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The logic of it is a bit circuitous.

To start with you can't snap fire blast weapons and templates. Secondly, all shots at zooming flyers / swooping monstrous creatures are snap shots.

So the above effectively prevents you firing templates and blast weapons at flyers, and whilst it doesn't explicitly say so, I'd argue that a blast or template fired at another model that touches a flyer would still require skyfire to hit it.

Now lets look at skyfire for a moment, skyfire allows you to shoot flying targets normally, but means you snap fire at ground targets.

As such I believe that you can fire templates and blast weapons at flyers, provided you have skyfire, but these shots now no longer hit ground targets, as they would be snap firing at ground targets.

All of the above is how I make sense of it, however the BRB also states "A unit takes a hit for each model that is fully, or even partially, underneath the template or blast marker" which also specifically includes the base.

Now here's where it gets tricky, FLYERS have the following sentence under their HARD TO HIT heading: "Templates and blast weapons, and any other attacks that don't roll to hit, cannot hit zooming flyers."

Flying monstrous creatures have no such exception.

In summary, ignoring most of my blathering above, RAW zooming flyers can never be hit by blasts or templates, but swooping FMCs may be hit if it scatters on to them or targets them with the skyfire special rule.
 

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As a side comment, I've seen templates used very wrongly with regard to hitting a second unit. Not saying that the guys you saw were misusing it but the rules for a template weapon state that we place the template so that it covers "as many models in the target unit as possible" and this stops you from angling it so it hits the main target less effectively in order to hit a second unit. Conversely if you've placed the template so that it's covering as many modes in the target unit as it can and it's also hitting more enemy models, they too are hit (unless of course they are a Zooming Flier, which is specifically excluded from being hit by template weapons in its rule section).
This +1
 
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