Taking Flight

Some info on how flyers are working in 9th ed 40k!

Get ready to don your flying goggles and finest neck scarf,* as today, we’re looking at the rules for Flyers in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000.

The Danger Zone

Your Flyers will soon be coming and going as they please – no more bugging out or flying off into the sunset! If it leaves the battlefield, a Flyer can just swoop around to return later in the battle and deliver a murderous strafing run. In the new edition, the danger zone is very much ON the battlefield, right where it belongs!

“Requesting permission for a fly-by…”

When a Flyer moves off the battlefield, it can enter Strategic Reserves,** meaning it’ll be available to return to the battle later in the game. What’s more, they can move onto the battlefield with far greater freedom than any other units arriving in this manner. In fact, your aircraft will be able to come and go as they please, provided that your opponent doesn’t spoil their fun by shooting them down…

Freedom of the Skies

Another key feature of the new rules for Flyers is how they interact with units on the ground. As aircraft are typically soaring overhead and not skimming along the ground, they don’t interfere with them or hinder their movement in any way. After all, a Flyer’s base is only there to help keep it aloft! Here are the highlights of how this works…

The bullet points above are actually a preview of how each rules topic is conveniently summarised at the end of each section for easy reference. If you need a reminder, check the bullet points, but if you seek further clarification, you just read the full description above them. If only all things in life were that simple!

You’ll also have noticed a new keyword being referenced in those rules – Aircraft. That’s because, where appropriate, many Flyers will now gain the Aircraft keyword to allow more specific rule interactions, such as those used with Infantry, Monsters, Vehicles and the like. In case there’s any doubt, at the back of the Warhammer 40,000 Core Book, you’ll find this handy list that officially clarifies which units gain the new Aircraft keyword.*** Chocks away!

So, now that you know how Flyers are (landing) gear-ing up for the new edition, how do you plan to use your Aircraft? Which new Flyers will you be adding to your budding air fleet? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page. And if you’ve got a Flyer your especially proud off, remember to share it with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter using #New40K.


* Other suitably dashing pilot outfits are also available.
** We’ll be bringing you more information on how Strategic Reserves work soon, so watch this space!
*** The list of Forge World Flyers receiving the Aircraft keyword will be included in their rules updates on the same day that the new edition is launched.

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About Reecius

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

7 Responses to “Taking Flight”

  1. Avatar
    Ytook June 12, 2020 7:39 am #

    Liking all we’ve seen so far but this is the first thing I’ve got issues with, doesn’t really seem to fix the issues. Obviously I could well be missing things and it’ll come together when actually playing.

    Seems though that moving through bases didn’t help move blocking much this current edition as their bases are so large, and flying off the board means you miss a turn of shooting so surely still best to just fly in circles?

    Not a big issue at all, still really excited for the new edition, just seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.

    • Avatar
      red3_standingby June 12, 2020 8:49 am #

      At some point they’re going to have to just let you place models on top of flier bases or invent a new base that doesn’t take up so much board space.

      • Reecius
        Reecius June 12, 2020 10:32 am #

        If only they could float, right? haha, would solve so many issues.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy June 12, 2020 9:02 am #

      Think of it this way: instead of crashing when you would move off the board, instead you lose a turn. That’s a pretty big improvement for anything that doesn’t have a double-turn like the Craftworld fliers. It can also be used proactively, to leave the board and give you a chance to deal with enemy firepower before later re-entering.

      I agree it doesn’t solve the issue of flyer bases blocking movement by virtue of placement, but given many of the other changes (especially capping hit modifiers at -1), it removes the worst of the non-interaction with the units. Also, a renewed emphasis on achieving various kinds of action/scoring-oriented missions, as seems to be the case, will limit fliers’ ability to contribute to a lot of games.

      • Avatar
        Ytook June 12, 2020 9:42 am #

        Good points. Hadn’t quite of it that way.

        Definitely seems like an improvements. Aircraft are an area where I think a bigger rework is needed, but that was never on the cards for this edition so this seems like a fine middle point.

        @red3_standingby
        It would require a rejigging of aircraft dataslates but you could get round it I think by having aircraft ignored for movement purposes (place a counter where their base was if needed) then they move at the end of both players movement phases.

        Would have to halve movement values and change how turning works (only turn on your turn or turn once on both if you’re manoeuvrable like Eldar fliers perhaps?).

        Anyway, that’s my self indulgent “what I would do” thinking.

  2. Avatar
    Colinsherlow June 12, 2020 10:27 am #

    I like what I am seeing for 9th so far. To me this preview maybe showed us a better snippet of where reserves come from. Like 6″ from a table edge and 9″ away from an enemy unit. And I recall gw me me mentioning that reserves can start further up the table the longer the game goes on or something of that sort.

  3. Avatar
    gvcolor June 12, 2020 7:58 pm #

    These look pretty solid – interested to see how they handle aircraft turning and if we’re rolling dice again to bring in models from Strat Reserves.

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