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Salem

More CAVs for my starter force?

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So I pledged the CAV:SO Kickstarter which means this fall I will be receiving my Basic Training set which has four CAVs for Terra and four for Rach.  In the meantime, I was considering ordering a few more minis for those two factions (probably some tanks and another CAV or two).

 

Since I do not yet have a copy of the rulebook, I was hoping for some advice from the Vets.  Namely I am looking for info on building units.  From what I have read so far, you can have up to six models in a group and you must have at least 75% of the models of one type (ie. attack, fire support, etc.).  Also that SA:Bulky units count as two when building your force.  The four CAVs that come with the Basic Training set do not conform to this unit model so I am guessing they either fit into a different unit role or are just for learning purposes?

 

The reason I ask is that if I place an order I would like to make sure I can build a "legal" force out of the models.

 

Can you mix tanks and CAVs in the same unit?  How about aircraft?

 

Considering that my Basic Training force will consist of:

Terran: Thunderbird, Starhawk VI, Talon and Raptor

Rach: Emperor, Dictator B, Conqueror, Khan

 

What additional CAVs would you recommend?  I really like the look of the Voodoo, Falcon and Nightshade, but perhaps some Terran and Rach players could chime in with some advice on which CAVs you cannot live without?

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Hi, Salem - welcome to CAV! I'll try to answer your questions as best I can, though no doubt quite a few other players will chime in soon.  We're friendly like that! 

 

Anyway, first things first:  Unit composition! 

 

You could, technically, build legal units with what you have - it would just count as a "Specialist Squad," which is a unique type of primary squad that can include pretty much any model type in limited numbers.  In both cases, you can't build a squad using all four CAVs:  while a specialist squad can include 4 models, the "bulky" Thunderbird and Emperor both count as 2 models each.  Nevertheless, a good way to get some games in just using what you have would be to build a specialist squad for each side and then skirmishing.  That's a couple good sessions right there as you get a feel for what you like in a game of CAV. 

 

Now then: you asked specifically about mixing units in a squad - you can mix CAVs and Fighting Vehicles as much as you like, but normally flight squadrons are only aircraft, and infantry squads are only infantry. This can be complicated a bit by the availability of transports, but that's academic for you at this point.  The short answer to your question is that yes, you can mix CAVs, Tanks, and AFVs in a unit, but not aircraft.  

Lastly, as for what you should buy - in CAV there are very few "weak" units.  In other games, like Battletech, you wind up with some just absolute stinkers like the 3025 Charger*, but in CAV, pretty much any unit you buy can do the job it is designed for.  In my experience, whatever you pick can be made to work, so buy the models you like!  

From a more practical standpoint though, focus on building Attack squads - they are the most versatile all-around of the four types of primary squads (attack, infantry, mechanized infantry, and specialist).  For the Rach, it is well understood that everyone needs more dictators.  The Terrans are spoiled for choice - you mention the Falcon by name, and that's an excellent fast-moving sniper.  I haven't taken the Nightshade out yet personally, but I'm not sure if you'll like it right now since it doesn't sound like you're playing with any soft targets (infantry and aircraft).  

Sorry for going on at length - hopefully this is helpful, and again, welcome to CAV!

 

- V


*True to its name, this mech -is- aces at a charging attack...but I digress. 

Edited by Vytau
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Welcome Salem!

 

Vytau hit the nail on the head. Get what you like aesthetically right now and build a mish mashed merc unit to start. Once you get a few games under your belt the strengths and weakness of each unit will become more apparent. As was mentioned earlier, there are no 'bad' units in CAV, each unit just is designed for a specific role. I.E. Don't take a Cougar (recon) and expect it to act as an attack cav, it'll only die quickly that way, lol. In my experience with the game so far its about the composition of your forces as a whole rather than any one individual unit. Sure an Emperor will go toe to toe with just about any other heavy CAV but will still fall to concentrated long range gun and missile fire.

 

Having recently attended CAV Con I can share a few bits of advice that Ross Hines (Savage Coyote here) and myself learned the hard way. 

 

-Never underestimate recon and fast attack sections no matter how weak the units appear individually.

-Always protect your fire support sections with a dedicated body guard unit or 2 (see above, lol)

-Become familiar with the various electronic warfare systems your units have (i.e. active phased array, ecm, chain pods, fcs, etc...) these can be game changers even if the unit itself doesn't have much fight in it.

-Often times a battery of smaller guns is more effective than a couple of big guns

 

This game is all about getting that Margin of Success combat role as high as possible so the more bonuses you can add to that role via SA's and Upgrades the better. Its truly a game about tactical maneuvering and unit cohesion than just a stand up fight.

 

And finally, dont be afraid to play a few games against yourself. Get a feel for the way the models you like play and then go from there. The quick start rules are available for free download at Talon-Games.com as are all the unit data cards so print a few out and roll some dice. You'll be glad you did. :)

 

Hope that helps. :D

 

-Gunz

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I think both Mastergunz and Vytau covered everything very well!  When you are first starting out, get what looks cool and play!  As you get a grasp of the game, you start to realize, "Oh wow, the Archer does what but looks like that?"

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just my $0.02, but I like to use proxies if I don't have the correct piece for a game.  it just has to be clear to everyone involved.  some people may not be ok with using proxies though.  in battletech it is pretty common as many variants may not have minis done.

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I don't mind proxies (to an extent), but I do not have any CAV or BTech minis.

 

I used to play Btech when it first hit the marketplace and at that point it only used cardboard standees. At one point I started to show interest in Btech, but at that time they had just introduced all the Clan stuff and the gamer group that played was really into the game lore and books. Needless to say I did not understand a lot of what they were talking about. Fast foward to today, the need for giant robot battles has bitten me again. I was never overly fond of the Btech minis though. I always found that they really seemed to vary in scale and quality. CAV on the other hand has consistently cool miniatures. I am really fond of the overall aesthetic, and not just the CAVs, but the vehicles, aircraft and infantry as well.

 

Which brings me to my choices of additions to my starter Terran and Rach forces. I will most likely pick up a few more for each force to allow me to make proper Attack, Fire Support and Recon units and since I have nothing currently, it's all good! This will also allow me some more faction variety when my CAV II stuff arrives. I know I could just make a mercenary company and mix and match, but it's fun building faction forces as well.

 

For my Terran forces I will be adding two Nightshades and Falcons and possibly another Raptor, along with some Dingos, Tsukais and Tsuisekis.

 

For my Rach forces I will be adding two Voodoos and Imperators, possibly a second Khan and possibly a Gnomic, along with some Depots and Krakens.

 

I'll probably figure out the values on paper as to what units I can form with them and the overall TV. It would be nice to keep them reasonably even... I figure if I place an order soon, I can have them in hand and start painting them while I await the arrival of my Basic Training kit in November (or December? Kickstarters always seem to run into delays).

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I'll probably figure out the values on paper as to what units I can form with them and the overall TV. It would be nice to keep them reasonably even... I figure if I place an order soon, I can have them in hand and start painting them while I await the arrival of my Basic Training kit in November (or December? Kickstarters always seem to run into delays).

 

May I suggest that rather than using up dead trees, you try using the Cav Force Manager?  It's available for dowload, for free, from the Talon Games website!  You can play around with building forces (and checking their legality) to your heart's content! 

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I'd hold off on getting entire recon squads of Talons or Kahns.

 

Don't get me wrong, they're both great Cavs, but they're built around the same concept

 

1) token firepower

2) EST to give squadmates free target locks. Improves aforementioned token firepower, but only needed once.

3) ECM to protect the force from opposing target locks. Multiple ECM provide redundancy and more spread, but no other mechanical advantage.

 

They're great (Read: Critical) electronics support attachments to squads, but approach overpriced in large numbers. It you're going for recon squads, go Warden supported by Kahn for the Rach and Ryoshi supported by Ashigaru for the Terrans.

 

YMMV, of course.

Edited by Club

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