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Dirty Tricks & Tactics – Mastering Death From The Skies

5 Minute Read
Jun 14 2016

GW Flyers Storm 1
Death from the Skies has brought a TON of changes to 40k. Jump to the head of the class in today’s need to know tactics review!


So, dogfights rules – it’s true they can take a bit of time to resvole, who knows if we’ll see this in the tournament scene. For the tournaments I’m running, I’m not going to include it because I think it’s too much; that’s just me, your tournament organizer may decide otherwise.

Overall the new Flyer rules start on page 58 and it basically says this book replaces the rules from the BRB. The new flyer rules both changed and omitted some stuff.


They added three types or roles to flyers now: Fighter, Bomber, and Attack Flyer. This is important because the flyer wings all have a specific bonus given to a specific type of flyer. Sometimes you’ll get an“any” but sometimes they split them up. There are also some minuses as well to watch out for, and a little math to do to resolve shooting. in some cases – AKA some things like the Nephilim will get a -1,+1 to shooting at ground targets for it’s Strafing Run rule. So pay attention to that, and never forget each aircrafts specific USR’s as well!

Attack Flyers (can not skyfire ), Fighters (can choose to skyfire, but always get -1 to shooting ground targets), and Bombers!

Be sure to Check Pg 8 of the BRB for rules on applying modifiers to dice rolls  before you get to wrapped up in all of these rules themselves.

We also have two new values: Pursuit; linear movement and Agility; turning ability. Space Marine, Ork, and Tau are pretty average, The Eldar are much faster and the Necron’s are actually, counter-intuitively, not so agile.

The Dog Fight phase starts before the game turn. If only one player has flyers the dog fight doesn’t happen. Also, it does say, “May” so it’s pretty optional, and I feel like that will trickle down to the competitive scene.


Air Superiority allows you to choose to add or subtract all reserve rolls. That’s big deal. Rules as written that’s a part of the game now.

Brake Mechanics using each flyers agility value allow you to hit parts of the table you couldn’t before. This allows for a lot of tactical options.  Add in Vector-Dancer which lets you turn later will pretty much let you do a lap around the board with your tricksy Eldar flyers etc. This is a fundamental change to how flyers work; they can now be on the table longer and reach more places they couldn’t before.

Hard to Hit, Zooming and Cover works the same
Zoom and Flat Out: you can always go flat out with a flyer if you don’t want to shoot, 12-24 normally, now you can add your pursuit value, so if you’re a Heldrake you can go between 16 -28; not huge but considerable.

Strafing run: +1BS, but even though you have a BS of 6, your to-hit rolls of 1 always fail. Shooting is the one place in the rule book it says 1’s always fail.

Flyers and Measuring – the same.

Flyer wings – There are a bunch of them and there’s a quick reference in the back. They each should be annotated on your army list, each one has it’s own Sergeant. Each attack pattern variant, which must be made physically on the table, grants various bonus’. Rules as written alliance of convenience can be in the same wing.




Oh, and you don’t have to stay within 4 inches of each other, you can break off and do your own thing and then come back later into a formation and get some bonus’.

The Wazbomb has a new variant with interceptor for the back gunner and overall the Orks also get some new wargear.



For a full breakdown of all the attack patterns check out the video below!

A note about the flyer wings, they all come in at the same time. So, yes, sky superiority is a big deal. You can come in with attack pattern then switch to say Fortitude attack pattern and get interceptor. That’s a big deal, keep an eye on your synergy with it comes to these rules folks!




Also yes wings are comprised from the same datasheet or formation, HOWEVER you can purchase a “wing” from the flyer’s entry in this book as well. AND you can buy multiple wings in the detachments that is in there too.

Sorta complicated, but makes sense once you break it down? Basically you can get like 9 Heldrakes if you want using the detachment in this book.


There was a time flyers where the King of the Jungle and I think that time may have returned, or at least we’ll see more of them for sure.

Wing Leaders: there’s one for each faction, these are free upgrades you can’t go wrong.


You can also field a flyer though the Air Superiority detachment. Units in reserve can add 2 (or minus two for your enemy) to your rolls if you have air superiority. And with the Combined formation rule, roll one die for all the wings if you want to come in from reserve! You can also roll individually for each wing. Plus Tansports with hover, get objective secured as well! Very cool little detachment that lets you sneak in multiples of the same flyer for a single army (like Heldrakes)!



~Check your six!



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