This might turn out to be a very short review because there isn’t much to review.
A few days ago I got my very own “direct only” copy of Death from the Skies. I have to admit I got perverse pleasure seeing retailers complain about a SINGLE product being direct only. The reality, is if retailers had gotten the product, half would have seen it sit on their shelves until 7th edition. Then we have the whiners complaining about the redundant nature of Death from the Skies. Didn’t they notice the whole word “Compendium” attached to the product. These are the same people who I am sure lapped up the Chapter Approved White Dwarf compilations of the early 2000s. It wasn’t like Games Workshop was really twisting your arm to buy the product either– only devoting a week of promotion on there website.
As for the product itself it is everything people expected: 80% rehashed previous content and another 20% of bad fiction with four new missions.
Death from the Skies is divided-up into roughly four parts.
- The Battle for Cardrim campaign
- Special optional Flyer Rules
- Pretty pictures
- Flyer stats and weapons
I got the book for the extra missions and feed my collector’s itch. I knew very well I wasn’t getting anywhere near $33 bucks worth of value.
The first part, Battle for Cardrim is a story of Space Marines vs. Orks vs Necrons. Unlike the Crusade of Fire you won’t need Planetary Empires to reenact the story. The four missions included don’t all require flyers, but sure make them more enjoyable. The missions can be played with any army combinations, unless you want to recreate the Battle for Cardrim. In context of the Battle for Cardrim the missions are very creative. You take turns running different combinations of armies as their relationships change. So, one mission you have Space Marines with Necron Allies vs. Orks. Then another ones is Necrons vs. Orks with Space Marine allies.
The second section of Death from the Skies is the same dog fight and flyer upgrades you can find in Crusade of Fire. The dog fight rules are fun and add a mini-game to the game, if you have the extra time in your games. The third part of the book is the “Showcase”: nothing more than reprinted pictures of flyers with a Stormraven being painted blue and another painted black. Finally, the last section has all the current flyers all in one place. Deep Striking, outflanking is removed from all flyers and a cost adjustment for the Stormtalon. The big news though was finally the Black Templars and Space Marines can use the Stormraven.
Everything found in the Death from the Skies could easily been used across two White Dwarfs, but as it is why not spend the equivalent of three White Dwarfs and get a lot less content! Death from the Skies isn’t for the typical player, only real 40k addicts should buy it. If you must have Death from the Skies better get your gaming group to split the cost and if nothing else you could conceivable get $33 bucks worth of entertainment by recreating the Battle for Cardrim.
Overall, Death from the Skies is a terrible product, especially when you consider more flyers are surely on the way and soon!
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