Miyamotwo Mushashi

At present I find myself wondering why I jumped at the chance to pay extra for early access to two more Miyamoto Mushashi’s than I have ever been tempted to take in a list.

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He looks cool in his alternate outfit, which I guess is part of the reason. Aside from looking cool, he’s also the most skilled melee fighter in all of Infinity, which might also have helped. He hits hard and often, and with a 6-4 move he can run like a gazelle, which may assist him in putting his talents to use.

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He has a decent dodge and a good flash pulse to help and keep him alive long enough to reach base contact, although he is likely to need assistance from long ranged weapons or smoke (other troopers) to navigate enemy AROs. All of this is theory though. I’ve never actually used him. My experience with Miyamoto boils down to a casual glance at his stats and reading all the volumes of Vagabond that were available in 2014. Hopefully I have more to talk about by the time I paint his other costume. miyamoto

That just leaves painting to talk about. I primed him with Army Painter Uniform Grey, as has been customary for my JSA troops. Aside from his skin, there are 4 major colour fields on the model. Light blue on his upper body, dark turquoise on his hat, shoulders, skirt and trousers, metal parts and leather for his webbing.

I deliberately tried to use the same blue on his upper body as I did on Yojimbo to so there would be some cohesion, whilst still being a unique looking figure. The dark turquoise is Vallejo Heavy Blackgreen mixed with GW Regal Blue and Abbadon Black. The metal parts were done the same was as on the Domaru Butai. The leather started with GW Scorched brown, and was stippled with Vallejo Cam Beige. By stippling, I mean I took an old brush, loaded some paint on the tip of the bristles, wiped most of it off until what was left was almost powdery, and then gently and repeatedly poked at the surface of the model with the tip of the brush. I don’t know if that is actually called stippling. The scabbard was done the same way but with much less “stippling”. I don’t want to talk about how the “tsunami” design on the back of his skirt turned out. Other than that I am very happy with him and he wasn’t that much of a bitch to paint, certainly not worse than any Tohaa model I’ve painted.

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All that’s left is to actually use him now.

Dō-maru Beauty

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For a society that thought disemboweling yourself was beautiful, disemboweling your enemies must have been the bee’s knees. That’s what these guys do. They mulch things, aesthetically. They are so committed to beautiful death that they are willing to sacrifice their lives to get that perfect hit in, although with 2 wounds and ARM 3, often all that is sacrificed is your opponents sense of agency. An unopposed normal roll on 32 is about as sure as anything gets in Infinity. I’m unaware of any of any other stats being pushed higher by any other unit.

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The number of units in the game who feel like base contact with a Dō-maru is a good place to be can comfortably be counted on one hand. Even close combat monsters that are double or triple the cost like Seraphs and Achilles, who are likely but not guaranteed to turn the brave mecha samurai into scattered mince in retaliation, will more often than not find themselves immobilised  when the bits settle. That is of course, if the Dō-maru opts to take them on head-first, which may not be necessary when you can speculatively peg E/M grenades at PH 14.

In short, I love Dō-maru. I’ve used at least one every game I’ve played as JSA since the first one I bought was painted. I’ve used two in every game since HSN3 dropped. I think duo is obscenely good value on someone who has no real ranged combat ability and therefore often has to take the long way around to the enemy to avoid getting shot. There’s no downside to breaking a duo once you are arrive at your destination, so the extra order of the 0 SWC lieutenant option gives that extra boost which permits it to dive into the enemy ranks and go to work. When he finally does run out of steam, the second one is right around the corner.

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As for the other profiles, there is one which trades the E/M CCW for a DA CCW. This one has the advantage when you want to prioritize lethal damage. When the E/M CCW crits, the enemy still gets to make an ARM roll (against DAM 14), which could potentially be frustrating if slicing your way through chaff. In these situations however, I’ve found a solid critical karate chop is enough to send foes into blissful unconsciousness. I’d much rather the rare instance of having the enemy pass their save against DAM 12 by 1 or 2, than to have missed the opportunity to mission kill a TAG in one hit. There are also some profiles with various more expensive ranged weapons. I’ve yet to use one. Maybe I will in a core link however I’ve yet to explore core links with these guys. When I do go down that road, you can bet that it will be a Haramaki link with Dō-maru thrown in, to take every weakness of the unit and replace them with disgustingly optimised ranged strength.

I was extremely lazy painting these guys. I primed them with army painter Uniform Grey, like most of my JSA. I then painted their calf plates and servo muscles with GW Shadow Grey. I painted the abdominal and thigh guards, I think they are called Kusazuri and Haidate in Japanese, using GW Castellan Green. Then I gave the whole thing a fairly heavy wash with diluted GW Abaddon Black. Once that dried, I went back and hit the raised area of the abdominal and thigh guards with Castellan Green. I then mixed some GW Bubonic Brown into the Castellan Green and picked out the edges. This is barely visible at the moment so I might go back and do it again. Mine are noticeably flatter and darker than the studio’s. I then painted on the red panels of the shoulder pads (Sode) with GW Scab Red, which was then blacklined with the same wash, and highlighted with Scab Red mixed with GW Bleached Bone. Once that was all dry (and I mean really dry, nothing says impatient like a bright red finger print on white armour), I edge highlighted all the bits that I originally did in Shadow Grey with GW Ceramite White. I then painted the armour panels with the same colour. No layering, blending, mixing or anything. I just threw white at it, lazy as anything, but keeping out of the grooves. I tried to leave a fade to the original grey but it didn’t really happen.

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The scabbards were done with GW Blood Red, with Vallejo WW2 Ger. Cam. Beige banding. Note that my friend Dragonstriker from the forums fixed me up with the paired swords from an older Dō-maru to put on the Spitfire model, who ships without swords.

The electro Katanas were done by doing a hard edge highlight over the base-coat with white, before a few layers of watered down GW Liche Purple.

RAIDEN WINS

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FATALITY

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rollin’ Ronin

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Gaijin see him rollin’, they hating.

And rightfully so, Yojimbo is both extremely dangerous and in-your-face Japanese. He takes some of the key strengths of the Japanese Sectorial Army line up, that is, blindingly fast bikes and close combat blenders, and jams them into one 21 point profile with Crazykoalas to boot. Throw in smoke and No Wound Incapacitation and it seems too good to be true. He is however very vulnerable to bullets.

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He was also quite comfortable to paint. I painted the mounted version fully assembled, which is always a huge plus to morale. I had to really jam the brush in here and there to get underneath the seat but other than that I found nothing inaccessible. The standing version also has a nice open pose that is very conducive to painting. I can’t say I painted him in one piece, although I tried to. In the poor light of my flat, I ended up dropping him not once but four times during the process of painting, each time taking a bit with him. Luckily he made a full recovery, thanks to a pair of ratcheted surgical forceps my brother gave me, which I used to straighten the pretzel formerly known as his scabbard.

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The colours were really very simple, yet I am very happy with the effect. I started by priming the whole models with Army Painter Uniform Grey from a painfully expensive spray can. Then I painted the metallic areas, namely the servo muscles of his sword arm, the magazine of his contender, the engine and wheel hubs of the bike and the elbow pad and bracer of his right arm with Citadel Shadow Grey. I then applied heavy washes to the whole models with dilute Abbadon Black. Then, the jacket was painted with Enchanted Blue. Once the Jacket was dry, I mixed a wash out of Regal Blue, Abbadon Black and water, and painted the whole jacket with it. After that dried, I mixed Enchanted Blue with Ceramite white and painted most areas of the jacket that did not hold any of the wash. The tan areas, namely parts of the bike, belts and straps, left arm bracer and some detail on his Yojimbo’s shirt and boots, started as Vallejo WWII German Camouflage Beige, which is a very nice colour. I then sparingly added Deck Tan. Skin was painted with Bronze Fleshtone, then washed with dilute Cavalry Brown, then highlighted with the Bronze Fleshtone again. I got brave and painted the scalera of the mounted version, but failed in all attempts to give him pupils, so now he looks like someone out of Street Fighter. Can’t remember what reds I used for the rising suns, but I am sure Citadel Blood Red featured at some point.

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Funny story, Yojimbo is actually one of the only models I ever proxied (not that proxying is funny). He took out infiltrator Thrasymedes, my most hated of all the Homerotics, and that was enough to make me watch the movie and buy the figure.

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Ō-Yoroi doesn’t rhyme with anything.

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The O-Yoroi was actually my first TAG, but like most JSA units, I have a hard time writing anything interesting about them due to very low comprehension of the Japanese language. I do think it’s super cool that they are named after a classic Japanese style of heavy cavalry armour worn by Samurai as TAGs are considered Armoured Cavalry by most Armies in Infinity. I also like the visual nod to Unit 01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion in the head design.

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IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO BUILD YOUR FIRST O-YOROI PLEASE ATTACH THE PILOT ARMS TO THE TORSO BEFORE ATTACHING THE LEGS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Aside from the pilot arms, assembly was pretty straight forward. It has really benefited from the solid pinning job I inflicted on it, as the pose is a bit awkward to transport. Being one of the first models I painted for JSA, the scheme was very simple, Citadel Skull White over an Army Painter Uniform Grey Primer, with a little hawk turquoise mixed with a lot of water sparingly splashed over some areas. The darker areas are just layers of dilute Abaddon Black of differing thickness depending on how dark the areas were meant to be. The reds were the same ones I used on the Keisotsu. The Crazykoalas were painted with the exact same colours as the O-Yoroi.

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In the absence of anything meaningful to contribute to language, I thought I’d share a list  I am quite fond of that uses an O-Yoroi.

logo_23.png Japanese Sectorial Army
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Group 1 sep.gifsep.giforden_regular.png 10 orden_irregular.png0 orden_impetuosa.png0
logo_8.png O-YOROI Lieutenant HMG + Heavy Flamethrower, CrazyKoalas (2) / EXP CCW. (3 | 81)
logo_2.png KEMPEI (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CCW, Electric Pulse. (23)
logo_23.png SAITO TOGAN Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW, Knife. (39)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Missile Launcher / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 14)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU (Forward Observer) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (10)
logo_11.png TOKUSETSU KOHEI Engineer Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (14)
logo_11.png TOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (14)
logo_18.png YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (3)
logo_18.png YÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (3)

Group 2 sep.gifsep.giforden_regular.png5 orden_irregular.png0 orden_impetuosa.png0
logo_14.png WÈIBĪNG Yaókòng Combi Rifle, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (16)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Hacker (Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 17)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_1.png KEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (9)
logo_12.png RUI SHI Spitfire / Electric Pulse. (1 | 21)

6 SWC | 300 Points

Open with Army 5

 

Asuka and friends

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One thing I love about Infinity is that the human factions are a mishmash of past, present and I guess future cultural elements from across the world. Asuka here is a great example, a weaponised Bōsōzoku gang leader in the style of a contemporary Japanese race queen, who also seems to deliberately or coincidentally blend elements from several characters from Japanese videogames and anime. Her name and outfit (minus the innermost layer of clothing) seem to be a very close match to that of Asuka Kazama from Tekken series of fighting games, and if you pick through studio painter Angel Giraldez’ facebook page long enough you can see that he’s a fan of the character. It wouldn’t surprise me if the red hair she shares with Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion was also no coincidence, as there are plentiful references to that famous series scattered throughout the range. The bike is straight up inspired by that used by Kaneda in Akira, I recall seeing Carlos Llauger Lorenzo AKA Bostria pointing this out in a Beasts of War interview, although everyone knew already.

SAMSUNGAssembling her was quite difficult, as you really need her on the bike to get the positioning of her left arm (with it’s tiny point of attachment) correct. It should definitely be the last bit you align. Like the guy with the spitfire and the hacker, but unlike the woman with the combi rifle + light shotgun, I painted Asuka separate to the bike, holding her right leg in a bulldog clip until everything else was painted.

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The I painted her bike and the others exactly the same, you can see the recipe here.  Her red hair was done by first painting a 100% layer with Vallejo Orange Brown, then highlighting the raised ridges of hair with Citadel Bleached Bone, then painting it fairly heavily with Citadel Baal Red. Her extremely slutty outfit was done with successive layers of very dilute Abaddon Black,  with more layers on the darker field around the unused zipper.  Red fields were done the same colour as the bike. The vast amounts of skin were painted first with Citadel Elf Flesh, then with a dilute layer of Vallejo Broze Fleshtone. Where uh, extra layers of shading were needed, I painted dilute Cavalry Brown into the recesses directly.

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For the jacket emblem, I just kept trying until I got something that at least partially resembled what it was supposed to.

As for the rest of the gang, they were mostly the same as spitfire guy, who I recently deliberately accidentally broke to change the angle of his gun arm. Given his mimetism, decent BS and high burst, I’ve found him quite adept at shooting his way out of the situations his reckless disposition tend to land him in.

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Hacker guy didn’t pose any unique challenges save for aligning his arms, which seem to have a unique style of handlebar. The colours are the same, except he has a visor painted in the same manner as the other  light sources on the bikes (dilute Hawk Turquoise over Skull White).

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I have to admit I am very much looking forward to being able to snatch supply boxes and become a speck on the horizon at almost no order cost with this guy.

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Finally, default Aragoto girl. Whilst my first impression was that she would always get passed up in favour of Asuka or one of the more specialised guys, she creeps her way into lists frequently, especially as a low cost no SWC lieutenant option whilst I wait for the Domaru.

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In addition to my incorrect assumptions, I made several mistakes when assembling her which lead me to drag my feet painting her. First, I applied the basing sand after I assembled her, which was a huge mistake, it made it look at various angles like her bike was submerged in the asphalt or had flat tires. Also, I glued her very sturdily to the bike at several contact points and decided it was too risky to try and separate her. Whilst painting riders separately was no fun, I knew I was in for a tough time painting her the front of her chest with the way she was leaning.

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In fact, (like many things) it wasn’t as bad as I imagined, and whilst the detail suffered around her boobs, it’s hard to notice without getting in close. I really like how this model turned out.

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