Friday 14 September 2012

Review - Imperial Armour: Aeronautica

Curiosity finally got the better of me and I decided to purchase Imperial Armour: Aeronautica from forge world.  I just wanted to see what they did with their vast number of flyers and ant-aircraft vehicles. With the introduction of the flyers to regular game of 40k, and the current lack of anti-air units I though it could be quite interesting.

And I wasn’t disappointed at all. Looking over it, of course you get a majority of imperial units split among the verity of factions, space marines, imperial guard etc... And each of the xenos races gets a handful of rules. Well it is called imperial armour after all, so what do you expect? Now in this book you get a lot of rules, some good, some bad, but over all very fluffy if nothing else. Now if you have read any of my reports, I'm not a good player, and I can’t seem to know what’s considered competitive or not, so all of my views should be taken lightly as I could be totally off. Also I haven’t played with any of the units so it’s pure theory.  This wont be a fully comprehensive review of every unit, I will just mention the best, worst and my favourite unit (if it doesn’t appear) for each race/section. So with out any more rambling here is the review.

Oh! One more thing... they are added some new rules for each flyer which are quite interesting if nothing else fluffy.
·         Agile: increases jink save but +1
·         Auto-targeting: weapons Ignore jink save
·         Air-to-air: weapon can only target flyers and fast skimmers
·         Heat seeker: re-roll to hit against flyers and fast skimmers
·         Repair: can fix locked velocity on a 6

Mainly just colourful rules which could affect the game, but I don’t think it would change anything amazingly. But I do love a bit of fluffy rules.

Imperial Navy

Best unit – Thunderbolt Fighter

It’s a bit of a pricy model, 180 points for a AV 11, 2 HP flyer. For that tag though you do get a twin-linked lascannon, two-twin linked autocannons and a lot of options for bombs and missiles. You probably think it’s too expensive, and I though that at first but it can deep strike and have agile so can appear anywhere you want and blow open a threatening flyer, tank, or just piss off some infantry. I do think it’s a very situational model, but damn, if it doesn’t do it well. It will wreck an enemy flyer if it sets it slights on it. If you equip it right it can take on anything. And that’s why I think it’s awesome.

Worst unit – Aquila Lander

Now this was hard choice as there are a few options for this place but the lander got it. Its a transport flyer with supersonic, now that might be a mistake on their part but its published so until an errata is released... its 110 for a heavy bolter, its expensive and doesn’t do the job it was intended to do.

Favourite – Marauder bomber

Its an apocalypse only model that I just love, AV 11, 3 SP, a 12 bomb carrying air craft. I don’t care about its stats, it can bomb the crap out of anything with 12 of them, don’t care if you have a 2+ save, that many wounds will make you fail. Or you can swap them for an inferno bomb (hell storm template) which is ap 3... Always fun.

Imperial Guard

Little note, they only have anti-air as the flyers belong to the navy.

Best unit – Hydra support weapons platform

50 points for an av 10, 3 hp immobile vehicle with auto-targeting, and two twin-linked hydra autocannons. Its just so cheap, and you can have 3 platforms. So 150 points for some very cheap, very powerful anti-air guns.  Now you need an army to support this but I think its very much worth the points value.

Worst unit – Praetor armoured assault launcher

This is an odd one, Its an apocalypse only vehicle with front armour 14 and 2 SP worth 400 points (apparently). Now that’s a rather resistant tank, so it should have a lot of fire power right? Kinda... Its gun its str 8 heavy 2, sky fire, interceptor. It also has some heavy bolters in it, but who cares about them. I just can’t justify the points cost for that it does. It just doesn’t appeal to me on any level.

Space Marines

Best unit –  Hyperios Air defence

This is the second defence platform on my list, its just so cheap for what it does. This one counts as artillery this time, not a vehicle, so it’s T6 with 2 W for 35 points. Its only BS 3 but the hyperios missile launcher has heat seeker, so its got a good chance of hitting and with it being STR 8 it can attempt to damage most flyers. I know its not very fancy or impressive, but for how cheap it is its hard pressed to complain about. Its a fast attack choice as well this unit so it doesn’t have THAT much competition in a space marine army. I just think its really good for what it is.

Worst unit – Land speeder tempest

I just don’t like this land speeder, it just seems like a very expensive, less effective typhoon land speeder. The only reason it is in this book it because it can act as a flyer for a turn but can’t fire any of its weapons. Its 110 points for a land speeder... it just doesn’t appeal to me at all. I just don’t get why it’s so expensive.

Favourite unit – Land raider Helios

It makes no sense, it has no defined battle field role, it is overly expensive, but I just can’t help but love the land raider. Its 280 points for a standard land raider with out the heavy bolter, no multi-melta option and a hyperios missile launcher on top. The only thing I can see to do with this land raider is to use power of the machine spirit to fire the missile launcher while you go tank hunting with the lascannons. It makes no sense to me but I just love the idea and the model.


Best unit –  Flakk Trakk

An anti-air trakk with armour 12 and 3 HP for 90 points, but there is an issue with it... it appears that forge world forgot to add the flakka-gunz to its wargear section as right now it only has two big shootas. It’s called a flakk trakk, the pictures all have one on it and its rules suggest it has one, it just isn’t there. So I'm going to pretend they didn’t make a mistake (for the price they shouldn’t have done it). It has a rule called GO,GO,GO! While allows it to go flat out and still fire at flyers. So assuming it has the flakka-gun that’s an assault 4, str 7 skyfire gun. Not bad for orks when you consider it. I think it’s a real bargain for what it can do to a flyer trying to escape.

Worst unit – Attak fighta

Compared to the codex flyers the attack fighta just doesn’t cut it. Its cheap for a flyer, only 95 points, but with 2 big shootas its not going to do anything to any one. I just cant see it being useful that much of the time. The only benefit to it is that you can have 3 in a unit. But it just doesn’t make it count for much, I would much rather have a dakka jet.   


Best unit –  Nightwing Interceptor

This little beauty is possibly over powered. Its very weak, AV 10, 2 HP but if it doesn’t want to be hit, you better believe it wont be. With shrouded it gets a 5+ cover save regardless, add in agile, and evading shots, that’s a ridicules 2+ cover save. It’s terribly resilient if it wants to be and fast, with supersonic and vector dancer. It’s also got good war gear as well, two bright lances and two shuriken cannons. I just love this little flyer and can do some real damage if it wants to. 145 points... its a real bargain.  

Worst unit - Fire Storm

This is the eldar anti-air but its just not great at it. Its got 6 shots at str 6 which provided you play against forge world flyers is fine, but lets be honest, you wont be, you will be against codex flyers so that probably means av 12. This tank will not cut it in that environment and for 180 points, its just not good as what it can do. I love my eldar, but I cant say this is great.


Only unit – Harridan

As tyranids don’t have many forge world models this isn’t that surprising, but I would have expected some fancy flying hive tyrant. But I guess that covered in the main codex. The harridan is treated like a super heavy flyer with hover mode. Its an odd idea but I like it, the flying monstrous creature rules are ok but they do have some of flaws (grounding test from shooting whether it wounds or not) which this negates. So it can fly faster but loses out on vector strike. Its a T8 W8 monster so its got reasonable resistance and a 3+ save so should make most shots bounce off it that hit it. It can also shoot 12 STR 10 shots at BS 3 (so an average of 6 hits) which could wreck a tank a turn. It should theoretically be able to sky fire as it is attacked like a flyer etc... Which I take means it attacks like a flyer as well. So why not? It can also transport 20 gargoyles which isn’t bad, it’s a bit odd, fluffy and fun. The price tag of this beast? 900 points, which seams very high to me, considering what it can do. I would have to test it out to see. But I think it’s... OK, high points, but possible high reward.

Tau empire

The Tau units aren’t great, I’m not a tau player and looking at the units I don’t quite get what they are men tot be doing. I’m not a fan of any of them so I'm going to leave the tau out of this. They are all expensive with little fire power which surprised me as I though tau where all about the fire power. Apparently not say forge world.    

Favourite unit – Manta

Just for the hell of it, 2000 points for a massive flyer, 10 SP and as many guns as an army. It can hold an army inside it itself so could be fun. It’s just an amazing idea, and I have no idea if it’s worth the points or not, its just amusing.


Only unit – Gauss Pylon

So the Pylon makes its way back into another book. This time with skyfire for its focused beam, for those of you who haven’t read about it before, its heavy 3 STR D... now with skyfire and interceptor. 420 points, AV 14 SP 2, its resilient and it will down that ever you want it to. It’s good at what it does, and what it does it kill tanks. If you play necrons, get one of these and you will never have a problem with flyers ever again... to be fair if you play necrons and you have a problem with flyers something it wrong. So maybe this isn’t best used as an anti-air unit.

Dark eldar

Only unit – Raven strike fighter

205 points for an AV 10, 2 Hp flyer, with more special rules than you really need. Deep strike, night vision, vector dancer, supersonic, strafing run and its own little one, sky assassin, which lets it re-roll the scatter if it deep strikes next to an enemy flyer. Its armaments are a splinterstorm cannon, heavy 10 poison, and a twin linked dark lance. Personally I think it’s expensive for what it is, it’s a fast flyer which doesn’t have the armaments to deal with any real flying threats. It’s not a great flyer, I would rather just stick with the two already in the codex. Thanks forge world but no thanks.


Best unit –  Hell blade

There aren’t many units for chaos in this book but they seem to be reasonable. But the hell blade just makes it into the front. Its 115 points for a speedy, agile flyer with two reaper autocannons which could do some damage to other flyers and infantry alike. Its reasonably priced and can do damage. Its good.

Worst unit – DreadClaw

It’s a drop pod, its not a drop pod, its a flyer, its a mess. It’s cheap, it lets you deep strike in a dreadnaught or a squad of chaos marines but I just don’t like it. The only benefit is it’s an assault vehicle. The mainly problems I have are its a fast attack choice, not a dedicated transport, it has no guns, not even a combi-bolter and it can mishap, no rules to prevent it from scattering like a marine drop pod. It just doesn’t seem to do what its meant to be doing. Just not for me.

Favourite unit – Blight drone

Its now a flyer... what’s not to love? The little av 12, 2 hp drone is expensive for 125 points but I don’t care, I would love to add a unit of 3 to any army. Then have a large blast with ap 3, and a reaper auto-cannon. I just love everything about this little guy.  

Well that’s all of the units that I like or don’t like for each army. But that’s not all you get from the book, it also has some nice fluff about a campaign that you can play if you happen to have more money than sense and happen to have an army full of flyers. It comes with 6 additional missions to play in your campaign to help flesh out the flyer part of the game. They mainly revolve around flyers dog fighting over seas of attacking a convoy. If you played out the campaign properly you would defiantly want to play them out. And of course they expand the flyer rules a little bit for the campaign by adding flyer experience, which gives additional rules like vector dancer, or lets them gain tank hunters when firing single weapons. It’s just a little addition over a few pages but I think its quite a cool little addition if you where playing the campaign properly.

So over all I would consider this book a very interesting read even if you just want to look at some pretty pictures of flyers. The layout is good, the additions are generally well though out apart from a couple (a few too many) rules issues or bit missing. And if you are rich, maybe you would want to buy more flyers than you really should and invite me over for a game or two from the campaign. If I could, I would buy a fair few of the flyers, as the rules are really cool. Over all I would say a good buy.


  1. I am curious, how can the Chaos Dreadclaw be the worst unit if it comes in as a Drop Pod from which a unit may assault? Sounds like the best possible dream come true!

    1. If i could take it as a dedicated transport maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but its a slot on its own. Especially now you have better things to put in that slot, such as the heldrake or some nurgle bikes.

      I grant you that the assault vehicle is nice, its only redeeming factor, but the passengers can't assault the turn they arrive unfortunately. This makes the dreadclaw a waste of points in my mind.

      Rulebook FAQ page 4 second point down:
      Q: Do Transports with the Assault Vehicle special rule permit their
      passengers to charge on the turn they arrive from Reserve? (p33)
      A: No.

  2. Well... if only it did what a DropPod did then it would be good... but as it is it arrives from regular reserves and scatters onto impassible terrain like anybody else (except DropPods mind you!). That it can lift off after unloading its cargo is rather inconsequential since it has no guns. Plus, it takes up one of your FA slots.
    Now, if you are willing to pay 85 pts and that FA slot to let one of your units assault after deepstriking is completely up to you (and depends on the unit... I don't have my book at hand so I don't know the transport capacity of that thing... but if you are able to drop a decent sized unit of Berzerkers into some Tau that will be some amusing carnage... for one round, after which they will die, but thats what's supposed to happen anyways if you ask Khorne!).