by badlands

Dorfball Gameplay Documentation


Shamed for nigh on two centuries, the family of Gauri had been viewed in infamy for the misbehavior of one ancestor, who was brought forth in front of his peers and used as target practice for his peers. Such disgrace was not taken lightly by the dwarves of the period, and Smauli, the 4th descendant in the line of Gauri since The Shaming had dedicated his life to reducing the families of others to such pitiful states. Now was his twelfth year of competition he had put to shame over a thousand competitors, and his family name was spoken with pride and boastfulness. While such avenging of his family name had given him fame, he had built a large line of enemies, and as the new century brought forward many advancements in many fields, such as food preparation, Smauli had never expected to be done in by a mysterious blender accident.


All characters in Dorfball are fictional. Any resemblance is purely coincidental. Do not ingest in combination with any other medications.

Dorfball is a very lag sensitive game. It is an unabashed twitch fest that is more for chuckles and unusual tactics than anything else. If you have a slow connection or can't stand games like it, please, don't play. If you're not having fun, then Dorfball is not for you. If you are, cool... it's functioning as designed.

Badlands is still making Myth II maps, so move on to those if you hate Dorfball, and leave it for those who like cheap humor and have fat pipes.

What is Dorfball

Dorfball had its beginnings in strength training exercises, most of which involved throwing increasingly large rocks at hapless captive ghols. Alas, the supply of targets was seldom sufficient, and most dwarves grew tired of it long before their throwing skills had peaked. It wasn't until an enterprising instructor sent an errant student out to serve as a target that the game known as Dorfball was conceived.

Over the years, the game grew in popularity, both as a training exercise and as a diversion from the ceaseless conflicts with the Ghols. In those early days, when there were plenty of real enemies to satisfy the dwarven bloodlust, games usually ended with one team having been pummeled into unconsciousness, as opposed to oblivion.

But now, in the days following the Great War, such releases are uncommon. Dwarven society demands some great challenge for its warriors, and in the new Dorfball leagues, enriched with new arenas and magically enhanced balls, many find competition and glory.

Of course, more than a few find something considerably more unpleasant.

The Units

Dorfball appeals to a wide range of dwarves, which is why you'll see teams made up of different groups of them. For the sake of simplicity, there are four types of dwarves in standard Dorfball:

  • Normal Dwarves - Durable and well rounded, these white bearded troopers have good range and great accuracy, and are a mainstay of any force. Consider these the warriors of your Dorfball team.
  • Fast Dwarves - Quick on their feet, and still good with a ball, these blonde bearded dwarves can't take the same punishment as their kin. Still, their speed can be crucial at times... they are the ghols of your Dorfball team.
  • Tough Dwarves - Slower than the others, these black bearded dwarves can suck up punishment and ask for more. They also have longer throwing range than their kin, but less accuracy. These are the thrall of your force.
  • Doctor Dwarves - The red bearded Doctor is a special unit who can upkeep your force indefinitely. With effectively unlimited healing, he can unfreeze paralyzed units and heal damaged ones indefinitely, and is no slouch when it comes to the game itself. However, he is limited to Grey balls, and can only heal himself to around 50%... take good care of him.

All dwarves also increase in accuracy and throwing speed as they gain experience. A dwarf with three kills is far more lethal than one with none, and you'll find that a veteran dwarf is a deadly weapon. Take good care of your units, and they'll take good care of you.

The Balls

At this point, I would like to remind people that "balls" is actually the plural form of "ball", which is a spherical object usually used in games. So when I say "blue balls", I mean two or more spherical game objects colored blue. So get your sick minds out of the rut I have sunk into.

To pick up a ball, click on it. To throw a ball, click on your target. To throw a special ball (ie. any ball other than a Grey Ball), use your special attack key. A dwarf can carry several Grey Balls and one special ball at a time, so sometimes it pays to arm up before you hit the front.

All that aside, here's a few of the balls you'll encounter:

  • Grey Balls - Grey balls are the standard weapon in Dorfball. They do a minimal amount of damage, and little else. A dwarf can carry several of these, and starts out with one.
  • Red Balls - These dangerous balls are benign on their own, but if left long enough will expire and call down an airstrike that can turn the tide of a battle in one explosive moment. If it vanishes in a puff of red smoke, run.
  • Orange Balls - A highly useful ball for eliminating a pesky opponent, the Orange ball inflicts a lot of damage on impact, enough to almost kill a full health dwarf. Mind you, there's little to keep a surviving opponent from picking it back up and returning the favor...
  • Green Balls - These balls are unique in that they aren't very useful in killing your opponent, but very much so in keeping your opponent from killing you. A Green ball repels most projectiles near it, including incoming balls, throwing off the aim of your opponent. Beside a Green ball is one of the safest places you can stand...

There are, of course, several other balls to play with, and some balls work best in combination with others. Try a Green and a Black ball sometime...

Some Gameplay Tips

No matter what game type you're playing, Dorfball usually comes down to wiping out the other team. Careful use of special balls and teamwork can decimate your opponent, so play smart, not hard.

Often, a dwarf can just run to a safe area and heal up if you don't finish the job quickly. As with an archer battle, you will have better results if gang up on and pummel a dwarf. Load up two or three dwarves, and then choose a target and concentrate on him. Tough dwarves will take a lot of beating, but normals and especially fast dwarves will crumple quickly. On that topic, target dwarves in the reverse order: Fasts first, because they're easy to kill and the experience is helpful, then Normals, and finally Toughs. And, of course, ding the Doctor whenever possible.

Also, a fully loaded dwarf is much more useful on the front line than one with one or two balls (stop it!). Take the time to load up before you advance on the enemy... two or three Normals tossing a volley of six balls each can be devastating.

On the defensive side, keep your dwarves back under cover unless you need them. There is almost no reason to have a Fast dwarf on the front fighting, unless he's all you have left. Save them for the purpose they were intended for. Tough dwarves should also hang back, since they have the greater range and can ding the enemy from afar. Make good use of your Green balls too, by placing them in such a way as to deflect enemy balls from a safe area.

As for special balls, be smart with them, don't just throw them the instant you get them. For example, using an Orange ball on a full health dwarf is just silly--he can run back and heal up. And throwing a Red ball right beside a dwarf may sound like it will work, but odds are that dwarf will just pick it up and throw it back. Try throwing that Red ball somewhere the enemy can't pick it up again, and where bouncing satchels will spread out a bit before detonating. And as mentioned before, a Black ball becomes much more lethal if a Green ball is sitting right beside it, blasting it in the direction of the enemy...

When playing with more than one dwarf, sometimes it helps to keep all but one dwarf safely back, so that you can concentrate on one unit at a time. It's silly to run up with three dwarves, and leave two of them standing motionless in clear enemy fire while you run the third around loading up.

And finally, DODGE!

Have fun...


Dorfball is not a perfect product... it is built on an engine designed to handle something completely different. While we've tried to work out all of the bugs we could, a few persist despite our best efforts.

  • Lag Sensitivity - Dorfball is a twitchy sort of game, and a bit of lag can really screw things up for you. Nothing we can do about this... that's just the nature of the internet.
  • Phantom Grey Special - Once you've picked up a full load of grey balls, it is possible to pick up one more, which goes into your special slot. When you throw this ball, it will immediately expire and vanish, which is an odd quirk of the Myth II engine. Unfortunately, we couldn't figure out how to fix it, and due to the way unit ammunition is handled, we couldn't keep the dwarves from picking them up and placing them in the special slot.
  • Out of Bounds Netgame Balls - Some arenas were never designed with ball games in mind... these were added later, and you can blast a ball out of player reach fairly easily. This is unavoidable at times, but is very lame... Dorfball is a map designed for friendly competition, and if you're playing against someone who blasts balls out of the area on purpose, well, there's nothing we can do about wanks. Of course, you could still win by killing the entire enemy team...

If solutions to any of these issues are found, we will promptly fix and address them with an update to the Tagset. In the meantime, we hope you are able to play around these bugs and still enjoy Dorfball!