I used to (and I'm about to buy it again) play Dwarves. They are personally my favorite army. They have a good ST a real good TO and they are hard to break. Their downside is that they can't move hardly at all. You pretty much have to sit there and wait for them to come to you. Their other perk is that they have the BEST war machines in the game hands down. The right war machines with the right runes have won me many games.
Beastmen are also a really cool army with much different tactics than the dwarves, they move a lot and are real strong, but their armor saves suck and their war machines are practically non-existant. They are actually my third choice in armies. Dwarves and Dark Elves being my first two choices.
Wood Elves: Ech. There's a local player who uses these and he gets his butt handed to him every game practically. I don't think that they are a very good army at ALL. Not to mention, they don't even have an standard Army book out, just some approved crappy list. Go with Dwarves or Beastmen before ever considering these pansies...
It depends on what you like to play...
For a shooty, largely immobile but fairly unmoveable army and character full army go for dwarfs. (which I am starting to collect).
If you like rmies with lots of beasties, lots of moving around and little to no shooting, go for Beasts
If you like archers....go WE, they've got the best in the game - hands down. armour piercing at close range, no range modifier to the "to hit" role. For close combat they've got the hard-hitting and hard-to-move Treeman and Wardancers.
Wood Elves can win....just take lots of archers. My friend is using 40 in our 1500 point army on Tuesday.
Ok, Beastmen or Wood Elves or Dwarfs. Lets break them down.
These are tough, very and quite strong but their strengh lies in the ambush. This special rule allows you to keep certain units as reserves. They turn up on any table edge, just as long as you can pass a LD test. This will force your opponent to worry about where they will appear, and they could make a costly mistake.
Then there's the units, beastmen have some of the coolest around. This includes the Shaggoths, chaos trolls/orges/giants, minators and many others. Then you can make certain units specail bygiving them marks of the Gods eg mark of Khorne = Khorngors etc these are the elite of the beastmen. Then there's the characters tough and powerful, and if you have a Doombull as general minators are now core. The magic items are great, some allow you to get a better chance of your ambush arriving on time, another will make it so that beasts won't attack that character. Also you can use the beastman and hords of chaos togther. So in your beast army you could have chaos warriors or knights or even daemons. All in all a new and powerful army.
This is where my heart lies, dwarfs are probably the toughest army to make flee/panic/break. With T 4 on all units/charcters they stay for a long time. The dwarfs have a low I not because they're dumb but beacause they never do anything hasty, and most will be hitting before them but give them a great weapon and they hit back twice as hard. But the downside is they have very short legs, and so can't run very fast or far (although they're very dangerous over short distances ). So it usually ends up dwarfs stand and wait for the enemy to come to you.
Then there's the warmachines, dwarfs invented black powder and have the best warmachines in the game. And have some of the coolest units (SLAYERS ), but this isn't the best thing about dwarfs oh no. This lies in the fact that you can make your own magic items, this makes it so that you can tailor them completely to take on certain armies. They are also the best anti-magic army in the game, they get 4 dispel dice instead of two and many runes can be used to stop magic.
Probably the best missile army in the game, all their archers have long bows, they suffer no penalties for range and it's a -1 Sv mod at close range. This is their strengths but it's not all about shooting, they have some pretty cool combat units. Two such units are scouts and waywatchers, scouts are self explanatory but waywatchers, these guys set traps for enemies in woods but both are the best archer units you can have.
This title lies with wardancers/dyrads/treemen, these units are all great in combat. Treemen are tough and don't have to take a break test unless wounded, they can tie unit a unit for a game (if lucky). Wardancers can change the way they attack each turn, one turn you can have lots of attacks next it can be an auto draw. And the dyrads these are just like wardancers but instead of changing dances they change aspects eg willow, oak, beach. This gives them specail bonouses as well.
The rest of the army are fast you've got glade guard, warhawh riders, glade riders and all combined will/or should allow you to encircle your opponent. But remeber they're elves, T3 is not good. You throw any of these units needlessly into combat and you will lose. They also have some good magic items, one allows you to create a wood in the middle of the game, and my favourite is the Hail of doom arrow (it splits into 3d6 s4 magic arrows).
So if you want lots of missile fire then elves it is, if you wan't slow but tough blocks of units then dwarfs are it, but if you want an unrulely rabble that can give almost as good as they can take the go beastmen.
Well I must admit that after reading the WE rulebook preview on the GW website I look at everything like a prepincushion (specially my poor slayers ) and will take them as a 2nd or 3rd army, nonetheless I will never shave my beard to wear a dress and live with squirells. Dwarfs are my army choice and always be with absoloutely amazing (magic when given runes) artillery, deadly new special rules and equipment, steadfast infantry that don't know the meaning of fear (Ld 9+) and characters that can take on anybody willing to die quickly by fighting them. Yep the best place for me is to be a hundred feet underground with a mug of bugmans ale in the one hand and a rune encrusted axe in the other ever ready to fight and drink.
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