PDA

View Full Version : Save the Hawks (ideas for Swooping Hawks in 5th ed Codex)



Atomic Rooster
31-10-2008, 15:41
So it looks like Swooping Hawks need a rewrite for 5th, so lets discuss ideas on how GW might fix them.

There's plenty of problems with the hawks, but the main problem I see with hawks is the following:
Hawks don't represent their fluff properly. In case you've forgotten, Hawks are a harassment force, yet the rules have always made them one of the following: Exarch delivery systems, kamikazee tank busters, objective holders, artillery.

There's other problems driving the hawks to change, but fixing these problems won't fix the main issue above. Those other problems are:

1-Hawks are ineffective with the new vehicle rules. Every aspect warrior type is very good at something... except hawks. They're bad at everything, and don't carry the same respect as the other aspects.
2-Yo-yo hawks are completely legal, and completely boring for all players involved. I think everyone would be happier if they didn't yo-yo, and were effective in some other means.

The goal of changes should be to tune the Hawks into a harassment force and away from their traditional roles. What does this mean? A harassment force is able to cause some harm (usually disruption rather than casualties) to the enemy with little risk of harm to oneself.

Finally, here's a list of ideas that might make the hawks more like the fluff:

-hawks are very fast & hard to shoot down. Give them a cover save even when in the open to represent this (just like fast vehicles moving flast out). I'd start playtesting with 4+. I would guess that 3+ would be worth trying also, but I would not consider 5+. Perhaps the cover save would only take place on the turn they arrived by deep strike.

-hawks need to be able to disrupt troops. To this end, I'd want to add pinning to one of their weapons. The grenade pack is a good candidate for this.

-Hawks should not be able to leave the board on any turn they arrived. This keeps those pretty models on the table where they can be seen & makes hawks more fun for everyone.

-Swooping Hawk Grenade packs' effectiveness should vary on squad size to encourage larger squads. The following could varry based on squad size: Strength, blast template size, number of blast templates NOT AP. Perhaps multiple templates could be distributed like an artillery battery.

-I'd keep haywire grenades the way they are (or maybe tweaked by making 5+ a pen instead of just 6+). Hawk effectiveness against vehicles would be raised by increasing the number of hawks in a squad (lower points cost) rather than by making them flying firedragons. I like how they tend to stun vehicles and blast them apart piece by piece, it's just how I'd picture it in the fluff.

-Some people have sugegsted that the Str of the lasblaster be raised to 4. I disagree, as this would be stepping on the toes of the dire avengers.

With the above changes, I think a squad of 10 is worth about 180 points with exarch, so I'd start playtesting with a points of cost 16 points each.

Comments?

ex-green
31-10-2008, 15:53
The ability to attack 2 different squads anywhere on the board then yo-yo off the board fills one of the requirments of a harassment unit.
Why give them cover save all of their own, or making haywire better you would have to raise the points.
They are meant to be part of a combined army which Eldar needs to be rather than a game winning unit on their own.
Use them to their strengths not as a "jack of all trades".

Starchild
31-10-2008, 15:55
Well, for one, Swooping Hawks already got nerfed because glancing hits are -2 on the damage chart. The haywire grenade does not depend on AP to do damage; the Hawks simply have to roll to hit, and if their Exarch has Intercept, that roll is never less than a 4+. It already takes a mob of Hawks to destroy a vehicle, since you have to roll a 6 to cause a pen. hit, followed by a 5 or 6 on the damage chart. Most of the time (rolling 2-5) Hawks will be causing glance hits.

As for the cost, that's up for debate, but if they were priced a bit less I'd probably use them.

Swooping Hawks are in the support category, along with Guardians, Jetbikes, and Support Weapons. That means their only value is derived from how they can help out other units in the army. Whereas most other Eldar units are good at only one thing, Hawks and Guardians are mediocre at a few things, but when you pair them up with the specialists, they can be quite useful. :cool: Use Hawks and Guardians on their own, and they don't do very well. :(

volair
31-10-2008, 15:57
The rules of 40k don't really support the "harassment" unit concept, but GW did a pretty good job of giving the Hawks a special rule that allows them to do just that. Unless a unit has some kind of niche in combat and is efficient in its own way, it will likely be neglected. The swooping hawks fail horribly in fire fights and assaults, so the only way to use them is to use their grenade packs every turn. The designers intended for them to have some utility (anti-tank) but they did not go far enough to make swooping hawks efficient in that role. Because they are so weak in engagements, they would need very strong utility in order to be worth leaving on the table instead of flying back into the sky every turn. Your proposed changes would actually make swooping hawks worse than they are now, because they would continue to have all of the flaws above, but additionally would not be able to hide in the sky every turn while occasionally dropping a large blast.

TheRaven476
31-10-2008, 15:58
I love the Hawks and trust me when this spring comes around you'll be loving them too. The have a purpose and it's a very good one to kill the Guard (And other low armor low toughness troops). The only thing is, not many people play guard now, most people play MEQ armies which make warp spiders the supperior aspect warrior choice for fast attack.

They can be a harassment unit if they take the pinning gun for the exarch. Maybe changing the rules for the grenades because of the new damage charts would be a good thing. But when the new imperial guard codex comes out this spring I'm sure alot more people will take Hawks.

volair
31-10-2008, 16:02
I love the Hawks and trust me when this spring comes around you'll be loving them too. The have a purpose and it's a very good one to kill the Guard (And other low armor low toughness troops). The only thing is, not many people play guard now, most people play MEQ armies which make warp spiders the supperior aspect warrior choice for fast attack.

They can be a harassment unit if they take the pinning gun for the exarch. Maybe changing the rules for the grenades because of the new damage charts would be a good thing. But when the new imperial guard codex comes out this spring I'm sure alot more people will take Hawks.

They are not good at killing anything if you compare them to other units as a reference.

boogaloo
31-10-2008, 17:34
i really think that the hawks fix is a very simple one

Lasblaster S3 AP- Assault 3

The current problem is that they don't do enough damage to ANY targets. Therefore lacking a defined role which every other unit in the codex has (guardians = cheap wounds) if we made them assault three hawks don't become overpowered but mow down guants/IG. It would give them a defined role (extreme antihorde)

Maybe if you do this, remove the yo-yo hawking because 33 S3 (with sunriffle) Shots in tandem with a s4 large blast EVERY TURN might be a bit over the top.

It would also give them a slight boost against MEQ but ultimately still be underwhelming (about 2.37 wounds), and it would make them more useful with support spells such as guide/doom (with both spells active 5.23 unsaved wounds) but thats alot of pts to spend killing that few marines. 392pts With a jetbike however if we turn those stats to guants/ guard 10.89 unsupported 21.7 with guide/doom thats a massive chunk of guants.

Like that hawks could wipe out a full squad of their designated target in 1 turn, similar to a ten man squad of dragons firing at a squad of marines/carnifex, or a full squad of reapers shooting at SoB, and hawks would still be weak against anything that they weren't designated against like a squad or dark reapers firing at terminators or a squad of dragons shooting at a 30 strong mob of orks.

Just out of curiosity, how many points do you have to spend to get 33 S3 shots from DE warriors or IG? anybody? Just to see how the points compare.

RFT
31-10-2008, 18:09
my POV is, though,l the enough glancing hits can destroy a tank,and shaking/stunning it at the right time (which hawks are practically guaranteed to do) is still highly valuable.

TwilightOdyssey
31-10-2008, 18:24
Hawks are a fragile unit, and they look amazing. And non-Eldar players fear 'em more than Eldar players do. I still love using 'em, tho!

Atomic Rooster
31-10-2008, 18:47
Your proposed changes would actually make swooping hawks worse than they are now, because they would continue to have all of the flaws above, but additionally would not be able to hide in the sky every turn while occasionally dropping a large blast.

Making each individual hawk worse is ok in my book. No matter how effective a unit is, no matter how good or bad it is, you can always balance it with points values. First come up with rules that are fluffy and fun (for both players!), then make a fair points value for them.


i really think that the hawks fix is a very simple one

Lasblaster S3 AP- Assault 3
.

I'd prefer not to increase the lasblaster to assault 3 because individual Hawks really don't have much firepower in the fluff. They carry lightweight weaponry. By simply lowering the points cost you'd get more firepower for your points, while not interfering with the Dire Avenger's unique territory.

Peril
31-10-2008, 18:54
I cannot get my head around someone thinking Haywire grenades are not good enough. The real issue is getting them to survive while they are DSing near a tank and then assaulting it (which typically puts them near enemy units as well).

Make them a little harder to kill, and make their scatter better. Remove the yo-yo.

boogaloo
31-10-2008, 19:08
Making each individual hawk worse is ok in my book. No matter how effective a unit is, no matter how good or bad it is, you can always balance it with points values. First come up with rules that are fluffy and fun (for both players!), then make a fair points value for them.



I'd prefer not to increase the lasblaster to assault 3 because individual Hawks really don't have much firepower in the fluff. They carry lightweight weaponry. By simply lowering the points cost you'd get more firepower for your points, while not interfering with the Dire Avenger's unique territory.

if you adjust the points cost you start to muss with the beautiful harmony of the eldar codex. eg. a full squad of each aspect (2x das) = 1500 ptswhile not THAT important, it is kinda cool to follow the points around and find combos that the designers obviously intended.

Also i haven't read much eldar fluff, can you give me some examples, or sources of GOOD eldar fluff so that i might have a chance to see what you're talking about (not arguing just curious)

shin'keiro
31-10-2008, 21:07
i think theyre fine as they are - perhaps the lasblaster could be a higher strength...

Str 6 AP - Assault 2

Kahadras
01-11-2008, 00:24
There's no real problem with the Hawks at the present moment apart from the fact that they are slightly overcosted. They're a great harassing unit and work as a great tag team with other Eldar units. While they don't have a great amount of firepower their Skyleap ability gives them awesome maneuverability.

Kahadras

invinciblebug
01-11-2008, 00:47
The only thing I would like to see is, cheaper hawks and a pinning weapon for exarch. The haywire grenades are perfect for their fluff role, how can you get a unit that's more ''harass'' unit than a unit that stuns/shakes vehicles and pin enemy troops. If their cheap enough that would be really nice.

Leo
01-11-2008, 13:19
The ability to attack 2 different squads anywhere on the board then yo-yo off the board fills one of the requirments of a harassment unit.
Why give them cover save all of their own, or making haywire better you would have to raise the points.

well, how exactly do you attack two units and then yoyo? Skyleap works in the movement phase, so you donīt get to shoot.


The only thing I would like to see is, cheaper hawks and a pinning weapon for exarch. The haywire grenades are perfect for their fluff role, how can you get a unit that's more ''harass'' unit than a unit that stuns/shakes vehicles and pin enemy troops. If their cheap enough that would be really nice.

well, the Exarch already has a pinning weapon available that I buy regularly, itīs a neat weapons against stuff that can actually be pinned.

Iīd like to throw out some ideas that I had:

-decrease point cost
this could obviously solve a lot without much hassle. Hawks arenīt bad per se, just expensive. While this kind of comparison is always tricky, I donīt see them being more expensive than Chaos Raptors or Assault Marines.

-increase mobility
a built-in reroll for difficult terrain would go a long way of amending their lack of durability as they could enter woods and ruins without that much harm and gain a cover save.

alternatively a jetbike-like move in the assault phase could be granted although I can see some problems with that

-increase firepower
like other people have already said, increasing the 'Hawks firepower would only make them more like 'Spiders or Dire Avengers, so I donīt like it much

A thing that I'd really like is the possibility for the Exarch to take the power weapon in addition to the better rifle. If it is either/or then the power weapons isnīt much of a choice. The Exarchs rifles are a massive help to the squad if you want to make any use of the 'Hawks ranged weaponry.


thatīs it for the moment
any comments?

DoomedToRepeatIt
01-11-2008, 13:42
Yeah, I would agree that Lasblasters should remain low-strength; we have enough S6 guns already, although I wouldn't mind them getting pushed up to S4 just to increase their effectiveness against MEQs. I haven't yet had a chance to take my Hawks since 5th Edition came along, so I can't speak for the haywire grenades from experience, but the new penetration rules/chart certainly does decrease their effectiveness in theory.

Tsear
01-11-2008, 20:32
i think theyre fine as they are - perhaps the lasblaster could be a higher strength...

Str 6 AP - Assault 2

This.

Hawks are worse at everything than warp spiders. They fail against every single armor/toughness value in the game except T2 5+ save, which I don't think is even in the game. They also have less armor than spiders, have less maneuverability unless you're yo-yoing them, are worse in CC and, in fact, cannot leave CC if they get stuck there, and are worse, now, at killing most vehicles. (S6 AP - Assault 2/4 on back armor 10 is way better than Haywire only having a chance to destroy on a 6. Sad but true.)

Their only advantage is their range, but I have never, ever had trouble getting my warp spiders into threat range of a target with their 2D6 + 12 movement.

MarcoSkoll
02-11-2008, 01:24
People are forgetting that glancing hits can still be nasty. They might no longer be able to destroy, but a squad of 6 hawks attacking a stationary vehicle with Haywire grenades will get 4 glancing hits and a penetrating hit on average. From that, I'd expect probably a weapon destroyed and Immobilised, as well as a shaken effect.

Even though the vehicle is not necessarily destroyed, it is at the very least, severely crippled.

Remember if you immobilise or stun the vehicle (not unlikely), it can't move away, and you're free to attack it again in your opponent's turn. With clever positioning, you can use the opponent's vehicle to shield your hawks from the worst of return fire.
Two assault phases of grenades, which will likely either destroy or heavily cripple - and then in your turn, you're free to move 18" + D6" to the next vehicle if you so choose. I'd have that written down as fairly nasty.

@Tsear: If we're comparing them against Warp Spiders, WS's weapons have no AP value, conferring an additional -1 on the Damage tables, making them, in a lot of ways, poorer than SHs against vehicles, especially those of a tougher nature than AV 10.
Also, Skyleap CAN be used to leave combat, SHs don't have to be stuck there.

I am re-evaluating Spiders vs. Hawks, but I don't think Hawks are relegated to useless. It's another case of Banshees vs. Scorpions - each have their uses.

Frankly
02-11-2008, 01:05
What do people think of 3 x hawks + skyleap + Autarch as a viable tactic for anti-horde?

3 x hawks also gives you some anti-vechicles options later is need be.

Sildani
02-11-2008, 03:48
My main problem with Hawks is that they practically must DS to get where they gotta go. Usually, that's a tank hidden in/behind difficult terrain. When they scatter, it hurts, especially considering the BRB's Mishap table. What I'd like to see is some mitigation of that: either a re-roll of the Scatter dice, or one guaranteed landing exactly where you want it per game, or a negative modifier to the Mishap table. Make it a special rule for the Exarch at no additional point cost - call it Stoop and Sting - he's just that good. That would increase their utility dramatically by making them appear exactly at the right place, reliably.

Starchild
02-11-2008, 04:45
My main problem with Hawks is that they practically must DS to get where they gotta go.

This is a case where an underused unit can be really good, but only in very specific situations.

For instance, what if a Necron player deep strikes a Monolith or two into your deployment zone? The Hawks could at least keep the 'Liths disabled while the rest of the army focuses on the Warriors to cause phase out.

Or, a Daemon army could splat Soulgrinders at you, giving the Hawks a good target to stun or disable while you deal with the rest of the horde.

Then there's vehicles moving at cruising speed or faster. Only Hawks can hit these vehicles on a 4+ or better with Intercept. Hawks are a niche unit. They can help out in little ways, if you're willing to shell out the points. :eyebrows:

I agree about a deep strike bonus. Hawks have wings after all; it's not like they're teleporting or falling from orbit. ;)

Atomic Rooster
04-11-2008, 15:34
I am re-evaluating Spiders vs. Hawks, but I don't think Hawks are relegated to useless. It's another case of Banshees vs. Scorpions - each have their uses.

I have a dream... that one day people will be making that comparison between Hawks & Spiders, but for the time being, Tsear is generally correct:

Hawks are worse at everything than warp spiders.


As for scattering:
I don't see why they need to scatter at all, and I don't think it should require an Exarch as aspect warriors are skilled warriors even without their baby sitter. I'd love to see something like this:
"Unlike the clumsy jump packs of other races, Swooping Hawk wings allow precise and elegant landings. When a squad with swooping hawk wings deploys via deep strike, instead of rolling for scatter, the player immediately deploys his squad as if a hit was rolled on the scatter die."

I'd also like to see an exarch ability that gives his squad skilled rider.

Xandros
04-11-2008, 15:49
You don't have to deep strike, you know?

They can also move 12" and fire a weapon nearly as good as a storm bolter.

I think it's power gamer syndrome: When you need to make tactical decisions with a unit it is considered "not competitive". Power gamers like nothing better than no-brainers on a string.

Znail
04-11-2008, 16:27
My main problem with Hawks is that they practically must DS to get where they gotta go. Usually, that's a tank hidden in/behind difficult terrain. When they scatter, it hurts, especially considering the BRB's Mishap table. What I'd like to see is some mitigation of that: either a re-roll of the Scatter dice, or one guaranteed landing exactly where you want it per game, or a negative modifier to the Mishap table. Make it a special rule for the Exarch at no additional point cost - call it Stoop and Sting - he's just that good. That would increase their utility dramatically by making them appear exactly at the right place, reliably.

I find it a bit ironic that you first claim that you must DS and then you list disadvantages with doing so! Swooping hawks are fleet jump infantry, they are not slow in any way, so there is no need to DS if you dont want to. The main reason people do it by habbit is for the grenade packs, but if you need them to take care of a vehicle then they will get there faster by normal movement.

The main reason that Swooping hawks cant be buffed by any large margin is their synergy with the 'flying circus' type of army. They have the speed and range to stay out of assault range and keep peppering enemies from long range and if they get cornered so can they leave the board and redeploy. So the idea of giving them improved guns and cover saves would make them very difficult to handle for many armies.

Sildani
05-11-2008, 19:37
Yes, in my experience (4th ed.) they really had to DS near where they had to go, which in my case was near my opponent's well dug-in Basilisk/Whirlwind/what-have-you. Trying to do that and not scatter into terrain, other models, or (worse) into the open was dodgy at best. I never wanted to footslog them because: 1) they're fragile, 2) 12" move is quick, but not amazingly fast, 3) my opponents were aware of their haywire grenades and thus hurled rather a lot at them, and finally 4) they were the best-painted squad in my army and I suspect they attracted a lot of fire out of spite/jealousy/good-natured ribbing. In short, they didn't survive long sitting on the table - I think Turn 2 is the longest they lived against any opponent with indirect fire at his disposal.

I've yet to use them in cover-rich 5th ed., but I'm learning that there's not as much cover as everyone thinks there is. So no, an improved DS rule would make me happy. And perhaps haywire grenades getting AP 1. Kidding.