News for April 2014
Strong as a Mountain
A Preview of the Hammer and Hold Expansion for Warhammer: Diskwars
Warhammer: Diskwars | Published 10 April 2014

“We are sons of Grugni; alone we are rocks, united we stand with the strength of a mountain.”
    –Dwarf King Alrik at the defense of Karak Hirn

Recently, we announced the upcoming release of two expansions for Warhammer: Diskwars. Hammer and Hold bolsters the forces of Order, calling up new units for the Empire and High Elves, and granting players the ability to field entire regiments of Wood Elves, Lizardmen, and Dwarfs. Its Destruction counterpart, Legions of Darkness, is full of terrifying corruption and foul necromancy, summoning forth new Chaos and Orc units, as well as entire regiments for the Dark Elves, Skaven, and Vampire Counts.

Today, we begin our series of previews with a look at the Dwarfs of Hammer and Hold. Arriving to defend their karaks with axe and cannon and gyrocopter, these Dwarfs are hardy folk, possessing some of the highest toughness values in the game, and able to make good use of their new Stalwart and Guard X keywords.

Dwarfs at War!

Hammer and Hold introduces four new keywords, and the Dwarfs put three of them to good use.

  • Emplace allows a disk to deploy anywhere outside the bounds of enemy deployment zones, so long as it is not deployed pinning another disk. Additionally, if you deploy a disk with emplace outside of your deployment zone, it doesn’t count toward your deployment values.
  • Guard X is the opposite of Impact X, allowing units to deal physical damage whenever enemy disks flip onto them.
  • Stalwart disks can be activated to perform ranged attacks or utilize focus abilities even while they’re pinned. However, you don’t need to activate a stalwart disk when you resolve a command card, so if your only ranged attack is one you’d prefer not to take, you don’t have to take it.

Harnessed together within a single army, these keywords help the Dwarfs establish their home turf and defend it with all the ferocity and resolve that you’d expect from the Old World’s most stubborn and unyielding races.

Your defenses might start with the selection of an Ancestor Statue. This unit comes with Emplace but has a movement value of “–,” meaning that it cannot move even if you play a command card or activate an ability that otherwise might increase its speed. Rather, for seven recruitment points, the Ancestor Statue can stand firm, occupy a key portion of the battleground (like a choke point or a piece of terrain), and empower other members of your army.

Then, you could add the Karaz-a-Karak Hammerers, who have Guard 1, and you can use them to help secure the territory you claimed with your Ancestor Statue.

Finally, you can add a Flame Cannon to hold your foes back with its ranged attacks. This lethal war machine not only deals an astonishing six physical damage with each hit, it also splashes two damage to each disk within short range of its target. In optimal situations, the Flame Cannon can take out an enemy disk each round and soften up a number of others, making them vulnerable to your other attacks, as well as your guard damage. And because it has Stalwart, the Flame Cannon can fire even while pinned.

Unified in Fury

It’s tempting to use Thorgrim Grudgebearer in any Dwarf army, both because he brings Impact X to the army and because he’s more or less the living embodiment of the sort of grudges that fuel the Dwarfs’ thirst for vengeance. Still, there are two other Dwarf heroes, and the sample two-regiment army presented below uses both of them to lead an army designed to take great advantage of its war machines.

Hero: Grombindal the White Dwarf
Units (Recruitment Points): Flame Cannon (9), Venerable Runesmith (6), Venerable Runesmith (6), Karak Azul Warriors (6), Karak Azul Warriors (6)
Command Cards: Rune of Cleaving, Spelleater Rune

Hero: Queen Helga
Units (Recruitment Points): Runic Cannon (12), Master Engineer (8), Master Engineer (8), Venerable Runesmith (6)
Command Cards: Grudge-born Fury, Rally

The key to this army is the synergy between its regiments. They’re less like two separate regiments than they are a single, unified fighting force that seeks to lure enemies into position by battering them repeatedly with its war machines until the time comes to crash upon them with a rush of empowered Karak Azul Warriors. If possible, you’ll want to keep those warriors within short range of Queen Helga, to grant them swift ().

Because most of your Dwarfs have a toughness of “5,” even before they’re empowered, they can generally withstand a good bit of damage each round, and that means you could take advantage of the opportunity to command Grombindal the White Dwarf into melee with a key enemy unit, then try to finish it off with his focus ability and the damage (or splash damage) from your Flame Cannon before the melee phase ever begins.

Meanwhile, your Venerable Runesmiths perform double-duty in this Dwarf army. They empower allied units, and they permit the use of your two “Rune” command cards, Rune of Cleaving and Spelleater Rune. The Spelleater Rune, particularly, is a potent command card in this army as it can grant Grombindal the White Dwarf a good measure of protection before he heads into the thick of battle. Then, Grudge-born Fury and Rally can both allow him to dish out a good measure of damage before the melee phase begins.

Alternatively, if you wanted to make a more defensive, positional build, you could exchange the Flame Cannon and one of your Karak Azul Warriors for an Ancestor Statue and Karaz-a-Karak Hammerers.

Also, in that case, Shield Wall might prove a better command card than Rune of Cleaving, as it would allow you to meet the first rush of enemy disks with the Guard 1 from the Hammerers, boost it to Guard 2 by pairing it with Shield Wall, deal another point of damage with Grudge-born Fury, and then send Grombindal the White Dwarf into the fray, only to remove his activation token with Rally and then activate him to deal another three damage to every enemy he has pinned or that has foolishly chosen to pin him.

Wield Your Hammers. Defend Your Hold.

The sample army posted above illustrates just one of the many ways that you’ll be able to use the new Dwarf heroes and units from Hammer and Hold. As you wait for this expansion to arrive, keep your eyes open for more Warhammer: Diskwars previews, including a look at the expansion’s Lizardmen and Wood Elves, as well as an overview of the options presented to the forces of Destruction in Legions of Darkness!

Warhammer: Diskwars is an epic game of heroes, armies, and brutal warfare for 2 - 4 players. At the game's heart art its disks, which represent heroes and units from the Old World. These maneuver across the battlefield by flipping end over end, and if any two disks overlap at the end of the round, they must fight!

    
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