[Archive] warhammer armies project rule book

Bad Gram Northern:

I have just read the unofficial army book by Thomas Hunt. I Think I got this from the warhammer armies project but just now I noticed there’s another book there written by Mathias Eliasson. I haven’t read that one yet but I guess my question goes for that one as well:

There’s a lot of fluff and background info in these books. Where does this come from? is this ‘real’ CD history? or official fluff?

Bad Gram Northern:

oh well, I just discovered there’s a entire section of the forum dedicated to army book development.

If mods find this thread here inappropriate go ahead and delete. I will pose my question again in the appropriate thread.

Also I’m guessing the books by Tommy H and Mathias E are NOT related?


Some of it is official, but most parts are made-up. In Thommy’s case, which I’ve read, it’s obviously well-chosen story pieces based a bit on ancient history (Zharkon the Great), cinematic imagery of Chaos Dwarfs (Gates of Zharr), expanding on themes established by GW and conforming the overall army book to the 8th edition model. I guess Mathias’ take on it follows some similar lines, though I’ve not read much at all of it.

I guess if you want official background in particular, then try Tamurkhan, the CDO wiki page and official background articles in Word of Hashut ezines.

No, the two fanbooks are not related.

Bad Gram Northern:

thanks admiral.

I love the fluff by Thommy. It fits what I feel is appropriate for the Dawi Zharr.

I’ve read the Thamurkan fluff and the wiki but felt they just couldn’t satisfy my thirst for more elaborate background.

the part about the first and second kingdoms, are these made up then?

I’m guessing the cross cutting cleavages in CD society of clan (blood ties) and caste are part of the official fluff?

Thommy H:

Yeah, I made all that stuff up.


Yeah, clans are a heritage of old Dwarf times (or at least this is taken for granted to such an extent that my memory can’t separate it from any official version), whilst castes were established back in 4th edition, with Sorcerer-Prophets lording it out on the top.

It’s not very elaborated in the official background, and in fact the mystery of the Dawi Zharr which this absence of much coverage causes might be part of their appeal. 6th edition’s Hellcannon and Daemonsmith background snippets definitely had that exotic, mysterious appeal. Not to flatter, but Thommy do handle his background writing just right. To be pedant, I dislike the inclusion of vanilla Dwarf war golems, but otherwise it’s all fine across the board, in a professional way that I’m sure pleases most tastes.

The first and second kingdom part is a common theme of ancient history, especially Egyptian one (where they had an Old, Middle and New Kingdom of lots of different dynasties, with interruption periods in between). In this instance, it might be based on the old Assyrian and the neo-Assyrian empires of ancient times, who put a real scare in the Middle East. Their propaganda about their torture methods made them suitable as a sort of historical anchor for the fictive Dawi Zharr when they were reimagined back in 4th edition, complete with curly beards and scalemail.

One honourable little mention goes to Grimgor Ironhide’s early background in Thommy’s book. It was just right, and GW/FW haven’t covered that origin piece. In fact, I view it as canon.

And to self-advertise, if you want a piece of amateur naval background for Chaos Dwarfs, you can find it in my project log here or in Word of Hashut #12. I, too, tried to play to the spirit of the CDs and place the spotlight on odd parts of the Warhammer world.

Thommy H:

Their propaganda about their torture methods made them suitable as a sort of historical anchor for the fictive Dawi Zharr when they were reimagined back in 4th edition, complete with curly beards and scalemail.
And the ziggurats, lammasu, etc. Zhargon is based on Sargon the Great, as well as being an elaborate in-joke about the US version of Heroquest.


One very Mesopotamian thing which Chaos Dwarfs lack, however, is temple prostitution. Or do they? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thommy H:

If they do, I won’t be writing about it.


Not that they should have. It wouldn’t be Dwarvish in the least. Merely an absurd joke.

Speaking of inspirational sources for CD background, would you make anything Warhammerish of Humbaba? It’s a great monster with a face of intestines which fights the Mesopotamian Hercules, Gilgamesh. Perhaps a byproduct of the earliest, experimental Daemonsmithings who had to be put down at great cost? Or a possessed war machine? Just curious.

Thommy H:

Well, I didn’t want to have too much of a straight one-to-one mapping of every concept - Gilgamesh already exists in Warhammer: he’s called Sigmar. The Chaos Dwarfs are obviously a villainous race, and so it’s not really appropriate for them to have a heroic figure in their past. They’re the guys the heroes fight against.

I think one of the issues I’ve had with attempts by some others to write a fleshed-out Chaos Dwarf history is that, since it’s their army, they feel like they have to put them over as all things to all people, so they end up being the stars of the show. But finding an army’s place in the Warhammer world as a whole is part of the art of writing this kind of thing. Most Warhammer background is pretty one-note. Dark Elves are evil torturers, High Elves are saviours slightly embittered by their waning power, Chaos Warriors are servants of the Dark Gods, etc. etc. Now, within those archetypes, you find your nuance. So there are different factions of Dark Elves who disagree on the methods by which they should reclaim their alleged birthright, but in principle they’re all still vile sadists. High Elves are all arrogant, but some are better than others. Some Chaos Warriors are hell bent on destroying the Old World, some just happened to be born in a place where powerful extra-dimensional entities hold sway and they have a different moral code because of that.

Chaos Dwarfs are, by their nature, not heroic. But we know they’re loyal to their masters and they have a high Leadership characteristic, so how do you make that fit? This was the origin of the idea of the castes and the clans, that explains how a people can be utterly evil, but still stand their ground in a fight. The closest things Chaos Dwarfs have to heroes in my background are the Lord of the Immortals who leads the rebellion against Zhargon and, contemporaneously, Zhatan (who is so psychotic he sometimes forgets to obey orders) and Hothgar (who prioritises invention over blind obedience). But basically they’re all monsters. So I’d never attempt to do a story like that, not in my version of events anyway.


Of course. This balance with keeping an army to its core characteristic trait is the hallmark of a professional army book writer. Call it the catalytic converter which separates the pros from the amateurs, no matter how skilled the latter might be in other areas. It’s obvious you’ve been aware of it whilst writing the Chaos Dwarf (or Hobgoblin Hegemony) background.

I should have been more precise. Ignore the hero and story of it all. Focus on the monster, like a true evil stunty. What would be the most sensible way to make use of a Humbaba creature in Warhammer? It need not have to do with Chaos Dwarfs, it might as well be a Nurgle Daemon, Spawn, Beastman or likewise. I’m just curious about it, since the idea of an intestine-face monster is both really odd and to my knowledge not used in fantasy before.

Asking you is the closest thing I get to asking the GW design studio. :hat off

Thommy H:

I think it’d have to be a Daemon. The important thing when writing for this medium is that you don’t just have free reign - there’s a GW “house style”, which means antagonists have to be other armies from the setting and, ideally, recognisable figures from those armies. The Warhammer background is all about giving people a canvas to write their own stories in the form of games with their friends.

So, it’d be a Greater Daemon, maybe, and it gets defeated by being bound into an engine or artefact or whatever. Then later (i.e. in the modern era) you have it break free and summon a whole army (which would probably include several Daemon special characters) to wreak vengeance. It gives Daemon players a stake in the narrative.

As an interesting aside, if you read the Tamurkhan backstory, you’ll see they don’t follow that house style. They have battles taking place in lands we’ve never heard of, against armies for which there’s no models. It’s an indicator of how separate they are from the main GW studio and YMMV as to how effective you think those bits are.


Very true. Thank you.

Bad Gram Northern:

awesome, thanks for the responses.

Thommy, I really like your thoughts on Warhammer fluff. You’re now my favorite go-to guy for CD background :slight_smile: