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JSA v Ariadna Sectorials Advice

Discussion in 'Japanese Secessionist Army' started by Elder71, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Elder71

    Elder71 New Member

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    Hello all.

    I'm reaching out for any advice/pointers/strats that you guys might have to help me against my group's Ariadna player (we all struggle against him). He's the better player I happily admit, but the strengths of Ariadna seem unusually highly stacked against the JSA's weaknesses.

    In case he's reading this, I'll call him "Mr.M".

    Here are the problems I face:
    • I can't compete with his five-man fireteam, which can basically dominate the whole board with a Kazak HMG (and there's me firing against cover and camo from bad range - the Keisotsu HMG is no use in this situation even in a five man core of its own - no MSV and a lousy 10BS, as we all know.

      This makes it almost impossible to compensate for my lack of effective range by moving up the board. I'm going to try the Tanko Missile Launcher profile in a Domaru/Tanko core, but don't want to build my whole plan around him (in the likely event that he gets immediately ganked - Mr.M is nothing if not ruthlessly aware of his main threats).

    • He always has a luxrious and bountiful number of orders to play with. And so, on his first turn, he methodically sweeps the whole board with sensor (revealing my Oniwaban or whoever if they're there), mines the board, sends whoever he wants on a long and merry jaunt across the table, going the long way to avoid my few ranged ARO pieces, and DTWing or Boarding Shotgun'ing my backline defenders to death.

      Then, with ten orders left, he scoops up the objective/s, walls them off with mines, goes back into camo, waits.

    • I already bring as much MSV as I can (Kempeitai and Rui Shi, sometimes Lu Duan) but he can also afford to quite literally cover the middle line of the board in smoke, making it impossible for anyone other than this mediocre team to shoot back.

      I bring as much smoke of my own as I can (usually Saito and Yojimbo, for budgetary reasons). Ariadna don't get MSV2 - which does sound juicy in a smoke-shoot sort of flavour - but the -6 to shoot back with no LoF doesn't impede him all that much him because of the Fireteam's BS bonus.

    • The JSA's strength, CC, is fairly neutered against Ariadna as well becase of NBW and generally high CC on even his cheaper, mid-range units.

    • I managed to win Annihilation (I was as shocked as he was) by bringing the Oyoroi, but even my 86pt TAG could only just about match the Fireteam Core he put out. And when I'm already so starved for orders in our games (dealing with mines... discover, shoot, miss, shoot again, okay, that was my turn) it seems like an even bigger investment that not every mission really calls for.

    So anyway, like I say, just looking for pointers or whatever tidbits better and more experienced JSA players might have to hand on a mental shelf somewheres.

    What I really hope is that there is some amateur mistake evident in my bullet-points above that I can stop making.

    Anyhow,

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Basically: don't shoot the Vet Kazak unless you can get a Rui Shi with supportware or Ryuken close enough for their respective +3 ranges (and preferably within 16). Hunt everything else and try to get your Kempeitai and/or Rui Shi to take out the softer targets. Since he likes sensor, don't put targets where he can easily sensor for them. Shinobu, Saito, Ninjas, they don't get to go forward unless they can be put where they're a real bother to take care of.
     
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  3. Elder71

    Elder71 New Member

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    The wealth of orders he gets to bring mean he can sensor basically the whole table and still have orders to spare. Which he almost literally does do, moving, sensoring, moving sensoring. For the infiltrator to go somewhere he wouldn't find, it would have to be somewhere it would be no use. Which is frustrating.

    This is another issue - the conflict between mines and HD;

    I can't hidden deploy an Oniwaban, say, in the trigger area of a mine. But how do I know if it's a mine or one of his units or an ambush camo? All I see is a camo marker. If it's just a flat 'well then you can't deploy there', then I can't really use the Oniwaban at all.

    That's if he deploys first. If I deploy first and get my Oniwaban all snug in his half of the table, and then he coincidentally deploys a mine right in the Oniwaban's face, what happens then? If I declare 'HALT' does he lose the mine? Does this reveal the Oniwaban?

    I know it's a very specific instance but it comes up a lot
     
  4. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    I'm not aware of any rules that stops you deploying in the trigger area of a Mine.

    You can't use Minelayer to place a Mine with a Camouflage and Hiding Marker within it's trigger area.

    However, a trooper in Hidden Deployment is not represented by a marker and "is considered not to be on the game table at all." therefore coincidentally Minelaying a piece of equipment next to a Hidden Deployment trooper's location is both fortuitous and legal.

    One thing I've found when going second is that Superior Infiltration becomes a less worthwhile gamble, for many of the reasons you've listed, it can often be better to let your opponent come to you and then counter-attack.

    This doesn't mean turtling up completely, but focusing your reactive units and firepower on objectives, choke points, and firelanes in your half of the board. Make it so if he wants to bring the Kazak Fireteam to bear then he has to spend orders moving it up the board to gain LoF, deploy your TO in your own half watched over by a linked ML/SMMR or a Totes Remote so even if he sensor sweeps it (after spending orders to sweep his own empty table half) he has to either fight past your ARO threats with a BS11/12 infiltrator or move his cumbersome Fireteam out of position.

    Suiciding your Oniwaban/Saito first turn is always tempting, getting the use out of their hidden order, having an impact early on, but sometimes waiting for turn 2 or 3 is more prudent, once the opponent had moved their key pieces up and you've punched some holes in their lines.

    Never try to pin your opponent in their DZ with AROs, the game is designed so it isn't really viable for the same reason video games tend to discourage spawn camping.
     
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  5. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    What Colbrook said, but also consider this; you need to find ways to waste his orders. Deploy what snipers you have in slim firelanes, avoid AROs across the table, put Yuriko's and any Ryuken mines defensively, deploy your Ninjas in positions where they can be gunfighters during the active turn (such as prone on balconies), etc. Basically, make sure that a Ninja costs far more than just a couple of orders to kill, make him come to your Ninja.
    Prioritize protecting your orders first, protecting the objectives second, and preparing for offensive last - don't challenge what you can't beat. Consider what a Ninja Sniper can do for you, particularly if he deploys his Vet Kazak so that the supporting Core is positioned so that it's stationary (maybe he deployed them on several floors inside a building, that means the HMG is mostly stationary). Can such a Ninja pick off those Sensor units without your opponent being able to put a Cored HMG in a direct firefight inside a few orders? Can it prevent him pinging objectives? Can it, at least, punish models trying to sweep your DZ?

    If this positioning seems impossible, then also pay attention to terrain deployment in your meta. Gun fighters like terrain that's very linear with few lateral hiding spots - most tables should have a few very long firelanes that don't go from DZ to DZ. If a single Vet Kazak HMG (and probably a Spetznas HMG) can suppress you so much that you can't find positions to place a few select ARO pieces that doesn't overlook opponent DZ, then you guys probably need to start twisting terrain 40° and maybe putting more LOF blockers on the table. Some extra terrain features like vegetation for localized Saturation Zones can seriously slow down gun fighting armies and clever way of imposing a few localised Low-Vis zones ditto*

    Your goal is to be able to push TO Markers and/or MSV2 pieces far enough to eat orders and Sensor sources. You may need to leave scoring for late game.

    * CB's recommendation to make Holo-ads block LOF is probably their worst recommendation. Talk about changing it to Low Vis or Poor Vis with your meta! Keep in mind that MSV is priced way too high for just countering the much cheaper Mimetism, the game expects tables to have some elements with visibility conditions.
     
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  6. Oni

    Oni Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I am not very experienced myself but there are a few things that could help you.

    As far as i know you can deploy your models in hidden deployment/or marker state wherever you like (within your deployment regulations).

    The only thing you/your opponent are not allowed to deploy a mine with minelayer skill within 8" of another camo token in the deployment phase. It is not the best idea to put your modell in range of an camo token (because it could be a mine which is really bad for marker state units), but basically it is allowed as far as I now.

    What is perfectly legal is that he can put down a mine when you are in hidden deployment, because you mini is not on the table yet(not existend for everything exepting sensors). You cant stop him from doing that.

    Don´t try to outshoot his Veteran Kazaks, JSA doesn´t have the guns for that. You can try with the Tanko ML in good range (which can theoritically outrange his AP HMG´s) in a core but everything else is not really worth it.

    If you want to get rid of the fireteams my suggestion is to take a look on Shinobu Kitsune. Superior Infiltration and Smoke Grenades are your friend here. Make her your reserve model if you got the first turn, smoke the linkteam, eat them in melee. You are CC25 with MA5. Critting on 16´s on 2 dies with MA4 or on 13´s on one die with MA3. Because the lack of MSV this is an relatively safe bet. You dont have to suprise him, that should be enough to kill a few models. Take a closer Look on MA again, remember that everything over 20 will be added to your dice result. For example: His Kazak should have CC17. If you use MA3 you will have CC28, he CC14. If the worst case should happen and you roll a one he needs to roll between 10 and 14 to beat you, you have to be very unluky if that happens. As Veteran Kazaks are quite expensive it is already a win for you if you kill one guy and break the link.

    If you are second turn make him as much problems to get to your camo markers. Even if he sensors them, he will have to deal with them. A TO camo model prone on a roof is a good start. If you cover the access point of that roof with ARO it is even better.

    Next things are ARO units. Never place them in that way you can see/ been seen from every point of the table. He will use his best fitting modell to get rid of it quite easily, most of the time without moving at all. Try to place them that they cover small parts of the table. He has to come to you which costs him orders. Maybe he even looses his optimal rangebands/cover etc. which will make you life a whole loot easier. A linked MSV2 Kempeitai that covers a small firelane between 8" and 24 " is a lot more usefull than over 24". Rui Shi is also very good to cover small parts of the field.

    Try out the Ryuken-9 ODD minelayer, for a low tec army they can be a pain in the ass. ODD in cover is a -9 Mod he has to overcome, just look out for direct template weapons.

    Speaking of ODD try to use your technoligy against him, If the table is dense enough you could even use a Shikami. His ODD together with his mobility can be really strong on a very scenery heavy field (which you should have to have fun with JSA).

    For Natural Born Warrior you should consider that he has to decide wether he uses mode A or B, he cant have both. Mode A just cancelles your MA skill and the like. If you use Shinobu she is still CC25. If he uses Mode B you can still use your MA Skill but he gets +3 to cc that way. I made that mistake myself a lot of games.

    My rule of thumb for CC with JSA is. Shoot everything that is a CC Specialist, and CC everthing else. I really like the Boarding shotgun Domaru for that (I may be the only one ^^).

    And the last thing. Just try to be unpredictable, the worst thing is when your oponent will always know what you are bringing. Use new List/Modells/Fireteam compositions every game that he has no chance to be prepared for that. Try to use a Dotanko team in one game/Skirmisher heavy in another/Dayokai Harris after that and Aragoto Spam in the next.

    Hope it will help.
     
    #6 Oni, Jan 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  7. Elder71

    Elder71 New Member

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    Thanks for the extensive replies all.

    It sounds to me like our homemade terrain is probably an issue i need to address (big buildings too small, leaving too many long fire lanes and too much LoF from end to end. The fact that our buildings have a lot of sides that are shorter than 8" makes his "sneak up and drop a mine on a corner" trick viable and easy).

    One more thing, if I can indulge-

    You don't get an aro to a mine if you don't have LoF to the minelayer, do you? As in, get a chance to dodge or something before it goes active at the conclusion of the order?
     
  8. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    Correct, the Trooper generates the ARO, not the Mine.
     
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  9. Elder71

    Elder71 New Member

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    As I feared. That's the way we've been doing it, if you can't tell, I'm clutching at straws somewhat.

    Final thought: I wish we had more smoke.

    Goodnight all!
     
  10. AkiPL

    AkiPL Member

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    Well... there are also Karakuri. With current Total Immunity they are pain in the ass to deal with.
    Effectively 6-9 ARM/BST to beat no matter what he use against you with two points of structure and V:Dogged/Remote Presence. Yes, I know, weapon ranges are not great but those mini-tanks are very versatile and can make your oponent to waste a lot of orders trying to get rid of them and od course complete some objectives on the way.

    Recently I also give a chance to Ninja Sniper - expensive, but surprise face of my opponent when he starts shooting in active turn, make it worth, and to my surprise it was working really well (with infiltration you have a lot of flexibility with placing him).
     
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  11. Kai Wren

    Kai Wren Member

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    If he's putting out enough sensor orders to sweep the entire table, that's great! That's a ton of orders. I'd honestly put a ninja (maybe sniper) down in TO in your own deployment to encourage him to waste orders without getting anything from it.

    I've found that Ariadna really hates template weapons and mines. Karakuri are fantastic because they are so darn tough and bring a template weapon to the party too. Ryuken (for mines and possibly surprise shot missile / suppressive smg / both) is pretty great.

    Missile Launcher Tanko can be an okay ARO piece vs HMG. I'd try and set up very defensively for turn one with a TR bot / sniper helping to cover your backline. Assisted Fire on a TR bot is very helpful to rebuff HMGs on one wound bodies if you can get first turn.

    You might also want to try out the O-Yoroi - the heavy flamer on a relatively tough chassis has done real work for me against Ariadna.
     
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  12. Oni

    Oni Well-Known Member

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    If your Problem are the mines try things with hight PH. Most of our offensive HI´s are quite good in dodging them or even dodge/engadge . Neko/Domaru/Tanko/Dayokai/Miyamoto/Shikami all have 14 PH (Tanko 13) most time even with Kinematika. If you play against Ariadna that dont have Assault hackers they can be really good. Neko/Domaru and Miyamoto in Special have direct template weapons with relatively high WIP too, which can be very good against enemy camo tokens.

    The next thing is the KDH Ninja. With his Cybermask programm you can go in Impersonation State. In this state the Mines don´t go off. You can traverse through an minefield without wasting much orders dodging.

    Another possibility to Handle Mines is the O-Yoroi and Yojimbo. Both have Crazy Coalas which can blow up Mines if you use them trough their ZOC. (YaoZao´s can do this too, but for more costs)

    And as others already said. A TO Sniper Ninja might not be very good against most armys, but against a faction which dont have MSV2 they can be really nasty. They dont shoot really good but good enough and you can really easily apply an -12 Mod to your opponent with them.
     
  13. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

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    @Elder71
    A few thoughts, in no particular order:
    • Yojimbo's an immensely valuable piece, not just for the obvious value of Smoke, but for his Koalas. Koalas are a good defensive piece, but perhaps more importantly vs Ariadna, they're a very easy way to sweep mines and help clear a lane for attack. Yojimbo can reposition very quickly and order-efficiently, so sprinting one of his Koalas past a suspicious Camo token is a great way to make sure your attack lane is clear.
    • This is the kind of matchup where a few Orders spent on a Sensor Bot, and 10 Orders spent on a Rui Shi, can really help you with attrition. REMs are cheap, they're resilient (shock immune is a big deal here, and they're easily repaired) and they're fast. These are all useful advantages.
    • Units like Ninja and Oniwaban aren't going to do a ton for you. What's the objective with them? They're weak vs other Camo, they're order-inefficient for combat, they're vulnerable to mines, and Antipode Packs / Strelok K-9 make it incredibly hard for them to do anything. Don't go overboard with these units. A shotgun in their backline, or an attack run on a Vet Kazak, can be great. But if your opponent isn't giving you those kinds of vulnerabilities to exploit, you're probably better off spending your points elsewhere.
    • Don't try and control the entire table, especially when facing a linked Mimetism HMG. Instead, focus on controlling smaller areas of the table, which you can lock down with mines, Ryuken-9 Suppressive, and your own linked AROs. Make the enemy advance into your table half if they want to threaten you, so they've already spent several Orders just working to fight you. You don't want to give your opponent easy 1 or 2-order kills from his DZ.
    • If you go first, get those mines up the table. Streloks are great minelayers, but they don't have full Infiltration, so they'll have a slight disadvantage controlling/contesting the center line. Get your Ryuken-9 up there, lay some mines, and make the enemy contend with them. If your opponent is forced to use Antipodes to clear mines, then you're forcing him to play a reactive game. That's a good thing
    • The Lu Duan is pretty dang good here, because he can sweep mines, cross gaps, shoots @ Camo just fine, and can potentially do some damage with that flamethrower. 0 SWC helps too. Like Rui Shi, this unit won't auto-win the game for you, but if you can Discover some Camo via Sensor and give it some targets to shoot at, it'll do some work for you.
    • It's hard not to love Karakuri. Durability + Chain Rifle is a really nice tool vs Ariadna.
     
  14. zapp

    zapp Well-Known Member

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    The Ryuken-9 HRL might also be an option against this opponent. They are not the best in general, but a potential fire template might stop your opponents advance/sensor activity. Use the mine to make your opponent guess there the template might come from.
     
  15. Fire@Will

    Fire@Will Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like your terrain might be a little space, but if you bulk it out, a Shikami might prove an awkward customer... Still get the -6 MOD, and it will encourage you to build up your building collection!
     
  16. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    It's about the worst matchup you could ask for when playing JSA.
    A lot of your tools don't work or run into counters and mass Camo isn't easy for JSA to deal with.

    Your CC troops don't have high value targets to go for and there is a bunch of Chasseurs, Mines, Chainrifles and Galwegians that easily kills them for a fraction of the cost.
    JSA can't run a very good version of the usual Coordinated Order Sensor sweep and struggles with mass Vis Mods. Your Rui Shi and MSV2 Kempetai struggle to get past all the Mines and templates so dealing with Camo is pretty hard.
    Lack of AD and durable high quality Rambos means you can't reach that Spetznaz HD hanging back behind the Skirmishers and Warbands either.

    Summed up you end up boxed in and can't really carry the fight to them, your best choice is probably to set up a bunch of AROs with SF Ryukens, linked Keisotsu Flashpulses etc and try to run Objectives with Karakuri. Depending on the mission a last minute TO Objective grab works pretty well to edge out a win by playing the mission.
    In straight up killing you'll be pretty screwed as again, your usual tools don't work as well as usual and Ariadna can easily outtrade you on value.
     
    #16 Teslarod, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  17. Janzerker

    Janzerker Invincible Angry

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    In the end you can try to have fun playing and follow the recommendations given about Yojimbo, Ryuken, LuDuan, sensor REMs and abusing Karakuris. Or you can hear previous doomsayer post, accept JSA is a hard match for your mate's Ariadna and go the IKARI way.

    In Ikari you will find all the tools you're lacking right now and it will be easy to make the transition. You will keep a good part of your JSA units and be able to expand into new ones from Haqqislam and YuJing factions. Best of all you'll be able to fight fire with fire: With access to Yuan Yuan , Libertos and Desperados (which you can proxy with your Aragotos) you'll be almost on par on the attrition war vs Ariadna; and a core of Keisotsu with Brawler MSV2 sniper and Tanko ML will be more troublesome for your opponents Vet Kazak than your current Keisotsu core. You can even go more elite with Druzes if you wish. And you still get to use Yojimbo and Karakuris.

    So if you're still having a hard time playing against MrM with your JSA, maybe it could be a good idea to try Ikari a bit.
     
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  18. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, Yojimbo is probably the one model I'd suggest you don't use. He's difficult to use and prone to get killed in first order or to cost you valuable orders. I'd instead consider maybe using Saito as smoke source and go for reliability, unless you're willing to assign a Keisotsu together with Yojimbo in CG2 with the singular purpose of keeping him from activating Impetuously.
     
  19. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    You win some you lose some.
    If the other guy is subjectively a better player and runs Ariadna you have slim chances of winning. I played around 5 games against our best Ariadna/TAK player with JSA, all 5 of them ties. And that includes me getting insanely lucky every. single. game.
    Saito winning CC in ARO vs 2 Galwegians, not getting crit and holding 3 ARM rolls.... Oniwaban BSG ARO Crits on a moving Link Team. Went all out every game and could never manage to hold down the fort vs the second Spetznaz, Antipodes, Chasseurs or Galwegians. You'll run out of options eventually while everything in the Ariadna list is very good at killing your guys no matter how much you can take out.
    That said this is a pretty much exclusive JSA vs Ariadna problem - JSA has some pretty great matchups as a tradeoff, in particular low order count TAG/elite HI lists.
     
    #19 Teslarod, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  20. Savnock

    Savnock Nerfherder

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    What @daboarder , @colbrook , and @Mahtamori said.

    (Except, disagreeing with Mahtamori, I -do- recommend you use Yojimbo. Run him up a flank then use his koalas to take out mines.)

    The O-Yoroi is also a good tool here, as you have already noticed. Don't use it so much for direct confrontation with that Kazak if you can, as to move up the board and take out those mines and camo units before your specialists close in. See if you can catch multiple targets with your flame template, a great way to take out camo without having to Discover it. Having a crapton of mines around can be a disadvantage in that way: discover one and fry two camo tokens if you can, without having to do it on an Intuitive Attack.

    Also, playing with him in the meta a bit is a good call, subbing in an Ikari list as Janzerker suggests. Proxy for it. And don't be afraid to drop a Yuan Yuan into a mined area to clear them out, if it gets your specialists in there without having to deal with those. Try to suck down at least two mines with the 8-point investment if you can.
     
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