Thursday, 13 April 2017

Expanding Caledonia Starter Set

Every so often someone asks what to buy next after getting a faction starter set. While I do believe it is better to have a bit more in depth discussion before suggesting what models to buy (because there are so many different ways to play each army), I also understand its not the answer people might be looking for. Some people just want a simple answer to build an army and get playing.

Considering the recent news we will be getting a new Caledonia Starter Set, which is bit different from the current one, I thought it might be a good time to offer my thoughts on how to expand the upcoming Caledonia Starter Set.

Few disclaimers first though: these will be just suggestions on a generic Caledonia army and not tailored to any kind of ITS missions. It should give you a good broad understanding of Caledonia but there are many different ways to approach an army and it is best to find what suits you the most.

The New Starter Set

As expected with any Infinity starter set you will get six models, three line troops and three other units. The models are three Volunteers, a 3rd Grey Rifle, a Wulver and a Mormaer. The differences between the old and the new is that Corvus Belli seems to be moving away from including a skirmisher so you no longer get an S.A.S. and you also don't get a Chain Rifle on a Volunteer. This time all Volunteers have Rifles, and on the promo art they suggest one of them is a Paramedic. The other three units all get T2 Rifles.

This box set does have a definitive lack of heavy weapons, such as a HMG or a Sniper Rifle, but T2 is very deadly ammunition (causes 2 Wounds on one failed ARM save) and I think it compliments how Caledonia should be played to maximize its strengths. It is a very aggressive army and having only Rifles should force you to get closer. The good thing is that the set does give you the tools to do this. The Grey Rifle comes with Smoke Grenades and can form a Fireteam with Volunteers, so he can use Smoke to cover your advance. The Wulver has Climbing Plus and very high PH so they can get where they need to quite easy. The Mormaer is slow but he does have ARM 5 and X-Visor which extends the range of his Rifle so he doesn't need to move as much.

The points value of this Stater Set is 125pts (assuming you take a Paramedic as suggested by the set).

I have decided to offer my suggestions for lists of 150pts, 200pts and 300pts. This should help you start small and grow your collection, especially if you are doing an Escalation League. I am also assuming you might not want to spend lots of money right away so I will try to limit the purchases and make use of most models when suggesting a box set.

Easch list will be a direct expansion of the previous one.

Expanding to 150pts
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You don't need to add much to go from 125pts to 150pts but I would recommend your first purchase (expansion) to be a box set of Volunteers. The new set that is coming out should offer 4 to 5 models (more likely 4, but not confirmed as of this article writing). My suggestion to is to add a Volunteer with a HMG and a Volunteer with a Chain Rifle. This is exactly 25pts.

This will allow you to maximize your Fireteam Core (four Volunteers and a Grey Rifle) and it will give you the much needed heavy weapon. Plus you will have two Volunteers with Rifles on the board, one of which will be your Lt, so your opponent will have to guess which one it is. I would not recommend to make the Mormaer your Lt because he will be targeted by your opponent often as he is a big threat.

Expanding to 200pts
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For the next 50pts I would suggest Uxia McNeill and a Cameronian. Infiltrating Specialists are strong in all Ariadna factions and Uxia is the best of them all. If you take her as the Cover Action option she will give you lots of tools to use and she is a Specialists to do Objectives in ITS missions. Cameronians are like a bigger version of a Wulver, fast and deadly. They come with Smoke Grenades, Physical 16 and two Chain Rifles, not to mention Super Jump and Total Immunity. They are hard to kill and if you are careful, you can easily charge them down the board, under Smoke cover and kill whatever you need killed.

These two models are very different in how they work in the table but both will help your army to achieve its goals, either killing enemy units or getting to objectives. At 200pts you are quite limited with only 10 Orders but I wouldn't expect to face more models at this level. Some practice with Uxia and the Cameronian should give you a good idea what these units can do, which will help you use other units that have similar roles.

Expanding to 300pts 
Open in Infinity Army

Going to full 300pts, we will go from 10 Orders to 17 Orders which is more average for Ariadna armies. It is the low-tech faction and you will almost always outnumber your opponent. I know it might feel like lots of stuff to buy at once but that is the downside of being able to field lots of units. You can play Ariadna (and Caledonia) with more expensive units (and so less of them) but I would suggest to do that only if you have experience with the game as it is the harder way of playing Caledonia. 

The core of the army will remain the case, Fireteam of Volunteers and a Grey Rifle, a Mormaer and a Wulver. The only change with the Volunteers I suggest is to change non-Lt Rifle to a Grenade Launcher. The army is so big enough to give protection to your Lt without need for a decoy. I have also added a S.A.S. Forward Observer (FO) to get another Infiltrating Specialist. These guys are useful to either do objectives, ambush enemies or mark them with FO skill to other units get a boost to BS when shooting the market target.

In the second group you have the Cameronian, and six new models. Firstly I would suggest a 112 Emergency Service and a Dozer. This will give you solid Specialists (Doctor and Engineer, respectively) to help with Objectives. I highly recommend to get used to playing with these two as they can be quite helpful. Then you have a Cateran, an excellent Camouflage Sniper with T2 Sniper Rifle. He will add more long range support to the army.

Last but not least, the three Highlanders, one of the most deadly units in Caledonia (and in the game in my opinion). These guys are dirt cheap, fast and lethal. I think the Chain Rifles are best value for points (only 6pts!) but the Highlander box set comes with models holding Chain Rifle, Sword, Shotgun and Rifle. The Sword can be any kind of loadout and I don't recommend the Rifle because these guys are only BS10 and want to be close to the enemy (preferably in Close Combat), which make the Shotgun much better and deadlier option. The Highlander will take some time getting used to before you might see their potential but I highly recommend to practice with them a lot, you won't regret it when they are shredding enemy Heavy Infantry with claymores!

1 comment:

  1. I would recommend the Cateran over the Cameronian early on. He's about the same cost and helps people understand the importance of strong ARO pieces in addition to Caterans being a solid hunter too.

    They already have the Wulver to practice ramboing and WB tactics.

    Probably even the SAS too so they got a strong grasp of C&H interactions (even with Uxia in there).

    It's like the clan can be divided into 3 groups, basic clan/militia members, covert/mercs, and the highlanders/wildmen.