Huh O.O?! "No Gryphon Riders before the first war", uh... thats false, Gryphon Riders started appearing when the Wildhammers moved North of Khaz Modan after the dwarf civil war (WotTH).
About the rifles, thats still a very debatable subject, the gnomes inspired the dwarves to get into technolgie much earlier then the third war, third war = WC3 RoC, rifleman existed before that and nothing say's "The first rifleman appeared near the year blablabla..." But I'm pretty just t be sure that we arn't going to have Rifleman.
The whole "what the technolgie was at the time" and storyline was well recherched by Frostigt, and I remember trying to find out if rifleman existed at the time but there's no indication, so we'll just play it cool with spearmen and stuff :)
happy late b-day :)