Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Imperial Guard Tactics: Hydra Flak Tank

The last choice in the heavy support section is the Hydra Flak Tank.  Its another of the current FW models, but of the others it is prob the easiest to convert as long as you get your hands on a quad gun and some sort of chimera based huller, really any will do.  I have used a manticore hull and like the look, but could be better.  This guy is pretty straight forward, he shoots aircraft to make them groundcraft.  Same basic chimera profile with AV 12 10 10 and has a heavy bolter, smoke launchers and two twin linked Hydra autocannons.  You can take them in a squadron and they cost the same as a griffon (read cheap).  Though they are overshadowed by the other choices you have in heavy support, a case can be made that these are still a strong choice.

So the hydra has sky fire on its auto cannons, no intercept but that really isn't a big deal.  The autocannons are 72" S7 AP4 Heavy 2.  You have two and this is important, as it is not a fast vehicle, so if you move, you  can only fire one autocannon at full BS and the other is a snap shot.  It has the auto-targeting system which ignores the cover saves of skimmers and bikes.  This goes for all of its weapons not just the autocannons.  He can take the usual upgrades at the usual prices.  Camo netting is cheaper for Hydras for whatever reason, and are actually useful for this vehicle as it has the range that it will only rarely need to move.  That gives it a nice boost to cover and raises its survivability.  HK missiles may be worth it if you are taking a full squadron, as you can use that on say a wave serpent and want to get edge you need, it will still ignore the cover save, but is still BS 3 so only number of shots will have any affect, I would probably not take them as HKs are only effective in massed volleys.

The use of these are pretty obvious, they bring down air vehicles and skimmers.  I wish they got a BS bonus against bikes but that is ok.  Now also with the FAQ it can shoot at FMCs as well, so best not to forget that.  Though I'm sure most won't feel the necessity, they are perfect for punching tyranid FMCs out of the air.  They have a great range and can threaten most vehicles and MCs.   So I know people don't like that it doesn't have interceptor, and it would be amazing if they could, but they don't.  That being said, in the meta, most armies you will face have some sort of flyer's, skimmers, or FMCs.  So its really hard to not find a use for them.

Another advantage is to strip the cover from a jetseer council with the auto targeters and even though you will hit on 6s, if you have 3 thats 12 twin linked shots plus the 9 heavy bolter shots.  All in all you will be doing decent wounds that will hurt a very expensive unit.  These really do shine against the eldar, and make them pay for bringing wave serpents.  With a high number of attacks and ignoring their cover save, this alone is a great reason to bring them to the table.  And they really are cheap, you really don't have an excuse for not finding points for one.  The quad gun is cheaper, but you have to bring the aegis and if that doesn't fit your army then its a lot of points for just the gun.  And the Hydra has longer range.  Its a trade off and if you are bringing an aegis already, its definitely worth considering the quad gun.

These really benefit from squadron rules and since the autocannons hit ground targets on 6s, you need the number of shots after you have brought down their flyers and skimmers.  Really the hardest hurdle you will have in using them is just getting the model.  If you are in a meta of eldar and FMCs, this really should be a choice you should be considering as it will swing the tide back in your favor. 

If you have lots of room in your heavy support area, then squadrons of 2 are your best bet, as you have less chance of overkill, but can still combine fire if you need to put wounds on a target.  Its a lot of autcannon shots that your opponent can't run away from.  It can give eldar bikes a hard time and make any flying anything regret showing up. 

The point of not have interceptor is a non issue, one that would be a little OP.  The other is to not get wrapped up in having it or not and just shoot, once you start rolling dice you will find you actually get hits more often then you think.  The other reason is there really is a lot of skimmers and flyers in the game so you will have lots targets to make use of them, and their heavy bolters can always fire at ground targets normally :).  It gives something back and makes some of the current meta lists take a second guess and keep them in check.

There really isn't much to talk about in terms of tactics, they are best used in cover or with an invulnerable save (DA Libby) and are great at forcing your opponent to choose between flying his skimmers into autocannon death, or into an area that you can get close to them with other units and pop krak grenades on them. 

This is really the best advanced tactic to use with hydras.  Place them in an area that they have good LoS, but also give an area of the battlefield for the serpents to go.  If done right, your opponent will fly out of your killzone into the other one you have created, the one that is close to your other units that can drop krak grenades on them and make them pay.  The best part of Hyrdas is that they let you pin down the famously mobile eldar army, forcing them to choose between two bad decisions.

This works well against just about any skimmer army and is obviously good against flyers.  I really recommend hydras and though this is hardly an in depth review, they really are not a complicated unit.  They are cheap and they shoot a lot of dakka at stuff that moves and makes them stop moving.



  1. IMo problem of Hydra is in big, big competition in HS slot. I always liked idea of four barrels spitting death at flyers, but...:) ...but in some meta I think its wise choice.

    1. Yeah, there is competition and that really is its biggest drawback. but its so cheap and you can take 3 in one slot. I rarely fill out my HS so I always have room, but if you are bringing a lot then its better to just go with the aegis and quad gun

  2. Well, the model itself is awesome, but without a plastic model and full BS against ground targets, I probably won't buy them.

    Many opponents don't even field skimmers/fliers, snapshooting is too unreliable for me.
    If I want to take the opponent's fliers down, I prefer vendettas, and blow up ground stuff when the other guy is out of fliers.
    Hopefully they go the Tau road, making them choose to get skyfire or not before shooting, that would make the Hydra damn awesome again.

    As an unrelated topic...where are those damn IG rumors?
    Marines and Nids were swarming with leaked rules at this time before their release...

    1. I have not heard or seen anything new on IG. Hopefully the damn will break once everyone is done crying over the tyranids.

      That would be great though, letting it choose which mode to fire in. I do face skimmers and flyers often so for me its worth taking and I have had it perform well enough to be worth the cheap cost.

    2. there seems to be a lot going on at GW at the moment with the white dwarf changes and all, but the last rumors I've see are that rough riders are out, as are everything but Cadian. I'm really hoping not, but they does seem to be a lack of rumors at the moment!

    3. Yeah, the loss of other regiments would mean I have to buy some Catachans in advance.

      Gunnery Sgt. Harker is an utterly badass model, the command squad gives quite a bit of useful stuff, just the regular squad looks awful.
      Marbo and Straken are cool too, but their look doesn't really fit into my army.

    4. I am still not buying that, no codex or army has lost that many models. What it seems like is they are replacing them with general models. Rough riders and the other units have been around for so long, most units that have been dropped are the unique ones like the Doom, ygmarl genestealers and the like.

      Now what I see is they could be going to a one "type" line to ease production so they can bring everything in to plastic. IG are the hardest army for them as they have to literally have different plastics for the same unit. Its wishful thinking that they will have every regimetn represented. They will most likely go with a standard for infantry, and then release upgrade kits down the line, or rely on FW to produce the alternate regiments.

      If the choice is having 10 infantry squads of each different world, or all of the units in plastic but infatry being one regiment only, I can live with that. In the end some will like it and others won't.

  3. only one thing... in the previous codex the hydra didnt have skyfire... and in the last one (astra militarum) it dosent have auto-targeting system