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UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

Discuss tactics and general army concepts not specific to a faction
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Caamora

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UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 3:46 am

Sooo.. I am new to the whole tabletop thing. I have done plenty of hex and counter war gaming but the rulers are throwing me a bit. The real question is that I play the UCM and I feel at a loss against the Scourge with the starter units.. feel out maneuvered.. slow.. can't really threaten larger buildings and everything that shoots at me doesn't have to move and gets the skimmer bonus.. grrrr.

So I guess I am looking for a general strategy to feel competitive against the Scourge starter. We will be expanding but I feel very frustrated at the moment. My opponent has more experience than me with tabletop games so not sure if it is just a learning curve for me.

He says I need fire lanes with UCM.. I see that but then he just hides behind buildings.. My transports are not fast enough to get to objectives before he does it feels.. and I cannot do enough damage to a building to scare him out of it while his tanks rack up with Demolisher on my buildings.

Granted we have only played the beginner scenario... so that may be a problem as well but I am just looking for some general advice on UCM tactics given just the starter set.

Thanks for listening to me gripe.. lol
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SwordOfJustice

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 5:30 am

Rest assured that UCM can win.

Sabres vs Hunters
The first item I'll point out is the kill chances of Sabres and Hunters.
- Hunter hits a Sabre on a 2+ then E11 vs A10 kills on a 4+.
- Sabre hits a deployed Hunter (that can move 6+" to get skimmer bonus) on a 4+, then E10 vs A8 kills on a 3+.

The Hunters kill the Sabres a bit better, but it's not better by a huge amount. In exchange, the Hunters are vulnerable the turn they drop as they don't get skimmer bonus (half move of 4") and they have a 21" threat range instead of the Sabres' 28" threat range.

The Sabres also have Articulated, which is a useful ability.

UCM Dancing
UCM tanks with Articulated have a very popular dance. It's all the rage throughout the Reconquest. :D

You put one Sabre up front sideways. The other two form a line behind it. All three are able to see an enemy unit to shoot at it according to the rules, but the enemy will have some trouble shooting back.

The rule is that you can shoot through one unit in your own squad. So Sabre No.2 can see through the lead Sabre. Sabre No.3 uses Articulated to raise his turret an inch to see over the top of the two Sabres in front.

When the enemy returns fire, they can see Sabre No.1. They usually won't be able to see Sabre No.2 and they can see the raised turret of Sabre No.3 with cover bonus.

You can practice this yourself on a map. It's quite effective in mitigating casualties from his fire.

Note: The Scourge can do this also. It's slightly less effective without Articulated. Always check visibility when units fire to see if any unit gains cover bonus.

Note: Scourge tanks move fast so they can sweep out sideways if they're close to your formation. That might earn them a shot on Sabre No.2 but likely it will still get cover bonus.

Stay on Target - Winning the Mission
What do you need to do to win? Never lose sight of that. That should inform all your moves in the game.

So starter sets means you're looking for objectives in central large buildings, right? So to win you need to get your infantry inside those buildings and roll to find objectives. You get extra points if you escape off the table with found objectives.

This mission is all about doing that and only that. The rest of your army is there to support your infantry achieving that and to interfere with your opponent achieving that.

Your Scourge opponent won't be scoring extra victory points for taking objectives off the table if you shoot his dropships out of the sky and kill his APCs, will he?

Think on your gameplan to win. It's all about your infantry getting there, making rolls, then escaping with a found objective if possible. The rest is how you deploy and move your units during the game to execute the strategy.

Decisions, Decisions
There are so few squads when you play starter sets that each decision becomes very important. Before you pick up your first dice, you need to look at the table and roughly make a plan for how you can approach the centre and where you will deploy your assets in support of your infantry.

One huge decision is which buildings you send infantry into. Do you send two squads into the same building or split up?

A lot also depends on what your opponent does. You need to watch him and counter his moves too.

Make Him Go First on Turn One
If you win initiative, make him go first on Turn One. You want him to commit his forces and you deploy to counter that.

The Powerful Scourge
They are faster than UCM. It usually means their infantry get inside the objective buildings before you do and become the Occupier. No big deal, your infantry can enter the buildings on the same turn without issue.

He shouldn't be getting inside buildings a turn earlier than you. The buildings with objectives should be in the middle. If you measure, that should mean both of you can only reach them by Turn two. If you've been playing differently then change the table layout so it is like that for a fairer game.

His skimmer tanks are vulnerable when they drop as they won't have skimmer bonus. So how do you use that?

Well if your tanks are deployed on the ground and have a line of sight down a street, then he won't deploy his skimmers in the open there. If he is smart, he will deploy behind a building instead. So you are denying some deployment ground to him and controlling his movement.

So in general terms, you'd be aiming to get your tanks down on Turn one to threaten the Scourge with your longer range and deny him deployment.

If the Scourge player makes a mistake and deploys skimmers in an open street before you have activated your Sabres or Rapiers, then you could possibly deploy opposite him. If you win initiative next turn, you activate that Battlegroup first and fire on those vulnerable skimmers.

This mission is all about your infantry, so all you should be focussed on is interfering with his game plan, and you finding/extracting objectives. If his Hunters are hiding, push your Sabres towards the buildings where his APCs are hiding. Push your Rapiers to get shots at his precious infantry dropship or his APCs.

Rapiers Can Kills Scourge Skimmers
Note that even Rapiers can kill Skimmers. E7 vs A8 needs a six to kill, three shots each. Also, AA weapons ignore skimmer bonus.

Condor Missiles
I don't own a two player starter set so I don't know if the Condors come with missiles. They should for play balance purposes as Scourge medium and light dropships have a plasma hose weapon. Play it that way.


There is more I could write but hopefully that gives you some ideas for tactics to help you win.
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SwordOfJustice

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 5:42 am

By the way, Scourge probably have more demo than you do with Demo-2 on their Hunter plasma cannons. Their Reapers can also hurt buildings with E8 (you always hit buildings on a 2+).

Yet large buildings should have 40 DPs so it's not likely they'll be able to drop an objective building. Falling masonry could whittle down your infantry, of course.

If you have no other targets, you could fire your Sabres at a building his infantry have entered. Also remember to fire your Condor missiles at his buildings.

You need to weigh up if you need to keep your Rapiers unfired so you can reaction fire against his air unit later in the turn. If not, Rapiers can also hurt buildings.

Watch out for Scourge infantry coming to the walls and firing their plasma rifles at your tanks. Each base that gets three hits will get an E11 hit, which can kills heavy tanks.

If they do come to the walls, then open up on them with all your machineguns and even main guns.

Also remember that infantry have a 6" range AA weapon called Small Arms. Each base makes on E7 attack on enemy aircraft within range of the wall the infantry man. If you he was escaping in a dropship with an objective and I had a possible shot with infantry then I'd consider it.

Infantry should focus on objectives in that mission anyway.
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Weidekuh

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 6:07 am

People often forget that Rapiers are pretty good Skimmer hunters. A Rapier has a 30 % chance to kill a scourge grav tank. That's pretty good. Remember, they ignore the skimmer bonus. You basicly have 6 tank hunters. Use the numerical advantage. Starter vs Starter as UCM i usually try to kill as many hunters as possible as fast as possible. You have 6 tanks to do this. With the scourge tanks out of play (killing 2 is enough), i then go to hunt the Infantry dropship with the rapiers and the scourge AA with the sabre.
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Caamora

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 2:48 pm

Thanks for the responses.. appreciated. Now I just need to not get so worked up..lol. That tank maneuver sounds dirty but it does fit rules.. what idiot would park his tank sideways in real life.. lol..

On a side note once Intel is found it seems its off the board pretty much in 1 turn.. successful search.. embark to APC and embark to dropship and run. All can be done in the turn Intel is found correct??
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Lorn

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 3:42 pm

what idiot would park his tank sideways in real life.. lol..


Only if the side armour is weaker. Also that first Saber is a true hero who knows the meaning of Sacrifice. ;)

Regarding Intel, as it is usually placed in buildings you roll at the start of your next activation. But yeah Intel in the open is quick to be found as the roll is made immediately.

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
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German space magic for all and this time it is in Space!
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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 4:13 pm

If it makes you feel better you can put the front tank diagonally since angling your armor like that is a thing irl :P

Hiding behind each other seems like exactly the thing UCM tanks are designed for background wise. The articulated turret allows a squad of tanks to expose far less hulls to the enemy than if the were to spread out like current tanks that can't fire over each other.

It also makes me think of a scourge tank complaining bitterly to its squadmates while they fly in really tight circles.
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Garrack

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostMon Oct 26, 2015 5:47 pm

Edit somehow posted in the wrong thread ;o
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kaffis

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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostTue Oct 27, 2015 11:11 am

Caamora wrote:On a side note once Intel is found it seems its off the board pretty much in 1 turn.. successful search.. embark to APC and embark to dropship and run. All can be done in the turn Intel is found correct??

Sure. But remember that the dropship can only move half distance when performing embarking operations. With objective buildings on the centerline, even fast Scourge dropships are going to be only partway to safety that turn. If you've been aggressive with your Rapier positioning, you should get to shoot at them after they pick up the objective, and then reaction fire the turn they try to move off the board...
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Re: UCM vs Scourge starter set balance?

PostTue Oct 27, 2015 11:44 am

A couple of things to keep in mind:

Sabres have one of the best threat ranges in the game (short of those that have infinite R(c) like the Scimitar), therefore it's worthwhile identifying a good spot to drop them (and your Rapiers) first turn

According to the army card, the UCM starter Condors do indeed have missile pods.

Let him go into a building first, pound it with your Sabres and Condors for Falling Masonry, THEN send your infantry in. Legionnaires and Scourge Warriors are relatively matched (Warriors have a better F but that's it), so try to get a numbers advantage.
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