Warhammer/Tactics/8th Edition/Legion of Azgorh
Why Legion of Azgorh?Edit
If you are a new player, Chaos Dwarfs were supported until 6th edition and then slowly sank into Squat territory (although it would still be legal to play them). In July 2011 Forgeworld released Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos, which contained a WHFB army list for a faction of Chaos Dwarves. Which is awesome, but loses part of the Babylonian look the older army had.
So what does the Legion of Azgorh offer and what are its main weaknesses? They are Dwarfs with possessed war machines (they're often called overpowered, and it's true, but this is compensated by the rest of the army), typically fielded behind a small, elite army composed of Chaos Dwarfs. They're supported by Fire Daemons that they've fucking created, capable of wrecking entire armies, and their Sorcerers double as Engineers and can use magic while doing so.
On the downside, all the CD units are very expensive, including your equipment like Blunderbusses save for the Hobgoblins (though it gets evened out with the war machines), few of the units have any real synergy with each other, with half the army list favoring a stationary, defensive battle plan and the other half needing to quickly get into combat to be most effective. Most of your synergy will be Ash Storm based, and if you go Hobgoblin-heavy you only have 3 options and they are cannon fodder at best.
The army has two viable yet very different play-styles. By virtue of access to many top tier war machines, engineers and wizards, Chaos Dwarfs can be played similarly to their western cousins, the Dwarfs, just with the added benefit of hurling magical death as well as rockets and molten lava. That's just good customer service! Alternatively you can skimp on the artillery and go full frontal assault, a la Chaos Warriors lite, complete with lots of fast monsters and rock solid elite infantry. Mixing the two styles sees the army lose a lot of its effectiveness, particularly against canny opponents who will pull apart stranded combat units or unguarded war machines piecemeal.
All in all, the Legion of Azgorh ends as a middle-tier army that will catch an opponent caught off-guard, but only the first few times. What do you mean 24" reach flamethrowers?
- Resolute: Chaos Dwarfs get -1" to the rolls for pursuing and fleeing. Regular Dwarfs had this rule updated in 8th Edition, Chaos Dwarfs just have to live with it.
- Relentless: Chaos Dwarfs don't test to march if they have an enemy within 8", which is very welcome, given their low movement value.
- Contempt: All Chaos Dwarf and Bull Centaur units ignore panic tests caused by their Hobgoblin slaves, and Chaos Dwarf characters can't join units without this rule (but that doesn't go the other way around). So use them as the shields they are, and don't mind them dying in droves.
- Daemonsmith: Daemonsmith Sorcerers and Sorcerer-Prophets are Immune to Psychology (remember, it only carries over to a unit if more than 50% of models have the rule) and are also subject to
- Infernal Engineer: If the model is unmounted and within 3" of a war machine, he can roll for Look Out Sir! like if he were within a unit of five or more models (so successful on a 2+, and not 4+ like Dwarfs or Empire. To be fair, this is most likely a mistake and meant as "[...] within 3" of [...]", but it has not been FAQ'ed). Additionally, he can forego using missile weapons so one war machine can re-roll one scatter or artillery dice.
- Sorcerer's Curse: After resolving a miscast like normal, make a toughness test. Failing it causes an additional wound. After the first lost toughness test, permanently increase toughness by 1.
- Hellbound: Iron Daemon War Engines, Deathshrieker Rocket Launchers, Magma Cannons and Dreadquake Mortars can be hellbound. Hellbound gives the WM +1T, +1W and magical attacks, but on a Misfire the war machine suffers D3 Wounds with no save. A hellbound war machine also causes fear, which is hilarious when your opponent charges with his low-LD war machine hunters only to have their WS reduced to 1.
- Steam Carriage: Deathshrieker Rocket Launchers, Magma Cannons and Dreadquake Mortars can be mounted on a steam carriage. Steam Carriage makes the war machine count as behind Hard Cover against shooting and behind an obstacle when charged, plus allowing it to be towed by the Iron Daemon.
Unit Analysis and SummaryEdit
Lords and HeroesEdit
Note: Under the current edition, named characters tend to be overpriced; you can pretty easily emulate most named characters from scratch and save yourself some points. That said, a few named characters do have abilities and wargear or wargear combos unique to them, so if you need to have them, go ahead. Just make sure you're really getting your points worth.
- Drazhoath the Ashen, Prophet of Hashut: Drazhoath has the same problems a regular Sorcerer Prophet has: He is just not as tough as the Lords from other armies, neither offensively nor defensively. On top of that, you can kit out a regular Sorcerer Prophet to be a better tank (2+/4++) or have T6. On the other hand, Drazhoath has an increased profile, confers a unique combat resolution buff, is a superior caster (even the Darkforged Weapon abilities cannot compare) with the potential to be downright terrifying (Crucible) and Cinderbreath dishes out a S5 breath weapon once in the game. You're still going to take an ordinary Sorcerer Prophet 99% of the time though because Drazhoath costs 570 fucking points. Sure for a kitted-out Sorcerer-Prophet on Bale Taurus it's relatively cheap, and as far as Sorcerer-Prophets on flying monsters go, he isn't the worst option, but putting a Sorcerer-Prophet on a flying monster isn't a good idea to begin with. He will be a valuable target for your opponent (cannons and other war machines, first and foremost, but also other flying character hunters will be gunning for him) and he needs a solid battle plan and careful placement. His points cost too make it extremely hard for him to have a good return on investment, as is usual for Sorcerer-Prophets on flying monsters. At least his model is gorgeous.
- If you're still bringing him then remember this: he's not Karl Franz, and you definitely cannot just send him into combat with anything and expect success. His boosted WS and Wound should be seen as something to help him survive, not win in fights. Most importantly is not to place too much emphasis on the Daemonspite Crucible. Getting +1 to all casting attempts is great, putting Drazoath offensively on Level 5 and on par with Teclis or Nagash, and getting +2 by killing a wizard in close combat would be even better, but despite the huge bonus this also isn't something you should go out of your way to accomplish. As a quick example, if you see an Empire list field a Wizard on his own in the open, leave him the fuck alone unless you want Drazhoath and Cinderbreath to be blown to bits by cannons as soon as that wizard's dead (and it's a guarantee that Drazhaoth costs a hell of a lot more than that wizard does). Even against other armies you need to watch out for anything that can charge/hit you hard as soon as the combat's over as the list of things that can crush Drazhoath is very long. On the plus side Drazhoath and every Chaos Dwarf unit in 12" get +1 to combat resolution, which is very good. Lastly, Cinderbreath has an incredible S5 breath weapon, which is simply awesome.
Note: While named characters are judged against their generic counterparts, generic characters are examined based on their role in your army.
All Sorcerers have the Immune to Psychology USR, can LoS if within 3" of a war machine and have to test Toughness when they Miscast (their first failure will add 1 to their T permanently). They can also wear magic armour and by default come with a 4+/5++ versus flaming attacks armor.
- Sorcerer-Prophet: The only regular Lord choice for the army. He is a Level 3 Sorcerer with L4 upgrade. Has all the regular Chaos Dwarf stuff, and also a special weapon that has his own table of minor special abilities (as Daemons do now). They have access to the Lore of Hashut (Heroes don't), Metal, Fire or Death. Works best with Death magic -- LD10 spirit leech, Hell Cannon causing panic tests at -4 LD FTW -- however the lore of Hashut can too be quite effective in static gunline lists with ample artillery. The Sorcerer Prophet while possessing decent stats is far from a beatstick, though a tooled up one with Blood of Hashut can with a little luck melt down heavily armored characters into pools of piss and blood. It is recommended to buy them 2+/4++ saves, and leave them on foot. Despite having 3 mounts to choose from, putting them on a flying monster not only vastly increases their already high cost, but it makes them a massive target for war machines, other flying monsters, character hunters (especially those on flying monsters) and so on. If he's on a flying monster and gets charged by another flying monster with a decent beatstick riding it, he is fucked.
- Daemonsmith Sorcerer: Wizard-Engineer too. Has access to Fire, Metal and Death. May upgrade to Level 2 Wizard and comes with a S5 magic weapon by default. Give him the Lore of Fire, keep him at the back next to your war machines to give them re-rolls and use him to throw Fireballs at the enemy.
- Infernal Castellan: The only BSB choice, so you will need one. He has access to 75 points of magic items and can get a shield even when BSB, so you can protect him easily. This hero is tough, with a 2+/4++ save, T5 and 3 attacks, so make the most of it. Do note that if you're looking for a little extra melee output, you should look at the Hobgoblin Khan first (yes, seriously).
- Hobgoblin Khan: This is the cheapest Hero choice in the army, so make sure to take full advantage of that if you want just a little extra melee output. As an example, a Hobgoblin with the Sword of Might costs relatively little, yet puts out the same amount of hurt with it as a Castellan could, while also striking sooner thanks to his higher Initiative. Pay 5 points more for a Potion of Foolhardiness and you now have 4 S5 attacks coming from him, which could make the difference in combat. Don't think about putting him in a Hobgoblin unit though, they don't need his Leadership since they should be benefiting from Inspiring Presence, and while Contempt might prevent Chaos Dwarfs from joining Hobgoblin units it doesn't go the other way, so you can put him in with Blunderbuss blocks or even just regular infantry blocks. Oddly enough those CD's can and will sacrifice themselves to save him via LoS even though they hate his guts. You can also mount him on a Wolf, give him a few upgrades (light armor, shield, and spear) and send him to hunt war machines for little more than 50 points. He can also be used to redirect charges, just like HE eagles.
- Bull Centaur Taur'ruk: A Centaur hero, he is considered a Monstrous Beast, and his profile is
appallingappealing for a Hero choice, with 4 Wounds, Strength and Toughness 5 among other things. For 20 points you can get him to 1+ without magic items. The only catch is that to get this guy in your army you have to get a unit of Bull Centaurs too. You might as well learn to like them if you want him, so put him up with them and let fly against anything that isn't a horde benefitting from Steadfast.
- Great/Bale Taurus: Your principal mount for hitting the enemy hard is a powerful flying monster with flaming attacks and it cannot be wounded by spells from the Lore of Fire but heals D3 wounds if hit by one. They also hit everyone in close combat with them automatically with S4 (save the rider), and have successful non-magical wounds done to it re-rolled. A Bale Taurus has +1T and +1W and also features a flaming S4 Breath Weapon for 80pts extra.
- Lammasu: This little guy is taken from the Storm of Magic book, and has a nasty CC aura (all magic weapons aside from the rider's in base contact do not function). Watch as big boss-man Karl Franz goes from being the Teddy Roosevelt of Warhammer to George Bush reading fairy tales to Kindergartners. It is a Level 1 caster (can upgrade to Level 2) and has access to Lore of Shadow, so you can get a sorcerer mount for your sorcerer (yo dog). However, as he will only get level 2 don't count on Mindrazor, but you can get access to some Hexes. The army's only access to lore of shadow.
- Giant Wolf: The only mount option for a Hobgoblin Khan, confers Fast Cavalry rule on the Khan, which is lost when he takes a shield (like the regular wolf riders)
- Infernal Guard: This unit is the core of your army, they have a good profile and come with 3+ armour save and a 5+ ward save against flaming attacks. They also have access to a regular 6++ parry save due to their shields. Their weapon options include Great Weapons (a straightforward option when you already have an Initiative of 2), Fireglaives (Halberds and Handguns in one weapon, 18" S4 Armour piercing) or Blunderbusses. Blunderbusses are short-range shooting weapons, and make your IG 18 points per model. This weapon has some special rules that make it interesting: Multiple Shots d3 (one roll for unit, so it's either awesome or terrible), S3 Armour piercing, no multiple shots penalty, and the more models the unit has, the better. At 10+ models it loses the long range and stand and shoot penalties, and at 20+ models they re-roll to Wound. you can also give this unit a Magic Banner up to 50 points. They're somewhat overpriced, which only gets worse with Blunderbusses, so only take as many as you must.
- Hobgoblin Cutthroats: These guys are small, sneaky, and can be spammed for a relative low cost. They come with Throwing Knives and Light Armour by default. You can give them shields at 0.5 points a piece, so it's recommended as it makes them much harder to kill in combat. You can buy them bows for 1 point, or an additional hand weapon for 0.5, so you have many options available with them. They benefit from your General's Inspiring Presence so they can be used as a tarpit.
- Do note that taking them as-is would not be a stupid idea, since you can use them to screen your Guard to two purposes: A) making them harder to shoot, and B) force-failing enemy charges. If something charges your Hobgoblins and you choose to flee, your Chaos Dwarfs won't give a shit. If that something isn't comfortably within range of your CD's but they are of another Hobgoblin unit, that one can flee too once it's charged, and now your opponent has automatically failed their charge and is stumbling forward, setting themselves up for an easy counter-charge or round of shooting from your dudes. Sneaky, as it should be.
- Infernal Ironsworn: Think of these guys as Chaos Warriors that suck. You can't give them any different gear, they come by default with Ensorcelled Hand Weapons (S5, magical attacks), they all have WS5 and 3+ armour, and they're rather expensive. Sharing the special allowance with many of your best units and war machines doesn't help either. Outperformed in nearly every way by Infernal Guard with either fireglaives (who cost the same) or great weapons (who cost less), so give them a hard pass and try not to think about how the Forge World FAQ actually nerfed them by increasing the cost of their command group, as if they didn't suck enough already.
- Bull Centaur Renders: M7 Monstrous Beast that can combine Heavy Armour with their Scaly Skin and get 3+ base armour. They have a low number of Attacks (2), but they make that up with T5 and their heavy armours. You could (but won't) give them Spears, or something more useful like Great Weapons, additional HtH weapons and Shields. They make for great flank protection or, in bigger units, flank crushing. They can have magic banner so great for an extra inch of move or classic flaming attack to hunt down hydras and trolls. Do remember that one of the main reasons you'll be running these guys is to get your Taur'ruk, who is almost always going to be with this unit. He helps give the extra attacks the unit sorely lacks base, and more than makes them into the monster hunters they're almost meant to be.
- K'daai Fireborn: Monstrous Infantry unit. They share Unbreakable and Unstable with Vampires and Tomb Kings. Their rules make it so that they end up killing themselves a lot of times, and the longer the game, the weaker they will get. Since you roll for every unit separately to check whether they burn out, it is advisable to get one large one rather than two small ones. Other than that they're S5 and can dish out a fair number of attacks and wounds. Keep in mind they are Flaming, so any of the 2+ Ward against Flaming attacks will keep them locked forever, or until they kill themselves.
- Iron Daemon War Engine: This expensive unit has 2 setups and uses, depending on what upgrades you get. It has a whopping S8, T7, and 7 Wounds (always Hellbind for S8, T8, W8), and a base movement of 6. It can move normally (6") or roll 2D6 and add them to the movement. Obstacles lower than the ID don't slow it. If a double 1 is rolled it doesn't move that turn.
- The first version is the default one. It comes with a Steam Cannonade. This weapon is the bane of Monsters, War Machines and lone characters up till 18" range, because you roll 2 artillery dice, and choose the best result (if double problems are rolled, then roll in the table). Roll To Hit (no penalty for moving) and To Wound with S6, armour piercing shots and Multiple Wounds (D3). This version deals D6+2 Impact Hits and can thunderstomp in following turns with S8
- The second version is the Skullcracker upgrade and it substitutes the Steam Cannonade. It deals 2D6+2 Impact Hits, then 2D6 Thunderstomp, and gains +1 To Wound against fortifications and buildings.
- Both versions can also haul other war machines that have purchased the Steam Carriage upgrade with it. One won't slow it, if it tows 2, its movement is reduced to 3". Towed war machines must be targeted separately for shooting and charging, but are only locked in combat if the Iron Daemon is also engaged. Towed war machines may only fire their weapons if the carriage remained stationary that turn. A War Machine being towed may be untowed during the Movement Phase, but cannot be towed again for the remainder of the game. This is of fairly variable usage depending on your opponent and the terrain. It's probably not something you'll want to do every game but but it's a nice fringe benefit all the same. Being able to move a war machine to cover a choke point or to screen it from return fire while you pummel important units can be a big deal but on some tables there just won't be a reason to do it. Still, don't forget about it.
- The Iron Daemon is an unique unit, so it doesn't benefit from our Daemonsmith re-rolling abilities. Note that as per the FAQ, Iron Daemons cannot wheel on the charge. When the Iron Daemon charges, it moves directly forward, no wheels to maximize, but it "closes the door". When it shoots, it only shoots directly ahead, no forward arc. Can make usage tricky. (see Discussion page for more on this issue)
- Deathshrieker Rocket Launcher: This machine comes cheap at 100 points. It works roughly as a Stone Thrower with a Large Blast at Strength 3, but without double Strength or Multiple Wounds in the center and it cannot fire indirectly. If the center of the Large Blast misses the unit (note, the center), roll an artillery dice, change the template for the small one and move it towards the center of the closest unit (friend or foe) by that amount of inches. If a Misfire is rolled, then the shot explodes in the air without douing any damage. It also has an alternative firing mode at S8, Multiple Wounds (D6) without Blast, doubling very well as a Monster hunter, especially when we take re-rolls via an Infernal Engineer into account.
- Magma Cannon: This cannon makes the Dwarf Flamethrower laugh, as it works similarly to one, but it's a little worse in nearly every aspect. You can't pull off any bizarre aiming shenanigans to maximize the amount of models hit by the template, and you do not cause panic tests by causing only a single wound (apparently getting lava dunked on you is less scary than fire). On the plus side you make up for it with range, getting a full 24" plus whatever the artillery says afterwards. A good rule of thumb is always to go 9" from the middle of your target, the flame template is long enough that even on a 2 or a 10 you'll hit somebody, whereas the other results will cause you to hit a lot, and do remember to take them if you're ever up against Ogres or Trolls.
- Hobgoblin Wolf Raiders: Mediocre. They'd be a great unit if they weren't rare but they're competing with extremely powerful units. They've got Animosity and low leadership, and their speed means that they won't be within range of the General or BSB. Pass unless you're doing the Hobgoblin redirect strategy mentioned in the Hobgoblin Cutthroats entry, at least that way you can increase your chances of getting your flank charges and their extra bonus.
- Dreadquake Mortar: A souped-up Stone Thrower. This piece of artillery has both the longest reach in the game and access to a special upgrade, the Slave Ogre. Without it, it is subject to Slow Reload (firing every 2 turns unless a 3+ roll is made). If both the Ogre and the Hellbound upgrade are purchased, the Mortar has T8 and 7 Wounds, making it into a very tough and hard to remove unit (as per FAQ). It fires like a Stone Thrower, with S5 (10 under the hole), armour piercing with range 12"-72". Any unit who takes a casualty from it has to test for Dangerous Terrain if they wish to move (charging, reforming, everything counts) or try to shoot Move or Fire weapons. War Machines count as Chariots for this, so a failed roll will make them lose D6 Wounds. On the other hand, it's very expensive, so think carefully before taking one (particularly since your Rare slot also includes the K'daai Destroyer).
- Hellcannon: It fires as a Stone Thrower with S5, and forces Panic tests (with -1Ld penalty) on units suffering casualties from it. Even better than the Warriors of Chaos version due to Daemonsmith re-rolls and is a solid choice. It's also the only officially sold model you can get for Chaos Dwarfs without having to pay Forge World prices.
- K'daai Destroyer: Remember how we said that this thing deserved a point to its own? We meant it. First, a list of things to avoid: poison, characters with the dragon helm or dragonbane gem, dragon princes, stubborn/unbreakable blocks, and don't let it overrun off the board. Otherwise, this thing will quite happily kill half an army for you. It's only downside is a lack of model and that its picture in the book is very vague. As shown as WIP in the a Games Day, it looked just like Skaarac the Bloodborn but with more shit stuck to him (in other words, it was fucking ugly).
- Chaos Siege Giant: Your other option for a monster besides the K'daai Destroyer. It costs only 50pts less but is basically worse in every way. Giants have a random attack system, so you're never quite sure what they will do, which is bad in the first place. It can be quite effective if you roll the right attack against the right opponent, but it can also be a wasted turn. It comes with two upgrades: Runes of Hate lets you re-roll your random attack roll (important) and gives berserk rage (not good, but negligible at LD10) but increases the costs to a solid 300pts - only 25pts away from the Destroyer! Scaling spikes are pretty much useless unless you're in an actual siege (Siege Giant, duh!). Siege Giants compete for your precious rare allowance and are the worst of the five choices. Take only if you love giants and/or have your list somehow tailored to it.
Building Your ArmyEdit
You have three options:
Option 1: You are a rich lunatic and you want to play WHFB's version of the Death Korps of Krieg. Buy all the stuff direct from Forge World. Weep (or laugh) as your basic core units cost £80 for twenty guys with full command. Yes, the models are super awesome (especially the war machines) but a 2000pts army of these guys will set you back by literally jillions of money.
Option 2: You are a sensible chap who is a dab hand at converting. Use GW's regular plastic dwarfs and use your modelling skills to turn them into Chaos Dwarfs. Just put spikes everywhere, a fun conversion idea used by a clever guy is to use a thumb tack for the signature hats. You might need to get more inventive to make their war machines from scratch however. The new plastic Irondrake models are perfect for converting into Chaos Dwarfs with blunderbusses.
Option 3: You are a sensible chap who doesn't play Warhammer at GW stores. Get an army of Abyssal Dwarfs from Mantic Games. They're all plastic and it costs £50 for about 60 models. Their infantry models are nicely detailed and look suitably Chaotic, though their options are still stuck in the "metal add on" phase. The war machines leave much to be desired however. As these are not GW's models, you'll probably be lynched by GW staff if you try to use them at one of their stores.
Update to pts 2&3 from "Different Legion of Azgorh fanatic".
Alternatively, f*ck Mantic Games, and do a bit of Google. Eventually you'll find Spanish company called Norba Miniatures . Their Infernal Dwarfs are an absolute ripoffs of what Forge World did. Quality's less detailed, models require bit of cleaning, but at the end you'll get something that looks as closest on the market as possible to these from FW. Plus they allow you to buy models with either hand weapon/shield, fireglaive or great weapon. Just be aware it may even take 3 months for them to do the casts and dispatch. Still - 12-15 EUR for group of 10? Here's my money!
If you feel like giving 23 GBP-donation-for-those-in-need, buy a command squad from FW, chop off some bits, and add others. Have some leftovers like axes from Khorne's End of Times bulky Skullreapers/Wrathmongers - use them. That way, you'll make a 3 properly grimdark and custom made Castellans.
If you aim to get less Ironclad-Mordor-More-Babylonian-Pointy-Hats-Look check out Russian Alternative . I bought some as Ironsworn unit. Resin quality is rather ok - still needs cleaning. Although I've heard stories about orders coming incomplete or with broken weapons. They cost around 31 GBP per unit of 20. If you prefer 6th ed. tall hats, this is the alternative you have. I prefer industrialised forge world / norba design. It is just a matter of taste.
If you have a hand for sculpting and load of free time, get a green stuff or some thick modelling mass, get a scissors, knife or wire cutter and sculpture some flames. Just grab a piece of previously glued to a model green stuff and pull with a tool. Make sure it would dry, then paint and use some tough hairspray on the model, to keep it solid.
Bale/Great Taurus - Take Scibor Miniatures  under consideration. They have some wingy bulls generals is their Moscal army. Also - check their range as well. If you want to add a bit of Old-Matiushka-Russia charm to your army, then you had found the right place, comrade. Quality is very good, definitely better than Norba's or Russian Alternative
Lammasu - the closest equivalent is Manticore. Check out Raging Heroes  website - they have nice Manticore in the range + extra payable head of Lammasu. Or just buy this head, do a measurements on your Taurus, chop off its head in a right spot with a tiny modelling saw in and use some magnets or magnetic tapes so you'll have a model with fully changeable head - depending on situation.
Bull Centaurs - Scibor Miniatures, Norba Miniatures and Russian Alternative. I think first have 3 or 4 different models sold separately, but Norba has cheap 3-packs and again with choice of different weapons. Russian Alternative introduced some as well, yet It's better to check if actual size is similar to the FW product.
K'daai Destroyer - Monstrous Arcanum and Tamurkhan (both FW) state that these may be bulls, warriors, daemons or f*ck-knows-what, just with blazing flaming bodies and on properly sizeable base. As FW project was (let us admit) crap, you have to find a model just yourself. The FW WIP was abandoned with the End Times and turned into Skaarac the Bloodborn, Great Khorgorath of Khorne. You can of course get him and retcon a Destroyer out of it, but we aim for something much less than 145 GBP. If you like modelling, I seriously suggest taking Maw-Krusha from AoS Greenskins. Bulky bastard, I did however chop off wings in mine. Don't forget to get some green mass to sculpture some nice flames. Or just take WH40k Forgefiend. Or better yet: scratch all of that. The Russian Alternative have just released a model for the K'Daai Destroyer and it looks pretty awesome , and it comes at 1/5 the cost of that awful Skaarac abomination.
Hobgoblins - get yourself a pack of Stormvermins and/or Clanrats, chop off their heads and tails, add some bits and pieces from other armies - if you have them accessible - and some Gnobblar-Goblin-Nightgoblin heads. You may chop off Skaven shields and glue some from different armies but you'll need bit of skills and green mass to hold it tight. Just think - Hobgoblins with Dwarven shields? "My grudges are itching just on a thought..." Have some Black Orks or any Orks? Sweet - fit them in as a place fillers. I have a massive warboss chained to the rocks, with banner pole attached to his back and he's my equivalent of 4 hobos including standard bearer. If you like modelling and customisation - this is for you.
Hobgoblin Wolf Riders - have not many alternatives again. Original wolf mounted Goblins from GW or Russian Alternatives.
Hobgoblin Khans - Many options for mods. Check the advises for Hobgoblins above, remember to glue to him loads of random knives, swords, pennants or just leftovers from different armies, to make him outstanding of the crowd.
Currently not many alternatives in regards to warmachines.
You may use some Empire or Dwarf Hellblaster/Cannon/Flame Cannons to make Deathshriek or Magma Cannon. It will require some bits and pieces and modelling skills, but shouldn't be much complicated.
Iron Daemon - empire Steam Tank plus loads of mending. Maybe something from 40k, but it is either too futuristic or too wallet draining. I bought the original and in this case I recommend doing exactly the same.
There are no reasonable alternatives for Dreadquake if you want to stick to its size. Well you can use old Earthquake from 6th edition, or check Mantic, but it won't help you if you want to have it mounted on Steam Carriage. Unless, you have 2 Hellcannons and a friend who owns the modeling/gaming store with loads of bits and pieces. I also considered buying model of one of the IIWW Nazi German or Soviet Russians train mortars or train cannons, but you would have to compare the scale, do lots of changes, have to had lots of spares and to be honest lot of free time.
Siege Giant - another modelling opportunity. You need Giant from GW. Or have fun and buy Beastman Cygor. In both cases you'll have to use green stuff and bits and pieces to do some armour for him. I don't know about many other alternatives. Rotten Factory has Giant - just google.
Hellcannon - Original, ugly bastard from Norba Miniatures, or Rotten Factory [https://rottenfactory.eu/store/index.php. They have 2 types of Hellcannons - proper one, and mutilated heavily mutated something with big tusks and 6... limbs. This one is perfect for Nurgle / Tzentch WoC, However we're talking about LoA - so the first one would do the job (or would get the job done :) ).
These are the main core unit of your army. Better than their Dawi hold dwelling cousins, they have a 4+ save (with a 5++ against fire based attacks) plus a shield and a base Strength of 4. However, such a sweet statline doesn't come cheap, and units between 20 and 25 is usually the way to go. They can also take a magic standard, which is nice! Good, standard option to fill core. Don't expect much from them, but they should be able to go toe to toe with any other core unit and give a decent account of themseves.
The warriors have additional 3 weapon options, and these really dictate what you do with the unit. They can have great weapons for 3 points, fireglaves for 5 points, or if you really feel like splashing out, blunderbusses for 6 points.
- The great weapons are a great choice for a hammer/anvil unit. It makes them strike at S6 (with easy access to hatred) and as they are I2 anyway, you're not giving up much to attack last. The only really cost if the loss of the shield, but being T4 with a 4+ makes them pretty durable. As Chaos Dwarfs are only M3, they make a great anvil unit, but your opponent will easily be able to avoid them, unless you force them to come at you...For me this is the optimum choice for warriors, they are tough and hit like a ton of bricks. For the Dawi Zhar lord that wants a combat army...yes please to 24 with great weapons.
- Next up is the fireglave. This is a great 'mid' option. It allows you to fire at a relatively close range, but at S4 with armour piercing, which it nice, and also acts as a halberd in close combat. This is a great choice, the only downside being it's points. You'll want to make sure everyone can fire (so 2 ranks) but the unit is also a combat one (so 4 ranks). I usually allow my opponent to charge my 2 deep line, rely on my Ld10 stubborn hero to make sure I stand, and can reform for the next turn of combat. Not my preferred choice, but ok. Maybe a unit of 18 or 24.
- Finally, the blunderbuss. Now we're talking! This make the unit horrendously expensive, especially as the guns ae only really worth their points if you're firing 20 or more. This means you need to be taking units of at least 24. And at 18 ppm, that unit get expensive FAST!. Why so good? The fact that 20 firing D3 shots give you an average of 40 shots that basically ignore all to hit penalties and re-roll to wound. In addition, if you get into combat you keep you shield for that fantastic 3+ 6++. Get these guys in a building, and just delete anyone that comes within 12". All that said, their short range, huge drop off when the unit gets to 19 minis and the humongous points cost means I take these for fun game, but more often than not, they get left on the shelf.
Note: Thanks to a pathetically small points allowance and magic restrictions, Hobgoblins and Bull Centaurs cannot use the vast majority of Items here. When they can use them it will be outright stated.
You have 9 mundane items plus access to all Magic Items from main 8th rulebook. Most of your genuine items are bad, unfortunately. Either you lack the statline to properly use them or they're just inappropriate for their own role. Still, there are some solid choices in here.
- Black Hammer of Hashut: Boosts your Castellan's Strength to 6 to give you all the benefits of taking a great weapon with none of the downsides (and it's cheaper than the Ogre Blade while being way better too). On top of this it allows for a rather nasty combo, since any unsaved wound on any flammable model counts as an instant kill on that model, first make sure to hit your target with Ash Storm and then close in for the kill. Make sure to carry around a Potion of Speed though, because that I3 is really going to hurt if your target can kill you before you one-shot them. Also since it doesn't grant you flaming attacks, you can give the finger to all the 2+ Wards against flaming weapons everyone else has to deal with.
- Dagger of Malice: Hooray... hatred. It might be nice if you could combo it with any fucking magic weapon at all, but because it's a weapon itself it locks you out of taking far more useful items, and this includes great weapons and additional hand weapons! It should also be noted that it's one of the few that can also be given to Hobgoblins and Bull Centaurs, but even then other magic weapons are much better. Skip.
- Dark Mace: An infamous weapon made of opponents tears, now sadly neutered. Why? Well that's simple: anyone who can take it won't be in a good spot to use it. For example, Castellans with it are trash and are likely to die right after activating it, which will happen before they can earn their points back, especially since they'll need to be on their own (otherwise you'll cause more damage to yourself than the enemy). The most obvious use for it is putting it on a Sorcerer-prophet, giving them a flying mount to maximize their base size and flying into the enemy, but doing that takes up the majority of your points, causes a wound to your own mount, and is only going to inflict a few casualties onto an enemy who'll either stand steadfast, or finish off your wounded mount and run down your exposed General.
- Armour of Bazherak the Cruel: This devilish smith was being mentioned in many previous editions and had some nice items that time, sadly his most useful one isn't here. In this case you get the same effect as the Armour of Silvered Steel, a nice 2+ save, but for 5 points more you get some nice Magic Resistance. Alternatively you can just pay the same cost and get the Armour of Destiny which is likely to be more effective. If you're really worried about direct damage spells though, this is the better option of the three, as it'll allow the Castellan wearing it to help protect his unit. You could also give it to a Bull Centaur, but you won't because the Armour of Destiny is way better for him anyway.
- Mask of the Furnace: Mask of the welder. Don't think - take it, it's costly, but good and having the effects of a great Ward save rolled on top of a helmet's boost should not be underestimated. Make sure to pick up a great weapon to go with it, since your Castellan's not able to afford any good magic weapon after this buy.
- Stone Mantle: +1T with -1I. Legion of Azgorh Dwarf characters have I2 or I3 anyway, so it won't make any difference having 1 point less. Unfortunately it's limited to Chaos Dwarfs, and so there aren't many good targets for it. The Sorcerer-prophet gains no real benefit as it won't help him if he miscasts, and he shouldn't be in combat so that reserves it for the Castellan. At that point, you might as well combo it with the Fencer's Blades. By using Ash Storm you can effectively make everyone WS4 and lower only hit him on a 6, and then wounding only on a 5 or 6 depending on what you're up against. On the other hand you can also use it to try and guarantee he lives long enough to smite fools with the Ash Storm + Black Hammer combo, since he's now S6 T6.
- Banner of Slavery: A bad item. Why? Because it means the Hobgoblins you have can no longer choose to flee from charges. Why's that a bad thing? Easy, if the opponent declares a charge against your Hobgoblins you can normally elect to flee, and can flee through friendly troops without much penalty, Hobgoblins cost very little and don't cause your Chaos Dwarfs to panic. Your opponent can attempt to redirect the charge, but even if they pass so long as you have Hobgoblins closer than your Chaos Dwarfs they will likely need to declare a charge against those ones, who you will also make flee. Now since your opponent can only attempt to redirect a charge once, and since you're fleeing through a friendly unit, it's impossible for the opponent to catch them. They automatically fail their charge and stumble forwards, wasting their entire Movement phase and moving out of position, exposing them for all sorts of nasty shit you should have prepared (anything from Flank charges with Cutthroats to missile fire, or even just a counter-charge). Now getting back to the Banner of Slavery, removing the ability to flee hurts you as it undoes all of the Hobgoblin trickery that should be one of the main reasons you're taking them. Hobgoblins do not make good stand-up fighters, not even when they're horded up and that's even if they don't have to worry about Psych tests, so give this one a pass.
- Chalice of Blood and Darkness: Also known as the good shit. There's next to no reason not to take this, even in smaller points games (put it on a Daemonsmith then) since it'll almost always strengthen your magic and weaken your opponent.
- Daemon Flask of Ashak: This takes up your entire Prophet's allowance, and in return you get to cause an earthquake. On the one hand this is incredibly good against anyone relying on war machines, as it's more likely to kill them than not, but on the other hand there's a lot of ways for units to get high Leadership and so shrug off the Panic test you're going to cause. In addition to that, 18" range really hurts it. Either you'll be footslogging it and only using it after the enemy's war machines have taken a toll on your forces (and even then they won't all be in range) or you'll be trying to fly it up to them and will likely be shot out of the sky, making it a wasted investment. If you still want to take it, pray it's on a Prophet with Dark Subjugation or Doom and Darkness so that you can help guarantee those units who get panicked by it are going to run.
Sorcerer Prophets and Daemonsmiths come with or have access to several special items besides magic items.
- Blood of Hashut (Sorcerer Prophet): One time use for 20pts. So, while in CC, INSTEAD of throwing standard attacks, you may use Blood of Hashut. You pick a single model in direct contact with yours, declare usage and roll a dice. Result different than 1 means success. It gives you D6 auto hits at a strength equal to the opponents armour save. So a Chaos Lord with Chaos Armour and Enchanted Shield (AS 2+ in total) is being wounded at 2+. No Armour Saves allowed against, damage inflicted as per usage of magic weapon and also count as Flaming Attack. Nice, if you expect your Prophet to be engaged in close combat. Actually brutal.
- Naphtha Bombs (Sorcerer Prophet and Daemonsmith): Small throwing weapon, hit causes D3 S3 hits, armour piercing and flaming attacks. 1 on to-hit roll causes automatic flaming wound on the bearer. Not really that great, units won't really care about D3 hits and monsters usually have high toughness. Can be nice on something flammable (hello Ash Storm) but still has only S3. Only if you have the 15pts to spare. Can also be taken by the Infernal Guard Overseer for 5pts!
- There is one very good reason to take Naphtha Bombs: Combining them with Fireglaives for a better Stand & Shoot reaction. If a stand & shoot charge reaction is made against a unit that starts its charge outside the maximum range, "the shooting is resolved normally assuming the enemy is just within maximum range of the shooting unit's shortest-ranged weapon" - that means the 6" from the Naphtha Bombs, and well within the 9" short-range of the Fireglaives! And even any pistols which might be in the unit. Technically it also applies to the Blunderbuss, but you anyway ignore modifiers for long range as long as 10 models are firing. A very neat trick, also worth giving the Overseer the Naphtha Bombs, even if it means that you lose one shot from a Fireglaive. You can decide: If the enemy is outside 9", use the bomb, if he is within, use the Fireglaive. (Shoutout to Nalgrund over at CDO for this spot)
- Darkforged Weapon (default weapon for Sorcerer Prophet): Magic attacks, roll at the beginning of the game for a special ability. If you have multiple Sorcerer Prophets, duplicates must be re-rolled. You will hardly be able to get your Sorcerer Prophet to be a real fighter Lord, even with 100pts magic items. And if you buy a magic weapon, your Darkforged Weapon is lost, so I say stick to it. Two special abilities add to your magic capabilities (+1 to channeling or +1 to dispel, yay!), one is a S3 flaming breath weapon (hooray) and three have effects in close combat. You get either Eternal Hatred (see Dark Elves), Multiple Wounds (D3) or always wound on 2+, with the huge caveat that 1s on to-wound rolls inflict a wound on the Prophet instead (no saves!). Ouch. All in all, even with one of the three abilities for close combat, your Sorcerer Prophet is still not a fearsome adversary. On the other hand, you really have to decide whether you want to spend lots of points for a magic weapon in order to make him a halfway decent one.
- Ensorcelled Weapon (default weapon for Daemonsmith): +1S in close combat, magic attacks, can be used with shield for parry save. So a Daemonsmith comes with S5 out of the box but can't really be made into a strong fighter anyway, so no need to spend points on a magic weapon, very welcome!
Lore of HashutEdit
First to remember is an interesting but ultimately negligible effect of miscasts on your sorcerers, - after applying miscast effects you do a Toughness test. If failed, he'll take an additional Wound that no save may stop. But for first wound you get this way your T is now permanently raised by 1. This way, your Chaos Dwarf slowly irresistibly turns into stone. It's almost a good thing, especially if you get that wound back by rolling well with the Chalice of Blood and Darkness.
Other than that, standard lore composition as per all the lores - Attribute, Signature, 6 spells. Always aim for number 4, and number 6. Cheat, bribe, blackmail, torture but get the bloody numbers 4&6. Okay, the lore - here we go:
- Attribute: If a magic missile or direct damage from this lore is targeted on model/models flammable, the wizard gets +D3 to their casting. How many flammable models we have in the game? Almost none. So it's effectively usable only after a successful Ash Storm only, and only spells 3 and 1 are Magic Missiles or Direct Damage that TARGET units and therefore the attribute applies only to them.
- Signature - Breath of Hatred: Range 12", Augment, Remains in play, cast on 6 gives hatred to unit within a range. Roll 15 on casting to have a 12" big bubble. Just take it, cast it wherever there's fighting (FAQ confirms the re-rolls happen whenever the spell's cast, not just the first round) and be thankful for it.
- 1. Burning Wrath: Range 8", Magic Missile that causes D6 S6 flaming hits cast on 6, however you may cast boosted version on 12 giving 2D6. It's a shitty Fireball, higher Strength but the range is too fucking short. Random number of hits also sucks. If you're casting this then you're likely about to get into combat, which is right where you shouldn't be.
- 2. Dark Subjugation: Range 24" hex cast on 8. Subject must do LD test at -3. If fails permanently loses 1 of his LD. It's the shitty Doom and Darkness. Still potentially good to make a -4LD test caused by Hellcanon, but if that's what you're going for then you should've gone with the Lore of Death. For good results you have to cast it couple times, and waste half the game building up to what another spell could do in only one cast.
- 3. Curse of Hashut: Range 18", Direct Damage, targets single model even if in unit. 2D6 minus target Toughness equals number of hits that wound on 4+ with no armour save allowed. Cast on 10. Here we go, now we're talking. Sniping characters out of a unit is always something to be appreciated, and not just because this is the one of the few spells that you have which can benefit from your Lore Attribute. Take it, snipe Elves off their Dragons or Generals from their units and laugh maniacally.
- 4. Ash Storm: It's the Throne of Vines to your spell lore. Range 24", hex, affects target unit till your next magic phase. Unlucky bastards have -1 to hit in CC, -2 to hit in shooting, can't march, fly, or charge - just move. Unit treats all terrain as dangerous. Wizards can only cast spells on themselves, and UNIT IS FLAMMABLE. Let's let that sink in for a second as we ponder exactly what that means: just imagine a Gutstar in the middle of a burning forest was all ready to charge, but then all the ash and thick smoke clouds came in, making them nearly blind. Then:
- Cast Metal on them as all spells from Lore of Metal are counted as Flaming attacks.
- Deathshrieker them, as these shots are flaming attacks.
- Shoot them or attack them with unit having a burning banner as both types of attacks are flaming in this case.
- Charge them with a Castellan wielding the Black Hammer.
- Drop any possible damages (Hellcannon, Dreadquake, pistols, fireglaives, just use any means possible) on that unit, to cause a serious Panic
- After proper damage treatment unit will have to Panic and if forced to run, will have to do the dangerous terrain test. THIS SPELL IS BRUTAL. Don't leave home without it.
- 5. Hell Hammer: Casts at 13, direct damage, range 3D6 in a straight line like a cannonball. Each model takes an Initiative test and upon failing, gets a S6 hit with D3 multiple wounds. If unit gets a wound, it has to do the panic test. It's the shitty Burning Head. Why? Because the extra Strength doesn't make up for the random range, and the fact that the enemy can dodge it. Even with the option to double the range, don't count on using it offensively, use it when you're already in range of Burning Wrath (aka charge range) and preferably after Ash Storm.
- 6. Flames of Azgorh: Unlimited range. Direct Damage small round template, scatter D6. Models touched get S6 hit with multiple wounds (D6). Model directly under the hole takes Toughness test at -2 and if failed is slain with no saves allowed. No saves. Casts on 18, boosted at 25, but you can use large template there. The best spell was definitely saved for last, as it is devastating, and can single-handedly delete entire units from the table. Just be warned that the chance you'll miscast with this is pretty high, so save it for when you really need it and when you get to that point, go for it or go home. Do try to save it after you've dealt with opposing wizards though, nothing hurts more than watching this spell get scrolled away.
Flame, Smoke and Ash TacticsEdit
Update from "different Legion of Azgorh Fanatic"
You have some straightforward tactical options, and some unusual bits you may want to add. You have dwarfs, strong artillery, monstrous cavalry, monsters/daemons and cheap infantry. Potentially with no synergy, but to find one, you'll have to look deeper. So, below you'd find some tactical bits and pieces.
Chaos Dwarf Infantry OptionsEdit
Infernal Guard (core) or Ironsworn (special).
Infernal Guard would fill Core requirements, and their single model un-upgraded is cheaper - 12 vs 17 pts. Ironsworn count against Special and you basically can't upgrade them (can add up to 50 pts banner).
Talking about stats: The first difference is in WS 4 vs 5, but your basic WS 4 will be enough in most cases. If in doubts check your To Hit table.
Next difference is in S - 4 vs 5 (that is with enscrolled weapons counted towards). You can upgrade your Infernals' strength by adding great weapons or fireglaives (and by all means, you will do that) which you cannot do with Ironsworn.
With Great Weapons, Infernals will have S6 vs S5 Ironsworn, but cost per model would be raised to 15 pts vs 17. Initiative won't matter much, unless you're playing against Dwarfs or other low I armies. And yours will be 2 or less anyway.
In second case (fireglaive) it will be S5 vs S5, and point value 17 vs 17 per each model, but Infernals will give you nice output in shooting phase, and Ironsworn will remain with better armour save.
Ironsworn should be more comparable to Dwarfen Ironbreakers. Almost same stats, same Armour Save. But Ironsworn have S5, and cost you 17 pts and Ironbreakers S4 and 14 pts. Ironsworn also have flaming attacks ward save 5++, and their Enscrolle Weapons can be used for Parry Save (6++). So I'd say they have potential, if you're looking for damage delivering tarpit. With AS 3+, T4, S5, they will be able to hold and crumble most of the core or special infantry units in the game. I strongly suggest adding a Castellan to ensure their stubbornness.
Verdict: Infernal Guards for offence, infernals for tarpit.
Hobgoblins and Khans - worthy using?
Using them as small flanking units makes sense in small games (up to 2,5k) with not regular opponents. Not much damage output. Equipment depends on who you'll play against, but in my opinion their role should be same as horde of Clanrats - tarpit.
If given bows you'll get short range shooters dealing damage on same basis as night goblins. Mediocre the most. If with 2 hand weapons - good amount of low S attacks against low or none armoured units. In hobbo case I believe however in shield and hand weapon, so slowing/supportive horde or 5 models wide column. Why? I've been tarpitted too many times by block of 50+ clanrats with spears and shields, so I made some conclusions :)
How would they do on battlefield? In my last game block of 28 hobgoblins (hand + shield) + 2 khans, managed to stop 4 Stormfiends coming from the underground. I lost like dozen of them in first round of CC, but somehow managed to kill 1&1/2 Stormfiend. Of course my greenskins had been eradicated eventually, but bought me some time for fireglaivers and great weapons to save my mortars.
Your Hobgoblins also have these throwing knives to be used in stand and shoot reaction or just on proximity.
- Khans on wolfs are famous among many discussions as re-directors and lone characters/war-machine hunters. I've read opinions of people who had real boners for khan on wolf - but that will not work against experienced generals with shooty armies, or when you play on 60 inches or more wide battlefield. Besides - what sort of idiot leaves cannons unguarded?
I played lot as Dwarfs and get my opponents eventually used to a surprising appearance of miners on their backs. So much, they eventually started doing the same. I also played against Skaven and had Stormfiends on my ass few times, and for the first time it wasn't pleasant feeling (I played Dark Elves that time and eventually nerfed them with shooting and magic). Similar as with Snitch, who single handedly raped my 3 war-machines once. One of my opponents recently purchased Wulfrik, and I can bet money I'll have an ambushing Marauders on my ass next time. So no. Don't bother about Khan on Wolf.
Instead get yourself few khans on foot and add them in a hobgoblin heavy brick. Once we had 4 armies battle. long time ago one of the opponents struggled to meet the point criteria with his O&G army. I suggested him, to turn some of his Nightgoblins in the unit to a heroes. Guy set up a 50 models strong unit of Nightgoblins with 10 heroes, and they all had Great Weapons. It was all legit and, fuck me... we all regretted it. This unit shattered 6 Skullcrushers of Khorne to pieces and at some point.
You can't give your khans GW which is pity, but with S4, give them extra hand weapons, magic weapons and other items that'd fill up your 25 pts allowance. Seeing your LoA heavy army, and shitloads of artillery, K'daai & Bullcentaurs, there is a strong chance your opponent will ignore this core requirements filler of hobos. At least till 1st round of close engagement.
Don't bother about animosity. O&G Animosity may cause troubles. Yours has 16.6% chance to impact you in good way, and 16.6% of giving you bad results. It is worthy consideration to have Castellan with Banner of Slavery right behind them in case you play Hobgoblin heavily. Just in case.
So in summary - block or few of 50 or 50+ hobos with few khans inside units and Banner of Slavery behind them.
Everyone keep diminishing Greenskins role in LoA army, so prove them wrong :)
Artillery & Rape Train analysisEdit
Hashut sent his blessing on you in this category.
Dreadquake Mortar - make advantage of its range 12-72. Always take Ogre to avoid slow loading and to add extra 4 wounds. Shoots S5 (S10 in center) with your small template and should be directed to enemy's wizards, artillery, buff wagons, cavalry.
When taking Hellbound upgrade - be aware, as it bounds a daemon in your war machine and that means lore of light or Luminark may do a bu-bu to it. It is bit fucked up, and to be honest you have to discuss it with your mates, but me and mine established eventually that Hellcannons and Hellbound Warmachines - as crunch keeps saying about bounding daemons in these - are daemonic. And that leads us to next paragraph - how to use your Mortar and artillery.
First of all - fuck the infantry with a rusty blade. Your infantry would and should deal with them. Dreadquake has task of destroying dangerous stuff, or to stop them from moving due to a Quake. So, unleash wrath of Dawi Zharr against Sorcerers, Warmachines, Monsters and This Empire General on a Gryphon. SNIPE. Turn your Daemonsmith to a sniper using a train-wagon-mortar.
In my last game I had 2 Mortars, Hellcannon and Deathshriek - not to mention blunderbusses, fireglaives, throwing knives and shooting Iron Daemon. Basically the only non shooty unit in my army was K'daai Destroyer. And boy - against Empire (tank, 3 cannons, 2 hellblasters, Luminark), Skaven (wheel, 2 zzzapguns, around 6 jezails, bell) and Chaos (2 Hellcannons, warshrine) I've been shooting all around like a fucking maniac. At the end I've lost Deathshriek and one of Mortars survived Empire's Luminark, and 2 shoots from cannon with 1 wound left.
Now, you have an idea now, how me and my mates do play our games - "No hard feelings but fuck you, fuck you and especially FUCK YOU!!! No remorse, no respite, no regrets".
Remember that as standard - all Artillery in the game is Move or Fire, so cannons hit by Dreadquake's template have to pass the test if want to fire. As per description of Quake.
Daemonsmith nearby obligatory for re-rolls. Steam Carriage only as hard cover if you think you'll be eventually within your foes shooting-non-artillery units. But Dreadquake on carriage looks soooooo damn good :) If towed by Iron Deamon, you may manoeuvre with your choo-choo-rape-train to give a mobile hard cover to some of your infantry units.
And remember - as per FW FAQ - you have to use small template. If you have doubts - it shoots as Stone Thrower from Rulebook, and Stone Thrower uses small round template.
Deathshrieker Rocket Launcher - I never fired at characters with it. IT IS A WASTE OF A SHOT. Even with daemon-smith's re-rolls it's still too random - cos u have to get a direct hit. In terms of character on foot or a cannon it's almost fucking-impossible. If you aim at something big or on flyer, or Chariot, or buff wagon it looks slightly better. But still - sniping shot is an act of desperation.
It is good however on delivering fire damage to flammable units (Hello Ashstorm my old friend...), or no AS infantry blocks. You use a large template, and roll, but if you missed the unit, you try to hit again with small template. So technically you roll to establish where, then you re-roll due to a daemon-smith's re-rolls and if dices still hate you to guts, you roll 3rd time to get the hit into the target with small template now. Deathshriek is cheap comparing to Hellcannon or Dreadquake and much less reliable, so I took mine for LOLZ.
Once played 12 rounds - 4 armies - 23k-ish points game. Kept missing tragically through 11 rounds (1 hit), and then in 12th with a desperate sniping shot actually managed to deliver tactically critical hit and destroy Empire's Great Cannon. Nice!
Hellcannon - Daemonsmith's re-rolls make it more reliable then when set up in WoC army. Main thing to remember is that it is a Monster. Monster with Handlers, that shoots, and it is how it should be treated. Also as Monster it Thunderstomps when charged. Plus you have to do LD tests. Solid choice. But I'd go for a Dreadquake due to a range and Quake.
Magma Cannon - If you plan to sit around that hill and not to move for x rounds, DO take it. With Ashstorm it will leave ruin and smoking melting boneyard of your foes. 24" range? D3 wounds, proper S? Brutal. Just make sure you didn't take too many, cos your friends may stop playing with you. Pity it has AS 3+
Iron Daemon - shooting - May move and shoot, may act even, when you'll roll 2 x misfire, as you'd blow the cannons only.
The way it moves is slightly different than normal unit, yet similar to Empire's Steamtank (btw: THAT THING IS BROKEN. I fragged it from 10W to 2W, and still couldn't kill the fucking thing. And it was still shooting. F*CK!!!)
It is a brutal and reliable machine, that grinds through infantry, and the only thing you have to be careful about are direct hits from cannons with S10. Short range of steam boiler cannons - 18 " only, but very reliable. Mine shoot to death Deathmaster Snitch, finished severely wounded Doomwheel, and stopped Skaven Bell and 40 clanrats. I can only regret I have only 1.
And don't forget about Thunderstomp & Impact Hits
Iron Deamon - cracking
I didn't use one - I wanted but FW removed it from its range. Simply speaking - Iron Daemon that does not shoot, but uses steam power to keep these drills running. Even more brutal when in combat with 2D6 Thunderstomps (compering to 1D6 of normal Iron Daemon), but has to get there.
Monsters and Monstrous Cavalry for funEdit
K'daai Fireborn - Main issue with their Burning Bright is that since turn 2 you have to test their T.
Let me remind you how Characteristic Test looks like - If you'd roll less or equal to your characteristic, you had passed. In this case roll of "1" is an auto pass. Fireborn have T4, which gives them 33% to fail the test. If failed, you have D3 wounds for each failure, and with your W = 2 that means YOU JUST HAD FRAGGED YOURSELF.
Useless. Ignore. Don't bother. Even if they had stats of a dragon and price of a infernal, they still would have to get into direct contact...
Well, ok, you may take some for lolz, as an expendable units, or if the battlefield is small and you expect CC since round 1 or 2.
The models look fab, have to say.
K'daai Destroyer - Starting with important stuff - Burning Bright with T6 - You pass the test if 1D6 = T or lower, so pass on 1-5 in this particular case (characteristic tests always fail on 6). Avoid all spells lowering T stats.
It does not have an official model, so it leaves you with bit of creativity or some of the alternatives (see above). It goes on the base 100 x 150 mm so such as - Arachnarok Spider, Hellcannon, or 3 chariots one by one.
Like the Fireborn they are unbreakable but also unstable, which means that losing a combat will still hurt. Daemon in terms of spells from light lore, so watch yourself. And unit eater if you'd manage to get it in contact against block of foes.
I have one as it has highest I in the whole army (I5), and I needed something big and bulky to counter Stormfiends as soon as they'd appear (know your enemy). It's awesome, but broken - things resistant to fire or magical attacks will stop it.
Had mine fighting against 40 Empire Halberds, Sigmarite Priest and 10 Great Swords. Killed most of them, then eventually destroyed them to a point they lost steadfast, made them run like a lil' bitches, chased, killed the rest... only to be smashed by Hellblaster. All that with 1 wound left. Fair trade in terms of points, and epic LOLZ in terms of fun. Next time I will field LoA, I am sure my opponents will try to frag it to death ASAP, along with Iron Daemon :)
It's same thing with Destroyer as with Empire Steam Tank - first wound on it will hurt the most, and the rest of them is inevitable.
Bull Centaurs - solid choice. Taken only as a blocker to other Monstrous Cavalry or Cavalry. I had them facing Demigryphs, Skullcrushers and Dragon Ogres, so Great Weapon is the logical option. However with low initiative, in the battle on attrition against the aformentioned, they will eventually fail (and take few enemies with them). Maybe they would have more sense in 7th, but not in 8th edition that elevates infantry, war-machines and supportive magic rules - better buy more Dawi Zharr :)
Siege Giant - I have no good opinion about giants at all. Once my Chaos Giant had been eaten alive by giant rats as they wounded him more than he did them - He failed on LD, run away few inches, and they just followed finishing him off. This variant, even if armoured, still has random attacks. And that makes giants in my eyes un-re-li-ab-le. Period. If you really want to spent 200-ish points on something, better invest in cannons.
Case for CastellansEdit
First of all - you don't have good fighting lords. This is due to Dawi Zharr are the army discontinued since 6th edition, and reinstalled only for the purpose of Tamurkhan - The Throne of Chaos expansion.
Even there, they do not represent Dawi Zhar in total, but only penal company from Black Fortress. It is like saying that Karak Kadrin Slayers represent Dwarfen Race. Or Dark Elves are composed entirely of Har Ganeth Executioners and Witch Elves.
Instead of calling that a full army, better think of it as of "Dirty Dozen" stacked with "Navarone Guns". Yes, yes, we have unofficial fan rulebook adjusted for the purpose of 8th edition somewhere in depths of internet, but I'm discussing only official sources in here.
Named Lord is one and only - Drazoath. And he's mediocre in terms of stats and skills, although the model itself looks nice. Fighting Prophet kitted properly can be better than him, but still won't face Karl Franz, Malekith, Archaon, or any posterboy Lord. So you have to use cannons, infantry, magic and support them with versatile heroes. Castellans. And make sure to have quite a few.
Your Castellan comes basically with the stats of Dwarf Thane with LD9 instead of LD10 for 40 pts more and that makes it expensive. On the other side, you have few good LoA magic items, access to magic items from main rule-book and 75 pts big slot to fill.
Use Castellans as supportive character. Their presence in a unit makes your infantry Stubborn (and your standard Armour Save is 4+ with 5++ Ward Save against flames). So make sure to have at least 1 per unit of infantry. Give them some real damage dealing weapons, and see the world burns in the game of attrition.
Of course - what you get to your Castellans depends on location, tactics and who you intend to play against. If opponents will be moaning "you fielded too much artillery", well, your excuse is - lack of Lords, apart of one sad type from Tamurkhan and one sad character only to be used in AoS (fuck AoS).
I established 3 types of Castellan build.
1. "Incoming fire from the sky" Castellan - if you have a spare Castellan, give him Arabyan Carpet, Shield of Ptolos, and either fireglaive or great weapon. And use him as a shooting regiment, wizard or war-machine lone hunter.
2. "Must obliterate this scum" Castellan - Black Hammer of Hashut for 2+ to S, and to kill outright flammable model, Potion of Speed to make his Initiative upgraded from 3 to 6, and some defensive equipment to discard hits in fight. As you can see it works perfectly with Ashstorm.
3. "Hold the line you maggots" Castellan - Tankish armour or Ward Save (or both), Great Weapon and Pistol or Fireglaive, or Magic Weapon. Just to have Hero in Unit with proper damage output. May want to add Ironcurse Icon for 5 pts - that gives whole unit 6++ Ward Save against shooting from warmachines.
Casters and CastingEdit
OMFG - Dwarfs that can excel into sorcery.
Ok - Dwarfs wielding magic. That is just against their nature. And sooo awesome. It may catch your enemy off guard. And what Legion of Azgorh represents is much better than 8th ed. Dwarven Anvil of Doom. I still remember 7th ed Anvil and boy, that was something, but in 8th it devolved into £*&£^"*$^£&!!!
But speaking of magic. Daemonsmiths have access to Fire, Metal and Death. Prophets - all the above plus Hashut. If taking Lammasu you also have Shadow. But Dawi Zharr, in case of miscast, turn slowly and painfully into stone.
So what Lore to choose?
1. Hashut - always. Some boosting spells, 2 deathstars. If you have just one Prophet, think about who you play against and what would support you the most, but if you have 2 or more Lords in the army (aka playing big game), Lore of Hashut is a MUST BE.
2. Metal - always if you play against enemies who actually use armour save. It seems to be optional against Skaven, Vampires and Goblins - basically all the hordes, but even they do have some units with armour save 5+/4+. And you can always use it as a flaming attack combined with Ash Storm or just use glittering scales. There is always at least one gap to fill with Metal.
3. Death - It is my 3rd choice in this army. It is good, might be great in sniping characters (not many casters can pull off Spirit Leech at LD9 or even LD10!) - I just keep using the ones described above.
4. Fire - Nah, Meh, Ugh. I took it once as Dark Elves, and don't remember doing anything spectacular with fire. If I had to take something, I'd rather take Ruby Ring of Fire with Fireball (hello Ash Storm). Some players mount a Prophet on Bale Taurus, giving him Lore of fire, and keep casting it on themselves, each time Taurus would be wounded (Fire Lore cures its wounds), but really? Would you waste chance to take good a lore for Lore of Fire?
So - your casting and your miscast penalties - how it actually works? You did roll 2 sixes, have a miscast, did the results and then do a Toughness test. Prophet passes on 5 or lower, Daemonsmith on 4 or lower, Prophet on Bale Taurus on 5 or lower as Bale Taurus is a Monster, and its stats do not count here. If you pass - it's all good in a Dawi Zharr hood. If failed - you receive 1 extra wound (non-save-able in any way), but your Toughness goes up by 1 for the first time it happens.
Considering your Prophet is your only Lord type, and you probably packed loads of points on it, loosing like 400-ish points may hurt. You have 2 good options to raise Toughness of your magicians. One is to give him Potion of Toughness for 20 pts and drink it in a round you plan to cast heavily. That gives you +3 to Toughness for a round. Case closed. The other option is Stone Mantle, which lowers your Initiative from 2 to 1 but raises Toughness from 5 to 6 instead, permanently. 40 pts, and TBH - like your Initiative ever mattered. Unfortunately it costs 40pts so you cannot combine it with the Mask of the Furnace, so you cannot have it together with a really good armour save and a good ward save.
Rest of the items is pretty standard. I bet you will give your Prophets the highest Ward Saves, Earthing Rod, Dispel Scroll and others. After all, as you have sorcerers in the army, you don't have the dwarven 2+ to dispel resilience to magic, right?
In my humble opinion, your Prophets & Daemonsmith should be focused not on Close Combat, but on supporting your units with magic and providing re rolls to your artillery. Leave a unit of Ironsworn near them. Or solid block of Hobbos, so you'll be able to protect your magicians and Dreadquakes efficiently against any ambushers, scouts etc. Add extra Castellan, built to hold enemies and deal some damage. After dealing with pesky ambushing scums, you may have a chance to use them as a second wave.
As a CC Lord, Prophet will lose fight against solid Generals.
As a flying terrorist dropping bomb (as described may points above), he is too exposed and will be shot to death. Even if set up behind K'daai - what makes him in theory invisible for shooting due to the fact visual is being blocked by massive and bulky shape - you risk your enemy to focus fire on this part of your army. 3-4 direct hits from cannons and both your monsters are gone. Sad.
Setting your Prophet on Lammasu may be awesome if you would challenge hero or general to a duel. Lammasu has anti-magic aura, so Ghaz Maghal, Runefang, Hellfire Sword or any magic weapon is simply being switched off. But Lammasu itself is pretty weak monstrosity in terms of stats.
Prophet and Daemonsmith on foot DO benefit from 'Lookout Sire' version for Dawi Zharr. It is called 'Infernal Engineer' and aforementioned characters, if wound is inflicted by shooting attack may be successfully saved by war machine crew member. Exactly same way as it works in case of Grimm Burlocksonn from Dwarf 8th ed. rulebook.
Conclusion - I consider Prophets and Daemonsmiths as purely supportive, and their prime role is to provide re-rolls to your artillery and cast some nasty spells. Do not engage in CC unless have no choice.