With the release of the new Space Marine Storm Eagle Assault Gunship, the options to add a flyer and dare I say the push to add more than one to your space marine army is slowly growing. The Storm Raven broke the ice or was it the Vendetta for Imperial Guard that got us started? There once was a time when we had no flyers in the game. It was boots on the ground and tanks. Tanks of all sizes. Back when the Rhino was king.
I'm sure the new Storm Eagle is well worth its point cost for the options it comes with. Forge World has posted the experimental rules for this beauty. If you're going to introduce something new for Space Marines, you better make it worth a player's while to get at least one for his force. Especially if they're an expensive kit. It's not like we've got another option for a Landspeeder here. This kit is big both in cost and size.
Download the Forge World Storm Eagle experimental rules here.
How do you transport something like this?
You're looking at a case for just one model at this point. Maybe two in one bag stacked on top of each other if you're lucky. My trip to the hobby store to play a few games of 40k is starting to look like my annual two week vacation to the beach. I have to load up the car with a half dozen army cases just for my 1500 point army. You'd think I was moving out of my house if you saw all the suitcases I was loading into the trunk.
Foam trays from KR Multicase
I contacted Daryl at KR Multicase to see what he had in terms of being able to protect these larger vehicles. He make specific foam trays for these kinds of models. They still take up a good bit of space overall, but I suspect owner's aren't going to complain with the amount of money and time they've got invested in these vehicles. I know I like to have my basic rank and file guys protected so there's no doubt in my mind I'm protecting one of my flyers.
Image from Forge World
Where do you put it on the table?
I have trouble finding spots for my Land Raiders sometimes. Where do folks put their flyers? Do they just hang out in the air while you play? Do these things have the option of flying "off" the table or does it have to hover patiently waiting for it's turn to scoot ahead a few inches in your movement phase? At this rate, a couple of Storm Eagles, a Storm Raven and maybe a Vendetta and the space over your gaming table starts to look like the airport during the holidays. Planes stacked all over the place.
Do they have rules for mid-air collisions? Now that would be cool.
I went through the flyers rules that I could find and unfortunately, I don't see anything for mid-air collisions. If I happen to bring one down with a lucky shot, it crashes off the table as well which is a bummer.
Download just the Flyers Rules here.
I did find out that pintle mounted weapons counted as being "AA-mounts" or anit-aircraft equivalent in the GW Apocalypse book. That means you have a better chance of hitting those pesky things cruising around overhead.
I think the only things pintle mounted on my Land Raiders are the multimeltas. At least those stand a chance of dropping one of these birds from the sky.
How big is too big?
When it comes to Apocalypse, all bets are off. Bring your titans, your bombers, your super gargantuan monster thingys... we'll play out in the front yard if need be. We can even use the neighbor's front yard if we have to.
But for regular games (I'm talking the 1500 point range), how big can the models get before they become unwieldy on the tabletop? Maybe 6th edition will see an increase in the table size. Maybe the table size will scale up as your points increase to accommodate the number and size of models. There has to be a point when the size of the board becomes a hindrance to using these models.
I can only imagine painting one of thee things
I hang my head when I think of having to paint a Rhino. A Land Raider is a 6 month project. I can only imagine having to paint one of these. You almost have an airbrush or some kind of spray paint to get one of these done in any reasonable time.
There's no doubt they make stunning centerpieces for a force though which means you'll want to lavish all kinds of attention on it including freehand, weathering, split color schemes and on and on.
Image from Forge World
The impact of flyers in the game
Don't get me wrong, I think the Storm Eagle is a cool model. I just hope that the rest of the game keeps pace with the new models. From the sizes of the boards we're playing on to the rules for flyers (I still want mid-air collisions) to the rest of the models and stuff we'll need to defend against these things looming overhead. Looks like I'm going to need some more anti-aircraft stuff now.