The Fire Hawks were one of the most aggressive Chapters involved in the Badab War. Their brash nature and vendetta against the Astral Claws resulted in the swift escalation of the war. In fact, it was the Fire Hawks that first opened fire on their brother Astartes. They fought as Loyalists during the initial phases of the war, though they were pulled from the frontlines during the middle phases of the war due to mounting casualties.
The rules for the Fire Hawks are a strange blend of the Salamanders and the Blood Angels. All of their flamer weapons have +1S on the turn a unit enters from Deep Strike, and their jump infantry have +1S to their Hammer of Wrath attacks. Fire Hawks have access to hand flamers, granting them access to more flame weapons than any other Chapter from Codex: Space Marines. Finally, Fire Hawk Assault squads and Vanguard Veteran squads are Scoring units.
While the Fire Hawks rules are quite appropriate to their background, they suffer from the fact that Blood Angels do it better. Blood Angels have access to just as many flamers, and their Assault squads are Troops instead of just being Scoring. While Fire Hawks get +1S on their flamers when they Deep Strike, it’s dangerous and unreliable to Deep Strike within flamer range without something like Descent of Angels to reduce your scatter. That said, C:SM has a lot of benefits over C:BA, both in unit rules and points cost. If you want to run some Assault squads with flamers along with units that aren’t available to Blood Angels, the Fire Hawks are a good choice. Just try and fit some locator beacons in so your Assault squads aren’t constantly mishapping.
Knight-Captain Elam Courbray
Elam Courbray is the Captain of the Fire Hawks Eighth Company, and is pretty unique. His statline is quite deviant from the standard Captain, losing point of BS and LD in exchange for an extra point of initiative. This is extremely handy for challenges, which are Courbray’s specialty. He must always issue and accept challenges, but comes with a Rending, Soul Blaze power sword, that gives him Smash. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to give him AP2, but rather all the other benefits of Smash. Finally, fitting with his Eighth Company theme, Courbray comes with a jump pack and grants his Command Squad the option to take jump packs. He also brings Counter-Attack and Hit and Run, both excellent rules for jump pack squads.
If Knight-Captain Courbray is your Warlord, he has to deploy by Deep Strike. When he and his unit arrive, they drop a S5 large blast anywhere on the table. If the squad lands within 6” of the template, they don’t scatter. If you combine this rule with a jump pack Command Squad with flamers, you can put a massive amount of S5 hits on an enemy squad, or spread them out over two nearby squads.
Elam Courbray is a better than average character killer, and his Warlord trait couples very well with the Fire Hawks Chapter Tactics. He’s a fair bit more expensive than a similarly equipped Captain, but the large number of special rules he brings are worth it.