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Friday, 25 May 2012

Exclusive (this time it is!) Look At The New Flyers' Rules1

Obviously, it's not the rules themselves that are exclusive, you can find them in several places already - rather, it's the getting of my opinion that's the exclusive part.


Among the places, before we continue, are The 40k Project, and the ever-reliable Faeit212, which, rather than White Dwarf (you think I buy that rag?!) are my source for the opinions below.

Well, we don't need to worry about the Necrontyr contraptions, the Night Croissant, and the Doom Croissant, or their enigmatic vigilante pilot, Moon Knight.  With their rules having been in the public domain for yonks, we all know the Night Scythe is pretty darn good, if fragile, and the Doom Scythe is a glass hammer.

Moving on then, let's start with the Storm Talon.  I would have started with the Orks, in case you all just stopped reading at this point and didn't care about the band-aid applied to a creaking old Codex riddled with fatal diseases, but I trust my readership more than that! Also, every other article starts with Orks.

The Talon comes in at the rather hefty price of 130 points for a Fast, Supersonic, Aerial Assault Skimmer with mediocre anti-infantry potential, Ceramite Plating (yay, that's GREAT on AV11...) and a few options which I will discuss in a second.

The Hover Strike mode, which enables it to fire at BS5 against a variety of targets (cliff notes, not Skimmers) is obviously a benefit, but it removes the capacity to move and fire, which is surprisingly important to a Aerial Assault Fast Skimmer.  Wait, did I say "surprisingly" ? I meant the opposite.  Don't get me wrong, +1BS is all very well and good, palatably NICE even.  But the gap between BS4 and BS5 is nowhere near as important as the gap between BS3 and BS4...especially when you're firing a salvo of TWIN-LINKED weapons...There is an additional benefit to this rule, but sadly the scans I've seen cut it off.  Unsadly, I found out while typing this paragraph.  Sadly, it's Pinning.  Like we give a fuck.  I've discussed Pinning recently, and we all know that it's going to need a huge boost in 6th to be an important consideration...but without a 6e BRB here in front of me (hint hint, anyone with access...) we have to ignore that for now and discuss it purely for use in a 5e ruleset.

The Escort Craft rule is one that was given an interesting twist by corner-dweller and infrequent commentor Captain Kellen, with the suggestion of attaching it to an Outflanking unit.  Certainly, this makes the thing a whole hell of a lot more useful - but Outflanking anti-infantry is about as useful as a wooden frying pan - it isn't.  Perhaps the weapon options can mitigate this somewhat, or even turn it around completely?  Well, let's see.

For the measly cost of what 4 Melta Bombs set you back, you can replace the (crappy) TL Heavy Bolters with TL Lascannons.  We know what those weapons offer, so little to discuss.  Having a Lascannon and an Assault Cannon runs slightly cross purposes - yes, we ALL know an AssCan CAN penetrate AV14, but statistical improbabilities can be largely ignored when discussing the utility of an option - if it can't reliably do it, it doesn't matter.  For another 5 points, we have two other options, in an unusual case of GW forcing a genuine choice on players that's good value.  Either you can select the well-known Typhoon Missile Launcher, noting that it isn't Twin-Linked (as with most Typhoons...but surely I'm not the only one thinks that, for balance, they should just be Twin-Linked Cyclones, or rather TL Multiple Missile Launchers, while Cyclone is a MML with it's extra Targetting Doodad, and the Exorcist gets TWO TL MMLs, with Melta Missiles? Sigh.  If only they would ask me for ideas...) - and the non-Twin-Linkedness means that Hover Strike suddenly is a little (not a lot) more appealing.

The last option is brand new, and, like the Pulse Laser, a real WFT from a fluff perspective.  I mean, the Skyhammer Missile Launcher is DAMN good.  It's a *slightly* worse Ion Cannon, nicked from the Tau, Borg-style (your technological distinctiveness belongs to the Imperium now! Begone, foul Xenos!) coming in at 60" range (!) with 3 S7 AP4 rounds.  Oh, the Pulse Laser comparison? Yeah - the gun is GOOD, so why the bloody testicles of a man castrated by a chainsaw, is it only mounted on ONE vehicle?!  Why in the name of Sebastian Thor (or his namesake, that Marvel guy...) is it not used more extensively? Like, on Dreadnoughts?! Oh, hi Psyflemen.  Yeah, we outrange you now.  What's that? Yes, I was about to say Predators.  Imagine this bitchin turret.  Sigh.  Twelve types of Russ and the Predator still only gets a legacy turret that should've been Twin-Linked all along, and a bollocks overcosted piece of shit turret.  Ugh.

Anyway, for 155 points you can have this awesome platform - which will in turn be shot down by mostly anything it tries to engage.  They've tried with this one, at least.  It's crap, but it's crap in the best possible way.  Well, except the stupid landing pads...but still.  Oh, and the lack of Melta options.  Or the lack of trading in the oversized Assault Cannon.  Even not having Plasma, what with it being too small to carry much ammo, yet having the room for Lascannon capacitors while Plasma heat sinks are often smaller...


Moving on - Orks.

Ugh.

Burna Bommer first.  the 'medium' of these 10/10/10 BS2 monstrosities, it carries 2 one-shot bombs, that aren't bad, but are fired by Orks, and has a TL Big Shoota (fired by a Grot, so BS3) and a better, new gun - the Supa Shoota, also Twin-Linked.  The Supa Shoota is 30" (which, thank Einstein, is FINALLY a gap in range bands now filled by something! Honestly, it's bugged me for ages, and Kraken rounds in Sternguard Bolters were only a little bit of relief...) S6 AP4, Assault 3.  It's decent.  In fact, for Orks, it's decidedly good.

Before we go on - a brief note - all 3 Ork vehicles have Aerial Assault, Supersonic, and Waagh Plane.  The latter allows them to fire twice the turn a Waagh! is declared.  this is great, except that you are unlikely to last long enough to do so...They also all get the option of a Red Paint Job - but NONE of them get Extra Armour... /interest.

So, the bombs. S5, AP4, ignores Cover, large blast...great for killing other Orks and suchlike Xenos, not so hot (pun intended...) against Marines.  Decent, not impressive.

It gets up to 6 one-shot missiles, which are very much along the same lines: 24" S5 AP4, one shot, ignores Cover, Blast.  Pretty neat, in the sense that if you only ever fight Infantry or at a stretch AV10, they can do the job.  they add nothing to anti-vehicle capacity, and we all know that's what Orks struggle for as is.

Overall, this 'thing' adds nothing but flavour - and if I wanted flavour, I'd read Horus Heresy books, not pay £30 for a shitty vehicle.

Dakkajet - easily the best of the three, it's the cheapest (not a coincidence!)  It has a Strafing Run rule (see Hover Strike, above) and can have a third Supa Shoota which makes it actually fairly decent at troubling light armour, ESPECIALLY in a Waagh! turn.  Of course, it has no real protection, so once the opponent twigs and squints at it hard enough, it will crash in a devastating fireball, killing a bunch of your own models.

Speaking of...

The god-awful Blitza-Bommer.

*Shudder*

This time, the Grot weapon isn't even Twin-Linked (fuck knows why) so that and a single TL Supapapa Shootatata are it.  Oh, apart from the Boom Bombs, of course.  Let's study these.  Normal (small) Blast, S7 AP4, and Skreamin' Descent rule.  Obviously, one use only.

What does the rule do TKE? Stop teasing us with your masculine whiles! Er...ok...

You can't go flat Out and do it.  You stop 1" from the target.  It counts as a weapon in the Shooting phase, though you can target other stuff as well.  You can keep moving afterwards, IF YOU SURVIVE.  That' a hint.

See, you roll 2d6, and consult a table, because randomly killing yourself is FUN, kids!
On a 5-9, you get what you want, d6 Scatter, shot works fine.
On 10-12, you get the truly excellent bonus of firing your guns IMMEDIATELY, in addition to the bomb, and then once again in the Shooting phase, at a different (or same) target.  Pinning, if required, can happen.
3-4, however, and you and the target both take a S9 AP2 hit.  This may well bugger the target, but you;re AV10, so wave goodbye to your plane.
On a 2, however (and this is where the 40k project got things a little wrong) you become a 135 point missile, as you are destroyed and replaced with a crater, after large blasting (S9 AP2) the target unit, and scattering 2d6".

How awesome.

Now sure, it's unlikely, but the point, as MVB so delightfully expressed, is that it's only casual players get burned by shit like this - competitively-minded players avoid these units, or work around shitty rules that reduce reliability.

I've had enough of going through these rules I'm afraid.  You all get the picture, right?  Sigh, with a capital 'why GW, why did you have to make them suck so goddamn hard?!?'


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