Thursday 27 October 2016

Battle Report 81- Death in the Skies: Massive Flyer Battle

This week's battle report features a whole host of fabulous flyers! With my recent move down to Newcastle, I was saddened to leave the great guys and girls at Dundee Wargames Club. As a sort of leaving-do/game, I decided to host a massive 40k flyer battle based on the scenario in Death from the Skies.
I had done the same game a few weeks earlier with two of the players from the club to test the rules. It was an absolute blast and we decided to add some additional special rules as the game went on to make it even more fun.

The rules for the scenario followed the Fighter Sweep air war rules, with the following changes:
  • Flyers are not allowed to leave the board. There can be nowhere to hide in this game and I wanted a ton of flyers on the board at once.
  • At the end of their move, flyers are allowed to make an additional 90 degrees turn. If they choose to do so, roll a D6. On a 1-2, the G forces rip the aircraft apart and it is destroyed. Flyers with Vector Dancer can turn without penalty as normal.
  • Flyers that Jink suffer -1BS the following turn for each enemy flyer they jinked for. E.g. if you are fired upon by two enemy flyers and jinked twice, you suffer -2BS the next turn. This was to stop one side from being too powerful and forcing multiple flyers to jink and snap fire next turn while doing little damage.
  • Any time a flyer is destroyed, it careens out of control. Roll 2D6 and a scatter dice, the aircraft moves in this direction, stopping if it hits another flyer. If it collides with another flyer(s), both players roll a D6. If the player with the destroyed aircraft beats the roll of the player with the flyer it hit, both flyers are now destroyed!
  • "Janked" is the official past tense of "jink" for this game, i.e. "I'm at -1BS as I janked last turn".
  • When a flyer is destroyed, it get to come back on in the players next turn. 
This time round, I managed to get a whole host of players to sign up for the game. I split us into 4 teams based on the number and type of flyers that were available. These were:

Players would score 1 point for each destroyed enemy flyer (2 points for the massive Tigershark). If a destroyed flyer crashed into any other and destroyed them, the points would go to the player who shot down the original plane.
We decided that the four teams would roll off for priority each turn, the highest roll going first, the second highest going second, etc. This would create even more chaos as players could potentially get two turns in a row.

The game was fought on a 8x6 feet board. Based on the additional special rules in effect, I expected lots of carnage on all sides!

The teams were:
Team Desperate Allies (Me and Craig)- Nephilim Jetfighter, Stormhawk, Stormtalon, Stormtalon, Razorwing
Team Ravenwing (Colin and Lewis)- Six Nephilim Jetfighters
Team Tau (Scott)- Tigershark and Razorshark
Team 1 (Innes and Stevie)- Stormraven, Stormtalon, Heldrake, Stormtalon, Corvus Blackstar

With the teams set, it was time to see who would dominate the skies.

The roll off for turn order this turn were: Team Tau, Team 1, Team Desperate Allies and Team Ravenwing.

The Tau flyers advanced on the enemy flyers besides them. The Razorshark opened fire on the nearby Stormtalon, forcing it to Jink. The Tau flyer penetrated the Marine flyer, shaking it. The mighty Tigershark then opened fire at the Nephilim of Team Desperate Allies, but failed to harm the jinking flyer. It then opened fire at the same Stormtalon as the Razorshark, finishing off the enemy flyer.

The combined Marine forces of Team 1 advanced on the Tau flyers that appeared in front of them. The Heldrake screamed over the Tigershark, hoping to cause some harm with its vector strike, but failing to damage the massive flyer.

The Stormtalon opened fire on the Tigershark, taking a hull point from it. The Stormraven opened fire on the Razorshark, taking two hull points from it with its hurricane bolters. The Stormraven's machine spirit fired its Multi-melta at the Tigershark, taking another hull point. The second Stormtalon opened fire on the Razorshark, destroying the enemy flyer. The Corvus Blackstar opened fire on the Tigershark, taking another hull point from it.

On the other flank, Team Desperate Allies moved into action, surging forwards to engage the Ravenwing in front of them. The Stormhawk fired at the Ravenwing, but all three of its hits were blocked by the jinking flyer. The two Stormtalons fired at another of the fighters, stunning it once. My Nephilim opened fire on the enemy counterpart, destroying one of the flyers with its main gun. The Razorwing fired at the Ravenwing fighters, but caused no harm.

Finally, the Ravenwing moved up en masse, the destroyed Nephilim being replaced by re-inforcements. Without fear, the Ravenwing fighters surged towards the enemy lines. The Nephilim opened fire at the flyers in front of them, but only managed a single glance with their combined firepower. Perhaps they shouldn't have done so much janking this turn.

Team Tau- 1
Team 1- 1
Team Desperate Allies- 1
Team Ravenwing- 0

We rolled off for priority and got the same order as last turn- Team Tau, Team 1, Team Desperate Allies and Team Ravenwing.

The Tigershark advanced on the other flank, joined by a fresh Razorshark from the Tau lines. The Tigershark fired at one of the Nephilim fighters, destroyed it with its mighty weaponry. The Ravenwing Flyer careened into its squad mates as it fell, destroying another two of the flyers! The Tigershark fired at the Dark Angels, killing another two of the flyers, one of which crashed into another of their flyers, but the pilot managed to avoid the flaming wreck.

At this stage, Team Ravenwing made the unanimous decision to change their name to the Suicide Squad, giving all the other teams an insight into their intentions for the rest of the game.

The flyers of Team 1 advanced on the Tau flyers, along with the other enemy flyers arrayed against them. The Heldrake attempted to Vector Strike the Tigershark, but failed to cause any damage. Instead, the Stormraven opened fire on the mighty flyer, finally destroying it. The crashing flyer hit two of the nearby fighters, but failed to bring them down. The other flyers in Team 1 opened up on the enemy aircraft, destroying the Razorwing and the two Stormtalons.

The Razorwing returned to the field. moving on behind the enemy lines, while the Stormtalons joined the Stormhawk and Nephilim on the attack. The Nephilim opened fire on the Stormtalon in front of it, but failed to cause any harm. The Stormhawk Interceptor fired on the same target, destroying the enemy flyer. The two Stormtalons from Team Desperate Allies opened fire on their enemy counterpart, destroying it, while the Dark Eldar flyer failed to cause any damage.

With a scream of jet engines, five of the Nephilim fighters of the Suicide Squad returned to the airspace of the battle; three one the north side, two on the west flank to support the one surviving fighter. They opened fire on the enemy flyers, destroying the Razorshark and my Nephilim, which took out the Stormhawk as it crashed and burned.

Team Tau- 6
Team 1- 6
Team Desperate Allies- 3
Suicide Squad- 3

This turn, the priority was Team 1, Team Tau, the Suicide Squad and Team Desperate Allies.

The Stormraven surged ahead, while the Heldrake moved to vector strike a nearby Nephilim, but once more failed to cause any damage. The Stormraven unleashed a Cleansing Flame (as it was a psyker), destroying one of the nearby Nephilim. Going down, the Ravenwing pilot turned his stricken fighter into the path of the Stormraven, impacting on the enemy flyer and bringing it down (the Suicide Squad strikes again!). One of the Stormtalons fired on the enemy Stormtalon, bringing it down in a hail of fire. The second Stormtalon took a hull point from one of the Nephilims, while the Corvus failed to cause any damage.

The Tau flyers returned to the battlefield, moving on the engage the east flank. The Razorshark fired on the Corvus Blackstar, taking two hull points from it. The Tigershark then opened fire, destroying the Corvus, the Razorwing and a Nephilim with its impressive firepower.

The Suicide Squad leapt into action, moving to engage the enemy forces. One fired its missiles at a Stormtalon, blowing it out of the sky. The flyer crashed into two more nearby, but failed to bring them down. The Ravenwing pilots really had it out for the Stormtalons as the other two were also brought down this turn.

One Nephilim moved on to engage the Heldrake, while a Stormtalon and the Razorwing moved on the west flank. The White Scars Stormhawk and Stormtalon moved on the south facing, boosting forward to engage the Tau flyer. The Nephilim loosed its missiles at the Heldrake, penetrating it twice, but the infernal Daemon engine saved both the attacks! The White Scars flyers fired at the Razorshark, destroying it. The Stormtalon and a Razorwing fired on the Nephilim, but failed to bring down a flyer.

Team Tau- 9
Team 1- 8
Team Desperate Allies- 4
Suicide Squad- 5

This turn, the priority was Suicide Squad, Team Tau, Team Desperate Allies and Team 1.

The Ravenwing fighters all converged on the Tigershark, two of the flyers executing perfect break turns to gain sight on the target. The six Fighters fired their remaining missiles at the mighty Tau flyer. After a punishing barrage, they took 5 hull points from the Tigershark, leaving it on just one left!

The Tigershark and Razorshark advanced on the Nephilim fighters before them. The Tigershark fired at the fighter in front of it, blowing it out of the sky. The Tau gunner's joy was short lived as the Ravenwing aircraft crashed into it, taking the Tigershark with it.

The flyers of Team Desperate Allies advanced on the remaining fighters in the area. My Nephilim fired at one of the Nephilim of the Suicide Squad, destroying it (Colin and Lewis decided they would not be jinking for several turns, ignoring the impressive jink saves of the Ravenwing in order to respawn as many fighters with fresh missiles as possible). The stricken fighter crashed into the Razorshark, destroying it in the process.

The Stormhawk, Stormtalon and Razorwing fired at the enemy fighters, bringing down another three Nephilim fighters from the Suicide Squad.

The Imperial flyers returned from the south, moving to engage the enemy fighters arrayed before them. The Heldrake attempted to Vector strike a Stormtalon, but once more failed to do any damage.

In the psychic phase, the Stormraven let loose its nova power, destroying the Stormtalon and Stormhawk. The Stormtalon towards the west flank fired at its enemy counterpart, bringing it down. The Corvus Blackstar fired at the last Nephilim from the suicide squad. The fighter was destroyed, and true to the team name, crashed into the Stormraven and destroyed it!

Team Tau- 11
Team 1- 14
Team Desperate Allies- 9
Suicide Squad- 6

The roll off for priority this turn was: Team Tau, Suicide Squad, Team Desperate Allies, Team 1.

The mighty Tigershark moved on once more to target the flyers of Team 1, while the Razorshark went after the Razorwing. The Tigershark opened fire on the enemy flyers, destroying the Nephilim and the two Stormtalons. The Razorshark failed to bring down the Razorwing.

With "Ride of the Valkyries" blasting from both of their phones, Colin and Lewis brought the Suicide Squad back once more to face off against the Tigershark. Twenty-four missiles streaked towards the Tigershark, impacting on its mighty hull and taking four hull points from the superheavy flyer. The Suicide Squad were unable to bring it down once more.

Craig and I brought our forces on from the South, eager to go after the damaged Tau fighter. The Nephilim fired at the Tigershark, taking another hull point. The Stormhawk fired at it, finally destroying the monstrosity. None of our other flyers were able to cause any damage.

The Stormraven moved on, moving up to engage the Nephilim fighters in front of it, while the Stormtalon moved off after the Razorwing.

The Stormraven fired off its Nova power at the Suicide Squad. The psychic power managed to destroy one of the enemy fighters.

The Stormraven destroyed another Nephilim, which crashed into one of its squad mates, but for once failed to take it out. The Corvus fired at another and destroyed it, this time the crashing flyer did take out one of its squad mates.

With that, the game was over. The final scores were:

Team Tau- 14
Team 1- 19
Team Desperate Allies- 11
Suicide Squad- 6

That game was an absolute blast and I encourage everyone to give it a go at their local club if they can.

The game was absolute carnage, with flyers falling all over the battlefield and lots of hilarity on all sides. Thanks to all the guys for taking part and making it such an awesome and memorable final game at the club.

Innes and Stevie were the winners in the end, with 19 points, closely followed by Scott with 14 points.
Colin and Lewis of the Suicide Squad vehemently argued that the final score did not reflect their true score in the game. They fiercely debated that they should be the ones scoring points every time one of their flyers crashed into and destroyed an enemy flyer. It was hard not to argue with this logic, but we had already set the rules beforehand. I loved how after turn 1, they abandoned all semblance of tactics and just tried to cause carnage. Despite having some of the best Jink saves on the table, they refused to jink so that their fighters would be destroyed. This would allow them to come back on with fresh missiles to fire.

The Heldrake was the only flyer to survive the game without taking any damage at all. Some may say this was due to the Daemonic forces protecting the cursed flyer, others may agree that we all ignored it as it was utterly useless, failing to do any damage the whole game with either its Vector Strikes or Reaper Autocannons.

Overall, the game was fantastic. I think the guys at the club are planning to try it again at some point, as well as maybe a massive tank battle too.


  1. Jinkies! Sounds like a great time. My local group did a big LoW bash a while back, and we've been thinking about doing a Flyer one as well. This really made me want to get the planning on that started again.

  2. Cool idea, and looked like a lot of fun!

    Not sure if you mention it in the intro and I just read over it, but I didn't realize that destroyed flyers come back, which made reading the batrep pretty confusing for me. First I thought that flyers are allowed to move off the board after all, but when the Tigershark came back I had no idea what was going on.

    Anyway, unfortunately we don't really have a lot of fliers in our group, so we won't be re-enacting such an air battle, but the pics look cool!

    1. Cheers Chris, I've made a note in the intro above to save further confusion.

  3. Poor little Helldrake just happily flapping around wanting to play with all the others. That Tigershark though! Dished out a lot of damage.