Monday, 19 October 2015

UCM on the ground. What is this madness?

Hello and good day to you, our marvelous readership.

For the attentive reader, you will know that over the last few months I have been using my UCM Air Supremacy list, or as Techboy calls it; a Flying Circus (I don't like the name, it reminds me of a certain build of 40k army).

I think I have used it to great effect; when used correctly it can reduce opponents to tears.
It is not perfect though. It lacks any kind of CQB punch and focal point holding is very difficult with so many non-scoring squads. It is very aggressive though - which is how I like to play.

So every now and again I like to change things up. I want to look at the UCM from a different perspective. Some might say a re-build......from the ground up.

Firstly I want to give the Kodiak a decent run.
I have hated on the Kodiak, probably more than Zombie has moaned about the Desolater. Since the release of the Phoenix I haven't used a Kodiak; but it got an update and it's laser of doom is now a much better option than it used to be.

I also want to do something different with my infantry. I have been using 4 infantry units in 1500 points since forever. I have very occasionally used 3 squads, but that has only been with Scourge and also when I knew the missions being played.
I think with the new units available I can almost play like the Resistance. In the fact that I can have some multi use troops. Hazard suits are perfect for this. They can be potent anti-tank units but more importantly they are infantry so can win the mission by searching for objectives.

I haven't ignored aircraft though. I think when using the UCM you need to utilise some of their powerful aircraft. So I will be employing the Eagle and 2 Archangels.
I have been really enjoying playing with Archangels again. They really put the frighteners on an opponent.

here's the initial list I'm working on:

I may end up upgrading 2 of the wolverine B's to A's (as I have 5 whole points to play with) and having 3 A's and 1 B in each squad.

The addition of the Mortar team also gives me more access to Area weapons. Pesky Medusa, Freeriders and ATV's can lurk anywhere!

I think the list has enough of everything. There is a serious amount of anti-tank, there is decent AA cover and a bucket load of infantry. CQB is less of a worry with Praetorians able to lend their considerable weight to most encounters.
I envision the fight being mainly turns 3 and 4 with this army. Those 2 turns will make or break it. That is when most squads will be in an effective position to cause maximum damage.

I also think this list will change my play-style a bit. It is not as obviously aggressive. In fact I think it has a subtle threat of mild violence. Almost 12A

I have my first game this week and I will report back on my findings.
Gonna test TechBoy's new mission Rolling Strike, probably with the twist of opponents FP being worth more (thanks JD for that idea!).

What do you think? Do I have a hope in hell? Am I barking up the wrong tree or simply barking mad?


  1. You're so barking mad you could be a Werewolf. Although that'd make you howling mad. Or have a serious case of Madcantropy.

  2. Not bad. Not sure how good spamming Hazard suits is going to be.


    1. They are multi-utility, but I guess we will see. I see them as a good source of A-T threat

  3. Replies
    1. Raiders really only scare me for the Praetorians and mortar teams, as they are only A2.
      If I do spot a Raider in the enemy army I will definitely plan for it!

  4. I like the Condor for the Kodiak. I think that's going to be key for winning local focal points, even though you lose the Turn 1 alpha strike with the laser zot, I think it's a good idea to take a Condor for a Kodiak if you can (read, And you should try).

    3 Katanas and an Eagle isn't as good as 6 Katanas and an Eagle, but you've got a Condor for both the Kodiak and the Rapiers, and without a Ferrum you'd need to protect, and 2 squads of Wolverines, getting the Rapiers further forward Turn 1 so they can spread out and head towards a central Wide position is important, as is being able to park the Kodiak on a FP at the bitter end. I'd keep a Crazy Pilot card in your hand for that late game, and maybe an Espionage for the (I think) inevitable Espionage that I'd hold in my hand to try to counter your Crazy Pilot after I so carefully set up around the focal points so that your Kodiak's Condor couldn't land close enough for the K to count...

    I would definitely make the change you're thinking about to the Wolverines: Run two squads of 3 A's and 1 B. You need the AA coverage, even though you have two Archangels. But then, I tend to err on the side of taking more AA than most people...

    Double Archangels (2 squads) is definitely the way to go for UCM, if you're going to take any, I think. That's a good play.

    I haven't tried the Hazard Suits yet meself, but I know you like them, and I guess you're counting on them to give you the AT punch you're lacking elsewhere. As you said, setting up for Turns 3-4 will be the key.

    I'd watch out for Shaltari and gate shenanigans, but you're a Shaltari general, so you've already got a good idea of what they can do, so... That's the only thing I'd be concerned about more than enemy building demo and Flame units, is a Shaltari opponent. But Turn 3-4 is also prime time for Hunters to start hitting midfield structures with their E11 Demo-2 plasma shots, and also when a Raider could start removing 2 whole bases of your Infantry a turn... I think you'll be OK vs PHR (pains me to say it), and the Mortar Team can help keep pesky Scourge Warriors and other enemy Infantry away from the walls and keep them from shooting at your Rapiers, Katanas and/or Kodiak. Just keep the Eagle out of reach of Phobos (that's the trick, isn't it?).

    It will be interesting to read about how you do with this list... It's very interesting, and definitely a departure from your usual aggressive style... Looking forward to hearing how it fares...


  5. I like it. I too nowadays play a mass infantry UCM, but with a quite different build. Will be interesting to see how it goes for you...

  6. I like it too. Interested to see how it goes.

  7. I'm a big fan of your mortar team! Is it just for a cheap troop slot or do you have a plan for them..?