Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of a fallen giant, a tank that is rarely observed on the tabletop anymore, the Space Marine Predator. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.
The Predator is the Marine’s gun tank. It packs a decent amount of firepower on its tough frame. They used to be a frequent site on the battlefield in previous editions of the game, but have fallen out of favour with many Space Marine players in more recent editions of the game. The Predator comes with front armour 13, side armour 11, rear armour 10 and three hull points, all for a base cost of 75 pts. A squad can contain between one and three Predator tanks.
- Smoke Launchers
- May replace the Autocannon with a Twin-linked Lascannon.
- May take Heavy Bolter or Lascannon sponsons.
- May take a Dozer Blade, Storm Bolter, Extra Armour and/or Hunter-Killer Missile.
- Killshot- If the unit contains three Predators, all the Predators have Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter.
The Predator is actually quite a decent tank. It is reasonably tough, with front armour 13 and can be armed for tank hunting or for killing hordes.
For tank hunting, you can go with the Twin-Linked Lascannon and Lascannon sponsons, giving you three S9 shots for taking on enemy vehicles for 140 pts. For horde killing, you can go with the Autocannon and Heavy Bolter sponsons for mid-strength shots in volume for below 100 pts.
For all their capability, Predators are rarely seen on the table these days. The problem is one of points effeciency. There is always the chance that your vehicle can be taken out in one lucky shot with the multitude of anti-vehicle firepower in the game at the moment, or be hit with a Crew Stunned or Crew Shaken result to reduce its effectiveness for a turn. For roughly the same cost as a three Lascannon predator, you could take three Attack Bikes with Multi-meltas or two Landspeeders with each armed with two Multi-meltas. Both options provide you with a more mobile gun platform that poses more of a threat to enemy tanks.
Equally, for horde killing, there are simply better options in the Codex such as the Thunderfire Cannon, Space Marine Bikes (with Twin-Linked Bolters) or even the Whirlwind.
Taking a unit of three Predators gives a nice bonus in that they gain both Tank Hunter and Monster Hunter, which should increase their damage output. Realistically, however, you are rarely going to see three of them on the table at once, certainly not in the same unit.
Predators can be taken as part of the Armoured Task Force. In this formation, the Predator can ignore Crew Stunned and Crew Shaken effects (they still lose a Hull Point) while they are within 6″ of the Techmarine in the formation. In addition, the Techmarine gets a bonus to try and repair tanks. Getting to ignore the effects of Crew Stunned and Shaken is a great boost for the Predator, allowing them to shoot to full effect until they are destroyed or lose weapons.
Predators also gain great benefits from the Anvil Strike Force. This is a special style formation that allows you to field an all vehicle army for Space Marines if you wish. The Command Benefits include the ability to ignore the effects of Crew Stunned and Crew Shaken results, great for keeping the Predators shooting.
The Fist of Medusa Strike Force also provides some nice benefits for Predators. This formation grants vehicles Power of the Machine Spirit when within 12″ of an Independent Character from the formation. This gives the Predator some nice bonuses, able to shoot at multiple targets and shoot one weapon at full BS, even if it moves at full speed. This gives you a measure of additional tactical options for your Predators in the game.
The new Technomancy Discipline provides some great support for vehicles in a Space Marine army. Blessing of the Machine grants the Predator Power of the Machine Spirit, as well as giving it +1BS. This should boost the damage output of the Predator, allowing it to hit on 2’s.
Reforge allows you to recover hull points or destroyed weapons on the Predator, as well as giving them It Will Not Die.
Warpmetal armour adds 1 to the armour values on all facing of the Predator. A Predator with front armour 14 is actually quite a tough prospect to take out without specialist anti-tank weapons such as Melta, Haywire or Lance.
Overall, the Predator is a decent tank with some good firepower. Unfortunately, decent just doesn’t cut it in a Codex filled to the brim with amazing choices and the poor Predator has been relegated to the storage garage of most Space Marine armies.
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!