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I'll be the first to admit that dwarves were overpowered in the early years of the game. It wasn't uncommon to see most of the badlands blue by turn 50-75, and that's even after TW2, and the initial wave of old world rebalancing.
Recently picked up the game again after about a 6 month absence....and this just flat out isn't fun anymore.
The old adage goes about being "beset by enemies on all sides". This has never been more true. To the south, you have Grimgore and the assorted greenskin tribes. To the north you have Vampire counts, and more orcs. To the east now, where there used to be a reliable wall to your back, you now have skaven and more undead. And to the west you have bloody handz and...border princes?! Yes, that's right, now they're apparently against the dwarves as well.
The bottom line is that dwarves do not have the stalwart bastion they used to. If it's not your allies being absolutely useless (I've seen barak varr fall while one of their armies is in Empire lands fighting Vampires), it's random events causing damage, growth penalties to an already slow race, or massive public order penalties from who knows what. Dwarf heroes and lords are also far and few between, and expensive. On top of that, the Greenskin re-work allows orcs to have literally twice as many units on the field as they used to, for the price of one, and they just develop a momentum that can't be stopped when they start chain-waaghing.
I'm not a game designer, or a hardcore player, so take this with a grain of salt. Here are just some of the problems I've noticed, along with possible suggestions of fixes. As a side note, I'm more in favor of bringing dwarves in line with other races than nerfing others, as the only real buff they've had since TW1 is the forge system, and that's not really all that helpful if you don't have the territory with resources to use. I'm also looking at fixes that will primarily affect the campaign without messing up pitched battles.
1. Slow growth. Dwarves used to start with their capital city at tier 2; this was nerfed, though they start with enough population to immediately upgrade it to tier 2. The growth penalties from perpetual low public order and random events make this even worse. Even if you aren't constantly fighting off raids and other issues, it's almost impossible to get your capital city above tier 3 until after turn 50 unless you funnel all growth into it and neglect your other settlements. I've seen it where you take over the rib peaks (Mount Gunbad area) on turn 15 or so, and it's actually got NEGATIVE growth because of the vampiric and skaven corruption affecting it.
Possible fix: Revert the above mentioned nerf, or make it so that dwarves are more resilient to having their growth impacted by public order. There needs to be some way to start seeing tier 4 units before you get hit by wave after wave of rank 5 black orc stacks. It may also be a good idea to re-visit the dwarf research tree; Some techs barely make a dent, while others are absolutely critical, but hidden behind otherwise unhelpful choices.
2. Enemies all over. Prior to the patch where preferred climate was introduced, you didn't have to worry about border princes taking over barak varr, or mannfred taking over zhuffbar. Half the time this is exactly what happens; the AI is absolutely dead set on taking over that unfavorable yellow climate province. It also doesn't help that both greenskins and skaven can use the underground, so there's no way to build up any kind of barrier to entry, short of more armies that you can't afford.
Possible fix: Re-focus the priority of the AI. Zhuffbar now has skaven nesting in bugmans old tavern, isn't that enough of a problem to deal with? And aren't the border princes just supposed to more or less sit there, be a pain in the neck for the empire, occasionally fight against greenskins? The skaven that have also popped up are less of an issue, thankfully, but every now and then they do the sneaky thing somehow decide to strike at the exact same time as the greenskin wave.
3. Corruption. This is getting crazy. It used to be that the only corruption you had to worry about was the undead to the north of zhuffbar. However, there are now skaven bordering almost all dwarf lands, so you have to deal with two kinds now. The biggest impact this has is public order: On just hard mode, having only about 20% of skaven and vampire corruption leads to a -7 public order penalty!
Possible fix: Move some of the "untainted" traits to lower tier buildings. As it stands, dwarves don't have any way of fighting corruption until tier 3. Or, as suggested above, at least make it so that they aren't affected by it as hard until it really gets out of control.
4. Expensive/difficult to acquire characters. Dwarves flat out can't afford more than two armies at the beginning unless they put everything into toolmaker guilds. With the exception of the freebie runelord you receive from the first quest, you also don't have access to more heroes until tier 3 or higher; this wouldn't be as much of a problem if not for the earlier mentioned growth issues; you flat out can't get engineers til tier 4, and they're almost mandatory to make firing lines work against greenskin hordes. The quests for your legendary lord equipment are also horribly out of tune: The first quest Thorgrim gets requires 2 gyrocopter units in his army, a tier 4 unit that you usually don't see until extremely late, and which honestly isn't all that useful. By comparisson, so many other legendary lords in the game either start with a legendary item already equipped, or have relatively straightforward requirements that can be done as long as you put effort into them.
Possible fix: Dwarves have a history of being a race of mountain kings, where each king, while paying fealty to the high king, is still the master of his realm. Possibly reduce upkeep costs provided your number of lords does not exceed the number of complete provinces (Re-unite the underground realm, as Thorgrim has made his mission?). Also, re-tune the legendary quests for each lord, so that they're more effective, and make it so that at least runesmiths or engineers are easier to acquire. The lack of magic means that dwarves sorely need the special abilities granted by these characters.
5. Greenskins. I have to say this; if all of the above can't happen, one thing that would help; Tone down the waagh campaign ability of the greenskins. it used to be that you would face maybe 2-3 armies at once, which is fine, greenskins should be hordes. That number has now become 4-6, sometimes including elite units, all practically for free, and on top of that, the WAAGH in battle ability just ruins any armor advantage dwarves have. Even if you manage to lightning strike the core army, the WAAGH army just sticks around, and if you don't get jumped on by them, it's another greenskin army that somehow was just outside of your sight range, and yet had enough movement ot catch you. I don't like calling for nerfs, but this is getting out of control.
Possible fix: If you punch the biggest orc, and he goes down, shouldn't that mean his followers run as well? Limit the size of WAAGH armies to be capped by that of the host army, adjusting accordingly if the host takes a beating. Grungni knows there still plenty of other orcs out there.