Playing As JSA

Smelly Humans

Today’s my work Saturday, so what to do on a cold wet day but retell my experience playing my opponent’s JSA against my own Tohaa.

Image result for rising sun

Bit of a repost from the Close Combat argument thread on the forum, but as I originally took the photos to showcase on my blog here, here we go.  The terrain you will see below comes from the gorgeous options created by players for use in the Card Kingdom store.

I swapped lists with Noel, my JSA opponent, as I’ve given him a pounding with Tohaa the past several games and he was still curious to see why I call Tohaa overpowered since Human Sphere.  We would run Limited Insertion, Firefight Mission.


My request from him was many Ninjas, Shikami, and a Motorcycle.  He thought I’d like the Haramaki link more, so this is what I ended up with:

logo_203.png Japanese Sectorial Army
orden_regular.png9  orden_irregular.png1  orden_impetuosa.png3
logo_28.pngSHIKAMI (Fireteam: Duo) Contender, Nimbus Grenades / Assault Pistol, DA CCW, AP CCW, Knife. (0.5 | 46)
logo_28.pngSHIKAMI Combi Rifle / Pistol, DA CCW, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 47)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 23)
logo_6.pngDOMARU Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 25)
logo_6.pngDOMARU Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 25)
logo_23.pngSAITO TOGAN Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW, Knife. (0 | 39)
logo_9.pngNINJA Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 26)
logo_27.pngWARCOR (Sixth Sense L1) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)
3.5 SWC | 300 Points

Noel requested “the fun Tohaa experience”, and an obscene amount of wounds, so here was 10 orders and 23 wounds:

logo_801.png Tohaa
orden_regular.png10  orden_impetuosa.png2
logo_17.pngRASAIL Lieutenant Viral Combi Rifle + 1 Chaksa Peripheral / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 39)
sep.giflogo_17.pngCHAKSA PERIPHERAL Heavy Flamethrower / Pistol, Knife. (- | 4)
logo_22.pngKERAIL PRECEPTOR Light Shotgun, Nanopulser + 1 Mutan SymbioBeast / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0 | 25)
sep.giflogo_22.pngMUTAN SYMBIOBEAST 2 Contenders, Pulzar / CC Weapon. (0 | 13)
logo_5.pngECTROS HMG, Nanopulser / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (2 | 45)
logo_5.pngECTROS Viral Combi Rifle, Nanopulser / Pistol, Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 43)
logo_8.pngMAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
logo_24.pngSUKEUL HMG, D-Charges / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 35)
logo_24.pngSUKEUL Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / Pistol, Breaker Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 36)
logo_8.pngMAKAUL Heavy Flamethrower, Eclipse Grenades / Pistol, Viral CCW. (0 | 13)
logo_20.pngKAELTAR (Chain of Command) Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse + 2 SymbioMates / Pistol, Electric Pulse. (0.5 | 21)
logo_4.pngGAO-TARSOS Paramedic (Medikit) Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 30)
5.5 SWC | 300 Points

I am missing some pictures, and we had to terminate the game early with the store closing, but it was quite an interesting experience as someone who has never played JSA.

JSA is revered as “the CC faction”.  I don’t really care for CC as a game element―this is a shooting game.  I think CC suffers rules bloat in a big way, as a stat that seems to get rolled only one to three times per game.  With JSA, I wanted to do as much CC as possible.  I figure, if CC isn’t buttery great in the CC faction, then it’s really weak overall.


Our table was glorious.


Not quite enough Japanese castle / pagoda scenery for a full table, but it mixed together nicely.  The green islands in the middle we treated as Jungle (difficult terrain, low vis, saturation), and the raised brown rocky bits we treated as Mountain (difficult terrain).  We declared the blue roofs uniformly impassable―that is, no unit could terminate its movement on a blue roof.  I’ve been trying to convince Noel and everyone that terrain rules are a must, since it is a waste of Multiterrain and other game elements to not use terrain rules.


I went first, and deployed first.  Saito and the Ninja began up by the two consoles.  Saito took Mountain terrain, and the Ninja took Jungle.  The 2x Domaru + 3x Haramaki team deployed around the parapet on the left end of the table, with the Shikami duo on the right, and the WarCor cowering safely in total cover.  I did not plan to use the WarCor as an ARO tool, but rather turn him into a Netrod via Command Tokens.

And I accidentally deleted the picture of Noel’s Tohaa deployment, but if you scroll up, we had on the upper left an Ectros-Sukeul-Makaul triad; in the center, the Rasail team and Kerail team and Kaeltar; on the upper right, an overwatching Missile Sukeul, plus Ectros-Makaul triad linked in total cover below.  Both Sukeuls took Jungle terrain.


For the opening order, Saito revealed, opened this “panoply” and received +1 Smoke Grenades.  I then advanced him forward, chucking smoke behind him, which allowed me to do the following:


The Haramakis and Domarus reformed to cover both parapets and a window below, taking no shots from the Missile Sukeul across the table who otherwise might have blasted them, thanks to Saito’s double smokes.


Saito reentered the Camo Marker state―just look at those camo markers!―you get the reference, right?―and sprinted over the mountain terrain.  I was not afraid of one distant Chaksa hanging out near the gate.  With the 4 or so orders I had left, the Ectros triad in the upper left in CC was about to explode in CC with Saito.


Or so I thought.  On the double move order, the Chaksa discovered Saito.  On the second order, Saito was outgunned, by the Chaksa’s pistol.  Critted on a 5.

That same Chaksa crit-knifed (twice!) an Avatar to death.

Viva la Chaksa


A tremendous waste of Saito.  With only a pair of orders left, I repositioned the Shikami duo to cover the mid-table doorway.  2 2x Missile Haramaki + Contender Haramaki + Contender Shikami were ready to eat anything he moved on his turn.


His first move, then, was to withdraw the overwatching Missile Sukeul, to rejoin the triad on a right flank.  The coverless Sukeul had a shootout with two Haramaki here, the Blitzen/Contender would be firing at Burst-1 from drawing line of fire across the Jungle.

The Missile Sukeul put both on the Missile Haramaki.  The Blitzen whiffed.  But the Missile Haramaki won the shootout, landing two missiles.  However, neither one was a crit, so Noel took the hits on the Symbiomate, and began the next order with the triad completely out of the Haramaki’s line of fire.

#totallyfair  #tohaamasterrace


Ectros-Sukeul-Makaul triad #2 moved around the left, safely smoking their way to the mid position.  The Viral Ectros had a couple shootouts with the Missile Haramaki on the forward deploy, although I elected to Dodge, since both the Pistol and Missile were at the 0 range.

Noel was still a bit confused about Tohaa models―I am the first Tohaa player he has encountered―so the Kaeltar here is actually a Makaul.


At one point, the HMG Sukeul in that triad moved in view of the Shikami here.  It wasn’t the active model, so I of course took the shot.  But -3 range + Mimetism + Jungle vis penalty meant that I needed to roll a 3.  And I rolled a 4, because of course.

Noel ended his turn finalizing the two triads in cover along the left and right sides of the table.


Top of turn 2.  Netrodded the WarCor, etc.  I had a couple options.

First, was the Ninja in the middle, who was an order away from the Ectros-Sukeul-Makaul triad on the left.  Second, the Haramaki triad, but them I wouldn’t dare budge, since I was looking at 4-6 AROs from the Tohaa.  I had no more smoke because Chaksa.

The third option was the best option:  the Shikami duo.  Thanks to Super-Jump + Climbing Plus, I leapt them up along the back of the castle wall, running above the doorways and windows, safely making it all the way to right edge of the table.  Then, the duo leapt over into action.


So, how to approach this?  The Ectros would Nanopulse the Shikami on the left, since his HMG was in 0/-3 range and drawn across the B-1/BS-3 Jungle, and then the Ectros would lose line of fire after the first order.  The Makaul would surely use his Heavy Flamethrower, due to the benefits of both burning off the ODD and hitting both Shikami.  The Missile Sukeul would therefore also have to shoot, either using the Blast template to hit both, or the Anti-tank mode to avoid risking hitting the Makaul, since you cannot premeasure templates.  So, we’re looking at 5 BS attacks, at least 2 of which will hit both Shikami.

I think a less informed player would have had the Shikami shoot on their way in.    But note that, unlike Move+BS Attack, a Fireteam spending an active turn order to do Move+Evasion will do the Evasion-tag skill on all models in the Fireteam:  namely, in this case, Dodge.  So the duo Dodged.


Both Dodges were successful, and thanks to the gang-up bonuses in CC, and the ODD and 0 range bands of the Sukeul, I was able to mulch through the entire triad using only Close Combat.  In the process suffered only 1 wound (a crit from the Sukeul’s Light Shotgun).

So, the Shikami had killed 3.5|94 pts. worth of troops.  They had just made their points back, without a shot fired, and without themselves also becoming compromised.


The Ninja’s order included, I had a couple orders left.  So I decided to risk the Ninja to break up the triad on the left.  She was discovered on her way in, but still managed to defeat the Makaul in Close Combat, and terminated the turn by tying the HMG Sukeul.


It was around this time that we realized that Card Kingdom was closing in 10, so Noel completed Tohaa’s classified by stamping on Saito’s neck, and we ended the game with a tie.  (But I am pretty sure the Shikami would have cleaned house on turn 3. 🙂 )




As JSA, I killed 5|142 pts. worth of troops, all through Close Combat.  I think have a pretty comfortable understanding of when to use CC over shooting, after years of using Neema and Makauls, and more recently Military Orders; but it seems to me that with so many CC23+ and MA3+ units in JSA, that Close Combat is indeed the most likely way to deal damage with the faction.

Now, I am more experienced against JSA than my opponent was against Tohaa, so there are some orders on the artichoke side I would have spent differently.  And of course, dice favored both of us at one point or another.  And I still think Ninjas should have Hyperdynamics of some kind.  And ad nauseum, I still think that Close Combat gets far too much attention from Corvus Belli, and the whole ruleset could be simplified.  But on the whole, I think calling JSA “the CC faction” is appropriate, and JSA players who are not abusing CC against their opponents are paying a tremendous opportunity cost.

There are a hundred Yu Jing bloggers, and as I know that many Yu Jing / JSA players think that the Shikami unit is sub-par, I will say this to any of those readers here:  if you are using Shikamis firstly as shooters, you are doing it wrong.  At best, you should be expecting the Combi/Contender/Assault Pistol/ODD/BS12 to be neutralizing attacks on your way into Close Combat.  The Shikami’s guns are clearly meant to close that 16″ gap on the way to their quarry, and to defend themselves in ARO.  But the real meat is the Close Combat capabilities, especially when you add the +1 Burst / +1 DAM that can be provided by a Duo.

Yeah that’s right, one game in, I’m a JSA pro 😛


4 thoughts on “Playing As JSA

    1. Well thank you, Mr Mark. To be honest, as a blogger and avid player, it is quite easy to write long rambling essays, or fall into Infinity jargon and forget that most folks don’t know what SHRL or NWI or TOFOSS means, so I periodically make myself check blogs of other wargames to make sure that I write about Tohaa and Infinity intelligibly.


    1. Depending on what you’re shooting at, it can be safer and usually more efficient to bunnyhop them around and over models using their assault pistols, using the active turn burst 4 then ending the turn in cc. Order efficiency is especially important when trying to alpha strike cheerleaders or a priority model. I generally treat one as expendable and make them work to make their points back. The Shikami’s mobility lets them take whatever route they want down the table so your opponent will be hard pressed to cover every line of fire, being HI, they can even just facetank an aro or two to get to great positions using full order super jumps. This mobility is restricted by needing to actually get into base to base instead of within 8 and in los, and and I don’t like active turn cc when they have assault pistols. The assault pistol is a solid gun and with nimbus, can even force 4 evenish face to face rolls against a link. The Shikami’s ability to fly over the table feels a little wasted if I limit it to walking around. Since they don’t have assault, (would superjump work with assault?) If I need to spend an extra order(s) to (un)safely get in close with something with high armor, high camo, or msv, I want to know it’ll It’ll die. For everything else, bullets will do.

      Liked by 1 person

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