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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started playing again and I broke out my swooping hawks which I have never used before because I wanted to try them out.

I used 9 man unit w/exarch ( I know expensive) anyway I had intercept and withdraw, I was having trouble with a landraider and so i deep striked my swooping hawks down behind it so I could assult it with haywire gernades. I was told by the other guys that once they have deepstuck that they cannot move at all all they can do is shoot. I couldn't find anything in the rule book so I would like to know if the is true because if it is, the swooping hawks are just going to be sitting there. They ended up getting charged and killed by his command squad.

My other question is when can you use withdraw, the rule seems to say that it can be used only in the movement phase. So is that my movement phase and/or the other guys movement phase as well? Cuz if I canm only do it on my movement phase the way i am reading it, is that you cant use them until turn 2, when held in reserve, they fight turn two but cant move, I can take them off the board on turn 3 with withdraw, and try and bring them back on trun 4 right? That means you dont get much use out of them during a 6 turn game, if you are lucky and you want to use withdraw you will only have them for half the turns, dosent seem very useful.

Any thoughts or tatics with them would be helpful, Thanks
 

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Sparta!
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Hi, welcome to one of the most underrated Aspect units in the book.
I use hawks all the time and they tend to work for me.
First off, to answer your questions, no you are not allowed to assault after you deep strike. So to get the best use out of the hawks deepstrike them behind cover then in your next turn jump pack them (12"), fleet them (+D6") and assault (+6"). The speed that they can move often easily surprises people who don't regularly face them (I still remember fondly when they got a first turn charge on an excorsist parked carelessly at the front of my mates deployment zone).
The unit I tend to run is 6 Swooping Hawks with an Exarch with Skyleap, Intercept and a power weapon, as well as an Autarch with a fusion blaster. This means that even with a bad scatter they still have a chance of popping a tanks with the fusion blaster, and the Autarchs improved reserve rolls rule is still in effect, making them much more likely to come back on.
As for skyleap you can remove the unit (and any attached autarchs) during your movement phase. Subject to normal DS'ing rules they aren't allowed down before 3rd turn so I often deploy them normally and if no better targets are available skyleap them and leave them off the board for turn 1 before attempting to deepstrike turn 2. By removing them at the start of your phase, and sneakily placing htem out of sight, your opponent can sometimes forget about them.
Also, don't be afraid to throw them away - if they tie up an enemy assault unit deep within their deployment zone then the hawks have just distracted the enemy and disrupted their attack allowing you to bring (most often) greater fire control and supremacy to the now piecemeal attack.
That's all I'm going to put now, as it is 1 in the morning and I should probably sleep before I go to work, I'll continue my thoughts and ramblings later if you are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I guess it makes sense to leave them on the board for turn one, I did just get an autarch with wings so maybe I will use him with them. I forgot that tehy can move that fast in onw turn as well. Appreciate the help.

One other question do you think that the sunrifle is worth the points? I like the pinning part.
 

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Thanks, I guess it makes sense to leave them on the board for turn one, I did just get an autarch with wings so maybe I will use him with them. I forgot that tehy can move that fast in onw turn as well. Appreciate the help.

One other question do you think that the sunrifle is worth the points? I like the pinning part.
now first of all keep in mind I have NEVER played eldar, but I do plan to use 6 swooping hawks with exarch,skyleap,intercept and sunrifle. also I plan to put autarch with fusion blaster in with them. in my opinion it all comes down to what you want your hawks to do. I myself am thinking of landing, grenading and spraying an enemy unit with them, and mopping up what's left with shining spears (unless it's horde, they could handle a horde unit themselves if it's 15 or under). without any prior knowledge of this working I still maintain a belief that it can.
keep in mind the sunrifle is assault 6, already pretty tasty. low strength but importantly, the exarch is BS2. that will make up for difficulty in wounding T4 troops.
after their initial arrival they are then free to attack whichever they need infantry or armour.
just make sure they stay safe. 21 points for T3 and 4+ save is expensive, and a certain amount of caution is very necessary. some eldar units can act alone, but these guys are not one of them. when suppported they can devastate enemy squads.0:
 

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The Fallen
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Thomo gave some very good advice (rep mate)

paddy, be very carefull, spraying things with hawks tends to have very little effect, low str and pants AP means Meqs dont tend to notice, the sunrifle and fusion gun will help a little but that is a lot of points to spend on killing 2 MEQs
 

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So what's the best way to support Swooping Hawks? I would think something that can keep up with them and provide the much needed close combat support they lack.
So with that in mind Shining Spears seem like the best option.
I like The idea of deep striking hawks near spears for the mutual support. The grenade packs and lasblasters can soften up an enemy unit for the devistating spear charge. On the following turn you can have thespears hit and run while the hawks intercept any vehicle or spray a unit with lasblaster/sunrifle fire.


Dosadi
 

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The Fallen
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the flexibility of hawks makes tehm dificult to support, they are better as the supporting or free basing unit, but ultimately given their kill power is very low, twining them with something like spears is a waste of spears which are better employed hunting tought, high points stuff that the hawks wont be able to hurt
 

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Inquisitorial Aspirant
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I find that Guardian Jetbikes work well with spears. Both are fast, but the jetbike are tougher and, with a warlock and enhance, can be better in melee. If you soften up an enemy with lasblasters the jetbikes may be able to take them. Doom on a jetbike farseer (to keep up) is a great idea as well. Dooming Space Marines makes the lasblaster better that str 4 (net effect.)
 

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LO Ninja
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the flexibility of hawks makes tehm dificult to support, they are better as the supporting or free basing unit, but ultimately given their kill power is very low, twining them with something like spears is a waste of spears which are better employed hunting tought, high points stuff that the hawks wont be able to hurt
agreed. i just tend to use them as a distraction/tank hunters. look at their equipment, IG style lasblaster or a pimped up grenade!
on a note of support with the autarch, ALWAYS REMEMBER HE HAS HAYWIRE GRENADES TOO! for fun split him from the squad and charge another vehicle, hes almost garenteed to stun it.8Y
 

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on a note of support with the autarch, ALWAYS REMEMBER HE HAS HAYWIRE GRENADES TOO! for fun split him from the squad and charge another vehicle, hes almost garenteed to stun it.8Y
Just be careful when you split him from the squad, as he will lose the intercept ability that he agined from your hawks.... So assault a stationary/immobilised vehicle with the Autarch to almost guarantee he will do something with his one 'nade, while the hawks can mess up the vehicle that did move the last turn!
 

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I've played against a Tau player that surcame to that same trick, but it cost me some points amogst the 2. If they aren't prepared to counter anything like that, it'll work. But that same tau player that I'm referring to has greatly improved his countering vs. most armies...
 

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Splitting your Autarch from your hawks can be beneficial if the dice gods are on your side,..... and your opponent isnt a compitent general. most people will have a counter to respond to that.
 

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Splitting your Autarch from your hawks can be beneficial if the dice gods are on your side,..... and your opponent isnt a compitent general. most people will have a counter to respond to that.
Anything can be beneficial if the dice gods are on your side and your opponent isnt a competent general....:p

Don't get me wrong, i usually would split him, if the opportunity arose that i'd need to!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you have an autarch on a jetbike with the spears you have a greater chance to kill anything, not only do you have an exarch with a strength 8 lance weapon, but you have the autarch with haywires. They can pretty much kill anything.
 

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Sparta!
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Found an article I wrote, but never posted, on the use of Swooping Hawks based off my own experiences. Here it is for any who are interested. It is a little lengthy, so be warned.
Cheers, Thomo.
Swooping Hawks.

Like the hawks of Eldar mythology, these Aspect Warriors circle above those that are about to be destroyed. Lithe and fast they soar through the air on shimmering wings before swooping onto their chosen prey, raining grenades down upon their victims before showering them with deadly accurate laser fire.
From my experiences, however, the effective use of Swooping Hawks in a game of 40k is, unfortunately, vastly different to what their background and sometimes their equipment depicts and suggests.
Instead of being able to reduce enemy units to smoking ruin I find more often than not their humble lasblaster giving the enemy nought more than a nice tan before they are mercilessly cut down by the angry, and often better armed, friends of those poor unfortunates that the Hawks did manage to kill.
Sure, they work wonders against Guardsmen and their equivalent (Eldar Guardians, Orks, Dark Eldar Warriors etc) and their reasonable high rate of fire (especially if the Exarch is given the Sun rifle) can cause wounds against Marines and their counterparts – but, for those concerned about such things, they will never make their points back nor be able to do enough damage to be worth the cost (and these are two different things).
What then do I use my Hawks for if not shooting things up? You may ask. And my answer is simple. I use my Hawks for three things:
1) Tank Hunting
2) Victory Point Denial/Claiming Objectives
3) Assault

Tank Hunting
With each Hawk toting Haywire grenades and the Exarch having access to the extremely useful Intercept ability Swooping Hawks are the undeclared and unknown tank hunting masters of the Eldar list. What of Fire Dragons? Sure their fusion blasters can be nasty, but a Haywire grenade is much more reliable and the Hawks themselves are so much quicker. Fire Dragons, I find, perform best when used as expensive unit hunters but that is a topic for another thread.
With the ability to hit any vehicle on a 4+ at worst (thanks to Intercept) coupled with the rather damaging abilities of the Haywire Grenades Swooping Hawks are practically guaranteed a vehicle kill per assault.
Their speed is also something that is overlooked, many people forget that Swooping Hawks also have the fleet ability; this increases their threat range from a respectable 18” to a variable of 19”-24”. I have, on a number of occasions, caught out players who deployed their precious tanks at the front of their deployment zone by jumping my hawks forward, fleeting and then assaulting their tanks that they thought were safely out of range (they were too busy watching what the Fire Dragons were doing in the mistaken belief that I was using them as my main tank hunting unit).
For added tank busting goodness, and all round general helping, I always include an Autarch with Wings (of course) a fusion blaster and power weapon with the squad. This means that if they scatter from Deep Striking and land close to a tank or other suitable target that they have a chance of hurting it.
So what’s the downside? They are often operating alone in the back of your opponents’ deployment zone (although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and as such can’t be as easily supported as other units in your army. Secondly there is the chance that the tank will blow up spectacularly in your face and you will lose the better part of a unit in the resulting blast. Whilst this doesn’t happen often, it will occasionally happen. But hey, part of the fun of 40k is having instances like this.

Victory Point Denial/Claiming Objectives
This is pretty straightforward really. The speed of the Hawks (jump + fleet) and their ability to deep strike at latter stages of the game (thanks to Skyleap) makes them brilliant at grabbing last minute objectives and getting to where they are needed.
Playing cleanse and need something to contest a quarter fast? Send in the Hawks. Need to claim that other table quarter? In they go. Need more bodies around that objective? They’ll do the job rather well. Just wasted an enemy unit with a loot marker and need something to get their quickly and get the hell out of Dodge? Hawks are for you.
The best thing about the Eldar list is that we have so many units that are able to fulfil this role that the generally bad reputation (one that I feel is totally undeserved by the way) of the Hawks means that they will often get overlooked as the opponent guns for those jet bikes, warp spiders, falcon or wave serpent etc. Use their reputation as an under performing unit and you will find that they can often pull off a game winning move.

Assault
Why would I use Hawks to assault when there are so many better choices? Simple. Firstly, it is completely unexpected. People expect hawks to shoot. I can count the number of times that I have fired the lasblasters on one hand. As a general rule of thumb I work off the theory that if your hawks have to spend a turn shooting at something instead of running for an objective, tank or cover, then that most likely means they will get shot back at in the next turn. To this end my Hawks spend more time running around than shooting things. By launching this unit into an assault you are giving them a much better chance of surviving the next turn, and if you can actually manage to win all the better, use the massacre move to get closer to where you need to go. When you stop and think about it for a second they are actually a lot safer in assault – the majority of troops will be hitting them on a 4+ at least and they will be getting their armour save against most things – at most they should face a veteran squad leader with a shiny sword or big fist etc. I should probably add at this moment that if you are silly enough to charge something that obviously completely outmatches them and is equipped with power weapons or something similar, you probably deserve to get them butchered mercilessly.
Secondly, assaulting can be used as VP denial. In 4th Ed at least, units have to be above 50% to count as scoring. A well-timed charge by a unit of hawks can easily drop a weakened unit that your opponent thought was ‘safe’ in his end zone below the magic margin. Even easier if you give the Exarch a power sword and include an Autarch with power sword.
Thirdly, the make an excellent supportive assault unit. With a threat range of 19”-24” they can cover a lot of board and be used to back up a fight that you desperately need to win. For example, a unit of Assault Marines have been pinned down in combat with a unit of Scorpions with neither unit being able to make much headway against each others armour. Throwing a unit of Hawks in there, with 8 or more power weapon attacks that strike before most other things thanks to the Exarch and Autarch, can, more often than not, tip the balance convincingly in your favour and allow you to get a much needed massacre move (especially useful if there is a tar-pit of a combat near a vital objective).
So now that we have the three main, in my opinion, uses for Hawks, we should take a brief look at configuration and special abilities.
For squad size I like to run between 8-10 Hawks, although this is purely personal preference I find that it is a good size for the unit as it gives you enough volume to the squad. Any less and the casualties start mounting up too quickly meaning that they won’t be as effective for as long. It also has the added benefit of having enough bodies to hopefully see them through to the end of the game as a scoring unit.
I always take an Exarch as it is both fluffy and makes the squad as a whole a lot more formidable. I also include an Autarch with the squad 9 times out of 10. His weaponry allows the Hawks a chance to pop tanks at a relative distance (relative to Haywire grenades that is). The number of power weapon attacks he can take is also handy in a tight spot and the Autarch comes with Haywire grenades as standard kit – something that is easily forgotten.
So what about the weapon options for the Exarch?

Power Weapon
This is the option I use most often on my Exarch, it allows that extra edge in close combat and generally ensures that your squad will get at least one kill (provided the dice are with you). As the majority of my games are played against Sisters of Battle or other armies with good armour I find it well worth the points.

Sun Rifle
The new gun on the block. It’s extremely high rate of fire and pinning ability means that it can be extremely useful in the right circumstances. Unfortunately for me maybe I never come across the right circumstances, instead preferring to fleet my Hawks around to try and gain some cover rather than stay still and shoot. However, against IG or some other army with low saves and mediocre leadership it is worth it’s weight in gold. Targeted against isolated squads or heavy weapon squads etc, which your Hawks have the speed to reach, they can make a real impact and can easily wipe a squad off the board in a single turn. However, as with all shooting, doing this can leave the Hawks stranded amidst an army of vengeful miniatures with better guns, and a lot more of them.

Hawks Talon
The old faithful. High Strength and a decent number of shots make it a viable option if you want to use you Hawks as a mobile fire support squad, although possibly not as effective as the Sun Rifle. I can’t really comment on this gun, to be honest I have never used it in this Edition. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter please let me know and I will add them in.
As you can see I use my Hawks mainly in a close support role and always take a power weapon for my Exarch – unless I am playing guard or something in which case the Sun Rifle will get a run.
Now, on to the Exarch Powers.

Intercept
This is an extremely useful power, especially when playing against an army that utilises a large amount of skimmers – i.e. Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tau. Against more static based armies – IG, SM, CSM, and SoB I tend not too worry about taking it unless I have the points to spare as, more often than not, the vehicles aren’t moving that fast. Besides, it is just great watching the face on your opponent as your unit of Hawks just latches grenade after grenade onto their precious fast moving skimmer.

Skyleap
This power can be a little controversial in it’s usage with the whole ‘rubber-banding’ thing going on, and while sometimes it is fun to try and do it, if you place your whole faith in this so-called tactic then you will be bitterly disappointed. The Hawks will never be able to kill enough models nor cause enough distraction or disruption to be worth the points you outlay on the unit.
That being said, Skyleap is an excellent power and one that I use almost religiously. Place the unit on the board as normal then Skyleap first turn. Now, being a sneaky git, put the unit back in a box or out of sight from your opponent. This can often make them forget that you have them and they will sometimes forget to take appropriate countermeasures.
It is also handy if you have to get a unit onto the other side of the board in a hurry; Skyleap them the turn before and deep strike to their new location. Yes there is a risk that they may not turn up but the inclusion of an Autarch in the list (and with the unit) means that the special Master Strategist rule is in effect (yes, even when he is off the board). This makes Deep Striking Hawks more reliable than many others, and the fact that they can Skyleap during any point in your movement phase means that their situational flexibility has been increased beyond almost anything in either your list or your opponents.
So there we have it, my somewhat lengthy and partially meandering thoughts on the effective use of Swooping Hawks. Of course this isn’t a complete guide to their use, nor is it meant to be. There are certain things that you will have to work out yourself, such as target priority and other strategic nuances, but that is the joy of the game.
I hope that this has served to give a little better understanding of this often-underrated Aspect and also give a little food for thought.
One last thing before I go bears mentioning: Don’t forget the Grenade Packs when you do deep strike them – sure they may not kill a great deal, but they are effectively free and can cause a bit of damage. Not to mention that they can be placed anywhere on the table.
 
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