Hack Tao

HACKED

I don’t usually edit photos, but this time I could not resist…

The Hac Tao hacker profile finally has a model, after first being described by Bostria around the time N3 hit as a profile who no one used to take who would become a monster in N3. He’s what I’d describe as a jack of all trades, master of a whole bunch. There are few situations he doesn’t have an answer for. His stat block has a scary number of 14s  in it, his MULTI Rifle can threaten anything within 16 inches, his nanopulser can kill things he can’t see, he can complete objectives and can freeze, designate or possess the scariest models in the game through walls. His hacking device, paired with stealth also ensures he’s dealing with enemy hackers on his own terms in the active turn, whilst his ability to assume a marker state, high willpower, high BTS and access to the Carbonite program keep him safe in the enemy’s active turn. Finally, thanks to hidden deployment, a careless opponent might not even know how much trouble they are in until it’s too late.

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Model-wise, “super cool” doesn’t even cut it. He is posed with the confidence of someone whose only fear can be summarised as “Intruders”. I love that even though they went with his sword in hand, that the MULTI Rifle is evident on the model.

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His hack gear gives him a noticeably different geometry compared to his HMG wielding predecessor (Be sure to check out that article for everything you might want to know about the meaning behind the unit’s name!). That said, once I got painted, he started to feel very familiar, and soon they looked like peas in a pod. Here’s hoping you can take two in White Banner!

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Painting him was fairly straight forward, as there were few colours to figure out that were not used on the first one. Notably I did the crossguard on his oversized Jian exactly as I had done it on the Gūijiă, and the blade the same as the servo muscle.

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His visor comes from mixing black with a tiny bit of purple and a bit more turquoise, then adding in more white to it as I painted successive layers. That was something of a guess but it worked out all right.

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Super cool. Yu Jing really is blessed these days. Now I just have to use him quickly before the new Su-Jian comes out drags me back into the murky world of the Imperial Service.

 

As a tiger given wings

 

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The Chinese expression, “Rúhǔtiānyì/如虎添翼”, literally “As tiger add wings” , has been used for at least a thousand years to describe taking something dangerously powerful and making it more dangerous and powerful, then  letting it rip.

Having used this guy I can really see what they mean.

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Tiger soldiers are just amazing. Professional killers. Having had a few more chances to experience the profiles available to other factions, I am filled with admiration. BS13 and willpower 14 is huge. Then mimetism? I’m legit surprised people don’t complain about this. Also Tigers look better than anything anybody else gets. Sorry about that, other factions (not).

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Anyway, I talked these guys up a fair bit when I got the first one with the shotgun (who still sees table, despite my earlier prediction), and you should totally check out that link if you want to read a breakdown of the name and insignia.

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I painted this one exactly the same as the previous one , except I left his right arm separate whilst painting. Actually the little star on this one’s chest is better than the original, but is completely obscured by his absolute truck of a gun. Hard to be sad about it though.

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Eye of the Tiger

The Tiger has landed and boy, I just can’t say enough good things about him!


I mentioned in the last post that this guy’s impending arrival was enough to jerk me out of the Imperial Service and back into generic Yu Jing for a while. Whether it was his model or his stats, it’s hard to say.

Let’s start with the stats. With BS13 and WIP 14 he is a total professional. He’s slower than I’d like for someone with ARM 2, but you can’t be perfect at everything (unless you are with A.L.E.P.H). I guess being slow isn’t such a problem when you can bust in from the sides on the verge of the enemy’s deployment zone or roll the dice on a meteoric decent into the worst possible spot an the board. Mimetism as standard is just the icing on the cake. Marry a profile like this with a big gun and you have a match made in heaven.

On that note, a lot of people questioned the choice of releasing the Boarding Shotgun loadout as the first of a new generation of Tiger Soldiers. Even I thought of it as training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for the day when one with a Spitfire is released. Turns out I was way off, and he’s spoiled me each time I’ve used him so far. Airborne deployment has allowed him to get good angles on his enemies and 19 to hit is just so tasty. Chk-chk boom.


Then there’s the model itself. Like the other recent Yu Jing knock outs, the Tiger Soldier was sculpted by Javier G. Urena to great effect. It’s hard not to sound like a fanboy when I write about how much I love this model.  Aside from looking awesome, it also lends itself very well to painting.  It’s posed in such a way that it can be comfortably painted after 100% assembly and gives you plenty of decent sized panels to create nice colours on.

Following the studio scheme as closely as I could, there were not many surfaces at all that I had to try new colours, which always speeds things up. The orange was the orange, the light areas (belly, calves, jump pack and face)  started as Codex Grey, then Fortress Grey, then White. The trousers were Goblin Green over Camo Green.

On to the name:

Unlike the newer Yu Jing units, Tiger Soldiers, who have been around since the beginning, don’t have any pinyin as part of their ISC name that appears on their profile in all language versions of Infinity. That said, using the a historical example of Chinese naming badass things after tigers as a precedent, it is not a great leap of faith to assume they would be called 虎兵/hǔ bīng, made up of the characters for Tiger and Soldier respectively.

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The 虎/hǔ sound is similar to the word “hoop” without the ‘p’ sound. Although the tiger, like the leopard and the wolf, was present in China and thereby scored a single unique character to represent it, it is sometimes preceded by the character  老/lǎo, which means, amongst other things, can denote age and the associated experience/respect. The same character is also often used in a much more sardonic manner.

Moving on, the 兵/bīng is the exact same as the end of  Yáokòng Wèibīng (rhymes with “thing”).

The new and improved unit logo of this prestigious unit interestingly does not include the character for tiger or soldier.

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The characters at the top read 特别行动/Tè bié xíng dòng, meaning special operations, with the first pair of characters denoting “special“ or “particular“, and the second pair of characters denoting “operation“ with connotations of action and mobility. In case you have forgotten, the bottom two characters read Yù jīng.

So, I now have a pretty good head start on the rumoured White Banner Army. Their synergy on the table is phenomenal!

Winter Warriors

Although I had gotten very comfortable playing the Imperial Service exclusively, with Javier G. Urena’s badass Tiger Soldier sculpt on the horizon, I felt the time was right to give vanilla a go. It was the plan to make a state army unit after all, before I was seduced by link teams. Still, I find it hard to make lists without restrictions, so the sectorial life suited me. Luckily Carlos Llaugher had previously shared a tidbit that Tiger Soldiers would be available to the planned White Banner army, along with another favourite of mine, the Hac Tao. So for my first serious vanilla list, I chose to limit myself to units I felt had reasonable chance of appearing in the White Banner army. The evidence I was aware of is as follows.

Guǐláng: Unit logo, fluff, mentioned by Carlos.

Daofei: Unit logo, mentioned by Carlos.

Tiger Soldier: Mentioned by Carlos

Hac Tao: Mentioned by Carlos, dossier has sectorial army logo on it.

Shaolin Monks: Box has sectorial army logo on it.

On top of that I figured there’d be a reasonable chance of Zhanshis and a near certain chance of the various remotes. Luckily I already had most of that at a playable standard, but there was a glaring Guǐláng shaped hole, so that’s where I went first. I’ve always loved the look of the Guilang sniper, but never picked him up before I became fixated on Imperial Service.

I’m glad I finally did. Single piece models are such a pleasure to paint. This guy probably set a speed painting record for me. 80 percent of the model is covered in his coat, which I painted a simple pattern of GW Fortress Grey that was then rinsed with watered down Shadow Grey before being drybrushed with Skull white.

One strike against the studio paint job is there is very little orange to tie him to the rest of the troops, except for the anti-personnel mines on his backpack (nice detail by the way), which got the usual method. I was very tempted to paint his wrist bracers orange but decided not to for the time being. As a single piece model, repaints will be a piece of cake after all.

On to the name.

As the unit description suggests, the term Guǐláng is made up of the character for ghost and the character for wolf, 鬼/guǐ and 狼/láng respectively.

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To pronounce 鬼/guǐ, take the English word “way” but add the sound of a hard ‘G’ before the ‘w’, all as one syllable. Whilst ghost is a very common translation, “鬼” can be used to describe all manner of spectres, phantoms, monsters and demons. For instance, the classic Asian insult “foreign devil” uses 鬼 for the devil part. Like wise the term for vampire is  (blood-drinking) 鬼.

To pronounce  狼/láng, the sound is somewhere between “lung” (the organ) the “Lang” in “Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA”. This character means wolf. Being native to China, wolves were lucky enough to get their own character, much like the leopard.

In addition to 鬼狼/guǐláng, the logo also incorporates the characters 前卫/Qiánwèi, meaning skirmisher or vanguard. 前/Qián is an important character meaning prior, before, ahead of etc., in this case referring to the position of the soldier relative to the army. The ‘Q’ in “qián” makes a ‘ch’ sound. 卫/Wèi is the same wèi as in wèibīng.

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