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JSA seems like hard mode for infinity

Discussion in 'Japanese Secessionist Army' started by yoink101, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    ive only played a handful of games with JSA. Probably about 10. I typically play NCA, Acon, Steel Phalanx, VIRD, or ISS.

    JSA plays like hard mode for me. Ninja and Oniwaban are awesome. They are surgical and low armor with one wound, meaning that a bad roll or a misstep can lose 40ish points.

    Samurai in my experience so far have been underwhelming. BS 12 is the heavy infantry equivalent of BS 10.

    Keisotsu look great with the new models. The price point is nice. BS 10 is nearly worthless. Even 13 in a full link can be okay with an hmg, but their numbers are almost always lower than an opponent.

    I like the shikami and dayokai in theory. In practice, they are 50 points that aren’t in TO and often get shut down by better gunfighters at longer range.

    The ryuken 9, especially the smg minelayer is amazing. A solid gunfighter out to 24 inches thanks to the x visor. Mines are a necessary defensive tool.

    Kempetei with msv is a lynchpin. One of the few units that can reliably outshoot opponent’s models. I’d rather have an hmg, but you can pull some shenanigans with the -3 range out to 40 inches.

    Ninjas and oniwaban are all awesome. Expensive because you’re paying for infiltration, TO, high cc value, and martial arts. Fragile, but solid.

    Yojimbo is necessary. The crazy koalas add a nice bit of area control. His smoke makes the kempetei playable in the link and helps the ryuken 9 advance. If he can survive for a while, he can be a serious murder machine. Or if your opponent turtles.

    Anyway, I always find that with the points spent on subpar ballistics skill, a lack of cheap warbands, and close combat, I’m fighting an uphill battle. I have found that this army can be locked down by solid msv2+ units more than any other army I’ve played. Especially when they’re linked. The ryuken is a great gunfighter, but the lack of a token state leaves it very vulnerable in the reactive turn.

    I’ve had a couple of games where the pieces fell in the right place and ninjas rocked and took out tags, murdered link teams in a cloud of smoke and held objectives.

    When the pieces don’t fall in the right place, I feel like I run out of options very quickly.

    How do you make JSA work for you? Is my experience unique? Am I missing something?
     
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  2. oldGregg

    oldGregg Well-Known Member

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    I hear this a lot, but I don’t really buy it. Completely agree with a lot of what you said about unit choices, but the fact of the matter is that JSA brings a lot of tools that other factions would die for.

    Truly though, I think the variance in power level between armies is so close, that this is often a fruitless discussion.

    Yes, I think JSA lacks some of the things bigger factions may take for granted.

    No, I don’t think they play on hard mode. When I think of hard mode for infinity, I think of DBS and maybe MO. Still, even these factions can be played very competitively. I think the trick with smaller factions is taking the time to thouroughly test our choices.

    In terms of making JSA work for you, I would focus on making optimal face to face rolls throughout your games. I see a lot of JSA players, (not saying you do this), throw their pieces downfield in the hopes of landing a big hitter. I think a lot of players would benefit from playing more cautiously and focusing on the objectives.

    Where JSA (and a lot of other mid tier factions) excel, is where they aggressively seize great opportunities, (like killing a lynchpin or capping a couple of open objectives), and then return to the cautious game. Pieces like the oniwaban and bikers allow you to do this quickly and efficiently.

    Others are going to disagree on how I look at teirs, but I hope you get what I’m trying to say.

    JSA requires thoughtful play, like many other factions, but are still competitive.
     
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  3. Paperclip

    Paperclip Member

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    Coming from a PanO background, when I started JSA I tried to solve JSA's problems through PanO means which is to shoot up everything, which of course by now you would have known how well that went. I currently try to go for sides whenever I win the Lt roll to better place my oniwabans, which I often bring 2 of. Even when I am forced to go 1st, I will just spend my first turn placing mines from either ryuken profiles or just to place my koalas from yojimbo on standby, this allows me to funnel my opponent to areas where I want them to be, be it a series of scatter terrain where my oniwabans can slice(heh) the pie without taking excessive AROs or away from objectives.

    Back to my 2 oniwabans, I will only superior infiltrate 1 of them which is often the one from group 2. This is so that if I passed that roll, he requires less orders for me to move him around especially due to the smaller order pool from group 2. Even if I fail the roll, the empty slot in group 1 can still get into my opponent's head due to the threat from the 2nd oniwaban. This often cause my opponent to cede a large area of the battlefield to me. Also, in missions such as frontline or quad control, let your opponent overstretch before committing your oniwabans, you don't have to use them the 1st turn unless you desperately need something to die such as the 5th man from a kamau sniper link.

    Regarding the samurais, I am less keen on bringing them due to the low BS and lack of any special skills. That said, I do enjoy my mk12 karakuri, heavy shotgun karakuri and domaru haris. Total immunity is awesome on a gunfighting platform. EXP ML? Sorry I only have to take a single armour save even if you win a FtF. The karakuris booting dogged and forward observer just further convinces me to bring them whenever I can.

    For ARO duties, aside from the trusty TR bot, which there is still no reason why ours costs 0.5 SWC more than other sectorial's, I often use a core linked of FO keisotsus for flash pulsing. I know others may disagree, but even with the 5 man bonus to BS, a BS13 ML is still pretty bad to me especially with the amount of mimetism/FullAuto gunfighters floating around. This plays into my plan for encouraging my opponent to overstretch(see above) to deplete my order pool instead of strafing everything from across the board. I am looking forward to trying out the HRL ryuken after some experience with helots in varuna.

    I think in one of the latest satellite tournament videos, Bostria himself said that the lower the sale numbers for a particular sectorial, the more likely they are gonna do a rules review for that sectorial. But with amazing looking models, JSA is more likley to get the short end of the stick when it comes to rules as the sectorial is still gonna sell regardless.
     
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  4. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

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    I don't think JSA is hard mode, but I do think it's a hard place to start, and the more I play it the more I realize there's really only a couple strong lists in the faction (and none of them include HI.)

    Here are a few of my observations:

    1) I don't take the Keisotsu HMG anymore. It's not worth the investment in any army so starved for SWC since I'm paying for the MSV2 Kempei instead. Shooting through smoke usually buys me whatever the HMG would have.

    2) I don't take almost any "direct" ARO threats. I count on the threat of an Oniwaban BSG and 2 Ryuken 9 to control how far my opponent can advance.

    3) All of the HI (yes, all of them) are pretty much useless. If we got the Ikari link where a Tanko could join a Keisotsu link then I would say there's a total of one viable HI in JSA.

    4) The army overly-relies on Oniwaban to solve problems. Long range ARO pinning you down? Oniwaban. Uncrackable high armor unit? Oniwaban. Cheerleader link with higher BS AROs than you are comfortable dealing with? Oniwaban. JSA is incredibly straightforward to play for this reason, but I think how well it performs counts entirely on Oniwaban.

    5) I don't see Yojimbo (and to a slightly lesser extent, Saito) as optional pieces. The army doesn't work without smoke, and Yojimbo is insanely efficient for what he costs.

    JSA was updated right before all the crazy new wildcard and mixed links, and while it did get a little of that (Domaru/Kempei/Keisotsu was new) it really doesn't allow the flexibility that TAK or VIRD or even ASA get currently. It's definitely still behind the curve compared to those armies. If Keisotsu were priced the way the perform (8 points instead of 9) and CC was priced more in line with its actual value (1-3 less points across the entire range of units with CC22 MA3 or higher) then at least we could substitute firepower for raw numbers and take reasonable 16-18 order lists. Even an AVA1 Domaru with an HMG could open so much up for playing HI links in the army.

    On the other hand though, no army with AVA3 Oniwaban could ever be considered weak, so there's that...
     
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  5. Zewrath

    Zewrath Nordic Master

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    @meikyoushisui Considering our last sperg-out, I'm actually quite surprised of how much I agree with your last post. I'd say that the only thing I disagree with (only slightly), is your 3rd point and to some lesser extent 4th (but not that much).
     
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  6. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Shikami are very terrain-dependent. Try them on a board that is a warband's paradise at ground level with lots of buildings for them to climb up and superjump from rooftop to rooftop like an episode of Ghost in the Shell, that's where they shine.
     
  7. Paradur

    Paradur Fukurô Keibi
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    Hmm, I'm taking a small break from JSA after playing them for 4-6 years. In short my experience is, JSA has a hard time playing the defensive game with only few ARO pieces that aren't more than small risky speed bumps, aka kaisotsu missile launcher. So I mainly play them pretty aggressively, mostly going for first turn.

    Opposite most people here I've had great use if the domaru tanko fire team. Using missile launcher and spitfire to deal with my oponent.. EM grenades are also a golden tool here.. and now with the FO they can also take objectives

    Ninja for me are objective grabbers especially for last turn.. Oniwabans I only use if I want to get kill in the backfield and then I mostly take kitsune for the smoke and extra punch.. but to be honest i mostly use jimbo for the first strike..
     
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  8. daszul

    daszul Well-Known Member

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    Do not underestimate the nimbus smoke! It means a lot to the odds, and together with ODD gives the opponent -9 BS und -1 B.
    And if the enemy is in a band range band, you can always dodge on a 14, and even take/tank a hit with 2W.
     
  9. Paradur

    Paradur Fukurô Keibi
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    Just remember the nimbus gives you -3 to dodge
     
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  10. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

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    The problem with Nimbus is it just adds more orders to an already order intensive unit. Most of the time if you're shooting nimbus, you might as well be taking 2 orders shooting (unless it's a situation where you need to burn a second short skill since you can't reach a corner. Just because of the mathematical nature of how nimbus works, it gets stronger the more of an advantage you would have had shooting without it.
     
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  11. Paradur

    Paradur Fukurô Keibi
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    Yeahh you have to be smart about it. Apart from throwing them down before going for objectives I've used it for. 1, running straight up to a Jutom in suppression fire and cutting it to pieces. I had them in a duo threw down nimbus and ran straight at it. One shikami died, but the other made and got it down.. needed like 3 order of movement to do it.
    2, threw down nimbus and moved moved past Achilles in suppression fire to get in his back arch and then killed him in CC with the duo
     
  12. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I think part of it is the playstyle I’m used to relies of having strong gunfighters. This is why the smg ryuken 9 is a staple in my lists. I usually bring 2. They can stack mods like a boss. I have found that I need to get comfortable using them to hit on 9s while my opponent shoots back around 2-5.

    I need to get the hang of using oniwaban more effectively. I’ve gotten very comfortable with dart, Nagas, Zulu cobras, crocmen, and other because they’re all solid gunfighters with tools like mines or jammers. Oniwaban don’t have mines. Their bs of 11 is...underwhelming. I need to practice with them.

    I’ll try that with the oniwaban. Thanks for the input!

    I think I’m struggling with the pano perspective as well. Part of it for me, is that it’s so much more order efficient to shoot something than to move into close combat with smoke/TO cover.

    I haven’t built a list yet without Saito and Yojimbo. Not just for smoke, but for their potential to throw wrenches and get stuff done. Both of them are phenomenal.

    Thanks for the replies!
     
  13. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

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    BS11 doesn't matter as much when you're shooting on 17s (by taking cover) while imposing a -9/12 (TO, Cover, Optional Suprise shot). The jump from 11 to 17 is also huge when it comes to dodging template weapons
     
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  14. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    You’d be amazed at my ability to screw up rolls with two dice. No matter the odds...
     
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  15. Mcgreag

    Mcgreag Well-Known Member

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    Yeah don't underestimate the BSG Oniwaban`s shooting ability, had a game recently where my Oniwaban got 5 kills but none where in CC, all where with the BSG (and it wasn't like my opponent where clumped up, only one shot hit 2).
     
  16. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Yes, the biggest challenge I've experienced in JSA is that it simply takes so many Orders to achieve anything in combat. Planting smoke, maneuvering to CC/SMG/shotgun range, scoring the kill, backing away to a safe place, Recamoing or tidying up in Suppressive Fire... That's a very common sequence of events for JSA that's also really order inefficient. You can try to save on some of that via traditional gunfighting, but JSA just isn't particularly good at it.

    With that in mind, I strongly agree with the idea that JSA has to play to the mission. Their methods for piece removal just aren't efficient enough to play heavy attrition. It makes me particularly grateful that the Ryuken-9 SMG exists. That unit makes it possible to actually hold the enemy up long enough to play for the objectives.

    JSA is hard-mode in the sense that most of their units just aren't fantastic, so my JSA lists look pretty much all the same (+1 for Saito and Yojimbo being pretty much mandatory, appearing in every list I've made.)

    @yoink101
    I hear you on those 2 dice F2F rolls.

    Worth mentioning too that I find "ideal circumstances" rarely get applied for that boarding shotgun. If I'm hitting on 17s, I find it's probably a Chain Rifle Impetuous Warband who will gladly trade hits. More common to see Mimetic troops, or troops who can use SS L1 to deny your ability to move into their flank, or similar matchups where an opponent rarely lets you land that easy BS17 hit. Not to mention that BS17 vs tightly packed opponents is pretty much unheard of...
     
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  17. rac

    rac Active Member

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    In my opinion oniwabans needs nwi or hyperdinamics or a specialist profile.
     
  18. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

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    Even dogged would be thematic and really useful. Specialist profiles would basically make the ninja go from basically useless to "literally never take this"
     
  19. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    Oniwaban are fine.

    Sincerely, everyone.
     
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  20. Desolad0r

    Desolad0r Member

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    What do you thing about smg oniwaban?

    I want to try him because the point reduction and the chance to get in SF with a -6/-9