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Faction: Aeronautica Imperialis

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Now that the new FAQ allows Astra Militarum, Militarum Tempestus and Inquisition embark in Valkyries from this faction during deployment, I thought it might be nice to have a thread for one of the newest Imperial factions in 40k.


Some of my random thoughts:


The main function of this faction seems to be to allow those factions with pre-existing access to Valkyries to instead take them in an Imperial Navy Section detachment instead, which allows re-rolled reserve rolls and gives access to the Officer of the Fleet for further reserve manipulation. It also frees up FA slots in an AM CAD.


Disappointingly for a few factions, especially SoB, the FAQ has not extended access to flying transports to them.


It also creates a few anomalies: e.g. Wyrdvane Psykers selected from C:AM can enter play embarked in a Valkyrie; those selected from C:IA with faction: Adeptus Astra Telepathica can't. Ministorum Priests, Tech-Priest Enginseers and Astropaths are similarly affected.


Speculatively, I wonder if the IA will be expanded. A Vendetta upgrade sprue for the Valkyrie is very plausible. Other (less likely) thoughts include: Naval Armsmen as a bodyguard for the OotF; access to Orbital Strike Relays; Navigators.


Any thoughts?

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Just a note:  The faction is nothing more than a fancy High Gothic name for the Imperial Navy, which has been around in the lore forever. It looks like GW simply repurposed the name of the aerial combat game from Forge World (logically). I've adjusted the Resources topic accordingly.


As for expansion, I suppose it will all come down to what models GW comes up with for Warhammer 40,000. The Aeronautica Imperialis game used smaller scale models and covered the range of WH40K factions (at the time). The Imperial Navy aircraft datasheets included the following:


  • Thunderbolt
  • Lightning
  • Lightning 'Strike'
  • Valkyrie (with variants)
  • Vulture (with variants)
  • Marauder
  • Marauder Destroyer
  • Marauder 'Vigilant'
  • Marauder 'Colossus'
  • Aquila Lander (with variants)
  • Arvus Lighter
  • and a number of ground-based guns (Hydra, Manticore, Sabre Weapons Platform, Heavy Flak Gun)


Of those, the Valkyrie is the only one that has a Games Workshop model, hence the limited options in Codex: Imperial Agents. However, Forge World has 32mm scale models for the

  • Maruader (two variants)
  • Thunderbolt
  • Vulture
  • Arvus Lighter


In addition, Forge World has 32mm scale models for the:

  • Avenger (a strike fighter)
  • Lightning 'Voss'
  • Valkyrie 'Sky Talon'


Much, I suppose, will depend on the popularity of Death from the Skies, GW's willingness/desire to expand its flyer range, and FW's ability to translate the existing rules for the purpose of expanding the faction.


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Thanks very much. Sorry, yes, wasn't implying that the IA was entirely new, but that it was the first time (I think) that it has an identity as an independent faction on the tabletop.


With regard to the FW flyers, I suspect they may be re-branded as AI in due course, as it would fit with the general trend for creating copyrightable faction names (c.f. Astra Militarum); Imperial Navy, despite its glorious history, couldn't qualify for that status.

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I don't see GW coming out with actual rules/models for Naval Armsmen to guard the OotF but it's a cool and fluffy idea. What do you think would be more fitting rules-wise, a squad of AM veterans or a unit of acolytes kitted out with bolters?

I'd imagine them with some form of boarding shields and with shotguns (I seem to remember one novel mentioning "shot cannons"). Acolytes with bolters or stormbolters plus either stormshields or mixing in some Crusaders would probably get closest to my picture. Flamers would also seem to fit; my shaky memory of the fluff is that they prefer to avoid high-energy weapons due to their inherent dangers when used on board (so keeping away from plasma and melta weapons).

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I'd go with stormbolters to represent kited out shotguns with manstopper ammo that the Arbites use :)  You really don't want hull breaches after all.  I use stormbolters for those few henchmen acolytes I have with shotguns from previous editions and it seems to fit pretty well.

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I'm working on my adepts arbites now! I'll have to show you guys how they're coming along.. Considering the =][= can embark upon them, I'm not the least bit worried about rules as acolytes and an Inquisitor can represent the enforcers pretty well:


Arbites Champion with power maul/bolt pistol- Hereticus Inquisitor with power armor and the same load out.

Arbites with shotgun and grenades- Priest with same load out.

Arbites with boltgun- Acolytes with boltgun x2

Arbites with sword and shield- Crusader x2


My group is going to be about 10 strong including the champion, and probably 3 of which won't really have rules until they release them, or will have to find rules elsewhere (Arbiter with grenade launcher, and 2 of them with shotguns.

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Generally speaking, the fleet crews of the Imperial Navy would be more focused on shipboard combat (great Zone Mortalis ideas), so the Aeronautica Imperialis faction for Warhammer 40,000 should be focused on the aircraft.


However, the potential for the fleet crews is just too nifty to pass up, and the Zone Mortalis possibilities would be fun to pursue.


The Solar Auxilia models from Forge World (the infantry, not the armour) actually bear a very strong resemblance to the artwork we've seen for the Imperial Navy crews (most notably from Jes Goodwin).

And using the Solar Auxilia models as a baseline would probably allow for simple lifting of the rules, with minor tweaks here and there.


Getting back to the aircraft, I'd like to see Forge World update the rules so that some of the craft could be used in Warhammer 40,000. At the very least, allowing for a bomber run across your enemy's lines would be appropriate (much more appropriate than fighters, in my opinion).

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Good call. The Solar Auxiliary would look pretty much perfect for Naval troopers. For those of us less confident of our converting skills, the Veletaris could be used "as is", with the Volkites counting as, e.g., stormbolters (given there's virtually no volkite in 40k to cause confusion) - and then could be used as intended in 30k if one caught the HH bug.
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Keeping my Imperial forces Inquisition themed allows me to passably incorporate as many fun elements as I want into my army, and my Aeronautica Imperialis section is well on its way to being converted! I'm working out a noble rogue trader, and large Hereticus accompaniment that fit nicely.. Here's my Arbites Champion so far, ready to enforce restored peace:


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