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

2x RoSpellbreaking

Thane; handgun, shield
RoStriking, RoResistance

Thane; BSB
MRoStromni Redbeard

Dragon Slayer
MRoAlaric the Mad

20 warriors, shields
Full command

20 warriors, shields
Full command

20 longbeards, shields
Full command

10 thunderers

10 thunderers

10 quarrellers

18 hammerers; shields
Full command

20 slayers;
1 Giant Slayer, Full command

20 miners; blasting charges
full command, steam drill

Grudge Thrower; engineer
RoAccuracy, RoReloading

Cannon; engineer
RoForging, RoReloading

Organ Gun

Flame Cannon

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.


  1. How unfortunate the Dwarfs were shortchanged like that. You're absolutely right, the battle may not have been 'fixed', per se, but it was certainly tilted in the Skaven's favor.

    Put a real Dwarf Commander at the helm and it wouldn't matter how new the other army might be...

  2. Has the new army ever lost a battle report in recent memory. I know that during my subscription time a few years ago the newbies always won.

    Reminds me of pro wrestling where the titles can only every change holders at a ppv while they have title matches like every other week.


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