The Hunter is the first researchable support vehicle available to the player.
The "Hunter" Scout Car is a small armoured vehicle that is used for scouting and fire support during combat missions. It fills the space of two soldiers in the dropship, but is tougher, can move faster and has a longer sight range than a soldier.
The Hunter is derived from the Daimler Ferret armoured car, a vehicle small and light enough to be carried inside one of our Charlie dropships (though there is only space for one vehicle in a strike team). The "scout car" designation is instructive; the Hunter is not a battle tank. Any vehicle light enough to be carried inside a helicopter will have relatively flimsy armour and the Hunter is no exception to this. Nevertheless, it is far quicker to replace a few damaged armour plates after a mission than it is to nurse a wounded soldier back to health, making this vehicle an extremely effective way to scout the battlefield in the hands of a careful commander.
The Hunter is equipped with dual .30cal machineguns, which are powerful but inaccurate. They are better suited to suppressing our foes than slaying them, making the Hunter a useful infantry support vehicle. If you would like to upgrade its firepower, your engineers believe they could refit the turret with powerful explosive rockets instead - however, these are hardly likely to leave much behind for my team to study.
The usage of a Hunter in the early game is a hotly debated topic. Suffice it to say you will be sacrificing two soldiers for one support vehicle.
The advantage of a Hunter is primarily due to it having superior action points, hit points and armour to your soldiers, in addition to mounting a heavy calibre weapon. Due to the Hunters armour it can 'tank' more alien plasma shots and will usually end up drawing a lot of fire due to it being an exposed target. A role of the Hunter is to act as a scout, moving ahead of your soldiers to scout the area ahead, then take cover if possible or return fire, this also means the Hunter can be used as mobile cover.
The machinegun is good at suppressing aliens and does not suffer from the drawbacks of using a machinegun on a normal soldier, however it is limited to only 120 rounds, effectively only 12 uses, as well as being as inaccurate as a normal machinegun.
The rocket launcher is a good alternative to the machinegun. It is easily capable of outright killing most low level aliens and levelling any cover, making it an attractive option. However it suffers from having a limited amount of rockets, only eight, as well as it destroying its target and any equipment they were holding.
Despite its good armour, it will not last long against alien plasma fire, and a few good hits will destroy the Hunter.
While the Hunters price tag is only slightly higher than a soldiers hire cost, the loss of two soldiers is a great deterrence to using a Hunter. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and the availability of good soldiers and weapons.
|Armour Ratings||K:40 E:40 I:40 C:100|
The Hunter is referred as "ferret" in the games' files.