in different armies. I do like my scheme on gyrocopter however and i think this is the way i will go

Monsters are tough. Monstrous infantry also, or maybe my cannons just cant do their job. Ive played another game, this time against the beastmen.

This time around i faced mostly monsters and monstrous infantry. In 2500p there was a unit of minotaurs, dragon ogres, tuskgors, 2 units of normal infantry , Shaggoth and that beastmen giant. Those units are quite fast and pack quite a punch so its not easy to get back at them in combat with standard infantry. They are not very tough either but thats not a problem when there is noone left to strike back. With various spells and chaos buff their characters really get powerfull. Ive lost the battle but it was surprisingly even most of the time.

To be fair i didnt really get most out of my shooting units as ive mostly wasted both units of rangers. My cannons also failed most of the time again. There are howeve few new lessons out of this:

  • Tuskgors pack quite a punch on charge. Shoot them quickly
  • Two handed weapons are a way to go now. Especially for low strenght and low initiative guys like dwarfs
  • Warmachines are sooo random. Even dwarf-made
  • Characters and spells rule the day. They maybe not killing whole units like few editions ago but they do make the difference on that combat result score.

My army lacked elite punch. Or any punch for that matter. I already plan to take some longbeards with two-handed weapons. Hammerers look really good too with I3 S5 magical hammers that dont strike last. Those guys are my next buy.

I really want slayers to work but still cant find a place for them. Same for gyrocopters and stone thrower. Those last two would probably work better on bigger enemy units. They did worked good in previous game but this time didnt done a thing.

When it comes to painting i finished clansmen. Both new and old. I have 20 models from Highland and 35 original GW minis. Dudes from Highland are quite big.

As a separate unit they stand out but i tried to mixed them up with GW dwarfs and i think it works ok. Ive also upgraded some GW clansmen with Highland shields to make them blend in even more.

Differences shouldnt be visible on the table and they do add some nice variety to how this unit looks

Next ill be adding longbeards. Not sure when though as i need to take a break from painting dwarfs.

Last weekend ive played a 3rd game and tested some new things and ideas.

This is the army list ive used:

++ Characters [608 pts] ++
Thane [139 pts]
(Hand weapon, Great weapon, Full plate armour, Battle Standard Bearer, On foot, Master Rune of Gromril, Rune of Stone, Master Rune of Stromni red beard, Rune of battle)

King [289 pts]
(Hand weapon, Great weapon, Full plate armour, General, Shieldbearers, Grudge Rune, Rune of Cleaving, Rune of Parrying, Rune of Fortitude)

Runesmith [122 pts]
(Hand weapon, Great weapon, Full plate armour, 2x Rune of Spellbreaking)

Engineer [58 pts]
(Hand weapon, Heavy armour, Handgun)

++ Core Units [782 pts] ++
29 Dwarf Warriors [316 pts]
(Hand weapons, Heavy armour, Shields, Veteran, Standard bearer [Rune of Battle + Rune of Courage], Musician)

10 Thunderers [105 pts]
(Hand weapons, Handguns, Heavy armour, Veteran)

10 Rangers [142 pts]
(Hand weapons, Crossbows, Heavy armour, Great weapons, Ol’ Deadeye (champion), Standard bearer)

14 Longbeards [219 pts]
(Hand weapons, Great weapons, Heavy armour, Elder (champion), Standard bearer [Rune of Battle])

++ Special Units [879 pts] ++
1 Gyrocopters [60 pts]
(Hand weapons, Steam guns, Armoured Fuselage (Full plate armour))

Cannon [115 pts]
(Cannon, Hand weapons, Light armour, Rune of Forging)

Cannon [130 pts]
(Cannon, Hand weapons, Light armour, 2x Rune of Forging)

Grudge Thrower [120 pts]
(Stone thrower, Hand weapons, Light armour, Rune of Forging, Rune of Burning)

14 Ironbreakers [266 pts]
(Hand weapons, Shields, Full plate armour, Ironbeard (champion), Standard bearer [Rune of Confusion], Musician)

14 Longbeards [188 pts]
(Hand weapons, Great weapons, Heavy armour, Elder (champion))

++ Rare Units [130 pts] ++
10 Rangers [130 pts]
(Hand weapons, Crossbows, Heavy armour, Great weapons)

Ive recenlty painted a unit of longbeards so i wanted to test them. Ive also removed some units that were underperforming last time like thunderers, slayers and gyrocopters. I will bring them back eventually since they have their usages but for now i wanted to focus on other units.

Again i set my gunline on a hill with thunderers guarding its front and bigger units waiting on sides. I had two main fighting units (iron breakers and clansmen) and two supporting units of longbeards ready for charging flanks.

I set rangers on my flanks to counter harpies and centigors aiming for my warmachines. This time around my oponent brought a horde army. Four magic users including deamon prince and many chariots. Chariots proved to be rather underwhelming. Tuskgors are better choice. Most laughs came from gaze of the gods giving stupidity four times during the game to the same beastmen character. Deciding moments in game happened in last turns when my clansmen unit with brb failed multiple ld 9 rolls in a row fleeing off the table. They need to shave their heads now, so ill probably bring a slayer unit next time. It was a big multiunit combat with multiple factors involved so it was very cool moment in the battle. After that longbeards had to step in and brought their axes upon the victors. It left me in a losing position though especially with my ironbreakers unit surrounded by big unit of gors with two shamans and deamon prince charging their rear. I finally won after a climatic duel between my king and the big daemon.

Here are my afterthoughts:

– runsmith is a must have (or allied wizard). Some spells delivered at right moment can be very brutal so you need a way to stop them. Ive used runes of dispell to block some conveyance spells twice desorganising my opponent movement phase which probably gave me one more turn of shooting

– battle standards are an upgrade to Thane that have no downside. You have separate point allowance for magic banner and separate for his other stuff so he can still be fighty and give Bsb bonus at the same time. I see no reason to not include it every time. Same goes for runes of battle on every possible banner. +1 to combat result for 20 points makes difference. Especialy if you have multiples of them in same fight on different banners.

– Rangers are still best shooty units in dwarf army. Scouts with BS4 and crossbows can put lot of wounds on crucial enemy units and get rid of flanking distractors. Better than crossbows and thunderers. Not many other dwarf rare choices can compete with them and you can even take one unit as core.

– Engineer also was a needed update for my warmachines making them more predictable.

– Great weapons in at least 7 models long line are very good. I still have no idea how long those units should be. More than 7 long will be hard to manouver so im not conviced about very long lines. But im very tempted to try out 20 models long line of rangers with crossbows and great weapons placed in front of my army. Its a core choice and can be placed after deployment. Getting shot on charge with 20 BS4 crossbow bolts and then have a round of combat vs 20 great weapon armed dwarfs sounds solid on paper. It can be overcome with multiple units charging in specific order but still should hurt. I expect limitations to 'whole rank can fight’ rule at some point.

– Flying daemon prince is very difficult to take out. When played smart it can avoid strong units and cannon shots. With 4+ ward it can also often shake off the ocassional cannonball that hit him. This time it was really devastating against my gunline while at the same time making fools of my general with iron breakers retinue who tried to chase him. Finally he got frenzy from eye of the gods or something and was unable to restrain itself from overrun which placed him in a position that i could use to engage it. Even then it was not easy to kill him but with some lucky rolls my king finally took it down losing 4 wounds in the process. Flying monsters are scary this edition.

– Gyrocopters are very useful for distracting enemy movement. So far the damage they did was not very impressive but restricting enemies from march moves is very usefull.

– I thought saves are good now beacuse you dont get many reductions to them, but there are always great weapons hiding somewhere which left my iron breakers dying quite often. Im thinking of dropping them in favour of another big clansmen unit or hammerers.

– There are many one time abilities and temporary bonuses your unit gains during the game. Amount of book keeping is really serious this edition. Especially against chaos which grants their characters some extra bonuses each round. Ive did some tokens for abilities which proved to be very usefull. Especially for those temporary or one time abilities like stubborn, shieldwall, frenzy etc which many units may have and its easy to forget which one already used theirs. I will do more for characteristics improvements and unit formations. Its really helpfull to keep yourself and your opponent aware of whats going on.

– Im still not sure how to play this game right. Its similiar at glance to old editions but all those small diferences makes it really really different. I belive it have the best ratio of hero vs normal units power making most things usable and needed. It looks like you need a lot of characters but they are more of a buff for units or serve some tactical purpose rather than be one man armies.

Next I need to try out organ guns, anvil and hammerers and play against other armies than Chaos. After that i will wait for the jurnal to arrive. Im curious about this slayer army.

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