Age of Sigmar has a ton of new stuff coming down the pipe. Let’s take a look at some of the new Aerial Battle Rules!
In the General’s Handbook 2018, there are some brand new rules for taking your battles to the clouds. Aerial Battles are fun new way to incorporate Flyers and a real sense of depth to your games – quite literally! While the battle ranges on the ground your forces can clash in the skies and the dead will rain upon the living…
The Basics of Flight
There are two types of Aerial Battles coming your way – an Overhead Aerial Battle and the Stratospheric Aerial Battle. We’ll cover the differences between the two but for now there is one rule that you should get famliar with because it applies to both types:
Fleet of Wing grants your units with the Fly Keyword a tweak to their threat range. They can be picked to fight when they are within 6″ of an enemy and can pile in up to 6″. Additionally they can charge even if they retreated in the same turn – get ready for some furious flying fights!
Overhead Battles are what you might consider a “typical” battle – only the Flying units are taking advantage of their ability to …fly. In this fight, two battle fields are used – it might be easiest to split your table in half with one side representing the ground fight and the other representing the Aerial Combat zone. If you do this, it probably goes without saying but units on one battlefield can’t interact in any way with units on the other – no Command Abilities, Spells, etc. The only exceptions are the following rules:
Ground Volleys allow units on the ground to fire at the units in the air. You don’t need to measure distances but the ranged weapons have to have a range of at least 18″ to even consider being used. On top of that, the shooting unit only hits on 6s irrespective of the firing model’s To Hit or any modifiers.
Note that this rule only applies to units firing from the ground to the air – air units can’t shoot back. But don’t worry – Flying units have some tricks of their own.
Raining Bodies is another fun rule – any time an Aerial Unit is destroyed players roll for units on the ground battlefield to see if they get from the falling bodies! On a 6, the unit getting rolled for suffers 1 mortal wound, or D3 if it’s a monster. The best part is you keep rolling back and forth until someone gets hit or all units have been rolled for.
Upon the Wings of Death is the final special rule for Overhead Battles. In your movement phase units that can Fly can choose to swap Battlefields. Remove those units and then place them on the opposite Battlefield anywhere more than 9″ from an enemy unit. I really like the idea of them swooping in suddenly to fight on the ground or taking to the skies to strike an enemy!
Stratospheric Aerial Battles
This is the second format of Aerial Battles and in it, only the aerial battlefield is used. If you want to use non-flying units, they are positioned atop towering spires or some type of lofty structures to represent the fact that they are REALLY high up there. These battles have their own set of special rules:
Long Way Up is simply saying that these non-flying units can’t leave their garrisons. They have to stay on their towers/ships/appropriately tall structures – and they have to remain wholly within those territories. If they leave then they count as SLAIN!
Long Way Down is triggered at the start of the battleshock phase – you roll a die for each non-flying enemy unit that made a save roll. On a 1, one model is slain. And yes that count towards the current battleshock test. Maybe don’t look down next time.
Aerial Battles also include their own Objectives and Twists (if you want to use them). The General’s Handbook has a pair of battleplans you can use or you can create your own using the tables provided in the book.
Look Out, Below!
Is this the next 3D chess? Not really. But these rules are fun variant that are simple and easy enough to use that they are worth playing. For the first time in AoS we’re getting see to Flyers have a specialize roll and I dig it. Does it favor some armies over others? Sure – but that’s why you play the objective game. As long as your willing to give them a shot, they can be used in Matched Play, Narrative, or Open Play. I can’t wait to live out my Sky Pirate dreams with the new Aerial Battles!
Death From Above!!!