Monday, November 21, 2011

Wood Elf Pegasus Knights

So these two were added to the original eagle on hero to make a trio of Warhawk riders for my three treeman list.

Gamewise, I thought the warhawks worked alright. They're overpriced, no doubt, but paying perhaps a 50-60 point premium in a 2400 point army really ain't too big of a big deal. Considering the triple tree list was sore pressed for some war machine hunters (no room for eagles in the rare department), these gals filled the role well. 

As the tournaments moved down to 2200 points later in the fall season, I actually started using these two models as eagles in a predominantly treekin list. It was interesting to compare and contrast the two units in back to back tournaments. The traditional wisdom is the warhawks are crap but they do have some strengths over the eagle which makes them far superior when it comes to war machine hunting.

First off, the hawks get a vanguard move, which is actually quite a big deal.

If you run eagles for war machine hunting, what is their first move? A 12" fly move or thereabouts, sometimes less, across the battlefield. (If you're moving farther than that it means you're out on the flanks and likely farther from the war machines you're gunning for)

You generally only go 12" as you need to hold the eagles back out of charge range. If the opponent goes first, it's usually much less than 12" as the eagle will not be able to land behind an enemy block yet and you can't scoot too far ahead or risk getting charged.

So turn 1, you fly halfway across the board. Turn 2 you hop the enemy units to get into charge range off the machines and turn 3 you finally go in on them with the eagles. If your opponent went first, add a turn on top of that.

With the vanguard, the hawks can hop the enemy line turn 1. Plus, if you vanguard too far ahead and they get charged, they can just flee and still go the distance next turn.

On the way over, there's going to be some shots coming in.

Against rank and file shooters, I'd rather take the eagle. Although it's -1 to hit the hawks (and 6 T3 wounds vs. 3 T4 wounds), with the eagle it's much easier to just hide altogether behind little obstacles on the way over. Against war machines, the hawks are much better. An eagle is not a bad target for a cannon or stone thrower and you can easily lose the whole thing in one go. Worst thing they can do against the hawks is cause a panic if they pop one.

Although rank and file shooters are predominant in elf lists, and making a comeback in a lot of ones, you're still much more likely to see just the few war machines backing up the close combat blocks.

Getting to the machine is just half the battle...

When our feathered friends arrive, the hawks actually have a decent chance of taking a war machine crew in one go and getting a nice overrun (hopefully into the next war machine down the line). It's impossible for an eagle to wipe out anything but an elven bolt thrower crew (no stomps against war machines, fellas) so you have to hope for the failed break check. Against dwarfs or any of the four man war machine crews, there's a decent chance they'll actually hold and kill the eagle over a round or two.

So what if the opponent has no war machines?

Chill in the back field, take your 3 shots per turn and wait for the critical moment to divert the big horde for a turn. This is actually what I do with my eagles now. I leave the war machines to wild riders and dryads. My eagles just chill in the backfield, waiting for their chance to nobly divert the foe. And I think they look pretty good doing it!

Discussion topic: Anyone regularly use the fast cav flee and rally move to slow units down? (not just with hawks, but any one of the warhammer light cavalry units)

It seems like my hawks were either gunning for some artillery or nestled in my backfield (due to the threat of a plethora of shooty units), so I never got to really give it a try.


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