Valkyries are a term originating from the Nordic religions of the Vikings, being warrior-women servitors of Odin who invisibly observed battles to seek worthy souls to take to Valhalla. Though most commonly imagined as angels of death who carried away the souls of the slain worthy after the fighting was over, originally they took a more direct role in gathering souls - causing accidents to ensure that a suitably worthy fighter got killed. Often imagined riding flying horses (either winged or simply air-walking) thanks to certain famous Germanic arts, in the original sagas, it's actually implied they ride flying fucking giant wolves.
Very popular motif in Germanic operas.
The word "Valkyrie" means "Chooser of the Slain", and is such a badass term that it gets yoinked in a lot of settings as the name for an air or space fighting machine. Valkyries, or ersatz versions thereof, often show up in fantasy settings and games.
In Warhammer 40000
The Valkyrie and its derived craft are a series of Imperial Navy VTOL-capable gunships/dropships capable of carrying infantry squads into battle while providing supporting firepower. Because Valkyrie squadron can often expect to be attached to Imperial Guard units for a long duration, modifications are often made to the Valkyrie to enhance its role of close air support, maximizing its VTOL capabilities while improving survivability.
Although the Valkyrie is a Flyer, it is important to remember that it is a transport gunship, not a fighter, and its profile and armament reflects this. However, because of its sizable engines it still can travel at considerable speed (45" in game terms), evading enemy fire that would otherwise cripple the ship. It is also capable of extremely limited flight outside the atmosphere, though the cargo won't thank you if they don't have respirators.
The standard Valkyrie is modestly armed compared to some of the other variants, which is to say that it still has enough raw dakka to give a medium tank a serious headache: it sports a single Multilaser or Lascannon, two Hellfury Missiles or Multiple Rocket Pods, and two optional door-mounted Heavy Bolters (the latter of which are probably auto-includes anyway, because they make the Valk look even more awesome). Its main feature is a transport capacity of 12 men, whom the Valkyrie can carry across the battlefield quickly and in relative safety. Consider it as an objective capper for late-game "YOINK, DONT MIND IF I DO" drop squads.
In 8th Edition the Valkyrie is T7 with 14 wounds and a 3+ save. When combined with the Hard to Hit rule and its Flyer mobility, it is no exaggeration to say that a Valkyrie can be a real pain in the ass to kill. If the Valkyrie has one weakness it is the fact that most of its weapons are classified as Heavy and therefore suffer a -1 to-hit penalty when the vehicle is in motion, which is generally going to be most of the time if you want it and its cargo to stay alive. However, when needed the Valkyrie also has an alternate flight profile that allows it to use its Hover Jets, reducing its maximum speed to 20" and increasing its vulnerability to attack in exchange for the Roving Gunship rule that grants a +1 bonus on its ranged to-hit rolls. Although use of Hover Jets is highly situational, it improves the vehicle's gunnery to as high as a 3+, depending on the weapon and if the ship is moving or not. Yes, this does mean that the Valk can therefore hover on the spot like an actual helicopter if you want it to.
Given its status as a flying transport/gunship and armament of a Multi-laser and Missiles, the Valkyrie is basically the MI-24 Hind IN SPACE!!!
A Terminus Ultra Pattern Land Raider with wings.
The Vendetta is a heavy gunship of the Imperial Navy's Aeronautica Imperialis and is a more heavily-armed variant of the Valkyrie airborne assault carrier primarily used as a tank-buster in support of the ground troops of the Astra Militarum or as a transport for airborne combat regiments such as Imperial Tempestus Scion Squads and soldiers of the Elysian Drop Troops Militarum Regimentum.
The Vendetta Heavy Gunship is a Valkyrie attached to Imperial Guard units which, in addition to the increased armor, are equipped with three Twin-linked Lascannons, and used as the aforementioned tank hunter role after dropping off any unit being transported by it.
Furthermore, it still retains the ability to mount two Heavy Bolter door guns. It may also replace the two hardpoint-mounted Twin-linked lascannons on its wings for two Hellfury Missiles. Despite their impressive firepower, Vendetta Gunships lack the flexibility of Vulture Gunships, which are chosen more often for deep-range attack, strafing and urban assault missions.
Tabletop plays similarly in the fluff as the Vendetta fills two primary roles. Aside from its transport capacity of 12, it carries 6 Lascannons to enable it to act as a dedicated vehicle hunter, which generates a lot of rage as it can be taken in SQUADRONS.
It pays through the nose for the privilege, but it effectively has the same defensive profile as a Space Marine Predator, the added benefit of being hard to hit, packs 3 more wounds and has the mobility to show up where you want it.
Foregoing its passenger bay for a single massive engine, the Vulture is the dedicated gunship variant of the Valkyrie.
Aside from its nose-mounted Heavy Bolter it can carry any combination of Lascannons, Autocannons, Multilasers, regular missile launchers, Multiple Rocket Pods, Hunter-Killer missiles, Hellfury Missiles, Heavy Bombs, and even a single twin-linked Punisher Gatling Cannon as its primary weapon.
The Vulture is operated by a crew of two, a pilot to fly the craft and a weapons operator to aim and fire its armament. A single Vulture will typically fly in support of a flight of Valkyries whose variable weapon configurations allow a variety of missions to be fulfilled: anti-tank, infantry suppression or bombing enemy strong points.
They often remain after the Valkyries' passengers have disembarked and the transports have retreated acting in a direct air support role, aiding the drop troops in tougher fire fights. Although they can mount extra fuel tanks to accompany Valkyries on long-range operations, this does reduce their weapons payload.
With the 8th edition update the Vulture Gunship Punisher cannon lost twin linked and just became 'twin' meaning the Punisher Vulture puts out 43 shots a turn with strafing run, the only model in the navy that kept the rule. The massive points drop for its other weapon options are a pretty big deal too, but nobody with the means will ever use them except for a gimmick.
To invoke maximum nerd rage, use Harrier Jump Jet model at 1:35 scale to represent this model if you don't have 150+$ laying around.
A support aircraft used for heavy lifting in combat theaters, the Sky Talon is armed for self-defense and to assist the other assault carriers as they clear drop zones of the enemy. Standard armament is a nose mounted Heavy Bolter turret and two Hellstrike Missiles under the wings, which can be replaced with two Rocket pods. Despite its armament, it is unusual for Sky Talons to be used in a battlefield role. As such, it is a relatively new design created by the AdMech.
In Dawn of War 2, it drops off turrets, personnel, and vehicles.
While these flying heavy Bolters lack real purpose as transport (noting that Tauros are fast vehicles, and drop sentinels can deep strike), consider taking them for their Multiple rocket pods option: At the same points cost as single Taurox, and with rocket pods they can really ruin light infantry's day (2 5" blasts and TL Bolter, for 100pts? and it flies? thx me want).
Reasons to Rock a Few Valkyries/Vendettas/Vultures
Valkyries are a means to deposit your 3 command squads with plasma/melta/flamers where and how you want them, and are a fair bit tougher than the Chimera. Vendettas are for all intents and purposes flying SM predators. Since SM Predators are Good now, this must logically mean the Vendetta is Better. The 12 model transport capacity just rubs it in. The Punisher Vulture on the other hand will get you assaulted in the street what with rocking an average of 15~ wounds on marines a turn by itself.
The downside is, as always, the model's price. The Vendetta runs even pricier since you have to buy the twin-linked Lascannons in resin from Forge World (CASH FOR THE CASH GOD, DEBT FOR HIS DEBT THRONE!). But presuming you already have some spare parts left from your heavy weapons teams armed with AC or ML you have pretty nice source of LC (unfortunately you'll need five of them). Cut one to glue it right under the front LC that goes with the default kit. Glue other four to wings and you're good to take off.
They also take up a lot of space, so put some cash aside for model cases. This can be helped with not gluing wings, so they can be detached from hull. Wings will stay on their places pretty firmly for a table top game.
A further method exists for the more psychotic amongst you with a surplus of magnets - glue the main hull as normal apart from the front most 'D' pane, and the two engines. Use a pin vice or drill (4mm works well) to place magnets in these holes and pair them to the 'studs' of the engine blocks. Now glue the cockpit to the D section. the shape of the engine intakes means that when the magnets snap into place, the engines hold the cockpit on the front - saving about 4 inches of space.
The Vulture, being 5 blocks of resin and one half of the Valkyrie kit needs a different approach. Instead of a detachable cockpit section you're pretty much required to weld it to the engine block as the join is very narrow and the section is remarkably heavy. Instead, thanks to the socketed sections in the engine block it's possible to make both the wings and the tail booms detachable with some filing to even out the connection points and a few magnets to hold them in place.
|Forces of the Militarum Tempestus|
|Command:|| Tempestor Prime - Lord Commissar |
Commissar - Tempestus Command Squad
|Vehicles:||Taurox - Taurox Prime - Chimera|
|Flyers:||Valkyrie - Vendetta|
|Allies:||Imperial Guard - Inquisition|
|Forces of the Inquisition|
|Command:|| Inquisitor (Ordo Malleus Inquisitor - Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor |
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor)
|Retinue:|| Acolyte - Arco-flagellant - Astropath - Banisher - Cherubim |
Chiurgeon - Crusaders - Daemonhost - Death Cult Assassin
Jokaero - Hierophant - Mystic - Sanctioned Psyker
Sage (Autosavant - Lexmechanic - Sister Dialogous)
Servo-skull - Servitor - Sister Hospitaler - Pariah - Penitent
Ministorum Priest - Militarum Veteran Squad - Warp-Seer
|Auxiliaries:|| Inquisitorial Stormtroopers - Deathwatch - Grey Knights |
Sisters of Battle - Callidus Assassin - Culexus Assassin
Eversor Assassin - Vindicare Assassin
|Vehicles:|| Chimera - Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader |
Land Raider Redeemer) - Razorback - Rhino
|Forces of the Sisters of Silence|
|Command:||Excruciatus Cadre - Oblivion Knight-Centura|
|Troops:|| Null Maiden Cadre - Oblivion Knight Cadre |
Prosecutor Cadre - Pursuer Cadre
Seeker Cadre - Vigilator Cadre
|Vehicles:|| Grav-Rhino - Kharon Pattern Acquistor |
|Titans:||Warlord-Sinister Pattern Battle Psi-Titan|