A thank you goes out to Captain Sarathai for providing such a good template to work off and apply to Dwarfs.Something to Consider
Nothing in this post or anything someone says about Dwarfs is LAW. There is no one way to play Dwarfs. Some work well for others and some do not. Anyone can wiff on a strategy or completely dominate on luck. Anyone can be in a certain situation with any of these choices and prevail. It’s up to you to put together an army that plays well and you have fun with.
Gold - Reserved for the best options in our book. These stand out in almost all situations and are as close to an auto-include as it gets
Green- These are the good options. These shine in most situations and can have synergy with most otherchoices in the book.
Purple – Sort of ok units. There are better things out there, but might fit them into a specific list.
Red – Never is a strong word,however if there was one, these guys are on that list.
Sometimes a unit might have one color, but there will be a certain build for that unit which has a better color. The best example of this is a Thane, but a BSB Thane isa winner and “should” be in every army.Army Special Rules
These will not get a color coding, just things to consider when employing them in a game.
Ancestral Grudge-Adds fluff to the army. If you are facing Skaven or Orcs and Goblins it’s a devastating rule, but only has a big impact when you roll a 5 or 6. Send your General after units with Characters for maximum benefit no matter what.
Dwarf Crafted-Replaces +1 to hit with no penalties to stand-and-shoot. With so many ranged troop choices this rule is great for our army. Irondrakes benefit from this rule the most because that 4+ to hit and Strength 5 gun can deter even the most heavily armored unit from charging them.
Resolute- 8thedition gave Dwarfs a chance to charge. Most of the time it will be a counter charge, but paired with Armor piercing from Runesmiths any unit that is Strength 4 armed with Hand weapon/ shield now turns into a viable hammer unit while still being able to function well as an anvil unit.
Shieldwall- This rule gives Dwarfs an awesome boost to employ hammer anvil tactics. One our most effective play style is defensive, with Shieldwall and multiple ways to give Stubborn we can take minimal troops to hold our opponents army at bay long enough for our guns to rip apart the enemy at range.
Relentless- With such a high Leadership across the board this rule is handy, but doesn’t havethe impact you would think in the course of a Game. The units that benefit most from this rule are Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers, they are the units we are ranging out ahead of the main army and need to be able to move freely among enemy lines.Lords and Heroes
Dwarf Lord- These guys are Tanks. Having a base Toughness of 5 and with Runes that grant +1 Toughness, +1 wound, and improved saves a Lord can take any punishment dealt to him. While he has Leadership 10 a Thane also has Leadership 10 and for a much cheaper price tag, it's dependent on your list which one you include. What you get access to are Shield bearers, they grant improved Wounds and Armor save plus add Attacks to the mix. With the right build you can have a Strength 6, Toughness 6, Wound 6, Armor save 1+, and Ward save 4++. We are talking Dragon stats. The downside here is you are pumping a lot of points into a Character that may or may not do much in a game.
Runelord- A Rune Lord is simply a +1 Magic Resistance Runesmith. If you are going to include one go for 2 Runesmith’s instead, to spread the Magic Resistance and Armor Piercing over more of the army. Like the Lord what you get over the cheaper version is access additional war gear in the form of the Anvil of Doom! While this is a great concept GW really fluffed, because it is so expensive and will hardly ever gain its points back. You do get +1 Power and Dispel dice and a way to cast spells. Each has their merits, but are not game altering enough to pay for the Anvil and a Runelord.
Demon Slayer- Crazy good against Monsters and other combat Characters. The major downside here is no protection and can only join a unit of Slayers. You can huddle him with a unit of Slayers underneath a BSB with Master Rune of Grungi and hope they make it to a combat.
Thane- Tanks just like Lords, but much cheaper. With the right gear a Thane can last the whole game. As your General he grants his Leadership 10 to all units around him. Tool him up for combat and slap an Oathstone on him and watch his unit anchor a whole side of the board. A note on this would be that Ironbreakers get their 5+ parry saves all the time and the only way to lose that is to be Flank or Rear Charged, with the Oathstone your Unit has no Flank or Rear so you get your 5+ Parry saves all day long. Now we cover the BSB Thane, Every army short of Demons and Undead should have a BSB. The best standard for this guy is Master Rune of Grungi, a personal 4++ and 5++ to anyone close by arguably offers the best protection in the game. Do not leave home without one.
Runesmith- I went back and forth with this guy on whether to make him Green or Purple. I chose Green, because he gives use Magic defense and he buffs units. You don’t get that in other armies for his pricetag. The Synergy he grants is pretty awesome. Combine with Master Rune of Grungi to give his unit 4++ against Magic or run him with Ironbreakers or Handweapon/shield Longbeards and get -3 Armor save wounds on the charge and still be able to take a charge. A good build for this guy is Great Weapon for some punch, a Rune of Stones for defense, and Rune of Spellbreaking for a cheap utility Character.
Dragon Slayer- Same as a Demon slayer, but cheaper. I can see some people running him alone around their battle line to get him into a flank and deal some serious punishment. He has a small footprint and he is cheap enough to use this tactic.
Master Engineer-Lets start with what he does. He buffs War Machines. Our army has a vast array of War Machines. Point is if you are playing Dwarfs you like Cannons, Stonethrowers, and everything else we have. He allows re-rolls on artillery dice, he basically gives +1 Ballistic Skill, he fortifies War Machines, He even can take a Great Weapon and see off any War Machine hunters out there. I had to include a Master Engineer in a Gunline. On his own he is ok, but the minute you embed him in a gunline he makes everything around him that much better. You want to make sure your Cannon or Organ Gun doesn’t blow up use the Master Engineer. You want that Grudge Thrower to hit its target use the Master Engineer. You want to be super Accurate with Bolt Throwers use the Master Engineer.