Thursday, 25 July 2013

Acceptable in the '80s: Chaos Dwarf Ballistics


Last post I discussed, in my rambling way, my view about the 'Golden Age' of White Dwarf. That issue 107 of White Dwarf is the beginning of a very special period of the magazine. A highly creative period where we learnt about the background of the Imperium, The Horus Heresy, Titans to name just a few wonderful ideas. So here's one of them!

Today's post concerns Chaos Dwarfs. 

Now while we are discussing the evil stunty ones, it is important to remember the was no concept of a Chaos Dwarf army in the early versions of Warhammer. They were part of the armylist in Warhammer Armies, and using this as a basis it is fairly straight forwards to build a chaos dwarf force. Its not really that interesting though, just a few units and there were certainly no big hats or comical beards. Slaves to Darkness also included chaos dwarfs in their armylists, but again no actual army. Chaos dwarfs were just another unit at this time, but of course with the flexibility of 3rd edition it was, and still is, very easy to create your own. Even so, Chaos Dwarf forces lacked something.

This was remedied in White Dwarf 108 with a range of new models, namely crossbows and a swivel gun. As you would expect at this release was accompanied with narrative, background and rules. Shall we have a look at them?


The story above is typical of WD at this time. Jokes abound but with a subtle slice of darkness. I for one would not want to face a defended position supported by a cannon. Nice artwork too, though i don't know who the artist is.


On with the background and the rules. I really like the idea of a portable piece of artillery like this, especially on a vast battlefield with many targets. I also like the fact that this weapon only inflicts hits on the first rank. Makes those big units rather tempting. I am glad I have a couple of these models in my collection ( somewhere ) and I plan to add them to my Khornate army some point in the future.


It seems they can be grouped into units of four if you so wish. Here are the stats cards for Warhammer Armies and Slaves to Darkness. Below is the ad for the Chaos Dwarf crossbows from WD 107 and these are lovely models. I got hold of 5 of these recently though they lack the plastic crossbows. I have one or two of the crossbows in my collection and am wondering if it is possible to create a mould to copy them and arm the whole unit.



There is enough here to make most gamers happy. Two new units, intetesting models and fluff in WD. 

Do you own these models? What are your opinions on them? What about their effectiveness? Have you a recount about how they performed on a battlefield near you? If so,  please share the details.

Orlygg

11 comments:

  1. Ah! great stuff...thanks for posting this! I was looking for the first page of this "article" just last night...I have the other two pages from my dismembered copy of 107 but the narrative bit at the beginning has gone missing.

    I'm a huge fan of the pre-Big Hat Chaos dwarfs...and the addition of the swivel gun and Xbows made them a much more viable force... though as you mention they still lack a real army list...where are the elite Chaos dwarfs?

    And for once I can say that I own all of the figures discussed here...haven't painted them yet...but thats not what you asked...:)

    keep up the excellent work mate!

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    1. Funny you should say this Blue, as I have just been rummaging around in the collection looking for mine. I have recently painted a mortar team and really enjoyed the almost oriental style of the dwarf's armour and trappings. No I feel I want to do some more. Trouble is, I doubt I'd ever be able to finish the set, doubt the wife will let me shell out £100s for the ass cannon or the juggernaut!

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    2. haha...yeah those are beyond my means as well...sad because that ass-canon is just a great model. Maybe I'll stumble on one in a 2nd hand shop someday...dare to dream!

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  2. Apparently Foundry do some crossbows which make great proxies for the old Citadel ones?

    Regarding full armies with elite units etc, I'd be surprised is somebody hasn't already produced a "fan codex" or some such for these old guys somewhere in the Internet? If not, it sounds like it could be an interesting project.

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    1. The foundry ones they sell these days are fairly rustic with no stirrup. Someone here pointed us to the gripping beast ones, which look perfect. Those will probably be the ones I end up using.

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  3. There's an artist signature -- perhaps two -- in that first image. At the time, White Dwarf listed the artists along with a reproduction of their signatures on the contents page, so you should be able to figure it out from there.

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  4. I love this era of CD's and have many (The Wife says too many heh), the CD Bazookas in 3rd are devastating.

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  5. Are you sure the CD article wasn't in WD 108 rather than 107? Forgive me if I'm wrong but I would have sworn it was 108.

    The list of artists that worked on WD around these two issues include Tony Ackland, John Blanche, Paul Bonner, Paul Campbell, Chris Colston, Ian Cooke, Mark Cordory, Carl Critchlow, Wayne England, Dave Gallagher, Jon Glentoran, Gary Harrod, Tony Hough, Pete Knifton, Ian Miller, Russ Nicholson, Tim Pollard, Bill Sedgewick, Kevin Walker and Richard Wright.

    Mark Cordory matches the initials on the bottom right of both pictures (where the artist's name usually goes) but nobody matches the dated squiggle inside the first picture, at bottom left (unless Ian Miller was using a different style of signature than usual).

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    1. My bad. You are quite right there. I managed to mix up my articles it seems. I'll edit the post. Well spotted sir!

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  6. Great post, thanks! The Perry chaos dwarfs are right at the top of my list of favorites and I've got a bunch waiting for paint. Not sure if I have the swivel gun but I've got the petard, several bazookas and a unit of xbows. Probably be awhile before I get to painting them as you know the inclination to save the best for last, etc.

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  7. The swivel gun rules are handy for anyone with the Marauder Dwarf swivel guns too. Imperial Dwarves can have swivelling fun too!

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