TACTICS: CHAOS DWARF WARRIORS
Hello, this is my test for what may become a series of Tactics articles, detailing the various units we have at our disposal. I’m starting with Warriors, because it seems like a logical choice.
Now, first off, what are Chaos Dwarf Warriors?
Basically Dwarf Warriors that get screwed over.
Now, let me explain. For 9pts, we get a Dwarf warrior who comes with HA+Shield, and lacks Relentless. The Dwarf Warriors get their choice of equipment, so the shield isn’t necessary. Relentless is also a useful ability, but I’ll get into that in a bit. For now, however, there is one glaring flaw with the system as it stands: Great Weapons.
Chaos Dwarf Warriors are very tough melee combatants. However, for the cost they have some rather lackluster offensive ability. Some might remedy this by using Great Weapons. Is it effective? Not really.
True, with low I you’ll be going last anyways, and it is a significant strength boost. However, remember that you can’t use your shield. Remember when I said that Dwarf Warriors don’t need to take a shield? We do. In effect, you pay an extra point for the Great Weapons, since you have a shield you can’t use. Some find the flexibility useful, but on the whole using HW+Shield is more effective. Let’s do some math:
First, we have 11 CDWs with Hand Weapon + Shield. Against a WS4 T4 opponent, the 11 CDWs will score 5.5 hits and 1.83 wounds, with no save penalty.
Now, let’s look at 9 CDWs with Great Weapons. They get 4.5 hits and 3 wounds, and inflict -2 on the armor- good against heavily armored, skilled troops. Not too bad, eh? But now let’s factor in the armor on the CDs. Because they have a 5+ save, the GW CDWs are going to take twice as many wounds as the HW+Shield CDWs. They’ll take more wounds, and also take many more points’ worth of damage due to the higher cost. If we were to apply a static ratio of wounds dealt/theoretical wounds taken, we find 1.83 dealt/1 suffered to 3 dealt/2 suffered. While this shows that the HW+Shield troops are better off (not factoring in armor saves), there are other considerations.
Against troops like Empire State Troops, for example, the GW is less of a bonus, while on the other hand the low S of the humans ensures that the HW/S CDWs will take very little damage in return. Also, that armor-ignoring bonus is fairly useless when he’s got low armor to begin with. The high armor on HW+S CDWs is especially crucial because rarely will the CDs be getting the charge- thus it is vital to make sure that as many survive to retaliate as possible.
Let’s take a full example. A group of Empire Militia (frontage of 5) charges a block of each of the two options (also 5 frontage). Against the more armored stunties, they inflict .27 of a wound (this represents roughly a 1 in 4 chance of the CDs taking a wound, for those less mathematically inclined). On the other hand, the less armored CDs take .54 wounds. So, when they strike back, the armored ones have 4.73 attacks, while the GW ones have 4.46 attacks. So they strike back- and the HW Dwarfs inflict 1.57 wounds, whereas the GW Dwarfs inflict 2.45 wounds. Seems great for GWs, doesn’t it? Except, when you look at the raw data, you find that the ratio for wounds dealt/inflicted was better for the HW+S Dwarfs. This means that anything except heavy infantry or monsters is best dealt with by using basic CDWs.
Add to that the fact that the shield gives a bonus against ranged fire.
Add to that the fact that the Great Weapon Dwarfs cost more (in the example they were both the same numbers, which isn’t fair).
Add to that the fact that your opponent is scoring more victory points for each GW Dwarf he kills.
Now, you might say that the GWs are good against big, tough things like Ogres, which is true- however, there’s a big problem: Movement. CDs are the slowest infantry in the game. You are not going to be able to maneuver to be able to charge monsters, and they certainly won’t charge you (unless, of course, he doesn’t know what he’s doing…). In fact, since most large monsters have just about cavalry speed (Move 6 for most), they can pretty much run circles around your poor Warriors without ever giving them a chance to engage. Earthshakers can help slow them down, but with the massive radius you’re most likely hurting yourself as well. Thus, you cannot expect them to ever be able to pick their fights- which makes monster-hunting impossible.
As for unit size, it is recommended you always use at least 20 (I’ll go into Blunderbusses in another article), arranged 5x4. While this is somewhat a fragile formation (1 hit and you lose rank bonus), there are several reasons.
The first is cost- CDs are expensive, so putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t usually a good idea. Having more units is often better than one massive one.
The second borders on contradicting the first- combat resolution. Since you won’t be getting many kills (or, you’ll get more kills but take a crapload of hurt in return), you need to rely on static combat resolution. Multiple Small Unit theory does not apply here, since without a rank bonus you will not be able to win CR against an infantry block. If you want a speedbump unit, go for Hobbos. In order to get this combat resolution, you need full command whenever possible. A Standard increases CR, a Musician breaks ties, and a Champion gives you another attack (not too important) but also unlocks some nasty tricks. I’ll get to that in a moment.
The third and final reason for 20 is that you can be virtually guaranteed to get into combat with a full 20-strong unit- because the CDs have several options for avoiding missile fire. The main two are Earthshakers and Hobbo screens. This isn’t the right place to go into detail about them, but I think you can figure out most of it yourself.
Now, why include a Champion, you ask? Well, there are several reasons. For the cost of another CD, he adds a single attack. Doesn’t seem too great, does it? Think of it this way: Instead of 20 CDs with 5 attacks, you get 19 CDs with 6 attacks. But even after taking five wounds, you still get six attacks. So, in effect, it’s like getting more than just one attack- because it doesn’t disappear after the first casualty you take.
But that’s not the main reason. Oh no. The real reason is much more entertaining. As I said, the CD infantry win by static combat resolution. So, if a unit of Chaos Warriors comes up led by Pimpass Ownage the Killer, you just challenge him. Either Pimpass sits out of the combat, or, more likely, he accepts. He will go apeshit on that poor champion. But even if he inflicts full overkill, with your rank bonuses, Standard, musician, outnumbering, flanking Hobbos, etc. ad. infinitum., you will still win the combat just by hunkering down and watching the champion get slaughtered while the other CDs just say ‘Oooh, sucks to be him’. But hey, you win the combat.
So, there you have it. I’ve gone over the various tactics and options of Chaos Dwarf Warriors. Next up will be the many uses and fun applications of Blunderbusses.
All comments appreciated :cheers