28 August 2009 | Warhammer: Invasion LCG

My Axe, Your Face

A preview of the Dwarfs in Warhammer: Invasion


Welcome to the last of four articles about the races found in the Warhammer: Invasion Core set. Each of the races -Dwarfs, Orcs, Empire, and Chaos- is designed to have a unique overall feel, as well as having multiple paths to victory.

Long have the Orc and the Goblin tainted our homes. Long have the forces of Chaos plagued us at our doorstep. We have lost many of our kin. We have lost many of our secrets. No more. Now I call upon every Dwarf to pick up their axe. Now I call upon every Dwarf to stand and take the fight to the savage Orc, to the back-stabbing goblins, to the tainted spawn of Chaos. We shall stand as one nation, and we shall have our vengeance. For too long have the followers of Destruction gone unpunished for their deeds. This grudge is buried now!

Dwarfs are as the mountain – immovable, unforgiving, inexorable. They will eventually crush you under their weight. And gods help you if you ever cross them, for they never forget!

Another thing: the mountain people are master engineers and builders. Their masons and smiths are unmatched in prowess, and they have created some impressive as well as devastating constructs.

UnbreakableDwarfs are hard to kill. In fact, if you build your deck in the right way, your units will be nearly impossible to remove from play. When you play the Ironbreakers of Ankhor, your opponents will be hard pressed to get rid of them. They are one of several dwarf units with the Toughness keyword, which soaks some damage each and every time the unit is about to take some.

Look strong? I’d argue that toughness is even better than it looks at first glance, partially because it keeps working until the unit is dead. A unit with toughness 2 and 3 hit points would survive for three combats with an impressive 3-power unit hitting it full strength. And even if you were playing against somebody using Chaos burn, Toughness absorbs 2 from each effect.

Lastly, the Ironbreakers’ toughness is variable, depending on the number of developments you place in the same zone as them. In case you missed it from an earlier article, you may place any card from your hand face down as a development in a zone of your choice, once per turn, increasing the hit points of that section of your capital by one … and as you can see, developments also “turn on” devastating abilities, such as these.

The Bearers of the GrudgeSo your opponent finally threw everything they had at your poor Dwarf unit and killed it. Wait … they killed one of your Dwarfs?! Unforgivable! And if it’s one thing the mountain-folk do better than anything else, it’s carrying out grudges of mythic proportions.

The dwarfs have many ways to punish your opponents for daring to do bad things to either your units or your capital. Units like the Dwarf Ranger shoot one point of direct damage anywhere (including a capital!) if any of your units die. And it gets even more awesome… all of these grudge effects are cumulative! If you had three rangers in your quest zone and one of your units was killed, all three of them get to shoot at something! It gets ugly for your opponent very quickly.

What’s even better is that the Dwarfs hold a grudge even if it wasn’t your opponent that did the killing! You’ll find a few weapons of war in your arsenal that require the noble sacrifice of a Dwarf unit to accomplish tasks … which trigger your various grudge-effects. In the right deck, the results can be absolutely devastating.

One last (and more subtle) aspect of the grudge is that Dwarfs have access to some lethal effects that target attacking units. You have to wait until after the effect to use them (thus creating a “grudge situation”), but when your Grudgethrower Assault can kill your opponent’s best attacker, it’s often worth the short term pain.


Engineering 101As previously shown, Dwarfs can build some nice contraptions, but they also have some impressive buildings. The Keystone Forge ties in to their unbreakable concept by healing your capital by one damage every single turn, as well as providing power in its home zone.

Your poor opponent will have trouble getting through your tough-as-nails defending units (who can also use their power for kingdom management, questing or battle depending on which zone they are in!). And even when they do, your engineering contraptions and awesome buildings will help you rebuild fast!

The key phrase I want you to remember when playing the forces of Order (Empire or especially Dwarfs) is “offensive defense.” The ability to defend yourself with minimal effort leaves you free to build a wicked strong resource and/or questing engine for your capital and then use it to crush your opponent.

Defensive play has never been so scrappy!

As you read this article, the very first preview copies of Warhammer: Invasion are being played. I look forward to hearing about your early experiences with the game on the message boards!

Warhammer Invasion The Card Game is a card game, by Eric M. Lang, in which 2 players develop their kingdoms and lay waste to their foes. Each side is comprised of either the forces of Order -Dwarfs, High Elves, Empire- or the forces of Destruction -Orcs, Chaos, Dark Elves- as they seek to extend their empire to include the entire Old World.

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