Hello my fellow Daimyos! long time JSA player – admittedly I've taken a sizable break from the rising sun to play with shiny, new, blue PanO toys, but the time has come that I sail home east. I've seen in other threads that many have been saying they don't feel that JSA is up to par anymore, recent updates or changes have left them behind in terms of power. I feel as though this is misguided. Looking at the most recent updates, Daedalus' Fall, we've seen the introduction of Ramah and the Shasvasti rework. Both armies rely on expensive, usually single wound/NWI troops with low armor and a powerful weapon. They almost always have a negative mod or movement ability to help get them where they need to go. They also pack very little in terms of HMG power, favoring the spitfire range band instead. In my opinion, these armies are a symptom of where the game is headed, and has been for a while. CB is trying to push the single combat group on us, with skills like NCO and LT2, they want each and every one of our orders to count. CoC is becoming more prevalent, so that hyper aggressive LT is a viable option now. Troopers that move faster and live longer are becoming less list dominating so that single combat group actually looks like a functional team instead of a HI link and a bunch of 8 point flash pulses. This same trend is seen in the NCA update as well as the QK update – though their cake is in the form of mixed links instead of new profiles. Because there will be less models across from you on the board, they will naturally have a less defensive play style – instead focusing on moving up hyper aggressive link teams/specialists to push buttons and clear enemies. Fisherman's Proverb: "Do not throw a net expecting to catch a fish – let the fish come to the net" – Unknown Ninjas, Oniwaban, Ryuken-9, all of these units become stronger with a shift in the meta. With more aggressive link teams playing in the mid-board these days, by nature our scalpel pieces become stronger. The hurdle comes from burning your opponent's orders to a point where their link team is stranded where you want them to be, and choosing which team members to eliminate first. Ryuken's mines, Keisotsu missiles, and Tanko can all look like target's for your opponent. Either something they want to shoot or avoid, you can try and read your opponent and bait them into the part of the board where you've placed your ninja. Even if you lose your exposed Keisotsu or a wound on that Tanko, it will be worth it if your opponent exposes them to your ninja when the turn flips. A lot of people look down on the lowly ninja, usually tossing him aside for Saito or Kitsune. At only 26 points this guy can almost always punch above his weight. Given enough orders she can kill pretty much anything, even TAGs. Though she lacks smoke, you just have to play her intelligently, approach from behind when you can, leverage your marker state to flank an enemy, force guts on an opponent who you know will claim total cover, and then strike! ODD, Mimetism, all these skills your opponent pays premium for. invalidate them. don't let them use them. Don't play their game, force them to play yours. Even if you don't bring a ninja, make your opponent turn around during deployment – the greatest threat is the one that was never there at all. General's Rule of War: "Understand your troops. Their limitations, their strengths. Study yourself, because the enemy will" – General Namakura One of the biggest issues I see with new players trying to play JSA is that they try to force a shoe that doesn't fit. JSA is THE CC faction. You're selling yourself short if you're not using it. Other factions have CC specialists but no one can field them with frequency or efficacy as JSA can. Your Domaru want to get close, let them. Only use the spitfire to force guts and close in. JSA is totally unique in this way – they want to leverage an ability only other choice units in other factions have. In today's meta, it's easier for me to decide what I should be CCing and what I should be shooting. CC can be terrible order inefficient at times, and others it's easily the best and fastest way to go. If your opponent is paying points for mimetism, ODD, Camo, Fatality, Full Auto, BS15 – CC them. You will win and spending the orders doing that will always be better than trying to outshoot them. You've paid points for these skills, use them. With the increase of NWI troopers, CC is becomes more order efficient in many ways. It's our main source of alternate ammo types – usually DA, or shock where it's applicable. The Mono weapons on the Tanko also become a lot more useful as we see, heartier, more expensive troops hit the table *cough IA cough*. Castle Builder's Law: "If the enemy cannot move you, they cannot advance, if they cannot advance, they cannot possibly hope to win" – Yoichi Takahashi, Defense Engineer It's been talked about before, but I want to give a special shout out to the Karakuri! These gals are probably the biggest winner from the Total Immunity changes. Effectively going from ARM 3 –> ARM 6, ignoring E/M, and almost always ensuring they hit that dogged, these femme-bots are a force to be reckoned. A haris with two and a Domaru is my new go-to when I list build. They're decent shots, pack weapons for all range bands, and are durable specialists. What more could you ask for? Japanese Secessionist Army ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 3 KARAKURI Mk12, Chain Rifle, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 43) KARAKURI Heavy Shotgun, Chain Rifle, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 38) DOMARU (Fireteam: Haris) Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 27) 0.5 SWC | 108 Points Open in Infinity Army This packs 8 wounds, can gunfight out to 24, CC with the best of them, can push buttons, and is near unmovable in ARO within 8 in cover. I would feel perfectly comfortable sticking my Mk12 on a flank towards the middle of the board in cover to ARO. These guys are so incredibly tough TAGs wish they had their pure resilience. These guys are really great for resisting all the Viral that's being thrown around these days. We lost Saito specialist, but we gained greater resolution elsewhere. Overall I feel as though JSA isn't really in a and place right now. In fact – the meta seems to be shifting in our favor if you ask me. I have an upcoming tournament in which Armor and Engineering deck are both missions. Objective buildings are great for swords. Here's the list I'm going to run: Deal with this I guess ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 10 3 KARAKURI Heavy Shotgun, Chain Rifle, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 38) KARAKURI Mk12, Chain Rifle, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 43) DOMARU (Fireteam: Haris) Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW, Shock CC Weapon. (0.5 | 27) TANKŌ Missile Launcher / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon, Shock CC Weapon. (1.5 | 32) TANKŌ Blitzen, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 23) TANKŌ Blitzen, Submachine Gun / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 23) OYAMA Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Breaker Pistol, AP CCW, EXP CCW. (0 | 28) DOMARU Spitfire / Pistol, E/M CCW, Shock CC Weapon. (2 | 39) TOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14) YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3) YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3) KEMPEI (Multispectral Visor L2) Shock Marksman Rifle / Pistol, CCW, Electric Pulse. (1 | 25) 5 SWC | 298 Points Open in Infinity Army Sporting a total of 20 wounds on the table, decent specialist game, decent gunfighters, great CC. I'm really interested to see how you guys feel about how the game is changing for us and what you're running these days!