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Well, I've been thinking about this for a while now, and I've finally decided to give this bit of houserules a shot. For a while, I've been wanting to include the element of "Air Support" in battles I've played with friends. My problem: I don't want to worry about getting the proper models from Forgeworld and buying the Imperial Armour books. I want air support that was mostly invisible until it decides to show itself in lightning fast attack runs, or when it can't help but show itself with devestating crashes and mass mayhem.
That being said, I've written up rules for Field Ops like characters (think Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory) and random events during battles that might offer what I am looking for.
Seing as these rules are first-writeups, I am seeking comments that could be used to add to and improve these rules.
If anyone can think of possible Eldar field-ops equivalents, I am all ears. I don't know enough of Eldar fluff to make on of my own. I am, however, adamant that Marines, Nids, Toasters, Grey Knights and Nuns with Guns do not recieve these unit types, for balance and fluff issues.
The Field Ops
In many armies, there is an individual that is given the task of coordinating air support with ground troop movements. Known as the Field Ops, among other terms, in the Imperial Guard, this individual is often a member of the General's retinue. In other races' armies, the name for this indivual will be different, but their job remains essentially the same. Not every race, though, is capable of fielding a Field Ops. These races include Tyranids, Necrons, Eldar, Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, and pure Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle armies. Armies that DO use Field Ops include Imperial Guard, Inquisitorial armies, the Lost and the Damned and Traitor Guard, Tau, and Orks.
The first airstrike called in is automatically used. Subsequent requests for airstrikes may be denied if there are too few resources. For the next airstrike, it is used as normal on a roll of 3+ on a D6. Every time an airstrike is successful, subtract 1 from the required roll, to a minimum of 6+. In other words, after the second success, the roll to call in a successful airstrike is reduced to 4+, then after that to 5+, then after that to 6+.
Of course, if the Field Ops is killed or removed as a casualty in any way, no more airstrikes may be performed.
Imperial Guard Field Ops
ONE Guardsman with a Voxcaster or a Master-Vox may be upgraded to the position of Field Ops for +35 points. A Field Ops is capable of calling in an Airstrike from bombers in orbit by throwing a Markcan and radio'ing in aircraft. The Markcan has a range of 8". Place a blast template over the spot and roll a Scatter Die. If an arrow is rolled, move the template D6" in that direction.
Now, place 2 more blast templates end-to-end next to the original, forming a line, following the direction of the arrow. In the event of a HIT symbol, follow the small arrow shown on the die. These are the several volleys of bombs that follow the initial attack.
Any units completely covered by the templates take a S6 AP6 hit on a 4+. Any models partially covered by the template are hit by 6+s. All armour and invulnerable saves are allowed as normal, and the Necron Special Rule "We'll Be Back" is allowed as well.
In an Inquisitoral Retinue, any Mystic employed by the Inquisitor may be upgraded to a Skypath for +15 points. He follows exactly the same rules as the Imperial Guard Field Ops, but instead of using markcans the Mystic telepathically alerts the airsupport. For this reason, his range is increased to 24". However, every time you try to call an airstrike, you must roll a leadership test as if you were trying to use a psychic ability. In the case of any Perils of the Warp attacks, the attempt to call in an airstrike fails. Even then, a pilot may misunderstand the telepath's commands. Rolla D6 following a successfully passed test. On a 1, the opposing player is allowed to choose where the airstrike targets, to represent a grievous error on the part of the pilots supporting the army.
Traiter Guard and The Lost and the Damned Traitor Field Ops
ANY guardsman model in use in either army with a Voxcaster or Master-Vox may be upgraded to Traitor Field Ops for +35 points. They follow all rules for Imperial Guard Field Ops.
An Ork Bigmek can be upgraded to a Bommaboss for +25 points. The Bommaboss is capable of ordering the Fightabommaz constantly screaming through the air overhead to execute a ground attack anywhere the Boss can see (usually within 20"). When choosing the launch a ground attack, roll a D6.
On a roll of 4-6, follow the following rules below. On a roll of 2-3, the fightbommaz are a little confused and get the coordinates wrong by a few decimal places and therefore add another D6 to the scatter throw. On a roll of 1, the fightbommaz just cannot comprehend the amount of intelligence being thrown at them by the Bommaboss and really mess up. Add 3D6 to the roll.
When executing a ground attack, pick a point on the battlefield within 20" of the Bommaboss and place the blast marker over it. Roll a Scatter Die. If a HIT is rolled, then move the blast marker in the direction of the small arrow 1D6", and if an arrow is rolled, move the marker 2D6" (Adding the extra D6s from above as necessary). This is the initial strike zone of the Fightabommaz payload. In the direction of the arrows rolled (including the hit arrow) place 3 extra blast markers end-to-end. This is the extra volley of bombs dropped by the Fightabommaz.
Any models under the center holes of any blast templates are splattered by enemy bombs, and automatically take Strength 10 hits with no saves of any kind allowed. The Necron special rule "We'll Be Back" is not allowed either.
Any models otherwise completely covered by the blast markers take a Strength 6 AP5 hit on a normal wounding roll. Any models partially covered take a hit on a 6+. Armour and invulnerable saves are allowed as normal, and the Necron Special Rule "We'll Be Back" is allowed as well.
Any Ethereal in use in a Tau Army may be upgraded to the Aun'Mesme'Korar for +25 points. Through their arcane abilities already being used to shape the ground forces' battle plans for the Greater Good, the Aun'Mesme'Korar may call in airstrikes within 8" of ANY ally unit still on the battlefield. Resolve airstrike rolls as per the Imperial Guard, with the exception that if a HIT is rolled, then that blast marker does not move, and the subsequent blast markers are placed end-to-end in any direction the player wishes, so long as no more than one blast marker is touching the original.
Any models under the center holes of any blast templates are splattered by enemy bombs, and automatically take Strength 10 hits with no saves of any kind allowed. The Necron special rule "We'll Be Back" is not allowed either. Any models otherwise completely covered by the blast markers take a Strength 8 AP- hit on a normal wounding roll. Any models partially covered take a similar hit on a 6+. Armour and invulnerable saves are allowed as normal, and the Necron Special Rule "We'll Be Back" is allowed as well.
Aftermath and Victory Points
All units sustaining casualties from an Airstrike must take morale checks, unless immune to morale.
Any and all enemies killed by airstrikes are worth full victory points.
Any and all allies killed by airstrikes are worth half victory points for the other player.
At the beginning of every turn, roll a D6. On a roll of 1-3, nothing happens. On a roll of 4-5, a fighter begins a strafing run. On a roll of 6, a fighter is destroyed.
When a 4 or a 5 is rolled on the Event Roll, each player rolls a D6. Whoever rolls the highest score gets to choose what enemy unit is strafed (in the case of a tie, both players initiate strafing runs). Then, roll a Scatter Die and a D6. If a HIT is rolled, choose a direction. Any unit within 2D6" of the original unit is also hit by the strafing run.
Treat any units being strafed by a fighter as being attacked by a heavy bolter, only with 2+D6 hits.
When a 6 is rolled on the Event Roll, each player rolls a D6. Whoever rolls the lowest score has lost a fighter (in the case of a tie, both players lose an aircraft). This could be due to either enemy anti-aircraft guns firing on an aircraft too close, or this could be a result of a dogfight high overhead.
Choose a piece of terrain, and roll a Scatter Die and 2D6. The aircraft has crashed at an angle to the ground and skids along 2D6". Lay a measuring stick along the direction the aircraft has skidded. All models on this line take a Strength 6 AP 6 hit with armour and invulnerable saves allowed as normal.
If a HIT is rolled, discard one of the D6 rolls of your choice and follow the direction of the small arrow. The aircraft has plummeted out of the atmosphere in a massive fireball! Place an ordnance blast marker on the spot indicated by the HIT arrow and the D6. Any model unlucky enough to be under the center hole or within 1" are automatically hit with a Strength 10 AP2 hit with no armour saves or invulnerable saves allowed. They've been splatted by several tons of flaming steel! The Necron Special Rule "We'll Be Back" is not allowed for these casualties.
All other models fulled covered by the template are wounded on a 4+. All models partially covered by the template are wounded on a 6+. Armour saves, invulnerable saves, and the Necron Special Rule "We'll Be Back" are allowed.
Place items signifying a wreckage under the final blast marker. For the rest of the game, this area is considered Difficult and Dangerous Terrain and blocks line of sight.
Aftermath and Victory Points
All casualties sustained by a strafing run are counted as half victory points. Any units that have suffered at least one successful wounding roll (even if it is saved) must take a pinning test, even if they normally do not have to take pinning tests.
All casualties sustained by a downed fighter do NOT count towards victory points totals. Any unit that takes casualties from a downed aircraft must make a morale check (even if they are normally immune to morale). It is assumed that the soldiers will not want to stay near the firey remains of the enemy (or ally!) fighter.