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Seeking advice on Duardin unit size


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I'm seeking some advice on Dispossessed unit sizes. I've decided to go with 30-man units for my Warriors, Thunderers and Quarrellers so that I can get the bonuses for having 20+ models (even after taking some casualties, but what about the more elite units?

It seems to me that two 10-man units of Irondrakes is better than a single 20-man unit so that I can get an extra torpedo.  This is probably also true for the Longbeards to multiply the grumble buffs, but how about Hammerers and Ironbreakers? Do y'all prefer units of 10, or are 20 needed to be effective after sustaining casualties?

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Large units of thunderers are less point efficient than quarrellers so they're better in small groups. I wouldn't want warrior units larger than 20 since their 1" range means so many attacks are wasted, they're a pretty survivable unit anyway.

Same goes for the elite melee units, no more than 20 are really worthwhile as you, personally I'd prefer 10's as battleshock isn't a huge concern with the various buffs available to Duardin, and with good saves that for some units ignore rend they've got good staying power anyway.

The poor mobility of dwarf really limits the effectiveness of running infantry in large units in Dwarf lists, my preference is the minimum size for battleline units, same for elite infantry and then use the points on large units of shooting units which is where most of the damage comes from.

Better to spend the excess points on artillery/more mobile options. 

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Thanks for your advice.  Taking it into account, here is what I am thinking:


  • Warden King w/ Strategic Genius and Obstinate Blade
  • Runelord
  • Unforged with Phoenix Stone


  • 20 Warriors w/ Hand Weapons and Shields
  • 20 Warriors w/ Two-handed weapons
  • 10 Longbeards w/ Two-handed axes
  • 10 Longbeards w/ Axes and Shields


  • 10 Ironbreakers, leader w/ Axe and Shield
  • 10 Irondrakes, leader w/ Torpedo
  • 10 Hammerers
  • 20 Quarrellers
  • 1 Organ Gun

Warscroll Battlions:

  • Grudgebound War Throng - Includes everything except 1 unit of Longbeards and the Organ Gun

Total: 1980 pts.

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in 2000 points 1 organ gun is not enough.

I think you have to many points in your battle line units. and why not just take double handed weapons and shields... no need for hand weapon and shield..

I'm not a fan of the unforged drop him take another rule lord

make your quarrelers 30 man to take advantage of great split fire... take bugman

Id drop the iron drakes for cannons and take grim burlockson

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I mostly agree with what Bimli said, but i feel like AoS is really too fluid to just say "X is better than Y" and have that be the answer. So here would be my comments and the reasoning for them.

I agree with Bimli that 1 organ gun is absolutely not going to do enough (especially considering there is no Cogsmith), and will require you to spend resources protecting it. So i would consider dropping it and using those points for 10 more quarellers so you have 30 (giving you a buffer from the inevitable single spell or shooting attack making them only 50% effective). The ten quarrellers you buy for the same price will have 20 shots and can be buffed by the Warden King and Runelord to the equivalent of: Losing 1 crew, but firing 4 barrels, that never jam, and always roll 5s for their d6 number of shots.

there are a lot of points in battleline, but i love that, thematically, and despite what the rest of the internet says, i think shoving 40 warriors up the middle is a reasonable tactic in 2000 points (their attack stats are just as good as blood warriors wound for wound). In fact, i would consider combining the 2 blocks of warriors into 1 unit of 40 and that way you can fit the other longbeards into the formation. Bimli is correct that the wording allows for 2h weapon AND shield. Mathematically it is better in every way, but i have mental issues understanding how a dwarf can make a shield wall when both hands are using the weapon, so i often just use one or the other and know that it is the price i pay for theatricality. 

I agree that the Unforged is not as good as a second runelord, but having your entire army reroll 1s to hit is absolutely worth taking the unforged every time (cause it is required for the formation).

I agree that 30 quarellers are better, so we dropped the organ gun to make it happen. Bugman is definitely cool and would be worth knocking the warriors down to 30 so you can bring him. Although that is only if you have a model and are interested in taking compendium scrolls, but if you are doing that you should also consider all the other heroes and warmachines and miners because the compendium pretty much rounds out everything you might feel is lacking in a dispossessed list. So there would probably be bigger changes you wanted to make if you are including the compendium. 

The Irondrakes are a lot of fun, but in my experience are not worth the 220 points. It is again the same story as the unforged though, totally worth it if thats the only way you can fill out the battalion. If you have the models though, I would replace them with a second unit of Ironbreakers and then use the leftover points (60) with the extra 20 from the list only being 1980 to add a second Runelord.

Those are my thoughts, but just to warn you I definitely play casual over competitive and am really only ever going to tweak a proposed list because i will assume you had reasons when you set the list (like based on the models you already own, or based on a fluffy story you had in mind, etc.) and are not just looking for the most competitive list possible. (Because if thats the case, i hear you should go play kunnin ruk or stormcast ;)

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How are you looking at playing your list? In order to play the dispossessed army competitively you will need to heed my warning above :D

So the whole shield wall argument and great weapons me personally the reason I feel this work for the dwarfs is because they basically put their axes away then form the shield wall taking hit after hit until the enemy get tired out and then they attack back.... that the way I see it helps me sleep better at nights :)

The dwarf battle line is a little meh for its point cost 5+ save, shield wall but you can't charge, 1 attack, 4+ to hit 3+ to wound (with a GW) rend 1 with a GW. If the dwarfs are use in bulk lets say 30 strong there will be a good portion that will not be able to hit.... Sadly for competitive you need to take them in low points as cannon fodder or objective grabs.

Quarrlers are where its at and only if taken in unit size of 30 unless your using bugman then 20 is fine cause you get to pop out and dish out 40 shots, so 1 turn of full bodies.

Dwarfs need to stick to what they are good at aka ranged attacks, warmachines and some resilience.

Remember when you play with a dwarf army should you play as a dwarf!


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@Bimli and @Volund,

Thanks for your advice.  I'm more of casual player.  I think I will remove one unit of Warriors and bump the other unit up to 30 models.  I must have misread the General's Handbook because I had it in my mind that I needed 3 battleline units at 2000 points.  I'll replace the Organ gun with another 10 Quarrellers, then perhaps take another Runelord.  That will leave me 40 points under.  I want to hang on to the Irondrakes because I want another shooting unit and because I need them to fulfill the Warscroll Battalion requirements.  I agree with Volund that even though the rules permit me to take both double-handed weapons and shields, it is difficult to picture in my mind's eye.  I also get the feeling that this combination was not actually intended and I have a suspicion that it is going to get errata'ed in the future.

I don't want to take any named characters from the Dwarf Compendium list (for fluff reasons), although I am interested in the Miners and the Flame Cannon.  I figure that if GW eventually phases out Compendium warscrolls altogether, I can use the former as Warriors with double-handed weapons (and the cart as an objective marker or something) and the latter as a regular cannon.  My physical copy of the General's Handbook doesn't list any points for the Miners, but the app points them at 120 points for a hundred.  I take it that the app controls?

I suppose if I wanted to include the miners, I could get rid of one unit of Warriors, leave the other unit at 20, replace the Organ Gun with the extra 10 Quarrellers then take a 10-man unit of Miners and the second Runelord to leave me at 1980 points. 

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