I banged off a quick editorial (just one post, and it was short) about why I don't use Swooping Hawks in my army. It was posted at Deep Space, but I re-posted it here for posterity. I will probably visit this topic again some time.
Swooping Hawks are not useless. I imagine that a *good* player will get some very dramatic and worthwhile results out of them. I, for one, am not that kind of player. Here's why they don't work for my style of play:
- I don't like Deep Striking. That's a personal preference. I'm not a player who likes taking a lot of chances and as a Tau player I've had too many units go off the table/land on enemy units/land on terrain/get nerfed in some similar fashion to do that with my Eldar. But, as I just said, that's my own private Idaho.
- If there is one solid, indisputible lesson I've learned while playing Eldar, it's this: Never take a unit on the strength of the Exarch. In other words, judge a unit on the merits of the common Aspect Warrior, not the Exarch. This is because no Exarch power is so awesome that it will give that uber-warrior the ability to stand alone in any meaningful combat, so if the rank and file of his unit dies quickly, he's as good as dead himself.
- The thought of taking a S3 weapon gives me hives.
- What the Swooping Hawks do (even when they're doing it well) can be accomplished by other units and, in some instances, more cost-effectively (points-wise).
That being said, I *very* seriously consider building a unit of them every single time I walk into a GW store, which sort of proves another maxim I hold as truth: Use units and models you *like* because the feeling of putting something you think is awesome on the table is half the fun.