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The Dwarfs are a martial race hardened by thousands of years of constantly defending their holds from would be invaders both above and below the ground.
Dwarf Warriors are drawn up from the citizenry of Dwarf society. Dwarfs are mostly craftsmen and artisans and there are few professional Dwarf soldiers but in times of war Dwarfs may be called up by their clan leaders who will organize them into regiments ready to fight. Dwarfs are physically strong, resilient and broad of shoulder enabling Dwarf armies to force march at great pace across hard country, a feat of endurance seldom seen in other races. They will fight with a mixture of axes and hammers, often being passed down through a family line for generations, and gird themselves in heavy armour, often with a large round shield.
In game terms Dwarf Warriors are well armoured and resilient defensive infantry with a high leadership characteristic meaning that they'll seldom panic and run away, also when armed with double-handed axes they make cheap and effective shock troops easily capable of taking on many an army's finest.
Longbeards are old and wise Dwarfs and are very experienced warriors, such is evidenced by their longer beards. A Longbeard's long beard grants them total respect from other Dwarfs. Longbeards are veterans of many wars and have endured far more hardships than most beardlings (young Dwarfs) can even imagine and as such they grumble about how everything is less scary or well made as it was in their day. Nothing can stop a Longbeard from a good grumble. Longbeards on the field of battle are very powerful and do not suffer distress about minor shifts in the battle situation which might panic a younger dwarf.
Within the game Longbeards are equipped in much the same way as dwarf warriors but due to their experience they are better at hitting enemies and wounding them and are immune to panic.
Slayers are dwarfs who have lost their honor, brought shame to his or her family or broke an important oath. Such a crime would be solved by death, but because Dwarfs see suicide as a waste, the Cult of the Slayer was born. In order to regain their honor, slayers seek glorious death in battle against the strongest of opponents. Upon taking the slayer's oath, a slayer will often sever all ties from home and travel to the Shrine of Grimnir at Karak Kadrin, the Slayer keep.
Spotting a slayer on the battlefield isn't difficult. They have mohawks which are put up with pig grease, and beards dyed orange along with the mohawk. They refuse to wear armor of any sort and are often next to naked except for the exotic tattoos that cover their body. In battle they carry an assortment of axes, typically a pair of axes or a large two handed great axe, which they can alternate between.
Slayers have conquered their fear of death and as a result, fear very little. They are brave, stubborn and incredibly violent when in battle.
Dwarf Ironbreakers are the guardians of the lower deeps of dwarf holds, they are experienced tunnel fighters and often fight against Skaven and goblins attempting to tunnel into a Dwarf hold. Without their efforts most dwarf holds would have almost certainly fallen to enemy attacks. Dwarf Ironbreakers are professional Dwarf soldiers in that they are perpetually under arms, due to their status as professional tunnel fighters they are armoured with the best dwarf armour available, Gromril, which can protect a Dwarf from many a rock fall and enemy blade. Dwarf Ironbreakers also find themselves fighting battles on the surface and they form a bulwark against enemy attacks, but for every battle they fight on the surface, they've faced dozens below the ground.
In game terms, Dwarf Ironbreakers have high weapon skill, good strength, and great armour and leadership characteristics. As a result of this hardiness, many opponents would avoid fighting them and would attempt to tackle less-hardy soldiers, counter with their own heavily armoured units, or use range units.
Dwarf Hammerers are a Dwarf king's personal body-guard, chosen by the King himself. The history of the Hammerers goes back to when a tunneling works that a Dwarf king was inspecting caved in. With all manner of foul creatures pouring in, the craftsmen there raised their heavy hammers, which they typically used for their work, and beat a path for the King to escape. Ever since then, the Hammerers have been a Dwarf King's personal guard. Hammerers are stubborn, even by Dwarf standards, and are known for an unswerving loyalty to their lord; a loyalty solidified in the gift of the heavy warhammer from Lord to Hammerer.
In game terms Dwarf Hammerers are heavily armoured and exceedingly strong shock infantry; which due to their stubbornness will almost never run away. If joined by their liege lord, they are also completely fearless; truly elite. Hammerers were originally going to be a playable class in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, fulfilling the Melee DPS role for the Dwarfs, however they were dropped before release due to design flaws and later replaced by the Slayer class.
Thunderers and QuarrellersEdit
Dwarf Quarrellers and Thunderers form the bulk of the missile contingent in a Dwarf Army. There was once a time when Dwarf powder weapons had not been invented and Dwarf Quarrellers reigned supreme with their crossbows. Over time, as the Dwarf Handgun came into common usage, the Crossbow lost its dominance. Nowadays, most Dwarf armies see a pretty even split of Quarrellers and Thunderers. Dwarfs are naturally methodical and slow to panic; and so are suited to reloading and firing both weapons calmly, even when the enemy is right on top of them. The competition between various engineers is such that in the efforts to make increasingly better and more reliable weapons Dwarf Handguns have become the most effective weapons of their type in the world. Most Thunderers have crafted their own weapons and over the years add many augmentations and improvements; and are as a result very proud of their weapons. Despite this, many Dwarfs stick to the good old and reliable crossbow as they begrudge the cost of powder when a bit of brute force will propel a bolt as far as a bullet. There have even been known instances of dwarfs improving their crossbows, though of course this is strictly prohibited without the engineers' guild's knowledge and permission.
On the tabletop both units are highly effective at shooting with the choice between the two often being kept more as personal preference rather than any real advantage offered by either one; while Dwarf Thunderer is more effective at shooting but is more expensive points wise, the Dwarf Quarreler may carry a shield and a heavy axe or hammer, making them more effective troops in close combat.