1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hemos actualizado nuestra PolĂ­tica de Privacidad acorde con la nueva RGPD. +Info // We've updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the GDPR. +Info
    Dismiss Notice

To Shinobu or not to Shinobu?

Discussion in 'Japanese Secessionist Army' started by Ashtaroth, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2019
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    63
    When I see people discuss strats and share their wonderfully fun lists, I almost always spot a Saito Togan. And, with enough reason, he's awesome, has an amazing resculpt and was one of the cornerstone of previous JSA lists, due to being a Specialist. However!

    Do you ever consider Shinobu Kitsune in detriment of Saito Togan (since they fundamentally have the same role, with minor differences)?
    These are the differences from their profiles:
    • Shinobu has Monofilament instead of EXP CCW (which is one major driving point to field her, imo).
    • Shinobu has MA5 and 25 CC to Saito's MA4 and 24. Superior Infiltration to Saito's Infiltration, and Kinematika L2 to Saito's L1.
    • She has WIP14 (one of the few LT options that have WIP this high in JSA), to Saito's WIP13.
    • She has BTS 3......ok!
    • Shinobu has a Nanopulser (template weapon).
    • Saito has a Knife, with which he can attempt to silently kill someone, not triggering ZoC shenans.
    • You pay 8 points more and 0.5 of SWC to field Shinobu, instead of Saito.
    So, I'd say, Monofilament and Superior Infiltration are the main reasons to consider Shinobu over Saito: with Mono she'll slice any enemy model with almost no roll required (or one roll with +/- 60% chance of killing someone right away), while Saito (altough very unlikely) can still be tanked through: say he crits twice with MA4, there's still 4 dice that can be tanked through on a Wound/STR 3, or 2Wound NWI model... realistically it will most likely never happen, but it can, and this is in a best case scenario for Saito.

    Speaking of which, Saito is best on 1v1s, but Shinobu is also extremely good to kill cheerleaders, be her Nanopulser Template or an opportunistic MA5 positioning, the options are there.

    The Infiltration roll for Saito is very risky and not worth (basically a 50%), while Shinobu's Superior Infiltration is something I'm willing to risk, not only is it very likely to succeed (at about 80%), but even if she fails, she can still cover an aggressive advance from the DZ with her Smoke Grenades as well.

    Which is to say, Saito, albeit being cheaper, might actually use more orders in general than Shinobu.

    And, because he lost its Specialist Operative trait, I see Shinobu as a better option since she has slightly better numbers, better Infiltration roll and more options on weapons (Mono and Template on top of what Saito has), and the points that Saito shaves off (you can get a Pangguling in, basically), are actually not that relevant, since Shinobu will, in most cases waste less orders to achieve the same goals, due to her larger array of options.

    The SWC is, however, to be seriously considered.

    Please, bash my thesis and prove me wrong :D

    Also, if your reason to field Saito instead of Shinobu is because he's fucking badass with a badass mini, I cannot really counter that, but do try to help me number crunch on this one.
     
    #1 Ashtaroth, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  2. Mcgreag

    Mcgreag Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    120
    Saito is not a specialist anymore in JSA and I have more or less stopped running him since that change. Only reason I would run Saito now is if I need the Antimaterial trait.
     
    meikyoushisui likes this.
  3. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    Yep, Saito has gone from autopick territory back to a piece you use in L&S only.

    Shinobu's competitor is the Oniwaban with a BSG, and he's hard for her to beat. Saves 6 points and gets a kit that is way more threatening on a superior infiltrator.
     
    Ashtaroth likes this.
  4. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2019
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    63
    I'm sure you had this debate a couple of times at least already... since, last thread you actually pointed me to other threads that adressed some of my questions so, apologies for (maybe) bringing this topic (Oniwaban v Shinobu) again, but:

    Oniwaban trades 1 point of CC (whatever), 1 point of PH (which I feel is very relevant), 3 points of BTS (sure...) and then 1 Level of MA and the Smoke Grenades. He also trades the Combi Rifle for the BSG, or SMG (but that one is meh on him).

    So, this is probably just on playstyles, but to me, losing 1 point of PH, which makes his Infiltration roll at about 75% chance of success is a very significant downgrade. It's still pretty good, however, should I fail the roll, then he's pretty useless in the DZ's edge. With Shinobu I, at least, have the Grenades to make an aggressive sortie by blocking lanes and maybe even have a Kempei/Rui Shi blasting someone's face. I should stress that I'm pretty aggressive with the Oniwaban, what I mean by this is that I'll pretty much always roll for infiltration. I normally field Ryuken-9 and 1 Ninja, so should I fail, not only I have the "smoke support strat" on my DZ, I still have an Infiltrator (the Ninja, who I never roll to infiltrate) on the middle of the table. This way, I have Shinobu working her ass regardless of the Infiltration Roll result.

    I can understand that the +6 with Impact Template is very good (Surprise Shotting and getting a lot of colateral rolls, because of the template), but a Combi on 14s with Surprise Shot is going to work most of the time as well, with the added bonus that it can go into Supp Fire as the turn is coming to its end. Oniwaban must choose between having 2 absolute beast dices (on 17s), or being able to also Supp Fire (with the SMG).

    My counterpoint to that is: if, in a vacuum, I am within 8'' for a BSG shot, I'll just go melee and secure the kill (higher crit and kill chance). Also, the Combi is a good shot until 16'', "doubling" the range that she can attempt a kill ("halving" the number of orders in comparison to the ones Oniwaban would need to use, for the +6 bonus... makes sense?).


    But, please, I'm very interested in hearing a more veteran opinion, on why Oniwaban BSG is almost always the correct pick :)
     
    Xeurian likes this.
  5. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    I don't think we've ever had a topic specifically about this issue, it's come up a few times. I think I'm against the grain on this issue though. Most people feel like there's a place for both, I just don't see how Shinobu's benefits are worth 2/3s of an order in JSA.

    The biggest loss is the Smoke. Combi -> BSG is absolutely an upgrade on an Oniwaban. The point of PH isn't as relevant because the Oniwaban only relies on PH if it uses Superior Infiltration, since its CC weapon doesn't rely on PH.

    The SMG profile is actually pretty okay -- for 10 points less than Shinobu you still have Suppressive Fire. It's like 90% of the utility for 80% of the cost.

    A 5% change isn't really a huge downgrade. If you use Superior Infiltration in half of your games, this means in 2.5 games out of 100 you will fail when you would have won with Shinobu.

    This is probably part of why our opinions differ a bit. I have a set of very specific rules I follow for Superior Infiltration. Here are situations where I would consider it:

    1) Obvious LT that is safe to kill
    2) Big game (like a TAG or costy HI) that is safe to kill
    3) Weak link / conga line that is safe to kill

    The big issue is the order intensiveness of safety.

    It's easier to address these points together. The utility of the BSG is different in two big ways.

    1) The BSG has an impact template. If you use Superior Infiltration, this means you are very likely to get a position where you can template multiple units. Oniwabans, in all their flavors, are fundamentally inefficient pieces. What I mean by this is that an Oniwaban is going to spend significantly more orders to its job than other pieces.

    When it comes to the situations where you have Superior Infiltrated, the BSG is just altogether more deadly and provides an additional tool to get around enemies that can normally hurt you. In Shinobu's case, she has Smoke to do this, which can be effective, but again, requires additional orders and prevents her from being able to take gunfights.

    I'm not trying to invent a nonsense example that artificially inflates the value of the Oniwaban, I'm trying to show that in the close quarter situations the Oniwaban is likely to find himself in, the impact template has utility in being able to deal with things that are normally very threatening/inefficient to deal with for the Oniwaban (such as DTWs), that CC is more likely to put you in a risky position early in the game, and that the Oniwaban has a minimum chance of being about as efficient as Shinobu and potentially being more efficient (within this one situation, which again, exists in a vacuum only slightly larger than yours.) But any time you can spill a template on two units without risk of getting templated back (which again, in positions Oniwaban are in, is very likely assuming your opponent isn't playing something like CHA, in which case you're not going to superior infiltrate anyway) the Oniwaban is making up for his relative inefficiency.

    Shinobu is a reasonable gunfighter because TO/flanking, but not really any better than any other TO gunfighter in the game -- a 24 point Clipso is going to shoot just as good as Shinobu. And there's the issue of the difference letting me buy most of an order. 6 points in JSA is 2/3 of an order, or 2 orders in the course of the game if you look at it abstractly.

    2) The BSG is a much more threatening ARO. An Oniwaban popping out of HD to hit the HMG link leader in a range that is bad for him and getting 2-3 team members in the same short skill -- or getting team members from out of LoF of the link lead for unopposed shots can basically end an opponents turn (or maybe their game). Shinobu's combi doesn't come with nearly the same risk.

    With respect to the suppressive fire part, if I'm bringing Shinobu, I am going to put her safely in marker state far out of the way at the end of the turn. I want my opponent to have to commit at least 3-4ish orders to come over, discover, and shoot her, instead of just one with an MSV2 unit shooting her in suppressive. I'd rather commit a combi ninja to this job (though then I brought a combi ninja so there's that).
     
  6. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    6,146
    Likes Received:
    9,615
    Don't use a Ninja Assault Hacker very often, do you?
     
  7. meikyoushisui

    meikyoushisui Competitor for Most Ignored User

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    1,946
    It's funny, the one time I brought it it single-handedly won me the game. I just find it hard to justify for 40 points.
     
  8. Ashtaroth

    Ashtaroth Aragoto GP Organizer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2019
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    63
    I love that profile, I think it's very very strong, but very difficult to earn a spot in most JSA lists, because of the way they play nowadays.
    When I'm list building he's my go to Ninja, after the Oniwaban, but it always ends up being the KHD or just the TacBow one, because 40 points is chunky and 0.5 SWC is not insignificant... It's in a weird spot.

    @meikyoushisui alright, would you mind to elaborate a bit on when you do decide to take Shinobu in detriment of the Oniwaban?
    From your previous arguments I get the feeling that Oniwaban finds its way into your tournament lists, which would make Shinobu a more casual/experimental pick...but I'd like to believe that Shinobu has a competitive spot too, and if that's true, when's the point to go: "aight, this need a hecking Shinobu!" ?
     
  9. csjarrat

    csjarrat Well-Known Member
    Warcor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    For me it's when you need to leverage smoke. That smoke grenade on her profile is a proper rarity but it opens up a route of attack on clustered units like link teams that have other units overwatching them.
    You would lose a shotgun oniwaban to the overwatch making it a suicide trade;shinobu pops smoke down and then mops up the team in CC without the overwatching team drawing LOS.
    It's niche but also helps your own overwatchers punch her a hole, ruishi and kempeitai love a bit of smoke and then she can get past whatever roadblock they've removed for her