Sunday, 29 June 2014

Myth Busters: UCM have no Demolisher

PHR wedding in Vegas?


There is a theory, that if you want a building removed, you need PHR or Scourge with their abundance of high energy demolisher (D) weapons. People have been lining the streets and shouting from the rooftops for UCM to have some form of D weapon so that they too, can contribute to the urban renewal......

........but why? UCM have everything they need (and shhh don't tell anyone, but they do it better than PHR and Scourge).



Before I introduce the 'nu kidz' of the demo crew lets take a look at how each faction handles demolition. I'll start with the PHR:

The typical Protagonists are the Enyo and the Taranis. 
Enyo Picture from Hawk Wargames
The Enyo will be found in 2's and without a transport. They will walk on the back on turn 1 (or direct deploy if mission allows) and begin demolition. That is what they do, and they will do that all game. With 2 E10 shots and D2 the maximum output for this squad is 16 damage points on an armour 6 (A6) building per turn, and averagely 4.44 damage per turn each (8.88 for the squad). They have infinite range against buildings as long as the building can be seen. The drawback is that building demo is all they do. It is highly unlikely that you'll get within 12" of an Enyo. Which also means you can basically ignore it and concentrate on the Odins, Hades or other monstrosity that's ready to bitch slab you into next week. Finally Enyo's are not cheap - 65 points each (130 for the squad) to destroy 2.5 medium A6 buildings a game.

 
Taranis Picture from Hawk Wargames


The Taranis is a whole different kettle o'fish. As the Enyo, it is seen in twos and without a dropship. It is a fair bit cheaper than the Enyo at 45 points each (90 for the squad) and it has indirect fire - meaning that any building on the board is a target as long as something in your army has LoS. The problem comes with it being unable to move and fire, this reduces its functionality by 1/6th in most missions. The Taranis can pack an explosive punch. It has an E10 Demolisher d3 shot which means it can do a maximum 12 points of damage to an A6 building a turn (as a squad). Averagely the squad will do 5.56 damage per turn, which over 5 turns would be 1.5 medium buildings. As with the Enyo, you can ignore the Taranis. Building demo is all it does. It has an 18" countered range, so it's hardly worth the odd anti-tank shot as it will more than likely miss (being hidden behind a building).

Hunter Picture from Hawk Wargames
Slayer Picture from Hawk Wargames
On to the Scourge. The gribbly jellyfish-men don't really have dedicated building demolition squads as the PHR do. What they do have is Demolisher on their standard and heavy tanks (skimmers), this makes them more of an opportunist demolition crew. I doubt that you would just set out to blow up buildings with the Scourge tanks, especially with their short range. You need them for making sure that the enemy gets dead, and stays dead. Although if the opportunity arises then having a pop at a populated building is likely to do severe damage. Hunters and Slayers have E11 guns and D2 - these will do as much damage against A6 as it will A8 hardened buildings. For 3 shots from hunters it is a measly 105 points and the squad can do a maximum of 12 damage a turn averaging 6.66 damage points for the squad. 2 Slayers have 4 shots for 108 points. They have the potential for 16 damage and average 8.88 a turn. The problem is the range, the Scourge have no way to destroy buildings in the opponents half for the first couple of turns of a game, which puts them at a massive disadvantage in the demolitions battle.

So what can the UCM do? We don't have any worth while demolisher weapons (unless you count the Seraphim - but let's not even go there with fast movers), what we have is a plethora or high energy shots. Katanas and Eagles are the new hotness, individually they are impressive but together they are a demolition experts wet dream. With 2 E9 shots each the Katana is potent at only 30 points, the Eagle, although costly at 110 points has 4 E9 missiles and 2 E11 railgun shots. Katanas as a squad of 3 can do a maximum of 12 damage to an A6 building and on average do 6.67 damage points. The Eagle can also do 12 points max. and 6.67 average. 
The way I run them is 6 drive-on Katanas supported by an Eagle. This battle group is 290 points, which is a fair whack of your points - but they are so worth it - why? One word answer: VERSATILITY
On average this battle-group will do 20 damage points on a building. That's a dead medium sized building on turn 1. "But Mega Mike, how is this better than the equivalent points of PHR or Scourge?" I hear you ask. Imagine this typical scenario.
It's Targets of Opportunity, your opponent has deployed his troops into his objective building (normally a large building, and at tournaments would be 30dp). More often than not there would be 2 squads inside. Roll-on your Katanas and fly-on your Eagle - 20(or so) damage later and your opponent has a lot to think about. If he doesn't win the initiative on turn 2 he could be down 1 or 2 squads of troops. This is the same if the mission is Recon, or even in Land Grab - destroying the opponents Focal Point early can really help swing a battle. Scourge have no way of doing this - it's not their game. PHR can do this and often do, but after it's done what do they do? I'll tell you - they shoot another building, as that is all they can do. 
After a couple of turns of building Demo the Katanas and Eagle are in the main fight, then they have the option of going after crucial enemy forces or carrying on the demo game. This is what makes them almost irresistible. 




A few shots of my Katanas and Eagle


So now you know the secret to UCM demolitions, give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

19 comments:

  1. Very, very nice and very deadly. A hidden gem of the UCM.

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  2. By the way, large buildings are normally 40 DPs.

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    1. Hi Sword, you are right that in the rulebook a large building is 40dp but normally at tournaments run by Hawk they go with a simple 10,20,30 system for the 3 types of building. Our club has kind of adopted this. Even so if you do 20+ damage in one turn, you can normally get 20 the next turn too

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  3. What are the stats for ucm units taking down building by the way?

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    1. Hi Mr Anonymous, Katanas as a squad of 3 can do a maximum of 12 damage to an A6 building and on average do 6.67 damage points. The Eagle can also do 12 points max. and 6.67 average. If you had 6 Katanas and an Eagle that's a 20 damage point average per turn

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  4. I have been playing with three Katanas and a Eagle and they are monsters when it comes to demolotion. But it would be really good with three more Katanas.

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    1. Definitely try it out, it's deadly

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  5. I know they don't do it well but some shaltari discussion would have been nice ;-)

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    1. Well you may be happy to hear that I have been playing with a couple of Ocelot's lately, and plan to have a post for these bad boys in the very near future!

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    2. My sincerest apologies, I should have covered the Ocelot really - my bad. Maybe if I get a chance I'll update the article

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  6. I feel the game is more moving into a situation where Large buildings will be 40 dp again as the tournaments are starting to increase the strength of the buildings. They are getting hardened and becoming bunkers and so on. Taking it back to 40 is pretty realistic, I think.

    Another interesting thing is how hardened buildings make the eagle+katana combo a bit weaker. I think you end up with 20dp on a building in average. With an hardened building you go down to 11 (about) where as the Enyos are exactly the same in effectiveness. Since PHR seems to be going pretty slow I think the solution is to have more Armour 8 buildings so that PHR can come back to being the best demolisher.

    The again...I suspect the Katanas will change in points soon enough as well...

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    1. Yes, the K&E combo is far less effective against A8 buildings, but Enyos and Taranis are too (3's to wound and 5's to double). Scourge are the only race that don't really suffer against A8 buildings.
      After chatting with Dave and Simon at Salute this year I brlieve the Katanas will increase in points, possibly 33 each or so.

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    2. I must admit I don't see why the Katana would be cheaper than the Sabre at all. Speed and rate of fire in my opinion balance out armour and strength. Perhaps a middleground... Little cheaper sabres and little more expensive katanas would do the trick.

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    3. Doh! Misseed the strength 10 on Enyos! Then 6 Katanas are the same as 2 Enyos. that is kind of nice against armoured buildings. So the enyos should still be more point efficient. I think.

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    4. It would be flavorfully odd to have the cheap simple tanks be harder to deploy en masse than the elite Ferrum model, though. Maybe a speed reduction is in order?

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  7. Enyos are certainly more points efficient at building demolition. But as I said, that is all they will do in a game, whereas the Katanas will be right in the fight around turn 3 (if you want them to be).
    I think that the armour 9 on the Katanas is enough to warrant them being cheaper than Sabres, even though their rate of fire is superior.

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  8. I'm glad to hear the Katana will get a cost increase. That's what I love about DZC, it's made by gamers who care about game balance. I want a wargame with lots of balanced options.

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  9. You forgot to mention how Shaltari kills buildings. Since I'm still new to DZC I would be interested in them too. Maybe use an Ocelot as building demo?

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  10. I regularly use 6 katanas and an eagle,by far my favourite formation

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