How to play the Dwarfs in every aspect of the game. This guide covers everything from Campaign to Battle and everything else in-between.
Other TWW2 Guides:
- Brief Description of Each Faction.
- Vampire Counts Hints & Tips.
- Lizardmen Guide.
- High Elf Guide.
- Skaven Guide.
Welcome to the campaign strategy section of my Dwarf race guide. This part will focus on campaign gameplay and strategy for the Dwarfs including starting out, later expansion and the different sub-factions
Disclaimer: This guide is based on my personal experience and opinions and is by no means the definitive way to play the Dwarfs in Mortal Empires.
When playing as the Dwarfs you have the choice of 3 factions and who you choose will make some big differences to how they play in both campaign and battle but for now we’ll focus on the campaign.
The faction I played as for this guide is the Dwarf Realms as they are the original Dwarfs added back in Warhammer 1. They start out at Karaz-a-Karak and are immediately at war with the bloody spears and the Greenskins. They do have a tough start but if you play battles correctly and expand quickly you can turn it in your favour in a matter of turns.
On turn one I took out the nearby bloody spears army as well as taking the Pillars of Grungi. This gave me a good start for taking mount Squighorn shortly after and having a full province before turn 5 which gave me a massive head start. I then pushed south and began making friends with Zufbar in the north and telling him to attack the bloody spears from there to keep them from back dooring me. I continued pressing south and took 2 more settlements, karak dron and Iron rock. This left the green skin capital nearby to attack at a very early stage. I spent a few turns building up my armies and settlements before beginning to siege the Black Crag and taking the Greenskin Capital by turn 40. I spent the next 60 turns expanding south and confederating dwarf clans. This allowed my economy to grow very quickly and soon money was not an issue and my armies could be as big as I wanted with no upkeep constraints. I finally knocked out the last of the Greenskins on turn 99 and then was declared war on by the Vampire Counts. They didn't last very long and were knocked out by 110.
At this point my economy and military strength was so great that no one could touch me and everyone wanted trade and alliances which I accepted. Doing so allowed me to designate targets across the entire map and by turn 150 I had achieved the short victory with a measly 11 losses in the whole campaign.
While I didn’t play the other sub factions, they do look to play very similar to the Dwarf Realms with some minor differences that will be covered more in the Lords & Heroes section. They obviously have different starting locations. Karak Kadrin start at Karak Kadrin and Clan Agrund start at Karak Izor.
The expansion options are also different for each faction. Dwarf Realms want to expand to the south and leave the north for Zufbar and Karak Kadrin, taking as much of the badlands as they can. Karak Kadrin should expand north and then south after eliminating the Red Eyes. Finally Clan Agrund who should head south before heading east to take the badlands.
Overall I’d say once you get past the initial push to get out of your spawn location, the dwarf campaign quickly becomes very easy but there’s still lots of things about them that are unique and made them tons of fun to play as.
They have a lot of possible allies and the majority of them are very nearby so its great to make friends with them ASAP to get their support through trade and military alliances. Of course you can eventually confederate them all and have foot holds in every part of the map which are extremely useful for later wars to clean up.
The economic potential they have is near unrivalled thanks to the ability to make tier 4 resources depots which bring in more money and resources.
They also start in a location that is very near to many of the resources you can get so can be making lots from trade from the start. This is also very useful for the forge which I’ll come back to.
Settlements do tend to grow slower than most other factions but this can be sped up through buildings as well as research.
The research tree also improves a huge variety of things such as economy, relations with other factions, recruit rank, capacity and time, upkeep and unit stats.
Your settlements are also very tough to take out even with just a basic garrison so long as you fight them manually as the auto-resolve does not favour you at all.
Casualty replenishment is also slow especially when outside of friendly territory and you cant use battle captives to replenish like with most other factions. You can only ransom them for money or execute them for leadership.
The book of grudges is something unique to the dwarf factions. It basically keeps a record of any action done against your faction by others. For example if an army raids your territory, you’ll get a grudge to defeat that lord in battle. If you do this you’ll be rewarded with Oathgold which is a unique currency used for crafting as well as a bonus to public order and +5 diplomatic relations with dwarf realms. If you have no active grudges it is a great thing to always have these bonuses but if you do have some and cant fix them then it can quickly cause major problems for you so it can be a double edged sword.
The Forge is another thing that’s unique to the Dwarfs. It uses Oathgold as mentioned before and trading resources that are being worked or traded to you. It uses these to craft items of varying strength to equip on your lords and heroes. These items range from common to near legendary unique items with a wide range of different effects. It’s also worth noting that the trade resources are not consumed when crafting. Oathgold can be generated a number of ways aside from the afore mentioned grudge settling. Heroes can get skills to generate it per turn, a unique building in Galbraz can mine it and all trade depot buildings earn you some per turn.
All Dwarf armies also get the ability to use the underways which allow them to cross rough terrain such as mountains in direct lines which uses less turns but means you run the risk of being intercepted and having no escape if you can not win the battle. This means that you will lose the entire army so use this wisely.
Throughout the campaign, as I made friends with several of the Dwarf realms, I’d get given a choice between a faction wide public order penalty or harming my relations with that realm. I always chose the realms as it recovered fast enough and didn’t interfere with my alliances in the slightest.
Since the Dwarfs do inhabit settlements they do have a choice of commandments. Empower the Guilds grants +30 growth and +5% faction-wide trade resource production. High King’s Tribute increases tax rate by 5%. Masters of Steel & Stone decreases building cost and recruitment cost by 10% and adds 1 to the local recruitment capacity. Finally Venerate the Ancestors grants +2 untainted and +2 public order.
Finally we come to the Climate Preferences. The Climate for Dwarf Realms and Clan Agrund are the same. Wasteland, Mountains and Savannah are Suitable. Frozen, Temperate and Desert are unpleasant. Ocean, Chaotic Wasteland, Magical Forest, Jungle and Island are uninhabitable.
Karak Kadrin is slightly different with frozen being suitable and savannah and chaotic wasteland being unpleasant.
That concludes this section of the guide on Campaign Strategy. The next section will cover the unit roster and how I believe each unit is best used
Battle Strategy & Unit Roster #1
Welcome to the army and battle section of my Dwarf guide. In this section we will be going over the entire Dwarf roster and covering all the unit’s pros and cons, as well as compositions and formations for battle.
Disclaimer: This guide is based on my personal experience and opinions and is by no means the definitive way to play the Dwarfs.
The Dwarf armies are focused on quality over quantity so while your armies will be more expensive than most other factions, the individual units will pull their weight accordingly. They have a particularly strong roster of ranged and artillery units which makes them a very good turtling faction, letting the enemy come to them rather than charging ahead. This in reinforced by their speed which is, with the exception of a few units, incredibly slow. The combination of this and the strong leadership makes them excellent at pure front lined fights with little use of flanking.
They are also an excellent siege faction both in attack and defence as the strong armour and leadership means they can hold the walls for a massive amount of time whilst your ranged units chip away at attackers, and the excellent artillery can also break down gates and walls in a matter of shots getting you inside to fight much sooner than usual.
It’s also worth noting that they have no cavalry of their own but they do have great charge resistance on most units meaning that enemy cavalry flanks aren’t going to hit you too hard unless its on undefended artillery. They also have a resistance to magic on all units even though they have no spells available themselves.
OK, now we’ve covered all that, let’s get into the roster.
First up for the melee infantry and the miners which is a fitting name as they have a minor impact on your battles to say the least. While they do have armour piercing damage in the early game, I noticed that in battles they’d almost always lose most of their unit fighting even basic infantry which caused major slowdowns in the early game when I’m sat waiting for them to replenish. That being said I did bring a couple of them with me in the very early game so that I could bring them to swarm enemy lords with armour piercing damage but as soon as I unlocked great weapon warriors, I replaced them as they didn’t even compare. In battles I kept them on the inside of my front lines so that they we’re protected from charges and could easily pick armoured targets in the initial charge. They come in 2 variations: standard and blasting charges. The only difference is that blasting charge miners have… blasting charges. These are basically an explosive throwable that they use before charging into melee that can cause some good damage and leadership penalties but I still don’t think this earns them a place in armies as they just don’t seem to last.
Dwarf Warriors are up next and they are the meat of your early game armies. They’re an armoured and shielded unit so can take a good amount of punishment from both melee and ranged making them great for holing the front lines for a huge amount of time. While they won’t be getting a massive amount of kills in battle, they will make it very easy for your ranged units to fire over their heads and break the enemy in no time. I’d recommend taking 2-4 of them in the early game and keeping them on the flanks of your front lines so that they can absorb any cav charges without any major damage. They come in 2 varieties: standard and great weapons. Choosing great weapons gives them armour piercing damage at the cost of losing their shields which I believe is totally worth it as it ups their damage considerably and allows them to break through the front lines with ease.
Longbeards are basically old man warriors with improvements to a bunch of stats. They have the old grumblers attribute which gives them a leadership aura because of their great age, superior courage and long length of facial hair. I choose to replace my dwarf warriors with these guys as soon as I can as the stat increases and leadership aura make them so much more valuable in battle, both as individual units and for buffing the rest of the lines. They will have similar placement in the formation to warriors as they can absorb charges from the flanks without too much trouble. Again, they come in 2 varieties: standard and great weapons. As usual, great weapons grant armour piercing damage at the cost of losing their shields and I totally recommend going for great weapons as soon as you can to make them more effective against heavily armoured targets.
Slayers are the giantsbane of the dwarf roster. While they lack armour, they make up for this by having great damage, especially against anything larger than a man. They are also pretty fast for dwarfs so are good for getting around the front lines or chasing some slower large units. They are also equipped with 2 whirling axes that allow them to deflect missiles shot at them giving them some minor protection from ranged attacks. They also have the deathblow attribute meaning that getting closer to death only makes them fight harder and once they do fall, they give off one last attack before dying completely. They come in two variations: standard and Giant Slayers. Giant Slayers have armour piercing damage so are better for focusing the huge units that enemies might bring whereas standard slayers are better suited for smaller cavalry units. Either of them are a great addition to your armies once you unlock them but I generally take Giant Slayers into the end game with me as the armour piercing damage makes a lot of difference. I take a couple of them with me into battle and use them to cover my ranged units from cavalry or to focus down any large units in the front lines.
Hammerers are the elite damage dealing infantry of the dwarfs. They are heavily armoured but unshielded so while they can take a lot of punishment in battle, they are vulnerable to gradual skirmishing damage. They also inflict armour piercing damage (although I’m not exactly sure how as hammers don't seem to pierce armour). This means they can go up against even the toughest infantry and deal a lot of damage even if they don’t come out on top. I like to take 2 of these guys with 2 slayers and 2 iron breakers to keep things balanced. I put hammers in the middle of my front line so they can take on anything that comes their way and sometimes even push a hole in the enemy lines.
Ironbreakers are the final melee infantry unit the dwarves bring and they are pretty great at everything. They’re armoured and shielded so can take a ton of punishment from melee and ranged. They also have charge defence against all so can absorb cavalry charges with minimal hits to health and leadership. They also come to battle with a special ranged weapon that can be used to disrupt the enemy formations and cause massive damage before charging into melee. They’re basically what you’d get if you had blasting charge miners, and actually made them viable. As I said before I take 2 of them into the end game and I choose to put them on the flanks so they can absorb any flanking charges with ease. It’s worth getting them to use all of their ammo before getting locked in melee as it does a good amount of damage and besides it looks pretty cool too.
Battle Strategy & Unit Roster #2
Kicking things off for the ranged infantry are the Rangers. They come with vanguard deployment so can get shots off from the start of battle if you place them ahead of your main army. They also have stalk so can sneak up on the enemy if you move them correctly. To top things off they’re also quite fast so are good for getting a flanking angle on the front lines and causing some good damage. All of this combined makes them good for placing in a hidden location and bringing them out to attack the backs of unsuspecting enemies once the front lines are established. They’re a good alternative to quarrellers as they are fairly similar stats wise but lack the same defence so aren’t great if they caught by a flank and have to go into melee. If I am taking them I probably wouldn’t got for just them as my ranged units as they’re unlocked at a similar time to Thunderers so I’d say 3 of each would work well so you have some armour piercing damage. If you’re using them to flank then I’d place them in some trees or whatever else you can that hides them but if not, then I initially place them ahead of my front lines so they can get some shots off before the melee begins. Once it does then use them to either fire over your troops heads or to get around and fire into the backs of the enemy.
Quarrellers are up next and these guys will be the bread and butter of your early game ranged infantry. They have excellent range (though nothing compared to the high elves, link in the card) so can get lots of shots off before the enemy even get to you. They are also armoured and shielded so can take quite a bit of damage themselves from melee and ranged. Speaking of melee they can actually do pretty well so long as they’re against nothing too elite. Since they are the first ranged unit you unlock, I’d recommend bringing up to 6 of them in the early game as I like to keep a balance of ranged to melee units. Once you unlock Thunderers, I take 3 of each to get a nice balance between arced damage and armour piercing damage. That reminds me. Quarrellers and Rangers are both arced units meaning when they fire, their projectiles travel in an arc to their targets rather than a straight line. This can be a good and a bad thing as they can fire over the heads of your units but the projectiles don't travel as fast of hard meaning less damage and accuracy to moving targets. Back to quarrellers. There are 2 variations: standard and Great Weapons. Taking great weapons give them armour piercing damage in melee at the cost of dropping their shields. It’s very situational when deciding which to take but if you can protect them really well from melee, take shields. If not then take great weapons as the armour piercing will let them take out melee attackers faster and get back to shooting. In battle I like to place them ahead of my melee troops to get off some initial volleys before the melee begins. Once it does I place them either behind or on the flanks of the front lines so that I can get some shots off with minimal friendly fire.
Rangers with Great Weapons are an interesting addition to the ranged roster. So interesting that I gave them a separate section of their own from normal rangers. They’re a close quarters weaponry unit meaning that their ranged attacks have a much shorter range but do more damage than normal. They have armour piercing for both ranged and in melee so don't be afraid to send them against some mid tier troops if your front lines need the support. They also come with vanguard deployment and stalk as well as being fast. This means you can place them in a hidden location and have them attack the enemies backs with either melee or ranged to break their morale and drain their health. If I’m taking them I’d only take 2 or 3 maximum and either use them to get some early shots off from the front or keep them hidden until the lines are established.
Thunderers are up next and they’re the first direct fire unit we have. They can technically fire over ally heads but only at a great range as once the enemy gets close they must fire in a straight line to hit. This means that you need to use them in a flanking position to shoot into the sides or backs of enemies to ensure you get the most kills and the least friendly fire. They also have armour piercing missiles so are great for chipping away at heavily armoured units before they get into melee. They are armoured and shielded so can be take plenty of damage in both melee and ranged before they start to rout. They are also decent in melee so will hold their own against any lower tier units that flank them. I take 3 of them with me from the moment I unlock them until I replace them with Trollhammer Torpedoes as they’re a great combo with the spread out and less armour piercing arced units. I like to do the usual and have them upfront to begin with before moving them back and to the flanks once melee has begun.
Bugman’s rangers are the last of the bolt firers and they’re basically a good mid ground between quarrellers and rangers. They have all the same attributes as regular rangers but they also get charge defence against large. This makes them much better at absorbing any cavalry charges the enemy throws at you without losing too much health or leadership. I choose to take them into then near endgame alongside the 3 Thunderers to add some diversity to the damage I’m putting out and also to the strategies I employ. As mentioned in the rangers section I would either use them to get shots off from in front of and behind the front lines or to attack from an unexpected location.
Irondrakes are up and they are a damn good unit. They fire literal torrents of fire and are excellent at taking out big clumps of infantry. They do fire in a very shallow arc so while they can fire over heads, they’re much more effective when using a flanking angle or elevated position. One of my favourite things to do it to get them onto the enemy walls when I’m attacking and have them rain fire onto the enemies below. They are an armoured unit so take quite a bit of punishment but they aren't the best in melee so it’s best to keep them mildly protected if you can. I like to replace my arced units with them as soon as I can as they are just machines at taking out any and all infantry regardless or the tier. I employ the usual strategy of putting them ahead of my front lines before moving them behind and to the sides for flanking shots. Be aware that even if you do flank, the fire and explosions will still cause some friendly fire so just reduce it as much as you can.
Finally we come to the Trollhammer Torpedo Irondrakes. They are again so different that they deserve their own segment. Rather than flamethrowers, they’re equipped with Trollhammer torpedoes which deal armour piercing explosive damage with a bonus to large targets. This makes them great for taking out cavalry, giants and, you guessed it, trolls. They do however have a very slow rate of fire so tend to have bursts of damage with breaks in-between to reload. Like the Irondrakes, they’re armoured so can take a bit of punishment but are again not the best if left in melee. I like to replace my Thunderers with these guys as the anti-large and explosive damage makes a lot of difference in your battles. I use the usual strategy that I’ve said like 20 times by now so I’m not going to repeat myself but you get the idea.
Battle Strategy & Unit Roster #3
Onto the war machines and all 3 are variations of the same unit so I’ll cover what they all do before going over the differences. They all are flying units and are exceptionally fast so are great for going out and harassing the enemy before they even get close to you. They are all armoured so can take quite a bit of punishment but aren't the best if they get attacked by other flying units as they have pretty pitiful melee stats. They all have the ability to drop bombs of varying severity and number and all are primarily ranged units. The base Gyrocopter is an anti-infantry unit so is great for firing into and bombing big clumps of enemies. If there are no big clumps then a good tactic is to wait until the front lines are made and route them to go over the enemies side of the melee and spam the bombs. It does suffer from poor accuracy but apart from that is a great unit to get as soon as you can. I take one of these until I unlock the Gyrobomber which is better in a few ways. It fires armour piercing missiles so is great for attacking any tough units on the enemy team. It also carries more bombs so while the unit size is just one as opposed to 3, it has significantly more firepower and can make some really devastating runs. Finally we come to the Brimstone Gun Gyrocopter which is an anti-large unit so is great for harassing giants and trolls before they can reach your men or to keep them running when they break. Other than the anti-large thing they’re basically the same as the standard Gyrocopter but with better accuracy and I like to bring one of them, alongside the Gyrobomber, into the endgame with me. The strat for using them is fairly straight forward. Send them to attack whatever they’re effective against whilst avoiding getting shot at too much or being attacked by air. Once lines are established, get them behind the enemy so they can shoot into their backs with less risk of friendly fire.
Finally we come to my favourite category, artillery and the dwarfs have some of the best in the game. First off is the Bolt Thrower and already it’s pretty exciting. It fires anti-large armour piercing bolts that can do some serious damage to everything bigger than a man and you can unlock them extremely early in the game. I like to use them to focus any large units the enemies bring and if they don't bring any then I just target lords and heroes as the armour piercing does quite a lot of damage if you get a hit. I like to bring 2 of them with me as soon as I can and they last me until the mid game when they get replaced by cannons. Still while you have them they are really really great. it’s also worth noting they fire in a very shallow arc so aren't gonna be able to get many shots off once the front lines are established so make sure you use them well before this.
The grudge thrower is next and this unit has given me so much joy whilst playing the campaign. it’s just a basic catapult but you can get some serious damage dealt if they land correctly and they can break entire units before they even get to you. They’re armour piercing so can be directed at even the toughest units and still cause some serious damage. They are also anti infantry so are experts at taking out big clumps of infantry that are charging your way. Again they are available from very early on in the game and I kept them right through until the end when they got replaced by flame cannons but they could easily be taken into the endgame if you wanted. The strategy is fairly straight forward. Find the toughest infantry you can and harass them until they get into melee. Once the lines are made, aim at targets that aren't too close to your men to minimise the friendly fire. Since they are arced units you can get away with some slight firing over heads but you run the risk of severe friendly fire if the target is close
Cannons are next up and as I said before they replace my bolt throwers asap so perform pretty similarly with one major difference. Cannons have a massive range compared to bolt throwers meaning they can get way more shots off pre-melee and they can shatter entire units before they even see melee. They also do a bit more damage so are excellent for sniping any large or armoured units the enemies bring. They do fire in a fairly shallow arc so once units are in melee they’re gonna struggle to get many shots off at all so make sure you get lots of use out of them pre-melee while you can. Since they’re replacing the bolt throwers, the composition and strat are basically the same so I wont repeat it.
Organ Guns are next and they’re basically like a bunch of smaller cannons rolled into one. They fire lots of armour piercing missiles in rapid bursts so are great for focusing tough infantry or for really bullying a giant or set of trolls. Even though they lack the anti-large damage that cannons have, I choose to take them with me into the endgame as they just have so much more versatility and damage output that it makes up for the lack of bonuses but you could bring either and do just as well. Again they have a shallow firing arc so are best used before the melee but can still be used at a risk to your men once they’re fighting. They share the same composition and a similar strategy so, again, I wont repeat myself.
Finally we come to the flame cannon and this is possibly one of my favourite pieces of artillery in the game and this game has dinosaur artillery. It’s an anti infantry unit that fires flaming cannon balls into the enemy lines that explode in fiery glory. They’re near unmatched at tearing oncoming infantry to pieces and can cause serious damage to pretty much any infantry in the game. Unfortunately they have a very shallow firing arc meaning that once the front lines are made, it’s very hard to get any shots off on infantry unless you can get a good angle. No matter what you do, you will get some friendly fire as the explosions will spread to your men even if you fire directly into enemy backs. All in all though it’s a great unit and I take 2 of these to replace my grudge throwers into the endgame.
Now onto the regiments of renown. I’ll list off each unit, what they’re a regiment off and what differences they bring.
Ekrund Miners are Blasting Charge Miners and come with stat improvements for leadership, melee attack and defence, charge bonus, ammunition and missile damage. They also gain the frenzy trait meaning they fight extra hard when their leadership drops below 50.
Warriors of Dragonfire Pass are Dwarf warriors and come with stat improvements for leadership and melee attack and defence. They also gain the anti-infantry trait so will perform even better in the front lines.
The Grumbling Guard are Longbeards with Great weapons and come with stat improvements for leadership and melee attack and defence. They also gain the old grumbler ability which gives them and nearby allies +9% vigour.
Dragonback Slayers are Slayers and come with stat improvements for melee attack and defence. They gain a 20% physical resistance, charge against large foes, 22% flame resistance and have attacks imbued with the flammable effect.
Peak Gate Guard are Hammerers and come with stat improvements for leadership and melee attack and defence. They also gain armour sundering attacks and an immunity to psychology.
Norgrimlings Ironbreakers are an Ironbreakers unit and come with stat improvements for leadership, melee attack and defence, health and missile damage. They gain vanguard deployment and are immune to psychology.
Ulthar’s Raiders are a Great Weapons Rangers unit and come with stat improvements for leadership, melee attack and defence and missile damage. They also have the ability Marked by Ulthar.
Battle Strategy & Unit Roster #4
The Skolder Guard are an Irondrakes unit and come with stat improvements for leadership, melee attack and defence and range. They lose some overall missile damage but gain more armour piercing damage and they gain +20% physical resistance.
The Skyhammer is a Gyrobomber unit and comes with stat improvements for leadership, melee attack and defence and missile damage. They also have improved bombs and drop more of them at once so are excellent at obliterating entire units of infantry.
Finally we have the Gob-Lobber which is a Grudge thrower unit and comes with stat improvements to leadership, melee attack and defence and range. They also have the attribute Goblin Mongrel which attaches a goblin prisoner to the boulder and causes the targets unit to take leadership penalties for each hit.
Finally we come to the new segment which is my ideal composition and formation for the end game campaign. I take 2 hammerers, 2 ironbreakers and 2 giant slayers and have them organised as shown. I then take 3 Irondrakes and 2 Trollhammer Irondrakes and line them up in front of my melee lines for now with skirmish off. I take 2 flame cannons and 2 organ guns and have them as shown behind my melee lines so they can get lots of shots off while still being protected from an early charge. I take a Brimstone Gyrocopter and Gyrobomber and place them at my flanks so they can go off and attack whatever targets I see as soon as the battle begins. Finally I bring a standard lord, a runesmith and a master engineer as this gets me the best balance of melee for lord duels, magical support from runes and ranged snipes from the engineers.
That concludes this section of the guide on the Dwarf armies. Next time we’ll cover the lords and heroes and what they can do for you both in the campaign and on the battlefield.
Lords & Heroes in Campaign and Battle #1
Welcome to the Lords & Heroes section of my Dwarf Guide. In this video we’ll cover the lords and heroes the Dwarf factions, including campaign and battle, as well as abilities and unique effects.
Disclaimer: This guide is based on my personal experience and opinions and is by no means the definitive way to play the vampires.
To go with the 3 faction choices I’ve mentioned previously, there are also 4 choices of Legendary Lords and who you choose will make some big differences to how you perform in battle as well as the campaign.
First from the Dwarf Realms is Thorgrim Grudgebearer. Choosing him will grant your faction +20 relations with other dwarf factions, -25% construction cost for all military buildings, -15% upkeep for Longbeards and Hammerers and +3 recruit rank for Hammerers. In battle he gains +75% to his leadership aura size and +8 to its effect, and his starting army gets a unit of hammerers, quarrellers and a grudge thrower.
He’s heavily armoured and is a melee expert so excels at taking on both individual lords & heroes as well as entire units in melee. He has no mounts, other than his chair, but has access to the abilities High King, Foe Seeker, Oath of Vengeance and Stand Your Ground.
When levelling him, you want to get route marcher first (as you always should), then go down the red tree to get some great buffs for your troops. Along the way you should also pick up any relevant unique skills such as grudge against Greenskins and once red is filled out enough go down the rest of the blue tree to get increased replenishment as the dwarves is extremely slow by default. Finally go down the yellow tree to make him perform better in battle as an individual. Also it’s worth getting lord of the deeps at some point as it makes any underway battles you have much easier.
He has 5 missions in the campaign and they’re all of varying difficulty and reward. Thundering falls is pretty easy and can be completed with even a basic starting army and will get you the dragon helm and a Runesmith hero. The Grudgebearer in Troll Country is pretty unique as you go up against just large units so can tailor your army to make this much easier. I just took my end game composition and completed it fairly easily anyway and got the Armour of Skaldour for my lord. The High Kind’s Vengeance puts you on the receiving end of a vampire ambush so is pretty messy but once you get on top of things, it’s fairly simple to wipe out the enemy forces with a good mid-late game comp and gets The Great Book of Grudges for your lord. The Defence of Black Fire Pass is literally an uphill battle against a very mixed Greenskin army. This makes it very difficult for your ranged units to get off many shots so you have to rely more on your melee units to force their way through enemy lines and take the hill. Once you get past the initial wave it becomes easier as they only send in a few units at a time so you can quickly mop up and take the victory. The Dragon Crown of Karaz will be a great addition to both you lord and faction so is very worth fighting for. Finally, we come to the Ritual at the Pillar of Bone. This mission pits you against 4 full armies but you only need to get rid of the wizards leading them. This can be done by killing them or just making them route meaning as long as you focus them as soon as you can, your army can just hold off the other troops without worrying about killing them completely. The Axe of Grimnir is another great item that makes Thorgrim into even more of a terror in battles.
Grombrindal is the 2nd choice for playing the Dwarf Realms and he is very different to Thorgrim. Choosing him grants the faction +60evasion while using the underway and +20% weapon strength when fighting elves for all armies. In battle his units gain +10 leadership and he has +50% to reinforcement range and his starting army gets Irondrakes, Miners with Blasting Charges and a Gyrocopter with a Brimstone Gun. He also gets given a dilemma every few turns that will have various effects on the entire faction depending on what you choose.
In battle, he’s armoured and deals armour piercing damage as well as being a melee expert. This makes him great at fighting both lords and entire units and cutting them down with ease. He has no mounts but has the abilities foe-seeker and flash bomb.
When levelling him, it’s a little different to the usual strat as he has some unique skills that are worth prioritising. Pretty much every skill in his blue tree will give buffs to every single lord and character in your faction so are definitely worth picking up as soon as you can. After that it’s the same as Thorgrim in getting the red tree followed by the yellow one to make sure everyone is performing well in battle.
Kicking off his missions is Valaya’s Realm and it’s a pretty fun mission and fairly easy as long as your army is big enough and you focus down the vampire lord. Once he falls, the rest of the army will follow them soon enough. The Cloak you get will give you some nice bonuses to Grombrindal so it’s always worth doing this one as soon as you are able. The Aid of the White Dwarf is a different style of mission as you are supporting an ongoing fight rather than being the centre of attention. You have to fight past 2 smaller armies to get to the main battle before the friendly units are all killed. The reward of the Rune Helm of Zhufbar is another great item that will help your lord when trying to stop enemies using the underways. Bitter Foes is quite a tough mission as once you take out the initial Chaos Forces there are 3 more armies to deal with of varying strength. The variety of enemies coming at you means you want to take a balanced composition so you can defend against many situations (if you want to see my balanced composition check the previous part in the card). The reward you get is the Armour of Glimril Scales and it’s a great item that makes your lord a lot tougher in campaign and battle. Finally, the Golden Monolith battle is incredibly tough as you have to fight to take a hill to defend from a massive force of elite chaos units and, due to the open nature of the battlefield, they can flank around and surround you incredibly easily. If you do manage to hold off the massive army, there will be 2 more smaller armies coming from the same direction so you don’t have to worry about getting surrounded by reinforcements. All in all it’s tough but if you manage to turtle effectively you should be able to break the enemies and get the Rune Axe of Grombrindal as a very worthwhile reward.
Ungrim Ironfist is our first of the other faction Lords and he commands Karak Kadrin. Choosing him grants the faction -75% construction cost for Slayer buildings, -50% recruitment cost for Slayer units and +10 speed for infantry. His army gets +30% to replenishment and -25% upkeep and +10 melee attack for Slayers and he gets Longbeards, Thunderers and Slayers in his starting army.
He’s an armoured unit and has charge defence against large so can stick around for a while in the thick of melee. He deals armour piercing damage and is a melee expert so should have no trouble fighting both lords and entire units in melee with little to no assistance, just be sure to not let him get overwhelmed as he won’t last forever. He has the abilities Deathblow, Foe-Seeker, Deadly Onslaught and Red Ruin.
When levelling him you as usual go down the red tree after picking up route marcher. Then you want to go down the blue tree to get better replenishment before getting some in the yellow to improve the lord himself. Lord of the deeps is always a good pick as well as his many Slayer related skills which are unique to him and encourage you to make much more use of them in your armies.
Lords & Heroes in Campaign and Battle #2
Broken Leg Gully has 2 missions set in it. The 1st one has you holding a choke point against the Greenskins and is pretty easy as long as you use your ranged units over the melee lines. The 2nd one is possibly even easier as it’s an ambush where you attack another Greenskin army. The deployment area allows you to surround the enemy and easily break them with both melee and range. Once you do you get the Dragon Cloak of Fyrskar which will make Ungrim more resistant to damage and enemy heroes in the campaign so is very useful and worth going through the 2 missions. Purge of High Pass lets you force attackers into a choke point but it still has room for them to flank you so can be difficult if you don't have enough units to defend your ranged troops. The Axe of Dargo reward you get is pretty great and will make your lord much more of a terror in battles so is definitely worth the effort. The Slaying at Leitziger Ford is the 1st of the Quests that you have to complete to get the slayer crown and its ironically tougher than the 2nd. It pits you against some undead that come at you from quite a ways off allowing you to bombard them with ranged and artillery before they even get near so that your melee troops have a pretty easy job mopping up. 2 more armies will show up to reinforce that may cause your ranged units some trouble as they can flank around the already busy front lines but as long as you get your ranged shots in before hand it shouldn’t be anything your troops cant handle. The 2nd mission is the Ancient Dragon Cave and you’re again going against the undead but this time it’s only 2 armies. As long as you focus the lords of these armies you should easily beat the rest of the crumbling army and pick up the Slayer Crown which will again improve you lord in battle as well as campaign.
Finally we come to our last Legendary Lord and the only choice for Clan Agrund, Belegar Ironhammer. Choosing him as your lord will grant the faction +50% unit upkeep until Karak eight Peaks is taken, +10 leadership when laying siege, a unique building chain in Karak eight Peaks and 4 ancestor heroes who we’ll cover later. He is a siege attacker so can attack walled settlement without the use of towers or rams, all units in the faction get vanguard deployment during underway battles and his army gets +10 leadership when fighting Greenskins and Skaven . His starting army gets Rangers, Dwarf Warriors and Hammerers.
He’s armoured and Shielded as well as having charge defence against all meaning he can last a pretty long time no matter what the enemies throw at him. he’s also a melee expert so will do plenty of damage in the front lines for the long time he’s there. He has the abilities Rally, Might Oath Stone and Revenge Incarnate.
When levelling him you follow the standard red, blue, yellow that I’ve already covered so you know what to do.
The Purge of Belegar’s Ancestors mission pits you in a head on assault of a pretty sizeable orc army while your allies eventually support you from behind them. The enemy will also be supported by 3 smaller forces of varying strength and the mission is pretty tough but since it does take place in an underway you can keep the enemy from getting to your ranged units pretty well and break them using range to support your melee wall. The shield of Defiance reward is pretty good for the effor as it gives your lord some great protection in battle as well as improving his effect on the campaign map. The Battle of the Hammer of Agrund puts you in a surrounded position so can be quite tough if you don’t have enough melee troops to protect the turtle formation as I don't see this being winnable without a lot of ranged units to wear down the onslaught of attackers. If you do manage to survive you’ll be rewarded with the Hammer of Agrund which will further improve him in all aspect of the game.
Now we come to the non Legendary Lords starting with the regular Dwarf Lord. He’s armoured and shielded and has charge defence against all so is incredibly tough to take out. He’s also a melee expert so is great at fighting both lords and heroes as well as any units of melee infantry so long as they aren't too strong and he doesn't get overwhelmed. He also has the abilities Stand your Ground and Foe Seeker. Levelling him again follows the same rules as before so I’ll not go over it again but remember to get immortality as soon as you can to save your lords from dying and never coming back if you lose a battle.
The Runelord is our final Lord of the Dwarf roster. He is armoured but not shielded so in vulnerable to a lot of gradual ranged damage. He isn't the best in melee and is better at supporting his troops using runes from the back lines to buff them. He has the runes Forgefire, Rune of Hearth and Home, Master Rune of Oath and Steel, Master Rune of Wrath and Ruin and Master Rune of Negation. He follows the same skills as the dwarf lord with the exception of having a mount that is worth getting before the yellow tree.
Kicking off the Heroes we actually have some legendary units for a change. First off is Dramar Hammerfist who is a Master Engineer. In campaign he can boost local income, steal tech, wound enemy heroes and block armies. When embedded in an army he increased mobility and has the abilities Extra Powder, Ballistics Calibration and Entrenchment. He’s armoured as well as being Ethereal so can take a huge amount of damage before he even gets close to worrying and he is armour piercing as well as a ballistics expert meaning he’s great at targeting enemy lords and heroes in battle. When levelling him I like to increase mobility where I can and then take the yellow skills that effect units in the army. The only different between him and a standard engineer is the ethereal trait, some minor stats and the fact that he already is immortal so has no need to pick it up at level 20.
Throni Ironbrow is a Runesmith hero and in campaign he can cleanse corruption, damage walls, wound enemy heroes and hinder replenishment. When in a lords army he increases magical item drop chance and has the abilities Forgefire, Rune of Oath and Steel, Rune of Wrath and Ruin and Rune of Negation. He is only armoured but still ethereal so still doesn't have to worry about taking too much damage but should be used for supporting the backlines anyway. Levelling him you should focus on picking up as many runes as you can to improve how his army performs in many ways. Again he is basically the same as a regular Runesmith aside from being ethereal and immortal.
Finally we come to King Lunn Ironhammer and Halkenhaf Stonebeard who are both Thanes and play essentially the same. In campaign they spread public order, assault garrisons, assassinate enemy heroes and assault units. In a lords army they train units and have the abilities Foe Seeker and Deadly Onslaught. They are armoured and shielded as well as being ethereal so will basically take 0 damage from almost every sauce in battle and they are best used for targeting lords and heroes 1 on 1. Levelling them gives you 2 choices: either you use them as assassins in which case you go down the blue tree and get anything that helps them perform better on the campaign map. Alternatively you can use them to train units in your armies and in this case you want to get the training skill along with the yellow tree to make them even more proficient in battle. Once again the only difference between these guys and regular thanes is the immortality and ethereal trait.