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Analysis: Astra Militarum in 8th Ed, HQ Units

Let's analyse the HQ options available to Astra Militarum . Like all my reviews, this will be from a competitive play perspective, ...

Friday, 22 July 2016

Review: Forge World Flyers Death from the Skies Update


Death from the Skies has been out for a while now, and unless you've been living under a rock or are one of those regressive ITC-playing Luddites, you've adapted to Air Superiority and the nerfing of flyers as swiss-army-knife anti-everything shooters. But Forge World flyers were notably absent from DTFS—until today!

New Combat Roles

DTFS defined Fighter, Attack and Bomber as Combat Roles, which is a good system as each one has rules which give it a definite, well, role. But along come FW with an unnecessarily complex addition of four (!) new Combat Roles:

  • Strike-Fighters are just pre-DFTS flyers, they can choose to Skyfire or not
  • Air Leviathans are Bombers with a bunch of convoluted extra rules
  • Utility Craft do nothing
  • Interceptors are Fighters that have to Skyfire at everything, and therefore Snap Fire at ground targets
Urgh, did we really need these? This is lazy rules design at best, and woeful at worst. Strike-Fighters are strictly better than any other type of flyer. Air Leviathans are just Super-Heavy Bombers, so FW could have just added a simpler extra rule for Super-Heavy. Utility Craft should just be Bombers with terrible dogfighting stats, they don't need to exist. Interceptors should likewise be Fighters with excellent dogfighting stats, not a new Combat Role. Terribad, all round.

Biggest Winner

The Imperial Avenger was already a very efficiently-costed flyer. As a Strike-Fighter it now becomes arguably the most efficient and versatile flyer in the game. Astra Militarum just got a premium anti-air replacement for the once-mighty Vendetta and Hydra!

Biggest Losers

The Eldar Nightwing and Space Marine Xiphon both became Interceptors, a.k.a. useless pieces of shit. The Nightwing was briefly a viable alternative for the Crimson Hunter when that became a Fighter, but is now junk. The Xiphon was a bigger deal in 30k than in 40k, but was still a decent and versatile flyer. This big old kick in the scrotum really annoys me for two reasons:

  • Two super-sexy models are now utterly unplayable
  • Two units with fluff that describes them as tank-killers now cannot kill tanks
So much fail.

Notably Absent

Where the hell is the Vendetta?!?

Everyone was asking this question when DTFS dropped. Speculation began that it would drop out of the AM codex and become a pure Imperial Armour unit. But now where does it stand? CUE CONSPIRACY THEORIES!!! More likely this was just a case of GW and FW both assuming that the other would pick up the slack. Moar fail.

I guess we just play the Vendetta with the Valkyrie rules in DTFS. Or convert our Vendetta models into Avengers.

Conclusion

Bad FW.

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