When I rolled up who each army would be facing, one of the units I rolled was Chaos Dwarfs. I have been wanting to try them out, though it is slightly more difficult since one player in our group thinks they are even more imbalanced than I think one of the official army lists is (I actually so despise one of their magic items I have considered not playing against them, though ultimately I have not elected to go there) and does not want to play against them, so my pool of potential opponents is one smaller.
So naturally, I took them on. There were a few things working against me; I would have 500 points and would be facing 750 points, they are a different style from the other two armies I typically play...and the Inferno Golems, the unit I really want to play test a bit, were way out of reach in a 500 point army.
But there were some things going for me, as well. While they are slower than either the 5" Wood Elf move or the awesome Chaos knight Cavalry charge, they do combine the ability to ramble 6" per turn with T4 and generally heavy or Chaos Armor, thus providing a rugged, tortoise style army. Plus they have the Eruption Gun.
They needed something to deal with monsters, so I started with a Chaos Dwarf Slavemaster with the Axe of ghorth, which meant he did not need to roll to wound.
Next I took something like 25 Chaos Dwarf Warriors with Chaos Armor and shield before re-thinking it. The idea was to provide a game somewhat softer than normal for my opponent, not have a bunch of hard-core, tough to wound killers. Plus, that was a lot of points so I removed the Chaos armor and dropped their unit size. After some fine-tuning, they would end up with 15 of them, including a Champion. By putting the Slave-master in this unit, they could lose a guy and still have 2 ranks.
They allowed me to take an Eruption gun, one of the controversial Dwarf units. At first it was thought to be identical to an Organ Gun, which would mean it was ridiculously under-priced at 45 points. Closer examination reveals it has a BS3 and suffers modifiers to its shots which means it has 0-10 shots that never have better than 50% chance to deal out S4 hits. Still seems a bit under-priced at 45 points, but we will see.
Next I took 10 Chaos Dwarf Annihilators, another controversial choice that seems perhaps over-powered.
Finally, I was able to take 6 Obsidian Guard as my elite unit.
I would be facing 750 points of Empire madness.
The field would encourage a melee in the center as there was rough ground on my right flank protecting a tower, and beyond that a small stream that would inhibit movement. To my left were a pair of forests opposite a hill. Oops, he won for table sides and I knew the cannon on the hill could be deadly.
Since I had no fast-moving troops, it would be 4 - 5 turns before I could get to the cannon (24" between us, 6" per turn max move) so that could be quite problematic.
He had a detachment of quarrelers butted up to the Cannon, then a big block of infantry, then a detachment of Free Company. finally, he placed his knights in the Stream, really the only place they could go. He won the first turn.
Empire Turn 1
The cannon would not move in the entire game. The parent unit and its detachments marched forward. the knights, hobbled by the stream, could only move 3-1/2" forward. Neither of us had magic, so shooting would be the fun phase.
This turn he could only fire his cannon. His range guess was excellent, the Artillery Dice kind, landing about an inch in front of my Warriors. Any 4, 6,8, or 10 would most likely do 4-5 wounds since his aim was perfect. He had a 66% chance of doing serious damage....and a 1-in-6 chance of what happened, the cannon ball sticking where it landed and doing nothing other than drawing an evil chortle from the chaos Dwarfs. Which is what happened. Ouch.
On the bright side, his Pegasus riding general, out ahead of the army, took a shot at the Eruption Gun...and wounded it.
Chaos Dwarf Turn 1
I marched the Warriors on my left wing and the Obsidian guard on my right the full 6". I moved the Blunderbuss 3" and took a shot at his Pegasus-riding General, but whiffed. The Eruption Gun stayed put to maximize its firing potential. It rolled a mighty 8 shots and, needing 5s to hit, hit 4 times, killing 2 of his big block.
Empire Turn 2
He made a slight advance, and his reasoning was not just sound, it was hilarious. "I guess I will stop here since getting charged by Dwarfs would just be humiliating."
Bwoohahahah, great line. Thanks, Fullur.
The Pegasus General flies behind my Warriors and shoots at the Eruption Gun, but somehow misses. then his Cannon...mis-fires. Fortunately, he rolls a 6 and will be able to fire it next turn.
Chaos Dwarf Turn 2
My Obsidian Guard makes just a 3" advance, as I do not want his detachment to charge with the Knights. I figure I can maybe survive a Knight charge, but would lose badly to a combined charge so I tried to stay out of range of the detachment.
Meanwhile, my Warriors march 6" again. I move the Annihilators just 3" so they can fire at the infantry block.
once again i roll an 8 on the artillery dice and, again needing 5s, hit 4 times and again wound 2 guys. The Blunderbusses, with S5 due to 2 ranks, also open fire on his unit...and proceed to do another 2 wounds. The unit takes 25% in this round...breaks and flees.
Empire Turn 3
He fails to rally. Whatever. The Knights charge my Obsidian Guard.
His cannon...for the second consecutive turn...mis-fires. In the interest of a better game (his cannon dropped the ball in the mud, mis-fired, and mis-fired) we make him re-roll, only to see it overshoot everybody.
His Quarreler detachment shoots down 2 Warriors and his Pegasus General shoots down the Eruption Gun.
Close Combat goes about as expected. His Knights kill one Obsidian Guard, they kill a Knight, are outnumbered, and needing an 8 roll an 11, epic fail. They flee but are over-run.
Chaos Dwarf Turn 3
Just a turn ago, it looked so good for me. Well, my Warriors charge his detachment, which flees...3". At first, I rolled the dice and thought I had caught them, but then we remembered I would only go my charge distance which lagged behind them by about an inch, so failed charge, I only go 3". His detachment lives.
I wheel the Blunderbuss unit to face the Knights who otherwise would be rear-charging me in about 2 turns.
Empire Turn 4
He initially fails both rally tests, but we take a good look at the dice. They have rolled 9 or higher 6 consecutive times. We remove the dice, have him re-roll and both units rally. His other detachment flank charges my Warriors, which I am not overly worried about.
Then his Pegasus shoots down a Blunderbuss, the Cannon does its first 2 casualties of the game against them, causing 25% to the unit...which promptly rolls an 11, flees, runs into the Knights and is wiped out.
In close combat, he kills 2 Warriors, who can do but one casualty in return. 2 casualties +flank beats one casualty + outnumber...I break, run, get over-run...and abruptly the game is over.
His dice rolling was appalling in this game. The 3 rounds of nothing from the cannon...the failing of EVERY SINGLE LEADERSHIP TEST until we made him re-roll...the Knights doing all of 1 wound...
While mine, on the other hand, was stupendous. I took 16 shots which should reasonably have had 5.3 hits...and got 8 out of it. Also, I should have averaged 5 shots per turn, so I got more than an extra turn of shooting out of the Eruption Gun, hit more often than it should.
I do think the Eruption gun is under costed by 5 points or so...it is pretty squishy for a War Engine, and I suspect will be pretty erratic over the course of time.
The Blunderbusses I think are pretty balanced. They are awesome against hoard type units and will pretty much be worthless against tough enemies unless I can keep them ranked up to get the strength bonus.
The Warriors I think are probably costed about right assuming regular Dwarf Warriors have WS4 as well, other wise I think they cost a point or 2 too many.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed playing as Dwarfs though and might take up the regular Dwarf army a bit more often. Assuming, of course, I can ever get the Gyrocoptor assembled...sometime after I get the dragon glued together, after I get the Juggernaut glued together. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the assembling portion of the hobby? I suck at it, and it really sucks a lot of the enjoyment of the game out of it for me. I might have to try and trade off some Blazer tickets to someone to pin them :-)
Over-all, i think the spirit of the game was held up. The idea was to ensure an Empire victory, and he only permanently lost one guy, so no real harm done and I think it was a pretty fun game.
Seeing his 10 man Free Company detachment make my 15 Warriors and Slavemaster run was pretty awesome, definitely a highlight of the day for me. I like seeing my opponents do well and after watching the Cannon do nothing all day...it was time.
Good game, massacre for the Empire.