[Archive] Reasons to play Chaos Dwarfs


My original stance on Chaos dwarfs was that they were just dwarves who can use Orcs, however as I see more of them, there is just somthing apealing about them.

So I wanted to ask some questions about them.

Why do you personaly play them.

What advantages do they have over regular dwarves (aside from big hats).

Is it that they are dwarves who actualy use magic? or is it that they are dwarves who actualy get some units with decent movment (Greenskins, and calvary of varius forms).

Or mabie it’s having to custom make the majority, or entirety of the army ( I don’t see this as a disadvantage).

Anouther reason I can see to play them is if you like both orcs and dwarves, which I do.

In otherwords what are your opinions on this greatly underused army.


Okay well i will pitch in first
Chaos dwarfs are like dwarfs but arent a 1 dimensional army - what do i mean by that ?
Well - they are like dwarfs because they have rock hard infantry, and great shooting and are just plain dependable - however unlike normal dwarves they can compete in every phase instead of just shooting and receving charges.

Movement phase
Bull Centaurs, Wolf Riders, Lamasu and Great Taurus are all speedy and Hobgoblins and all other O&G move at normal infantry speed - Normal dwarves only have the gyrocopter which isn’t fielded that much as the organ gun is a lot better investment

Magic Phase
You can field 4 wizards at 2000 points and be as good as most armies in the magic phase if you choose to be - Normal dwarves cant do ANYTHING in this phase

Combat Phase
Given that you can choose where and when you fight (due to having an army that doesnt dawdle) you can make the most out of your combat units

Dwarves have solid all round shooting and runes can make it very effective - however we have the Blunderbuss (probably one of the most hated weapons in warhammer) that can easily shred a T3 infantry unit in 2 rounds of shooting, Cheap Bolt Throwers, Death Rockets (Stone Throwers) and Earth Shakers which not only do damage but mean we can further control the movement phase.

In short play dwarves if you want an army that it easy to get a draw with - play chaos dwarves if you want an army you can win big with but have to engage the grey cells to do so. (oh and BTW i have a regular dwarf army so i am not a dwarf hater its just doesnt get used often as i find it very dull).

I have just posted a battle report Here if you want to read a little about how (i at least) use Chaos Dwarfs



I am fairly new to Chaos Dwarfs. I havent built up a sizable army to get out there and play. Nonetheless, they are underway as we speak. Heres what drew me into playing CDs in the first place.

They are rare. I recall having a conversation with a guy up at my local store about how I planned on resurrecting the rather forgotten army. He was amused and shared with me his fond memories of playing squats (not that CDs are on that level!). We talked about it for a good while when a young kid couldnt help but finally ask, “What are Chaos Dwarfs.” He was answered with scowls and grumbling. Some may see it as a shame CDs are as rare as they are and that they have been out of the limelight for so long, but I see its advantages. I dont see people knowing exactly how to combat CDs when its their first time playing them.

I like warhammer dwarfs. They are grim, stubborn, impatient with others, and grudge bearing. Much like myself! There was always one drawback to them I didnt like, they werent evil enough. I have always been fond of playing the bad guys, its just my preference to play the part of villain. Your standard dwarf…not so evil.

Magic!. Before taking up CDs, I was considering playing dwarfs. I couldnt help but notice no magic. At first I thought, its alright I can live without that. My two friends whom I play the most however, have Ogres and Lizardmen. Now when I see them using fun things like trollguts, toothcracker, or a Slann, I cant help but feel like Im missing out. Runes are nice, but they lack the special something of the magic phase. So I dont have to worry about it, I have magic now!

The fun guns. The CD shooting phase seems very interesting and I cant wait until my army starts launching its first volleys. I like the uniqueness of the death rocket and earthshaker. The earthshaker can be pivital for its ability to slow your opponent down, and its a nice cenerpiece to the army. The death rockets ability to fly way off target amuses me too. Im sure its come back to bite some CD commanders in the ass, but if I wanted a sure shooting phase I would have stuck with the standard dwarfs. Last but not least the blunderbuss is a weapon I look forward to for its devestating quality to mow troops down.

Conversion possibilities. I have played 40k for years and during that its been fairly the same thing. Buy a box of troops, put them together, paint them. End of hobby aspect, begin playing. While great fun a first, it becomes dull over time. For a good year or so I have been seeking a project, something to really dive into and get my hands dirty. CDs are it! Im looking to convert nearly my entire army, top to bottom. Im even beginning to think Im in over my head, but oh well, gives me time to think.

Terrain. Its probably a less considered aspect of the hobby. When my army is finished, what will it play on? My friend and I built a table a while back and rather than paint it green and grassy (which we could get out of any old table at the local GW), we painted it black. Our orginal intention was to design a demon world for our 40k armies (we all play chaos). This opened up for some interesting terrain ideas, however the concept was eventually scraped. 40k, in my opinion, is taking a turn for the worse. So my friends and I have largely shifted our energy toward fantasy. The question soon came up, if we are going to play mostly fantasy from here in, what to do with our black table? It wasnt until I decieded on playing the CDs when I realized the dark lands would be perfect for a black table. Since that time a good amount of my energy has gone into making themed terrain for my CDs. Its just as much fun as converting the CDs themselves.

Anyway, Ive let this post go in for too long. Thats just two cents from a guy who still finds his CDs new and shiny.

Ancient History:

Chaos Dwarfs are the red-headed stepchildren of Warhammer. I can relate to that.

They’re also persistent, and I like that. Even discontinued as a miniatures range, they continue to be included in the fluff and fiction. Games Workshop has never tried to retcon them out of existence, which means that they’re still viable. A bit of a challenge to field maybe, but viable.

Last but not least, they combine some of my favorite fantasy bits: dwarfs, sorcery, big war machines, and playing the bad guy.


well I just like to be unique. Bought a BFSP for the rule book, dice ect and figured the models would be nice for testing painting.

Anyways my first army was a hordes of chaos army which is now more illegal than my planned chaos dwarf army :smiley:


wow guys! those responses are incredibly indepth and thorough! A+ on your essays Ubertechie and Razzick_Khan! you guys almost make me want to start the army! :wink:

and I think Razzick made a good point. the army seems more customizable to your preferences, since it’s not played as often. It just provides that little bit of extra room in your creative license :slight_smile:

I have to ask (in the interest of trying to learn) why do some armies allow for magic and others not? I mean, it is under the fantasy umbrella, right, so, shouldn’t all armies have magic? and what benefit is having magic? how does it improve your game?

Ancient History:

Fantasy is a broader concept than just magic, and in fact all Warhammer Fantasy armies have access to different forms of “magic” - the exact flavor highly dependent on the army, and the amount of use it sees dependent on the player.

Dwarfs are different from other armies in that they have no access to sorcery - that is, the ability to cast spells - which other races have. They make up for it in having the single most powerful and adaptable system of equipping magic items in the game. This lack of sorcery is so iconic to Warhammer Dwarfs that it makes the concept of a spellcasting Chaos Dwarf all the more attractive - the antithesis, see? Of course, Chaos Dwarfs unfortunately don’t get rune magic and sorcery, but they still get Dwarf toughness, technology, and artillery.

As far as actual play goes - magic can turn the tide of battles and add another dimension to combat. Part of it is the element of the unexpected, part of it is just the interesting tactics that come up. Characters with magic weapons and items are more powerful and can have unique abilities; wizard can cast spells to destroy or bolster entire units, change the landscape of the tabletop, and of course to negate an enemy’s magic or advantages.


I like the fact that initially starting on one army (ChaosDwarfs), as it progresses, can itself turn into 3 (ChaosDwarfs, Orcs and Goblins, Dwarf list).

The dissaproval/neglect of GWHQ, is a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, your not given new models or new lists and support from GW. On the other, your not dictated to as to how the army should look and not done over by a new take on a list (I’m yet to not be screwed by a new armybook - The archlectorisation of the Empire list - i’ve still got 30 metal night goblin clubbers and netters :frowning: etc )

Its neglect, its obscurity is one of greatest appeals. Just look around this site, CD has one of, if not the, greatest variety of miniatures and styles an army can get…thanks to their fanbase. If not for this site (and others to a limited extent) the support wouldn’t be as strong as it is and they’re wouldn’t be posters to egg you on or inspire you.

However, the downside to these sites’ popularity is that we see the establishment of almost camps, of trends and copies, which ultimately dimishes the eclecticity of them. So that now, styles such as Bighat, Helm and Mask, vie for position and popularity amongst the new blood.

If the sauronesque eye of GW ever falls on CD, and they revamp the list and make some new (probably semi mono-pose) plastic kits, they would inevitably favour one such, or maybe even make a new, design; we would therefore have to make a choice, do we tow the new GW line, or stick to our own modelling guns.

So enjoy the freedom, make the army your’s. If you want pink chaos dwarfs who wear sombraros, go ahead post them up, you may even get tips on how to shade them.

Kera foehunter:

Sojorn ??? come on you have some of the best C.D dwarf converting guys that live so close to you .You need to start an army of cds .

I think magic seem to slow the game down . i like playing a 1000 pt and smaller so that the magic is in small amounts so the skill of the battle goes on. Pluss half the time spell casting and disspelling the spell take up alot of time (like hours it seems) but thats just me


I have to ask (in the interest of trying to learn) why do some armies allow for magic and others not? I mean, it is under the fantasy umbrella, right, so, shouldn't all armies have magic? and what benefit is having magic? how does it improve your game?

Has to do with the traditional archetypes of legend and myth. Dwarfs are non-magical/magic resistant for example because Tolkein made them that way in his stories. One can argue where he got his inspiration from, but that is not the point.

From Tolkein, D&D came about and Gary Gygax followed the lead. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay sprung up shortly thereafter and in turn led to Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

Throughout it all there were dark and or evil dwarfs that cast magic so the idea of GW having some armies that cast magic and a few that don't is more a question of how the genre has evolved. Nor is it unprecedented that dwarfs do. Of course the term of dwarf and elf is largely an interchangeable one where our northern European ancestors are concerned. Dwarf and elf, thus mystical casting of spells is largely the same, especially amongst the Scandinavian myths and legends. Kalevala is great place to start.


This is all very informative information. :slight_smile:

I must say it’s also very convincing.

Well chaos dwarfs have defenetly jumped to one of the top spots on my list of armies.

I’ll do some more looking around and experement with a few on Stronghold battles In the ogre stronghold forum before I finaly decide.


Chaos Dwarfs are just so stylish. They pwn hard and they are fun to play. And in a warhammer club, it brings a lot of renewal. :hashut


they are a forgotten army (most poeple have forgotten it), this is the reason I began collecting them and ofcourse to have a bit of a challenge.


To recap.

I was first drawn to them when I added a few units my 3rd edition chaos army in 1990/91. I added 3 bazukas, and a tenderizer to my force. 3rd edition was swept away by the bland and very vanilla 4th. The only good thing about 4th was the introduction of CDs IMHO. So chaos dwarfs were out of my concern for about 2 years.

Then GW releases CDs as a real army in 1993ish. Now I liked the CD army list, but couldn�?Tt stand the models, still don’t like the hats. Market agreed with me and they tanked So I skip this incarnation of the army.

The first real time that I seriously thought about Chaos Dwarfs was 1999ish with the original �?oTale of 4 Gamers Series�?�, you know back when WD didn�?Tt suck. The Skaven player was playing against Lee Garrett at a tourney and was pictured. You can barley make out his CD models. What got me thinking were the blurbs about his force being �?ohighly adaptable�?� or some such. So I really went back and looked at my WDs featuring the army list. Which I had nearly all the ones from that time, at least the ones that featured the dawn of the CD army list.

What originally got me thinking CDs was the hobgoblin wolfboyz, strange as that may be. Having played against buddies fielding gobbo wolyboyz I knew how useful these guys were as one was a longtime Orc and Goblin player. Briefly thought about it , but once again shelved the idea.

Looking at the link it was indeed spring of 2002 when I again started thinking about CDs after finding the PDF of the list online. I started to once again think about them when I saw a unit promoted on the US online store that same year that was basically taking chaos warrior heads and adding them to dwarf plastic bodies. From there my interest became piqued at that thought because it removed the biggest gripe I had about the army: Loved the army list, hated the Hats; still nothing happened.

Flash forward to around 2004. I came across Hand of Hashut quite by accident and another site I can�?Tt recall. I lurked for a while, but didn�?Tt join. Demands of starting a family, first house, dog, etc, really put everything on the back burner in terms of Warhammer.

Skip to late August 2007. I had been looking at my Battle for Skull Pass box set that had been and the models that had been gathering dust since Christmas 2006. I vaguely remembered the Hand of Hashut site and found it again and was quickly floored by two members armies: Snotling (who isn�?Tt right?) and Pulper’s. I had never thought of using them to convert dwarfs into chaos dwarfs, so simple. Why didn�?Tt I think of that before!

Then something strange happened, I wandered onto CDO as well. At first I was surprised there were two forums for such an under-represented army, but quickly saw which site was better. A few days later I joined (8-27-7). I was shocked at the community spirit here and quickly felt at home. Especially after trudging through asur.org (now uthulan.net) for years, and not having much fun on it.

At the same time as I was rediscovering HoH and discovering CDO in late August I also found Xander�?TsYou Tube guides and from there it all came together. One of my first purchases was a Hellcannon, right at the time they were being yanked off the shelf (only to be re-added a few weeks later). For another of my initial purchases I scored a Lammasu and rider NIP for its original price of $33 US, still shrink wrapped. I remembered exactly where it was at an out of the way gameshop in my home town, and it had been sitting there for literally years. I remember I must have picked that box up numerous times and each time set it back down only to buy something else. This time was the right time for me to embark on Chaos Dwarfs.

Now here I am with the best community anyone could ask for, and the best army bar none in terms of all of the Warhammer lists. The rest of the army lists don�?Tt match up, ours however (warts and all) does.

So for me it was a very long and convoluted way to get to Chaos Dwarfs. But as a wise man said “The journey is the reward”.


I personally liked the hat, it kind of was to me like they were saying " Those high elves think their big and bad with their big helmets. Well Look at the size of our hats!"


Also with the “Big hats” look you could actually see their tusks.

That was actually my favret part about them, dwarfs with tusks.

EDIT:I had a few 3rd edition units kicking around as part of my ‘evil’ army, fighting along side skeletons and skaven, the individuality of the models really appealed and then you throw in swivel guns, mortars and bazookas and I couldn’t have been happier. Many years down the line I now get to bring them back as a full army in all their spiky glory. Thankfully my painting has improved over time so my favourite race/models should look the part.

Any WHFB player confronted with a decent looking CD army whether it’s 3rd edition or ‘big hats’ could not fail to be at least intrigued by them, how could anyone not like bull centaurs.

PLEASE NOTE: Double posting is against the rules. You know there is an edit button because you used it on the first of the two posts. Do not let it happen again, please. ~ Hashut’s Blessing


I had a few 3rd edition units kicking around as part of my ‘evil’ army, fighting along side skeletons and skaven, the individuality of the models really appealed and then you throw in swivel guns, mortars and bazookas and I couldn’t have been happier. Many years down the line I now get to bring them back as a full army in all their spiky glory. Thankfully my painting has improved over time so my favourite race/models should look the part.

Any WHFB player confronted with a decent looking CD army whether it’s 3rd edition or ‘big hats’ could not fail to be at least intrigued by them, how could anyone not like bull centaurs.


If i do play Chaos Dwarfs I’m going to model one of my blunderbussers with a giant cowboy hat.


I liked the fluff. I played a chaos dwarf army using dwarf rules but not with the old ravening horde rules. Their list despirately needs to be updated. Hopefully, it happens before I die.


Guess you’ll just have to keep the faith then.

Father Grumpmas:

I started playing Warhammer just as 6th edition came out and was lucky enough to score a reasonable amount of big hat figures quite cheaply. I was drawn to Chaos Dwarfs by the oddity of them and the fact I was starting an Orc and Goblin army, which I could add on to the CD’s.

I really like the first chaos dwarf figures - mini chaos warriors, swivel guns, tenderisers etc - but not overly keen on them just being a tack-on to the rest of chaos.

I have mixed feelings about the appearance of the big hat figures but I love the design of the hobgoblins - the cool caps and scale mail. I also think the current background is great - they may be chaotic but they are still independently dwarven and chaotic on their terms. Plus they still have the dislike of greenskins - they just enslave them rather than fight them. I also like the typically dwarven response - these greenskins are rubbish, lets build a better one - hence the Black Orcs.

I think the design of the Hell Cannon crew is fantastic and my wish for a new book would be some of the first CD ideas (tenderisers etc) included with the big hat background but all re-modelled around the Hell Cannon look.

Talk about covering all bases and sitting on the fence :stuck_out_tongue: