Space Marine Review: Flyers: Stormhawk Interceptor

Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the most recent of the Space Marine flyers, the Stormhawk Interceptor. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Stormhawk Interceptor is a unit designed to take down unit with the Fly keyword, something that it will do very well thanks to its weaponry and special rules. It also features some increased durability over the Stormtalon Gunship, but will not be as good as its counterpart against ground-based targets. I think that if you know you are going to be facing a lot of units with the Fly keyword (Eldar or Dark Eldar vehicles, enemy flyers), it could be a very useful addition to your force, able to put out a lot of highly accurate firepower against these units. Against a most non-Fly army, its firepower is somewhat hampered a bit and it may be less effective than other flyers or vehicles available to the Space Marine army. The Stormhawk Interceptor costs 164 pts with its standard load out, but can go up to 217 points with its most expensive options.

Wargear:

  • Two Assault Cannons
  • Two Heavy Bolters
  • Icarus Stormcannon: 48″, Heavy 3, S7, AP-1, 2 damage. +1 to hit against targets with Fly keyword, -1 to hit against all other targets.
  • Can replace its two Heavy Bolters with a Skyhammer Missile Launcher (60″, Heavy 3, S7, AP-1, D3 damage, +1 to hit against targets with Fly keyword, -1 to hit against all other targets) or a Typhoon Missile Launcher.
  • Can replace the Icarus Stormcannon with a Las-talon (24″, Heavy 2, S9, AP-3, D6 damage).

Abilities:

  • Airborne- This model cannot charge, and can only be charged and attacked in the fight phase by units with the Fly keyword.
  • Crash and Burn- When destroyed, it explodes on a D6 roll of a 6, causing D3 mortal wounds to all units within 6″.
  • Interceptor- Gains +1 to hit against enemy units with the Fly keyword.
  • Supersonic- Each time it moves, pivot up to 90 degrees on the spot and move straight forwards. When advancing, you can add 20″ to its move.
  • Hard to Hit- Opponent suffers -1 to hit in the shooting phase when targeting the model.
  • Infernum Halo-launcher- You can re-roll saving throws of 1 for the Stormhawk Interceptor.
  • Reducing profile- 6-10W: Move 20-60″, BS 3+, A 3. 3-5W: Move 20-40″, BS 4+, A D3. 1-2W: Move 20-25″, BS 3+, A 1.
  • Keywords: Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, <Chapter>, Vehicle, Fly, Stormhawk Interceptor.

Tactics:

To me, the Stormhawk Interceptor brings two advantages over the Stormtalon Gunship; increased durability and utility against Fly units.

The Stormhawk Interceptor is toughness 7 versus T6 for the Stormtalon (10 wounds for each). This makes it slightly more durable than the Stormtalon against T6 weaponry. In addition, the Infernum Halo-launcher means you re-roll saving throws of 1, allowing you to re-roll roughly half your failed saves against weapons with no AP value. Added to the -1 to hit for being a flyer, you have a fairly durable fire against small arms fire and increased odds of making a saving throw against weapons with an AP value. The Stormhawk Interceptor also cannot go into Hover mode, meaning that it cannot be assaulted by units without the Fly keyword.

This, however, means that it must always be on the move. Given the increased movement range of the Stormhawk Interceptor, there are very few places on the board it will not be able to get to in one turn. In addition to the relatively long range of its weapons, there are few targets it will not be able to reach. You always need to be careful when moving the Stormhawk Interceptor. Bearing in mind its next turn move of a minimum of 20″ with only a 90 degree pivot, you need to ensure that it does not end up in a position where it will be forced off the board and destroyed in the following turn.

Always having to move also reduces its accuracy against a number of units. At the first wound tier, it will be hitting on a 4+ against most ground targets. It has an additional weapon to make up for this reduced accuracy against ground targets. This model is designed to go after units with the Fly keyword, as the Interceptor rule gives it +1 to hit against such targets. In addition, a couple of its weapon options give a further +1 to hit against units with the Fly keyword. This means that many of its shots will be hitting Fly units on a 2+, even on the move (though still most likely a 3+ to hit against other flyers). This makes it great for taking on vehicles or units that are non-flyer Fly units, as it will be hitting on a 2+ with the Icarus Stormcannon and Skyhammer Missile Launcher (on a 3+ with all other weapons).

I think this makes the Stormhawk Interceptor ideal for going after Skimmer vehicles, such as the Venom, Raider, Starweaver, VoidweaverWave Serpent, Land Speeder or Land Speeder Storm. Against such vehicle, the flyer will be hitting on a 2+ (with the Icarus and Skyhammer) and wounding most on a 3+ as well. Each weapon also does multiple damage, increasing the odds of destroying it if they fail their invulnerable saves.

The downside of the Icarus Stormcannon and Skyhammer Missile Launcher is that if you are not aiming at Fly units, you will be hitting on a 5+, even at full strength. This is a pretty rapid decrease in its damage potential, as you are going from a 2+ to a 5+. For this reason, it may be worth replacing the Icarus with the Las-talon. You are only hitting Fly units on a 3+ now, but at least you are hitting non-Fly units on a 4+. Plus, you get the higher strength and chance at doing more damage that the Las-talon brings.

I would say that if you are going to be taking on Fly units, go for either the Icarus Stormcannon or Las-talon (depending on how tough the enemy units will be), the Skyhammer Missile Launcher and the two Assault Cannons. This will use the use the Stormhawk to its full effect, allowing it to hit Fly targets on a 2+ or 3+ and cause a fair amount of damage with its medium strength, multi-damage weapons. Against other Flyers, the Icarus Stormcannon and Skyhammer Missile Launcher are definitely the more accurate options, allowing you still to hit enemy Flyers on a 3+ on the move (at the first damage tier).

Overall:

Not too much to say on this one. It seems pretty much designed to do one role in the army. If you know you are likely to be facing a lot of Fly units, I would say the Stormhawk Interceptor is a good choice. It has some great special rules to really make it effective against these units and is not too expensive an addition to the army, plus additional firepower over the Stormtalon Gunship.

However, if you are in a situation where you know you will not be facing a lot of Fly units, or are unsure who your opponent will be from game to game (e.g. a tournament situation), then the Stormtalon Gunship or Stormraven Gunship gives you better options against a wider range of enemy targets.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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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.

10 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Flyers: Stormhawk Interceptor”

  1. Calgar September 21, 2017 9:34 am #

    I have been thinking of getting one or two of these to hunt Daemon Primarchs. I will soon be facing Mortarion on a regular basis, so I think these would put a bit of a scare in him.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 21, 2017 9:58 am #

      Not a bad choice. Mortal wounds is best with those jerks but baring that, weight of fire.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr September 22, 2017 12:45 am #

      Next time I play Harlequins or Dark Eldar, I think I’ll be taking a Stormhawk to see what damage it can cause.

  2. Don Tomaso September 21, 2017 10:41 am #

    A pity though that there arent THAT big differences between the two SM fliers. One is a wee bit better at anti air and the other at strafing, that´s it.

    Ork fliers seem more fun in that they differ and offer greater variations in flavor. I bought one and after trying it instantly wanted to buy one of each of the other three. I did not have that feeling at all after getting two stormhawks, didnt even occur to me to get the other flier version.

    ..just my personal taste, thats all.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 21, 2017 11:42 am #

      I’d buy one of each just to collect them, lol. I like having every SM model for my now larger than company sized army, personally. But, I am weird, lol

      • Don Tomaso September 21, 2017 9:48 pm #

        Oh you are spot on there. I get everything of everything no matter if it is “good” or “bad” just for the love of collecting it.

        The same will be with the flier, just takes time to paint myself towards it as all kinds of primaris models are in the way:P

        It´s not healthy, lol
        Being stuck with the idea to not only gather the entire first company and almost two more but custom sculpt half of the first is not good for your sanity.

        Think I´m up at 10k points on the primary army with every single mini taking about a week to paint on average.

        Every foot veteran will even get a custom pair of legs of various kinds like these:

        https://i.imgur.com/IGJzpy4.jpg

        https://i.imgur.com/Gb6K5iE.jpg

        Would actually be quite fun to show up one day and get a humongous batrep going, no competition, just fluff and fun with a few hours of pizza, laughs and some very well painted minis on an awesome table.

      • Michael Corr
        Michael Corr September 22, 2017 12:46 am #

        I’m with Reece on this one, I really do like the models so want to field them. The White Scars Stormtalon in an issue of White Dwarf was what convinced me to start the army.

  3. WestRider September 21, 2017 3:46 pm #

    The bump in Toughness is also significant against S7 Weaponry. I do wish that the Storm Talon shared it, tho. I need to get mine on the field and try them both out, see how I feel about them in practice.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr September 22, 2017 12:47 am #

      That’s right, S7 will now be wounding you on a 4+ as well. I don’t know why the Stormtalon was singled out to be T6, while the Stormhawk got T7 and an extra weapon.

      • WestRider September 22, 2017 11:41 am #

        The StormHawk had better Front AV in 7th. Fluff-wise, it’s the more heavily armoured cockpit. A full point of Toughness does seem a bit much for that, tho.

        The discrepancy in weapons wouldn’t be nearly as much of a deal if the prices better reflected the differences.

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