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Old 02 Nov 2006, 08:03   #1 (permalink)
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Default Skyrays

what do you thing is better a skyray of a hammerhead ???
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 10:05   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

Originally Posted by planktontheg
what do you thing is better a skyray of a hammerhead ???
In what aspects?

A question like that is too ambiguous. You need to post the circumstances or in what way its 'better'.

Against tank armies I would prefer the Skyray, but all other armies I find that Hammerhead is better because you can either put down some pie plates or you can vaporise the c*** out of them with the Ion cannon...

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Old 02 Nov 2006, 10:08   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

Wrong question. It should be WHEN is a skyray better than a hammerhead and vice versa
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 11:14   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

A skyray is better when you are facing/possibly facing enemy aircraft, as this can blast them down sooo easily.
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 12:08   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays


The Hammerhead's better when fighting MEQ/GEQ armies, and when you're up against a lot of really thickly armoured enemy tanks (like AV14). In these cases, the Hammerhead's Ion Cannon will blow away any 3+ save your opponent might get, while the Railgun will either pierce even an AV14 armoured giant on a 4+, or switch to Submunition rounds and blow away whole squads of lightly armoured infantry at a time.

The Skyray's good when fighting armies with a lot of lightly armoured tanks at long range, where their unlimited range can shoot them down as long as you've locked onto them (via Markerlight), and their nice strength and number of missiles can really pump out some carnage. They can also supply a lot of good accuracy for other troops in your army with their incredible amount of Markerlights, so if you're low on troops, and want a little accuracy to insure they still get a decent amount of killing, it can really help to unload a few Markerlights on a squad nearest them (of further if you think they can pass a target priority test).

In short;

MEQ/GEQ armies, AV13-14 tanks in an army= Hammerhead (Ion Cannon for MEQ's, Railgun for GEQ's and tanks).
Lots of lightly armored tanks, need for more accuracy=Skyray.

It's usually best to follow this setup, but there are a few setups. Like if you're fighting a lot of MEQ's WITH lightly armoured tanks (Rhino Rush armies possibly), it might be best to take an Ionhead, as you can deal enough damage to your opponent's vehicles with (still well strengthed) some Ion Cannon shots, and after destroying your opponent's vehicles, you'll still have --how many turns left in the game multiplied by three shots-- worth of anti-MEQ shots to beat the surrounding MEQ squads down with, and there won't be any difference in wounding because MEQ's are wounded on a 2+ either way.

In some cases you just have to think about the kind of things you might be facing, and if the 'general fielding chart' is really correct on what you're fighting, because tactics, and dice play a key role in Warhammer 40,000; not just what weapons/models you have. But for the most part this chart should do you well.
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 13:15   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

The skyray is a better choice when you want/need some markerlight support, but don't *need* str 10 to take out his vehicles. Personally, I really like the Skyray, and take one in almost every force I field--however, the skyray is much less useful if you don't build your force to use markerlights. The skyray benefits much more from it supporting and being supported by other units in your army compared to the hammerhead.

So, basically, if you already use some markerlights or want more, the skyray is a great vehicle. If, on the other hand, your list doesn't include a single markerlight or seeker missile normally, the skyray is probably not the best choice compared to the hammerhead.
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 16:03   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

I've used the Sky Ray a lot since the new codex came out.

The question that I ask regarding its effectiveness is the same question I ask about any unit I want to put into my army lists:
"What do I want it to do, how much does it cost, and what else can do the job equal or better, and at what comparative cost."

My standard Sky Ray is 165 points. That's the about same cost that my standard Rail-head costs. (SMS, Multi-tracker, Targeting Array, Decoy Launchers) and about 35 points MORE than my Ion-head (both heads use BCs not SMS).

In two turns, the Ion Head can fire off as much AP3 firepower than a sky ray can fire all game (at one less strength, but the difference between 7 and 8 isn't much):
Advantage IonHead (big advantage).

Every shot of the Railhead has an incredible chance to penetrate, and again, in six turns, it will get as many shots as the Sky Ray will get all game. And it has the advantage of the pie plate.
Advantage: Hammerhead.

When it comes to a strict anti-armor role, whether it's light armor or heavy armor, the statistics tend to favor the Hammerheads in a straight comparison. They either get more shots at roughly equal strength, or the same number of shots at a much higher strength.

Sky Ray's aren't the best choice for anti-armor. But they flex into that role well enough.

What the Sky Ray brings to the table is a pair of independent, networked markerlights that can hit on 3s, and can pick out separate targets without having to worry about Ld rolls for closest target.

In my practice with them, the Sky Ray is best employed in a dedicated support role for friendly infantry. I use them most effectively when I use them to support Fire Warriors and Stealth Teams with +1 BS.

The Sky Ray markerlights are ideal tools to employ against that "Must Kill This Turn" infantry unit, such as the Blood Angels Death Company, the Eldar Dire Avengers, or the Necron Immortals.

Whereas Pathfinders are forced into focusing many markerlight hits on one target (Shas'Ui target lock notwithstanding), and hit with average reliability, the Sky Ray can hit two targets separately with high reliability. It is only source of a BS4, mobile Markerlight. That is the only thing that it can do and that nothing else can do better.

Admitting that, one has to say that it's expensive for those two MLs, and one has to understand that circumstances will often make the points expenditure iffy at best.

For one thing, if you're using the MLs in an infantry support role, how are you using the Seekers? This has been the biggest dilemma for me in justifying the inclusion of the Sky Ray. In my games, the way ahead with this problem has been to also include Pathfinders in my list, and depending on the number of PFs, to include with my FW Shas'Ui, a ML with Target Lock. Seekers will be fired by these other ML sources. In the case of the Pathfinders, it is easy to justify the use of 4 to 6 pathfinders per turn firing on a single armored target of AV12 or less because it will probably require more than one Seeker to stun/destroy the target (I stop on Stuns, all other things being equal).

So a Skyray actually requires me to invest roughly 400 points into the Sky Ray and the PFs, and that's a lot of points, particularly at 1500 limit, which is where I usually play.

When I go this route, I have to plan to maximize its effectiveness, which means taking at least 20 Fire Warriors and 4 to 6 Stealth Suits. These blocks of units will work together to accomplish my battle plan, and they will be supported by (usually) a single Ion Head, and either Piranha or Broadsides. I rarely take both a Rail Head and a Sky Ray at 1500 points.

The Sky Ray is typically a deceptively unattractive target to enemies. This is another advantage of it. When also employing the SMS, the Sky Ray has outstanding standoff range, and the ability to engage three separate targets (2 MLs, and the SMS).
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 16:08   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

The skyray has what I call an "Alpha Strike" capability. I there's anything you couldn't insta-kill with a railgun, but still has a 3+ save (daemon princes with rune, some nid stuff) one of these babies can turn it into goo in the blink of an eye, but it wont do much else for the rest of the game. Most of the time I'd rather have a hammerhead, but a pathfinder team paired with a skyray can make something big die NOW if you need it

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Old 02 Nov 2006, 19:35   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

I do not see the Skyray as a replacement for the Hammerhead. If I only include one heavy skimmer in an army, it is unequivocally going to be a Hammerhead. The Skyray, to me, is more of a support vehicle. To be honest, the best way to think about it might be to just consider it a "Missilehead". The only practical difference between the Skyray and the Hammerhead is their primary weapons. You just need to decide between a Railgun, Ion Cannon, or Seekers/Markerlights. The secondary weapons and equipment loadout should end up being the same, and the armor and speed are the same.

The Skyray usually competes with an Ionhead for my third Heavy Support slot, the first two normally being filled by two Railheads or a Railhead/Ionhead pair.
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Old 02 Nov 2006, 21:10   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Skyrays

if your looking to buy either tank get the skyray box, it includes the hammerhead sprue for the same price.
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