[Archive] I have just drawn a blasphemous conclusion


I warn you at the outset that I am going to set the subject, diverge from it whilst explaining motive/ranting, and then return.  I also freely admit to bias that could be affecting my position.

My conclusion is this: I do not want Games Workshop to produce a Chaos Dwarfs army book.

I do not want Games Workshop to produce an army book because in the current environment professional attention from them will ruin the army.  This is a conclusion that I have drawn after reading through some of the more recently produced army books, and watching the trends generally.  My arguments will center around the various Chaos books, both for Fantasy and 40K (the latter for the purposes of demonstrating trends).

My first and greatest gripe has to be the crappy quality of fluff writing.  There is no standard by which what is being put into new books now is at the same level it was in years past.  The reading level has been reduced; grammatically incorrect colloquialisms are working their way into the narrative text (from a company based in England, a deeply disturbing development in general); hardly any of the vignettes serve any real purpose in terms of exploring the background or nature of the army, and are designed rather as filler; finally, they are in terms of plot and execution, bad.  Consider the example of the section titled “The Constantinus Iconoclasm” in the Chaos Marine Codex for 40K.  I will summarize it for you:

- Space Marines battle Tyranid infestation.

- Genestealer cult infiltrates government.

- Space Marine purges government.  ← Up to this point, par for the course.

- Common people are mad!              

- Space Marine throws hissy fit!       ← Stupid.

- Now the people follow him!            ← Very stupid.

- Space Marine rebels!                    ← Stupid again.

- Now there’s Chaos!                      ← Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.

This sort of garbage is repeated throughout the newest round of army books.  Also phrases like a character ‘weighed up his options.’  Dialogue, fine, however you want.  Omniscient third person perspective should not include extraneous words.  Consider also the example of ‘The Dark Night of Karak Hirn’ in the new Beastmen army book.  The shorter summary is a Wargor (a hero-class character) and his herd stumble on a mile long train of Dwarven ale and then go on a ruthless bender where they run far away and burn down everything belonging to a Dwarf hold but the hold itself, all in one night.  Apparently this run-of-the-mill herd is some thousands strong.  These armies just pop up out of nowhere, the story implies.  The risk of letting GW writers tackle Chaos Dwarfs is the dilution of everything we like about them.

The next gripe has to do with how GW treats the armies in general, what they seem to be doing to them now, and what that bodes for Chaos Dwarfs.  The most important issue here is that Chaos Dwarfs are a fringe army.  I quite probably differ from many posters here in that I like them for being a fringe army.  It is the same reason I like Wood Elves, and was the same reason I was so fond of the Beasts of Chaos book.  Which brings me to my next argument: GW will ridiculously over-dramatize and warp the position of Chaos Dwarfs in the Warhammer world.  Consider, for example, the Beastmen army book (yet again.  Bias in action - I have a grudge here).  In the old Chaos boxed set, with the conjoined rules for Beastmen, Mortals, and Daemons, the Beastmen were by and large the numerous chaff of the Chaos hordes when they bore south.  In the Beasts of Chaos book, they got a flavor of their own as an omni-present internal threat, with the potential for periodic spots on the world stage.  With this presentation, they got a couple of unique rules, namely Ambush (my favorite rule in all of Games Workshop’s games), and the chance to organize their units differently.  Warhammer: Beastmen, by contrast, does its dead-level best to convince you that civilization hangs by the merest thread and that Beastmen have never known defeat.  Which is funny, considering how you never hear about them.  Furthermore, the attempts to get creative and bring something new to the army book, particularly vis-a-vis new units (something of a point of interest in almost all our internal development) is in my opinion by and large a failure.  The word I would choose for them, by and large, is ‘uninspired.’  Also, not credible.  I mean, giants are cool, right?  So clearly, we have to one-up the giant.  The solution must be a giant four armed cleaver handed frenzied minotaur!  Awesome!  How do we top that?  How about a giant cyclopean gor that can only see wizards and throws magic rocks!  That’s like awesome squared!

Really?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for variety and introducing new concepts, and I’ll even grant that these concepts are interesting - as a one-off, perhaps.  But then the army book goes a step further, and throws them into half the stories in the plural, implying that Beastmen always tramp about in huge hordes capable of laying waste to whole nations, and further that these tremendous aberrant monstrosities are lurking behind every damn tree between Tilea and Norsca.

The only things I actually liked about the new army book was that they kept Ambush, the Primal Fury rule was interesting, and the Jabberslythe is a cool idea more in keeping with traditional GW creativity (which is to say, a non-prescriptive literary reference).  By way of disclaimer on the subject of Beastmen, it was the army that first drew my attention to Games Workshop games when my friends wanted me to play.  That was in 3rd edition.  I never did get the army - and with this latest incarnation, I have no interest in them now, beyond the basic concept and the ability to Ambush.

Drawing this rant on other armies and games back into the realm of Chaos Dwarfs, I feel like the current bum-rush for production attitude that GW has would lead to similar errors in producing a CD list.  Given the choice between an army book with crappy official fluff and pointless unit additions or no army book at all, I’ll sit tight and wait for the environment to change.



Damn. That’s one hell of a point you just made.


I think I’m in agreement here. I’ve thought about this in the past and in general, because GW is no longer exerting its control and “branding” over Chaos Dwarfs we’re left free to our own devices and this site is proof-positive of the creative possibilities fans can come up with.  With the way things are moving I can understand GW’s perspective of wanting to brand everything and have all GW terrain used in their shops, etc. etc. because as a shareholder I would want to know that there’s no possibility of sub-standardized stuff being seen as part-and-parcel of the hobby in their stores. But in the big scheme of things this kind of thing kills creativity… (just look at our public schools /rant). I may be wrong here, but until we first heard that Chaos Dwarfs could have masks I don’t think it got the attention it has in recent years (barring from consideration models like the Chaos Dwarf Death Rocket crewman lifting his faceplate).  By the same token one can’t really do a “Bretonnian” or “High Elf” army without having that specific “look” that considered acceptable by the majority of the Warhammer Fantasy population - simply because GW branding has cemented the idea that one specific look equates with one whole army (more or less).

Unless you make your CD army look like Elves or normal Dwarfs or something of there’s really no wrong answer any more for what a Chaos Dwarf army looks like… and we allow ourselves the freedom to explore our hobby ourselves.  



I agree that CDs are probably in the best place right now. Much as part of me wants to see a GW book, its the part of me that remembers the first time I opened the original Dark Elf and Undead books back in 4th ed, and a new CD book now is frankly never going to match that feeling, partly because of the way GW currently do things and partly because I’m no longer 13.

This sort of garbage is repeated throughout the newest round of army books.  
They do seem to have a ‘GW phrase book’, containing the limited range of expressions (presumably those permitted by the Emperor) to describe how things happen in the Warhammer and 40k universe(s). It is irritating admittedly. Some of the old novels (like Drachenfels, Genevieve Undead, Space Marine) are actually much better than the new ‘Felix and Gotrek kill everyone…again’ variety.

I also feel like the Beastmen book is somewhat lacking in material, and its unsurprising really.

Who are the Beastmen?
Erm, they don’t really have a culture as such, beyond vague and lazy notions of random tribal stuff. They’re more like ‘the scary monster hiding in the woods’.
Ok, so did you push that angle and make them really creepy?
Umm, no. We gave them lots of great weapon-swinging, muscle-bound monsters, coz that appeals to 13 year old kids, and totally ignored the fact that a forest full of raging carnivores and not much else would be totally unsustainable. But we put Dragon Ogres into the Warriors of Chaos list.
But that makes no sense, they were the only vaguely interesting, great weapon-swinging, muscle bound monsters you had.
Oh but we put some Greek-inspired monsters in Beastmen too.
Oh, so you pushed that angle?
Umm, no. They’re just in there. Oh and the Jabberwock, too.
So, the best thing in the book was actually written by Lewis Carroll then.
Yeah. We just gave it rules.

I’m not a big fan of the Beastman book either, as you may have guessed. There just isn’t enough material to make Beasts, Warriors and Daemons separate and yet good imo. Not without properly developing Warriors into Norse/Mongols/Chaos Dwarfs/whatever and Beasts into something credible. I guess thats what happens when sales lead and creativity follows (or rather doesn’t). Then again, it could be a good thing for those of us who enjoy vigorously theming our armies, as we can make them whatever we want.


Very good post. I hav emixed feelings about a new army book. I would love to have it, with more fluff, new units etc. But at the same time I´m very afraid what GW will do with it (if it ever happends). As you said it cvan go wrong in so many ways that it just will ruin what we know. I love our background and our models. As most of you know I´ma big fan of big hats and it feels that in a new version, all of them will be gone. Thats just wrong to me as I like the theme. So you are right, it´s a real mixing feeling what would happend if GW did get out a book.


This sort of garbage is repeated throughout the newest round of army books.  
They do seem to have a 'GW phrase book', containing the limited range of expressions (presumably those permitted by the Emperor) to describe how things happen in the Warhammer and 40k universe(s). It is irritating admittedly. Some of the old novels (like Drachenfels, Genevieve Undead, Space Marine) are actually much better than the new 'Felix and Gotrek kill everyone...again' variety.

I kind of like the Gotrek and Felix novels, they are nothing compared to Konrad or Zaragoz, but at least Bill King and Nathan Long don't take everything so very serious about the world of warhammer, and set forth to continue giving players and readers alike the feeling that was set by GW in the 4th and 5th edition.

That was back in the day when dwarfs were small round-gutted and bearded men who smoked pipes and still had the ability to laugh with each others jokes.

The fact that CDs had such enormous big hats (though I really like those) goes to show that GW then had a lot more fun creating those armies...
Also, if you look at the artwork, you can see that they are taking the background of the hobby in a more 'serious' manner...

Is that a good turn of events? Some might think so, others might not.

I like the big hats, others like the hellcanontype CD better...

If you look at the official settings being written for the new armies, then I have to agree... every edition some armies get more and more boring, BM being one and foremost amongst them.

They just want to portray every army as being uber-cool and able to defeat any other nation because, let's face it, no 12 year-old will buy an army of lowly bushwackers with goatheads if the book literally stated that the hardest nut they can crack is the bordertown of Fellschlossen with it's raging populace of 19...

So, I can understand their motives, but that doesn't mean I like what their producing.

To me, beastmen will always remain 'the enemy within'. The deformed humans hiding in the forests, the altered ones,...
Beastmen never were a race on their own, they were a group of social misfits and mutants, and they worked best as a unit choice in the WoC book.


Revisiting the issue of being a fringe army - there seems to be a massive push by GW to make all armies center-stage, for some reason.  I think this further degrades the quality of the fluff, since it deprives them of a functional focus.  Making the entire world of Warhammer Fantasy Empire-centric from the narrative perspective doesn’t leave other armies in the cold, it makes damn good sense for the sake of a unified perspective that we can all relate to (since we’re humans in real life).  Trying to make everyone a center-stage army with global ambitions (ever notice that bloody everybody wants to rule the world these days?) forces unnatural contortions in perspective and fluff, and doesn’t make any sense anyway.  I fear deeply for what will happen to Wood Elves in the next edition, and the Ogres and Tomb Kings are liable to suffer something ridiculous… but I fear most of all for Orcs & Goblins.

Orcs & Goblins are the most important army in Warhammer - not within the world, per se, but to the game.  In a wargame where hobbyists travel around to meet up with each other and fight their armies for a few laughs, the Orcs are the army that meets up and travels around to have fights for a few laughs.  Furthermore, and probably most importantly they are the last army to strongly retain that sense of the comical that enabled you to get as deep into the fluff or mindset as you wanted, and still be focused on having a good time.  Lastly, they have the perfect position between fringe and center-stage status; hugely important to the narrative because they are the hostile environment in which all other civilizations must struggle to thrive.  And by a simple matter of scaling their attitude upward, they can periodically manifest in such a fashion as to threaten to extinguish civilization entire.  No radical changes.  No dripping melodrama.  Green is as green does - the army is perfect.  The only adjustments to the book that ever need to be made is some periodic shuffling of what goes where on the roster and tweaking points values.

Chaos Dwarfs, by contrast, would require a substantially greater overhaul. But with the casual gamer being slowly isolated from the mindset of GW, and the new focus of both company and culture on competitive play, I worry O&G might lose their edge.  I’m starting an army of them soon, both to demonstrate support for what I think is right within GW, and provide slave troops for the Chaos Dwarf side project.  I’m really hoping there will be a rebound in terms of focus and, well, passion about the hobby I guess.  Then I’d feel comfortable opening a shiny new Warhammer Armies: Chaos Dwarfs without worrying about some story about a new prophecy requiring that they enslave the whole world, with new unit selections that are sad and stupid and powerful rather than funny or clever or characterful.

@Zuh-Khinie Agreed on the subject of the background material becoming steadily more serious. But has anyone else noticed that they seem to have designated 40K the ‘kids game’ and Fantasy the ‘grown-ups’ game? I draw this conclusion largely from the fluff, where 40K took a sudden nosedive in reading level and detail. Fantasy grows steadily more graphic and dark, by contrast.


I actually like the old stuff where not all armies where not a army that was out to conquer the world. Like our CD, it stand plain in the background that we are very happy with our city of Zharr-Naggrund and only go out to get more slaves (and one or two magical items that we need). Perfect. It also meens that we CD could fight chaos warriors as we don´t want them to ruin our nice little paradise. Same with other older armies as wood elves and the ogres (but they are ofc pretty new). The approach that everyone fight for conquer the world makes it actually a bit dull. Also I wonder about the birthrate in warhammer, babies must be born similiar to dogs with around 4-5 per pregnacy and grow up to adult at 10 as every army is huge in the fluff. And all die.

A idea I was thinking about when it comes to make new CD (if GW ever do) is to actually let the sprue to have two kind of heads, one with helms and one with hats :slight_smile: If anyone from Gw reads this, I´m happy to give the idea to you :slight_smile:


@Zuh-Khinie Agreed on the subject of the background material becoming steadily more serious.  But has anyone else noticed that they seem to have designated 40K the 'kids game' and Fantasy the 'grown-ups' game?  I draw this conclusion largely from the fluff, where 40K took a sudden nosedive in reading level and detail.  Fantasy grows steadily more graphic and dark, by contrast.

If you look at the rules as well, I feel that 40k can be called the 'kids game'.

Every cool rule like overwatch that made you think about how to move your army next has been lost...
The fact that they dropped that rule can be easily found in both WFB and 40k. I call it... 'the boring table'!
It's that kind of table on which you play, that sports one hill, one tower, some wood and a shrubbery (NI!). :P

Now, concerning fringe armies, all you have mentioned about O&G, can easily be said about BoC as well.
They live as a constant threat outside of society, have little skirmishes, and once in a while burst out in great numbers to overwhelm something.
But sadly, that wasn't always the case.
They went from being a minority to being a threat to being THE threat...
I don't see them do that with O&G though. It is by far their best selling army (always has been) and has way too big of a fan base to start messing with the fluff...
However, they might just throw in some high-powered monster.
(a giant troll that has T8, is imune to poison and killing blow and has 9 attacks... with a 2+ ward save)

And you are right, when I come to think of it, I don't want GW (or Forgeworld for that matter) to redo CD. I'm happy with the awesome Indy GT list and the thought that I actually have to look around to find suitable models instead of just taking some from the shelf.

I have decided to use Scibor's miniatures, and am actually excited to start collecting them... it's been a while that GW has produced anything that made me want to get outside, go to their store and spend a lot of money on...


I have to say I disagree with not wanting them to produce a book.

Fluff…  For the most part the basic concepts are still ok I think, the basic background behind each army that they rephrase with every update.  Sure the Dwarfs lose a hold with every book that comes out, :frowning: but you’re nobody in warhammer unless you’ve destroyed a Dwarf hold.

The overall presentation and context of the Chaos Dwarf army is going to be interesting how they go about it I think, as in terms of physical locations where the race is based we’re the smallest faction I believe (Wood elves I believe they retconned to say they live in many forests around the world).

My concern is that unless they have some really imaginative people in GW, the reason for why they have not appeared in the vast majority of warhammer history then suddenly appear out of nowhere to be a major force to be reckoned with could be very poorly conceived.

However, they have to overcome this and (imo) give them a characterful reason for going to war. They should really bring this into their army rules as well to do a proper job I think (like a slaving special rule).

To be honest I think there are very few reasons people shouldn’t want a new book. Sure the fluff may be annoying, but compared to… what exactly? The WD Presents fluff whilst good is out dated and with massive holes in it. Plus once you have the rules and the models you can tear out the fluff part and rewrite it if you choose to.

New book means new models! Enough said.

Rules are my biggest concern I think, along with the actual content of the list (which better not be half greenskins again).

Can I ask Drychnath what you would think about FW writing them a book? Have you read any of their stuff?

I’ve read Siege of Vraks, and I must admit I am pleasantly surprised. Not that I really expected it to be bad.


New book means new models! Enough said.
Bah! We don't need GW for that :)


It would be nice to have the choice though. :wink:


New book means new models!  Enough said.

Yeah, that is the clincher. As much as I like the Indy GT book, and suspect it is at least as good (probably better) than a GW produced CD book, I know damned well that GW will never give us more CD figures unless it is part of an overall army release including a new book.

Forge World Fantasy might give us new figures on the other hand, assuming they ever actually open. Of course if they do, they're bound to cost the earth.

Bottom line is we're OK for the time being assuming you're happy to either use old figures or convert your own.


Well, if 9 agree it’s the duty of the tenth to disagree.

While having an un-unified image of the Chaos Dwarfs does leave us with a lot of different takes on them, there has also been a constant disagreement in terms of what they should look and be like. You need only look at the Hats vs Masks arguements, the Rules Development discussion, or the multiple unofficial rulebooks out there.

The Rules Development forum is the worst for this kind of downside, if you go there looking to answer a question on how to represent something, or how to improve upon an idea, the whole thing might get shot down as not being anything like the Chaos Dwarfs.

But then what are the Chaos Dwarfs like? Well, there’s no unified presentation of them, so we don’t know. But that doesn’t stop people from shooting down ideas as “Un-Chaos Dwarfy”.

You need only look at Scibor’s miniatures, the cries of “That’s not Chaos Dwarfs!” are almost as common as "Great Chaos Dwarfs!"

As long as there is no unified image of Chaos Dwarfs, anything that could come from GW on them would only lead to the very people asking for updates loudly complaining about how all their personal ideas of what chaos dwarfs are being over rulled.

Even if GW does introduce a new Chaos Dwarf army book, that doesn’t stop you from doing what you want, either within the boundaries of the new image or as a breakaway group.

Mecha Empire engineer armies, Dwarf Engineer armies, Samurai Skaven, ect, ect.

All very different from the mainline view of those armies, all still done, and done well.


@Grimstonefire Actually, I would love it if Forgeworld were to take Chaos Dwarfs under their wing. Most of my potential gripes would be handily solved by the treatment I’ve seen Forgeworld give their own projects. Further, no concern over fundamental style (I’m on the Big Hat side of the fence) would be any different than if GW did the models; the same holds true if cost is out of reach. Although I will say, on the subject of modeling, I am generally very impressed with the standards GW is keeping. Even the stuff I don’t like is really a matter of taste, unlike the intellectual side of the house, against whom accusations of low quality can be leveled. Worst case scenario with a new model set, I suppose, could just be a Dwarf head-swap and big-hat installation. The point about new models I acknowledge, but I don’t think the army could sink or swim on the strength of models alone, and I have no faith that the way GW handles everything else right now would do the army justice.

On the subject of a motivation for Chaos Dwarfs to suddenly appear, I suggest the radically altered demographic landscape bears some examination. They have recently introduced the prospect of Ogre migrations, and the huge upset and resettlement caused by the Storm of Chaos. Lastly, there are the activities of Grimgor. I suggest it would not be unreasonable to state that the pickings are getting slim around the Dark Lands, and that as Zharr Naggrund continues to prosper, they must expand their reach to acquire the necessary slaves. Not a huge adjustment - just scaling up a bit and reacting to current events. So, the Old World hadn’t seen much of them before, but will begin to now.

I need to buy the latest Dwarf book. I think I’m going to make a thematic exhortation based on the principal of the limits of the ‘twisted mirror’ idea. I need to get more up-to-date.


Personally, I think that since Chaos Dwarfs are a ‘fringe army’, it means that choosing to explore them is a great opportunity for people to be able to read the existing fluff and interpret it (and their army) the way they wish.

It seems to me the being given some loose guidelines to work within stimulates creativity, which is the driving force behind the interest in Chaos Dwarfs in the first place, not the actual ‘offical gaming’/‘tournament-legal’ stuff at all. As a previous poster mentioned, having a well-detailed description and history, etc… for an ‘army’ or ‘species’ more often than not limits creativity - it turns the ‘paint the blank canvas’ into ‘paint by numbers’ - and for me, the creativity and opportunity to visualize is what interests me in Warhammer in the first place.

Also, when it comes to fluff… I’ve read a lot of the Warhammer novels and I’ve got to say that I have nearly always been let down (as a reader, and as a fan) after reading one. However, some of the 40K novels I’ve re-read several times, I enjoyed them so much. I’m not sure what that means - except that I like Dan Abnett’s ‘Inquisition’ fiction - but I think that a previous comment about 40K being for children, and Fantasy for adults seems a large generalization.

I think an official ‘list’ and a few ‘official’ short pieces of fiction would probably be great for Chaos Dwarfs. However, I wouldn’t have a problem having no more figurines, and even no more illustrations or artwork (Some atmospherics would be nice)… if only to avoid what I mentioned earlier, about forcing creativity into appropriate boxes, other than letting it run wild - with the incredible work I’ve been priviledged enough to see on this site, I’ve become convinced that giving players and collectors the freedom to express themselves results in a richer, more vibrant shared imagination.


I don’t think that the guidelines of a well fleshed out race limit the creativity of the player base at all. The entirety of this board’s population is still roughly the equivalent of the modelers and creative army builders of fleshed out major races. Such as Skaven, Chaos, or Empire.

The only difference is that with Chaos Dwarfs, there’s always going to be different armies, with the sparing amount of older and official CD models, and with various conversion guides out there, you’re almost forced to have a different army from the guy next to you.

While the other races may at first appear to be less diverse, that’s only because they also have a larger player-base. So while we may have a larger percentage of converters and differing armies, that’s only because our player-base is smaller and our support lesser. Given a number of supporting measures by GW, we’d still have the same number of converters as before, likely even more, but the percentage will go down based on the number who would prefer to play with store bought miniatures.

As for our fluff and background, we have less of both than even the newest race that enjoys continued support by GW.


You could be right - I just find myself stunned and amazed by the diversity I see around here, and the amount of effort I see people putting into creating ‘non-canon’ armies. I’d hate to see that change.

I’ve seen other forums where anything different was crushed, because it was outside of the accepted boundaries presented by the game. My experience with LoTR was the worst example I can think of - any scenario or idea which was different or new was nitpicked and questioned until the elements I found ‘fun’ about it in the first place were eroded by people trying to ‘protect Tolkien’s vision’. I find it difficult to enjoy a hobby when you can’t add some of yourself to it.

I guess I like things a bit more free form and unpredictable.


As I said before, a new army would be nice and GW can actually make both camps happy if they just give us two options of heads, one with mask and one with hats. I think that if GW is not planing to do something then Forgeworld is a good option. There 40k books (armybook, like death korps of Krieg) are very dark and grim that suits us and also they make very nice models, not all of them are expensive eather. Also Forgeworld is know to make diffrent options so they could release some big hats (I feel they are the first victim in case of a reboot, sadly as I´m a hatfollower).

Drychnath, I really like your idea about the fluff. If the plains around Zharr-Naggrond is geting empty, what should a good dwarf do? Well, he should get out into the world and bring back other slaves then gobbos! Would give a good reason to make CD move around a bit in the world.


I warn you at the outset that I am going to set the subject, diverge from it whilst explaining motive/ranting, and then return.  I also freely admit to bias that could be affecting my position.

My conclusion is this: I do not want Games Workshop to produce a Chaos Dwarfs army book.

For my misfortune, you have reason. :(

GW says that the CD will be renewed in a few years... but be it be?

I not if I can wait so much for then at all.