Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Astra Militarum & Tempestus Tactics: FW Flyers

Lets talk Forge World.  There are some useful units to consider, especially flyer wise for the Imperial Guard, and probably the Militarum Tempestus.  I emailed FW today to get a clarification on their use for MT, but until I get an answer, lets assume your using them as part of your AM ally slot.  Some of the flyers are pretty darn good, none are honestly crazy though and pretty well priced if even a little
 over priced.  So lets get on with it.

First up is the Thunderbolt Fighter, the mainstay of the imperial navy.  Its 180pts, has 3 HPs and is AV 11 11 10 and BS 3.  It has 2 TL autcannons and a TL Lascannon.  It has the supersonic special rule, and has an armored cockpit which allows crew stunned and shaken to be ignored on a 4+, and it has repair which doesn't really work any more as locked velocity isn't the same in 7th (don't believe it exists at all anymore).  Upgrade wise you can give it 4 hellstrike missiles or 6 tactical bombs for 40pts, or 4 skystrike missiles for 50.  Way too expensive to be taken in my opinion.  It can take some of the special flyer upgrades, none really are good enough to really be worth taking.  I'll discuss them specifically later on.  But really I don't see them being useful enough of an upgrade.

Bare bones will do the job and thats how I would take it.  Since it directly competes with a vendetta, lets do a comparison.  Its ten pts more and has less armor on front and side, and has no transport capacity.  It has two TL autcannons instead of lascannons, which I actually like.  Having 4 TL auto shots and one TL las is a good combo and enough to deal with a flyer or ground vehicle in a turn of shooting or two depending on the flyer/vehicle.  Volume of fire helps and I think there are some benefits here, but I'm not sure if its enough over a vendetta.  The armored cockpit is nice to ignore stunned and shaken but that alone doesn't set it far enough apart to make it a strong choice over vendettas.  Its still good though and will still do the job as anti air and is a little better in ground attack than the vendetta.  I'd consider it but wouldn't auto take over the vendi.

The lightning Strike fighter is next and is an awesome model, at least the new one.  Almost enough to make me get one, but not quite.  At 145pts its well priced and has AV 10 10 10 and 2 HPs, BS 3, it is agile which gives it +1 to its jink save and has armored cockpit and is supersonic. Its armed with a TL lascannon and long barreled autocannon.  The only difference is that the autcannon is 72" range, otherwise exaclty the same as a normal autocannon.  Upgrade wise it can replace the autcannon with 2 hellstrike missiles or two tactical bombs +strafing run for free.  It can take 4 hellstrike missiles, six tactical bombs, or 4 hellfury missiles for 40pts, or 6 sky strike missiles for 50pts.  The sky strike missiles are tempting as they are TL vs flyers and fast skimmers, but that is a very expensive fragile model.

Here again I see it stock as the way to go, the tactical bombs +strafing run for free is tempting, but they are one use only so you'll be left with only a TL lascannon later on.  Its fragile so keep it cheap and jink when you need to.  As a basic anti air flyer its not bad for its cost and does its job, and the autocannon can reach out and touch someone.  At its price you could bring two, but it takes up a heavy slot so this is prohibitive.  Its not amazing, but will do its job and is something to consider as a cheaper AA option that can still hunt vehicles pretty well.

Next is the Vulture, one of the most iconic FW flyers and is a straight dedicated gunship for IG.  It has normal valk profile minus transport capacity, but it also has vector dancer and strafing run, amazing.  Best part is that it starts out at 105pts.  It comes with a heavy bolter, TL multi laser, and 2 hellstrike missiles.  Kitting this thing out is really on what you want it to do as it can go into many different roles.

You can replace the multi laser with TL autocannon for free, TL missile launcher for 10, TL lascannon for 15, or two MRPs for 20.  The Hellstrikes can be replaced by 2 hellfury missiles for 20, 6 tactical bombs or 6 HK missiles for 40, and MRPs for 30.  Or you can replace both for a TL punisher cannon for 50pts.  The punisher is an obvious choice as with TL and strafing run, thats a lot of shots hitting home.

You can give it the TL autocannon and hellstrike missiles for tank hunting or hitting air targets.  Honestly its pretty good in a couple of roles, but definitely excels as an anti infantry or medium vehicle hunter.  Vector dancer is great and along with strafing run, you can hit ground targets very reliably.  This is definitely one of the best choices here.  Its a fast attack choice which is nice, as you aren't taking a slot away from wyverns or leman russes.

A really interesting choice is the sky talon.  Its only 70pts, and while a heavy support choice, it does not take an actual force org slot up.  It has vector dancer and is armed with a heavy bolter and 2 hellstrike missiles.  It has the skylift special rule which allows it to pick up a tauros or two drop sentinels. You can pick up a tauros squadron if you have enough sky talons to grab the whole squadron.  The hellstrike missiles can be replaced with MRPs for 30pts.  So for 100pts you have a flyer with vector dancer that has some pretty nice anti infantry capabilities and doesn't actually take a slot up.

If you don't care about the lost transport capacity, this is a really nice valk variant to consider and can bring highly mobile anti infantry for cheap.  This is another high recommendation.

The Avenger strike fighter is probably one of my favorite looking flyers.  Its AV 12 10 10 with 2 HPs, has an armored cockpit, comes with strafing run and supersonic, an avenger bolt cannon, two lascannons, and a defensive heavy stubber (meh).  And its 150pts.  The avenger bolt cannon is a S6 AP3 heavy 7 weapon, which is pretty awesome.

This is a dedicated ground attack fighter and with strafing run it does this job well.  With its armament its a solid if not amazing air killer too.  Weapon upgrade wise, its similar to the first two in that they are really expensive.  The it can take two autocannons or multi lasers for 30pts, two missile launchers for 40, two hellfury or hellstrike for 20, or six tactical bombs for 40.  The hellfurys are not bad and wouldn't be a terrible choice.  The auto cannons are prob the best and what I would take if going for upgrades.

Its a solid flyer that does its job base and some of the upgrades are not too bad and don't go too far into the bank.  It is a heavy support choice so keep that in mind, but I think it does its job pretty darn well.  I really want one of these and its def in my future as either a kitbash build or the actual FW model.

Ok lets talk about chaff launchers, illum flares, paint scheme and infrared targeting.  Infrared is 5pts and gives you night vision.  Night fighting is not as big a deal as it was before so not really enough for me, its cheap but not needed IMO.  Illum flares are a one time use per turn, drop it like a bomb and any units targeting an enemy unit within 12" gain night vision.  Not bad, but again night fight isn't as big of a deal and the flyer has to be on the board during night fight for it to be useful, even a 5 pts its not that great.  Chaff launchers are 10 and give the flyer a one time use 4+ invul save against missile shot at it.  Its too particular to be useful and not enough armies use missile weapons to bring flyers down.  Its a no for me.  Last is the distinctive paint scheme for 10 which is a one time reroll of a unit's morale check if the flyer is on the board and in line of sight.  Its not bad and can def help if you really need to pass that morale check.  Prob the best but by no means really good enough to warrant taking.

For me my top three are the vulture, sky talon, and avenger.  The rest are not bad, but not great either.  I would def take the vulture and avenger as AM allies for my scions.  Who knows, maybe forge world will get back to me and decide if Militarum Tempestus can use them too.  Other wise though they bring some good flyer support and are great additional options to consider for AM and MT.



  1. Hi,

    I am looking for some advices. I my friend have csm army and he use fire raptor. It is cheap and really powerfull flyer which cost 210pts, have av 12 12 12 hp 4, twinlinked autocannons with split fire,avenger bolt cannon and hellstrike missiles. We already played twice and both times he was able to kill most of my leman russes.The problem is I dont want spend too much points on aa weapon just to kill one plane. Do you have any ideas how to deal with this threat?

    1. First of all, Hellstrike missiles are Ordnance, last time I checked. Meaning, all other weapons only do snap shots, and CSM's demonic possession only works against Crew Shaken/Stunned. The turrets have a rule that allows them to fire seperately as long as the vehicle is allowed to fire at all, but that doesn't change snapshots-or-no-snapshots.

      Therefore, if he fires one Hellstrike, everything else only hits on 6s, including other Hellstrikes, making the Hellstrikes pretty worthless in most situations. This means he can either fire S7 only (Avenger bolt cannon and AC turrets) or only one shot S8 ordnance (plus unreliable S7 snapshots). Keeping that in mind, and blocking potential attack routes with blob'o'guardsmen, you should be able to block the worst firepower with correct armor facing and cover.

      Next turn, blast it with one or two vendettas. Flyers in 7th have to decide wether they have skyfire for that turn or not, and if they do, all weapons have. If they want to kill your vendetta, only one weapon can fire at it (turrets are side only), therefore the others can only shoot different targets, and if those are ground targets, they're only hitting on 6s. So, as long as you have a flier in the air, you can either blast him with impunity or force him to lower the overall firepower by targeting the flier with a fraction of his firepower.

    2. A single vendetta should be able to help you out here, That would be your best choice and you can use it go after other things once the raptor is taken out. In a pinch prescience on a bunch of autocannons or other weapons with high strength and shots will do the trick

    3. @MajorNese: My interpertation of the ordnance rules is because all weapons of the same type fire simultaneously, all your Hellstrikes hit on normal BS, rather than have to fire as snapshots. Other weapons fired on the same vehicle of a different type will obviously be snapshots.

    4. I've heard that argument, I can buy it, still not enough to keep the hellstrikes in my opinion

    5. Wether that argument works or not is irrelevant, as I've overlooked the 7th ed ordnance changes, something no one ever mentioned online. Seems like the snapshot restriction for vehicles is gone:

      "When shooting, a model with an Ordnance weapon fires the number of times indicated in its profile after its type.
      A non-vehicle model [...].
      Ordnance weapons cannot fire Snap Shots.
      Furthermore, if a non-vehicle model [...]."
      That's the entire rule text, except for introduction and armor penetration stuff.

      And Grumpy, the Hellstrikes are standard loadout, so that's nothing anyone would leave at home. Seems like the only solutions are flyer counter and restricting hits to LR front armor. A vendetta should work, despite 4hp it's still only AV12, and forcing it to jink would help a lot.

    6. I know their standard, I would take the upgrade weapon that the fire raptor can take instead of hell strike. Rules for snap shooting weapons and ordnance are on pg 73

      "..However a vehicle that fires its ordnance weapon can only make snap shots with its other weapons that turn."

      Vendetta is the best solution to counter it, next to that maybe one vengeance battery with quad icarus.

    7. "My interpertation of the ordnance rules is because all weapons of the same type fire simultaneously, all your Hellstrikes hit on normal BS, rather than have to fire as snapshots."

      Well, the rules section quoted by GG includes "fires its ordnance weapon". No plural, ONE weapon. That stayed the same with previous editions, where ALL weapons would fire simultaneously, where obviously the ordnance snapshot part would outrule the "simultaneously" part or it would have never changed anything.

  2. Where are the latest rules for AM fliers these days? I've got a 'copy' of Aeronautica, but I don't think that this is the latest rules.

    Personally, if money allowed, I'd go for three Vultures, one with punishers for a bit of everything and one with MRP's for anti inf and one with lascannons and HK's for anti air.

    1. From what i am tracking aeronautica is the latest, though there may be few flyers covered in some of the newer books. I asked FW that question, will see when I get an answer back.

  3. A build that tempts me with the Vulture is to give it the six Hunter Killer Missiles and a TL Lascannon. You can fire off four anti-tank shots a turn for two turns now, which isn't as bad as it sounds since flyers sit out at least one turn anyway. Strafing Run compensates for BS3 if your smoking ground armor and all that AP2-3 means that FMCs need to mind you.

    1. I was thinking along similar lines. Would be a pretty decent AA unit for Tempestus too. Vector dancer is pretty sweet to have on it too, making it hard for flyers to manuever away

    2. I used a TL Punisher Cannon on a Vulture in a tournament. It came on turn 2 and just gunned it forward as far as it could go. Next turn, his triple Vendetta squadron came on and killed Pask (sad day.) However, the Vulture was setup, thanks to Vector Dancer, to get behind to squadron. He chose not to Jink (didn't want to flub his next shots) and the Vulture glanced two of them to death by himself, with a lucky pen left to stun the last one. It was great, especially after other people told him that the Vulture wouldn't help me against his flyers at all.

    3. Yeah, never underestimate what a vulture can do, its got great guns and vector dancer makes it the that much better.

  4. Did they ever replied to your emails regarding this? I'm pretty interested in picking up a Forgeworld Flyer, but I'm still wary over their lack of updates regarding the Vulture's points, or if the Avenger is still eligible (can't find the Avenger in their FAQ and updates).

    1. Nothing more than the initial reply, you can take them all, just have to get the imperial armor books to use them.

    2. That's awesome, so you can take them for the Militarum Tempestus too? I know you can take Avenger Strike Fighters for the Sisters of Battle as well, but I'm guessing the initial reply gives the okay for Militarum Tempestus as well?

      Isn't the book to get the Aeronautica, or have the later Imperial Armor books updated their points and rules?

    3. Some of the units are in a few other books, but imperial armor aeronautica has all the flyers. Basically till they update their rules, Tempestus can use IG flyers.