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View Full Version : Getting back into 40k - Best flyer army?



Zond
21-10-2013, 13:15
I'd like to get back into 40k and go flyer heavy. I really want to use as many Forgeworld units as I can in conjunction with the usual choices.

Normally I would lean towards IG as they have everything going for them, but a friend of mine has everything IG and I'd like to avoid treading on toes. :p

I'd like to know what options the other forces have and how competitive they can be.

Hendarion
21-10-2013, 13:31
Necrons. One of the most hated list up to date is Necron flyer spam. So actually such a list might get frowned upon.

If you like Forge World, Eldar (can field 6), Tau (can field 3 iirc) and Marines (can field 6) also have a few flashed out options, too. But if they are competitive... I'd say not really. And of course, they don't have flying transports (except Marines) like IG or Necrons.

malisteen
21-10-2013, 14:06
If you want to spam a lot of fliers, and have your battle plan revolve around them, then Necrons is the way to go. However, those fliers aren't exactly the hardest hitting units, and they look kind of samey, so while they are the obvious choice, you might consider others.

Imperial guard have some strong flying options, but they're out.

Chaos is worth mentioning, not so much for the number of fliers they can field, but for the relative durability of the fliers they have access to. Their heldrake is the terror of all meq infantry in the game right now, and they've got some decent options from forgeworld, including the Storm Eagle, and the forthcoming Fire Raptor. The latter is notable for being a heavy support choice, allowing chaos to field fliers for all of their fast and heavy slots. FW also grants them access to heltalons, helblades, and blight drones; but they'll probably run out of points and flier slots before you consider fielding them. Chaos marines can ally with themselves via the black legion supplement as well, so you could take up to four fire raptors (provided you include at least one warpsmith) and four storm eagles or heldrakes, plus a couple daemon princes in HQ. Of course, by that point you're playing big enough games for a second force org, so the real restriction on chaos fliers is points, not slots, as they all cost in the 200ish range.

While loyalist space marines don't have access to the heldrake, they do have fliers of their own, including the rather decent storm raven, and they also have access to the storm eagle and fire raptor from forgeworld (their eagle being a little better due to PotMS; their raptor a bit less so due to lack of reaper autocannons).

danny-d-b
21-10-2013, 14:37
also add in dark eldar, got the void raven and the razorwing which are both pritty nice flyers

Bonzai
21-10-2013, 14:44
The new FW flyer is awesome, so both loyalists and chaos marines can field 6 flyer armies. IG and Necrons can still field the most.

FraustyTheSnowman
21-10-2013, 17:23
If flying monstrous creatures are an option there is always daemons.

csm
21-10-2013, 19:13
Combining two of the ideas, heldrakes combined with 2 flying daemon princes as HQ's for CSM would really give a lot of armies nightmares.

Zond
21-10-2013, 20:14
It's looking like something involving the Storm Eagle / Fire Raptor or the Scythe / Shroud Bomber.

malisteen
21-10-2013, 23:50
The thing to watch out for in either case is that fliers have to start in reserve, and if you ever end a turn with nothing on the table you lose, regardless of objectives or whether you've got reserves still incoming, so you really want to consider the comm relay, and you have to make sure that what you do start on the table (or what you can rely on arriving first turn via drop pod assault if playing loyalist marines) is tough enough to weather that first turn. The difficulty is that the more points you put into on-field presence, the less you're spending on your fliers, and again it's points value, not force org slots, that is the restricting factor for marine flier spam, loyalist or chaos, now that both have access to strong flying heavy support thanks to the fire raptor.

Aluinn
22-10-2013, 00:21
The Eldar Crimson Hunter is excellent on the offense but a complete glass cannon (even considering that it's a flyer and even ignoring Interceptor weapons your opponent may have); ditto for Ork Dakkajets, though they have different ideal targets.

Dark Eldar can field AV11 flyers with 5++ saves so they're going to be a bit stronger in that department, at least in terms of having them stick around. However, they specialize in ground attack and are less good against opposing flyers, not that they're impotent there; just not comparable to the Crimson Hunter, Vendetta and Dakkajet. I guess you could say Void Ravens are good all-rounders though.

The Helldrake wrecks infantry of all sorts and is absurdly hard to kill, but fielding 3 will get you dirty looks at best, and direct insults and refusals to play at worst.

The only armies that can really spam flyers and be truly based around them them are IG (using Valkyrie transports) and Necrons, but the big show with IG is the Vendetta anyway, and Necron flying circus has been pretty much gimped by the meta and its own inherent weaknesses (as well as not playing to the main strengths of the Necron list, namely lots of dudes who are really hard to kill and can reliably kill anything they shoot at, plus bothersome toys that protect them or disrupt an opponent in general).

I would really recommend just playing 3 flyers, should you choose an army with good flyers (which includes all of the above). More tends to be overkill due to their mandatory Reserving and the fact that they tend to be specialized to kill certain things, e.g. Vendettas are amazing against vehicles and MCs, mediocre against Terminator spam armies, and pretty much not worth having against anything else, whilst Helldrakes are roughly the opposite (though killing infantry so easily is more powerful generally because you can just pick off scoring units and make the game unwinnable for someone in certain missions).

Col. Dash
22-10-2013, 10:58
Space Marines. You have the option for 6 flyers. Three talons in FA and Storm Raven, Storm Eagles, Caestus Assault Ram or Firedrakes in heavy support.

malisteen
22-10-2013, 11:26
But you'll run out of points before you take those six, especially considering that you have to take enough models to survive the first turn while you wait for reserves, and the talon really really isn't a heldrake.

On the other hand, you can do the all reserve thing, which nobody else can do, thanks to the drop pod assault rule.

gwarsh41
22-10-2013, 17:09
Daemons have both FMCs and if you can shell out some $$$, forgeworld options. You could bring 2 FMC in HQ, 3FMC in Heavy, and up to 9 fliers in fast attack. Blight drones are a fast attack option and are squadron 1-3. They are not the best fliers, being BS2 kind of stinks, but they are pretty tiny and have shrouded, so if you jink, you get a +3 instead of a +5. If you go into hover mode, you now have jink, giving you a +3 all the time, and a +2 when you move flat out (but if you move flat out you cannot fire your blast weapon, same with if you evade).

I should be running CD/CSM with a flying DP, heldrake and 2 drones tonight, should be pretty fun!

FraustyTheSnowman
22-10-2013, 17:39
On the upside jinking doesn't hurt the chances of hitting with the reaper much! :)

Kimbie
22-10-2013, 21:09
Also with Heldrakes their wonderful vector strike has not been mentioned, over fly any unit and they will take upto 4 Str7 AP3 hits on side armour of any vehicle including flyer and due to an FAQ you get no cover saves, so jink, defence line etc does not offer any defence agasint it.

Also as the rule is written you can vector strike someone as you go off the board, as its anyone you fly over during your movement, and vector strike is resolved at that point not during shooting.

The Hell talon was mentioned which is meant to be the CSM air superiority fighter, for me the Heldrake is a much better option. I do like my fliers I have 2 x Heldrakes, 3 x Blight drones, 1 x storm eagle and yes I have fielded them all at once but it was a big game :)

But in a normal 1000 pt game I just use two heldrakes.

Try to avoid FMC's as any hit will make them take a grounding test, which means a fire warrior or a pathfinder only needs to hit you with a marker light and your taking a test, fail it and bad things are happening for you.

Kimbie

Menthak
22-10-2013, 21:44
If you don't want friends, Chaos Marines, Imperial Guard and Necrons are pretty much instant wins with fliers.

FraustyTheSnowman
22-10-2013, 22:03
?? Instant wins? I'm gonna take a wild shot in the dark and say you don't play any of those armies?

Lee-Full_Davis
23-10-2013, 04:26
If you don't want friends, Chaos Marines, Imperial Guard and Necrons are pretty much instant wins with fliers.

Necron flyers are somewhat evil, destructive and (in the case of the Nightscythe) reliable :)

Menthak
23-10-2013, 11:38
Necron flyers are somewhat evil, destructive and (in the case of the Nightscythe) reliable :)

Exactly, you can't go wrong can you?


?? Instant wins? I'm gonna take a wild shot in the dark and say you don't play any of those armies?

Chaos and Guard actually.

Senbei
23-10-2013, 12:58
The 'Tyrant's Legion' list from one of the Forgeworld 'Badab War' books is a guard/marine hybrid army that can field a LOT of flyers. Even some of their elite units can take them as dedicated transports (though they're the shuttle type ones with Jury-rigged weapon turrets and stuff). And you can field some of the other flyers -IN SQUADRONS-.

Edit:

Elites: Marauder's (Human pirates) in Arvus Lighters.

Troops: A mix of tactical guard-types and marines.

Fast: More Arvus Lighters, to carry your troops and HQs. Bought as '1-3' per slot.

Heavy: Fleet Support: Thunderbolts, Lightnings and Vultures, bought in squadrons.

Tactics? Blitz your opponent with flyers before bringing in the Lighters to drop off your troop and HQ options to take objectives?

FraustyTheSnowman
23-10-2013, 16:02
You play chaos and guard and you think it's an instant win? You need to play better opponents mate. They're solid armies, don't get me wrong...but there is no such thing as an instant win in this game other than clubbing seals.

Menthak
23-10-2013, 18:05
You play chaos and guard and you think it's an instant win? You need to play better opponents mate. They're solid armies, don't get me wrong...but there is no such thing as an instant win in this game other than clubbing seals.

I'm not going to argue this point and derail the thread. Just that in my local meta who wins the game in regular 40k is who brought Guard, Necrons or Chaos and if two players have brought the same army then it's a case of who has the most fliers.

Decent but not superb armour? Check
Speedy? Check
Cheap? Usually
Hard to hit? By most things yes
Brings heavy weapons? Check
Is better than all other fast attack options? Check:
Rough-riders, Sentinels, Tauros < Vendetta in 90% of situations.
Raptors, Warp Talons, bikers, spawn < Baledrake
Scarabs, Wraiths, Tomb blades < Doom Scythe/Night Scythe.
Are they completely immune to template weapons? Check
Do they (for the most point) ignore terrain? Check
Can they carry troops? 2/3rds of them can.

barontuman
23-10-2013, 18:20
Decent but not superb armour? Check
Speedy? Check
Cheap? Usually
Hard to hit? By most things yes
Brings heavy weapons? Check
Is better than all other fast attack options? Check:
Rough-riders, Sentinels, Tauros < Vendetta in 90% of situations.
Raptors, Warp Talons, bikers, spawn < Baledrake
Scarabs, Wraiths, Tomb blades < Doom Scythe/Night Scythe.
Are they completely immune to template weapons? Check
Do they (for the most point) ignore terrain? Check
Can they carry troops? 2/3rds of them can.

Do they go down to Wave Serpent spam like a well paid red-light-district denizen? Check

Menthak
23-10-2013, 18:25
Do they go down to Wave Serpent spam like a well paid red-light-district denizen? Check

I never said they were impossible to defeat. Just personally that fliers have too many advantages, and that the fliers from those three armies are guiltier than most. So long as you can remember the rules for fliers then you can win with Necrons, Chaos or Imperial Guard.

full_blooded_ork
23-10-2013, 19:02
In my experance alot of the new flyers are easier to take down then the skimmers turned flyer.

petpetpetpet
23-10-2013, 19:24
Oh man can't remember the last time I lost against Chaos they aren't the best army atm(I play Tyranids).

FraustyTheSnowman
23-10-2013, 19:27
No actually you did. Instant win=impossible to defeat. That may not be what you meant...This is why I was giving you a hard time, so to speak. I think fliers are key to a competitive army, I think the fliers you mentioned are very good units. But I think saying instant win/I win button/unbeatable is a level of stupidity that deserves being called out. That's the kind of attitude that drags the hobby down in my opinion. The blowing things out of proportion/exaggerating to absurdity. This isn't to say anything about your character...I'm sure just as great of a guy as the next person here...but what you said, was a copout.

Menthak
23-10-2013, 21:47
No actually you did. Instant win=impossible to defeat. That may not be what you meant...This is why I was giving you a hard time, so to speak. I think fliers are key to a competitive army, I think the fliers you mentioned are very good units. But I think saying instant win/I win button/unbeatable is a level of stupidity that deserves being called out. That's the kind of attitude that drags the hobby down in my opinion. The blowing things out of proportion/exaggerating to absurdity. This isn't to say anything about your character...I'm sure just as great of a guy as the next person here...but what you said, was a copout.

Nah it's cool, sorry about being difficult. I'm just ticked off about fliers still.

FraustyTheSnowman
23-10-2013, 22:43
Understandable. Sorry for harping.

Lee-Full_Davis
23-10-2013, 23:10
Forgive me for this, and i'm sure a few people would probably have a go at me, but i think using flyer spam isnt a good way to win - am i the only one that thinks that?

FraustyTheSnowman
24-10-2013, 00:19
As in its not effective or its not ethical?

Lee-Full_Davis
24-10-2013, 01:45
As in its not effective or its not ethical?

Not ethical :') I mean granted its given a few armies immense air superiority and perhaps a chance to compete with other high-ranked armies so i'm not sayings its bad or anything

FraustyTheSnowman
24-10-2013, 02:46
There's a thriving portion of the community that assumes if it's legal by the rules it's fair game.

I think a large part of the complaints though stem from people's local area not having the breath of diversity to self monitor the issue. For example, it's my understanding that a solid tau list has the anti air to neuter many of the lists that truly spam the holy hell out of fliers...so if your opponent comes to the table truly not knowing if he's going to see this (or something else that can counter their gimmick) they are significantly less likely to bring said gimmick. Unfortunately not every group is going to have those counters...so said gimmick dominates...and people rush to the internet to whine.

Another, unrelated example, is the screamerstar vs sisters condemnor bolt. If the sisters book is faqed to say something along the lines of any unit with a psyker in the unit will take a perils of the warp on every psyker in said unit if the unit is hit by a condemnor bolt...then just the possibility of going up against a theoretical list of an assload of those rounds will significantly diminish the number of screamerstar lists in the tournament setting. My local area? No one but me plays sisters...so my screamerstar will be safely bashing the snot out of people for however long it takes for someone to pick up sisters, the daemon codex to change, or me to grow completely bored with the idea.

I do agree that it's unethical to play super competitive against people who are just wanting to roll some dice and have some fun. Which I think is a failure on both parties as they should make their intentions clear before the game starts.

Zond
24-10-2013, 18:40
Sorry if the choice is unethical or gimmicky or whatever. I like the look of the flyers for the most part and just wanted to use a ton of them without completely taking away any tactical ability my army would have on the odd time I would play it. I'd love to do Tau flyers and the big suits Pacific Rim theme, or Repressors and some flyers covered in religious iconography to go with the Sororitas would also be nice. Unfortunately it seems that if you max out on flyers you lose with some armies, and not everyone gets tasty Forgeworld treats to the same degree. It's just what I want to do with my toy soldiers, I'm not sure how it could be offensive however I apologise if it has been taken that way.

Menthak
24-10-2013, 19:51
No-ones having a go mate, just that some people have a negative views on fliers. Me included. Doesn't mean anything against you.

Dark Primus
25-10-2013, 10:49
I think Nurgle Blight Drone serves as Heavy Support... or if they are Fast Attack options in the Chaos Space Marine army?? (Correct me if I'm wrong, I am not sure.) They can be fielded 1-3 per slot. So that gives 9 fliers.
That gives more firepower then three Heldrakes.

Don't know if the Blight Drones takes up the same slot as the Heldrakes.

malisteen
25-10-2013, 13:36
Blight drones are FA. I forget if they still come in squadrons, but it doesn't matter too much either way. Points cost, and not org slots, are the limiting factors for CSM flier spam lists, and CSM lists in general, really.

gwarsh41
25-10-2013, 15:11
Blight drones do come in squadrons of 1-3 and are 20pt less than the heldrake (I think) which should be like, 25pt more than they used to be. They get up to being pretty expensive pretty quick. The 36" range is awesome, but at BS 2 you have a 2/3 chance to scatter pretty far. Brought 2 in a recent daemons game. There were plenty of direct hits, but a lot more scatters. IF you so wanted, you could take 3 drakes, then ally in 3 drones from chaos daemons. Bring a nurgle herald and either 10PBs or 3 nurgling units, and then cultists for CSM.

They cry when your opponent is necron AV13 spam, as your vector strikes, and autocannons glance on 6s, and your flame template is useless. Your best bet is the S8 large blast, which can pen on a 6 and remove quantum shielding.

malisteen
25-10-2013, 16:02
By the time you're filling out a full primary + allied detachment of drakes/drones, you're playing so large a game that you have two detachments, so it doesn't matter. Again, points value and not slots is the primary limiting factor, so even though the drones come in squadrons of 1 to 3, you're still not going to be able to fit appreciably more fliers into a list by fielding them instead.

Not that I'm saying don't field drones. They're pretty neat, and fun to convert, I'd imagine. Just don't expect that going with drones will let you spam fliers harder than you otherwise already could in a flier spam list.

Dragon11
25-10-2013, 17:54
Marines.
They can field heavy and fast flyers allowing 6 in 1500 ish points even without FW.
But they have FW too if you want it.

Lee-Full_Davis
25-10-2013, 19:18
Sorry if the choice is unethical or gimmicky or whatever. I like the look of the flyers for the most part and just wanted to use a ton of them without completely taking away any tactical ability my army would have on the odd time I would play it. I'd love to do Tau flyers and the big suits Pacific Rim theme, or Repressors and some flyers covered in religious iconography to go with the Sororitas would also be nice. Unfortunately it seems that if you max out on flyers you lose with some armies, and not everyone gets tasty Forgeworld treats to the same degree. It's just what I want to do with my toy soldiers, I'm not sure how it could be offensive however I apologise if it has been taken that way.


I agree that the flyers themselves look pretty awesome :) but no you wasn't being offensive or anything


No-ones having a go mate, just that some people have a negative views on fliers. Me included. Doesn't mean anything against you.

I just feel an all flyer army isnt the way to go; for example at this tournament one person considered using three heldrakes, and while i should have prepared for taking down all three of them, many people including myself would consider that overkill*! But i am glad that not many people think i'm nuts or anything XP

*Not any more though as i've got more than Annihilation Barges to send Heldrakes packing!