Tactica: Aeronautica Imperialis

An article by    Aeronautica Imperialis Gaming Tactics        0

Aeronautica Imperialis has been out for some time now, and hopefully you’ve had a chance to dig into it and get some games under your belt. Maybe you’ve already started painting or carving little notches into the sides of your flyers. Hopefully you’ve been taking some notes, at least mental ones, and you’ve started formulating some strategies, thinking about your next victory. Or you haven’t, and you’re looking for guidance on your next steps. Well regardless, good news–in this article we’re breaking down and reviewing the aircraft available for both of the game’s forces, and talking about force compositions at suggested point levels.

The forces released — Orks and Imperial Navy — each have four planes, though the Orks have a greater variety in the airframes available to them. The forces play quite differently, and this is due to both the design choices and the planes selected for the first supplement. Orks want to get as close as possible and unleash barrages of lead and rockets, and the Imperial Navy want to keep the range open and use missiles and cannon fire at medium or long range. The Orks roll more dice to hit, but have a harder time damaging and little access to extra damage weapons, whereas the Imperials reverse this.

 

The Imperial Navy

All Imperial Navy craft can be somewhat customized in their role through the addition of ordnance. Thunderbolts have two slots and Marauders have four. All of these slots can take skystrike missiles for Aircraft targets, hellstrikes for ground targets at range, and wing bombs to drop on ground targets that you overfly. Hellstrikes allow you to attack ground targets up to ten hexes in front of you, and putting hellstrikes on any plane makes it a threat to a ground target, particularly if you combine it with medium range strafing.

 

Thunderbolts – A Tale of Two Fighters

Rynn’s World and the Wings of Vengeance starter set give the Imperials two fighters that are both different weapon loadouts on the Thunderbolt frame.

The Thunderbolt airframe is tougher and slower than an Ork Dakkajet, but has access to one more maneuver, can get to altitude five and has one more point of handling.

Handling is something I’ve never had to use because if you plan your movement carefully, you’ll never stall or spin. While potentially you might wish to deliberately stall or spin to gain an additional -1 to be hit, you are sacrificing control of your movement and the ability to position your plane in order to gain this benefit, when climbing or diving or using your ability to maneuver might be the better choice to limit the damage you take.

Imperial planes get all their firepower dice at medium range, which is 5-7 hexes from the target, and so dogfighting with them against Orks is like fighting a sabre armed opponent with an epee. They want to get close and maul you, but you want to hit them at your furthest striking distance (and incidentally in professional fencing you’d be hitting them in the toe or the finger, to strike from the furthest possible distance while trolling your opponent hard).

 

Thunderbolt

The standard Thunderbolt clocks in at 21 points with no ordnance, and one or two sets of skystrike missiles is a normal load out for a superiority fighter and gives it a nasty bit against opponents. All Thunderbolts have two lascannons, and a hit from these can destroy a Dakkajet on a lucky 6. With two dice of autocannons at close range and six at medium along with two lascannon dice you know what range bracket you want to stay in. Autocannons damaging on 4+ and lascannons on 2+ mean the hits you get are likely to chew up an opponent, which compensates slightly for the low number of dice at short and long range.

Tactically the Thunderbolt has the resilience to survive a close combat pass from a Dakkajet, and can match them for acceleration but not top speed. Dakkajets are lighter, faster, and can use their superior speed to evade fire arcs and close range quickly. Thunderbolts have to fly smart to survive, which means selecting maneuvers that gives you a lot of options, not just turns and stall turns but stoops and snap turns. It also means trying to open up range and arcs whenever possible. While Dakkajets also only have forward arc weapons, you could be facing Fighta Bommers built for superiority which are able to throw turret fire at you even if you can get outside their forward arc. There will be times when breaking away from the furball to open up range will be exactly the right thing to do, and it will be frequent with the Imperial Navy, where close range combat is very much not where you want to be.

Formation flying

When flying escort and support missions you need to use formation flying to space out your planes. If you are escorting marauders you should stagger your formation so that the enemy engage the Marauders at short range, where the Orks will want to be but where Marauders have the most turret firepower, and have the escorting Thunderbolts enough hexes behind to bracket the Orks at medium range. Inevitably Marauders will take a battering, but with the speed of the Ork planes you won’t be able to prevent them from doing that. What you can do is then hit them with massed autocannon/avenger/lascannon/missile/heavy bolter turret fire when they do. Choosing your activations carefully can shoot down enemy fighters before they get the chance to fire.

 

Credit: SRM

Thunderbolt Furies

These are 23 points, two more than a standard Thunderbolt. For that you switch the autocannons to avenger boltcannons, which give you one more dice at short and medium range. You also gain Extra Damage 6+ on your boltcannon. This means a lucky 6 on a damage roll gives you two points of damage, enough to punch out a Dakkajet and seriously worry a Fighta Bommer.

The big question Imperial players face is whether to buy Thunderbolts or Furies, and the answer is almost always Furies. At two points it is absolutely worth the price. The equivalent upgrade for Orks of kustom big shootas is 3 points and gives 2 extra dice at short and medium range, but not extra damage.

Bombs Away

The Marauder airframe has a bomber and gunship variant, the Destroyer. The Marauder has five structure, so can take significant punishment. In small battles this means that Marauders can take a couple of turns of fire from enemies like Dakkajets, particularly if they don’t have rokkits. Marauders have one throttle, and a maximum speed of five.

Marauders only have access to maneuvers one to three, which really limits mobility. This makes their movements predictable, and makes it easy for faster and more maneuverable enemies like Dakkajets to chase them down and choose the range that they engage them at. However, as an Imperial player, moving the Marauders first means you move the Thunderbolts later. In 100-150 point games Marauders can take some hits, and it means you can then maneuver the escorting fighters to hit their targets at medium range. Remember that this is a game about placement.

Also Marauders can fly at altitude five, and Ork planes can only fly at altitude four. This means that your dorsal turret cannot fire, but you can only be hit on sixes. If you are flying an escort mission and need to get the Marauder across the board, then flying at altitude five the entire game is a perfectly valid tactic to restrict the enemy’s ability to hit you. In a bombing mission you will likely want to fly Marauders at altitude one in order to hit with bombs on a 4+, or for Destroyers to be able to strafe. In that scenario layering your formation across altitudes may be advisable, either to draw your opponent into engaging at say altitude three, where he can’t shoot your Marauders, or engage your Marauders where your Thunderbolts can dive in to attack.

If you are deploying Marauders then you are doing so because the mission requires it or you want to deploy gunships to bring significant firepower or to punch out big targets like ‘Eavy Bommas or Grot Bommas.

 

Marauder Bombers

These are the workhorses of bombing missions. At 23 points they come with 3 sets of internal bombs, and with four spaces for ordnance you can deliver quite a hard strike on ground targets, enough to wipe out any ground target currently in the game.

You can take any of the ordnance options, and missiles are a perfectly valid choice. Hellstrikes let you hit a ground target as you approach and then hit another with the bombs from the internal bomb bay. Wing Bombs do extra damage on a 5+, and roll four dice vs hellstrike missiles two dice. The downside is that you have to overfly the target, while missiles can hit from ten hexes away.

This choice is down to personal preference and how you want to launch your attacks on ground targets. Bombs will squash something flat, but missiles let you engage from a distance.

 

Marauder Destroyers

At 27 points this is a gunship that has solid forward and rear firepower, the ability to take four ordnance, and five structure points to soak up damage. What it is not is a fighter. It is still slow, has only one throttle, and only three maneuvers. This means it will get bracketed by enemy fighters attacking it from the side and below, and you will want to move it after your opponent has moved some of his planes and you can line up your shots.

You can load out the plane in two ways, as a bomber destroyer (historically like German Me410s, though that doctrine enjoyed mixed success, and was largely the result of continuing to develop the long range escort fighter concept that resulted in the Me110 and P-38 Lightning) or as a ground attack gunship (like an AC-130). This depends on what you are buying the Marauder for.

In missions where you want to punch out big targets, like Eavy Bommers, then a Destroyer loaded with Skystrikes is a pretty fearsome at taking out the priority targets, and an alpha strike that large will force enemy players to play more conservatively and activate fighter units to try and draw out your movement of your big hitters. Again the game revolves around placement and forward thinking, and when slow and sluggish planes like Marauders and Bommers are on the field then you have to plan your movement and activations in order to maximise your ability to position your Destroyers where they can use their guns most effectively.

 

Aces

Flight Commander Dagor-Jarni

At 23 points this ace costs two points more than a standard Thunderbolt. In return you get an additional point of maximum speed and a one off ability of +1 to hit an aircraft at a different altitude level. For the same points as a Thunderbolt Fury I’d say this ace was worth it but is nothing exciting. The extra point of speed opens up a few more options.

Flight Lieutenant Gallus Barret

This Ace is three points more than the standard Marauder and gains a point of handling and the ability to re-roll 1s when using wing bombs. This ties you into using wing bombs rather than hellfire missiles, so I regard this as a very situational Ace suitable for bombing missions. Marauders are normally able to crush bombing targets in one pass anyway, but the re-roll will help make sure.

 

Aircraft Upgrades

Imperial Navy aircraft have access to five upgrades.

Ejector seats – This two point upgrade denies 25% of the points for a destroyed aircraft to your opponent, on the roll of a 5+. As it is an upgrade that provides no benefit in combat, and only provides a benefit in counting victory points on a 5+. I would not take it.

Flares/Chaff Launchers – For one point you gain a 6+ save against missiles and rokkits. If you are running Marauders or Destroyers, where rokkits are a major threat to you, then it is a point well spent.

Infra-Red Targeting – A two point scenario specific upgrade that removes the penalty to medium range fire from Night Fighting and Bad Weather. If you aren’t playing with these scenario rules then there is no point in buying the upgrade, if you are playing with these rules then you really need this upgrade on your Thunderbolts.

Imperial Ace – a five point upgrade for one reroll of all dice in a roll.

Armoured Cockpit – This three point upgrade gives you a 6+ save against damaging hits. The way it is worded means that a hit with extra damage is treated as one hit and nullified on a six. This upgrade is worth taking on Marauders in bombing missions and Destroyers. With five structure and planes costing over 20 points the upgrade gives you the chance to keep your plane in the air. When you have Marauders critical to a missions success then combining this upgrade with chaff launchers can make your planes a pain to take out.

 

Creating your Imperial Navy Squadron

For small pitched battles like dogfights, in the 50-100 point range, then I have been taking as many Thunderbolt Furies as I can and spending the remaining points on skystrike missiles.

At over 100 points the temptation is to anchor a superiority formation with a Marauder Destroyer with skystrike missiles. However numbers are required to win in any superiority battle, and taking a fleet of Marauder Destroyers is not the way to win a dogfight. At 200 points I would take two at most and five furies.

In bombing missions you will want to take two Marauders or Destroyers to have sufficient anti-ground firepower to complete the mission. You can use Thunderbolts to strafe ground targets, but to complete the mission reliably you need to hit targets hard with one strike, and that’s where Marauders come in.

My personal view is to take Marauder Destroyers, play aggressively and hit the ground targets with strafing and hellfire missiles, and try to wipe them out with an early strike in turn 1 or 2, then overrun and bomb whatever’s left and hit them with the internal bomb bays. Marauder Destroyers are better for looking after themselves but are more expensive. Marauder bombers are cheaper, but have less strafing firepower.

Troop carrying missions are significantly more difficult for the Imperial Navy as they only have Destroyers with troop capacity, are two missions where the Victory Points scored are directly related to the amount of troops you can land, and Ork players who have Transport 2 and 3 aircraft are at a large advantage in completing these missions.

Marauder Destroyers are expensive to use as troop transports, but the only current option until Valkyries are released in a future supplement.

 

 

Ork Air Waagh!!

The Ork Air Waagh consists of four airframes, Dakkajets, Fighta Bommers, Eavy Bommers and Grot Bommers. These are more distinct than the Imperial aircraft, with greater variation between them in terms of roles and stats.

Sufficient Dakka?

Orks can take several types of ordnance, Rokkits, Bombs and Big Bombs, and on the Grot Bommer, Grot Bomms.

Rokkits are the Ork version of missiles, but have three dice at short range, two at medium and one at long. There is no extra damage, but they cause damage on a 3+. They are an excellent tool for knocking structure off Thunderbolts and Marauders. A well timed set of rokkits from a Dakkajet can give you enough firepower to down a Thunderbolt.

Bombs and Big Bombs are both ground attack weapons, and Bombs are the same as those available to the Imperials, and Big Bombs are twice as expensive but do six dice with extra damage on a 4+. They take one and a half ordnance slots, so if a Fighta Bommer or Eavy Bommer chooses Big Bombs they will be spending 8 points on ordnance to roll twelve dice for ground attacks vs 6 points for bombs to roll twelve dice for ground attacks. If you’ve got two points to spare that you aren’t spending on rokkits it can be worth it. Whether you mount them on a big tough hull like an Eavy Bommer or a fast hull like the Fighta Bommer is up to you, but a Fighta Bommer zipping in at speed 7 and dropping 12 dice of big bombs on a ground target at altitude 1 is likely to cause six or seven points of damage and wipe out any ground target in the scenarios published so far.

Grot bomms are a specific Ordnance to the Grot Bommer, and the only unit currently in the game using the autonomous weapon rules. Potentially lethal due to hitting on 2+ and doing extra damage on 4+, there are two ways to use them.

You get your Bommer within six hexes of a target and spit out Grot bomms to try and blow it up (remembering that the Grot bomms move six hexes in a straight line from the Bommer, and that Grot Bomms strike at the end of the firing phase at any enemy within 1 hex of them, regardless of altitude. This gives Orks a way of punching out targets at Altitude 5 with a plane travelling at Altitude 1, which is not to be ignored).

Alternatively you use them to break up enemy formations. Grot bomms can’t be targeted by defensive fire, and if you launch them from outside of range they will move six hexes in the first turn and four to six hexes in subsequent turns, with you able to turn once during this movement. It means that Grot bomms can home in on targets, especially slow moving targets like Marauders, and force the enemy to plot their movement to avoid them. Grot bomms move at the end of the movement phase, and so your opponent disrupts his own movement plans in order to avoid getting hit by Grot bomms, or he potentially takes it on the chin. This effect is largely psychological unless you can use Grot bomms to finish off damaged aircraft, or in combination with attacks from other planes, but some players are cautious, and this encourages them to be cautious when they might need to be bold.

 

Dakkajets

Dakkajets are a light fighter, much like the Imperial Lightnings, and use speed to close with the enemy and outmaneuver them. With access to 1-5 Ace maneuvers Dakkajets may not be quite able to match Thunderbolts, but they are faster and cheaper.

At 16 points for the airframe Dakkajets are the cheapest plane in the game at the moment, and you need to bear that in mind. Dakkajets will get blown up, and you should keep them cheap. A set of rokkits is as far as you should go.

Dakkajets also let you outnumber your opponent, and having the flexibility to move after your opponent if you lose initiative, and gang up on opponents. This is why you want to take Dakkajets, even though I personally prefer Fighta Bommers kitted out for superiority for killing Thunderbolts, dakkajets are great for ensuring that your Fighta Bommers can move later.

 

Fighta Bommers

The Ork heavy fighter. This is as tough as a Thunderbolt, has a dorsal turret and a tailgun and can take 3 ordnance. It can go faster than a Thunderbolt but only has Ace maneuvers 1-4.

There are two obvious builds to take, Superiority and Fast Bomber. You can take a balanced build with a mix of rokkits and bombs, but I much prefer specializing.

Superiority involves taking kustom big shootas and rokkits. Being able to roll 10 or 6 dice for guns and back it up with 2 sets of rokkits gives you enough firepower to pop a Thunderbolt in one turn and potentially nail a Marauder. The dorsal turret can be used offensively to throw a few dice at another target as you blow past it, or if you align the arcs properly, throw 13 dice at a target.

This is my favourite combat build, and I use it to chase down Thunderbolts and hammer Marauders. I’ve put together five of these, and they’re the core of forces I deploy over 150 points.

The fast bomber build trades all the anti-air power for bombs, and is there to run in quickly and drop 12 dice of bombs on a ground target and hopefully wipe it out. I’ve made a couple up for scenario play, and will use them in concert with Eavy Bommers to threaten ground targets. 12 dice of bombs is enough to destroy ground targets in the bombing mission, and avoids the necessity of escorting slow Eavy Bommers.

Eavy Bommer

This marvel of Orkish technology is the toughest plane in the game but also the slowest. It relies on wing bombs to an extent that the Marauder does not, only having one set of internal bombs. However it does have plenty of weapons suitable for strafing ground targets. It also has two points of troops, making it a suitable choice for landing missions. At 34 points with a full load out of bombs, or 36 with big bombs, it’s as pricey as a Destroyer with a full load out.

While you could fit the Eavy Bommer out with kustom big shootas and rokkits, you’d just be creating a very big and slow gunship. This is a unit for scenarios,

 

Grot Bommer

This is the Ork version of the Marauder. It has two Grot bomms included in the cost, and it’s pretty inevitable that you’ll upgrade it to 4 Grot bomms for 36 points. This is a plane you could take as a gunship in an air to air battle, or to act as a bomber destroyer, though not in the way you can do with a Marauder. The Grot bomms I’ve discussed at length, but with three troops the Grot bomber is actually a good troop transport for scenario play, able to throw Grot bomms out to make approaching the landing zone dangerous for enemy planes.

In terms of firepower it has as much as a Dakkajet forward, and separate side turrets. Most of its damage output will be the Grot bomms, but 8 dice at close range is nothing to be sniffed at.

 

Aces

Da Black Barun

This is actually the best Ace in the game so far. This is a Dakkajet with one point better handling and one point lower speed. The Ace ability of rerolling any 1s on air to air fire is great, and you want to add rokkits to get the most of the Ace ability. You end up with a 29 point Dakkajet, which is risky, but Da Black Barun is in my opinion the best of the aces. Remember you can only take ordnance, not upgrades, on Aces, and can’t take kustom big shootas.

Sky Boss Toofkraker

A much cheaper Ace, only two points more than the standard plane. The plane gains an additional point of throttle, and +1 to hit on a Bombing Run once per game. Best combined with a full load of wing bombs and a priority target. This is a good ace to take on bombing missions.

 

Upgrades

The Orks have some similar but renamed options, and some subtly or completely different. As one of the Ork strengths is in numbers, you probably don’t want to make your planes too expensive.

Belching Smoke – 6+ save against missiles/rokkits. It’s one point, and I’d say worth it on large targets like Eavy Bommers.

Fly Boss – The same five point ace as the Imperial pilot, giving one reroll per game for all dice in a single roll. For the price I don’t think it is worth it.

Wazmek Speshul – For two points your minimum and maximum speed go up by one. Gives you access to max speed nine Dakkajets or max speed five Eavy Bommers. For two points it can be worth it on Eavy Bommers in scenarios where you need that speed.

Extra Armour – 6+ save against damaging hits for two points. Combine it with Belching Smoke on Eavy Bommers for a total of three points to get two 6+ saves against every missile hit. It’s statistically worth it on Eavy Bommers and Grot Bommers, however it reduces your max speed to three unless you buy a Wazmek Speshul. Bear in mind you can only take two upgrades, so it’s well protected and slow or moderately protected and the same speed. Big fat Eavy Bommers slowly sputtering across the sky with a big cloud of smoke behind them seems pretty fluffy to me though.

Kustom Big Shootas – For two points you get two dice at short and medium range in the front arc. To me this is a must for superiority build fighter bombers. Also bear in mind they are a separate weapon, and don’t form part of the same dice pool for rerolls due to Ace abilities.

 

Creating your Air Waaagh

Outside of scenario play where you may want to be throwing down Eavy Bommers (and lets face it I’m going to buy a box of them anyway for painting up and scenario play) I put together a list of Fighta Bommers and Dakkajets. In scenarios about dakkaing your opponent to bits I take a mix of superiority build Fighta Bommers and Dakkajets. Dakkajets are cheap and used as initiative sinks, with Fighta Bommers used as the punch. This might lead to losing one or two of the lighter, cheaper Dakkajets, but I normally punch out a couple of enemy planes, and this maintains or improves the advantage Orks have in the movement phase.

You may take a round of lascannon fire and missile fire on the way in, but you have to be able to take some damage on the way in without being discouraged. Similarly you’ll want to be hitting maximum speed to close range as quickly as possible. To protect your more expensive fighter bombers you can climb them to gain a -1 to hit. If you leave your dakkajets at altitude three and your opponent moves his planes to match, then climbing in your later moves (the step your formation between two altitudes). You could even step it across three levels, but remember you can only dive or climb two levels a turn at speeds above four, and a smart Imperial player will drop vulnerable planes two levels away from your Orks to avoid you being able to even hit them.

This is where the playing the altitude game comes in handy, as the tricks an Imperial player will use to make their planes harder to hit at short range are the tricks you can use to make your jets harder to hit at medium or long range. From altitude three you can climb or dive to any level, thus matching any opponent, but the reverse is also true.

In bombing scenarios I would recommend an Eavy Bommer with two Fighta Bommers configured for bombing. Between that and strafing you should be able to nail any ground targets and you’ve still got significant anti-air firepower.

Grot Bommers are in a similar position to Marauder Destroyers. In transport missions I would recommend taking two, and launching the Grot Bomms to give your opponent trouble approaching the landing zone while you land and unload your three troop points. In superiority missions taking a Grot Bommer likely means giving up your numbers advantage but taking something that will give your opponent real problems in moving through some areas of the board.

With Orks you can take a greater variety and builds of planes (much more interesting possible builds than as many Thunderbolt Furies as you can fit in the point value for the game) and can experiment with different styles. Do you take a dakkajet horde to control the movement phase? Superiority Fighta-Bommers to punch hard? Or a mix? Or do you tool up a Black Barrun with extra guns and rokkits and have a 28 point Ace?

 

My Horrible Opinions About Plane Games

I’ve had a chance to play about ten games now. I used to play X-wing 1st edition and have played Blood Red Skies in the past.

Aeronautica is a similar level of complexity to X-wing, X-wing has specific maneuver dials for every spacecraft which dictate the exact movement much like Aeronautica first edition and the ancestor game of both, Wing of War, but does not have altitude mechanics. X-wing has lost a lot of traction in the gaming community due to asking people to buy all the fighters they bought in first edition again to get different and better new cards, after an entire edition of people having to buy everything to get the cards to compete in the meta. Significant numbers of the player base became ex-wangers.

Blood Red Skies is a simpler game without the card chasing meta of X-wing and with the altitude abstracted. It is historical (though everyone is now getting excited about ahistorical jet matchups for obvious reasons as Warlord introduce the first and second generation jets to the game with the Me262 and Mig Alley expansions). Blood Red Skies picked up a lot of momentum on the back of ex-wangers looking for a new plane game that didn’t require a significant buy in, and they then bought ridiculous amounts of it to field significant chunks of the RAF and luftwaffe on eight by four maps. The meta is currently around cheap airframes, twin engined fighters and various abilities, but the game is not the meta chasing mess of X-wing. The Ground Attack supplement, which will introduce attacking ground targets and enormous numbers of planes that Warlord don’t produce models for, is eagerly awaited. While Warlord produce a reasonable number of planes, a lot of players have been purchasing resin Armaments in Miniature planes because of holes in the Warlord range, and to use lighter resin planes. Warlord have responded with their own move to resin planes.

 

Where does Aeronautica fit in this?

It’s a very solid game engine which is simple to pick up and has an aggressively priced starter giving you everything you need to play. The first wave of releases doesn’t give each faction the tools it needs to do all the missions in the Rynn’s World campaign book, and adding the Valkyrie kit and another Ork plane (possibly a Landa or Chinork or Eavy Choppa) would have given a more balanced set of starting forces. If the first supplement features the Imperial Navy I fully expect Lightnings and Valkyries.

The sales of the starter have been anecdotally reported as slow, but more because people have been saying that the punishing GW release schedule is leading to GW cannibalizing their own sales (there is so much to buy, and it’s all so good, that the limiting factor is painting time and hobby budget) rather than any issues with the product. Titanicus, Blood Bowl and Necromunda all had large dedicated cult followings waiting to make unwise financial choices on new plastic kits, and I recall the criticism and doom saying of the Titanicus release, where the usual suspects said that the game was dead on arrival rather than realising that large, detailed kits that have to be painted as sub assemblies take time to get on the gaming table. No one now is repeating this, as the Reaver Titan was one of the best selling kits of 2018.

Aeronautica is building a player base. While it had a small pre-existing following, the original was an incredibly expensive Forgeworld published game (the planes are cheaper to buy in 2019 than in 2007 when the game was released when you bear in mind the lack of discounters and the Forgeworld surcharge for postage costs) and the rulebook and expansion were both fifty pounds each for a hardback book which greatly limited buy in. Most GW customers just don’t buy Forgeworld.

The Aeronautica Facebook groups are gaining members quickly, planes are getting painted up, and while around the time of the initial launch the majority of youtube content was produced by me, this has changed and more channels are producing reviews, painting videos and battle reports.

Events are being looked at, though there is no competitive format at the moment, and the scenarios in the campaign book have issues being played with currently (three missions have transport/pick up objectives and the Imperial Navy really struggle to achieve those with only having Transport on their most expensive plane, and that only being Transport 1) that mean they aren’t necessarily suitable for a campaign day.

I have also heard a lot of players say they are holding off for more factions to be released (the next three factions are Tau, Chaos and Eldar) and hopefully we will see another supplement and faction early next year to give an influx of new players, even if they choose to play Tau.

The rules however are solid and simple to pick up, and the plane kits have been uniformly excellent, with the only criticism a lack of more ordnance on the Marauder sprue and any ordnance on the Marauder Destroyer sprue. The design and moulding of the planes has demonstrated the technical mastery GW have in producing toy soldiers.

This is a game in the process of building a following, and with GW level plastics supporting it and a continuing level of releases and support it will grow. Buy in is low, as simple as a starter set, and adding one box of planes for your chosen faction will give you over 200 points.

X-wing is no longer the plane game giant that it was, due to 2nd edition and a lessening in the popularity of Star Wars due to mismanagement of the IP by Disney (in particular compared to Marvel), there is space for a well supported plane game to move in and take market share.

Aeronautica allows GW to expand their offering in Epic scale, with other Epic products in development as well as Battlefleet Gothic, the releases from GW will continue as GW try to recapture the markets they pioneered and developed in the 90s and abandoned with the closure of the first Specialist Games.

 

Up, Up, and Away

Hopefully you found this informative and useful, and are well on your way to trouncing your friends and smashing your enemies. Are you interested in more Aeronautica Imperalis content? Have any questions or comments? Let us know! Shoot us a note in the comments below, or send us an email at contact@goonhammer.com. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re interested in knowing whether we should be doing more AI content. Until then, may your bogeys be fat and slow.

 

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