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The lonely Shang Ji

Discussion in 'Yu Jing' started by Space Ranger, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    So I’ve noticed a lot of people dump on the Shang Ji. I’ve done it too. But is he really that bad? So I decided to do a comparison of HI Line troops in YJ. Not other factions because what matters is in faction. My comparisons are of close types of weapons.

    If you want to see Yu Jing stats, go here. Wu Ming here. Zyuong here. But for the sake of it, all have BS13, 2 Wounds, WIP13, all have Kinematika L1.

    Shang Ji and Zuyong have Cubes, Wu Ming do not. Important for doctor re-rolls.

    General Comparison:
    So first in comparison to the Wu Ming, The Shang Ji is +5 pts. +2 to CC (ok the least used stat in the game but he does come with a Shock CCW instead of Knife), +1 PH, +3 BTS.

    Compared to the Zuyong, the Shange Ji is +10pts more, +3CC, +2PH, +3BTS, and +Flamethrower.

    Basic combi
    SHÀNG JÍ Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 37)
    ZÚYǑNG Combi Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 27)
    WÚ MÍNG (Fireteam: Duo) Combi Rifle + E/Mitter, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 32)

    So of these basic profiles, I like the Shang Ji.
    Mines have their uses of course. The mines are great for defense. The E/Mitter kind of sucks for range and burst 1. Personally I like the flamethrower.

    Multi Rifle
    SHÀNG JÍ MULTI Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 40)
    WÚ MÍNG MULTI Rifle + Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 39)
    WÚ MÍNG MULTI Rifle + Nimbus Light Grenade Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 35)
    ZÚYǑNG MULTI Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 31)

    Ok the Wu-ming wins out by having the LGL for +1pt. But again I think of the Shang Ji as a moving foward assault troops where the LGL could start to have bad ranges.

    Long range / HI burst guns
    SHÀNG JÍ Spitfire / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 42)
    WÚ MÍNG HMG / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 39)
    ZÚYǑNG HMG / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (1.5 | 35)

    I think as long as the Shang Ji is moving forward, ranges are not as much of an issue. But the other two kind of win out.

    Missile / Rockets
    SHÀNG JÍ Heavy Rocket Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 39)
    WÚ MÍNG Heavy Rocket Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (2 | 33)
    ZÚYǑNG MULTI Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 31)

    Personally I feel the HRL goes against his need to assault but it's a nice tool to have.

    Boarding Shotgun
    WÚ MÍNG Boarding Shotgun + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 33)
    ZÚYǑNG Boarding Shotgun / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 26)

    Sadly, not Boarding Shotgun, which I think they should have.

    Specialists
    SHÀNG JÍ Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0.5 | 43)
    SHÀNG JÍ Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0 | 39)
    WÚ MÍNG (Forward Observer) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 31)
    ZÚYǑNG (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 28)
    ZÚYǑNG Paramedic (MediKit) Combi Rifle / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0 | 29)

    Now here's where I think he shines, because of the BTS6. He can actually take on a KHD and do okay. He still has good weapons too.

    Tactical Awareness
    SHÀNG JÍ (Fireteam: Haris, Tactical Awareness) Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower + TinBot B (Deflector L2) / Pistol, Shock CCW. (0.5 | 43)
    SHÀNG JÍ (Tactical Awareness) Spitfire / Pistol, Shock CCW. (2 | 45)
    ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Haris, Tactical Awareness) Combi Rifle + 1 TinBot B (Deflector L2) / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (0.5 | 34)
    ZÚYŎNG (Fireteam: Duo, Tactical Awareness) HMG / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (1.5 | 38)

    Well, I think the Zuyong beats him out as far as the HMG but not the TinBot.
     
  2. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    It's simple math. Shang-Ji costs +25% compared to the Zuyong, but in no aspect or situation does the Shang-Ji offer any advantage you can exploit to win Face to Face, it all goes into a roughly 5% increase in survival when you lose the Face to Face. As a minor note, there are no Zuyong nor Wu Ming profiles that need worry about KHD, so that the Shang-Ji AHD is better in that aspect is no surprise, but that doesn't negate that the Shang-Ji AHD is a good hacker, if a bit hard to fit into a list.

    This doesn't mean the profile is useless or fully defunct, which is what some people seem to be arguing against, it means that I'm arguing the Shang-Ji is costlier than it should be which tilts advantage from the list you build in favour of your opponent.
     
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  3. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    So you think those things it gets for the +10pts is not worth it? Is the Zuyong then better than the Wu Ming as well?
     
  4. Someone

    Someone Active Member

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    I rarely worry about the Zuyong vs the Wu Ming. They are in different sectorial lists and the only one that I used in Vanilla much was the Zuyong SWC discount HMG Lt.

    In IA the Shang Ji is hard to fit, points are very tight. His model also is bad so I rarely try. I do like your AHD idea, with the tinbot it could be a resilient AHD.
     
  5. Mc_Clane

    Mc_Clane Zhànzhēng bùzhǎng
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    15% More succes in CC Hit, +10% chance to wound the enemy
    10% more succes in Dodging rolls (templates, Smoke combo outside 4men FT, especultaive fire, mines)
    5% bonuss to arm rolls (non AP)
    15% bonuss to BTS rolls (hacking, viral, plasma...)/ 5% bonuss to breaker and EM

    0 CAP tinbot option

    Access to direct template weapons

    My favourite profiles
    • Assault hacker
    • HRL+LShotgun
    • Spitfire+TA
    I love One of them inside Invincible cores. They provide extra defense against impersonators, skirmishers and provide an extra on toughness.

    My only regrets about this troop are
    • the 4-4 move. It should have been 6-2 from the start (shangji are suposed to be an upgrade in mobility compared to the rest of the HI armours) and to emphatise the diference with wuming or zuyongs,
    • The line troop classification, It should have been Elite (it would have been a tool for misions like hunting party or classifieds, and shang-ji are literally the elite among the zuyong)
    • the "only one shangji per fireteam" limit.
    • the lack of specialized profiles, Grenades, MA+DA CCW, smoke,...
    • the overlapping profiles with the zuyong
     
    #5 Mc_Clane, Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  6. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    No, those 9 points over a Zuyong are not worth it. That's 8 points value of stuff I can't exploit and the increased bounce-back does not happen often enough that it's worth the investment. This is specifically an issue of how ARM works versus how the cost scales where ARM value is exponential while ARM cost is roughly a linear increase, so at low medium ARM values the increase isn't typically worth it.

    Wu Ming are sufficiently different that it's not really comparable. Yes, I think an IA Zuyong list is better than an ISS Wu Ming list, but the ISS Wu Ming list is less predictable because I could be fielding something sufficiently different that the best way to counter-deploy is not the same against both lists I've brought. Additionally, the ISS Wu Ming will have a better Doctor/Engineer to bring them back - on average, it's more reliable to get a Wu Ming back than a Zuyong and less costly. The Sophotect presents different list building challenges and often I wish I had Zhanshi Yisheng in there instead, while conversely I often wish I had Sophotect in IA. Wu Ming also offer some interesting alternatives to keep the cost down.

    But to reiterate, the most important aspect of the Wu Ming is that the alternative list isn't a list packed with line heavy infantry and that the supporting troops aren't heavy infantry, meaning that they aren't specifically hindered by the same stuff that Wu Ming are.

    With that said, one of the bigger issues I think we'll see in the future is that E/M has become really quite common, and that's a problem that all three will face and that Shang-Ji's increased BTS hardly buffers at all (due to the Breaker nature of E/M)
     
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  7. ambisinister

    ambisinister Broken Zoetrope

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    At the end of the day, to my mind, there are really only two metrics (aesthetic, theming, and rule of cool are a separate thing, and while perfectly fine reason to make unit selections, they don't seem to be the point of this thread.) we can compare units on mechanically: how are they optimized for their points cost compared to other units in faction, and do they offer unique tactical options.

    On optimization: Not everything needs to be hyper optimized and super lean to be good. Being adequate or fair can be enough, but if in that troopers role they're running up troops who can offer the same thing at reduced cost, then that's going to be a strike against. them. So in a face to face gun fight, which probably the most common face to face roll in the, the Shangi Ji offers very little beyond a Zuyong or a Wu Ming. But that's just raw stats and in a vacuum the Shang Ji is adequate and that can be ok, because we have another metric.

    Tactical options: The Shang Ji suffers here as well. The light flamer thrower is nice, but templates on our HI are not that rare. It's also, as you point out, one of our BTS6 AHDs, and it is cheaper compared to the Crane and the Hac Tao, so if that's something you're going for, that is a niche it could fill (though I could argue it's not the best AHD in faction even with BTS 6, but I feel like that's less relevant.

    Ultimately the Shang Ji could benefit from either being streamlined, or by being given some interested load options like the wu ming. We don't look further than comparing the Zuyong and the Wu Ming to see a health example of what I'm talking about. Stat wise, they're close enough that's it's not going to be a driving factor in choosing one over the other. But the wu ming have mines, and grenade launchers, and emitter, and all sorts of wacky crap. If the Shang Ji had more to offer than a light flamer or an AHD then they'd be much more compelling. Give them an emarat or some wacky grenades to make use of that high ph or a profile with albedo or uncommon heavy weapon or whatever. Anything to make me say "If I bring the Shang Ji I now have the option to do something that I couldn't with these Zuyong for cheaper" and right now I don't feel like they do.

    But this is all my subjective opinion, light flamers and AHDs could be valued much higher by you than me.
     
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  8. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    You're arguing fairly dishonestly here. Those are not equivalents, they do not contribute to each other but work in isolation of each other, and they do not take into account which is the best use of the skill declaration. (Also, the combined melee ability is roughly a 10% increase in melee performance which sounds a lot higher than it is since it's a percentage shift and not a percent point shift - both are complete pushovers for a Myrmidon)

    2 CAP Spitfire option

    (Not going to comment on your list of regrets because frankly who am I to say you're wrong in what you'd like to have had?)
     
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  9. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I agree about CC. It's the least used stat in the game and only used by those that are really good at it. It's almost worthless to compare.
     
  10. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    To start with, I agree that the Shang Ji is not in a good place right now. It isn't enough better than a Zuyong to make it worth the points, barring a very few options (and those are debatable!).

    Exactly.



    Not as good a comparison, since the Zuyong is really a Celestial Guard in better gear, while the Wu Ming is filling the 'doorkicker' role.

    There are a few weapon options I wish the Shang Ji had (if only in IA), specifically the LGL and Nimbus LGL. The Wu Ming LGL is my favorite profile, possibly in the game. It has a tool for every enemy in the 8-16" firefight range.


    Hooo, boy, time for a history lesson. (where's the old-man emoji?)

    When the Shang Ji was first released in N2, it was one of the very few ARM4 HI that moved 4-4 (I think Shang Ji and a Morat were the only ARM4 4-4 MOV). Everyone else ARM4 moved 4-2, the ARM3 HI were all 4-4 move. When the change to N3 happened, all the HI got bumped to 4-4 MOV, but I don't think the price changed enough on the Shang Ji to make up for the fact that all HI were now that mobile.

    In N2, BTS was a direct modifier on the hacker's WIP, basically like Mimetism/ODD for hacking. So being BTS6 made the Shang Ji much harder to hack. Again, in N3 BTS turned into another ARM stat but kept the 3pt steps of a visual modifier. And I don't think the price changed enough for high BTS.

    I think the original idea of the Shang Ji was to be the core troop of the Invincible Army, the Shang Ji was a much better HI suit than the original Invincible suit (which had Wu Ming statlines with a Cube). But the Shang Ji is too expensive in points to be the foundation of an all-HI sectorial.


    Also, CB has been firm that no baseline humans get a 6-2 MOV. Joan2 gets it because she's an LHost. Hollow Men get it because they're robots with a human brain at the helm. Muhktarr and Namurr get 6-2 MOV because they're not baseline humans, they're heavily modified.




    My long-time suggestion to 'fix' the Shang Ji was to give them Kinematika L2 (and maybe a level of Hyperdynamics, though dodging on 14s isn't bad), plus give them all Deflector L2 natively. And doublecheck the costs of things in the price formula!

    Another potential fix of the Shang Ji issue would be to make Zuyong 1W+NWI+Shock Immune, which would drop them about 3pts across the board. That makes the Shang Ji an actual step up from Zuyong in having 2 actual wounds, but I'd still want to give them Kinematika L2 and Deflector L2 to get them back to their N2 roots.
     
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  11. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

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    The Zuyong vs Wu Ming is far less of an issue because they don't compete in their respective sectorials. The Zuyong and Shang Ji try to exist in the same sectorial the Zuyong shows the Shang Ji the door and boots him out of it.

    It's the same reason we don't argue about Celestial Guards vs Zhanshi, it doesn't matter because they both have different sectorial homes so they don't out compete one another.
     
  12. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I'm using them as a comparison for points vs. ability. I want to show that their points seem to be in alignment with what they have. It's been said they are too expensive. In IA I think they are, by the time you take 2 of them you don't have room for much else. But in Vanilla they are fine laying in between Wu Ming and Crane.

    I actually think they made the Zuyong too good. Why would you take the TA Shang Ji when you can take the TA Zuyong? I really don’t feel there’s much difference between ARM 1 and 3, even less of a difference with 3 and 4.

    I don’t think complaining about him is going to fix the situation. Not buying him will! Don’t take it in tournaments, no matter how good the fig looks, there’s plenty of others. That’s how you get change.

    But, what change? I’d rather they add things to make him better and worth the points. He already sit’s about price-wise in-between Wu Ming and Crane. I want him to also exemplify an assaulty-get-in-there-and-kick-ass type troop. What can be added to make him better without adding to the base cost?

    This is my check list of things I'd like.

    Give more types of CCW. DA, AP, EM.
    Change troops classification to Veteran
    Increase CC to 20.

    BS Weapons to Give them:
    • Boarding Shotgun and/or Vulkan Shotgun!
    • Heavy Flamethrower
    • Grenades of any type
    • Flammenspeer
    • Mk12
    Skills (not all of them! Just one of the suggested could help):
    • Tactical Awareness to more weapon types or even all of them!
    • Immunity: E/M (all of them)
    • Kinematika Level 2 (all of them)
    • Hyper Dynamics L1 (all of them)
    • Assault (all of them)
    • Martial Arts L1 (all of them)
    • Veteran L1 (Maybe to all or just a few)
    • Chain of Command (one option)
    Equipment (on only one or two profiles)
    • Tinbot C, D, E (Albedo, Neurocinetics, Spotter)
    • Jammer
    • MSV1
    • X-Visor
    Also, I think this helps. I have everything in excel to look at and compare.
    upload_2019-4-25_12-18-21.png
     
  13. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

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    In vanilla they're still shit. You either go for budget HI like the Zuyong in Vanilla or you pay the extra points hike and pick up a super solo like a Dao Fei or Mowang. Picking some weirdly costed firepower to points ratio guy like the Shang Ji is bad, it doesn't do anything for you effectively and it hurts you more in Vanilla to take low tier attack pieces when you're giving up link team benefits.

    Same reason solo Orcs and Brigada are really unpopular as stand alones in their respective generic factions. You either pick up the discounted cheap stuff, or you go the whole hog and get the expensive guy.
     
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  14. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's me but it seems ver GW min-maxing to me. I've never been an win at all costs guy though. Don't you ever take anything for the fun of it? Or only because it win you a game? Sorry if it comes across sounding bad :v:
     
  15. Mc_Clane

    Mc_Clane Zhànzhēng bùzhǎng
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    You really should love pheasant agents :joy:
     
  16. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    They should give Shang Ji Total Immunity, might give them a niche (i.e. insane durability).
     
  17. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I did for a little bit but really the figs is not great and the fluff isn't particularly interesting. I do like the fixes with the sniper however. I also like also much derided Bao.
     
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  18. Mahtamori

    Mahtamori Well-Known Member

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    There are skills CB use to give a unit more point efficiency and there are skills that CB uses to give units less point efficiency. This naturally varies a bit depending on the needs of a faction, but Total Immunity really is a skill much like Fatality L2 firmly in the former category while moderately high CC and moderately high ARM belongs firmly in the second.
    I think Zuyong perform admirably without TI, and I don't think our improved Zuyong are in dire enough situation where it's needed to get them to be worthwhile investments. Not without preventing them from joining Cores at least, 'cause that'd be bonkers performance -.-;;
     
  19. Wyrmnax

    Wyrmnax Well-Known Member

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    Agreed that the Shang-ji is in a bad spot.

    Anything he can do the Zuyong do for ~9 pts less. Thats pretty much the mark of a unit that is not going to get used.
    "Oh, but he is better in melee"
    Melee is all or nothing in infinity. Either you are really proeficient in it ( CC 20+ and some Melee skill ) or you don't bother, because a increase of 1-2 points in your melee characteristic when you have B1 is really way too risky for it to be considered good against a baseline melee troop.
    The extra point of ARM is the only thing usable on what is effectively a gun plataform, and ARM is kinda way too expensive for the survivability increase.

    Shang Ji needed either something that was cheap but made him much better in winning his ftfs, or something that gave him a much better survivability. For his points he needs to be much better than baseline Zuyongs, or he will not see the table. Or to give options that you would not have with base Zuyongs.
     
  20. Triumph

    Triumph Well-Known Member

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    I take things because I want to, I run shit units because I want to. It doesn't mean they're not shit and need fixing. Shang Ji is one of those shitty units.
     
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