Kings of War Armada is a ship wargame by Mantic Games, set in their fantasy Kings of War setting in the world of Pannithor. In our Kings of War Armada Dwarf Guide, we'll look at the faction as a whole, and break down each ship.
The Dwarfs treat seamanship like any other discipline, with pride and perfection. Their ships are steam-powered sea tanks and what they lack in numbers, they make up with large numbers of accurate cannons.
All of the Dwarf ships are powered by engines, so they ignore the wind direction when using the rules for wind. They're also very good at repairing damage with the Master Engineer upgrade and holding their nerve as they get to reroll all nerve checks.
The Dreadnought is an incredibly well armored ship. With 112 structure points and Advanced Construction which reduces all incoming damage by two, it's a brave enemy who dares the ten broadside mounted guns. A crew strength of ten also means that any boarding actions are also sure to go the Dreadnought's way. Drive it straight into the enemy, and watch them burn.
The Grimmstone is a main battle ship of the Dwarfs. With four Heavy broadside guns, two heavy front, and two close rear-facing to protect it, it can happily roam the seas without support. It uses the slightly tighter yellow turning angle, but with a decent amount of guns all around, it can power through most confrontations without worrying about positioning too much.
Runeaxe / Orc's Bane
The Dwarfs don't have a cheap main battle ship option like the other fleets, as the Runeaxe is only twenty points less than the Grimmstone. But it is just as durable and heavily armed for its price. The Runeaxe has the Assault Vessel special rules, which gives it grappling hooks for free and a half-price discount on the Ironwatch Marines, which should be an automatic purchase as it makes the Runeaxe a very effective close attack vessel. There is also a captain upgrade for the Runeaxe only, which doubles the crew strength to eight for only five points, meaning that for forty-six points, you have a crew strength of nine and grappling hooks to really bring the pain in close combat.
Orc's Bane is a named ship option for the Runeaxe hull, which for five more points, loses the rear-mounted cannons and adds two light cannons to each broadside. It also boosts the nerve, structure points, and crew strength of the Runeaxe, and adds the Privateer special rules, which gives a bonus to grapple attempts and doubles the grappling damage on a nine or ten.
Fury's are support ships that cost a similar amount to some fleet's smaller main battle ships, and for good reason. They have two heavy broadside cannons, and front and rear mount flame weapons that can start fires on enemy ships, which cause extra damage and require the crew to put out the fires, or risk further damage, or even the loss of the ship if the flames reach the ammunition store.
The Thunderer is the Dwarf indirect weapon ship. Mortars are usually inaccurate, but due to Dwarf engineering, theirs are only slightly harder to hit with than standard weapons, but they have a long-range, random damage that can be devastating and can scatter onto other targets if they miss.
The Dwarfs don't have small ship squadrons, instead, they have Hunters, small and fast ships that are armed with three light broadside cannons. They're great for softening up enemy ships before the arrival of the larger Dwarf ships.
There are several products for Dwarf fleets, which are listed below with the ships they contain.
Dwarf Starter Fleet
- 1x Grimmstone
- 1x Runeaxe
- 1x Thunderer
The Dwarf Starter Fleet comes with both main battle ships, and a support ship, coming in at 110 points for the ships alone. It's a solid foundation to build up from with a focus on laying down some heavy firepower with the Grimmstone and Runeaxe, or buying option upgrades in order to make them happy to close the distance and grapple the enemy fleet. The boosted accuracy of the Thunderer provides accurate cover while the two battle ships move up.
Dwarf Booster Fleet
- 1x Runeaxe (optional part to build the named ship Orcs's Bane)
- 1x Fury
- 2x Hunters
The Booster Fleet fleshes out from the Starter Fleet, adding in another Runeaxe, which can be built as the Orc's Bane and solid support ship for backing up the larger ships.
- 1 Dreadnought
The largest ship of the Dwarf fleet comes in its own box.
Dwarf List Building
Getting a Starter and Booster fleet will give you access to one of every ship (if you build a Runeaxe as Orc's Bane). It will also allow you to have a look at both Dwarf core playstyles, of either sitting back and landing accurate shots or braving the enemy guns to out nerve your enemies in close combat.
We're still exploring list-building options and will update this guide when we've played more games (post-UK lockdown).
All of the Kings of War Armada products used to produce this guide were provided by Mantic Games.