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Gromik

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About Gromik

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  1. A few rules clarifications missing from the current errata have been caught via Discord discussions. I'm making this post to hopefully track them in a more official manner. Only rules clarifications statements made by Jon/CAVBoss himself will be included; he's the final word on all rules, after all. Motorized infantry that mount a transport become regular infantry and lose any movement bonus (since they left their rides behind to get on the transport). Gromik's commentary: I believe this only applies to "Motorized" upgrade on p. 132. CAVBoss would have to comment on whether it applies to "Jump Pack" on p.132 or not. I assume not, as adding the "Jump Pack" upgrade adds the SA: Bulky, so it could be retained at the cost of 2 transport spots per infantry model vs the standard 1 spot per model. P.56, Strike Point Roll clarification: It is possible to target lock any point on the playing area for use in an Indirect Fire ranged assault. This allows for use of Advanced Targeting Computer bonuses and SA: Chain-Fire Pod. If anyone is aware of other missing clarifications/errata items, please note them here.
  2. Gromik

    The Army of the Republic of Ritterlich

    An excellent summary! Hunter's Edge is the best faction doctrine in the game, IMHO. It's a pain to play against and only gets worse if the Ritter play pulls shenanigans like a recon squad of 3x Catamounts and a Rhino/Tiger.
  3. Gromik

    Grom's Treatise on Rach Wafare

    @Savage Coyote You do realize that last is composed almost entirely of the Rach's specialized units, though? The Reaper is nasty and was even more so when guided missiles could be fired indirectly. I fought (read: died miserably) many times against a Cougar + 3 Silverbacks test squad after KS1 and had a hell of a time trying to counter the "Heavy GM/Rockets behind L3 cover" tactic. @CAVBOSS That's good to hear on #2 and 3! And yes, the Simba being Open is not lost on me. I'm just not going to be advertising a 12/12 CCV monstrosity very loudly, though I may use it against my foes... *cough*@tigerwraith
  4. Forgive the grandiose title. I'd been meaning to type this up for some time, and a Facebook request for faction tactics and info spurred me to finally do it. All of this is my own personal opinion. While some of it may seem anti-Rach, it's not - the opinions were formed getting my butt handed to me trying to find some way to defeat opposing Ritterlich squads. Overall Force Capabilities / “Feel”: If you look at the available Rach CAV, you'll see a tendency to mix direct fire weapons with (very) light rockets and possibly a token guided missile launcher (Dictator A/B, Tyrant, Vanquisher, Emperor, Conqueror, Gnomic). They field few “specialized” CAV that field only one weapon system (Reaper, Imperator). Literally none of their units field any kind of heavy rocket system. The Malefactor is the only Rach unit to field a heavy PBG, and only one of them at that. The Emperor, Imperator, and Despot are the only ones that sport heavy MACs or MRACs. Only the Reaper carries heavy guided missile launchers, but it carries a whopping four of them. What does this mean? I take it to mean that the Rach like to be able to hurt every unit type they could possibly encounter, and they want you to see them hurting you. That sounds nice, but in practice, it ends up with you paying a lot of TVP to do a fair job at everything, while truly excelling at nothing. For the flexibility, it means you typically wield medium caliber weapons (or lots of light ones), instead of a pair of heavy-hitters. This makes a “stand in front of each other and pound each other to smithereens” a losing proposition against many opponents. If you look closely, you may notice that absolutely none of the Rach units are equipped with an Active Phase Array. The Kahn is the only unit they field with EST. And the only unit to carry TAG is the Reaper, which requires it to be able to fire its missiles when an ECM field is in effect. These three points paint a picture of the Rach as glory-hounds and not wonderful team players. More on this later. GREAT MODELS: Now that it sounds like I've poo-pooed the Rach units, what units actually do something well? Despot – This thing is nasty for under 500TVP. You get an 8 armor, 8 damage track tank that fields a heavy MAC and two medium guided missiles. If you park this thing in cover or a vehicle revetment, it can put the hurt on just about anyone. If you need to move, Assault 1 lets it effectively move 8” and shoot the heavy MAC. For some real fun, put three Despots and a Kahn in a specialist squad... Imperator – One of the few specialized Rach units, it fields two heavy MACs, Assault 2 (Run 'N Gun all day long), rugged + heavy armor, a great targeting computer, and a Wizzo. This is an anti-tank and anti-CAV murder machine. Reaper – Anything fielding 4 heavy guided missiles and good armor is something for your opponents to fear. This thing will put the hurt on anyone, save the toughest of CAV (Ogres, Rhinos, etc.). Salvo fire can fix that problem. Voodoo – While the autocannons seem odd due to their low damage against hard targets, full auto helps turn so-so rolls into great rolls. If you can get it close enough to fire everything, it can dish out a lot of pain. Kraken – It may seem strange to list an air transport as a great unit, but the Kraken is excellent. Its two medium MACs are easy to overlook as it closes to drop off infantry, but once it has delivered its cargo, it can start waylaying medium-armored CAV and tanks with surprising effectiveness. If your opponent forgets to bring anti-air weapons (larger missiles, auto-cannons, and PBGs), they will find themselves having a very hard time getting rid of this cheap unit (MACs can't shoot aircraft and even heavy MRACs have trouble piercing the Kraken's 5 armor). Vanquisher – While mixing direct and indirect-fire weapons may not always be a great idea, especially when it involves light versions of both weapons, the Vanquisher fields LOTS of each. The A fields 4 full-auto RACs, some light rockets, a light guided missile, and a machine gun. The A will absolutely murder infantry (whether it can see them or not) and can turn aircraft into lawn darts with surprising efficiency. The B, while a bit expensive and lightly armored, fields enough MRACs and rockets to let salvo fire hit as hard as a heavy version of each. It can actually scratch a heavy CAV indirectly if needed, which is something the Dictator and Emperor can only do with insanely lucky rolls (need a crit just to match the armor rating). The Vanquisher isn't a CAV-killer, but it is a good niche unit that can cover gaps without sacrificing anti-CAV firepower completely. Good, but not amazing units: This is mostly personal opinion here, but there are no real “bad” units for the Rach, they're just not as hyper-specialized as some other units. That means they won't excel as noticeably. The Conqueror, Dictator (I'm fond of the A as a skirmisher), Emperor (it hits hard and is tough, who cares if its rockets are borderline pointless?), Kahn, Malefactor, and Warden are all serviceable units. The Tyrant can deliver a good deal of pain if it gets close to a low-armor target. Even the re-vamped Gnomic has its uses as a skirmisher and infantry/aircraft-killer. FACTION DOCTRINES: The faction doctrines can really elevate a force group or specific units to a new level. Let's take a look at the Rach doctrines: Children of the Storm – You trade slightly worse armor for better speed and an additional bonus to hit at point blank range (3 inches or less). I wish I liked this doctrine a lot more than I do. When you look at the other faction doctrines, almost all of them provide a bonus that is worth a sizable amount of effective TVP in a 5000 point force list (exception: Almirithil Lend-Lease doctrine, which really just makes you a themed independent force with no tangible benefit). Terrans get free artillery and air strikes (50TVP/round), Ritterlich get a massive initiative advantage, Almirithil get free veteran upgrades for a Templar squad, etc. If you look at the construction rules, trading -1 armor for +2 speed is actually a loss on the TVP exchange. On a Dictator B, the base move + armor TVP is 225. If it were 1 less armor and 2 speed faster, it would have been only 205. Thus, you are overpaying for your units when you use this doctrine. Think about that – the TVP calculation considers what you're doing penalizing yourself. A meager +1 to hit at point-blank range is your only other compensation. I will also note that this doctrine effectively negates the “Improved Armor” upgrade that costs 10TVP per damage track. Never, ever use a Dictator B or Voodoo with this doctrine; just add the “Turbocharged” upgrade instead. I just really don't like the hidden cost of this doctrine. Now, it may sound nice to close faster and bring your weapons to bear on the enemy. However, you'll die faster at most ranges against a normally identical opponent - you have weaker armor, but don't hit harder! Slugging it out within full view of the opposition is a colossally dumb idea here. Your best bet is to stick to fast units that can already “stick and move”. Units like the Malefactor and Dictator A can do pretty well here, firing on the move between areas of cover. Don't expect easy victories against opposition that likes heavy rockets or hits very hard, though (Raijin, Tiamats/all Ritterlich units, Bears, etc.). No Mercy Doctrine – Rach infantry do an additional point of damage (NOTE: not double damage!) in close combat when they are the primary attacker. To me, this is the doctrine that defines the Rach. As noted earlier, the Rach want you to see them killing you. What better way than to have their infantry swarming you and tearing you to shreds while they also gun you down? Infantry are cheap, but surprisingly effective at taking even the heaviest CAV out of a fight for a few rounds. The nature of close combat – opposed 2d6 rolls where armor value means nothing – makes it unlikely that anyone will deliver 3 points of damage to an infantry unit consistently. That means if you surround a Rhino II with 4 light infantry models, it will be tied up for at least 1-2 rounds if there isn't an anti-infantry model around to wipe out the infantry (watch out for Wolverines). At ~150 TVP for a squad of airborne or storm-trained light infantry, that's an excellent exchange against an 800-1200TVP CAV. The bonus? Your other units can shoot at whatever the infantry are swarming, while the target can't shoot out. That sounds interesting on its own, but how to get the infantry into close combat? If you take a look at the Rach transport options, you might notice something about the Kraken – it's tough, fast, has pop-up, a Wizzo (!!!), and not one, but two medium MACs. That package only costs 225TVP. That would be excellent on a tank, much less an airborne transport. The Hetman is not available in Bonesium, but it's also not very impressive (I do love the flamethrower it carries, though). For <1500 TVP, you can get 10 medium MACs, 5 powered armor, ~40 damage tracks, and a couple of satchel charges – 5 Kraken, 5 PA, +2 satchel charges. This can be devastating to a fire support or tank squad. You might consider orbital-dropping the infantry, but infantry have a hard time crossing a 12” gap between themselves and their target. A movement upgrade can help them cross 6” in one action, but they would need two more actions to close the remaining distance and initiate close combat. This just isn't possible with the 1 C3 point per squad activation expenditure constraint. Air-dropping them or delivering them to point-blank range via ground transport is your best bet. And don't for get to spend support points on satchel charges! OTHER TACTICS & NOTES: These last items have been hinted at or briefly touched on already, but here they are in no particular order: With relatively few heavy weapon-wielding units, the Rach will struggle against heavily armed opponents like the Ritterlich (where having armor less than 7 must be tantamount to treason). You are ill-equipped to slug it on equal footing. So don't fight fair! Drop infantry on key units to remove them from the fight, even if only temporarily. Crack the armor with Imperators, Emperors, or Reapers before burning targets down one by one. Avoid return fire if at all possible. (Aside: After KS1, I played probably a dozen solo games of Rach vs Ritterlich with no upgrade or support points, just CAVs and tanks. I lost as the Rach every single time, usually in spectacular fashion. It wasn't until using combined arms and specific upgrades meant to neutralize indirect fire and armor advantages that I could get the Rach side close to winning.) Your token light rockets won't hurt most CAV, even recons, before they're heavily damaged. Only use your Dictator and Emperor's rockets on infantry if no target for your MACs and missiles presents itself. ODST is the best friend/tailor-made upgrade for Voodoos and Tyrants. Voodoos are too slow to cross the battlefield and bring their PBGs to bear quickly. Just drop them 12” from some opposition, close to short range, and unleash hell. Malefactors can be sneaky-good, but you have to keep them alive. They're more costly than Chieftains, but flimsier than Lions. So don't leave them as juicy indirect-fire targets if you can avoid it. Fighting in a city or canyon is not a good situation for the Rach. In a city, you're probably going to have to demolish buildings to establish a line of sight to enemy fire support units or close quickly for units like the Voodoo and Malefactor. In a canyon, you're mostly SoL; hope the opponent didn't bring heavy rockets, or you need to bring boatloads of airborne infantry. As mentioned at the start, Rach aren't great team players; they are at an EW disadvantage against almost all other factions. Killing opposing recon units will be of the utmost importance to remove hostile APA from the field. Neutralize that disadvantage as quickly as possible, or you risk losing in spectacular fashion. It is also incredibly beneficial to slap an external APA on one of your CAV if you're doing an orbital drop. The APA will cover any range band issues for the unit that activates it, while providing a bonus to your entire side. And by being deployed and activated instantly, there's no opportunity for opposing ECM to shut your APA down. Slap one on a Dictator B, drop it and 3 Voodoos at 12" from an enemy and fire away. I may add some more to this later (I feel the Dictator warrants some special coverage, due to it being an icon for the game), but that's all I can manage for now.
  5. Gromik

    CAV:SO Army Builder

    Which version of the Force Manager are you using? It's running fine for me and includes light/heavy infantry and powered armor just fine. The only major bug I've found is that if you add ODST to a squad and then try to remove the upgrade, it will crash the program (delete and rebuild the squad instead).
  6. I'd like to start off with a big "THANK YOU!" to CAVBOSS for all the goodies to give away and the slick, color advertising booklets for CAV. They made it really easy to show people where to go for more information, see the model pricing (everyone marveled at how affordable it was to make an army!), and get a copy of the quick-start rules. On top of that, it was great to be able to say that a force construction program, status markers, data cards, errata, etc. were all available for free from the game's main site. This is a huge plus, in my opinion. Many thanks to Troy (squatwarlord) for setting everything up with Nashcon and to Hugh for creating the excellent terrain & command bunker! Everyone had to deal with my novice painting skills and truly random dice. The demo was set as a Rach force engaging a Terran bunker installation on Hellspire. As most of us had never run a demo before, we started off small, with a CAV squad on each side, no faction doctrines or CP. Each player handled two CAV a piece. The Terrans had a TVP and firepower edge, which would become a big problem with the Rach force being split on separate sides of the map. Despite the valiant efforts of the Rach Kahn to ECM the daylights out of the Terran Talon II, the Terran Starhawks forced the Rach Gnomic into hiding. The Terran Falcon acted as a Sentry, allowing the Starhawks to pull an about-face, crest the center hill and focus-fire the Rach Dictators into oblivion one by one. The game ended with a decisive victory for the defending Terrans. For round 2, we added a squad of tanks to each side - 2x Despots & 2x Malefactors for the Rach, 2x Wolves & 2x Dingoes for the Terrans. This leveled the TVP field and added some interesting behaviors (read: berserker Malefactors). We added some new players and Hugh joined in the action for his first game of CAV:SO as well. Squads kept themselves much more coherent this round, but the Rach Gnomic took a beating at the start of the match when it was caught as the only visible target. That meant it would be late to the carnage party... The Rach wasted no time focusing fire on one of the Starhawks, exacting harsh vengeance on the Terrans for daring to draw first blood (the aforementioned Gnomic that nearly bit the dust on the first activation of the game). The exchange of fire after that was fierce and quite brutal. <insert minor break for lunch> The Rach became quite bloodthirsty after the pause in the action. The Terrans faught valiantly (particularly the Falcon), but it couldn't stop the Rach Dictators and Despots. And everyone learned the joy (and terror) that is a Malefactor's overdriven PBG at point blank range... The Rach claimed an overwhelming victory, leaving (mostly) Terran wreckage in their wake: For the final round of the day, we flipped the script and moved the terrain around a bit to see what happens when the Terrans attack a Rach installation. We introduced command points and faction doctrines, with the Terrans choosing Air Superiority (free gunship assaults each round), and the Rach taking Children of the Storm (+2 MV, -1 Armor, extra +1 at point-blank range). We split the forces into 4 2-model squads due to the high player count. I forgot to take a pic of the setup. Oops. The Terrans attempted a guarded assault, hoping to draw the Rach in one-by-one into a heavy crossfire. This could have worked, were it not for insanely good rolls for the Rach (lots of crits). Despite frequently burning out their PBGs for one round, the Malefactors consistently struck for 4 damage (ouch!). The Malefactors kept the Starhawks busy enough for the Dictators to close, turning the battle into a close-range scrum. It should be noted here that the Malefactor and Wolf machine guns were responsible for multiple (3, I believe) kill shots. You don't need a high DV against hard targets if you roll a 10+ at point blank range with a heavily damaged target... I didn't grab any extra pictures of the game after that point. The fighting was brutal for both sides, leading me to introduce everyone to the Regroup action as the Rach tried to seize the EW advantage - the Terran Talon II had been killed, but the Kahn was left squad-less. In the end, we called it draw with a couple of CAV and tanks left on each side. It should probably be noted that despite taking a pounding from multiple heavy hits from the Dictators and multiple guided missile hits, as well as being "piloted" by different players, the Terran Talon II never failed a pilot check or suppression roll the entire day. Not a one. Nerves of steel for Terran recon pilots, I suppose. :) Thanks to everyone who played and chatted about the game. We had a blast! The Nashcon organizers seemed quite happy to have some sci-fi action in the sea of historical games. So maybe we'll do this again next year with Adon vs Ritterlich? I'll close with hastily taken pictures of each side's forces. If I ever figure out how to black-wash and decorate a base properly, I promise to finish these off. -Grom (Chris) PS - Gary (who played in the first round demo), if you happen to spot this - PM me, I forgot to grab your contact info!
  7. Gromik

    Mortar questions

    Got it, thanks!
  8. Gromik

    Mortar questions

    Could someone clarify a few items related to mortars? While described as "active-homing", I can't find anything that states mortars require a target lock or TAG like guided missiles do. Is a target lock required? I think the answer is yes. Does TAG work with mortars, similar to guided missiles? If a target lock isn't required like guided missiles, do mortars use only a target point roll? A strike point roll would seem out of place for an IF attack without an AoE. Thanks!
  9. Could someone answer the following: 1) Can an aircraft declare itself flying NoE without having to first spend an activation point on movement? Basically, can you target lock and fire guided missiles while still gaining the protection from NoE? 2) Can TAG be used while flying NoE to paint a target for a unit outside of the aircraft's squad (assume the aircraft is behind blocking cover like an E3 hill)? TAG requires line of sight, but I'm not sure how that interacts with Pop-up once the aircraft's activation is complete. I'm wondering if a Dragonfly can TAG a unit while moving NoE, which would allow a Mantis to later activate and shoot guided missiles at the TAG-ed target without spending an action on a target lock. I would assume it works fine when there is no blocking cover. Thanks!
  10. Gromik

    EST Question

    It still has to spend the action to acquire a target lock. But sharing that lock is free.
  11. Gromik

    Clarifications needed.

    Guided missiles always use a target point roll only, never a strike point roll. They don't drift, even when fired indirectly. It's just as easy to hit with and without LoS for guided missiles (the missiles use the target lock for guidance).
  12. Gromik

    The Greater Empire of the Rach

    So I've been messing around with different 5k TVP Rach groups to learn my way around the rules and I'm running into serious problems dealing with this simple Ritterlich opposition force: Attack Squad: 3x Catapract 1x Cougar Fire Support Squad: 3x Tiamat 1x Cougar Dealing with the Tiamats is quite hard. If the Tiamats can get behind blocking cover (such as an E3 hill within 12" of their deployment zone), I can't manage to survive long enough to clear the cover and engage under the minimum range of the rockets. Despite the Tiamats having to deal with a straight 10+ roll to hit, the large AoE tends to mean at least one of my units, if not several, still manage to fall in the blast radius after drift. I've tried using Children of the Storm doctrine, but this just means all my fast units die in a fire to the Cataphract's 8 AV guns and the Tiamat's 7AV rockets. Emperors, Despots, and Dictators are just too slow to cross the field and engage; the Cataphracts just have to scratch the armor enough for the rockets to start accumulating multiple damaging hits per volley. The Cougars are less of a problem than you would think - they never live long enough for the APA2 to cause any major issues. I've tried variations of the following squads, without much success: Attack: Emperor Dictator B Imperator Vanquisher B/ Kahn Attack: Imperator Dictator A Tyrant Tyrant Attack: 4x Despot (great at killing the Cougars, but sitting ducks most other times) Flight: 2x Kraken B Attack: 4x Malefactor I haven't really done the Reaper & Conqueror Fire Support squad yet, but that's next on my list. I know the Reaper is deadly from the squad vs squad skirmishes I tried when first getting started. But what other options would have good success dealing with multiple Tiamats as the Rach? Multiple Kraken A toting infantry for close assault? That seems like it would really just tie them up for a round or two, at the risk of having the Kraken & infantry getting shot out of the sky as a waste of TVP. Which reminds me - do rockets hit aircraft when they are caught in the AoE? The rules read that way "any model caught in the blast" (or similar), but it seems odd that a ground explosion would kill airborne targets. I've ended up with two Kraken B vs three Tiamats a couple of times. The Tiamats can't really hit them once they close (can't go B2B or fire at Nap of the Earth with rockets), but the Kraken can't really scratch the Tiamats' armor very well. Thanks in advance!
  13. CAVBOSS can answer in detail, but I think I can correctly answer some of your questions. For #1, cover isn't always symmetrical. What would matter in your woods example is whether CAV A is at the edge of the woods or well inside the template. If CAV A is at the edge shooting out, the cover wouldn't apply, as it isn't shooting through woods. But if CAV A was well within the woods and had to shoot through the woods to hit CAV B, the cover penalty would apply to both. Similarly, on #2, the CAV standing next to the E1 hill would not be subject to any penalty, as it isn't blocking it's view of CAV B. I believe CAV B would have to deal with a light cover penalty (-1) due to the E1 hill CAV A is standing behind. I can't recall the page, but I thought I saw a blocking cover comment about light cover/heavy cover/no LOS being based on whether 1/3, 2/3, or all of the target model was blocked by the cover. That's where the E1/E2/E3 hill elevation would come into play. I don't want to lead you astray by commenting further if I'm mistaken. Hope this helps.
  14. Gromik

    Shock Rule and GM

    That's how I've been playing it - if the missile hits, you roll for shock even if the MoS+AV isn't enough to do damage. I'm curious if that's correct as well.
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