Discussion in 'Japanese Secessionist Army' started by Catspaw, Sep 25, 2020.
Where did you see this?
Rulebook, page 47, top left.
I think they are in a pretty good spot now. Still a niche role, but that's how it should be. Must-take units are a plague on internal faction balance and the game as a whole and I'm glad Shikami cannot be counted among them.
They still throw 4 dice on BS 15 with ODD and have the means to get within 8" with relative ease. Giving them anything with longer range bands and similar burst would totally defeat their concept. Stealth working against hacking is the only real thing missing, and that is a confirmed change.
And the antithesis of JSA design. If you want self-sufficient HI that both have big guns and are specialists to pump 10 orders into, I don't think JSA is really the right place for you to be? Go to Haaq for a Namuur or PanO for a Santiago.
I've had a lot of success with mine on the 'Downtown Corregidor' table we run. It's laid out on a street grid with lots of the tall skyscrapers from Brutal Cities, and spidermanning between them has led to some very fun attack angles. I think you get less mileage for them if they can't do acrobatics all over a crowded table, but I haven't ever really had one be useless.
Do you think that Shikami is a top competitive option in jsa?, Jsa have nice midfield specialists, nice assasins, nice strong ips, and all of them cheaper and better doing his job than the Shikami.
He is the coolest, of course, but it is not enough.
Everyone one of those pieces is better at doing each job independently but he is able to multitask and hence why his cost is so high .
He cc's as well as ninja or domaru, pushes buttons as well as the ryukken and gun fights like them too.
Has mobility options to boot. He isn't the best piece in the game but he is solid utility. Could he stand to be 40 points sharp ? Sure, hell I'd say keep at 45 and give him TA .
I think they are cool and they work for me when my opponent doesn't crit them off the table on 2s but they are not nearly for everyone . It isn't a matter of skill either, just sheerly preference.
This is greatly depending on what that competition is and for what job in what mission.
out of curiosity, what do you consider the shikami's "job" to be?
The Shikami's set of skills can come together in glorious fashion, but one has to commit to something this unorthodox to make it happen.
Are they a "competitive" choice? If you approach the game with that mindset, then probably not.
Infinity tends to favour lean, optimised loadouts with a single purpose and if people decide to take the safe route instead, I wouldn't begrudge them.
However, I do not agree that they are outclassed in every way. Shikami provide unequaled vertical mobility in JSA. If your board is set up with a lot of verticality and few long firelanes, nothing else can deliver the same attack vectors, burst, visual mods and resilience combined on a specialist.
Like others have said, forward HI objective-grabbers are also best used as opportunists. You achieve at least two goals with them to earn your investment back. (i learned this with Daofei and Zencha but it applies to non-camo troops as well).
One of those goals is close using sneaky-sneakery to hit a button.
The other is either assassinate opposing nearby specialists and/or defend the button with an ODD supp fire roadblock.
Shikami can do all of these things. Yes you have other options. Use those in your other order group or as backups.
I wonder how many people look at him more as a supplemental support piece instead of an Alpha piece. Like at the end of your list building you don't have enough points for one more specialist and one more midfield threat but you compromise for a Shikami. That seems to be what suits his jack of all trades nature.
IP is Infanteria Pesada, or spanish for Heavy Infantry
Sorry for that, IP = HI.
I'm afraid you can't quite take Shikami as a side thought, there's too much other stuff that's really important in that price range of 45-48 points:
- Dayiokai to funnel your Lt orders and make a dedicated push with his Shock Spitfire (with better than normal range) in a link team;
- Karakuri with Mk12 to absolutely push any button they try to protect, to be the budget S2 TAG that can shoot well too if you give her some Haris support, and an absolute queen of hunting parties;
- Kitsune for all the assassination tools she provides with that smoke, climbing+, ultimate mastery of CC with MA5 and monofilament blade, that can also easily win you zone control missions by being worth a lot.
Would go through these guys first if I have that amount of points available, but honestly, all of those simply get you to build your list around their usage (i.e. I particularly love the combination of Karakuri and Kitsune in one list), so It simply never gets to the point of "hey, I have points for Shikami here, may as well try him out".
The main problem of Shikami is that he doesn't do specialist job or gunfighter job or even close combat job well enough:
- Shooting within 8-16'' requires you to have some way to protect yourself as you try to close in and exposes you to ubiquitous shotgun templates that will make a short work of your ODD on 2W ARM3 "light" HI there. Also, BS12 on a non-linked HI is... well, a meme. And his weaponry... is only DAM 13, which can't really get through any properly armoured opposition.
- Pushing buttons without any kind of smoke, marker state or reliability (like Karakuri has) is also not quite stellar
- Close Combat will be hard to get into without protection other than dodge on 14s, and if you're into this style of fighting, Domarus or Tankos can do it way cheaper with the same kind of efficiency (or better if you get a whole team of them or impetous orders working in your favour)
What's unique though its Shikami's capability to get enemies on the rooftops and all sorts of awkward places, as well as hide there himself (still being quite prone to isolation/immobilisation with his BTS though). Can you leverage it enough to turn the whole tide of battle?
One of those things could make him work out well for me without breaking the concept:
- Eclipse Smoke (unique for the army, capitalises on him going solo and provides unique angle against retarded things like linked Kamau Sniper)
- Limited Camo (so he could disguise himself as a Ryuken-9 HRL and then suddenly start jumping and climbing while staying in camo, to reach where he wants to be)
- Frenzy to make him cheaper (and it would make some wildcard Duo with him more meaningful)
- Infitration option (to make him start in his preferred range, like Ryuken-9 ODD or Ninja)
- Dodge +3 (to make him really good at sweeping mines, Koalas and dodging just about everything reliably)
- SMG(+1B) instead of Assault Pistol (still close range, but less restrictive and with extra utility of AP/Shock)
- K1 Rifle instead of Combi Rifle (so you get a real anti-tank edge and get rewarded for getting close enough to your target)
Now, with 6-2/4 MOV and FD+4 he's way more viable than before, but still not enough to be decent.
This is the crux of the problem. Shikami are average if you don't play them to their strengths, which admittedly takes additional effort.
B4 BS 12-15 is plenty if the enemy doesn't have MSV or can't shoot back. Templates are only an issue if you engage them head on, but you have all the means to circumvent that. Shikami are supposed to work in the middle of the table, where there should be enough scenery to work with. Instead of walking around corners and running into that infiltrating Grunt HFT, you can climb a wall and obliterate them from behind. The only midfield unit that can contest this to some extent are Chasseurs, and they only have small templates, so you can work around that as well.
Second problem is self sufficiency - they need support in many cases. Fortunately, Yojimbo throws smoke for free and he's in most lists anyway. This requires coordination, but it's a great enabler if timed right. Close combat is a tertiary feature. It's part of the faction identity, but that doesn't mean it's the best approach most of the time.
Long story short, Shikami rely on a certain set of circumstances to be in place. Good thing is, you are in total control of most of them (except terrain, but that is a general issue that has much wider implications than just the effectiveness of Shikami). You can't just rambo them across the table and they might need more orders to accomplish their goal, but the offer unique capabilities in return.
@Knauf Just in regards to what you were saying regarding dodge. I hadn't actually thought of the the dodge movement basically acting as a cautious movement, and not triggering AROs. However, would it not trigger an ARO if you dodge into silhouette contact with another model?
The movement for a successful Dodge is not performed untill the end of the order. So the answer is: No, they do not trigger AROs. Only if it's declaration gives an ARO, like if they have LoF or already in Silhouette contact.
That's interesting. Is that working as intended? Seems a little un-immersive, for me anyhow.
Think of it as a tactical dodge-roll as seen in video games and cop shows for years, the trooper is able to dodge around the corner and get into CC before the defender can react.
Very good point! Consider my mind changed.
It's a substantial buff to CC in that case, another string to the bow!