This is Part 1 of the Total War: Warhammer Dwarf Campaign Guide. This section will cover Legendary Lords, Agents, and Army Composition.
Dwarf Campaign Guide – Legendary Lords:
Ungrim Ironfist: Melee Lord, starts with one Thunderer and one Slayer unit in their army.
Thorgrim Grudgebearer: Melee Lord, stars with one Hammerer and one Grudge Thrower unit in their army.
Comment: Personally, I like Ungrim as a starting Legendary Lord mostly because he’s a strong fighter. However, from an army standpoint, Thorgrim is better. Getting a Grudge Thrower early game helps with battles immensely, and Hammerers are top-tier melee fighters with armor-piercing damage.
Below, you’ll find my Legendary Lord / General Talent Spec:
In the Red Talent line, I mostly focused on picking up Quarreler/Grudge Thrower damage (Talent 3) and, needing to spend one more point, put the last one into vigor loss reduction. (Talent 4) The reason I did not take the boost to Warriors / Miners (Talent 2) was because you end up teching out of Warriors pretty quickly, especially if you rush Gundabad and Black Crag.
In the next set of Red Talents, I max out the talent for Longbeards/Ironbreakers and Organ Guns (Talents 2 and 3 in the second set) because they are both the backbone of my mid-late game army.
For Yellow Talents, I mostly focused on just melee defense, armor, and HP. Dwarf Legendary Lords are already very strong, but do the best when used to fight in the front line. To promote this, they need the talents that will allow them to stay in melee combat without fear they’ll get killed quickly.
Dwarf Campaign Guide – Runesmith
Runesmiths have three active runes: One armor rune and one ward save rune, and they also have a damage rune that is useful against enemy units but weak against single targets. These runes are not affected by winds of magic. Below you will find my recommended talents:
Important Yellow Talents:
Rune of Oath and Steel (Active): +Armor Rune to all units in the Runesmith’s radius.
Strike the Runes (Passive): Reduces cooldown on Runes.
Forgefire (Passive): Passive damage bonus to units in radius
Rune of Wrath and Ruin (Active): Damage Rune
Rune of Striking, Might, Parrying and Fury (Passive): These runes are required in order to get the final rune. Keep in mind these four runes take up space in the Followers / Items slots for the Runesmith.
Rune of Negation (Active): Ward Save Rune
Comments: For the most part, the yellow chain of talents are pretty straight forward. You take every talent minus Damping, because reducing enemy winds of magic isn’t terribly important as the AI doesn’t spam spells enough to make it worthwhile.
Important Blue Talents:
Rune of Warding: As your Runesmith will be attached most of the time in your army, this passive is nice when conquering new areas or protecting current ones.
Rune of Spellbreaking: This talent protects your army against enemy agents, which is very important due to the prevalence of enemy agents spamming your armies with abilities.
For remaining points, the leftover talents that are kind of good are:
Relentless: Three talent points for a rather small absolute increase in speed, but it’s still nice in case you need to rush the Runesmith to a different part of your army to boost defenses.
Rune of Grimnir: Protection against ranged attacks. For the most part, you don’t want your Runesmith out in the open, but it can happen and one point for some ranged damage mitigation isn’t bad.
Dwarf Campaign Guide – Engineer
Important Yellow Talents:
Triangulation: +Damage for Artillery and Ranged Units
Requisition: More ammunition. Typically, I have found my Quarrelers will run out of ammo much sooner than my artillery, so this talent is a nice small boost.
Ballistics Instructor: +Range for Artillery
I did not take the final talent (Extra Powder) because it only boosts explosive damage. As far as I know, the only artillery unit with explosive damage is the flame cannon.
Important Blue Talents:
Logistical Engineer: +Movement Range for Army that the Engineer is embedded into, and up to 20% bonus range for three talent points.
Dwarf Campaign Guide – Thane
Personally, I am not a fan of using the Thane in the army. Their melee capabilities in battle are so-so compared to the Legendary Lord / General, and they’re more useful on the campaign map providing public order, harassing enemy armies, and assassinating enemy heroes.
Dwarf Campaign Guide – Army Composition:
Dwarf armies are fairly straightforward. No cavalry units (I don’t count gyro units as cavalry as they’re too weak to perform that role) and strong ranged units. I personally prefer Quarrelers to Thunderers. Why?
- Arcing shots allow them to shoot closer targets than Thunderers if behind a front line. They also have better range and rate-of-fire.
- While Thunderers are better against armor due to their armor-piercing, you won’t have any shortage of armor-piercing artillery, and for the most part the only heavy armored units are Chaos hordes. I’ve had battles where Quarrelers gotten over 200 kills on Chaos Chosen, so they’re definitely not 100% weak against armor either.
Typical starter army is one General, six Quarrelers, and six Warriors. The max number of warriors I recommend is eight; six is the maximum number of Quarrelers. At that point you can fill the rest with Grudge Throwers (five usually, four if you attach and agent to the army.
My endgame army composition:
- Legendary Lord
- Runesmith – For their protective runes. These are less critical once you have Iron Breakers, but they’re still good when up against stronger units like Chosen.
- Engineer – For boosting your artillery’s range/ammo/damage/speed. Ideally you have at least four artillery in your army at any time to keep the Engineer useful.
- 6 Iron Breakers – This is your front line. They should hold against just about anything, and their special ranged weapon is very strong.
- 4 Quarrelers – Set them up behind your front line. These guys should be micro’ed, prioritizing enemy ranged units.
- 2 Hammerers – Spot coverage for melee. If one particular area of your line gets hit hard, use hammers to counter their elite units there. If VC lands Vargeists or other flyers into your rear, use the Hammerers to fight them off.
- 4 Organ Guns – These artillery are very strong, but can be finicky depending on your terrain. They can shoot over your front line but they need a bit of space to do so. Otherwise, these units are very strong against anything (infantry, cavalry, large units)
- 1 Cannon – Very accurate at higher levels and long ranges, cannons are good for sniping enemy artillery such as hellcannons.
I haven’t seen this army composition struggle against any race so far, so it will (hopefully) work for you. The most important things to remember:
- Leave your front line in guard mode: You don’t want them running off during a fight.
- Defensive Skills like Runes should be used when absorbing enemy charges, and LL protective skills should be used in prolonged melee combat. Use the Engineer skill as soon as enemies are in range of artillery and all artillery are firing, and use it every time it refreshes. The Engineer should help LL kill the enemy general. For the most part, keep the Runesmith out of combat unless necessary.
- Micro your LL, agents, Quarrelers, and artillery. Iron Breakers will get lots of kills just holding the line on their own.
Check out the next section of the Dwarf Campaign Guide which will cover campaign strategy.