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Warhammer 40000 : Aeronautica Imperialis review

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Hello everyone !!

Today is the review of Aeronautica Imperialis Core set, Wings of Vengeance! This review will be articulated around: The content of the box, the models, and the rules.

Pre order on Goblin Gaming if you wish

Aeronautica Imperialis pre orders

Content of the Wings of Vengeance Box

While content of the box was already revealed some days ago in Wings of Vengeance Content , after listing what's inside I want to give my impressions.

Wings of Vengeance Content

-2x Imperial Navy Thunderbolt Fighters (can be assembled as - 2x - 2x - -2x Thunderbolt Fighters or Thunderbolt Fury Fighters)
- 2x Imperial Navy Marauder Bombers
- 3x Ork Air Waaagh! Dakkajets
- 2x Ork Air Waaagh! Fighta Bommers
- 1x double-sided card Area of Engagement game board (depicting two aerial war zones)
- 1x double-sided card token sheet (70 tokens to help you keep track of all the action)
- 8x Six-sided dice (white with black pips)
- 1x Transfer sheet (for the Imperial Navy and Ork Air Waaagh! aircraft included in the set)
- 2x Quick reference cards (containing the key game rules)

Decent for 70€ as you get a very nice discount on the plane prices (around 82€) and get the stuff you need to play for free. Still, the quality of the elements are not so great so let's talk about the quality of the accessories and rules content.

Wings of Vengeance quality/content (issue)

The Area of Engagement is in gloss paper with very pronounced folding mark. To be honest playing on it is not a fine experience at all. yea i even say pretty shitty for a 70€ game :/ . My first extra buy would be the Rynn Area of Engagement or some mouse pad hex terrain (2") made by a third party.

Tokens
The tokens are really basic, made of very light cardboard they are not as heavy as usual. And yea they look cheap.
Not great, i need acrylic/Metal/Plastic

Bases

Very well made, heavy enough to be stable, the front, rear, right and left are explicitly marked. The wheels for speed and altitude are sturdy and got a hard friction preventing the wheel to spin alone.

My only doubt is not painting the base or painting it without screwing the wheels :/
Aeronautica Imperialis review

Flystand

Excellent ! hold the plan very well and are repositionable !

Maneuvre sheet

Good Quality, the 8 Maneuvre are represented. The sheet feels sturdy and lightly laminated with a glossy varnish. I would have liked a small card format to be included for ease of use.

Rulesbook

Only 34 pages of rules. While it's enough to explain how the game is played. It's the bare minimum, the games modes are absent, the list building is super limited with only a few options per side. But that's not all, there is only ONE scenario in the book: Dog Fight! (simple fight. ). Yea it's light on content for once.

Ok, I understand that I need Rynn World to have the full experience, but a small extra book (5-10 pages) with a mini-campaign rules and a few missions would have been a more honest package.

Accessories review conclusion

This all feels very cheap and minimalist if you exclude the planes and bases. From the get-go, you have to Buy Rynn Campaign and the Area of Engagement to have a nice experience. Still, the Plane deal is good with value for the imperial at 48€ and 36€ for the orcs.

Now that the extra stuff is reviewed let's get to the planes !!!

Aeronautica Imperialis Fighters

If I had some grief for the accessories I only have praise for the Fighters included in the core set: Wings of Vengeance.

The small planes are so cute, full of details and a pleasure to assemble. Also, there are a lot of little missiles/bombs to customize your Fighters. Also, I did found the assembling very clever and well designed. This morning I glued a Thunderbolt and was pleased to discover that Both variants had separate pieces making it very easy to Magnetize.

Details Pictures

Details are crisp and make painting a lot easier. Wings, hulls, tails have a lot of details like : line & armour plate. I am not sure how I am going to paint them, but a mix of airbrush and contrast should look very good for the time spent.

Aeronautica Imperialis review
Aeronautica Imperialis review

Finished model

Seeing them in picture and having them in hand is quite different. They look so cute and cool, they are my new favorites models in all the the GW line. 10 secondes after finishing it was flying it shooting pew pew pew ^^ Sinceriously it's even better than i expected and the Navy Bomber are looking super big !! Can't wait to assemble and paint more !!!

Aeronautica Imperialis review
Aeronautica Imperialis review

I magnetized the plane so I can change the nose/weapons loadout.

Aeronautica Imperialis review

As you can see I glued the magnet inside. I don't know if I'll do it for all the planes but for the Thunderbolt/fury, it was easy enough. I'll do a post later on how to magnetise it.

In the end, the Planes models are incredibly detailed, cute, and the positionable stand is even better.

Gameplay

Now that we checked the accessories and the planes
The game is divided in phase: we both resolve one phase before going to the next.

1 choose manoeuvres
2 Roll initiative
3 Resolve Tail fire
4 Move
5 shoot
6 End phase.

If you want a detailed "how to play video" you can check the Aeronautica Imperialis Rules video . With the explaining of the rules done by Becca, I am just going to focus on some mechanism that I liked.

Generality

The gameplay is quite simple but also very deep. In a nutshell, we both secretly plan our move orders and resolve them in sequence. If you did good you can shoot with your main weapons (nose-mounted shooting in front of you) . If not you have to fall back on secondary weaponry like a turret or rear gun.

Movement Fun

The manoeuvre mechanism really suits the Dog Fight feeling of the game. Positioning your plane is not that hard at range but when you are very close it's a lot harder ! Plane can change position and altitude all the time.

Always engage heavier ship at super close range you can easily stay out of their Las Canon.

The golden goose in the game is Tailing the enemy. That mean you are on his six and at short range (1-4/ 5-7/8-10 Hex). Tailing grant you a free shooting phase next turn before movement phase. But as it's in next turn you still have a chance to be saved if another plane shoots your pursuer.

The initiative is a fun dilemma because first allowing you to shoot first but moving second give better positioning. I'd say it's better to be the first player during engagement and be second during intense dog fight!

Altitude: Always try to change altitude when defending because it's a -1 to the attack roll for each level difference.

Dakka Dakka Dakka

Shooting in this game is like any other GW games. you roll a number of dice equal to the Firepower at the target range. You hit on 5+ most of the time and then do a wound rolls depending on the weapon.

Firepower represents the numbers of dice/attacks a weapon make depending on the range. It changes the effectiveness of the Jet depending on where is the enemy and what weapon is on board

Aeronautica Imperialis review
Aeronautica Imperialis review

If you compare both ships you'll notice that the Dakkajet have 8 attacks at short range (1-4 hex) that hit on 5+ wounds on 5+. While it's strong at short range it loose half of this dakka at medium.
On the other side the Fury only has 3 dices at short range (5+ / 4+) but with double damage on 6+. But at medium, he rolls 7d + 2d for the Boltcanon and Lascano. Notice how the las canon has 0 dice at short range but wounds on 2+ !!!

List building and Fight

Having only received Wings of Vengeance as material I don't have much to review here. To play a game you have to agree on a point level and play. Each side has a few options to customise their Jet.

Aeronautica Imperialis review

As you can see the list is quite short and the effects are limited, the Orc side is very similar but with more offensive options.

Each Plan can equip missiles and bombs. Bombs have no use while you don't have a mission with ground objectives. On the other hand, missiles / Rookit are awesome to add extra Dakka on the important turn! Each shot is 2 dices and one munition! (2pts)

Conclusion

Aeronautica Imperialis is a very interesting game. My testing is limited by the core box but I had a lot of fun playing (3 games). There is a lot of room for mastering manoeuvres and ruling the Sky like the Red Baron!

Even if some components of the core box are a bit lacking it's still good value. I am enthusiastic to try campaign mode, Pilot cards and ground target interaction!

I am Hyped !!! I enjoyed doing this warhammer 40000 : Aeronautica Imperialis review a lot. I hope the game is a success (and i am sure it will be !!)

Pre order on Goblin Gaming if you wish

Aeronautica Imperialis pre orders

Any questions ? Ask away !! :D

Aeronautica Imperialis navigation :

Aeronautica Imperialis Gencon reveal video
Aeronautica Imperialis Prices
Aeronautica Imperialis Wings of Vengeance starter set
Aeronautica Imperialis Open the box
Aeronautica Imperialis Models details
Aeronautica Imperialis How to play & website
Aeronautica Imperialis Eldar and chaos teased
Aeronautica Imperialis Pre orders
Aeronautica Imperialis Eavy Bommer
Warhammer 40000 : Aeronautica Imperialis review
Eavy Bommer preview
Aeronautica Imperialis twitch transcript with Andy Hoare teasing 5 factions in the game
Aeronautica Imperialis : How to magnetize a Thunderbolt Tutorial !! (Like an Ace)

/Cheers.
Bob.