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Whenever I see an army list that people like, they often include fragons mounted in either serpents or falcons as a primary source of anti vehicle.
The question I pose is why are fragons so much prefered over swooping hawks? While I can see the benefit and obvious reasoning behind rapid fire meltas with one of the swiftest transports in the game.
But at the same time don't the Hawks have thier own advantages? With an autarch on the field, either with them, or warp spiders, they can deepstrike fairly reliably right where they are needed (HI ARTILLERY!), with intercept they can pick off even skimmers movieng at full speed, and hit em with a batch of haywire grenades. Further due to thier use of a jetpack, thier mobility isn't compromised if thier transport is destroyed.
Granted that after tank hunting, the fragons are far better equiped for melting expensive hard squads like terminators and nob bikers, but with the powerful new ork codex, I would think that the volume of las shots the hawks would be at least as usefull if not more usefull against hordes?
Last edited by akaean; February 7th, 2009 at 20:50.
Eldar have so many good anti-hoard options I don't think that's even a factor.
Also hoard armies tend to be horrible to actually purchase and field. Maybe not a factor in a tourney. But a major one on the tabletop.
Anyway the trouble with Hawks in my opinion is
1. There is that tricky time between when the deep strike and when they can hit a vehicle. If you're going after a vehicle you have to be pretty close to connect. Especially if the vehicle has an option of scooting 12" away from the Hawks. And the enemy can screen a vehicle. If there are troops arranged beside the vehicle you're out of luck.
2. Low versatility. When we have something that is anti vehicle it's nice if it's also anti Monsterous creature. Carnifexes don't like ten fire dragons shooting at them any more than a land raider does, however Fexs probably find hawks amusing. And so on.
3. Hawks just tend to not fit in as well with a list. What I mean is that common lists these days seem to be things like mechanized or heavy foot sloggers. This can leave hawks sort of out there on their own. For example consider a couple units with heavy bolters. If they're just starting at a bunch of armor 12 in a mech army they aren't doing much. If some hawks are down now it's time to party. In the slogging example the hawks would be the only close unit. Possibly drawing all sorts of short ranged fire.
4. Survivability. After hitting their target dragons are still some distance away with their transport hopefully making charges tricky and at least providing cover. Hawks are right there by the vehicle. Probably staring at some rather upset fellows or the rest of an armies firing line.
Still, I have a hunch they might be underated. I haven't used hawks. I just know I've gotten some very positive results from fire dragons. Though that was mostly in past editions.
Although that made me think of something. Maybe star engines would be a good upgrade for dragon transports. By flipping their rear around in the movement phase the dragons could get notably closer to their target, and then in the shooting phase after they've fired the vehicle could sit in front the them roughly sideways, providing a shield from shooting and probably keeping anything from being able to charge the dragons.
When it comes to the two, my personal experience has led me to using the Hawks on more occassions than the dragons. Normally my FD are lucky if they can kill one vehicle before they are completely killed, but with the Hawks' greater range and some very lucky dice rolls have resulted in a single squad managing to take out a Hammerhead with their haywires and harassing the nearby Fire Warriors with the Sunrifle. Nothing inspires respect in the models more than killing a tank and surviving the entirety of remaining weapons with minimal casualties.
I didn't used to field either unit until I started having problems bringing down a couple of SoulGrinders.
The first game I tried 6 FDs in a falcon they took down both SoulGrinders without loss. I think the Hawks would have been munched as I believe that you can't use HW grenades on a walker unless it's been immobilised - for that reason alone I would prefer the Dragons.
Yes Hawks may have some nice flexibility, but they are very contextual - you have to be in the right place at the right time.
However with Dragons - whatever they shoot at goes bye-bye and that's their job. Use them right and they will always deliver.
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Here is a post about Fire Dragons vs Wraithguards, EldarNewb did some MatHammer with the Fire Dragons to prove their efficiency :
Yes, I did say a bunch about their efficiency, and it is stellar... but just remember I failed at thinking you can use tank hunters against the monolith, but other than that it's solid.
Dragons and hawks both sport versatility. One is good vs tanks & MCs / multi-wound or high T infantry, the other is good vs tanks / normal infantry or hordes.
The thing I really like about hawks is the price tag. Dragons absolutely must have a transport to function well. Hawks have mobility built-in. Once the transport figures in you pay a much higher price for the dragons then the hawks.
They're both good options, but I think the hawks are better if you're on a budget (points or cash)
*edit* Oh, and those wings are just stylin'
Last edited by Xardian; February 12th, 2009 at 18:49.
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Check the eldar faq unfortunately hawks intercept only works against vehicles without a WS. so walkers are 6 to hit now for them. For me its the fact that my dragons can ride around in a very reliable transport (wave serpent or falcon ) while my hawks have to either run up the field or deep strike both leave them open to shooting. Unless you are fighting the monolith firedragons are very reliable to wreck just about anything they bother to shoot.
The hawks have the same chances against a raider that they do against a monolith ( for penetration rolls anyway ). This makes me feel really bad when I use them against anything short of a lith or land raider. Finally I haven't had much luck with hawks in anything other than tank hunting where the firedragons can shoot down just about anything in the game.
I agree with nakaruru, the dragons outperform the hawks in the tank hunting department and so they should.
Also, the addition of a dragons breath flamer and crack shot on the exarch makes the dragons a really good anti-infantry unit.
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I do use hawks over dragons, but tank hunting is only secondary for them (I have 7 other vehicles in the army with S8+ weaponry). Just as well given that little bummer on walkers. In either case, ~130 points for a small hawk unit is still much cheaper then ~230 for a small group of dragons in a serpent. Especially on the wallet
I would have to agree though that you get much better AT firepower from dragons (for the price, you'd better) and the flamer can help them get in a single good round of horde-killing. But they'll be so close that if they don't kill what they shot, they'll be in assault and likely dead next turn. *edit* Also, if they get assaulted they have no real combat capacity. not even the token pwoer weapon available to swooping hawks, and no escape method like the hawk sky leap. */edit*
The hawks have enough speed and range to keep shooting from turn to turn, which is primarily how I use them. Anti-vehicular duties are a back-up plan if there's no good infantry to shoot at.
And I suppose if you really wanted you could rubber-hawk them with an autarch around, but that always seemed a bit wasteful to me. Better now though, with no partial hits.
*edit* Oh, and those wings are still stylin'
Last edited by Xardian; February 12th, 2009 at 23:31.
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