Space Marine Review: Fast Attack: Stormhawk Interceptor

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Hi everyone, Michael here to bring you a review on the latest addition to the Space Marine airforce, the Stormhawk Interceptor. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Stormhawk Interceptor was introduced in the Death From the Skies supplement and adds another potent gunship to the line up of Space Marine flyers. The basic Stormhawk Interceptor comes with front armour 12, side and rear armour 11 and with two hull points. It costs only an extra 15 pts on top of a Stormtalon Gunship, and comes with some additional extras that help its battlefield role. You may take up to three Interceptors in one unit. It has Pursuit and Agility values of 3.

It’s battlefield role really depends on how you play the game. The decision as to whether you use Death From the Skies or not will affect how the Interceptor performs for you on the board.

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Wargear:

  • Twin-linked Assault Cannon
  • Las-talon- A 24″, two-shot Lascannon.
  • Twin-linked Heavy Bolter
  • Ceramite Plating- Melta weapons do not get the additional D6 AP for being in half range.
  • Infernum Halo-launcher- Can re-roll failed Jink saves.
  • Option to replace Las-talon with an Icarus Stormcannon for free- a heavy 3 Autocannon with Interceptor and Skyfire.
  • Options to replace the Twin-linked Heavy Bolters with a Skyhammer Missile Launcher or Typhoon Missile Launcher

Special Rules:

  • Flyer (Fighter)
  • Supersonic- Flat out move between 18-36″.
  • High Altitude Fighter- +1 to Agility and Pursuit values in a Dogfight.

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Tactics:

For me, it is useful to compare the Stormhawk Interceptor with the Stormtalon Gunship. They are practically the same kit and share many useful features, but with a few key differences that set them apart. You can find my review of the Stormtalon Gunship here.

First of all, the Stormhawk gains front armour of 12 over the Stormtalon, making it immune to S5 weaponry from the front and stronger against S6 and above weaponry. It gains an additional gun in either the Las-talon or Icarus Stormcannon. It also gets a re-rollable Jink save, making it more survivable than the Stormtalon against enemy fire.

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However, the Stormtalon has the ability to go into Hover mode. This makes it great for taking objectives or manoeuvring for more shooting rather than being forced to turn away from its target or leave the board when zooming, something which the Stormhawk is unable to do. In addition, the Stormtalon gets Strafing Run, meaning it is more accurate when firing at ground targets.

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Overall, I like the Stormhawk Inteceptor. I like the firepower of the Stormtalon Gunship, and the Stormhawk Interceptor gets that firepower with the additional firepower of the Las-talon or Icarus Stormcannon. I think the Las-talon is the better choice. Having a two-shot Lascannon that can get almost anywhere on the board to fire (thanks to the move range of the flyer) is great for taking out enemy vehicles, walkers or buildings. The Icarus Stormcannon is nice, but I think it suffers from the weapon being Skyfire, meaning it can only snap fire at ground targets. Inteceptor is nice, meaning you can shoot at enemy flyers, flying monstrous creatures or skimmers when they arrive from reserve at full ballistic skill. It can fire at ground targets arriving from reserve, but with snap firing three shots, it can’t really be counted on to do much damage.

I like to run my Stormhawk with the Las-talon and Skyhammer Missile Launcher. With that firepower, it is great for taking on light vehicles or infantry and has a decent rate of fire for a flyer. The problem with the Stormhawk Interceptor is whether you choose to use the supplement that it was introduced in.

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Death From the Skies Conundrum

The choice of whether to use the Death From the Skies supplement or not actually has a big impact on the effectiveness of the Stormhawk, in my opinion.

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If you choose to use the rules, the Stormhawk gains Skyfire, but suffers -1 BS against ground targets. Being a Fighter, it gets to fire at full ballistic skill against enemy flyers, great for taking them on. In addition, it gains some nice bonuses in the Dogfight phase (assuming you are using this). The Icarus Stormcannon is actually a decent choice when using the supplement, allowing the Stormhawk to fire it at full ballistic skill in the Dogfight phase, again, great for taking on enemy flyers.

However, it suffers from -1 BS against ground targets (so most of the units in the game). This makes the Stormhawk’s weapons hit on a 4 in most cases. This can actually affect its shooting in a big way, especially if you do not stick with the two standard twin-linked weapons on the flyer.

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If you choose not to use Death From the Skies, the Stormhawk fires at all targets at BS4 (unless Jinking) and can put out a fair amount of firepower each turn, for a not unreasonable cost.

I took the Stormhawk Interceptor in a recent tournament list using the Death From the Skies rules (without the Dogfight phase) and was seriously underwhelmed by its performance. In 5 games, the only thing of note that it did was blow up a Void Shield Generator, which was nice, but didn’t really influence the game much at that point (you can check out the battle report for that game here). It did poorly against ground targets and did not actually do all that well when I did face other flyers. I would generally prefer not to use the Death From the Skies rules and get the better BS against ground targets, unless I knew I was going up against a significant number of enemy flyers.

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There are several Flyer Wings formations in the supplement that really boost the damage output and survivability of the Stormhawk, so that is a nice boost assuming you want to bring two or more Stormhawk Interceptors to the table.

Overall, I think the Stormtalon just beats out the Stormhawk Interceptor for me, in terms of usefulness in a Space Marine list. The Stormtalon has one less gun, but I like the fact it can hover, giving it much more influence in an objective-based game. I think it is a great model and will probably still field it in games now and again. Anyone out there use the Stormhawk on a regular basis (or Death From the Skies for that matter)? Any tips on using it that I may have missed out?

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

14 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Fast Attack: Stormhawk Interceptor”

  1. Blight1 August 23, 2016 8:17 am
    #

    Well I think it’s important to note the other changes when using the death from the skies update. For one it means that the storm talon loses the option to sky fire so the interceptor has more of a role by comparison. Also as a fighter it gets you a lot more control over the dogfight phase.
    Generally in my games we use dogfight but people only push for it when they have a significant advantage in it like eldar or space Marines with one of these. If it would only hurt you (like with chaos heldrakes) it makes sense to avoid it, but that’s the same as trying to mitigate tau interceptor fire really.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 23, 2016 10:08 am
      #

      The reason I took it at the tournament was to deal with enemy flyers. I normally take a Stormtalon for this, but with the loss of Skyfire, decided to switch to the Stormhawk.

      I’ve not actually tried the Dogfight phase yet, it’s rare to see flyers (other than mine) at my gaming club.

  2. Reecius
    Reecius August 23, 2016 9:31 am
    #

    I have not had a chance to use this bad boy yet, but I am intrigued by the amount of firepower it has.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr August 23, 2016 10:07 am
      #

      I picked it up as I really liked the model. That motivation comes up a lot for me.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 24, 2016 3:01 pm
        #

        Hey, that’s half of why we play tabletop games!

  3. Rob August 23, 2016 1:49 pm
    #

    In standard 40k though, doesn’t the Death from the Skies rules replace the old rules rather be optional? That’s the impression I got anyway.

    • Maeglin August 23, 2016 2:39 pm
      #

      That was the impression but the entry for the new Corvus makes it seem optional.

      • Michael Corr
        Michael Corr August 24, 2016 12:06 am
        #

        Yeah, the new Corvus extra includes the agility and pursuit values if player wish to use Death from the Skies. It’s a nice supplement, but forcing it on every game of 40k is a bit much, so I do think they are optional rules.

    • Anggul August 23, 2016 2:49 pm
      #

      Everything is optional. If both players dislike something they won’t use it, and a lot of people would rather not use Death From The Skies.

  4. Adam August 24, 2016 3:15 am
    #

    They are not optional, despite what many people believe. They replace the old rules for flyers. With FW providing updated rulings for the Vendetta is a measure that only proves the intent from GW. I understand the unwillingness for change, and to hold out for 8th Edition whenever that comes, but this is not an optional ruleset by design.

    • abusepuppy August 24, 2016 3:50 am
      #

      “If you are using the rules for Death From the Skies…”

      That wording does seem to imply that another option- to NOT use those rules- exists.

      • Adam August 24, 2016 4:34 am
        #

        Okay, I’ll give you that, but now every flyer (virtually, still missing some FW) has Roles, Pursuit Values and Agility Values, are we just supposed to not use those rules?

        • Michael Corr
          Michael Corr August 24, 2016 5:54 am
          #

          It’s more just out of annoyance that I don’t use them too often. The Dogfight phase in particular is a bit of a hassle, especially if your opponent doesn’t have the book or has never used it before.

        • abusepuppy August 24, 2016 1:25 pm
          #

          >are we just supposed to not use those rules?

          Sure, why not? I mean, you’re already admitting that the possibility exists to not do so, both implicitly by player use and explicitly by GW’s own words. At that point, how is it any different than any other expansion?

          There are some good things to be said about DftS, but there’s also plenty of negatives as well. I don’t think it’s at all a cut-and-dried case of it being a purely beneficial ruleset upgrade.