Infinity/N3 Tactics/Japanese Sectorial Army

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A units overview and tactica for the Japanese Sectorial Secessionist Army (JSA).

[This Jap slaps back]


Why Play JSA?[edit]

Now the Japanese Secessionist Army, The JSA have freed themselves from Yu Jing's tyranny during the uprising; Pour one out for the fallen (Haramaki, Raiden, Asuka)

Play JSA if you are a massive weeaboo. They've got space samurais, space ninjas, and even Akira Kurosawa references. No other army excels at close combat like the JSA.

Faction Features[edit]

  • Seven Samurai: This sectorial has seven unique characters to play with. Each offering a different style of play
  • Close Combat: The JSA has VERY high CC stats, often in excess of 20 and supplemented by various levels of Martial Arts and the likes of Surprise Attack (for the various flavors of Ninja) and Berserk (for the Domaru). Even though it isn't a common occurrence, Close Combat against the JSA is a death sentence.
  • Aggressive Lieutenants: Because of access to cheap Chain of Command, JSA LTs are able to play aggressively using their LT Special Order freely without much fear of LoL.
  • Fireteams: JSA has access to a load of fireteams with very interesting options and compositions.

Special Skills[edit]

  • Martial Arts: Going with the Close Combat theme, the JSA has a high number of troopers with Martial Arts as well as a select few with very high levels. Martial Arts also grants Stealth and V:Courage. Note that the penalties applied to your opponent by martial arts WILL affect any face to face roll between you (BS attacks, dodges, etc.) as you reach base-to-base contact, giving your banzai charges into combat a level of protection that will often take opponents by surprise.
  • V:Courage: Every single unit in the JSA has V:Courage (only exception being if you take a 3pt Warcor journalist), meaning even your basic line troopers get to ignore Guts rolls and the penalties applied by the Retreat! state.
  • Chain of Command: The JSA has access to a cheap unit with Chain of Command, Kempetai, allowing their LTs to fight more aggressively without the fear of Loss of Lieutenant. The Kempeitai also have the Number 2 rule now, allowing them to perform a similar function to link teams, taking over in the event of the link leader's death.
  • Kinematika: Many of Yu Jing's troopers have this skill. Keeping the close combat nature in mind, JSA's soldiers can greatly capitalize on the extra dodge/engage movement to get away safely or run up closer to the enemy.

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

  • Monofilament CCW: Oniwaban and the character, Shinobu, carry deadly Monofilament CCWs. With their high CC stats, TO Camo, Infiltration, and high Martial Arts, they can kill anything with a single swing.
    • The new Tanko Zensenbutai HIs (who have replaced the Haramaki) also carry Monofilament CCWs, although their long range weaponry, BS13 and link team options makes melee lethality less of a focus.
  • TO Camo: Shinobu, Saito, and generic Oniwaban/Ninjas all have TO Camo with Infiltration (Superior Infiltration in the case of the Shinobu and Oniwaban, giving them a decent chance of deploying in your opponent's half of the board). These deadly troopers can hide in the shadows before their ambush. JSA TO camo troopers are very active turn aggressive pieces. It is always very tempting to ARO with a Oniwaban in hidden deployment, however, they beneift greatly in the active turn with Surprise Shot/Attack skills, and being able to move freely until discovered. Only reveal yourself in the ARO when it is absolutely necessary.
    • UPRISING: The AVA of the Oniwaban is down to only 2 and Ninjas to 3.
  • E/M Grenades: E/M Grenades are an uncommon weapon. The Domaru carry them and throw them accurately with their high PH. Using Speculative Fire to lob these over walls to immobilise HIs, turn troopers irregular and break unsuspecting link teams is hilarious when it works.

Unit Overview[edit]

Light Infantry[edit]

  • Keisotsu Butai: Keisotsu are the basic troop for the JSA, and it doesn't get much more basic than them. Poor stats across the board. However, they have V:Courage and are VERY cheap. There are 3 Specialist options -Hacker, Forward Observer, and Paramedic-, but they have a very low WIP12. Individually, they are perfect order fillers. It's worth noting that they have the only normal Hacking Device in the army.
    • Kaizoku, Yuriko Oda: Yuriko Oda is the Dire Foes character based on the Keisotsu. However, she's far better trained and equipped: BS12, PH11, WIP13 with Hyper-Dynamics L1, Engineer, Minelayer, and V:Courage. The Engineer skill makes her a specialist with D-Charges. Minelayer comes with Antipersonnel Mines which allows her to protect the Deployment Zone as well as playing a shell game with Raidens. Only PH11, but she can Dodge and Change Face more reliably thanks to Hyper Dynamics. She has two loadout options: for 23pts, she gains a E/Mitter attached to her Combi Rifle, or for a 1pt more she gets a Panzerfaust instead. The most common choice is the Panzerfaust. Though E/M is a scary ammunition (and isn't limited to two shots), Domaru and Haramaki both have E/M weapons already and the Panzerfaust gives her a longer (and more forgiving) range band to shoot at. Also, using a baggage bot on her will refill both her Mines and Panzerfaust in the same order.
    • Core: The Keisotsu can link into an inexpensive, but formidable, fireteam. The support weapons are so cheap that Keisotsu have a reputation as a decent defensive team. Always take them in 5s to get that +3MOD bonus. If somehow, there isn't enough points for a 5th member, the team will not survive long due to their terrible BS10. Yuriko Oda can join a Keisotsu fireteam. She's able to provide deadly Panzerfaust support, capture objectives, and protect their flank with mines. Take a Keisotsu fireteam if you need a lot of points for the rest of the army.
    • Special Core: 3 Keisotsu, a Kempetai, and a single Domaru can join as a single team, providing a cheap way to give a Spitfire Domaru the bonuses of a full link team without having to invest in other HIs, or give your team of squishy specialists a beefy pointman to act as bodyguard and get them where they need to go.
    • UPRISING: Keisotsu lost the MULTI Sniper option (now the Ninja is the only JSA sniper and that particular loadout is overpriced due to all the CC stuff it also comes with). Just take two missile launchers; it's the same burst in reaction fire, and why are you using the Keisotsu in the active phase anyways (even with their poor BS, a HMG is still a HMG, and a fully linked Keisotsu with one is still effective in the active turn for helping you punch your way out of your deployment zone through sheer weight of fire)?
  • Kempeitai: Kempeitai are a very cheap source of Chain of Command, giving you another Specialist as well as letting you use your Lieutenant in an extremely aggressive manner (as is the JSA way). BS12 is decent, and WIP14 is great for objective capping (the CoC Kempeitai is tied with Kuroshi Rider for having the highest WIP of a JSA Specialist). Kempeitai also have a couple of support weapon options for mid range combat. The Spitfire offers a high burst weapon, and the Shock Marksman Rifle with MSV2 gives you a deadly Shock ammo in the same range bands (and pairs well with the Smoke Grenade characters JSA has access to or if you need someone to deal with ODD or discover markers). Unfortunately these two options do not come with Chain of Command. Has Sixth Sense Lv1, although you're likely to be taking him in a Keisotsu link and giving the team Lv2; and an Electric Pulse that seems a bit wasted on a model with CC15.
    • Special Core: 1-2 Kempeitai and up to 4 Keisotsus (max five models) can form a link, adding a bit more durability with the Number 2 rule (Kempeitai can become the new Link Leader if the current one become Isolated or Unconscious/Dead), and to keep your Chain of Command model safer with the Fireteam bonuses. With the new weapon loudouts, the Kempei can add a decent mid range firepower in the Keisotsu team as well as a way to deal with Smoke or ODD.
  • Aragoto Senkenbutai, Advance Guard Regiment of Nippon: The Aragoto is one of the main attractions to the JSA, and why they have a reputation for speed. Aragoto are a well trained biker regiment unlike those dirty Kum Bikers from Haqqislam. They have a very nice assortment of weapon options, and with Mimetism they gain that edge against enemy fire. The most noteworthy options include: 19pt Boarding Shotgun for a very inexpensive short ranged gunfighter; Assault Hacker is a great and fast specialists especially for ITS missions like Supplies; The Spitfire is damn good alpha striker. Aragoto make for an excellent vanguard trooper.
    • Asuka Kisaragi, Aragoto Senkenbutai Jun-I: Asuka Kisaragi is the Aragoto character. She has similar stats as the regular versions. However, what makes her stand out is her weapons: Combi Rifle+LFT and Assault Pistol. She's VERY short ranged, but has nice damage output with a variety of tools. LFT to deal with ODD and Camo, Combi Rifle for short-mid range combat, and a high burst Assault Pistol for close encounters. She's also a very solid LT choice: WIP14 for the initiative roll off, and that extra LT order to spend freely thanks to Chain of Command Kempeitai
    • Kuroshi Rider, Aragoto Senkenbutai Rikugun Shoi: With Asuka MIA, the Kuroshi Rider takes her place. Kuroshi has the Aragoto platform with Asuka's same Combi Rifle + LFT. Instead of the Assault Pistol she is downgraded to Breaker Pistol. Her points feel artificially inflated with the AP+Shock CCW; She's got a great CC22, but no close combat skills to help with it. Overall, the Kuroshi Rider will perform the same as the previous Asuka's profile because of the similar loud out and platform - which begs the question: why did CB even bother replacing her?
    • Kuroshi Rider's WIP14 and Specialist Operative rule means she's tied with the CoC Kempeitai for being the most effective button pusher in JSA (you'll need something to use as a dismounted Kuroshi model in case you need to climb a ladder to get to it though)
    • It's worth noting that the Aragoto are well trained enough that they are normal Impetuous - allowing them to cancel their Impetuous Order without having to spend an order (unlike that crazy Yojimbo, who also loses out on Mimetism).
  • Tokusetsu Butai: Basic Doctor/Engineer troopers. Unfortunately, they have an awful BS10, but with a competent WIP13.
  • Warcor: Cheap and Irregular 3pt Flash Pulse dude with WIP13 and either Sixth Sense or a 360 visor. Take them if you got a few points left over. Don't underestimate how useful they are as an ARO piece. If you have command tokens to spare, their irregular order can be converted into a more useful regular order for the rest of your force in a pinch.
  • Ryuken Unit-9: The Unit-9 are the Raidan replacements. The first profile comes with a HRL, Limited Camo, and Mines. This is a nice little platform to send surprise fire templates at long ranges. However, the second profile seems to outshine. It comes with ODD, Forward Deployment L2, Mines, SMG, and D-Charges. With Minelayer as a base profile skill, this option can deploy with mines further up the board. ODD is nasty, but in Suppression Fire it becomes deadly (X-Visor is also in the base profile, so it nullifies the -3MOD in the 16"-24" range). The ODD option offers a whole lot of board control.
    • The models in the new Army box are modeled off the Major and Batou from Ghost in the Shell. As expected, the Major is the better of the two.
    • Alternatively, tossing two fire templates at +0 out to 48" is good against camo, ODD, multi-wound models, and Tohaa. If you have the midfield locked down with one of the HI links, consider Batou in a support role.

Medium Infantry[edit]

  • Raiden Seibutai: Raiden are a solid active turn strike unit. They are decently priced for bringing Limited Camo, ARM3, and BS12. All 3 of their options are very solid choices. The most popular being the HRL + Minelayer.

Heavy Infantry[edit]

  • Karakuri Special Project: Karakuri are one of the best specialist troopers in JSA. These bots are well known for being able to storm and capture the objective. They are HI with STR value and G:Remote Presence making them hard to permanently remove, and with V:Dogged they will fight to the death (they no longer explode when rendered unconscious). Total Immunity also make them super hard to deal with and BTS6 makes them harder to counter with hacking than most HIs. They are all armed to the teeth as well. There are 3 main options, but every option comes with Chain Rifle and D.E.P. They are all also Forward Observers at WIP13, so even if you decide to take a short ranged gun like a Heavy Shotgun, she can still Flash Pulse at a decent value. They are pretty pricey however.
    • Haris: There is a Combi Rifle option with the Fireteam: Haris skill opening up the option for 3 of these Japanese hooker bots to be extra mobile. This team is expensive, but great for storming domination zones, objective rooms, and capping objectives.
      • Special Haris:The Domaru with Fireteam: Haris can form a link with two Karakuris, bringing E/M grenades and significant CC power to the team.
  • Domaru Butai: Domaru are one of the more iconic units in JSA. For 2-wound HI they are super cheap. However, for HI they have a rather low BS12 (although only a few profiles will actually make use of it). Even still these guys are fantastic door kickers. MA3 gives them V:Courage and Stealth. The N3 update also upgraded their Kinematica to level 2 (providing them with 4" dodges and engage range in ARO) and gave them dual wield so now they cause Shock damage in close combat in addition to their standard E/M or DA weapon (useful against enemies with Dogged or No Wound Incapacitation). Berserk adds even greater odds of critting in CC: CC23 + 3 for MA3 + 6 for Berserk = a whopping 32 in close combat. The options like the Chain Rifle Domaru already carry a short ranged payload, so CC is a valid option for them. All of their options except for the Spitfire carry E/M grenades as well, and with PH14 they're throwing them quite reliably even with Speculative Fire. The LT option is also noteworthy for the low cost. He can freely spend his LT Order without the fear of Loss of Lieutenant thanks to the Kempeitai Chain of Command. Domaru has Frenzy and will go Impetuous in the next turn if they wound something, providing they are not part of a linkteam. The biggest downside to the Domaru is that JSA has little access to Smoke Grenades making it more difficult to bring their swords in closer. For Specialists the Domaru has a single Forward Observer option.
    • Domaru Takeshi 'Neko' Oyama: Neko is the Domaru character, costing only 2pts more than the cheapest Domaru profile. The main difference with him is that he's even more CC focused. He's got the standard Frenzy, Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades, MA3, and Berserk, but with CC24 and Dual Wield. In CC, he'll hit with PH14 AP+EXP (functionally equivalent to a D-Charge against structures). If he touches something in CC, it's dead. Also carries a Breaker Pistol instead of a normal one. Neko can also be a solid LT choice with WIP14 and can make good use of the Lieutenant Order, given his HI toughness and JSA's cheap access to Chain of Command.
    • Core: For a HI Core link, Domaru are rather inexpensive. In this team the Spitfire becomes far more relevant benefiting from fireteam bonuses. E/M Grenades and Speculative Fire gets far more potent as well. And in CC, the link leader gains +1 to PH and Burst for each fireteam member also engaged. Neko can also join the team. They only lack a real long ranged threat...
      • Special Core: 2 Domaru and up to 3 Tankos can form a fireteam. Tankos can add much needed long ranged fire support while the Domaru takes on the close/mid range threats.
    • Duo: A pair of Domaru can form a Duo team. This team has a much smaller footprint, but can still be pretty dangerous. A Spitfire can lend mid range fire support or a pair of CC Samurais (like Domaru+Neko) can just go HAM down a flank.


  • Haramaki Zensenbutai: The Haramaki are often compared with the Magister Knights of PanO's Military Order. They are a cheap and Extremely Impetuous HI. Also they don't have any high burst weapons. MA3 gives them Stealth and V:Courage. Unfortunately they also have no specialist options. So what's the point?....
    • Core: They do not have the Fireteam:Core skill; However, up to 4 Haramaki can join a Domaru fireteam (1 Domaru/Neko + up to 4 Haramaki OR 1 Domaru+Neko + up to 3 Haramaki). Domaru are the only way to link Haramaki which opens up some interesting ideas. Haramaki have better BS and can provide long ranged Blitzen or Missile Launcher support, while the Domaru get up close and personal. Contenders become deadly short ranged ARO weapons. Also the basic Haramaki is 3pts cheaper than the basic Domaru, so they are better fillers. In the fireteam, the Extremely Impetuous is suppressed. Like the Domaru fireteam, this team will also be used for pure aggression and/or area domination.
  • Shikami: The Shikami is a beastly combination of Domaru and Ninja. Same exact stats as a Domaru, but they're equipped with ODD. They're highly mobile with both Super-Jump and Climbing Plus. Dual Wield using AP and DA CCWs, and MA3 provides both V:Courage and Stealth. Also they're Specialist Operatives with DA+AP close combat weapons (due to Dual Wield) so can both push buttons and attack structures in objective games. These guys are very potent threats for both in combat and ITS objective missions. The weapon selection is thin with either Contender and Nimbus Grenades (a VERY situational weapon, but if used in tandem with cover and the Shikami's natural ODD the -12 penalty to enemy BS can automatically negate enemy shooting in certain situations), or Combi Rifle (giving a nasty suppressive fire option coupled with the Shikmai's ODD and ability to maneouver himself into annoying/unexpected firing positions). The Contender option has an Assault Pistol; though short ranged, the mobility and ODD can easily get the Shikami in close to maximise its effectiveness. They are on the higher end on costs, but with such a nice combination of equipment and skills.
    • Duo: Both options come with the Fireteam: Duo skill, so you can have a pair of these guys running up walls and jumping on rooftops.
    • Shikami count as "Elite Troops" for the purposes of some of the new Classified Objectives and missions.
  • Tanko Zensenbutai: With the Haramaki wiped out, the Tankos take their place. Unlike the change from Asuka to Kuroshi, the Tankos actually have different options, though, their roles are still the same - offering long range support within a fireteam. Tankos outside of a team are Impetuous; knowing when to keep Tankos in a link and when to let them go crazy and charge at the nearest enemy being a key skill to learn. They have 4 different weapon options, 2 with Blitzens and 1 with a Flammenspeer for those 2 Use long range fire fights. The last is a Tanko with Missile Launcher. All of them have Monofilament CCW, CC22, and MA2. There is no specialist option.
    • Special Core: The Impetuous can be a liability, but in a team of Domaru it's no longer an issue. Domaru and Tankos are some of the cheapest HI in the game, and in a single fireteam they can be very difficult to oppose. Tankos will add long range weapons in the Domaru team.
    • Special Haris: 2 Tankos can join Miyamoto Mushashi's Haris profile. Miyamoto is incredibly short ranged (although his WIP15 flash pulse can be surprisingly effective), and Tankos add a durable long range support to the team. With Fireteam CC Bonuses, this small Haris can be very scary in close combat.
  • Daiyokai Dengekitai: The Daiyokai is a large S5 HI. While only AVA1 and only 2 options, it is a very deadly attack piece. This trooper has all range bands covered! Both options have a Panzerfaust for long ranged AROs. The primary weapons for either profile are mid range guns the Red Fury or MULTI Marksman Rifle. MULTI Marksman Rifle provides different ammo types and the Red Fury focuses on high burst anti-infantry/warband. Naturally those guns are DAM13, but the Daiyokai brings it to 14 (15 for PAnzerfaust!) with Fatality L1 in the base profile. Up close, the Daiyokai wields AP CCW and DA CCW with Dual Wield, CC20, and MA2 (Martial Arts also provides V:Courage and Stealth). This unit is also very durable with ARM5, 2 Wounds, and V:NWI.
    • Special Haris: A Daiyokai can Duo up or join a Domaru Haris. Duo is nice if you need the extra movement efficiency especially for a large imposing bodyguard for a Domaru FO. In a Haris, the Daiyokai will certainly be the point man; The +1 burst bonus will make either primary weapon extra deadly.

TAG[edit]

  • O-Yoroi Kidobutai: The O-Yoroi is a very unique TAG. Firstly, it's currently the only TAG with MA1 (which also provide V:Courage and Stealth), allowing it to potentially Stealth its way through enemy repeaters without giving hackers an ARO (providing they don't have Sixth Sense, e.g. from being part of a 4+ member linkteam) . Then she also deploys with a pair of Crazy Koalas that can be used for mine sweeping and warding off pesky hackers. ARM is on the lighter side compared with other TAGs of the same silhouette, and she's armed with an AP HMG+HFT. However, the O-Yoroi is a much cheaper TAG at only 86pts and 2swc. There is also a LT option for an extra swc. Though the LT is swc heavy, she can be just as aggressive any any other LT in JSA thanks to the Kempetai Chain of Command. This TAG brings a great BS14 platform with added board control. CC21, MA1, PHYS 17 and an EXP weapon means its liable to mulch anything foolish enough to get into close combat with it (and lets it crush scenery items in objective games). Has Kinematica L1 now, but you're unlikely to ever use it given the -6 penalty TAGs have to Dodge and Engage rolls.
    • O-Yoroi Pilot: The gorgeous O-Yoroi pilot keeps her CC21 and MA1. However, she is also a Forward Observer and is armed with a Contender (although with WIP 13 and longer range, you'll generally be safer using her Flash Pulse to defend herself in ARO).

REMs[edit]

REMs get an AVA reduction (or a .5 SWC increase in the case of the Husong and Rui Shi) across the board following the secession, which though it makes sense from a fluff standpoint can be adverse to the crunch. Especially if you're a JSA player that relied on REMs.

  • Yaoxie: Yaoxie are the only MSV in the JSA, other than the Marksman Rifle Kempeitei. They can dish out pain, but they're soft target. However, Yaoxie are great aggressive pieces especially with supportware (they're repeaters, so the hacker can apply buffs without needing to get close to them). Both are mid ranged shooters so play them more aggressively.
    • Lu Duan: Though the Lu Duan have only MSV1 and trades in the high burst Spitfire, it's got more tools and equipment to play with. Holoprojector L2 keeps your opponent guessing (although being a Silhouette 4 fatty leaves you only a few other models to pretend to be and the lack of Impetuous means you aren't going to fool an experienced opponent into thinking you're one of the JSA bikers), HFT for crowds and Fire sensitive targets, and Mk12 is just a solid weapon.
    • Rui Shi: Rui Shi is more straight forward: run up and shoot. MSV2 means they're great at hunting ODD and camo troopers. Putting Assisted Fire on it with a basic hacker (either a Keisotsu or an EVO Pangguling) let's it butcher LI. Best taken in tandem with models with Smoke Grenades, so they can run around Spitfiring at things practically unopposed (be careful of engaging Core Fireteams like this, as Sixth Sense will let them shoot you back without penalty). Now costs 1.5 SWC after the Uprising (Ikari Company also have this JSA tax).
  • Yaokong:
    • Weibing: Standard toolbox REM
    • Husong: Standard Total Reaction HMG REM. JSA doesn't have a whole lot of HMGs, so the Husong is worth considering. Now costs 1.5 SWC after the Uprising.
    • Son-Bae: Standard SML bot. JSA doesn't have a good deal of FOs and Keisotsu are only WIP12. There are fast or infiltrating Assault Hackers in the army, but they would need to Spotlight on WIP10s. SML bots aren't really worth the trouble
    • Chaiyi: Basic flash Pulse Sniffer bot.
  • Yaozao: Take them to keep your Tokusetsu and/or Yuriko (if you're not using her in a linkteam) safe from harm.
  • Yaopu Pangguling: Yu Jing baggage bots with an EVO option. JSA isn't necessarily a hacking heavy army and they have NO AD troopers, although TeamPro can help keep some of your Special Fireteams with more strict requirements together when the link leader dies. However, the basic Baggage bot can be useful in reload disposable weapons, and add to zone domination.

Skirmishers[edit]

  • Ninjas: Still not the best TO Infiltrators even in JSA. The Killer Hackers is relatively cheap and can be useful for quick objective snatching, but Tacbow is not great. The Ninja KHD can apply heavy MODs, but what good is it if they miss their one shot with her bow. The other Ninja options are very expensive without having the same psychological threat as an Oniwaban.
    • The 1.4swc|42pts MULTI Sniper option is of debatable usefulness (even with the Keisotsu version getting removed) thanks to the Ninja's mediocre BS11 and the tax they pay for all their CC skills that they won't be making use of.
    • Consider putting the KHD in hidden deployment in the area you want your Daiyokai (or O-Yoroi, etc.) to move towards. If the enemy moves a hacker up to counter your HI, hit them with Trinity Redrum. If not, you now have a shiny TO specialist backed up by a tough-as-nails HI in an objective zone. Redrum (statistically the best SWORD program outside of a few niche cases) is a great anti-hacker attack, but Cybermask is almost entirely a downgrade from the Ninja's natural TO camo (requires a WIP roll to activate, doesn't apply a -6 penalty to discover rolls like TO does, etc.), with the only real benefit being the ability to walk past mines due to Impersonation fooling their IFF systems.
    • Saito Togan: Saito is a TO Infiltrating ninja mercenary. He's only 2pts cheaper pricier (now they can trade their shotgun for an SMG) than a generic Oniwaban because he wields an EXP CCW instead of monofilament (on the plus side, it means you can go after scenery items in objective games) and has only regular Infiltration rather than Superior (so he successfully infiltrates into the opponent's half on a 10 rather than 15). However, he's still very capable in close combat and even brings his own Smoke Grenades. For an extra point, you can have him as a Specialist to push buttons. His model is kinda goofy, so many people instead use Nakadai from the Outrage box to represent him.
  • Oniwaban: The Oniwaban are the master assassins. They have no specialist choice, because their sole purpose is to kill. Superior Infiltration gives them a +3MOD to infiltration in the enemy half (i.e. succeeding on a 15) and they wield a Monofilament CCW with Martial Arts L4. They also have Boarding Shotgun for short range gunfighting, or Nanopulser for surprise templates. Since Uprising they can now shave 4pts off their cost by taking an SMG instead of the shotgun, which also gives them the dickish option of suppressive fire for a massive -12 to hit them in cover in an ARO face to face (-6 for TO, -3 for suppressive fire, -3 for cover). If the super ninja makes it into base contact with the target, he can get an extra burst in CC with MA4 (although the +3/-3 from MA3 is generally the better option, statistically, especially with the additional -6 to hit you if you Surprise Attack them from marker state). Kinematika L2 is worth remembering too. His skills also gives him Stealth, so he can easily maneuver around to stab the enemy in the back. Almost anything can be a target for the Oniwaban (avoid Natural Born Warriors and Flamethrowers). Once the Oniwaban gets within the 8" short range, they can be brutal. You do pay 41pts for him (37pts for the new SMG profile), so he's pretty expensive, and maneuvering and getting the best out of an Oniwaban takes practice and patience.
    • Oniwaban count as "Elite Troops" for the purposes of some of the new Classified Objectives (make sure you're not using monofilament if trying to capture a model alive) and certain missions.
    • Oniwaban Shinobu Kitsune: Shinobu Kitsune is the most dangerous Close Combat threat in the JSA. Domaru can reach high CC modifiers, however, Shinobu is already infiltrated up the board and can lay down smoke to make engagement even easier. She's an Oniwaban character, but with CC25, PH13, Martial Arts L5, Smoke Grenades (one of the few in the army), and Combi Rifle. She has slightly better chances of passing her Infiltration roll than the Oniwaban (she succeeds on a 16) - though whether it's worth the risk is debatable. She is a close combat monster able to take down nearly any target. The downside is that she costs as much as a high end HI. Both Shinobu and the generic Oniwaban have Lieutenant options (although this forces you to deploy in marker state rather than hidden deployment if you don't want to risk starting the game in Loss of Lieutenant) and with a Kempetai Chain of Command in your list, so you can play them aggressively without fear. Worth taking if you're expecting your opponent to have an obvious Lieutenant or in a mission that with key targets (such as those with a nominated Datatracker) as she has a high chance of killing whatever specific model she sets her mind to.

Warband[edit]

  • Miyamoto Mushashi: Miyamoto is another CC focused mercenary character. He isn't taken quite as frequently as say Shinobu or Yojimbo (smoke grenades are so incredibly useful for such a close-range army), but he is still a very capable fighter. For only 24pts you get a VERY fast trooper able to demolish anyone in CC. He's a soft target but has V:NWI. Though he only has a Chain Rifle and a Pistol for range, he's also got a WIP15 Flash Pulse for ARO (he actually has the highest WIP in JSA, so in missions with a Datatracker he makes for a good button pusher). And in CC, he can take down even the heaviest trooper with Dual Wield, CC25, MA5, and AP CCW+EXP CCW (like Neko, he causes as much damage as a D-Charge against structures). Miyamoto is irregular however, which is reflected in his low costs. Has plenty of different models to choose from due to also being an Aristeia! character.
    • Haris: Miyamoto's Haris option turns his discipline from Irregular to Regular, and he can be accompanied by a pair of Tankos. They can provide the long range fire support while Miyamoto takes thing close and personal. Though Miyamoto has V:NWI, he's still a very squishy target; Let the Tankos do the gun fighting (just watch out for hackers who may come after your HI buddies).
  • Yojimbo, Sword for Hire: Yojimbo is an incredible mercenary trooper. For a DIRT CHEAP 21pts (you'll see this guy in most JSA lists online), you get a 8-6MOV Biker, Smoke Grenades and Smoke LGL, Martial Arts L4, Nanopulser, 2 Crazy Koalas!, and V:NWI. Yojimbo has CC24, BS12, and PH14 as well. Martial Arts L4 makes him the only biker with Stealth (just keep in mind that his pet Koala bombs don't, so will still provoke AROs when moving through enemy zones of control). Yojimbo also brings a whole lot of board control with the Crazy Koalas (great for minesweeping and triggering other perimeter weapons) and Smoke Grenades. In close combat, Yojimbo is able to cover his advance with Smoke, Stealth his way up to base contact, and he hits hard with PH14 and DACCW. He's got very little for ranged combat, as he's armed with only a short-ranged Contender. However, he can Smoke Dodge with great accuracy (generally on a 17 if he just drops a grenade at his feet). Unfortunately, he's both Irregular and Extremely Impetuous (and doesn't have Mimetism like the Aragoto), but that is reflected in his low costs. Note that setting a Koala into Stand By Mode counts as an attack, so can be done as part of his Impetuous order if need be. As the only Extremely Impetuous model in JSA, he's a prime candidate for being held back during deployment and placed last, so you can better anticipate which enemy he's going to start the game gunning towards (his smoke grenades aren't going to do much good if he immediately zooms out into the sights of an MSV2 sniper and gets killed in his first order) and lower the likelihood of having to burn a regular order to rein him in from a suicide run.

Playing JSA[edit]

The JSA is a fast and aggressive army to play, and they are a great first turn Alpha Striking army. They hit hard, fast, and with surprising efficiency.

The main bulk of the army excel in straight forward combat. Just move forward stay in cover, and use strength and MODs to take enemies out. When they get too close, draw katanas and charge. JSA have a LOT of close to mid range power, this mean they have to advance to be truly effective. Getting too close to the JSA can be detrimental to your opponents' troopers in terms of combat (unless they are just as capable like the Steel Phalanx). Because of the forward moving nature of the JSA, Smoke Grenades are very useful for blocking LoF so your troopers can advance. Smoke Grenades are also super useful in getting into Close Combat.

On the side of the JSA, are the deadly ninjas. Oniwaban are better in close combat assassinations than being a gunfighting skirmisher. Single out targets and surgically take them out one by one. Don't forget Stealth.

Shinobu, Saito, and Yojimbo are the only sources for Smoke Grenades. Thankfully they all have great PH to throw them (and Yojimbo is cheap enough at 21pts to be nearly an auto-include in most lists). These guys are great for both singling out troopers for CC kills, and blocking LoF so the rest of your army can move up. The Rui Shi and the MULTI Marksman Rifle Kempeitai also have Multispectral Visor Lv2, so can also take advantage of the smoke to shoot most enemies in relative safety.

Tactics[edit]

  • Chain of Command: It's worth reiterating that Kempetai with Chain of Command allows JSA's LT to play aggressively and freely use their special LT Order.
  • Need for Speed: There's plenty fast troopers in JSA. Bikers like Aragoto and Yojimbo, REMs, and Miyamoto. It's not just raw MOV values, but also Frenzy and Impetuous taking troopers up the board for "free" and TO infiltrators who are already half way up the board. The Shikami comes with Super-Jump and Climbing Plus, allowing you to bypass inconvenient terrain, run up walls like Neo and attack the enemy from unexpected angles.
  • Bikers: It takes some practice to be able to control bikers due to their Impetuous. It's recommended that you don't fill the max AVA (unless you know what you're doing) and leave points for the rest of the army. That said they are great shock troops. Don't forget that Aragoto are are only normal Impetuous. Plan out your moves.
    • Consider using bikes as efficient Suppressive Fire platforms: use impetuous orders to move up the board, then a coordinated order at the end of the turn to flip a bunch of people into suppressive at once.
  • Ninjas: Ninjas, Oniwaban, Saito, and Shinobu takes some practice to anticipate enemy movements and knowing when to strike. They are all so aggression focused that it's rarely useful to strike in ARO losing any surprise bonuses and burst. Avoid the temptation to jump out in ARO. Instead, allow the enemy to get close or past them, and use you Stealth and surprise bonuses to take them down on you next turn. Unless you absolutely need to ARO from hidden that is; In that case, ARO Engage is a fun choice if they're close enough (note that they all have some level of Kinematica).
    • Although primarily close combat murderers, going into a suppressive fire state with a Combi Rifle (or the new Oniwaban SMG) can be surprisingly inconvenient when mixed with cover and TO camo mods (or ODD in the case of the Combi Rifle Shikami). Ninjas, Saito and Shikami can also be taken as Specialists and have access to Anti-Materiel close combat weapons, which is useful for many objective games.
  • Board Control: Crazy Koalas offer a lot of board control, and they're on tough and fast troopers. Yuriko and the Ryukken both have Minelayer with Antipersonnel Mines. Ninjas, Oniwaban, Saito, and Shinobu can play psychological games. JSA can put out a surprising level of board control.
  • Holoprojector L2: Lu Duan can cause great confusion by Holoprojecting itself as 3 Aragoto, Panggulin, or other Yaoxie. This would only be a deployment bluff, because they would not have Impetuous Orders and activating it will require a marker.
  • MSV2 and Smoke Grenades: There are only 3 units with Smoke Grenades (Yojimbo, Saito and Shinobu) and only 2 with MSV2 (Rui Shi and MSR Kempeitai), but it's still a very strong tactic to use.
  • CC and Smoke Grenades: Smoke Grenades are a great way to get a Close Combat unit into base contact.
  • Natural Born Warrior: Avoid CC with troopers with Natural Born Warriors. They will shut your samurais and ninjas down.
  • Characters: If there's a role you NEED to fill (LT, biker, ninja, specialist), look for a character with that skillset. Their upgrade prices are pretty reasonable compared to the base profile considering the extra tools they get, and will fill out important niches in your army.