Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eldar Codex Review - Part 22: Swooping Hawks

Swooping Hawks were pretty awesome in 4th edition because any unit could score. In 5th edition...not so much. Let's look at why.

The Review -

Swooping Hawks bring the usual assortment of weak Eldar defensive statistics (T3/4+) with good offensive availability (BS/WS4, I5) and combined with Fleet, wings (jump packs) and the option to play around with deep-strike, they are quite mobile. Beyond this though, well they are quite expensive for light jump infantry and don't really pack a punch. They can make a mess of Guardsmen like infantry caught in the open with their guns but without getting larger squads, they don't pack the number of shots to deal with larger squads, anything in cover or tougher targets (i.e. Marines) reliably. However, they do come with a couple grenade options which are nice.

Firstly, haywire grenades. Haywires are very effective at stopping tanks - not at destroying them, but stopping them and with the Exarch power Intercept, they can do this reliably against moving tanks. It's still a combat action with its usual drawbacks but its an offensive tool often overlooked. Secondly, and this is looked at often, is the grenade pack launcher things they fire off every time they come in from reserve. Decent at putting wounds on clumped infantry or encouraging them to spread out but NOT worth the price tag of a minimum squad + Exarch with Skyleap. Its a nice additional bonus but buying bouncing squads simply for the large blast is bad.

Which leads us to, well the Exarch powers. Both are obviously good buys and relatively cheap and this leads to the Exarch being a good buy. He and his powers add extra dimensions to the squad and improve their offensive output - not by much, but by enough whilst also enhancing their utility (being able to pop in and out of play). His weapon upgrades can be overlooked - it's nice to get some extra firepower into the unit with the Sunblaster or what not but is really just making the unit more inefficient - it doesn't give them an awesome answer to tanks or infantry at range and you obviously don't want to try and make the unit any good in combat. A couple I6 power weapon attacks are nice but your best defense here is Skyleap.

Potential Uses -

As a bouncing ball is their obvious use - grab Skyleap with an Autarch around and jump in and out of the game for a large blast wherever you want it nearly every turn. In objective missions they give you an option to contest lightly held objectives and in Kill Point missions they aren't the liability most small, weak units are with their ability to jump into reserve. They do have okay firepower and can deal with lighter infantry or smaller squads to a degree but not in any way reliably. Intercept does give them some improved anti-tank capacity with their Haywire grenades but without large squads, this isn't really reliable anti-tank but rather reliable tank suppression.

Potential Changes -

More offensive output, less points. Really does seem to be a theme doesn't it? I think a slight points reduction works fine here assuming Baharoth allows a certain amount of FoC swapping. Whether it's a complete 'Swooping Hawks count as Troops' or 'up to two squads may be Troops' matters not, giving the unit scoring options and a price drop could see them see use immediately as they did back in the day. Their offensive output is still meh but you're not just getting meh offensive output for 100+ points but scoring potential as well. 

Otherwise and perhaps included with, more accurate deep-striking wouldn't be amiss akin to Descent of Angels but that might be too good with Skyleap thrown in. Offensive improvement in what their guns can do such as upping the number of shots by one would give them more torrenting power and allow them to actually threaten MSU Marine squads as well as larger GEQ squads. Potentially a 4++ as well? Obviously here now we're talking no points reduction but it would give them an edge of survivability without the need to rely on cover. I'd probably take one of these options, maybe two but not all of them.

Conclusion -

Swooping Hawks really miss 4th edition where they could use Skyleap all game to be annoying as hell whilst doing some damage and then come in late game and always be on objectives - assuming good scatter of course. Now? They can contest objectives and be annoying - that's about it. Their damage output is pretty mediocre though they can do decently against moving tanks in combat or weak backfield units - not great, but decent enough. Seeing them somehow get a buff to their deepstriking and offensive output or defensive options would give them some more options as a unit alone but allowing Baharoth to swap their FoC around could really get some extra use out of them, even as they stand now.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...