I love the Liu Xing, and I’ll tell you why with a tournament batrep NOTE #1: This is a looong post. I tried to put every detail I remembered into the batrep, and there are quite a few images, so... Yeah, it's the opposite of short NOTE #2: Images regarding deploys are made over pics taken before the tournament actually started with Ms Paint... Consider yourselves warned Hi there! We held an 8 person, 300 pts. - Limited Insertion tournament the other weekend, with Biotechvore, Decapitation and Firefight as the missions of choice. With 3rd Offensive and the Army shiny update, I decided to try out the Invincible Army lists I had been testing during the previous week. I was super excited about the new profiles and possible fireteam compositions, but also some of the new rules (particularly Tactical Awareness and Explode LX). The Preparation We had a week or so to try the new stuff out before the tourney, so we ended up playing a lot (and I mean a lot) of Invincible Army and Varuna lists with my mates @Make PanO Great Again :P and Boris, AKA @ElChacarero, who shot stuff down (my stuff, of course) with his mixed Core Links of Kamaus/Orcs and Zhanshi/Shang Jis respectively. Testing was really productive and we understood a couple of things right away: You need plenty of orders and links to get your stuff out of the Biotechvore zone You want drop troops for Firefight (duh) Resilient Lieutenants are a must for Decapitation So, I tried to come up with ways to cover those points up. I went for the obvious answers: Tactical Awareness and a bunch of Wildcard troops to link into a Core and a Haris team Total AVA Liu Xing, because Total AVA Liu Xing is my answer to everything now Daoying Lt. Hacker, because Daoying Lt. Hacker is awesome, thank you CB for this gift (but really, the Camo state makes it tough to assassin and the Lt. orders can be used to put Controlled Jump or Assisted Fire and re-camo after) With those in mind, I ended up constructing a list for Decapitation + Firefight and a different one for Biotechvore, taking into account that Biotechvore has a negative modifier for troops not deploying inside your DZ and, well, Total AVA Liu Xing is my new thing. The Tournament Round 1: Biotechvore Biotechvore ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 10 DĀOYĪNG Lieutenant L2 Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29) TAI SHENG Mk12, Chain-colt, Stun Grenades / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (0 | 45) ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Duo, Tactical Awareness) HMG / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (1.5 | 38) HǍIDÀO (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 37) ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Haris, Tactical Awareness) Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 34) SON-BAE Yaókòng Smart Missile Launcher / Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 18) CHAĪYÌ Yaókòng Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8) ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Haris, Tactical Awareness) Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 34) HǍIDÀO Engineer Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 28) ZÚYǑNG Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 29) 6 SWC | 300 Points Open in Infinity Army The goal with this was getting as much Tactical Awareness and linked troops as possible. The Core with Tai Sheng to use the double Lt. orders felt really nice, and being able to move everything outside the no-no zone with a couple of orders was priceless… But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s talk about the actual match! My opponent was @Ursa, a friend wielding an Onyx list of Unidron Core + Xeodron Haris: Ursa's list ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 10 NEXUS Lieutenant Hacker (EI Hacking Device) Combi Rifle, Nullifier / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 24) UNIDRON Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 20) UNIDRON Spitfire / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (1 | 18) UNIDRON K1 Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot A (Deflector L1) / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 17) UNIDRON (Forward Observer) Plasma Carbine / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 15) UMBRA SAMARITAN (EI Assault Hacking Device. UPGRADE: Goodnight) Plasma Carbine, Flash Pulse / Pistol, Vorpal CC Weapon. (0.5 | 43) XEODRON Red Fury, Blitzen / Heavy Pistol. (1 | 59) STALDRON Flash Pulse / Knife. (0 | 0) XEODRON K1 Combi Rifle, Blitzen / Heavy Pistol. (0.5 | 59) STALDRON Flash Pulse / Knife. (0 | 0) Bit Hacker (UPGRADE: Expel) Submachine Gun + Pitcher, Deployable Repeater + KISS! / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 19) KISS! Adhesive Launcher / Electric Pulse. (- | 4) MED-TECH OBSIDON MEDCHANOID Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23) SLAVE DRONE Electric Pulse. (0 | 3) 6 SWC | 300 Points Open in Infinity Army That’s a lot of hurt. I lost the Lt. roll and he decided to go first, while I chose the DZ with better coverage and vantage points for the Haidao MSR and Son-Bae SML. The plan was to slow him down all I could, probably sacrificing the SML and MSR, and have the Core re-forged with Haris pieces later to take full advantage of the bonuses and TA guys. Onyx first turn! His first turn started with the realization that he couldn’t do much unless the Haidao and Son-Bae died. He chose to address the issue with the Core link (smartly, I think, because the other option was to super-jump with the Haris and get shot in the face with 4 ARO shots, all of them with DA ammo). The Lt. broke the link team to put Assisted Fire on the ML, then he reformed it with a Command Token and proceeded to find a good angle where he could avoid facing both enemies at the same time. This was a make or break moment, I think. He was shooting with two dice on 17s, on an ARM 1 – W 1 trooper, against two dice on 16s, on an ARM 3 – W1+NWI trooper. Statistically, that’s not a good shot to make on your active turn. That’s one thing we found out during testing: for this mission, you want something to take long shots on your active turn, because staying on your DZ is not an option and the deployments are really far apart. For me, that meant the inclusion of the Haidao MSR, and I’m glad I did, this guy is amazing and I now feel I can’t leave home without it. But I digress: the point is, that shootout happens and the Haidao wins it, putting two wounds on the Unidron, who chooses to go Dogged because Dogged on troopers with two levels of unconsciousness is really cool. He takes the shot again and this time gets a crit, yikes. The Haidao rolls ARM poorly twice and dies. After that, he faces the Son-Bae, a much softer target with worse BS and no +3 bonus from the link team now that the MSR is gone. We are looking at two dice on 17s against two dice on 12s, but it’s still an AP+DA template we are talking about. Sadly for me, the Dogged Unidron hits once and puts the Son-Bae in Unconscious state. After that he spends orders getting the link out of the Black-Plague-Zone, then the Haris team and finally the Doctor Worm. While he is at it, he draws LoF against my little Chaiyi and puts it down. The turn ends with one of the Xeodrons actually inside MY Bad-Place-Zone, but he passes both rolls. The Dogged Unidron dies and so does Kiss (plague victim, RIP). IA first turn! I lost three units, but my order count is practically 12. I break the Haris and reform the Core link with the HMG as the Leader, adding the Haidao Engineer and the Zuyong Paramedic to the party. I use the TA on the HMG to activate the link and shoot at the Unidron Spitfire… And get crited, double-yikes. That was actually really annoying, but I shake it off and reassure myself that this is a good shootout for me (five dice on 16s against two dice on 11s), so I go again, getting 2 wounds on the guy. The Unidron goes Dogged and forces me to spend yet another order to put him down. Once I manage that I move the link out into the midfield, take shots at the rest of the Unidrons, killing them all, and rearrange my Core to avoid being flanked easily by the Xeodrones. I would’ve liked to go after the enemy Lt. but I needed to move my own Lt. and remaining Zuyong TA out of the DZ. If the shootout against the Unidron Spitfire had gone better, I might’ve had enough orders to do it, but them REMs are tough! End of turn: the Son-Bae goes into Unconscious level 2, same as the Chaiyi. Onyx second turn! He has 6 orders now and uses them to shot my link team with the Red Fury Xeodron repeatedly. He doesn’t manage to kill anything, but wounds Tai Sheng, gets a wound himself and goes into total cover. The other TAG takes its place and goes into Suppression with the K1. End of turn: Bit passes his roll inside the no-no-Zone. IA second turn! At this point, I decide to go after the Lt. with my TA Zuyong (who is outside of the Suppression range). Luckily for @Ursa, his Lt. is made of adamantium, passes 6 ARM rolls and doesn’t go down until my 4th order. I then use the remaining orders to rearrange my team while shooting at the Xeodron I can see, rolling poorly and losing Tai Sheng, triple-yikes. I leave my guys covering the gap between the Doctor Worm and the TAGs after managing to wound the big guy in Suppression once with my HMG. Onyx third turn! @Ursa has four irregular orders now and decides to make 3 of those regular with his remaining Command Tokens. He activates the TAG and shoots, but I crit and get another hit in! The TAG goes down and he decides to move the Doctor next to it to get him up. He gets shot in the process but doesn’t care since he gets to make the normal WIP roll anyway, passes all those ARM rolls but fails his WIP check. Without Command Tokens to reroll, the TAG dies. Knowing he is down in army points, the Onyx commander decides to make a run for it with the Samaritan, spending the remaining orders super-jumping into a lot of bullets and dying. End of turn Bit passes the roll again, escaping the grasp of death (?) IA third turn! At this point, I’m just looking at shooting Bit with a dude and ending the game with his HVT in my ZoC + getting into base-to-base contact with Bit’s corpse to get classified points. Sadly, I can’t complete two of my classifieds (since his remaining TAG is controlling my HVT and the other one required something absurd I can’t remember now). 7-2 victory for IA! After this round, we stoped to have lunch (we were starving) and, due to some logistical problems, end up with less time to play round two (basically, we only get two turns each). Under regular circumstances, it would’ve sucked, but we were having such an amazing time that it didn’t feel that bad. Round 2: Decapitation Round two was an IA mirror match of Decapitation against Boris! That meant I was facing the Zhanshi + Shang-Ji HRL Core and a Mowang: Boris's list ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 10 LIÚ XĪNG Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32) ZHĒNCHÁ (Forward Observer) Submachine Gun, D.E.P., Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 34) HÚLÁNG (Fireteam: Duo) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower, E/M Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, Monofilament CC Weapon, Knife. (0 | 44) DĀOYĪNG Lieutenant L2 Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29) MÓWÁNG (NCO) Spitfire, Flammenspeer / Heavy Pistol, Knife. (2 | 54) SHÀNG JÍ Heavy Rocket Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 39) HǍIDÀO Red Fury / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1 | 29) ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11) ZHANSHI Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 11) ZHANSHI Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 13) 5.5 SWC | 296 Points Open in Infinity Army I decided to land my 4-Liu Xing list (pun completely intended. Admit it, you giggled): Decapitation/Firefight ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 10 LIÚ XĪNG Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32) LIÚ XĪNG Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32) LIÚ XĪNG Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32) LIÚ XĪNG Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 32) DĀOYĪNG Lieutenant L2 Hacker (Hacking Device) Boarding Shotgun / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 29) ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Duo, Tactical Awareness) HMG / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (1.5 | 38) ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Haris, Tactical Awareness) Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 34) HǍIDÀO (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 37) SON-BAE Yaókòng Smart Missile Launcher / Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 18) PANGGULING FTO (Repeater) Light Shotgun / Electric Pulse. (0 | 13) 5.5 SWC | 297 Points Open in Infinity Army I lost the Lt. roll again and had to go second, but the tableside I chose had an amazing sniper point. I was careful to deploy my Daoying in a way that his Liu Xing wouldn’t be able to clip it for free with the template and braced for impact. Enemy IA first turn! Boris decided to open up facing the Haidao MSR with his Shang Ji HRL. Since DZs where pretty deep, he managed to get into his good range-band and take a shot at it. Once again, this is not a good active turn move IMO. You are shooting only three dice on 16s against two dice on 16s. This is why I think the Zhanshi Core is not really good on the offensive: you are missing a high BS HMG to take down the opposing long-range AROs with 5-dice. Anyway, he loses that and gets wounded, decides to try again and gets killed. Spends another order to get the Paramedic to revive the Shang Ji on an 11 and succeeds. He then tries to get the Haidao again and gets killed on return. Not an amazing start for him. His next move is trying to maneuver the Mowang into the midfield, but the SML is locking that side of the battlefield, which makes it risky. It seems that he can’t move up past the Gate Keepers (my new nickname for the Haidao + Son-Bae duo) and can’t land the Liu Xing next to them without getting kissed in the face with bullets repeatedly. His next move is to drop the Liu Xing Meteor next to my Lt., even though the template wouldn’t be placed. Sadly for Boris, he rolls a 20 and the Liu Xing gets dispersed outside the table, being placed in his DZ close to his own Daoying. The rest of his turn is spent moving the Hulang as close to my Daoying as possible without getting shot by the MSV2-MSR + SML combo and throwing speculative E/M grenade shots on… 3s? I don’t remember, it was super low, he missed all of them. My IA first turn! I go straight to business, spend a Lt. order to give Controlled Jump to the crew and drop some bombs. Seeing as the Zhanshi Core is lined up nicely for a BSG template, I land my first Liu Xing next to the Paramedic and blow her up in the process when she misses her dodge. Next, I spend some orders finishing the rest of those guys. I land my other Liu Xing close to his own drop troop to try and blow it up (to take care of the Lt. afterward), but that dude was on fire: he tanks the template, gets a wound on me and then wins a couple of FtF rolls to finish up my attacker. I then fail the drop with my third guy and deploy it next to the edge of my DZ. My last move is to walk the remaining Liu Xing into the table, as close to his DZ (in cover) as possible. Enemy IA second (and last) turn! He is in a tight spot: he has 5 regular orders and 2 lieutenant orders for a Mowang NCO that’s pinned down. He tries once more to get my Lt. with E/M grenades but those speculative shots are not getting there, ever. I think he should’ve just tried to move his Data Tracking-Mowang up and take out my heavily guarded Designated Target. It was difficult because he didn’t have a lot of orders and it would’ve meant tanking a lot of AP/DA shots, but it was his only chance at winning, I think, or at least getting a draw. He ended up not getting anything done. My IA second (and last) turn! I just spent a lot of orders moving my Data Tracker (the HMG TA Zuyong) up the table and killing his Designated Target. Then I failed at discovering his well-guarded Lt. 6-0 victory for (my) IA! Round 3: Firefight Last round was against @Make PanO Great Again :P and his Varuna squad. He’s a really good player and I enjoy playing against him because we always bring out each other’s A-game. It’s funny because, during testing, he told me he definitely didn’t want to face me during the Firefight round with this list. When we started preparing for the tournament and I showed him the 4 Liu Xing list (it wasn’t the final version, at the time it had 4 Zhenchas instead of the link team and looked like crap) he didn’t laugh it off, saying he honestly thought 4 HI drop troops were amazing for both Decapitation and Firefight. Especially with the backup of a Core link fueled by TA orders. Anyway, last round, winner takes it all, Firefight, baby! This was his list (mine was the same one I used in Decapitation): MakePanO...'s list ────────────────────────────────────────────────── 10 ECHO-BRAVO Red Fury / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 25) KAMAU (Multispectral Visor L2) MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 32) ORC (Varuna Div.) Lieutenant (Multiterrain: Aquatic/Jungle, Stealth) HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 45) PATSY GARNETT Submachine Gun, Nimbus Plus Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 37) BIPANDRA Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 23) FUSILIER Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 10) ZULU-COBRA (Sensor) Combi Rifle, Jammer / Assault Pistol, Knife. (0 | 29) CROC MAN (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31) CROC MAN (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31) CROC MAN (Minelayer) Combi Rifle, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 31) 6 SWC | 294 Points Open in Infinity Army I win the Lt. roll (#PanOWIPRolls) and take the first turn. He knows my list and tries to deploy with the Liu Xings in mind, but the table is kinda weird and his link team ends up lined up nicely for the dreaded BSG template (minus the Kamau, that deploys on top of a roof). I deploy my link team in total cover with the Gate Keepers on top of a roof in the middle of the DZ. IA first turn! I put Controlled Jump with the Daoying and start dropping… Brutally. My first guy stomps a Fusilier while taking a wound and passing an ARM roll. The second guy lands behind the Kamau (avoiding LoF from the rest of the team), who tries to dodge and fails said dodge AND the ARM roll. At this point, I’ve taken the +3 BS bonus off of the Core link and killed one of the most feared ARO pieces in the game without spending a single extra order from my pool or losing a trooper. I’ll take a brief moment to say the Haidao MSR is probably up there with the Kamau MSR in threat level and it feels really powerful to field. Back to the dropping action! Next, I activate the wounded Liu Xing and try to place a BSG template across the remaining members of the link, managing to wound the HMG but forgetting I’m facing two nanopulsers. RIP Liu Xing #1. I decide to drop Bomb #3 next to the Fusilier on the opposite side, killing it but getting shot in the back by a Zulu Cobra for free (my bad, I thought it was a mine). Not wanting to risk losing that guy, I drop Liu Xing #4 where #3 died and proceed to spend my remaining orders killing stuff with BSG templates (Orcs are tough, man). My last regular order is used to Coupe de Gracé someone, achieving a classified. I end my turn placing Assisted Fire on the SML via the Pangguling repeater. Varuna first turn! Taking into account he is in Loss of Lieutenant and is showing a single Irregular Order on the table, @Make PanO Great Again :P gets a lot done here: he reveals two Croc Men that kill the two Liu Xings that are not in cover and uses the third one to try and kill the SML, but loses that shootout badly. Lastly, he makes the Zulu's Irregular order into a Regular one with a Command Token, gets the Echo Bravo into my DZ's left side and tries to gun down the Pangguling to chip at the link, but the little REM blows the parrot-boy up. IA second turn! I spend my orders climbing down the building and moving up the field, getting stuff out of the panoplies and killing a Croc Man and a Zulu Cobra on the way, ending the turn with the SML and MSR facing the last remaining enemy troop. Varuna second turn! Croc Men activates and gets Scarfaced (which is totally a verb). .. And that’s it. I basically managed to kill the entire enemy army in two turns (if I had split my burst on the last order, I would’ve). It felt pretty one-sided, and it was all thanks to the crazy-started-as-a-joke-4-Liu Xing list. 9-0 victory for IA! Well then, that’s the tournament for you. I’d like to give a shout out to our Warcor @Predigerw , because we had an awesome time thanks to him. First three places where IA, Varuna and IA again, proving the new sectorials are, at least, competitive I think. All in all, I had a blast and I’ve been trying the Liu Xing on every single list so far. The guy is a beast, the free template really does matter a lot, and when you add up his durability + good array of weapon choices (the BSG for getting close and personal is my favorite) it goes a long way. Shout out to @Bostria as well for mentioning my list on the IA starter set reveal video! Some things I’ve noted and might be useful for people wanting to give the Liu Xing a try: Aim for the soft targets, if possible. Try to avoid multiple AROs (duh), but don’t be scared of a couple of Combi Rifle shots. Go for it if the payoff seems worth it! These guys are tough. Regular Hackers trying to mess your landing are overrated. Most of the time they don’t even pass their 7-8’s roll. Spend that order to get Controlled Jump, don’t be cheap! Taking into account they actually do something when they enter the battlefield, I’d say they are amazing in multiples, really. Try them out sometime! You might get surprised. Lined-up fireteams in total cover are a dream scenario: just land on the corner, pop your head out and blast them with that sweet BSG template. If you end up facing AGAINST IA and expect a Liu Xing on their side of the road, try deploying your fireteam in a way that the troops on the corners are prone, so that the guys in the middle can shoot back if the Liu Xing lands next to them. Also, try to avoid putting squishy troopers on blind spots where the rest of your people can’t see them (and help them with AROs). That’s all! I really love this trooper and I think it’s really powerful (although some people disagree). Have you tried it? If so, what did you think? Share your experience! Sorry for the wall of text and thanks for reading! BONUS PICS! One of the guys is an amazing painter and this is his fully painted Nomad squad on a really nice table, also painted by him: And also some of my squad! Some of them saw play, others are here just for show. There are quite a few proxies, because I don't own a lot of painted models and obviously the IA new ones haven't been released: Daoying Hacker and a Haidao MSR... Impersonating a Nisse (?) Hac Tao and a Wu Ming that felt freedom as a Zuyong for a day. Crane and Shikami doing their best Shang Ji/Daofei-Hulang impression (is not a good one, they're not actor material). HVT/Designated Target Dragon Lady (WIP, umbrella's not finished yet). EDIT: Grammar, so much grammar.