Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki

The Dwarfs are a race introduced in Total War: Warhammer. They have five playable factions and five Legendary Lords to choose from.

The Dwarfs are an ancient, proud race of warriors and craftsmen who dwell in great halls deep under the mountains. Easy to offend, they record every grudge in a great tome, written in the blood of kings. Dwarf armies can move through the underway to avoid danger. Most of their units are heavily-armoured infantry, powerful artillery and advanced war machines. Dwarfs have no cavalry or monster units.


  • Icon forge.pngThe Forge: Collect valuable trading goods and spend Oathgold.png oathgold to craft magic items and runes.
  • Bullet icon grudges.pngGrudges: Wrongs against the Dwarfs must be avenged by any and all means necessary to keep order.
  • Icon underway.pngThe Underway: Dwarfs can travel underground to cross impassable terrain and avoid enemies.
  • Bullet icon dwarf unit roster.pngRoster of heavily-armoured infantry with strong leadership and many deadly war machines.


Event Diplomacy Neutral.png Background and lore
By Grungni’s beard, that’s an insult that can only be repaid in kind. Die, you wazzock!

Dwarfs are a proud folk who are quick to temper and renowned for holding grudges, with a love of gems and precious metals. They are short, generally no taller than five-and-a-half foot in height but broad with powerful arms and stout legs. Dwarf men greatly outnumber Dwarf women, and they are extremely proud of their beards which they often braid and groom. Dwarf women hold respected roles in society, but often face pressure to marry and produce children, and they rarely rise to political leadership. In their language of Khazalid, they call themselves the Dawi, although Khazalid is rarely spoken in the presence of other races.

Dwarfs are master craftspeople; their magical rune items and advanced war machines are renowned across the world. They see the work of other races as inferior and even have a special word for human-made devices which they call umgak, meaning "shoddy." Perhaps the greatest Dwarf creations are their underground strongholds which are indisputable wonders of the world. Each is a massive underground city, and in the lower levels great forges and mine-works. The Underway once connected all of these, although much of it has fallen into disrepair.

In the distant past, the Dwarf Ancestor Gods led their people to establish their strongholds under the World's Edge Mountains, teaching them the arts of smithing, runemaking and warfare. When Chaos came and Daemon armies marched across the world, the Ancestor Gods departed, but the Dwarfs were able to weather the assault in their fortresses, although those Dwarfs who had ventured east of the mountains were lost...

With their Dwarfholds established across the World's Edge Mountains and far beyond, the Dwarfs prospered for many generations. They encountered the High Elves, and a friendship was struck between the two races. But it was not to last.

Through pride, foolishness and the treachery of Malekith, the Dwarfs and High Elves began the War of the Beard - the War of Vengeance. This titantic conflict spanned centuries and continents, and though the Dwarfs successfully drove the High Elves off the continent, their empire was left weak. To make matters worse, the realm was riven by devastating earthquakes. It was then that the Goblins (Grobi) and Skaven (Raki) struck, felling many holds. Thus the golden age of Karaz Ankor - ‘The Everlasting Realm’ - ended.

In recent times, the Dwarfs are a race barely holding onto glories past, with only a few strongholds remaining in their hands and the rest lost to enemies or abandoned to the elements. But the Dwarfs have not forgotten these wrongs. Every grievance, every single crime against the Dwarf race, is recorded in the Great Book of Grudges, the Dammaz Kron, written in the blood of the High Kings.

To this day the Dawi still fight; their ultimate goal is to restore their empire and set right every wrong done to them. With their belligerence, such a thing is possible. A Dwarf army or ‘throng’, is a powerful force, consisting of stoic 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 unrealiable, chaotic Winds of Magic in the same way as Elves or men. Instead, their master Runesmiths bind the Winds of Magic into tangible objects, striking runes of great power into axes, armour, war machines and fortifications.

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 Grobi and Raki 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!


Playable factions[]


  • King Kazador - provides missions for Ironbrow's Expedition.

Minor factions[]

Total War: Warhammer

Factions introduced in The Old World campaign:

(*) this faction was replaced by Clan Angrund when The King and the Warlord was released.

Total War: Warhammer II

Factions introduced in The Eye of the Vortex campaign:

Factions introduced in the Mortal Empires campaign:

Mortal Empires includes all the minor factions from The Old World campaign.

Total War: Warhammer III

Factions introduced in The Realm of Chaos campaign:

Battle gameplay[]

Event Military Neutral.png Battle summary
In battle, the slow movement of Dwarfs combined with their tough, Icon stat armour.pngarmoured troops and excellent ranged and artillery units makes them excel at fighting defensively. As most of their troops are quite elite and expensive, they will often be outnumbered by the enemy. But thanks to their high Icon morale.pngleadership stats, they will rarely flee — often fighting to the last Dwarf! Dwarfs lack special battle mechanics, but their tough, reliable units ensure they can withstand any foe.

When fighting against Dwarfs, it is key to outmaneuver them. If possible, bring artillery which can outrange them, forcing them to attack. Otherwise, bring lots of armour-piercing damage and cavalry or monsters to disrupt their lines.
Bullet icon dwarf unit roster.png Unit roster

Dwarfs marching to war with High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer sitting high above in the distance.

Main article: Dwarfs unit roster

Dwarfs armies are mostly made up of stalwart, heavily-armoured infantry. This is backed up by powerful artillery, war machines and tough characters. Most Dwarf units have high leadership, and Longbeards even have a leadership aura similar to characters. In fact, Dwarf units tend to have high stats in general. Like factions such as the 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.

For a list of names for Dwarf characters in game, see Dwarfs names.

Main article: Runic Magic

Runelords and Runesmiths bind the Winds of Magic into Runes in stone and metal. Runic Magic skills do not consume Winds of Magic, like spells do. Instead, when a Runelord or Runesmith casts a Rune, there is a cooldown which prevents that particular Runelord or Runesmith from casting any more Runes until it expires. This mechanic was added in Total War: Warhammer II, in the previous game, Rune skills are normal character abilities and do not have this cooldown effect.

Campaign gameplay[]

|Dwarfs are a regular faction that occupies settlements as normal, are at home in Mountain.pngmountain climates, and spread the Icon corruption untainted.pngUntainted corruption type.

They have a strong economy, especially in the production of trade resources which they can use to craft powerful items and runes in Icon forge.pngThe Forge, as well as a powerful technology tree. However, their low population Icon growth.png growth and requirement to avenge Bullet icon grudges.pnggrudges slows their expansion.

Their slow movement is offset by using the Icon underway.pngUnderway to traverse impassable terrain and avoid enemy forces, allowing them to fight defensive battles on their own terms, which they excel at.

Unique game mechanics[]

Icon forge.png The Forge
Main article: The Forge

Experts in binding the Winds of Magic to stone or metal, Dwarfs can use Resource oathgold.png Oathgold in conjuction with trade resources to make magical weapons, armour, talismans, and enchanted items to improve their characters' strength. Additionally, they can use Oathgold to craft powerful runes which can be equipped to characters or regular units.

Ironbrow's Expedition have an extra tab in The Forge, the Artefact Vault, which is unique to their faction.

Bullet icon grudges.png Grudges

Dwarfs maintain a record of all grievances committed against them in the Dammaz Kron, The Great Book of Grudges. Losses suffered by Dwarf factions are recorded so that they may be avenged later. Failing to get revenge for these wrongs will cause penalties to public order and diplomacy with other Dwarfs factions.

Additionally, each Dwarf legendary lord/playable faction begins the campaign with their own unique grudges.

Icon underway.png The Underway
Main article: Underway

The Underway is a series of ancient tunnels and caverns underground. On the campaign map, Dwarfs armies can enter Use Underway stance to travel underneath impassable terrain and avoid enemies. However, there is a risk that other races will intercept them, forcing a battle in the underground realm.

General information[]

Event Buildings Neutral.png Buildings
Main article: Dwarfs buildings

Dwarfs have a straight forward building tree. Notably their trade resource buildings can be upgraded to level IV, unlike most races at level III.

Event Technology Neutral.png Technology
Main article: Dwarfs tech tree

Dwarfs are a technologically advanced race, with a long and powerful tech tree which can provide many buffs to their units.

Event Commander Activity Neutral.png Inventory
Please see the following pages:
Event Character Activity Neutral.png Stances
Stance Description Effects
Default Stance None.png


Traverses the world as normal
  • None
Stance March.png


Increases this army's campaign map marching range.
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement range: +50%
  • Military.pngRecruitment: Disabled
  • Vigour.pngVigour in battle: Tired
  • Melee.pngShould the army be attacked, retreat will be impossible, if it loses the battle it will be wiped out
  • Melee.pngBattle initiation: Disabled
Icon ambush stance.png


Conceals this army, allowing surprise attacks against passing enemies.
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement range required to adopt: 25%
  • Subterfuge.pngHidden until discovered or battle initiated
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement: Disabled


Raids wealth from the local region.
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement range required to adopt: 50%
  • Icon income plus.pngIncome generated from raiding: Arrow increase 1.png
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement range: -25%
  • Public order.pngPublic order: -3 in the raided province
  • Growth.pngGrowth: -5 in the raided province
  • Disaster.pngImmune to attrition
  • Vigour.pngVigour in battle: Winded
  • Diplomacy.pngDiplomacy: Penalties with raided factions
  • Income.pngIncome from all buildings: -100% (when raiding own region)


Sets up a defensive camp, allowing for recruitment and replenishment, regardless of territory.
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement range required to adopt: 50%
  • Replenishment.pngEnables replenishment and access to the global recruitment pool
  • Disaster.pngImmune to attrition
  • Defence.pngMelee defence: +5
  • Morale.pngLeadership: +5
  • Campaign movement.pngCampaign movement: Disabled
Use underway.png

Use Underway

Uses the Underway to traverse the world.
  • Campaign movement.pngMinimum requirement to assume: Not moved this turn
  • Campaign movement.pngTraverse underground terrain that would normally be impassable
  • Disaster.pngImmune to attrition
  • Melee.pngNearby hostile armies may intercept this force in the Underway
  • Melee.pngShould the army be intercepted, retreat will be impossible; if it loses the battle it will be wiped out
  • Melee.pngBattle initiation: Disabled
Event Military Neutral.png Post-battle options
This table is about the post-battle options for Dwarfs in TWW2 onwards. For the Dwarfs post-battle options in TWW1, see Dwarfs/TWW1 post-battle options.
Execute & Loot

There can be no dead weight, for many grudges remain. Strip the bodies of valuables and move on.

Drink to Victory!

This triumph deserves a celebration, bring out the Bugman's!

Your army will gain the following effects:

Morale.pngGorog! (2 turns)

Bolstered by the finest ale, the throng bustles with inspiring tales and joyful songs in the wake of victory.
Event City Neutral.png Settlement options
Occupy Loot & Occupy Sack Raze
Dwarfs Occupy Settlement.png Dwarfs Loot Settlement.png Dwarfs Sack Settlement.png Raze Settlement.png
You occupy the settlement and all captives are killed. You gain wealth from looting, but buildings in the settlement are damaged. All captives are enslaved, Icon public order.pngpublic order is greatly reduced, and your diplomatic relations with the previous owner also suffer greatly. You do not occupy the settlement but instead steal wealth and damage buildings. All captives are enslaved, Icon public order.pngpublic order is reduced, and the previous owner will like you a lot less. All buildings are destroyed and the settlement is torched.
  • Icon Public Order Negative.pngConquest penalty: -10
  • Province instability: -3
  • Icon Public Order Negative.pngConquest penalty: -30
  • Province instability: -10
  • Icon treasury.pngTreasury: Arrow increase 1.png
  • Province instability: -10
  • Icon treasury.pngTreasury: Arrow increase 1.png
  • Icon treasury.pngTreasury: Arrow increase 1.png
Event Province Region Neutral.png Commandments
Commandment Effects
Commandment Venerate the Ancestors.png

Venerate the Ancestors

  • Religion.pngUntainted: +1
  • Public order.pngPublic order: +2
Commandment High King's Tribute.png

High King's Tribute

  • Income.pngTax rate: +5%
Commandment Empower the Guilds.png

Empower the Guilds

  • Growth.pngGrowth: +15
  • Trade Agreement.pngAdditional tradable resources produced: +5% (factionwide)
Commandment Masters of Steel and Stone.png

Masters of Steel and Stone

  • Treasury.pngConstruction cost: -10% for all buildings
  • Treasury.pngRecruitment cost: -5% (local armies)
  • Army.pngLocal recruitment capacity: +1
Event Commander Activity Neutral.png Climate preferences
Main article: Climate

Dwarfs climate preferences differ depending on the playable faction, although they generally prefer mountain climates.

Event Military Neutral.png Chaos Invasion
During a Chaos Invasion, the AI Dwarf factions gain the Shield of Civilization trait along with certain other races.


Event Commander Activity Neutral.png Strategy
  • Good for beginners: Dwarfs (at least Karaz-a-Karak, the basic Dwarfs faction) have 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 special 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. They 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 the Dwarfs' low mass still allows enemy chariots and beasts to plow right through them.

Downloadable content[]

Event Commander Activity Neutral.png DLC list
The Dwarfs can be expanded upon with the following paid and free DLC:
Name Base game Paid/free Type
The King and the Warlord Total War: Warhammer Paid Lord Pack
Grombrindal - The White Dwarf Total War: Warhammer Free Legendary Lord
Thorek Ironbrow Total War: Warhammer II Free Legendary Lord and faction


  • Dwarfs are inspired on J. R. R. Tolkien's dwarves, who at the same time are based on dwarves from norse mythology.
  • Prior to the release of Total War: Warhammer, Dwarfs were not planned to have the Runesmith. However this unit was added due to popular demand from fans.
  • With the Resurgent Update for Total War: Warhammer II, Ungrim Ironfist was moved to his own faction, Karak Kadrin. Oathgold and The Forge mechanic was also added in this patch.
  • Dwarfs was originally the name for the Karaz-a-Karak faction, sharing the generic name with its race. This was changed with the Potion of Speed Update in Total War: Warhammer II.
  • In June 2021, Dwarfs received another overhaul, with runes being added to The Forge and many other large changes. Thorek Ironbrow and his faction was added for free at this time.


High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer/Dwarfs introduction trailer

How to play the Dwarfs in Battle & Unit Roster