Image from Games WorkshopIs it just me or does a unit of Swooping Hawks seem like an amazing unit for attacking in Planetstrike? The ability to Deep Strike means they can assault the turn they enter the battlefield thanks to the rules in Planetstrike. What about deep strike deviation? Well, these guys are Fleet as well, so even if they do deviate they can always fleet to move them to where they need to be.
Equipped with Lasblasters, it's basically a gloified lasgun, but thats not really what I'm thinking of. Really, the weapons that are of concern are the mirad of grenades these Aspect Warriors carry with them to battle.
First we have Plasma Grenades which negates cover if they're going after something in assault (guardsmen or something, after all this isn't a decked out assault unit), secondly they have Haywire grenades for attacking vehicles, and thirdly the Swooping Hawk Grenade Pack which lets them drop a 5" template on any turn they enter from Deep Strike.
The Exarch Skyleap ability also allows them to leave the table in the movement phase and enter the following turn from Deep Strike again. Intercept is also great if you're facing an army with a lot of fast moving armor.
Don't forget about having an Autarch with wings so he can get in on the fun. A fusion gun, mandiblaster and power weapon seem to be the choice options. The Autarch adds some much needed close combat punch to the unit and also gives some melta shots to help with the Haywire grenades.
It seems like a very versitile unit overall, but needs some proper placement because it just won't stand up to much fire or prolonged combat against anything remotely resembling a unit equipped for assault.
What about Barharroth? He can make a unit of Hawks fearless, add some S4 power weapon attacks, has a Hawks Tallon and is generally nasty, plus gives the unit the Hit and Run rule, which really helps out Skyleap. Plus with him arround, you don't really need an Exarch, or at least an Exarch with the powers. You can allocate some insta kill weapons onto him instead of the Autarch thanks to Eternal Warrior, and have the Autarch take his invulnerable save against some other things. (Why all Phoenix Lords don't have invulnerable saves is a tad confusing but whatever!)
It seems to me a force made of Hawks for Planetstrike would be fun and fluffy, but difficult to play correctly. I might have to give it a go.