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21/12/2012

Tactica: how to deal with flyers


Flyers have stirred 40k up quite a lot. People are having heart attacks over them and moaning more than I do and that is saying something! Now I cannot deny flyers are tough to take down, you need a 6+ to hit with anything which hasn't got skyfire then of course flyers have an armour value (flying monsters just have many wounds) and then they can get a jink save if they want.

It is not all rosey for flyers as they have to start in reserve (flying monstrous creatures don't have to) they also have to move at least 18" and can only pivot 90 degrees. This can be an issue for players using flyers as mobility has restrictions. Skimmers can avoid the restricted movement by moving like a skimmer, though they don't get the protection of 6+ needed to hit them.

Seems people are having kittens about flyers I thought I would write short ideas on how to deal with flyers for each codex, or at least popular codexes. I think you might be quite surprised how codexes can deal with flyers when you look at the big picture.

Imperial Guard

Their defence against flyers in 6th is one of their own flyers and perhaps the best flyer in the game; the Vendetta. If a 'Detta doesn't float your boat then a Hydra is pretty cool and is cheap, though the Hydra doesn't have intercept so can only snap fire against ground targets i.e infantry.

Tyranids

Flying Tyrants and Harpies are the Nids answer for anti air. The Harpy isn't mega cool if you take a HVC, I am not sure if this can hit flyers as you do not snap fire at flyers as a FMC has skyfire. Add that both of these can vector strike a flyer, even better if the Tyrant gets iron arm on the biomancy table :)

Space Marines

Unfortunately Marines only have one true defence against flyers and that's the poxy Stormtalon. Personally I am not a favourite of this little midget craft. The real answer to flyers for S.M is an aegis defence line or allied Guard; this answer also applies to Space Wolves, they have zero flyers as the pups are afraid of flying!

Blood Angels and Grey Knights both have anti flyer in the form of the Stormraven, which is the most durable flyer in the game. Sure it is expensive, but the Stormraven is now better than ever.

Chaos Space Marines

CSM have some nice units to deal with enemy flyers; Havocs with flakk missiles, who are expensive but can get the job done fairly well and there's the Heldrake which has S7 vector strike along with a hades autocannon.

Orks

Orks got a flyer update via W.D just before 6th hit, it brought the Dakkajet and other forms of this ramshackle Ork flyer. Lootas are not too bad anti air either, sure they need 6+ to hit, but they need a 5+ to hit anyway and when you could fire a possible 45 shots you are bound to hit :).

Tau

Now, as you know I do not know a huge amount about Tau.  I cannot stand them in any shape or form and only mildy entertain the F.W battlesuits. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I see the only true anti flyer defence Tau have is twin-linked Broadsides - will markerlights pump them up btw? What about those seeker missile things?

Eldar

Unfortunately Eldar have no real anti flyer defence. They have twin-linked guns, which cannot be relied on and that's about it. Aegis defence line is their only option, poor prudish upright Eldar.

Dark Eldar

D.E can bring two flyers of their own which can deal with enemy flyers; Voidraven Bomber and Razorwing. If that's got enough for you then weight of fire from all those lance weapons should do the trick or a good old aegis defence line, which Wracks can sit on.

Daemons

Daemons only have two forms of anti air; loads of flying monstrous creatures (daemon-chickens, angry red daemons and princes) or an aegis defence line.

Necrons

The undisputed masters of the air can bring Doom Scythes and Night Scythes to ruin an enemy flyers day. Ok the Doom Scythes super gun cannot hit a flyer, but do not forget it also has an tesla destructor. Speaking of tesla, do not forget Annihilation Barges.


As you can see pretty much all codexes have fair ways of dealing with flyers. Ok Tau and Eldar suffer and badly need an update so they can deal with flyers themselves without using allies or relying on an aegis quad gun. Daemons have got it pretty rough as well I think as they have to rely on a single FMC (flying monstrous creature) build to tackle flyers or it is the aegis route again. Space Marines are in the same camp as Daemons as they only have a Stormtalon to deal with flyers if not it is an aegis for them too.

Over all I do not think the situation is as bad as the internet makes out. The true nasty flyer build can only be done by Necrons, that's one book. Guard are a close second with squadrons of Vendettas.

Are you finding flyers hard to deal or a walk in the park? Spill the beans in the comment box.