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Swooping Hawk Advice and Tips

Discussion in 'Eldar' started by Unahim, May 20, 2017.

  1. Unahim Unahim Curator

    I don't see a lot of Hawks in most of my games, and those I do see often don't seem to be using the full extent of their arsenal. Swooping Hawk is a class with a lot of depth. While classes like Dire Avengers can be rather straight forward in their tactics and mechanics, Hawk is one of those classes you can keep playing and still get "Oh... that's a pretty neat trick, I should do that more often," moment from with surprising regularity.

    To help our fellow Hawks along, why don't we share our favourite Hawk tactics, loadouts, advice and tricks with our fellow space elves?

    Here's some of mine:

    1. Never, under any possible circumstance, engage in a fight that could, in the most remote of possibilities, be called "fair".

      You are blisteringly fast, extremely mobile, can get in places few others can, have the durability of wet tissue paper and a striking power that is also reminiscent of the same. The only way you'll stay on top is to remorselessly strike whenever the enemy is distracted, from hidden angles, and the like. If somebody spots you before you've taken off 25% of their hp or more, fly away.

      This is the golden rule of the Swooping Hawk. Have the self-discipline to move on whenever threatened with a fight that is not in your favour.
    2. Your most valuable asset is your flight. Never leave base without at least 2 fuel. I prefer a full 3 on all my loadouts, myself. It's just too valuable for landing, quickly pulling some stuff off, flying away again. If you go out with 1 fuel, we're clearly not playing the same style of Hawk here!

    3. You can hang still in the air by aiming down sights while flying. Do this only if you urgently need to shoot someone, to save an ally for instance. Stay up there for the shortest possible time; you are extremely vulnerable while doing this. Usually I'll swoop down (by pressing forward) almost right after pulling off a kill like this. Half of the time, the bolter bolts start ripping through the sky just behind my tail feather. Don't push your luck.

    4. Hawksear Grenades are amazing. If you think they suck, keep practicing with them, eventually you'll change your mind. The trick is in not being stingy when using them, and forgetting about the drop indicator you get when you hold down the grenade button. Simply fly over a bunch of Spesh Mehreens and start dropping 3-4 of them. Quickly land, turn around and finish off the confused and wounded prey. They'll have lost close to 80% of their armour, and often they're just staring all around trying to figure out where the hell that came from, looking up while you're already down and right in front of them. It's an easy kill at that point.

      Whenever you're in a duel and things get tough, if you can't just bolt and flee, you can often turn the tables by quickly taking to the air, dropping 2 grenades on top of the foe, then land to resume the duel which is now, hopefully, drastically in your favour. Melee jumps into your face? Hit space + back to jump backward, then automatically start flying forward over them. If you poop grenades while doing this, because of your facing and the change in direction along with the altitude, you can actually often just hit them with 2-3 grenades on the nogging. That's sometimes enough to kill on its own.

      You can also hang still above a duo of Devastators looking out over an area, and then use the targetting indicator to set up a good bombing spot, then drop 4 grenades on each of them in rapid succession. I don't do that often, though.

      I wanted to capture a few videos to illustrate this 1-2 punch style, but Nvidia Shadowplay wasn't cooperating. So I used Fraps. Which meant I had to hit F9 before doing a play which could be included here, which meant forcing the issue, and that's generally not how you want to do it. You want it to flow smoothly at an opportune time, strike at the right moment, not force yourself to use this tactic when there is no need. Because of that, none of these videos are perfect examples, but they might get the point across:

      1. I see a Devastator. I know if I engage at range, since he's already setting up, I'll die. Best way is to drop right behind him then either melee or just shoot him. Since I'm flying over him anyway, why not drops bombs? As you can see, by the time I start shooting, he's already badly damaged and has no chance anymore. (Plus, he dies faster like this, and faster kill = faster escape before his team spots me! This is important!)

        Cameo by my brother, giving me a helpful Fraps tip. Thanks bro!

      2. Here I'm face-to-face with a Veteran, at close range. Not where you want to be! I clip him with a grenade which puts his armour down a bit by the time I land. He doesn't seem entirely sure of what's about to happen and thinks he has time to help his teammate, letting me get some more starting damage on him. Without this, I'd have flown off most likely. In the middle of the battle I feel the hurt as my armour goes down, and decide to quickly fly over him. This had two purposes: get him to miss several shots and push his weapon towards an empty magazine, since I knew he must be getting low; and drop a bomb on him as I pass over, for extra damage. Sadly, I had run out of bombs by this point! However, the second part of the plan works perfectly, he needs to switch to pistol, and then feels the shame of being solo'd by a class with a third (wild and likely inaccurate guess! :p) of his TTK (keeping our respective weapons in mind) as he goes down.

      3. This one is probably the "cleanest" example, even though I do die at the end by the hands of a second Marine. You can see I'm in full "hunting for footage" mode here though, taking a moment to activate my capture at the start. ^^ I fly over, drop bombs, land and kill my target. There is no doubt in my mind that the kill would have been impossible without the grenades softening him up. So a pretty good example despite its flaws, I think.

        As said, these videos are not stellar examples, they're much too forced, but hopefully it gives you a few ideas about how to start incorporating Hawksear into your tactics! If a Hawk dies with a full 10 grenades still on his person, he dun goof'd.

    5. An even better way is to simply float above some enemies, then aim down sights to slow down, and drop 3-4 bombs while aiming with pinpoint accuracy. YOU MUST USE AIM TOGGLE TO DO THIS, AIM HOLD WILL NOT WORK!

    6. You have a knife. Use it! From behind, a Devastator can be killed with 1 strong and 1 light attack, usually. Sometimes a second light is required. They will usually not have time to react to this. The knife is less flashy and more silent than the lasblasters, so it is good for that reason, and to conserve ammo. Also, you can catch duel opponents off-guard by suddenly zooming towards them from behind cover after retreating from a ranged fight, landing and engaging in a melee they weren't expecting. (Bonus points for sticking them in the face with Hawksear Grenades on the way!).

    7. Be aware of what doors/windows are behind you at all times while indoors. Try to keep your back to one of these large openings. If you get in trouble, simply press space + back to be shot out of the door, ascend and land on the roof of the building you were fighting in, 100% safe, ready to regain armour and heal, and move on with your hunt.

    8. JPA trying to kill you? You did take 3 fuel right? Simply start kiting the poor sod. The mon'kheigh can't help it that their jump pack tech is inferior to ours!

    9. I favour the use of the Hawk's Talon. Better killing power than the lasblaster and sunrifle. Sunrifle won't really protect you in a straight up fight, from my experience and tests in the dueling ring. It is good for a disruptor role, though. I prefer to hunt, harass and neutralize. I don't take armour upgrades, more fuel is what I need. Fuuueeeel!

    Share your own experiences here! If you have difficulty with a specific foe/situation, you can also feel free to ask here, and we can all share our ideas and tactics.
    Roon, Twirl, Plazm and 2 others like this.
  2. The grenades are pretty great, especially indoors for clearing guys on the balconies clustered together. I've dropped them from my loadout some time ago though. Prefer to stab and shoot now. Talon and seeker knife (taking the knife mostly cause it looks cool :p) is my optimal way for harassing, taking them out.

    I only take 1 extra fuel with 15% extra fuel regen. That way, I can equip the advanced armor.
    I think your 3rd fuel is a bit redundant (unless you've got nothing better to spend your LP on).
    As long as you can jump into combat with 1 fuel tank left, you can escape to cover, recharge and get back in.
    Half the time my 2nd fuel tank is already recharged before escaping.
    Your 7th point about the JPA's seems kinda pointless too. Even with 1 fuel tank you can kite anything and anyone.

    I do agree with most of your other advice.
    In the end, it's all about personal preference and using your loadout as optimal as possible.
  3. Unahim Unahim Curator

    I just love to jump around during fights, so the 3 fuel is pretty good for me. I'll try out the tier 2 armour sometimes, but I think I'll miss the grenades too much. The armour helps you survive a little better, but the grenades help you set up situations where you can kill faster, which will help more in the end I think.

    Still, it's worth trying, and there's obviously not one "best" way.
  4. Cutting the grenades from my loadout was a painfull one. Luckily I got used to it and try outmanoeuvring my enemies by lining them up together. Using the nades made me too dependant of them. So the only downside is a lower ttk, which is a big deal, but one I can live with.
    Having your extra fuel for dodging is quite usefull, I get that.
  5. Mileena Mileena Subordinate

    Probably the most Demonic Hawk Play! I've ever seen.

    Warning! This video contains scenes not suitable for viewing by inferior races. Viewer discretion is advised. -joke


    how the mofo does he gain altitude mid flight not using fuel.
    I know its possible, some people do it, something to do with momentum.
    F I just cant do it. maybe its the latency.
    Tyrium and Twirl like this.
  6. Razmirth Sneaky-krumpin Subordinate

    This should be the golden rule of playing ALL eldar classes. If you are engaging on fair ground you're probably gonna lose. Always back stab, flank, attack from high ground, sneak and hide etc. Good article tho, I did a scorpion one months back. I should bump I back up to the top, I think it's a great thing to have these guides for people.
    Roon likes this.
  7. Roon Roon Steam Early Access

    Please do.

    @Unahim Thanks for the guide!
  8. Unahim Unahim Curator

    I've tried a loadout more like yours now. I do like what the tier 2 armour can do for you. 2 fuel is indeed manageable if you take more care where you're flying and take less risks. Grenades I still will never cut, though. You give up too much versatility and shenanigans. The video posted earlier only strengthens my resolve on this, that guy knows how to bomb!

    So right now I'm using Hawk's Talon, Tier II armour, 2 fuel, grenades and a wraith cure crystal. Thinking about cutting the crystal for a pen mod on dagger or something. The 15% fuel charge difference I wasn't noticing too much, and better knife would be nice but it's usually not a crucial difference to me.
  9. That's just me, not wanting to rely on grenades. I believe it increased my ability to stab and shoot, as well as pinpoint landing behind enemies under pressure. The 15% fuel recharge is expendable but I prefer this over a crystal/ammo bundle since you can fly back, reload and return in a minimal amount of time.
  10. That was some epic gameplay. But the total opposite of my playstyle since my talon isn't as accurate without mods, I'm more of the "in your face" (mostly back ;)) kinda player. That includes suicide runs from time to time.
    He did get away with a lot of hovering against clueless marines. Not that I'm denoting his ability or saying I'm better or anything.

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