I recently started IA and think I've gotten to the point where I know how the pieces work together. Here are my notes in case anyone want to get into IA. Its not a full tactica, with a unit by unit break down, but break down by key points. Sectoral Theme / Style : HI Limited Insertion list with extra order is main reason to play IA. While it is possible to build non Limited Insertion lists, it not their best attribute, and other sectorals do it better. With Lt L2, NCO, and Tactical awareness you should easily have 13-14 orders in an Limited insertion list. I'm going to focus my review around this premise just to keep it focused. Zuyong vs Shang Shi Both of these have similar load outs and have fireteam core potentials and should be compared side by side. At a glance the differences are: Zuyong 2xPistols Shange Ji (+10ish Points) +1 ARM +3 BTS Lt Flamethrower When comparing the 2, the Shange Shi are better models, but in the faction as a whole you have a hard time fitting in all the 'good' stuff. For the most part the Zuyong are a better choice because they're are cost effective. When comparing each of their Big Gun profiles, the Zuyong HMG (1.5/38) vs the Shang ji Spitfire (2/45) the Zuyong is cheaper in both points and SWC, while being better where it counts. The Zuyong are the mainstay of the faction. I would say 90% of the playable lists will have a couple of these. The only notable exception is the Shang Ji has an assault hacker profile, which the Zuyong don't have. I'll review hackers a bit later, along with tactical awareness, NCO and mixed fireteams. Light Infantry All the profiles are fairly generic which every faction has access to. Usually used as filler, or a defensive ARO fireteams. The only profile which should be noted is the Zhanshi Hacker profile (0.5/19) which is the cheapest basic hacking device. Lieutenant Options I'm going to focus on the the Daoying since its got Lt L2. IA has multiple NCO options, which makes the Lt L2 skill is almost mandatory. The Camo is also a nice extra to keep it safe. There are 3 profiles available. Basic (0/21), Hacker (0.5/29) & Sniper Minelayer (1.5/32). In general having a Lt Hacker is a weakness and its should be avoided, since it allows for a indirect ways of reaching you Lt. That leaves the Basic vs Sniper profiles. I've found the sniper profile beneficial late game. In the early game let your NCO use the Lt orders, then in the late game start using it. Most players are not expecting a 'new' sniper late game and this often catches players unexpectedly. Also the Minelayer adds a second Camo marker to help protect the Lt. After a bit of experience opponents will figure out that the LT is a camo marker which is a target. If needed basic Daoying, is usable for the Lt L2, but if you lose the NCO trooper(s), the Lt L2 skill is going to be wasted. If you are not playing LT L2 & NCO in an IA force you are missing out on one of the benefits of the sectoral. NCO There are 2 NCO troops. Tai Sheng & the Mowang. Both are solid options, and all lists should have at least 1 NCO model. Both are good, but have different roles. Tai Sheng is named Zuyong and can join their fire teams. This is the main reason to select him as the NCO. Being able to use your Lt order on you fireteam is a great way to move the bulk of you force. The Tinbot profile is tempting, but it's a skill readily available in the IA fireteams. While the Mk12 profile is 0 SWC and offer a better range bands. Both of these profiles come with optional Chain of Command, which a solid suggestion if you think your opponent is playing a list that is capable of reaching you Lt. Mowang is what an Heavy Infantry considers real Heavy Infantry. The Mowang can't join any fireteams, but makes for a solid Datatracker/Xenotech escort. This makes for a good use of your extra Lt orders. The Multi-rifle profile is a little lacking for the points costs, but the Red fury or Spitfire are good as for their SWC. Hacking IA is not the best at hacking. While it does have access to HD/AHD/KHD/EVO like most factions, none of them stand out on their own. Nor can they afford to play with a lot of hackers. What they do have is access to a combo that makes for arguably the best Killer Hacker in the game. By Comboing the TinbotB & the Haidao KHD in a fireteam you get the best F2F hacker out there is. Running the numbers the Haidao AROing with Redrum has a 1.5-2x better chance of dealing damage than that of the attacker. As the attacker its closer to 4x the chance. Its biggest weakness is the BTS 0. When most of your list is heavy infantry, this combo is practically an auto include. Air Drop / Explode LX IA has access to Liu Xing (AD/Explode LX/NWI). The basic boarding shotgun AD troop is always solid choice. The question with the Liu, is the always "Do I try and use explode?'. With a PH 12 AD and a Damage 12, its not that consistent of a killing tool as you would expect. Dropping it on a link team is usually not worth it because of the Sixth Sense L2, and low damage. The best use of the explode is to drop next to remotes/motorcycles that have low armor and can't dodge very well, then move into boarding shotgun range of bigger targets. If there are no easy targets it's usually better to try and walk in. The NWI and ARM 3 is what really makes Liu a force to recon with. Very persistent once up close. The other profiles are OK, but a little expensive to run more than 1 or 2. Especially since a hacker will be needed to improve their AD chances. Infiltrating Specialists For the most part, IA versions of the infiltrating specialists are expensive, and are usually missing a little something. Hulang Shocktroopers: While they don't infiltrate, they do have Forward Deployment L2 which is why I'm including them here. Compared to other MA infiltrating models there are tougher, and have Mono-filament blades... BUT they are missing the ability to drop smoke or go into a marker state. This makes them a little harder to use. They do have Stealth (granted from MA), but will have to use the terrain to get to the target discreetly. One benefit is that it can Duo, giving them 2B MA L3 in CC. Zhencha: HI with Camo gives it the ability to grab objectives relatively easily. The weapons load outs are very short ranges (0-8) for an HI. The only exception to this is the DEP profile which has limited ammo. Liu Xing: While not an infiltration or forward deployment model, the AD does give the option to reach objectives quickly. It has a better BS than either of the other options, usually cheaper, and have better range bands. The penalty is that it has to role for the AD, and then doesn't have any camo/mimitism. Smoke / MSV Very simply... IA doesn't have smoke. The MSV2 options to counter the smoke are the Rui Shi spitfire remote, or the Haidao Sniper. Both have their uses. The Sniper offers better range, but the Rui Shi is cheaper and more mobile with the ability to go into suppressing fire. Fireteams Options... Lots of options... Too many to really explain here. the best fireteams for the faction leverages Tactical awareness for extra orders. Here is the short version. - HI Fireteam Core: Zuyong core is the best because its cost effective. Try to include 2 tactical awareness models, one Haidao KHD, Tinbot B profile, and preferably Tai Sheng for NCO. This will give you 4 extra orders for the link, and defense against hackers. - HI Haris: Zuyong Harris & Haidao KHD make for a solid start to Haris. From there you can add multiple options, the ones below are the most notable: Zuyong HMG for a big gun and a total 2 Tactical awareness orders Tai Sheng for a good (Mk12) and NCO & 1 Tactical awareness order Yan Huo for 3B with a Missile Launcher (BS 14) & 1 Tactical awareness order Note: The Yan Huo HMG can join a Haris, but for 1 point more you can get the HRMC which has better ammo and the same burst as the HMG in harris. - Fire Team DUO: Zuyong HMG can Duo, and can be mixed with one of the many wildcards or any Shang JI Shang JI Mowang Hulang Shocktroopers: Yan Huo Misc: Lu Dong has HoloEcho L2 which lets it hide as multiple other models. This can be used to impersonate a Rui Shi. This may slow down smoke models. Also if playing 2 Lu Duan & 2x Rui Shi your courtesy list can have 8x Rui Shi which is intimidating to your opponent. Hac Tao is a TO camo very HI. With the TO Camo its probably more powerful than a TAG. The Executive Order ability makes it you Lt. Mowang has the ability to be your Lt. The benefit of this is that this reduces the cost of the Mowang. Unfortunately this is somewhat open Information since the LT profile loses NCO and advance players who know the sectoral may spot this. This can be used on conjunction with Executive Order as a head game for advanced players.