Saturday, 11 April 2015

Total Air Supremacy

After a hard day killing off Phobos - time to jet off into the sunset

Whether you embrace the change with open arms or a clenched fist, it's happened. The UCM are now the best at something. No longer a 'jack-of-all-trades, masters of none' army. The secret (well, it's not really much of a secret) is in the skies. 

The UCM air force is spectacular, efficient and effective, but it takes a bit of practice to perfect.

There are 4 or 5 elements to owning the skies when creating a list. You can't just mish mash everything together and expect it to work.......this is not Shaltari.......
I'll start with the first 2, Phoenix and Falcons. 
Independently they are nasty. Together they are just f**king horrible bastards. They compliment each other so, so well. You can run in your Phoenix early to soak some reaction fire as you know it won't die. If your opponent chooses not to fire, have a free shot at some AA. Then follow up with 4 (yes 4) Falcons. If an opponent reaction fires there is very little chance of losing a Falcon, then go for picking off more AA. The earlier you can remove enemy AA the better. 
With the Phoenix you will need a CV4 commander as a minimum, you want a decent chance of going first each turn and the UCM cards will be really beneficial. 
This sets up your first battlegroup - 445pts
Flanking is one of the best tactics with this battlegroup. Locate the outer-most AA squad and go for it, then come inside, systematically removing all the AA one at a time. Once it's gone, you can go to town on the rest of the opponents army.

Things to be careful of are Resistance hovercrafts full of Gun Wagons and Scourge Reapers, they will normally have a very potent alpha strike. Watch out for swarms of Minders (8+ is what I class as a swarm) and Rapiers, lots of shots from both these. Also if you position your Phoenix too close to buildings occupied by enemy infantry, beware of small arms fire. 4-6 bases can lay down a lethal volley.

The next element is the a Ferrum. You only need 1 Ferrum, as too many back-board pieces reduce the effectiveness of the rest of the army. The drones are perfect for saturating the airspace, if they are ignored they can run havoc against most armies. Their AA ability is secondary to their AA-tank hunting, although if opportunity arises and you get to knock out an enemy light dropship, who's gonna blame you. 
I used to put the Ferrum in with my Kodiak, it was great to have the scouts spot for the boss, but now that I have a Phoenix, the Ferrum doesn't fit, also the Falcons have taken their support slot in the command group. Personally I run the Ferrum with some Sabres or Katana, but would work just as well with the infantry, I guess it depends on what you want to achieve with the battlegroup. 

There are things to be wary of with the Ferrum. Apollos, Reavers, Hunters, Helhog, other Ferrums to name a few. They can all be dealt with if you plan for it early. 

The fourth element for success with an Air Supremacy list is Archangels, 2 of them, in separate squads. You might think why bother? and don't the drones handle light dropships? Yes and no. Archangels are so very good at making your opponent play safe, and/or be more predictable. Archangels are E7 and able to attack anywhere. 
I have never been a big believer in fast movers, especially for competitive play but now I think there will be a bit of a renaissance for them. The UCM cards help them out too and means you will get to use the majority of the cards in your deck - handy if you have a CV4 boss. 
Having the Archangels gives your opponent another headache when it comes to deciding what to use AA guns for, that is what this list and play-style revolves around, really f**king with your opponents head! 

The final element of the list, which is a complete necessity, is a dedicated AA squad - namely Rapiers, in a Condor. You might think you have enough AA with drones, Ferrum, Phoenix and Archangels able to do a job, but what if you came up against a similar list, or a Scourge rush list with a ton of Intruders and Marauders, or Resistance with Cyclones and Helhogs. Rapiers just work so damned well, that it is difficult to leave home without them. They can give you backboard cover as protection for the Ferrum, or go forward to stop dropship/gunship movement. 
The reason for the Condor is to make sure you have options, sometimes redeployment can be key, especially if you are playing Focal Points!

So here is a version of the list, squads can be played around with depending on preferences, but everything you need in in there. At first glance it looks extremely light on ground squads, meaning Focal point missions will be a bit of a bitch to play, but remember, the Phoenix scores (and scores well). Also you will be making the opponent shoot non scoring squads while you take out his scoring ones, the tide will ture pretty quickly. 


The key to using this army correctly is to create a containment noose around the opponents forces, playing the army is like trying to contain an oil spill on water, every time the oil tries to escape you plug the leak. If an enemy unit meanders out of your tight net, you must stop it. You can't afford to allow it in your back field.  

I think this will be the list (or a version of) that I take to the UK games expo - what do you think? any suggestions? I'm all ears


Critical Engagement 3 is coming...3rd May 2015, one day 3 missions, 1500 clash

You can follow us on Twitter @OBDZC for pics and 140 characters of DzC gold

14 comments:

  1. Nice list and idea. My version is tweeked a little. Dumped Raven Bs for Wolves and MP for Raven A. Add Longbow and MP to condor.
    Standard Army
    Clash: 1500/1500 points
    Standard Army
    Standard Roster [1500/1500 pts]
    Field Command [445 pts]
    Phoenix: Phoenix(Captain) [285 pts]
    Falcon Squad: 4x Falcon [160 pts]
    Armored Formation [264 pts]
    Katana Squad: 3x Katana [99 pts]
    Ferrum: Ferrum [165 pts]
    Legionnaire Corps [256 pts]
    Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
    Rapier Squad: 3x Rapier, Condor(+Missile Pods) [176 pts]
    Legionnaire Corps [205 pts]
    Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
    Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
    Longbow Squad: Longbow, Raven B(+Missile Pods) [45 pts]
    Expeditionary Group [196 pts]
    Wolverine Squad: 4x Wolverine A [72 pts]
    Praetorians: 2x Praetorians, Raven A [124 pts]
    Air Wing [134 pts]
    Archangel Squad: Archangel [67 pts]
    Archangel Squad: Archangel [67 pts]


    Thanks again for this Blog.

    FM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the single longbow, it can add a bit of versatility, but very fragile. It also restricts the Wolverine A's
      I like to use the Wolvies as a surprise unit, they can deploy on turn 1 a massive 19" on the board add a 9" move turn 2 and they can have a pop at light dropships (if needed to)

      Delete
  2. Damn,

    Made a similar list the other night.

    Standard Army
    Clash: 1495/1500 points
    Standard Army
    Standard Roster [1495/1500 pts]
    Field Command [445 pts]
    Phoenix: Phoenix(Captain) [285 pts]
    Falcon Squad: 4x Falcon [160 pts]
    Armored Formation [264 pts]
    Katana Squad: 3x Katana [99 pts]
    Ferrum: Ferrum [165 pts]
    Legionnaire Corps [246 pts]
    Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
    Rapier Squad: 3x Rapier, Condor [166 pts]
    Legionnaire Corps [270 pts]
    Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
    Legionnaires: 2x Legionnaires, Raven A [80 pts]
    Eagle: Eagle [110 pts]
    Expeditionary Group [136 pts]
    Praetorian Snipers: 3x Praetorian Snipers, Raven A [136 pts]
    Air Wing [134 pts]
    Archangel Squad: Archangel [67 pts]
    Archangel Squad: Archangel [67 pts]


    Go big or go home when it comes to the Phoenix with Air Power

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I played around with having the Snipers too, but I always feel that foe 12 points less, I can have Praetorians. Obviously I would lose a battlegroup!
      I keep finding that I only use the Snipers for their infantry ability and not their sniper ability.

      Delete
  3. I would have the Ferrum with the Phoenix and the Falcons with the Katanas. Then you will have a decent demolisher battlegroup if you would need that in a mission...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have thought about doing that, but prefer the Falcons with the Phoenix. Which can also be a pretty decent demo group, as the missiles go to demolisher 4 if targeting a building directly.

      Delete
  4. I thought about this myself but didn't find any lists I liked with this theme. Also, Team OB's UCM posts are much better than mine. But I am a bit restrictive on so much air. What happens if there are as many focal point missions as last Invasion? I wonder if the list can handle that then...Then again - that is the thing with DZC - balance is better. I think you need a little more ground units.

    Good post.
    /Egge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the list would surprise you in a Focal Point mission. Granted, it is harder to use than a conventional tank heavy UCM list but a tonne of fun.
      It's only the Archangels and Falcons that don't really contribute to FP's (and dropships) but they need to be dealt with, which means the opponent needs to shoot at them, therefore he's not shooting my ground units (which I can hold back a turn or two).
      It certainly won't hold 5 focal points in a mission, but can really go for 3

      Delete
  5. I like these lists!

    I haven't had a chance to plug in any UCM lists into either FFoR or Solomon's web based army builder yet; these give me great starting points!

    The only thing I'm missing is Falcons! :-( They're hard to come by. I guess I could use spare Rafens as proxies in the meantime.., but I'm also trying to prove some points about PHR, so not sure when I'll get a chance to bust out my UCM. But I spent all of Friday evening and a goodly portion of Saturday (all day and night) painting up 6 Sabres and 9 Rapiers, and getting 3 of my Condors ready for detailed work, so I think I'll continue getting my forces looking good, and then get them on the tabletop and working good. Because, painted armies always play better! LOL!

    So, are you going to run this list at Critical Engagement 3, also? Is that before or after UK Games Day?

    Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have made a deal with Zombie, I said I would submit 3 lists (UCM, Scourge and Shaltari) and he could pick the list I use. I think it will depend on the turnout of other armies

      I'd like to use it though, as I really enjoy playing it

      Delete
    2. I might even throw in a fourth, mystery list! Don't tell Mike though.

      Delete
    3. Oooo what is it, I promise I won't tell him!!!

      Delete
  6. Great pod cast as always.
    IMO Scourge/Resistance Double CMD armies are powerful, well if built correctly.

    FM

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great article. Love that UCM list.

    ReplyDelete