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Does anybody use them with lots of success? Are there any special tricks to make them more useful? I'd really like to use them, but I just can't get them to work well enough for the points.
"T'dr'duzk b'hazg t't!" WHFB: Dwarfs, Orcs & Mostly Goblins, Empire, Lizardmen, and Skaven. 40k: Tyranids
I think the army type realy helps with miners.
I have found little point in taking them in sit back armies as there is nothing to support them, and also large units dont seem to be worth thier points back.
I use a unit of about 12 with a steamdrill, but only in games where i use an anvil. The Anvil makes them a real winner for me as you have the threat as much as the potential to come onto the board and then anvil into someones rear. Already they would have combat res 3 (rear and a rank) before wounds caused at strength 5, so even if you dont anvil them the turn they come on it means that your opponent has to deal with them, which is why i like to take a relatively small cheap unit.
If you take a big unit and you are against someone who can turn around and get to you (skirmishers, vamps, tks,) you run the risk of being run off the board edge you just came on from. For a large unit with all the upgrades and possibly even a hero in there its a nightmare but to turn your opponent around for a turn to try and deal with a small unit is worth it.
I run longbeards, hammerers, and warriors close together with the classic Strolaz Rune combo so when on turn one your 24" onto the board (12" set up, 6" Stolaz Rune, 6" move), 12" from your oppnent deployment zone, before trying to use an anvil, its bound to upset your opponent when a unit of miners then also appears behind him. Fast moving dwarfs with minners for the win.
Slow armies with minners theres not much point. Ive treid it before just using two small units to bring on to capture or contest table quarters but basicaly you dont have the armour to sustain attacks to last out the game and its a big drain on points and special choices, best spent elsewhere.