Gonna' shoot ye' in yer arse!

How to motivate the enemy into coming to grips with your hardened combat units is something every Dwarf general must consider. Really the only Dwarf option to get an opponent to come to you is with shooting. Ideally a Dwarf army of standard size (2150 points) should spend about 450-650 points on shooting. I've found that it's typically in this point range where I've got enough shooting to get enemy troops moving (in most armies) without excessively hampering my combat capabilities. Also I've found that it's in around this range of points spent that my Dwarfs have the full variety of machines they need to soften up key enemy units and eliminate particular threats like chariots and large monsters. The shooting a Dwarf general purchases should have some variety for maximum flexibility, with about half the points spent on firepower going towards shooting infantry and the other half to war machines.

Crossbows vs. Thunderers
Look, I'm not here to tell you what you should and shouldn't pick, so why don't you just go test- err, wait a second...

Every Dwarf general I've encountered has debated between these two choices, many deciding on the unwavering superiority of one or the other. I used to think Thunderers were hands down superior. They cost a couple of points more and lose 6" range compared to crossbows (24" instead of 30") but gain an additional point of armor penetration (-2) and can move and shoot. Additionally the +1 to hit within half range can be devastating, and has proven so time and time again. Solid for 14 points.

But eventually I learned that Crossbows are actually quite good, and are not the least bit an inferior choice given their cost. They hit hard and against most infantry their lack of armor penetration isn't a major factor (I've come to find Thunderer's -2 insufficient for heavy cavalry armor anyway). Also, they will often see an extra round of shooting from their 6 inches of additional range, albeit at 5's to hit, and you save 2 points per model from the Thunderers base 14.

If you're going to pick only one ranged unit of Dwarfs, I'm still inclined to say take Thunderers as they're the more flexible of the two with their ability to move and shoot. Crossbowmen should be placed in an ideal firing position and stay there. That said, I'd recommend you take two shooty units, one of each.

Dwarf ranged units are unique in their options to take shields coupled with their light armor. In hand to hand they're typically hit on 4's with a toughness 4 and a 4+ armor save (light armor + shield & hand weapon). This means that, with their great natural leadership, they will often hold up to charges against which no other ranged unit would remain. They make solid flank guards for your army drawing off heavier threats or annihilating lighter ones, and are good for guarding war machines. Always buy these units shields. Ideally field them in sizes 10-12 with no command (especially no standard or champion; musicians are all right). They're tough, but they're still the most vulnerable units in your army besides war machines, so you should avoid giving your opponent a 100 VP bonus should he break them.

Created by: ZiggyQubert. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 01:37:38 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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