The Death from the Skies Digital vs. Print Conundrum.


We’ve got a rules discrepancy between the print and digital versions of Death from the Skies, and it’s a big one!

So, the print version of Death from the Skies indicates that Attack and Bomber flyers do not have Skyfire any longer. However, the digital version lists these flyer types as still having skyfire.

Weird, right? This does happen from time to time, and can be a tad frustrating when it happens as it leaves players and event organizers in a weird spot. Which version do you use? Typically, GW says to use the version of the rules you have which doesn’t resolve the situation for organized play but it actually does make sense from a business perspective. Tournaments though, need to have a ruling for everyone.

So what to do in this case? For me, my biggest complaint with Death from the Skies apart form not having rules for all of the awesome Forgeworld Flyers, is losing Skyfire for Attack and Bomber craft. It REALLY limits their versatility as FMCs are so dang good and losing the ability to combat these wher eyou could previously will end up with a lot of them going back on the shelf that used to be quite common such as Fire Raptors, Stormwolves, etc.

So for me as a gamer, my instincts are to say: yeah, let’s use the digital version! But, that’s not always the right way to go about things. The downside to that is that Fighters then comparatively get a lot weaker as they get a -1 to firing on ground targets which is a bummer as the other types of craft don’t really lose anything.

The middle road a lot of folks have proposed is to simply say, let Attack and Bomber craft keep skyfire but give them a -1 when firing at Air targets. That to me, seems very reasonable and fair. Flyers keep the bad ass Flyer Wings which add some cool bonuses and are a lot of fun, but you get the balancing act of some draw backs that are also characterful.

What do you all think? Digital version? Print Version? Or the middle ground? Hopefully GW addresses this in their FAQ series, soon. Let us know what you think!


About Reecius

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

58 Responses to “The Death from the Skies Digital vs. Print Conundrum.”

  1. Heldericht June 3, 2016 12:06 am #

    The -1 for ground and air depending on what aircraft you are, seems like a very reasonable move. I think that’s the ideal call, I’m sure if this was put up for a vote in the ITC people would back it up.

    • tag8833 June 3, 2016 5:49 am #

      It’s all the same for Orks with their hilariously overcosted fliers. The same for Chaos with their lack of shooting. IG sees the valkyrie which was already overcosted get worse.

      Marines and Necrons are the two codexes that would see a bump from that proposal.

      I’m not a fan of a rules change that so directly buffs certain armies. If we are going to buff armies fliers, how about we start with Orks who need it the most.

    • Joshua Taylor June 3, 2016 7:49 am #

      Why would an aircraft get -1BS for shooting at anything just for being what it is?
      Thats like saying any unit type of Calvary gets -1WS when in combat with vehicles, but also suffers -1WS when in combat with non-vehicles

      • Leonix June 3, 2016 9:01 am #

        Ever wee am A-10 Warthog try to dogfight a dedicated fighter jet? Its less than graceful.

  2. Brian June 3, 2016 1:42 am #

    Personally, I vote for the middle ground.

  3. Drachnyen June 3, 2016 2:47 am #

    Reece, I have the digital version and it clearly doesn’t say that.


    • 1PlusArmour June 3, 2016 4:49 am #

      Do you have the pub version, or only iBooks version? There are even inconsistencies between these from time to time.

    • 1PlusArmour June 3, 2016 4:51 am #

      Just keep this book out of the game until it is actually finished (or heavily FAQ’d). It adds nothing of value except ridiculous auto-reserves for Eldar, losing flyers to sheer luck, and incomplete rules (i.e. FW flyers).

      And that’s not even accounting for the fact that it is a mandatory purchase -for all players- that changes core rules.

    • Dejasle June 3, 2016 9:59 am #

      Not quite. The example you provide explicitly references Fighter Combat Role. Seemingly denoting a buff to fighter aircraft as skyfire would normally severely limit hitting ground targets. It makes no reference to Bomber Combat Role, or to Attack Craft Combat Role.

      • Threllen June 3, 2016 10:04 am #

        Yes, but the DftS book *completely* replaces the old rules (which were what gave Zooming flyers the option to opt for Skyfire at the beginning of the phase.

        Nowhere in the printed version of DftS does the book ever say anything other than fighters can choose to use Skyfire mode. So attack craft and bombers do not get the rule. They got the rule in the BRB, but the BRB rules for flyers are now replaced by these.

        The only place in DftS that says “all Zooming flyers can choose snap shots” is the copy-pasted glossary in the back of the digital edition that has the old wording instead of the new wording.

  4. Gman June 3, 2016 3:54 am #

    Middle ground!

  5. MidnightSun June 3, 2016 3:55 am #

    “Here’s GW option A and here’s GW option B, and here’s a suggestion by us that is dependent on neither A nor B. Man, I sure do hope GW address this in an FAQ”

    Or maybe it could be addressed in the ITC FAQ? Because that seems like a pretty good way to sort stuff like this out.

  6. Ytook June 3, 2016 5:08 am #

    Under the new FAQ bombers having skyfire would mean you could drop bombs on fliers which just seems a bit… wrong. Unless I’m missing something, which is more than possible.

    • Blight1 June 3, 2016 6:36 am #

      While it says that flyers are targetable it doesn’t say they can be hit by blasts or templates. Their immunity to those weapon types is still part of their rules even in the brand new DFTS. Also in that same FAQ flying MCs are expressly listed as being immune to them too.

    • Threllen June 3, 2016 6:57 am #

      Isn’t dropping bombs done in the movement phase? You only choose skyfire at the start of the *shooting* phase. So, even if bombers had the ability to choose skyfire, they couldn’t do it for a bombing run which occurs in a different phase. And even a flyer can’t target another flyer with a template if that template doesn’t have the skyfire rule.

  7. Rathstar June 3, 2016 5:40 am #

    With the screenshot from Drachnyen above isn’t this a non-issue now. Only flyers with the Fighter Combat Role get to choose to have Skyfire while zooming.

    • Reecius June 3, 2016 12:07 pm #

      Read further down, he found it in the digital book.

  8. xthexclincherx June 3, 2016 6:41 am #

    I have not seen either in person, but if the part that says the attackers and bombers “lose skyfire” is a line of text that stands on its own, I’d imagine that it was just missed (a mistake, leaving the print version “correct”) from the digital version… if it was embedded in a block of text and was omitted in the digital version, I think that would point more closely that it was an intentional correction.

    • Threllen June 3, 2016 6:56 am #

      None of the versions ever had a line that said “attackers and bombers lose skyfire.”

      These rules are meant to fully replace the flyer rules that are in the BRB, so the section of the BRB giving all flyers skyfire is moot. The print edition of the supplement has a specific section granting fighters skyfire but it does not say anything about fighters and bombers (thus they don’t get it).

      I haven’t seen the digital version(s) so I can’t comment on whether it has the same wording or different as Reece is saying.

      • Drachnyen June 3, 2016 7:06 am #

        See Screenshot above

        • Threllen June 3, 2016 7:31 am #

          Which version of the digital book is that from? It’s not impossible for different digital formats to have differnet information. It’s happened before. Also sometimes one part of the book says one thing while a different hyperlink says another.

          • Drachnyen June 3, 2016 7:36 am

            Its from the Digital Enhanced version available in Itunes.
            I have checked for updates and it is the latest version.

            Also keep in mind that there are only 4 pages of rules that affect flyers (Page 81 to Page 84)

            Its not “lost somewhere else” in the book.

            (Also: See Skyfire glossary screenshot below)

    • Drachnyen June 3, 2016 7:05 am #

      Sorry but no. I have rechecked the rules section and its clearly NOT there.

      These are false rumors.

      • White925 June 3, 2016 7:25 am #

        Hey Drachnyen I believe the skyfire rule is for all flyers in the digital book in the glossary. Or if you click on Flyer-hyper links it will bring up that zooming flyers have skyfire. At least this is what we have seen.

        • Drachnyen June 3, 2016 7:30 am #

          Nope. It’s all fake rumors

          Here is the screenshot of the glossary from the digital version :

          • Val Heffelfinger June 3, 2016 9:06 am

            Lol. That definition drops the inclusion of jet bikes as “air targets.” Which was a nice change from the skyfire rules in DFS.

            They should pay the intern that wrote this less.

          • Val Heffelfinger June 3, 2016 9:12 am

            Interesting…. the “zooming fighter skyfire” rule refers back to the BRB skyfire rule, which defines what skyfire can shoot at differently than what are defined as “air targets.”


          • AbusePuppy June 3, 2016 3:02 pm

            Air targets are distinct from Skyfire targets, yes. You’ll also note that there are some targets that both Skyfire and normal weapons can shoot at full BS; the categories are all distinct from each other.

  9. umbo June 3, 2016 7:01 am #

    If the link someone posted earliet is correct it seems they lose skyfire. However the revserve manipulation and formation benefits it might balance out ok.

    I’d say lose skyfire and see what happens. The reserve thing could be really big.

  10. Drachnyen June 3, 2016 9:13 am #


    I think I found the culprit and I stand corrected.

    I did more digging based on White95s comment…

    In the glossary section for the flyers topic, more specifically special rules sub-topic, you can see that (all) zooming flyers have access to skyfire.

    This is probably a copy/paste of the current rules prior to DftS.


    I think the glossary is at fault here but hey, it does lead to confusion.

    • Threllen June 3, 2016 9:33 am #

      Yeah I figured that’s where it might be. GW seems to have a big problem with rules glossaries/tooltips where they like to copy-pasta something old and totally forget about it. They probably just copy-pasted the old zooming section and didn’t even take two seconds to read it.

      In my opinion, it’s pretty clear from the digital and print books that only fighters are supposed to have skyfire, it’s just one glossary they did a bad copy-paste job on.

      Not saying I like that, but imo that was their intention.

    • donthemagnificent June 3, 2016 9:48 am #

      But, the DFTS book states that it replaces all those rules.

      • Threllen June 3, 2016 9:52 am #

        But that rule is in the DftS book in the back glossary…

        • Dejasle June 3, 2016 10:21 am #

          Honestly, that just made my day. Making all flyers capable of filling multiple roles is really a great thing for army diversity. As well making sense of the explicit buff to fighters in regard to attacking ground targets while in skyfire.

        • donthemagnificent June 3, 2016 12:57 pm #

          It is probably an error that links to the database of the BRB

  11. zyekian June 3, 2016 9:19 am #

    Reece, I think the problem with giving AC and Bombers Skyfire -1 is that the gap between them and Fighters is all but gone. Fighters lose their uniqueness because +1 BS point difference (at the cost of -1 BS vs ground targets) isn’t good.

    In 85% of the time Fighters are going to be firing at ground targets anyway. All they get relative to the other types is kicked in the space nuts.

    • Reecius June 3, 2016 9:50 am #

      Oh, I agree. Fighters get hosed. All of their formation bonuses are geared at shooting other flyers, too, so they really get hosed =(

      I honestly do not like this book, it doesn’t help that much.

      • EvilCheesypoof June 3, 2016 4:01 pm #

        I really think the book just makes things worse for most people, if it’s put up to vote I’d probably vote against the book entirely. I’m normally an “allow everything” type of person too, but I think this changes the game in an unnecessary way, and nobody wants average/bad things nerfed.

      • Aaron Tauer June 3, 2016 5:34 pm #

        Fighters don’t actually get hosed as bad as it seems at first. Their -1BS against ground targets does not apply to large chunks of the “ground target” population since all skimmers and jetbikes are considered “air targets” even though they are actually on the ground.

    • AbusePuppy June 3, 2016 3:03 pm #

      Fighters can’t possibly be worse than bombers, which are both extra-bad at dogfighting _and_ only get Attack Pattern benefits on their bombs (as opposed to all their weapons like most flyers) while simultaneously also having the worst initial stats to boot.

      Bombers is crap, y’all.

      • westrider June 3, 2016 5:04 pm #

        But they’re DA BOMB, yo! 😉

        • Dakkath June 4, 2016 12:25 am #

          More like they bombed hard

  12. Requizen June 3, 2016 10:24 am #

    This is silly. One of them is a misprint, likely the digital edition (since they have a habit of copy/pasting poorly with digital versions). Send some emails, they’re doing FAQs right now so it’s not like they won’t respond, probably.

    I feel that the print version is very clear, and the digital version looks really confused. It feels really obvious to me which one is supposed to be the way it is, and pointing at typos or skipped copy/pastes really feels like grasping at straws.

    • Reecius June 3, 2016 12:10 pm #

      I agree that the print version is most likely correct, and not trying to grasp at straws. This type of thing actually happens fairly frequently when there is a discrepancy between print and digital version of the book. As TOs, we deal with it a lot.

  13. Vankraken June 3, 2016 11:55 am #

    Personally I feel this supplement is a complete dud for competitive play as its tries to force mediocre to bad gameplay mechanics into a game using units that aren’t designed for having restrictive unit roles. For a lone flyer it is almost always a negative as the roles impose negatives (no skyfire or -1 BS against ground targets). Only with the flyer wing formations does the negatives get offset but very few armies have good enough flyers for cheap enough to warrant even attempting to use them. Space Wolves for example lose out on skyfire (one of the primary reasons to take the thing) for no real gain and they cannot possibly field a decent army with multiple flying land raiders to offset the negatives. The reserve modifiers are potentially worth while but they again favor certain armies and punish others that can’t field good flyers (Poor Tau?). Another issue is how flat modifiers disporportionally hurts Orks more than most as -1 BS is basically snap firing on all but the case of blast/template weapons. It’s even comically bad how the Dakkajet has -1 BS against ground targets with the supplement rules and yet also has the straining run rule for shooting at ground targets.

    If the DftS is used for tournament play then -1 BS to shooting at flyers with non fighters is better than RAW in the printer copy but I think everyone is better off ignoring the supplant and using the flyers uses in the current 7th Ed BRB. This also solves the whole Forgeworld issue without making anybody mad (unless they where really die hard fans of the supplement). There isn’t enough worthwhile material in the supplement to add to the game instead it makes flyer mechanics more clunky and frustrating.

    • Reecius June 3, 2016 12:11 pm #

      I find myself agreeing with you, Vankraken.

    • Threllen June 3, 2016 12:31 pm #

      Honestly, it sort of makes sense that some flyers are ground attack craft and others are anti-air. So the fact fighters are good at attacking other aircraft but not so good at attacking ground make sense. And it also makes sense that bombers/attack flyers aren’t good AA.

      So, if that’s what GW wanted – that’s what they accomplished. The problem is, that represents a nerf bat for the majority of flyers outside of ones you can spam in an air formation. Problem is… most flyers were probably overcosted to begin with and are DEFINITELY overcosted now living in a world where their effective targets were cut in half. If DftS wanted to make these thematic changes while preserving the viability of air – it should have also come with point cost reductions almost across the board. Then I don’t think people would be complaining so much (except about the dogfight phase and air superiority).

      • Reecius June 3, 2016 12:41 pm #

        Yeah, agreed. I totally get the concept and think it is cool, but in practice what will happen is that we will simply see less flyers on the table and GW will sell less of them as a result. Only cheap flyers will see any play time as they can be taken in large enough amounts to compensate for the nerfs, but even then it will be quite rare.

      • punchymango June 3, 2016 3:57 pm #

        Like I said in the other thread, I see the intent, but 40k isn’t really suited to systematizing an aerial theater of war. It’s a company-scale(ish) ground combat game that sort of shoehorned fliers in.

        • Threllen June 4, 2016 7:30 am #

          That’s especially true in competitive games. Even lowering the cost on planes might not be enough to justify their “specialization” in competitive. More and more, competitive is about fielding a “take all comers” list since you could see anything from a Tau gunline, to wraithknight spam, jetbike spam, warp spider spam, a battle company, a knight army, a death star etc etc. You need to be able to take on a wide-variety of lists and it’s hard to justify a plane that might only be good against certain targets.

      • EvilCheesypoof June 3, 2016 4:23 pm #

        I feel like if they wanted this supplement to be more of a hit, they should have lowered the points cost of all flyers. All of a sudden a formation of 3 flyers for only 200-300 points sounds a little better, and maybe people would buy their flyer formation bundles. Stormtalons are one of the best valued flyers, they lowered their upgrade costs, and sometimes I still don’t think I get their points worth in some match ups.

    • donthemagnificent June 5, 2016 8:08 am #

      Space wolves have a fighter (which has skyfire still). Orks have strafing run (thus not snap firing) on their fighter. The tau fighter has enough str 7 to actually hull point things out (just not the AP2 or 1 spam of the rest of what tau normally bring. And tau normally don’t reserve anything anyways, unless they don’t want it to come in until turn 4 anyways.)

  14. Lex June 3, 2016 5:08 pm #

    The iBook version has been updated and corrected, including the glossary. Only Fighters can have Skyfire.

  15. Garry Leonard June 3, 2016 8:50 pm #

    For me all rules changes should be very simple, and as for ervative as possible. If you start giving. Extra pluses and minuses to things you make the game more complicated. One rule change that buggered me a while ago was Tau getting to change thier BS against invisible units but cognis mechanics stuff didn’t get better BS against invisible units when the verbiage as very similar. I don’t know if any updates on this have happened as a stopped playing for a few months. So if it’s hanged and corrected than that’s cool.

    To avoid this. I’d say stick to one or the other formats. I’d go digital. Digital can be more easily updated and changed, while text can not. As such is go with digital and call it a day. This is not from a what one is better or worse. Because I don’t use fliers I don’t care either way.

    Just sticking with one rule sets keeps us to just 1 rules course instead of strapping the line of 3 rules sources; text, digital, front line gaming special rules.

    In short, I think digital is the better medium as it is more easily updated, and more likely to be updated. Encouraging GW to update it is a plus. Additionally, it protects us from having to bring even more books to the table when playing 40k.

    Keep it simple stupids -KISSs

  16. Chosen of Khorne June 4, 2016 11:06 am #

    Reese is the harbinger of change at GW. Maybe he can write articles on how Death Stars, tau, and eldar are ruining the game. Then GW can release an update so we can start to fix some of the broken stuff!!!

    • donthemagnificent June 5, 2016 8:09 am #

      You forgot about super friends and the new SM powers.

  17. ccrraazzyyman June 4, 2016 1:19 pm #

    This is the thing that annoys me the most about Frontline’s rules discussions. They say the rule, but they don’t SHOW the rule. Please show us pictures of the rules differences. Don’t summarize, or just post the text of the rule. The written word of what’s going on is very important is discussions like this, and rumor and hearsay don’t cut it.

    The reason I say this is because you said “However, the digital version lists these flyer types as still having skyfire.” Which is not true for my version of the digital book. Here, I’ll even do what I said you should and post a link to an image of my rule.

    Not hard, clears the confusion.

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