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The Army of the Republic of Ritterlich

Savage Coyote

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I’d say each faction in CAV:SO has a distinct feel to it, and if you are just starting out, returning, or been playing CAV:SO for awhile, it’s good to maybe hear what that is. While I started the game wanting to play Templars and a little Terran on the side, I expanded out and ended up going all in on the Ritterlich.  As a culture, they are your space vampires who have mild telepathic abilities and strike a very German cord (all the good, bad, and ugly that implies.) They are very high on themselves and look down at other races/cultures as inferior.  As for military, they like to fight on the move and tend to concentrate forces to specific weak points of a battle line to achieve breakthroughs. For a historical context, see the invasion of France and western Europe in World War II.


Overall Force Capability (or the “Feel”)


The Ritter have the largest model count of any faction in CAV:SO at twenty nine choices (not factoring in the Open units) which gives them a lot of choices and flexibility when list building.  The overall theme you’ll find is most units aren’t the fastest (though not the slowest either) but will have heavy armor and firepower.  Speed six is fairly common, and armor seven plus is also common on your main combatants and main fire support units.  You don’t have a lot of cheap units, but then you also don’t have any units that cost over a thousand Threat Value like other factions. Your recon core is stellar with units that can spread ECM, APA, and TAG all over creation while being cheap enough to take several units.  Fire support is strong with several dedicated CAV’s and one anti-grav tank, though more on that later!


Most of units are specialist at something and this can be an issue in full-blown games where all the bells and whistles are present.  Your direct attack CAV’s and tanks do that very well, but will struggle against aircraft and infantry.  Yet the Cheetah will slice through both of those with ease, but struggle against dedicated anti-CAV or anti-tank units.  List building is key and honestly, in a stand up slugging match, you will generally have the advantage if you mostly stick to in print, Bones miniatures.  They are all very good and make up for the holes that exist in the line.


Another issue for Ritter is that you can’t take it all.  You either spread out all your needs but not excel at anything in particular, or you focus on something and hope your opponent doesn’t bring your foil.  Just keep in mind being able to fight against the soft targets because when building Ritter, you can get carried away building to crush other CAV’s and vehicles!  


If you haven’t noticed, Ritter excels in the ant-Hard category and so they excel at the CAVCon tournament.  The rules there don’t allow any Battlefield Upgrades except for your CO having the Ace upgrade and the use of C3 points.  With their ability to absolutely slag other Hard targets, they can really make some nasty forces that can quickly render opposition helpless.  You can advance and lay down a hail of bullets/missiles/rockets while your opponent has to use terrain to close with you, as they generally won’t have the umph to overcome your armor.  Generally. 


One more note, the Ritter LOVE electronics.  They have multiple units with ECM 1, ECM 2, APA 1, and APA 2.  Denying enemy units target locks, jamming those that are trying to stop yours, and hitting them with APA1/2 to boost your own attack values are all in a day’s work for a Ritter list (or can be!)


Great Models:


Obviously, a model is only as good as the player or the role they try to use it in, so be warned that just because I list it here doesn’t mean it is an automatic win for you!


Rhino – I honestly love the base line, Rhino 1.  It’s the cheaper “export” model that is lacking some of the bells and whistles, but honestly, the bells it has are great.  Speed six and armor nine mean this thing will take a beating, but if that’s wasn’t enough, toss in Reinforced 2 to limit the Measure of Success even further and take even less damage.  To kill one of these beasties you will be nickel and diming it because baring a massive crit with a PBG or heavy MAC, you will only be doing one damage in the early stages of the game.  Twin heavy MRAC’s do great damage and twin medium guided missiles also follow up to hurt opponents.  Assault two lets you Run ‘n’ Gun and fire off your big guns for a speed eight rush, and a Wizzo and Advanced Targeting Computer (ATC) 1 give you more bonuses to hit. Speed six will keep up with all of the important Ritter combat units (Tiger, Cataphract, Wolverines, Lion II’s) and the best part is, its only 809 Threat Value.  It might seem steep, but remember it’s armor nine with eleven damage tracks!


Tiger – Nothing does zombie as well as the Tiger (except maybe the Grizzly, but it costs 828 TV) while threatening every CAV and tank on the board. Reinforced 2 limits incoming Measure of Success while Rugged and Improved Damage Control help you heal up fast.  Any success nets you two tracks back thanks to Rugged, and Improved Damage Control makes it slightly easier to get those successes. Twin piercing heavy MAC’s are hitting out to forty eight inches and have Blaster 2, which means that if you roll a nine or higher, you get a crit.  Speed seven and armor seven are in line with other Superiority CAV’s (Starhawk VI, Chancellor, Butcher, and Grizzly) while ATC1 and Wizzo give it a boost in hitting capability.  If you are at damage track 2 or lower, don’t hesitate to repair.  At 551 Threat Value, this guy is very, very capable. Just watch out for infantry and aircraft as your MAC’s can’t damage them except for close combat.


Cataphract – Another superiority CAV, this one is slower than the Tiger at speed five but also sports armor eight.  It boasts the same guns that the Rhino has, heavy MRAC’s, and also has two Heavy R10 rocket launchers.  I’ve used these guys some and have to say, I almost never use the rockets and instead double moved to get into position later.  You do have the launchers so they can serve a purpose if you need them.  It sports an ATC1 and Wizzo, while also bringing Counter-Measures 1 to the party to try and confuse incoming missiles and rockets.  Anything indirect tends to add extra Threat Value, and the Cataphract rounds out at 620, so still in the realm of affordability and function.


Catamount – This is a new design done to replace the concept of the older Cougar:  a heavy recon unit that can do everything electronic/scout. The Cougar model now has a lower damage track and inferior electronics, and thus cheaper, but the Catamount takes the original idea and makes it better.  Very pricy at 441 Threat Value, the Catamount has eight Damage Tracks, speed eight, armor seven, and has the best of everything.  APA2, ECM2, EST, and TAG.  Two medium LBG’s can nick and scratch people, but you don’t take a Catamount to shoot stuff.  You take them to spread APA2 to help the rest of your force and be hard to kill.


Lion II – I’ll highlight three tanks for this as well, with the Lion II up first.  Speed six makes it one of the slower anti-grave tanks, but it grants it Pop-up and superior handling, which can be big.  Armor eight puts it into that annoying, harder-to-kill category that armor eight and nine can grant.  Oh, and it has a gun.  A really big gun.  A heavy PBG to be exact.  Between it’s outrageous damage potential and Overdrive (doubling any damage inflicted,) these guys are a nasty surprise at 368 TV.  Assault one lets them race off at speed eight and hit with the main gun, while ATC2 can also help boost that damage even further.  Smoke allows for a mobile cover when needed.  I used these before and at CAVCon and they are deadly and game changing against anything they are shooting!


Manticore – if you want to swap out your Lion II’s for Manticores, go right ahead.  They are the same Threat Value (368) and so an assault section can become a fire support section in a heartbeat.  The Manticore has it all.  Fire Control (FCS,) Chain Fire Pod, Counter Battery, and ATC1.  The four light R10 rockets are housed in a turret and a unit of them can pass around successful strike points and kill off medium and lightly armored units.  You can also tack on a +3 on your combat roll and salvo them if you run into something beefy, but I’d concentrate on removing recon elements with them first before attacking the “big boys.”  They also pair up nicely with the Tiamat in a support section (three Manticores to a Tiamat.)


Wolverine – this heavy tracked tank moves at speed six and boasts armor eight.  It’s heavy MAC is slightly weaker than the Tigers, and for a secondary weapon, it has a Flamer.  These can be a nasty surprise for anything that gets hit, but that’s not why you take them.  The Wolverine is also set up with Reinforced 2 and Rugged, so it shrugs off damage and can repair it more effectively than other tanks.  At 375, it’s a little more than the other tanks, but as you’ve probably noticed, they are all priced very close together.  The Wolverine turns into a hard-to-kill zone on the board that bites back.


The Usable/Good Units


Ritter has a lot of specialization and so not every tool is good for the job.  


Tiamat - Without Upgrades, the Tiamat relies on Counter Battery or being teamed with Blitz’s, Mastodon’s, Griffins, and/Manticores to help bring it’s rockets to the party. With upgrades you can tack on a FCS to help something with a Chain Fire Pod, but that’s about it.  It is cheaper than the Raijin, hardier, and faster (and ammo bins) but it has NOTHING else to help out a fire support section.


Silverback – A walking heavy guided missile distribution system (pointy-end first), the Silverback sports four of the weapons to blast your enemies away at range.  ATC2 and Wizzo help you hit, while TAG can help if you find yourself inside an enemy ECM bubble.  Ammo Bin 1 gives you a single save against having your ammo bins going dry, and Counter-Measures 1 can help defend against return fire.  705 Threat Value is a decent deal for what it does and I can attest that the Silverback can be very effective.  When compared to the Rach Reaper, the Silverback is faster and has slightly less armor.


Cheetah – A fast, lightly armored (armor six) unit that carries four heavy autocannons, an APA1, Point Defense 1 (can protect others units in it’s area against misisles and rockets) Anti-Aircraft 2, some ammo bins, and ATC1 and Wizzo.  It’s pretty expensive at 588, but it’s very fast (speed 9) and will wreck aircraft and infantry.  The Full Auto SA on the guns let you hit easier or fish for crits, but I’d be careful against heavier armored units.


Sabertooth – This guy looks small, but packs a punch.  Four Piercing medium MRAC’s push out damage to armored units, while an ammo bin gives you a single get-out-of-jail-free cards and the ATC1 and Wizzo gives you a boost. I have used this so far as a scavenger that cleans up after units get hurt or engages lighter armored units and puts them down with prejudice.  With a cost of 383 Threat Value, it’s a bargain.  Speed six fits with the Ritter nicely and armor seven will keep you around long enough to make someone choke.  I’m not sold on fielding three or four at a time, but that’s an experiment to try out I guess! 




Superior Tactics Doctrine - The Hunters Edge


Once per turn, you choose to skip a card.  It can be yours or theirs.  Take that card and send it to the back of the deck. This is huge and gets more pronounced as the game goes on or if you out number your opponent in the draw deck. It effectively grants you a recon squad for taking your factions units.  Being able to insure one of your opponents will go last can be big.  If you go next, you suddenly get to go first and shoot first, dropping damage onto the opponents before they can react (usually.). It’s probably one of the best doctrines in the game when activating by sections to be honest.  If you activate by individual unit, then its not really that great.


Lightning Warfare Doctrine – Blitzkrieg


This is one that, while on the surface seems great, when you really dive into the Ritter units, you find that generally the units that you want Run ‘n’ Gunning already have a couple levels of Assault and don’t need the Doctrine, or you need more than one level of Assault to be comfortable.  It doesn’t mess with your opponent like Hunter’s Edge so probably comes off as less appealing.


Final Thoughts/Tactics


·     Ritter excel and crushing armor and as was noted, can entice you to build your list to do just that.  Just remember that infantry and aircraft can also adversely affect your day and plan accordingly.  Ritter has the tools to deal with those guys, but you have to take them and sometimes they aren’t as “sexy” as the armor crushing monsters.

·     You have a lot of EW capability in the form of ECM and APA sets.  Use and abuse them.  With the standard Ritter armor values, removing the ability of your opponent to target lock you and add to their dice roll can hamper them even further. Don’t be afraid to Jam with your sets (if you’ve brought enough) to try and turn them off or prevent them from activating in the next turn.  Winning the EW war can hasten the game in your favor.  APA’s just increase your lethality and I generally try to use that setting unless I absolutely have to jam someone to “win the game.”

·     Ritter have a ton of options for any terrain or situation, but list building is key as to whether or not you have those options on hand when you play.  Be mindful of what you think your opponent is trying to do to be able to counter it.  Sometimes Ritter just says “hulk smash” and the bullets bounce off your armor and you simply return fire.  But don’t count on it.

·     ODST is your enemy.  Be prepared to spread out to lessen the impact of a drop.  If you are running under the full rules and have Hunters Edge and/or a Recon Squad, you can send that card to the back to try and prep for its arrival.  If they are simply deploying mid-field, while it can hurt, can give you a turn to waste the worst offender.  

·     Sabertooth’s are great point sinks, as they are relatively cheap and provide a lot of firepower.  If you are struggling with list building, try subbing out one of your Tiger/Cataphract/Rhinos for a Sabertooth and see how your points work out.

·     While it’s a basic tenant of the game, Ritter make it utterly lethal.  Layer your fire and focus it.  When you have APA running and an EST target lock handed out, focus on that poor SoB till it’s dead.  Don’t water your fire down to drop a single point of damage on something when that single or double points could be better spent finishing something off or taking so far down that it’s not a threat to your armor!


Have other experiences you want to share?  I'd love to hear them!

Edited by Savage Coyote
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I have been on the receiving end of a list like this and honestly not sure what to do about it.:zombie:

The Electronic Warfare (EW) is crucial. Having those extra bonuses will help, even the soft targets. Being able to stop target locks (No Advance Targeting computer bonus) easily changes the game.

But I must confess, the most Annoying and Detrimental thing is the Hunters Edge. Although my death is usually inevitable, this doctrine just makes it happen that much faster. Having more sections helps curb the pain a little, but not when you loose a section ::(:.

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Yeah, SIGNIT and Recon Squad can really ramp up the silliness in a turn when combined with Hunters Edge.  It eats up some Support/Upgrade TV but when used properly, allows you to almost tell your opponent to sit back and relax while you try to wax their units.


I used a Catamount, 3x Puma for my recon squad at '18 CAVCon and swamped the field with ECM.  It was a risk to only have one APA but it worked out (and I had a Cougar on the field too for a backup ECM/APA) while it was ESTing for the three Rhinos.

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Wait... I picked the stompy, shooty, fry your brains computers and guidance with a bugzapper guys?


...Neat.  I initially picked them because of the lore, and I liked the look of their minis the most - well, most after Malvernis and Templars, which will be a while before I can get their minis anyways. ^_^;;;;;

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