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I've recently borrowed imperial armour volume 1 (and 2) from a friend, and I've fallen in love with the concept of flyers. I love the rules and the models, and I want to see what other people think about them. They're pretty expensive, so I want to make sure I choose right, even though I kinda love them all.
To promote discussion, I'm going to give a short review/my thoughts on each one (not including super heavies - way out of my price range). Hopefully you guys will have a lot to add as well.
Probably the most typical flyer you'll see an imperial guard player fielding. Nice transport capacity (chimera sized) and pretty cheap before upgrades. Comparable to the cost of 2 chimeras. Starts off with some nice anti infantry weaponry with 2 heavy bolters and a multi laser. I'd probably not upgrade the multilaser to lascannon. I'd keep it more anti infantry based, and besides, strength 9 is slightly overkill when you can target rear armour. 2 rocket pods are tempting, enforcing the anti infantry role, but they're the cost of a rhino again. In most situations I'd probably prefer to keep it cheap as it comes to transport some stormtroopers, then have a go at light vehicles, rear armour and vulnerable infantry.
Again, quite common, though not used as much as Valkyries as far as I can tell. It starts of ridiculously cheap, but only packs a heavy bolter. The fun stuff comes with all the weapons you can pack onto it, which more than compensate for the lost transport capability in my opinon. Having trouble with infantry? Take 4 multiple rocket pods, and watch those ork mobs dissapear under heavy bolter fire and 8 (!) blast templates!! Got a bone to pick with a tank? Take twin linked lascannons and 6 hellstrike missiles, that 'oughta smoke em pretty quickly. Facing speed freaks or eldar? Take twinked autocannons or multilasers to dismount them, and big bombs to blow the hell out of the survivors! The vulture can be customised to any enemy, but you do have to pay the points to get this fantastic weaponry, vultures commonly going near or over 200pts. Worth it though!
*Note on vultures and valkeryies. Their VTOL mode basically means if you need some more firepower quickly, you can shoot both in your opponents turn, and then straight away in your turn. It does leave you a little bit more vulnerable in the enemies turn, and you can't return to do an attack run the following turn, but it's great if you really need to quickly concentrate some serious firepower on something dangerous, or to get in one extra round of shooting before the game ends (if you went second)
Lighting Attack Fighter
I really like the lightning. It's a nice fast mobile fighter that packs some serious anti vehicle firepower. At 145pts is a snitch, costing around the same as a Russ. It comes basic with a long barreled autocannon and a twin linked lascannon, usually more than enough to take out a tank or two and easily make it's points back two or three times. The fact you can take out rear armour is just fantastic, but remember, some tanks are just as tough behind as in front. (damn land raiders!) Regarding weapon options, you can take 4 hellstrike missiles which add considerably to it's anti tank power for a turn or two, though sometimes it's not needed. It does make a cheap fighter slightly more expensive, but is great for when your autocannons just aren't penetrating, or you really need that vindacator gone this turn.
Lightning Strike Fighter
Not much different from the lightning attack fighter. All it does is replace the autocannon with 2 hellstrike missiles, giving it a potential of 6 including the 4 it could already get. For me though, I'd rather have 2 shots at strength 7 ap4 every turn than 2 shots at strength 8 ap3 for just one. However, this sort can be great for assasinations. If you really need something dead like a land raider full of termies or a defiler on your objective, hit it with everything the Lightning strike fighter has and chances are it's dead. Unfortunately, after that it's only the twin linked lascannons, whereas the lightning attack fighter can still strafe them with autocannon shells as well. In general I'd take the attack fighter, but if you need a specific thing dead, or are expecting your flyers to go down fast (against someone with plenty of AA mounts for example) the strike fighter may be the better choice for concentrated firepower.
Ah the Thunderbolt. This aircraft is awesome. First of all it looks fantastic, good enough to be on the front cover of Dan Abnett's Double Eagle. Gamewise it's not too shabby either. It starts off quite expensive at 180pts, but it already packs 6 guns in it's nose; two twin-linked autocannons and a twin linked lascannon. That's some serious firepower, making it great for taking out any kind of armour, from armour 13/14 beasts, to annoying eldar skimmers with the sheer volume of fire it can put out. Again the advantage of coming on wherever you wants helps with that. Regarding options, it has two choices. Either 4 hellstrike missiles to help with it's antitank duty, or 4 bombs to enable it to bomb and potentially pin hordes. The great thing about it's weaponry is that it's great against hordes and heavy armour; it puts out loads of shots, and they're high strength. This means that whether you take bombs to help against infantry or hellstrikes to help against tanks, or even just leave it bare (it does get pretty expensive with the extra weaponry) the Thunderbolt won't let you down.
Well, that's about it from me. Add your thoughts on imperial guard flyers! Anybody lucky/rich enough to own any? Let us know your experiences. Got a fav fighter or one you're saving for? Let me know!
Thanks a lot,
Last edited by Xarhain; October 8th, 2005 at 15:28.
I'm not familiar with the approved flyers' armor values, but if they're still only at 10 then I wouldn't waste my time. I also got excited with the idea, but the vehicle design rules caps off all flyers at 10 front armor... after an ork laughed in my face when his crosseyed shootas took it down the turn it came into play I decided it was garbage. I would either try several inexpensive flyers so it doesn't hurt when they drop like flies, or I would stick with the russes.
They took it down in one turn? How many were shooting it?
Flyers can only be hit on 6s, so the shootas would need 6s to glance it, and a further 5 or 6 to immobilise or destroy it. You'd need an average of 108 shoota shots to take it down. Not to mention they'd all have to be within 12" of the flyer as you add 12" to the range, and they can't possibly rapid fire. Who has 108 shoota boys? And if somebody does, I wouldn't mind not having all that on my frail guard for a turn, would you?
Flyers attack runs don't have to cross the whole board, or even any part of it. Their weapons are for the most part long ranged, so as long as you can see what you want to shoot (and from the right angle) you don't need to go close.
But, if it bothers you that much, get a vulture. They're armour 11, front and side.
there nice but you missed out the mauarders and also flyers cost quite alot (money wise)
IG 'the expendables'
Originally Posted by Xarhain
Sorry, I should have elaborated... he had a couple "big" shootas in the squad that took it down. I don't mean to crap on your wheaties, I just think that for their cost they aren't worth it.
Hey no problem. I was just a bit surprised once I worked out the math. Big shootas would help a lot, indeed.In that same sentence you managed to nail the exact reaons I didn't cover marauders. (I think I mentioned it in my original post). If I'm ever going to spend hundreds on a forgeworld model, it's going to be a Thunderhawkthere nice but you missed out the mauarders and also flyers cost quite alot (money wise)
also, marauders require an extra force organisation chart just like bane blades and other super heavies.
I did some maths on the four flyers, and the thunderbolt won on damage per points. It also indicated that Vultures and Valkyries should also only really be loaded for anti-infantry (as they are much more expensive than thunderbolts at anti-tank stuff). Note: these results may not be correct (its been a looong time since i did any real statistics stuff) and i had to bodge the number of models hit by the rocket pods.
I was planning on having two thunderbolts and one valkyrie in my drop troop army, and some vultures for the troops, but i doubt i will ever get round to buying them (just a little too much money )
Actually Lokaar, if you could, i'd be seriously interested in those calculations. I'm still deciding which one to get. I'll only have enough cash for one, and ideally not a valkyrie because I'd want to use it in my space wolves army as well (with a damocles you can take 0-1 lightning, thunder or vulture - no valks).
I'd recommend getting the Valkryie. It pulls duty for a Chimera and a well-equipped Sentinal Squadron, with the benifit of being a Flyer. Plus, you can fit it into every IG army short of an Armoured Company.
Burn the land and boil the sea. You can't take the sky from me.
Member of the Canadian Clan, eh.
Mech Tau Cadre: 2000 points, needs paint and magnets.
Paladins of Avalon (SW):-1500 points, needs paint.
Personally I belive that Flyers and titans don't belong on the table. The game was not designed for any such units so they unbalance the game. I say the same about Superheavy tanks, a Baneblade has got such an ridicilous damage output that it could whipe an army on it's own. The game simply wasn't made to field such an behemoth.
Of course, if you're playing a fluffy campaign then it's a whole other matter, but in regular games there is a good reason reason as to why you're supposed to ask for your opponents consent in fielding it.
As for flyers, while the models are lovely and it makes sense that you'll find them on the battlefields of the 41th millenium I do not belive they're balanced for play on the tabletop. Unless your weapon is a 'AA-mount' you'll only be able to hit it on 6's and most of the flyers are AV12, meaning that the only really effective weapon against them are autocannons, because the missile launcher or lascannon just doesn't have enough shots. Imagine your entire army suddenly having BS1 against something with the firepower of a Leman Russ roaring over your heads.
So, what do we get to bring aircraft down? Hydra flaktanks, 2x long barreled twin-linked aa-mount autocannons... sadly the first thing an aircraft will go for is this one, and despite it costing 15p more than a las/plas/demolisher it still has the armour of a chimera. Whoopie.