Why’s Everyone so FURYous?

Intro – what’s this all about
Why am I even doing this? – it’s called OCD
Version Updates
New Craft (well mostly old craft)
What’s next? What haven’t I covered and known limitations – yep, those things
Assumptions – These are important: If you disagree with some of these, you’ll see why our opinions conflict
Rationale – here’s where it get’s complicated!
So, The Thunderbolt FURY… – kinda what this is all about.
Houston, we have a problem! – so what’s wrong?
Starting out – A guide for noobs who actually want to shoot things
Ok Genius, well what do you suggest? – want a balanced game? Try applying these modifiers.


For those who don’t know what I’m about here, my aim is to compare all the units from the Aeronautica game, so that when playing, we can have a balanced and fair game, rather than one where everyone takes all the ‘best’ craft every-time, and the rest sit on a shelf gathering dust, or away in the box. This revision builds on my v4 review, but rather than reading that one, a brief overview of everything to date is included below.
As always, I’m human, so I make mistakes (with stats, or copy/pastes), so if something doesn’t look right, sing out, coz it probably isn’t, and I’ll get it corrected as soon as I’m able. Thanks for all the feedback and input from this wonderful community, the opinions, ideas and suggestions are what makes this model better with each revision :€)

Hopefully this, like the previous revisions should have pretty much every craft/weapon variant that you might be interested in, but if you’d like anything else added, lettuce know.

Feel free to skip the blurb and jump straight to the Assumptions and Rationale, or just go for the data file and start playing with the variables that I’ve high-lighted in purple to see how much you can break things.

Why Am I Even Doing This?

I joined with the Skies of Fire release, as I prefer the Tau aesthetic and fluff over Orks and Imperials. I previously played IA’06 with both Tau and Eldar, but things have changed somewhat since then. I started this review when looking at the stats on my Tiger Shark weapon options and thinking ‘that can’t be right’, why is a Paired Ion Cannon more than the Railgun variant?, so I did a few calculations and found I was right to be skeptical, it doesn’t add up. Then I saw how many comments the Thunderbolt Fury was getting about how under-costed/over-effective it was, I decided to take a look at that as well, and I’ve expanded from there. I’ve slowly added in variables for checking balance and extra weapon and upgrade options but as I add in more components, I’m still not seeing a lot of change in the outcome: Some craft/weapon/upgrades are just too good/too bad for their points cost, and this is what this article is about addressing.

Version Updates

v1 had a load of things missing, and a load of things plain wrong, but allowed me to show that some craft weren’t quite right.
v2 included a load of corrections and lots more options, and incorporated a new manouverability calc to check how often craft were ‘likely to be pointing in the right direction’. The Concept of survivability was added, rather than assuming craft all last as long (really?).
v3 automated outputs to the second sheet, so it was easier to re-order, corrected Armoured Cockpit calcs, the Lightning being able to have 3 sets of missiles. ignored the oversight of Thunderbolt Aces not getting their 2 point hike. Added an ability to favour short range out of arc shooting over medium and long, took into account tailing fire in survivability, and tweaked a few of my default settings
v4 changed the calculations for out of arc fire, taking into account that different craft are going to want to be at different ranges, not just ‘you’re all more likely to be closer if not at peak range’ (manually set field based upon whatever gives one the best total damage output). Fixed the Vulture base craft cost, and added in the Avenger Strike Fighter. I also increased the effectiveness of my 25 point ‘Average craft’ as it seemed a bit too crap to actually be ‘average’. Also added a new formulae to calculate limited damage craft automatically based on the survivability of the craft. Added in ‘Ease of Use’ to assist new starters, and to make sure that different weapons weren’t skewed as a result of being easier to get an average output.
v4.1 corrected two errors spotted by Chris Page and Scott Carlson for the Vendetta missile clusters and Extra Damage on the Avenger Bolt Cannon
v5 Removed option for a Grot Bommer to take KBS and 4 Grot Bombs (as they can’t), and adjusted the other 4 Grot Bomb options
New calculation for Total Damage Output (just a slight simplification: no actual change to output).
New Out Of Peak Damage Calculations taking better into account the liklihood of being at various ranges and arcs – this has every so slightly downgraded output for most aircraft with lots of out of arc weapons, but slightly increased craft with weapons that are good across all ranges.
Added a Calc for Max/MaxLtd/MaxOOP/MaxOOPLtd Damage to save odd formulae/typos from changing peak range: Previously it was possible to fire some weapons at one range, and others at another range in the same turn, so this correctly downgrades some craft (every so slightly) where that might’ve been the case).
Added in Ground Defences (comparison with each other).
Added a likely range that a craft will get to (to support whether a bomber/transport is likely to reach its target or not. Good news for the Marauders, not so much for the Eavy Bommer.
Adding in Night Fighting effectiveness (Tau and Imperial Navy hate it, Orks love it!).
v6 Some minor updates to wording. I started adding in craft from other races – I’ve based the additional Tau craft on the AI’06 versions – I’ll get to the rest that have had craft created for them / were in the AI’06 rule-set, and update as the Eldar/Space Marine craft get released – I’ll keep these on a separate tab to the official AI’19 available craft. Other races are based upon other people’s work, predominantly to assist them in setting realistic points values for their creations to use in friendly games. I do not take any credit for, or recommend them for use in game currently – more work is required.
This version also added in a new calculation for Non-Front Peak damage output, i.e. for weapons that would cause more damage when the only craft that could be targeted was in an arc other than front. However, despite this improving the Eavy Bommer a smidge, it’s still awful. The new calculations also handle limited shot weapons with different numbers of shots (so Rocket Pod + Skystrikes now calculate correctly).
v118 (previous version)
Ok, it looks like I’ve skipped a few numbers, but this ties in with the release numbers of the spreadsheet, so that it’s obvious which version of the text relates to which spreadsheet going forwards.
This version contains every craft released or previewed for AI’19 to date (November ’21) + every craft that has ever been released from AI’06 and includes weapon variants for the Crimson Hunter based on the Nightwing, as I’ve seen lots of people have those models. You’ll notice that some sections of this document only refer to the comparison of Orks/Imperial Navy/Tau: That’s because I haven’t fully integrated the Marine/Eldar release yet, so their commentary is a little lighter to get this published.
v119-121 (latest version)
This is the first time I’ve made any changes to the adjustable values in the model since v4.
I’ve Adding new craft from AI Companion.
Updated Jink to reduce minimum speed by 1 as well as increasing max speed by 1 – I’m really happy with this as an inclusion and feel it reflects the ability really well.
Corrected a typo w/ the Storm Eagle Twin Heavy Bolters
I received a fair bit of feedback about the heavy point drops to the smaller and hikes to the larger, more effective craft. So I’ve re-looked at this: The ‘best craft’ in v118 are Doom Scythe, Thunderhawk, Night Scythe, Tiger Shark, Storm Eagle, Xiphon and Tbolt Fury – all at the top end of points for their race, some with all manouvres, some (Thunderhawk) just 1-4, all with all 5 altitudes (not that many craft don’t have), nothing else sets them apart from other craft as a group, so it’s just outnumbering Z296 and maybe mod Out of Arc Shooting modifier BE296 (currently twice as good at S, than Medium).
Moving outnumbering to 0.75 didn’t sit well with me initially, but reflects that the most effective craft are the ones that move last and shoot first, so it makes sense that the amount of points brought to bear is more reflective. Note: I’ve altered the calculated points of the Necron craft down to a mid-point between calculated and original (to be more in-line with a 50% craft being able to get the jump on something as they don’t currently have any cheap options to waste activations on. I’ve also upped the Average Craft damage per turn from 1.05 to 1.15 to make it a little more ‘average’.
there’s been a few minor corrections e.g. typos & clarifications included thanks to input from the community over v120/121, but these haven’t changed any of the other calcs, assumptions etc. so I’ve not added any other commentary for these.

Despite all of these updates and modifications, I think it’s fair to say that there is still a prevailing theme of some specific craft being too good for the points and others being too poor. There have been no significant changes to the stats calculations since v6, but all Wrath of Angels and Companion craft are included.

New Craft

All the new Wrath of Angels/AI Companion craft have been added with their current stats, but for craft that were released in AI’06 that don’t have any rules, the new AI’19 maneuvers allow craft to turn roughly double the heading compared with previous, and give a lot more flexibility with position.
I’ve tried to standardise the type of weapon that they had with what’s in the game now, whilst keeping the position of the cost of the craft similar to where it was previously.
This also means that some weapons are no longer limited to ground attack only (if it’s front facing like the other weapons in AI’19, it seems it’s good enough to fire at another aircraft)

The only craft from the original AI’06 is the Fighta, which is a straight port to the Dakkajet Stats

Manta – I’ve ported this from the AI’06 unit with the following exceptions;
Weapons: changed burst cannon turrets to be equivalent lbbc turrets (as they are in the Forgeworld 40K books), Ions are based on Paired Ions (but there’s 3 in each battery). Copied the Heavy Railguns from the Tiger Shark AX-0-1, so not ground attack only. I’ve re-worked the weapon facings, noting that all-round wasn’t really possible for some of the turrets. The Model has a pair of up lbbcs at the front of the wings (front 180) 3 pairs of forward down facing lbbcs (2 nose and 1 front of wings), and a pair facing rear or side on each wing for both up and down: Splitting this way saves having any single weapons for 1.5 dice. I feel this makes the craft a little more usable, and more in-line with the Mega Bommer, except as a transport, rather than a bomber. Using lbbcs rather than the original burst cannons gives a good feel to being slightly more vulnerable to craft able to get too close like Orks or Eldar, where the drone-controlled turrets might have more difficulty tracking the change of angle. Over-all, this decreases the front fire effectiveness, but means that it can target more craft in other arcs, which are more likely when you’re slapping down about a hundred points of craft in one slab. It only has the first 2 maneuvers.
Orca – its a low maneuverable transport, with a few weapons – basing combat effectiveness on a Marauder, 3 maneuvers feels about right.
Tiger Shark AX-2-2 – this is a support craft, so is a cut-down (armament) version of the standard Tiger Shark with burst cannons in the nose and the standard missile pods. It can transport up to two Remora (paid for separately). These can be launched as for Grot Bombs, as per the AI’06 rules and then operate independently. The ‘Drone Mothership’ Rule is something I’ve put in as a suggestion to let it ‘choose to activate up to two drones within 6 hexes in the Movement and/or Firing Phases at the same time as this craft’, this, and the ability to keep the 1 structure point Remoras in relative safety in exchange for their shooting ability, seems about right.
Remoras – Weapon Option: Come on, just give them a pair of front facing lbbcs (as per AX-2-2 below) and the normal Seeker missiles, why are they ‘special’ on the Remora? It’s not like it’s going to be around for two turns to fire twice! It comes out about as crap as the original, but saves worrying about extra weapon profiles just for that one craft.

Imperial Navy
I like the idea of an Arvus having it’s single autocannon option (1pt) like the 40K model can have, so added a variant for that. The Aquila had a model, so that’s been ported from the AI’06 stats, but it’s basically a VIP transport like the Arvus. It is equipped with a heavy bolter like the one found on the Vulture

I’ve only added in the Thunderhawk Transporter ported from the AI’06 stats, so shouldn’t be any surprises here. It’s got four sets of quad heavy bolters and some Hellstrike Missiles. If you want to run a Stormbird, it’s a pretty similar beast and fills the same role, just having it’s quad bolters on turrets.

Well, we weren’t expecting to get a Crimson Hunter and Hemlock were we? I’ve added these in, so my updates aren’t needed here anymore. But just in case you still wanted to add that centre-line Pulsar, it’ll reduce your Transport to 2 and is a 2 pt option alongside the Phoenix Missiles .

I wasn’t too far out on the Necron craft, except they got double the structure and weapons Extra Damage is a bit bonkers, hence they cost more points and should cost (even) more points.

I’ve ported over the three Chaos Craft from AI’06 to wrap up the ‘what haven’t we had yet, so we’ll see whether these turn up alongside or soon-after the Necron release. The Hell Blade is a super light 1 Structure craft with quad auto-cannons. The Hell Talon is a chunkier version with Twin Autocannon and Twin Lascannon, with the option to take a set of bombs for 2pts. The Harbinger is a monster with Fore, Port and Starboard Autocannons, a bomb bay and some bombs that destroy anything that they hit on a 4+ no matter what structure it is. It can take an additional bomb bay or set of utter death bombs for 8pts each.

What’s next? What haven’t I covered? and known limitations

I wanted to add in a ‘Reliability’ factor – i.e. one die doing 1 point of damage, is less reliable than 6 dice doing 1/6th of a point of damage, for those of you who the dice God’s don’t seem to favour, or prefer a more sure bet, but to be honest, it doesn’t add much value – If you’re rolling more dice, you’re more likely to get an average roll.
I’m not including any craft abilities (like Rocket Boosters), Crew/Ace Pilot abilities, or non-weapon upgrades, except where they have a direct influence on one of the other factors I’m already measuring – I’ll mention where and what I’ve included. I have expanded that a little where I can see a costed benefit, however, some are just too arbitrary – A lot of the ‘1 re-roll/re-position/Feel No Pain roll per game’ are quite subjective as to the influence they’ll have on the game. If you like that ability and think you’ll use it and it’s worth the 2 or so points, take it, if not, don’t. I may add more to this later. I do need to spend some more time on the Marine, Eldar and Necron abilities from the Companion,
I think that generally first engagement round (especially Long Range / 1 shot weapons) firing is more effective than later rounds. If that’s the case, I may still need to incorporate that into Survivability and Total Damage Output. Some craft (especially shorter range ones) will want to bypass Long range fire from being at different altitudes until closer, so I’m not sure if this is a different factor to what I’m already measuring in maneuverability / positionability. i.e. is there a peak 1st round of engagement hit on survivability, which then trails off – does this give a different o/a survivability or does it average out anyway with more craft and speed/maneuverability?
My effectiveness calculation is based upon firing all of your weapons at the over-all craft’s peak range. It’s possible that in the future, there will be a craft that are better off firing off one shot missiles at one range, and then closing to another for their Unlimited Ammo weapons, however, currently, I believe that’s only the case for the Remora, (which is a real anomaly in the Tau list, having non-standard burst cannon and seekers), as apart from that; only the two Tiger Shark AX-1-0s have a non-Medium range preference for the Tau, and can’t take missiles, only the Dorsal Turret of the Marauders fires peak at non-Medium Range for the Imperial Navy, and all Ork Weapons fire best at Short Range.
I’ve now got all missions from every boxed set, campaign book White Dwarf and Flight Plan (but not the new Companion one’s yet), but I’ve yet to take these all into balanced account. That said, I think it’s only the rolling skies scenarios that favour faster craft over slower ones more than add any real change to the points system, and I’ve yet to see anyone really chopping up mats to play those.
At some point I’ll get round to calculating all the possible positions and facings for each maneuver and speed, and splitting the advantage of flying at over speed 5, but the model is certainly pretty close now, and that’ll take a lot more effort to work out, for only a small benefit. You can currently play with the purple values and get pretty close, apart from the <5 / >5 speed adding to maneuverability.


Most of the stats are based on Dog-fighting – I know there’s more to the game than this, but that said, the vast majority of craft stay in the same place within race, and only the Orks actually like Night Fighting/Bad Weather. It doesn’t make sense to compare the bombing effectiveness of a Thunderbolt with Wing Bombs, with an Air to Air Capability of a Lightning with Skystrikes: They’ve got different mission parameters and Victory Point outcomes. Bombing / transport drop missions cause one to sacrifice shooting at enemy craft in favour of other objectives, meaning those enemy points of craft are shooting at you and in most cases, gaining more VPs than you’ll get for the mission objective, so they don’t really add much on top of their Air to Air Stats (unless you’re in a Marauder/Destroyer/Valkyrie). As a result, I’ve kept the main sheet TDO/Effectiveness based upon a Dogfight. I’ve aimed to give enough information to allow one to select the number of craft you need for the requirements of the game/campaign, and then you can select the rest based upon their Dog fighting capability. I’ve then arbitrarily modified a few point costs to take into account where certain craft are better than others within class/function
We’re all good pilots right? Nope, I know we’re not, I’m certainly not, but I’m going to have to assume you are to compare things – that said, some craft are easier to line up than others, and this is reflected. Your opponent is also going to be an ace pilot, so watch out!
As said above, I talk in terms of ‘turns of engagement’ – this is when a craft is within Long distance of another ‘average’ enemy craft. If you want to spend the game dancing around the edge of a 40 hex map without shooting anything or being shot at, this doesn’t cover you.
Everyone is at the same altitude – this may seem like a weird assumption, but as so few of the weapons that have any real bearing on the overall firepower of a craft can only shoot up or down, you pretty much halve incoming and outgoing firepower for not being on the same level (unless you’re that ace with a special ability), so lets not worry about it for now.
An Average craft – yep, this doesn’t really exist, but to assist with some of the calculations, I’m assuming that ‘an average’ craft in a squadron of about 100-125 points is;
25 points, has 2 structure, puts out 1.15 damage per turn, by being in the correct place to do so about 75% of the time (why?: because that ‘feels’ about right looking at the stats of the various craft in the game) – this doesn’t matter too much if it’s exact as it’s only really used to do comparisons, but if I based things on a Remora or a fully loaded Marauder Destroyer, things would skew a fair bit as we got to the other end of the spectrum. Interestingly, based on this, the most ‘Average’ craft in the game to date is an Avenger Strike Fighter
Dawn Sword is a beast – it saves 1/3 of the first damage taken per turn. If you manage to put 2 points of damage a turn, It’s going to take all of that over 3 turns to kill it, equating to 6 structure points, the same as an Armoured Cockpit, and at the top end (1 structure of damage per turn) 7.5 and a liklihood of being around for 7 or maybe 8 turns!. It was the most resilient thing in the game, but that has been superseded by a huge amount with the Thunderhawk Gunship with tech marine – I’m currently taking a conservative view that if it’s on the table, people are going to want it dead, and giving it two rounds of 2 damage, and 1 at 1 damage for a measly 6.333 Structure Points, making it still one of the most points efficient craft in the game, even without the best weapon load for a Tiger Shark.
Based on the current scenarios/missions in Rynn’s World Air War Campaign Book, the Taros Air War Campaign Book, and the Skies of Fire missions booklet (and counting all Dog Fights, ‘Bandits over the River’ & ‘Ambush’, and the two ‘The Straggler’ missions as single missions), and that the ruling of ‘if both players agree’ meaning Night Fighting and Bad Weather will not be in play if it’s optional as it will only ever benefit a single player; There’s only one mission with Bad Weather in play at Alt 2 (‘Search and Rescue’), and one with Night Fighting in play (‘Subterranean Assault’). There are Four Missions with a Transport component, and four where Bombing is part of the victory conditions. However, even in these scenarios, the majority of the focus is upon Air to Air engagement (potentially with the exception of the ‘Sky Fortress’, and even there, with the majority of the points being available for destroying enemy aircraft. Therefore the vast majority of my points calculations are going to be based upon Air to Air Capability, with only a minor tweak to align craft based upon their transport and bombing capability.
An Area of Engagement is 18 hexes wide and 19 long if you’re using a 3’x3′ board – i.e. the cardboard ones that GW brought out alongside the Rynn’s World or Taros Campaigns. I’m assuming this is the norm for most games, even though the first book says this is a ‘small’ encounter. The paper version in the starter boxes are 14w x 16l, a 4’x4′ printed AoE for a ‘medium’ game would be 24w x 25l, a large 8’x4′ would be ~49w x 25l, and the rolling AoE is 3 boards of 12 x 12 hexes. This puts the majority of Ground Targets (drop zones or things to bomb) at 13 hexes away from your starting position, but changes missions a fair bit if you use a larger/smaller AoE; paper puts them at 10, a 4’x4′ or 8’x’4, at 19 hexes away. I’m basing points on a 125-150 point list vs the same on a 3’x3′ board, because that seems to be the norm for tournaments, meets the requirement of almost every mission printed to date and what people have available. If you load up with more craft on a smaller board it’ll favour Orks and Eldar, if you go larger board or less craft, it’ll favour Tau and, er Eldar.

Just an overview of the different published scenarios. I’m using this to get a feel of the impact of the night fighting/bad weather, transport and bombing aspects of the game.
Dogfight {25-250}
-Rynn’s World-
1 Bandits over the River – VPs Modified Dogfight (Scouts and Fighters) {25-100}
2 The Straggler – VPs Modified Dogfight, Straggler may exit any board edge at any time ([A] Scouts and Fighters vs [D] Scouts, Fighters +>=1 Bomber), NF/BW Optional {50-150}
3 Search and Rescue – VPs Dogfight + VPs for disengaged transport after pickup([A] any -GD +>=1 Trans vs [D] any +>=1 Fighter), BW Alt 2 {50-150}
4 Garrison Relief – +5VPs for each trans vs +5VPs for each structure point removed (Max 5) +VPs ([D] any + 1 Trans vs [A] any + 1 Fighter & 1 Bomber), NF/BW Optional {100-200}
5 Troop Landing – [A] +5VPs each point of transport landed (6 hex from opponent edge) [D] +5VP per trans destroyed/disengaged +VPs ([A] F/B +>=1Trans vs [D] any +>=1F & >=1GD) {100-250}
6 Bombing Mission – [A] +5VP per structure point removed (max 12) [D] +5VP for each remaining point on damaged (max 9) ([A] +>=1 A2G no scouts, [D] and + >=1F & >=1GD {100-200}
-Wings of Vengeance-
1 The Chase – Rolling w/ re-inforcements VPs (Scouts, Fighters, Bombers) NF/BW Optional {25-250}
2 Subterranean Assault – [A] +5VP each trans point landed (6 hex from opponent edge) [D] +5VP per trans destroyed/disengaged +VPs ([A] F/B +>=1Trans [D] any +>=1F & >=1GD), NF {100-250}
3 Sky-Fortress Attack – Sky Fortress Struc 10 w/5+FNP destroyed +50VP {100-250 [D]+40GD}
4 Canyon Attack Run – Rolling [A] +5VP each GT destroyed(3 struc), [D] +5VP each GT not destroyed each rolling board removed ([A] +>=1A2G no Scouts, [D] any +>=1F & >=1GD) {[A] 100-200, [D] 50-150 – 50pts diff}
-Skies of Fire- (designed for smaller board)
1 Ambush – Modified Dogfight v.similar to Bandits over the River (Fighters and Bombers) {50-100}
2 Breakthrough – [D] only VPs for disengage opposite board edge at any time, [A] +5VPs for each destroyed craft (fighters and bombers) {50-100}
3 The Straggler – as per Rynn’s ‘The Straggler’ [D] Straggler must exit opposite edge ([D] any aircraft +>=1B, [A] scouts and fighters {50-100} NF/BW optional

Flight Plan;
20191210 – Flight of the Grot Bombs
20200218 – Ambush in the Clouds
20200317 – Escape Velocity

White Dwarf;
201910 – Da Boming Misshun! – Battle Report
202107 – Vital Cargo – 2 missions for the Arvus

Areas of Engagement;
box paper : 14w x 16l
small / average 3’x3′ : 18w x 19l*
medium / average 4’x4′ : 24w x 25l*
large 6’x3′ : 36w x 19l / 8’x4′ : 49w x 25l*
Rolling is 3x 12×12
* small/medium/average and large take on different meanings depending upon whether you’re following Rynn’s World, which favoured 4’x4′ average/medium and 8’x4′ for large, or the latter 3’x3′ ‘average’ and 6’x3′ large that the later Taros supplement refers to – I take a 3’x3′ board to be the average, based on it being the only size outside of the starter boxes that GW has produced, and that it seems to suit all of the missions (‘The Straggler’ for instance being a real stretch if you want to get off the other side of a 4′ board, or how unlikely it is for Ork Eavy Bommers to make it to ground targets on the same).

Required Range;
most objectives are 6 hexes from defender’s edge: paper = 10, 3×3 = 13, 4×4 = 19 for bombs, and -4/-7/-10 for A2G Missiles


Some earlier versions of this article focused heavily on damage output per point, and looked at every version of the frames that I was interested in i.e. those that I or my wife possessed. In this blurb below I’ll be doing a brief ‘why are things clearly not quite right, by looking at the Thunderbolt, and then you’ll be able to see in the Excel spreadsheet how the vast majority of frames and load-outs compare with each other, with the summary only containing the base craft and ‘best’ load-out(s). So I’m not going to spend too much of my time comparing both the Lightning and the Lightning Strike with a single skystrike with a Barracuda AX-5-2 and AX-5-4 with no upgrades, because you should NEVER* be taking a Strike or AX-5-4 unless an FAQ comes out to change the points or stats for them or their counterparts.
*the only reason to take some of these craft is for their ability to do some damage when not at the most effective range, so for a newbie pilot intro game, they are a little more forgiving – I’ll discuss some options like this later – have a look at the ‘Ease of Use’ stat in the spreadsheet.
Note: some of my ‘effectiveness’ values below seem a little high, but this is because they are one aspect of a single component, so bear with it for a mo: All will become clear.

-Manouverability Components-
Some aircraft are super manouverable and can get to where they need to be straight away. Others are lumbering flying fortresses bristling with weapons that don’t care if you can line them up, however, the latter are definitely easier to shoot (and tail), and less likely to bring all of their weapons to bear at once. Manouverability is made up of five components;

  • Ace Manoevers: If you could only fly forwards and turn a bit, you’d be a sitting duck. If you can do loops around other craft and face any direction that you fancy, then happy days. In AI’09, even a flying brick (with ace manouvers 1-3) lets it change facing by 180 degrees in a single turn, and as you get more of them, they seem to add a diminishing additional flexibility
    calc: ([Number of craft manouvres] / [max number of manouvres (8)]) ^ 0.15 => a craft with all 8 manouvres is 100% effective, one with only 3 is only 86% effective by comparison
  • Speed: I believe that this is the most important factor, as it determines how much flexibility you have in terms of getting out of someone elses front arc, and getting them into yours (due to the ace manouvers above). High speeds (5+) give the ability to bypass enemy shooting entirely at certain ranges by climbing or diving to greater or less than 2 altitude difference, or at least halving the enemy’s firepower (even if they hedge their bets with multiple aircraft), but also mean that you won’t be scratching them. A higher minimum speed is only about half as bad as a low top speed
    calc: (([max speed of craft] – [half the (min speed of the craft – 1)]) ) / ([max speed (8)]) ^ 0.275 => a craft with speed 8 is 100% effective, one with speed 3 is only 76% effective by comparison
  • Throttle: reasonably handy – Allows you more flexibility to get to where you need to be this turn, without giving away where you’ll be next turn. Also allows you to get to maximum effective range quickly, without compromising still being there next turn (e.g. a speed 8 craft with only one throttle, could get straight into Short Range if needed, but is less likely to be able to still be in short range of its target the next turn if it can’t change its speed as rapidly, or make use of higher numbered ace manouvres
    calc: ([throttle of craft] / [max throttle (3)]) ^ 0.175 => a craft with 3 throttle is 100% effective, 2 is 93% effective by comparison, 1 is 82% effective by comparison
  • Handling: not super important, as it’s only whether you’re going to try to put yourself in a stall to get -1 TH when someone is lined up on you and you’re either not going to get a shot off, or are really out-classed. Generally one can achieve the desired effect (of being -1TH) far easier by just changing your altitude by one, and not risking totalling your craft or being chucked in a random direction (and not being able to shoot anyway)
    calc: ((8 – Handling) / 6) ^ 0.075 => Handling of 2+ = 100%, Handling of 6+ = 92%
  • Outnumbering: Got a squadron of 7 Remoras up against 4 Thunderbolts? – You’ll have three of those exactly where you want in relation to where the Tbolts end up, the other 4 are going to be a bit hit and miss depending on when they activate / who has the initiative, but so are all 4 of the Thunderbolts. This factor is important, as although the Remora may not be that effective by itself, including 5 Remoras and a Tiger Shark, would mean that you’ve now got a Tiger Shark exactly where you want it to be!
    calc: (([points of craft] / 25)^0.75) => if you outnumber your enemy by one, one of your craft will be ~50% more able to bring full firepower to bear – based on a factor of ‘average craft’ cost (25pts). Note: I’ve upped this from 0.5 to 0.75 in v119 as in the above, example with Tiger Sharks and Remoras, you’d keep back a larger number of points to be on-target by outnumbering with the cheaper Remoras. an Outnumbering value of 1 utterly tanks a Thunderhawk and raises a Dakkajet too far for my view of reality. Still no matter what you do here, the Doom Scythe is still utterly bonkers! and the Eavy Bommer is still utterly crap, Barracudas still sit below half way, so it shows that things are still not right, but it has adjusted how far ‘out’ the majority of craft appear to be.
    Note: ^0.5 doesn’t quite work on a sliding scale, but it’s half way between ^0.415 (where 1 craft outnumbered 2:1 is 75% effective), and ^0.585 (where a craft outnumbering 2:1 is 150% effective). a 10-15 point craft is a tiny bit worse than I’m aiming for, and a 40-45 point craft is a tiny bit more effective, but it’s about right for 20-35 points, which is the majority of usable craft currently in the game. Changing this up to ^0.75 seems to have clipped the far edges quite nicely and makes up for a lot of the comments that I was receiving about “How Much???” for some of the changes to the more effective, larger craft.

-Manouverability in useful terms-
Manouverability: How manouverable the aircraft is in bringing it’s weapons to bear against someone: you may be outnumbered, but that doesn’t stop you getting the drop on something. Bear in mind as well that this is only for peak damage output, it’s still got a chance of putting out damage at other ranges, and for quite a few weapons, sideways, backwards, up and down
calc: Ace Manouvres factor * Speed factor * Throttle factor * Handling factor
NOTE: I’ve put some ‘Average’ craft in here to help keep these about balanced: an ‘Average Fighter’ should have a manouverability of about 0.65-0.85, and an ‘Average Bomber’ of about 0.45-0.65 – This is the overall percentage (ok, times it by 100) of time that it’ll be pointing in ‘the right’ direction. if you think that’s not quite right, feel free to adjust the component values outside of those ranges, but you’ll probably find some weirdness where your Bommers or Fighters suddenly become all powerful (and they shouldn’t be unless you’re a Thunderbolt or Tiger Shark)
Positionability: How likely you are to be able to avoid incoming weaponary / not get shot at due to being an extra craft in the sky / are you going to get hit more due to being being tailed? – I originally had a manual 0.75 for average craft manouverability, but I’ve swapped that for some calculated stats – currently sitting at 0.794
calc: ((Outnumbering factor) * ([Manouverability/Average craft manouverability (0.794)]))
So, at the top end, we get a Lightning, which is facing ‘the right way’, at ‘the right range’, to do max damage to something 95% of the time (providing you move it about half way through your squadron’s activations), in the middle, we have an Avenger which does the same 73% of the time, with a Marauder 59% of the time. Bear in mind that when you activate the specific craft with change this a lot, but the general feel of the community was that a fighter should be able to shoot at something at peak about 65-85% of the time, and for a bomber 45-65% of the time.

Some aircraft zap around, but if you could only line them up for one good shot, they’d be toast, others take a ton of damage, but the enemy are going to be bringing all their firepower to bear on them, and more likely to be able to tail them and get even more shots off. There may be a few additional abilities that affect this. Survivability is a factor of (structure * manouverability / damage taken per turn) This tells you how long this craft is going to be around for in turns – I did have a manual value of 0.65 points damage output per turn for an average aircraft, but that was too low on a 25 point craft, so I’ve upped it through 0.85, to 1.05 as I’ve tweaked other things and improved the model – this brings down the life expectancy of most craft, and therefore their total damage output as well. It now feels about right and favours missiles more – I can’t work out a decent calculation for what it should be, but much above/below this and the survivability of my average craft affects it’s damage output, so it now looks ‘about right’.
calc: ( structure / ([average craft damage output (1.05)] * (1/Positionability)) )

How far is your craft likely to get at full pace before getting shot down? – A Simple one: Top speed x Survivability: Not so important for fighters, as the enemy is going to be coming to you as well, and you’ll be happy to meet them at whatever your most effective range is most of the time, but if you’re trying to drop bombs / land troops on a specific target, you need to know whether you’re likely to get there or not. The majority of objectives are 6 hexes from your opponent’s board edge, which on a 3’x3′ board, puts them at 13 hexes away if you’re starting on your board edge. See Assumptions for the other sizes / required ranges
calc: Survivability x Max Speed

-Out of Peak Firepower-
When the craft is not pointing in the ‘right’ direction (i.e. Front) at the ‘right’ range (the one with the most total damage output), how effective is it? Some Ork planes are bristling with guns that only face away from front and can put out almost as much firepower outside of their Front Arc, as they can forwards. Weapons that can fire all round, can still only target one enemy though, not one enemy in each Arc.
Because we’re pretty much talking about a dog-fight, you’re much more likely to be closer when outside of Arc, and more likely to be at a closer range than longer range (unless we’re in a craft that favours Mid-Long Range). How much we favour a ‘preferred secondary range’ over a less preferred one is by a Factor ‘F’ variable in the last line of the spreadsheet, but generally about 1.5-> 2) If Tailing is also a possibility, we add this onto the liklihood of damage output: x (Number of Arcs-1 + Tailing) /5 (5 out of Front Arcs)

Damage Out of Arc (OOA) = (Minor-Range + Mid-RangexF + Major-Range xF^2) / (1+F+F^2) x Altitudes/3 x (Arcs-1+Tailing)/5
Damage Non-Peak Front (NPF) = (Minor-Range + Mid-Range xF) / (1+F) x Altitudes/3
Damage Out Of Peak (OOP) = (NPF2 + OOA3)/5
=(((Minor-Range + Mid-Range xF) / (1+F) x Altitudes/3)2+(((Minor-Range + Mid-RangexF + Major-Range xF^2) / (1+F+F^2) x Altitudes/3 x (Arcs-1+Tailing)/5)3))/5
OOA S’AL’ -> Maj = S’AG’, Mid = M’AH’, Min = L’AI’
OOA MS’AM’ -> Maj = M’AH’, Mid = S’AG’, Min = L’AI’
OOA ML’AN’ -> Maj = M’AH’, Mid = L’AI’, Min = S’AG’
OOA L’AO’ -> Maj = L’AI’, Mid = M’AH’, Min = S’AG’
S=(((L’AI’+M’AH’F’$AP$268′)/(1+F’$AP$268′)Alt’AC’/32+(((L’AI’+M’AH’F’$AP$268’+S’AG’F’$AP$268’^2) / (1+F’$AP$268’+F’$AP$268’^2)Alt’AC’/3(Arcs’AD’-1+Tail’AB’)/5)3))/5
Railgun’17’S: =(((AI17+AH17$AP$270)/(1+$AP$270)AC17/32+(((AI17+AH17$AP$270+AG17$AP$270^2)/(1+$AP$270+$AP$270^2)AC17/3(AD17-1+AB17)/5)3))/5
Railgun’17’L: =(((AG17+AH17$AP$270)/(1+$AP$270)AC17/32+(((AG17+AH17$AP$270+AI17$AP$270^2)/(1+$AP$270+$AP$270^2)AC17/3(AD17-1+AB17)/5)3))/5

for Night fighting it’s only S/M range that we care about, so;
Damage Out of Arc (OOA) = (Minor-Range + Major-RangexF) / (1+F) x Altitudes/3 x (Arcs-1+Tailing)/5
Damage Non-Peak Front (NPF) = Minor-Range x Altitudes/3 *** New ***
Damage Out Of Peak (OOP) = (NPF + OOA*2)/3 *** New ***
OOA S’BI’ -> Maj = S’AG’, Min = M’BG’
OOA M’BJ’ -> Maj = M’BG’, Min = S’AG’
S=((M’BH’Alt’AC’/3)+(((M’BH’+S’AG’F’$AP$270′) / (1+F’$AP$270′)Alt’AC’/3(Arcs’AD’-1+Tail’AB’)/5)2))/3 Railgun S=((BG17AC17/3)+(((BG17+AG17$AP$270) / (1+$AP$270)AC17/3(AD17-1+AB17)/5)2))/3
Railgun M=((AG17AC17/3)+(((AG17+BG17$AP$270) / (1+$AP$270)AC17/3(AD17-1+AB17)/5)2))/3 Ltd M= BK, Ltd S= AG Seeker S=((BK30AC30/3)+(((BK30+AG30$AP$270) / (1+$AP$270)AC30/3(AD30-1+AB30)/5)2))/3
Seeker M=((AG30AC30/3)+(((AG30+BK30$AP$270) / (1+$AP$270)AC30/3(AD30-1+AB30)/5)*2))/3

-Total Damage Output-
The longer the craft is in the air for, the more shots it’ll get out of its weapons, the more manouvrable it is, the more likely it is to be firing at peak output
calc: Survivability * ((how long it’s facing the right way at the right range * peak damage output) + (how long it’s not quite the right way round or the right range) * average of non-peak/out of front arc damage output) + ((damage from any limited ammo weapons * manouverability)providing it’s around long enough to fire all shots)
=IF (Survive’R'<Ltd’AQ’,(( ((PeakD’AJ’+PeakLtdD’AU’) * Man’P’) + ((OOP’AP’ + OOPLtd’BA’) * (1-Man’P’))) * Survive’R’)
,(( ((PeakD’AJ’ * Man’P’) + (OOP’AP’ * (1-Man’P’))) * Survive’R’) + (((PeakLtd’AU’ * Man’P’) + (OOPLtd’BA’ * (1-Man’P’))) * NoOfShots’AQ’)) )

Night TDO:
Peak Damage: AJ -> BH
Peak Ltd Damage: AU -> BL
OOP: AP -> (BI+BJ)
OOPLtd: BA -> (BM+BN)

=IF (Survive’R'<Ltd’AQ’,((( ((PeakD’BH’ + PeakLtdD’BL’) * Man’P’) + ((OOP'(BI+BJ)’ + NFOOPLtd'(BM+BN)’) * (1-Man’P’))) * Survive’R’)
,(( ((PeakD’BH’ * Man’P’) + (OOP'(BI+BJ)’ * (1-Man’P’))) * Survive’R’) + (((NFPeakLtd’BL’ * Man’P’) + (NFOOPLtd'(BM+BN)’ * (1-Man’P’))) * NoOfShots’AQ’)) )

For Ground defences, there are currently 3 different calculations depending upon which range the platform is best at, with the rationale that the weapon will fire at its best range while it can, but in missions with Ground Defences, the enemy craft are going to want to close with it pretty quickly to drop troops / obliterate the target nearby where the ground defence is located, or blow up the poor thing itself.
Damage Output of S favouring GD = (L+M+(Survive-2 x S+M/2))x(Effective Altitude+0.5#/5)^0.5
Damage Output of M favouring GD = (L+2xM+(Survive-3 x S+M/2))x(Effective Altitude+0.5#/5)^0.5
Damage Output of L favouring GD = (2xL+M+(Survive-3 x S+M/2))x(Effective Altitude+0.5#/5)^0.5
unless you’re the Manticore and can already reach all the way to the atmosphere

the ^0.5 rationalises the Effective Altitudes a little, so an EA 5 is 100% likely to find a target in range and altitude, EA 4 (plus half effectiveness at alt 5) is 95% likely to find a target, and EA 2 (plus half effectiveness at alt 3) is 70% likely to find a target (bearing in mind that targets at alt 4 / 5 can’t hit them anyway)

-Overall Effectiveness-
This is the one that you’re probably most interested in: Is this thing going to get me my points back and help me win the game (if my dice don’t get thrown out of the window)? Gives a value of +/-1 where >1 = yep, it’s good, and <1 = stays at home unless there’s a specific reason to bring it – I’ve left the TDO factor as 1, but feel free to play with it, it just increases/decreases the values either side of 1. Currently a value of 1.5 means the craft is 50% more likely to get you your points back. 1 = just about get your points back, 0.5 = leave it at home.
I was going to incorporate Night Fighting/Bombing/Transport ability into this, but the reality is, you need to take some craft to suit the mission, and others are just to destroy each other: mixing up the different aspects doesn’t really get you a ‘best over-all’ craft, it gets you a ‘might be a kinda all rounder, but probably not actually best at anything’
calc: Total Damge Output per point / Total Damage Output per point of Average Craft)^TDO factor.

So, the Thunderbolt Fury…

This is where the first article started out. It’s the same basic platform as the Thunderbolt. It can dish out 2.222 damage a turn at Medium range with it’s two guns, and can also take two sets of missiles with L/M range maximum effectiveness that it can fire off at the same time, taking first turn damage potential to a massive 3.333. This comes in at 2 points more than the base Thunderbolt, which loaded out with the same options does 1.667 M range damage and a maximum 2.778 first turn damage.
Starting with the base craft, looking at Damage per turn, the Fury outperforms or equals the base Thunderbolt at every range (S/M/L);
TB 0.333/1.667/0.333
TBF 0.667/2.222/0.333

Ah, you say, but I’m paying more for it, so how does that compare based on the points increase?
Best range max damage per point – both are best at Medium Range;
TB 0.0725
TBF 0.0888

But, the Thunderbolts will last for more than a single turn, so we should be looking at it’s cost in terms of more than one turn of shooting.

If we look at average damage over three rounds of shoooting?
1 round at L range, one at M Range, and one at S range – damage per point;
TB 0.101
TBF 0.129

Ah, but you said further up that we should always take max loadouts, right?
Ok, so they should both take 2x Skystrike missiles, right? 27/29 points. Peak damage in a turn;
TB 2.777
TBF 3.333
Ow! that’s a LOT of aircraft no longer with us in a single turn.
giving damage per point if you only manage to unleash a single volley at peak range as;
TB 0.103
TBF 0.115

Ok, and this is one of the anomalies of the game, the total damage with missiles over 3 turns is better than the previous numbers (and you can see this in the linked files), but due to the survivability of the Thunderbolt frame (and how much it will put out over 3 turns), they actually decrease the overall points effectiveness of the craft.

Ok, ok, so even with the points adjustments from the FAQ, the Thunderbolt Fury is better in every sphere on a damage output per point perspective. This doesn’t take into account that because the Fury cost more, it’ll have a little bit more shooting at it, so has slightly less survivability, but it’s still better. So ‘Take the Fury if you’ve got the points availability, but if you haven’t, take a Thunderbolt, as it’s still a really good craft, so why is everyone so bent out of shape about it?

Why the long face?
Well, I think (now after several revisions and updates), that it’s two-fold;
Perspective: It looks like a massive step up – It’s rolling SEVEN dice at medium range – yep, only one more than it’s base mate at both S and M range
“It takes out one of my beautifully painted planes EVERY game in only a turn” – yep, it’s pretty much designed to do that, but once those missiles are gone, if you can keep out of Medium range, we’re talking way under a point of damage per turn peak, and if you can get out of its arc (by having cheaper craft and moving after it, or out-flying it), it’s not got anything for the rest of the battle
Total Damage Output: there’s no two ways about this, the Tbolts are quite simply the most effective Imperial Navy craft in the game, whether you load them up or otherwise. They are out of sorts with every other craft in the game (bar one), even with the 2 point increase. How do I know this? well…

So that’s the Thunderbolt, and how I worked out its effectiveness, but I’ve also undertaken the same comparison with almost every other craft and option in the game.
In the linked files, you’ll see just how well the base craft, weapons and various weapon loads and options compare with each other, utilising the calculations as laid out in the assumptions and rationale above.

From all that, we can see that the Thunderbolt frame isn’t much less survivable than a Marauder or Ork Bommer, and not much less manouverable than a Dakkajet. Note above that just because most things have a life expectancy of 2 or more, doesn’t mean that things won’t still die in the first round of engagement – just expect the ones that don’t get blasted to last longer than the average (or throw your dice away / steal your opponent’s).

We can also see that Missiles/Rokkits are awesome, turrets are pretty great, twin-linked lascannons are stupid good, and never take the silly defensive drones unless you’re completely stuck for what to do with a single point.

In these Excel files, you’ll see a number of Purple cells – these hold all the variables that the rest of the calculations are based on. Some notes and warnings :€)
In Row 34, you’ll find some settings for my ‘Average Aircraft’ – I know it’s not quite average, but I needed something to balance the other craft against. Key fields here are;
AB34 – Manouverability – this is used to determining how likely an opposing craft is to get the jump on it, or get jumped by it – the calc puts it at the lower end of the fighters (not you Valkyrie, you’re a bus), and above all the bombers. Feel free to play with this a bit, but for reality, I’d keep it below a mid-ranged fighter, and above every bomber (possibly with the exception of the Tiger Shark)
BT34 – Total Damage Output through the game. I did have this set manually before, but now I’ve got it based upon standard weaponry. There are a fair few craft that seem to put out a chunk more, but the more you take this up, the more it skews towards one-shot weapons, and I feel that craft should generally be lasting about 2-6 turns, so I don’t recommend going too much outside of the 1-2 damage per turn it’s in the game.
Then there’s the Maneuverability stats;
S296 – Throttle, V296 – Number of Maneuvers, W296 – Handling, X296 – Speed (note: this is actually top speed – 1/2 min speed) – All of these factors are used to determine the over-all maneuverability of the craft i.e. how often it’s pointing in ‘the right’ direction, meaning having something in your front arc. As mentioned above, for a Fighter, according to popular opinion, this should be about 65-85% of the time, and for a bomber 45-65% of the time, so try to keep the outputs of any changes you make to these fields reflective of this in rows 297&298
Then the remaining ones;
Z296 – How much more effective are you from out-numbering your opponent: I’m pretty certain that this should be set to exactly 0.5, using the justification that if you have 1 spare craft, you are 50% more likely to get one of your craft pointing in ‘the right’ direction – it’s not a guarantee, as you still have to get the last moving craft into the right place, based upon its maneuverability. Absolute range for this value, is probably about 0.33 (25% more likely when outnumbering 2:1) -> 0.8 (about 75% more likely when outnumbering 2:1), it’s there, but I recommend leaving it alone.
BE296 – How much more likely are you to have a target at Short Range out of arc, than Medium (and more likely for Medium, than Long). The feel is about twice (maybe 1.5 times), as most out of arc fire happens when you’ve moved first, and your preferred target has just slid out of your front arc up close. setting this value to 1 means you’re just as likely to have a target at all three ranges out of arc, that doesn’t feel right for game purposes, so you probably want this set somewhere between 1.25 and 2.5
BF296 is for ‘Not Front’ and is the percentage of time that you are likely to have an additional target in a non-front arc that your non-front facing weapons will be able to target. I’ve opted for 25% as a starter: it’s likely to be a bit above this in the first and second round of combat, but drops of very rapidly as craft drop out of the sky.

You can fiddle with all of the variables you like, to as extreme as any sane person could hope that reality might stretch, and what happens?
The ‘extreme’ craft like the super fast and manoueverable Lightning, the super cheap Remora, and the big Chunk Marauders move about a few places (sorry Eavy Bommer, you’re still crap), but the vast majority stay pretty much where they are.

So, after all of that, I can say that the model looks and feels about right, and pretty much reflects reality.

Houston, We have a problem!

So you’re saying that the Thunderbolt is STILL too cheap?

  • Yep that’s pretty much what I’m saying. It’s clearly not the worst offender (any more) mind, but there’s still a LOT of work to do to balance things

A few take-aways: With things as they stand, here’s a few observations;
1) Over-all, there’s also a rough order of power:
S) Vampire Raider w/ twin-linked Pulse Lasers / Doom Scythe >
A) Vampire Raider/Hunter / loaded Nightwing/Tiger Shark >
B) Night Scythe/Xiphon/Storm Eagle/Xiphon/Thunderbolt/Hemlock/(loaded)Vendetta/Thunderhawk >
C) Tiger Shark AX-1-0/Fire Raptor/Grot Bommer/Night Shroud/loaded Valkyrie/Grot Bommer/Dakkajet/M. Destroyer >
D) Barracuda/Marauder/Phoenix/Avenger >
E) Fighta Bommer/Lightning/(loaded) Vulture >
F) Eavy Bommer/Mega Bommer/Nightshade/Remora/(unloaded)Valkyrie/Vulture

2) Unless you’re in a Thunderbolt, Marauder Destroyer or Tiger Shark, almost all of the additional weapons increase damage/points effectiveness with such a small extra investment per structure point, so load ’em up

3) Barracuda benefit greatly from both turrets and seekers, (Tiger Sharks, just from turrets) with seekers being the best guaranteed points return, and turrets making the points back over them at 2-3 rounds, generally burst turrets are best if you can keep in most effective range (Medium), or ions if you’re a crap pilot and want ‘something’ as Short Range out of arc.

4) Rokkits are awesome for Orks, Skystrike missiles do the same for Imperial Navy on most craft (but a twin-linked lascannon on a Valkyrie makes back more in under 2 turns!)

5) The Vulture base craft doesn’t cut it for the points, and even loading it up with 2 pairs of missiles, or Punisher cannon doesn’t do it. But, Rocket Pods are too amazing, and even though the craft might not always hang around for the full three turns, they put out a lot of damage

6) A lot of the upgrades don’t seem to make their points back, the exceptions being a re-enforced/armoured cockpit/Extra Armour on something with 5 or more structure (and only just then), and Ionic Afterburners (maybe, just maybe, the Wazmek Speshul, but come on, it’s no-where as good as Ionic Afterburners for the same points). Defensive Drones might just make their point back on a Tiger Shark against Orks, but otherwise, don’t bother due to the short only range

  • Ionic Afterburners are an auto-include – they make a Barracuda what it really should be in the first place, and make Red Horizon pretty pointless, as it can’t take the upgrade, but has 3 throttle and a one off ability to move 1 hex: That isn’t as good as the extra 2 speed that lets you do more than that pretty much every turn with a non-ace.
  • Holofields for Eldar are an auto-include – they add the equivalent of an extra 50% Structure for far too few points.
  • The ace just doesn’t warrant 5 points: we’re pretty much talking about a lascannon hit that failed its damage roll on a 1 – that’s a 1/18th probability per hit roll per turn, or for an average life expectancy of 3 turns about a 1/3 chance of getting to use it at all in a game (unless you’re in a tooled up Vendetta, in which case it’s 1.2 extra damage a game – but rather than that, just upgrade another base Valkyrie to a tooled up Vendetta for the same points), it may be worth 3 points for people who have just hit 3 times, but fluffed the damage roll for all of them, but I even doubt it could save you if your luck is that bad.

7) To me it seems a bit silly that a multilaser is ever an ‘upgrade’ from a lascannon, they are in AI, but never by as much as the points suggest, so it sounds like the stats are wrong, but that could lead to a LOT of re-working and re-naming, but the Lightning/Lightning Strike do seem a little ‘odd’ (see below). The Fire Raptor’s turret options are a down-grade for points efficiency compared with the defauly heavy bolters.

8) You currently always want a Vendetta with twin-linked lascannons, really, don’t bother considering any other form of Valkyrie
The Lightning Strike ‘upgrade’ is a total downgrade for the points, so it’s a shame you can only build one per sprue (unless you hack the Valkyrie sprue for those extra lascannons)

9) The Ork ‘Eavy Bommer is pretty crap – need some ‘Eavy Bommin dun though? it’s called a Fighta Bommer, and now you can load that up to the nines (thank you FAQ), chuck a Wazmek Speshul on it, and it’s got a good chance to get in there and do enough damage and get out again for far less (but still too many) points (but your opponent is going to need to sink more points into it to stop you).
Over-all, the balance between craft and their weapon options is not great. Many base craft are utterly useless until you load them up with every weapon possible. This is almost ok with some, but really noticeable on the Vulture (more-so than the Valkyrie, as that least transports troops), the Lightning and the Avenger, and a bit less so, the Fighta and Eavy Bommers – I’ve tried adjusting this a little, but as with all simulations, sticking the same upgrades on big craft gives a different output to sticking them on little craft, so may need some further tweaks later.

Night Fighting
Pretty much the same craft that are good in a standard dog fight, are the same ones that are good at night figting with a few changes;
Orks and Eldar LOVE Nightfighting, they’re already best at Short Range, and anything that isn’t already best at Short range loses roughly half of its Medium Range shots, and all of its Long Range. So, Tau Imperial Navy and Marines HATE Night Fighting. Over-all; Imperial Navy lose about 30-70% effectiveness, Orks lose about 1-5%, Tau 30-50%, Eldar (I’m not sure, something’s wrong with the Night Fighting calc as they should be similar to Orks), and Marines about 45-65%
Imperial Navy are still looking at Thunderbolts/Furies, and (naked) Marauder Destroyers, but a Valkyrie with twin-linked las is actually a better option than a Vendetta here (but probably not enough for you to care). A fair few loadouts become better at Short Range, than Medium, but they’re not the ones you want to be taking
Orks – just take whatever you were going to take, remembering that Grot Bombs don’t really care what range they pop off at, so suddenly you have the best ranged craft in the game.
Tau – cyclic ion burster turrets look like they should be better, but you’re still generally better sitting at Medium Range, so if you can stick there, you’re better off with LBBCs. Ion Cannons get the tiniest bit better than railguns on a Barracuda (but not on the Tiger Shark). The AX-1-0 w/ HPA and CIBs is your friend here, worth keeping one in your squadron list just for this. Tiger Sharks with Railguns and LBBCs are still pretty good though. The Stormfury Ground Defence suddenly becomes a bit crap.
Eldar – you’ve got what you’ve got
Marines – Naked Storm Eagles, Xiphons and Thunderhawks are about the best, but they’ll struggle in these games.

Most planes can manage a straffing run, alowing them to start taking some structure off Ground Targets as soon as they can get into range, however, as with Air to Air Fire, it’s a bit hit and (mainly) miss. Air to Ground Fire at Altitude 1 is at least hitting half of the time, as opposed to the third for other weapons. Only Imperials have A2G Missiles in the form of Hellstrike / Krak Missiles, and clusters of the same on the Vulture. A Lightning with 3 pairs of Hellstrikes isn’t bad, but a Vulture with two Hellstrike clusters has a higher output over the whole game (even if it’s not likely to be around to fire all three). There are only 4 true bombers in the game; Marauder, Marauder Destroyer, Fighta Bomber, and Eavy Bomber. For the points investment, only the Eavy Bomber is potentially unlikely to make the distance (normally 12 hexes) to drop its payload, but bear in mind that it’s unlikely that you’ll get to drop on more than two targets anyway, simply because of the one-shot nature of bombs and how much manouvering you’re likely to need to do to get a second pass on the same / new target. Although the Marauder has a larger Bomb Bay than the Destroyer, it’s only to the tune of one set of wing bombs, and forgoes its single tansport space for that.
All true bombers have the ability to put out more than 10 Structure Points of Damage in a single turn (though often not required and could make multiple drops on different targets), compared with a fully kitted out Lightning with three pairs of A2G hellstrikes capable of delivering 4.167 structure points of damage in a turn, with 2.5 of that coming from the missiles. The most A2G damage the Tau can put out is from a strafing run with a Tiger Shark AX-1-0 with HPAs at close range with a maximum of 1.611 structure in a turn (but able to repeat that every turn). By comparison, a Thunderbolt Fury can put out 2.222 per turn, and has the option of taking two pairs of hellstrikes as well.

The largest transport capacity vehicles (with the exception of the Arvus) seem to be the least likely to get to their destination Valkyries, Eavy Bommers and Grot Bommers only take a roughly points equivalent investment to send them down before they reach their target, so if you need your cargo to make it there, you’ll need to heavilly protect them. Although the Arvus is still lightly armoured, your opponent needs to spend an extra 50% of points to stop these getting to their destination. Marauder Destroyers, although not carrying too much, and certainly Tiger Sharks will take a lot of stopping (double the points investment). If you’re an Ork player, and want to go the distance, really consider a Wazmek Speshul on those big boys, and NEVER take extra armour.

Starting Out

Now I’ve got an Ease of Use calculation in, it pretty much backs up what my initial ‘feel’ was: Here are some ‘more forgiving’ craft and load-outs for beginner players – they’re not quite as points optimal, but won’t leave you high and dry if you don’t quite get your range right. Even if you make all of the recommended changes below for points, the following still stand.

Imperial Navy
Lightning Strike with Skystrikes (as many as you have the points for)
Valkyrie (multi-laser) + rocket pods
Marauders, or Marauder Destroyers with whatever you need for the mission (air to air = Skystrikes, or air to ground – hellstrikes)

we’re pretty much talking Dakkajets with some Rokkits, unless you fancy throwing a Grot Bommer in there. If you need to do some bombing, the Fighta Bommer just edges out the Eavy, but always load the craft up if you’ve got the spare points. A Wazmek Speshul is handy to get you to a few more locations.

Tiger Shark AX-1-0-3 w/ CIBs and seekers
Dawn Sword with CIBs
AX-1-0 (HPA) with CIBs
oh, you want a fighter? ok, maybe an AX-5-3 with CIBs and seekers, but the Tiger Sharks generally make better fighters currently

The Thunderhawk will float around applying damage to anything in any arc
Storm Eagles for something a little lighter – the Xiphon takes a bit more effort.

The Eldar have always been the ‘tricky to use’ race and no different in AI: Nightwings are the go to
maybe a Vampire Raider for flavour

You’ve got what you’ve got. They’re all a bit middling.

Ok Genius, well what do you suggest?

I’m not suggesting anyone should attempt to enforce any of the below: These are just suggestions to bring balance to games if you’re used to playing the same people and you’re getting bored of the same things being used over and over, simply because they ARE the best, and not taking them increases your chances of losing significantly. Really, I can’t see anyone adopting this unless GW do, but ho-hum, here’s my recommendations, with a summary at the bottom;

I’ve included all of my recommended points and stats changes in sheet 3 of the spreadsheet, with sheet 4 containing the summary of them in the same order that sheet 2 is for the current values – this should help you see the effect of any changes you make.

This version decreases a lot of the points changes, following the tweak to outnumbering and a lift to what the average craft is following the Marine, Eldar and Necron releases. Now that I’m more convinced that the model is working well, that Night Fighting / Bad Weather doesn’t change things that much (with very few exceptions outside of the much needed improvement for all Ork craft), and that Victory Points gained for bombing/transport missions don’t skew the outcome of the game significantly (points gained for stopping to drop of troops/bombs is compensated for by the damage taken from enemy aircraft), I’ve made a few more modifications to bring things even closer together. I’m happy that fighters are aligned with fighters (the only exception being that the Thunderbolt is still a few notches above the rest, but is kind of a heavy fighter, closer aligned to the Tiger Shark Fighter Bomber), and bombers are aligned with bombers.
Based on my recommended points changes and minor other adjustments, the order of the top and bottom craft hardly change at all, but you’ll note in the third/fourth sheets how much closer everything is together. The over-all effect is that;
All the top craft shrink towards average. All the bottom craft grow towards the average. A few craft drop slightly below, and a few more creep slightly above average.
Some naked craft drop a little, others climb a smidge where I’ve adjusted them more heavily. Loaded out ones climb a little (I’ve tried to mitigate this a little with weapon/craft adjustments, but it’s limited without weapons costing different amounts on different craft, which I’d rather avoid – noting also that adding more cost also adds risk into the same number of structure points)
Armoured Cockpits become more worthwhile on the higher point value craft – ideally they should cost about 0.66-0.75pt per point of structure, making craft a little more resilient, but a gamble. I’ve not included this in the summary below, leaving them at 3points. But note: this leaves Tiger Sharks and especially Thunderhawks a bit too good with them (see ‘Techmarine Crew’ below).
Weapon variants have less descrepancy between same frames (especially Lightning Strike and Tiger Shark AX-1-0-3)
The adjustments made are described in more detail below, with a summary at the bottom;

Imperial Navy

With the re-costing of the Tbolts by +2 points, it’s brought their effectiveness down a tiny bit, but compared with the majority of craft i.e. not the Tiger Shark and some newer releases, they’re still waaaay too potent, being at the top end of points for Navy, it now only takes 2 points added on to the Thunderbolt and 5 on the Fury. Yes, I know that means you could be down a plane in a 125-150 point list, and yes, activations have been taken into account (you know you were planning on taking 3-4 of these in your list still, yes? there’s a reason for it). Even with this hefty increase, they would still be the most effective Imperial Navy craft in the game!
Dagor Jarni in the Executioner is a bit too much of a bargain if you’re up against max alt 4 enemies, and even if not, being able to climb 2 altitude in a turn makes it a really handy ability – should be 3 points with Executioner’s extra speed as well.
The Marauder is under powered compared with the Destroyer variant, which is a little bit too powerful currently. The Marauder effectively gains a pair of wing bombs in place of the 1 transport capability of the Destroyer, which in terms of Victory Points scoring is about equivalent. However, the Marauder has so many weapon slots that are in excess of what most missions (except Canyon Run) require it to bomb, that both it, and the Destroyer also double as potent Air to Air Gunships, which the Destroyer is far better at. Over-all, The Marauder needs to come down a point, and 2 need to be added onto the Marauder Destroyer.
While we’re on the Marauder topic: The Marauder ‘Lascannon’, isn’t the same as the Valkyrie/Avenger lascannon, it’s the same profile as the other twin lascoannons, so should be renamed to ‘Twin Lascannon’. Likewise, the Marauder Destroyer’s ‘Autocannon’ looks to be more of an ‘Autocannon Battery’, as it’s about double the ‘Quad Autocannon’ that other aircraft have.
Even though I completely missed it out prior to my 4th edition, a loaded Avenger is pretty much my ‘average craft’, but it comes in a smidge too expensive. A one point cut to the standard frame brings it in-line with the other fighters (even though the base frame looks better than the Lightning. The twin Autocannon aren’t as good as the lascannon, and need to come down a point to 2
The Lightning seems to be pretty much balanced, but because it’s so fast and manouverable, you may find it looking too powerful/too weak if you play with the variables. In previous iterations, I’ve tried increasing it a point, in the last, leaving it alone, I’ve sometimes seemed to need to add a point, but with the current set of tweaks in this version, it’s back to ‘just leave it alone’, but it needs bringing down the cost of the current ‘upgrade’ of twin Multi-lasers to 1 point instead of the silly 4 – there seems to be a lot of confusion about what a Lightning / Lightning Strike actually is between the box (that implies that the Lascannons are the upgrade), the AI rules (upgrade to multi-laser), and the rest of the 40K universe (where multi-lasers are never an upgrade from a lascannon), and we’re missing the auto-cannons and the swap of the main weapon for more missiles? – might want to get some standardisation here across the universe.
The Valkyrie and Vendetta platforms are all skewed to keep the upgrade points down, but it seems all wrong as most other craft have a ton of better weapons already built in. That said, 3 transport is a lot of VPs available if you can spam them enough for missions that need it: The Valkyrie needs to come down 3 points to 13 (yes, I’m aware it’s got 3 structure points, but it moves like a tub, so its cargo isn’t very safe). Multi-lasers should be a 1 point upgrade instead of 3. The Vendetta is a bit of a bargain compared to the other options, the main issue being that it doesn’t lose any transport capacity for taking the extra lascannons. It should be 1 point more than the base craft as is currently (for the twin lascannon), but lose 2 transport (down from 3 to 1), and be the only Valkyrie variant capable of taking the behemoth twin-linked lascannon, which should really be 8 points (and lets face it, you’re probably not going to want to take anything else on it, so you could just build those points/upgrades in. Dyce Vander should then become a 2 point pilot upgrade for a Valkyrie with his better handling (I tend to think that the altitude 5 was a typo), rather than a Vendetta for his jump troop ability, or he needs a new (appropriately costed) ability that suits the Vendetta.
The Vulture also needs a make-over: The base craft needs to come down a massive 6 points to 14. This makes it a cheap scout option, but with only a heavy bolter on the base 2 structure craft, that’s actually ok (Giving it 3 Structure like the Valkyrie skews things a lot and turns it into a real gun-ship, but then the base craft would need to go up a lot and messes with the weapon values again – I tend to prefer the former option). Missile clusters should be 4 points, but you probably don’t want them on it. The reason for taking this thing is the punisher, which needs to go up 2 points to 6, and Rocket Pods that need to go up 3 to 5 points (yes they are that good, you can take two of them!). You’ll see that the Valkyrie can’t match the Vendetta or Vulture for TDO, but that’s because it’s a dual purpose craft with lots of transport capability.
Flares or Chaff Launchers (and the Ork Belching Smoke/ Tau Decoy Drones) – even a single point, for a 1 off FNP of a 6 against limited ammo weapons isn’t worth it. At least make it a 5+, the Armoured Cockpit is so much better for 3 points, especially on the larger craft. Giving a one off 5+ would give the fighters something to consider as an alternative to never bothering to take these or the armoured cockpit
Tactical Targeting Array – 3 points to re-roll 1s on a 3+ TH Missile that only costs 2 points in the first place? Ok, so you’re in a Lightning with three sets of missiles, that’s still only 1/3rd extra hit, when your 3 missiles are hitting twice already for 6 points. Re-roll ALL misses for a turn might be worth 2 points in a missile gunboat Marauder, or slightly less so in a Lightning.
As per take-aways above, all Aces/Fly Bosses, Kor’Els should be a maximum of 3 points, probably only 2, lets face it, it’s only on one aircraft anyway.
Ejector Seats/Armoured Troop Compartments – probably needs to be a 4+ save to wave the finger (still losing 75% of the craft cost) for it’s destruction at 2 points

But my Orks stink!
Orks seem a little out of sorts. Even now I’ve got adjustments in for favouring the Ork’s abilities to fire out of arc more at Short range, they doesn’t seem to quite cut it. It’ll help if some of these puny ‘Umies/Tau get some increases (as above and below), but Orks do much better when in the thick of it, with multiple targets to shoot at. In a 3 vs 2 they’ll struggle, but a 9 vs 6 with some of those bigger beasts, they’ll love! But they do look a lot more effective when there’s bad weather / night fighting in play. This means it’s quite difficult to judge their real points efficiency. Although the Fighta Bommer/Eavy Bommer are supposed to be good Bombers, they are less likely to survive the distance needed than their Imperial Counterparts against an equivilent point craft/force, so you’ll probably need to take more bomb capability than should be necessary. As a result, here’s my current ‘feel’;
Kustom Big Shootas are a bit too much, they should be 2 points instead of 3, especially taking the place of a set of Rokkits, based on life expectancy (and you should never take them in place of Grot Bombs, unless you really can’t afford them)
Dakkajets are a great filler, with the base version padding out numbers like a Remora in Tau (except actually being pretty good), but get really points efficient if you strap a pair of rockets on them. They can go toe-to toe with Lightnings, dance round Valkyries, and do enough damage to Marauders to make tailing worthwhile. It’s currently about your only option for a small numbers dogfight (unless you’ve got space for a grot bommer), as the rest of the craft don’t have the focused forward arc firepower. Points – currently needs a 1 point drop, any more and they look a bit too effective.
Da Black Barun – HOW MUCH? – 7 points to give him 1/18th extra hits! If he’s supposed to be a super-duper, most expensive Ace in the game, let him re-roll ALL failed hits for 2/9ths extra hits, but even with slightly better handling, and a lower min speed, it goes no-where close to cutting it. How about giving him access to an extra manoeuvre as well? Either that, or he needs a severe points haircut (currently he and his craft should be a 2 point add-on, maybe 3 if you give him re-roll all failed hits, and 4 points seems about right if you give him manouever six as well, but 7 points is just taking the…)

What about those Tau?
The Barracudas are a bit too expensive: They look way off because the Tiger Sharks are so good. They’re not too bad once fully loaded up compared with average craft, but the base craft isn’t that great (for the points), so drop the base craft by 5 points, and then…
The ion cannon variant of Barracuda needs to come down a point (1 to 0 – it’s the same effectiveness as the Railgun).
The Swiftstrike burst cannon should only be 1 point instead of 4 (I have no idea why it was thought to be so good, yes it’s got a few more range options, but its got a lower peak damage output and can still only hit one a turn).The Ionic Afterburners are an auto-include on a Barracuda currently – if you’re going to keep them as an option, then put them up to 4 points (as they’re clearly far better than the Wazmek Speshul) and are the thing that lifts this craft to something a bit too good for the points currently
Red Horizon’s ‘Master Navigator’ (and the Imperial Navy crew equivalent) ability really needs a mod to say ‘at the end of the Movement Phase’, rather than ‘after completing its movement’ – it’s a one off, and really unlikely to have any benefit otherwise. As per the take-aways above, currently, you should never take this over Ionic Afterburners (and the two are exclusive), but if the Ionic Afterburners went up to 4 above, then it would make this a ‘light’ version, and combined with its +1 Thrust, make this updated ability worth the extra points
The Tiger Shark is an absolute monster at the moment compared to other (non-TBolt) Imperial Navy craft, and runs rings round Orks of an equivalent size. However, I’ve reduced the needed hike due to the outnumbering tweaks, so I’m now only recommending 5 points adding onto the base AX-1-0-2/3/4 frame and 4 on the AX-1-0s.
The Tiger Shark paired ion needs to be free like the Barracuda versions (It’s the same or worse effectiveness as the Railgun – Dawn Sword just needs its pilot ability taken up to 4 points instead of 2 to compensate, being just better than an Armoured Cockpit). The paired Swiftstrike burst cannon should be 2 points instead of 6 (you might be able to justify 3 points due to their flexibility, but they have the same peak and lower secondary range damage compared to the railgun, and still come out with a worse TDO than both the other options).
The Heavy Plasma Accellerator seemed a little over-priced as an upgrade to the Heavy Rail Cannon (lower peak and secondary damage, despite better flexibility and novelty of being best at Short Range), but due to how much difference it makes for missions where Night Fighting is in play and the advantage it has over most Imperial Navy craft for ability to do damage at Short Range, I’ve changed my mind about reducing it.
I know the Remora is supposed to be a scout, but even being a (really cheap for Tau) filler doesn’t give it a good enough role. I think the designers are trying to get it to fulfill a different role to other Tau craft here, that of something better at short range. However, for now, if you really need short range firepower, it’s an AX-1-0 with HPA for 30+ points (just over twice the cost, for just over 4 times the output and much less likely to get 1 turn removed from play). I recommend changing out the 2 shot ‘seeker missiles’ for the normal seeker missile bay that everything else has (as it’s unlikely to survive long enough to get 2 shots off anyway) – but see below re: Seeker missiles, and maybe have an lbbc weapon variant 0-3-2 5+ (which was what the original 40K craft came with when it came out and looks the same as the AI model), together with a points cut to 12. This leaves it still right at the bottom of the field for ‘best build’, but where it’s so cheap, I can see it then has a place, like a naked Vulture/Vendetta
Why are Seeker Missiles Aerial Attack? Surely in the lore they’re primarily for taking out ground targets lit up by pathfinders and the ilk. Currently, the Tau have nothing in the way of Air to Ground fire. Either they should remove the Aerial Attack keyword, and add something like ‘this craft may only select a single target on a turn it fires seeker missiles’, making one choose to focus targeting systems on something specific and lose the option to fire turrets/defensive drones in other arcs – a Straffing Run does this anyway for ground targets, but this would do the same for aerial targets, which there are generally more of, or add an Air to Ground variant with the same profile as the Hellstrike Missiles (I prefer the former).
Defensive Drones – come on, make them 1-1-0 – they’d still be crap, but could be a use of a spare point if you’re up against someone other than Orks.
Kor’El and Decoy drones – as mentioned in the Imperial Navy section

What happened here? Almost every craft is better every single Ork craft (Fire Raptor being the only exception). The Techmarine is an auto-include for the Storm Raven chassis craft, but on the Thunderhawk, it’s bonkers. With the outnumbering update, I’m recinding the 1pt hike for the Storm Ravens, and including a ‘Team’ of Techmarines on the Thunderhawk for double the cost.
The Primary change of this version (thanks for all the feedback leading to the change) is the heavily reduced increase to the Thunderhawknow just +4 points.
It doesn’t feel right that the Fire Raptor is worse than the Storm Eagle for the points when you look at the weapons, but it is: It’s turrets can’t fire forwards and can’t gang up in any other arc, so it just doesn’t have the same total damage output of the Storm Eagle. The Storm Eagle needs an extra 3 points, which should mean that the Fire Raptor needs 2 adding, but it still seems to be under-performing (in my figures).
The Xiphon needs an extra 3 points to bring it in-line with other heavy fighters.
The missiles are too good: There’s no way that three shot missiles are only worth 50% more than a one shot version that the Imperial Navy has, especially on frames that will be around long enough to use them. I’ve added a further point to my last revision, taking these to 7pts.
None of the Fire Raptor turrets are worth taking in their current form, and I’ve dropped these to free.
I still need to spend more time on the other available upgrades and check the ace abilities better.

Ok, now we’ve got the full stats for the Vampire Raider and Hunter, along with the surprise of the Nightshade and Hemlock that we didn’t think we’d see, you can see that they’re a bit like the Tau, but generally closer range and more fragile.
The Nightwing is pretty close, only adding a point to the frame, and the Phoenix is spot on, but GW really missed it with the Holofield upgrade, which basically makes them into a heavier 3 structure point fighter for 3 points, I thought this needed trebling, but back-tracking to double with the change to outnumbering making a lot of difference on a light frame. Some weapon options are a little too cheap, with starcannons and scatter lasers needing to go up to 4pt.
The Vampire, like the Tiger Shark is a bit of a beast, being so maneuverable on a strong frame. Adding 6 points to both variants. The Phoenix missiles are a bit meh, only worth a point (2 Ammo that is averaging 0.5 damage a shot and reducing transport on your only transporter).
Hemlock Wraithfighter, ouch what a beast, chucking out 2 damage almost every time it makes contact, however, pointed about right.
Nightshade Interceptor, oh bless it. I’m pretty certain that GW missed its centre-line pulse laser off the stats. Currently, it’s extremely light in damage output, needing a massive 6 point reduction. Alternate take, add a pulse laser (same as the twin, but a 1-2-1 FPR rating) and take a couple off
I still need to spend more time on the other available upgrades and check the ace abilities better

These are a little tricky, in that Necrons don’t have any chaff to use up activations. This means that they’re a lot closer to the old ^0.5 outnumbering metric to the ^0.75. As a result, I’ve point scored them using the same method and then halved the difference to where they sit currently.
Night Scythe / Doom Scythe – The Night Scythe is still a little cheap for what it does. The Necron craft were a fair bit meatier than I was expecting, but I was close on the weapons. +4pts to the base craft reduced to +2 due to the lack of options for outnumbering. then, just strap a bigger, more potent gun, on an already strong and manouverable platform, shall we say… 3 points? No, no I don’t think we should. If we had some chaff options, I’d say 15 points real-terms, but I’ll settle for 8 extra.
Night Shroud, ok, this one’s pretty good :€)
Galvanised nanoswarms are a good option at 4 points, other upgrades just to fill some points.

Ground Defences
Ground Defences seem to put out a bit too much damage for their points, but they are also quite situational, and clearly easier to target (so likely to take more than the 1.15 damage per 25 points per turn if attention comes their way). I’ve now included the Marine and Eldar ones. Comparing ground defences solely with each other: The Manticore and Stormfury are a bit too good (+1pt), and the Basilisk is a bit too crap (-1pt), unfortunately that would make all Imperial Navy Ground defences 8 points but tbh, it’s difficult to balance them all much more than that without half points (don’t go there). Only making these 3 changes leaves most in roughly the same part of the table as they show to be currently – the next one to hit would be the Stormfire, but even taking that up a single point moved it from ‘next top’ to below half way, and at the bottom end, a point chop from the Flak put it way above average.
The next balance point was to bring everything down in effectiveness towards the Basilisk, which would make all the Imperial Navy GDs 9 points, add one point to each of the Ork platforms, add 2 to the Stormfire, and 3 to the Stormfury. That’s a little closer to balance with each other, but more entries change more positions in the list, and it depends upon how balanced they are currently in-game, so I prefer the 1st set of three minor tweaks.
One other take would be to change the FPR stats on all the weapon profiles to more closely suit the points;
Weapon Pts FPR Dam XD Alt
Hydra 8 6-4-2 -> 8-4-0 5+ 2
Manticore 7 2-1-1 -> 1-1-1 4+ 5+ 5
Basilisk 9 1-2-1 -> 1-3-2 2+ 6+ 4
Flak 9 8-4-2 -> 8-6-2 5+ 2
Eavy Flak 7 2-2-1 -> 2-2-2 4+ 6+ 4
Stormfire 9 4-10-0 -> 6-8-0 5+ 2
Stormfury 7 1-2-2 -> 1-1-2 2+ 6+ 4

So in Summary;

Imperial Navy
Thunderbolt (23) +2 -> 25pt
Thunderbolt Fury (25) +5 -> 29pt
– Dagor Jani (25) +1 (so +3pt on top of base Thunderbolt)
– Leoz Answith (26) (+2 on top of base Thunderbolt Fury)
Marauder (23) -1 -> 22pt
– Gallus Barret in Blue Devil (26) -1 -> 25pt
Marauder Destroyer (27) +2 -> 29pt
Marauder Pathfinder (33) -7 -> 26pt
Marauder Colossus (26) -2 -> 24pt
Avenger (20) -1 -> 19pt
– twin autocannon (3) -1 -> 2pt
Lightning (19) -0 -> 19pt
– twin multilaser (4) -3 -> 1pt
Arvus (10) -0 -> 10pt
Valkyrie (16) -3 -> 13pt
– twin lascannon (vendetta) (1) +1 -> 2pt
– rocket pods (2) +2 -> 4pt
– twin-linked lascannon (vendetta only -2 Transport) (4) +4 -> 8pt
Vulture (20) -6 -> 14pt
– missile cluster (3) +1 -> 4pt
– punisher (4) +2 -> 6pt
– rocket pods (2) +3 -> 5pt
Flares or Chaff Launchers (1) : 6+ -> 5+ FNP
Tactical Targeting Array : (3) re-roll 1s -1 -> 2pt re-roll all misses
Ace (5) -3 -> 2pt
Ejector Seats/Armoured Troop Compartments (2) : make it a 4+ chance
Navigator : make move 1 hex at end of craft move -> end of all movement
Manticore +1 -> 8pt
Basilisk -1 -> 8pt
Some naming to look at w/ Marauder weapons and the Lightning / Strike and weapon variants

Dakkajet (16) -1 -> 15pt
– Killa Eagul -> 2pt (on top of Dakkajet)
– Vulture / Da Black Barun (23) -3 -> 4pt (on top of Dakkajet) : re-roll ALL failed hits, and add manouvre 6
Fighta Bommer (20) -2 -> 18pt
– Big Burner / Toofkraker (22) -1 -> 3pt (on top of fighta bommer)
Eavy Bommer (28) -6 -> 22pt
Grot Bommer (28) +0 -> 28pt
– extra grot bombs +2 -> 10pt
Mega Bommer (51) -6 -> 45pt
Kustom Big Shoota -1 -> 2pt
Belching Smoke : 6+ -> 5+ FNP
Flyboss -3 -> 2pt

Barracuda -5 -> 17pt
– ion cannon -1 -> 0pt
– swiftstrike burst cannon -3 -> 1pt
– Ionic Afterburners +2 -> 4pt
– Red Horizon (24) -4 -> 20 (3pt ace ability) : make move 1 hex at end of craft move -> end of all movement
Tiger Shark (24) +5 -> 29
– paired ion cannon (2) -2 -> 0pt
– paired swiftstrike burst cannon (8) -6 -> 2pt
– Dawn Sword +2 -> 4pt (on top of Tiger Shark AX-1-0-4)
Tiger Shark AX-1-0 (28) +4 -> 32
– paired Heavy Plasma Accelerators (2) -0 : 2pt
Remora (14) -2 -> 12pt : swap seekers -> standard seeker missile bay, swap burst to lbbc
Seeker Missiles : remove ‘aerial attack’ and add ‘this craft may only select a single target on a turn it fires seeker missiles’, or add an A2G variant for the same points
Defensive drones : FPR 1-0-0 -> 1-1-0
Decoy Drones : 6+ FNP -> 5+ FNP
Kor’El -3 -> 2pt
Stormfury +1 -> 8pt

Xiphon (24) +3 -> 27pt
– The Unkillable Phantom (29) +1 -> 30pt (3pts on top of Xiphon)
Storm Eagle (29) +3 -> 32pt
Fire Raptor (31) +2 -> 33pt
– Dark Fire (36) +2 -> 38pt
Thunderhawk Gunship +4 -> 48pt
– Hunter Killer/Krak Missiles +1 -> 3pt
– Dual Hunter Killer/Krak Missiles +4 -> 7pt
– Autocannon/Lascannon turrets -2 -> 0pt
TechMarine +0 -> 4pt (not Thunderhawk)
‘Techmarine Crew’ option for Thunderhawk Gunship -> 8pt

Nightwing (20) +1 -> 21pt
– Crimson Warrior (24) -0 -> 24 (3 points on top of Nightwing)
Phoenix (23) -0 -> 23pt
– Shadow Reaver (26) -0 -> 3 points on top of Phoenix
-Twin Scatter Lasers / Starcannon (3) +1 -> 4pt
– Missile Launchers / Pulse Lasers (3) +0 -> 3pt
– Twin Bright Lances (3) +1 -> 4pt
Vampire Raider (33) +6 -> 39
– Twin Linked Pulse Lasers (3) -1 -> 2pt
– Phoenix MLs (2) -1 -> 1pt
Vampire Hunter (36) +6 -> 42 pt
Hemlock Wraithfighter (26) +0 -> 26 pt
Nightshade Interceptor (25) -6 -> 19 pt (or -2 and add a single Pulse Laser at FPR 1-2-1)
Holofields (3) +3 -> 6pt

Night Scythe (35) +4 -> 39pt (balanced) +2 -> 37pt adjusted*
Doom Scythe / weapon (38) + 15pt upgrade -> 54pt (balanced) -> 45pt (adjusted)*
Night Shroud (39) +0 -> 39pt
Galvanised Nanoswarms (4) give a Doom Scythe approx 0.83 extra structure +0

…And that pretty much wraps it up for this revision. I hope that’s helpful, but feel free to ask any other questions, or propose different weightings – I’ll take all feedback onboard to improve the model as it’s always a work in progress, and there could still be some errors from missing copy/pastes. Thank you for your interest