Tactica Aeronautica is the first expansion to Forge World’s Aeronautica Imperialis sci-fi, air combat, miniatures game. It is a hardback book similar to the original AI rulebook. Tactica Aeronautica is 127 pages with integrated color.
Tactica Aeronautica’s first section covers new aircraft and includes the background and game stats in the same format as the original AI book. The new aircraft included are: Marauder variants (Colossus bomber and Vigilant surveillance ship); Ork Bommers (Bomma and Blasta-Bomma); Tau Remora Drone Fighter, Tiger Shark AX-2-2 mothership, and DX-13 aerial mine; and the Chaos Harbinger bomber. There are also a couple pages of aircraft upgrades for each race and a complete squadron list that includes point values for all of the aircraft from both products including the available upgrade options. Datasheets are provided for the new aircraft as well as some variants of older aircraft (for example the Vulture gets 11 new weapon loads).
Tactica Aeronautica includes 40 pages of narrative and images covering the Tau vs Imperial Typha-IV Campaign. Supporting the campaign is three pages of new campaign system rules for AI. The system covers the process of building a squadron list along with ground defenses and then fighting a series of missions with these forces. There are also five scenarios for the Typha-IV Campaign and two tournament scenarios. Also included are two pages of new rules for designing ground installations along with a few pages of hobby information on building an airbase.
Wrapping everything up is a battle report, tactica, questions and answers, and designer’s notes. The battle report is a nice 16 pages on the Raid on Supply Base Theta-Nine-Four battle including turn-by-turn maps and even the record sheets from the battle. The tactica is only three pages but has some useful tips in it.
Overall Tactica Aeronautica is not a dramatic or jam packed expansion but what is there is very well done and it includes a nice thorough mix of items. The book has the usual number of Forge World typos including a number in the designer’s notes. The worst part is there are some obvious typos in the aircraft datasheets. For example, the Manta sheet has ‘Drone Fighters’ on line two that should be ‘Burst Cannons’ (or ‘Drone Burst Cannons’ as they are inconsistently called). Hopefully none of the actual stats are wrong but we will not know for sure until the next errata. The only thing we were disappointed not to see was a new Air Combat Record Sheet. There are a number of new record sheet designs done by players that are vastly more useful than the official FW ones. We also wish they would put all the rules into one small softcover publication. But if you like Aeronautica Imperialis you will want to get Tactica Aeronautica. The new campaign system gives the game considerable replay value over simple standalone missions and the incorporation of additional ground installations adds more depth and tactical challenges to what would otherwise be just an air-to-air combat game.