Glynn_Sean’s Mordheim dwarf starting guidePreamble
I just started getting back into Mordheim after a long hiatus, when I first started I wrote a guide on another forum to my starting warband that I had some success with but since then I’ve altered my build a smidgen and I’m not the happiest with how I structured my old post so I figured I’d post a new one here.Contents"Other dwarfs know these warriors are dispossessed"Pros
Final commentsPros"It was dwarf courage and fighting skill"Hard to kill
These guys are super hard to kill, only getting taken out of action on a 6 D6 is incredible and their special skills add to this, late game having the no movement penalties for Armour is good too.Good income
This is where the Dwarves shine, they have two great skills (well one trait and one skill) for this. Resource hunter
miners. Making use of these skills can help your warband gain income very quicklyStrong stats
Dwarves have good starting stats all round with one major exception. Their leadership will mean you don’t lose many tests and run away, and their strong WS allows us a slight advantage over any humans or squishier parties we go up against that I find usually tips the battle in our favor just enoughFlexible warband
The Dwarves are good for range and melee and allow you to build however you want to play, their thunderers have access to good gear and a nice skill tree, if they roll a lads got talent and you end up with a thunderer hero and your engineer with the bonus range you can do some real damage from afar.
Alternatively you could go in with your clansmen and beardlings and go full melee and make the most of the Dwarves good racial traits. Or build somewhere in between the choice is yours!Cons"Your name shall be stricken from all records"
I need a hero
This sucks. Having less heroes at the start of the game is super annoying for getting Wyrdstone, if you get a lucky this lads got talent at the start of the game you’ll get a nice boost but otherwise this can really hinder you if you can’t get the roll.
Setup is important anyway but it’s a bit more effort with the Dwarves and you do have to think a bit about where you think the enemy will go, because their movement sucks you need to place them strategically at the beginning so nobody gets picked.Small band
They have a small warband size, I pick up the halfling scout (someone donate me one of the new halfling blood bowl models thanks) to help but that’s a bit of a bummer if you don’t want him and it means board control is harder and it’s easier to get caught out alone when moving between objectives or if your deployment isn’t as well thought out as it could have been.Small movement
These little legs can’t move the fastest, if a lonely dwarf gets caught in a pickle it’s hard for his friends to come to his aid, this is also a huge pain in any sort of hold the line or search the area scenarios because your enemy will probably take half the map in the same time it’ll take you to get just over a quarter.
Losses are expensive
Most of the dwarven units are pretty expensive and if you get a bad roll early (good stats help this a bit) it can devastate your crown income and really slow the progress of your warband down, especially if you lose the leader or the engineer before you have a chance to gain some momentum.Starting roster and why"Gather a group of his trusted friends and go treasure hunting"
Dwarf treasure hunters:Noble
2H Thunderers x 1
CrossbowBeardling x 4
HammerWhy?"What did you say lad?"
I know a lot of people give the pistol brace to their noble to start because of his ballistics skill but I don’t want my 30 crown purchase to disappear when the fighting starts (that’s another beardling!) I always toss up between the pistols and a crossbow on my engineer at the start but the pistols are a great mid to mid/long range support tool and that serves my play style more and lets me keep him out of harms way but near enough to the action to pick up some kills after people get knocked down or stunned. If I were to use the crossbow I could later use it for a second thunderer to save money and buy pistols, this is also viable but the pistols have some great skills to build around them and at short range they can be super handy, this also allows him a second “non-knife” attack which is good too.
As far as the slayers go I try to build them differently as much as I can with a melee heavy unit, this way if a human band with an ogre or some other big boy comes up I have two ways of dealing with them (also It wouldn’t be right to not have at least one model with a big weapon).Henchmen
I take one Thunderer at the beginning just so the henchman group can get some XP and to kick up a fuss for my opponent (more in strategy on this) they are lightly armed just so I could get in the extra beardling but next round i'd probably buy them a hammer and maybe a second unit depending on my income.
Finally the beardlings, gosh I love these guys. They are my 28 crown cannon fodder, I would have loved to give them an extra hammer each but they have the knives anyway and similarly to the quarreller I usually give them the second hammer after the first game if funds permit.Misc
Okay I know the no armor thing can split the room, I honestly don’t think that the armor pathway at the beginning of the game is very useful, it’ll keep the band alive but I feel like they’d lose every game anyway and then it doesn't matter if they're alive because the enemy warband has 100 people in it. My justification is that for the price of armor I could just get another beardling, that’s a %100 armor save as long as they’re positioned right and they can also be used for a stack of other things.
The clansmen were on the table at first but 15c extra for 1 more WS, a few rounds in that’d be fine but at the beginning of the game I know my opponents probably won’t have anyone with stats much higher than the dwarves racial traits and I’d rather the extra rolls. I could have gone two ways, only gotten two clansmen (half as many dice) but given them an extra hammer each, I’d probably give my thunderer a hammer to and I think there’s enough for another dwarf axe for one of my heroes. This was tempting, more tempting was to go two clansmen with the single hammer and a beardling with no weapons (just his dagger), should put me with 1c to spare but again I’d rather the extra rolls and map control and I feel like my beardling with get a ruined pretty quickly with no gear.
I would have loved to stack dwarf axes, the parry is handy but it would have killed my henchmen groups and getting to a party size of 9 helps me to get an extra death in before I have to roll for leadership which is super handy, even with such a high LD you can never be sure.Strategy "We must abandon the old ways"
So now we know what we’ve got what do we do with it? I’m glad you asked
I use my beardlings as my front line infantry, they are by far the most disposable but also the most versatile members of my band. Enemy moving towards an intersection? Beardling in their way. Want to burn the other warbands charges? A wall of beardlings. Worried about your hero’s getting ganged? Give them a beardling or two entourage. They put in work too, The good thing about not dumping lots of crowns on these guys is that I’m way more likely to put them in harm's way which means they are more likely to get experience and therefore more likely to get this lads got talent and fix my not full hero roster. Anyway I’ll usually set my thunderer up in a building out of harm's way covering as open an area as they can, I’ll do my best to have them lined up with a street or some sort of open space to give them a shooting gallery, the engineers range bonus means they almost never see a fight in melee, especially at the beginning of the game.
After my thunderer is placed I usually place my Noble, engineer, one of the slayers and two (maybe three) of the beardlings together as a main force, beardlings in the front, then the slayer and noble finally my engineer nearby to provide mid/shortish
range support probably on top of a crate or something so he can pick targets. Then split my other slayer and one beardling (maybe two) off to another side as a tightish
group, depending on the map layout and the situation I might take that extra beardling that floats between the two and place him off to the final side of my main force just to make sure nobody flanks us and maybe to even go hunt some ranged units if I’m game enough (probably not at the beginning but you never know).
Which slayer I use where is dependent a lot on the enemies warband/deployment, without that knowledge though I’d place the 2H slayer with my main force just because the duel wielding dwarf has a bit more survivability and utility with the parry and extra attack than the 2H. The smaller slayer squad will either be hunting for stragglers/ranged units or head hunting the enemies important individuals, maybe taking less contested objectives as we go depending on the scenario.
My main force will either secure a section of the map if I’m defending or move forward probing charges with the beardlings and taking shots with the engineer until a fight kicks off, at which point I’ll engage/come to the aid of with my beardlings and do my best to have my hero’s first attack the weaker enemies (at the beginning) so they get experience and then move on to the larger enemies as a group or let the slayer/s deal with them.
If I need to break off from the main group to objective hunt or target specific areas I’ll try to never let one dwarf go off on their own, it sounds like common sense but the movement means that they are easy to catch out of place and rather than force the closest member to come to their aid and abandon their own tasks I’ll do the standard beardling barrier
strategy as much as I can.
Another strategy I’ve found working to my favor later in the game when I have one or two more thunderers is to push forward to a nice hallway and castle it as much as I can. If it’s just a brawl between me and my opponent I’ll probably do this. The Dwarves extra range bonus from the engineer is really good and between that and their BS the enemy will have to/will out of instinct (mordheim is a pretty attack focused game) push you and get out through the meat grinder of bolts, pistols and finally when they hit the line of beardlings they are usually one maybe two units down.Skills"The age old tactics that our ancestors employed are the same"
These are the skills I’d take in order (top to bottom) for each hero plus a keyword/s to describe the general role they’re likely to play.Noble
Strike to injure/mighty blowEngineer
Master of blades (swapping the normal axe for my nobles dwarf axe here)
Depends on where your warband is goingThunderer
"Ancestors be dammed!"
I’ve taken the first few choices but a lot depends on who you’re playing against and how lucky/unlucky you’ve been on the injury charts as the game goes on. So with the noble and engineers resource hunter choice I occasionally take this second on one maybe both of them depending on my losses but usually this is the way I go. Getting this skill early helps accommodate for the lack of an extra hero and really helps get some great bonuses during the exploration phase.
Anyway after that I get step aside for my Noble just to keep him alive longer in a fight, then I go towards a more offensive path, I always get stuck on if I should pick strike to injure or mighty blow, I like that mighty blow has more utility because it’s used earlier in combat but securing the kills after injuring someone is super handy and it means I don’t have to run the gauntlet as often. This will depend a lot on who I’m up against.
The engineer is all firepower, he’s safe enough to usually get resource hunter early with his normal bonus, trick shooter helps a lot in mordheim because there’s cover everywhere, then I take eagle eyes to build on the already very useful range buff. After this it’s dependent a lot on my enemies but I’ll usually go half survivability like step aside and half more and more ranged skills.
Now for the other side of the coin, the 2H slayer, I take strongman just to stop the 2H hindrance when it does come up then step aside just to make up for the lack of rolls. From here it’s pretty open to what you think you need, you could take the slayer charge skills and turn him into a one hit wonder charging everyone if you’re more aggressive, or take some more consistent but smaller combat bonus skills like strike to injure for a more even keel, I usually lend myself towards skills that occur constantly but the charge build is a personal favorite after taking strongman.
The duel wielding slayer I take master of blades first then give him the other dwarf axe, it felt wrong taking it from my Nobel but I’ll replace it as soon as I can and he’s usually well enough protected. Monster slayer is a great confirmation that half your hits are going to land each turn, when I’m attacking twice that’s pretty handy, I’ll take fearsome to deter some of our less committed enemies and just add an extra layer of annoyance when attacking my main force. After this I’ll usually take mighty blow and step aside just to really round off the buffs, if he survives long enough to get here he can carve through enemy henchmen groups really quickly.
Ah the beardlings, again the most varied in skill set, if I get a lucky roll early I’ll always take resource hunter first, then I just build whatever I’m missing. Often I’ll just mimic the builds of my other heroes if I feel I need more of what they do and maybe take the alternate options for skills when I was tossing up between two.
If the thunderer gets the this lads got talent roll I’ll either build him with quick shot and trick shooter or get him a rifle and take hunter so I can shoot every turn and eagle eye and just have him camp in the tallest building in my deployment zone and leave him at the end of the map to snipe everyone until the round ends.Summary"Would Nobel blood be spilled in the hall this night?"
Take some time to think about your placement on the board and you’ll save yourself a lot of pain later in the round, take resource hunter to help with the lack of heroes and milk the range on your thunderer, remember with enough beardlings you could move a mountain so just imagine what they’ll do if they stand between your heroes and the enemy’s! All and all a well rounded warband and this should be a pretty forgiving way to play the dwarf treasure hunters.Final comments
Wow you made it to the end!
A bit of a read I know but I hope this is helpful or thought provoking. Let me know what you think! I’ve started to get some models ready and work on some terrain so I started/am about to start a thread on each of those too that you can find. Hopefully I’ll see you there!