Hello folks!

The game will be out …

While we’re waiting, I thought I’d talk to you about some of the mistakes you’re likely to make the first few times you play. This is part one of a series; if people seem to enjoy the article, I’ll write some more (about landing, pivoting, spending concentrate and target to cast spells, and more).

You’re going to forget to swoop.

This probably won’t matter much with the starter set, but once you play with ground troops, it will be much more important.

Let’s look at the rules for swooping.

When can you swoop? The choice to swoop, stop swooping, land, and take off all happen during the Change Altitude step of the Activation Phase (page 12-13 of the rulebook). Basically, after a flying creature moves, they may decide to land, swoop, or if on the ground, to take off. You place the appropriate token down next to the creature.

Added: If you do not choose to change your altitude at the end of your movement, you remain at the same altitude. If you were grounded, swooping, or flying, you remain grounded. swooping, or flying.

When should you swoop?

If you have a flying creature and you want to make a melee attack against a non-flying creature, be that a bite, tail swipe, touch attack (hello Lord Max!), you need to be swooping or on the ground to do so.

So if Balagos wants to chew on a ballista, he will have to land or be swooping in order to reach him.

Why not always swoop?

Swooping not only puts you in melee range so you can attack ground units, it lets them, if they have a melee attack, attack you! In many cases, there may not be a significant difference in their attacks, but in some cases, they may have Upgrades that will make their melee attacks more effective.

For example, Jarl Horn has a 4 die ranged and melee attack, but if he is also equipping the Frost Axe, his melee attacks will get +1 die, so you may not want to swoop or land.

If all your enemies have a ranged attack or are also flying, it may make sense to declare you are swooping early, as it means you won’t forget to swoop when you need to later.

That’s all for this post.

See you in the skies!

(Edit: added additional information about altitude changes)


  1. If you don’t declare you’re swooping, do you automatically default to your normal altitude? (flying for dragons?)

  2. Hey, I believe that you remain at the altitude of your prior turn, so if you were flying, and you don’t declare a change, you are still flying. In the set up, standard rules, dragons start flying, so I think that you will remain flying until you declare otherwise. Not sure about the wraiths though.

    Swooping seems to be a move when you aren’t sure if your target will still be in range when you attack, and can opt to shift to a target at another altitude…or else, why wouldn’t you just land when you want to melee attack a ground unit, and not risk an attack from a flying unit? Declaring altitude doesn’t seem to impact action or time, so I’m interested to see how it will play out in the game

  3. Good question, Mark.
    Sean’s answer is correct. If you do not specifically change altitude, you remain at the same altitude from the previous turn. I’ll update my post to add this.

    However, there are tactical reasons why you might land instead of swooping, or vice versa. I’ll go into those in the post on landing.

  4. Only if you were flying before. If you were swooping or on the ground before you would still be swooping or on the ground.

  5. James Jones says:

    I’d like to see a lot more of these kinds of posts. This was really helpful. Thank you.