1.06 Dwarves, by Blatant7
If you are an experienced Dwarven player or completely new to Dwarves, this guide should help you become better online or against the AI.
Dwarves is a very unique faction, being both strong and slow. Mines are used to counter their lack of speed, which gives a huge advantage to Dwarven units. Guardians, the basic infantry unit of the Dwarves, are stronger than any other basic infantry unit in the game. Dwarven buildings have more health than other factions' buildings, which is a huge advantage. Dwarven heroes are similar to Dwarven units in that they are slow but incredibly strong. Most heroes are also effective at destroying buildings.
Heroes and their uses
Units and their uses
Popular Rush Strategies
Heros and their uses
Gloin: as a cheap hero, he is usually purchased early to mid-game. He has many uses, though I prefer to have him charge the enemy's fortress and take it down early in the game. His level 1 Slam can damage a building or a clump of units with great effect. This power is best on resource structures or neutral lairs.
Gloin's level 4 Shake Foundation can severely damage buildings and deactivate them for 10 seconds. This power works well against any structure, and can often one-hit-kill resource buildings or towers. This is also useful against a fortress, removing a large chunk of its health and preventing it from firing arrows for a precious 10 seconds. With a 60 second recharge time, this power is incredibly useful.
Gloin's level 10 Shatter Hammer is his final power and is immensely powerful. Its only drawbacks are the fact that you have to get to level 10 to use it and its long recharge time of 120 seconds. Otherwise, this is an amazing power that can be used effectively against structures or units.
King Dain: as an average-costing hero, he is purchased mid-game most often. He serves as a unit/hero supporter with his multitude of buffing powers. His level 1 Leadership gives nearby units +50% armor and damage, and doubles their experience gain rate. This power is useful in that it will keep your troops alive longer and make them dish out more damage. Dain's Leadership can often be the deciding factor in any battle.
Dain's level 4 Mighty Rage buffs both units and heroes, giving them +25% speed and damage. Its long recharge time is a drawback, but otherwise this power is extremely useful in almost any circumstance.
His level 7 Stubborn Pride makes nearby units immune to fear, which protects them from abilities such as the Fellbeast Screech or Shelob's Instill Terror. This is useful when facing an evil faction, but otherwise does not have much use.
King Dain's level 10 Summon Royal Guard summons six battalions of dwarves to his side. This power is useful for defending Dain when he has low health or for occupying the enemy while flanking from the side.
Gimli: as a more expensive hero, he is usually purchased mid to late-game. He is effective against both units and buildings. His level 1 Axe Throw is useful for taking out a troublesome troll or an enemy hero with low health. It has a low recharge time of 30 seconds, so can be used often.
Gimli's level 2 Leap can disrupt an enemy formation and kill a lot of units. This power is most useful when Gimli is surrounded, creating a gap for him to escape.
Gimli's level 5 Slayer gives him a major buff, increasing his attack by 200% and attack speed by 100%. This is extremely useful in killing enemy heroes or units with heavy armor.
Units and their uses
Guardians: the strongest basic infantry unit in the game, this unit has strong defense and moderate attack power. Can be used for most tasks, including destroying enemy buildings or units. With heavy armor and forged blades, Guardians are a force to be reckoned with. You can purchase Banner Carriers at level 1 for increased effect.
Phalanxes: the basic pike unit for the Dwarves, this unit is very effective in taking out enemy cavalry or creeping. Phalanxes have moderate defense and moderately strong attack power, and are useful against resource buildings and also heroes. Banner Carriers can be purchased at level 1 for increased effect.
Axe Throwers: the basic range unit for the Dwarves. Effective against units and buildings, their drawback is their short range. Can be lethal when equipped with forged blades. Axe Throwers are also effective at killing Ents. Banner Carriers can be purchased at level 1 for increased effect.
Men of Dale: the elite archer unit for the Dwarves, the Men of Dale have a long firing range and reload fast. They can be equipped with fire arrows for increased damage output. This unit is useful when garrisoned in a tower, and is the Dwarves' strongest defense against troublesome flying units such as Fellbeasts. Their black arrow ability triples their damage rate, and so is very useful against any kind of unit. As with the rest of the Dwarven units, Men of Dale can be upgraded with Banner Carriers for increased effect.
Demolisher: a very strong ram that is supereffective against buildings. It can deploy itself to increase armor, however this makes it immobile until undeployed. Its only drawback is its speed, which allows cavalry or even normal units to overtake it and destroy it.
Battle Wagon: a chariot-like siege unit that can be upgraded with several different attachments. It is very fast, and can trample enemy units. The Battle Wagon's barrel throw is useful against both buildings and units. Unfortunately, the Battle Wagon gets owned by pikes.
Catapult: a very long-range siege unit that fires two rocks at the same time. This is most often used against enemy fortress attachments and on the fortress itself. Can be upgraded with flaming ammunition to greatly increase damage.
Popular Rush Strategies
Gloin Rush: the main idea here is to get Gloin as fast as you can and rush straight to the enemy fortress. Getting a few Guardian units can be helpful in case Gloin's charge fails. Destroying neutral lairs with Gloin is a good strategy, as it easily raises him to level 4 so he can use his Shake Foundation on the enemy fortress. This power can easily take off a quarter of the fortress's health. Once the fortress is destroyed, continue with Gloin to destroy the remaining buildings. If possible, ignore resource structures and units, as these only get in the way.
Build Order: Forward Mine, Hall of Warriors, Mine, Gloin, Mine, Guardians, Guardians
Demolisher Rush: the plan here is to pump out Demolishers to devastate the enemy base. A Forge Works near the enemy base but hidden is a good idea, but a Forge Works by your base works well also. Note that you will want to have units to support your demolishers, or they will get owned by cavalry or pikemen. I like combining this rush with the Gloin Rush.
Build Order: Mine, Forward Forge Works, Mine, Hall of Warriors, Mine, Demolisher, Demolisher
Guardian Rush: I don't use this strategy very often, but I have seen it efficiently destroy a base in record time. You want to pump out as many Guardians as possible, optionally purchasing Siege Hammers for a huge damage increase. A forward Mine is essential in this strategy, as it greatly decreases the time it takes to reach the enemy base. Every few Guardian units you train, you will want to train a Phalanx unit for creeping and protection against enemy cavalry. Send all the Guardians to the enemy base and destroy the buildings. When doing this, it is a good idea to send one or two units head-on to distract the enemy, while sending your main force from behind. This way you won't get destroyed by archers as easily.
Build Order: Forward Mine, Hall of Warriors, Mine, Guardians, Guardians, Mine, Phalanx, Guardians
I hope this guide has helped you become a better player. Dwarves are arguably the best faction, and mastering them is essential to playing online. If you have any questions or suggestions for the guide, please post here. Also note that this guide is not yet complete. In the near future I will add information on Dwarven palantir powers and also some replays of all the different rush strategies.