Men were going to die in the air as they had for centuries on the ground and on the seas, by killing each other. The conquest of the air was truly accomplished.
-Au Temps des Carabines, by René Chambe
Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 do a good job of streamlining rules and providing for ground movement. In smaller skirmish games, however, their rules for flying models are a little dull. They are appropriate for smaller flying creatures and possibly helicopters, but are not effective for models designed to move like airplanes. Taking some "inspiration" from games like X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing, rules more appropriate for high-speed aerial combat were created.
Some models are able to move at extreme speed high above the battlefield. These units are referred to as AIRBORNE.
AIRBORNE models may also have different modes of movement available to them (normal "walking" movement, FLY etc.). Where this is the case, it will be indicated on the model's warscroll. Models which have multiple movement modes may be able to switch between them - see relevant warscroll for more details.
A number of special rules apply to models which are AIRBORNE. These rules only apply when the model is using its AIRBORNE movement mode.
IGNORE OTHER MODELS
AIRBORNE models may pass within 3" of enemy models and ignore terrain as they move. They may also move over friendly or enemy models. AIRBORNE models which end their movement atop terrain must be placed as closely as possible to their final position. If an AIRBORNE model ends its move atop a friendly or enemy model, reposition that model the minimum distance needed.
Optional rule: treat the stand of an AIRBORNE model as the height at which it flies. The model may fly over terrain less than its stand height, but attempting to fly over anything higher than this may result in a collision (see: AIRBORNE MOVEMENT).
MAY NOT RUN OR DECLARE CHARGES
AIRBORNE models may not run or declare charges. They may only be charged by models with the FLY special rule.
DIFFICULT TO HIT
When an AIRBORNE model takes a wound it may take an Initiative test. If it passes, the wound is ignored. In the case of AIRBORNE models with a pilot, use the AIRBORNE model's Initiative, not the pilots. This rule does not apply for mortal wounds.
When an AIRBORNE model shoots at a model which is not AIRBORNE, that model may take an Initiative test for each wound inflicted. If the test is passed, the wound is ignored. Behemoths which are not AIRBORNE do not benefit from this rule.
VULNERABLE TO TAIL ATTACKS
AIRBORNE models which take damage from shooting directed at their rear arc double the amount of wounds inflicted.
During an AIRBORNE model's Hero phase, it may perform one of the following actions. If the model has any Blast Markers, the only action which may be selected is "RECOVER."
The pilot concentrates on avoiding enemy fire. Until your next Hero phase, you may add one to any initiative rolls made for this model when rolling to avoid damage.
The pilot concentrates on directing his or her weapons systems to inflict maximum damage. Until your next Hero phase, any models fired upon must subtract one from their initiative roll when rolling to avoid damage.
The pilot slows his or her aircraft and performs damage control measures. Remove one Blast Marker from the model; if any weapons were Jammed, they are no longer Jammed.
SHIFT MOVEMENT MODE
Some AIRBORNE models are able to shift between one or more movement modes. Choosing this action allows the model to shift from AIRBORNE to one of its other available movement modes (for example: FLY, or regular ground movement). Models which are not currently AIRBORNE but have AIRBORNE as one of their available movement modes may use this action to become AIRBORNE.
PERFORM RED MANUEVER
The pilot pushes his or her aircraft to the limit of its speed or maneuverability. During your movement phase, you may select a Red Maneuver as listed on the aircraft's Warscroll. The model gains a Blast Marker.
The model launches a missile or torpedo; place the relevant marker next to the aircraft as described by the model's Warscroll.
During the model's movement phase, you may drop a bomb (see below).
During the movement phase, each AIRBORNE model selects one Manuever to perform. These Manuevers must be executed exactly as described; ie. if you are instructed to move forward 20", you must move forward exactly 20". AIRBORNE models may not freely change their facing, but instead may only pivot as indicated by the relevant Manuever.
Each AIRBORNE model's Warscroll will list which Maneuvers the model can perform. Some Maneuvers are listed as Red Maneuvers, in which case the model must have had declared a "Perform Red Maneuver" action during its Hero phase in order to utilize one.
Move the model directly forward 20" or exactly 30".
LEFT BANK or RIGHT BANK
Move the model directly forward 20" then laterally left or right 10". At the end of the move, pivot the model 45 degrees in the same direction it moved laterally.
HARD LEFT TURN or HARD RIGHT TURN
Move the model directly forward 10" then laterally left or right 10". At the end of the move, pivot the model 90 degrees in the same direction it moved laterally.
Move the model directly forward exactly 40" or 50".
Move the model directly forward exactly 60" or 70".
Move the model directly forward 10" then rotate the model 180 degrees so that it faces the opposite direction from when it started.
Move the model directly forward 10" then laterally left or right 10". Do not pivot the model, but keep it facing the same direction as when it started.
The pilot of the model is able to finesse his or her aircraft in the direction he or she whishes for it to go. At the end of a Maneuver, you may reposition the model 3" in any direction. The model's orientation must remain the same.
MOVING OFF THE BOARD
It is entirely possible an AIRBORNE model may move off the board during a game; it may do this inadvertently because it has no other choice, but you may also choose to do it deliberately. If an AIRBORNE model moves off the board, place it to one side. It must remain off the board for your entire next turn. After that, roll a D6 at the start of your Hero phase. On a 3+, place the AIRBORNE model touching any of your board edges facing any direction. It may move and act normally. If the game ends before the model returns, then the model counts as destroyed for scenario purposes (but not for Campaign purposes).
AIRBORNE models may pass freely through one another; but if an AIRBORNE model passes through a piece of terrain too tall for it to fly over then the model takes D6 mortal wounds. Determine which pieces of terrain meet this criteria before beginning each game (or, use the optional rule about flying stands as described earlier).
A missile is represented by a counter or, preferably, an custom model with flying stand. Missiles are placed in the Hero Phase (see above). Missiles behave exactly as though they were an AIRBORNE model. They may not perform actions.
+ Missiles have 1W, a 5+ save and Initiative 2+. A missile which is destroyed (through shooting, for example) explodes as described below.
+ Missiles may perform the following Maneuvers: Cruise, Bank and Hard Turn. Missiles may only Cruise 20".
+ If a missile's flight path takes it within 1" of an enemy model, it may explode. That model must take an initiative test (subtract one from the result to represent the missile's homing capabilities). Behemoths always fail this test.
If the test is failed, the missile explodes and the model suffers D6 mortal wounds. All other models within 3" of the explosion must also take an initiative test (subtract one) or suffer D6 mortal wounds.
If the test is passed, the missile continues its flight path - possibly passing within 1" of other models and requiring additional tests.
+ Missiles continue to move in their controlling player's subsequent turns. During your Hero phase, you must roll for each missile you control which started the turn on the board: on a 3+, the missile runs out of fuel and explodes.
An AIRBORNE model may drop a bomb during its movement if it selected the BOMBING RUN action. Choose any point during the model's movement and place a bomb counter. Then move that counter forward D6" along the AIRBORNE model's flight path. All models within 3" of the final point which do not have the AIRBORNE or FLY special rules suffer D6 mortal wounds. Initiative saves may not be taken against bombs. All terrain within 3" of the bomb is also destroyed.
Choose any point during the model's movement and place a bomb counter. Then move that counter forward D6" along the AIRBORNE model's flight path. The bomb explodes at the final point.