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Warhammer Battle Reports 7th / 8thNauticans / Design Fantasy Gallery

Winning Warhammer Fantasy Battles - a tactics guide

A guide on how to win Warhammer Battles for beginners, novices and intermediate gamers (actually it's a good reminder for veterans too).

I found this excellent article on Bugman's Brewery while researching possible reasons for a recent massacre my Dwarfs suffered at the hands of a foul Dark Elves army.

Ten ways to win a battleBasic Warhammer Tactics Originally Compiled by Boldo, revised by The Dark Dwarves (

1. Have better troops. This is the strategy of having your elite infantry fight your opponent's standard infantry. This often means setting up and moving in such a way so you can fight the opponent’s troops and be able to win an engagement somewhere. This is a common theme in the “Elite Infantry” armies or “quality over quantity” debates as units are looking to get into one-on-one engagements with enemy units and break them. It is essential when taking this approach to deploy the army in such a fashion as to preserve the advantage you enjoy of “better” troops over your opponent’s army. By doing this you utilize the deployment and terrain in a manner as to insure that the majority of the combats engaged in are single unit vs. single unit. In these types of combats, the superior WS, S, and armor save of your models should allow you enough of an advantage to win the combat by enough of a margin to “break” the enemy unit through combat resolution/damage.

2. Flee and Flank. Most charges are made at over half range. Frequently an opponent will not have enough support troops to cover the flanks of the charging unit. Thereby after the charge has failed they have put themselves in a position to be charged and so they will have to flee as well during the Dwarf turn or be flanked. This is a tactic that can more difficult to utilize with dwarves due to their reduced movement rates relative to other armies.

3. Circle to a flank. This requires more combat units then your opponent as you will want to move around to the flank of a unit. The opponent has to give you a flank or fall for the Flee and Flank tactic.

This is really a simple idea. If you have more tactical units then you can have a unit in front of each of your opponent’s units and still have extra. The extra units should keep trying to circle to the flank so that the opponent must either expose a flank to the unit circling to the flank or to the unit in front of it. This is the basis of the Multiple Small Unit (MSU) strategy and horde army strategy. As more units equal more opportunities for a flank charge.

4. Pin and flank. This is best done with either unbreakable troops or stubborn troops which will be there in two combat phases, long enough to get a flank charge.

5. Bait/Sacrifice and flank charge. One reason to put a unit in the front of your troops is to have them suck up missile fire but they are also useful to take a first charge. Even if they lose a well placed unit will force the opponent to crash into the infantry behind and allow them to be flanked next turn. This works best with troops which do not cause panic in the rest of your army. The diagram shows two examples of this.

6. Ranks and Unit size. Very few battles are won on kills alone as most come down to combat resolution. Nothing works in combat resolution like having ranks and size. So Big units are the key and if backed up with some shooting you can make sure you have ranks and size when the troops hit.

7. Turn the front. As troops usually form up to the defender in Warhammer it is possible to turn a unit enough to allow a flank if they can hold the first round of combat. In figure 1 the Warrior units pivot in place to await the charge. If your units are well placed an opponent may have to charge you whole front in hopes of breaking the unit on the charge, as they will be unable to get another unit to guard its flank. If it looks like the enemy unit has a good chance of breaking the target unit on the charge you may be better off to use the Flee and Flank tactic.

8. Scout the terrain. Scouts may or may not be in your army but it is often possible to place terrain so the opponent is left with few avenues of approach. Hills and woods can be used to put troops in a situation where they can not be charged easily but the opponent can not move by them freely without exposing a flank. In the picture here the Building and forest make for only two avenues of approach. The Rangers help to support the flank by threatening a flank charge on anything that may be moving towards the flank of the Dwarf line.

9. Hero don't fail me now. Many battles can be won by having an unopposed hero on one side. Usually a hero has 3+ swings so it could be good for two wounds a turn which would usually be enough to swing a battle from a loss to a win. This tactic is the basis of “Hero Hammer” a character that has been given many runes in hope to be survivable and inflict loads of damage upon the enemy.

10. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Sometime the opponent has built a unit which is so unbeatable that there is nothing you can do but get out of its way. Flee from it and kill the rest of their army as it is probably not very good.

I think I will need to pursue option 10 when it comes to the Dark Elves "Lord" Crone Hellebron (she's a really evil witch... with a capital "B" !)

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