40K: Death From The Skies! Is the Sky Falling? Not Quite….

 

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Hi guys! Dean from Blog for The Blood God here with my first thoughts review of the Death from the Skies suppliment!

I just gave the new Death from the Skies suppliment my first full read and i have to say i like it!

I think this book will appeal to multiple different gamers for different reasons, for me its biggest highlight is the Air Superiority Detachment, in summary it allows any army to take 2+ flyers as a stand alone detachment. This can be huge as often the Force Organisation slots are heavily contested.

As a primarily Khorne Daemonkin player I often find myself forced into taking a Gorepack just so I can run multiple units of Flesh Hounds and Heldrakes in a single list, well not anymore! (Not that there is anything wrong with the Gorepack) now I can take a Combined Arms Detachment with 3 units of hounds and ally in a Flyer Wing for turkey goodness!

But why stop there? This detachment opens up endless possibilities when you explore the allies matrix! My new list is actually a Daemonic Incursion with an allied Flyer Wing of Heldrakes, which would have been impossible previously without paying a HQ and TROOPS unit tax.

I am sure there are hundreds of armies that will benefit from this ability to take a dedicated detachment of Flyers, the sky is the limit! (see what I did there)

Next we have the Dogfight Phase, now this does nothing to excite me personally, I hate the idea of adding ANOTHER phase to the game, but I can see it being quite fun if used as a side “minigame”

Basically players do a “rock paper scizzors” style challenge to determine movement, facing and attack, essentially creating a miniature Duel before the start of each turn. Eldar players are going to love this as Crimson Hunters now have the ability to drop enemy flyers before they hit the table.

The thing I DO like about this is it adresses one of (in my opinion) the biggest issues with flyers, the turn 1 punishment. Say for example we both had a single Crimson Hunter, normally who ever gets turn one would arrive with nothing to shoot, leaving you wide open when your opponents flyer arrives, where as now you get a little pre turn dogfight to see who truely controls the skies!

Also worth noting is that these Dogfights do NOT take place on the game board, but instead on a separate flat surface over 36″ wide! From a cinematic perspective I love this as it paints the picture of flyers hundreds of kilometers in the air fighting eachother…but… from a practical standpoint its just straight up dumb!

One of the biggest hurdles 40k players face is finding room to actually have a game, whether it by in the dining room at home or in a crowded FLGS. Can you imagine this at Tournaments!?! I can see a room crammed full of players fighting over the tiny remaining bench space to avoid having to conduct thier dog fight UNDER the table like some kind of underground, subterranean battle of… fighter jets?!?

There are some other really neat rules in the book like attack patterns that award certain bonus rules for models arranged like a flock of fire breathing turkeys from hell, and rules for your Wing Leader but that is for a future article… maybe…

I hope you enjoyed my first thoughts review of Warhammer 40,000:Death from the Skies.

Related note:
I think with this suppliment and the recent FAQs on facebook we are looking at an updated 7.1 rulebook for Christmas this year. Accompanied by a new Codex for Chaos Space Marines…. you heard it here first folks!

Also do not forget to check me out on facebook over at Blog for the Blood God for the latest on everything Khorne! I also have a Youtube Channel with everything from Battle Reports to Painting Tutorials and Early Unboxing and product reviews.

Thanks for tuning in, Stay Bloody everyone!

  • Secundum

    Eh, I don’t think this will take off personally. Too complicated, and too many weird rules.

    • Dave Scammell

      Heh. ‘take off’

      coz planes.

  • benn grimm

    Seems like the first truly horrible expansion they’ve put out; and stronghold/escalation were pretty bad. I think this gives a taste of where they are going for the next ed and its not a particularly good sign. It simultaneously manages to make flyers worse, less realistic and more of a pain in game. For expansion that’s only real point seems to be to get you to buy (and use) more flyers, I’d say thats pretty much an epic fail.

    • SWISSchris

      I agree. For a game that started out as platoon level skirmishes in RT and 2nd, what it has evolved into with dozens and dozens of overlapping supplements/codexes/dataslates, multiple superheavies being not-unusual, flyers, super-cheesy allied lists and a lot of the other 7th stuff really rubs me up the wrong way. Epic was awesome for bigger engagements but trying to replicate that in 28mm is a bad fit IMO. But then again, playing since 1994, I’ve definitely got a soft spot for 2nd, and even 5th so I appreciate most people have no problem with the current direction. What they’ve done here with these enormous flyer squadrons purely to try to encourage multiple purchases is painfully obvious. When other parts of the company are releasing awesome products like plastic Heresy-era marines, Deathwatch:overkill and Warhammer Quest, it does make you wonder what they were smoking when they came up with Death from the Skies (unfortunately is smacks more of a corporate push to sell flyers than a creative decision).

      • benn grimm

        Totally. I loved epic, trying to shoe-horn it into 40k has been really bad for the game, despite some awesome looking models (knights/stompaz etc). Tbh and this is just my personal theory; they’re selling a game which is rarely played; ie they sell the idea of a game to people who rarely play and therefore buy into the promotional nonsense. Anyone who’s actually played with a board full of flyers/titans/superheavies/recycling formations etc etc know that as much as it makes for a fun (if tiring) weekend and lots of great pics, its not half the game Epic was.

        • SWISSchris

          True the new models spawned have been excellent in many cases. The Eldar and Imperial Knights, and IG superheavy tanks being my own highlights, the space marine flyers being at the other end of the spectrum (do attack aircraft really have a place in a lightning strike, low model count elite force? I compare marines to Rangers or SAS so should be relying on imperial navy air power IMO, apart from transport craft like the thunderhawk that I see as a blackhawk/chinook equivalent). Problem is these large models dominate a game that I would prefer was won or lost by infantry actions. Fair enough as a centrepiece model in a specific scenario but I’d not want to regularly play against armies with them in. When I started out, seeing a dreadnought on the field in 40k was intimidating! Now my blood angels company have 4 siting on the shelf and a host of support vehicles. How times change?

          • generalchaos34

            Im ok with space marines having their own aircraft. They like to act alone and without support in order to commence their lightning raids as well as the fact they act completely independent from the rest of the Imperial Navy/Guard. Any ground attack force will need air support and I think that space marines will be far more trusting in their battle brothers for close air support than they will with the indiscriminate bombings of the imperial navy.

            I also totally agree with you that the game should be about the infantry, and big models should be limited to certain levels of the game. I would almost be happy with the percentage system used in Fantasy or HH

          • SWISSchris

            Yeah I know what you mean about the marine flyers, just in the fluff in my head they work closer with the IG than Games Workshop seems to think they do these days : ) Why wear full power armour in the flyer though? Plus vendettas and valkyries look completely awesome to me while I just have a bad gut reaction to the design of the storm talon and the storm wolf on a number levels, unfortunately for me they are both up there with kits like centurions and the dreadknight as things that I pretend don’t exist in my version of the 40k universe

          • benn grimm

            Basically, when you get down to it, flyers/superheavies have the same place in the game as a Warlord Titan; ie, the same place a full tactical squad in a rhino has in Necromunda; ie no place at all. Despite this, they’re here to stay, so the best answer to them; same as the best answer to that guy who brought 20 wolfguard w/cyclone/assault cannon in 2nd, explain to them, if you have time, why that kind of game isn’t for you, in the nicest way possible…

            I’ve got a tonne of old metal killa kanz hanging around for similar reasons, I keep them as a reminder of how 40k works(or doesn’t), helps to prevent me from ever buying too many of the same model ever again…;)

          • Viktor Julian

            Spot on. I remember when a Carnifex, Wraith Lord or a Dreadnaught was the equivalent of what a Wraith Knight or Imperial Knight is today.

      • ZeeLobby

        It’s like you guys are reading my mind.

        • Shawn

          Is it just me, or the majority of 40k players, especially the veterans afraid of new rules that aren’t codex related? Take a look at my post to Benn Grimm up above. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this as well.

          • ZeeLobby

            I just think the ruleset is overly complex to begin with. And none of the new rules seem to be thought out in any context with what is already available. On top of this, none of the formations/detachments/supplements seem to be written while considering any of these things. It’s like shoveling more poop onto a poop pile.

            I have just never heard an outcry from the community to include MORE flyer based rules… By the time this is over AoS will be the saner game of the two, which I never thought I’d say, lol.

          • Shawn

            No, true, but I don’t think players typically clamor about wanting new rules, except perhaps, CSM players, but new rules show up all the time. It helps keep the same game selling and people used to gobble the rules up like candy. Well, maybe not so much now, but Pathfinder and 3rd and 4th ed D&D it was something new like every 6-10 months it seemed. Paizo is still turning stuff out none-stop.

          • ZeeLobby

            Well there’s a difference between ‘new’ rules and revised rules. I don’t think anyone would have issues with GW fixing the lagging codexes, or updating the core rules with the FAQ updates, etc. But having those issues already exist, and THEN throwing brand new rules on top of it, just makes their whole game design process seem disjointed.

            It also works a lot easier for D&D and Pathfinder, as those games really focus around “include whatever you like”. 40K on the other hand still has a pickup community, and a pretty active tournament community. So now GW says this ruleset is official. Does that mean your local FLGS will support it? What if the random guy you wanted to play wants to use them but you don’t? Will tournaments use it? Will going from one event to the next require rewriting a list because one does and one doesn’t? And all of this on top of the fact that there’s already broken things in the game that players have been patiently waiting for fixes to.

    • JJ

      Also, now i need another table (minimum 36-36) in my cramped game room! Good luck at the FLGS with the whole I need 2 tables to play!

      • SWISSchris

        Then another table for off-table artillery, and a space board for orbital actions going on at the same time! ; )

        • Derek Lee

          40k + Epic + 3d chess = It would cost me a lot less to do this on a computer game. That’s why I gave up on a BFG collection and just bought BFG: Armada.

      • benn grimm

        Don’t give in and drink the koolaid! 😉 I still play on undersized tables plenty, it kinda sucks, but you just have to make do and adjust armies accordingly.

      • Shawn

        Not really, only if you want to have the side game on a table. I mean you can still have the flyers on the side waiting to come in from reserve and just follow the dogfight phases.

        • Andrew Thomas

          Pretty sure that you’re not measuring ranges on that side table. It’s just there to help visualize the action (and to hack off TOs/Players).

          • Andrew Thomas

            Just got the book and I’m half right. There’s a reason that the board is 36″ but the only flyer that cares is the Heldrake, because it can Vector Strike enemies it’s Tailing within 12″ on top of it’s shooting, if it went with a Hades. And Sunshark Drones are stupid cheesy.

        • JJ

          I didn’t pick up the book yet, but are you saying that:

          “Dogfights do NOT take place on the game board, but instead on a separate flat surface over 36″ wide!” Is incorrect?

          I’m just checking!

          • Shawn

            No, what I am saying is that you don’t have to do the seperate dog fight on another game table. Just leave them on the side table, or board. Where ever you keep your reserves. Most of the phase is just going to be resolved with a die roll. No sense in going through all of that trouble, unless you want to.

    • Shawn

      I don’t know Ben. I’m inclined to disagree. Everything at the moment seems to me that the rules will simulate a dog fight and I love flyers. I own three stormravens and four stormtalons just to give you an idea. I run flyers all the time, but, no, I don’t field them all at once. Although, in an all flyer game that would be awesome!
      Now it does seem to make the game longer adding in the dogfight phase, but you and your opponent can talk about that before the game begins. Once everyone becomes familiar with the rules, I suspect it would run a bit faster.

      Your comment also brings up something I noticed about 40k players in general, since I started playing at the end of 5th ed. and it also makes me wonder how long you have been playing 40k. This is what I noticed: Warhammer 40k players seem to balk at any supplement or addition to the rules unless it’s a codex or codex supplement, while the role-players can’t wait for the next supplement for their game. Now is this because that GW has a history of making crappy supplemental rules, or are the 40k players, in general (and perhaps more so with tourney players), afraid that their opponent will have some kind of unfair advantage over them? Please let me know what you think about this. It’s something I’m really curious about, since I bought the Clan Raukaan book because the books best rules were for Planet Strike and Cities of Death games. Thanks for your time in advance. I’d welcome anyone else’s thoughts about this as well.

      • benn grimm

        No worries Shawn, lots of people like flyers, I even have a couple myself. I’d love it if they added something fun to the game. Been playing far too long, though I took a break at the start of the millenium for a bit.

        I’m sure some people are annoyed about that (the power advantage thing you mention) and fair play to them, though at this point its a pebble in a sea. I could do the whole; ‘well of course you like them, you’re a marine player’ partisan rubbish, but I think we can do better than that. Of course certain things benefit some armies more than other and yes that is a big part of the problem, but it is not the only problem.

        For me, cause I wouldn’t want to talk for anyone else, these flyer rules are just a bit of a headache and disappointingly still fail(in my eyes) to accurately represent either a flyer’s role or mechanics in warfare. The distance they move, the fact that they can turn so quickly, the effect they have on the game etc etc.. The dogfight thing sort of sounds cool, till you get to the awkward random mechanics and the ‘oh, I just lost that model before the game started’ kinda fun which hasn’t been in the game for a long time (right or wrongly-you decide).

        And more straightforward than all of that, they’re just a bit of a pain; to transport, to move in game; you have to alter your army to accommodate them and yet if you face a whole fleet it makes pretty much no difference whatsoever; unless you’re Tau or Ad mech, you either go big on anti air (which is wasted in 8 out of 10 games) or cower behind buildings all game before leaping on the objectives.

        • Shawn

          Okay Ben, thanks for your thoughts. I think I can see where you’re coming from on this.

          • MPSwift

            Mercy me… a reasoned and reasonable debate on BoLS… what is this madness! 😛

    • Median Trace

      The Rules Bloat…..At some point, you will need your own Library Wing in your place of residence as well as a lawyer on retainer to play this game.

      The rules may or may not be fun. But the rules book already rivals most college textbooks. Heck the FAQ is its own short story.

      • Satyan Patel

        The new FAQ are more like Master’s thesis. The rulebooks are identical to collegiate textbooks. I don’t have a lawyer on retainer, but you are correct about the library in house.

  • Beoron

    Thanks for the review.
    It seems to me that it would have been better to make a stand-alone game out of this – like Renegade. With two or more Flyers in a box and a price that would lure in 40K players.

    • Satyan Patel

      I actually use the first supplement and will use this one too as exactly that. A standalone game. My son and I and a few games I’ve played with friends we just use it as a standalone game. Like D&D Attack Wing. Just 40k flyers. I just wish they had more rules to be able to play as standalone missions and games, but I just have to house rules as usual.

      • Viktor Julian

        True, this is basically a stand-alone game where you can play fliers against fliers with dedicated missions.

        • Satyan Patel

          The one thing I don’t like is the fact that this book still requires the main book. I don’t play often enough to have the 6-7th Ed core rulebook memorized so I lug it around. The damn tomb 6th was. It wouldn’t have hurt GW one bit to have a few more pages and just retyped the core rules for flyers into this book. Yes the basic how to’s.
          If they would have spent the time to do that, then they could have called the book a stand-alone and a add on supplement two in one. This way if a customer wants just the book and two flyers he’s golden. It could have entailed to more sales in their eyes for players who want to play xwing or D&d attack wing, but with 40k flyers in the grim dark future.
          Even better if they packed in a coupon for 20 dollars off if client buys two flyers at the same time. Bam! Board game problem solved and new customers. Instead we are left to do as usual…. supplement ourselves and wished GW got it right the first time.

  • uatu13

    Wow, the game is even more of a complicated train-wreck of a mess, what a great thing!

    • ZeeLobby

      Welcome to 40K!

  • euansmith

    Thanks for taking the time to do a words and pictures article.

    • Dave Scammell

      Which, let’s be honest isn’t something we should feel the need to be grateful for.

      Nevertheless an interesting read, particularly for those of us who didn’t bother to pick up the book. Plus! The point about the book stopping the first turn problem flyers have (where before the game would hinge on getting your flyer in just after the opponent’s flyer)… That alone has piqued my own interest even if the rest of it looks a little too annoying.

      • Majere613

        I usually dealt with that problem by taking an Autarch so I could control when the thing turned up. I think I’d prefer to do that than deal with Dogfights. Perhaps TOs will come up with something using epic flyers on a small board to handle them.

        • Deacon Ix

          An epic scale version would work nicely and shouldn’t be hard to scale

        • Dave Scammell

          Epic-scale flyers is a genius idea!
          Adn oddly enough I used to do the same thing with an Autarch and Crimson Hunters. But that’s mainly because my regular opponent always (always) fielded storm ravens loaded with death stars. Some games though it was just too much of an influencing factor that made the game a bit unbalanced for flyers.

      • Shawn

        Also Dave, if you have Air Supriority (your opponnent has no flyers) you get a bonus to your reserve rolls to bring them in.

  • OolonColluphid

    A new phase in the game wasn’t needed, however new stats for the most neglected units was. GW seems to have little to no idea what they are doing. Something like this would have been better off handed to Forgeworld.

  • Ronin

    I didn’t think the new dogfight phase is all that complicated or adds that much time on the clock. You can always opt out of it during 2 of the 4 steps and the fights are always 1v1 per game turn. Besides, I rarely ever see any flyers to begin with so I’ll be taking that air superiority bonus gladly.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      That bonus, especially the +-2 from the formation is a terrible death blow to armies that utilise reserves, it basically forces a flyer arms race, which is what GW are banking on I guess.

      • Shawn

        Perhaps Knight. I don’t know why no one plays flyers, except maybe Tau, who don’t really need them with all their skyfire and interceptor. However, I have seen one too many hell turkeys and FMC that I want my flyers on the board when I want. And it’s one of the few ways I can handle Khorne Daemonkin

      • Ronin

        Hence, why GW said in regards to reserve heavy armies in their recent FAQ, “We do not recommend playing an army like this!”

        But I’m biased because I love my flyers even though everyone in our local meta and the majority of the online community has left them behind and called them inefficient. I think this rule actually makes it more justifiable to actually bring at least one.

        • Shawn

          Hear, hear! I love flyers.

        • Andrew Thomas

          They were referring to lists that are 100% “must be in Reserves” lists, like a pure Deathwing list with no Drop Pod units or Second D ground units.

  • John Traupman

    I could see people using the “formation” to add a flyer or 2, and people agreeing ahead of time to skip the new phase about 99.9% of the time. The only time i would want to use that is if we played a big all Flyer game at the LFGS

  • Randy Randalman

    Still can’t believe the Cult Mechanicus and Skitarii FAQ’s haven’t made it onto BoLS.

  • King Renegado

    I can deal with the dogfighting nonsense, it isn’t THAT bad, except if you play astra militarum, your opponent 2x as likely to win every sub phase. If they are space elves they WILL win each sub phase. If they are a fighter and you are not, you WILL lose 1 or 2 hull points.
    I feel like GW is trying (half heartedly) to use fluff to reflect the top tier armies, while at the same time, trying to balance the weaker ones.
    If my guard army reflected “fluff” it would be top tier, as my deployment zone would be full of models. My reserves would cover a spare table.
    But that doesn’t happen for sanity reasons and balance.
    The same limits need to be applied to the armies that are not well balanced.
    This book further tips the scales, and not in the right direction.

    • Ronin

      We’re houseruling that vendettas have the same stats as valkyries until they come out with an update and luckily there’s 2 ways to exit the dogfight if you’re caught in those match ups.

      • King Renegado

        GW has semi confirmed vendetta rules via facebook. I am personally houseruling all flyers have skyfire vs aerial targets… In essence, using the old rules but including the new statlines and dogfighting phase.

        • Ronin

          I used to fume over the changes to skyfire, but having tried the new rules out, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal especially when my meta barely has anyone running flyers so I never engage in air to air combat and if anything it makes mine slightly more resilient with less ways to kill them. I also think it’s fair considering you now have attack pattern bonuses and the ability to screw with reserve rolls, but there’s also ways to get around it if you take flyers with high agility and force your opponent to turn 180 to be on his tail. Plus it helps all my flyers are twin linked. 😛

          • King Renegado

            I am not that upset about skyfire TBH. I would prefer attack flyers suffer the same penalty vs flyers that fighters suffer vs. Ground targets.
            I am more annoyed that this book mainly benefits eldar and astartes. Gives little to orks, and outright hurts IG and necrons.

          • King Renegado

            I am not that upset about skyfire TBH. I would prefer attack flyers suffer the same penalty vs flyers that fighters suffer vs. Ground targets.
            I am more annoyed that this book mainly benefits eldar and astartes. Gives little to orks, almost ignores chaos, and outright hurts IG and necrons.

          • Shawn

            What faction do yo play Ronin?

          • Ronin

            They’re all imperials so Space Marines, Grey Knights, and Imperial Guard lol.

          • Shawn

            Gotcha. I play space marines and sometimes skitarii. I’d like them to make a skitarii/cult mechanicus flyer!

          • Ronin

            You could always paint the imperial flyers red. 😉

          • Shawn

            Not a bad idea, and get some cult mechanicus decals and weapons and just outfit the hell out of it. Hmmm. I could get a vendetta or valkarie, or better yet a Tau flyer, or two and skitari-ize it!

          • Ronin

            Let’s not go too far into tech-heresy… 😉

          • Shawn

            LOL!

          • Balder

            That’s what I’m crossing my fingers for! They were talking about it a while back. I’m hoping it’s some mechantendrite laden air squid.

          • Shawn

            Now that would be cool A big squid with the face of the Machine Opus!

        • Damien Coté

          I actually think Fighters only having skyfire makes sense. Now the Razorwing is a better fighter than the Void raven is… and the Thunderbolt (assuming it is a fighter) is a better dog fighter than a valkyre. However I do understand your frustration though.

          I’m just happy because now I have a reason to spend 180pts on my Thunderbolt with 11 11 10 AV, twinlinked las and 2x twinlinked autocannons as opposed to the 175pts on the Vendetta with 12 12 10 AV and 3x twinlinked las (and transport to boot).

  • Balder

    I really like the new rules, as well as how it makes flyers more cinematic and useful. I wish some of the new stats were a bit different, though- such as the heavily overcosted stormfang that is now the worst fighter in the game by a large margin. With an agility of 1, it will only ever stick it’s butt at other flyers in a dogfight- and it doesn’t even have any rear targeting weapons like it’s cousin the stormwolf.

    • Shiwan8

      I give you heldrake, flamer and a theoretical chance to do one s7 hit.

      • Balder

        However- a heldrake is an attack fighter, not a fighter. It will still either beat or draw a stormfang in a 1 on 1- as it’s high agility means all of the stormfang guns will be pointed safely away from it. The bale flamer is epic, making the heldrake better at killing ground targets once it arrives- and it can stay on the field and line up shots with it’s agility. It also has awesome buff of it’s daemonic possession. All of this for 80 points less than a stormfang with multimeltas.

        • Shiwan8

          In theory. Practice is a little different. In a meta which is full of wraithknights, warp spiders and invisible deathstars the drake is simply useless no matter how many times it turns.

          • Andrew Thomas

            At least 2 of those things can’t even hit a Heldrake with anything meaningful. And the 1 that potentially can is wasting its time if it’s chasing Heldrakes.

          • Shiwan8

            Wut? Why would any of these care about the drake at all? Drakes can not hurt them in any real way. Drakes can not score points. Drakes can do nothing meaningful. Why would someone throw away resources just to go against something utterly meaningless?

          • Andrew Thomas

            Let’s see: Vector Strikes are not affected by cover or Invisibility. It can score when it Hovers. Most of its attacks insta-kill Eldar and Guardsmen, and force saves on heavier infantry. Of course, my meta isn’t tournament-level Moneyhammer, where everyone and their mother runs 5 Wraithknights because they can, or a statistically suspect number of Librarians.

          • Shiwan8

            Sure, let’s see: Only vector strike is able to hit the average eldar unit thanks to flicker jump. It can the kill just one warp spider. Other than that it hits 2++ rerolls or worse.

            Killing 5/50 fearless guardsmen per turn is waste of points. Especially when they tend to be invisible too. Forcing saves for 2+/++ rerolls needs 36 wounds to let one through. That’s more than the drake can inflict in one game even if you assume perfect results starting from turn 1.

            THE meta is full of deathstars, warp spiders, wraithknights and such. What your or my meta is means nothing. A unit is worth exactly as much as it is worth against the worst cheese there is. If it can not handle that it is worthless. Plain and simple.

          • Andrew Thomas

            Vector Strikes can’t trigger Flicker Jump, and they can only do it once per turn. If you brought enough midrange AP 3, it’d be a nonissue.
            But hey, I like this game.

          • Shiwan8

            Yeahhh, no. The rule does not limit the number of those jumps. 100 units shoot at the spiders, they make 100 jumps. That is the rule.

            What would this mid range ap3 from codex CSM be anyway?

            Vector has a potential to kill one spider. That is true.

          • Andrew Thomas

            It should be once per turn, as it disallows using the Warp Jump in subsequent movement phases. And any Tournament that allows them to be run in any other fashion is either ran by idiots or cheaters.

            Just in the Codex:
            Baleflamer
            Battle Cannon
            Blastmaster
            Demolisher Cannon
            Doom Siren
            Ectoplasma Cannon
            Lascannon
            Meltagun
            Krak Missiles
            Multi-Melta
            all the Plasma
            and Rubricae

            And if we include KDK, Everything on the Lord of Skulls, or the Soul Grinder
            And don’t even get started on Forgeworld.

          • Shiwan8

            It’s the rule. Not house ruling it to work differently is not idiocy or cheating. It’s playing by the rules.

            Out of the weapons you listed which ones are competitively point efficient in the actual meta?

          • Andrew Thomas

            Don’t know, don’t care. Not a tournament player. Just remembered why conversations with you regarding 40k in general are unproductive: all you care about is how Chaos will forevermore suck. Nevermind that nowhere in the Flickerjump rule do they explicitly say that you may carry out the Jump move as many times as you’d like, and Warp Jump moves themselves are limited to once per turn. Nor that apart from potentially moving out of range does it negate the attacks that prompt the move. If the Spiders are well within my weapons’ effective range, baring a lucky roll, they’re still getting shot to hell, especially if they’re more than 24″ away from a Farseer during their Psychic phase, considering that they don’t get Warlocks, and none of their Psykers can acquire Invisibility more reliably than rolling for it, so they’ll likely still be hit at full BS, or the Psyker that granted them Invisibility will likely leave themselves open.

          • Shiwan8

            Yes yes, what was said is less important than who said it. If you do not like it when someone points out flaws in your ideas it’s bad only for you.

            Nowhere does it say it’s only once per turn. It triggers when it’s targeted. Then it jumps out of los and tadaaaa, no shooting.

          • Andrew Thomas

            Since you asked, Oblits twin-linking plasma guns, followed by combi-plasma Termicides are the most points-efficient answers to Warp Spiders for CSMs, given their respective ability to all but neutralize Flickerjump. Oblits have a 7:9 chance of hiting (11:36 vs. Invisibility), 5:6 chance of wounding with ID, and force Cover/invulverable Saves. Terminators hit 2 times out of 3. Your net is ~1.3 dead Spiders per Oblit or ~1.1 per Terminator, on average, baring intervening cover or granted Invulnerable saves via Sanctuary (~1.08, or ~0.93 dead per firing model, respectively), Forewarning (~0.43 or ~0.37 respectively) or both (~0.32, or ~0.27 respectively). Shrouding changes the margins to ~0.86 and ~0.74, respectively.

          • Shiwan8

            This would mean roughly 400p investlent to kill a 110p unit once per game. There are 9 of those units in an average list. How do you plan to take out the rest before your stuff is dead?

          • Andrew Thomas

            Where are you getting 400 points from? A full squad of Oblits, before Marks, is only about 210 points, and can delete a similarly sized unit of Warp Spiders. And it can do it over multiple turns.

          • Shiwan8

            Mon oblits plus plasma termicide. Little less than 400. You’ll manage to kill maybe 2 spiders. There’s 43 left to kill. How do you kill the rest? We all know that those oblits will not see the next turn unless there are many triplets of them and the termicide is meaningless after the combi weapons have been fired. It’s not like the spiders are alone. After the ups there’s about 850p left for the eldar player to take allied gravs or what not.

          • Andrew Thomas

            In dex? Defilers. Out of Dex? Basilisks. Lots and lots of Basilisks. If he gets Invisible, I’m crawling fire that unit off of whatever doesn’t get it (or burying the Psyker, if he didn’t target his own unit). 72+” range indirect fire makes Flickerjump meaningless.

          • Shiwan8

            Defilers. 😀 Come on.

            Codex only. 72 inches of indirect fire makes flicker jump meaningless. That is true.

          • Andrew Thomas

            You brought up Grav. At least my Basilisks are Battle Brothers.

          • Shiwan8

            Yes I did because that or similar is what the chaos player might very well face. That is why 2+ is a bad thing to have.

            Anyway, remember that those basilisks have around 1 turn to live thanks to those 3 wraithknights.

          • Andrew Thomas

            if they bring 3, I walk… or grab a sledge hammer 😛

      • Ronin

        Heldrake with autocannons are good in dogfights because it’s high agility means it’s almost guaranteed to be on your opponents’ tail to fire at full bs.

        • Balder

          Wow, yeah. They are really good at dogfights despite being an attack flyer. Tailing means that they can still fire at full BS.

        • Shiwan8

          That almost guaranteed is roughly 40% assuming best possible scenario. Also bs3 means 2 hits that translate to exactly 0 kills or actual hindrance to the enemy. Compare to crimson hunter and you have the drakes actual standing clear. Then there’s the fact that hadesdrake is absolutely useless outside dogfights which is why the baledrake is taken. Baledrake has next to no chance to do any damage to the opposing flyer.

          • Balder

            Standing relative to Crimson hunter, yeah. But the Crimson hunter is Eldar, and everything Eldar is heavily undercosted and overpowered. It’s still a really solid flyer compared to most othere. Against the Stormfang it will come in from behind about 70% of the time. Then it will have a chance to shoot at the Stormfang (that can’t jink) with strength 8 weapons, scoring 2 hits against armor 12 on average. The stormfang won’t be able to shoot back with anything.

          • Shiwan8

            It’s got baleflamer…

          • Balder

            Which is pretty cool. Bale flamed is a really good weapon. It basically deletes whatever SM squad equivalent you want. 100% accuracy and ignores cover is sweet. It’s like a choice between good anti ground or reasonable anti air. The stormfang is a choice between overcosted suck or not taking it.

          • Shiwan8

            Which also means that it can not realistically hurt the opponent.
            Deleting the squad is meaningless when the actual objective capturing happens with the free transports that the drake does not hurt.

            All this added to the useless arc of fire…yeah, drake is useless.

  • Christopher Szynkowski

    This was an alright review, but it failed to address some key points that, having been missed elsewhere as well, are causing all kind of knee jerk reactions towards what is a decent add on to the game.

    Firstly, the book does not begin and end with the Dogfight phase. This phase, by design, is totally optional and can be ignored by players that do not have the time, space or desire to use it.

    Not using it does not affect the usability of any of the other rules in the book.

    The two new stats: Agility and Pursuit have simple changes that, while primarily used for dogfighting, also give certain benefits in normal play. Pursuit adds to your minimum and maximum flat out moves and Agility applies to break turns.

    The new Break Turn rule is critical for flyers with bombs as well as making fliers do more than ‘fly on the board, shoot, fly off the board’. It requires an agility test (handled like any other stat test in 40k) in order to pull off. If successful, the flyer can make another up to 90 degree turn. If it fails, the flyer has to move in a straight line as normal.

    The battlefield role updates are also simple, but important. Fighters are the only ones that gain the benefit of choosing whether or not their weapons gain skyfire. However, they are now -1 BS to shoot at ground targets. Additionally, if a weapon natively has skyfire, it still keeps that. Attack Flyers and Bombers don’t get skyfire and, while their roles are more important for Dogfighting, they benefit differently from Wing Formations in normal play.

    The dataslates do primarily one thing, they allow fliers to be bought in squadrons of 1-4 models, with one being upgraded to a wing leader, which gives him a bonus from a faction specific table. These bonuses are nice, but not game breaking.

    The formation dataslates do much the same as they always did and most are reprint/renamed formations that give slightly updated rules.

    The Wing Formations provide bonuses to flyers that are in a specific position to one another. The catch is that these flyers must be from the same Squadron or Formation in order to claim the benefits. You can’t just bring two fast attack choice fliers from a CAD and have them claim these bonuses. Additionally, in practice, the more powerful Wing Formations require three and four flyers to make use of. This will become very unwieldy and costly to make use of in a normal game and will only realistically be pulled off in the turn the formation arrives on the board.

    Overall, I cannot fathom the vitriol aimed at this book. It’s as if everyone who has read it has only focused on the optional dogfighting phase and everyone that hasn’t read it assumes that that is the entire book.

    • Admiral Raptor

      I think the book is getting hate for a few reasons other than just dog fighting rules. This expansion is the new poster child for rules bloat. It adds uneeded complexity to unit type that was originally akwardly shoehorned into the game and never sat well with many players. It also provides more evidence that the game is headed in the wrong direction. 40k desperately needs to be cut down and simplified not further stuffed with rules that no one asked for.

      • Shawn

        I think every game, unless a stand alone board game, always suffers from rules addition (bloat). No more additions means no more purchases means no more money for that game.

    • Trentat

      I think the issues players have with this supplement are the hamfisted ways GW tried to make flyers integral to the game but still not achieving that:

      -the Air Superiority rule seems good on paper as a bonus for taking flyers – but it penalizes factions with sub par fliers (Orks & Tau) and those without any (Chaos Daemons & Tyranids), because FMC get grouped into “Air Targets” and are eligible targets to shoot at but don’t gain you any benefit? Notably, aside from Orks, all of those armies are extremely dependent on reserves so being unable to prevent your opponent from tanking your reserve rolls is a slap in the face.

      -Giving flyers in the new Air Superiority detachment Objective Secured lets them impact the game by scoring…exceeeeept….they don’t get that ability? Reading more closely only flying TRANSPORTS with the Hover ability do? So, precisely 2 units get this – Valkyries and Storm Ravens. Go Imperium, eff everyone else.

      Now the Break Turn rule is a good addition to the game as is the new detachment and the Attack Patterns are a neat reward for armies fielding multiple flyers without being too powerful.

      But this supplement does nothing to address flyers relevance to scoring or correcting the profiles of under performing flyers and just plain ignoring FMCs.

      It wouldn’t be so bad if this were their first attempt, but this is a re-do of the previous Death from the Skies supplement and they STILL got it wrong.

      I think that is what has so many disappointed.

      • Shawn

        It could also be that they have a book planned for FMC and we just don’t know it. I know its a long shot, but could be happening. Anway, I don’t think Tau really need flyers. They got skyfire and inceptor all over the place.

    • Shawn

      Not just that Chris. I’ve noticed a trend in 40k players to generally shy away from supplements that aren’t codex related. I asked Benn Grimm about it up above. It just seems strange.

      • Christopher Szynkowski

        It’s been that way since 5th edition… GW tried to expand 40k through expansions which, aside from apocalypse, were largely ignored. The reason for this back then was that there was this idea that if it wasn’t in the BRB or a codex, it didn’t count.

        This sentiment was largely caused by the Tournament circut as the fewer books, rules and the percieved consistency of the rules and statlines made things easier to manage. At the time, this was alright, as the expansions were wildly different ways to play the game, with radically altered FOCs, deployment methods and victory conditions and FW hadn’t yet come into it’s own as rules writers, with much of the rules associated with their models being written almost casually.

        As time has gone on, the game has changed and every change has been vehemently opposed by the TO’s and the community… where they have been able to, books are outright discarded due to this obsession of what is ‘official’ or not, while in some cases, units, options and rules have been suggested to be removed more piecemeal, with each change trying to force the game back to the way it was in 5th.

        Following the sentiment, the community tends to follow whatever the organized play aspects of the community do. This is expected as organized play events tend to become the keystones of the 40k community that exists outside of your FLGS.

        5th was good, but it was also incredibly stagnant in the end, with the expansions, both good and bad, being utterly ignored.

        This book, which is neither warzone, campaign or expansion, but a supplement, gives fliers more cinematic roles, makes their options a little more meaningful and forces the more competitive amongst us to reevaluate our tactical options. The changes that exist outside of the dogfighting phase (which again is a wholly optional minigame) are fairly straightforward and decent adjustments to an existing range of models and unit types that give them more variety and cinimatic flair without having to introduce wildly different units and rules to the game. Everything, from a mechanics standpoint, is grounded in the basic rules of the core game.

        • CMAngelos

          I wish I could up vote this post more than once..

  • ChubToad

    Perhaps for a 40k game made fully with fliers this can work perfectly. In regular games, not so much. Still the effort is apreciated, even when it seems they are willing to push more fliers down our throats.

  • Admiral Raptor

    “One of the biggest hurdles 40k players
    face is finding room to actually have a game, whether it by in the
    dining room at home or in a crowded FLGS. Can you imagine this at Tournaments!?”

    I don’t think tournament organisers will touch this book at all. Tournaments already have an issue with how long the game takes to play. All this expansion does is pile on more useless rules and even further reduces the chance that anyone will actually finish a game on time.

  • Trentat

    I think a comment elsewhere summed up the mini-game dogfight phase best with the line:

    “Now you too can experience the excitement of losing models before they actually hit the table! Aren’t you glad you spent money and time to purchase, assemble and paint that flyer?”

    Most will likely skip the dogfight phase, and certainly tournaments will.

    That aside, the rest of the supplement is actually pretty good. Like the author mentioned the ability to access flyers in a separate formation detachment is a (blood) godsend for KDK and Chaos players, as is the possibility of using the Agile value to gain an additional facing change on Heldrakes to get the optimal Baleflamer template placement.

    Chaos is the clear beneficiary of this supplement which leads me to believe it will find purchase with players. That faction clearly needs any sort of boost it can get and Chaos players are certainly vocal about that fact.

    The losers of this supplement are Tau and Orks which creates a “rich get richer, poor get poorer” conundrum. Not fielding flyers grants your opponent Air Superiority and thus a -1 modifier to your reserve rolls (becoming -2 if they take the special detachment), which all but cripples reliability of deep striking Fusion gun toting Crisis suits.

    So you’re somewhat forced to take some sort of flyer to not automatically gank your reserve rolls. And Tau and Ork flyers are absolutely the. worst. The Tau flyers are a tax and the snazzy new Ork flyer can’t fire it’s main gun if it Jinks (which it must to survive with its whopping AV of 10).

    But at least Orks and Tau have an option to field…

    Tyranids don’t. For some reason or another FMC aren’t counted towards Air Superiority so without resorting to Come The Apocalypse allies they will always have reserve penalties. (Sorry Mawlocs).

    Y’know, on second thought maybe this supplement isn’t very well thought out at all?

    • Nonparity

      Yeah… Totally make sense that a plane give a penalty to a burrowing creature like the Mawlocs and Raveners for arriving in deepstrike!

  • Andrew Thomas

    I’m actually happy with this turn of events. I just wish GW would fix or refluff Sunsharks now.

  • Andrew Thomas

    Anybody else notice the boon most Imp Flyers, and the Heldrake, got from the Detachment?

  • Shiwan8

    No sky dropping but rather meaningless. The additional rules end up not used since the wing formations are practically impossible to achieve accurately and thus in the end the “take planes outside foc” thing is the only surviving portion of it.

  • Ben_S

    I think it’s interesting that it says it overrides the codexes. Does this mean no new codexes are planned for a while? Otherwise, will any future codex need a clause saying the flyer rules override those in DftS?

    • Christopher Szynkowski

      Likely any future updates to codicies will have these new options included in them.

      It’s like stronghold assault in 6th, not to mention the previous death from the skies book, where it is an update and override for the base game. You always go with the most recent printing of anything in GW, regardless of what it’s in.

      • Ben_S

        I know that, but we’re clued up. A newcomer to the game may not know what’s most recent (especially if publication year is the same).

        So, if GW released a new CSM Codex later this year, for example, that made some changes to Heldrakes, they would presumably have to say that it overrode DftS. Which would create a rather confusing situation (two books, each apparently overriding the other).

        The other possibility, of course, is that they’re not planning any new codexes for the foreseeable future…

        • Admiral Raptor

          I can’t imagine trying to make heads or tails of this bloated mess of a game as a new player.

          I’m willing to bet it means that we won’t be seeing new codices for the foreseeable future. Wasn’t the last codex update all the way back in October?