Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review of the New WD Flyer Rules

With the rules for the new flyers (fliers? flyers? damn ambiguous spellings) circulating around, I figured it was time to take a look at their numbers in a bit more detail and give an assessment of them. I don't think any of them (save the Necrons) are gonna be winning any prizes anytime soon, but especially considering most of them are Orks that isn't exactly surprising. So let's dig in and see what we can figure out about them.

(And remember, kids, this isn't the place to complain about how little you like them visually, etc. We already have a thread for that- this one is just for rules.)

Well, it doesn't say explicitly in the rules I've seen so far, but I'm assuming this is a FA choice for codex Marines, maybe some of the others (BT, DA, etc) as well. At 130pts it is rather pricey with only AV11 on all its sides and most of its special rules are nothing terribly impressive- Hover Strike is hard to read, but it seems to give you +1BS on a turn you don't move, effectively, but with twin-linked on most all its guns that's hardly a big deal. Aerial Assault and Supersonic are always useful, but Escort Craft is... basically worthless and Ceramite Plating won't help all that much with its weak AVs.

The armaments are also kinda middling- TLAC is actually pretty decent, but TLHB is trashy and needs to be replaced with something more functional, so we look over to the upgrade options. And... huh. Well, okay, the Lascannon isn't an awful price and it gives us two good AT guns, but only getting one shot for such an expensive thing is not exactly exciting. The Typhoon Launcher and Skyhammer are even pricier, but much more functional, though the lack of twin-linked is kinda disappointing. Considering a regular Typhoon (i.e. Cyclone) is 30pts, paying 25pts and losing a gun to get one seems a bit weak. The Skyhammer is an interesting choice, being a super-Autocannon (one extra shot) with extended range. Unfortunately if we actually use that range we don't get to fire our other gun, so it sort of defeats the purpose.

What role does a Stormtalon fill? None, really. We can load it up with a pair of good guns, but anything it can do a pair of Land Speeders can do for better, cheaper, and tougher. I can't really see it making any kind of waves anywhere except maybe as a conversion base, since there are some interesting bitz in there.

Alright, it's got standard "airplane" stats (10/10/10 fast skimmer etc) with standard Ork BS. 110pts and two twin-linked S6 guns with three shots is... not awful, but it gets +1 to hit against targets on the ground, so that means you're actually doing a pretty reasonable number of hits. 10pts to bolt on another gun is kinda a no-brainer, and on a Waaaagh! turn you're spitting out a ton of firepower (18 twin-linked BS3 shots), and even on regular turns you are getting a pretty significant amount of damage. Unfortunately, like many Ork vehicles, you are absurdly fragile and only a KFF can only do so much to save you, though lack of Open-Topped is at least a blessing.

I don't really see these replacing Buggies as the standard for FA choices to throw shots downrange, but you could probably do worse.

Same as the above for the basic numbers line, though a little more expensive for the base chassis. If it doesn't go Flat Out it can drop a bomb on a thing, but having played with both DE and Tyranid versions of the same, that ability just never works out. It's incredibly rare for you to start within 12" of a guy and actually fly over him (since you also need to have that 1" clearance as per the normal rules) in such a way that it will work out. Dropping a bomb counts as shooting a weapon, except you can still aim at another target so I don't see how that matters at all (since Aerial Assault means you can always shoot everything.) The bomb itself has okay stats and will fuck up any non-MEQs that it happens to land on, which is decent, and you do start with a pair of them.

It also has the same S6 gun as the Dakkajet and a regular Big Shoota, with the latter being BS3 thanks to a Grot firing it. You can bolt on missiles with the same profile as your usual bomb (but only a small blast) for 10pts each, so if you want to have a "lulz alpha strike" thing you totally can go for it. Oh, and it gets double shots during a Waaagh!, just in case you were banking on those S5/6 guns tipping the balance for you.

I don't think there's any real reason to want a Burna-Bomma other than having a neat model. Even more so than the Dakkajet it just doesn't bring anything to the field that another unit can't do already.

Alright, due to the rules being a little hard to read this one is going to more iffy than the others, but I think the most important points are visible. The Blitza is the most expensive of the three variants and comes with one TL Supa-Shoota, one Big Shoota (fired by a Grot), and two Boom Bombs (which are S7 AP4 blasts that roll 2d6 for penetration.) Unlike the other "bomb-dropping" units, the Blitza-Bomma has a special table to roll on when dropping a bomb because, you know, Orks. However, in some ways this ends up working out in its favor, since you activate this by simply getting within 1" of an enemy unit during your movement phase rather than actually having to fly over them.

A roll of snake eyes on the table crashes the plane, dropping a large blast template (with AP2) onto the unit, which then scatters. 3-4 does a S9 hit to both you and the target unit, which has an unfortunately high chance of killing you and probably won't do much to them. 5-9 drops the small blast on them and scatters d6" just like the "normal" bombs. 10-12 lets you drop the bomb as before but also take a free shot with your main gun as well, which is a decently little bonus. All in all not a completely crippling table, at least, merely one that will occasionally kill you for trying to do a thing. Considering your main target for the Boom Bombs is going to be vehicles (because of that 2d6 pen), the "trade S9 hits" one is less awful than it might otherwise be- it's like a Ram that doesn't suck.

Unfortunately, like the other two, its price tag is just too high to really justify an AV10 vehicle for any reason other than lulz or the model. Obviously those are valid reasons to want one, but when we're talking about the rules of the thing... well, they don't really weigh in.

So the only real winners out of this thing are Necrons (who get that all-important flyer chassis that enables the very strong Lance/Immortal/Scythe build) and anyone who wants some kooky models to convert. Of course, in terms of the value of the content this issues of WD is a HUGE jump up from their usual standards, so if we continue to see more of this kind of thing, it's actually possible that people will start buying the magazine again.

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