Thursday, January 31, 2013

Air Superiority Discriminatory – Discordian

So playing in 6th edition brings with it certain aspects some of us wish where more flushed out. Old books still being old and unsupported, random wound allocation coupled with things like full squads of Reavers, a full description of what special power weapons really where at launch, allies’ matrix being imperial guard for everyone, and my greatest sore point and todays point of discussion FLYERS being FLYERS.
I could easily go on a rant about how unbalanced they are, but that’s not going to really help anyone or make me feel better because both you and I are stuck with Flyers as they are.

Kind of like that

It’s worth noting that flyers have dramatically changed the pace of the game. There has always been a reserve element in the past such as deep striking and outflanking to put pressure on your opponents deployment zone. But these thing have always had they’re weaknesses. Deepstriking left you in a very vulnerable blast formation and carried with it a risk of mishap. Outflanking could be avoided or simply you showing up on the wrong side of the map. Both of were on 4+ starting on turn two in 5th edition, not anymore.
Flyers combined with the new reserve 3+ rolls (some armies in fact can easily make this a 2+) have introduced a level of certainty previously only reserved to a very select few things. With flyers you can put pressure anywhere on the table turn 2 with little to no repercussions. This is part of the reason I truly believe they implemented the whole “no assault out of reserve rule” the one the neutered outflanking units. They needed to allow people to make full use of their deployment zone without fear of being beta striked as it were.
If you've seen it like that guy who slept on the chair
The easy solution to fighting flyers is to use other flyers, some of the depressingly few units that actually have skyfire (Please ignore forge world, there rules not officially accepted by GW even though officially owed by GW). In flyer on flyer action you want to actually go second so your birds are shooting down the bad birds and not the other way around. I would never indorse this in regular practice because there are very few instances where deepstriking puts you in better situation than simply flying on, but if you deepstrike your AA flyers you get a chance at rear armor or you can misdirect your opponent into to make some movement mistakes. Make your opponents think this isn’t connect four guys.
Besides flyer on flyer GW has given every army the option for fortifications. Fortifications that come with guns that actually scare flyers …. Assuming your opponent just doesn’t kill them first turn. Intercept is a powerful thing which is severally underestimated. For example I played a game last week that was against a drop-poding space marine army. First turn he came down with combat squaded sternguard with the meltas hoping to pop the vehicle and the combi plasmas to roast the dudes inside. I intercepted the melta half and managed to kill one of the melta guns and come his shooting phase he missed with the other, he ended up wasting his plasma to kill my venom (he really doesn’t like them apparently).
One important thing to consider when buying fortification guns is who is going to shot it. Special rules like precision shots, Signum, Fast shot, Tank Hunter, and my favorite “I’ve been expecting you” get applied to the gun. So it’s important when list building to consider your options to make the most out of your guns.
The last method I recommend to dealing with flyer is to ignore them. A list that is spamming flyers runs into big problem if you think about it. First turn can be your playground. There are two neat 6th edition rules you should look out for. The first one is only 50% of an army can be chosen to be put in reserve, things that have to start in reserve don’t count (for some reason choosing to embark something doesn’t count for this either). The second is if at the end of the game turn you have nothing on the table you lose. What this means is if you have a fast enough and hard hitting enough army you can knock the socks off your opponents unfortunate stuff stuck on the table. You can put the entirety of your army against your opponents unreserved half and it can be very deadly, especially if you go first giving you two turns of cage fight. I’m not suggesting it’s easy to table someone this way but if someone sees you going for this result they will deploy very conservatively giving you plenty of room to push deep into his deployment half somewhat nullifying the impact of flyers by screwing with his movement options.


SON OF.....


Can you drop me off at a Popeyes?
Other options are stocking up on tons of shooting and tons of twin-linking, which in 6th you probably already doing. Forge world can be an option if allowed in your play area but because GW screwed the pooch on the interaction between skyfire and intercept (Hydra being a prime example, almost all the forge world AA options have Intercept which while super good against flyers hinders things that are not flyer even more.

Here’s to hoping this random flyer supplement coming out next month doesn’t actually make me hate this game even more.