[...Begin Holo-recording] Welcome Recruits! You're here because the Admiralty believes you're worthy of a command. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but you'll get your chance! My job is to give you a basic understanding of our various tactical options in battle. Don't think I know it all, this is only an introduction - Real experience will show what works for you. Below, you can select to read about our history, our strengths, weakness, units, and the teams we run together. If you have anything to add, you can provide feedback in the comments section below. This is particularly useful after testing strategies 'out there'. Spoiler: Starmada Organisational History As the Naval division of Swordfor, we are primarily responsible for policing the Sphere and focus particularly on transporting units to where they are required for maximal impact. We protect the circulars, pursue pirates, traffickers and smugglers. We provide humanitarian aid to those who require it. Our officers work alongside the Tian Gou and Santiago Knights to maintain diplomatic relations with their respective nation states. With the current state of the sphere, our organisation has been required to maintain the peace with increasing frequency. Spoiler: Organisational Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths Adhesive (Now called PARA for Paralysis) As part of the police force it makes sense that we have non-lethal ammo on loads of units. Light or Heavy riotstoppers are small/large teardrop templates. They can force interesting interactions if you need to tie something down or create unfavourable mods. This is not as good as it was in N3 but can still be a useful tool in some situations. Successful attacks make the target roll a PH-6 roll. If they fail, the target enters Imm-A. Imm-A state means they cannot declare any skills other than Dodge (at -6). Heavy Infantry We have some really good Heavy Infantry options. We lose some options from Vanilla O-12 (Omega, Gamma etc) but gain the option of linking Betatroopers, Bronzes and even Hector. Our Heavy Infantry also excel at taking and holding ground. Three of our five HI options have 360 visors making them difficult to sneak up on whilst the Bronze with Total Immunity is hard to get off the table. Forward Deploying options We do not have that many options here but the ones we do have are excellent. The Crusher is a very good option with optimized loadouts and being a specialist. The Combat Jump options on the Crusher and Santiago knight have uses and both have to take two damage before they become ineffective. Our other two options are both characters – Andromeda and Casanova. Talking of which… Characters We have five characters to choose from and some of them are very good. Andromeda and Casanova get deployment skills; Andromeda can infiltrate with +6, and Casanova gets an extra 8” of deployment. They’re both specialists, capable in combat but not cheap. They can fill some gaps in our lists. Hector is a bit of a beast with his high armour, good loadouts and selection of skills. He is very pricey but if you take him as a lieutenant you’re getting 3 orders; his regular order, plus two lieutenant orders turned regular by Strategos L1. This makes him slightly more reasonable, but makes him even more of a target than he would otherwise be. Weaknesses Marker States We severely lack options for marker state units. There are no camouflaged units in the entire sectorial. This takes out a whole style of play that is open to other factions. Also, whilst we can discover fairly well, we only have one unit with MSV2 (Epsilon) and he’s not linkable, or really cheap enough to include several of. We have one MSV1 option which is the Psi-cop and so dealing with Mimetism units can be challenging too. Unit Price We have some fairly elite units, which each individually look strong. However, making a full list with enough orders and utility can prove difficult. Often, you’ll be looking at other factions and thinking how easy they have it. This also means that often you’ll be hoping each one of your units can take out at least two enemy units. Cheap Skirmishers or warbands We have no cheap skirmishers, no cheap warbands (Varangian Guard are 12 points a pop). This means we can end in engagements that create an unfavourable trade if we lose. Long Range Weaponry On the whole we have a plethora of options with which to encourage compliance. Long range engagements is not one of them. In particular, we lack the same long range AP firearms utilised by others. Spoiler: Unit Analysis Spoiler: Light Infantry KAPPA TROOPS Our basic troops ranging from 12-20 points. BS12 is good for basic line Infantry and these are linkable in a core for those juicy bonuses. Missile Launchers here make reasonable ARO pieces, but with no special rules don’t expect them to last too long. Only bonus we have is shock immunity helping us to bring them back if you’ve got a doctor hiding with them. VARANGIAN GUARD Our sole source of smoke, these guys can be very handy. Their Impetuous order is their only potential drawback but is balanced but potentially being useful too! The 12-point profile sees a lot of play (SMG, Chain rifle and smoke grenades), but you can also get a BSG or double Chain-colts instead for 16 or 13 points respectively. Berserk with CC23, Dogged and Courage means these guys can perform some reasonable back-field defence too. Not a fan of the BSG profile with only BS10 and think really the best option is the chain-rifle dude. Pair with an Epsilon for MSV2 & Smoke shenanigans. CYBERGHOSTS Two decent Hacker profiles; Killer, or HD+ for White Noise. Cheap enough if you’re in the market and a HD+ is helpful for White Noise. No other skills than Stealth (which can be useful on the hackers!) WIP14 is reasonable, and they do come with a Pitcher which can help in a pinch. SPECIALIZED SUPPORT UNIT LAMBDA Doctor or Engineer WIP14, 16 points. Not a lot to say really, if you need them, bring them. Parvati is probably better if you can find the points. ANDROMEDA Currently 30-37 points and at that pricing she is a pretty good take. As a Specialist Operative, can press the buttons you need. Inherently she has Forward Deployment 8” which lets you get to where you need to be. You can add Infiltration +6 for 4 points across each profile (SMG or BSG). Mimetism-3, 2” extra to dodge and V:NWI with Shock Immunity is a good host of skills. Guard finishes it off, letting Andromeda do CC attacks in ZoC (with LoF) which works pretty impressively with her D-Charges and Martial Arts L3. WARCORS Useful if you have a few points left for a Flash Pulse ARO. CASANOVA Forward Deployment 8” gets you to the midfield. Mimetism-6, Shock Immunity and V:NWI gives you some survivability and +3 to dodge onn PH11 helps if you end up in an unfavourable match up, which is possible given he only has an SMG and Nanopulser. He’s a Specialist Operative, which really adds a lot to a profile like this. Monofilament CCW on Close Combat 22 with Martial Arts Level 2 and CC Attack -3 means this guy is pretty adept at taking out TAGs, and non-CC specialists but I’d be careful about taking him against anyone really good in CC. He can win, but it is all down to a single roll and there are normally better options. SHONA CARANO A CC focused option with no special deployment skills can be difficult to get to where she needs to be. Fortunately, she’s a wildcard so can join any link team and tag along which helps her get to where she needs to be. She does dodge on 17s and gets +2” to move on success so that can help a bit. If she hits, her explosive CCW means 3 damage 15 AP saves – that’s pretty scary! PSI-COPS BS13, BTS6, all profiles are specialists with Mimetism-3 and Shock Immunity. Not a bad starting point. 19-25 points for profiles. The MSV1 Multi Marksmen Rifle is a solid choice and as wildcards, they can join any of our links. The Discover +3 Biometric Visor Multi Marksmen Rifle is a good choice too to protect against sneaky impersonators. Great fillers for a list that can achieve some serious work CRUSHERS These guys, BS13, ARM2/BTS3 on a profile that includes Forward Observer, Mimetism -3, Courage, Shock Immunity, V:NWI and Zero-G is a fantastic platform. The Zero-G might have been situational before, but with the Localized Decompression rule for ITS12, it is quite a bonus. The first three profiles all have Forward Deployment 8”, getting them to where they need to be. Each profile is a good candidate for starting the game on Suppressive Fire. The Multi-rifle is a good weapon, but here I prefer looking at the SMG & Light Rocket Launcher profile for its utility. The combat jump profile with a BSG and Panzerfaust can get in behind the enemy, target them with Forward Observer, pick up objectives, use the Panzerfaust to take out heavy targets. Pairs well with a Millicent Bot for lobbing Smart Missiles into whatever you’ve just targeted. ENSIGN KATHERINE CHO Holomask, WIP14 and profiles which are lieutenant or chain of command. Not a bad cheap lieutenant option that can be hidden. The question of what to Holomask as is a difficult one. There are plenty of options. One tactic could be to hide her as something beefy: A Knight of Santiago or a Bronze. Hector is not a good target, because she would lack the Tinbot making it obvious. BLUECOATS The Bluecoats have some great profiles. Biometric Visors help to discover any impersonators that might be trying to wreck your day, added with Discover +3 – these guys are the real ‘cops’ of the faction. Natural Born Warrior with CC20 makes them not awful in combat but definitely no spcecialist. The interesting profile is the 13 point ADHL (+1 Burst) and a Heavy Riotstopper. No lethal weapons, but can work well as a backfield and cheap defensive piece. They can link as a Core or Haris, or join a link of Kappas. All options are reasonable. LAWKEEPERS Motorbikes with movement 8-6 are always handy for getting to where you need to be. Mimetism-3 offsets never being able to get cover and a free impetuous order adds value. BS Attacks get +1 damage which helps the Red Fury, Combi Rifle or Boarding Shotguns really do damage. The Sidebot is an interesting addition which can cause difficult ARO choices but it is only a small template so you need to get close. The Specialist Operative profile can be useful for missions when moving around is a necessity but Silhouette 4 makes them hard to hide. NYOKAS One of our linkable options with Zero-G terrain and so they benefit in ITS12 for missions with Localized Decompression. BS Attack +1 Damage is great with Multi-rifles, Heavy Rocket Launchers, Heavy Machine Guns or Red Fury as weapon options. The two parachutist options are interesting. I’m inclined to prefer the Forward Observer profile as a way to bring an additional specialist and with a multi-rifle on Damage 14, you can efficiency against higher armoured targets with its AP ammo. Climbing Plus finishes this unit off nicely, as they can reach difficult areas to gain good fire lines. PARVATI Doctor/Engineer extraordinaire. Movement 6-2 helps you to get where you need to be. You can take a Yudbot, but remember this precludes her joining a link, which she can do by virtue of being a wildcard. WIP15, healing 2 wounds and Engineering +3 means Parvati is probably the best at healing in the game. She pairs nicely with our 2 wound HI models and can make units like Hector and the Bronze very hard to shift. Super Jump is really handy on a unit like this as it can save orders for getting to where you need to be. If you can find the points, she’s great to include. TIAN GOU Holomask, 360 visor and Zero-G.. A wildcard and the ability to take a jammer and grenades is not a bad option as an escort for some Heavy Infantry in a link. So many options to consider; Hector, Betatrooper and Tian Gou, the Bronze etc. The holoprojector profiles can also be useful, gaining Surprise Attack -3, and Madtraps. They can be useful for board control but with starting in the deployment zone they’re better as a defensive option Spoiler: Medium Infantry EPSILON UNIT MSV2 across all loadouts, Bioimmunity, mimetism and immune to shock. Reasonable Armour of 2/BTS3 and BS13 makes these guys a pretty solid choice. Priced 29-34 is a bit expensive if you lose them cheaply, but they can do work. The Multi-sniper Rifle is a good bet as an ARO weapon. If you want to use offensively, pair with a Varangian Guard – this can also work with the SMR or HMG profiles which are generally better than the MSR, except against very high ARM targets (TAGs). SALADIN A 34 point lieutenant option with a built in Repeater, V:NWI, Strategos L1 and an additional command token. He’s BS13 but at 34 points and an obvious lieutenant, he isn’t always the best choice. He comes in the army pack, so is likely to be used so you should think about how to hide him. He can pair well with Engisn Cho Chain of Command. Other options are to use some of our defensive units to protect him. Spoiler: Heavy Infantry BETATROOPERS These guys are really interesting. Move 6-2, BS13, ARM/BTS3 and 2 STR. A host of skills, including Mimetism -3, Courage, Remote Presence, Shock Immunity, and Climbing Plus. They can form Core or Haris links and Hector can join. Loads of interesting profiles, including a tinbot: Firewall -3, KHD (Cybermask!) and a doctor. Weapons options are SMG, Multi-Rifle, Spitfire, Boarding Shotgun. I particularly like the KHD profile – you can cybermask and run up the board relatively easy and being a HI, it makes you fairly immune against other hackers. KNIGHTS OF SANTIAGO 360 visors are always useful, 2 wounds, ARM4 isn’t bad. BS14 is strong and they can hold their own in combat (CC23 and Martial Arts L1). Keeping the Zero-G theme, they have it. All profiles are specialists, but there is the option for a Killer Hacker. The normal version comes with a Tinbot Firewall-3, whilst the combat jump option has mines. Lots of utility in this profile, but unfortunately, they are pretty expensive. HECTOR Hector is an absolutely beast; ARM5/BTS6, BS13, CC24 with Martial Arts L4. Strategos L1, V:NWI and two wounds. You can take a Spitfire, or my preference, the Plasma Rifle. Both profiles have Grenades, a nanopulser and Tinbot: Firewall-3. He’s not cheap, and your list will be focused around him. As a lieutenant, he brings 3 regular orders to the table, which really singles him out as a target. I’d recommend Ensign Cho as a backup with Chain of Command if you bring him. He can take on a lot of targets, but losing him will have a big effect on your list, so don’t engage prematurely! The X-visor helps engaging at unfavourable ranges. Hector can benefit from joining a link; a core link is a bit pricey, but a haris with Parvati and a Killer Hacker Betatrooper covers a lot of Classifieds, mission objectives with reasonable survivability and solid assault power. It does clock in at 140 points, however. BRONZES One of our best units for holding ground. 360 visor, Total Immunity, CC19 and Martial Arts meaning you might get lucky in CC or at worst use your PARA CCW (-6). A decent selection of loadouts here; my preferred is the Multi-rifle specialist operative at 53 points. They can join links of Bluecoats, Nyokas or Betatroopers. In 400 point games you could combine a Betatrooper link with Parvati, Hector and a Bronze for a lot of points in one basket, but you might find better value elsewhere. The only thing really holding this guy back is his 4-4 movement. At 6-2, he’d have been awesome for those missions where advancing and taking ground is key. RAPTORS There are some very interesting things you can do with the Raptors. Firstly, they all come with a Devabot that has Zero-G Terrain, 360 visor and a heavy flamer. They’re Movement 6-4 too. The Raptors themselves have 360 visor, Courage, Shock Immunity, NCO and Zero-G. With 6-2 Movement, they’re pretty mobile. Weapon choices are Spitfire, BSG, or Multi-rifle. My favourite profile here is the Killer Hacker with a multi-rifle and light flamer. At 42 points, they’re pretty reasonably priced for their two wounds, ARM3/BTS3 and BS14. The best thing about the Killer Hacker though is its ability to Cybermask himself and his bot. With their rapid movement, they can use their Cybermasked movement to get into position where the combination of a Bot Flamer & Multi-rifle on BS14 can force some difficult decisions. This is one of the Starmada HI units that shouldn’t be anywhere new CC; no special CC skills, only CC16 and no decent weapon means you’re best flaming a combatant before they get to strike! Spoiler: TAGs & Remotes There isn’t much to say here if you've already done your training on other factions' capabilities - there is very little different from our remotes versus other factions’ standard remotes. OKO COPPERBOTS 16 points, Forward Observer with Climbing Plus. Do much the same job as similar remotes in other factions. PEELER COPPERBOTS Total Reaction HMG with Climbing Plus, 360 Visor and Courage. Can only take one, not a bad option for a simple ARO piece. MILLICENT COPPERBOTS Smart Missiles – we know them, we love them, they’re order intensive to set up but we have an advantage with the Crusher Combat Jump Forward Observer, or the Nyoka Parachutist. YUDBOTS Helper bots – don’t forget if you have one you cannot be part of a link (Looking at you Parvati). KYTTA COPPERBOTS 7 points for a regular order and a Flashbot. Not bad if you’re after the extra order without spending many points. Don’t under-estimate as an ARO piece. Combinen with a Warcor for 10 points of Lolz. FUZZBOTS Size 4, three options – an 8-point order mule, a total reaction bot with a combi rifle or an EVO hacker. Cheap orders, or the Evo hacker are probably the best options but only offer a limited supporting role. ZETA UNIT The Zeta is a pretty standard TAG; ARM8 BTS6 with BS14. The HRMC is good with Burst 5, but this guy is still a lot of points. Climbing Plus helps get better angles and the pilot remote is a specialist, so does add some additional value in a bind. Spoiler: Link Team Options I'm thankful to @LucaGirolami for this: Wildcards Shona Carano Tian Gou Parvati Kappa Core 1-5 Kappa 0-4 Bluecoats 0-2 Psi-cops Bluecoats Core 1-4 Bluecoats 0-2 Psi-Cops 0-3 Bronzes Bluecoats Haris 1-3 Blueacoats 0-2 Psi-Cops 0-2 Bronzes Nyokas Core 1-5 Nyokas 0-2 Psi-Cops 0-3 Bronzes 0-1 Hector Nyokas Haris 1-3 Nyokas 0-2 Psi-Cops 0-2 Bronzes 0-1 Hector Betatroopers Core 1-5 Betatroopers 0-2 Psi-Cops 0-3 Bronzes 0-1 Hector Betatroopers Haris 1-5 Betatroopers 0-2 Psi-Cops 0-2 Bronzes 0-1 Hector Bronzes Duo 1-2 Bronzes 0-1 Knight of Santiago Personal best of choice - 3 Kappas and your choice of Psi or Bluecoats: an affordable defensive fireteam. It mostly spend time defending deployment zone, effectively AROing around thanks to visors. Best choice for hiding Kappa Liutenant. - Betatrooper Haris or Core with Hector: high risk pain-train-like fireteam. Parvati can join for additional endurance. A Tian gou (usually disguised as a Betatrooper KHD or Bronze RF) can join to bring Jammer or a KHD. - Nyokas Haris with full HRL. Simple and brutal. Don't understimate Nyokas and their shooting from unusual angles via Climbing Plus. - Bronze RF (or any Specialist) and Knight of Santiago KHD Tinbot. Very durable couple, can complete most of the mid-table tasks. They can part ways later in the match to guard different objectives.!