Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Handicapping the dwarfs
That is how I would describe the battle report from the most recent White Dwarf. I will not spill the beans on the result, as not to spoil it for those who have not read it yet, but it was a crappy one. Now, I know its naive of me to expect a decent battle report from the magazine, but I couldn't help it. It had dwarfs in it. One look at the dwarf list shows it was once again just a showcase for the new Skaven due next week.
This was their list:
Dwarf lord; shieldbearers, great weapon.
MRoGromril, MRoKragg the Grim, 2x RoCleaving
MRoBalance, Spelleater Rune
Thane; handgun, shield
MRoAlaric the Mad
20 warriors, shields
20 warriors, shields
20 longbeards, shields
18 hammerers; shields
1 Giant Slayer, Full command
20 miners; blasting charges
full command, steam drill
Grudge Thrower; engineer
The list just isn't playing to the dwarfs strengths. For example, all dwarf players know VS any army with shooting attacks, you take the MRoGrungi on a unit, to protect yourself against them (5+ ward vs all shooting to all units within 6"). That would have been my first choice vs Skaven. The two units capable of runic banners, doesn't have them. Again, a stupid choice. In 3500 points the dwarfs have only 4 war machines. Four. And none are bolt throwers, which are pretty much designed for combating big ranked units. Oh, and to cap it off they took a runelord without the anvil. Now, despite being a long term dwarf player I have never used the anvil (I rarely game and my dwarfs are getting an face lift) but I know its strengths. The point of it is to give the dwarfs a tactical advantage of -
a) additional movement
b) resistant to psychology
c) damage causing, and movement prohibiting
These would have proved useful against the skaven, its undispellable and rather powerful. In addition, it adds another dispel dice adding again to the anti-magic ability of the army. Why they chose to ignore it is quite obvious, they wanted the skaven to win.
I understand the reasoning behind the choices, they decided to handicap the opposing army, giving them chance to show off the power of the new army. They always do it. This is a sneaky away around the whole fixing battles. This is upsetting as not too many months ago, Jervis in his "Standard Bearer" column stated that the battle reports are not fixed and they cannot play more than one battle. This may be the truth, but it seems that the way around this is to handicap the opposing side by taking poor choices and making the army less than competitive.
Poor show Games Workshop. Poor show.