Hey guys its Cavalier, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar Podcast, here today to talk about the Warp Hunter after its massive points drop.For more great list ideas and tactics, articles, check out the Tactics Corner.
The Warp Hunter saw a massive points decrease, dropping a 110 pts, coming in currently at 177pts with a simple shuriken catapult upgrade and nothing else. At nearly 300pts prior to CA:2018 the Warp Hunter was horrendously overpriced and I doubt anyone even in the most casual playing environment would use them.
Yet at 177 pts its a very intriguing unit. With a 36″ old school “artillery” mode, it doesnt need line of sight to its targets firing off Heavy D3 Str 10 AP-4 D6 Damage shots (or 2d3 shots against units with 10 or more models). It also has a “flamer” mode but at a very interesting 12″ range which pairs well with its 16″ movement. In terms of damage, the flamer mode kicks out D6 Automatic Hits Str 10 AP-4 D6 Damage. So that right there is a very unique weapon profile. Most Eldar weapons top out at Str 8, so wounding Knights and Leman Russ on 3’s is really nice.
However, the Warp Hunter does face competition even after dropping 110pts. Its only 3 points cheaper than a Crimson Hunter Exarch with Bright Lances which in my opinion is the best non-Ynnari unit in the Craftworld Codex. Speaking of Ynnari, the all-stars of their most infamous builds Shining Spears and Dark Reapers are also hungry for points, resources and role. As does the Fire Prism which is similar in points and has a killer stratagem to really make it reliable.
The Warp Hunter is a bit random too. D3 and D6 regardless of mode are tough to bank on, especially on a vehicle with a degrading profile.
The drawbacks mentioned mean this unit should not be relied upon as the heavy lifter in your army, especially when more elusive options are available that have great staying power like Alaitoc Crimson Hunters, Concealed or Wave Serpent protected Dark Reapers.
However the Warp Hunter does have a number of very unique things going for it that do make it a great support unit. I’ve used mine in support of the aforementioned Alaitoc Crimson Hunter Exarchs, Ynnari Dark Reapers and found them to be very impressive. They can start on the board fairly comfortably with their solid 36″ range artillery mode and lob shots at targets out of LOS. This can be pretty handy with the maddeningly elusive Alaitoc Crimson Hunter Exarch’s starting on the board as well, or with Dark Reapers positioned in cover out of LOS, or even in a Wave Serpent. This is terrain dependent, but I play on very terrain heavy boards in every single game, whether at home or at my FLGS. What I like about this, is that its an offensive choice that doesnt need to rely on Lightening Fast Reflexes or Conceal to survive making it a bit of a free lancer. That is pretty significant as those stratagem and psychic power are so pivotal for CWE units.
However even if terrain is lacking, you can put the Warp Hunter into Cloudstrike and with its 12″ flamer mode be able to actually use it after deepstrike. Also if you are getting screened out from your target of choice, you can always drop it 36″ away (out of LOS if possible) and lob shots in artillery mode though you will lose out on accuracy as you go to BS 4+ after deepstriking. Furthermore the Flamer mode is actually handy for rushing the lines flaming units and charging them (particularly other tanks), then using the Fly keyword to fallback and keep shooting, as a sort of “last hurrah” when you are low on Wounds and looking to be as much of a nuisance before you run out of Wounds.
I’ve found with units like Dark Reapers and Alaitoc Crimson Hunters in the same list, the somewhat fickle Warp Hunter can go ignored with such imminent threats tearing chunks out of your opponents army- at least mine have in the handful of games I’ve gotten in with them. Operating out LOS and the unpredictable damage output can make it lower target priority when more high octane offensive threats are still around. Though this can work in reverse as they can be come the easier to hit target (which has pros and cons as your other heavy hitters get ignored).
In terms of more competitive play I’ve only run my Warp Hunters in Ynnari lists supported by Alaitoc Crimson Hunters and Ynnari Dark Reapers. In my narrative single battalion lists they’ve featured alongside Wraithguard and a Wraithknight. So I’ve not gotten a chance to feature them as the sole heavy lifter in my army- and I dont think I would even at a 110pts decrease. That being said I’ve run a pair of them in all my lists lately and found them to be outstanding support units. Consistently racking up a lot of damage, either finishing off units like Knights or Leman Russ, or setting the table for units like my Crimson Hunter Exarch to finish off such targets and taking pressure of my Dark Reapers.
They give your opponent a very different look with their operating out of LOS while still fitting in well with the Mike Tyson Peek-a-Boo style offense as you duck and dodge with Fire and Fade, Lightening Fast Reflexes before delivering some devastating hits. Overall I’d give the Warp Hunter a Solid “B+” grade as a heavy hitting supplemental unit to your Eldar mainstays.
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