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Right, due to a silly amount of free time Iíve been pondering about some of the lesser-used units in the dwarf army. As of late my attention has fallen upon the dwarf rangers.
The general consensus with these guys is that they are simply not worth the points due to not being skirmishers while being scouts. This is pretty much on the dot. But then I thought... why use the scouts rule at all? Why not use them as a unit of throwing axe missile troops?
They have a few things going for them after all. A unit of 10 is 20 points cheaper than shielded thunderers and 10 points less than similarly equipped thunderers (shields, great weapons)
Being thrown weapons the throwing axes would give such a unit a great amount of versatility on the table in support of a battle line on the flanks as a flanking unit and as a short-range missile unit.
Looking at the pros and cons we have a fairly cool argument for these guys.
Move AND shoot - Iím sure we can all appreciate the advantages of this; got some fast cave darting around the flanks? No problem, wheel and them have it with S4 hitting on 4ís goodness!
No movement/range mods - hitting on a 4+... can't argue with that.
Heavy armour - assuming we're building these guys up from regular warriors we have a "missile" troop sporting heavy armour, putting them above their two counterparts in terms of general survivability.
Great weapons - able to go on the offensive with a nice amount of punch, i can't honestly complain.
Short range: alas the only real disadvantage to throwing axes, a rather horrific short range. On the upside however due to move and shoot you gain an extra 3" giving you an acceptable 9"
Expensive throwing axes - sadly we need to actually to do 2 upgrades in order to get the throwing axes, meaning itís generally a 20 points upgrade.
Overall itís a solid unit with several good advantages and some disadvantages, but what doesn't? There is however situations where this unit just doesn't sit well. Static armies really have no place for these guys. However marching armies could seriously benefit from such a unit, positioned on a flank warding off fast cavalry or skirmishers and throwing their axes into the enemy lines as the battle lines close in on each other then rushing inwards with their great weapons! ready for combat!
What do you reckon folks?
spambot kill tally: 79
[16:19] <@Alzer> Arky's right though
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> I know he is.
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> He usually is.
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> Sometimes it's intentional.
[00:01] <+zubus> i love you, ya skirt wearin nothern monkey! ^_^
What about upgrading them to Longbeards to raise the strength of the throwing axes to 5?
Ends up as 16 points a model though.
As you said, these are great fast cavalry (and even medium cavalry like saurus cavalry if they are longbeards) and flyer hunters. I want to see one of these units take on a giant! (you get to shot with the whole unit as it is a large target and you hit on 3+...)
Much as they are desipised in favor of (let's be honest) better Core choices, I still find myself always taking a block of Rangers in medium games and sticking them in cover. They're no slouches in combat and move-and-shoot is nearly indispensable. Twenty of them is expensive, yes, but they are amazing at area denial. They create an essentially sixteen-inch in diameter field where the enemy is reluctant to go. There's no cheaper way to claim that much of the table.
An opponent can't march past them, so they give the Infantry more time to get set and give the Artillery more time to pound the opponent. They don't necessarily want to charge them, because they are Dwarf Warriors, after all. And any time spent near them, they're being pummeled with Throwing Axes.
I used to take Crossbow-equipped Rangers all the time, and I haven't quite given up on them, but my play style favors heavier armor over longer range.
WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons
One of the problems with the "wheel and toss" is that they only wheel 3 inches. so if th frontage of the unit is too great they won't be able to change their angle too much. The (god can't think of the name of it) Dwarf march rule doesn't mean they can march and shoot. No units can do that except fast cav.