Please note this tactica is still WIP - I have updated this to consider new trooops and fireteam options after Uprising, but my thoughts are untested on the table. I plan to expand to cover list-building and ITS play. Introduction From the beginning - before there was a Japanese sectorial - I have been a JSA player. My collection spans several other factions/sectorials. I love miniatures across the whole Infinity range and I tend to play the models that I just acquired/assembled/painted, but I only use JSA when I play with serious competitive intent. This isn't because the JSA are inherently superior to other armies, it's because I know I'm a JSA player. In the interest of full disclosure, I need to admit that I am a good player - not a great one. I have about a decade of experience playing Infinity. I've studied the probabilities of FtF rolls as a math problem. I can visualize specific attack vectors, thwarting enemy defenses and exploiting weak flanks. I'm tenacious against a winning foe and ruthless against a losing one. But whenever I face a truly great player, they nearly always get the better of me. If I could explain how this happens, maybe I'd be one of the greats, too :) This tactica isn't meant to state how and why some units are better than others. I want to share my experience and explain my instincts. Much of this game is understanding and applying the fundamentals (leveraging your positive modifiers while exploiting your opponent's negative modifiers). A wealth of skills and equipment provide many special tactics and maneuvers. ITS missions require specialists to accomplish objectives and win. I plan to describe how to use JSA units to succeed in all these aspects of competitive play. The Japanese Secessionist Army The JSA is the most thematically and mechanically aggressive force in the game. We have unparalleled close combat heavy infantry, skirmishers, and even TAGs. Many of our specialized assault troops wield short-range weapons (chain rifles, SMGs, shotguns, etc) or low-burst weapons (bow, contender, blitzen, flammenspeer) to keep their costs low (meaning they are optimized to their specific battlefield context). These troops must advance to leverage their strengths. However, the JSA is not well-suited to breaking or negating enemy defenses from a distance. There are many flexible medium-range troops who are vital to a well-rounded force, but they are not focused gunfighters like many other factions have. Lastly, we have precious little long-range firepower, most of which are low-burst reactive weapons rather than high-burst active weapons. We have little access to smoke for covering our movements, so we must either carefully use expensive smoke troops or rely on a more forceful approach. JSA troops are more vulnerable to being contained by long range reactive threats - in fact, breaking free from the deployment zone could be their greatest challenge of the game. Honor Fighting with honor is engaging the enemy in straightforward combat, relying on superior attributes, favorable modifiers, and optimal weaponry. The goal is simply to bring down an enemy model, either removing a roadblock to your continued advance, neutralizing a potential threat, or withering the enemy's order pool. Mastering this approach requires understanding the fundamentals of playing Infinity - choosing the correct attackers and carefully positioning them. Properly leveraging your positive modifiers and your enemy's negative modifiers can swing difficult FtF rolls back in your favor. Fireteams provide powerful bonuses to ordinary troops. Samurai Core fireteams (a term henceforth referring to the Domaru+Tanko core fireteam) pose a powerful active and reactive team that have the right weapon for every situation somewhere in the team. Tanko offer powerful long ranged AROs (Missile Launcher, Blitzen, Flammenspeer), and Domaru provide assault options to hold their ZoC (Chain Rifles, E/M Grenades) and advance the team (Spitfire, Combi Rifle). With good BS and multiple wounds, they are more than capable of overwatch tactics, threatening key sections of the table and controlling the game on your enemy's turn. The Spitfire doesn't pack a real long-ranged punch, so you might need some help at the start of the game to clear enemy overwatch models. It is possible to field a core fireteam composed only of Domaru, but this is not a good idea because Tanko provide important cheap ranged AROs. Samurai CC and MA skills repel aspiring assassins from approaching them. Their only true weakness is hacking, which can render them helpless and break them from the fireteam (changing their dynamic completely). Keisotsu Core fireteams are dirt cheap and provide much more flexibility, but are much less resilient. There are enough weapon options to fill any battlefield role. Keisotsu can wield powerful heavy weapons (HMG and Missile Launcher, but not the Multi Sniper Rifle). Basic specialists use their combis/flash pulse to cover/engage in the short/medium range. Kempeitai are a natural addition to this fireteam. They can support the team with medium assault firepower (strongy recommend the MSV2 Marksman) and/or a basic Chain of Command option. While it's convenient to put a CoC Kempeitai in your Keisotsu fireteam, this also puts your backup LT in more danger. Domaru may also join the team, lending powerful close quarters capabilities. Note that Keisotsu are weak and cheap, so expect casualties as they make contact with the enemy (or vice versa). The Domaru Haris provides a small cluster of Samurai to hold a small chunk of the table and threaten nearby areas. The haris team will not be powerful or self-sufficient like a core team, but the smaller footprint will make it much easier to find good positioning for each member. A cheap haris composed only of chain rifles can be a mighty nuisance if they make it to the midfield to cover objectives (or other important territory), but their lack of firepower makes it very easy to contain them. Including a Forward Observer can be expensive, but that gives the team a viable short range punch and flash pulse ARO, as well as the ability to claim objectives. The Domaru Spitfire is a powerful attack piece in this team, but very SWC-intensive and somewhat overshadowed by the Daiyokai's superior firepower, attributes, and resilience. If you want a powerful haris team the Daiyokai is an excellent pointman. The Karakuri Haris is resilient, flexible, and useful. They lack true heavy firepower, but their array of weapons can handle almost anything in the short-medium range. Total Immunity removes the risk of many powerful ammo types, allowing them to directly engage devastating enemies with much less risk to themselves. Also, they are each specialists, making them key objective takers and holders in ITS. The special Domaru Haris trooper + 2 Karakuri team trades some (perhaps excessive) specialist redundancy for a cheaper samurai that can babysit the Karakuri in close quarters. The Musashi Haris is my personal favorite - not because it's necessarily the best haris team, but it's certainly the coolest. Musashi is a monster in CC, but needs ranged support to advance across contested territory. Tanko don't have great ranged firepower, but they can at least provide options that Musashi otherwise wouldn't have. This team does not behave much differently than a small core Samurai team with greater CC potential and a very helpful flash pulse. Musashi is also not hackable, which can be very helpful when navigating infowar threats. But he is also vulnerable to shock damage, so be mindful of mines and other shock/viral threats. Duos do not provide bonuses. Their only real value is order efficiency - moving two models at once to put both in more valuable positions. Consider this a convenient boost to a pair of models that you would otherwise bring, not a reason to include a second Domaru or Shikami in your list. Heavy firepower is vital to eliminating distant threats and opening key firelanes. The Oyoroi is the best HMG available to the JSA. At BS 14 on an ARM 7 STR 3 model, it's on par with the best of many factions. This model is an effective troubleshooter, dealing with enemies at long range who dare to threaten the table on your turn. In optimal HMG ranges, there are few threats it can't handle, but be careful about engaging skilled shooters with effective anti-TAG weapons. If your target is putting BS modifiers on you and rolling at a higher number (perhaps with multiple dice), you need to consider what will happen to your best model if you lose the FtF roll. The massive presence of an S7 TAG is not easy to hide or maneuver on a battlefield, so it will be difficult to avoid undesired enemy contact. Lastly, don't forget the crazy koalas, which can be used like mines to keep the enemy away from certain areas (or at least slow them down). Keisotsu HMGs are cheap but unimpressive. With the full backing of a fireteam, they can be a serious threat, but don't count on them to take care of powerful enemies (HI fireteams, TO/ODD snipers, etc). Without a full fireteam, the Keisotsu HMG can effectively bully enemies that can't match his range. A lot of problems can go away if you throw a bunch of dice at it, but if one roll doesn't go your way the Keisotsu is not likely to stay up. Tanko Missile Launchers have long range bonuses past other heavy weapons, but their low burst makes them much more risky than a trusty HMG. However, if you win the FtF roll you can count on dealing some serious damage. The Tanko must be in a fireteam to negate his impetuousness and get a burst bonus. The Ryuken HRL does not have high burst or strong modifiers, so it's not great at taking down a dangerous enemy. He only has one shot with surprise modifiers, and if that fails he's just a basic BS 12 HRL. He can push the extreme range with the X-Visor, but this may not be possible. He's cheap and he has a template weapon, but that's about it. Many models have medium-range firepower (weapons with a +3 range out to 24"), and they each offer different advantages and disadvantages. The important thing to note is that these weapons do not reach from one deployment zone into another. Once you break free from your DZ, these weapons tend to have enough reach to engage important targets, but you can't use them to destroy enemy overwatch models at the start of the game. Suppressive Fire makes an aggressively placed model difficult to dislodge and a defensively placed model harder to kill. Suppressive Fire has its own range modifiers and burst, so forget the awesome or pitiful range bands of the model's gun when it enters SF. Use terrain to lock the model in a 24" hemisphere (or otherwise protect it from longer range/rear attacks). Camo and cover stack nicely with SF. This makes the Ryuken SMG, Ninja, and Shikami very effective at holding their SF zone. Aragoto may not get cover but they can also reach good positions quickly for setting up SF. 1 regular order and 1 command token can place 4 models in SF. Enemy models with DTWs and a death wish don't care for your SF. Be aware of nearby enemies with DTWs and their likelihood to eat 3 shots to hose you down with a template. Ryuken, Ninja, and Shikami are especially vulnerable to this. Forcing the enemy to perform an ARO other than SF is the best way to break SF. Moving a camo marker, Hacking attacks, Speculative Fire, and shooting from more than 24" away can force the model to defend itself with Discover, Reset, Dodge, or normal shooting. Keep this in mind for taking down enemy models in SF (as well as anticipating your enemy's response to your SF tactics). Camo modifiers are a powerful advantage against enemies without without BS modifiers or MSVs. Ninjas with combi rifles are very versatile for harassing the enemy. By infiltrating into the midfield, they can easily engage foes inside their ideal range. The MSR is powerful, but it requires long range for positive modifiers, so infiltrating may not be a good idea. Unfortunately, the tactical bow is too limited in range and burst for effective attack - the pistol is preferable just for the burst advantage. Oniwabans are ruthless inside 8". The SMG profile is cheaper, more versatile outside 8" and the Shock ammo is potentially useful, but I find the Boarding Shotgun preferable because the template is so very powerful. Superior infiltration provides ample opportunity to start in effective range and tear through the vulnerable underbelly of the opponent's DZ. The only effective way the enemy can stop him is with a direct template weapon, and in the worst case scenario he can use the nanopulser just to throw out some spiteful damage. Aragoto are unmatched in their reckless speed and ruthless efficiency. Being impetuous means they can't use cover, which is a huge blow to their survivability in a firefight. They don't have much chance to dislodge a dangerous foe, but they can certainly dominate weaker models with mimetism and superior range modifiers. Direct templates and deployable weapons can stop them in their tracks - you will need to either risk an ARM/BTS roll or find another way to eliminate the threat. Be mindful of enemy minelayers. Shikami may need some orders to move into an attack position, but their mobility skills open up unconventional attack routes. A Nimbus Grenade can negate an enemy fireteam’s burst bonus. Shikami should have enough resilience and modifiers to allow more direct and risky attacks in case cover is not available on the approach. The Ryuken SMG works well as a midfield speedbump, skirmisher, or counterskirmisher. The XVisor keeps range penalties low, so she fires from 8-24" with a 0 range mod. Enemies without visors will likely have a hard time shooting back - even with positive range modifiers. Nothing is more honorable than defeating a foe in close combat. The most feasible form of engagement is charging an enemy hiding behind a corner. Enemy models without direct template weapons can be reliably trounced in this manner - BS scores are much lower than CC scores and MA skills can widen this divide. Enemies with Direct Template Weapons require special maneuvers to engage in CC without getting blasted. Smoke can block LoF and prevent the model from using the DTW. Approaching from the rear will also deny the target the opportunity to use the DTW. But, perhaps the most reliable method, is to spend a move action out of LoF without using Stealth (which is an optional skill) and forcing the nearby foe to declare an ARO before he sees you, and then sneaking into CC with the second move skill. I'm aware this maneuver smells like an old, moldy wheel of Camembert, but its legality is beyond reproach. Note that enemies with Sixth Sense are immune to this maneuver, as they can delay their ARO declaration in this circumstance. Smoke is a rare and effective tool for engaging enemy models. Only 3 named characters get smoke, but they are all well-suited for it. Any models touching smoke cannot be seen, so as long as the edge template is within 1" of the target, there's a safe approach. Smoke effectively neutralizes the threat of DTWs and covers an approach longer than a single move skill, but apart from that it's not necessary. Even the most resilient models (TAGs, total immunity) can be whittled away in CC. The CC specialist will probably win the FtF roll, and there's a significant chance of critting. Keeping the enemy engaged also stops it from rampaging through your lines. With Kinematika, CC specialists have significant engage range, and, with hidden deployment, Ninjas can pounce on unsuspecting models with a 60% success rate. JSA has top tier CC specialists - the standard Domaru and Ninja are all CC 23 and MA 3, better than most other factions can possibly field. Tanko are less capable but still dangerous - especially with their Mono CCW. But being better than enemy CC specialists doesn't make engaging them the best idea. Consider CC against inferior enemy CC specialists a risk. Domaru don't need Berserk to defeat the enemy. With MA 3 and CC 23, the FtF roll is almost always in his favor. There are only two circumstances where Berserk should be used: the enemy is performing an unopposed action, or you want your attack unopposed to remove the possibility of failure. If your target is giving you a normal roll (by attacking with a DTW, for example), use berserk for the extra crit chance (and MA 2 for the extra damage). Likewise, Berserk removes the risk of failing against an enemy CC specialist, changing a duel to a trade. Either the Domaru can rely on his armor to save him or know that his sacrifice has brought honor to himself and his comrades. Musashi is the purest form of CC-powered death. He's quick, he's tough, and his blades can shred a TAG. If the enemy is hiding behind cover, Musashi is free to do what he does best - move forward and kill the enemy. However, don't forget his Chain Rifle and Flash Pulse. Yojimbo is ridiculously fast. He can strike quickly at models with direct motorcycle access, but dismounting and approaching on foot might be necessary and worthwhile. He's capable of taking any non-CC specialist target to pieces over the course of a few orders. Kuroshi Rider is not a very potent CC combatant. She can still be useful to lock down an enemy in CC (due to her high speed, Dogged, and Mimetism) and provide bonuses to other attackers that want to team up. Impetuous models are cheap and powerful, but tactically impaired. Fireteams control impetuous models. A Tanko contained in a Samurai fireteam has all the benefits (cost-effective killing power) and none of the penalties (reckless movement, no cover) of impetuousness. The impetuous order can expose the impetuous model, setting it up for a very unfavorable FtF roll. Skilled opponents will recognize the potential liability and set up overwatch models. Be ready to hold back your impetuous models unless there are no other options to eliminate or contain the enemy. Plan out your impetuous orders carefully. If you suspect hidden threats, probe the field with your least valuable models first. Because of their inability to claim partial cover, this consideration must be completely removed from their positioning. Only range bands and LoF matters for them, which means they should either stay concealed behind terrain or engage in the most direct manner possible. Impetuous models are ill-suited for long-range shootouts with entrenched foes. Direct assaults on unprepared targets work much better - the enemy should be just as exposed as the impetuous model. Motorcycles are faster than many opponents expect or prepare for. Aragoto can travel from DZ to DZ in 2 orders (1 of which might even be impetuous). If your opponent has not exposed models to threaten their advance, then your bikers own the table. Coordinated orders can mitigate the risk of crossing dangerous territory. Multiple activated models means multiple threats. With a credible enough threat, the enemy may choose to dodge rather than shoot. If the true goal is simply to move through a dangerous area, then the coordinated models can keep moving if they need to. If the enemy decides to shoot one of the coordinated models, the rest have normal rolls to retaliate. Or, the rest are safe to keep moving. Treachery Use tricks to avoid direct engagements and force your enemy to make hard decisions. Camouflage, Stealth, Smoke, and Holoprojectors enable these tactics. Ninjas can sneak past sentries, smoke can cover a dangerous approach, holoechoes can clear deployable threats and confuse enemy AROs. These tools have a lot of potential to bypass normal combat mechanics and get your troops into places they wouldn't otherwise be able to go. Camouflage Markers shield the camo trooper from enemy fire, freeing it to seek new positions or even advance. Revealing from a camo state to make an attack exposes the camo troop across its whole movement path for its order. This could open you up to many AROs if you act brashly. If you spend an order moving through overlapping enemy LoF and into just a single enemy's LoF (or perhaps even past it, into his back arc), you can safely attack with your next order. Ninjas have a lot of potential for sneaking towards targets or around sentries. Enemies need to discover the marker, but by doing so they surrender any defensive ARO. This makes many players hesitant to declare a discover against a marker moving in for a kill. Enemy models with Direct Template Weapons pose a serious obstacle. The safest way to enter CC with them is also the lamest (waiving stealth/camo to force a change facing ARO),but unless you can approach from the rear or drop smoke, there's no way around it. An enemy within 4" of a Ninja is doomed if it declares discover. By ceding a retaliatory ARO, it's allowed the Ninja to engage in CC. If the enemy does not declare discover, the Ninja can continue moving - either past it or around it. If you must kill the model and it has a DTW, you'll need to approach from the rear. If you simply want to get past it, then swing around into the model's rear arc. Don't forget Stealth! Even an exposed Ninja can sneak around a model's rear facing and dispatch it. Ryuken HRLs don't require or really benefit from sneakiness. With their very long range they should already be in optimal attack range from (or within 4" of) their starting position. Remember that mines blow up against camo markers. Be mindful of enemy minelayers. Ninjas are highly capable CC assassins, but otherwise unimpressive TO skirmishers. With Sneak Attack and MA3, most targets have no hope of winning the FtF roll unless they crit. Even after that, non-CC specialists are still very unlikely to win. Hard targets like TAGs can be reliably locked down in CC, though shredding them requires many orders and some risk. With Kinematika and Hidden Deployment, a well placed ninja can Engage an enemy rambo before he draws first blood. This is a risky maneuver and requires some forethought - the ninja must wait at a predictable approach and must succeed in the Engage roll. Ideally, other models are declaring AROs on the enemy rambo, forcing him to split his burst (or perhaps even ignore the ninja altogether). The Silent attacks of the Knife and Tactical Bow are more a novelty than anything else. The weakest targets fall to the silent arrow only half the time (assuming ideal range on the bow), and the knife is not much better. Remember the silent bonuses if it comes up, but don't rely on a string of stealth kills to sneak past sentries. The cheap Tactical Bow profile can't effectively threaten an enemy more than 8" away. Its positioning during deployment is critical to its effective use. This option is overly attractive for its price, but very difficult to use because of its short range burst 1 weapon. Saito Togan has superior CC abilities, giving him a lot more capability to defeat stronger/tougher models in one order. With Burst 2 CC 24 EXP CCWs, he can cut down unskilled heavy infantry with ease. The Oniwaban is the ultimate surgical alpha striker. No other model in the game can compare to its versatile lethality. Superior Infiltration is a rare, valuable skill. The Oniwaban has a 3/4 chance of deploying at a convenient edge of the enemy DZ. When going first, this is the perfect reserve model, ready to deploy within 1 order of killing the juiciest target(s). To make matters even better, this skill bypasses scenario rules like Exclusion Zones because the model deploys clear across the other side of the table. The Boarding Shotgun is an excellent weapon for assaulting huddled cheerleaders. The Oniwaban may have a mediocre BS, but with camo, surprise, and range modifiers, the FtF roll will (almost always) be in his favor. The SMG is higher burst but provides a lower close range bonus. Its Shock and AP ammo options could be very helpful, especially against Dogged/NWI models that can't be engaged in CC. The Monofilament CCW and the Oniwaban's top-notch CC skills make him a specter of death. While not as effective against light targets as DA or EXP, it's perfect for dispatching high ARM targets with multiple W/STR points. The target may get lucky and survive the ARM roll(s), but as long as the Oniwaban keeps winning FtF rolls (as he should), that luck will run out. Direct Template Weapons ignore all of the special advantages the Oniwaban exploits. It ignores camo, surprise, and martial arts. It's also very difficult to avoid because the Oniwaban operates so well at close range. Killing a valuable model (like a TAG) with a DTW could be worth the risk, but cheaper function very well as a deterrent. Shinobu Kitsune has a Combi Rifle, making her less effective at sweeping up cheerleaders, but more effective at ranged engagements. Her MA 5 makes her capable of attacking multiple enemies at once, potentially making short work of HI fireteams. Saito Togan, Shinobu Kitsune, and Yojimbo are your only source of precious smoke grenades. Smoke opens a lot of tactical possibilities to avoid enemy fire. When an enemy is too costly to engage directly, smoke allows you to negate his LoF and proceed on the table with your plans. This is especially important when you have specialists that need to interact with objectives. If you can land a smoke template within a base width of an enemy model, you have a safe path to CC. You don't need to cover or touch the enemy model with smoke when you can reach them while still inside smoke. Avoid enemy LoF when throwing smoke, if at all possible. Most of the time the model can cut sharp angles to drop the smoke around a corner and land the grenade in a suitable spot. The Rui Shi sees through smoke and can safely fire on a smoke-screened enemy. Combined with Marksmanship L2 (hacking support) this is an extremely effective way of neutralizing enemy models on overwatch. The Marksman Kempeitai is also effective at this tactic, especially when boosted by a full fireteam. Saito can surprise the enemy with smoke starting in the midfield. This is incredibly helpful for covering objectives, key firing lanes, and aggressive enemy models. The specialist Saito can cover an objective, murder nearly any enemy covered in smoke, and grab the objective. Kitsune can lay smokescreens into and around the enemy DZ. She can conceal her approach to bypass sentries with DTWs, reaching more valuable targets or just tearing apart anyone in the smoke. Yojimbo behaves more like a standard warband, and his smoke is a very useful tool for himself as well as the rest of your forces. Even so, avoid relying on it as a FtF (special dodge) defense. Be ready to cancel his impetuous order if it will bring him into enemy fire. Use smoke carefully whenever you can - his speed will more than make up for the time spent laying smoke. The Lu Duan can use its Holoprojector L2 for shell games, but I find the Holo L1 is preferable for confusion/surprise. It can only disguise as other Silhouette 4 models, which limits it to the Rui Shi, Pangguling, or Aragoto/Kuroshi. Don't disguise as the Rui Shi. It's too similar for a meaningful deception, and if you want your opponent to think you have a Rui Shi, just take one for real. The Pangguling Minesweeper or EVO could be a great disguise to understate its threat. Your opponent may think its safe for a camo troop to kill it, only to get a faceful of Heavy Flamethrower. Likewise, it might be ignored, giving you an opportunity to attack with an unexpectedly strong combat REM. Disguising as an Aragoto can provoke the enemy to try and kill it. This has an added benefit of hiding its repeater, so your opponent might unknowingly use a hackable model to attack it. Make sure to use a model that invites the kind of attack you want to counter. Want a long range shootout? Use the Boarding Shotgun. Want the enemy up close? Use the Spitfire. Disguising as duplicates or triplicates of an Aragoto could make your opponent suspect a Lu Duan. Alternately, fielding several identical Aragoto could surprise your opponent when they turn out to be real. Technically, Impetuous models (Aragoto) generate impetuous orders that may be freely cancelled. When Holodisguises don't generate impetuous orders their true nature is revealed. An Aragoto disguise cannot persist past the start of your first turn. If you're not going second there's basically no point. Don't try to disguise as Yojimbo. You can't disguise the CrazyKoalas he's supposed to have. Acumen Only a few models can perform mission tasks and synergize with other models. Infinity is not a game built on powerful combinations of models, and the JSA has few models specifically meant to assist others. But there is a healthy mix of mission specialists, and they each have specific uses. Mediocre hackers still have uses. The Keisotsu hacker is the only basic hacker in the army, which makes it the only source for basic SHIELD and UPGRADE programs. Upgraded REMs are surprisingly powerful. Try combining the Marksmanship program with the Husong, Rui Shi, or Lu Duan if there's an enemy giving you trouble. Fairy Dust could be vital to protecting an HI fireteam from enemy hackers. Aragoto hackers have speed as their primary advantage. They can move quickly into a target's ZoC to launch hacking attacks or to an objective to claim it. Ninja assault hackers start in the midfield and can launch a surprise hacking attack, giving it a temporary edge. Infiltration brings them closer to enemy targets and mission objectives. Note that a camo marker can't be hacked, so the Ninja can bypass some repeater zones if necessary. The standard array of REMs offers the basic options for repeaters. This could be useful, but isn't special. The best infowar defense is an offense. JSA HI and TAGs are very susceptible to hacking. Killer hackers don't need particularly good hacking attributes - high level SWORD programs are very powerful. Killer hacking devices ignore firewall modifiers. You can use the enemy's own network against them. Killer hacking devices are cheap and cost no SWC. Ninja killer hackers apply surprise shot modifiers from camo. Even if the enemy brings no hacking threats, killer hackers are useful specialists. Linked specialists are very effective for claiming and holding objectives in ITS. The Keisotsu fireteam has easy access to Forward Observers and Paramedics. These models are cheap, can accomplish classified objectives, and fill out the core of a fireteam very nicely. However, they are not effective or tough fighters, so expect casualties when fighting over objectives. The Karakuri Haris fireteam is expensive but very useful. Each model is a FO, so they are all capable of claiming objectives. Their various weapon options and resistance skills makes them versatile and reliable fighters. Shikami may only be a duo, but they are each very capable combatants - especially against an enemy trying to hold (or take) nearby objectives. Since they aren’t providing bonuses for each other, feel free to break the duo as needed. Domaru Forward Observers enable Samurai fireteams to claim and hold objectives. The price tag may seem a bit high (because of the combi), but it's well worth it to put a specialist in such a powerful fireteam. CrazyKoalas and Holoechoes trigger enemy mines. These are cheap and disposable options for clearing a path. Advance or lose. Mines are effective counters against the fast/sneaky but fragile troops in the JSA. CrazyKoalas work similarly to mines, but suit the aggressive playstyle of JSA much better. They are excellent for terrorizing an enemy if you advance on them and place the Koala within activation range but out of LoF of other troops. Holoechoes are only available on the Lu Duan. It's difficult to maneuver these large silhouettes without making one of them the obvious real model. Perhaps I just need practice, but I prefer the mine-clearing potential. Yuriko Oda and Ryuken are the only source of mines in JSA, but they are conveniently minelayers as well. Mines in the DZ can help protect a weak flank or cover against AD troops, but otherwise won't mean much because of the JSA's aggressive inclination. The Ryuken SMG's mine could be much more useful, either covering the Ryuken herself or threatening midfield objectives. Minesweepers are not worth the time or the effort. Mines are almost always placed so that you must enter their trigger area to draw LoF, making the Minesweeper no better than any other trooper at clearing them. The basic Doctor and Engineer provide vital support. The Tokusetsu is a very humble specialist with average WIP and low fighting skills, but it's the best the JSA gets. Always include at least one YaoZao. The YaoZao is dedicated to healing fallen models while the Tokusetsu should be moving for objectives. It takes a lot of orders to heal models and claim objectives, so moving towards both at once makes the process much more efficient. Yuriko Oda is expensive, but has some superior weapons and abilities that might prove worthwhile. Also, she can link with Keisotsu. Consider her for missions that focus on Engineers. Karakuri that activate Dogged can’t be repaired. Keep that in mind if you have engineer support set up for them. Don't forget the focus of the mission. Defeating the enemy on the field gives your specialists the security they need to grab objectives, but they still need orders to accomplish the mission, and (thanks to WIP rolls) there's no telling how many orders that might be. Putting the enemy in retreat before you've accomplished the mission is a terrible way to lose. Know when to stop killing the enemy. Crafty opponents will place models in vulnerable positions to threaten objectives when they are on the verge of retreat, making this even more difficult. If you don't have smoke to avoid confrontation, you may have some tough choices to make. Putting some specialists in a small second combat group provides some opportunity to move specialists into position while the primary combat group engages the enemy. Key specialists can be transferred into the primary combat group later on. Consider grabbing objectives with fast/infiltrating specialists and moving back to safety. If the enemy is well secured and not threatening the field, this is a good use of orders. Be ready for the endgame. If the enemy has the last turn, secure as much as possible and set up a final defense. Otherwise, plan one last assault. As a fast, dogged specialist, Kuroshi can swoop in and grab objectives to steal a victory.