Well howdy again, this Goatboy and welcome to another Eldar review. Today will talk about the “king/queen” of the skies for the Eldar army – the Crimson Hunter.
The Crimson Hunter is one of the few unit designs that I feel is very well balanced in the Eldar book. We have an incredibly powerful set of weapons on a very fast platform that while fragile still feels useful. Sure regular firepower can hurt it but it solves a lot of interesting problems the Eldar army can have with efficient anti air firepower. Plus it feels very much like an Eldar vehicle that can punish but cannot take any real punishment back.
The Crimson Hunter is the Aspect warrior of the skies. It is equipped with decent weapons has the special rules for a flyer that make it extremely deadly, and the addition of an Exarch upgrade gives this flyer a lot of punch. It is very weak with Armor 10 on all sides but I see it meant to come in, hopefully kill something, and then dance its way on out as it prepares to come back on the next turn.
The Crimson hunter has 2 Bright Lances (36″ Str 8 Ap 2 Heavy 1 Lance) and one Pulse Laser (48″ Str 8 Ap 2 Heavy 2). You could swap the Bright Lances for 2 Star Cannons (36″ Str 6 Ap 2 Heavy 2 ) but that doesn’t feel very beneficial. I think if the Star Cannons had 3 shots instead of 2 we might see them. You can also upgrade one Crimson Hunter to the Exarch. This gives it a better BS of 5 and Precision Shots on a 5+. Overall it is designed to wreck other Flyers and its weapon load out helps it to do just that.
Vector Dancer – This is why he is good. They can always get you no matter where you hide on the table as they can “dance” around their flight path.
Skyhunter – When shooting at a vehicle with the flyer type the model can reroll armor penetration rolls that do not cause a glancing or penetrating hit. Remember what I said about King/Queen of the Skies? Yeah, this is your Eldar version of Top Gun!
Precision Shot – Exarch Only – One a 5+ even. Could be funny to take out specific Heavy weapon teams or an unlucky character.
The Crimson Hunter is a thoroughbred air superiority fighter! It lives to hunter other flyers or to prey on vulnerable ground targets and it is quite good at that. With 4 powerful weapons and vector dancer, this is a flyer that certainly pulls its weight. You want to try to go second vs. other flyers, let them come on, and then use Vector Dancer to position it in the rear arc to drop 4 strength 8, AP2, Skyhunter shots into its target, forcing them to jink or die. He’s also a big threat to any ground vehicles and also quite good vs heavy infantry, particularly T4, multi-wound models.
This is the model you take when you need that extra bit of Anti Aircraft/Anti Tank/Anti Monstrous Creature punch that can go just about anywhere on the board. Heck even in the Tau Match up which you typically fear as a player with flyers – if you cause them to Intercept against you, you get another turn with the other more important models in your list. This can be particularly useful in the Crimson Death formation where they get a reroll to their Jink, which is excellent for making the relatively fragile models more durable. I think if the Windrider Jet Bikes didn’t have all their massed Strength 6, we might see this guy on the table top a lot more. This edition is not really about the blowing up of a vehicle and instead more of the “death by a thousand cuts” with glances using the power of math. That said, the Crimson Hunter is no slouch and if you use him, he will serve you well.
If you take a single Crimson Hunter, the upgrade to the Exarch is often a good choice if a bit pricey. The increased BS makes those valuable lance weapons more efficient. I can see Precision shot coming into use when you utilize him to pick out important enemies, such as those dang Grav Cannons in space marine units that will not be able to LoS. Do you need to get a round Draigo or maybe kill that Librarian – set phaser to “burn the heck out of him!” Its a shame the Flyer Edition is really just full of Hive Tyrants and Daemon Princes now. It makes it harder for the Hunter to survive vs. Toe in Cover FMCs, but, if he shoots at them, they are likely to take damage.
The Crimson Hunter doesn’t want to see anything with strong AA such as Dune Crawlers on the table–obviously–and if you have invested a lot of points in these bad boys you want your ground troops to neutralize those threats ASAP. Also as mentioned, other air units with lots of high strength shots can be a huge threat, like Flyrants.
The real question with the Crimson Hunter is do you take a single Exarch or the Crimson Death formation for all of the awesome upgrades it provides? Either way, if you can get an Autarch in your list, that is a great benefit as he grants you a +1 or -1 to reserve rolls to help you control when your fighter shows up.
As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.