Saturday, 4 August 2012

6th Edition Flyer Rules are Weird!

So, while I await a reply from Forgeworld to my second email, I thought I'd fill the time by giving some of my thoughts on the new rules for Flyers.
Obviously huge changes with them slowing down (not that big a deal unless you're playing on vastly big tables) and no longer being able to do 180 degree pirouettes in mid-air (thankfully).

Now Flyers actually require some tactical advanced thinking ahead and as an old fan of both Battlefleet Gothic & Dreadfleet, I'm quite looking forward to their use in several games ahead, especially as I've three Vendetta's in my collection and they look to be very nice at the moment.

Still, my love of this aside... I really just don't get some of the Flyer rules!

First Point of confusion: Can Zooming Flyers fire more than four weapons?
In the standard shooting rules it notes that vehicles can fire so many weapons at full ballistic skill, varying by speed and all other weapons are left to be Snap Shots. That is fine and easy.
The rules on vehicles with the Fast type also note that leftover weapons can fire as Snap Shots, this would suggest vehicles types overrule the standard rules.
Strangely however, there is no mention of this in the section on Zooming Flyers. It just says that four can be fired at full Ballistic skill. So does this mean that Snap Shots are impossible at such high speeds? *shrugs* I think not, but others seem to think that can.

Second Point of Confusion: Flat Out Minimum Speed Why?
It makes perfect sense for Flyers to have a minimum speed when moving, that is how flyer works (when not hovering), but when you can't go Flat Out when zooming if you haven't already gone this minimum distance (it would be wrecked before it got to the shooting phase otherwise) does it need another minimum distance to go a bit faster?
Where is the logic that if you plan to move a total of 36"-38" you need to purposely move less in the movement phase? You need to go slower in order to go faster... Right?
Then of course the Supersonic rule makes this even stranger. For them to go a total distance between 36"-54" they have to considerable slow down. To go just over 36" you need to go minimum Cruising Speed (fraction over 18" remember) in the movement phase. Total nonsense.

Third Point of Confusion: What is up with Locked Velocity?
So if I go exactly 18" I'm going Combat Speed and if I move anything between a fraction of an inch over 18" up to the top speed of 36" I'm going Cruising Speed. Neither of these affect turning, shooting or anything else I've managed to come across.
So if Locked Velocity has you stuck in Combat or Cruising Speed, my question is why would anyone not always move a fraction of an inch over 18" when going slow to effectively shrug off that part of Locked Velocity? - I mean, if you were going exactly 18" you'd be stuck going exactly 18" from then on, hugely restrictive compared to the alternative.
If the above is how the rules work, what is the point? Why didn't they just make Locked Velocity stop the Flyer from using Evade or going Flat Out and avoid the needless mention of Combat Speed?
NOTE: Few seem to notice that Locked Velocity also stops the vehicle entering Hover Mode, but even that doesn't explain the above but is certainly something people with Transport Flyers should keep in mind.

I am really hoping someone who reads this can explain at least some of the above things.
What are your thoughts readers?


  1. some very good points and with these issues i dont think ill bother using my flyers

    thanks for the blog elleusive

    1. Thanks, the points are rather weird and I'm hoping someone'll explain what is up but I've searched through and couldn't find answers myself.

      I wouldn't use them as a reason not to use flyers however, I still love the new flyer rules!

  2. Hey hey.

    Ok, first point; Can Zooming Flyers fire more than four weapons?
    Answer, no. Flyers, especially once you consider FW flyers, have some of the most impressive arsenals in the game, particularly bombers with six plus one shot bombs/missiles ect. flyers are designed to be fire bases, hence why you get to fire far more weapons at all speeds than other vehicles. The trade off? No snap shots from additional weapons, otherwise the firepower of these things get silly.

    Point 2: Flat Out Minimum Speed Why?

    My guess is to prevent situations whereby a flyer moving then going flat out moves less than it could move normally. I.e. If I move 18.1" then flat out 1", I've travelled less than I could cruising yet I am now unable to shoot? I think the minimum is to ensure the flyer has moved a considerable distance regardless of how far you moved it during your movement phase.

    Point 3: What is up with Locked Velocity?
    Yeah, this one is a bit of a cock up on GW's part. I think the principle disadvantage of locked velocity is, as you point out, to remove the ability to drop to hover mode, and also the ability to flat out. The wording however is terrible. The whole flyer movement section is. Flyers should never of had two movement speeds, as there is no difference between them. My local game group have abandoned GW's phrasing on this, we now play flyers move 18-36", if you get Vector locked you can't hover, zoom or use any other fancy movement rules (we're yet to see a vector dancer flyer in our group, so I don't know if we'll play you loose this as well. Me, I voted that the flyer MUST turn up to 90 degrees (players choice how far) to the left on a 1,2 or 3 or to the right on a 4, 5 or 6 after suffering a vector locked. This made it a bit more of annoyance for players and added some fun to the game, but eventually we dropped it)

    1. Heya, thanks for the great comment!

      I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking Flyers don't get to make additional Snap Shots, I've since got opponents to agree to this (with it affecting my Vendetta's and a friend of mines Phoenix Bombers).

      I do like your reasoning behind the minimum flat-out movement, put that way it makes sense but I do have trouble believing that was GW's thinking when Bikes & Skimmers can keep stationary in the movement phase but then turbo-boost/flat-out 1" to gain an increased cover save from Jink.

      I think I might follow suit and see if I can persuade my local opponents to abandon GW's speed phrasing. One of my opponents does make use of Vector Dancer and we've so far ruled that Locked Velocity prevents that without any trouble.
      I love the out of control turning by the way but doubt I'll be able to persuade people to go along with it.

  3. Yeah, the Bikes and skimmers is another gripe of mine in 6th. At least previously it was stated you must move 18”+ to claim your cover save, which made sense. I guess there is some justification in that by choosing to go Flat Out, the bike/skimmer is sacrificing the ability to target the enemy to take more evasive manoeuvres, thus gaining an improvement on the save which it already has. Flyers, on the other hand, are notably un-manoeuvrable, thus need to rely on pure speed to make themselves more difficult to hit (thus gaining a cover save, and having a minimum flat out move).
    I realise that whole paragraph makes me sound like a bit of a fanboy, I can assure you that isn’t the case, I’m just playing devils advocate!
    Glad I could add some weight to your debate on Snap Shots. As with the whole movement interpretation, it doesn’t really have any impact on the game, and saves you having to state ‘I just moved that Vendetta 18.1”, for the record”, hopefully on this basis your group will be happy to do away with it, until the FAW comes out and undoubtedly changes everything and raises 15 more questions from the resolution of 1!
    The random turn direction was fun, and didn’t really cause too much difference in play, as players could always choose to turn 1 degree to the rolled direction and basically go straight, but it just seemed to mean Vector Locked did something, as for things like Necron ‘Scythes Vector Locked is basically laughable!

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