Monday, March 4, 2024

Hacking It With the Best of Them – Army List

Let me start out this post with letting you know that this list is my go-to and has been for quite a long time. This has been one of my two lists in every event where I’ve played StarCo, and I’ve been able to perform very well with it in that time. That being said, it is very untraditional and has some flaws that can be difficult to overcome at times. It will by no means be a list that everyone will be able to use well, nor will it be ideal in all situations, but it suits my playstyle to a ‘T’ so I have a hard time not keeping it on the roster.

See this list in ARMY

The two biggest things I want to highlight with this list before we look at anything else is the 4 hackers and the plethora of options for extending your hacking network. Uhahu and crew pack a very formidable hacking presence capable of going toe to toe with any of the elite hacking factions in the game, while two units with pitchers and two more with deployable repeaters gives you the ability to reach out and hack anywhere on the table with very little effort. This can be harder to leverage when facing factions with little to no hackable troops (Ariadna, Tohaa, etc) but each of the hackers can still provide useful presence on the table without having targets to hack, as well as provide coverage for classified objectives.

Our four hackers, Uhahu, an Aguiciles, a Bandit KHD, and a Brawler AHD cover all our hacking bases and have varied secondary roles and equipment. Uhahu is obviously your primary hacker with the HD+ and her own pitcher. Her ability to drop white noise when needed is vital as the list does not have any MSV. Cybermask can also be incredibly handy for moving her upfield to snag an objective or move into a better position to utilize her hacking.

The Aguiciles is the sneaky cornerstone of the hacking network. Because of the core fireteam bonuses, he’s now a hacker with Sixth Sense lvl2. Sixth Sense is a massive boon to hackers because it ignores stealth. Meaning if a stealth HI moves through a repeater, your Aguiciles will get an ARO. The HI can then respond by either moving again eating the hacking attempt unopposed, or it can attempt to reset, which will break stealth and provoke hacking AROs from all the other hackers. This is they key to locking down even the most elusive of hackables targets.

The Bandit doubles as a midfield Specialist and an effective combatant. Her shotgun and ADHL make for some nasty AROs when you can force your opponent into their ideal ranges, and while she is only WIP12, combined with the AROs from the other three hackers, she’s still a major hacking threat.

The Brawler AHD is the cheapest AHD in the entire game at 17 points and 0.5 SWC. She’s WIP12, like the bandit, so won’t be a primary hacker. But at that cost she’s adding incredible value as additional force multiplication in ARO.

Against forces with a large amount of hackables (or even just key hackable pieces), getting your repeater net out and in position quickly is key. Obviously going first here is a big advantage as you can either leverage the X-visor on the Tsyklon to shoot a pitcher or Combat Jump in the Hellcat to plop a repeater down in a difficult to reach spot. While involving a bit more risk, the Hellcat is the ideal choice as it also brings in a trooper to protect the repeater from non-hackables trying to take it out. Jumping the Hellcat in, dropping a repeater, and then going into suppression is a very common sequence of events for me.

The anchor of the list is the Aguiciles core fireteam composed of an HMG, one of each specialist profile, and Emily. This team is incredibly versatile and can handle most challenges on its own without much support. However, they are generally deployed out of sight and provide backup support to the rest of the list via their orders, sixth sense hacking, and Emily’s dreaded spec fire capabilities.

The Tsyklon plays both hacking support and fire support roles. The x-visor pairs very well with both the pitcher and fuerbach and the climbing plus lets it maneuver to get a bead on exactly what it needs to with minimal order investment. With the addition of supportware, the Tsyklon can also be an absolutely nasty ARO piece with burst 2 EXP rounds and ARM 6 in cover.

The Cateran is the closest thing to an auto-include for me in StarCo. For 24 points and 1 SWC you get a camo, climbing plus, bs12 T2 sniper. Climbing plus is an incredibly underrated skill and, especially on a platform like this, it can make for a very effective tool for eliminating key units as well as repositioning for ARO coverage. The psychological factor of facing down a T2 sniper can be massively effective at keeping heads down as well. He always makes my lists and nearly always is one of the MVPs.

Raoul Spector is the primary attack piece for this list, and he’s an absolute monster when he can find a hole to exploit. Utilizing his shotgun in combination with his drop bears gives him uncanny capability to set up template crossfire to catch multiple models in the blast. Throwing a drop bear in a position to trigger on a secondary target when the primary target AROs to Raoul gaining LoF is a tactic that will heavily reward your use of him. Couple that with his Mimitism, NWI, and scary CC capability and he can slug it out in close quarters with the best of them.

Rounding out the list is an Irmandhinos and a Brawler LT. The Irmandhinos are just phenomenal troops for the cost, acting as smoke support, engineers, and warbands and for 8 points it’s hard not to take him all the time. The Brawler is by far the best LT option in StarCo at 16 points and 0 SWC. The Aguiciles is a better LT with WIP13, but also boasts a 1 SWC cost and the Brigada LTs are very pricey for what they bring.

This list is able to perform incredibly well against forces who rely on HI, REMs, TAGs, or hackers with the ability to completely bog down any advance and then maneuver key pieces onto position to either attack or snag objectives.

Where it has a little bit more of a challenge is against forces that are completely non-hackable or going second against a powerful alpha strike. Both of these situations force you to leverage a more hit and run, guerilla style mindset and utilize the mobility and precision firepower in the list.