Aeronautica Chaotica Tactica

As a Chaos player, we have many tactics available to us. I would like to share with you now some of my own.

INTRODUCTION

First of all, why choose Chaos? Having only one class of each Fighter and Bomber means you have to worry less over what you are going to select for a certain scenario. It means you will become familiar with their tactics quickly and unless you are painting the models all different colours, one aircraft can represent several in campaign games. Chaos aircraft have good overall manoeuvrability and speed and both aircraft are more than capable of filling multiple roles. On the modelling side of things, Chaos aircraft are not multi-part, they do not have to be assembled and are fun to paint. If you have some time and extra funds, I would recommend purchasing the longer flying stands (GW Part Code: 99379999013) for all your aircraft. For your Aces’ aircraft the Flying Slottabase Ball and Socket (GW Part Code: 99399999062) can be used to give them an in-flight dynamic pose.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

It says in the rules that you can not pre-measure in the Firing phase. So that it doesnt mean you cannot do it during any other phase. For me pre-measuring represents the constant feed of information from allied ground bases and aircraft using radar or even orbital observations. Discuss this before the game, and be prepared for them to use it equally well against you.

Chaos, only have one class of Fighter and they are the cheapest, thus far, in the game. This usually means Chaos players will be fielding more aircraft than any other race. With more aircraft, a Chaos player can usually afford a kill for kill ratio of 1:1. If you keep it at this ratio, your opponent will be forced to "bug-out" first.

With more aircraft in the air, comes more ammunition. No need to spare it, what you need are kills and if spending a little more ammunition is what it takes to “splash” an enemy aircraft, do it. Always use Sustained Burst, especially with the Hell Talon's Lascannon, as it will get a 100% bonus to firepower. Remember with the Hell Talon you can use Sustained Burst for the Lascannon as you get a 100% bonus to Firepower.

The second advantage of having more aircraft in the air than your opponent is that toward the end of your movement phase, you will be the only one moving aircraft. This allows you to cover more fields of fire, set up for Tailing, and out manoeuvring Tailing aircraft. Hell Talons should be moved last if possible.

Selecting Manoeuvre Cards and predicting the flow of air-combat can be tricky and frustrating at times. Remember that the Manoeuvre Cards are 3” in length most require forward movement. Looking at the enemy aircraft facings in relation to your own aircraft should at least give you some idea of what is going to happen in the following turn. Don’t just imagine what you have to do to get at the enemy, imagine what the enemy has to do to get to you, you will be much better prepared for it, in the Shooting phase.

Winning the Initiative and having first move may not seem that big of an advantage, it feels like you are setting one of your aircraft up to be targeted, or that it will be left out of position once the enemy start moving. Use this first move to do the following; bait, lure your opponent in for a seemingly easy kill. Make sure you back this plan up effectively, remember you also get to fire first. Secondly you can use this first move to start a field of fire that no enemy would want to get caught in. Chances are they will not place an aircraft in your first moved aircrafts field of fire no matter how confident they feel about shooting it down. Back this up with overlapping fields of fire, from say a wingman.

SCENARIOS & TACTICS

I would strongly recommend a Hell Blade to Hell Talon ratio of 2:1, or at most 3:1 in any scenario involving bombers. A Hell Blade needs a Hell Talon's long range firepower, just as a Hell Talon needs a Hell Blade's short range firepower. Send the Hell Talons in head-on and flat out up the middle, they can take and dish out more punishment than the Hell Blades. Leave the Hell Blades on the flanks and manoeuvre accordingly to neutralise any threat to the Hell Talons. Having your Hell Talons in the going up the middle of the table will certainly give them plenty of options for targets where as with the Hell Blades it will take careful planning so that they are used most effectively.

Always try and wingman-up your aircraft. Never mix Hell Blades with Hell Talons. Keep your wingman 1 or 2 levels higher, at your 5 or 7 no more than 3" away, and if possible when engaging, 1 level faster. This will give you maximum coverage and a better chance at "splashing" a bogey.

HELL TALON BOMBING RUNS

Having a Rear only fire arc for Bombing runs is not a disadvantage, and in many ways, an advantage. Traditionally you would have to fly past your target dropping bombs as you pass, so long as your target is still in your rear arc and within 6". This generally means heading deeper into enemy territory as you fly over and risking being shot down further. This does not have to be the case. Speed has no effect on Bombing Runs, so make your speed as fast as you like, make your Altitude level 2 or 5 (we all know you cannot make a Bombing Run at Altitude 2 right?). Select Manoeuvrer card, either 7 Half Loop or 8 Wing Over, play this card at anytime once you are over the target (allowing for the 6" range of your bombs on the second pass), it will turn you around in the same turn and have you heading home before the enemy knows what has hit them.

LOSING A TAIL

If you are more manoeuvrable then the enemy is, it will be simple enough to loose a tail, though sometimes even the best pilots will be trapped and caught. 7 Half Loop/8 Wing Over will turn you right around and you can play it at the before any forward movement if desired, the enemy will have a pretty good chance of using their Pilots Skill to change their manoeuvre, but should they fail you are pretty well guaranteed of getting away, unless they predicted your manoeuvre initially. Second option for a less manoeuvrable aircraft to try and loose a tail is to use 4 Power-dive, this will, if you have sufficient height give you a chance to get two Altitude levels between you and your tailing enemy aircraft, or put you out of range altogether with some extra speed.

CHAOS TRANSPORTS

At this stage of game development, Chaos have no transports in Aeronautica Imperialis. The only solution I can offer to this is to use traitor Space Marine Thunderhawks.

FINAL WORDS

I have dubbed Chaos aircraft IVT’s (In-flight Vertical Thrust) aircraft. In Dan Abbott’s book Double Eagle the Chaos aircraft could easily out manoeuvre any Imperial aircraft with vertical thrust. Also, in the Epic 40K system, aircraft may “Jink”, trying to avoid being shot down. I considered both of these, and pondered upon how I could incorporate them into the existing Aeronautica Imperialis rules. I decided in the end that introducing these into the rules could easily over complicate things, and as such, probably have already been taken into consideration with the Chaos aircrafts manoeuvrability.

I hope everyone is able to take away a little something from this article, and may it bring you success and enjoyment.

Orginal artical by Infinity Ace. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please follow this link to the Article Discussion Forum where I will be happy to address them.

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