Other Combat Troops - The Elite

You still get what you pay for...
All three special choices of Dwarven elite troops have identical statlines (exceptional WS5 and S4), so choosing which one is your favorite is purely a matter of special abilities, point cost and equipment. The very unique Slayer unit is described under Special Forces with good reason.

 


Hammerers

In an army of superior fighters these still stand out as some of the best available in any army list. They hit harder and more often than regular great weapon dwarfs at weapon skill 5 and strength 6 with their great weapon and are stubborn - an invaluable ability with such high leadership, especially when combined with a battle standard bearer. Shields are mandatory on these guys because it helps them weather the shooting which they will undoubtedly attract and gives them the very nice option of wielding a hand weapon and shield, granting them a 3+ armor save in hand to hand for those combats where strength 6 is overkill. Their great weapon option is ideal vs. cavalry because with their stubborn ability they will likely stand up to any charge, and then will grind down the unit foolish enough to have engaged them. Versus strength/toughness 3 enemies (or when you're in any situation where your Hammerers need to survive, like if you're using them to hold a juicy enemy in place for a flank charge) it's a very good idea to declare your Hammerers will be using hand weapons and shields. Remember they still pack punch with their natural strength of 4 vs weaker enemies and their 3+ save is but one shy of an Iron Breakers, making them nearly as survivable. At a total cost of 15 points per dwarf they don't come cheap, but have justified their cost often enough to make them a top choice in my eyes. I'd recommend fielding them in units of 16-20 as beyond this they become cost prohibitive.

*A special note about Hammerers is that the army general must be with them (in the unit) for them to benefit from stubborn. This is important because it can, in many games, tie your general down to this unit which may or may not be a problem. If your Hammerers look like they're going to engage something which should give them no trouble do not hesitate to move your general into another unit where his ability to sway combat result would prove more beneficial. Just be careful to remember that they are not stubborn before you expose their flank foolishly.

Iron Breakers

Before I began my torrid love affair with the sexiest of stunties, the Hammerers, I had been a devout gromril groupie. What's the significance of this rare, ultrahard metal when placed on the most skilled Dwarven fighters available? Dwarven TERMINATORS - The hard part's not knockin' em down, its getting them to stay there! Iron Breakers combine the statline of Hammerers with an even better armor save - a 2+ instead of a 3+ - and for a significant 2 point decrease in cost (13 points a breaker). They hit back at a decent strength 4 and through their sheer survivability can wear down most enemy units. Add a character and you've got a hitty unit with ranks that will stay there. This makes Iron Breakers the cheapest and second most effective of what I see to comprise the Dwarven elite.

The problem is that they're the second most effective of the Dwarven elite. Spells which negate armor save can be quite devastating (and make you feel bad) as can characters with great weapons. Survivability doesn't help when your opponent wins combat through resolution and not wounds - a Hammerer unit can take the risk of exposing a flank which can be invaluable, this is a much riskier proposition for Iron Breakers. They're also much more defensive in that the punch they pack doesn't compare to that of Hammerers; very hitty knight units will not only negate your precious armor save, but will also press you hard to wound them back. If you're picking only one of these elite units for a Dwarf army (which is often all a wise Dwarf general can afford) it's a tough call to pass up Hammerers. If you're indulging on a 2nd elite unit, Iron Breakers should be it.

And the models are ill...

Longbeards

The wise. The venerable. The vulnerable and overcosted. Immune to panic is one of the most piddly abilities one can grant an army with base leadership 9 (often 10). Over the decades these most noble Dwarfs have stood 'afore countless enemies and held their ground. They've turned tides and managed to make it back to the pub before last call time and time again. What have they learned in all these battles over all these years? Don't be a puss and run if your pal gets shot. Fantastic! No, not fantastic. Hardly useful. You will automatically pass what may have been the 1st in 30 games where your opponent actually had and devoted enough shooting to your elite unit in a single turn to initiate a panic test, where you would have otherwise failed it. With the same stats and equipment as Hammerers, at a point less but without the possible stubborness, Longbeards are a wicked twist of fate: they're some of the best models in the Dwarven line with perhaps the most insignificant rules. They're not bad, but they're not on par with the rest of the Dwarven elite. Apparently Gav thought it was time for these old timers to retire.



Created by: ZiggyQubert. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 01:35:50 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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