Welcome to Force Building Friday where we look at building units for use in Classic Battletech and Alpha Strike!
Today, we'll piece together a Horde Lance from the new Combat Manual: Kurita!
THE DESIGN AND PLAY OF THIS UNIT MAY CAUSE CHALLENGES IN YOUR GROUP. REMEMBER, ABOVE ALL ELSE, RULE 1: HAVE FUN. IF PLAY OF THIS UNIT CREATES CONFLICT WITH RULE 1, CONSIDER A FORCE STRUCTURE REDESIGN.
One of the best things about the new Combat Manual series is the inclusion of faction-specific formations. In CM: Kurita, the Dragon brings some some impressive builds to the table that emphasize their faction-flavor including the melee-focused Berserker Lance, the uniform model Order Lance, and the uncountable Horde Lance. Based on the idea of Kurita forces swarming the enemy with innumerable light 'Mechs, the Horde Lance gives players the opportunity to field a small army of models in one lance and still be competitive.
The Horde Lance allows a player to take in a single lance no fewer than five and no more than ten light 'mechs, none of which with a damage value greater than 2 at any range or from any special ability. Provided all of these requirements are met and the formation is legal, it benefits from the Swarm bonus ability. With Swarm, when the opposing player targets a unit in this formation, the controlling player may switch the target to any other unit in the formation that is a legal target, in line of sight, and at the same range or less from the attacker. Players should note that the unit only needs to be a legal target (within line of sight) and at the same range or less--it doesn't have to be a unit with the same or less to-hit number.
As cool as the Swarm ability is, it is unreasonable to not expect to experience heavy casualties in this mode of play. To minimize this risk, it is important to treat the Horde Lance like any light lance. Players must make maximum use of movement, jump, cover, range, and rear attack to give the opponent the highest to-hit numbers possible while throwing down as much destruction as these little guys can each turn. Remember pilots, he can't hit what isn't there and it's a whole lot harder if what isn't there is still moving. Selecting the right combat command, one that grants bonuses of movement and attack, cause critical hits before armor is destroyed, and allow for greater movement will maximize the lethality and survivability of the Horde Lance.
Raise Your Colors
All of the favorite combat commands of the DCMS appear in CM: Kurita. Each unit brings with it Special Command Abilities (SCA) much like the special abilities attributed to commands in the old Field Manual: Draconis Combine. Many of the combat commands are light weight with SCAs well suited to strengthen the Horde Lance.
A few commands to consider are:
Second Amphigean Light Assault Group
Second Night Stalkers
Building Your Force
It is important to remember from the start that a Horde Lance only generates 4 FPs. Thus, if a player wishes to include duplicate models, they will only be allowed to spend 4 FPs to do so (unless the lance is part of the Genyosha or Amphigean Light Assault Group).
When selecting units for the Horde Lance, players must remember the restrictions that:
Considering the likelihood of taking on much sturdier opposing forces with significantly more armor and structure, players want to select models that have considerable TMMs, preferably with jump, to compensate for their lack of armor and structure. If possible, take as many units with the ENE special to reduce the possibility of unfortunate ammo explosions.
Some units of note from the Succession Wars appear in the gallery below!
Notes from the Light 'Mech Pilot's Handbook
Make every effort to flank the enemy and make shots to the rear for the +1 DAM (notice how there are no Sword of Light regiments).
When an enemy targets a long distance sniper, like a Panther, switch the target to a closer-ranged, higher TMM piece like a Jenner.
Arm your Horde Lance with HT generating weapons in order to slow down your opponent's advance.
As much as the name seemingly implies, it cannot be played in a "fire and forget" sort of style. Playing the Horde Lance is a game of patience, maneuver and counter maneuver. When the initiative is on your side, take advantage of it to get into good firing positions. When you don't have the advantage, find cover or run (again, notice the lack of Sword of Light regiments).
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HAVE YOUR OWN HORDE LANCE OR SUGGESTIONS TO ADD TO THE LIGHT MECH PILOT'S HANDBOOK? ADD THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
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