Saturday, June 30, 2012
6th Edition First Impressions: Fliers
I have the 6th edition BRB that my FLGS owner let me purchase this evening and I have been skimming through it to find some of the more interesting tid bits. Ishmael, Loki and I will be examining the BRB in various aspects of the rules and hobby sections of the book in the next few weeks as we come to be familiar with it. So far I have been trying to determine how some of the existing units will be changing to incorporate the existence of fliers, specifically which weapons have the skyfire rule and which fliers can hover.
The skyfire rule allows the shooter to shoot at flyers, flying MCs and skimmers at their normal ballistic skill and unless the weapon has the intercepter rule it can only fire at other targets by snapfiring. Snapfiring means that the shooter hits on sixes only. Unless a weapon has the skyfire rule, all shots at a flier are considered snapfiring. All of the models on the large ovular fight stand are fliers (e.g. Vendetta, Nightscythe, Stormraven) are considered fliers in the new appendices (p.410). Now for examining what being a flier entails.
Fliers that do not have the hover special rule are forced to move a minimum of eighteen inches in each movement phase or count as wrecked. This movement restriction is part of "Zooming". Note that zooming fliers cannot be assaulted in any circumstance. If a flier is wrecked it becomes flaming debris and all models within the flier take strength ten hits with no armor saves before they can disembark rather than the normal strength four hits. Fliers with the hover mode rule can choose to be treated as fast skimmers, meaning their occupants suffer weaker hits on vehicle destruction, the ability to be assaulted and eighteen inches becoming its maximum, rather than minimum, movement distance. While this makes the flier easier to kill, it also allows greater tactical flexibility to the flier.
I'm sure, having invented flight technology and being at war with each other as well as the imperium, xenos must have come up with some way to destroy fliers more efficiently than their imperial enemies. Let's see what weapons got the skyfire rule, barrring fortifications (all of which have an option to purchase these weapons). Well the hydra autocannon is no surprise...the ubiquitous missile launcher makes sense with its ability to give so many armies an answer...the eldar missile launchers don't get this third firing mode? Wait a minute, the eldar missile launcher has been shown to be more advanced than the imperial model (its frag equivalent is ap four and has pinning), but they did not receive an erratta to allow it to reliably shoot down fliers. Well that's okay, surely they have some other weapon that can cover for it...nope! No xenos weapon, barring fliers themselves have the skyfire rule. Therefore, unless they take allies with imperial missile launchers or fliers, xenos that don't have fliers of their own are forced to hit zooming fliers on sixes.
Don't be worried bout them shooting you down. Unless they have finally bowed to the immaculate Emperor of Mankind, sided with the diabolical forces of Chaos or stolen our technology (btw only Imperial Fortifications have rules) they won't be able to shoot you down unless they fire their entire army into it and get lucky. When you get there don't worry about dying, their power weapons are ap 3 and if you somehow lose combat you don't take any no retreat wounds, as that rule is gone. You can flee if your faith is weak or you can just refuse to be hurt when the fools try to sweeping advance you. If you're worried about not being able to go through their armor with your ap 3 force weapons, don't worry extremely few xenos units (e.g. phoenix lords) that have 2+ armor.
So, in the name of the immortal emperor, I am very pleased with the turning of the tide toward an imperial resurgence. In the name of balanced game play and wanting to promote the sales of non-imperial forces (as there were three non-imperial armies and six imperial armies updated in 5th edition), I have some very choice words so far for the prospects of sixth edition.
I'm UndergroundHeretic and I have to live with that every day.