Cover of the Aeronautica Imperialis rulebook
|Designer(s)||Forge World and others|
|Setup time||5 – 30 minutes|
|Playing time||30 minutes – 3 hours|
|Random chance||Dice rolling|
Aeronautica Imperialis is a tabletop miniature wargame set within the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The game focuses on aerial combat between the different races of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Released in January 2007, it was developed and published by Forge World, a division of the British gaming company Games Workshop.
Aeronautica Imperialis is a companion game to Epic, which emphasises battles between armies on a larger scale than Warhammer 40,000.
Gameplay-wise, the major difference between Epic and Aeronautica Imperialis is that instead of a player moving and firing tanks and troops, they are using aircraft and ground defense weapons.
The Aeronautica Imperialis rulebook contains not only rules for the games, but also two sheets of cards] which are used to make special manoeuvres. Other content in the rulebook is background material on the individual aircraft, along with full colour plates and suggestions for painting. At the end of the book, there is a "campaign" section with scenarios for players to recreate.
Armies and units
It makes use of currently available aircraft models designed for Epic, which are approximately 6mm scale, or 1:285. Forge World's say that "Epic models are 5 times smaller than their Warhammer 40,000 equivalent". In addition to the use of the miniatures, Forge World also sells special bases for the game to indicate such things as the altitude, speed, and fire arcs of each aeroplane.
Aeronautica Imperialis has a strong tie with the Black Library book Double Eagle by Dan Abnett. This deals with the air war occurring during the Sabbat Worlds Campaign (the setting for Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel series). It has a Battle of Britain flavour; many of the concepts elucidated in the Aeronautica rules can be seen in Abnett's writing.
In late 2007, Forge World released Tactica Aeronautica, a collection of extra rules, new aircraft and scenarios for the game.