"There are many famous dwarf ales, and many renowned brewers, but the name of Josef Bugman stands as a paragon of quality. His family originally came from the Dragonback Mountains. The tale of Josef and his ancestors is one of hardship and loss, and from their story comes the ancient dwarf phrase “There’s no beer as bitter as its history."
‘Dwarfs of the Empire, a Brief History’, by Rikard the Holy and Njel of the Stills.[11a]
Josef Bugman 8th Edition Colour Illustration

Josef Bugman laying waste to the Goblins of the World's Edge.

Josef Bugman is the most legendary Master Brewer of all time. This is really saying something, for Dwarfs take their ale seriously, and there are many famous brews and renowned brewers. Still, the name of Bugman stands as a paragon of quality.[1a] After inheriting a brewing operation in the southeastern Empire from his father, he began operating what would become the most renowned brewery in the known world.[1a][5a] His beers, such as Bugman's XXXXXX and Troll Brew[1a][2a], were served to the likes of the Emperor of Man and the High King of Karaz Ankor.[5a]

However, at the height of his success, disaster struck. While returning from a delivery, Bugman arrived at his brewery to find it a smouldering ruin.[1a][2a][5a] The goblin warlord Git Guzzler had razed his operation, carrying off all of its living inhabitants to an unknown fate.[1a][2a][9c][9d]

Then and there, Bugman and his companions swore a mighty vengeance on the goblin raiders, and set off to destroy them, and rescue their kinfolk if they could.[1a][2a][5a] Only rumours of Bugman's exploits have been heard since. He may launch a cunning night raid on a goblin encampment, save a dwarf patrol from a greenskin ambush, or appear with a dwarfen army on the eve of a large battle against a horde of orcs. His rangers tend to keep to themselves, sitting around the campfire, hands clasped around tankards of their precious ale.[1a][2a][5a]


Bugman's Brewery

"Though Josef Bugman’s ancestors moved into the lands that would later become the Empire, they lived for a few generations in the Grey Mountains. Dwarfs are reluctant to talk about such things to outsiders, but it is the understanding of these scholars that Josef’s ancestors were involved in some part with the founding of Karak Norn. While little can be gleaned from our libraries, Karak Norn is remarkable amongst the holds of the dwarfs for the fact that its first ruler is believed to have been a queen. History has, alas, forgotten her name."
Dwarfs of the Empire, a Brief History’, by Rikard the Holy and Njel of the Stills.[11b]
Josef Bugman and Ale Casks (Colour)

Josef Bugman standing in front of barrels of his infamous six-X ale.

Josef Bugman's ancestors were members of the Dragonback Clan of Ekrund.[1a] Josef's father, Zamnil, set up the family trade in the eastern forest of the Empire.[2a] He built a stout brewhouse near the village of Wusterburg[5a], where the crystal clear waters of the River Sol cascade down from the foothills of the Grey Mountains.[1a][2a] In order to sell his ale more readily in the Empire, Zamnil took the name of Samuel Bugman, and when his son was born he called him Josef. If Josef ever had a proper Khazalid name, it was never recorded.[2a]

After his father's death, Josef took over the business.[2a][5a] Although the brewing operation had previously been moderately successful[1a], only then did the business come into its own, thanks to Josef's superior brewing skills.[1a][5a] His beer acquired a considerable reputation for fine quality and potency. Shipments of Bugman's Dark Choice and King's Gold were sent to the High King at Karaz-a-Karak, while the Emperor's court enjoyed ales such as Bugman's XXXXXX and Dark Bitter.[5a] He also became known for the notorious Troll Brew.[1a][2a] At the height of his success, carts of Bugman's beer were travelling the roads of the Old World[6a], while barges plied the River Sol, which connected to the great cities and trade routes of the Empire[2a][8a][8b]

Within a few years, Bugman became a prosperous brewing merchant and a reasonably content Dwarf. His brewery had grown into a small Dwarf settlement, where other families from the Grey Mountains came to live. This small community lay well off the beaten track and was usually ignored by any armies or raiders rampaging through the region.[2a] The area was protected by stone watchtowers, each with a great warning beacon that could be lit in the event of an attack.[7a] The settlement itself was surrounded by an earthen fortification with large wooden stakes driven into it.[9a]

The Destruction of the Brewery

However, all was not well. The shrewd and cunning Goblin Warlord known as Git Guzzler[8c], leader of the Troll Beaters[9b] and several other tribes from the Black Mountains[5a][6d][9b], was plotting the destruction of the brewery. It was in a fungus-induced trance that Git first learned of the brewery's existence. He planned to destroy the brewhouse and steal all its contents. With his newly acquired beer, he believed that he would be able to bribe other tribes into joining him in a Waaagh! that would rival even that of Grom the Paunch.[9c]

Initially, Git Guzzler's campaign was restricted to minor military actions.[8a] The first of these occurred when he sent Grotsnag and his Red Tooth Bandits to ambush a trio of Bugman's delivery carts travelling along the Old Dwarf Road.[6a][6d][8a] However, the leader of the Dwarf convoy, Bazrak Bolgan, had managed to escape and regroup his forces.[8a]

Meanwhile, the shaman Grabnatz Sourbelly,[7a] leader of the Sourface Goblins,[9b] was sent to destroy one of the watchtowers that guarded the brewery, so that Git Guzzler's horde would later be able to launch a surprise attack.[7a] After their first assault on the tower was repulsed, the goblins regrouped and besieged the tower a second time. Skeggi Threkkson, the warden of the tower, lit the warning beacon, and prayed that it would be seen before it was too late.[8a]

While all this was happening, Bugman himself was downriver, delivering a shipment of Bugman's Special Brew to the Emperor.[2a] Git Guzzler sent his ally, the infamous goblin pirate Kap'n Skabend of the River Ratz, to sink Bugman's barge on his return home.[8b] However, as it happened, the barge was captained by the dwarf Grim "Dead Eye" Grunnson, an old foe of Skabend.[8c] The goblin pirates attacked the barge[8a], but were not able to sink it or kill Josef.[2a][9a]

Following this, Git Guzzler believed that he was ready to attack the brewery itself.[9a] Mustering as many goblins as he could from the Troll Beaters, Red Tooth Bandits, and Sourface Goblins, he marched towards the settlement.[9b] The dwarfs, knowing they were outnumbered, retreated behind the earthen defences of the brewery. The defenders were lead by the doughty Durzak Dragonback, and were prepared to fight to the last man. They also were aware that Bugman should be arriving soon, and hoped to hold out long enough for his men to break the siege.[9a]

However, the defenders were not successful.[9d] As Josef Bugman returned home, he saw the smoke gently rising from his brewery among the trees and thought it was time that the great chimney was swept. When his barge rounded the bend of the river, he saw the smouldering ruins of his settlement. It appeared as if the victorious goblins had not been able to restrain themselves, for empty beer casks were strewn about the ruins. The vats were smashed, empty barrels floated on the river and there was no sign of any inhabitants. Every last one of them had been taken off by the Goblins to who knew what fate.[1a][2a]

Quest for Vengeance

Josef Bugman, Dwarf Master Brewer (2)

A vengeful Josef Bugman.

After salvaging what gear and ale they could from the ruins of the once-proud brewery[5a], Bugman and his remaining companions swore vengeance on the Goblins for this foul deed and resolved to hunt them down and rescue their kinfolk if they could.[1a][5a] The band trailed the Goblins across the World's Edge Mountains[Note 1] and into the wilderness beyond.[2a] When the paths of the goblin tribes diverged, the dwarfs resolved to follow all the tribes. "We just chase down one tribe, kill 'em, then move on to the next," Bugman was heard to mutter.[5a]

Their fellow dwarfs know little of the whereabouts of Bugman and his rangers. Rumours are heard of his ravages, of cunning ambushes and night raids against Goblin camps. Sometimes, the band suddenly emerges from the wilds, tattered and blood-stained, to join up with a Dwarf army before a great battle with the Goblins. They keep to themselves, huddled around their own campfire, with a strange glint in their eyes and their hands clasped around tankards of Bugman's ale.[1a][2a] Recently, they were seen saving a dwarf patrol from a greenskin ambush outside of Zhufbar.[5a]

In reality, Bugman has ceased to pursue only those goblins who razed his brewery. His vengeance is now upon any member of a greenskin race- Orcs, Goblins, or Hobgoblins. Although many believe the dwarf was forever ruined by the attack on the brewhouse, he in fact keeps many secret, hidden caches stocked with ale and other equipment.[5a]

End Times

Attention, Empire Citizens!
Redirect here to read more about the End Times!

During the End Times, he appears and comforts High King Thorgrim. He tells the King "as long as there are mountains, there will always be dwarfs beneath them." Later, during the last stand of the Dawi, he, alongside Gotrek Gurnisson, acts as a shieldbearer for the fabled White Dwarf. It is assumed he perished during the final battle.


  • Ol' Trustworthy (Rune Axe) - Bugman bears a large rune-covered axe, an ancient heirloom of great prestige handed down to him from his father, Zamnil.[1a][8d] It bears a Rune of Cleaving and a Rune of Fury.[5a][8d] The old ranger won’t reveal its true name, but refers to it as Ol' Trustworthy.[1a]
  • Bugman’s Tankard - A family treasure, any who quaff from the tankard are engulfed in remembrances of the glorious past.[1a] It is said that, as long as it is held by a Bugman, the tankard never empties.[9e] After a long haul upon its contents, the drinker feels refreshed and restored.[1a][5a][9e]
  • Bugman also has been known to be equipped with a chainmail shirt, a helmet[5a], a crossbow[8d], and a shield.[9e]


  • 4th Edition.
  • 7th Edition.
  • In the End Times
  • Labels of Josef Bugman
  • 3rd Edition.
  • Josef Bugman & Dwarf Rangers (3rd Edition)


  • 6th Edition.
  • 6th Edition. (Another Color)
  • 6th Edition. (Bugman's Rangers)
  • 6th Edition. (Bugman's Rangers)
  • Bugman's Rangers (3rd Edition, Regiments of Renown).
  • 3rd Edition.
  • Special Edition.
  • Warhammer World edition.
  • The White Dwarf on a shield born by Gotrek Gurnisson and Josef Bugman (special edition).
  • Limited edition.
  • Limited Edition (Another Color)


  • Note 1: Dwarfs: Stone and Steel states that the goblins were followed into the Black Mountains rather than the World's Edge Mountains.[5a]


  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 57
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (7th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 62
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (6th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 62
    • 3b: pg. 63
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (4th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 95
  • 5: Warhammer RPG 1st Edition: Dwarfs - Stone & Steel
    • 5a: pg. 99
  • 6: White Dwarf Magazine #298 (October 2004)
    • 6a: pg. 50
    • 6b: pg. 51
    • 6c: pg. 52
    • 6d: pg. 53
    • 6e: pg. 54
  • 7: White Dwarf Magazine #299 (November 2004)
    • 7a: pg. 22
  • 8: White Dwarf Magazine #300 (December 2004)
    • 8a: pg. 61
    • 8b: pg. 64
    • 8c: pg. 65
    • 8d: pg. 66
  • 9: White Dwarf Magazine #302 (February 2005)
    • 9a: pg. 48
    • 9b: pg. 49
    • 9c: pg. 50
    • 9d: pg. 51
    • 9e: pg. 52
  • 10: White Dwarf Magazine #330 (June 2007)
  • 11: Time of Legends: Doom of Dragonback (Novel) by Gav Thorpe

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