Watch your feet you may get a pickaxe through it…
Masters of the Earth and Fire Dwarves, or Vagha by the ancient tongue, are the steady producers of Esfah. They have racials that sure up their manoeuvres and counter-attack potential and Spells that have been refined from others to suit their needs. They have access to abilities like Charge and Roar to bolster the lines through strategic intimidation tactics, either scaring off opposing units or allowing their cavalry to make use of their most prevalent icon face.
Mountain Mastery: While in a Terrain that contains Earth (Yellow) Dwarf units may count melee results as manoeuvre results.
Mammoth riders have two 3 trample faces. That means that while in Earth (Yellow) terrain they get the equivalent of a 6 manoeuvre face. Heavy and Light Melee can manoeuvre just as well as Cavalry for other armies. This ability illustrates that dwarves don’t run through faces. They dig.
Dwarven Might: when at a Terrain that contains Fire (Red), dwarves may, when making a counter-attack count save results as melee results.
This gives the Warlord and Footman 100% contribution chance to contribute to a counter-attack in favoured terrain. The major drawback with this ability is that there is only 1 dwarf unit that has a 50% save chance. The lowly footman. All other dwarves have 1 save face to them.
Firebolt: Red: Dwarf: 3:
Target any opposing unit. That unit takes one(stacking) damage.
Simple and Elegant: You level a damaging spell at a target and see if it can save. Great for clearing the chaff but there are better spells for higher health removal.
Higher Ground: Yellow: Dwarf: 5
Target any opposing army. That army subtracts 5 (Stacking) melee results from their rolls until the beginning of your next turn.
It’s easier to stack than Dancing Lights, and when properly stacked an opponent will be hard pressed to mount a decent assault or counter-attack.
Warlord: Rare: 3 Health: 3 Save, 3 Melee, 3 Melee, 4 Smite, 3 Melee
Sergeant: Uncommon: 2 Health: 2 Manoeuvre, 2 Melee, 2 Melee, 3 Save, 3 Melee
Footman: Common: 1 Health: 1 Save, 1 Melee, 2 Melee, 1 Save, 2 Melee
Go go Heavy Melee! In a highlands these guys will be fast and hit hard. Dwarves are straight forward. They do a job and do it well.
Skirmisher: Rare: 3 Health: 4 Melee, 3 Manoeuvre, 2 Manoeuvre, 3 Melee, 4 Counter
Patroller: Uncommon: 2 Health: 3 Melee, 2 Manoeuvre, 3 Manoeuvre, 3 Melee, 2 Save
Sentry: Common: 1 Health: 1 Melee, 1 Manoeuvre, 1 Manoeuvre, 1 Melee, 1 Missile
Use Light Melee when you know you won’t have access to Earth (Yellow) and need maneuvers without going for broke on Cavalry. They are fast and hit hard without the need for a Mountain Stronghold.
Crackshot: Rare: 3 Health: 4 Melee, 3 Missile, 3 Missile, 4 Bullseye, 2 Missile
Marksman: Uncommon: 2 Health: 3 Melee, 2 Missile, 2 Missile, 2 Save, 3 Missile
Crossbowman: Common: 1 Health: 1 Melee, 1 Missile, 1 Missile,. 1 Save, 2 Missile
Beware the player that can leverage a Dwarven Missile Brigade. They will destroy the opposition on the approach, Take a hit, then fight back just as hard on the counter-attack (in red terrain, of course).
Mammoth Rider: Rare: 3 Health: 4 Melee, 3 Trample, 3 Trample, 3 Melee, 3 Save
Lizard Rider: Uncommon: 2 Health: 3 Melee, 3 Manoeuvre, 2 Manoeuvre, 2 Melee, 2 Save
Pony Rider: Common: 1 Melee, 1 Manoeuvre, 2 Manoeuvre, 1 Melee, 1 Save
The Mammoth rider could be said to be the most powerful piece in the army. With acces to two 3 Trample faces it can generate an incredible amount of manoeuvres if it is in Earth (Yellow) terrain. These units can also ride with melee units to assist in both rushing up a terrain and on the ensuing melee for more devastating results. Combine 2 to 3 of these units with Charge (when it rolls) for an astounding amount of attacks.
Wizard: Rare: 3 Health: 3 Save, 4 Magic, 3 Magic, 3 Melee, 4 Cantrip
Thaumaturgist: Uncommon: 2 Health: 2 Melee, 3 Magic, 3 Magic, 2 Save, 2 Magic
Theugist: Common: 1 Health: 1 Melee, 1 Magic, 1 Magic, 1 Save, 2 Magic
Dwarven Mages are scary. In red terrain they have a 50% contribution chance to a counter attack, if you take about 10 Health-Worth of these guys then bring some footman and some shields to keep them save and put them on an eighth face. Combined with Stone Skin they can hold nearly anything.
4 health: 4 results per icon:
Androsphinx: Roar, Magic, Melee, Save, Rend, Melee, Magic, Roar, Save
Roar can keep some of the heavy defence at bay during an attack, however it only has one rend and just above a coin flip, on the attack to what dwarves are the best at, melee.
Behemoth: Stomp, Bash, Manoeuvre, Save, roar,. Trample, Charge, Save, Melee
The behemoth is a walking tank with a some support abilities. Charge turns an opponents save roll into a combination save/counter-attack roll and also allows you to convert manoeuvre results into Melee. This can be a double edged sword as you won’t get saves vs the opponents counter-attack, but combination rolls typically produce less results (a rare id would generate 3 of either result, they can’t be split). This damage can be stopped by magical saves via Stoneskin but it comes up so little that there isn’t really time to prep for it. Bash does reflex damage on the save roll while also giving 4 saves, however, it won’t contribute to the counter-attack.
Gargoyle: Melee, Smite, Fly, Manoeuvre, Dispel Magic, Dispel Magic, Fly, Save, Melee
In a Highlands Terrain the gargoyle embodies the dwarven way. It’s amazing at manoeuvres, melee, and can save well in one way or another with it’s various effects.
Roc: Fly, Melee, Rend, Seize, Save, Melee, Melee, Fly, Seize
The Roc is another unit that is geared toward melee where it does an amazing job of production. Seize can soften and disperse the opposing army. Fly can grant saves and therefore a 100% contribution to the counter-attack.
Umber Hulk: Save, Smite, Melee, Comfuse, Manoeuvre, Confuse, Melee, Smite, Save
Umber Hulks are better on the attack than defence, but even better when taking the brunt of an attack. Confuse works well at melee range for the possibility of converting a save to anything else, Smite bypasses the saving roll entirely and the rest just hit very hard.
Terrains are the most important choices you can make when preparing your Dragon Dice force. Dwarves want to be in their natural habitat. That means highlands. For most games you will need to decide on what passive you want to activate. If you can get both then do that. When it comes to a home terrain I suggest either a Church for DUA Manipulation and Resurrection prevention, or City for rapid support and promotions. As far as the proposed Frontier I suggest the other or a Highlands Dragon’s lair, there are more melee faces on the dragon’s layer than any other terrain die.
Minor terrain selection is just as important as picking your major terrains. It all boils down to what you want an army to do, what other colour you are wanting in the area, and what your preferred method of attack for the marching army is. Dwarves are at their best on counter attacks so I suggest Villages for the minors, for locations I suggest 2 Swamplands, 2 Highlands. Each of these should be able to add your best racial to the affray.
Most Dwarves function best on the attack and even better on the counter-attack. If you are in Highlands, race the opponent to the eighth and don’t let up. Bring at least 10 Health-Worth of mages to supply a good deal of Stoneskin saves and dragonkin to them to grant army wide saves for both armies. Footmen can’t be denied for their effectiveness. Combine them with a couple steel bucklers for a massive effect on save potential. Your worst terrain is a Coastlands. The Swamplands villages will allow you a chance to melee against a ranged heavy army and hit them where it hurts. Race them and hit them using the Earth (Yellow) racial as hard as possible. Don’t underestimate the use of Firebolt from your mages. Most of the saves in the army will come from common units. If an army has a lot of commons then force the saves. If you are wanting to do massive damage to an army however, then use Higher Ground and attack. Save your Stoneskin for Magic and Missile ranges. Higher ground is more efficient at stopping Melee results. If you get a lucky roll, using both Higher Ground and Transmute Rock to Mud can seal an eighth face where you can then attack with less fear of loosing units.