The Problems with Implementing Death from the Skies in Tournament Play

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to discuss some of the challenges facing us with Death from the Skies in tournament play!


Death from the Skies offers us official new rules and a new phase for flyers in Warhammer 40,000. While that unto itself is exciting, it leaves us in a weird position for organized play. Why do I say this? Because it is an incomplete rule-set and a book that not everyone has. There are a TON of Flyers that are not in the book (assuming you use Forgewold units as we do in the ITC and most tournaments these days do) and adds an entirely new phase to an already very long game. What is the overloaded 40k TO to do?

Abuse Puppy already wrote a great review of the book over at Frontline Gaming, which you can read, here, so I won’t go into the nuts and bolts of it. What we’re going to talk about is actually implementing the book.


First off, the biggest issue: where are all the other flyers? I am sure in time Forgeworld will release an updated Aeronautica Imperialis (or what have you) with updated dataslates, but until then, what do we do? Use the old rules? Make up classifications for the missing Flyers and assign them new stats? Then you would be in a situation with players using different rules for the same types of units or we make up new rules as a community to cover the gap. Neither is very appealing.

What about the Dogfighting phase? Is it worth it to use in tournament play or no? Do we choose to omit a fairly random phase and the reserves modifications that come with it, or do we try to squeeze another time consuming phase in to tournament 40k where games already go right up to the hilt?


Many flyers losing Skyfire is also a bit rough for some armies. That reduces their AA to close to nill, or actually zero in some cases. This makes fighting things like FMCs who are very popular in the meta a bear and really alters some lists. Do you think this is good or bad for the meta?

Or how about Fighters losing BS when firing on ground targets? Some “Fighters” like the poor Razorwing, are just absolutely awful against other flyers and really get hurt badly by this when they are already not so good in an already not so good army. Another victim is the Ork Dakkajet which is so much better against ground units, and now going to BS2 vs ground targets…you’re not going to see them on the table and they just barely usable before. Strength 6 Skyfire vs quite simply does not cut the mustard. The Night Scythe also suffers when it was already not an optimal choice losing Skyfire. What we see is that flyers got pretty much worse across the board, but gained the ability to do a few neat tricks when the meta was already experiencing a dearth of flyers apart from a few outstanding choices (many of which, humorously, are not in the book, lol). These rules, while characterful, overall reduce the efficacy of a unit type that was already struggling.


Flyer Wings are fun, and certainly mitigate the weaknesses mentioned above. They are quite powerful and as GW has been doing, encourage you to buy LOTS of flyers to gain special rules benefits. These to me are a lot of fun, and the benefits are quite powerful. Ignoring Cover, bonuses to BS and Jinking, etc. are handed out like candy to help make your flyers better on the table. Are you a fan of the Wings? Do you think having to stay in formation to gain the benefits offsets the nerfs to flyers in general? As a player that uses 3 flyers in my Astra Militarum army, I can tell you from experience I almost never have them in “formation” as I am better served having them come in from different attack vectors. I do not know how frequently I would actually gain the benefits. How about you?

Lastly, we have the Air Superiority Detachment. This is cool and provides some powerful benefits, not the least of which is the +2/-2 to reserves. That alone will force a great deal of lists to change as any reserves style army, of which there are a lot, would be nearly obligated to add a flyer to avoid having their entire army strategy shut down. Is that a good thing? I don’t think so, personally. If you build an outflanking or Deep Striking army and have been having fun with it, this one rule almost negates your army unless you shoehorn a flyer into it. Again, not the end of the world, but wow, what a big meta impact. Is it worth it?

What do you think - written with chalk on a blackboard

What do you think? Is Death from the Skies something that is usable in a tournament setting at this point in time or no? Is it more suited for casual/narrative play, or can we make it work in an organized setting? Should we require EVERY player at a tournament to have both the BRB and Death from the Skies? That’s getting not only expensive but cumbersome to lug around.



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

211 Responses to “The Problems with Implementing Death from the Skies in Tournament Play”

  1. Dakkath May 18, 2016 12:53 am #

    I really want to think DftS could be neat, but most of the little nuances it adds just seems cumbersome and pointless.

    -‘Mandatory’ supplemental rules: HELLS NO
    -Dogfight Phase: No. It’s really just pointless and time-consuming.
    -Air Superiority (rule): only if you extend it to include flying monstrous/gargantuan creatures. Even then, jury’s out. For some armies, it’s a neat way of getting reliable reserve modifiers. On the other hand, it doesn’t make much sense how a lone storm talon buzzing around the outskirts makes it harder for terminators to teleport in or mawlocs to burrow up.
    -Flyer wings: Only if altered/reworded to work like formations
    -Air Superiority Detachment: ditto. At the very least it can be the equivalent of the oathsworn detachment.
    -New stats for flyers: no, both are just stupid and mostly arbitrary.
    -Brake Turns: I do see the appeal, but would like it to be implemented without needing to add a whole new stat.
    -Different Flyer Types: no
    -Attack Patterns: neat idea, no idea how one would implement them without the different flyer types. Would likely need a maelstrom-style ITC overhaul for simplification. Best served on flyer squadrons.

    • Loopy May 18, 2016 4:14 am #

      So, you don’t want anything, pretty much.

      • Dakkath May 18, 2016 5:17 am #

        I do like attack patterns, brake turns, and can see flyer wings being worked to be like formations.

        Air Superiority I’m on the fence about

        Everything else, nah.

      • Dakkath May 18, 2016 5:22 am #

        Oh, and putting in the new fliers, yeah.

  2. Rob May 18, 2016 1:14 am #

    I’d say no to using this as it is simply a good idea that has not panned out well. I hope it gets a full rework because it has made alot of flyers worse with the lack of skyfire and the extra phase just feels clunky and unnessary

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:33 am #

      That mirrors my thoughts. I really like some of it.

    • tag8833 May 18, 2016 10:47 am #

      Its fascinating, because I feel like you could take any 2 gamers, and have them sit down to write the rules for this supplement and they would have come up with something better and more playable.

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 2:53 pm #


      • Jural May 19, 2016 12:13 pm #

        Yeah, we went right past the infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters and went straight to 8 monkeys, 3 typewriters, and a bottle of whiskey with questionable quality.

  3. BobC May 18, 2016 2:46 am #

    I agree that the vast majority would be bad for tournament play, but brake turns could help flyers out a lot, once FW releases updated stats. We’d also need statsfor the vendetta, which is oddly absent.

    • Loopy May 18, 2016 4:18 am #

      How are the general rules “bad for tournament play”? What part of the flyer types and other rules would make tournament play bad?

      • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:14 am #

        The big one is removing access to Skyfire for many armies in the game, since most factions do not get access to a Fighter. (Only SM, SW, DE, Eld, and Orks have them, and even then several only on a technicality.)

        The Air Superiority rule, as Reece discusses, is also very punishing to any army that wants to start units in reserve (either as a general game plan or as a specific way of handling certain armies.) It can be VERY punishing to a lot of types of armies.

        • Interrogator_Chaplain May 18, 2016 9:33 am #

          I think the Air Superiority rule should be something people building armies that want to exploit Reserves, should plan for. I don’t see any need to cater to them as this is a sensible and rather realistic rule.

          That being said, it quite negatively punishes armies like Tyranids and Daemons who don’t have a single workaround for the rule which is just unfair and I really don’t like that at all.

          • fleetofclaw May 18, 2016 11:20 am

            …”I don’t see any need to cater to them as this is a sensible and rather realistic rule.”

            I think the question was already asked, but how is it sensible or realistic that some dude’s stormtalon prevents a Mawloc from coming up out of the ground or Terminators from teleporting in? Not to mention as it stands, there is no way for a Nid player to “plan” for Air Superiority. I think there may be a place for it in some form or another, but right now it really feels like shoehorning a rule in that doesn’t fit in a lot of cases.

          • punchymango May 18, 2016 1:53 pm

            If you want to argue logic, anything that modifies enemy reserve rolls has cases where it doesn’t make any sense.

            How does an Officer of the Fleet make Mawlocs less likely to arrive, or Lictors less likely to reveal themselves?

            If your warlord has the -1 enemy reserves trait, what does he actually do to stop drop pods from landing as quickly as the enemy would like, or deldar turning up from the webway?

          • Diceskill May 18, 2016 11:31 pm

            Agree with this. Why would you ban something just to cater specifically to one list concept?

            What are you doing to help out players whose concept is based on scouting units? I don’t see a discussion to ban servo skulls…

        • punchymango May 18, 2016 9:36 am #

          Yeah. Some aspects of the new rules reek of really ham-fisted design: Penalizing players who don’t take fliers in particular, and rewriting the flier rules because most of the craft GW thinks are “interceptors” are pretty hopeless at actually shooting down planes.

          I think the book would be easier for the community to swallow if they’d made sure everyone had a Fighter (if one of the Wolf party buses counts as a fighter, how the hell is a Night Scythe not one?), or if they’d released interceptors for factions that were about to need one.

        • z3n1st May 18, 2016 10:28 am #

          So because it changes the meta its bad? Seriously? So knowing that the rule could be out there, you are punished? You don’t think full reserve lists are punishing to lists that AREN’T full reserve but rely on their opponent to be on the table? Reserves are a gamble, you either roll the dice or you don’t if you chose an army that is all reserve or relies on reserve then you made an active choice, just like someone that chose to counter that (and if the opponent has no reserve then suddenly the air superiority rule is moot) Shake up the meta!

          • punchymango May 18, 2016 10:56 am

            I know my likely response when (not if, when, I guarantee you these will be part of 8th edition in some form) will just be to start everything on the board.

            Most likely you’ll just see reserves-heavy armies incorporate fliers to avoid giving up air superiority. That isn’t really the end of the world. It makes reserves (and fliers) a little more of a “commit or don’t bother” element of the game: the risk-cost-reward calculation for, say, two drop pods with melta guys, or a single deep striking crisis team or whatever, gets considerably worse if air superiority is a thing.

            Again, not the end of the world. My gripe is more the loss of tools to deal with enemy fliers/FMCs for some armies. That surely shakes up the meta, but I don’t think that making Tetrads/Flyrants a harder matchup for already mid/low tier factions is a good change.

            But like I said, the more I think about it, the more copeable-with the changes seem.

          • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 7:04 pm

            In counterpoint: including a single flyer is not likely to prevent the enemy from gaining Air Superiority, since there’s a very good chance that they will be able to shoot down your lone flyer before you make any reserve rolls (two Dogfight phases) unless you are either lucky or exceptionally resilient. So reliably keeping from suffering Air Superiority is going to need an investment of at least two flyers in most cases, which means in the neighborhood of 300pts- and that’s 300pts that aren’t aiding your primary army strategy.

            It won’t mean the end of reserves, but it will be a huge impediment to their use in many games.

    • Petey Pab May 18, 2016 10:16 am #

      GW confirmed in a few emails to just use the stats for the Valkyrie for using the Vendetta. They basically just assumed they were the same flyer.

      • Dakkath May 18, 2016 6:02 pm #

        MFW GW doesn’t even remember their own units.

  4. DeeJay May 18, 2016 2:47 am #

    The only thing I like is that it unlocks battle bro flyers for all armies through the Air Superiority Detachment without a troops + HQ tax.

    My chaos daemons can now grab a helldrake without having to take CSM or KDK, which I like.

    Likewise, a Dark Angels player can now get a storm talon since their existing fliers are beautiful, but horrible.

    Sisters of Battle now have access to flyers storm ravens/talons. Actually sisters in storm ravens or vendettas would be pretty bad ass, at least until the draft FAQ comes to pass.

    The other stuff in the book I could live without.

    • Dakkath May 18, 2016 5:19 am #

      Armies of the Imperium already had access to the Storm Wing and Emperor’s Spear already, though.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 7:55 am #

      Yeah, a few KDK Heldrakes would be pretty awesome for many armies, no doubt.

      • punchymango May 18, 2016 9:28 am #

        No doubt, that was my first thought when I looked at the air sup detachment.

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 2:54 pm #

          Great way to generate Tithe!

    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:16 am #

      (The DA flyers aren’t actually that bad anymore- I wouldn’t call them amazing, but presuming you ignore the DFtS stuff then they are fairly legit units.)

  5. Darren May 18, 2016 3:23 am #

    I think if they had released this as another stand alone flyer themed boardgame where you can dogfight your flyers that would be cool. And all the updated data slates could be used in 40k. But the extra mechanics and the dog fight phase all just seem cumbersome and not fully thought out.

    • tag8833 May 18, 2016 10:49 am #

      Agreed. If this were a standalone board game it might have seemed interesting.

      • punchymango May 18, 2016 10:58 am #

        Didn’t they do that, though, and nobody bought it?

        • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 7:01 pm #

          It turns out that writing mediocre rules and then trying to sell them for $100 is not a very strong business model.

  6. DevianID May 18, 2016 3:51 am #

    So i mentioned in the signals post, but the dogfight phase can easily be streamlined for tourney play if the base rules are too obtuse. The choosing a number 1-3 can be substituted with a d3 roll for each, with ties broken by the roll off per the rules. The gw matrix perfectly matches the d3 roll off matrix. Alternately, you can keep the “choice” aspect with rock paper scissors.

    As for whether the meta is better served with death from the skies or not, i think rules availability isnt a problem in a format allowing the huge number of forgeworld books. Only if fw never updates their flyers should we avoid the book, and i doubt fw will do that.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 7:56 am #

      I think the big difference is you don’t HAVE to have a FW book or books, this you would have to have. Subtle, but important difference.

      No, I am sure folks can get their hands on the rules somehow, and we certainly wouldn’t mind selling everyone the book, but it is weird to require it, IMO.

      • Blight1 May 18, 2016 8:38 am #

        I fully understand people being worried about dogfighting taking extra time but all the stuff about a required supplement being bad rings hollow. Was the required supplement curse of the wulfen bad? If you own daemons or space wolves you required it to play your army and I didn’t hear people complain. Every new book has new rules for something. The only reason people are claiming it’s bad for this one is that they don’t like said new rules. If this had released and made flyers really good overall with no negatives it woold have been instantly accepted.

        • Threllen May 18, 2016 9:07 am #

          What did the “required” Curse of the Wulfen supplement actually do to Daemon players? Unlike this book which fundamentally changes flyers in a lot of ways (and requires buying a whole new book) I can very easily still play my Daemons without owning or using a Curse of the Wulfen book. The only thing I need is a psychic deck with the new powers. The formations and detachments from the book do not need to be used. None of the units received updated profiles that weren’t already available (ie Be’lakor from the dataslate or BTs from the WD).

          I don’t need to use Daemonic Incursion or the new relics or the new warlord traits if I don’t want to. I get that its technically a “mandatory” supplement, but its really not comparable to DftS as it didn’t change 99% of the army unless you *want* to use things that are in it.

          • Blight1 May 18, 2016 10:02 am

            And if you don’t use flyers then DFtS is exactly the same as someone showing up with a new codex. If chaos got a new book and they had a -2 to enemy reserves would you call that bad for the game and ban it?
            Curse of the wilderness did replace space wolf rules.
            So for the daemon powers your argument for it not changing anything is that you can buy the cards? How is that fundamentally different from getting those updated rules from a book?

          • Threllen May 18, 2016 10:46 am

            The difference being the scope of changes. I don’t like the “mandatory supplement” that is Curse of the Wulfen any better than the “mandatory supplement” that is DftS. If you want to update my codex – update the codex. Don’t make me have to use the old codex AND buy an entire campaign book (including two armies even though I only use one) just to play my army.

            But at least with CoW I can pretty safely ignore most of the stuff in it unless I want to buy it. My Daemons are the exact same as they are in the current book. If I want to use the new stuff like the formations, it’s up to me whether to buy the book or not buy it and continue just fielding CADs and using my Daemons as they are written in the codex. It’s not like they took every one of my FMCs and said “sorry, updated rules are in this campaign supplement – you have to buy it to use them or you aren’t playing ‘legit’ 40k” which is exactly what they did with DftS. It’d be different if they came out with a straight new edition of the rulebook or of the codex… but mandatory supplements just continue to add more layers to an already convoluted and complex game by forcing players to consult with even more books and even more different rules.

          • Threllen May 18, 2016 11:21 am

            Think about someone trying to get into warhammer right now who wants to play Chaos Daemons. They have to buy the BRB. Unless they’re fine with ebooks they have to buy a Chaos Daemons codex as well as a Curse of the Wulfen campaign book (even though they couldn’t care less about Space Wolves or Fenris). Then, if they want to have any idea what flyers do (or if they want to ally in their own) they also have to buy a Death from the Skies supplement just to know the rules for flyers. And none of those are “optional” supplements. They’re all required to play a 40k game as Daemons…

          • Dakkath May 18, 2016 6:01 pm

            I would argue that the daemon options in Curse of the Wulfen are not mandatory, unless I missed some wording somewhere. Highly recommended maybe, but not mandatory.

          • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 7:00 pm

            The psychic power tables from the Daemons codex are overwritten by the ones in Fenris, so if a Daemon player is fielding any psykers at all they pretty much have to buy the new book. It’s essentially mandatory.

          • Threllen May 19, 2016 1:29 pm

            Yeah, as AP says – the wording says it “overwrites the Daemon book” essentially. So yes technically it is “mandatory.” But, like I said, at least with CoW it doesn’t majorly change much if you don’t want it to. Yes, you have to play with the new psychic powers (but really, who didn’t want 6 power disciplines anyway?) but the rest of it you can take or leave.

            I personally like all of them, but if someone didn’t want to have to fork over the dough for an entire campaign book they are still at least allowed to use the profiles in the actual codex. The warlord traits, profiles, and relics tables all still apply from the original book. Just requires a small investment in a psychic power deck and you’re good. Not like DftS which requires a new book to play any and all flyers and definitely changes them. Let alone the fact that it changes them in a much more controversial way (as seen by all the comments on this page).

  7. Ytook May 18, 2016 3:56 am #

    As I’ve said before, we’ve been enjoying this in our casual games, but I just can’t see it working in tournament games. I’m not a tournament player so I have no direct experience but that’s what everything I’ve read and heard makes me think.

    • Ytook May 18, 2016 6:53 am #

      That being said I do appreciate what Death From the Skies is trying to do, making fighters actually worth it as anti-flyer flyers and giving flyers a role in the first turn and when not on the board.

      I do think the time a dogfight takes is overstated a bit, there’ll only be usually at most 3 any one game and once you’ve done a few it is easy to keep track without placing models, though it does obviously add a bit of time which may not be available (well, at 1850 at least :P).

      Maybe simply removing the rather extreme +2/-2 and -2 to enemy reserves from the Air Superiority Detachment and making the normal Air Superiority rules (+1/-1 and -1 to enemies) unlocked by taking the Air Superiority Detachment? So you can only get it by taking the detachment but it can be countered with only one flyer?

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 7:57 am #

        Good points, Ytook. I agree that the concept is cool, making Fighters do their thing, attack and bombing craft have different roles, etc. All very cool. But they way they implemented it was to simply take things away from flyers, lol. Kind of a bummer. It honestly feels like they modeled a lot of it on Dropzone Commander.

        • HotSauceMan May 18, 2016 7:48 pm #

          IT does,the problem here is that the points are not scaled for it.

  8. Loopy May 18, 2016 4:16 am #

    The general rules are meant to replace the existing rules for flyers. We are using all of this in our tournaments without the Dogfight phase.

    • Karvala May 18, 2016 4:27 am #

      How are you handling all the fliers that aren’t given new classifications and characteristics?

      • Loopy May 18, 2016 4:39 am #

        Give them classifications and characteristics. It’s in the tournament rules that players should email me for these clarifications.

        Generally, we look at the base chassis of the flyer and compare it to one in the book. We also look at the fluff description to see if it’s described as a ground attack craft or a dogfighter. This should suffice until the fliers are updated.

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:11 am #

          Do you know the shit storm there would be if we wrote the rules for the flyers, haha. People would argue to death about the stats and classifications being wrong, etc.

          • tag8833 May 18, 2016 10:53 am

            A few vocal complaints do not reflect an otherwise positive sentiment.

            I think generally you’ve establish the sort of credibility needed to directly write rules or clarifications, and I think the majority of 40K players would embrace it if you added erratta to your FAQ.

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 2:55 pm

            Well thank you for the endorsement, Tag8833

      • Loopy May 18, 2016 4:41 am #

        It would NEVER have occurred to me that anyone would ignore this entire book wholesale (with maybe the exception of the new units). I find that to be an extremely knee-jerk reaction.

        • Threllen May 18, 2016 5:36 am #

          Changing the stats of every flyer (without giving every flyer a statline), adding a new clinky phase, giving a rather random reserve roll bonus simply for having a flyer, making certain flyers useless by losing skyfire or losing BS against ground targets…. I guess I can see why it occurred to me immediately that no one at my FLGS uses these rules.

        • Codi May 18, 2016 7:47 am #

          I agree with Loopy 🙂

          I played a game with the new rules (minus the dogfighting phase) over the weekend and they are fun. I used the ork wazmob formation that gives your flyers a 3++ It was extremely satisfying to field dakka jets and not have them immediately die to BS shooting.

          The flyer wing formations are fun, accepting movement restrictions to gain a benefit is good game design. Flyers losing skyfire is not the end of the world. It makes Storm Raven vs Dakkajet, closer to a fair fight; and Imperial armies can always just take the new Space Marine fighter if the need anti air.

          Does ignoring the book wholesale also mean that the Wazbom and the Space Marine Flyer (Storm Thunder Bird???) get ignored as well?

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:00 am

            We’re just brainstorming here, Codi. None of this is official policy or anything, we’re just putting our finger on the community pulse.

          • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:20 am

            I expect most players would accept the use of the new dataslates (units and formations both) even if they reject the rest of the stuff. None of the dataslates are at all broken or abusive.

          • Codi May 18, 2016 8:31 am

            At least one of the formations is not functional without being able to use Flyer Wings.

            So no one is talking about ignoring the entire book, only the parts that we don’t like…

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 7:59 am #

          We’ve actually had a lot of folks saying they just want to ignore it wholesale. As you can see form the Poll results, that seems to be the majority consensus.

          I like aspects of the book, but a lot of it is a bit of a bummer, IMO.

          • tag8833 May 18, 2016 10:58 am

            There is too much garbage in this book to treat the few decent ideas as anything but more garbage.

            As a separate game it would be fine, if enough of my locals had enough fliers we’d run the campaign, but as a massive expansion and change to 40K it is entirely wrong-headed, and would be a gigantic net negative. Its just not worth wading through the garbage to try to find something salvageable.

          • Loopy May 18, 2016 12:34 pm

            I honestly don’t know how anyone can conclude ignoring page 58 & 59 is a reasonable conclusion. People really do hate change.

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 2:56 pm

            I don’t think people hate change Loopy, I think they just don’t think this book brings positive change in a general sense.

            However, some such as yourself, dig it, which is cool.

          • tag8833 May 18, 2016 4:12 pm

            I don’t hate change. I welcome it.

            But not all change is good change. Especially not poorly thought-out, poorly written, non-playtested garbage like this.

            If I suggested that we add a change where anyone playing Space Wolves immediately lost any game they played unless their opponent was Ad Mech. Would that be a change? Yes. Would it be good for the game? Hell no.

            We can’t let our desire for new things overcome our ability to use common sense to determine what is good or bad for the game. This supplement is bad for the game. Too much garbage (Rules Bloat, Imbalance, and poorly designed game mechanics).

  9. EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 4:51 am #

    When we begin to ignore rules that are made canon, I.e. now part of the 40k ruleset, because they change the game in some way, are we still even playing 40k anymore? These are the new flyer rules. Of course, people are unhappy about it because it requires purchasing yet another rulebook and because implementation of this ruleset will have a major impact on how people have already become accustomed to running armies beyond flyers. But at the end of the day these are not “optional” rules and are part of the game now. We need to figure out a way to use these in organized play rather than just ignore them. The dogfighting phase is cumbersome and not very fun. It will add a lot of time to games but is a necessary evil in determining air superiority as there is a chance that flyers can actually die in this phase. But really that’s no fun either.

    I propose a simple way to manage dogfighting that will result in meaningful use of the phase to determine air superiority yet won’t be devastating in terms of losing units before they actually hit the table:

    If both players have flyers in reserve at the start of the game turn, each player picks one of those flyers for a dogfight. Each player rolls a d6 and adds his flyers pursuit value to the result. If a Fighter type flyer is used add 1 to the roll. The player with the highest roll wins air superiority for the game turn. In the case of a tie, neither player has air superiority for the remainder of the game turn.

    • Loopy May 18, 2016 4:56 am #

      I was considering something like this, EvilLairChandler. Your version of it is EXTREMELY good and I may adopt it for our events.

      • EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 5:05 am #

        Thanks. I feel like it’s a fair way to manage air superiority without killing a unit before the game even starts or before that unit hits the actual battle field.

        As to Forge World flyers, that presents an entirely different element to the equation. Without profiles it’s hard to determine what to use. I would suggest giving all of them basic standard values across the board. Pursuit and Agility of 3 as those seem to be fairly standard numbers for many aircraft in the book. Leave them all as Fighters for the time being for simplification until forge world releases the new content.

    • Adam ( May 18, 2016 6:11 am #

      This is pretty much my thought, arbitrarily choosing to ignore entire portions of the game is really going to turn ITC into something not-40k. It will be based on it for sure, but the further you diverge from the game system, the more you’re going to alienate players who may be interested in trying the format.

      • Threllen May 18, 2016 6:57 am #

        Solution here is to not release mandatory supplements… First DftS wasn’t mandatory. Stronghold Assault wasn’t mandatory. Planetstrike wasn’t mandatory. Cities of Death wasn’t mandatory. So why make the new one mandatory? If you want something to be canon, give me a new rulebook. Don’t give me yet another different book I have to buy, read from, learn, and bring with me everywhere I go. If this book simply said “optional additional rules for using flyers in 40k” there would be no grumbling. If the book was included in the new BRB there would be complaining but ultimately everyone would acquiesce and use it.

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:03 am #

        Again, this is just talk, guys. Nothing here is policy.

        And there have been MANY times the community have ignored supplements outright. Cityfight, the previous Death from the Skies, Planetstrike, etc. This is nothing new.

        • z3n1st May 18, 2016 8:54 am #

          Its just talk true Reece but in a way this article skews perception that this supplement is bad for the game, you ask leading questions like “is it worth it?”

          I feel the game could use something like this to shake it up, suddenly going for the reserve beta strike is going to a be a bit more risky, the dogfight phase also isn’t random its selected options by the players, it may seem random but its really not.

          What about the people that bought a copy because the rules are technically mandatory (replaces the rules for flyers in core rulebook)? Clarifying rules is one thing, and I can even sort of support modifying rules that are particularly abusive (invisibility or the new psy powers), although I am not in favor doing so, because once it occurs, it occurs often and then I have to ask myself “why did I pay money for rules I don’t get to use, is this even the same game?”

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:16 am

            I have never been shy about expressing my opinion and never will. I did inject my point of view into this but the intent is to start a conversation and to feel out what everyone is thinking about the rules. I didn’t know where I fell on the spectrum of ideas and feelings about this book.

            There have been a great many supplements which have not been used, so this is nothing new in that regard.

            The main issue for me is what to do with all of the flyers not in the book? The majority of flyers on tournament tables are forgeworld flyers, which do not fit in this at all. Who knows when FW will get around to updating their dataslates, in the meantime what do we do? Make up rules for them? That would cause endless bickering and blow up our email inbox with people disagreeing on stats and such.

            And lots of folks pay money for rules they don’t get to use, unfortunately. I am not saying it’s cool or fun, but a ton of super heavies don’t see play, MANY of the rules in the BRB don’t get used, either. Some formations get no playtime, too. It sucks, but some of them do not work for normal play.

        • z3n1st May 18, 2016 10:35 am #

          As stated none of those were mandatory Reece, they were listed and promoted as optional

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 2:57 pm

            Many of the rules in the BRB are not optional either, and yet we ignore or modify them. This is no different.

            But again, nothing has been decided, this was meant to stimulate conversation, which it has!

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:02 am #

      Chandler, thank you for your response but I have to say I find it ironic that you base your argument on the rules being mandatory and then in the same breathe propose omitting part of it =)

      If you stand on the foundation of taking it as a mandatory addition to the game, then you have to take it all. If you propose changing or omitting parts of it, you are accepting that it is not mandatory.

      • Blight1 May 18, 2016 8:52 am #

        He’s trying to compromise with you because the community seems thoroughly unwilling to accept this.
        You can’t really claim he hurts his own argument when he does this.
        Really the dogfight phase is the only thing that has any chance for being bad for tournament play simply based on time constraints. All the other stuff is just meta shifting which shouldn’t be viewed as bad. Most armies didn’t use flyers already especially against the simply superior FMCs and the ones you would try on them are almost all fighters. What will this community do if an updated rulebook comes out and this is all in it?

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:19 am #

          I understand his intent, but thanks for pointing it out. I was simply saying that the argument of “it’s official rules” doesn’t hold water as we already ignore or alter so many rules in the game. It really comes down to choice in the end, and always has.

          The Dogfight phase is one of the issues, how about all of the flyers not in the book which are those we actually see in the game? Fireraptors, Vultures, etc.? Many of the factions flyers that were good for them got worse, such as Orks, Dark Eldar, etc. As an individual, the only things I like personally, are the flyer wings, which are pretty cool, and the detachment which lets you throw flyers into a list and is fun, although the reserves penalty is pretty brutal.

          • Blight1 May 18, 2016 10:15 am

            Would you push to ban that same penalty if it came from a new codex?
            No one says that guard have a broken ability to penalize reserves.

            As for FW we have three options.
            1. Wait for FW to update their flyers (hopefully with a PDF pretty quickly like they did with vehicles when 6th hit or with super heavies when escalation dropped) before we allow them to be used.
            2. Update the flyers with the stats ourselves based off of other faction flyers and fluff or just giving them all the same stats.
            3. Take them as is. No flyer wings unless they have a formation of them. Pursuit and agility 0. Since they have no flyer role they do not have sky fire but otherwise function normally.

            This could all be easily integrated in to tournament play. I think you are making a bigger deal out of it than is necessary because of the term supplement. I do actually want to know what you would propose we do if this is published in the brb? Where do we stop cutting?

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 2:59 pm

            1.) telling people they now can’t use their Fireraptors, Vulchers, etc. would be hugely unpopular. That is not a viable option.

            2.) That is a possibility, but there’d be a lot of butt hurt over the stats we went with as folks would disagree.

            3.) Also a possibility but would be quite confusing as the rules interact in weird ways.

            Again, it is not nearly as easy to integrate as you suggest. From your perspective, sure, but there are passionate feelings on all aspects of this and folks don’t see it the same way, which causes the conflict.

      • EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 10:09 am #

        Reece, the issue with what truly makes this set of rules “not fun” to deal with is the dogfight phase. While it’s optional in the book, not utilizing it has an impact on the game. My contention here is that the rules in death from the skies are mandatory so we should use them or question what game we are playing. Dogfighting is NOT mandatory however ignoring it entirely can have a significant influence on getting and maintaining air superiority (not optional btw) so what I proposed was a simplified method of resolving it so that it still means something but doesn’t result in losing a unit before it even hits the table. So yes, I believe that we need to figure out how to incorporate the rules in organized play rather than ignore them entirely. And that may take compromise. It’s not like it’s the first time (see invisibility and 2+ re-rolls).
        Simply outright ignoring death from the skies is a far cry from what I posted. It is not a contradiction it is a proposed solution.

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:01 pm #

          Mandatory rules are not significant as we all (and I mean all of us) ignore a great number of mandatory rules in the BRB. It comes down to what we want to use or not use.

          I am for using some of the book, but not all of it, personally. You want to use most of it it sounds like, so that is cool.

          It will boil down to what everyone wants to use in the end.

          • EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 4:45 pm

            Personally I am not a fan of the book really. My only contention on using as much of it as possible lies in the fact that they are the official rules now and I feel that in the spirit of the game we should try and use as much of them as possible within reason since they are rules for 40k. I think we are in agreeance here that dogfighting as currently written is not feasible for competitive play. But there are ways to mitigate it without simply ignoring an entire section of game rules. everyone knows air superiority sucks for a lot of builds. But is just ignoring the option right for the community? Maybe it is. And the issue with forge world is legitimate obviously. There really is no good solution to that problem and I can’t imagine we’ll get anything updated from them for quite some time. Perhaps simply not using the new rules in competitive play until forge world updates is the right approach.

    • Karvala May 18, 2016 8:08 am #

      The problem with the situation is nicely encapsulated by your post – you say we should use the new rules from GW as they are ‘not optional’, then propose to ignore some of the GW rules and make up your own.

      • EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 10:26 am #

        Right. Which ITC has done before to facilitate organized play. What’s different about this? Obviously the rules for dogfighting don’t really work in competitive 40k so rather than ignore the rules outright let’s compromise and find a way to make it work as ITC has done on so many different occasions. But to outright ignore a ruleset? That’s a completely different matter don’t you think?

        • Karvala May 18, 2016 3:36 pm #

          You were the one saying ‘GW made the rules, we have to follow them…. except the ones I don’t much like’, not me.

          There are people who want to ignore the whole supplement.
          There are people who just want to use the new fliers.
          There are people who also want to use the formations
          There are people who also want to use the air superiority rules and the new flier characteristics
          There are people who want to use everything in the book.

          If you aren’t in the last category – use the rules exactly as GW wrote them, then your preference of what to use and what not to use has exactly as much authority as anyone else’s opinion – You are choosing to be selective about what to use according to your preference.

          And you know what? That is the correct way to play – use what you think makes for the better game.

          Just don’t get on a high horse and lecture other people about how your view of what is good is more correct than their view.

          • EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 4:34 pm

            Again, my point being we ALL and I mean ALL can agree that dogfighting as is written in death from the skies is too clunky for competitive play. So we need to find a way to simplify the process for competitive play. That said, the rules changes for flyers ARE the official rules and choosing to basically ignore that fundamentally changes the game we are playing. I’m not sitting in some ivory tower bellowing about how MY way is the only way to play. That isn’t even remotely close to the argument I am making. The argument I am making is implementing the rules in such a way that we are all still playing 40k but in such a fashion that makes it viable in the competitive environment. This isn’t an “all or nothing” argument in my opinion. Merely a suggestion on how to make it somewhat usable in organized play.

          • EvilLairChandler May 18, 2016 4:38 pm

            Furthermore the argument being made here that these are “optional” rules as in previous similar releases is not accurate at all. According to games workshop death from the skies replace the rules for flyers in the actual rulebook. This isn’t cities of death or planetstrike or anything remotely like it. The rules presented in the book are canon. Now, how do we adapt those to organized play?

  10. Adam May 18, 2016 4:52 am #

    I think the dogfight sub-phase has to be out for tournament play. Full stop. That said, this as with with new FAQ, are not optional to the base ruleset. They work with the ruleset, they are new rules and guidelines in which we create our lists. The new flyer rules certainly change the meta but flyers aren’t prevalent, today. It’s not going to change the way we play the game and build lists entirely as it only effects a small niche of list builders. The new rules make flyers FEEL like flyers in game and I wholly support including the new rules and attack patterns – 100%.

    • Loopy May 18, 2016 4:59 am #

      I think they could have handled the Attack Flyers a lot better to get people to understand their reasoning. Like, it would have been good to take any Attack Flyer with a Hover Mode and maybe change their Zooming speed to 12″-24″ to represent the fact that they are the “Apache Helicopters” of 40k while the Attack Flyers without a hover mode would be less maneuverable like the A-10 Warthogs of 40k. But I think that’s a minor quibble… it would have just made people understand it better. I think it’s okay as-is.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:38 am #

      Everything is optional, Adam, unless you also accept that the most important rule in 40k is to nullify anything at the table on a 4+, which is right there in the BRB and is not used. That is the literal most important rule in the game, haha, so from there, you have to accept that nothing in the game is truly mandatory if enough people do not want it to be.

      • westrider May 18, 2016 11:41 am #

        Seriously. It is outright impossible to play meaningfully competitive 40K by strict RAW. By entering in a Tournament, you’ve implicitly accepted alterations to the Rules. All that’s left is quibbling over the degree of alteration.

        And seriously, the GW Dev Team are not that great as Game Designers. The 40K Rules are not handed down from God On High. It’s not sacrilege to change them. It’s not “no longer 40K” if you make some Rules Changes.

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:02 pm #

          Exactly. We all change parts of the game but we get used to it and assume the way we do it is normal. Truth be told, no two tables are probably playing the same game, even at the same tournament, lol

      • Adam May 18, 2016 12:36 pm #

        I understand, Reece. I hope you don’t mistake my feedback as criticism of you or ITC. Just stating my opinion. I’m curious if tomorrow the Land Raider was moved to a Super Heavy title and gained all of the benefits making it a bit more playable in the current meta and giving it a much needed update – would embrace it, I think we would. I think that DFTS added a great new element to the game without completely breaking it. I embrace DFTS and I hope our tournaments and fellow gamers do as well. My fear is that we’ve reached a point with the ITC and the 40K ruleset where we are truly at a divergence. How far from the rules presented can we go before it’s too far? I support what you do and I have confidence that voters will make smart decisions.

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:03 pm #

          I agree 100% the Land Raider should be a super heavy, that would rock!

          But no worries, I have very thick skin. I don’t take these things personally.

          Yeah, we try to stick to the rules as much as possible but the rules are not meant for tournament play as we all know. It’s a community decision as to how far we go.

          • Adam May 18, 2016 3:56 pm

            Well you have the power. Put it up to a vote. Should Land Raiders be SHV? This could be your shining moment or your opportunity to jump the shark. Let’s do this! 😉

      • tag8833 May 18, 2016 4:15 pm #

        I thought the most important rule of the game was Eldar win.

        That is what the design team keeps telling me.

  11. Val Heffelfinger May 18, 2016 5:32 am #

    I posted my defense of DFS / the dogfight phase on Facebook.

    Overall I think the hype over how awkward and time consuming it is is overblown. I think DFS endeavors to make flyers relevant in all phases of the game. And has a decent chance of achieving that.

    The FW issue is definitely relevant, though considering there have been no significant data slate changes aside from agility, pursuit and the ability to buy a wing – it should be easy enough for TOs to mock up a ruleset in the meantime… much like how many of the IA books are already heavily eratta’d in the ITC FAQ.

    Especially in the age of no battlebros transport support – other tools will be important for bottom tier lists (dark eldar, GKs for example. Even orks – who get their most efficient shooting from flyers)

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:39 am #

      Good points, but armies like DE, Orks, etc. will suffer due to their main damage dealers being nerfed by these rules.

      • Val Heffelfinger May 18, 2016 10:12 am #

        With due respect to the PO40K – I don’t get how DFS is a nerf to flyers?

        I’ve sent my thoughts to FLG – happy to edit them.

        The orks have a formation that makes dakkajets as effective and more survivable… even more so for blitzabommers.

        Yes you need six of them, but it’s the best shooting they could ask for. Flyer formation + big mek stompa + the balance of points in grots and meks – what’s not to like? Lol

        • punchymango May 18, 2016 10:38 am #

          Basically because most factions’ only reliably form of anti-air is to bring fliers of their own. Because they tend to have more/better guns than “fighters” and to be capable of doing other things as well, the fliers most people take for this job are mostly in the “attack fliers” category.

          All of those fliers (Stormravens, Night Scythes, Vendettas) are much less valuable if they can’t shoot at FMCs at full BS (because let’s be real, when you say you need anti-air, you mean “I need to be able to shoot at Flyrants or Princes at full BS”).

          Add that “fighters” are now a bit worse against ground targets and yeah, most fliers got much less flexible. And given how much they cost, and the disadvantage often involved in leaving stuff in reserves, that leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths.

          • Simon Paabor May 18, 2016 12:18 pm

            Thanks for articulating that Punchy – though I still don’t think it’s worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater over.

            I must admit to being a bit out of my depth on the intracies of FMCs – as I don’t play them or play against them often… however, I think their maintaing native skyfire is a nice bonus to not gaining the “air superiority” bonus.

            On the point of the skyfire thing for non “fighters” – I think a fairly reasonable solution is to mirror the rule for fighters – namely a -1 penalty to BS when shooting “air targets”… it mirrors the solution to invisibility and maintains the spirit of the rules change overall – namely that a vendetta has no business shooting down a Crimson Hunter without trying really hard : )

            Here’s the flip side of the coin: currently, Flyers are basically non exisitant in the meta. This is likely true for competetive and casual as GW has felt the need to rewrite the whole ruleset for them. We now have something that addresses their main drawbacks (not present in turn one, unreliable turn two, unable to respond to other flyers coming on after them)… it also makes them undeniably better at their “fluffy” roles – rather than simply a way of getting skyfire.

            I’d really like to include the wall of text I posted to facebook, but it’s an article in it’s own right. lol

          • punchymango May 18, 2016 1:37 pm

            Oh, I hear ya; in isolation, changing the rules so that the A-10 or Apache equivalent aren’t superior to dedicated interceptors at killing fliers makes sense.

            Way I see it, the problem is that

            a) most dedicated interceptors are kinda mediocre at killing fliers, with a few notable exceptions
            but more importantly,
            b) 1850 or 2k in 40k is too small a scale to really systematize a whole aerial theater of war, with fliers dedicated to ground support, bombing, and air superiority all interacting with one another and the battle on the ground.

            It’s not an accident that the most popular fliers are in ground support roles; that’s the mission most relevant to the rest of 40k, and arguably a quirk in the rules made them good enough in an air superiority role that they could cover that base tell. Hell, people probably would have used bombers, too, if virtually all the bombers in the game weren’t either overpriced or flatly terrible (pulse bomb, lol).

            I guess that’s the thing that keeps bugging me about these rules; they feel like they belong in a different game, with bigger battlefields and larger forces.

  12. Jacob Wells May 18, 2016 5:52 am #

    I think it needs to be tested in some tournaments before we make any choices. Or maybe wait until FWs update to implement. While the rules feel cumbersom i think the dog fight phase would end up killing off several models before they ever hit the board so it might not take mych more time.

    But overall i like the rules. And in a non timed game i would be all for them, but i dont know in the meta.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:20 am #

      In RTTs? Sure, that is a great place to test it out. But a GT or larger event? Not when money and attendance are on the line, that is a huge risk to ask someone to take just to satisfy curiosity.

  13. Adam ( May 18, 2016 6:14 am #

    I’m going to stick by the prediction I had for Escalation and Stronghold Assault… Ignore it now and you’re only delaying the inevitable inclusion in the next iteration of the rules.

    It would be better to adopt the rules now and let people get used to them, instead of waiting until you’re forced to play by the rules anyhow.

    • Ibushi May 18, 2016 7:58 am #

      I wouldnt mind that so much, at least it would be part of a coherent whole at that point, I wouldnt need to carry around a giant extra supplement, and the integration of FMCs will be clear (even if it is the same)…

      Meanwhile we play friendly games with the new rules and get our head around them until that day.

    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:25 am #

      Having actually played with Escalation when it was released, I will have to disagree- it was AWFUL, some of the worst games I’ve ever had. 7E’s inclusion of superheavies in the core rules and changes to Str D are in no way comparable to the original version.

      I don’t think DFtS is that bad, but I also see no compelling reason to use it other than “GW said so and so you have to.” We’re already ignoring a lot of what GW says- Unbound is the work of an idiot child, detachment limits and “fixes” to various powers/abilities, and outright rules changes in addition to the ITC FAQ. Why get our panties in a twist about ignoring/changing rules now when we’ve already been doing it for several years straight?

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:21 am #

        Exactly, Escalation upon release was terrible.

        • Karvala May 18, 2016 5:30 pm #

          Awwww…. c’mon, you know we all miss playing against one or two Transcendant C’tans from Escalation……. 🙂

          • AbusePuppy May 20, 2016 8:10 am

            Transcendent C’tan? Pfft, that guy was small time. My Warhound literally one-shotted him and the army he was with in one game- I 6’d him out with the very first blast from my Turbo-Laser and he exploded and wiped out like 90% of the Necron army. Bam, one roll of the dice and 1700pts down the drain.

            Escalation is fun!

    • bogalubov May 18, 2016 8:29 am #

      So your suggestion is to force players to use the rules now instead of them being forced to use them later? I honestly don’t see the difference. In fact I think it would drive more people away if part of the attendance requirement was to get more books to use units you already have.

      I don’t have a problem waiting until this is crammed into the BRB. Then at least everyone will have access to the “basic” rules of the game.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:40 am #

      What about City Fight, the last Death from the Skies, Plaent Strike, etc. which all were ignored? Haha. You post two that were actually fairly easy to implement (after revision, the first Escalation rules were rejected outright).

      • Blight1 May 18, 2016 9:00 am #

        You can’t keep bringing those up as if they prove your point in any way. City fight and planet strike are specifically different ways to play 40k. They are only comparable to the special missions found in death from the skies which no one talks about because they are optional missions.
        If ITC decided to host City Fight tournaments then you would be expected to follow them.
        Alternate missions are not the same as core rule changes. You can change whatever rules you want but at a certain point I even see you guys ignoring edition changes.

        • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:22 am #

          No, they do prove my point. We ignored the last Death from the Skies and we didn’t use the original Escalation, either, haha. This is nothing new, my friend, just that some folks want to use this specific version and so see it as different because it is different for them, which I understand.

          • Blight1 May 18, 2016 10:33 am

            How are the core rules changes set up in DFtS the same as alternate missions from planet strike. The only item in the new book that is like that are the campaign flyer missions. Again the differences are considerable. Planet strike had no brb rules replacements and neither did city fight. They were just different missions with different rules.
            No one is saying it should switch their missions to include the ones from the flyer campaign. That is the only thing that links those supplements to your point.
            I like you from what I’ve seen from your streams and what little we have chatted here but you have to see that this supplement wording does nothing to help your argument. The whole conversation would change if this were a new brb or a codex, for some reason. An army’s codex you wouldn’t change but for some reason labeling this a supplement gives you confidence to ignore it.
            If we totally ignore this than what is stopping us from radically altering codex’s? Why wouldn’t we turn the axe to eldar or space Marines if we are willing to here?

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:07 pm

            I understand your points, but the slippery slope argument is a fallacy. Nothing we’ve done indicates we’d do something like nix a codex or something. In fact, we’ve changed the entire ITC format in order to avoid things like that occurring (Imperial Knights).

            You seem like a nice gent, too, so thanks.

            But this supplement doesn’t just mesh with the current system, which is the issue I was raising. We can’t simply plug it in, it requires a lot of massaging to work and how or if we implement it is the current discussion.

    • HotSauceMan May 18, 2016 8:56 am #

      I disagree.escalation was pants on head retarded with its inclusion of the super-D.

  14. Ryan May 18, 2016 7:10 am #

    I dont like the idea of just flat out rejecting/ingoring rules. Its bad for the long term of the ITC and majority of event goerers in the US. We could maybe modify the dog fight phase to make it less clunkly but if GW say’s its madatory then it’s mandatory. If we are going to flat out reject a rule set like this then whats stopping us from rejecting codex updates, a new rule book, etc…?

    You may say the slippery slope aurgument doesn’t work apply here but it does. Rejecting a madortory update once opens the door to do it over and over agian in the future. Look at all the rules changes in the ITC. It had to start somewhere. Once people get comfortable with doing it once they will be okay with doing it again and again, in even bigger ways in the future.

    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:26 am #

      GW also says that we can build Unbound armies and that you can bring an infinite number of detachments, but we don’t accept either of those things.

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:41 am #

        Or alter any rule on a 4+, haha, which is the “Most Important Rule in the Game.”

        We all conveniently ignore that one.

        • HotSauceMan May 18, 2016 8:53 am #

          They also say I have to void my bowls when my Hive Tyrant issues the challange.

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:22 am

            Hahahahaha, true!

      • Loopy May 18, 2016 12:39 pm #

        So much strawman all over this entire comments section. So much.

    • z3n1st May 18, 2016 8:28 am #

      The dogfight phase is essentially rock-paper-scissors how is that clunky? Sure its different, and not the usual roll dice and check result (instead you have you choose the side of the die and compare and check result.

      I am strongly opposed to omitting rules, why the hell should I play a game or even invest in it if the rulebooks I purchase are disallowed?

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:43 am #

        As I mentioned elsewhere though, there are a TON of supplements that have been ignored by the community in entirety.

        In order to use this one we’d have to make up rules for tons of units in the game, that seems problematic to me, more so than simply saying, let’s wait to implement this book until we actually have a complete ruleset.

        • z3n1st May 18, 2016 10:45 am #

          or just base them all on the faction average and be done, thus no bias, no interpretation of fluff, just something to support until FW prints. If you choose to use a model that isn’t updated then that is a choice a player would make. We have other units in the game that weren’t updated (some recently), yet the community managed to make it work. It just seems to me that people aren’t giving it a fair shake, and it saddens me that I may have also purchased a rulebook and flyers for nothing. I welcome the air superiority rule as a means to combat full reserve armies, which many armies have difficulty dealing with. I welcome the change of fighter/assault/bomber distinction instead of the all-in type we had before as it made flyers that were supposed to be top-dog in the sky really ‘meh’ in comparison to others that fulfilled a more universal (and even scroring role), often for the same or less cost!

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:09 pm

            Nothing is decided, please remember that. This is just a discussion.

            And that “fix” you suggest is logical to you but I already have over a dozen of these proposed fixes to make it work. Everyone has different ideas because the rule set is incomplete, lol. It doesn’t work out of the box without us modifying it in some way. Therein lays the rub.

  15. Davis Centis May 18, 2016 7:25 am #

    How about it applying only if at least one of the two players in a game decide to bring the book, and only flyers with rules in the book can participate in the new phase? That way, you get 3 situations:

    #1 – Neither player has the book. The rules don’t apply, and any players with Flyers get what they paid points for.
    #2 – Both players have the book. The rules do apply, and any players with Flyers get what they paid points for.
    #3 – One player has the book, and the other doesn’t. The rules do apply, and this is the risk you took in bringing Flyers without the book.

    Also, I personally think the game should be 1500 points as well. I know there was a vote, but frankly, I think people are wrong. Another poster said it right, 1500 points is like the old 2000 points, while 1850 is like 2500 points. No wonder the games take so long!

    • Adam ( May 18, 2016 7:29 am #

      Doesn’t that encourage “not having the book” for the sake of tactical advantage?

      • Davis Centis May 18, 2016 7:40 am #

        Yes and no. It offers a decision. If you bring the book and plan for it, you’ll have a tactical advantage over people who don’t, but brought Flyers anyways.

  16. Horton May 18, 2016 7:47 am #

    If you do not use flyers in your list, then this book is not mandatory. This is an expansion of 40k for flyers. If you use flyers, then you cant ignore this book. I understand if we want to modify dogfights to save time, but we cannot just ignore new rules for the game.

    • Chewie May 18, 2016 8:18 am #


    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 8:27 am #

      The thing is, even if you don’t bring flyers this book can affect you in a very significant way- the Air Superiority rule.

      • HotSauceMan May 18, 2016 8:43 am #

        The thing is, Air superiority isthe worst. Bring two flyers, screw over your opponents. The cheapest way I founf out of doing it is 180pts with two remora drone fighters. That ability ALONEis worth more than 180pts IMO.
        So many armies loosing skyfire in a world where the tetrad exists is terryfying to me.
        BA and GK lost it wholesale.

        • westrider May 18, 2016 11:45 pm #

          Two Valkyrie Sky Talons is only 150. I think you can do it even more cheaply with a pair of Arvus Lighters, but I don’t have their Rules on hand to check the Points.

          • AbusePuppy May 20, 2016 8:12 am

            Strictly speaking neither of those have the option to form Flyer Wings yet (as their datasheets haven’t been updated), but I take your point. I think the basic Arvus is either 50pts or 60pts, and it would have Objective Secured to boot!

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:45 am #

      We ignore rules all the time, Horton, people just forget that we do. No tactical cards, no unbound, no unlimited detachments, etc. All of those are “mandatory” rules. We use points, the rule book explicitly says we do not have to.

      We change TONS of rules, not just the ITC, everyone does it. It just fades into the background of your awareness.

  17. Chewie May 18, 2016 8:18 am #

    Dogfight phase is bleh, but thankfully optional.

    The rest of the book however is both solid and not really an option. You can’t just decide to ignore some new rules/supplements and not others.

    If you choose to ignore/play without Death from the Skies entirely, then I choose to play without the Eldar Codex being acceptable rules either.

    What’s the difference, where do you draw the line?

  18. VFM May 18, 2016 8:30 am #

    If Abuse Puppy is calling something problematic it must be really good! I haven’t even read the book yet but Abuse Puppy persuaded me to vote Yes! Include DftS in tournament play.

    • HotSauceMan May 18, 2016 8:44 am #

      funny, considering he wrote an entire article about it.

      • VFM May 18, 2016 9:26 am #

        Yep! Thats the one!

  19. JM May 18, 2016 8:41 am #

    After a careful read of the rules, I don’ think it forces you to take flyers for Air superiority. The air superiority rule says “If only one player has flyers in reserve at the end of the dogfight phase, they are said to have air superiority” and the reserve modifiers apply.

    Page 68 says at the end of the first paragraph “If only one player has Flyers in Reserve, or neither does, then a dogfight does not take place.”

    I infer this to mean that if there was no dogfight, the reserve modifiers don’t come into play. The only way it really comes into play is if you are destroyed during a dogfight.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 8:46 am #

      Interesting reading of the rule, thanks JM.

    • Threllen May 18, 2016 8:59 am #

      We’ve been over this on other threads. Where does it say in the DftS supplement that the entire Dogfight Phase does not take place if a Dogfight does not occur?

      The assault phase is the same thing as the dogfight phase – one phase broken up into a bunch of mini sub-phases that only occur if someone wants to go through with assaulting an enemy unit. If no one has a unit that can assault but a rule says it takes place “at the beginning of the assault phase” or “end of the assault phase” you don’t just ignore that because no assaults took place. Whether or not you choose to have a dogfight doesn’t mean the dogfight phase doesn’t end before the rest of the turn begins…

    • Chosen of Khorne May 18, 2016 9:09 am #

      Dogfight and dogfight phase are different terms. Much like shooting and shooting phase. Even if you don’t shoot, there is still is a shooting phase, and things can still occur (running for example). Even if there is no dogfight, there is still a dogfight phase.

  20. TheFinisher4Ever May 18, 2016 8:49 am #

    I would keep most of it, albeit with some alterations. The things I would get rid of are;
    – Only Fighters having Skyfire (it could easily be change to +1 BS against air targets or just tossed entirely.)
    – The entire dogfight phase.
    – Air Superiority bonuses.
    Everything else seems okay to me. So keep flyer wings, agility, attack patterns, the new flyers and formations. I’m cool with all of that.

  21. Mike May 18, 2016 8:54 am #

    Nope. This one’s a whiff.

  22. Requizen May 18, 2016 8:56 am #

    I guess what it comes down to is whether or not the current rumors come true – they insinuated that the Death from the Skies rules will be rolled into the main rule book via an update later this year or early next. If that’s the case, then it won’t be an “optional supplement”, it’ll be the RAW. And while we can vote to ignore the BRB rules, that’s a pretty big difference.

    But, if those rumors don’t pan out, I’m fine either way. I like bringing Night Scythes and they remained pretty good in this book, so I’m fine for whatever. The meta will stabilize even if the book is allowed, I think, it just depends on what people want to do right now.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:24 am #

      Good points, sir.

      • punchymango May 18, 2016 9:41 am #

        Yeah, I’d bet that we’re going to end up playing with these rules one way or another; if they’re part of the core rulebook it’ll be a lot harder to argue that we shouldn’t use them.

        • Threllen May 18, 2016 9:55 am #

          Hopefully if they do that, it will be like Escalation. Escalation *wasn’t* mandatory and it had some of the same reception DftS is getting. There were a lot of elements of Escalation (such as the insanely OP D weapons) that most of the playerbase didn’t want to play with. But when they essentially rolled escalation into the main rulebook they toned a lot of things down and made it play a lot better. If DftS is eventually adopted into the rulebook, hopefully it will only take some of the changes in an effort to keep things streamlined.

          • Blight1 May 18, 2016 10:42 am

            Actually it’s funny but a lot of people forget that ITC uses a ton of rules from escalation while the brb does not. +1 to seize and points for wounds/hull points. Currently ITC is using more of escalation than GW.
            The major change up with 7th was the change to D but that was the addition change not the integration of LoW into the BrB. The broken D table wasn’t even from escalation but from Apoc 2nd ed.

          • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 4:14 pm

            The “old” Str D table actually was reprinted in Escalation, though you are correct that it didn’t originate there.

  23. Aaron Tauer May 18, 2016 8:58 am #

    I may be in the minority here, but the ONLY part of the new rules that I dislike are the rules that “attack” fliers now snapshot at other fliers. How hard would it have been to make it -1BS when shooting at fliers? Especially in light of the change to “fighters” making them -1BS at ground targets. Not only would it have made a LOT more sense, it would have been a much less brutally punishing nerf to “attack” fliers. If I want air defense fliers are now not an option unless I choose a flier I might not otherwise ever want (which is why I think they did it – to force purchases rather than balance the fliers).

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:08 am #

      Yeah, I agree. Stormravens become so less appealing, same with many other flyers.

      • Aaron Tauer May 19, 2016 6:55 pm #

        Well, I’d like to be on the record here, recommending that, if the ITC adopts the new flier rules (which I hope they do) they modify them so that attack fliers get -1BS towards other fliers instead of snapshots.

    • Requizen May 18, 2016 9:16 am #

      It’s definitely a big boost to FMCs now that any random Flyer can’t ping them down easily. I know my Night Scythes downed more than a couple Flyrants in their days for sure.

      • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:25 am #

        Yeah, the nerf to most flyers is pretty intense, I find it interesting so many people like these rules. It makes it much harder to deal with FMCs.

        • ryan May 18, 2016 9:49 am #

          which looks to be offset by auto hitting psychic shrieks.

          • Threllen May 18, 2016 9:58 am

            Most armies that relied on their Flyers to take out FMCs before (say Necrons, DE, etc) aren’t all of a sudden going to be rejoicing just because there’s a psychic power that could damage a FMC….

          • Requizen May 18, 2016 10:56 am

            Still unsure if auto hitting Psyker powers can “snap shoot”. ITC ruling or we wait for the next round of FAQ/Erratas.

          • Venkarel May 18, 2016 11:06 am

            We still have not been given clarity on if you can actually “hit” flyers with shriek have we? Is there not something about shooting attacks that auto-hit and not being able to snap shoot with them?

          • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:10 pm

            Only for armies with access to psychic shriek that can reliably get them off, haha, not exactly a balancing act.

          • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 5:19 pm

            Attacks that hit automatically, including Psychic Shriek, cannot be made as Snap Shots.

  24. Dakkafang May 18, 2016 9:09 am #

    -I like the book and what it adds. I can see ignoring the dogfight phase for time and the fact it’s totally random and rock paper scissors.
    -I say wait for the FW flyers to get updates, then implement the patterns, wing leaders, formations etc. I see no issues making flyer more usefull.
    -The +2/-2 reserve rolls will help mix up the meta, forcing people to run the risk of not having a flyer or change their lists to include one. None of which is a bad thing

  25. M. Jared Swenson May 18, 2016 9:11 am #

    I am a fluff guy. I admit I run fluffy lists in tournaments. Do they always do well? Not really, lol. But I have fun with my list, and that’s what’s important to me. The Air Superiority and reserves manipulations worry me the most about this because I generally don’t like to bring flyers, and air superiority doesn’t make sense for tyranid that burrow from under the ground, or dark eldar that come in through a webway portal. While a lot of the rules seem representative of how things should play out, the supplement as a whole poses too many questions and issues over cool stuff to bring to play.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 9:25 am #

      Good point, haha, that Mawloc is sweating those flyers so he stays underground.

      • HotSauceMan May 18, 2016 9:46 am #

        There are several ways it doesnt make sense
        1: Teleporting Terminators?
        2: Drop Pods. Those things plummet so fast and are made not to be hit by flyers.
        3: Genestealers. Their fluff saystheyr just hiding in plainsite
        4: The Mawloc/trygon

        • punchymango May 18, 2016 10:45 am #

          To be fair, it’s also a little silly that interceptor can track and auto-target a range of targets that includes:
          1. flyers zooming into the battlespace
          2. mawlocs bursting up through the ground
          3. lictors/genestealers dropping their chameleon camo
          4. chaos terminators arriving via literal magic
          5. space marines arriving via hypervelocity buckets.

          • Toranaga May 18, 2016 4:34 pm

            I see ‘Air Superiority’ as as abstract all-encompassing term that could include these fluffy situations, to answer your questions:

            1. Teleporting terminators – the air superiority force also implies space superiority – many of these fliers are capable of low/high-orbit flight too – thus they are harrying the space marine strike cruiser, jamming its communications, thereby delaying the termi strike team etc…

            2. Fighters are built to intercept other fighters going at thousands of km/hr and pulling crazy maneuvers. Of course they can target a drop pod – it would be a sitting duck up there with no real maneuverability to speak up and a huge heat/visual signature from entering orbit.

            3. The air superiority force has infrared scanners or scout planes that can easily pick up xenos life forms hiding in the jungle and harry them as they make their way to the battlefield.

            4. Ditto with the Mawlocs/trygons under ground. Or they run a bombing mission on the creatures before they actually burrow.

            All of these situations have precedent in 40k fluff. Or just use your imagination!

            I think the reserves manipulation (especially the penalty to your opponent) is a GREAT rule! My fave out of the book actually. It gives you a reason to bring a flyer, and accessibility for reserves manipulation for many armies. Adapt players, adapt… the times they are a’changin… but then again don’t we have this same discussion every time a new book comes out? Some things never change with this community haha.

  26. DontNerfMeBro May 18, 2016 9:37 am #

    So it’s exactly as I said, no one wants to change their lists hat are already optimized because another list can ruin their reserves. Nice to know this community is so predictable in its infant-like fear of change. Gigantic wolf stars and models that can move 3-4 times in a turn are ok, but a detachment with -2 to reserves is too much for tournament play!

    Shame on the ITC for shying away from something that could open up a whole new meta where Flyers are welcome instead of leaving them on the shelf to hide from Grav weapons.

    • fleetofclaw May 18, 2016 12:35 pm #

      I find that Air Superiority is lower on the totem poll of gripes with this book for most players. It’s the Dogfight phase that is completely random, takes out any form of strategy, and is essentially a series of dice offs. Most armies that rely on deep strike really don’t care about Air Sup. – drop pods get auto- turn 1 drops, and they have access to cheap fighters that would give *them* a reserve bonus vs most opponents who will likely not have a flyer. So now they have a way to potentially make their turn 2 drops more reliable. I think your ire is misplaced, and you invalidate your own comment when for the most part, the ITC community has been pretty permissive (as you pointed out with psychic powers). I think most people have a beef with the DF Phase more than anything – totally random, adds unnecessary time to an already lengthy game.

    • Jason May 18, 2016 12:52 pm #

      I don’t believe a decision has been made either way on this. I think the dialogue is just beginning.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:13 pm #

      That’s the funny thing here, NerfBro, it’s that these rules will make Flyers LESS prevalent in the meta, not more. The nerfs make them harder to use and less flexible. You will get less variety, not more.

      And again, this is just a discussion, hahaha, people are so quick to jump to conclusions it is funny.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion, though.

  27. Happy_Inquisitor May 18, 2016 9:38 am #

    Why not treat this as close to any other codex supplement as possible? If a player puts it on their army list that they are using DftS then their flyers take whatever benefits and disadvantages go with that. Another player not using the supplement does not get any of the changes from the supplement to their flyers should they take them – but obviously also cannot take any of the new detachments or formations or multiple flyers per FOC slot because that is all only in the new supplement. Players with FW flyers would need to wait for FW rules before they can declare that they are choosing to use the new rules for them.

    The dogfight phase is the only oddity and for tournament play I would suggest that if either player did not declare they are using the supplement on their army list then no dogfights take place. If both did and both want to dogfight why would the TO need to step in and stop their fun?

    I do not really “get” the objection to reserves manipulation. There are cheaper ways to manipulate reserves in the game already and they are hardly dominating the table-tops (AM spring to mind). Taking flyers is expensive and questionably sensible – this is clearly intended to be one of their key advantages and it only lasts as long as you keep them in reserve and off the table so they are not killing anything. Any reserves-heavy army should have a decent plan B ready for when they come up against adverse reserves manipulation anyway.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:15 pm #

      Thanks for the input, Happy Inquisitor.

    • AbusePuppy May 18, 2016 5:18 pm #

      >There are cheaper ways to manipulate reserves in the game already and they are hardly dominating the table-tops

      No other effect in the game gives a blanket -2 to all reserve rolls. And the Officer of the Fleet is the only way I know of to give a general reserve penalty to all enemy units (aside from getting lucky and rolling the appropriate warlord trait.) As for it being a smaller investment, that’s actually quite arguable- a CCS + Veterans allied detachment will come in at 150pts, whereas a single flyer can go as low as 90pts depending on the codex (but is more commonly 110-140.)

      • westrider May 18, 2016 11:48 pm #

        Even lower with Forge World. Valkyrie Sky Talon is only 75 Points, and I think the Arvus Lighter is like 60 or so.

      • Happy-inquisitor May 19, 2016 1:20 am #

        The way I look at it is that if reserves penalties were super-good then anyone with cheap access would always take it. Yet when I see AM tournament lists posted hardly any take OotF so in the real world players hardly think it worth any points at all.


        Yes I can see the rage it causes in this discussion but if players are not willing to pay tiny points costs for penalising opposing reserves rolls now it will not suddenly be game-breaking lay good tomorrow.

        • westrider May 19, 2016 2:48 am #

          The thing about the OotF is that he has to pass a Ld test on his own Ld7 now to use his powers, and he’s otherwise just a 20 Point regular Guardsman. Also he has to be taken in a CCS, which are fairly unpopular HQ options, since they’re so easy to kill. There’s a lot more going on there than just his Points cost.

  28. donthemagnificent May 18, 2016 10:05 am #

    ITC has already mentioned how much they try not to implement “rules changes” as much as possible. Removing the re-write of the entire “flyers” portion of the base rulebook is a massive alteration. I understand the issue with FW flyers not having the flyer “type” or the agility/pursuit stats. Easiest way to do an interim ruling is to state that they are all attack flyers. Each faction has some form of access to skyfire already or has a fighter built in from the actual DFTS supplement. Due to the oddity of the chart, we have found that simply rolling for results rather than selecting/hiding/revealing said results is much faster and fair enough. Aside from the very first game turn that we played, every game turn, there after and game there after have been significantly faster, due to a lack of units on the field because of the expensive flyers taking up the points. I implore you guys to actually play with these alterations before throwing around the judgment hammer. And for all of you reserve specialized armies, like drop pod battle companies or the like, if you are worried about how the reserves modifications will affect you then that is a good thing. It makes you actually have to think about how to combat that, introduces variety, and simply makes the game better. I am just saying, if you think that someone bringing 2 stormwolves and 2 stormfangs (the formation) is going to slow down the game with 1000ish points in 4 models that do not even start on the board, you are seriously mistaken.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:17 pm #

      It is not an easy fix to simply say everything is attack, haha. Some units clearly are not and I assure you that while that makes sense to you, it will infuriate some. The ruleset at this stage is quite simply incomplete, the most common flyers on the table are FW flyers, so we have to fabricate rules in order to use this book, one way or another.

      Nothing has been decided, but this will be a PITA to deal with either way.

  29. Petey Pab May 18, 2016 10:49 am #

    I personally think the best way to handle the dogfight phase is to first look at human nature. People don’t like being told what to do or forced into things they didn’t want. We see this with un-interactive deathstars, and “oops I rolled a 6 on the D-chart”, two things that people generally see as “unfun”. The ITC has put a stop to won of those, and nerfed another to make it as reasonable as possibe (space marine powers aside, we haven’t voted on those yet). So in the true spirirt of fun, and the ITC I propose the following change.

    Take out the Dice roll to initiate a dogfight at the beginning of the phase.

    That way players who want to have fun and dogfight at a tournament can, and players who don’t want to lose their stormraven full off expensive terminators due to bad dice can just choose to say no. After all if people want to waste their own time and dogfight they should be able to.

    As for the other stuff I say most of it can be allowed minus the fighter ace. But I think it would be funny to allow fighter aces rolls in the chart for 5 kills in a single game. In case that improabable scenario happens when your stormtalon kills 5 units and gets a 5++ and wins you the game.

    Air superiority should be allowed. The biggest problem with it is the inability for certain armies to interact with it, so I think for the purposes of AS Flying Monstrous Creatures should count as a flyer. Sorry Ad Mech, you gotta replace the pods you were buying for a flyer detachment.

    • donthemagnificent May 18, 2016 11:03 am #

      the fighter ace portion is for their altar of war missions, specifically, if I remember right.

  30. FTGT Evan May 18, 2016 1:11 pm #

    Really feel like this uproar is overblowing the impact and significance. The dog fight phase is NOT complicated or time consuming. It’s actually really fast if you’ve read it more than once and tried it out. I like the changes overall and don’t like the idea of further distancing tournament play from GW rules, which is what banning DftS would be.

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:14 pm #

      No one is saying we have to ban it, but presenting the option of not using it or using only parts of it.

      Glad to hear your experience with it has been positive, though.

  31. ColinSherlow May 18, 2016 2:58 pm #

    It is hard to say of these rules should be used mostly due to time constraints.

    If they are official rules then I am off the opinion that they should be used.
    HOWEVER! I an very much of the opinion that tournament games should be reduced to 1500 points. Edue the extra time consuming nature of these new flyer rules.

    Even the the dog fight phase isn’t that time consuming it still takes

    • Reecius May 18, 2016 3:13 pm #

      I’d love to go to 1500 but I doubt it will happen. Players want their toys.

      • Colin Sherlow May 18, 2016 9:05 pm #

        Yeah I agree.

        Toys are fun after all.

        I will just accept whatever any TOS decides.
        I just like playing with my toy solders

      • punchymango May 18, 2016 11:31 pm #

        I’d happily go to 1500, for the record. 1850’s fun too.

  32. Toranaga May 18, 2016 5:00 pm #

    I love the new rules and am excited to try them this weekend with my Dark Eldar – no I don’t think they got nerfed at all actually! -1 BS on large blast monoscythe missiles is paltry compared to the benefits razorwings now have when flying in formation. Hello Blackheart Talon!

    Reading over the dogfight phase many times, I have reason to believe that it will hardly ever happen. Don’t forget it only occurs if both players have fliers, and only on a 4+ if one player doesn’t want it to. Also, if the defending flyer wins the first roll, they can disengage too, no harm done, phase over!

    As for Forge World – every flyer they have is based loosely on a Citadel Mini equivalent. For example take the Vulture – just use the Valkrye’s agility and pursuit – and obviously it’s an attack flyer. For the Fire Raptor, just take the Storm Raven’s stats. Nightwing Interceptor – like a Crimson Hunter. Hellblade?Just port over the Helldrake but make it into a fighter! Those are the ones you see at tournies right? There, I solved that one for you. Direct all hate mail to me. I think that would be a reasonable measure until FW gets their act together. When do players not howl bloody murder at you for anything you say anyway Reece?

    Lets face it – this game is constantly changing. This really isn’t that disruptive for the vast majority of people. Lets have some fun with it and roll with the times!

  33. Darthdiggler May 18, 2016 5:03 pm #

    I find it ironic the author of this article wants to ban DFTS, yet his website is advertising the very codex he wishes to ban at the top of this website for 25% off.

    • Turok117 May 18, 2016 5:11 pm #

      Oh right because 40k is only played in an ITC competitive format…People are acting like if the can’t play it in ITC then it is a waste. I love competitive tournaments, but it is a small portion of the total time I spend playing 40k.

      • Loopy May 18, 2016 6:32 pm #

        And I assure you, not every ITC event will ban it.

      • Codi May 18, 2016 8:37 pm #

        That is true but the ITC does set a precedent that most people tend to follow.

  34. Calle May 18, 2016 10:30 pm #

    The dakkajet might have been nerfed against ground targets. But if you take the Dakkajet skwadron (3 dakkajets) from Waaagh Ghazkull you get Tank hunter against fliers. You also get the possibility to use the intolerance attack pattern which gives you ignore cover vs air targets (no jink for flyers, FMC, skimmers or jetbikes). The wing leader has a high chance of either getting +1 shot per weapon or +1 strength per weapon. If you call a waaagh the turn they come in every dakkajet gets additional 3 shots if you take the extra supa shoota. I don’t think you will have any trouble bringing down any air targets then. And theres plenty of dakka against ground targets as well. The new break turn also makes them slightly better at manouvering so you will get of more shots before they fly off and the +/-1 to reserve rolls are great for bringing them in earlier!

  35. Adam May 19, 2016 2:00 am #

    I could see ignoring some of the more troublesome aspects of DftS in order to keep tournament play more stable. The dogfight phase seems like it might add too much time (and possibly table space) to tourney matches that already take a considerable amount of time. The reserve manipulation and changes to sky fire may also be considered unfair by some to certain armies.

    I would still like to see players able to use the new flyers (Ork and SM one) though. I’m just itching to try out my new Stormhawk!

    • westrider May 19, 2016 2:50 am #

      That last point is pretty much the one thing I have strong feelings on here. I definitely want to be able to use my StormHawk.

  36. Hunchkrot May 19, 2016 2:44 am #

    Thought I might chime in with my thoughts on DFtS as well. There’s a few points brought up in the post, so here goes:

    -First off, while its true that IA flyers don’t have rules yet, I think it’s completely reasonable to expect that they’ll be receiving rules in the future. The only problem I see in this field is the Vendetta, as it’s the only GW flyer with no rules. I’m not sure what the goal was there, but it seems reasonable to believe the Vendetta might be disappearing from AM, which is definitely a shame. Otherwise though, I think in the near future all flyers should be getting their new stats.

    -second, the dogfight phase is a new phase, and does add time to a game that’s already cramped (which is why I’m completely on-board with reducing game dives in ITC), but at the same time the Dogfight phase really is very short. I’ve only played a few games now, but it seems like so long as you know your flyers’ stats, the phase takes a couple minutes at most. Furthermore, it seems like the phase is really pretty irrelevant most of the time. If you win the first sub-phase, you can disengage. If you win the second phase, you can negate most flyers ability to shoot by turning them 90-180 degrees, meaning one flyer will be unable to fire hull-mounted weapons (most flyers don’t have turrets). The third phase is usually the longest, as both players get a chance to shoot. I think that the time complaint is legitimate, but it’d be strange to expect it to add more than 15 minutes to a game– it only happens when both players have flyers in reserve, after all.

    -Losing skyfire on most flyers is a big deal for many armies, because a lot of people won’t have access to skyfire like they used to– I definitely agree with that. On the other hand, the only armies who no longer have access to air-based AA are GK, AM (until IA updates rules), Chaos (discounting FMCs, and again, only until IA updates rules) and Necrons– and I won’t speak for GK, but I haven’t seen a Necron flyer on a table since the new codex dropped. Same goes for Valkyries (Vendettas have been around, but they’re currently out of the picture). It might not feel good for some armies, but there is always the option of fortifications. And when we’re talking about anti-air, I feel like what we’re really talking about is FMCs, as they’re the real threat in the skies. On that bit, I think the problem isn’t so much with limited anti-air as it is with balance of FMCs– Tyranids are my main, so I definitely understand that. So I guess for anti-flyer, I don’t see much of an issue as flyers haven’t been around much outside of FMCs. Anti-FMC is another thing, but I’d question if we should ban this book because it boosts Nids and Daemons. I think a better option would be to do something about the main offenders instead. And even then, I don’t think the boost Nids get from this is going to put them at the top-tier. Really I see Daemons (Tetrad, let’s be real) as the only formation that gets put over the top by this book.

    -Next up is the attack patterns– I really think this is where the book gets good, and to be honest it’s the main reason I want to see this book used. The benefits are honestly just incredible, I’ve played three games now against White Scars with the new Storm Wing, and when you give Tank Hunters or Ignores Cover to those models they’re just amazing. That’s not even taking the 4-flyer patterns into account– those are even better. I think that if we allow the book, players will find a way to keep their models in pattern.

    – as for reserve manipulation, I think it’s the biggest issue with the book. We’ve seen plenty of reserve manipulation before, but never quite on this scale. Now, any (non-Tyranid) army can guarantee reserves with a +2, or severely hinder opponents with a -2. To this one, I think I’d just say that the meta will adapt. Armies that null-deployed before could have serious trouble, but only if they don’t use flyers. So they probably should. And when I think “null-deploy”, I think Drop Pod marines, so it’s pretty convenient that they released a pretty top-notch fighter for all Imperial armies, right? Well played, GW. Still, I can see some issues coming up with reserve manipulation, especially for armies with bad/no flyers (thinking Tyranids and Orks here). If I got put in a situation where I was up against flyers that I knew would hurt my reserve control though, I’d just not reserve models. Even in the worst case when you’re playing only models that have to be put in reserves (full-pod armies), you’ll still only suffer the penalty so long as the opponent’s flyers are not on the board, I.e. not contributing to anything else on the game.

    All in all I really dig this article because I think it does a good job of bringing up the big issues with DFtS. And if nothing else, I definitely agree that we just can’t use this book at all until IA updates for Forge World flyers are released. But when they do come out, I think that this book could do a lot of good for the game by making a ton of old flyers relevant again.

  37. SactownBri May 19, 2016 6:04 am #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Reece. I don’t see a problem with the release when taken in context of the overall 40k rule set. It’s just more options for players to make cinematic moments and forge a narrative. For competitive tournament play more is always less, in an already overly complicated game more and more rules are not welcome regardless of what they are. The arguments that will come up on formation placement can already be heard! However, if you really wanted to add these to a tournament then the solution is simple; cut the points to 1500 to give space for the extra turn phase.

  38. Jural May 19, 2016 12:16 pm #

    Shooting from the hip here (reading online reviews, not reading the source material, and never playing a game with them), my thoughts are as follows:

    Dogfight phase- remove altogether
    Air Superiority- not a fan, but fine
    Formations, etc- fine
    Flyer types (bombers, strikers, etc.)- no
    Brake turns- Yes, if they can (somehow) be implemented without the agility stat

  39. Mirthless May 20, 2016 11:20 am #

    it has been discussed at length in my Local GW. I have seen some games played.. some with both having flyers, and some with one side not having any flyers.

    Dogfight Phase – its fine, not that slowing. However its another phase… and getting your flyer shot down in Dogfighting is kinda.. a shame. However there are ways to get out of the dogfight.
    Air Superiority formation – hahaha… lets please.. no.. just no .. the -2… my soul.. its tearing it apart.. why GW.. why!
    Attack patterns – You can get it turn1, but after that it becomes unobtainium, unless you start to hover.
    Losing Skyfire on attack flyers, bombers – Why did i want to take that BA stormraven again? Ah yeah, to shoot at the flyrant.. Snapshots!!.. guess ill take a fighter.. i dont have any.. ;_;
    Brake turns – These are great addition.

  40. Variance Hammer May 20, 2016 3:24 pm #

    I think probably the cleanest way to fit it in that keeps the greatest compatibility with the rules is to use the *rules*, and to say by TO fiat that both players have opted out of the Dogfight Phase. Because that’s fully supported in the rules, and kills the random, time-consuming phase aspect of things.

  41. Ken Eubanks May 20, 2016 3:55 pm #

    Given the number of people who take their lead from ITC, this is a heavy decision for you guys. I understand the immediate brain melting headache of trying to either re-stat non statted flyers and add types, or make the sweeping ban of FW stick.

    Take your time. A lot of people play ITC events because they aren’t GW raw. Others do it because your the only ones who put in the effort. You have too many camps to make everyone happy.

    Do what works for you, and people who dislike it will run their events as they see fit.

    • Reecius May 20, 2016 5:49 pm #

      Thank you for the kind and wise words, Ken, it is appreciated.

  42. Horton May 22, 2016 4:27 am #

    I have thoroughly reviewed death from the skies. I see why some people think it makes flyers worse, but I have to disagree. Overall I think it makes flyers better, you just have to have fighters or dedicated AA on the ground to kill other flying units. I think we need to try and play with this as it is for a while before changing anything. If you dont want to dogfight, then both players can opt not to do it. Overall I really like these rules and would hate to see them all ignored. This is just my opinion.

    • AbusePuppy May 22, 2016 4:53 am #

      Many factions have neither a fighter nor any ground units that function as AA. Tau, Tyranids, and SM are pretty unusual in having functional AA that can fit into most lists.

      • Horton May 22, 2016 5:37 am #

        I understand what you are saying. I just think it is a bit too early to abandon these rules. As for the lack of FW flyer rules, GW never puts out rules for FW units, so I did not expect that to be any different for this book. I also think attack flyers not being able to reliably shoot each other down solves the problem of the player who brings on a flyer first being at a disadvantage.

        I play KDK. This book only makes it harder for me to deal with flyers, as they can get on the board more easily, do more damage when the arrive, and maneuver better once they hit the table. But I am still happy to see a unit type that I almost never see in tournaments get a boost.

  43. AbusePuppy May 22, 2016 8:44 am #

    Since I had nothing better to do this morning: a theoretical-maybe-seems-reasonable list of updates to all the ITC-legal Forge World flyers and their types/stats.

    Arvus Lighter
    Attack Flyer P2 A1

    Aquila Lander
    Attack Flyer P2 A2

    Attack Fighta
    Fighter P4 A3

    Avenger Strike Fighter
    Attack Flyer P2 A3

    Barracuda Air Superiority Fighter
    Fighter P2 A4

    Blight Drone
    Attack Flyer P1 A4

    Caestus Assault Ram
    Attack Flyer P4 A1

    Chaos Dreadclaw Drop Pod
    Attack Flyer P1 A1

    Chaos Fire Raptor Gunship
    Attack Flyer P3 A2

    Chaos Kharybdis Assault Claw
    Attack Flyer P1 A1

    Chaos Storm Eagle Assault Gunship
    Attack Flyer P3 A2

    DX-6 Remora Drone Fighter Squadron
    Attack Flyer P2 A3

    Attack Flyer P4 A2

    Fire Raptor Gunship
    Attack Flyer P3 A2

    Hell Blade
    Fighter P4 A2

    Hell Talon
    Bomber P4 A1

    Fighter P3 A3

    Attack Flyer P1 A1

    Marauder Bomber
    Bomber P2 A1

    Marauder Destroyer
    Attack Flyer P2 A1

    Night Shroud Bomber
    Bomber P4 A2

    Nightwing Interceptor
    Fighter P5 A5

    Phoenix Bomber
    Attack Flyer P5 A3

    Raven Strike Fighter
    Attack Flyer P5 A5

    Storm Eagle Assault Gunship
    Attack Flyer P3 A2

    Storm Eagle Assault Gunship – Roc Pattern
    Attack Flyer P3 A2

    Thunderbolt Fighter
    Fighter P3 A3

    Valkyrie Sky Talon Transport
    Attack Flyer P1 A3

    Vulture Gunship
    Attack Flyer P1 A4

  44. Koszka June 1, 2016 5:20 am #

    The expansion has a lot of merit, but with it not being supported by FW yet ( or ever) and the hit some armies are taking when fighting other flying things; the rules aren’t solid enough for competitive play.

    Granted I love the agility stat, as well as the attack patterns and air superiority rules, but picking and choosing rules will be a problem. With a heavy hurt just drop the expansion for ITC events.

    The only exception being that players should be allowed to field the new Ork and space marine flyers from the book, except they don’t acquire agility/pursuit stats and the rules that come with them.

  45. Kidd2000 June 11, 2016 8:59 pm #

    Might as well get used to the rules now. I’m sure they will be included in the next edition of 40k. Many fought formations, just as many fought LoW, hell we even fought fliers when they released the first death from the skies.

    • Kidd2000 June 11, 2016 9:03 pm #

      Heh, or we could play at a lower point level, include the new rules (remember not everyone owns all the I.A. books either) and still take just as much time as we do now…… just a thought

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