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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Friday, May 4, 2012

Eldar Codex Review - Part 24: Hornets


The Review -

Hornets are simply put, what Vypers want to be and if they see entrance into the mainstream codex, as discussed in the Vyper review, they will need some sort of role change to differentiate themselves from Hornets to be worthwhile (much like the Piranha variants for Tau). So remember currently, Hornets are Imperial Armor and therefore not mainstream at this current time.

The best way to describe Hornets is to take the best of both Vypers and War Walkers and mesh them together and add a little bit extra. The result? A vehicle with two weapon systems, is relatively cheap, is a fast skimmer with scout, is not open-topped and is AV11. The only bad thing? The heavy weapons beyond the Shuriken Cannon and Scatter Laser are still stupid expensive and combined with BS3, this resticts the Hornet's options.

With Scout Hornets are much more capable of bringing their mobility to bear and surviving a first turn salvo when not going first. The ability to gain benefits from terrain not in the deployment zone and put extra pressure on opponent's flanks from Turn 1 is always a good thing, particularly combined with a 24" move. Star Engines also come with the models standard which is a nice way to use the model when it cannot shoot (i.e. shaken). Move to a point where one will get cover (i.e. flat-out) and then move back 12" to provide cover to another unit which just shot with clear LoS. This is particularly useful in Squadrons since Stunned results are dropped down to Shaken though it does lead to the potential to want Spirit Stones as well...

Beyond that, the usual cavets apply with Eldar weaponry and Scatter Lasers are generally the clear stand-outs with 36" range and plenty of S6 shots to overcomer BS3. Shuriken Cannons are a good cheap choice but lack range to make them really impressive. Eldar Missile Launchers are actually a decent buy at 20 points a pop but make the Hornet more expensive than a Typhoon and with less offensive punch (but with greater defenses + Scout). It's an option but Scatter Lasers are generally the go to weapon - everything else is to expensive.

Potential Uses -

Essentially the same as Vypers but with more options. They provide mobile firepower which is even more mobile due to Scout. They can quickly get into side-arcs or even rear-arcs and pound away at the opponent and with improved defenses (AV11, not open-topped), they are more capable of handing out the punishment for longer.

Star Engines, as mentioned above, allows Shaken Hornets more options in how to impact the battlefield. No longer do they just zoom around but can open and then close firing lanes to other important Eldar entities.

Potential Changes -

Decrease cost of the heavier weapons by 5-10 points each. Make a part of the main Eldar army.

Conclusion -

It should be pretty easy to see why Hornets would replace Vypers if they were brought into the main fold. With both units armed with two Shuriken Cannons, the Hornet is five points more and comes with Scout, Star Engines (a 10 pt upgrade), AV11 and is not open-topped. Um, yes please? With a couple changes to heavy weapon prices, Hornets could be the answer to many potential issues in army list design. Lack anti-tank? Chuck in some Hornets. Lack anti-infantry? Chuck in some Hornets. Lack both? Chuck in some Hornets. Their cheap base price plus two heavy weapon slots gives them a lot of firepower and whilst the platform isn't super durable, it's still the same that we see across Marine armies everywhere with Razorbacks.

Until then, whenever running with IA, use Hornets =D, one of the few Eldar units to not get the label of overcosted.

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