So I've been gone from fantasy quite some time (probably 3-4 years), but the rule sets and setting always appealed to me on a personal level more than 40k. So finally with an upswing in local players I'm trying to get back into the hobby.

About 8-10 months ago our local store was going to start and escalation league, so I started getting Empire stuff. Before the league could get going, the store shut down. I've now got this Empire stuff, and Dwarves from a previous venture and another store is starting up a escalation league. My question is:

Which army do I pursue?

Having been away for quite some time I'm a bit out of the loop as to how these two armies do with the current rules. I'm not one of those guys that has to win, I prefer fluff and a good paint job over a mega army any day. That said, I like the Empire and Dwarfs fairly equally and I am having trouble deciding which ones to go after.

From a collection standpoint:

Empire offers a wider variety of unit types, sizes, themes etc. Which would give more painting options and more army composition options. But also take longer to paint.

Dwarfs are nostalgic to me, reminding me of my first fantasy army. They're generally easy to paint (beard, armor, shield, weapon go!) but lack variety in their models, generally speaking. So in this sense I could probably paint the army much faster.

From Gameplay:

Empire I am totally a new too, which presents it's own challenges and adventures. I am drawn to them b/c of their flexibility and variety, I think Empire is one of those armies you'd rarely get bored with.

Dwarfs are comfortable for me, I know how they operate and am fairly certain I would at least do "ok" with them on the table. I just don't want to get bored with the dwarfs being a static army.

Anyways, those are my thoughts and concerns about each force, any Veteran or Longbeard advise would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance,

Ealdwulf