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A few words about Shikami

Discussion in 'Japanese Secessionist Army' started by Ashtaroth, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

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    upload_2019-10-23_12-22-53.png

    There's quite a trend on people that say Shikami is lackluster, being the most common suggestions: Infiltration or Forward Deployment of any kind. I'm not really sure if those people ever fielded one.

    My playgroup consists of Aridna, PanO, Combined Army, YuJing, Haqqislam and Tohaa (not counting Sectorials, but it amounts to something like 25+ possible armies being fielded in my playgroup). So it's pretty diverse and we play only ITS missions. And still, at least one Shikami ends in my lists 90% of the time.

    I've played Shikami in very dense tables, jumping from rooftop to rooftop (I even got to cross a bridge, hanging on the opposite side to deny LOF, that was pretty cool). And I've played Shikami in very open tables (forest tables, villages and outpost stations, etc). And I've played Shikami in tables that are anywhere in between.

    He's still a fantastic unit. Why?

    • He's very mobile and leverages Super-Jump and Climbing Plus really well. When I see people asking for FD or Infiltration, I think if they haven't played enough with these two skills. Because pathing with Shikami is admittedly a mini 4D chess you are playing for an advantage. His deployment and routing to where you want him, is the biggest difficulty you will have with him. Is the payoff good tho? Quite so! Because he's...
    • A Specialist Operative! With this kind of mobility? It's incredible to reach for objectives and not only that, but he's quite fantastic controlling the zone too, since he's a Close Combat monster. Now, we can say that, because he's Heavy Infantry he can be hacked, but there's normally a buddy that makes a ton of JSA lists: the Ninja KHD. Sinergies are important to evaluate some units. For example, the Kempeitai MSV2 is very good on its own, but it makes the Yojimbo pick better (beacause of the Smoke+Visor combo) and the vice-versa is also true.
    • ODD plus Nimbus Grenades give Shikami's enemies very bad dice. Firstly his absurd Physique makes him able to chug grenades at a whopping 17, within 8'', together with cover you are very consistently disputing 1 dice but giving -12 to the opponent (ODD+Nimbus+Cover). Nimbus also offer a good (soft)counter to link teams, negating their burst bonus in ARO, so you can shoot at them with your own units (they also get their burst reduced, but you are shooting with more dice anyway...
    • Therefore, it's safe to assume that the profile I use all the time is the one with the Grenades, since, the Contender is good on mid-range, the Assault Pistol is good on short range and in CC... well you have, potentially a dice on 26 that is AP+DA...yeah... I really don't waste my time with the Combi Rifle profile, I don't know why you'd pay 2 more points to lose both the Grenades and the Assault Pistol just to have a Rifle that just slightly better than the Contender.
    • The main weaknesses of the Shikami are Visors and Hackers, but, his unorthodox pathing is actually very good to deny the opponent the LOF they want, while letting the Shikami go forward.
    • His PH coupled with Kinematika L2, makes him able to cross fire lanes with Dodge without losing any movement, you can make some clever approaches due to this. If you controlling a zone, this makes your Engage threat a bit better and if they don't want to Engage you (understandably so), they have to beat your ODD and either Assault Pistol or Contender.
    • If everything fails, you have another Wound to try again! The fact that Shikami has two Wounds, makes him able to gamble some more direct and risky approaches, if you escape unscathed the two Wounds also help out holding control of a zone, making it harder to displace him.
    So, the applicability of Shikami is very versatile. It's not uncommon in my missions that he alone scores 3 to 4 points, or is indirectly involved in the scoring of those points.
    He offers to JSA something that any other unit cannot: a very mobile Heavy Infantry that can score points.

    The only unit I can sub instead of the Shikami right now is the Karakuri (the MK12), since she trades mobility and evasion for resilience and a better gun, but their roles are, funnily enough, a bit the same in my lists.


    So, I guess this is my little love letter to Shikami.
    And if the others don't pick you, you'll still be mashing buttons together with me <3


    EDIT: for some reason, due to this forum auto logging out, half my post was eaten when I posted it, or whatever... I hate my life right now.
     
    #1 Ashtaroth, Oct 23, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  2. TheRedZealot

    TheRedZealot Well-Known Member
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    Is there one profile you run over the other? In my experience the Nimbus Grenade one seems to perform better.
     
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  3. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

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    I'm sorry, my post was incomplete due to technical issues.... ;_;
    I always 100% use the Contender+Nimbus Grenades profile, the options it offers far outweight a Combi Rifle.
     
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  4. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    The Shikami is a lot easier to use on dense tables.
     
  5. Diphoration

    Diphoration Well-Known Member

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    I find it takes them too many orders to get into a position where they can start doing what they want, if they had any form of deployment options, higher movement or just a longer range weapon options, they'd be very interesting, but the contender is such a bad weapon. :(
     
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  6. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

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    Sure, and Snipers are easier if they have a high perch, I guess. And TAGs are easier if they have tall enough building to hide them fully. Just because he's easier in that one particular table, it doesn't make him bad in other tables. If anything he's very usable and then some. With so many abilities and options at his disposal, if you're going to say no to him, just because he's easier in denser tables...then why do you justify the rest of your lists?

    It's true, on the first turn he's very order intensive, you can count that as a weakness. Even with an optimized route it normally takes me 4ish orders to get him to an objective. But JSA lists right now get to 15+ orders rather effortlessly due to the incredible sleek cost of the Keisotsu, so, the "too many orders" argument falls a bit short. I did say that sinergies are important to evaluate units and taking those sinergies in mind he doesn't really need higher movement of deployment options. As for the weapon, sure, the Contender is bad, Shikami is really for button pushing not really for gun fighting. It's not the best, but it's there, he gives bad dice to the opponent, so if your shooting on 12s (+3 for range, -3 for cover, or something), they are most likely shooting on +/-6s (-6 from ODD, -3 for cover or Nimbus zone). And even if you don't count the good range, you are shooting on 9s against +/-6s, or you can dodge on 14s. If you Dodge you don't lose any movement due to Kinematika L2... So, it really doesn't take much to have Shikami in a favourable position.
     
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  7. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

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    I feel like this is just beating a dead horse. This conversation has been had a few times already, and nothing in the original post isn't something that hasn't already been brought up in one of those threads. You can read them here https://forum.corvusbelli.com/threads/shikami.23738/ or here https://forum.corvusbelli.com/threads/the-shikami-how-we-feel-now.22747/. Both of those threads are post-Uprising, so nothing has changed internally since the time those discussions were had.

    If you can rely on tables being dense and vertical enough for a Shikami, he's a star. Otherwise, be prepared for a rough time. The biggest issue I have with Shikami is the same one I have with Domaru lists -- by the time I have the tools needed to support my Shikami, I have tools that I would rather be spending orders on than a Shikami. A 29 point ninja KHD is 3-4 orders more efficient and has the added benefit of marker state, for 15-18 points less (and in JSA this could be as much as 2 orders of difference).

    Without some significant changes to the game, army, or unit profile, I cannot see myself fielding one.
     
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  8. Quickit

    Quickit Well-Known Member

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    I almost always have a Shikami in my JSA list as well. I don't play at a serious level, just tossing dice at my LGS, so it's ok if it's not optimal. I've had some funny situations with him, mostly from climbing plus and the Assault Pistol. Climbing over a building and leaning out to shoot someone from above works incredibly well.

    I agree with the unit choice, the one with the Contender is the better option. I've used Nimbus a handful of times to great affect, dropping a -12 modifier on a light infantry link team and shooting at one model at a time with the Assault Pistol.

    I certainly wouldn't say no to 6-2 (or even 6-4?) though - that would be epic.
     
  9. daszul

    daszul Well-Known Member

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    As a side note - you can only move with Dodge as ARO, not in active turn.
     
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  10. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

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    Can you elaborate on this, please?
     
  11. Diphoration

    Diphoration Well-Known Member

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    Having access to a large amount of orders does not make a order ineffective unit more effective, especially when a more order effective unit could be taken in its place.

    If a unit is not order effective, it's wasting orders and wasting order (regardless of how many orders you have) is still a waste.

    In a tournament where a single list can do all the missions, I could see using the second list as a variant based on table setup and put a Shikami for the dense tables.

    Shikami also seems to make a decent datatracker due to them being pretty survivable. It's unfortunate that Frostbyte is gone, because that was one of the few mission that hinged on keeping your datatracker alive to major.
     
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  12. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    I admire the enthusiasm.

    My issue with the Shikami isn't the unit itself... It's how many Orders you spend to do anything with him.

    That's how I feel about a lot of JSA units. Functionally, they can do their roles very well, but it takes them a ridiculous amount of Orders.
     
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  13. Weathercock

    Weathercock Well-Known Member

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    This perfectly sums up JSA's biggest fundamental problem in a way I had not been able to articulate.

    Were they any other faction, the amount of orders JSA puts on the table would be fine. But the poor efficiency of CC and JSA's strong inclination towards it above all else really ends up costing them.
     
    #13 Weathercock, Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
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  14. clever handle

    clever handle Well-Known Member

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    The shikami works great as your "get shit done piece" if you have an otherwise very defensive list. Turn one he can enter the midfield and push any buttons he needs to before jumping onto a roof and hiding. Once your opponent counter pushes back into the midfield, the shikami can make use of his close range skills to clear up what's left. If your play style or strategy allows you to take a less aggressive first turn the shikami may be the right piece for you.

    They're more resilient and more versatile than an oniwaban since they are specialists; they're more resilient and more maneuverable and more threatening than a ninja specialist. Their only downside is one or two orders required to get into the midfield - that and the fact that CB decided to make Karakuri the new "auto include" 40ish point pieces.

    I know that when I run JSA, even if I superior infiltrate Shinobu in the PERFECT spot, I rarely get more than 2 or 3 kills in exchange for eight orders spent on the first turn. Frankly, that isn't a great return on investment and I believe that many times, simply using a shikami to press buttons would be a better use of my limited resources.

    ...that being said, Shinobu makes 80% of my lists and Shikami might make it into the other 20%.
     
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  15. Sangarn

    Sangarn TRIUMcorp CEO
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    "His PH coupled with Kinematika L2, makes him able to cross fire lanes with Dodge without losing any movement"

    classic JSA cheating ^^ got one guy in my gaming group who was doing that, but sadly no you can't move when dodging
    also nimbus+ nades VS just dodging ... well you just dodge, you can't waste 1 order just for a one time -3 MOD
    I had this conversation with patsy (also 14 PH) nimbus+ nades are useless except with template combos in the tohaa faction

    I think the shikami is very bad, he should have tactical awareness for this crazy price
     
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  16. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

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    Having access to a large amount of orders makes you able to leverage order ineffective units, it's the sum of the parts that make a strategy.

    Could you elaborate on what is "wasting orders"?
     
  17. Disko King

    Disko King Well-Known Member

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    Cheap warbands are also very efficient on dense tables...for example 25x 45th galwegians...dogged, smoke, ap ccw, chainrifle, berserks, ph14...for 6pts..what's not to like for 150 pts(oh yea, they are also regular with wallace xD)?
     
  18. Captain Nevercrit

    Captain Nevercrit Well-Known Member

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    Shikami are cool miniatures.

    That is why they should be fielded.