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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Eldar Codex Review - Part 28: Warp Hunters


So another re-do of a post due to Forgeworld being silly with their rule updates and not telling me...because I'm the first one who should be told! Here's the old post where a couple of rules were gotten wrong due to changes. BS4 instead of 3, D-Cannon has better chance of damaging vehicles and is a large blast. Without these we were looking at the Prism and Warp Hunter as relatively comparable but with these changes... well let's see shall we?

The Review -

As with your usual larger Eldar tanks, Warp Hunters are AV12/12/10, fast skimmers with the tank property. This gives them excellent mobility and the ability to fire on the move at rather rapid rates. As usual as well with heavier Eldar vehicles, the Warp Hunter comes with a main weapon system and a crappy weapon system which has the option to be upgraded to a Shuriken Cannon (generally a good idea). The main weapon is why you take the Warp Hunter and it's a doozy of a weapon.

At 36" it's not exactly breaking the world open from afar but with a 12" move it has plenty of scope in which it can be applied. The big kickers for this gun are two-fold: barrage and 5" blast. This means the AP2 is relevant all the time against infantry and the haywire like ability to damage vehicles cares not what you hide behind. This means the Warp Hunter can be effective against both tanks and infantry. Wounding on 2's and ignoring all armor means anything clumped up dies a terrible, terrible death. It inflicts instant death on wounds of six as well which is cute when you drop an IC/MC but not something to be relied upon. Against tanks, the Haywire on crack ability (2-4 glancing, 5+ penetrating) means parking lots are in a world of hurt and the Warp Hunter can reliably suppress any single tank.

However, it's a single gun and as we all know, single guns have a lot of issues. They can be shaken or destroyed off the platform and most importantly - they can miss. This is where Fire Prisms can edge Warp Hunters just a little bit as they can be more reliable when run in pairs. The Warp Hunter does have an answer though - Aether Rift or a template with the exact same profile as above but instead of a 36" range large blast, it's a hellhound like template which can be placed 6" from the vehicle. Excellent for hitting what you want to hit though the range leaves something to be desired.

Potential Uses -

Take your Fire Prisms and replace them with Warp Hunters. With the addition of a large blast and damage against vehicles happening on a 2+  the Warp Hunter surpasses the Fire Prism in pretty much every regard. The Fire Prism is still a little bit better in terms of actually taking out lighter tanks, particularly in pairs, but that's not what they are designed to do or intended for. The Warp Hunter is generally superior against tanks due to the anti-castling power it has over your opponent and when you're a mobile army like Eldar, forcing your opponent to spread out works great.

Thanks to barrage, the large blast and AP2, the Warp Hunter is death to all infantry - in cover or not and doesn't need to use the small blast template to break through Terminator armor and thanks to the haywire on crack effect against vehicles, it's the ulimate anti-parking lot tool capable of mass suppression. Don't rely on it too much for actually killing tanks as it only penetrates 33% of the time and has no damage modifier but if your opponent clumps up - punish them. That being said, it is relatively useful against the more expensive/higher AV tanks - you care not what armor you are shooting at though this makes it rather inefficient against single, cheaper vehicles.

With the template option as well the Warp Hunter can become a very reliable source of infantry frying once they are forced out of their transports or after being tank-shocked/engaged in a melee. Without needing a to hit roll and with the 12" move plus flexibility in placement of the template, one can ensure the maximum amount of infantry are basically killed on a 2+ (invuls obviously not withstanding). That's a pretty big boost to an army which can struggle with anti-infantry in general (relies upon mass S6 firepower which is also needed for suppression duty).

As always, Warp Hunters aren't going to say no to Farseer support. Doom ensures all those annoying ones which come against an infantry unit can be re-rolled to help ensure that final model with the meltagun/PFist dies and Guide can really increase the accuracy and damage potential against parking lots and infantry alike.

Potential Changes -

As it is now, the Warp Hunter craps all over the Fire Prism. Too much so - the Fire Prism doesn't really have a use and this means something has to give. Either the Warp Hunter gets hit with the nerf bat or the Fire Prism gets, well something. We also have to remember the Night Spinner here which has a similar, if more utility based, role.

In terms of what does what - something should probably be moved to the Fast Attack slot - though with the current standing of the Warp Hunter, I wouldn't recommend that. This gives the option of several heavy tanks in Heavy Support as well as one in Fast Attack as well as the Hornets there & War Walkers in Heavy Support (so potential to mix and match firepower/chassis demanded).

As it is now, the Warp Hunter has some excellent anti-infantry abilities with good supporting abilities against tanks - particularly parking lots. This makes me want to make the Fire Prism more anti-tank oriented with the small (or large blast) kept and and Heavy 2 direct shot as the primary firing mode with a reduction in points. I think given the Warp Hunter's ability to fry infantry and hurt parking lots (or heavy tanks in general) makes its current price sufficient given its one-gun syndrome downside though if this is in any way rectified through a new rule set, a slight increase would be justified.

Conclusion -

With the recent changes the Warp Hunter has a lot going for it over the Fire Prism. Seeing as it always does some damage to vehicles, even if the blast hole is off the vehicle, essentially damages a vehicle on a 2+, ignores cover, has AP2, wounds infantry on a 2+, is a large blast and has a ranged template option, well the only things the Fire Prism has going for it are range and accuracy when two are brought along. The Fire Prisms is also a little bit more reliable against tanks in terms of actually killing one, but they still aren't great. I'll take the Warp Hunter thanks.

The Warp Hunter gives the Eldar army a lot of options in terms of anti-infantry removal thanks to the barrage blast and aether rift template - something the army has issues with when running full mech. Chuck in the ability to force parking lots to spread out and the Warp Hunter gives the mobility of the Eldar army something else to capitalise on. All in all, a very good buy if you are able to use IA rules and something which would see very good use if brought intho the mainstream book.

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