Monday, March 4, 2013

The Best Anti Air for 40k

I need more missiles

There are quite a few people who are unhappy with what flyers have done to the game of 40k. 

Some feel that either A: you drink the Kool-Aid and buy a bunch of flyers to compete with the next guy, or B:  try and fit in as many flakk missiles and quad guns into a list as possible.  I personally have not had much success with flakk missiles or the quad cannon.  The flakk missiles are an expensive investment for Devastator Squads, especially with the amount of Heldrakes flying around burning them up.  And usually only running one quad gun is a waste as my opponent usually takes it out first.  There are so many people who feel that they are limited to just the options offered in the 6th Edition rule book.  That simply is not the truth.

Fortunately, these are not the only choices for fitting anti air into your 40k army lists.  Forge World has released numerous books giving certain models the 40k “Stamp of Approval”.  I think this has opened the door for many new options to build 40k army lists with anti air capabilities.  With flyers dominating the skies, Forge World gives gamers numerous options to choose from for adding anti air choices to army lists.  This is completely legal to do.  There are numerous tournament organizers that are allowing Forge World in local and Grand Tournaments.  In this article, I will be discussing a few of the most popular options that Forge World has to offer for adding anti air to your army.

            First, I would like to talk about the most important rules for an anti air model.  There are numerous models with the “interceptor” and “skyfire” special rules that Forge World has to offer.  The “interceptor” rule is the most important for providing anti air in games of 40k.  If a model has the interceptor rule it states that at the end of your opponents movement phase, you have the option of shooting your model’s interceptor weapon at any one unit that has arrived from reserve.  It is a huge benefit to be able to shoot at your opponent’s flyers or other models arriving from reserve before they are allowed to do anything on the table top.  A player can decimate a flyer heavy list before their opponent can do anything on the table. Currently there are only two weapons in the 6th Edition rule book with the interceptor rule (Quad Cannon, and Icarus Lacannon).  Forge World has so many more models with the interceptor rule to choose from.  Here are a few of the most popular that I have played against.

            Imperial Guard has numerous weapons for anti air.  The most popular is the Sabre Defense Battery.  These are considered artillery for IG lists and can be taken in place of heavy weapons teams when choosing a platoon.  An IG player can take 0-5 of these turrets in a single platoon.  These turrets are super cheap and very durable.  They are toughness 7 with 3+ armor saves and 2 wounds to boot.  For 150 points, you can have a squad of 3 twin linked lascannons.  That’s 6 T7, 3+ armor save wounds for 150 points.  WOW!!! How are more people not taking these?  The turrets can also be upgraded with spot lights for “FREE”.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen…No more night fighting shenanigans if the target is within 36 inches.  These are a priceless addition to anyone’s army list. The only downside to the interceptor rule is if you shoot in your opponents turn, you forfeit shooting in your next turn with the specific model’s weapon.  I think that this is a great trade. 

Imperial Guard also has the Imperial Support Weapons Platform.  This platform has 2 twin linked Hydra Autocannons.  This gun takes away the “jink” special rule (no cover saves to flyers) making flyers crash and burn with impunity.  So for 150 points you can have a squadron of 3.  If you want a little more pop for your guns, you may upgrade to the Manticore platform that has 4 S9 AP2 missiles to shoot flyers down with.  The Manticore is also twin linked with the “heat seeker” special rule which makes it a very reliable choice when facing flyers.  The downside to the Imperial Support Weapons Platform is that they are armor 10 all around with 2 HP.  They are a valid choice, but can be taken out quick with concentrated fire.

            Space Marines have their own variant to the Sabre Defense Battery.  It is called the Hyperios Air Defense Battery.  Again, for 150 points you get 3 Hyperios Missile Launchers with a Command Relay.  This gives you 3 S8 AP3 missiles to shoot at incoming flyers.  The Command Relay gives you split fire, so in theory, you can shoot 3 missiles at 2 different targets with re-rolls to hit.  This is too good to be true!!!  The Hyperios Air Defense Battery counts as a fast attack choice too for Space Marines, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and of course…Space Wolves.  There are many Space Wolf players who are unhappy about not having any flyers in their list unless they take allies.  The Hyperios Air Defense gives Space Wolves players new life in the flyer heavy 6th Edition.  This is a far superior choice to take in place of the Storm Talon as well.  They are around the same points, but the Storm Talon does not offer the same amount of fire power that the Hyperios Defense Battery does.

            In this article, I know I only scratched the surface as to how many anti air models Forge World has to offer.  I know there are numerous other choices from Forge World with the “Interceptor” and “Skyfire” special rules.  These models definitely put balance back into the game of 40k.  Hopefully, I have given you some ideas if you are having trouble dealing with flyers in your local meta.  Try showing up with a few of these models in your list and see what your opponent has to say about them.  They will think twice about bringing so many flyers in their list. 

Happy Gaming!
Tin Man

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