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Newbie CAV'er


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Okay, i am tired and BORED to death with Battletech and all the incarnations. So i went looking for a new Mecha game. Guess what? I found one... ::D: So i have a couple of questions now. Take for granted i DO NOT have the rule books or Rec Guides yet. They're coming. So here's my questions:


1) How much figures are there a side on an average points game? What's an average points game?


2) Will there be any new books coming out?


3) Will there be any new CAV mini's coming out?


4) Can someone breifly describe the game play?


5) Is this a worth while investment or is it about to go OOP?


6) Anyone have any tips they can give?


7) When will the Infantry based skirmish game that i have seen previews for be out?


That's all i can think of for now. Oh and if i do get into this then expect to see me on CAVHQ participating in the campaign...

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Being a Batletech player of almost 25 years I know the pain you are feeling related to that game. I have definitely done it myself a bit.


I tell you what you have actually asked a pretty complicated question...


I will try to give the best concise answer I can.


First, let me say that I have been playing CAV for less than a year and am already enjoying it more than I have Battletech for the past 5 years. That might be because its new and different, but I think its more because of the way its played.


Answering in the order of importance:


5.) No it is not going OOP, BUT it is going through a change. The new rules are still in beta right now. But, I have had the priviledge of playtesting some of the beta rules and I am very excited about it. At current pace I would think that the new rules will become official sometime around the end of this year.


2.) Yes there will be new boks for the new rules. The current books (JOR1 and JOR2) will for the most part become obsolete other than for those that like the current rule set and that decide not to follow CAV into the new rules that are coming.


3.) Yes, there have already been listed an expected list of new units to come out. Some filling out current lists, and others starting new lists. But, admittedly it wil probably be a little bit before they start hitting shelves as they are trying to finish out the new rules first before tackling that part of it...


4.) Describing the game play is kinda tough even though the game itself is relatively simple. Because the BETA is very different from the original and I would want to tell you more about the BETA. So, instead I would direct you to look for the threads here in the forum related to the BETA discussions. As it is an open conversation on the subject. Then you can ask more questions after you have read those threads...


1.) points per game will also change with the new version. that is actually something that is being discussed ight now about the beta.


I know I have not directly answered a lot of your questions, But I encourage you to read thru the posts here in the CAV section especially over the beta discussions and then come back with more questions...

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Forgive me for the following short responses. I only had 2 hours of sleep last night.


JUST DO CAV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is an incredibly GREAT game. Really, I could go into a convincing speech but simply put, CAV is AWESOME in so many ways.


It amazes me how many people I demo the game to are hooked after 1-2 games.


I'd recommend you start looking into the CAV Starter Box Set ($40 + tax). You'll be saving $35 for a great package! You just can't beat that kind of deal.


Personally, I think the game SHINES with its combined arms aspect. However, you can't go wrong just playing mechs initially.


Bear in mind that CAV2 is on the way approximately 6 months from now. The good news is two fold though. One, the new version will incorporate all of the current models. Two, the current version of CAV is something you'll probably want to keep anyways... because it's just that good!


You won't regret getting into CAV.

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My Best Suggestion is to hook up with a Black Lightning Rep if possible. Test Drive some CAVs that you think you might like BEFORE you buy them. Most Reps have Loaners.


Find the List for the BL folks Here.

Use the Member DB link on the Left, and look for folks near you.


I have posted some opinions on my site, it may help (or not) ::D: See My Sig.


Welcome to the Addiction!!



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If you've got the JOR 1 &/or 2 coming soon, you'll be able to see cool photos/sketches of all the units. Also, the JOR's have the ACCURATE Data Cards (The main rulebook is 2/3 good now... Great Fluff & Rules).


I started by getting models that I thought looked cool. You can always upgrade their crew and equipment to make them more stout if necessary. With some experience you'll figure out your playing style and what models fit that.


E.G.: Personally I favor a direct fire approach. Therefore, I look for units with 3-4 direct fire type weapons and plenty enough power to move and fire multiple weapons in latter damage tracks. Seems to be an effective combination for me. I have plenty of balance, but definitely favor CAV's and Aircraft.


As for how many to start out with. 4 CAV models is a great start. Build up from there as you can. Again... Starter Set is a very good way to begin.


Good luck.


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2.) Yes there will be new boks for the new rules. The current books (JOR1 and JOR2) will for the most part become obsolete other than for those that like the current rule set and that decide not to follow CAV into the new rules that are coming.

Welcome Dethstryker


I have to disagree with the JoRs becoming obsolete. I'd say over 75% of the books are fluff (I stay dislike that term) which won't change. Reaper did an excellent job of sliding in little tidbits of info in them.


Also you'll want to download CAV-RC. Its great resource. Someone, somewhere has a link to it (I'd link it but... technology hates me <_< ).


Another website you'll want to visit is Mil-Net.net its ran by some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.



One more thing, watch out for a guy named Spartan, he shows all the signs of a serial killer ::P:

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An inept serial killer maybe, but a serial killer none the less. (Not to mention a traitor if he's gonna go fight with those Reaper girlies (no offense Cher!) at ReaperCon ::P:)


What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, army sizes!


The average size of a game is pretty easy to answer, being somewhere between 2000-3000 points. Most tournaments you'll encounter will run smaller units of around 1750 to keep the games moving quickly, but for a good solid 3 hour game, figure about 3000 points. Reaper suggests 1 hour of playing time for each 1000 points each player has.


Now with that point total in mind, you can never, ever say how many models an average game has, due to the fact that everyone likes to use different things. CAVs typically weigh in at around 300 points apiece, but some can be as cheap as 200 and some as expensive as 600. And that's before you increase their point totals by improving their crews' skill levels or adding on extra equipment! Vehicles can go as cheap as 75 point fighting vehicles and get almost up to 200 points for the larger tanks. Gunships run the gamut from 74 to 224 points, while most APC's stay between 80 and 150 points.


Then there's infantry! Your basic grunt is pretty cheap at only 38 points, or you can upgrade them to power armor for 75 points. The fun doesn't usually stop there tho, and by the time you've got your uber-grenadiers suited up with AT-23 Anti-CAV missiles and Heavy Mortars, Armor and Movement upgrades and Elite skill ratings, they're totaling 277 points!


Hopefully this will all help you see the flexibility that CAV gives you, in that a 1750 point beginner army could simply be 4 CAVs w/upgrades, 6 or 7 plain CAVs, a ton of Armor, aircraft and infantry support, or any conceivable combination of the two.


A few other answers too:

Will there be any new CAV mini's coming out?

There are still a handful of minis from the JoR2 that are unreleased, as well as several Psyros (You'll learn about them when your rulebook comes). Reaper creates their CAV figs through a really unique method, but the drawback is that they're limited on the number of people who can create the 3D models that are used to create the Master Molds. A problem with their printer put things on hold for a few months, but the Tiger CAV was just released a few weeks ago and we'll hopefully be seeing more figs in the coming weeks.


When will the Infantry based skirmish game that i have seen previews for be out?

Not until 2006, at least. CAV 2 will be out sometime this summer (probably GenCon) and once its on the ground and running, work will begin on AICOM. Expect it for the Con season in '06.


Can someone breifly describe the game play?

Sure, and I'll keep it short and sweet! The basic concepts are the Section and Hard/Soft Targets.


All models are designated as either Hard (CAVs, Tanks) or Soft (Gunships, unarmored vehicles, infantry) and all weapons have 2 numbers for their Attack Values, one vs. hard, one vs. soft. CAVs have between 1-2 main guns and 1-2 missile packs. Everything else has 1 (or none) main weapon and 1-2 secondary weapons (IE less damage). Some models are great at killing hard targets, but suck at shooting soft ones. Some are the opposite, meant to kill soft targets, but being undergunned against heavily armored foes. Some are more general purpose and do well against both, but nothing spectacular.


Unlike BattleTech, CAVs are not the king of the battlefield. Gunships and infantry regularly are used as armor killers, so don't go into a game thinking in BT terms of vehicles, or you'll get your behind kicked!


When you design your army, all of the models must be formed into groups of 4 called a Section. If you have an odd number of models, only 1 section may have fewer than 4 minis in it. Sections usually share a common purpose (killing CAVs, fire support, Infantry and transport, etc) and the whole group performs their actions at the same time.


Initiative in CAV is not a fixed, You Go-I Go system. Instead, for each Section in your army (including the odd-ball one) you place one card in the Initiative Deck. At the beginning of the turn, the deck is shuffled and cut and the top card turned face up. The player who owns that card then gets to pick 1 section of minis to activate. During their activation, all models in the section move and then attack at the same time. The player declares what each model will do, then performs the action and determines the results of any attacks by rolling d10's. Attack rolls in CAV are opposed, so your opponent actually rolls a d10 as well and you compare your results, modified by your model's stats.


Now comes one of the things that makes CAV unique. Every time a model gets attacked, it gets an opportunity to take Defensive Fire. Put simply, if you shoot at a model, that model gets to shoot back at you. I won't go into the specifics about it, but CAVs tactics really shine here as you use range, terrain and team-work to minimize the effects of Defensive Fire. The ability to master Defensive Fire is usually what seperates the winners from the losers.


Now that all of the models have moved and shot, and the other guy has taken his DefFire, any models with movement points remaining may use them if they want to. After that, the next card in the deck is flipped over and the next section activates. It could be the other guy's card, it could be another one of your cards. The next 3 cards could all be your's, you just never know!


Finally, the thing that really seperates CAV from BT is the Damage Track. Basically CAV is in a sort of Epic scale, with the level of detail much higher than BT's. CAVs have from 4-6 DTs, with Super Heavy CAVs having 7 or 8 (8 is the absolute largest model in the game). Everything else ranges from 1-4 DT. Each model has a record sheet called a Data Card, which shows the models stats at each of its different Damage Tracks. DTs are ready in columns from left to right, and you move across the card as your model takes damage. So while a brand new CAV model may have a +6 value for it's guns at the beginning of the game, by the time it's down to half of it's DT, the guns are most likely only at +3 or +2.


Different models have different degradation curves, which helps to keep each one unique, even at such an abstract level of detail.


If you want some more examples of how CAV works, I'd really suggest heading over to Mil-Net and perusing through our forums. We've got over 3 years of archived threads there that cover the game from almost day one. You won't have any problem finding a half dozen or so threads that explain concepts of the game in much detail.

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What did I do to you guys?? ::o: The Spartans are a mercenary unit Chrome and currently Matt is high bidder for their services. Now if someone would like to make a counter-offer.... I'm sure negotiations can conducted. :B): Besides, Pat needs all the help he can get against you Mil-Net death-dealers. ::):



First of all welcome, we're glad you're enthused about CAV. ::): What all these guys said was totally true, I gurantee you will not be disapointed by how easy and fun CAV is. The game really does a pretty nice job balancing "realism" and playability and the wide variety of units available really makes it easy to tailor your "army" to your style of gaming. The miniatures are the coolest of any "big stompy robot" game there is too.


I was a Battletech fanatic for over fifteen years before I put it down and picked up CAV. I haven't regretted it one day since. Not only does the CAV game rock, Reaper as a company has the best customer service and friendliest employee's of any business I've ever dealt with.


Welcome to our addiction. ::):


Oh, and ignore that "serial killer" stuff, I'm the nicest CAV guy around. :devil:

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ya know Spartan, I might just help Crome win the bidding war just so i can do a happy dance on your CAV with my Hawk6 for all the "Pat is gona need help" comments.


As was said earlier the JOR's and the first CAV rule book will still be great resources for historical data, so don't pitch them. 99.9% of all the cav mini's will be moving forward into CAV2 that was a mandate of Matt's and one that we've been happy to fulfill. To many game companies release rules and opps sorry those 10 dollar mini's you bought well gee we feel they are unbalancing so we've removed them from the game.


Other then that, pretty much everything has been said here already... Now you also said that there aren't any BL guys or gals in your area? When you get to know the rules and feel that you want to help get other folks involved in CAV, think about joining the Black Lightning program yourself.


Mad Pat

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