The Rules‎ > ‎Vehicles‎ > ‎


The airspace above a battle is thronged with activity. Fighters and bomber craft hurtle through the skies, duelling with one another and providing fire support for the troops on the ground.

Death from the Skies
If you play a game of Warhammer 40,000 using Death from the Skies supplement those rules for Flyers to be applied instead.

Aerial Support

Flyers must begin the game as Reserves. Special rules that allow an owning player to move one or more of their units out of Reserves after deployment but before the game begins (for example the C’tan Shard power ‘Grand Illusion’) cannot be used to move a Flyer out of Reserves unless they specifically state that Flyers can start the game deployed on the table (such as a Skyshield Landing Pad’s ‘Ready for Takeoff’ rule).

Flyers and Measuring

Flyers have flying bases that suspend them above the battlefield. However, distances are still measured to and from the Flyer’s hull, with the exception of the vehicle’s weapons and Fire Points, which all work as normal. The base of a Flyer is effectively ignored, except for when:
  • The Flyer is in close combat, in which case models may move into contact with the vehicle’s hull, its base or both.
  • Models are embarking or disembarking from the Flyer, in which case the base of the Flyer is used as an Access Point.

Flyers and Other Models

Models that physically fit under a Flyer model can move beneath it. Likewise, a Flyer can end its move over such models. However, when moving this way, enemy models must still remain 1" away from the base of the Flyer, and the Flyer cannot end its move with its base within 1" of other enemy models.


If a Flyer comes under fire, the pilot can throw his craft into a series of evasive manoeuvres in an attempt to avoid taking damage. All Flyers have the Jink special rule.


Flyers can usually only make a special kind of move called Zoom. Some can also Hover – see opposite. Zooming allows the Flyer to move at fantastic speeds, making it very difficult to shoot down, but limits its manoeuvrability. If a Flyer Zooms, it has a Combat Speed of 18" and a Cruising Speed of up to 36". However, as a certain amount of forward thrust is required for the vehicle to stay in the air, a Zooming Flyer can never voluntarily move less than 18" in its own Movement phase. If a Zooming Flyer is forced to move less than 18" in its own Movement phase, it is automatically Wrecked.

To represent its limited manoeuvrability, a Zooming Flyer can only make a single pivot on the spot of up to 90° before it moves. Thereafter, it must move directly forwards in a straight line. In a turn in which a Flyer enters the board from Reserve, it can do so facing any direction you wish, providing that the resulting move will not carry it off the board again.

A Zooming Flyer can move over intervening units and impassable terrain exactly as a Skimmer. In addition, a Zooming Flyer does not have to take Dangerous Terrain tests even if it starts or stops over difficult, dangerous or impassable terrain. Finally, unless otherwise stated, models cannot embark upon, or voluntarily disembark from, a Zooming Flyer.

Zoom, Tank Shock and Ramming

Zooming Flyers cannot Tank Shock or Ram, nor can they be Tank Shocked or Rammed. If a Ramming vehicle would end up underneath a Zooming Flyer, move the Ramming vehicle by the shortest distance so that it is 1" away from the base of the Flyer.

Zomming and Shooting

Flyers have sophisticated targeting systems designed to work at the fastest speeds. Zooming Flyers can fire up to four of their weapons using their full Ballistic Skill if they have moved at either Combat Speed or Cruising Speed that turn.

Hard To Hit

Zooming Flyers are incredibly difficult targets for troops without suitably calibrated weapons and scopes. Shots resolved at a Zooming Flyer can only be resolved as Snap Shots (unless the model or weapon has the Skyfire special rule). Template and Blast weapons, and any other attacks that don’t roll To Hit, cannot hit Zooming Flyers.

Zoom and Flat Out

A Zooming Flyer that goes Flat Out must move forwards in a straight line between 12" and 24".

Charging Zooming Flyers

Due to their high speed (and presumably high altitude), Zooming Flyers cannot be charged.

Repairing Zooming Flyers

Some models have the ability to repair Hull Points, Immobilised or Weapon Destroyed results on vehicles. Such models can only use such abilities on a Zooming Flyer if that Flyer is a Transport and the model attempting to repair it is embarked inside it.

Leaving Combat Airspace

It’s quite likely that a Flyer making a Zoom move will leave the board, either deliberately or by accident. If this happens, the Flyer is said to have left combat airspace – it then enters Ongoing Reserves. A Flyer that leaves combat airspace must Zoom back on when it returns from Ongoing Reserves, even if it has the Hover type.

A Flyer cannot leave combat airspace on the same turn that it entered play from Reserves – the owning player must deploy their model in such a way that it will not leave the board on the same turn.


A Flyer that has the Hover type can choose to Hover instead of Zooming. Hovering makes the Flyer slower, but considerably more agile, and in the case of Transports it allows passengers to embark or disembark.

A Flyer with the Hover type must declare whether it is going to Zoom or Hover before it moves, and before any embarked models disembark, each Movement phase. This means that, if the Flyer arrives from Reserve, you must declare which type of movement it is using before placing it on the board. If a Flyer is in a squadron, all vehicles in the squadron must choose the same type of movement. A Flyer in Hover mode cannot switch to Zoom mode if it is Immobilised.

If a Flyer is Hovering, it is treated exactly as a Fast Skimmer. This makes it more manoeuvrable, but often limits the number of weapons it can fire.

Special Rules

Zooming Flyers can choose whether or not to use the Skyfire special rule at the start of each Shooting phase. If they do, all weapons they fire that phase are treated as having the Skyfire special rule.

Flyers and Immobilised Results

Having your engines stall when flying can have disastrous consequences. If a Zooming Flyer ever suffers an Immobilised result, roll a D6: on a 1 or 2, the Flyer will immediately Crash and Burn. On a 3+, the Immobilised result counts as a Crew Stunned result instead.



 Q: If a Flyer which is forced to move 18" forwards due to an Immobilised result ends its move over an enemy unit, does it ‘Crash and Burn!’?
No. Use the ‘Wobbly Model Syndrome’ rule, clearly indicating where the model’s actual position is on the table.
 Q: Can a Flyer make a Bombing Run or Vector Strike on the same turn that it enters Ongoing Reserves by leaving the battlefield?
 Q: Does a Flyer with extra armour, when suffering an Immobilised result that is turned into a Crew Stunned result, then have that Crew Stunned result turned into Crew Shaken?
 Q: Flyers can fire 4 weapons at full Ballistic Skill, can they also fire any additional weapons as Snap Shots like other vehicles?
 Q: Can a unit that is locked in combat be chosen as the target of a Bombing Run?
 Q: Can a Flyer with the Hover (and thus Fast Skimmer) unit type be deployed on the board as a Fast Skimmer?
No, unless it has a rule that specifically allows it.
 Q: Can you claim to have destroyed a Flyer for a Maelstrom of War Tactical Objective (e.g. Scour the Skies) if the target was in Hover mode at the time it was destroyed?
Yes – the model is still a Flyer, regardless of what mode it is in.