Saturday 1 June 2013

New Eldar Tactics: Swooping hawks.

Well Eldar are here and there is one aspect that has drawn my attention particularly: Swooping Hawks.
I didn't like them in the old book but my respect for them has increased to the point where I may even consider taking them over Warp Spiders.

Now keep in mind that my primary opponent play's guard but this will also work against most Xenos armies with crappy toughness or low initiative (such as Tau).

My idea revolves around:

10 Swooping Hawks:
- Exarch w/ Sunrifle & Hit & Run.

Just under 400 points so not cheap by any means. Here's the idea:

1. Deploy first turn with the hawks on the board with Baharroth (preferably out of LOS).

2. First turn Skyleap.

3. Second turn you automatically arrive from ongion reserve.

4. Deep strike:
- Placement is essential.
- Firstly, choose a squad you wish to grenade pack.
- Secondly, choose a point in which you can deep strike within 6" of (preferably a squad that is not loaded with flamers or an assault unit) another enemy unit.
- ESSENTIAL: Make sure that the spot you deep strike into is out of line of sight of the target unit for the grenade pack.

5. Take a blinding test for the unit's in proximity to Baharroth.

6. Get Baharroth to throw the grenade pack. No LOS needed and BS7.

7. The rules for the grenade pack state that the model who threw the grenade may still fire, but must fire at the grenade target unit if possible. Due to Baharroth and the unit being out of LOS he can opt to shoot at a different target.

8. Here's where things get interesting. Firstly, did the unit that you deep striked next to pass their blind check? If they did, then shoot at them. The exarch's sunrifle will force another check. If they happened to have failed the blind test then simply shoot at another unit to attempt to blind them. Plus, with the unit pumping out 30 str 3 (oh which 3 are AP3) and 3 str 5 you might actually do some decent damage. Plus if you are lucky and roll up Doom, Jinx or Horrify and the shooting becomes widely overpowered.

9. Run into cover.

So if by any chance you are lucky, you have just taken out a decent chunk of T3 bodies from the grenade throw (this is the target horrify should be cast on if you have it) and blinded two or more units + shooting casualties. Synergy is the name of the game here. You can blind unit's in the phases before assault so your combat unit's are being hit on 5+. Not bad.

This really isn't a hugely competitive idea in the sense that it's relying heavily on there being LOS blocking terrain. You could always just focus everything on one unit but where is the fun in that?

Of course you could take a cheaper version of this without Baharroth but he is providing a 2+ armour save, fearless and a half decent attempt at assault defense.

Plus the unit can keep jumping up and down if you want it to. I would maybe, if the unit has survives, set it up so I am deepstriking on the last turn to grab linebreaker and contest or hold an objective (remember no scatter!).

Drop this smack bang into the middle of a tightly packed tau gun-line and you are pretty much guaranteed hilarity.



  1. I love that the Eldar have crazy new strategies popping up. I just picked my codex up last night, so I'm still digesting it.

    Overall, this strategy looks fun. Bit pricey for my tastes for what it does, IMO. I think that it would scale up pretty well to being layered, though. You mentioned having Horrify cast on the enemy, but you could also have Pinning checks being thrown around, more Blinding tests from a second smaller unit of Hawks, that Wraithfighter flying around Terrifying things and making everything reroll their Leaderships, coordinate a fast assault against Blinded enemies with Shining Spears, or even do some massive Tank Shocking, just create mass hysteria.

    1. Yeah having Baharroth makes the unit very expensive. I mean blind is cool but pinning is much better like you say. There are so many new little tricks around that I'm sure will begin to pop up soon.

      Cheers for the read.

  2. I'd like to note as the Guard player who's going to get his ass handed to him by this tactic in trial runs, that I was the one who told Crazy about the Hawks and their ongoing reserve. I don't know why but it makes me feel better that people know it's my own damn fault.

  3. I need to get my hands on a codex, but this looks cute. I'm hoping Phoenix Lords have enough going for them to overide the hefty opportunity cost of dropping a Farseer.

  4. You could do 2 units one of 5 with baharoth and one with 6 to have two gredade drops

    1. Yeah for sure, completely up to your own play style.

  5. Don't forget other grenades a unite off 6 hawks will give you 4 haywire grenades hits. Which will glance on a 2+ and penn on a 6 :). This is a sort off auto destroy for almost anything :D.


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