[Archive] Great Weapons- Pros and Cons


If you have read the Word of Hashit by now you know I wrote a tactical article about Chaos Dwarf Warriors, and if you haven’t read it by now, why haven’t you? :wink:

Now to the question, some feel that using great weapons are a waste some do not. As I mentioned having a two handed weapon gives you a great option.

I basically discount the going last, we never go first anyways with our Intiative scores anyways. The two thoughts usually come down to the the following: 1) point cost; you can use them elsewhere or 2) the hit on the armor save.



I never leave home without a unit of them. Strenght 3 doesn’t do the trick against most T4 opponents so the extra strength is needed. It’s all about how you use them. I always try to team them up with another unit so they have more chance of hitting.

Besides (but I haven’t played WFB for a while so this might have changed) on the charge they strike first anyhow. Getting to charge first is another thing though…

What I’ve done succesfully in some battles is have a lager unit with standard equipment (shield, hand weapon and full command+ a character), about 24 strong or so. Then to both sides two small units (10 each) with great weapons positioned slightly more backwards. They can charge (If possible) the flanks of the enemy unit in the following round. (if the lager units doesn’t flee of course!)

Viskar Zhragoth:

Well, I think GW for CDs makes perfect sense…unless you charge you’ll probably go last (except for saurus, etc) and with the new rules the extra str to wound and the -2 to as are really important (especially due to the +1 as for Hd wep + Sh).

So when I play CDS I always take one unit with them…and then have to decide on the BC (who need it less but become pretty darn nasty with a full charge (no barding penalties :wink: ) and then in the rest of the rounds you are still hitting hard unlike most lance wielding heavy cav… (though of course when you charge there should be nothing left :wink: )

Also, with our combined effect of earthshaker and shooting from Bts (and we can put a lot of bolts in the air) you can still force your opponent to get too close if you are creative, allowing you to charge and get the benefits for your infantry…this works even better on armies that have to get to you asap…

Border Reiver:

With the exception of my blunderbuss armed troops all of my CD models are modeled with Great weapons, and although I could state that they are all just carrying hand weapons, I always take them.

About the only non-engaged troops I’ve ever got to charge against were Dwarfs, so going first is hardly ever an option with the big hats. What I like is the option to use either hand weapon and shield when turtling up gives me a much better chance at survival (say, if I’m being charged by some knightly order, or a Bret lance), or to increase the chances of both wounding and getting through armour - say, human, elf or skaven infantry.

Small detachments of great weapon equipped CDs are really good at acting like an Empire detachment, cancelling ranks and laying a hurt on enemy formations, but this is predicated on having a unit engaged to the front and holding the enemy unit while your CDs get into place.

Given the numbers of GW carrying warriors that normally make it into my 2K list, I may be spending 78-116 points more than is necessary, but I find the increased ability to injure my opponent offsets the costs.


I never take great weapons - it’s simply a waste of points.

You dwarf warriors is a slow (M3) and therefor a defensive unit that almost never get to charge and when you don’t charge great weapons is a bad option, because there are a serious difrence on a 5+ or 3+ save. And most defently not worth the 40-50 points great weapons cost.

I too have tryed a 10 men “detachment” with a champ and great weapons but you rarely get to use them and probertly have a hobgoblin unit ready for the same job anyway so now i just have a 10 men unit with nothing who can look after my sorcerer.

In my wiev the dwarf units in a 2000+ list should be

20-25 x dwarf warriors with full command + war banner (and a BSB) (Big static CC result)

15-20 x Blunderbusses with nothing (because they cant fight or defend one unit is enough)

10 x dwarf warriors with nothing (a good place for sorcerers)

Border Reiver:

10 basic warriors don’t make a good Bodyguard unit in my opinion. No static res to speak of and with S3 they will not likely to score lots of kills. If charged they will likely break and run - losing you the sorcerer. A serious bodyguard unit should be able to stick around, say with 4 ranks and a banner.

I guess our experiences with bunderbusiers in cbt is different. They are just as skilled at fighting as your warriors and just as capable of wounding troops as your warriors with only handweapons. Granted, their armour save is less, but it is still higher than every other missile weapon armed troop out their except dwarf warriors in CC. T4 troops with heavy armour are still decent troops.


Great weapons are just too expensive to have on most units. I always have a 12 man unit with them that can step in to chunk on meatier targets, but hw/s is on the rest of my units.


Completely agree with Border Reiver here. Maybe you have different experiences with GW troops but a well used unit with GW can turn (and has in my experience) a prolongued combat greatly.

I have to say I only play pure Chaos Dwarfs though, no Hobbos.


For flanking units (10 strong) I don’t think they are worth it, for only 20 points more (130pts) you could get a unit of 10 hobgoblins on wolves (light armor and shield), which in my opinion are a better choice.

Don’t use units of 15 unless they are blunderbusses.

I wouldn’t equip units of 20 because it’s a risky investment, more of a chance to lose rank bonus/outnumber bonus.

At 25 or greater, It becomes a matter of preference or if you are tailoring a army to face a certain opponent.



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I find HW+Shield is always better. My blocks are there to give static combat res and survive, not deal damage. Thats what I have heroes for. Flanking is a job for Blorcs and other greenskins with their M4 in my preference.

True, it is occasionally nice to have the option for great weapons on the CD warriors, (hacking down skeletons for example) but I find 2pts each is too much for me.


Exactly the point difference is not that much some say take a unit of hobgoblins instead. So another unit that has miserable stats and is naked to boot is going to be useful?

As I noted in the WoH article its much better to absorb those hist and then whack the opponent back with the great weapons dishing out some major damage. Think about it using the example Servius just gave: Against most empire infantry, wood elves or high elves they get no save… Also we are not attacking them first 99% of the time… Chaos Dwatf Infanty is underated, they aren’t game winners in and of themselves, but you could do a lot worse.


Against most empire infantry, wood elves or high elves
I wish I could face some of these infantry at some point. High Elf and Empire armies in my circle are usually of the cavalry steam tank/dragon gunline variety. Or Swordmaster-tastic. Nor can I remember the last time I fought Chaos Warriors, its always Chaos Knights (and HW+Shield with ranks and a hero is definitely better against them). Not the best environment for CDs with great weapons :~

I did use them a lot at first, but found the points were better spent on an extra rank of CDs for more numbers and staying power.

Border Reiver:

Most Empire and elf armies are S3, so T4 and heavy armour are good here.


Against orcs, ogres, large creatures, GWs are definately needed somewhere in the army. Or some substitute elsewhere…


I think some of you are wrong here - against really heavy units like chaos warriors / knights, white lions, stordmasters, greal knights … you dwarf warriors are doomed great weapons or not. So if you get you dwarfs up against such a unit hand weapons and shields are still the best choise - because you loose 50 points less.

Border Reiver:

Personally, I don’t like creating a unit of CD warriors with the attitude of “The unit will die anyway, so I’ll make it cheap.” Besides, your compairing definite elites with core troops


Static combat resolution wins fights 90% of the time. I just find its better to lose as few Dwarfs as possible using HW+Shield, then have a Hero hit back with a great/magic weapon. Even with great weapons, you’re looking at 5-6 attacks from a CD block, which will generally translate into about 2 wounds after saves (assuming 4s to hit and 2s to wound against a 4+ save), and thats assuming you all get to swing, which you won’t. Its not even the points, the loss of the 3+ save just never seems worth it to me. Its a forgone conclusion against anyone elite with multiple attacks too, you just lose too many CDs if you strike last with a 5+ save.

Against heavily armoured targets such as Knights, Static combat res wins out again. You have ranks and outnumber, they don’t. Against a 3+ save, they bounce off. Its much more reliable than trying to swat them with great weapons. You would need troops with S4 basic for the save modifier to even make it worthwhile against 1/2+ save knights.


you are asolutly right e.g a unit with

24 x Chaos Dwarf Warriors

full command and a war banner

+ Chaos dwarf BSB with Sword of Might and Armour of Gazarakh

Will win against everything who don’t have 3 ranks + banner


BSB and a magic sword/weapon? I haven’t played for a while but in my gaming days that was not allowed…