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Posted (edited)

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?

Edited by Savage Coyote
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One thing that ADON frequently brings that you didn't touch on is Rugged. The Ogres, Chancellors, and Mantis in the main forces all bring it combined with some level of Reinforced. That 2 level repair can really let them double down on that fencing style, as they are generally fast enough to move to cover and catch their breath.

We haven't played a ton of games here, mostly in the smaller weight ranges. One list I really enjoyed at 2000tv was:

Attack Squad: 4xDervish

Flight (Recon) Squad: 2x Dragonfly

Specialist Squad: Chancellor

The Dervish can move fast, get close, and just be terrors with Blaster2 + PointBlank + Back Arc bonuses. The Dragonflies can be a pain to lock down at this point level, and the lone Chancellor brings its Medium MACs to finish off things that the Dervish weaken. Generally by the time that the Dervish have all died, the Chancellor is in a position to bob in and out of cover and at least stalemate whatever is left on the other side of the board.

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Posted (edited)

Ogres sadly don’t have Rugged though the Ogre II does!  Good points on the smaller games; ADON can for sure fit a lot of stuff in there!  I tried using a bunch of Dervishes once but my opponents for some reason lobbed s bunch of light guided missiles at them and the didn’t do much (larger point game.). I really want to try to the Dervish II though and see if some of that double time helps keep them out of trouble! 
 

I know that Rugged is all overall the factions and is probably why I failed to bring it up honestly.  But it a good when your main combatants have it to help heal up some misques! 

Edited by Savage Coyote
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The attached is a Light Attack force I ginned up for a 2500 point game sometime soon.

The Attack Squad is 4 Royal Chieftains. Medium Mac (P), Countermeasures, Pop-up and Advanced TC will hopefully make a Sniper unit out of them while allowing them to evade incoming fire. Blessed with great resilience they aren't.

The Specialist Squad is a Chancellor and a Challenger. Many guns, much shooting. They're the Anvil to the Chieftains Hammer. And with the weapon mix they've got a little something for everyone.

The Flight squad is a pair of Dragonflies. APA 2, Tag, Improved Handling. We're going to jink, zig, zag, dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge all over the place while feeding targeting info and bonuses back to our friends in the tanks and CAV's. And hope we're considered inconsequential enough you don't devote too much firepower to disposing of us. 

 

This was built out of models owned. Yes I could have done better/differently with Dervishes and Kestrals and such but the budget only stretches so far and Khardullis demands a certain devotion.

Adon Light Attack Force.pdf

Edited by Krugerannd
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23 hours ago, Krugerannd said:

The attached is a Light Attack force I ginned up for a 2500 point game sometime soon.

The Attack Squad is 4 Royal Chieftains. Medium Mac (P), Countermeasures, Pop-up and Advanced TC (2) will hopefully make a Sniper unit out of them while allowing them to evade incoming fire. Blessed with great resilience they aren't.

My experience is that it can be hard to get a good spot for popup attacks.  I often find one or two good ones but then that makes me bunch up my tanks and makes me vulnerable to Indirect Fire. Plus now days if you don't declare a move then you are +2 to hit.

In my opinion, CAV needs more terrain than I usually see on the table.

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23 hours ago, Krugerannd said:

This was built out of models owned. Yes I could have done better/differently with Dervishes and Kestrals and such but the budget only stretches so far and Khardullis demands a certain devotion.

Adon Light Attack Force.pdf 38.46 kB · 0 downloads

I like it. There are things I would do differently, but nothing that you're doing is bad. Your way might even be better than mine.

I am a really big fan of "oh, by the way, I brought recon aircraft. Have fun with that." In that kind of TV range, dedicated anti air is a huge luxury, so they become a lot more of a headache than they would be in a 4500 game.

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1 hour ago, The Red Baron said:

My experience is that it can be hard to get a good spot for popup attacks.  I often find one or two good ones but then that makes me bunch up my tanks and makes me vulnerable to Indirect Fire. Plus now days if you don't declare a move then you are +2 to hit.

In my opinion, CAV needs more terrain than I usually see on the table.

Pop-up is like having condiments on a restaurant table. If I got something I can use it on, great it's available, otherwise it's there for next time. It's not something to base the force around.

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