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The Raven Clan plots their Conquest

 




The Free Dwarfs of the Raven Clan have evolved a very distinctive style of warfare since their sundering from their Homeland, without the war engines of their Southern cousins and without the Massed Brock Riders of their Bowland Brethren, they have adapted to the fighting in the Mountains and frozen Tundra of their Northern domain. As well as adapting the traditional fighting styles of the Dwarfs they have learned the art of rearing the Giant Ravens of the Mountains and riding them into battle. The following is a collection of all the ideas and thoughts behind the choice of the units in the current evolution of my Free Dwarf Army.







Use Pathfinder – all main offensive units have it, main defensive unit doesn’t.

Mastiff Hunting Packs - to break up and disrupt chaff and provide relief from shooting, these are the Frontline units along with Craggoth to push up and put on pressure early on in the game, hopefully throwing their Mastiffs before they die although with their decent 11/13 Nerve the Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiments survive for a surprising amount of time all things considered and their ability to  take out enemy chaff before they do is very useful indeed.



Craggoth - to use his scout to push forwards to threaten enemy, remove chaff with Fireball and generally hold stuff up with Def 6, Nerve -/19. Also height 6 can block Line of Sight to smaller units behind while allowing Craggoth to fireball smaller targets without cover penalties.





Ironclads – used as an Horde to provide the Free Dwarfs with a lovely big block of Def 5 with 21/23 Nerve( 22/24 with the Rally from the ASB ) although they lack Pathfinder so it may be useful to stick them into cover- with the Army Standard Bearer in support the Horde can be a useful anvil but with a projected 6 damage against Def 5 it needs support units to help it out, although this can be boosted to 8 damage by Banechant from the ASB. Its main job is providing a Unit Strength 4 wedge of Nerve to present to the enemy and this is also where the ASB comes in for supporting with the Rally and inspiring as well as his Banechant from the Lute of Inspiring Darkness. They Have Headstrong so can shrug off wavering two thirds of the time and Ordered March allows them to move up a lot more quickly than they could in the past, making them more useful in Objective grabbing scenarios and also great loot carriers as they don’t lose Ordered March while carrying a Loot Token. As a bonus they also have a one shot Throwing Mastiff attack to help with the Damage accumulation.



ShieldBreakers - The Pathfinder equipped CS(2) Shieldbreakers with their Wild Charge 1 are very useful , they can dish out 5 damage in the front and 11 damage in a flank in all situations apart from over an obstacle or ensnare and their increased nerve of 15/17 with the ASB is good , they just need protecting from shooting until combat is joined. They can also use their Pathfinder and Ordered March to get into good positions to flank and threaten other targets. The Two regiments also come with throwing Mastiffs to add their weight to the Storm of Puppies the Army can put out.



Stoneclaws – These guys are taken without their shooting option, 12” shooting on a Horde of Def 4 , Nerve 14/16 Flyers is a trap , especially without Steady Aim. I use these like Elf players use Drakon Hordes, preferably they lurk in a wood or behind a hill for cover while maintaining a good charge arc to allow them to fly in to double up with either the Ironclads, Craggoth or Shieldbreakers on a Countercharge, with their Pathfinder, 18 attacks on 3+ with TC(2) they are very much Glass Hammers but if the targets are well chosen they can make a significant dent in an opposing battle line and even the threat of this can give pause to a lot of opponents. With their low nerve the Dwarven Ale allows them to shrug off any wavering results two thirds of the time and could just mean the difference between a useful charge and ignominious defeat.



Berserker Brock Riders – The Regiment with the Brew of Sharpness fulfils a similar role to the Stoneclaws, they are a Third line unit behind the Ironclads and Shieldbreakers and should be supported by Sveri for the extra inch of charge and Sveri’s attacks and Inspiring. Again with Def 4 they will need shielding from shooting but, again, with Pathfinder they can lurk in cover. Being Fearless there is no worry of wavering either Both of these natural abilities mean a nice Combat Item is possible and paying the Regiment price for Brew of Sharpness on 26 attacks is sweet. Once they are engaged it may be possible to support them with either a Shieldbreaker Regiment or the ASB can help boost them with Banechant. The Troop of Berserker Brock Riders is equipped with the Skirmishers Boots, making them a fast moving Nimble unit, with their -/15 Nerve and 13 Attacks they are quite a threat to have in a flanking position and their native Pathfinder makes them useful for attacking units with their flanks in cover. They are quite capable of pushing up a flank or diving into cover to threaten a battle line, with their speed and Nimble they are also good warmachine hunters or can seek out and hold far flung objectives. A very versatile piece indeed.



Dwarf Lord on Large Beast – equipped with the orb of Towering presence to make him Unit Strength 2, this Nimble Def 6 height 4 model is a great utility piece in the Free Dwarf army. He is inspiring and Headstrong with 7 attacks, CS(1) and TC(2). His forte is charging into flanks and rears of already engaged units , blocking charges and providing those few extra wounds to combats. With his nerve of 15/17 coupled with his high defence he can act as a pretty good road block and can be used to get into area control or contest objectives in an army that normally lacks Nimble speedy units.




Sveri Egilax – I do struggle to write a Free Dwarf army up without this Model, not only for the fact he is the Spirit and Soul of Free Dwarfery, he is Speed 8 , Me 3+ , De 4 10 Attacks CS(1) TC(1) and Nerve -/18 with Inspiring and an Aura of Wild Charge +1 for Berserkers. Height 4 and Nimble. With his high Nerve and high number of attacks he is deadly in combat , he wont kill regiments by himself in the front but he is Nimble on a 50mm square base and so the amount of shenanigans he can get up to is awesome. He is a scoring unit and can carry loot if needed. Due to his Fearless Nerve he can be relied on to do whatever you want him to do. His major drawback is his lack of terrain mitigation but by careful positioning and use of other Pathfinder equipped units this can be allowed for.



Stoneclaw Champion – A new addition to the Free Dwarfs, the Stoneclaw Champion is an Speed 10, Nerve 11/13 Def 4 Large Cavalry Character with Fly, Nimble, Pathfinder, Inspiring and Thunderous Charge(2). He has 5 Attacks and Unit Strength 1 with height 4 I have equipped this character with the Tricksters Wand to help cut down the amount of Magic the opponent can use. With a 30” range and the fact that he will be able to target most wizards unless they are completely hidden, in which case their effectiveness is already reduced. The Stoneclaw Champion will be looking to manoeuvre into a favourable position to attack flanks and rears and as a side will probably be able to either Hex an opposing spellcaster or launch his own shooting attack which, although it only has 12” range, has blast(D3) piercing(1) and Shattering so could help with a combined Mastiff attack to take down a chaff unit although there is no steady aim on the attack unlike the Northern alliance version of these same Ravens.



Free Dwarf Army Standard Bearer – I have been using this model ever since the Clash of Kings changes were discussed on the Counter Charge Podcast ! 50 Points for a Very Inspiring and Rally(1) character? Yes please! I have given him the Lute of insatiable Darkness to allow him to do something in a turn and I am even considering having a second with the Diadem of Dragonkind to use as kind of a Very inspiring Flame Priest, something the Free Dwarfs do lack. Watch out for the exploits of my Free Dwarf Army Standard Bearer in forthcoming Battle Reports and maybe even on Facebook!



These are the choices and reasons for the most recent incarnation of the Northern free Dwarfs Raven Clan. Their next Tournaments are fast approaching and more practise is being had in a frenzied attempt to improve my handling of this, possibly the swingiest of KoW armies. From Wooden Spoons to First place trophies and everything in between the Free Dwarfs have been fun to pilot and I am looking forwards to another good season with them before Golloch brings the whole Dwarf world crashing down !

 

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