chaosbunker.de
7Sep/190

Aeronautica Imperialis – Wings of Vengeance

Keen eyes have spotted the Logo of Aeronautica Imperialis in one of the teasers by Games Workshop published on Warhammer Community. This Saturday the new Wings of Vengeance starter kit for the updated 2019 version of Aeronautica Imperialis was released.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Updated? Yes. Aeronautica Imperialis is not a novelty as you might think and not a Specialist Games revival either. The game was developed by Forge World back in 2006, written by Warwick Kinrade, who went on to write historical rules nowadays (among other publications, the Battlegroup series and the first Armies of Germany supplement for Bolt Action). Forge World was heavily focused on heavy and super heavy gear for the Warhammer 40k range back in the day, especially for the Imperial Guard, as many of the team back then, came from a model building background and brought in a lot of experience and knowledge from the tank design into those resin kits. But they didn't just do tracked vehicles, but aircrafts as well. Playing dogfights with thunderbolts and marauder bombers in 28mm would be or is incredible fun, but you would need a gym (and deep pockets to buy a squadron of Forge World aeroplanes) to run such a game. So scaling that down to 6mm (the common epic scale within 40k until the release of Adeptus Titanicus), would make sense.

2006 the main rulebook was released, covering the Imperial Navy, Space Marines, Ork Air Waaagh!, Tau, Eldar and Chaos. A year later in 2007 the Tactica Aeronautica supplement was released, covering a couple of new aircrafts, a narrative campaign, scenarios and a battle report incl. elaborated terrain building advice for an imperial air base. Both books were accompanied by a large selection of different flyers and aircrafts made from resin in the 6mm scale incl. bases.

Forge World - Aeronautica Imperialis Forge World - Tactica Imperialis Supplement

And now it is 2019 and we get a broadly available starter kit, including plastic sprues, a couple of tokens and dice, at 70 EUR released on Saturday September 7th. The two air forces within the Wings of Vengeance kit are the Imperial Navy, with two Thunderbolts and Marauders, against the Ork Air Waaagh! with three Dakkajets and two Fighta-Bommers. Please note that the new edition is only available in English so far, with no translations planned / announced yet.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The bases are hex-shaped, with two counter wheels on the sides, to keep track on speed and altitude. They come with ball-topped clear flying rods. A couple of regular D6, two quick reference sheets, a card board sheet with tokens and a decal sheet. Please note, those are only black and white. So the artwork / decals shown on the painted aircrafts are not included, at least not in those colours. This "liberty" is a bit annoying, for example the models shown on the cover of the books and boxes (!) are not the ~8mm kits, but the more detailed 28mm kits. Something they did with Adeptus Titanicus as well, using the larger Forge World models instead of the actual product included in the kit / sprues. Yes, they do look nice, but the actual kits are very detailed and have no need to hide them.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

There is a roughly 3 by 3 ft. double sided poster included, to be used as a gaming board. You will notice that the new edition of Aeronautica uses Hex fields instead of free movement. Something that is rather popular with aerial combat games. If you're not satisfied with using a poster, Games Workshop offers a card board game plan, Rynn's World Area of Engagement. I am pretty sure that we will see some mousepad gaming mats in the near future by the usual suspects.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The rulebook itself is a 36 page softcover and only covers the basic rules along with the profiles of miniatures included. If you want to use the second Marauder variant or the upcoming Ork Eavy Bommer and Grot Bommer (or the AA guns from the terrain set) you will need to buy the 88 pages Rynn's World campaign supplement. The first edition of Aeronautica Imperialis was a 188 page hardcover, with a 136 page hardcover supplement released the next year.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The sprues were done by the same people, who took care of the superbly made new Adeptus Titanicus range. So you get a bunch of tightly packed plastic sprues, with a very appealing amount of details and high quality casting. These sprues were designed as regular kits and are "just" combined for the Wings of Vengeance starter set, so no easy-to-build push-fit models, but proper multi-part sprues. You get a sprue with two Thunderbolts, the generic Marauder sprue with the additional bomber parts in a smaller separate sprue (the destroyer has a different set up for the second, smaller sprue), a sprue with three Dakkajets with lots of variants and the Fighta-Bommer sprue with two aircrafts.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance
Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance
Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance
Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The leaflets are simple single fold, double sided A5 booklets. As you might know them from the mid-range Titanicus kits (they started with coloured leaflets, incl. paint schemes, moved on to grey scale instructions and went down to very simple assembly instructions with the Acastus printed on regular paper). Unfortunately no paint schemes of the different squadrons or so in these leaflets.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

We begin the assembly with the Thunderbolt of the Imperial Navy. I'll build the two fighters at the same time. Beginning with the wings that have the engines added to them.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Next up the upper part, including the engine compartment and pilot's cabin. Really nice detail and proper use of multiple layers to gain depths on such a small scale.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The Thunderbolts can either be build as Fighters or as Furies. The fighters have nose-mounted quad autocannons, the Fury use the Avenger Bolt Cannon. Both of them have laser cannons on top.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Now wings and fuselage are combined and the front covers of the turbofans and wing tips are added to the Thunderbolts.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Every aircraft so far has the option to add some kind of bombs, rockets or missiles to their wings. The Thunderbolt can choose from a pair of Hellstrike or Skystrike missiles or regular wing bombs. It has a total of two slots per side and just look how many spare parts you are left with.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Quite a bit heavier than the Thunderbolt is the Marauder class, of which there are Bombers and Destroyers. Included in the starter box are two of the Bombers.  Instructions are well made and clear. The build begins with the long fuselage and the air intakes on the sides, along with the cockpit top and lower body with the socket.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

You have to pay attention to the detail, as the engine covers fit on both sides, just the orientation of the fan is different. Very well fit and easy to assemble.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The Bomber has moveable ball turrets in the nose, tail and fuselage. The mounts for the nose and tail are added in this step along with the elevators and rudder wings.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The armament in the front are twin-linked lascannons, fuselage and tail have twin-linked heavy bolters. These can be rotated to a certain degree as a whole turret, no elevation of the guns themselves.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The Marauder bomber has four slots on each wing for additional weaponry. The profile states that it can carry the same weapons as the Thunderbolt (Hellstrike and Skystrike Missiles, Wing Bombs), but the sprue lacks the Skystrike missiles. A bit sad that those are missing from the sprue, but you could probably use spares from the Thunderbolt. The assembly instructions only show the addition of two bombs/missiles per side, instead of the four the bomber can / may carry. I went with two, as it is less crowded and probably easier to paint.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

So that's our Imperial Navy Squadron.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Next up the Ork Air Waaagh! with their Dakkajets and Fighta Bommers. Same level of instructions here, double sided, folded A5 leaflets in grey-tones.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The Dakkajet replaces the regular Ork Fighta from the previous Aeronautica release. The 40k kit of the Dakkajet is incredible fun to build, with lots of options and even got an upgrade once they repacked it to the Wazbom Blastajet. And they brought a lot of that variation and crazy designs over into the 8mm scale.

The sprue for the dakkajet lets you build three of them. They have three different sets of wings in each sprue.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Along with three different sets of noses, one of which is a direct scale-down of the regular Dakkajet.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Same goes for the wing tips and fins, those are almost identical with the others designs from the Blitza-Bommer, Burna-Bommer and Dakkajet. All three parts are interchangeable with each other, so you could buy multiples of these kits and have them vary by a lot.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Now for my combination.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

They have some optional spare parts beyond the bombs and rockets. You can add exhaust pipes (again the very designs from the larger 40k models), landing gear and exhaust tails.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

And the Dakkajets have two slots on the wings for bombs and "rokkits", of which the kit covers a vast variation of designs to choose from.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Similar to the heavier Marauders, the Ork Air Waaagh! is supported by Fighta Bommers. They come two per sprue and have slightly different design. The fuselage consists out of a top and bottom part, along with a different nose for each of them. You can mix them to your liking. Same counts for the exhausts.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance
Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The Fighta Bommers have two different designs for the wings, and elevators. You're free to mix them as you like (but I'd stay with one type per pair).

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

As for the armament, they may carry either three pairs of rokkits and wings bombs or two pair of big bombs. I went with the rule of cool and added as much as possible. It's the Waaagh! you know. The sprue covers Kustom Big Shootas that aren't listed on the data within the rule book. Maybe they are covered in the campaign supplement.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

And that's for the Air Waaagh! along with a direct comparison of all the models build from the box.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

To give you an idea of the size, here are the flyers next to each other. The Thunderbolt is quite large for a "regular" fighter plane, resulting in a smaller difference in size between it and the Marauder Bomber.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

And to give you an idea how small these are, even at the rough 8mm (1:285-1:300 scale), here is a side by side with a Dakkajet (it is de-orcified to be used as a prop within Necromunda). The 40k parts are roughly 4 times the size. That matches the scale information on Adeptus Titanicus.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

About that, yes, they are meant to go together, if you want to. Maybe build a Warlord that snatches an airplane mid-flight? Or add a couple of wracks to your battlefield. The possibilities are vast.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Aeronautica isn't the only dog fighting game on the market. There are quite a few to choose from, mostly historical, but just to give you an idea size wise, here is the Thunderbolt next to a Wings of War / Wings of Glory plane, a Blood Red Skies Messerschmitt and a Star Wars' X-Wing.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The aircraft can be put upon the ball-top fly bases, giving them the possilibity to be posed, diving down, rising up or strafing.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance
Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

The rules have changed a bit, mostly the movement that went from free to hexes. As we're already above 90 pictures and a lot of information, I just include this how-to-play video with Becca. On YouTube is only the teaser, the full 20 minute video can be found here: Aeronautica Imperialis.

Conclusion
Wings of Vengeance is a well-made boxed set. It creates a fitting and neat addition to the Adeptus Titanicus range. But I am unsure where it stands. Is it a one-off, like Speed-Freeks, just a bit more elaborate? The price point of the boxed set is reasonable, the sprues themself would add up to above 80 EUR bought individually, and they are very well made. It is fun to build these detailed kits, as Games Workshop knows what they are doing. The overdrawn, heroic scale proportions are easier to handle compared to some historical kits in a similar scale, and they are set within the very popular Warhammer 40.000 universe. Compared to other dogfight / aerial combat games, it is quite on eye-level with the pricing with individual flyers are between 5,40 EUR (Ork Dakkajets) and 16,25 EUR (Marauders). For comparison RRP for X-Wing, Wings of War / Glory or Attack Wing charge roughly about 15 EUR for a regular sized aircraft (yes, online prices may vary, but that applies to Games Workshop prices as well).

I am just not a fan of these release day DLCs. From what the supplements show, there is currently only one unit / plastic kit missing, the 'Eavy Bommer of the orks, along with the Grot Bommer (both profiles covered in the campaign supplement and NOT part of the rulebook). No mentioning of the other races, like Chaos, Eldar or Tau. With Adeptus Titanicus set in the Horus Heresy, the Imperial Navy would be enough for the start, but even there quite a lot of aircrafts are missing, like the Lightning or Avenger. I mentioned it in the article itself, the first edition of Aeronautica had a 188 page rule book and it covered lots and lots of paint samples for the different ships. Why not re-use them? Give the players a couple of ideas how to paint them. Along with the supplement Tactica Aeronautica, there would have been so much material and ideas, to not let the basic rule book just be 36 pages thick. Let them have a separate campaign supplement, I just think there was room and budget for Wings of Vengeance to be a better version as it is. For me it would have felt more complete, if Wings of Vengeance for example included a bigger rulebook, with more content (of any kind). If it would cover the ground assets and / or card board game plan (it is possible with the Killzones / Ravaged Lands for example, with Titanicus we had the accessories / terrain sprue even as part of the small boxed set). And not spread all that additional gaming material over so many individual products. This game is niche, I am aware of that. It is more of a fan-service, as an actual product aimed at competition. But then, if it is such a special product, why not give it the treatment it deserves?

Don't get me wrong, it is not a bad product, not at all. Especially if you simply see it as a boxed miniatures board game, you can enjoy the game just by the content in the boxed set. And from what we've heard, you shouldn't get your hopes up that it will be much more as was released this month. The printed products and dice are rumoured to be one-runs, similar to the card decks and dice for Necromunda. Once they are gone, they're gone. Along with the fact that this game was not translated, it does not carry the impression that there is a long schedule behind it. That said, if you fancy this game and you want to have it complete, don't wait too long, as OOP supplements tend to have an unhealthy price tendency. Or if you're just heavy into Adeptus Titanicus, the pieces from this set will give you a great starting point for an Imperial Air Base or some impressive ruins / wrecks.

Warhammer 40,000 and Aeronautica Imperialis are brands by Games Workshop.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a Reply

Trackbacks are disabled.