It has taken me a while to work out what on Earth you're meant to do with Dwarf Rangers. I've had a dozen or so games now with my Dwarfs, mainly against Matt's Skaven, and I think I have finally worked these guys out.
The basic deal of these fellows is that they're a Scouting unit with crossbows, great weapons, throwing axes and heavy armour with shields as an option. Up until now I've been using them as a Death Or Glory Suicide Squad and it turns out that was a terrible idea. For the most part I've been setting them up using Scout the minimum twelve inches away from the scariest things my opponent has (usually Rat Ogres or similar monstrous infantry) and hope to get in a first turn volley of crossbow fire in before being charged.
For the most part this tactic ended in death. Mine, to be specific.
On Sunday, again against Matt's Skaven, I tried something different for no better reason than there was already a 16 model Thunderer unit staring down the Rat Ogres. More by luck than judgement I discovered what Rangers are for: creating an exclusion zone.
I set them up roughly at the centre of the battlefield with a piece of impassable terrain protecting their left flank. To their right was empty space but, crucially, it was empty space that my Dwarf Lord and his Ironbreakers were going to be moving up into in the very near shortly. The presence of the Ironbreakers provided me some protection from being charged by Matt's larger and more powerful units who would have had to weigh charging against the possibility that they'd be countercharged by the scariest infantry unit in my army.
Meanwhile, the crossbows were in short range and whittling down one of Matt's infantry blocks until something more valuable, such as his Doomwheel, came into my arc of sight.
Once my Ironbreakers and Warriors had caught up with the Rangers, the Rangers became a supporting unit to them effectively returning the favour and being the scary unit Matt didn't want in his flank if he made a badly judged charge against the larger rank and file units.
There's a lot more synergy between Dwarf units than I thought there was and I'm looking forward to exploring these mechanics a little more deeply.