I’ve had the Raiden painted and ready to go for a while but never really had much to say on account of only using him once or twice (in JSA) until now and using him poorly. It’s a shame because it is one of my favourite models. The colours and mask make him look so sinister. I’m even tempted to buy the spitfire model, even though I’ve never seen it in a list and have never been tempted to take one. The sniper has no model, so my experience is entirely with the HRL.
The role of the Raiden in JSA is a tricky one. With a long range weapon, camo and mines, they have the look of a defensive troop. The implicit strategy is to deploy both the camouflaged Raiden and his mine in threatening positions, and let the enemy waste order discovering, throwing smoke etc. This is how I used mine most of the time.
Then when they discover the real Raiden, begin trading shots.
This falls apart when an enemy who knows Raidens well calls the bluff. They know your strategy depends on them wasting orders, so they can be pretty confident you will not ARO until the Raiden is in danger. Worst case scenario they move to where they can see both the mine and the Raiden on the first short skill and discover against one on the second. If they succeed and it’s a mine, they declare discover-shoot on the other. If they discovered the actual Raiden first go, a firefight ensues that will almost favour the active model unless it goofed by bringing friends into the blast radius. Raidens have no abilities that really enhance their ARO competency. In fact, using them in ARO throws away their primary advantages – surprise shot. The Raiden should use this one-hit-wonder to actively clear enemy troops. Working against him in this role is the fact that he is a bit slow getting to the exact circumstances he shines in (at 4-2 believe he is the single slowest mover in JSA), and that is that the surprise shot won’t work against a link team with the 4 member bonus, which is quite often the ARO troop who needs clearing the most and your best chance of catching others in the template.
On the face of it he just does not compare favourably to the lightning fast Aragoto Spitfire, who is also often used as an ice-breaker shooting his way through enemy defences, but then has later turn utility as a suppression turret you can park anywhere. The Aragoto costs more points, but less SWC and SWC is normally where I feel the squeeze first in JSA. This is because I almost always take a Keisotsu link with a missile launcher and frequently take an O-yoroi lieutenant. Add in an Aragoto spitfire and hacker and that’s the SWC gone. I did end up making a list I liked without the Aragoto, and finally Raiden had a chance to do his job.
The Corregador Nomads I was up against locked down a flank with an overclocked Tsyklon that was equipped with a Fuerebach. The O-Yoroi was pinned behind a building and I did not want to risk copping 2 explosive hits on a chunk of my army that size. So the Raiden plucked up his newly issued V: Courage and tried his luck. 2 shots each, same range mods and ballistic skill. The surprise shot modifier was the decider which opened the flank for the samurai to do samurai shit.
As for painting the Raiden, he has an open pose that makes painting him in one piece a breeze. All the colours used were the same as on this Keisotsu step by step.