Free Dwarf On the Mersey
Kings of Liverpool – List analysis and Justification.
The List is:-
2 Regiments and 1 Horde of Ironclads with Throwing Mastiff (Horde has Brew of Strength)
2 Troops and 1 Regiment of Berserker Brock Riders (one troop has Skirmishers Boots and Regiment has Brew of Sharpness)
1 Regiment of Stoneclaw Riders
4 Regiments of Mastiff Hunting Packs with Throwing Mastiff (One regiment has the Scrying Gem)
1 Greater Earth Elemental with Craggoth Upgrade
1 Free Dwarf Army Standard Bearer with Lute of Insatiable Darkness
16 Drops 25 Unit Strength
Start from the Top –
Ironclads – I have never used them en masse before, having only used a Regiment or Two as cheap unlocks but , having observed the success of other Free Dwarf Players in using these, the least Free Dwarfish of all the Troops available to me, I decided to give them a try. Also the fact that I had painted some for my new Northern Alliance army and made them so they could be Def 5 or Def 4 with CS(1) by mixing the models in the unit means I can use them as NA Clansmen or Free Dwarf Ironclads or Free Dwarf ShieldBreakers if I wanted. I planned on four Regiments but have opted for two Regiments and a Horde in order to shave off some points whilst still getting a Hero and a Titan unlock. With the new Rallying from the Army Standard Bearer the Nerve becomes 15/17 for the Regiments and 22/24 for the Horde which, coupled with their Def 5, makes them a sturdy battle line to hold their position. The addition of Throwing mastiffs means they have a bit of threat projection and the new “Ordered March” rule makes them able to move into a good positions quicker, 8” move with a pivot makes them equivalent to cavalry. The Brew of Strength on the Horde means one less to banechant or a nice banechanted killing machine on 4’s & 3’s against def 5 targets.
Brock Riders – I can’t take a Free Dwarf Army without at least some of these chaps, they are the quintessential icon of the Free Dwarf Army. With a Nimble Troop that can move up 16” and turn to threaten Flanks and has the ability to pull off some quite sneaky Nimble charges ( even hitting on 4+ , 26 attacks at Thunderous Charge(1) in the flank will hurt- especially with Vicious) and a possible charge range of 17” when coupled with Sveri’s Wild Charge +1 Aura, the Brock Riders have quite an ability to exert board control and area denial. A Troop and a Brew of Sharpness equipped Regiment are quite a formidable battlegroup on their own, but with Sveri Egilax in support they are a force to be reckoned with.
Stoneclaw Riders – The new kids on the Block for Free Dwarfs, I have included them to fulfil a similar role to the Nimble Brock Troop with the added benefit that they have a handy shooting attack and they are Height 4, this means they can deploy behind the brock riders if needed but still see and charge/shoot over the top of them if needed. They have a useful attack profile as they hit on 3+(much needed in a Free Dwarf army) with 9 Attacks at Thunderous Charge(2) and they also have Pathfinder to make them useful for taking out the flanks of units in cover. Although their low nerve of 11/13 mean they will need protecting and may need some Waiver mitigation in the future ( didn’t have the points for this list but may have to make some available depending on their performance). The fact that their shooting has shattering makes using them to support the Throwing Mastiff attack desirable although their 4 shooting attack seems low they are Blast(D3) and Piercing(1) so may be a welcome addition to the armies firepower.
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiments – these Height 1 swarm regiments are ideal to form the first line for the Free Dwarf Army, with speed 6 they can get ahead of the Rest of the Free Dwarf forces and push out to take space on the board or they can sit behind Higher Def Ironclad regiments and be ready to leap forwards to provide cover if needed. With their 12” range mastiff attacks they can take out enemy chaff units or snipe characters equally well as the Mastiffs always hit on a 4+ regardless of any modifiers. The fact that they are Height 1 also means that any Free Dwarf Regiment behind them can launch their own Mastiffs over the heads of the Hunting Packs and their nerve of 11/13 for a Swarm base is quite high and does take people by surprise more often than not and their Crushing Strength(1) against Cavalry can be useful if they manage to countercharge their opponents or get forgotten and are let into a flank. Their only drawback is the lack of Pathfinder and a Melee of 4+.
Craggoth – take a Greater Earth Elemental and add Scout, Self Inspiring and Fireball(10) – this guy is a great way to support your battle line, he can lurk along the flank of your mainline and hold it down or he can Scout up ahead to a suitable piece of terrain and hold it , disrupting plans or drawing out enemy combat troops early. If he is ignored then he can lend his Fireballs and Shattering to the mix to help get rid of enemy chaff units and he doesn’t need much in the way of support as he is Nerve -/19 and Self inspiring and Def 6 means he will be hard to shift , Don’t expect him to win combats with only 12 Attacks on 4+ but he will hold things up until help can reach him.
Free Dwarf Army Standard Bearer – The New hotness ! since the New Clash of Kings came out this guy has been itching to get onto the table. A lovely new Model has been created and he will be equipped with the Lute of Insatiable Darkness to help him support the Ironclads and what support ! his Very Inspiring will allow him to cover Both Regiments and the horde and maybe even their Mastiff Screen while his Rally Aura will boost the Nerve of the Ironclads and make them more resilient, the Banechant will allow him to increase their Damage output against armoured targets , especially in the case of the already Crushing Strength(1) Horde. Although he is not a combat character his presence on the battlefield will improve the performance of a lot of troops.
Banick Kholearm – A lovely little Character and a boost to the Free Dwarfs. With his 6 attacks on 4+ with Crushing Strength(2) and Pathfinder he is quite a surprise to anybody that thinks he is just a SpellCaster, although his Banechant(2) and Fireball(10) make him a very helpful SpellCaster , couple these abilities with Scout and Brutal as well as inspiring and Banick becomes an all round player for the Free Dwarfs, having used him extensively in all flavours of Free Dwarf Armies I am more than happy to have his assistance on the battlefield and I now have an excuse to make yet another Banick Kholearm Model for my Free Dwarfs so he can Scout up to support Craggoth , hose down chaff with his fireballs or throw himself into a combat to lend his attacks, Brutal and Inspiring to tip the balance.
Sveri Egliax – what can I say about the Free Dwarfs spiritual Leader , with his 10 attacks , Crushing Strength(1), Thunderous Charge(1) Melee 3+ Speed 8 and Height 4 he is a powerhouse in combat and he excels in using his height and Nimble to get into Flanks for devastating effect. His Def of 4 is balanced to a degree by his Nerve of -/18 as it means he can take a fair bit of punishment before he needs to go away. His inspiring and Aura of Wild Charge make him great to lead Brock Riders into battle. He has been my MVP for countless battles and it is difficult to write a Free Dwarf list without him.
Stoneclaw Champion – Another new face in the Free Dwarf list, Speed 10, Melee 3+, Ra 4+, Def 4,att 5, Ne 11/13 with Fly, Nimble, Inspiring, Pathfinder, Thunderous Charge(2) and Has a 3 att ranged with 12” Blast(D3) Piercing(1) shattering. With his height 4 he can lurk behing other units and add his shooting attack or fly around and threaten enemy Flanks , with 5 attacks on 3+ at TC(2) he is no slouch in combat and can really dish out damage in a flank or rear. Having used his Frostclaw counterpart at a Tournament I am eager to put this Free Dwarf Version to the test to see what he can bring to the List. There is a lot of excitement about the Stoneclaws since the release of Clash of Kings and I am looking forwards to starting to use them and see how it changes the Free Dwarfs dynamics alongside all the other updates in the List.
Keep your eyes peeled for an After Action Report starring this Army very soon !