Drop-verse Faction Intro: United Colonies of Mankind
Welcome to the mobile infantry...wait sorry, wrong universe. Welcome to the United Colonies of Man, Soldier! Would you like to know more? Nope, sorry, did it again. Let's just talk about some new ways to kill some bugs. Damn it, I can't stop myself!
The United Colonies of Mankind was founded after the Scourge invasion, composed of colonists on the fringe of human civilization at the time, and those that managed to flee Earth and the Cradle Worlds. It is a federal republic, but significantly militarized. It has been described as “facist” by some, but that’s not entirely accurate. While the military has a bigger say in the government than most modern democracies, including seats on the various governing bodies of the UCM, it is still subordinate to a civilian structure. There wasn't initially conscription (though the Reconquest's casualties forced it), civil liberties, a mostly free press (there is some censorship that sounds close to what the US did in WWII), free democratic elections, and so on. It is probably more accurate to describe the UCM as a thought exercise in what might happen if you push a democracy to the point of annihilation, which is exactly what has happened to humanity in the Drop-verse. They are a society aligned entirely behind a 160 year mission to extract vengeance on the Scourge and reconquer Earth and the Cradle Worlds. The government generally doesn't need to coerce its citizen toward this goal (that's Kalium). The cultural trauma on humanity was just that powerful.
Their military apparatus prizes cost-efficiency. Where the old Earth military generally had bigger guns and tougher armor, they also apparently cost a fortune to operate and required large crews. The UCM prefers equipment that does the job with the least amount of manpower, lowest investment, and is able to be as tactically flexible. That’s not to say they go cheap. The UCM has plenty of high armor values in both games. They would just prefer three simpler tanks with solid survivability operated by three people over one complicated tank with a little more survivability also operated by three people. You see that approach well reflected in the units available to the faction. Their design aesthetic is brutal and straightforward. Their ground forces have that cool futuristic utilitarian military, with obvious echoes to the WWII American military. As much as I like their look on the ground, though, I especially love the look of their fleets. It looks like a fleet of angry guns flying right at you. It is as unique as it is awesome.
Angry. Space. Gun. That is the UCM Way.
In space, UCM is pretty solid in all aspects of the game. If you want to go with a lot of cheaper units with lower armor, but tons of guns, you can do that. If you want to focus your firepower, using burnthrough lasers to burn down targets quickly, you can do that. If you want to swarm things with bombers, you can do that. If you want some heavily armed and armored frontline units, you can match the toughest cruisers out there (usually PHR) nearly blow for blow. What you are not going to really do is be the best at any of those. Scourge do the cheap swarm better than UCM. Shaltari and PHR generally do focused armor-shredding firepower better. Despite the relative ease at which you can max your launch capability, UCM bombers are some of the worst in the game. UCM is about combining the sum of those capabilities into an all around force.
That’s not to say the UCM fleets don’t have some unique flavor. They stand out in two areas. UCM are excellent at the most important aspect of the game: securing and contesting clusters. The Madrid is probably the best bombardment ship in the game, but is dirt cheap thanks to its specialized role. Lysanders are a uniquely infuriating dropship, able to slip onto the opposing side of the board better than anything else. There’s nothing fancy about the San Francisco or the New Orleans, but their specialized nature means you have no reason to want them on the frontline, and thus can keep them in somewhat safer positions. Meanwhile, the Kiev is a uniquely brutal hunter of opposing dropships. One of the safest places for dropships is in atmosphere because range is normally limited to scan value and lock values are reduced to 6+. The Kiev bypasses both of those restrictions with its re-entry weapons. While every faction generally has access to weapons able to reach into atmosphere and kill dropships, the Kiev is unique in being able to do that from beyond scan range. UCM is also rapidly becoming the king of torpedoes. It started with introduction of the Havana destroyer with its light torpedoes, and more recently the Rome Battlecruiser and its heavy torpedoes. Torpedoes have their unique peculiarities, but with the 1.2 rule changes, they are very dangerous.
bug space hedgehog is a dead space hedgehog!
On the ground, UCM relies a bit more on raw numbers. Their tanks are cheap and specialized. The Sabre in particular is a solid reflection of the UCM as a whole. It has a solid survivability, a decent weapon designed to engage other armor, and you can spam the hell out of them if you want. Its job is to provide a solid front around which your other units can operate. The same chassis is used for the Rapier, whose role is similar, but directed mainly at securing the nearby airspace with potent anti-air. From there, UCM has a huge bag of nasty tools, such as hunter-killers in the form of Broadswords and Scimitars, or brutal airpower in the Seraphim bomber or Archangel interceptor. Where UCM is a bit lacking is infantry. Their basic infantry are badly outclassed by just about everything else. Their Hazard Suits, while solid, aren’t going to hold up against the more elite units of over factions. Praetorian Spec-Ops are able to dish out damage with the best, but they can melt quickly when defending. The best solution is often to just flood the field with lots of cheap infantry if you absolutely must hold an objective. UCM makes up for their infantry weaknesses with easy access to flame units and artillery. The typical UCM response to dug-in infantry is to burn them out. Katanas with their flame weapon are a standard unit, so you can bring them in droves. If that fails, level the building. Gladius tanks equipped with Quake Mortars can level a block in an instant.
I hope this helped you get your bearings with UCM. If you have questions, feel free to jump into the Blissfully Ignorant Gaming Discord at https://discord.gg/77EQzSF. We’ll do our best to answer your questions there. Thanks for stopping by!