USAriadna: Starting on the Path to FREEDOM!
I've been asked a few times, and it has also popped up on the forums, of how I would start a USAriadna army from scratch. There are many ways to do this, and really you can justify buying every single model there is for USAriadna, but I'm going to focus on how I would get started now that all the models are available.
A Solid Core at 150 points
Lets start easy, and with the box that got me into this game, the USAriadna Army Pack. Inside you'll find the standard USAriadna starter set, plus a Devil Dog and Maverick with Boarding Shotgun. Using this set alone, you'll have your first 150 points to play with. Three Grunts with rifles can work to hide your lieutenant, and give you a forward observer to work on objectives with. The Marauder with Rifle and Heavy Flamethrower is a handy unit for delivering a large direct template, on a very resilient Arm 3 Dogged troop. The rifle turns the Marauder into a real nightmare though, since enemies that declare dodge will get sprayed with bullets instead of fire. The Minuteman has two light flamethrowers, so can be used as the standard rifle profile, or my favorite (for a solo Ohio), the Marksmanship L1 with X-Visor and AP rifle. In suppressive fire he is a total jerk, not suffering any BS penalty between 16-24", with AP+Shock ammo to punish all that venture near. This will be your first of many Foxtrot Forward Observers if you really get into USAriadna, as they are your only infiltrating specialist. Finally, we have two fast, hard-hitting units with the Maverick and Devil Dog, both of which get their extra Impetuous order, and both will be lobbing smoke to cover your advance.
Despite having no SWC, this small force can still hit pretty hard, between the boarding shotgun, heavy flamethrower, AP rifle, and the Devil Dog itself, there is no lack of hard hitting weaponry, though perhaps it is a bit short ranged. You can mix up the specialists in this list if you like, downgrading the Ohio will give you more than enough points to upgrade the marauder, Ohio, and remaining grunt to all be specialists of one sort or another.
Step 2, Grunt it UP!
To reach 200 points from the USAriadna Army Pack, all you have to do is pick up the SWC box of Grunts! With this box you'll be able to beef out your 3 rifle mooks to a full blown link with some punishing firepower. You will have one Grunt with rifle sitting out for this list, but otherwise you've got a solid compliment of specialists for handling objectives, and some bigger guns with the Sniper Rifle and HMG. With the large amount of Forward Observers in the list, you could even target an enemy and frag them with the Grenade Launcher using Speculative Fire. The Grunt Infiltrator is the ideal unit to hold back as your reserve, and while unreliable, can absolutely devastate your opponent if it passes it's infiltration roll.
Step 3, LET'S ROCK!
Going from 200 to 300 is a bit of a bigger jump than the previous steps, but it is at this point that we can really make USAriadna shine! By adding a couple units, we can really push the power level of your USAriadna force, 3 units to be specific. First on the list is Van Zant, one of the most impressive units in USAriadna, and the oft-bemoaned foe of many who face them. Able to appear on any board edge, Van Zant is an absolute power house, capable of laying waste to enemies who don't expect his arrival. To complement him, we'll add another hard hitting unit, the Blackjack. Though this list uses the HMG variant, the model that is available is the T2 Sniper, either will do the job well, it's just a matter of preference for which you will use. Finally, the last model we have added is the Foxtrot with Boarding Shotgun, to give you a second infiltrator, and also a solid mid-field killer. The list has plenty of Lieutenant decoys, between 3 possible Grunts, the Minuteman and the Marauder, your opponent will have a hard time guessing, I opted for the Marauder though since forward deployment can make it a little easier to hide. If you aren't opposed to a little proxying, you may want to consider using the Foxtrot as a second Forward Observer instead. You will probably want to mess with these order groups, but I think that the list is solid if you're wanting an economical way to get an effective 300 point list.
Step 3, Another Take
If you're like me, you want the big smashy models ASAP, however, if you're more sensible, then there is another direction you could go. Instead of getting the Blackjack, go for a box of Maruaders, instead! Even though you'll only use two of them in this list, having access to the whole box will give you a lot of options to play with later.
From here it's really up to you. I would probably suggest getting the Marauder box, which would give you a second core link choice (and a damn good one at that), as well as the only Haris choice in USAriadna. I personally am a huge fan of Desperadoes, so I would consider them myself, and probably hitting up Shaekonnit to get some more Foxtrot with rifles to beef up my number of infiltrating specialists. Traktor Muls, while tempting, are probably best left as a later purchase, until you have bought or converted at least 3 Foxtrot Forward Observers. Otherwise though, just start adding to your force and seeing what sticks, USAriadna is one of the smallest sectorials in the game, so it won't be long before you've got them all anyhow.