As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll be running a theme with these guys, namely that of an underground hold valiantly protecting their prized treasure - the Anvil. As such, there are a few self-imposed restrictions that I placed upon myself when making up my army list:
- Must include the Anvil of Doom
- Must include Ironbreakers and Miners
- May not include Grudge Throwers or Gyrocopters
- No unit may cost more than 450 point, or number more than 40 models (local tournament restriction)
Runelord w. Anvil of Doom
Shield, Rune of Shielding, Rune of Stone, Rune of Preservation, Spelleater Rune
I know the Anvil isn't considered the most competitive choice in the online Dwarf communities (most tend to prefer the Runelord joining a unit), but I've always enjoyed the idea of an ambushing Dwarf army, so that's what I'll be running.
The Anvil has a 2+ ward save against shooting, to prevent it dying from cannons or other artillery hits (it already has a 4+, but I want to be overly certain). It is immune to poison and killing blow (the bane of warmachines) and has a 2+ armor save in combat. The Spelleater rune is there to (hopefully) take away the most awful of the enemy spells. I realize the Rune of Balance is probably better, but since my Anvil dies automatically to a Pit of Shades of a Purple Sun, I'd like the chance to remove those from play entirely. I still get an additional 3 dispel dice from the Lord and his Anvil anyway.
Thane w. Battle Standard
Master Rune of Gromril, Rune of Preservation, Rune of Resistance, Rune of Fire
A tanking BSB with 1+ re-rollable armor save, immunity to killing blow and poison (without those two, 1+ re-rollable armor save is often more useful than a 4+ ward save). Finally, a flaming weapon in case I do go up against a Hydra, or some trolls.
I'm a bit torn on the Oathstone, since my BSB has to challenge enemies if possible, which might be dangerous. On the other hand, it does make my unit of Ironbreakers extremely potent, with no flanks or rears, parry saves and support attacks in all directions. Since I'm only fielding a single character on foot, it's quite fine to nominate a unit that no other characters may join.
Standard Bearer, Musician, Shields
I believe Thunderers are, of all the missile units in Warhammer, one of the most sensible units to take in larger numbers. Unlike other, smaller missile units, these guys won't be used to take out skirmishers or flyers, but instead serve to soften up nasty combat blocks before they reach combat. They will also serve as flank protectors, being placed in front of my Anvil and the rest of my artillery in a 10x2 setup. Since as soon as you come within 24" of them, they will fire 20 S4 armor piercing shots hitting on 4+ or 3+, it does take quite a large unit to even make it to them and survive the stand and shoot. If something does get too close, the Anvil allows them to reform into 5x4, where they get a 5+ armor save with parry. That should hopefully hold up an enemy long enough for my flankers to get there.
28 Warrior Rangers
Standard Bearer, Musician, Great Weapons
I realize Rangers of the lore usually stay above ground, but there has to be a few that operates beneath the ground along the Underway, clearing out tunnels for the rest of the hold. That, and I absolutely love the Ranger rules for Dwarfs. For a single point more than a regular Dwarf with Great Weapon, you get a scouting infantry block capable of defeating most Core troops in the game. There are few units that benefitted as much from the new rules than Dwarf Warriors.
Standard Bearer, Musician
Rune of Battle, Rune of Stoicism
My anvil unit and my Stonebearer unit. Usually deployed 6x5 or 5x6 depending on matchups, these guys are there to take a charge, draw combat and then provide their +6 static combat resolution without taking many casualties, while the Anvil puts my other units in the enemy flanks to do the killing.
Standard Bearer, Musician
Another very solid block of Dwarfs, these guys will tackle units that have such high strength that makes Ironbreakers redundant, simply because a) they are Stubborn, so even if they lose a lot of dwarfs, they shouldn't run easily, and b) they will dish out a lot of pain as well, so the enemy has to be prepared to take a lot of losses as well. Together with the Ironbreakers and the Thunderers, these units will hold the line.
Standard Bearer, Musician
One of my reinforcing flanking forces. I sort of want them to be even bigger, but since it's quite uncertain as to when exactly they will arrive, I feel like I may be putting too many points into a unit that might not make the battle in time. That said, with the Anvil of Doom these guys are amazing for hitting enemy flanks while they are fighting my battleline, and 7x2 S5 attacks should be enough to leave a dent in the enemy armor, or flesh as it may be.
A second, smaller unit of Miners to hunt less dangerous enemy units. As only 6 models get to fight against Warmachines, that's their number.
Rune of Burning, Rune of Forging
I don't like artillery overmuch, so I'd rather invest a few more points into runes that will make them all the more safe and effective. Dwarfs need fire to tackle Hydras, Trolls or Abominations, and the Forging rune prevents it from blowing up before the beasties are dead.
This one seems mandatory in most Dwarf lists, and it fits the underground theme well. I would have preferred to bring a Flame Cannon instead, because it's the ultimate tunnel-clearing-weapon, but until the FAQ is changed to make it less of a static Salamander, the competitive player within me just won't allow me to bring one to a fight.
So that's an early underground dwarf list, and what I brought to the club this weekend. I'd love to hear some input from you Dwarf generals out there, and I'll supply you with a battle recap later on.