|Does it come in blue?|
When the Stormtalon was released as a skimmer under 5th Edition, the Escort rule made sense. Although the Supersonic special rule gave it greater range than the average skimmer, the Stormtalon could still move slow enough to allow escorted troops and vehicles to keep up. Then 6th Edition was released, the Stormtalon became a flyer, and the Escort rule became a lot less useful. The flyer's minimum movement of 18" complicates the requirement that it arrive within 6" of a unit of infantry or a ground vehicle coming in from the table edge. The flyer can't come on to the table from the same point as an infantry unit since it would outpace them. If it accompanies a vehicle, the vehicle has to move at cruising speed to keep up with the Stormtalon and is therefore of limited use. If the Stormtalon comes onto the table some distance away from the escorted unit's entry point in order to end its movement within 6", it will most likely have to stop at an angle that could leave most of its weapons facing away from the enemy.
[Update 3/3/13: A rereading of the Escort rule indicates that the above argument is not valid.]
The Stormtalon was obviously intended to be a flyer from its inception, so GW must have known that it would be difficult for it to escort a ground unit once 6th Edition was released. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense for one flyer to escort another flyer, especially if the latter is a larger transport or bomber craft. For that reason, I had thought it likely that GW would make an additional flyer available for Codex Space Marines. Given that the Stormraven model already exists and is clearly part of the same design lineage as the Stormtalon, I find the rumor entirely plausible.
|Image from Bell of Lost Souls|
Bryce has encouraged me to get a Stormraven regardless of how the rumor turns out. Although my fellow Cabal members are flexible and would let me use one, I couldn't bring myself to field a model I'm technically not supposed to have. Thus, I eagerly await either the confirmation or the refutation of the rumor. Until then, I can't stop thinking about the consternation my opponents would experience when my Stormraven flew onto the table with its Stormtalon escort.
I wonder which Stormtalon and Stormraven weapon configurations would complement each other the best...