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About Me

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  1. Okay. My original plan was to write up a faction article a week and yeah, here we are several weeks out. Life happens. I’ll try to get back on track here with Almirithil! They are the “new” faction on the block when CAV:SO dropped. Originally, they were space elves once. Then they were twisted by the dark lord… oh wait, wrong universe. It is true that the Almirthil were once a part of the ADON and after a bloody civil war, they migrated into the galactic south and established their own nation. Now, from a game and real world history perspective, the Almirthil got four models in the second kickstarter (Concussion, Grizzly, Bear, and Growler) and, well, that was it. There was other designs but they were just cards (and many still are.). Instead, Almirthil had two Faction Doctrines that helped out. The first, called the Dogs of War, allowed you to take a Veteran Templar squad (using Templar models only) in your force as a Specialist squad. Veteran status is helpful with the extra +1 to hit and can help turn the tide when needed. The other option? Well, really, the only option. Lend Lease. Take any Ritter unit and run it as if it’s Almrithil. So you got to pick from both the Almrithil and Ritter line up. Is it like, well, playing limited mercs with no other real benefit? Yeah, that’s really what it is. But. Well. Leave me alone. It was fun. I won the 2019 CAVCon Tournament with such a force! That said, the Faction Doctrines from the book are going away and going to be replaced with something else. The only ones who are really sad are the Ritter players, so no one else really cares. So with those leaving, things changed. I may have prodded CAVBoss a few times about Almirthil needing a “cheaper attack CAV” as the Grizzly is super expensive and the Sunder is specialized. And Jon delivered. Just not how I thought. Instead of just adding a new design, he revamped most of the Ritter units into “export” models. While they are mostly, technically “downgrades” of the standard heavy metal mayhem that the Ritter love, they are still mostly viable designs in their own right and bring a new feel to the faction in addition to their home grown designs. The main reason for this is the price change between many of the units or their new role they slot into with the changes. As an example, the Ritter Tiger series is a speed seven, armor seven superiority CAV with twin heavy MAC’s and various SA’s that make it hard to kill. The Almirthil Fullback (uses the Tiger model) instead drops the armor and raises the speed, giving it a speed of ten and armor five. Still has twin heavy MAC’s and SA’s that let it do it’s job. But now it’s a Double Time, cavalry heavy who’s focus is racing around the battlefield and costs 413 TV. Paired with the equally fast Sunder, you have a tandem of fast, higher track units that can dish out damage. I’ve seen a Sunder pack in action several times and they did a lot better than I thought they would. So what makes the Almirthil tick besides somewhat cheaper options? One word. Hound. This little 172 TV recon armored car carries the powerful APA2, has decent armor for a recon unit, and decent speed to get Double Time in the first track. Besides that, it also has EST and TAG to help in it’s duties. And as a bonus, it doesn’t have any real weapons to temp you the player from trying to attack with it. Two heavy machine guns will worry infantry and mauled units, but don’t invite you to race off guns a-blazing. These little guys form the core of Almirithil recon units and provide the whole force needed punch to help amp up the damage. It’s always a plus to include this piece of gear in any force, but Almirthil has the ability to have a few extra in case the enemy gets lucky and kills one. Beyond that, general combatants like the Hammer (Rhino) and Havoc (Cataphract) bring heavy MRAC’s to the field for relatively cheap. They function much like their Ritter counterparts, though the Hammer has less armor (seven) and tracks (ten) and the Havoc loses some SA’s and it’s speed/armor is subpar, although still reaching the magic number seven (armor.). I feel both will form the backbone of most of your smaller point games as they bring great firepower for their price tag. As a faction, with the choices it has, Almirthil has a very flexible feel to me and the added benefit of having a lot of model choices already in print (albet with them all being Ritter) and ready to go! You have a lot of options across the Threat Value scale that do different things, but you really do have a lot of choices. The example forces I put together play completely different. And I love it! As far as models go, the Kodiak just came out as of this writing and its rumored the King Cobra, Cobra, Armada, Cossak, and Hound could be in the near future, so it’s a great time to play Almrithil! For the first force, which I consider a general, take on all comer’s sort of deal, I started off with an attack section. Two Havocs bring a lot of consistent punch, adequate armor, and decent price point. A Fullback is on board as a price break to help out the rest of the list. As you’ve already seen, Assault 2, ATC1, and Wizzo combined with speed 10 give you a speedy, high power platform that is admittedly a glass cannon. A Cobra recon CAV rounds out the list and provides APA1 and EST to help with the groups targeting computers. For the second squad, I chose the Specialist squad so I could mix up some of the model types. The Flogger is a Silverback model that changes out the four heavy Guided Missile Launchers for FIVE medium Guided Missile Launchers. It also loses a pip of Advanced Targeting Computer compared to it’s parent, but you still have five launchers. I have two. So that’s ten shots out to like, what, 72 inches? Yes. Please! The next unit is a Gauntlet II. This is a Lion II that’s been downgraded, missing a track and missing ATC2 compared to it’s parent. ATC1 is still fine and it’s still armor eight, speed six and still has smoke. And reinforced 1. It’s a tanky little tank and it’s heavy PBG can cut folks down. I’ve taken it as a body guard for the Floggers. Finally, a Hound rounds out the force to provide APA2 for the whole force and EST support for the squad. The last squad is a pure recon squad. You get to drop a card down to the bottom of the deck because of it, and it also provide several other functions. The King Cobra is the most expensive recon unit in the game at 478. It’s armed with four medium LBG’s while also carrying an ECM2 and using Superior Mobility to laugh at most terrain. Nominally this squads leader, this unit is out to bully other recon and lightly armed units with extreme glee while providing an ECM bubble for the force. The three Hounds are there to pump out APA2 and assest the force. They really do work. I had three in my 2019 CAVCon force and they were hated. Attack Havoc 521 Havoc 521 Fullback 413 Cobra 246 Specialist Flogger 653 Flogger 653 Gauntlet II 322 Hound 172 Recon King Cobra 478 Hound 172 Hound 172 Hound 172 Total: 4495 A different kind of list, very much themed and specialized, has two attack squads, one consisting of three Sunders and a Hound while the other uses three Fullbacks and a Hound. The final squad is three King Cobras with a Hound as well to give the force a recon squad. All twelve models in the force start off at speed 10, armor 5. Every single model has Double Time, while you have three APA2 sets and three ECM2 sets. The force wants to punch the accellorator pedals and get moving forward as fast as possible, overwhelming the opponent by numbers in the hope to mitigate the poor armor across the force. Will it work? I don’t know! But it sure looks fun if/when the models are avaialbe (King Cobra, Sunder, and Hound) Attack Sunder 423 Sunder 423 Sunder 423 Hound 172 Attack Fullback 413 Fullback 413 Fullback 413 Hound 172 Recon King Cobra 478 King Cobra 478 King Cobra 478 Hound 172 Total 4458 So have you gotten to get some games in with the “new” Almirithil? What’s worked? What hasn’t? I know I couldn’t talk about “everything” like the monstrous flying tank known as the Hind, but what have you seen/found about the faction that you’d like to discuss?
  2. Welcome to my first faction ramble. I want to try and cover all of the factions in CAV to give new (and old) players an idea about where each faction stands. I will be the first to say I am not an expert. I played a TON before COVID and have used many of the models I’ll discuss and own models for every faction. Some I have more experience with and others not as much. We also don’t use infantry in our games so that is an area I am deficient in. Here’s where you the reader can easily chime in. What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? I will approach each article as if the player is going to exclusively play with this faction and discuss it as such, omitting Open units. For today’s article, I’m going to cover ADON. The ADON Economic Confederation is perhaps the oldest and most technologically advanced of the CAV factions and occupies the geographic center of the galaxy in the setting. They have long been a shepherd of younger races and a beat stick against aggression. Think of them as a more effective United Nations perhaps? While the CAV equipment rules don’t really play out as far as being more advanced, we can see in their unit construction this idea of “high tech" with several CHAMEALEON units, ATC2, and superior mobility. When looking across the units available for a strictly ADON force, the one thing that really stands out to me is how fast a good many of their units are. Speed eight is very common, and there is a decent amount of CHAMEALEON spread out among the ranks. CHAMEALEON now adds a +1 to hit from any shot coming from beyond eighteen inches, so this will help you as you close, which most of ADON seems to be doing. With all that speed, many units rely on the devastating Particle Bolt Gun as a primary weapon. PBG’s have some unique attributes that make them pure wrecking balls in the CAV world. The main feature is Overdrive. Declare this before you roll dice to fire. As long as you don’t roll snake eyes, you double the damage to the unit you hit. Now one damage becomes two, two becomes four, and three becomes six! The base damage for each level of gun is also pretty impressive. There are three main drawbacks. The first, if you crit a gun, you lose all of your guns. So, units that are firing multiple PBG’s and crit one, you lose your whole suite. Second, you can overheat. After firing, you roll a single dice. Each gun you fired adds a level, so if you fired two, you’d need to roll a three or higher to keep from overheating. If you fail, you can’t fire the PBG’s the next turn and have to let them “cool off.” And finally, the guns are very short range! With a max range of 24, you have to really get into knife fighting range. That’s were speed comes in (except for the Ogre’s really, as they are slow and are armed exclusively with three heavy PBG’s.) Units like the Javelin/Javelineer (speed 13,) Kestrel/Highlander (speed 11,) Chieftain (speed 10,) Pilum (speed 9,) Mantis/Challenger/Sultan (speed 😎 all want to close that gap and tap you with their array of PBG’s. Some of them are Recon units and probably don’t want to be pulling the trigger, but your opponent is in for a nasty surprise if you overdrive your light PBG’s from those boys and start dropping their units. PBG’s are a risk/reward systems and do both in spades. I’ve played with Kestrel’s, Ogre’s, and Javelin’s in the past and had great success, though it never fails I crit out an Ogre’s heavy PBG’s and leave it helpless! The flip side to all of this short range madness in the ADON doctrine is a heavy, unhealthy use of Magnetic Accelerator Cannon’s. MAC’s main claim to fame is the use of the the Blaster special ability. The cannon is sending it’s round down range so hard that it has a healthy penetration ability. This is translated by the fact that with each level of Blaster, the threshold needed to get a critical hit and roll a third dice for measure of success is lowered. So a light MAC is going to need an eleven or twelve. A medium MAC will need a ten, eleven, or twelve. And a heavy MAC will need a nine, ten, eleven, or twelve. While it might not seem like a big deal, MAC’s can rack up the criticals under a hot hand and dish out loads of damage. Like all things CAV, there are some drawbacks. First, they have the Strike feature. This means that if you target a soft target, you automatically miss. So, you can’t fire at aircraft, infantry, and some light tanks. If you come up against a player that has a balanced, combined arms force with aircraft and infantry you might have some paper weights in your force. If your local meta isn’t using soft targets then it isn’t as big of a deal, I guess! The second drawback, which is true of a TON of weapons systems in CAV, is that there is a one-inch minimum range AND units that are armed with all minimum ranged weapons can’t do any damage in close assault. So that big, bad Chancellor with four medium MAC’s, a light guided missile launcher and light rocket 10 launcher can only defend in close combat. It can never do any damage! If a Laser Bolt Gun (LBG) or PBG toting unit come up and hug you, well, that unit receiving the hug is in for a long day. So back to ADON. They LOVE PBGs, MAC’s and electronics. They have several avenues of APA2 (Javelin and Dragonfly) and ECM2 (Highlander, Argus, and Javelineer) which can be game changing. Giving you a plus two to hit an enemy unit is really big. Being able to turn off an enemies APA or ECM while also denying them target locks is also huge. ADON are the fiction-supported masters of electronic warfare and I’d say after 2020’s model update, that is now true! They just have a lot of options in that department. So, for a new player, I feel ADON’s “flavor” tends to be a kind of fencing, finesse force. They don’t have many units that are heavily armored (Ogre, Ogre II, and Enforcer being their highest armored Attack units) when compared to other factions, but they have a lot of speed, electronics, and raw damage potential depending on how you outfit your force group. They can reward aggressive, maneuver-based play and have the potential to really press an opponent. Here’s an example list using only CAV’s. It’s set up under the current (2020) CAVCon tournament rules (12 models, can only use CAV’s, Vehicals, or aircraft) Chancellor 790 Chancellor 790 Chancellor 790 Javelineer 268 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Javelin 268 Dervish II 216 Dervish II 216 Dervish II 216 Javelin 268 Total 4494 This force has everything that ADON wants to do to an opponent: MAC’s (a total of 15 medium MAC’s) and PBG’s (6 medium and 6 light PBG’s) and electronics (two APA2’s and a single ECM2 set) with nine of the units making use of double time. I’ll admit I’ve never played this force and have no idea how it would go! But in my mind, on paper, the Kestrals and their Javelin go screaming in as fast as possible while the Dervishes keep up, providing mobile MAC support. Chancellors are a mobile firebase launching a billion MAC rounds. Weakness? Soft targets and targets with a lot of staying power (So your average Ritter list.) Another variation: Chancellor 790 Chancellor 790 Chancellor 790 Javelineer 268 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Dervish II 216 Javelineer 268 Overlord 302 Overlord 302 Dragonfly 163 Dragonfly 163 Total: 4500 I dropped the gaggle of Dervishes for some aircraft, choosing the superb Overlord (medium MRAC and two medium guided missiles) and amazing Dragonfly (flying APA2) I worry this force doesn’t have enough high speed threats to keep opponents on edge with only two Kestrals but if you catch an opponent who wasn’t prepared for aircraft, well, they will be sad! Finally, the last list I have experience with. Ogre 834 Ogre 834 Ogre 834 Javelineer 268 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Javelin 268 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Kestral 224 Javelin 268 Total: 4650 My “tournament legal” version would have one of the Ogre’s replaced by a Mantis. But the whole force just hits the throttle past the governors and races forward to dispatch the enemy. Ogre’s are pretty scary as they are speed 6 and have assault 3, ATC2, Wizzo, and Reinforced 2… on top of armor 9! Of course if your opponent gets distracted by the Ogres, the six Kestrals will have gotten into throat cutting range and start doing their merry work. I used the above list probably six times and while losses are high, it was very effective in mowing down the enemy and winning the overall battle. Now, there are other ways to play ADON. Many others. They do have a decent fire support selection that I didn’t mention and have a great many choices of vehicles to work with, especially as more models come out. I do know when I’m designing mercenary forces, there’s several ADON units I look at to help bolster electronics and utility players with. Tell me what you think! What have you use and what have you had success with?
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