Space Marine Review: Heavy Support: Predator

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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.

Overview:

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.

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Wargear:

  • Autocannon
  • Searchlight
  • 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.

Special Rules:

  • Killshot- If the unit contains three Predators, all the Predators have Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter.

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Tactics:

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.

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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.

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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.

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Formations

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.

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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.

Predator-Destructor

Psychic Support

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.

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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.

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

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!

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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.

12 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Heavy Support: Predator”

  1. Reecius
    Reecius September 14, 2016 2:10 pm
    #

    I am curious if folks have had success with the Predator in a unit of 3 with tank and beast hunter? They’re very vulnerable to getting wiped out in one powerful attack, but they can hit quite hard.

    • westrider September 14, 2016 4:18 pm
      #

      I’ve seen it used a couple of times. Tends to be overkill against most things, but still not good enough to really put damage through on DeathStars. They only have to drop one of the Preds to take away Killshot, too.

    • Dan September 14, 2016 4:31 pm
      #

      Yes, I have.

      Ran a unit of 3 Auto+Las Preds in an armorued company that was part of an Iron Hands Strike force. The POMS buff is amazing, since it lets you move up to 6″ and fire 2 guns at full BS, or split fire at a different target. .

      If I went second, I was hiding them behind LOS blocking terrain in deployment, driving 6″ around the corner on turn 1 and letting loose at full BS with both las sponsons and snap shooting with the autocannons.

      If I went first, I was sticking them in a piece of cover (just in case of seize) with a good field of fire. Then either the autocannon would spilt off at one target, the las cannons would hit something else, or if certain side sponsons couldn’t see the same target as the other side sponsons I’d fire the auto + 1 las at one target, the other las sponson at something else.
      .

      Even in games after one tank died and I lost the buffs, the unit was doing considerable damage.

      The only list at that event that the Pred unit didn’t perform super well against was the Thuderwolf spam list as there were no vehicles or MC’s to get the buffs against, The preds still killed 5 regular thunderwolves over 3 turns and got 2 turns at shooting the IC unit before they finally died. Unfortunately nothing in my army was able to touch the unit of 3 Thunderwolf IC’s all game, IIRC the guy made something like 38 consecutive 3+ invuls (without any benefit of re-rolls), and nearly half of those were against wounds from my Dreadnought Power Fists (he couldn’t fail a save, but kept rolling a lot of 1’s and 2’s to hit/pen with his thunderhammers so the dreds held on for a couple of turns).

      As a whole, units of 3 will be good in Iron Hands for sure. Anvil wouldn’t be too bad either for the ignores shaken, but outside that, its hard to justify.

    • Maveric7717 September 15, 2016 4:01 pm
      #

      Played with a squad of 3 of them all with just twin linked lascannons at the BAO. They did the two things they are for my force:
      1. Giant target of enemy heavy fire. (allows my gladius marine units to get upfield with melta and grav.)
      2. Popping large armor units or tough monstrous creatures.

      Ran them with Ironhands tactics and between the techmarine repairs and it will not die. They lasted longer than i anticipated and soaked damage for my marines.

      Mainly used them as an armor front to block my vulnerable razorback and rhinos. Which allowed them to run rampant.

  2. Rob September 14, 2016 2:34 pm
    #

    A predator can also be a good choice for Chronus and let’s not forget gaining It Will Not Die from Iron Hands chapter tactics. It’s very underrated especially with the faq on grenade rules but with battle company being prominent it’ll likely stay underused and underrated unfortunately.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 14, 2016 3:06 pm
      #

      Good points. The firepower on the Predator Annihilator is still very solid, too.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr September 16, 2016 12:20 am
      #

      I agree. In my Chronus review, I recommended putting him in a Predator or Vindicator for the bonuses he gives them.

  3. westrider September 14, 2016 4:21 pm
    #

    A while back, I was reading an old WD article about the Predator, talking about how it was designed to be able to fire effectively on the move, to keep up with the rapid advances SM are supposed to make. I’d love to see them get some sort of Assault Tank* Rule, letting them fire everything at Combat Speed or something, but not with the other benefits of Fast Vehicles.

    *That was their designation at the time.

  4. ligolski September 14, 2016 6:13 pm
    #

    I have been using the new marine armored company with iron hands and run 2 autos and one tri-las each as seperate tanks and love it. I would imagine that having pts and models for full squadrons would be hilariously fun and effective.

  5. Maeglin September 15, 2016 11:10 am
    #

    They need the Predator Cannon from Horus Heresy, having 4 Autocannon shots would be a fantastic improvement.

    • Anggul September 15, 2016 2:21 pm
      #

      I think as they’re clearly bigger than normal autocannons they should still fire two shots but be S8 blasts. They would probably need to cost more points but it would make them appropriately formidable and more versatile. Maybe even make them AP3, I don’t know.

  6. Anggul September 15, 2016 2:23 pm
    #

    Games Workshop should really just make it so vehicles can move combat speed and still fire everything at full BS. That’s what battle tanks bloody exist for! They should also be able to fire two full BS weapons at cruising speed because again, that’s what tanks do. It would make so many vehicles so much better, especially predators.