[Archive] Guidelines to creating a competitive list

Malorndk:

Hey guys
After having watched a lot of battle reports on youtube and searched around for the most competitive lists for Chaos Dwarfs, I have observed that some troops and compositions are generally considered better than others, as they play around the strongest aspects of the Tamurkhan list: �?oLegion of Azgorh�?�. Please keep in mind that the tendencies I highlight in this thread isn’t always what I think is best, but a reflection about how the competitive players view the game.

In this thread I have tried to compile these thoughts in a manner that is easy to understand. I have made a list of our best units with a �?oX-X�?� in front, which means the number of units that is needed or can be taken. Fx: 2-3 Magmacanons means that you decide if you want 2 or 3, but you should run with 2 as a minimum. If I haven�?Tt mentioned a specific unit from the book (Like Wolf Raiders) it doesn�?Tt mean that unit is bad, just that the more competitive players don�?Tt consider picking them for various reasons.

This thread is not about making friends at the local shop event, or how someone from CDO have once had a ton of fun and destroyed the opponents elves with a horde of blunderbuss�?T. This is meant to be some competitive guidelines for games between 2000 and 2500 points, where you have no idea who you�?Tll be up against, and therefore must have a list that can deal with anything from a Monstrous, MSE, MSU, horde, gunlines and cavalry lists. A list like that will probably never be the best counter to what the enemy brings, but in allcomers the dream is to make a list that can do decent against most list.

So what is our armys biggest strenghts?

  • We have an innate high leadership.
  • We have cheap infantry core that can be deployed in a bus and hold the enemies locked in combat for a round or three due to our high leadership and the steadfast rule.
  • We have Magmacanons, Hellcanons, Iron Daemons, Deathshriekers  and Infernal Engineers, which gives us a wide selection of mean warmachines, that will make our gunline stronger than most other gunlines in the game.
  • We have Hw/S dwarfs in Blackshard armour with Str 4 for 12 points as core. This is pretty decent, but not necessarily better than the hobgoblin alternative.
  • We have K�?Tdaii Destroyers!


So what are our armys weaknesses?
  • Our fast cavalry comes from the rarepoints.
  • Our core dwarfs weapon upgrades are unreasonable expensive, making our infantry more anvil than hammer, and restricts our softer shooting phase to hobgoblins with bows.
  • Our Monstrous infantry and beasts are kinda bad. The small K�?Tdaii is too expensive for their statline. Bull Centaurs are really tanky, which is good, but even with greatweapons, their kill potential Is low due to their 2 attacks.


So in conclusion:
Our best choice in most cases will be to make a warmachin gunline in the corner, with some unbreakable and unkillable anchor points (Iron Daemon/Hellcanon).  Our core infantry will protect the weaker machines, while our Destroyer and perhaps expendable hobgoblins will hold the fastest enemies at bay. Our hobgoblin Khans will chase warmachines, but most likely be used to redirect deathstars away from our gunline.

The list:

Characters:

We have 5 character options, and every one of them brings utility to our army. Most of the proplayers praise the wolf mounted Khans for redirections and a Sorc-prophet is pretty mandatory. If you want to dominate the magic phase, you should find room for Chalice somehow! Aside from this, consider trying to reduce the points spent here. Try playing without Daemonsmiths, Tauruks and BSB from time to time, as points saved allow you to invest more into your gunline.

  • 2-3 Khans on wolfs. Basic equipment. Used as redirecters. Consider 5-10 points magic weapons, and a potion of foolhardiness to deal with ethereal units.
  • 1 Sorc-prophet on foot who will join our Dwarf unit. Get him at least the 4+ ward save and charmed/encanted shield
  • 0-X Daemonsmits. You�?Tll need an Infernal Engineer around your Hellcanon, and probably one around your Magmacanons as well to reduce the possibility of Misfire. Your Sorc-Prophet has Infernal Engineer as well, so deploy your gunline wisely.


Special and Rare
A good rule is, that you shouldn�?Tt  bring more than 5 Magmacanons/Hellcanons/Rocketlaunchers. Often 4 will be better, and sometimes, 3 will do the job. Never buy Hellbound on anything but your Iron Daemons. It�?Ts not worth the cost.

  • 1 K�?Tdaii Destroyer! The good opponent will be able to outplay him with a Dragonhelm, og some redirecters, so we must learn to utilize the Destroyer through gameplay knowledge and experience.
  • 1 Hellcanon! Only reason to consider the Dreadquake Mortar is for the range of 72�?� which should prevent your opponent from camping the corner furthest from your gunline and wait 6 turns for a draw.
  • 1-2 Iron Daemons with Hellbound. Used as anchorpoints for the gunline, with a mean Organ gun to boot.
  • 2-3 Magmacanons. Often considered the best warmachine in the game. Use the advantage the guys from Forgeworld gave us.
  • 0-1 Deathshrieker Rocket Launchers. Primarily brought to the table to snipe monsters with its solo rocket.


Core:
Our core units are all infantry, and their strengths and weaknesses is often discussed online. The choices are pretty balanced, so no one can really claim that something is inherently better than the other in an allcomers. I have listed some common ways our cores have been utilized, but it�?Ts an individual preference.

  • 0-3 units of 20 sacrificial hobgoblin with bows
  • 0-3 units of hobgoblins in bus formation (40+) to keeps stuff locked up and away from the gunline.
  • 0-1 units of Infernal guards with great weapons in a horde. This unit might have a chance vs monstrous beast, cavalry and infantry, but most proplayers will rarely do this, as 15 point/model is quite intense.


Why is this a good idea?
With your warmachines and rerolls, you�?Tll have a chance to get between 1-3 turns of shooting in, before the opponent reaches you. Try to focus fire something expensive, so you actually get some victory points home. Use your Khans and hobgoblins to stall him on the way, but be smart about the positioning. Bad decisions will let him pursue/overrun/reform and this can cost you a shooting phase.

When the game ends you will most likely still have your K�?Tdaii, Hellcanon and Iron Daemon, as these are very hard to kill. That�?Ts 800 poins your opponent won�?Tt get. If you have 2 Iron Daemons, then its 1100 points, he won�?Tt get. If your Sorc-Phophet is alive it�?Ts another 350-400 points, and your big bus of core dwarfs are easily 500 points. This is just to illustrate the concept between point denial. This isn�?Tt bullet proof at all, but it gives you some guidelines to think about, if you are trying to build a competitive Chaos Dwarf army. With a gunline like this, we are pretty dependent on our first couple of shooting phases.

Malorndk:

Example of how such a list could take shape:

Characters:

1 Sorc-prophet on foot. Lv 4. Chalice, Encanted shield & 4+ Ward save. Lore of Hashut (Pray for Ashstorm) = 400

1 Daemonsmith. Lv 1. Dispel scroll. = 120

1 Khans on wolf, light armor, spear = 58

1 Khans on wolf, spear = 56

Total = 634

Core:

22 sacrificial hobgoblin with bows, shields & mus = 125

39 Infernal guards, full command, Gleaming Pennant - in bus formation = 505

Total =630



Special and Rare

1 K�?Tdaii Destroyer = 325

1 Hellcanon = 210

1 Iron Daemons with Hellbound = 310

2 Magmacanons = 290

1 Deathshrieker Rocket Launcher = 100

Total = 1235

Sum Total

MadHatter:

Good stuff! Sending some slaves :slight_smile: How would this look at 1500?

ThorAxe:

Sounds about right. My only contribution would be that hobgoblins are perhaps a bit more important depending on area’s meta. Lots of fast elf cav armies now a days, only one real shooting phase in some games makes warmachine heavy list mostly irrelevant, Iron daemon struggles to kill fast cav with its measly 3 attacks. with a second sacrificial gobbo squad, more likely to intercept fast cav, break through combat res with occasional wound snuck through, and back stabber rule guts fleeing elves. If nothing else, quick reform to throw knives at elves sneaking about works well.

Good work though. Difficult to find a lot of chaos dwarf bat reps. People seem so much more intent on playing the lesser races…

Malorndk:

@Madhatter: Thx for the slaves!
I can’t really fit these guidelines to 1500 points, as the guidelines are based upon theory crafting on armies between 2000 and 2500 points, which is the most common in tournaments and supposedly the point range where Warhammer is best balanced out with the different army books.
I cant promise anything about its viability, but I would probably keep my Destroyer, 2 flamecanons with a daemonsmith with chalice (general), 2 Khans and then 3 units of 20 hobgoblins with bows & mus. This means no infantry bus, no iron daemon, no hellcanon and thereby a very weak gunline, center and overall a pretty bad army. So I really don’t think my observations are adaptable to less than 2000 points.

If you ever above 2600, I would recommend going double Destroyer and double Iron Deamon, without any hell canon. The Iron Daemons can still anchor the gunlines flanks, while the K’daii go ham out on the field and cause clusters to slow the enemy

@ThorAxe:
I agree that the Hobgoblins with bows are the best answer to the fast cavalry elves that are in the meta right now. Personally I would often prefer them. In this case I made a 39 Infernal guards + Sorc-Prophet to highlight the purpose of point denial. Many armies (including elves) will have quite a bit of trouble breaking or destroying that unit in a normal game of warhammer.

The good thing about avoiding the big dwarf unit I just made is, that this will be a “win or loose unit”. If you somehow lose this unit (Lets say 7 wide witch elves with Occams Mindrazor charges you in turn 5…) that is enough points to either loose or play draw, even if you have had the edge most of the game. In this regard redirecting bow wielding hobgoblins would have been much better, or even a big bus of 50 hobgoblins with shields. So that’s something to think about.

MadHatter:

@Madhatter: Thx for the slaves!
I can't really fit these guidelines to 1500 points, as the guidelines are based upon theory crafting on armies between 2000 and 2500 points, which is the most common in tournaments and supposedly the point range where Warhammer is best balanced out with the different army books.
I cant promise anything about its viability, but I would probably keep my Destroyer, 2 flamecanons with a daemonsmith with chalice (general), 2 Khans and then 3 units of 20 hobgoblins with bows & mus. This means no infantry bus, no iron daemon, no hellcanon and thereby a very weak gunline, center and overall a pretty bad army. So I really don't think my observations are adaptable to less than 2000 points.

Malorndk
yvw. :) In the group I'm gonna start playing with there's wood elfs, high elfs, dark elfs, bretonnia and chaos warriors (so I'm hoping for some big "good vs. evil" beerhammer to learn the 8th edition). Thing is they have decided to cap at 1500 p... The strong player seems to be the bretonnia one who usually moves up the center with peasant hordes and then flanks knights in a vice-grip, I've been thinking about IG w. GW and double magmacannons for dealing w. bretonnia and chaos warriors... Ill be doing some kind of documentation of battles, etc. anyhow :hat off

Malorndk:

@ Madhatter:

Brettonia:
Brettonia is pretty straight forward if you can adjust your list to your opponent.  Magmacanons are ofc a good thing to have, but large infantry busses that can hold his charge and then slowly get at him will be good. I normally run hw/s but razor standard, leaving him a 4+,6+ ward. If you go great weapon you’ll activate his 5+ ward save, but it can definitely be worth it. His peasant hordes are more thrash than our hobos, so ignore them.

2 important rules to remember:
1: You retain your steadfast, even if your ranks are negated by flank/rear charges, so a bus of 50 hobgoblins can hold against almost anything for at least a turn or two.
2: You can reform after closecombat, even if you loose the combat. You just have to pass a ld test at the combat modifier (fx you lose combat by 3, then you can reform on 7 or below). This overall makes brettonia less of a thread.

Chaos Warriors:
This army can contain litterally any type of list except a gunline. Which models does he favor? I have some experience here, but most know more to help.

Elves:
I hate em. Better generals must help you here. Treemen dies to Black hammer though. Guess thats something…
And as mentioned above: Hobgoblins wth bows are quite decent :wink:

Heavygear:

I’m going to make a few comments. Please don’t take it as criticism, I’m just curious about some of your choices. The list looks solid and I’m sure it will be affective.

Your IG bus is 900 points with your Sorcerer Prophet in it. You are depending on your LD 10 and steadfast to see you through. It’s risky. I would say the Gleaming Pennant is a very good idea. You are right about this unit being a game breaker.

You are running 4 war machines that need babysitting. Grouping them all together makes for a big juicy target. How would you deploy them within three inches to get the benefit of a reroll?

I’m thinking 1 on the S/P (likely a magma cannon, to cull any opponents to the IG bus) leaving three on the Daemonsmith who is out in the open with just the LOS to save him from being sniped by other war machines. The Hellcannon becomes essential here I’m guessing, in order to protect the remaining war machines and Daemonsmith.

Malorndk:

@Admiral: Thx mate!

@ Heavygear:

I’m from Denmark so I can handle criticism quite well so don’t worry about hurt feelings from my part :hat off

With 4 warmachines i should Misfire once every other turn, so with 2 Infernal Engineers, I should be in a decent place. I would probably deploy my “Infernal Guard-bus” between my “center anchor” (either Iron Daemon or Hellcanon) and the “weak warmachine bundle” (2 magmas and shrieker). The daemonsmiths goes in here, but makes sure to be close enough to the “outer anchor” (either Hellcanon or Iron Daemon) to grant the potential reroll. No matter how I deploy I will ensure that the Hellcanon can reroll, and I will shoot it as the first machine.

About the core bus of Infernal guards being risky at Ld 10 with steadfast. Yeah its somewhat risky, but its not that bad. Other armies can only dream of such a strong center coming from core points. But as I said during my core unit rundown: Many core choices are viable, in different situations. Another iteration of a list that includes an Infernal Guard bus could prioritize a stubborn BSB for even more protection, but when we approach a deathstarish amount of points (Btw. “deathstarish” should definitely be a word!). Personally I would probably run a hobgoblin bus or two, assisted by 1-2 units of 20 with bows. That could do the job as well. The problem with these is, that they probably will die during the game, which the dwarf bus has a chance of not doing :slight_smile:

Baggronor:

I’m guessing this is assuming the games to be played are all pitched battle? W/L/D system? I think there are a lot of considerations to take into account for Blood and Glory or Watch Tower for example.

I always go for great weapons on the IG. Str 6, no matter how expensive, is very hitty; if you’re going to spend 500pts on a unit, it needs to be a little bit threatening at least. As it stands, you’re relying completely on magic/shooting to take down things that can threaten that unit - if even one or two monstrous cav or something else hitty get into it, they’ll tie it down for the whole game, maybe kill the Lv4 too. With great weapons, they will kill most things that make it into combat with them in a few rounds, particularly in the current armour-heavy meta.

Malorndk:

@ Baggronor:

I haven’t seen a lot of tournament players who uses great weapon to get some hammer potentiel from the core units. Some has used them in horde formation to have a response to monstrous units (I mentioned this briefly in the first post), but most of the tournament lists i encountered went for the kinda cost efficient hw/s IG units, for some steady anvil units, while K’daii and occasionally the Hellcanon joins the fray. That doesn’t mean GW IG units are in any way bad. With the hatred spell from Hashut, their kill potential becomes something to be reckoned with.

How do you field your GW IGs Baggronor? In a bus, horde or something in between? (like 6 or 7 wide for some ekstra attacks)

@ Everyone:

As I have mentioned a lot now, my quick mash up of a list is in no way static or a “best in every situation” list. It was just to illustrate the forces of our book. If we try to remove the discussion a little bit away from the core units, I would like to hear your opinions about the special/rare thought I put out there. I basicly said Magmacanons, Hellcanons, Destroyers, Iron Daemons and an occasional Deathshrieker seems to be the easiest way to win with the current rules. Any thoughts on this? I know some of us have had great succes with fireborns, bulls, wolf raiders, dreadquakes and siege giants, but can we agree that these are mostly chosen for fun, because we love the models, their fluff, have a painted unit or wanna try something weird out?

sam585:

@ Everyone:
As I have mentioned a lot now, my quick mash up of a list is in no way static or a "best in every situation" list. It was just to illustrate the forces of our book. If we try to remove the discussion a little bit away from the core units, I would like to hear your opinions about the special/rare thought I put out there. I basicly said Magmacanons, Hellcanons, Destroyers, Iron Daemons and an occasional Deathshrieker seems to be the easiest way to win with the current rules. Any thoughts on this? I know some of us have had great succes with fireborns, bulls, wolf raiders, dreadquakes and siege giants, but can we agree that these are mostly chosen for fun, because we love the models, their fluff, have a painted unit or wanna try something weird out?

Malorndk
I gave up on the Kdaaii, and am going to just use my trusty hell cannon. No matter how good we maneuver it its going to get chaffed to hell and dragon helmed or poisioned to death in super competitive environments. The only way I see the Kdaaii doing well is if our opponenet messes up, takes a bad list, or just totally underestimates the Kdaaiis potential. That and unbreakable+unstable are a poor mix for people with bad dice rolls.

The artillery are a given due to how cheap they are, but I feel a real defining factor of your special is weather or not you choose centaurs and a stubborn Tauruk OR the Irondemon. If you are predominately relying on shooting then the irondemon is the go to choice for those remaining special points, but I believe the stubborn centaurs are better for an all comers environment due to the fact that they do not die in CC, hit relatively hard, and are way more maneuverable threat in an otherwise slow list. No they are not Skullcrushers in CC but I would wager that they would kill that unit of Skullcrushers eventually if they ran 2x2+1 with greatweapons, and they would be able to hold up str3-4 troops almost indefinitely, and it opens more offensive tactics for us against shooting lists besides hoping that our war machines can hit more than theirs.

Admiral:

This is worth more than one re-read. I’d be very interested to learn of a competitive way for using an army built around a core of mainly great weapon IGs. They’re wonders for munching Demigryphs, but not efficient at much else.

Heavygear:

This is worth more than one re-read. I'd be very interested to learn of a competitive way for using an army built around a core of mainly great weapon IGs. They're wonders for munching Demigryphs, but not efficient at much else.

Admiral
I disagree. Strength 6 wrecks stuff reliably and a stubborn unit 30 plus strong will hold against plenty of opponents. There is a reason dwarf lists love hammerers and gw dwarf warriors. They are high priced, no doubt but str 4 vs. str 6 is a big deal. Combined with the Iron Daemon you should be able to decimate most things in the game.

Baggronor:

How do you field your GW IGs Baggronor? In a bus, horde or something in between? (like 6 or 7 wide for some ekstra attacks)
Usually 21: 7 wide, 3 deep. I take 2 units, BSB joins one. They tend to mop things up rather than go face-first into the enemy, they aren't good enough to do that. Usually they'll move up while the artillery bombs stuff and beat up on the depleted enemy units. Anything that is too much for them to handle gets blocked by the ID or gets a visit from the Destroyer. If I roll Enchanted Blades or Glittering Robes, they might play a more aggressive role.
I know some of us have had great succes with fireborns, bulls, wolf raiders, dreadquakes and siege giants, but can we agree that these are mostly chosen for fun, because we love the models, their fluff, have a painted unit or wanna try something weird out?
I think Fireborn are about as good as BCs tbh. Nice killing ability but should have 3 Wounds for their points.

Heavygear:

This is worth more than one re-read. I'd be very interested to learn of a competitive way for using an army built around a core of mainly great weapon IGs. They're wonders for munching Demigryphs, but not efficient at much else.

Admiral
I disagree. Strength 6 wrecks stuff reliably and a stubborn unit 30 plus strong will hold against plenty of opponents. There is a reason dwarf lists love hammerers and gw dwarf warriors. They are high priced, no doubt but str 4 vs. str 6 is a big deal. Combined with the Iron Daemon you should be able to decimate most things in the game.

Malorndk:

@sam585:

I understand why the K’daii is easily countered and therefor left at home. Leaving him out of the list gives us the possibility of fielding hellcanons instead. This in turn gives us less reasons to invest in an Iron Daemon, as we already have unbreakable anchors in the the hellcanon. With such a setup, I believe the Bull Centaurs+ Stubborn Tauruk will fit even better, and still leave room for 2 Magmacannons. Have you tried a setup like this?

Malorndk:

@ Baggronor:

I’m a big fan of the “7-wide” formation, and I understand how 3 ranks is enough with a stubborn BSB in there as well. I’m not sure I understand your second unit though. It wont be steadfast against much, its not stubborn and though it does have the BSB reroll, thats still 350 point on the line, that can be wrapped up in one turn be many units. How often does this unit survives in your experience?

About fireborns: I have really tried to find the strenght in these guys rules, but at the end of the day, I always end up looking at their 2A, 2W and burning bright rules. I can’t see the viability here, but would love for a better general than myself to convince me of their use :slight_smile:

sam585:

@sam585:
I understand why the K'daii is easily countered and therefor left at home. Leaving him out of the list gives us the possibility of fielding  hellcanons instead. This in turn gives us less reasons to invest in an Iron Daemon, as we already have  unbreakable anchors in the the hellcanon. With such a setup, I believe the Bull Centaurs+ Stubborn Tauruk will fit even better, and still leave room for 2 Magmacannons. Have you tried a setup like this?

Malorndk
Yes I have a little semi blog going on in the army list section detailing my armies development for a 2500 uncomped tournament this Saturday. However, I am taking only 1 magma cannon but 2 rockets opposed I personally feel 2 magmas are kind of rude to opponents in my community (once you figure out magma cannon shot placement you will rarely ever miss) that and I am still waiting to try my rockets against elves :hashut

Another thing about hellcannons is that they have a very decent chance to panic a large unit off the board turn 1 which can swing the game into our favor immediately.

Im having a great amount of success every game with my bull centaurs (so long as do not do stupid crap like put the tauruk in combat). Charge them in a flank turn 2 after you have softened up the opponents lines with shooting and magic their 10 str6/7 atks will usually be more then enough to break whatever they are fighting. Additionally I have had experince during my first game with them geting front charged by 2 massive knight busses, and they were able to hold them the entire game, toughness 5 is to good imo.

Malorndk:

@sam585:

While I agree completely on the insane tankyness og the bullcentaurs, I’m not sure how 10 attacks+3 stomp attacks will break anything steadfast like 30 peasants, goblins, skavens or any other rabble out there. Against monstrous infantry, cavalry and beast they will be extremely good though!

I have only ever managed flank/rear charges in turn 2 with fast cavalry, and that was against a stupid opponent. How will you ever position yourself in such a way, without the opponent facing you in an angle that makes it a frontal charge?

And what do you mean by not doing stupid crap like getting the tauruk into combat? Might be my lack of knowledge about the english language that play tricks on me here, because the point of the stubborn Tauruk is getting him into combat with the unit right?