[I posted this a while back, but I figured it would be a good addition to the new consolidated tactics thread.]
Ever since Prime the Manhunter (MH) has been a staple in many Khador lists. The MH is one of those models that has past the test of time. That being said I thought it was high time that the MH got some time in the spot light. I am going to include Yuri in this write up as well since he is effectively another MH, but w/ Reach.
This is what you get for 2 points: The MAT of a Drakhun, DEF and SPD of a Widowmaker, STR of The Butcher, the ARM of an Iron Fang Pikemen, and 5 wounds!
Abilities: Advance Deployment, Camouflage, Fearless, Pathfinder, Stealth, and Weapon Master (2 axes). With Yuri, MHs gain Tree Walker. This is awesome because they get +2 DEF against melee attacks while in a forest, LOS is never blocked by forests, and they may move through obstructions and other models as if the models were not there (they still provoke free strikes from enemies though).
There are a couple of different roles the MH can fill in a Khador list. I will go through the ways I use him, but I’m sure there are other ways. There are three ways I use the Manhunter: Harasser, Guided Missile, and Body Guard/Counter Charger.
This is how I use the MH in most games. The idea is to take advantage of Advance Deployment and Stealth so you get the MH as far into the opponent’s side of the board w/o dying. This works better if you are able to move into a forest or some cover for the camouflage bonus. Any rough terrain will work to your advantage. In this role the MH’s job is to “harass” a given model/unit so they spend time going after the MH and spend less time trying to kill your army. Knowing your and your enemy’s threat ranges will make this tactic work more smoothly. I try to stay just a little bit out of my opponent’s threat range so that the model/unit will have to commit themselves more fully in order to take out the MH. Eventually your opponent’s model/unit will catch up with the MH. The turn before this happens is when you charge and try to kill as many models in that unit as possible. Not only is there a possibility to buy back your 2 points, but this also ties up that unit for another round. There have been times when I would just run a MH into a unit to buy me an extra round. What’s cool about the MH is that even though he is a cheap model, he is too dangerous to ignore. I’ll explain later how dangerous he can be when he is ignored.
This is where the “glass cannon” analogy comes in. The idea behind this strategy is to line up a target and have the MH charge it in hopes of destroying the target or severely crippling it. This is a very common strategy, but unfortunately it is misused a lot especially with beginners. You want to make sure the target you are going after is going to be worth the points in the long run. Charging and killing a couple of cheap trooper models is not worth sacrificing a MH (most of the time). That being said, the targets I try to aim for are key solos (i.e Eiryss, Strangeways) and warcasters/warlocks. I’ll go after beasts and jacks if I can kill them off with the charge or if I can set them up for another model to take them out. There are many things a MH can destroy on a charge.
Body Guard / Counter Charger:
I use this strategy the least, but that is my personal preference. This strategy uses the MH to protect important model/units and to counter charge other models. For example, I may deploy a MH near my Widowmakers in case I have to kill a model that engages this unit. I like keeping a MH near my Drakhun so I have a good chance at destroying any model that decides to charge the Drakhun. Keeping a MH near your warcaster is another viable option.
Each game is different, but most times I like to space out my MHs. I like doing this because is splits my opponent’s attention. MHs are great for scenario play. If you don’t own Kossits MHs can be used to grab points in the later rounds of a game. If I am facing off against a model that is super durable like Gudrun, I deploy two MHs in close proximity so as to get a counter charge off. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice a MH in order to kill a key model. Try not to deploy MHs near low DEF models. Targeting that model with an AOE or spell such as Chain Lighting will spell the end for your MH.
-Other models with Pathfinder
-Anything that ignores Stealth and/or Camouflage
>Gun Mage Captain Adept
>Legion (Eyeless Sight)…..just to name a few
In general, MHs already work pretty well w/o support. That does not mean they cannot benefit from support.
pButcher: Most of the time the MH is not close enough to cast Iron Flesh (You wouldn’t want to upkeep it on him anyway). On the other hand, pButcher can make the MH into the glass cannon from hell! If you want to take out a heavy target such as a jack or warcaster, cast Fury on the MH and pop Butcher’s feat. That’s P+S 14 w/ 5 dice on the charge and 4 dice on the second attack. That will kill most things.
pSorscha: Fog of War is nice so as to give the MH a Camouflage bonus when there are no forests around. Giving the MH an extra 2” or movement w/ Boundless Charge is always a bonus. Her feat turn makes an assassination run with the MH much more viable.
pVlad: Guess how Vlad helps a MH! That’s right, the same way he helps everybody else out. Signs and Portents helps the MH hit harder and better. Brittle Frost becomes much more effective when your about to have a MH charge a jack under S&P. Don’t forget Boundless Charge!
pIrusk: Inhospitable Ground can help the MH harass other units much more effectively and help him get a charge off. Giving the MH an extra die of damage with Battle Lust could be a game winner and Airbust is great for taking out annoying solos that can take out the MH. I’m looking at you Stormsmith! Irusk’s feat is pure gold with the MH.
Karchev: This guy offers nothing to a Manhunter. But that’s ok because the MH offers a lot to Karchev. I almost always field one Manhunter with Karchev. The best quality about a MH is that he works very well alone. Harassing the opponent’s flanks is very important in this situation. If one MH is able to buy Karchev and his battlegroup one or two rounds of advancement then that MH has bought back its points in my opinion.
Old Witch: The MH is already a mobile model so there is little the OW can cast on him to make him better. There have been times I would use a MH to guard the Scrapjack from threats. The OW is great at denial so I try to use that to my advantage when using a MH. Murder of Crows can be used to block LOS to the Manhunter and Augury can be used to take out more solos that can threaten the MH
Zerkova: She doesn’t offer much to the MH. Again, that’s ok. Her feat can buy a MH more time to get more up close and personal with your opponent’s army
eButcher: A MH is awesome during eButcher’s feat turn. Get a MH as close to the enemy caster as possible and load him up with rage tokens. Casting Fury or Boundless Charge on him is not a bad idea either.
eVlad: A MH is an auto-include with eVlad. There are plenty of threads on this combo so I won’t go into detail. Basically eVlad’s feat makes a MH into a melee monster and eVlad’s spell Transference makes a MH even more dangerous.
eSorscha- Nothing that has not been said already. She has Boundless Charge. Her feat turn helps the Manhunter take out even the heaviest of targets.
eIrusk: His ability to control the board can help the MH harass models/units even better. eIrusk has Battle Lust which is always useful. You can be really sneaky and cast Artifice of Deviation on top an obstruction allowing the MH to advance through it to get at an unsuspecting victim. eIrusks feat can also help the MH get a charge off against a target blocked by clouds.
The Manhunter continues to be one of the most cost efficient models in the game. For just 2 points the Manhunter has the capability to consistently turn the tide of a game. If anyone has any suggestions or strategies they will like to offer I will do my best to edit the write-up to reflect the new information.