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Dark Dwarf Information Pages[edit | edit source]

Dark Dwarf Buildings Overview

Dark Dwarf Researches Overview

Dark Dwarf Armies Overview

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Dark Dwarves are one of the elite races in the game that really don't have any glaring weaknesses. Their Engineers reap double rewards from placement in mines, allowing for rapid early production. They have a great mix of melee and ranged attacks, plus a few special siege units that create a truly lethal force for both offense and defense. Their hero class choices and towers have a few drawbacks (addressed below) but given the right hero level, these issues become insignificant enough to make the Dark Dwarves amongst the very top of race selections in the game.

Pros[edit | edit source]

  • Huge amount of options for destroying buildings, ensuring that no base is un-siegeble.
  • Access to many powerful researches right from tier 1, allowing their units to be able to handle top tier threats almost at the start of the game.
  • Immune to all Psychological effects and Illnesses (excluding fliers and the Engineer).
  • Ranged units can reach obscene ranges - out-ranging even garrisoned towers.
  • Their builders are one of the best in the game through a combination of stats, build skill, double mine filling and the Earthpower spell.
  • Apart from powerful researches, slow-but-sound Golems, steamrolling Siege Weapons and an excellent builder, they also boast effective flier and floater unit choices, ensuring thus a lack of serious drawbacks, as well as, unpredictable offensive capabilities, probably second only to the Orcs.

Cons[edit | edit source]

  • Common units are painfully slow.
  • Golems are also vulnerable to lightning.
  • With so many large units and buildings, they can lead to a lack of building room and thus causes army limit issues.
  • Despite the fact their units and available tactics are neat, their retinue is limited and predictable, unless they use retainers from other races.
  • Despite boasting a decent Tower (as well as the ability to ambush melee units with garrisoned Firebombs), they can't garrison units that change the damage type or range, a problem solved purely by retainers.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Units[edit | edit source]

Slow is the word of the day for the Dark Dwarves. Dark Dwarven units are slow to build, slow to move, and slow to attack. To make matters worse, most of their units draw heavily on stone and metal, limiting their (already slow) production rate. That said - these same units are extraordinarily strong, full of hit points, and carry plenty of armor and resistance. So do your best to stagger your Golem production (among various types requiring different resources) while focusing on building the structures needed to produce your Wyverns, wraiths/shadows, and siege engines (particularly the Hellbore). As always, try to avoid letting your choice of unit production slow your keep improvements.

Build an army of firebombs (either directly, or through iron Golem production) and task them with base defense until you amass the forces needed to assault your opponent's base. Shadows are priceless - build a handful and send them all after a high-level enemy hero. The result will be a super-Shadow of level 20+, worthy of retaining in your retinue. Bronze Golems are relatively poor generals for production during a battle, although they are excellent choices for your retinue. In the endgame phase when they are available for production, their ability to scavenge resources is of negligible value, but early in the game, it can be priceless. Don't forget to set their attribute to Magic Defender so they automatically take advantage of this benefit. Fully upgraded Flame Cannons are absolutely devastating. They may not be able to target flying units, but the Hellbores and Golems can take care of that easily. Once fully upgraded, Flame Cannons have 90, yes, that's right 90 Fire damage! This insane power is usually only within the reach of very special characters indeed.

A Dark Dwarven assault force should consist of (at a minimum) a mixed core of Golems on the front line, a couple of lines of Hellbores and Flame Cannons, and perhaps some shadows, firebombs, or Wyverns in support (optional). The Golems and Hellbores alone are usually sufficient to take down a base, although a small group of Wyverns or shadows tasked to guard the siege engines from attack is always a good idea. Once the enemy base is more defenseless, send in Firebombs to utterly annihilate the foe.

Buildings[edit | edit source]

Heroes[edit | edit source]

The Dark Dwarven Tinker is a hero to be greatly feared, and for good reason. The Metal and Stone production costs of the units becomes negligible at higher levels (~ lvl 40). This allows the Tinker to excel in producing a massive and powerful army of golems to steamroll the entire map with. This isn't the only benefit of a Tinker however. They can also vastly improve the hits of all buildings, most importantly, including the towers.

The Dark Dwarven magic speciality is in the Chaos Magic sphere. Chaos Magic is an unpredictable and often detrimental magic sphere, although a few selections are useful. (namely Wildfire/Chaos Bolt, Chaos Plague and Morph Resources). Given a preference to neglect magic as a Dark Dwarven hero, it is possible to select the Warrior class and use the Constitution synergy. For magic users, Shaman or Deathknight are the best choices for the use of Chaos Magic, as both give a synergy bonus.

Another choice could be a Runemaster. In combination with the Engineer skill, Dig is useful for creating tough buildings in no time, Earthpower can repair the said buildings, Statues can be summoned for extra base defence while Doomstones and Stonecall harass and support against enemies respectively. Also, Quarrying is worth a mention. This skill provides a steady income of stone to produce and construct with. Time Magic provides spells that increase resource and unit production, buff the hero and his army while debuffing enemies, summon Wraiths (which can be upgraded at the Ancestral Hall) and kill many enemies at once with the Breath of Dying spell. Of course as a tertiary magic sphere you can still learn Chaos Magic, which might have poor early spells but the later ones can be truly useful and add extra versatilty to an already flexible mage/builder/leader hero.

Counters[edit | edit source]

  • All of the golems are vulnerable to electrical damage.
  • Splash damage from units like Catapults or fire resistant units can help get around a horde of Firebombs. Ballistae and the High Elf Manticore may also work but may require more backup depending upon the formation of the Firebombs.
  • Fast units may attempt to take advantage of the slow golems and flank the siege weaponry whenever possible, but watch out for Firebombs and/or Iron Golems.
  • Dark Dwarves can't garrison units other than retinue ones and heroes in towers to increase their damage. The lower the Army Setup Points on a map, the more likely their towers will have upgraded damage. In any case un-garrisoned Dark Dwarf towers can't hold out for long without backup by units, many other towers and/or mortars against a powerful siege. To avoid any damage from garrisoned Firebombs, use flying units (particularly Storm Dragons or Lightning Hawks) or long range siege units like Catapults (if you use units with lower range, be careful not to get hit by mortars). Try to keep the pressure on the Dark Dwarf player.
  • Losing access to Metal or Stone can put a big dent in Dark Dwarf production. However, taking out Dark Dwarf Metal Mines is probably a wiser choice as a greater range of units require the resource, in particular the Iron Golem.
  • As the majority of Dark Dwarven units are mechanical, they are unable to place experienced golems or siege weaponry into a retinue, which means the Dark Dwarf hero either needs to play another race to get certain units (such as Scarabs or Gazers to upgrade towers for example) or the retinue of the Dark Dwarf will be predictable and/or bland in variety.
  • While not necessarily vulnerable to Orcs, Dark Dwarven units may require quite some time to defeat the crush-resistant Orcish units while even a few Goblin Shamans may bring a Golem assault's worst nightmare by a coordinated attack of Call Lightning spells.

Lore[edit | edit source]

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