SFR, Inc. Forum Index SFR, Inc.
Forums that relate to SFR products
 Watched TopicsWatched Topics   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Dwarf Racial Introduction

Post new topic   Reply to topic    SFR, Inc. Forum Index -> Game Strategy
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
White Dragon
SFR President
Site Admin

Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 9166
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:29 am GMT    Post subject: Dwarf Racial Introduction Reply with quote

Dwarves have a lot of dice with good combinations of saves, magic, maneuvers, melees, and missiles. The Crack shot is one of the best missile units in the game. So what you have is a very balanced race with each unit type having icons that it can use with very few "wasted" icons.
Second the Dwarves have a terrain, which contains both of their colors or aspects. This is a great advantage over other races and on top of that they get racial advantages at this same terrain. So always bring a Highland terrain when playing Dwarves.
Third, the Highland terrain has 3 magic faces, only 2 missile, and two melee faces. This is almost perfect for the Dwarf player since he can use magic here. This is one of the few races that can defend their home terrain from the enemy at the beginning of the game. Choosing your 8th face can be tough but there are some you can leave off right away. Standing Stones are not going to help an all Dwarf army and even if you are mixing with other races like Firewalkers or Lava Elves you really don't need a Standing Stone to help you. Towers are not used unless you don't want the other play gaining an advantage at a certain terrain, although don't rule out a Dwarf Missile army that you can spring on some one by surprise. So we have a Temple or City left… The city will allow you to bring back units faster and the temple will allow you to bury units a bit quicker; the protection from black magic is very nice if you are not using it yourself.

Dwarven Racial Ability
As their only special ability, Dwarven units double their maneuvers when at a Highland terrain.

Dwarven Unit Summary

Footman [save, save, melee, melee, melee x2]
The Footman is a good melee Common, concentrating heavily on melee, with saves.

Sentry [maneuver, maneuver, melee, melee x2, missile]
More maneuvers than the Footman, but sacrificing saves.

Crossbowman [missile, missile, missile x2, melee, save]
A good missile Common.

Pony Rider [maneuver, maneuver x2, melee, melee, save]
The Pony Rider is one of the most widely used Dwarven units. In a Highland terrain, a group of Pony Riders is almost impossible to out-maneuver.

Theurgist [melee, save, magic, magic, magic x2]
The Theurgist is a good magic Common, with a melee face and a save face.

Sergeant [maneuver x2, save x3, melee x2, melee x2, melee x3]
The Sergeant is a good unit to have in a melee brawl. It packs a heavy melee punch, but also maneuvers and has some saves.

Patroller [maneuver x2, maneuver x2, melee x3, melee x3, save x2]
More maneuvers than the Sergeant, the Patroller is still a good melee unit.

Marksman [missile x3, missile x2, missile x2, melee x3, save x2]
A good missile unit, but has no maneuvers.

Lizard Rider [maneuver x3, maneuver x2, melee x2, melee x3, save x2]
The Lizard Rider is very fast in the Highlands, with its 5 maneuver icons, but is good in a melee as well.

Thaumatergist [melee x2, save x2, magic x2, magic x3, magic x3]
A good magic Uncommon with a melee face and a save face.

Warlord [melee x3, melee x3, melee x3, save x3, Smite x4]
The Warlord, like most heavy melee Rares, is strong in melee (especially with the Smite face) and saves.

Skirmisher [maneuver x3, maneuver x2, melee x3, melee x4, Counter x4]
The Skirmisher has everything that you'd expect of a light melee unit. It maneuvers and is strong in melee, and its Counter SAI will cause an opponent to think hard about a melee or counter-melee.

Crackshot [missile x3, missile x3, missile x2, melee x4, Bullseye x4]
The Crackshot is a very reliable missile unit with 5 faces counting for missiles. It has no save face, but a strong melee face.

Mammoth Rider [Trample x3, Trample x3, melee x3, melee x4, save x3]
The Mammoth Rider is a very reliable melee unit with 5 faces counting for melee, but good for maneuvers as well.

Wizard [melee x2, save x3, magic x3, magic x4, Cantrip x4]
A fairly reliable magic unit with 4 faces counting for magic, the Wizard also has a melee face and a save face.

Androsphinx [Roar, Roar, Rend, magic, magic, melee, melee, save, save]
The Androsphinx is a somewhat varied unit, focused mainly on melee, but with a bit of magic and saves.

Behemoth [Save, Maneuver, Melee, Save, Bash, Charge, Stomp, Trample, Roar]
The Behemoth was released in 2012 as the 5th monster for the Dwarven race. To take full advantage of the Behemoth's Charge SAI, it should be escorted by units with melee and movement capabilities. Consider what a pack of Mammoth Riders on a Highlands could do with a Behemoth.

Gargoyle [Dispel Magic, Dispel Magic, maneuver, Fly, Fly, save, melee, melee, Smite]
The Gargoyle is fairly evenly split between maneuver, melee, and saves, but no magic or missile. The Dispel Magic can be an unpleasant surprise to opposing spellcasters, but is not reliable.

Roc [Seize, Seize, Rend, Fly, Fly, save, melee, melee, melee]
The Roc is split fairly evenly between maneuver, missile, melee, and saves, but boasts 5 faces with SAI’s.

Umber Hulk [Confuse, Confuse, save, save, Smite, Smite, melee, melee, maneuver]
The Umber Hulk is a useful melee unit, with Confuse being an annoying SAI to the opponent during a melee or missile attack.

Dwarven SAIs
Bash (Behemoth): During a non-melee save roll, Bash generates saves results equal to the die’s health. During a save roll against a melee attack, choose a unit in the attacking army that generated normal melee results. Bash immediately does back damage equal to the melee results of the target unit, which must generate saves against its own damage. The defending army gets saves equal to the amount of damage that the target unit generated. During a dragon attack, target one dragon that did normal damage. Bash immediately does back damage equal to the melee results of the target dragon. The defending army gets saves equal to the amount of damage that the target dragon generated.
Bullseye (Crackshot): During a missile action, each Bullseye result immediately inflicts one point of damage. The total damage may individually target one or more units in the defending army as the acting player chooses. Each target unit must immediately generate saves against the damage assigned to it. During a dragon attack or missile avoidance roll, Bullseye generates missile results.
Cantrip (Wizard): During a magic action or magic negation roll, Cantrip generates magic results. During any non-magic action, save roll or non-maneuver avoidance roll, Cantrip can be used to purchase spells that are immediately resolved.
Charge (Behemoth): This SAI has no effect during a counter-attack. When rolled during the acting player's Melee Attack phase, the attacking army must count Maneuver results as if they were Melee results (Maneuver becomes Melee during the Racial Abilities step of the dice modifiers). The defending army will not make a counter attack, but instead will make a combination melee/save roll instead of the normal save roll. The save results will reduce the damage of the attacking army as normal. The melee results will be damage against the attacking army, only magical saves protect against this damage.
Confuse (Umber Hulk): During a melee attack or missile action, after the defending army rolls for saves but before they apply any unique or special resolution SAIs, choose up to four health-worth of units in the defending army and force them to roll again. Selected units ignore their original roll and apply the new roll instead.
Counter (Skirmisher): During a melee attack or melee avoidance roll, Counter generates melee results. During a save roll, Counter generates save results. During a save roll in a melee attack, Counter immediately generates both save results and melee results upon the attacking army or unit. Only magical saves protect against this damage. During a dragon attack, Counter generates save and melee results.
Dispel Magic (Gargoyle): Whenever any magic targets this unit, the army containing this unit and/or the terrain this unit occupies, you may roll this unit after all spells are announced but before any are resolved. If the Dispel Magic icon comes up, immediately negate all unresolved magic that applies to the target(s). Only one dispel attempt is made per unit and, if it fails, then all the spell(s) are resolved normally.
Fly (Gargoyle, Roc): During any roll, each Fly result generates one maneuver or one save result.
Rend (Androsphinx, Roc): During a maneuver roll, each Rend result generates one maneuver result. During a melee attack or melee avoidance roll, each Rend result generates one melee result; roll this unit again and apply the new result as well.
Roar (Androsphinx, Behemoth): During a melee attack, choose up to four health-worth of units in the defending army to immediately flee to their reserve area.
Seize(Roc): During a missile action, choose up to four health-worth of units in the defending army to immediately roll an ID icon individually or be killed. Those that roll an ID icon flee to reserve area.
Smite (Gargoyle, Umber Hulk, Warlord): During a melee attack, each Smite result immediately inflicts one point of damage on the defending army or unit; no saves (including those provided by spells) can stop this damage. During a dragon attack or melee avoidance roll, Smite generates melee results.
Stomp (Behemoth): During a melee action, choose up to four-health worth of units in the defending army to immediately roll a maneuver result individually or be killed. Any units that are killed must then roll a save or be buried. During a dragon attack or melee avoidance roll, Stomp generates melee results.
Trample (Behemoth, Mammoth Rider): During any roll, each Trample result generates one maneuver or one melee result.

Dwarven racial spells
Some of the Dwarven racial spells are quite useful, while others may seldom see use (such as the ones that affect magic items).
Create Mountain (9 gold): Target any terrain with the gold (earth) element that is not at the 8th face. Until the target terrain’s face is changed, in addition to its normal terrain type, it is also considered to be a highland terrain. Multiple castings target multiple terrains.
Earthen Armor (2 gold): Target one of your units not already under the effects of an Earthen Armor spell. The target unit gains one automatic save result until it is used to generate a save result for the unit. Multiple castings target multiple units.
Explode Stone (4 gold): Target any enemy 1-health (common) magical item. Target item is immediately buried. Multiple castings target multiple magical items.
Reforge Item (3 red): Target one health-worth of magical items, artifacts, or medallions in your BUA. Immediately restore the target to the casting army. Multiple castings increase the number of health affected.

Other spells available to the Dwarves
Dwarves have an interesting combination of gold and red spells, many of which can support a maneuver strategy, a magic or missile suppression strategy, or a battle of attrition.
Dust to Dust lets you bury units in an opponent’s DUA, permitting the Dwarven player to pursue a battle of attrition by denying opponents the opportunity to bring back their dead;
Spark of Life allows you to return even multi-health units back to the game, which is an important advantage in a battle of attrition;
Stoneskin is an army-protection spell, and is especially useful when fighting Scalders in melee to counter their Scorching Touch racial ability, or versus opponents' Counter or Volley SAIs;
Path is a very useful spell to suddenly re-deploy your units, and is frequently used to “steal a victory” when a terrain is at the seventh face;
Ash Storm is an inexpensive “penalty” spell, reducing an army’s ability to generate normal magic, maneuvers, melee, missiles, or saves, but it affects all armies at the target terrain. It can be very effective as a magic, maneuver, missile, or save suppression tactic, even when the opponent holds an 8th Face – since deductions occur first (and if you are trying to out-maneuver with Mammoth Riders, the Trample SAI is unaffected by Ash Storm or Transmute Rock to Mud);
Transmute Rock to Mud is useful as part of a maneuver strategy, but recognize that it only affects normal maneuvers and has no effect on maneuvers from SAIs, like Fly, Rend, Teleport, and Trample;
Burning Hands can be an effective spell in a melee by doubling the normal melee results on your units, but recognize that this won’t work with SAIs;
Dancing Lights is also a useful magic and missile suppression spell that targets the army;
Dragon summoning is important as a means to whittle away your opponent’s forces, and both Black and Gold Dragon breath are very effective, especially against large armies; and
Summon Dragonkin can provide important protection for your magicians, both in saves and the ability to melee, and remember that Dragonkin are eligible for promotion at a City 8th Face, a dragon’s Treasure Chest, or after a dragon has been killed. A Dragonkin Champion can have an important effect in the game. Dragonkin are like bonus units, but can’t move from the terrain they have been summoned at.

Dwarves have a natural advantage at a Highlands, but you can also travel to other terrain without losing anything (unlike the Coral Elves and Lava Elves which lose maneuvers as saves) so don't be afraid to take the fight to the other player when you need too. You can always support yourself with magic by casting Transmute Rock to Mud (TRtM) so you keep your maneuver advantage.
Another tactic that works well with the Dwarves is a “Dragon Victory”. Mass your army at a terrain with magic or an 8th Face and protect yourself while casting Dancing Lights and summoning Dragons to the other players' terrain, placing as many Ash Storms at that terrain as possible. Let the Dragon(s) do the work and once it kills off enough units… Path to Victory: Path a lone Mammoth Rider to the terrain while slowing the other players with Transmute Rock to Mud spells. Ash Storms can also be cast at the terrain that Mammoth Rider is at, which will affect your opponent’s units, but won’t affect the Rider’s Trample SAI. (SAI’s are unaffected by most spells cast on the army or the terrain, so the Mammoth Rider’s Trample SAI will still grant 3 maneuvers after any spell effect.) And while we are discussing Mammoth Riders, consider what a few of these with a Behemoth's Charge SAI could do at a Highlands terrain.
Magical assistance: The Dwarves also have another ability that no other race has because of its spell ability. The Dwarves can destroy and bring back magical items. This can help you when your army has been wiped out and you lose several health worth of magical items to the Buried Unit Area. Simply bring them back to the casting army and go fight again. If the other player has magic items, destroy them from afar while risking nothing yourself and you get the added bonus of killing one of his units.
Another magic option for Dwarves is to use Dust to Dust to bury the opposing players' units whenever they are present in the DUA since you have no magical attack spells of your own, except Explode Stone which is very, very limited in its use. Protect your larger- health units with Earthen Armor from the start of the game. Cast this as often as you can and consider protecting even the most common troops from things like Firebolt and Lightning Strike.
Lastly, one of the sneakiest and least-used spells in the game is Create Mountain. Sure it is 9 points to cast but look at what you get… Double your maneuvers at a Flatland or Swampland terrain and you could cast red magic here. So save up the magic and Path a unit to one of these terrains and Create a Mountain. Imagine the other players surprise when your single Mammoth Rider gets 6 points of maneuvers at his terrain beating his Wind Walk spell (remember that ties go to the acting player). Bang… a quick victory.

Army Construction
Pick strengths to match your strategy or game-plan. This 36-health Dwarven army is based on magic and maneuvers:
2 Mammoth Riders
3 Lizard Riders
4 Pony Riders
2 Wizards
3 Thaumaturgists
4 Theurgists
1 Gargoyle
Highland Cities are a good choice for this army. This provides you with a good balance of units and health. Remember to promote as often as possible so you can use your magic to its utmost affect. The Gargoyle’s purpose is for maneuvers, and the Dispel Magic SAI as a defense against opposing magic (but remember to roll it when the opponent casts magic on the army or terrain the Gargoyle is in).

This 36-health army is based on maneuvers and missiles:
2 Mammoth Rider
2 Crack-Shot
2 Skirmishers
2 Lizard Rider
3 Marksman
4 Pony Riders
4 Crossbowman
The Skirmishers provide extra saves (including the Counter SAI), but provide maneuvers as well. The Counter SAI will make an opponent think twice about melee with your army.

Dwarves are a good race to combine with another race. Most combinations are with a second race that shares a color with the Dwarves, such as Feral, Firewalkers, Goblins, Lava Elves, Scalders, and Treefolk, which will expand magic spell options, but still allow the combination of the two races’ magic points to cast high-cost or multiple spells of the color they share in common. Other considerations for combining two races in an army include terrain advantages, racial abilities, complementary strengths, and compensating weaknesses in one race with advantages from the other.

Dwarves are a good race for the novice player as well as the experienced, and one of a few races that can be combined with another race and do well. They do not have to stay at the "home" terrain to win and they don't even need a lot of magic.

(Last edited by dburkley on 12-16-2012.)
You can never have too many dice.
First Place at the first ever Daemon Diceâ„¢ sealed starter tournament.
Battlefest tied for first GenCon 2012
Single Race Champion GenCon 2008-2009, Sealed Box Champion GenCon 2007,2009,
My collection is 21,500 Dragon Diceâ„¢, 20,000 Daemon Diceâ„¢, and others (too many to count).
Back to top
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Raven Bloodeyes

Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 576
Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:14 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote


The Marauder, like most heavy melee Rares, is strong in melee (especially with the Smite face) and saves.

Dwarves have a Warlord, not a Marauder.


The Dwarves can bring destroy and bring back magical items.

Remove the 1st "bring"


If the other player has gold items destroy them from afar while risking nothing yourself and you get the added bonus of killing one of his units.

Explode Stone now works on any color of common item, not just gold...
Back to top
 View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    SFR, Inc. Forum Index -> Game Strategy All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group