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"Khazukan Kazakit-Ha!"

- Dwarfen Battlecry

General data
TypePlayable sub-faction
CategoryDwarf Realms
RulerThorgrim Grudgebearer, Grombrindal - The White Dwarf
CampaignsMortal Empires
Legendary LordsThorgrim Grudgebearer
Grombrindal - The White Dwarf
Starting territoryThe Silver Road
Distinct features
Bullet icon grudges.pngGrudges:Enemy attacks result in grudge missions which must be avenged.
Icon underway.pngUnderway:Clan Angrund armies can enter the Use Underway stance to travel underground, avoiding danger.
Icon forge.pngThe ForgeIn TWW2, Dwarfs can craft items using trade resources and the new Oathgold resource.
In Total War: Warhammer I, this faction is called "Dwarfs".

Overview[edit | edit source]

Karaz-a-Karak is a playable subfaction of Dwarfs introduced in Total War: Warhammer. It is led by Thorgrim Grudgebearer or Grombrindal - The White Dwarf and can be found in the eastern parts of The Old World, deep in the mountains.

In the Potion of Speed Update for Total War: Warhammer II the faction received a name change. Previously, they had the generic name "Dwarfs", sharing the name of their race.

They are playable in campaign, multiplayer and custom battles.

How they play[edit | edit source]

A summary of Karaz-a-Karak gameplay:

  • Regiments of Renown: These are unique, more-powerful versions of regular Dwarfs units.
  • The Great Book of Grudges: In the campaign, Dwarf players are issued grudge missions to take revenge for enemy attacks. Completing grudges is essential.
  • Underway: Dwarf armies can enter Use Underway stance, allowing them to bypass danger by travelling underground. This mechanic is shared with Greenskins and Skaven.
  • Runes: Dwarfs have special inventory items called runes, which can be attached to units like banners.
  • The Forge: A crafting system where Dwarfs use resources, as well as Oathgold, to craft magical items (added in the Resurgent Update for Total War: Warhammer II)

Background[edit | edit source]

By Grungni’s beard, that’s an insult that can only be repaid in kind. Die, you wazzock!

Dwarfs or Dawi are a proud folk who are quick to temper and easy to offend, with a love of gems, gold and other precious metals. They are short, generally no taller than five-and-a-half foot in height, but they are broad with powerful arms and stout legs. Dwarfs are master craftsmen; they see the work of other races as inferior. In their language, Khazalid, the Dwarfs even have a special word for shoddy devices, "umgak" - which literally means "man made". Much of this learning and expertise has come from eons of carving out their homes in the mountains. The dwarf strongholds under the World's Edge Mountains were undisputed wonders of the world. They are massive underground cities, and in the lower levels great industrial centres with smelteries, forges and mine works digging ever deeper into the roots of the mountains.

With their Dwarfholds established across the World's Edge Mountains and far beyond, the Dawi prospered for many generations. But then came the War of The Beard, a devastating continent-spanning conflict with the High Elves. This decimated the Dwarf Empire, leaving the network of Dwarfholds weak. After this, their realm was riven by a chain of devastating earthquakes which ruined much of the Underway - their underground highways. That’s when the Greenskins and Skaven struck. Thus the golden age of Karaz Ankor - ‘The Everlasting Realm’ in the Dwarfish tongue of Khazalid - ended.

In recent times, they are a race barely holding onto glories past; with only a few strongholds remaining in Dwarf hands, the rest lost to enemies or abandoned to the elements.

To this day the Dwarfs still fight; their ultimate goal is to restore their empire. With their belligerence, such a thing is possible. A Dwarf army or ‘throng’, is a powerful force, consisting of stoic Dwarf Warriors and using wonders of technological accomplishment that put all other races to shame. Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers fly above the battlefield while cannons fuelled by flame and steam spew death. Dwarfs do not call upon the Winds of Magic in the same way as Elves or men. To them, magic is a tangible thing, something that can be worked into axes, stone or even cannonballs. This is rune magic and Runesmiths, the masters of the art, are adept at creating arcane devices and weapons of great power.

It is with all these elements - stalwart Dwarfish hearts, exceptional armour and weaponry, and their unmatched machines of war - that High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer plans to retake his realm, slaying every last stinking Greenskin in his way! Few doubt his resolve, and for the first time in many generations, the Dwarfs are truly roused to battle - the Great Reckoning begins!

In battle[edit | edit source]

Units[edit | edit source]

Dwarfs armies are mostly made up of stalwart, heavily-armoured infantry backed up by powerful artillery, war machines and tough characters. Dwarfs have very high leadership, meaning they will rarely rout – in fact Longbeards even have a leadership aura similar to characters. Even basic Dwarf units are heavily armoured which can make them hard to deal with early in a campaign, before most factions have armour-piercing units. In fact, Dwarf units tend to have high stats in general. Like High Elves, Dwarf units tend to be expensive and they rely on quality over quantity.

Most Dwarfs units are quite slow moving, however the flying Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers are an exception. These war machines are invaluable for their speed, but weak to flying monsters.

Dwarfs have excellent ranged units, many of which perform decently in melee as well. Their artillery are arguably some of the best in the game, with many different powerful options.

Many Dwarfs units have fire or explosive damage. Some like Rangers and Miners, have vanguard deployment.


Dwarfs have no spellcaster units meaning they cannot use magic. They also have no cavalry or chariots, and no monsters of any kind.

Instead, all Dwarf units have an innate resistance to magical damage. Additionally, their Runesmiths and Runelords have abilities to reduce the Winds of Magic available to enemy spellcasters in battle. To counter cavalry and chariots, many Dwarf units have charge resistance. And to counter monsters, Dwarfs have the Slayers unit which are not affected by fear/terror and have a bonus versus large units.

Regiments of Renown[edit | edit source]

Dwarfs has several Regiments of Renown available. These are elite, unique versions of standard Dwarfs units.

In the Campaign[edit | edit source]

Karaz-a-Karak is a normal, non-horde faction that occupies settlements and controls provinces. They do tend to suffer from low growth, but have high public order and a good economy.

In the campaign[edit | edit source]

Karaz-a-Karak is playable in Mortal Empires campaign. In Total War: Warhammer I they are named "Dwarfs".

The faction shares their buildings, technologies, climate preferences, regional occupation, runes, Use Underway and Grudges with regular Dwarfs.

The Great Book of Grudges[edit | edit source]

Bullet icon grudges.pngThe Great Book of Grudges is a campaign mechanic for the Dwarfs. Grudges are missions issued to take revenge for an enemy attack, and can be viewed by clicking the book icon in the bottom right. Grudges must be avenged promptly – letting them pile up incurs penalties to public order and causes diplomatic penalties with other Dwarf Realms factions.

The Forge and Oathgold[edit | edit source]

The Forge is a new campaign mechanic added in Total War: Warhammer II. It allows Dwarfs to craft items using trade resources and the new Resource oathgold.pngoathgold resource, which can be gained in many different ways.

The Underway[edit | edit source]

Icon underway.pngThe Underway is a network of caverns and tunnels that run under much of the world. Dwarf armies (like Greenskins and Skaven) can enter the Use Underway stance to travel underground, avoiding danger. However this carries a chance of being intercepted. Many battle maps take place underground in the underway, see underway for a full list.

Runes[edit | edit source]

Wh main anc rune master rune of battle.pngRunes are special inventory items unique to Dwarfs factions. They can be attached to units and work in a similar way to banners.

Resource Economy[edit | edit source]

Dwarf resource extraction and economic buildings go up to Level IV, unlike all other races. This means they can get extra bonuses when a resource is in a capital settlement.

See here for a full list.

The Living Ancestor[edit | edit source]

The Living Ancestor is a unique reoccurring dilemma that happens if players choose Grombrindal as their starting lord.

Legendary Lord Choices[edit | edit source]

See lord pages for details on special abilities, starting units and effects.

Start Position[edit | edit source]

Victory Conditions[edit | edit source]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Good for Beginners: Karaz-a-Karak has a fairly easy start in the campaign - a good economy, high public order (though they suffer low growth). Their units are powerful, reliable and easy to use.
  • Where the Vampire Counts epitomize war of maneuver, the Dwarfs are all about attrition warfare. Emphasizing stable defensive lines, overwhelming firepower, and steady advances over brilliant maneuvers, Dwarfs require a patient hand and a defensive mind. A stable gunline defense, small mobile units to counter thrusts, and precise application of fire support are the name of the day - but require careful tactics, as they can easily be undone by flanking or baiting maneuvers. The biggest flaw is the lack of any cavalry units or chariots, making them tactically inflexible. Only the Gyros are fast and they don't make for good melee combatants... The upside is, Dwarfs can put out absolutely ludicrous amounts of dakka including machine guns, flamethrowers, and artillery support. Furthermore, the Dwarfs have no spellcasters, but all Dwarf units have magic resistance. Additionally, Dwarfs have Runesmiths and Runelords to help fill this role.
  • The Dwarfs have a number of unique features in campaign gameplay. The foremost is the ability to use the Underway. The Underway provides a risky transportation route through impassable and inhospitable territories. When combating an army that has a significant amount of cavalry or units designed for flanking, Underway battles make it nearly impossible to be flanked and renders that segment of your enemy's army ineffective. Though they run the risk of being intercepted, which drops them down in the dungeon in a very bad position, the ability to flank the enemy cannot be overstated: Their tactical inflexibility is thus compensated for by their strategic range.
  • The second element is the Book of Grudges, which, in a nutshell, is a list of insults/injuries suffered at the hands of other factions (assassinations, trespassing, conquest or razing, running afoul of a script trigger...). Settling them is mandatory if a Dwarf is to remain in control of his kingdom: As they accumulate, public order, leadership, and diplomatic relations with other Dwarf factions start dropping.
  • Dwarfs benefit from having a very strong economic base, their unique advantage being Tier IV resource buildings providing even more resources and income. This is especially true for Karaz-a-Karak since they start with the Diamond resource in their capital. Dwarfs also enjoy a robust technology tree containing both military and civic branches (the downside is, it takes time to unlock its full potential), and plenty of trade options with their neighbors.
  • In competitive play, Dwarfs are a problematic army. Their small, but powerful and expensive units are predominantly infantry, allowing enemies to easily shatter their battlelines with cavalry, monstrous infantry, or just bypass them with flying or fast units, exploiting the dwarfs' lack of maneuverability. Regiments of Renown, Rangers, and alternative artillery options help compensate for that, but dwarfs' low mass still allows enemy chariots and beasts to plow right through them.