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Flyers In The Current 40k (warning: Wall Of )text

Discussion in 'Table Top' started by BrotherShrimp, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. I'm starting this thread so that we can discuss what we think of the flyers in the current state of Warhammer 40k, since I know people have very different views on them, and I'd like to hear what everyone has to say and how their mechanics can be improved.

    First, I'll start by saying that, for me, most flyers (especially vehicles) have no place in standard 40k games. There, I said it. Even at the 2k points scale, a 40k game is at most platoon-level (it may include 3 or more of what modern armies call "platoons", but it's still not a company). At this scale, a close-support gunship like a Stormtalon may be alright, but air-superiority fighters or bombers, definitely aren't. It starts getting really ridiculous when such high-speed and/or high-altitude vehicles start getting shot down by hand weapons.

    I'll take two WW2 games (without naming them, but I assure you they exist) as examples. None of them are perfect, of course, but they'll explain my viewpoint pretty well.

    - first, there's is a pretty popular company-based, 15mm game. It leads to battles the size of which you can see in Epic 40k, for example. At this scale, flyers are alright (independently of the exact mechanics), because the size of the battlefield allows for more "real" manoeuvres.
    - for my second example, I'll talk about a platoon-based game, in 28mm. In that game, and again it's far from perfect, planes are mostly abstracted. You call in an airstrike, when they arrive the opponent can try shooting them down with his dedicated anti-air, if the planes survived you resolve their attack. No miniature actually needed.


    The mere fact that, in both games, you need dedicated anti-air weapons to deal with planes, makes them already much more interesting. While in 40k, against the weaker ones, a bolter salvo is enough to deal with them... even though they are supposed to fly waaaay too high and too fast for them to reach.

    Which brings me to my second point: the unbalance between various flyers. We can all agree that some of them, namely the hellturkey, the flying croissant, and the vendetta, are way undercosted compared to their firepower and survivability, while most of them (eldar, tau, Dark Angels...), with their weak armour (10 means even a bolter can glance them to death) are pretty much useless. Anything that requires heavy AA weaponry should be Apocalypse only IMHO, and every flyer categorized as a bomber or an air-superiority fighter should need heavy AA to take down.


    Then there's the issue of FMC. Well, actually, I don't have much of an issue with them, I think the rules work quite well. They don't fly so fast that you need dedicated weapons to take them down, the simple fact that they're flying (probably not in a straight line towards you) is enough to warrant hitting them on 6's. Giving them a jinx save on top of that may be a bit much in some cases, but they also really need it when the big guns start shooting them (game-wise, they should be scary and survivable), so it's still alright I guess.


    Brother Shrimp, out.
  2. Unglory Unglory Subordinate

    Holy Baby Jes...Emperor. A warning about the wall of text would have been nice!
  3. Unglory Unglory Subordinate

    The first thing that jumped out at me was that your compairing the tactics of now, to those of the year 40,000 where supersoilder are fighting basass aliens. If i can as an IG commander use a single plane to kill a squad of Space Marines.... well i would tell the next 10 planes to continue the kamakazi run, because it would be worth it!
    The scale is totally different to now.
    As for shooting them without dedicated AA. Do you know how high an effective Bolter round can fly? I sure don't. It a .75 cal round i think. Some current militaries use .50 Cal and those are effective to about 1800 meters(1.1 miles, 2000 yrds, 1.8 km). Thats pretty damm far, and those ones arent mini-missles lol.
    Plus account for the height of a TT aircraft, usually just above the buildings which i imagine are big, but not that big. Add in the fact the level of training and WHO is shooting, its possiable that they could hit and damage an aircraft.
    Aircraft are a major form a transport and when you have to travel quickly around planets. I think it makes sense to have them in the game, as much as they are not well balanced between themselves.
    That being said, some have more dakka, more armour, more transport capasity but all can be brought down. They definately have a lot, and in some cases cheap, AA options you can bring.
    My major complaint is that often when i want to a do an all around list (which is fluffy for me) i find im just wasting points on AA if my enemy doesnt have any that game, and thats upsetting because there are always more men and toys i could have brought instead.
  4. Unglory Unglory Subordinate

    The first thing that jumped out at me was that your compairing the tactics of now, to those of the year 40,000 where supersoilder are fighting basass aliens. If i can as an IG commander use a single plane to kill a squad of Space Marines.... well i would tell the next 10 planes to continue the kamakazi run, because it would be worth it!
    The scale is totally different to now.
    As for shooting them without dedicated AA. Do you know how high an effective Bolter round can fly? I sure don't. It a .75 cal round i think. Some current militaries use .50 Cal and those are effective to about 1800 meters(1.1 miles, 2000 yrds, 1.8 km). Thats pretty damm far, and those ones arent mini-missles lol.
    Plus account for the height of a TT aircraft, usually just above the buildings which i imagine are big, but not that big. Add in the fact the level of training and WHO is shooting, its possiable that they could hit and damage an aircraft.
    Aircraft are a major form a transport and when you have to travel quickly around planets. I think it makes sense to have them in the game, as much as they are not well balanced between themselves.
    That being said, some have more dakka, more armour, more transport capasity but all can be brought down. They definately have a lot, and in some cases cheap, AA options you can bring.
    My major complaint is that often when i want to a do an all around list (which is fluffy for me) i find im just wasting points on AA if my enemy doesnt have any that game, and thats upsetting because there are always more men and toys i could have brought instead.
  5. Comparing systems is not a good place to make a foundation for criticisms. You have to look at the 40k system itself and judge it only by the merits within that system. Flyers are just an extension of the system, you're now expected to bring SOMETHING that can deal with em much like you're expected to bring something that can deal with a tank, or land raider or some such thing.
  6. I understand that you find it irritating that aircraft models fly low, when they enter the 40k table they are switching from either fighter or bomber to multi-role close air support.

    Example: Nephilm Jetighter, it is an atmospheric fighter so in its prime conditions it is up high ensuring that Thunderhawks get to the field but when the distress signal comes in the pilot needs to descend to a level where he can perform strafing runs and knock out enemy support fliers. as for its low armor rating (AV 11 F,S,R) its original design is for being a fighter and thus sacrifices armor for speed and agility.

    as for point costs and upgrades? yes the Nephilm is costly for what it can do and its 'upgrade' isn't super great (trade twin linked lascannon for Avenger Megabolter) it is overall not worth it
  7. Warlord683 Active Member

    The rules in place which allow small arms to take down a flier in 40k is because of game balance issues. Without that rule in place, and giving the task to only units with AA only weaponry, gives fliers a huge advantage because veterans would simply eliminate the AA threat first so they can achieve air superiority. With some armies that would mean ultimate victory without recourse. Quite the reverse, if you were to give units being attacked by fliers an overwatch attack to defend themselves, or a chance to take cover, would also change the entire effectivness of a flier unit. Some units after all would have a greater advantage to eliminte a flier then others. The best thing you can do, rather then changing an entire dynamic of 1 game mechanic, take a more balanced force and eliminate the threat with tactical prowess by using the current rules instead of arguing a currently unneccissary change.

    back in the day point costs for units was based off a scale system. Every point of stat was a certain amount of points and that was the basis for all armies in the 40k game. These days its based more off the design teams opinions on what things should be, and only loosly based off the same scale system, or the scale system of the army (not compared to others). As far as weapon upgrades & units are concerned for anything 40k related, math-hammer dictacts what is truely effective and what will ultimately go ignored.
  8. Ishagu New Member

    I think we can all agree that the Heldrake is overpowered to the point of stupidity.

    A model that can move across the board, is practically immune to crew stunned/shaken results, can hit multiple units, has attacks that ignore cover and can hit squads behind it, easily being able to kill it's point cost and more in a single attack. And yes, it has an Invul save and can repair itself...
    Thunderfury 2575 likes this.
  9. Warlord683 Active Member

    GW constantly must release newer, more powerful, units to make Veteran players who already have everything they need for there current army to convince them to buy more. As a result you end up with things like the HelTurkey, or unnecessary upgrade options that look cool but aren't necessarily more powerful to older units.

    The underline problem is as follows... There is no grand plan for Army creation in a single edition so there is no consistency between Codex Design Groups. As a result you get Codex releases of either extremely powerful armies based on favoritism, or end up with the results of a lack luster army because in previous editions they weren't as popular. For instance I hear more people bitching about Dark Angels these days with the release of the new Codex Space Marines, that I wish they had incorporated the characters and unit options within the new rulebook (or will in a supplement) to suspend the gripe.
  10. On paper they sound amazing. In game they're great, but nothing that can't be handled unless you brought nothing to deal with flyers to begin with.
    Warlord683 likes this.

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