March 10, 2014

Dwarven Expeditionary Force

I am bizarrely interested again in my dwarves as I have mentioned a few times. I have quite a few other projects going at the moment from SAGA , Malifaux, Warhammer Ancient Battles to Muskets & Tomahawks. I am being really ill-disciplined at the moment and my desk is overrun with models from a variety of sources. Usually I do manage to produce some finished models from this chaos but I also tend to wallow in the slow progress doing a little here and a little there and never making much progress by the end of a painting session. However I really want to get my dwarves updated to the current edition and while I won’t be playing them anytime soon I would like to be able to at least. The delay in getting my models for the Tale of Malifaux bloggers has thrown my schedule awry. I have a backlog to get to there. I can at least leave my French for the moment as I need my opponent to get more of his stuff finished before we will play.

I would like to get a themed dwarf list together and so I took out my 6th edition book which had a few themes in the back. I don’t think I ever actually used them back when the book was valid but they were decent guidelines towards having a theme. I would really enjoy seeing a few more of these being officially printed and supported. I do know what I want at least. I would like to represent a trade caravan bringing goods from the hold to either a trading post or a nearby Imperial town. The theme that suits that best from the sixth edition book is a guild expedition. That really doesn’t represent what I want as it is based too heavily around the Engineers Guild and relies very heavily on warmachines and shooting. Enough dwarf lists are based around that already. I want to have some shooting alright but something light weight that you could envisage transporting around and being quickly ready to use. I also want to have some stalwart dwarves scouting ahead of the main force.

Therefore I have gone with two Bolt Throwers. They are suboptimal I think in the current edition but they work fine within my restrictions. The chances to hit are relatively low as they will most likely be firing at long range and therefore incurring a minus one penalty. I think that between the two of them shooting a turn I have a 44% chance of hitting with one of them at long range. To include them however there would have to be someone to repair them on the march and so an engineer is required. I will make the model up out of some plastics I have spare from the Organ Gun sprue. He will be kit-bashed but I think it will look fine in the end. I haven’t as yet absorbed all of the possible options he can take so I haven’t begun any work on him yet. By including him and using his ballistic skill on one of the Bolt Throwers I increase the chance to hit with at least one to 61%. I am tempted to include a Stone Thrower too. I have the excellent old model which is wheeled and made of wood but I don’t think it fits in the theme. The two Bolt Throwers should be enough and I guess I can rune them up a little bit to help with their chances to hit and wound. I don’t think any of the other Warmachines fit either. However a Gyrocopter definitely does. At least this way the force can effectively scout over the most difficult of terrain and also keep in contact with the Hold over long distances. It also keeps the engineer busy repairing the inevitable battle damage. I only have one model but if I got a second cheaply I would add it in. The new model is ridiculous and I am glad I have the 3rd edition version. I don’t really like the 6th edition model either but it is by far better than the new one.

Speaking of scouting I can’t leave out my Rangers. I probably won’t take anything else from the rare section and these guys really fit the theme. They are out in advance ensuring the path is clear. I have forty of the Bugmans Ranger models and I want to use them. They are really characterful in my opinion. I will endeavor to get a scouting hero included in the unit though I haven’t seen a rune that allows that yet. These will form a large block in the army but they won’t really be guarding the wagons. I guess that my other two infantry blocks will have to do that. I will include thirty five Clansmen. I have the models to do a regiment composed of forty but that entails a good bit of painting so thirty five is enough at this early stage. I could do two units of twenty with full command but I doubt that would fit in the twenty five percent allowance. Accompanying them are the veterans of the expedition, twenty five Longbeards. I have them armed with great weapons. I could also add in some shields but I doubt they are worth the cost. These are meant to be an effective offensive force. I would be very tempted to add the Strollaz rune but to be honest they would most likely end up too far ahead of the rest of the army and relatively unsupported if I did that. I guess the Lord and battle standard bearer will go into this unit. Having them in the unit serves to force my opponent to engage with them as they will probably be worth a large proportion of my points. I am tempted to fill them out to a slightly larger size as a unit of twenty eight doesn’t look right deployed on the table. I guess it is my obsessive nature but the ranks need to be full at the start of the battle.

Looking at the rest of the list I don’t know where to go. I have a few different characters I can add and I haven’t decided on their equipment yet. Other than the ones already mentioned above I will add a runesmith, a lord and probably another hero level character. I am very tempted to add a wandering Dragon Slayer to the force. The models look excellent and are a good contrast to the rest of the army. I would like to get another block of troops in but I don’t really see anything else suitable at the moment. Another sizeable unit of warriors would be very nice. Hammerers, Miners, Slayers and Ironbreakers don’t fit the theme. I have some Thunderers but I think I have enough shooting already to deal with larger creatures, albeit somewhat unreliably. The rangers have enough shots to worry the ablative skirmishers and light cavalry threatening the flanks of the rest of the army. I am very tempted to add some allies from the Empire army. I imagine some spearmen looking very nice ranked up with the Dwarves. They would be interested in protecting the trade also and so could fit in the theme nicely. I don’t know if I have the models. I will have to dig through my collection and see what I do actually have. I don’t really see any other allies fitting in.

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