Thursday, February 28, 2013

Aspects Of Khaine 2.0: Swooping Hawks

So we begin. The Aspects of Khaine version two. We start this reboot and retool with an Aspect that is a favorite of mine. The Swooping Hawk. The Hawk is associated with Vengeance and Retribution in the Eldar mythos. The spirit of a murdered soul would come back to inhabit a hawk and hover above its killer to mark his or her guilt. I personally like the Hollywood version loosely based on Native American folklore. A Crow bringing back a vengeful spirit to avenge itself, but I am a child of the 90's. I digress......

So the Swooping Hawks are Avengers. The bring retribution to the enemy. So how do they do this? Well with mobility. They are Jump Infantry, so you have the mobility to move around the table and engage targets. Now some of the other fringe benefits of being Jump Infantry do not really help the Hawks a whole lot. They are Fleet so they get to re roll charge distances already so using the jump packs in the assault phase only really gives you Hammer of Wrath attacks. This is kind of nice as it gives you more attacks. Since they already hit at strength 3 you are more or less getting bonus attacks that may thin the herd a bit before your main attacks. You should not really be charging units though. Swooping Hawks are not close combat troops. They are mobile anti vehicle and anti infantry.

Swooping Hawks are armed with Lasblasters which are 24” Assault 2 weapons with a strength of 3. Basically its a lasgun with a higher rate of fire. Volume of fire does damage and should be directed on light targets. Imperial guardsman, Kabalite Warriors, Chaos Cultists and the like are decent targets. Especially after the unit has been softened up by a large blast form their Grenade packs upon entry. If the unit is deep striking. Which in all fairness it should be doing.

I do Start the Hawks on the table though. Usually when they are in more of an anti vehicle roll. Their survivability tends to go down drastically though when switched to this roll. Especially when its a decent sized unit and your opponent realizes they are all armed with Haywire Grenades. These combined with the Exarchs powers makes even Land Raiders nervous.

The Exarch Has the option of Taking Skyleap and Intercept. Now formerly Intercept gave the unit no worse than a 4+ to hit vehicles regardless of how fast they moved. Now with the mechanic changed and the FAQ updated Intercept now says that vehicles, except walkers, count as weapon skill 0. SO basically the Hawks auto hit with Haywire grenades in an assault. Being able to throw them to remove a hull point or possibly more is pretty handy as well in the shooting phase. I am a big fan of Haywire Grenades. Sadly the only units in the current codex that have them is the Swooping Hawks and the Autarch. This can be a great combination though. Since the Autarch can be armed with more potent weaponry they can split off from the unit to bring the weapons to bear, you can more easily open up transports, like chimeras, without assaulting them and blast the occupants with las fire from the Swooping Hawk unit. There are lots of possibilities. This gives the unit utility, which is awesome in an army of specialists.

Skyleap and the Grenade packs make for some fun now as well. Since the Deep Strike Mishap table is not quite as deadly and the FAQ states you can Skyleap on the Turn you arrive, you can bomb units pretty much every turn. As I see it using the Skyleap power means that the unit enters ongoing reserves when it uses the power. So this means once you actually come in from reserves you could Skyleap at the end of every movement phase and come back the next turn automatically. This has lots of uses besides keeping the Hawks alive and still be semi useful. The real big use of this I see is being able to claim objectives in games where fast units can claim, or just contesting objectives in general.

The Exarchs weapons are decent. You have the Hawks Talon which is a strength 5 AP 5 assault 3 or the Sunrifle, my favorite, which is a strength 3 AP 5 assault 6 with pinning. Pinning is always a nice bonus, as is the really high rate of fire. The Sunrifle really bolsters the fire power of smaller units.

Baharoth, the Phoenix Lord of the Swooping Hawks brings the Fearlessness as well as Hit and Run to the table. Sadly it specifically says it only affects the Swooping Hawk unit in the codex. This comes in handy when dealing with Walkers. If charged or if you charge you can leave the combat after delivering your haywire grenades. Baharoth even just by himself gives you a maximum of 4 Large blasts that you can drop if all your units arrive on the same turn, which is far more likely given reserves arrive on a 3+ and automatically on turn 4.

So there you have it. An overview of the Hawks in 6th. Next up is my namesake and favorite Aspect. The stalkers of the dark. The sons of the fallen one. The Striking Scorpions.

Until then

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aspects Of Khaine: 2nd Edition

Well as promised I am going to delve into Aspect warriors in 6th edition. Kind of an “Aspects Of Khaine” 2nd edition. I want to kind of start with some of the basics to Aspect Warriors as they relate to the rules changes. Things work slightly differently now. In fact there has been some things pointed out to me that really got me contemplating the Craftworlders again. Granted we may be getting a codex this fall, but I am not holding my breath.

Ok so as we know Exarch powers only effect their unit and any Autarch that is joined to the unit. This is true except for powers that specifically say they do not effect the Autarch. The Phoenix Lords are the same way. The one exception is that they are fearless. Now it does say in the Eldar codex that Phoenix Lords make their associated Aspect fearless when they join the unit. In the past this meant that if, say Karandras joined any squad other than a Striking Scorpions one they would not be fearless.

Now the Fearless states that “units containing one or more models with the Fearless special rule automatically pass pinning, fear and regroup and morale tests”. So any model that is fearless that joins a unit essentially makes the unit fearless. This means you cant go to ground or voluntarily fail morale checks. There are some situations this is bad in, but I will get to that later. So now your Fearless Phoenix Lords can bestow their macho awesomeness to even the lowly guardian.

Granted the first thing that came to mind to counter this little ploy was to tie up the unit with a critter it could not hurt. Since the unit can't voluntarily fail a morale check, you can't use the “our weapons are useless” rule. This can work well to tie up Fearless units like Plague Marines and such. Throw them into combat with a Wraithlord and you have the unit tied up with a model they cant even hurt. This works well for Noise marines and the like. As long as there is no power fist or anything or you can manage to kill it quick, you can tie up units pretty well. They will just have to sit there and take it.

The Aspects I am going to cover first are the ones that have had the most changes. Either in the FAQ as to how wargear works or how the new rules re purpose them. I am going to start with an Aspect near and dear to my heart. An underused and under appreciated Aspect, who is getting some major improvements thanks to the FAQ and 6th edition in general.

I speak of course about the Swooping Hawk and their founder Baharoth. Changes to Jump Infantry, Exarch powers and the ability to glace vehicles to death has made the Swooping Hawk Aspect a very nice mobile tank hunting and light Infantry suppression unit. More on them next time.

I would also like to announce that Evolution games is having a tournament this Saturday, February 16th. It is a 1500 point 3 round tournament. You can check out their Face book page for the Missions.
Registration starts at 10am and dice roll at 11. Farseer Re-Rolls assures me we will be done by 6:30 pm.

Well Next time Swooping Hawks and possibly an Iron Warriors Update.

Until then.....

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!