Never toss a dwarf

Near the very end of the Kings of War: Vanguard, a new resin dwarf warband was funded.  It is a well known secret that Ronnie favors dwarfs, so after the initial gang of four (Basileans, Night Stalkers, Abyssals, Northern Alliance) it is no surprise that these were the first warband to be added.

Much like the Abyssals and Basileans, a lot of the models are new sculpts of existing models.  There are already models for Ironwatch, Ironguard, rangers and Shieldbreakers.  And even a Sergeant can be made from the plastics.  However new resin models for all of these are a very welcome addition.

Of course the Kickstarter version came with cards for the dwarfs - bringing the total number of available units for this warband to 13.  The units in the book (and free download) are:

  • Dwarf Levy - use plastic/metal bulwarkers
  • Earth Elemental - use existing metal model
  • Stone Priest - use existing metal model
  • IronClad - use existing plastic models
  • IronWatch - new model
  • ShieldBreaker - new model
  • IronGuard - new model
  • Dwarf Sergeant - new model

While they add these 5 (four of which have new models)

  • Steel Juggernaut - new unit / model
  • Flame Priest - new unit / model
  • Dwarf Ranger - new model
  • Mastiff Packmaster - new unit / model
  • Ranger Captain - use Herneas the Hunter

So lets take a look at the eight new models!

Steel Juggernaut
The steel juggernaut is probably the coolest of the new dwarf models.   This is a unique model for a warband (meaning you can only take it once), however since it is also large that is not generally a big restriction, as a standard size warband can only have one large model anyway.

Not quite an Iron Ancestor like the Forge Fathers have - a big suit of steam powered armor with a powerful shooting attack.  I'm not even sure I would consider an Earth Elemental as my large model simply because of the cool factor.

Flame Priest
Of course if you don't want a large model shooting at you, you can instead take a new Flame Priest.  Basically a dwarf with a flamethrower - and who doesn't need a flamethrower in their warband?

A bit of steampunk, with the goggles and barrel of fuel.  Or is it a barrel of beer for a bit of refreshment?  Or cheap lager to spray his enemies with (and getting sprayed with thin yellow fizzy beer is worse for a dwarf than any flames).  Not that I'm partial to dwarfs and beer or anything.

Dwarf Sergeant
This is one of two command options for the Dwarfs (the Ranger captain (which, for the picture for the card, uses the Hernias the Hunter model)) .  While it seems a bit restrictive for Dwarfs to only have two command options - when it comes down to it, do they need a third?  (A fighty and a shooty option - what would the third be anyway?)

Mastiff Packmaster
One of the fun things I really liked about Kings of War was the addition of pets for each army (I'm a bit sad that the Abyssals and Night Stalker plastics do NOT have a pet on the sprue (even if the Naiads have 2!)).  There have been different rules for these (generally as add ons to a unit, and recently they have been grouped into units themselves) but generally the models weren't used.

A nice addition, and a great way to get more of the Dwarf Throwing Mastiff's on the table.  This is the only one of the new dwarf resin models that actually has a modelling option - there are two left and two right arms (so the right is holding the chain or not, while left is either holding a steak or a whip (positive v negative reinforcement!).

When I saw this was on a cavalry base it made sense - room for the dog/s and the handler.  However this model is a bit awkward there, as the dog it right next to the dwarf (instead of out in front of him), leaving a lot of the base blank. However if you were to make your own using the throwing mastiff models from the dwarf plastic sprues, then the cav base makes a lot more sense (and why wouldn't you want more - as they have the swarm rule).

Ironguard have had metal models available for some time, but this is so much nicer.  It would also fit for any other dwarf character.

A bit more armor than the sergeant to reflect their better defense.

Dwarf Ranger
Mantic also has had rangers available, but they aren't very exciting. They simply combine Shieldbreakers and Ironwatch (with some metal command figures thrown in).  So getting a new ranger (to go with Herneas) is awesome

While some might call it politically correct, and others say it is about time, I like that the model is female.

The Ironwatch are the base shooting units for the dwarfs, and generally take either crossbows or rifles.

I have already heard some controversy over this model.  Not due to anything wrong with it - is is an awesome model.  However right now there is no option for Ironwatch to take rifles in Vanguard (ok, there is a Rare item you can give one model for 6 pts) - only the crossbows they come with.  So being modeled with a rifle for a game that tends to be WYSIWYG (as are most skirmish games)

The final new resin model is the Shieldbreaker.  These are also available in plastic, but this is a great new model.

The long handled hammer and no shield are what sets this apart.

I did some quick match, and the resin models come to 219 points - so there is plenty to fill out your warband.  You will, however, need to get some dwarf sprues because there aren't enough resin warriors in this set (and no grunts).   I haven't yet had a chance to compare these with the existing Kings of War models, but having the older ones as grunts makes a lot of sense.

SO now, how long until we get a dwarf version of Ronnie himself?

Because it is all fun and games . . .