Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Hope This Rumor Is True

Warhammer 40K rumor blog Faeit 212 has been reporting that GW will soon be releasing a compendium called Death from the Skies; a book that will cover those flyers released prior to 6th Edition. Supposedly the book is intended to update earlier flyers' rules while ignoring flyers that have been or will be released under the current ruleset. While a rules update isn't particularly exciting, what is of interest is the claim that the update will permit Black Templars and Codex Space Marines to field the Stormraven.

Does it come in blue?
I've been jealous of the Grey Knights' and Blood Angels' flyer ever since 6th Edition introduced flyer rules. The vehicle is larger than the Codex Marines' Stormtalon, is more heavily armed, and is AV12 with 3 hull points versus the smaller flyer's AV11 and 2 hull points. However, I noted the two flyers were clearly intended to fill different niches; the Stormraven is an expensive gunship and transport while the cheaper Stormtalon is effectively a fast weapons platform. Rather than competing for the same role, it seems like the Stormraven and the Stormtalon were meant to complement each other, just as aircraft carriers are accompanied by smaller warships and support vessels or bombers and transport aircraft are often escorted by fighters. The Stormtalon's unique Escort special rule suggests that this is GW's intention. (This rule allows a Stormtalon to accompany another unit arriving from reserves without having to roll for reserves itself as long as the flyer ends up within 6" of the escorted unit.)

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...


  1. It would definitely be useful to have Stormtalons to scare off enemy fliers/AA and speed up the transport role of the 'raven without waiting a turn or two to switch back to hover mode!

    1. Exactly. Bryce, our IG player, has one Hydra Flak Tank and is looking at fielding two if the rest of our five man gaming group starts using a lot of flyers. I specifically imagined siccing the Stormtalon on the Hydra while the Stormraven played transport or heavy gunboat.

      Of course, there are also several quad-guns in our gaming group and, thanks to the Interceptor rule, the Stormtalon won't be able to do much about them. I'll probably be adding a few more models to my Sniper Scout Squad so I can dedicate ten Scouts to killing AA-guns before the flyers come in.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...