Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Flyers in 6th - The (not so) great debate

I was on the Warhammer 40,000 facebook group yesterday and found myself drawn into a debate about Flyers and how some people feel that they have destroyed the game.

Let me expand on that for you, as like me, your probably scratching your head in bewilderment.

This stemmed from a post where a chap had put up an army shot of his grey knights (2 Stormravens, a Landrader and some boys) saying he had just tabled his opponents Space Wolves. He immediately attracted heat from the internet masses that he was using Flyers so it was unfair and "Space Wolves have nothing to kill a flyer with"*

Lets take a look at what that statement infers and break it down. What this clearly well informed chap was saying, is that no Space Wolf units have the Skyfire USR. But, as this is the case, if someone
brings a Flyer to play, you cant kill it. This series of brash statements went on for a while, and if you are one of those who believe this to be correct, then all I have for you is this:

So, onto something more productive. How do you deal with Flyers? Ill tackle this with the Space Wolves, but the principles can be applied to any codex.

1) Allies**. This is a major mechanic in the game, and currently its one of the best ways to get some AA into the list. Anything Imperial Guard is cheap, you have the options to get flyers yourself, and with the Approved for 40k stamps appearing all over forge worlds books, there's a tonne of choice out there.

2) Fortifications. Cheap, reasonably effective. However when facing more than one flyer the quad gun begins to struggle.

3) Ignore the things. 2 or 3 flyers are not going to able to deal with a load of troops - The fact is they simply cant kill that much stuff before they either have to go into hover mode or fly past you. If you are playing to deny flyers you can do a very effective job by just moving straight up the field, that way the flyers will get 2, maybe 3 rounds of shooting at you. Yes it can hurt, but they will not recoup their cost. And if something is not points efficient it becomes a weak link. "But what about the Necron flyer spam list of doom?" I hear you cry, fear not! If you adopt the strategy above the likelihood is they will have to fly over you and they will have very little on the board to anchor them - so if you go first, you have 2 turns to kill whatever they have left on the table and then its game over. This isn't too hard to do with a few units of wolf scouts, some bikers,and anything else fast or drop podding which can abuse the poor deckchair Necrons waiting for their friends.

4) Man up and shoot at them. Yes, I know, you need 6's to hit. But there's plenty of access to twin linked multi shot guns, riflemen dreads for example, they should hit at least once each round. You also have a fantastic primaris power in the divination school called prescience which allows you to re-roll all failed to hit rolls. Space wolves can abuse this more than most by having 4 priests and with the staple heavy support choice from 5th edition - the long fang units with 5 missile launchers that's pretty reliably going to dent any flyer that comes their way. Lascannon twin plasma razorbacks stand a reasonable chance of scoring a hit and squadrons of Typhoons with prescience on them. As you can see there are options.

I think what the "Ermagherd fylarhs are invinsables" mentality stems from is that people still think they are playing 5th edition. The game is lot more open now, everyone*** has more options open to them now and despite what many people think, the game is about the player as well as the list. No list is unbeatable, and no list is great against everything.

* Oh, It's on.
** Yes I know, that involves spending more money. Buts its just one of the options.
***Well, Tyranids are debatable as they have no friends. They are the smelly kid in the corner who drools on himself so no one wants to play with him.

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