I started with dwarfs and they still are my favourite army in the whole of Games Workshop. They are Tenacious little buggers that are almost immovable and anyone who says their easy to beat you can spit on them, because they aren't. I've been collecting them 3 years now and have come up with an army tactica for mostly every army.
Sample Army Lists
1500-3000 point matches
I choose to have a 50 strong unit of Dwarf Warriors so as to soak up the enemies attention. I found it worked the best as the firepower will be directed at them. If you march them down the middle, make sure to protect your flanks. I recommend from experience a lone Dragon Slayer or Daemon Slayer (or if vursing an annoying shooty opponent, Troll or Giant Slayers), as they pack a punch and although they can be slayed easily, they can also kill those hard to kill champions and small elite units. Putting the Master Rune of Alaric the Mad, Rune of Fury and Fire helps your slayer cull those really annoying armoured men, as the rune of Fury let's you have an extra attack, while Master Rune of Alaric the Mad makes the opponent have no armour save and flaming attacks will benefit you with those really annoying regeneration saves. A unit of miners (or Ironbreakers, Longbeards) are also the best and adding a thane will help tremendously, especially with Rune of Fury, Fortitude or if you want to, Master Rune of Gromril which grants you a 1+ armour save. As for shooting wise, I advise that you take at least 1 Organ Gun, as they can kill up to 10 armoured soldiers. ALWAYS HAVE THE RUNE OF RELOADING! as they will be the targets of magic, fire power and being ambushed (as I learned painfully, losing my whole crew for my bolt thrower, organ gun and cannon by being ambushed. Also have a maxed out Master Engineer to help your cannon crews and defend against any enemies that either attack you from the front or behind. I usually have my Engineer with dual pistols, handgun, Master Rune of Gromril, Rune of Fortitude, great weapon and Rune of Fury, as I usually verse Lizardmen. Rune Lords and/or Runesmiths are a must! The Dwarfs are the only race without magic and get pulverized by magic easily. I also have in a 3000 point match my man Thorek Ironbrow, who, when used correctly, can slay entire units or bring an entire regiment to full strength again. I found this handy when I was playing against the Vampire Counts, using one of the spells to bring D6 (or was it 2D6?) wounds back to the regiment. I always have Thunderers (Don't have Quarrellers) at about 10-16 strong each, as they have the firepower to lay down any armoured units.
A little story if I may when they came in handy. I was playing the Empire in a 1000 point battle. My 12 warrior unit (I didn't really want 50 at the time as it takes up to much points) was marching down the lines, the Thane leading them. On the flank were my 12 unit of Longbeards. At my artillery, I had 2 cannons (both mis-fired and blew up on the first turn :( ), an organ gun (kept on mis-firing) and my 16 Thunderers. My Master Engineer was charging on the other flank as well (He is bloody unstoppable). 2 units of 8 Knights of the Empire each rushed through the flanks at my Master Engineer. My Engineer charged one the next turn (Which he killed 5 of them and sent the rest running in the first round of combat! And that's not to point out he catched them and ran into a 10 strong Handgunners which he annihilated) The other unit of Horsemen though charged up and ran into my shooting line, with my Thunderers the only defense. They suffered heavy casualties, but my Thunderers managed to kill all the Horsemen and won the day for my battle-line.
There is two things you can do when choosing for the dwarfs...
The Battle-line: This is a tactic I have found effective against the Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings, Warriors and Daemons of Chaos and any other massive fighty army. Have one major unit (e.g. 50 Dwarf Warriors), one that's a hoarde and can easily soak up fire-power. Next get 2 expendable but tough units on the flanks and a strong Solitary hero with full upgrades(Miners and Slayers I have found worked the best), these will be hunters for Calvary, small elite units and hard to hit heroes. Next have that hero that is choc-full of armour, weapons and protective enchantments and attach him to the hoarde. The ideal ones are Runelords, Thanes, Lords and if you have enough points, Bugman or Thorgrim. Then choose some fire-power. Have only 1 or two, but make them powerful. I use Organ Guns, Bolt-Throwers or Cannons. Use the hoarde in the middle, marching the unit up, soaking up fire-power. But then here comes the fun bit. The enemy (Hoardes most probably) will charge no doubt and try to butcher your men. They will also try to kill your men by magic. Stop it by the Line. This is the second phase. Engage in combat with the enemy as soon as possible. The flanking units come in handy now. Use your flank units to maneuver and flank charge the enemy. Use your solitary hero to keep them occupied with the shooting business. Enemy wizrards need to be taken out as soon as possible. They like to use the Look Out Sir rule, so counter that with your solitary hero, letting him slay the elite unit guarding him and then he either dies or not. Your solitary hero needs to be powerful or he will fall as easily as a de-capitated Goblin. Dwarfs maybe strong but there are better heroes out there to rival and put them in the halls of Grungi. You will un-doubtly win the combat. After the combat is finished, march into the last enemy units. This is my favoured tactic and is very efficient but also relies alot on the dice. Everything can go wrong in a combat so be careful not to not care about your dwarfs. Remember they are few and although strong, are very expensive and not very powerful against something's like for example Bloodthirsters or Warriors of Chaos. This is Luck and Chance, but is a very relyable tactic.
The Nuker: I call this the Nuker because this is a tactic that relies on surprise than anything else but is great for Skaven, Orks and Goblins and elite armies such as Bretonnia. Firstly, get as many : censored: cannons, bolt-throwers, Organ Guns and grudge throwers as you can, then get as many Thunderers as you can. Get a Thane, Dragon Slayer and up to 3 Master Engineers. Then get a 12 Warrior unit, just in case your plan doesn't work. Set-up a massive battle-line with the Thunderers on the flanks, warriors in the middle and the artillery on a big hill with the Master Engineers. Then they charge. Let them come, keep your warriors in position. When they get close enough, unleash your surprise. Have a flame cannon on each side of the dwarves and set them on fire. Then unleash the Scrap rule, where you get a flame template on smashing your opponent with nails. Outflank the units then with Blasting Charges of the miners, your Lone Characters and small units outflanking and smashing unit after unit. Then as what the nuke does... Spring the final trap. Charge the Warriors in and annihilate them. Just like the Nuke, it is clean, effective and you will take minimal casualties. Runelords is a must remember or other-wise your army will be suckied into the warp or worse. It is vulnerable if not used properly and is luck based, but works none-the-less.