So, fliers. What are they good for?

I’m struggling to see how fliers can be used effectively. They’re cheap, so that’s good. They can’t take upgrades and such, so that’s less great. They don’t gain experience, so that’s not awesome for campaigns. But mostly they can only attack smaller ships (if they hope to survive) and only by flying over them. Lining up the attack can be hard, and while “hover” helps for some of the fliers (Allowing the flier to use its entire movement to spin to any facing) it does cost the whole flier’s turn, essentially. This seems to really limit their helpfulness? It seems like they might not be pulling their weight here…

I have the Twilight Kin fliers, but maybe some of the other fliers are better?

I realize they’re new, but has anyone had any luck using them?

What are your thoughts on how to get your points-worth from these little guys?


This was the blog post about flyers in general when they were first released

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We’re still growing our fleets in the escalation campaign so I don’t think we’ve really had a chance to see them shine yet. I get the feeling that there’s a unit meta that we haven’t quite solved but it feels like there’s a bunch of unit roles out there: Chaff, Counter-Chaff, Degrader, Area Control, Objective Racer, and Finisher. And probably some others I haven’t thought of. The fliers seem like they are Counter-Chaff and Finishers.

Personally I’m still not well accustomed with Fliers. I do think that with more games involving them, the answers will show up eventually. At first glance Fliers are there mostly to take out enemy Fliers, cause some are really nasty and you don’t want them flying, uncontested. For example Winggit, who buffs Orc shooting, or Elohi Altar that grants a powerful Aura (reroll fail Nerve Test within 6" - crazy good).

I had some notes about Fliers, that I lost somewhere. Plan to go for a full Fliers primer article, but am so overworked these days - might take a while and definitely need more games before I’m redy to do it.
Either way short notes:

  • Fliers are un-killable by regular ships, until they decide to attack. They cannot be targeted with a Shooting Attack, Rammed or Boarded.
  • Fliers are super fast.
  • All fliers are at least 14SP, which means they need to be dealt at least 7 hits (on a 7+) to get destroyed. This is highly improbable to happen when facing a ship of up to 7CS, even with Crits dealing 4dmg, I would say it is safe to go for it.
  • They can be used to force enemy ships to stay packed together to try and use retaliation within 3".
  • They can be used to add extra damage onto damaged enemy ships, like to push them beyond the brink of Cripple.
  • Some factions have more synergic Fliers, that offer Aura or single target Buffs (Basi, Orc). Some factions are limited to more Skirmish centered Fliers (EoD).

I think that to fully appreciate fliers an understanding of their circumstances is required. Their statline cannot be compared to ships, as Fliers operate in a different environment, on without Shooting or Boarding Actions. Even Retaliation is limited to pure CS, Boarding Action buffs does not work on it. This results in pretty durable, cheap stuff you can throw onto enemy ship to put some damage in. If you also manage to put a Blaze Marker then totally worth it (some Fliers have Blaze Marker special effects of their attacks).

I hope I will find time and XP to drop Fliers Article soon. Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.


I’ve had a few games using them and a few more facing them. They’re not something thats gonna break the game, can be an annoyance as they can quite easily threaten tiny, small and medium support ships without much fear of coming away worse off. Which leaves you with the decision of either keeping your fleet together for the added ship retaliation or breaking them up and accepting you might lose one to dive bombing. Can also be useful for finishing things off.

One of my regular opponents uses the orcs and usage varies, the wingit has felt a little lack lustre, it’s more a support piece with the ability to spot a ship, seems to work okay alongside a couple blood runners for plink damage with their heavy cannons, can be thown in to attack a lone ship without too much cs, if you’re lucky you can set them on fire. The slasher has been pretty nasty. With its move value allowing 4 turns with a red turn arc its super manoeuvrable and quite often gets the chance to hit a ship each activation once its closed with the fleet and does reliable damage with 4 attacks causing crushing blows on 9s and 10s.

I’ve ran the bone dragon, it’s ability to heal a little seems nice but each time I’ve used it it doesn’t get to attack that often. Its speed allows it to be able to make 3 turns but with the yellow turn arc its manoeuvrability its pretty poor so I find it hits something then has to use its next turn to use the hover ability and if the opponent has moved far enough away it might not catch them on its next turn. I haven’t tried the vulture flock thing though I think I will give it go next time instead of the dragon.

Also haven’t gotten the basilean ones to the table yet but the sky alter seems a massive buff piece to just keep near your ships and occasionally do some anti flyer attacks or hit a weak ship near-by. The phoenix you’re definitely hoping to set something on fire