Originally I wanted to wait a bit longer but since I finished it anyway, here we are.
I do not care who Dwarfs are paired against but I believe they will only get 1 more DLC. Originally I was hoping it would be Thorek Ironbrow with rune themed units but since he is already part of the game, this was obviously no longer happening. Well, there are other themes. Or rather, theme because there is only 1 theme left that is worthy of DLC. And only 1 option to lead this DLC as Legendary Lord.
Also, yes there are pictures of Vermintide 2 in there. Never played the game myself, not my style but the pictures became quite handy.
Now, on to the main event.
Grimm BurlokssonThe son of Burlok Damminsson, the head of the Engineers Guild, has always shown outstanding signs as an inventor, even at a young age. Where other beardlings would still learn the mere basics of their work, Grimm Burloksson would invent a self-lightning pipe, a steam-powered beard-braider and a double-barrelled rifle. Over time he invented other things as well, such as a telescopic sight that fits over his battle helm and steam-powered gauntlet. He is a headstrong engineer, taking experiments far beyond of what is expected by all young Engineers and many say that he is heading down a dark path. A path that his father too once walked and that ended in the pain of a lost limb and the humiliation of a friend.
And maybe they are right, maybe one day Grimm will take his ways of trial and error too far but for now, his path has lead him to a stage were such a harsh fate seems hardly possible. Now this young genius has set sights to a different kind of goal for a opportunity has presented itself. His experiments have brought him into contact with a foe, well known in the Great Book of Grudges. Committed so slay this ancient enemy and to proof the worth of this inventions he has gathered an army at the doors of Zhufbar and with the approval of his father and the might of the engineers guild at his back, he is marching to the east. Prospectors are gathering, their Steamdrills at hand and Grudge Rakers and Crank Guns a plenty have been given to Thunderers and Ironwardens a like. Mighty Thunderbarges are roaming through the skies and new Rune Guardians, crafted from the Engineers Guild and awakened through the runes Thorek Ironbrow has brought from Lustria, are marching between the Dwarfs. Ancient Knowledge and new inventions are united and with his father as advisor, who should stop Grimm Burloksson?
Now, enough Lore bla-bla. As you can see, Grimm Burloksson has become my choice for DLC Lord in this proposal. Originally an 8th edition character from the hero department he has now become as full fledged Legendary Lord. Now, he can pretty much do what every generic engineer character can do. As far as yellow skills are concerned at least, since otherwise he is your normal lord. There is one exception though and I am not talking Immortality of course. I am talking this line of skills.
That one is not happening for young Grimm. No Dead Eye or any other skills of this line except Ballistic Calibration. He is bound to his Grudge Raker from the beginning and no chance going away from it. Now, since he has double-barrelled Grudge Raker I would give him a unique version of this skill. It could work like the item Double Barrel does, which is a bonus to reload time reduction and missile strength but maybe a stronger version of it. Could look like this.
However, he does of course also get some unique stuff for himself. I though of 2 different lines, one based on his actual army book rules and focusing on improving artillery and ranged units and the other one based on what he has invented and focusing on improving himself.
I was also thinking of another 2, at least, skills but these two would be mutually exclusive. These two would pretty much determine if Grimm goes too far with his experiments and goes full Outcast or if he “sees the error of his ways” to put it this way and becomes a bit more what the older engineers would want him to be. Both would of course have their own effects.
Then we also have to think about his personal items and if we keep the Cog Axe at this position, I think this is enough. Never got appeal of several unique items for every Legendary Lord anyway. Now to the Cog Axe. In the AB it has an ability called “Weaponsnapper”. Long story short, if you hit an opponent with a magic weapon and have lucky dice the weapon of your opponent is destroyed and cannot be used any more. Sound interesting but also hard to transport over to Total War. I had to think a bit but in the end I got an idea:
Passive ability that is only active when Grimm is in melee. Any weapon related ability his opponent may have is rendered zero. Means no Gitsnik-ability buff for Grimgor for example, as long as he is fighting Grimm but only the abilities, not some mere stat changes or anything else.
Now, lets go back to his unique skills and lets start with the one line of skill that is pretty much untouched except for the amount of points you would spent:
The only difference between a hero and Grimm is that the latter would only need to spent 1 point per skill to get the highest effect. I figured this would be a nice little way to show that he is, at least as far as this game goes, above Master Engineers and Grandmaster Engineers.
Now, I did say that Grimm would of course also get some unique skills and I did prepare something for that as well.
This is the line that is completely based upon his rules in the armybook, except Ballistic Calibrations but I figured that it would fit in nicely.
Now to the skills from left to right we have Artillery Adjustments first. I have never played TT in any kind, way, shape or form but from how I understand this rule, a simple increase of range is already a very good translation but I would add reload time reduction too. The rule itself says a piece of artillery could use Grimms Ballistic Skill and re-roll one artillery dice that can determines the distance a cannonball bounces. And every time I read this I cannot help but think that Dwarfs use highly bouncy cannonballs like it is some oversized rubber ball.
Anyway, back to topic and on to next skill. Increased Range is, well, Increased Range. That is exactly what it is called in the AB and that is exactly what it is called here. Now, in the AB this goes only for crossbows and handguns. Handguns are okay, crossbows not so much. We already have Thorek to buff Quarrellers give us Gatling-Gun-Crossbows. I love my Gatling-Gun-Crossbows but I do not need them on everyone. So, to put it into actual unit names, I would give this only to Thunderers, Irondrakes and Ironwardens. Gotta have some special love for the DLC units after all.
As far as Superior Volley is concerned, the AB says it allows you to re-roll missed To Hit rolls. I decided to go for a simple boost of Missile Strength for the army.
Now, this concluded the first line of unique skills for Grimm Burloksson but remember, more to come. After we are done with his line for his army, time to show you his line for himself:
And once again, the first skill of this line is a bit odd compared to the others. You see, Genius Engineer has nothing to do with what he has invented, though it fits the overall theme but is simple the little boost to Research Rate the Grandmaster Engineer would get as well. It is the other three skills that are based on his inventions, though I admit they are only about 2 things. The first of the three is about his name and would boost Grimms melee capabilities even further. I know you already get a lot with Technical Enhancements boosting Armour and Armour Piercing Damage. And you know hat? Even more Armour Piercing Damage! But mostly this is about Melee Attack.
Now, the other two skills are for his Grudge-Raker, meaning, for his ranged damage. Time for a bit more range and more accuracy. We can't let our Legendary Lord running with a normal Grudge-Raker now, can we?
On the next point, we are still not at the end, stay with me, but we are getting close to it. Now it is time we look at his skills where you have to decide what you want.
Well, which way will your Grimm go? Will he reign in with the lines of the Guild in which case he is good to go for the next Guildmaster? Or will he go the other way, leaving the guild behind and walk down the path of his way of engineering to whatever goal this may lead? Both will give you another boost to your Research Rate, so it is truly only about the other benefits. Going along with the guild would mean more recruitment ranks for your engineer lords and heroes, going the other way would mean much cheaper Ironwarden and Thunderbarges for Grimms army.
So, now we are done. Almost. One last picture left. You have seen all the skills on their own. Now it is time to present you the whole picture, which has used the plain old Dward Lord as base and no mount is on purpose.
With this picture, I now, again almost, conclude Grimm Burloksson, the DLC lord of this work. I say “almost” because after doing already so much, why should I skip the faction and lord effects?
For the faction effects, I would go for his personal mechanic, a boost on research rate and an increase of the recruitment capacity of engineer heroes.
For his personal effects, I would go for a reduction of upkeep and reload time for Thunderers, Irondrakes and Ironwardens. Since I kinda like having 3 effects on every side, I would also add a bonus on the recruitment rank for all artillery units.
Now I am done with Grimm Burloksson. Josef Bugman
After the DLC lord comes the FLC lord but do not worry, it wont take that long again. Maybe.The Dwarfs take their ale seriously and they are known for having many famous and renowned brewers but even with such competition, the name of Bugman stands for a quality of its own. Josef Bugman inherited a Brewery from his father and brew ale of such quality that it found its way to the tables of the likes of the Emperor of Mankind or the High King of Karaz Ankor. But these days of glory would come to an cruel and bitter end as a Goblin Warlord attacked the brewery while Josef Bugman was away. With his base of operation destroyed and all dwarfs dragged away to an unkown fate, Josef and his companions swore an mighty oath of vengeance and every since then, nothing but rumours of the deeds of Josef Bugman and his Rangers have been heard.
Josef Bugman, the FLC Legendary Lord. I do not really care how he comes over as FLC but what I do care about is his gameplay. First, I would give him a crossbow. I know, he is not exactly shown with one in his artwork and model but with the, possible, exception of Grimm the Dwarfs do only have melee lords. Thorek might be the “caster lord” for them but by the end of the day he too goes only into melee. Also because it would better fit with his rangers I think. However, that would be not the only thing unique about him, aside from his skills. His gameplay would mainly be determined by two things: The building line that produces Dwarf Beer as resource can be constructed in every settlement for it has been moved down a tier to range from 1 to 3 instead from 2 to 4 and Josef self would be a semi-horde. Now, the part with the Dwarf Beer in every settlement should be clear but what do I mean with semi-horde?
I kind of think of the Vampire Coast in this case. However the building option would be very limited. I am really thinking stuff like just 4 buildings or something. Really not much at all. For example, I would his horde let recruit nothing but units coming with Vanguard Deployment. Which, I believe, would be only Miners and Rangers in all their variation but he himself would have it too. The other buildings would be about him being able to sustain himself. So, more movement, replenishment and money through battle or stuff like that. Of course having no settlement left would not bother him but you would then be limited to the recruitment options of your army and they would indeed be rather limited. Another point on Josef Bugman is of course his unique items. For this one I would simply go again for only one thing and that would be his axe, “Ol' Thrustworthy”. From what I understand of its rules (Armour Piercing special rule and +1 to Attack and Strength) giving Frenzy sounds kind of fitting.
I am afraid that I might be end up in Bugmans Book of Grudges but he will not get a nice little picture with his skills. I am just gonna write it down in short order:
His second item, Bugmans Tankard, would be part of his unique skill set and give “Liquid Fortification” to the entire army. His other skills could give his entire army Vanguard Deployment, buff rangers, make more income through battle and influence Ambush success chance.
And with this, Josef Bugman is concluded and he too would have no mount. Grandmaster Engineer
A Lord level version of the Master Engineer, that is all. I was thinking about naming “Master Engineer Lord” but it did not ring well with me, so I went for Grandmaster. They can do pretty much everything a Master Engineer can do and a bit more. That said, there would be at least one difference in terms of skills and that is about this line:
To put it simple, the Grandmaster would always be able to invest 1 point less while still getting same effect at max level. At first I was thinking about changing something on that but then I decided against it. After all, you could easily do it anyway but just putting an Engineer hero with a Dwarf Lord. Also, since Master Engineers are the hero for stealing technology it would give the lord version a skill to boost research rate, as I said above. By the way, I can imagine them getting Gyrocopters as mounts.
Now, I was thinking about adding a Guildmaster as generic lord option first but I decided against it. The simple, also sad, reason is that a proper representation of Guildmasters, at least in my opinion, would require several models since we have a huge number of guilds. At least several weapon variations and neither has ever happened for Dwarfs by now. Also because Guildmaster are already a follower for Dwarfs. Dragon Slayer
As far as the Dragon Slayer goes, there is actually not much to say. Most important would be that they are now finally the proper Assassin Hero the Dwarfs do not have. I believe the Thane is handling this department right now and I must say I do not think it fits him.
Gameplay-wise there is not much to say either. You know how Slayer work, so here is the hero version of it(and all of sudden the lack of a generic Slayer character makes kind of sense). Though if you want some special skills I suppose there could be some sort of Leadership buff every time he kills an SEM and if you do not want him to get stuck in a horde of Goblins or Zombies I suppose a temporarily Bonus against Infantry would not be so bad either.
Prospectors are originally the champion or hero unit of the Miners and even in the AB only them could take a Steamdrill. They would work kind of like the Warp Grinders the Skaven have but I think a differentiation in their abilities would be a good idea. Not completely different though, for an ability to slow down in an AoE is too good to pass up and I find it kind of fitting. Aside from this though, I'd let them summon a unit of miners on the battlefield. Maybe even let them throw something, not sure about this though. Ironwarden
The Ironwarden is to the Irondrakes what is the prospector to the Miners. Except Crank Guns are not a thing in the armybook but as it is written in the picture above, I think they would make a fine T5 infantry. I do not believe that every race should have infantry in such a high level but for Dwarfs? Yeah, I think it suits them just fine. Rune Guardian
Something that should have been coming with Thorek but here we are. Regardless, I want them in! I do not care about the Shard Dragon and I am ready to put the fabulous, magnificent, awe-inspiring Rune Golems to the side but never will I discharge the Rune Guardians. They must come!
Obviously they would be a monstrous infantry. I imagine them being slow, lots of armour and tons of armour piercing. Maybe even Magic Attack. You know, them being runic and all. They could make for a nice cavalry killer I suppose. Thunderbarge
Now we get to the big, flashy part of the new units. I must admit though, originally Thunderbarges were not even supposed to be a unit here. At first I only thought of them as a new race wide mechanic. Something sort of a flying Black Arc.
Well, that was in the past, now they are simply another unit. Though “simply” is actually kinda wrong. I mean, there are an obvious T5 unit and I can imagine them working like some sort of flying artillery piece. A flying Cannon basically, with a special ability that would work like a bombardment spell and another ability to summon a unit of Gyrocopters.
Another thing with them is there melee department or rather the lack of it. I have seen some discussions on how their melee movements would work, how they would land and so on. To put it simple, they do not. No landing for the Thunderbarge until it gets destroyed. That would really be the only time. Also, the melee stats would be horrible. Really, it is a flying artillery so it needs protection. I would also give this unit two RoR. One being the Wrath of Thunder and the other one being the Spirit of Grungni. I would give the wrath of Thunder a Queen Bess effect on normal shots while the Spirit of Grungni would get an ability like a Wind Spell.