6th Edition Chaos Dwarf Army List Advice (and a question about hobgoblins)

Isn’t the shield wasted on the Lord? The magic armour you’ve given him can’t be improved so the shield is redundant as it does nothing.

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Absolutely, in both cases :sweat_smile: When I built the list I was just grabbing magic items to fill the points gap up to 2000 to see how many models I needed to buy. I’ve now gone over 2000 points in models so I can have a proper think about how to equip the characters.

Any recommendations on how many points of magic items to allocate and what some good choices would be?

I was also going to ask about the schools of magic. How are the chaos dwarfs in that arena? Are our schools in 6th decent and which of the four are generally preferred?

Thanks for all the help! :slight_smile:

I’d recommend swapping at least one stone out for a dispel scroll; you never know when you’ll need it to stop a crucial spell going through, especially if you go up against someone with a level 4 wizard.

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Sounds like a good plan! The thinking is that they will be rivals for my dwarfs (I’m going to come up with some lore about a dwarf hold on the eastern side of the World’s Edge Mountains coming into conflict with a family of their distant cousins in the Dark Lands). So I figured power stones to push through that dwarf magic resistance. But definitely- I gather a scroll caddy is usually a good idea :slight_smile:

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Welcome to the community!

Here’s my thoughts:

30-40 sneaky gits is good. If you have less then that you likely wont have enough to wrap around the enemy. Wrapping around requires you to give up ranks, and therefore combat resolution if you don’t have enough ranks to handle it. Keep in mind you’ll lose some to shooting as well.

As was mentioned elsewhere you are very close combat heavy. Between two units of CD warriors and three greenskin units you have very little to force the opponent to come to you, and you are too slow to come to him safely. If you shrink your sneaky gits for archer hobgoblins I would switch the remaineder from gits to standard hw/shield warriors. In doing so you could save 40 pts (20 archers, 20 warriors w/shield and command = 190), open up a special slot, and have a chaff unit to soak ranged fire and bait charges. Drop the command and you have 2 bolt throwers or are just 10 pts from a death rocket!

Your instincts are right about needing more in your anvil units. the standard enemy is 20 strong and even with your high leadership you’d rather not start that far outnumbered. Chaos dwarfs have a very limited magic item list so using less than their full allowance is a good way to get more points.

And one other note to point out on the “tiered” morale system - If your black orcs are too far from your other greenskins you wont get the benefit of their Quell Animosity ability, which is honestly a bigger factor than their slightly better stat line when you are fielding a large number of greenskins. If you are playing strict RH (ie the opponent is also using an RH list, not their 6th (or 7th or 8th) ed army book), then they don’t have that ability yet so you don’t need to worry about keeping them close by!


Hey Flagellant!

Thank you! :slight_smile:

I did wonder about the numbers required for their wrap around capabilities. As you say, perhaps standard hobgoblins alongside archers would be wiser. The other unique feature Sneaky Gitz offer (above normal hobgoblins) is the second hand weapon- if I were to field 20 would this be worth the points cost (and lack of armour) alone? Balancing the tough, shielded units in my army with the extra attacks from second weapons (or stronger attacks from two-handers) is something I’ve wondered about. The CDs and Black Orcs bring the best of both worlds so I’ve got them armed to the teeth, haha.

I actually have a rules question regarding the above: Chaos Dwarf warriors and Black Orcs seem to have the option to wield Great Weapons (or two weapons for the orcs) and Shields. From what I understand, they always benefit from the shields when not in combat (against archers, for example) but then choose whether to two-hand or use their shield when they engage in melee. I assume that when they leave melee they return to their default shielded status and then, should they find another fight, choose again when they enter another combat? Did I get that right? If this is true I guess they can flexibly provide anvils or hammers for each other depending on which units get charged/charges first?

Good to know regarding the Anvils- I’ll ask my friend for another ten dwarfs soon. The issue at this stage is finding the points but I’m sure I’ll be able to trim somewhere (probably magic items, as you say, and orc boyz).

Ahh, that’s really interesting regarding Black Orcs. I was using their stats from RH so I didn’t even know they had that ability. I figured as I’m building CD from RH I should also draw the Black Orcs from that source- are they normally drawn from their own Armies Book? The only potential opponent at the moment is my own dwarfs (using either RH or the early 6th ed Armies Book- most likely the latter so I guess the CD need all the help they can get to bring them to parity). Hopefully in the future I’ll find more opponents or lure some friends into Oldhammer, haha.

Thanks so much for the input! You’ve drummed up many questions for me! I wonder about just making all of the hobgoblins archers (as, with bows, they do roughly the same job as more expensive models in other armies for a good points price whereas in melee they are kinda subpar, haha). Also, if I used a unit of standard hobgoblin warriors, should I armour them up or leave them as fodder? I’m guessing the shields are worth it as they add 2 armour in melee (making them a bit of a bargain) but light armour could be a waste of points?

I’ll try to get a rocket launcher soon to add to ranged firepower. Realistically, do the two wizards add an incentive for the enemy to close quickly (via their own flavour of ranged damage)? I guess the Taurus Demon also has its fire breath but that’s somewhat short ranged.

Many thanks again for all your help everyone! :slight_smile:

RH specifically says that the lists it contains are superseded by the army books released later, so in this case the Orc, Goblin and Black Orc profiles you use are the ones in the O&G book, although if your opponents are fine with it there shouldn’t be any issue using the RH profiles; you’d lose out on your Blorcs Quelling Annimosity, but you’d have a wider choice of weapon loadout (RH Blorcs can have spears or halberds but O&G ones can’t). What I would say though is don’t mix and match RH and O&G (eg don’t take Orcs using O&G to have them with choppas, but take Blorcs from RH so you can have them with halberds).

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I would stick with the additional HW on your Orc Boyz if you want a unit with extra attacks but don’t want to commit to a mob of gitz.

You are correct regarding shields. They benefit from them when not in combat but you have to choose at the beginning of each combat what weapon combination they will use for the remainder of that combat. No switching until one party has fled for been annihilated.

@Lord_of_Uzkulak has it right for how to use RH vs 6th ed proper lists. The general rule is if your opponent is using their RH list then you would use RH O&G, but if they are using their army book you would use the O&G army book.

I tend to use light armour in smaller games (~1k pts) for hobgoblins because at that size there are so few models on the table that I like them to carry their weight a little more. Bigger games I usually drop it because they are more expendable, though I may throw it on if I’ve got everything I want and have an extra 20 pts I don’t know what to do with.

The last thing to note is that the reason you’re hurting for points is very much your Great Taurus. Including one of them in a 2k point game means lots of sacrifices elsewhere. He’s super flavorful and if you love the concept definitely go for it, but by around 2500 pt games you are able to include one without feeling squeezed.

Thanks very much :slight_smile: I’ll use the Army Book versions then! I’m happy with g/weapons and shields for my Blorcs. Quell Animosity is a nifty trick!

This has raised a couple questions for me. First off: which version of animosity would my Hobgoblins use? The RH Chaos Dwarf list uses a simplified Animosity where they just do nothing on a 1. Would the hob-gobs get upgraded to the normal O&G version (even though, technically, the Army Book doesn’t contain hobgoblins at all)? The added chaos of the animosity chart does sound more fun and thematic! I suppose there is also doubt regarding the Orcs and Goblins themselves, as the animosity rules for them in a Chaos Dwarf army are under the Chaos Dwarf section rather than being redirected to the O&G section.

The other question is regarding “Big 'Uns”. In RH they are listed as a different unit type to Orc Boyz, so I assumed they weren’t in my toy box. But in the Orcs and Goblins Army Book they seem to be a 2 point upgrade on Orc Boyz, suggesting that like any other equipment, banner, musician or champion upgrade they are fair game? Is this so? Because WS 4 and STR 4 is quite attractive on a unit with two hand weapons, haha!

Thanks for the advice! I’ll stick with the Orc Boyz for double weapons, then. Glad to hear the shields work as expected!

Thank you both for clarifying the RH situation. Very helpful. So tragic that the CDs never got a 6th army book. They are so flavourful! Mostly I’d just love a 6th edition Lore of Hashut and some more magic items. I’m pretty happy with the unit variety.

Cool, I’m tempted to drop the light armour just to save some points. They are fodder after-all.

Hmm, yes I had figured the bull was a bit of an issue. Looking around for places to trim I keep coming back to the fact that my lord’s pet is eating a lot of points, haha! It’s just a gorgeous model and thematically fun. I need a dismount model anyway (tempted to hunt down that eye-wateringly pricey Chaos Dwarf Hero with the horny hat) so I guess I’ll have the option of fielding the general without the mount.

I just threw this up in another post, it will answer a lot of questions you have!

In short though if you use the O&G army book then you would use full O&G animosity rules as well as get the option to upgrade one unit to Big 'Uns with the normal restrictions (ie you need another unit of normal boyz before you can upgrade a second unit).

Yeah the one thing I really would have liked to see in a 6th ed book is more magic items. Their RH items are often very situational and you never have the depth of options that others get in full 6th. I’m thinking of coming up with some options on my own in the future for casual games, I think it could be a lot of fun.

As for a Lore of Hashut, take a look at the spells from 4th edition! You can at least get the flavor, if not their actual use haha

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Hey! Sorry for the delay. Busy week!

That’s fantastic! Thanks very much. Very useful. Good to get clarification on Blunderbusses not being able to shoot into combat too. I doubted it would work but there was something delightful about the thought of locking an enemy unit up in combat with some hobgoblins and then spraying the whole melee with blunderbuss fire, haha!

Ah, I’d missed the need for a second unit of orc boyz to get the big 'uns- I’ll probably stick to a normal unit of normal orcs then.

Definitely! More items would be great. Good idea regarding Hashut! I actually have the 5th edition magic box around here somewhere so I’ll take a look. I grew up with 5th edition so I have a lot of love for that era.

Something else I’ve noticed regarding the O&G book is the “Choppas” rule. If I read it correctly, you can use them with shields but you don’t get the extra +1 to saves in combat (so heavy armour and choppas with a shield would yield a 4+ save in melee?).

It raises a question for my Black Orcs- I was going to model them with a mix of great weapons and shields so I had the option to use them for anvil or hammer. But they have to use choppas, not hand weapons. So they’ll never get the extra +1 to saves in melee, rendering those shields a bit less valuable. On the flipside, they get +1 to str in the first round of combat from the choppas, raising the question as to whether it’s really worth 2 points per model for a great weapon (I gather they’ll fight last and only get +1 strength over choppas). Seems to me that choppa and shield/2 hand weapons may still be the best idea (unless the jump from str 5 to 6 is that important). I quite like the idea of them being at least a little tanky, so shields do have an appeal!

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Choppas only give the strength boost in the first round of combat and only if you charge, so if you’re receiving the charge, you might prefer to use the great weapons. Similarly if you expect it to be a protracted combat you might want great weapons over choppas as you get the Strength boost every turn with great weapons rather than just the first.


I find the great taurus is costly but he does bring mobility. Nothing else in the roster can go toe to toe with dwarf crossbowmen or handguns before they unleash volleys for 4-5 turns. He can also deal with warmachines (but wolfgobs would do it was well). I would say however that his terror is quite wasted and his fire breath of limited impact, most ranked units have T4 and 4+ save.

One thing you could do is ditch the magic for more missiles and more number. Dwarfs are able to withstand limited amount of magic better than others but have none of their own so decreasing your magic offensive capabilities will not hurt you defensively. A death rocket or a pair of bolt throwers would be useful vs dwarves. 2 LA+S Hobgobs used as screens to protect your warriors from superior firepower or to make flanking units if he goes the close combat route seem a more versatile battle plan to me.

One thing, your chances to beat their characters with your own are quite limited. They have a much better arsenal point for point.

That’s for your O&G: source: DW250


True, Uzkulak! Difficult decisions :slight_smile: I’ll have to mull on my options. I have a fondness for durability and always find myself drifting towards shields.

Thanks, Hurin (great name by the way- love the scene with Hurin and Morgoth). Good to know the taurus has some good uses. Honestly I just decided that if I was doing Chaos Dwarf I’d better have a good centrepiece and really liked the Lost Kingdom Dainn Longbeard taurus demon model! I also wanted a monster as my normal dwarfs have no such option, haha! I was initially saddened that the wizards can’t ride them in 6th (I’m not wild about the Lammasu) but having a lord makes for an interesting change.

Good point regarding the wizards. That was another area where the thought process was basically “well if I’m going to finally get a Chaos Dwarf army I absolutely have to have some magic users” (A: because it’s thematic and B: because it’s a change from my normal dwarfs). Good to have the option (and the theme) but yeah- there’s a couple hundred points there I could cut out if necessary. Bolt throwers are probably out (I’m not fussed about the models or having more hobgoblins) but I’m definitely keen for a death rocket! Hopefully between that and the Earthshaker I’ll be able to put out a fair amount of artillery fire.

Thanks- I’ll have to think hard about how to build the hobgoblins. It’s another area where modelling and theme could clash with practicality: I think the Hobgrot Slittaz banner is neat and would like to build it so a unit at least 20 strong is called for (I’d imagine any less and the banner would be a bit of a waste). I have 40 hobgrotz to build- are you suggesting I make them all shielded warriors or just the 20 I was planning to (with the other 20 as archers)?

Good to know! Nice to hear dwarf characters are strong, in any case- I’m very fond of my old Grombrindal and Ungrim models, hehe.

Awesome- thanks for the errata. I’ve added it to my growing folder of Chaos Dwarf rules!

I don’t suppose you or anyone here has any input on the lore of magic for Chaos Dwarfs? Are our lores considered decent? Are any recommended above others?

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When I said the great taurus was the only fast element in your army, I forgot the bull centaurs, but they pack enough punch to charge a fully ranked unit (but I would strongly advice against doing so from the front) and win while the Taurus can only take on easier targets but is more mobile.

Be sure the great taures, black orcs and bulls centaurs will be priority targets if he can get a clear shot.

I understand you want to make an army that feels different from the dwarves: monster, cavalry, magic… but you need a plan against two typical dwarf armies: the shooty dwarves who will outgun you and the close combat army that has better troops than you due to better armor, better WS, runic support. Since you already have few range units, I’d say you can swap magic to have more bodies to either soak up to damage when you march toward them (you’ll prefer greenskins dying rather than chaos dwarves) or more units to force them to show their flanks.

For the wizards, go bigger (6 levels) or let them at home. You pay 300pt for 6 casting dice (that you can boost) while he gets 4 dispel dice for free. You can’t base your strategy on you ability to force him to move due to magic and a single warmachine.

Smaller hobgoblins units may be useful as a screen, in this case keep them cheap. They’ll flee at some point. Feel lucky if they flee once they have been charged, you just disrupted his formation for a cheap cost. Remember that your general will be far away, so the leadership of greenskins will be lower: 5/6/7/8.

I am personally not a fan of archers against dwarves. They are useful against light expensive troops, glasscannons (light cavalry, light flyers, heroes on pegasus, wizards, warmachines crew, daemons, elite elves, ogres…) not against tough troops in heavy armor.
It they are shielded and armored, they provide ranks and numbers without taking mass casualties from most enemy combat units while your better troops provide the killing power. They can also move faster giving flanking opportunities.

The lore of Metal is quite good against dwarves because of their good equipment, runes. It’s mostly debuffs and some missiles.
The lore of Fire is usually direct damage.
The lore of death does mostly damage, some of which with short range and no save.
The lore of shadows is more versatile, buffs, extra movement and a bit of damage as well.

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That’s good to know :slight_smile: I was worried 6 (including hero) wouldn’t be enough but currently the 3D printable designs I’m using have only one variant for standard centaurs and I didn’t want to have too many of one design.

Good to know. One unit I’m very keen to see in action is the blunderbusses- they sound like a lot of fun. Here’s hoping I can get them in position when I do play.

Sounds good! Using the greenskins and not having cascades of panic when they break is a neat feature of the chaos dwarfs. So I’ll definitely put them to use as a shield.

Thanks- useful to know. I appreciate the targeted advice regarding fighting dwarfs. I’ve built the army as a generic and hopefully flexible force, but it’s nice to know how to tailor it to give the Dawi-Zharr a fighting chance against their long lost cousins! I intend to have a death rocket soon so hopefully that’ll solidify the ranged potential of the army! I really love the Earthshaker design but it’s interesting to see that the death rocket has about the same potential to squish foes! The slow down/ranged disruption effect of the Earthshaker sounds great, though.

Oh I definitely imagine the poor hobgoblins will flee. I wonder if it would be helpful to know my dwarf army has two flame cannons and a cannon for artillery? (Other ranged options include 24 crossbows and 12 thunderers). I understand the flame cannons don’t have the best range, but I imagine they’ll shred the moral of greenskins. I have enough options for the dwarfs to lean into ranged or heavy melee, however. So hopefully I can put together something that will be a fair match-up for the chaos dwarfs.

Useful to know regarding the archers. Hopefully I’ll find some more opponents at some point and find some targets for their arrows, haha! I’ve ordered in some shields for the hobgoblins- I think they’ll look nice when I get around to putting them together!

Thanks for the lore overviews- it sounds like they’re fairly balanced with different jobs, then :slight_smile: Always good to hear!

I’ve gotten hold of the two infantry hero/lord models so I now have options to replace the taurus rider! I’m really happy to have him (I like bulls and I think it’s really thematic) but it’s good to have some cheaper options now!


As I understood you would only face dwarves, I made advice targeted against them which are not necessarily relevant against other armies.

Flames canons don’t have great range but neither do blunderbusses. I would expect him to try to shut down your mobility first and then your short-range damage dealers: blunderbusses. That’s probably another unit I would leave at home against shooty dwarves, it’s unlikely you’ll keep you ranks and they are more expensive than warriors with shield and can opener. If he’s the one moving forward, your blunderbusses could get an impressive 3 shots (moving in range, closing in, charge response).

Against such a shooty army, even big blocks of 25+ greenskins will have to test panic, with the flame canon he doesn’t have to concentrate fire. Your general will be dealing with the opponent and will not support the troops with its leadership so several layers of cheap screen may be needed for the chorfs to arrive safely in contact.

I’m not the best to tell you what lore is stronger, but part of the answer also comes from want you want to do with your magic.

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Yeah, that was very helpful, thanks! :slight_smile: Honestly I have no opponents yet (my friends and I are just getting into 40K but I’ve been working on my dwarf armies as a side project to open up another game we could play). Initially I’ll just suggest my friends pick a variant of dwarf and we can try out the game one day. After that maybe I’ll get lucky and one of them will be interested enough to start their own army. Alternatively I may find some 6th players nearby!

Good to know! I just find the blunderbusses so iconic for chaos dwarfs. Hopefully I’ll get to see them in action one day!

Hmm, true- it will be interesting to drop the taurus and use the general in the core of the army to bolster leadership. Another nice advantage of chaos dwarfs, I suppose- their greenskin minions can benefit from their general’s impressive leadership.

Thanks- I had another read of the lores last night. Honestly magic doesn’t seem wildly impressive for damage! Shadow is appealing, given its ability to boost movement. Could synergise nicely with the Earthshaker slowing the opponent down! A couple shadow wizards and the Earthshaker could make it easier to outmanoeuvre dwarfs!

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With magic as it is the case with shooting with infantry, you hardly annihilate a unit but you can kills enough models to provoke panic tests which will be missed at some point. You can also weaken a dangerous unit to the point its fighting capacity is below your own units due to lost ranks and outnumber. Only the most expensive spells have that catapult effect where a unit may lose half of its models, but it’s once in a game thing.

For the lord, as I told you, it’s not useless to have the taurus as it can destroy the shooting threats early, it’s up to you. What I would do in this case is to have a hero be the general so that you get leadership 10 in the battleline. Against a shooty army a BSB isn’t that needed because as soon as you units make contact it’s rare you’ll lose combat, even if vanilla dwarves can put a fight. But if he goes the close combat way, you’ll need the BSB since he’ll have better units than you and you need to wait until flankers arrive.

After I offered my friends-opponents to use my armies to play, several of them started collecting the own as they knew it would not collect dust :smiley:

Ah, thank you! I gather morale is a very big part of fantasy compared with modern 40k. I get the feeling I’ll enjoy the Rocket Launcher and Earthshaker more than the spell casting. They sound fun- it’ll be interesting to one day try out the guess targeting!

That’s a fantastic idea! I didn’t even notice that heroes have the same leadership as lords. Fantastic to get the benefits of the taurus without sending the general off on his own. Good to know- I guess a more combat themed version of the army would drop the wizards and have a couple heroes (one as the BSB) with the lord roaming on his big 'ol bull. I suppose I could still have a third hero in the centaur unit. Fighty!

That’s great! :slight_smile: I’ll have to hope to get similar results!