Tuesday 19 January 2016

Horus Heresy Review - Xiphon Interceptor

How do all and sundry

Today I'm going to be doing a quick review of the Xiphon Interceptor.

Unit Stats

The Xiphon interceptor is a sleek fast craft of a flyer and as such it isn't much to write home about in terms of AV and hull points with AV 11 all round and just 2 HP. This makes the 200+ point price tag pretty steep in that regard. The BS is a standard space marine of 4.

However it does make up for this with both some special rules and also some equipment that I will cover later. Special rules wise the Interceptor has Agile which grants +1 to your jink save. This is excellent for survivability, increasing your jink to a 3+.

The interceptor also has supersonic for extra speed, but I would much prefer vector dancer in all honestly, having played Dark Eldar for a year or two, I never found supersonic to be overly beneficial compared to the vector dancer available to the craftworld cousins (why Dark Eldar don't have vector dancer on their flyers is utterly ludicrous). Rounding off the special rules is deep strike, which for me at least will never be used, but it is there is you're a maverick pilot (Gooooooooose!)

Overall the interceptor has a high price tag associated with a pretty flimsy frame. This is mitigated somewhat by its 3+ jink granted by agile, but its value for your investment is somewhat questionable at this point.


The standard weaponry of the Interceptor is TWO twin linked lascannons coupled with the Xiphon rotary missile launcher. The lascannons need no introduction and at BS4 twin linked you'll be unlucky to miss with both in regularity, just warm those dice aforehand!

The rotary missile launcher on the other hand, needs great fanfare for its introduction as it is an amazing piece of ranged wargear. 60 inch range, S8 AP2, heavy 2. Wowzers thats good already right? Yes it is Rob, good show. HOWEVER, it also comes with two special rules called Cluster warhead and Terminal Tracking.

Cluster warhead means that if you successfully penetrate a vehicle then you roll D3 times on the damage chart and apply the highest result. Whereas Terminal Tracking means that both successful jink and cover saves against this weapon must be re-rolled. Bloody hell. This weapon is a one way stop to a destroyed flyer or jinking skimmer. It also has an excellent chance of blowing up anything that it penetrates, especially if that is an open topped vehicle.

With the strength of the weapon it will also do a good job of doubling out any T4 jetbike mounted eldar characters in 40k, with terminal tracking helping offset their jinking abilities.

The other standard equipment for the Interceptor is armoured ceramite to protect against melta hits. This is nice, but ultimately you are AV11, they don't need the melta rule to overcome your armour. It gives you a little edge in survivability but not too much.

Additional upgrade options are thin on the ground but all are pretty good or OK really. Ground tracking augries grant +1 BS against ground targets (the 30k strafing run), an armoured cockpit allows you to ignore crew shaken results on a 4+, which is OK for the 5 points its costs, but in reality will not make a great deal of difference as with only 2 HP if you survive a shooting attack you will probably have been jinking anyway, still if you have the spare points its nice to squeeze in. Finally you can also add a chaff launcher which grants you a 4+ invulnerable against missile fire. Though there are plenty of none missile weapons to take you down I think this is a must upgrade, giving you a save against a not insignificant amount of threat which will allow you to maintain full BS if you survive.

Overall - The Interceptor has excellent weaponry coupled with a few choice bits of equipment that increase its survivability or its ability to destroy ground targets. If you only take one upgrade, make it the chaff launcher. Whilst BS5 against ground tanks would be sweet, this thing is really a dedicated flyer killer more than anything, that can also then double up to take on ground tanks.


The Interceptor is a tricky one, much like any flyer that has such minimal AV and hull points to work with. I strongly believe the Interceptor will work best when you have some form of reserve manipulation to hand, allowing it to arrive at the most opportune moment, e.g. after the enemy flyers, or after you have dealt a good deal of damage to the enemies skyfire/interceptor capabilities.

Alternatively you could aim to bring it on turn 2 as part of an Alpha strike list and use the Interceptor as a barrage of multiple threats. It may well get taken down in that instance but this tactics relies on your 3+ jink or 4++ invulnerable to shake off a lot of damage and thus protect other targets. But if it survives in this scenario then you can wreak havoc on some juicy ground targets and hopefully an enemy flyers that come on will have little ground support left by that point.


The Interceptor is very expensive in points for its durability, but it does have the potential to be an absolute nightmare for your opponent. I don't think the Interceptor is a must take in any army really, but one of them backed up by some other flyers or 2-3 of them working in concert will be absolutely brutal in a game if played right.

Another point of note, is the thing is damn beautiful. And I'm a sucker for beauty.

Peace out,



  1. It's definitely the best looking of the Imperial flyers (though the marauder has a certain majesty to it).

    That missile launcher sounds evil though, talk about ripping up the rule book and throwing it out the window! That gives you a 50-50 chance of blowing any vehicle up with a penetrating hit when you add in it's AP2!

    1. It does have a sleek lovely look to it for sure! And yeah the missile launcher is full on gorgonzola...

  2. Great review. I agree, for the points costs I'm not so sure I'd take it. Would rather take my Fire Raptor for 220pts with the Reaper Autocannons!

    1. Overall I would definitely say take a fire raptor over this on the balance of rules, but this is too pretty for me to stay away :P

  3. You have captured my thoughts on it pretty well.
    Next ting to review would definitely be the Lightning as it is in the same vein as the last two reviews.

    1. I will get on to that this week coming sir :)

  4. I don't play 30k so doubt I'd ever use one, although this has been an interesting read... it is however an beautiful model, and I would like to own a couple, if only as part of a diorama I have in mind...

    1. That is a diorama I would like to see!! What else is going on it!?