22 July, 2012

Sixth Edition Unit Types: Flying Monstrous Creatures

Hive Tyrant courtesy of Forge World

Day seven of the unit overview: Flying Monstrous Creatures.


These guys didn't properly exist in 5th Edition. The Flying Hive Tyrant was no more than a Hive Tyrant with a Jump Pack. With the introduction of Flyers and Flying Monstrous Creatures in 6th Edition, 40k proper now has a way to handle them other than "they move a little faster." Because they're a cross between typical Monstrous Creature and a Flyer (the Vehicle type, that is), they get a whole page dedicated to them.

Movement Phase

At the beginning of movement you get to declare which type of movement your Flying Monstrous Creature (FMC) will use until the beginning of the next turn: Gliding or Swooping.

When Gliding, the FMC is pretty straightforward: they're treated as a Jump Monstrous Creature (like a Nemesis Dreadknight with Personal Teleporter). They can choose to get a burst of speed during Movement or during a Charge. They keep all Monstrous Creature traits, however, so they always can do their Hammer of Wrath attacks when Charging, not just when using boost on the Charge. Fun fact! Since Jump Monstrous Creatures have Move Through Cover, they automatically pass the Dangerous terrain test for starting or ending in Difficult terrain.

When Swooping, however, FMCs are totally different beasts. We start with the Jump Monstrous Creature base and modify it. They move much like Flyers, but they're limited to between 12" and 24". So just like Flyers, they must move in straight lines while Swooping. If they fly off the board, they enter the "Ongoing Reserves" which means they automatically return to the board on the next turn. Of course, if they're off the board when the game ends, they're considered to be lost. They will return in Swooping mode; they cannot return to the board Gliding.

The FMC has a new USR compared to your vanilla Monstrous Creature: Vector Strike. If you move over a unit that isn't tied up in combat (even a Flyer) while Swooping, you can cause d3+1 hits with your creature's Strength and it is treated as AP3. Any Vehicle hit as such will be hit on the Side Armour. This "uses" one of the FMC's shooting attacks, so if it has two weapons it can fire, it can only use one in the Shooting Phase.

Shooting Phase

Just like normal Monstrous Creatures, the Flying Monstrous Creature may fire two weapons during Shooting (with the above Vector Strike exception). If it performed a Vector Strike, it does not have to continue to attack that target during the rest of the turn. Unlike Flyers, the FMC may attack any target in range, not just those in front of them (they don't have Firing Arcs, after all). If a FMC chooses to run, they get to move up to 2d6". Again, this has to be straight forward. Just like in the Movement Phase, they can leave the board by Running placing them in the Ongoing Reserves.

Since they fly at high speeds, shooting attacks against them are difficult. Non-Skyfire weapons may only shoot Snap Shots at them. Even if they did have the Skyfire rule, Templates and Blasts (small and large alike) would not affect them. However of they do get hit, they have a chance to be grounded. If grounded, you are free to Charge the FMC! If they are grounded, the FMC will suffer a S9 Wound with only Invulnerable saves (and Feel No Pain if it has a Toughness of 5+) available to it. To avoid this awful fate, the FMC may perform a Dive if shot at. This conveys the Jink USR to the FMC but makes them only fire Snap Shots on their next turn.

Assault Phase

A Gliding Flying Monstrous Creature may assault as normal, but a Swooping FMC may not Charge or be Charged.

Final Thoughts

The arrival of Flyers and Flying Monstrous Creatures to 40k is an exciting thing. They can rain terror from the skies with near impunity. Hive Tyrants with Jump Packs weren't all that scary compared to a Hive Tyrant on foot, but a Flying Hive Tyrant is looking pretty scary to me.

That's a wrap up on the 6th Edition unit overview. Hopefully some clarity was added from this week's articles. As always, watch your back; you never know when there will be an Eldar player around trying to cheat you out of a win. Not that I'm bitter or anything.


  1. Sorry to do it this way, but you have no contact info on this blog. I was wondering if you would like to do an audio interview for 11th Company Podcast to talk about your blog.

    11th Co.

    1. Oh. I had the email address unchecked in the profile settings. ash@obsidianrose.net