is a 10mm miniature wargame based in a future era where mankind is trying to re-take their civilization from scary aliens. Developed by Hawk Wargames, it presents a lot of interesting features for a modern tabletop game:
- 10mm scale (compared to 15mm Flames of War and 28mm Warhammer)
- Air and land combat, including interceptors and aerial transports (hence the game's name)
- Rules for garrisoning, assaulting, and destroying buildings
- Awesome new resin material that bends in and out of shape, and is super-resilient
- 6 "regular" and 6 "special" objective-based gametypes, including multiplayer scenarios
- All existing races included in the main rulebook ($22), with promise for PDF releases of new rules/units
- A soon-to-be released expansion that compiles rules for new units and introduces a new faction - The Resistance
United Colonies of Mankind (UCM)
- Forged in desperation, united by adversity and resurgent in power, the UCM exists for a single purpose - to wrest mankind's lost strongholds from the clutches of the Scourge. A collection of diverse and remote frontier worlds, the UCM is a restless cultural melting pot, bubbling with a righteous desire for vengeance.
- The Scourge are foul, neuro-parasitic lifeforms which can utterly dominate an unfortunate host, bending its life to its will. They thrive on the conquest and absorption of other races, their very mode of existence as potent a threat as their formidable battlefield technology. They are the galaxy's ultimate predators.
The Post-Human Republic (PHR)
- A tiny portion of humanity turned its back on mankind in the waning days of the last Golden Age. Over one and a half centuries later, the PHR has emerged from the shadows as an unrecognisable civilisation, its people irrevocably changed. They are no longer simple human beings, they are post-humans - cyborgs.
- The Shaltari are an ancient and highly developed species. Their technology is advanced to a level of sophistication rivalled only by its potency. They have traversed the stars for millennia, learned myriad truths, and have fought countless wars. Through their knowledge, the Shaltari transcend even death itself, and can endure indefinitely, perceiving the ebb and flow of time like no other race.
- The Resistance is a complex, characterful and disparate assortment of human survivors on the Cradle Worlds and Earth itself, currently occupied by the dreaded alien Scourge. The very existence of the Resistance has shaped UCM military planning for its Reconquest, which became a war of liberation rather than simply a war of revenge as soon as they were discovered. Indeed, the Resistance alone are responsible for a reconquest being possible at all, as they were able to activate and maintain foldspace nodes on all but one of the Cradle Worlds, allowing UCM invasion fleets to jump to their locations accurately. Theirs is a tale of loss, grit and determination to survive in the face of insurmountable odds.
How to Start: How Much Will This Shit Cost Me?
Good news, everyone!
There's now a 2 player starter set and, boy is it a doozy! It retails for around 75-90 USD and gets you literally all you need to play! All you need to supply is a 33" x 48" flat surface!
- A 33" x 48" game 'board' (it's 2 posters)
- Scourge starter army
- UCM starter army
- The complete, full-color rulebook
- 10 pre-cut (all you have to do is fold them) card buildings in various sizes/styles
- Handy quick start scenarios, and a roster sheet for each army
- 10 dice
- Tape measure
- Counters and templates
Seriously, this is a really good deal.
But even better than that! Hawk Wargames had just/is in the process of releasing all their starter armies (save for Resistance) in plastic
so while the resin boxes ran about 105USD, the plastics will contain the same models for a paltry 55USD. But Miniature Market is currently selling them for $24.20
which is fucking crazy
You can double up for less than the retail cost of a single starter army.
They also now sell entire
4'x6' gaming boards with terrain for $45
Or you could just print them out and make your own
Okay I'm Sufficiently Aroused. How Does It Play?
The game does not follow the traditional I-go-You-go pattern. Here's a quick breakdown:
- Your army is made of battlegroups, which are each made of multiple squads (a squad being 3 APC's filled with infantry, for example)
- You take turns activating battlegroups, meaning that you'll activate a series of squads and then I'll activate a series of squads.
- Models must maintain coherency within a squad (i.e. your 3 APC's with infantry must stick together) but not within a battlegroup
- Shooting is based on a to-hit/to-wound system. Models may have active countermeasures, reducing your effective range when targeting them, or passive countermeasures which grant a save.
- To-wound rolls are 1 step more difficult than 40k (i.e. the equivalent of Str7 vs. Toughness 7 requires a 5+ to wound)
- Infantry must embark into buildings in order to search for objectives, but can be assaulted/grenaded/flamed out of buildings. Or you can just bring the whole building down!
- Aircraft can make strafing runs, can intercept aircraft that are strafing, or even intercept other interceptors!
- Artillery can fire indirectly, but templates scatter, unless another scouting unit has LOS to the target and relays the information
- Command units determine your likelihood of first activation in a given turn, as well as allow you to pick up and play neat (although not really overpowering) Command Cards for 1-time buffs.