Sunday, 21 October 2012

Flyers in sixth

So to start this blog post I utter a disclaimer I have only played 2 games of sixth so this isn't a post of the informed it is a post of someone looking to be informed.

When sixth was introduced there was a lot of worry in the blogging world including from myself that fliers were going to be game breaking for those who have access to them because suddenly they were so hard to kill.

Over the last week I have been working on a chaos list that looks lke this

Black Mace
Gift of Mutation

Sorcerer with terminator armour
Mastery level 3

2 lots of 25 cultists with two flamers

2 lots of 10 Chaos Space marines with melta guns

6 bikers
2 melta guns

a block of 10 terminators
4 power swords
4 power axes
2 power fists
2 autocannons

1 heldrake

Now I know that the Heldrake isn't a popular model but personally I like it however is there a point to it? With the baleflame it is good at killing MEQ without a doubt but as a an anti flyer does it cut it? How many flyers are we seeing in lists? Is it only really guard who are seeing them in numbers and if that is the case then is the Helldrake actually going to be able to deal with them?

Looking for peoples opinions on the list and the Helldrake as always


  1. It depends on your local circle. At my gaming club flyers are a little extra used (so far only by me) as a support asset to the main army. Two dakkajets in an Ork army that provide some good fire support to my main assault, couple vendettas in my guard to get troops across the board and go tank hunting.

    So far the dakkajets have been pretty safe from most things, but not game changing either. The vendettas have usually been safe until such time as I've needed to make a tight turn, and thus had to bring them to hover mode. Then they tend to die quite quickly.

    The main problem is when people take flyers in great numbers, and Necrons I'm looking at you. A guy at our local store takes 6 flyers. Now these things have the benefit of being impervious to most fire like the dakkajets, with the benefit over the vendetta of not needing to slow down to drop off/pick up troops. The disadvantage of having to fly off the board quite regularly is outweighed by the sheer amount of them - there's always some on the board after turn 1. It also helps with the list this guy runs - he drops down a squad of deathmarks with cryptek of despair. A str 8 ap 1 flame template that wounds on 2s annihalates the chosen target, and the deathmarks usually finish off what's left. If what few survivors there are are dumb enough to charge the cryptek usually finishes them off.

    The real kicker when facing this list is that the necron player picks a target, kills it, and then on his next turn teleports back into the flyer and carries on. The weaker parts of the army aren't on the ground long enough for you to engage them. Meaning you're reliant on taking out the flyers, which most people can manage when faced with one or two, but when up against 6 they find themselves overwhelmed.

    Really in summary I'd say this. Flyers are a fun addition to the game and add a new dimension to it. But they can be abused. The real answer is if you play a guy who curb-stomps you with 6 flyers, thank him for the game and just avoid playing him again. Unless you're looking at tournament play, in which case i'd say you're gonna have to find a way to beat that list. I can't help you there, as having seen the list in action it does not look fun to play against, and given I very rarely attend tournaments and my local gaming group seems to shun the OTT lists as much as I do I have the luxury of NOT having to figure that problem out. Good luck to you if you do.

  2. Wotcha Mick,

    So you're definitely set on CSM then? I remember you were in two miinds about running them.

    Your list looks a bit 5th edition to me - I don't think you'll need all the Meltas any more. The meta (I hate that phrase!) seems to have come around to Plasma and Autocannons now, which have the rate of fire to reliably take hull points off of lighter tanks and also deal with infantry too.

    As Ian mentioned above, it's really Necrons that you need to prepare for. Their flyer spam is horrendous! I think you have the tools in the new CSM codex to deal with flyers better than most armies except IG because you can buy Flakk Missiles for your Havocs - I think they will become the must-take Cheese Fangs of early 6th edition. You also have flying Daemon Princes - I think a couple of these, along with Tzeentch psychic shooting powers and some Flakking Havocs, would put the frighteners on any opponent thinking of throwing multiple flyers at you.

    I think the core of your list is sound, with the big blocks of infantry to hold the midfield and grab objectives. I would suggest dropping the Terminators and replacing them with Flakk Havocs. Then, depending on points, you could include the Heldrake. I don't know much about them, but they're a cool model and if it puts a smile on your face while you're playing, why not go for it?

  3. The Heldrake with Baleflamer is an excellent infantry-killing platform- remember, it has both Soul Blaze and Torrent and can reliably hit ~6 models ever time it fires, since you aren't limited to placing the template in contact with yourself. Add in the ability to flyby heavy infantry squads or light tanks and you have a very strong platform that is incredibly hard to bring down thanks to AV12, IWND, flyer status, and the 5++.

    The ability to roast off heavy weapons squads, models clumped up after disembarking, etc, makes the Heldrake an invaluable tool in the CSM arsenal. (The Hades cannon version doesn't feel worth it, though.)

    Despite GW's silly fluff, the Heldrake isn't actually all that good against most flyers. Yes, you can bite an AV11 thing to death without too much difficulty, but it's hardly reliable and it's certainly not any kind of anti-flyer tool that's any use.

    Also, I love the Black Mace a lot as well, but it's pretty mediocre for a regular character- being AP- just means it's not a very impressive weapon most of the time. Daemon Princes are its preferred bearer, since all of their attacks (even with the Mace!) are AP2. A Nurgle Prince with Wings will generally be rocking a 3+ cover save and isn't back-breakingly expensive.

    As for the rest of the list... eh. It's not awful, but to be honest, it's not great, either. With absolutely zero fire support you're gonna find yourself hard-pressed to kill more than a small handful of enemy tanks and it feels like it's just sort of a pile of models hanging out near each other rather than a coherent army.

  4. It's been awhile since I played necrons, but I think that template wounds against leadership. If he's not modifying that on your orks, he should be wounding on threes (at best, other than gretchin), I believe.


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