Do you like Beards? Kilts? Bloodthirsty Maniacs? Werewolves? Sneaky bastards? Easily fielding 2 full combat groups? Throwing grenades? Ridiculous amounts of heavy firepower? Guys who keep fighting until their last breath? Not knowing how to turn on a computer? Being mediocre at everything besides eating other peoples faces? If you answer most of these questions with "yes" the Caledonian Highlander Army (CHA) might be the right sectorial for you. I have been playing this army for roughly half a year so far and I love it. Their playstyle is unique compared to other factions and most opponents have a hard time coping with the extremely aggressive nature of this army. In this first part of the guide I will discuss the CHA roster in detail while I will add specific tactics in a second part. I'd also like to know your opinions about the CHA, so feel free to post any criticism regarding my assessment. :-) Light Infantry 112, Emergency Service The 112 a.k.a. Doctor Fireaxe is a very solid doctor. He is probably the best doctor you will probably rarely use in non-specialist missions. And here is why: The Light Shotgun is a very good weapon for Deployment Zone defense and his comparatively high PH value gives him a solid chance to dodge. His WI is only average but he is cost efficient compared to the doctors of other factions. There are two caveats though: Only one unit with a Cube exists in the entirety of the Caledonian Army (William Wallace), so the reroll part of his doctor ability will almost never come into play. The bigger problem is that Caledonian units are either extremely cheap or have V: Dogged. If they are cheap it is usually an inefficient use of orders to revive them. If they have V: Dogged are usually better off using their V: Dogged state to bind their enemies longer or fulfill their mission objectives. He shines in specialist missions on densely built tables though and is a must-have for missions like Highly Classified or Comms Center where efficient specialists are required for success. TL; DR: Very solid but situational unit. Highly recommended for specialist missions. Caledonian Volunteers To put it bluntly: Volunteers are awesome. I have never played without them and their Light Shotgun/Chain Rifle profile is the best close quarters cheerleader I have seen so far in this game (although the Ikadron comes close). With 6 points they are also the cheapest non-impetuous line infantry available to any faction. This low price stems from their abysmal ballistic rating. But this is offset by their dedicated close range weaponry. I always pick at least 3 of them in any mission I play, because they form one of the cheapest and most efficient core links with the Grey AP HMG. The fifth spot in these teams is usually reserved for a paramedic who is one of the cheapest regular specialists available. Sadly the rest of the profiles do not fare that well. Especially the basic Rifle profile is god awful because it combines the worst BS rating for a “shooty” unit in the game with the worst BS main weapon. The basic Light Grenade Launcher variant looks attractive on paper but CHA has much better Speculative Fire platforms. The infiltrating profiles are fun in theory but their success chance is rather low while their loadouts are a bit too gimmicky with a Light Grenade Launcher on a low BS model and D-Charges on a low CC model. I have met several people who really liked the HMG variant but CHA has much better options for high burst gunners than the modest BS10 Volunteer but I see that he might synergize well with a close range orientated Grey Rifle in a Linkteam so he earns himself a decent rating. The Lieutenant option might seem like a good choice, but seeing a basic Rifle Volunteer paints a big target mark on their foreheads against veteran players. There are also much better options for a Lieutenant in the CHA roster. TL; DR: The cheapest and most dangerous close range cheerleader in the game with lacklustre alternative profiles besides the highly cost efficient paramedic option. Rating: Rifle E, Chain Rifle/Light Shotgun A+, Paramedic A, HMG B-, Light Grenade Launcher C-, Infiltrator with D-Charges D-, Infiltrator with Light Grenade Launcher D, Lieutenant E- Dozers, Field Engineers The Dozer has a pretty basic generic engineering profile although V: Courage is a nice bonus. The Akrylat-Kanone profile can be useful against HI or TAG units. But the reason to pick a Dozer is the Traktor Mul Control Device variant which enables the player to field the only remotes available to the Ariadnan forceswhich can be incredibly devastating speculative/guided fire platforms. But there is no reason to pick a Dozer if you are not running the Muls or play Highly Classified. TL; DR: Mandatory if the player wants to deploy Traktor Muls. Otherwise only required for Highly Classified. Highlander Caterans The Cateran is the next great and quite unique CHA unit. They only have an average BS of 12. But the rest of their profile is perfect for their job as long range snipers. Limited Camouflage means that he can use surprise shot only once per game but he still has Mimetism after leaving the Camo state. Because of that he is rather hard to dislodge for non-MSV units at long ranges. Climbing plus is helpful to reposition the unit and lets him stay in Camo state if he has not left it yet. His high PH gives him a very solid chance at dodging and even his CC his good enough to give him a realistic chance of surviving close combat skirmishers and assassins. Being irregular is his only downside and even that is debatable. Irregular might seem like a disadvantage but it reduces his costs so much that it is often attractive to field two Caterans. But since most CHA lists are built around William Wallace as the Lieutenant this disadvantage usually does not matter unless you lose him. And even if Wallace is not part of the list it is not much of a disadvantage because the Cateran is supposed to occupy a good sniper spot during deployment and not move around much after that. I did not mention the best part of his build yet though: The T2 sniper rifle is an incredible weapon that can take out even the strongest units in one hit (remember: critical hits deal TWO points of damage each!) and TAGs or Achilles with two hits. Although the Cateran often loses direct shootouts with TO snipers or high burst MSV2+ HMG troopers he is still one of the best units the CHA has access to. There is a cheaper profile using a regular Sniper Rifle but the T2 variant is way better for just 3 points and 0.5 SWC more so I never saw a reason to pick the weaker option. TL; DR: Highly mobile, cost efficient and devastating sniper unit with great instant kill potential for anything below TAGs and Heavy Infantry units with NWI. Best ARO unit for CHA. Volunteer Isobel McGregor Ariadna’s only Dire Foes character and a very good one at that, because she covers the hacking department pretty well for the notoriously low-tech scots. Her White Hacking Device lets her complete certain secondary missions while it counters AD troops and hampers guided shots which can be crucial against more advanced players. She is pretty expensive but her comparatively high BS skill makes her the perfect backup shooter in a link team if the leading Grey AP HMG goes down. Both profiles are equally useful and it is a matter of personal taste which to pick. I personally never had to use them but her E/Maulers are the perfect weapon to disable TAGs and HI. TL; DR: Decent hacker for specialist missions and best option to give the Volunteer link team a decent backup shooter. Warcors, War Correspondents The Warcor is a nice ARO unit with their Flash Pulse if you have 3 Points to spare for most armies. In armies with an inspiring leader like Joan or Wallace he becomes the cheapest regular order in the game. For PanO, with their high unit costs, it is much more relevant, but he is also a very nice filler unit for CHA. But they have access to so many good and cheap low point units that I only field him 50% of the time. Still a very solid choice IMHO. TL; DR: Cheapest possible regular order with Wallace as lieutenant and decent Flash Pulser to cover the back field. Wardrivers, Merc. Hackers The Wardriver is a generic but solid hacker and shehas the only normal Hacking Device available to the CHA. Especially Sixth Sense Level 1 is very useful to counter killer hackers and the Boarding Shotgun is very good close range weapon that synergizes very well with Sixth Sense Level 1. But I still prefer Isobel because of her ability to join a link with the Volunteer/Grey combo. TL; DR: Only normal hacking device available to the CHA with decent stats and skills. Medium Infantry Scot Guards There should be two entries for the Scot Guards. One for a rock solid, high performing combat unit and one for an overpriced dud unit with dubious link options. Compared to the other options in the CHA the 1st Batallion units look strangely “normal”. No Dogged, no fancy close combat moves, just dudes with a wide variety of guns and rather high cost specialists. You can even throw them together into a Core link team. But the result is –as with most unspecialised medium infantry units- overpriced with mediocre survivability and low performance. The rather rare ability to duo link them does not help either. Because now you have two mediocre units tucked together without any noteworthy benefit. I understand the intention behind the unit. They are supposed to work as a specialist/gunner duo that work their way up the field while completing mission objectives. But the unit profile does not lend itself to this particular job because of their low speed and their overall mediocre stats. (If you want to see a good MI link, look at the U.S.Ariadna Marauders with their Forward deployment, Flamethrowers and V: Dogged) The 2nd Battalion has a completely different operational profile and suddenly the unit works. Their low speed is offset by their Camo state so they can move safely across the field to get into a good firing position or wait in a good ARO position in case of the Missile Launcher. Their mediocre BS is balanced out with their ability for surprise shots and their camo modifier in general. They still die rather often but hey almost always earn their points back. They are especially interesting for lists that do not use William Wallace as their Lieutenant because they do not rely on Inspiring Leadership like the arguably stronger Caterans. TL; DR: 2nd Batallion are well rounded attackers while the 1st Batallion is a complete waste of points. Heavy Infantry 3rd Highlander Greys The Highlander Grey is a pure combat unit with varied but universally strong weapon loadouts. Although he is technically a Heavy Infantry unit he has only 1.5 wounds because of V: Dogged. He is still susceptible to become Isolated and Immobilized-2 by E/M ammunition. He can also be targeted by Spotlight despite having the unhackable trait, which can be very important in Transmission Matrix or against infowar lists with guided weapons. If you use him as your primary attack piece he will probably die. So go all in or do not even bother to activate him. As a solo attacker he is of dubious value due to his Frenzy special rule but he really shines in the glorious 1 Grey + 4 Caledonian Volunteers Core link that lets him ignore Frenzy. All profiles are useful but I strongly recommend to use the AP HMG+Smoke Grenade loadout. He is able to take out any unit in the game during the active turn and is rather survivable in the reactive turn thanks to the Smoke Grenades while the linked Volunteers cover the closer range bands with their Light Shotguns and Chain Rifles. Because of Frenzy I would not recommend to run more than one Grey though: We have enough impetuous berserkers for suicide attacks. Also I would not advice to use the Lieutenant option because the Grey is supposed to attack through the middle in turn 2 once Uxia and McMurrough are out of the game where he has a much higher risk of dieing. But outside of those caveats he is the second mandatory unit in the CHA besides the Volunteer cheerleaders. TL; DR: Great attacker who has to be linked with 4 Volunteers for full performance. Caledonian Mormaers The Mormaer has IMHO the best sculpt in the entirety of the CHA which makes his problematic position in the army roster almost tragic. He performs very well as a general gunnery unit and as a defender. But he is wedged between two very strong units with similar tasks: The Wulver Grenadier as an assault unit and the Grey Rifle as a heavy weapons platform. But in actual gameplay he fared much better than I expected and I always try to bring him as a backup attacker incase Uxia, McMurrough and the AP HMG Grey get taken out (although a Wulver might do the same with higher mobility and a real second wound) in direct action missions. He might seem rather expensive but the high price (actually the highest for any unit in the CHA for the AP HMG version) has a reason: he has no Frenzy. So he will never become Impetuous and will benefit from cover normally unlike most of the other good CHA units (even Uxia has Frenzy!). With the cover bonus his ARM rating raises to an 8 and he has a solid good chance of surviving most small arms fire unharmed. Because of V: Courage he will never leave Suppressive Fire involuntarily, so we finally have a decent defensive unit. The X-Visor is just the icing on the cake for the T2 Rifle variant. But I consider both weapons as equal, although the AP HMG is stronger offensively while the T2 is better defensively. I am torn on the lieutenant option because veteran opponents will know his high point cost and try to take him out before he can get into a good firing position. So I would still stick to Wallace or the S.A.S. as my Lieutenant. As a Datatracker he really shines surprisingly. The enemy usually has to invest significant lots of ressources and orders to take him out which lets you focus on doing the actual mission goals instead of trying to squeeze out every last possible Objective Point. He also shares the Grey's weakness against E/M weapons and still be targeted by Spotlight despite having the unhackable trait. The Haris option is way too expensive in my opinion though. There might be some use for it but I strongly prefer link teams that do not break the bank. The unit could easily be fixed by replacing V:Dogged with V: NWI or Veteran Level 2 but that is up to CB to decide. TL; DR: Very solid assault gunnery and Suppressive Fire platform who is overshadowed by strong competitors. Remotes Traktor Mul The Traktor Mul is our only Remote and despite its seemingly terrible stats it is actually a good unit with a unique modus operandi. There is a basic Mine-Sweeper/Baggage version which is useful for Quadrant Control, Frontline and Supremacy missions. Other factions pick those cheap Remotes to fill up elite lists. This is not exactly necessary for Caledonia though. Or basic line troopers cost only 1 point more and we usually do not have hackers in our list so we would have to pick the rather costly Dozer for 14 points as well. This adds up to 24 army points for 3 units. But for 24 army points CHA could field 4 line troopers. So outside said missions I do not recommend the cheap profile for our army. The other profiles are a completely different story though. While we usually do not have access to spotlight or any kind of repeaters, we can still deploy highly competent S.A.S. forward observers. They can easily target enemy units with surprise shots and it is a matter of personal preference if you pepper them with guided AP+Shock or DA shots afterwards on an effective BS of 16 (unless the enemy uses U-Turn as his ARO) while the target can only face-to-face dodge on a -3. And if an enemy survives the full contingent of five guided shots per round you can still use the Muls for Speculative Fire on a 10. This is somewhat of a gamble, but it is usually the easiest way to clear strong fortified positions where the basic Rifle of S.A.S. probably would not be enough while a DA Dam14 template would be a wholly different story. I somewhat accept that some people cannot play without a Total Reaction drone but the +3 range band of the Uragan is too small and situational to be worth it (especially since it is rather expensive for ariadnan standards). In general I think that Total Reaction units promote a bad and passive playstyle, so I will never recommend using one for that reason. TL; DR: Good baggage unit, unique guided + speculative fire artillery, weak TR option. Skirmishers S.A.S The S.A.S. is our Discount-Ninja. A competent camo infiltrator with decent close combat abilities and an exceptional loadout that lets him clear out entire linkteams with one surprise shot on occasion. He is no actual Ninja or Shinobu though and you should always take the risk to reward ratio into account when you activate them. There are three noteworthy profiles and I will discuss them in detail. The other profiles are not outright terrible but they are significantly outperformed by the good ones. The S.A.S. Lieutenant is a smart choice if you do not want to Wallace as your obvious Lieutenant. This is especially useful against Haqqislam and CA with their nasty impersonators although you have some good options to protect Wallace against 1W infiltrators. Just put him prone on a roof around the table middle and do not bother to activate him until the third round. The next superb variant is the FO who is my go-to specialist for basically all “click” objectives. I usually run two of these backed by a Katyusha Mul to kill off harder targets. Just do not waste them in pointless AROs. They are way too important for letting them die for just risking probably pointless ARO. The last important profile is armed with Grenades, a Chain Rifle and an Assault Pistol. This trooper is completely focused on deleting Light and Medium Infantry and I have had matches where they killed 100 points of troops with one or two well placed templates. The Chasseur might generally be considered superior defensively because of the unique synergy of Camo state, Light Flamethrower and Sixth Sense Level 1, but this S.A.S. much better offensively. You have the choice between stalking Linkteams with your Chain Rifle, taking out single targets with your Assault Pistol or throwing speculative Grenades over roofs to kill hard to reach cheerleaders. I think that I have never played a CHA game where I did not have at least one S.A.S. in my army. TL; DR: Strong melee skirmisher with several outstanding specializations. Second best Lieutenant option for CHA. Devastating close range Linkteam hunter. Uxia McNeill If the S.A.S. are our Discount-Ninjas, Uxia is our discount-Saito Togan/Shinobu Kitsune. IMHO she is the most cost efficient skirmisher in the entire game and she by herself alone is a good reason to play CHA (I switched sides from NCA only because of her and McMurrough :-)). Her two profiles have two very distinct purposes. For 28 points you get the normal Infiltration+Camouflage package combined with a powerful range weapons loadout in the form a Boarding Shotgun and Grenades. This enables her to do the same Linkteam hunting the S.A.S. excels in with Speculative Grenade fire while the Boarding Shotgun lets her clear unlinked enemy groups easily. Her other special advantage is the MSV1 which is the only one in the CHA. This is not enough to counter smoke templates, but combined with the Boarding Shotgun she is our best camo hunter besides suicidal Galwegians. Her Limited Camouflage profile for 27 points is even stronger though, because she is one of the few units who have the Superior Infiltration ability, which grants you an 80% chance of deploying at the edge of your opponent’s deployment zone. This ability is incredibly powerful if you have the first turn. It allows you to clean out ARO units, High Value Targets and cheerleaders with ease since she has TWO Assault Pistols and a Boarding Shotgun for maximum short range carnage. The Smoke Grenades enable you to proceed safely after drawing first blood. Being a specialist with D-Charges makes her even better and allows you to complete a multitude of mission objectives in specialist operation missions. The only balancing factor that keeps her from being insanely overpowered is her squishiness. She has no ARM and once she leaves her Limited Camouflage she has no sight modifiers in her favour. This means that you will probably have only one or two actions against experienced opponents before she gets taken out and direct template weapons can easily kill her as well. But since she does not break the bank with her moderate point cost you can consider her to have accomplished her mission when she killed 40+ points of the opposing force and/or secured an important mission objective. This variant is also a very decent Datatracker for missions like Decapitation or Looting & Sabotaging if you have the first turn and can start right next to the primary objective. But you must remember to NOT start camouflaged in this case. (If you have the second turn you should play this profile like a normal S.A.S. though) TL; DR: Very powerful long range Infiltrator, but a pure glass cannon. Warbands 2nd Cammeronians Irregulars Cammeronians are basically Dog-Warriors who start in the transformed state. They are slightly cheaper than their russian counterparts but lose a Wound for that. Their double Chain Rifles make them terrifying close quarters gunners while their crazy PH of 16 makes them perfect speculative fire grenadiers. Despite their imposing size they are surprisingly mediocre in close combat so they should rely on their other weapons to do the work unless they are facing highly armored opponents. Smoke Grenades allow them to advance over the battle field easily while Total Immunity lets them laugh off direct Missile Launcher hits. You should still deploy them behind tall and wide buildings so they do not run into the open during the impetuous phase. If that would happen, it is most often more advisable to spend a regular order to suppress their impetuous order. The only reason why I do not rate them higher is that their named character McMurrough outperforms them vastly in close combat for only a moderate increase in price. TL; DR: Powerful, resilient and fast Warbands, perfect grenadiers. Outperformed by their named character. 45th Highlander Rifles (Galwegians) Those guys are nasty and IMHO the best low point skirmishers in the game. The combination of Smoke Grenades, V: Dogged and Berserker lets them defeat much more expensive units with ease while trading only a 6 point model in return. Combined with William Wallace it is very easy to pump up your regular orders to 20 with them. But as I do not want to waste them pointlessly, I usually put them just for Deployment into a link team with Wallace. This way they do not run into the open like madmen if I have the first turn. If you place two them prone into base contact with Wallace while Wallace himself and the two others cover their hiding spot only a Fiday or Speculo might even reach them. If that happens you just sacrifice one or two Galwegians with Berserk to keep your command structure intact. Once the Impetuous Phase is over you can reform the Grey/Volunteer Link while the Galwegians stay with Wallace for turn 1. There have been discussions about how many Galwegians are optimal for 300 point games. My take on this matter is simple: I only own 4 Highlander Miniatures, so I use these 4 all the time. I intend to expand my collection soon though and I can see myself deploying 8 of them in the future. TL; DR: Vicious Warband and deadly bodyguards for Wallace. 9th Wulver Grenadiers Despite their classification as a Warband the Wulvers are our only true (and hacking immune) Heavy Infantry with 2 wounds. They only have a mediocre BS of 12 but the rest of their profile is perfect for close quarters shootouts and speculative grenade fire. With Natural Born Warrior and Berserk they can reach an effective CC value of 30 and Natural Born Warrior also makes them immune against surprise attacks. Their only noteworthy downside is their Frenzy attribute but that can be circumvented by using them as a Haris or Core team. Both options are very solid and if you add Wallace to one of the links you gain access to Smoke Grenades. This is a very risky approach but its effectiveness rivals that of MO’s much costlier Joan/Hospitaller core link. I have not much else to say about Wulvers, they are just a good -albeit costly by CHA standards- unit. TL; DR: CHA’s only true Heavy Infantry. Close quarters focused, grenade throwing Berserkers. McMurrough, Merc. Dog-Warrior McMurrough is a plain upgrade to the already solid Cammeronian. The combination of MA level 3 and AP+DA close combat weapon is our best option to take out TAGs and HI while his Chain Rifles and Grenades kill off the lighter troops. His only weakness during the active turn is his reliance on smoke grenades to cover ground and the higher random component inherent of close combat battles. I almost always suppress his impetuous order during the first so he does not get killed by lucky ARO shots. He also synergizes very well with Uxia’s Superior Infiltration profile. She takes out ARO snipers and TR drones and creates a smoke cover while he advances quickly across the board. Once he has reached the opposing Deployment Zone he starts spamming grenades or taking out hard targets in melee. This tactic is rather order hungry so you should put them in different combat groups. This alpha strike is very strong but it is also risky so you should make sure that you get your points back by carefully planning the approach. If Wallace is your he is also very good Datatracker who excels in missions like Looting & Sabotaging. During the reactive turn he is much weaker because he has to rely on (smoke) dodging without the ability to shoot back meaningfully beyond 10”. So you should place him in relative safety if you do not get the first turn. TL; DR: The perfect Warband. William Wallace The entire concept of the CHA is built around William Wallace as our Lieutenant (Although there are legitimate options for other Lieutenant picks), because his Inspiring Leadership ability turns all our irregular units into regular units and grants them courage. Basically, he is the glue that holds the CHA together and he is your only trooper that is never expandable before turn 3. You should deploy him into a safe spot like inside a building or on top of a roof. During the first turn he should also be guarded by a link team of Galwegians if you want to play safe. You can play him risky though, like putting him into Wulver link team or a Galwegian suicide squad. This is usually fun but it significantly lowers your chances of winning because any halfway competent opponent will throw all his troops at Wallace to break your army. Outside of these considerations he is a decent combat unit with several gear pieces that are unique in the CHA (Combi Rifle, Exp CCW, Light Flamethrower, Cube) who can turn games around if things get desperate. Remember that only William Wallace Lieutenant is linkable and that the benefits of Inspiring Leadership are open information so do not expect to play any mind games by putting him on the field while the real Lieutenant is a hidden S.A.S. or a modest Volunteer. TL; DR: Default Lieutenant for CHA and the only non-expandable unit in our army roster. Edit: Adjustments to Uxia and Isobel. Thanks @daboarder, @csjarrat and @Barrogh ! Edit: Minor update to reflect profile changes and removal of the rather arbitrary rating scores.