This past weekend I received the new Imperial Armour Aeronautica book from Forge World. This book was billed as an official 6th edition rules update for several FW aircraft and anti-aircraft units. Also included are updated rules for Apocalypse Super Heavies and a campaign, The Scourging of Kerrack.
I was pretty hyped for this book. I felt like I got a head start with fliers by using them often in 5th edition during Apocalypse games with my Tau. I was eager to see the updated rules for my Barracuda for regular 40k games and my Tiger Shark AX-1-0 for Apocalypse.
Like other IA books, this one features nice full color photos of extremely well painted models. The entries for the book are predominately Imperial as expected, but I did notice some new units for Xenos (new to me at least). Orks for example gained some new AA options for both 40k and Apocalypse games.
|Images from FW website|
I do not own all of the Imperial Amour books, but I do have the Apocalypse 2nd edition book. I noticed a lot of repeat entries in IA:Aeronautica that were in previous books. While the book has some updated 6th edition nomenclature, some items could have just been updated via FAQ. Other entries are exactly the same. For example, the entry for the Contemptor-Mortis Pattern Dreadnought is exactly the same as in IA:Apoc 2nd edition.
Finally, to the reason I really wanted this book. I was excited to get a unit that I originally bought for Apocalypse only on to the table top for regular 40k games. I reread up on all three previous rules releases for this model (IA Update 2005, IA:3 The Taros Campaign, and Apocalypse) wondering what to expect. I even touched up the paint and base in anticipation...
On the negative side, the only other rule it received is Auto-Targeting. Auto-Targeting is great, as the gun it is attached to ignores cover gained from the Jink special rule.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE AUTO TARGETING IS ONLY ON THE CRAPPY STR5 BURST CANNONS, NOT ON THE ION CANNON OR MISSILES!
Whew, sorry about that. For an aircraft that is billed as an Air Superiority Fighter, I don't see myself taking down too many fliers with a STR5 gun. I seriously wonder if that was a typo or misprint. The original Barracuda rules always had the Ion cannon as its main anti-air weapon. Also, previous rules allowed for a lot more upgrade options. The most important was the ability to buy a Targeting Array for +1 BS. But, that is gone. The only option now is for Tau's crappy version of the Hunter Killer missile. Sigh.
Other than that, the other rules of concern for me were for my Tigershark AX-1-0. It gained the "Strafing Run" special rule and a small boost to its front armor. That's about it, same cost, same options as IA:Apoc 2nd edition.
Sorry for the rant. Tau stories always have them dominating the space and skies during campaigns so I had hoped the rules would reflect the fluff somewhat. Also, I was hoping for an entry for Tau's only anti-air platform, the Skyray Missile Defense Gunship with AA option from the Taros book. No such luck.
As far as the campaign in the book, I was hoping it would be more generic. But it is setup specifically as Imperial against Chaos. I am sure some modifications can be made to make it non race specific.
Overall, I would give IA:Aeronautica 2 out of 5 stars. Thanks for reading and posting your feedback.