[AoS] Brainstorm: How Chaos Dwarves fit into Age of Sigmar

Hi all. I like Age of Sigmar, and I’m planning to glue my guys onto round bases (when they arrive in the mail). I’d like to brainstorm ideas with you about how to incorporate them into Age of Sigmar

As a general primer on Age of Sigmar and the The Mortal Realms - the different realms are entrenched in a single type of magic, and the inhabitants are often heavily influenced by the realm they live in. Orcs in the Realm of Beasts will look and feel like the classic savage Orcs, with animal skins, tribal tattoos, crude weapons, etc. Orcs in the realm of Death might have voodoo vibe, with Day of the Dead style skull and bones tattoos all over their bodies, and a big emphasis on witch doctor shamans leading the tribes instead of a warboss. Orcs in the realm of fire might be leaner, more cunning hunters, that skulk through the deserts at night time and prey on unprotected caravans who stopped at an oasis to rest.

So in regards to Chaos Dwarves, while I love the classic Mesopotamian Ziggurats in the lava filled ashen wastes, my imagination was set aflame when I read about the “Fortress-rig” of Zharr Vyxa. A belching oil rig full of chaos dwarves, siphoning off the magical residue energies of a long dead civilisation at the bottom of an ocean in the Realm of Death. Amazing! A Chaos Oil Rig! What a brilliant idea!

I feel like the typical image of the Chaos Dwarves we have would fit well in the Realm of Fire, where obsidian towers pierce ash clogged skies, sitting on cooling lava fields and surrounded by active volcanos. Realm of Fire, or maybe the Eight Points, which is basically a chaos landscape in the current timeline.

I was mulling over an idea for the Realm of Metal that leans heavily into the daemonic machines of the CD; huge rolling fortresses, mounted on giant tank tracks and wheels, powered by belching furnaces, slowly trundle across the Oxide Deserts of the Realm of Metal. They house roving groups of scavenging dwarves who strip clear the landscape of anything they find, using their giant fortresses to literally consume towns and mineral deposits they drive over (yes. much like that Peter Jackson “The Mortal Engines” movie).

I was also thinking maybe Realm of Beasts Chaos Dwarves might lean more into the “menagerie of beasts” aspect, where they army would focus on capturing strange and exotic beasts, and taking slaves from the barbarian tribes that inhabit the landscape. Maybe the dwarves exchange their Big Hats for some Pith Helmets, and push into those tropes of the European Colonial expeditions of the 17th to 19th centuries, pushing through steaming jungles, hunting elephants and tigers, getting captured by cannibals, etc.

Does anyone have any other ideas like this, that put a fresh spin on the Chaos Dwarves, while still keeping that core Chaos Dwarf feel?


This was the intro I wrote for my Aqshy based AoS Dawi Zharr on the old forum:

“Hello all,

Wrote a little something explaining how my big hat beauties came to exist in the age of Sigmar retaining their old religion, dress and customs. I’ve tried to match the style of Sigmar lore. Which often focuses on the big actions of gods and powers unimaginable as opposed to the nitty gritty of day to day life. Proper high fantasy.

My thinking is that my dwarves lost their lives in the end times and were destroyed. Haashut went into some kind of sleep, coma or exile. Now awoken the lord of darkness has reforged his followers in the mountains of Aqshy.

Open to ideas , edits and constructive criticisms:

You can check out my blog for documenting the creation of this warband in the hobby section.


We were forged in the fires of mountains and to the mountains we would always return. That was our fate. That was the deal that was struck. This bargain was honoured by my fathers and their fathers before them. All that we were was borrowed from the darkness, and the darkness would one day reclaim it all. We were born of his fire, smelted and poured into moulds. We emerged remade in the image of our lord, quenched in the blood of our enemies and sharpened upon the whetstone of battle. We were Dawi-zharr. The rightful masters of our world. Born to conquer and subjugate all before us, whilst the ashen air still filled our lungs.

Yet great power came at a cost. We knew that one day that we would be stone and then dust. And eventually we would return to the fires of our mountains, to be consumed by our lord and remade once more.

We learned that all other life was contemptible. It was fuel to burn in the engines of war. It was blood to be spilt upon our battlefields. It was food to sustain our lord. And yet the filth that crawled and slithered across our world was many, and we chosen were but a few.

And so it came to pass, that the tainted and unworthy did swarm upon us in such numbers that they did overwhelm us entirely. My immortal guard, my kinsmen and I felled by the blades of the green-skins, defiled and destroyed. A dishonourable death and a shame that’s haunts us beyond the grave.

And when the great towers fell, and my Lord did call out in pain, our mortal remains were enveloped by the fires, and we, once more, became one with the stone and one with the mountains. My lord did close his eyes, and a tortured sleep enveloped his mind. Fire became stone and stone became dust.

That was in the world that was…

In the land of Aqshy, separated in both time, space and reality, in the bowels of mountains both new, yet ancient beyond imagining, my lord suddenly awoke from his long and troubled slumber. With his first breath he did inhale the ash clouds and brimstone, stripped the very iron from the earth and the magics from the air. And when he exhaled, he breathed us back into corporeal forms, pouring each of us like molten metals from a furnace. With his second breath, he breathed in the atmosphere of the new and exhaled the old, filling us with life anew but the ancient hatred and fury we did feel upon that day. And with his third breath, he called upon us all, his chosen few, to rebuild his edifices, to exalt both him and ourselves, and to take our rightful place as the rulers of all.

All inferior life shall tremble and kneel before us. The mortal realms shall shake before the furnaces of war and roar of our cannons. We shall rebuild all that was, and more. The age of Sigmar has begun, but the age of Hashut has yet to pass.

My name is Oxymandias, servant of Hashut and king of kings; Look upon my works ye goblins, and despair!”


That’s great.

I like the cyclical nature of your concept. From fire to stone to dust, and back into the mountain.

Its the perfect way to rebirth them into the Realm of Fire.


I don’t play AoS myself or know much about the lore, but I like your ideas a lot, especially the rolling cities - definitely fits into the titanic scale of everything in AoS, while still retaining that classic CD spirit!

I did a single conversion in a similar vein not too long ago, perhaps it might give you some ideas for your AoS adventures:

I am looking forward to witnessing your vision of CDs in this new world taking shape! :hatoff:


Thanks man. The wait from Russia is going to kill me.

That model is excellent!!


This probably doesn’t help, but if I’m ever in doubt as to the direction my Chaos Dwarfs are taking I just listen to In Flames - My Sweet Shadow, the lyrics are entirely perfect for what I envision my Chaos Dwarfs to be. Nightmare fueled and full of hatred for their cousins that bask in the light.

In Flames - My Sweet Shadow (Official Video) - YouTube


Haha that’s great. When i need motivation for my Slaaneshi Chaos Space Marines I listen to Iron Maiden’s 7th Son of a 7th Son album, or the Dethalbum from the cartoon Metalocalypse.


I like your style my friend!

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I don’t have any excellent fiction written, but in considering what I was going to do for my army I was very tempted to take the classic style models and outright say that Hashut (or maybe Astragoth) joined the pantheon of Order after the End Times - similar to how Morathi-Khaine is an Order god now.

I would have just said my big hats were just more Duardin living in the various Cities of Sigmar.

Disgusting, I know, but the 4th edition sculpts never really screamed “chaos” to me and I really want to be able to play with my Dwarfs using a supported rule set.

I moved away from the lore, and I’ll just be using the Cities of Sigmar rules, but I think there’s something there. The inclusion of Dark Elves in the Order Grand Alliance really makes it clear hat Order != Good, so there’s space for Big Hat style Dwarfs in the Order alliance.

Mask & dreadlock dwarfs belong in Chaos, though, and there’s canonical evidence that they do exist in the AoS universe. So I’m probably going to end up using Cities rules but the lore being “these are evil Duardin who work for Archaon”.

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I would use the cities of Sigmar without changing the lore. I don’t think the rules need to have any bearing on story.

Still, interesting idea. Even Nagash was Order, for a while.

I maybe can imagine Hashut joining order for a couple reasons. 1 - a god of industry and enslavement surely didn’t benefit from having the Old World blown up, so maybe he wants to avoid that this time round. 2 - Nagash went out of his way to wipe out other minor Gods of death when he was claiming Shyish. Maybe minor Chaos gods are being threatened by the Big 4?
3 - chaos dwarf society is extremely regimented, strict and caste based, which definitely falls into a strong definition of order


I actually thought about this not too long ago, on Twitter. My idea was basically as follows.

During the Age of Chaos, some of the Duardin couldn’t escape to Azyr like the Duardin who became the Dispossessed. Instead, they hunkered down in their Holds. This was a fatal mistake. Across the Realms, preternatural clouds of black soot seeped into these Holds. Those who survived were twisted in both body and mind, becoming the first Chaos Duardin.


I like this. Its definitely a nice AoS-plausible beginning for the Chaos Dwarves.

What I’m really interested in doing though, is changing how the Chaos Dwarves appear in AoS. Much like how the Kharadron Overlords still behave in a manner reminiscent of vanilla WHFB dwarves, but yet look NOTHING like them, I feel there is a lot of room to add new fluff and flavour for our Big Hats in the Mortal Realms.

Although keeping Chaos Dwarves as is is completely fine, because they’re awesome… have you considered any changes to them? Do your Chaos Dwarves live in the Realm of Fire (which is where I would expect default CD to live). Are they still focused on slave acquisition, and forging hellish artifacts?

I’m really interested in having mine in the Realm of Metal, where they are masters of chemistry and alchemical processes. I feel it still fits their industrious nature, it still needs slaves (who get horrifically melted in industrial accidents), and it still results in a hellish blasted landscape covered in unihabitable pollution (instead of living in a hot volcanic area, they live in a caustic swap, full of acidic clouds, mutagenic lakes, and dangerous spontaneously combusting phosphoric coated ground).

I also feel that my Chaos Dwarves could easily co-exist with standard Chaos Dwarves. Masters of Alchemy could be manufacturing gunpowder and Blood of Hashut style weapons and shipping it via realmgate to Zharr Naggrund, in exchange for goblin slaves or daemonic weapons, etc)

Although I’m still waiting for my Chaos Dwarves to be shipped out of Russia… I’m brainstorming ideas like having bases with pools of radioactive green liquid. Maybe their clothing (beneath their armour) might be yellow or orange hazmat style suits.
Still not sure, but its fun to think about.


Very good thread! :smile:

I’ve long been very curious to see how an AoS overhaul of Chaos Dwarfs would look like. An alchemical theme is a nice take. Will mull it over and return if any wacky ideas for total overhauls pop up.

As to brainstorming, @Uther.the.unhinged is great at it. He has a great imagination for worldbuilding, unhinged even.

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One nice thing about not having a proper army book is the freedom you get in AoS.

Alchemical dwarves… go for it. Switch magma cannon for caustic cannon. Hell, the fireglaives could shoot acidic paintballs.

Maybe the reason attackers of LoA infantry occasionally receive mortal wounds is the result of chemicals applied to the armour.?

Realm of metal ? Go steampunk Kai could be animated machines not armour.

Go realm of beasts, well we bind daemons into machines… what happens if you bind daemons into beasts? How much fun can you have?

Realm of death… ok skull vibe but build your machines with metal and bone. Powered with bound souls not daemons. Maybe vampiric warmachines sucking blood like the hell canon ate bodies.

At the end of the day AoS and Warhammer are games of maths and chance. In my opinion as long as the models look like they could run/walk/fly have that many attacks, hit at a distance etc who cares. It doesn’t alter the game mechanics, just how cool it looks.

Let you imagination run free!



Great points all around. Honestly, once i read through that fan made army book, I realised I’m completely okay with no official support. We can do what we want, and nobody can really argue about it


It is all a matter of re-framing. Did GW kill off the Warhammer World or set us free. You would not have T9A without End Times. Eighth Ed would not be so big if the was an OK 9th Ed. Would Mantics world have been as popular and therefore supported and developed if the GW monopoly on fluff had not ended itself with AoS? End Times allowed heretical approaches (Mantic,T9A, even Oldhammer) to go mainstream. If GW go on a different IP exclusive artistic journey that opens the legal door to others to backfill safely. Not only that you can always convert new GW stuff. Look at how much fun you can have with Kharadrons! Personally I dont’t like sigmarines…although with different heads, radical arm and leg surgery, facial hair and REALY BIG hats … who knows?


I definitely think if they do it, it’ll be Realm of Metal. Reason being, it doesn’t have a symbolic faction at the moment, and the Realm of Fire has Fyreslayers who’ve monopolised “dwarfs with magma”…

Chamon Chaos Dwarfs could be STEAMPUNK’D! If so so, they would have:

  • horrifying clockwork spiders (bought by 40k fans for conversion to dark mechanicus)
  • steam gouts, drills, a lot of almost skaven-style stuff but with more polish
  • dirty horrendous industrial revolution stuff, stampers and stompers and tongs and whatnot

I would be looking toward Realm of Beasts as a basis as I like the Bull Centaurs so much. Large amounts (well at least for Bull Centaurs) driving “herds” of Hobgoblin Wolf Riders ahead of them as they descend on their enemies in a feral savagery that only comes from denizens of the Realm of Beasts.


If anyone is going to enslave monsters and other races like the Dark Elves did, it’s Chaos Dwarves…

Hypothetically, say that Chaos Dwarves in the Realm of Beasts get a special rule, to represent their mastery over the savage land:

Slavers - pick any other faction. You can take battleline/troops units from that faction, as though they were allies.

What would you choose if you didn’t have to limit yourself to Bull Centaurs and Hobgoblin Wolfriders? How would you express the Realm of Beasts through this army?

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Oh definetly squigs, gotta love squigs. Maybe packs of them on multiple chain leads. Squig catapaults, squig cannons. ‘Suicide squigs with explosives strapped to their backs. And ogres, ogres and squigs, ogres throwing squigs like Olympic hammer throwers. Ogre mini’sqigbelchers’. Ooo and giants, giants with a mangler type squig on a lead and a ‘master’ cd controlling from a backpack. Dwarfs on Rhinox howdahs pushing tenderizers/whirlwinds. Thunder tusks with side mounted cannon … I think I will go lie down somewhere dark now.