Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of one of the Space Marines’ anti-air tanks, the Hunter. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.
The Hunter is one of two tanks in the Space Marine arsenal with the specific goal of taking out enemy flyers. It comes armed with the Skyspear Missile Launcher, which features a Servitor Savant hard-wired into each missile, giving the term “live ordnance” new meaning. It is based on a slightly tougher Rhino chassis, with front and side armour 12, rear armour 10 and three hull points, all for 70 pts. It has the option to take up to 3 Hunters in one squad.
- Skyspear Missile Launcher- 60″, S7 AP2, Heavy 1, Armourbane, Savant Lock, Skyfire.
- Smoke Launchers
- Can take a Dozer Blade, Storm Bolter, Extra Armour and/or Hunter-killer Missile.
- Savant Lock- When shooting at a Flyer, Flying Monstrous Creature, Skimmer or Jetbike with the Skyspear Missile Launcher and the shot misses, roll a D6 at the start of the next friendly shooting phase. On a 5+, the shot hits the target (on the rear armour, if applicable) as long as it is still on the battlefield and has not been previously destroyed.
- Savant Interlocution- If there are three Hunters in the unit, you can re-roll the die when resolving Savant Lock for all missiles in the unit.
The Hunter’s primary purpose is obviously taking on enemy flyers and flying monstrous creatures. The Skyspear Missile Launcher is actually a pretty decent weapon for taking on enemy flyers. Strength 7 with armourbane means that you should have a good chance of penetrating any flyer in the game with even average rolling. In addition, the AP2 means that any penetrating hit has at least a 1 in 6 chance of blowing up the target vehicle in one shot.
The Skyspear Missile Launcher also comes with the rather handy Savant Lock special rule. This gives you a 1 in 3 chance of hitting your target in the next shooting phase if you missed it in the previous shooting phase (assuming the target is still on the board). In addition, you get to get target the (usually weaker) rear armour of the target, sometimes improving the chance of penetrating the enemy flyer or vehicle.
The problem with the Hunter (and most anti-air type units) is that it generally has a specific role on the battlefield. That is fine is you know what you will be facing and know that there are enemy flyers or other units that it can easily target without having to snap fire (thanks to having Skyfire). If you are playing a random pick up game or a tournament game, you will frequently not know what you are facing in advance, and the Hunter may have reduced effectiveness in a game as it is forced to snap fire at ground targets. Fortunately, the Hunter is quite cheap to field, so will not be too much of a waste in casual games. Generally, however, tournament lists are designed to not have any “wasted points” in the list, so the inclusion of the Hunter is less likely. In these situations, another flyer may be a better source of anti-air firepower that can also fire on ground targets effectively as well.
The Hunter is an unusual entry in the Space Marine Codex. It is quite effective as what it does best, but is not required in many games of 40k. It is a nice model, but I have never actually seen one fielded on the table. Of the two anti-air tanks available to the Space Marines, I would say it just loses out to the Stalker due to the volume of fire the Stalker can bring to the table. However, if your local meta includes a lot of flyers or flying monstrous creatures, it may well be worth the investment.
What about everyone out there? Is the Hunter a frequent addition to your army? Are there any tactics or tips I have missed out?
You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!