Thursday, December 20, 2012

Totem Hunter


The Totem Hunter is one of the best all-round solos in the game on account of his good survivability, speed, mobility and damage. His stats are very solid for a melee solo, with a high MAT and SPD. He has a heap of common abilities:
  • Fearless
  • Pathfinder
  • Stealth
  • Hunter - amazing on models with guns, but since he has no guns is basically means he can see through forests.
  • Jump - get to jump 5" after advancing... really good mobility and threat range boost.
  • Prey - get a nice +2/+2 against a model/unit of your choosing.
  • Sprint - full advance after finishing your combat action if you kill a thing.
A lot of keyword abilities which sum up to 'comes out of nowhere, kills something, then runs off to do it again'.


He has two weapons, a P+S 14 reach spear and a P+S 11 buckler. Combined with his high MAT, these are enough to reliably kill almost any infantry model in the game, but throw in the Prey bonus and it becomes almost a certainty. He hits hard enough to seriously damage light jacks and beasts, or even kill softer casters.


He has Stealth, ARM 15, DEF 14 and 8 boxes. On top of that, he has pathfinder and hunter which means he can use forests and linear obstacles to full efficiency without being impeded by them in any way. If you lose him before he gets to make an attack, it means you made a mistake, played too aggressively and didn't use the terrain effectively, or your opponent put a lot of resources into killing him.


Top notch precision assassination, or hit n' run troop killing. That's where this guy's utility lies.


There's a couple of things you can do with him, most of which rely on maximizing the Prey bonus to take his stats from really good to amazing:

  • Pick a crutch or powerful enemy solo you want to die. Joe, Tartarus, Janyssa, Gorman, Eyriss... that kind of thing. Then focus entirely on killing them, and hopefully sprinting away afterwards to force your opponent to dedicate resources to kill him or risk another nasty cut. At worse, you can just leave him behind a wall or in a forest to make sure said solo never gets too close. Rinse and repeat until the enemy caster is the best thing to prey.
  • Pick an important unit you want to die. Usually this will be an AD unit like MHSF or Widowmakers, but can also be a unit with crutch UAs like Winterguard or Sentinels. Try to kill a few per turn, rinse and repeat until you can get the caster. I find him invaluable for killing that one Stealth Shifting Stone on Turn 2, for example.
  • Hold/threaten a zone or flag. This works especially well if there is a terrain feature nearby that you can use for protection while waiting for your opponent to come into range. Your prey target in this case should be whatever you expect to contest the zone, as long as it's not a heavy.
  • If you're facing a list with a low ARM caster like Nemo, Morghoul, Kaya, etc. you can simply prey the enemy caster from the get go and use the Totem Hunter as a constant assassination threat on account of his long leap threat (12" with reach). He usually won't be able to do the job all by himself, but he can scare them a bit.
In my experience, the key to utilizing him effectively is to stay focused on one of the above roles and not deviating from it. If you send him up a flank and 'see what happens', he is likely to just dick around a few turns and then kill something useless and die. If you send him up the middle unprotected, he'll just get killed without retaliation. Bide your time. Make sure you trade him for something worthwhile - if he completes his mission and dies, then you should have come out better off.

In all cases, he works best if he has some cover to run to with his Sprint move. If he doesn't, I prefer to run straight towards their board edge so they are forced to split their force to deal with him. He is pretty much 100% independent anyway, so you lose nothing.

Because of his very high independence, he works well with any caster. He is especially good under Maelok's feat as it gives him even more mobility. He is also really great with Rask's "anything is a threat" assault playstyle.


Gold star! Keep him focused on killing his prey and achieving a beneficial piece-trade, and you'll get a lot of use out of him. He has a place in almost any Blindwater list above 35pts.

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