View Full Version : Lightinings and Thunderbolts

21-01-2008, 03:27
I don't know about anyone else, but since first seeing the Lightining fighter craft and it's 'Strike' variant in Imperial Armor 1, I have only heard of one person using them in Apocalypse or otherwise.

Have these older units been phased out by the Thunderbolt? Does this newer upstart fighter have a noticeable advantage in the game?

I only really ask because I'm seeking to get one of the two.

Stella Cadente
21-01-2008, 03:32
well the Thunderbolt does have more firepower compared to the Lightning, and it looks far far better (40k Messerschmit), there probably the main reasons why its more popular

Captain Micha
21-01-2008, 03:35
Well, the Lightning in fluff is described as being more agile and faster than a thunderbolt.. but the Thunderbolt is a brute of a machine, heavy armored, heavy armed. to quote Double Eagle. "Those who enjoyed flying, prefer the Lightning... Those that enjoy the kill love the Thunderbolt"

21-01-2008, 05:11
I suppose I will have to try and find a Lightining or Lightining Strike, since I only have the rules for them and not the Thunderbolt.

The Orange
21-01-2008, 05:50
Thunderbolt rules are in the Apocalypse book, that could be another reason why their more popular for apocalypse. IMO though its the looks :D.

Stella Cadente
21-01-2008, 06:04
Thunderbolt rules are in the Apocalypse book, that could be another reason why their more popular for apocalypse. IMO though its the looks :D.
which is no good if you don't play Apoc, the rules for anything are in Imperial armour volume 1

21-01-2008, 08:01
Maybe because the lighting looks...stupid?

This is like a debate on whatever appeals more to people; the death korps or theelysian drop troops, granted, it's personnal preference, but it is also the most common preference.

21-01-2008, 20:17
It could also now be because the Lightning, an air superiority interceptor, is actually worse at shooting down other planes than the Thunderbolt?

The Lightning's best use now is as a light bomber. The Strike variant is even more dubious - once the Hellstrikes have gone, it's a flying twin- linked lascannon.

I used a Lightning many times when they first appeared - at that time the wing guns were two single lascannons. Back then it was a respectable craft - like a flying predator destructor.

21-01-2008, 20:46
Well with regards to the lightning it is described as an interceptor whilst the thunderbolt is more of a multi role fighter, capable of being a fighter-bomber, and escort fighter or a interceptor. now the lightning's main advantage is what in reality would make it a good interceptor, it's agility and speed. you don't need something with more guns than you can shake a stick at when you can out manouver your opponent and shoot him from behind where he has no guns pointing at you. it is an anti-fighter fighter designed to engage enemy fighter cover.

this point is why it is not practical to use in conventional games of 40k apoc or otherwise. due to the fact that its main role would be to command the airspace, in complex air engagements that are far beyond the capabilities of the 40k rules, not engade ground targets unless they where returning after a patrol and found targets of opportunity and could have a few strafing runs at said targets.

the thunderbolt it designed to take out mor heavier targets such as tanks (fighter-bomber role), bombers (its interceptor role) as they are likely to have more armourments and be more heavily armoured so the thunderbolt which has more guns and armour than the lightning will survive long enough and also be able to dish out more punishment, and it should be able to provide a long range escort to friendly bommbers (its escort role)

with the thunderbolt it is key to have the flexability in a heavy interceptor so it can take on roles of escort or fighter bomber as well as being able to deal with the bombers hence its more numerous weapons and heavier armour

want more just look up the battle of britain and the use of spitfires and huricanes, interceptor and multirole fighter respectively

22-01-2008, 00:17
As I've mentioned in other threads, blame the Lightning's complete inferiority on Forgeworld. Even in Aeronautica Imperialis, the game where mechanics of dogfighting are accounted for, there's no reason to take a Lightning over a Thunderbolt. The two 'very high' maneuver cards that a Lightning can play do little compared to the Thud's heavier armament and 6+ save. All other things are equal, except that a Lightning costs 80% of the Thunderbolt.

Who cares if you can get in a better tactical position if you don't have the guns to do anything about it. A lightning in AI gets at most 3 maybe 4 dice per turn with a sustained fire, and its autocannon wounds on a whopping 5+. A Thunderbolt on the other hand can throw down 7-10, and its 6-9 autocannon shots wound on a 4+.

In 40K, the maneuverability means nothing, as does the range of the long barrelled autocannon, since a flyer in apocalypse can pretty much move wherever it wants to engage a ground or air target. AND in Forgeworld's biggest oversight, they failed to include any sort of AA mount on their Imperial Air Superiority fighter despite every other fighter class flyer in the game having AA mounts or the Interceptor rule.

A Lightning needs to be half the cost of a Thunderbolt in both games or else have some special rules to make it worth taking.

I however will still take them in both games, because I like the look of them, and in my mind (because of the fluff) the Lightning should be able to go toe to toe with a Nightwing, and fly circles around anything else in the skies of the 40K.