VTOLs, Helicopters and fliers

Capture12Our gaming boards represent a very small piece of real estate.  As a general rule of thumb, any flying aircraft that we put on the board will need to have the ability to stay there for more than one turn.  As a general rule of thumb, a flyer must move at least 36” per turn.  That being said, a flier can move anywhere on the table, but will need to be positioned withing 20” and within LoS of their target for the turn.  Depending on the type of flier in question the following may or may be applied.

  • Hard to hit – Units shooting at a flying vehicle will have a -1 penalty to their shooting attacks.
  • Easy to damage – Flying vehicles are not built with the same concerns as tanks so they tend to be more lightly armored.  As a result any shot that hits a flier is treated as being one level higher (so a gun with a VLt rating becomes Lt)
  • Exposed – Being shot at from the air is a fairly stressful event.  Units who are put under fire by Aircraft will take a pinning check at -1.
  • Hover – Some vehicles might have the ability to hover in place over the battlefield.  If this is the case, they will not have to move 36” during their turn but will no longer be hard to hit and will lose the benefit of that rule.
  • Support element – Fliers always start in reserve and may exit the table at any time by leaving from any board edge.  If they do exit the table, they can reenter during the next turn on a 4+
  • Transport – certain types of fliers may carry infantry into the battle, if the flyer is destroyed with infantry inside, you will lose the infantry as well  – Hey, you knew it was a hot LZ right?
  •  Shooting from flyers – While flying units are able to observe the entire battlefield, they don’t always have the perfect sight picture of what’s going on.  In order to resolve this any units that haven’t fired during the last activation must be spotted.  Units who are out in the open get a +1 bonus to your leadership role to spot them.  You will first declare which unit you’re attacking and take a leadership (Morale) test to spot and fire at them.  If you fail the leadership test then you will lose the action.  Once a unit is spotted, it remains spotted for rest of the game.
  • Guided Ordinance – If a target is being spotted for an airstrike, give it a +1 modifier to hit.  The unit with the targeting gear will be called out in the scenario.  It’s not something that  we add to the troop profile and should be used as a scenario centerpiece.

Design Notes – when you look at how aircraft are used on the modern combat field, we are just playing on too small a surface to really replicate the awesome power of an airstrike.  Simply put the ordinance is just too overwhelming.  The minimum safe distance for a 1,000 pound bomb is somewhere approaching 500m (or 5 football fields).  Given this fact, there really isn’t a place for the dropping of Napalm on our 4’x6’ gaming table.  However, there are plenty of instances where you might see a gunship come in blazing with the 20mm cannon and launching rockets at the bad guys or a tactical drone strike that is designed to do a lot of damage in a small area.  So we need to use some common sense when bringing aircraft onto the board.