Welcome to another Invincible Army blog post, today we will be looking at one of the pinnacles of Yu Jing engineering from the starter box – the Shàng Jí Invincible.
To begin with here is an excerpt from the fluff about the Shàng Jí:
“…Once more, Yu Jing has revolutionized the concept of Heavy Infantry. The fourth generation of servo-powered combat armour implies a qualitative step up in mobility and in info-biotechnological protection. These unique new Shàng Jí (“Superior”) armours are faster, lighter and definitively better. Only the best equipment for the bravest defenders of the People! The core of the State Empire Army, those regiments of Invincibles with the best record, will receive the new Shang Jí model, creating an assault force to cover all our Great Nation’s military needs. They may be deployed by orbit, land, sea, or air to a global area of operations on short. Their primordial objective will be to lead all kind of full spectrum operations to support the policies and objectives of the State Empire…”
Extract of the files of Jin Ren Min (The People’s Progress), bulletin of the Ministry of Information, Yu Jing State Empire
The Shàng Jí Invincible was one of the first models I painted in Infinity and was the guinea pig for my heavy infantry colour scheme.
More than just a line troop
As indicated in the fluff the Shàng Jí are more than just standard grunts, they are the elite of the Invincible corps and suited for any operation. This is certainly how they play out on the tabletop. Lets have a look at the profile in N3:
The Shàng Jí makes an affordable excellent all-comer HI who can be suited to any role you need him for in your list, spearheading the way. For the price he has excellent stats boasting a high PH, ARM and 2 wounds making him resilient in a firefight and able to ward off hacker attacks thanks to his BTS 6. He has a decent CC of 18 with a Shock CCW for anyone who fancies their chances up close inflicting a nasty damage 14 hit. He also has Kinematika L1 which synergises great with his PH of 14, the 3″ dodge might be the difference between cover and no cover in the next attack.
Offensively he has a respectable BS of 13 and access to some great offensive and defensive weaponry such as the spitfire, MULTI rifle and the light flamethrower. He also comes with 2 specialist options making him even more viable for ITS play. His CC possibilities are also respectable though rarely used.
What do you need commander?
As with any model and profile the roles are flexible and can be used multiple ways thanks to Infinity’s tactical depth and complexity. With the different profile options open to us it’s worth looking at each one individually, bear in mind though that this is not a definitive way of how to play each profile choice. These are my own thoughts and experiences with the Shàng Jí and they only grow each time I play.
Let’s look at the profile choices:
The no frills standard – 37pts
The default Shàng Jí profile is worth playing just to get a feel for this flexible HI. He may also be for you if you are squeezing out every last point and can’t afford those extra points to make him anything else, but don’t underestimate him! For the points you get a flexible package suitable for offence or defence with a template.
His most tactical usefulness comes from his flamethrower which can be used to threaten link teams, ignore +3 cover ARM, burn enemy camo/TO camo/ODD, cause burning rolls, intuitive attack camo markers or through smoke, AROing with an automatic hit…the list goes on. The flamethrower makes the Shàng Jí a scary prospect on the offence in the midfield or on objectives but also makes him a good back line defender to flank attacks. The flamethrower is useful on all profiles.
The durable Lieutenant – 37pts
Infinity is a brutal game and losing your Lieutenant can be painful and potentially game changing. For 0 SWC the Shàng Jí makes a fantastic Lieutenant who is durable and won’t go down easily. His WIP 13 also means that he blends in well with the rest of your force keeping your opponent guessing who your Lieutenant is. The Shàng Jí Lieutenant can also make good use of the Lieutenant order provided you do not use him recklessly as he can use the extra order while on the offense or defense when you most need it.
The combat medic – 39pts
The paramedic option makes the Shàng Jí a specialist which is necessary for objectives in ITS, it also means he can accomplish the doctor classified objectives with his medikit. The paramedic option is particularly useful on the Shàng Jí as he will usually be found where the fighting is thickest and where your guys are getting knocked unconscious all for an extra 2pts, if you need a durable specialist without breaking the bank this is a good option.
This essentially makes him a combat medic. Medikits are still risky without the doctor skill but having the option there could be the difference between getting your Hac Tao back on his feet or losing the quadrant. I like this profile as the Shàng Jí is able to get stuck in and provide support to other troops who need reviving, his decent BS means he can shoot the medikit at a friendly trooper on a 13 or 16. In Yu Jing it is usually your heavy infantry fighting at the front which usually means high PH stats, having a medic nearby is always handy.
The ammo guy – 40pts
The MULTI rifle Shàng Jí is a useful choice if you are facing well armoured opponents (like Military orders or TAGs) or swathes of light Infantry that just need putting down with Shock ammo before the doctors get there (like Haqqislam). He also makes a dangerous ARO piece while in cover using DA ammo. The MULTI rifle gives the Shàng Jí tactical options in firefights and able to engage heavy or light foes in the midfield. These ammunition choices come at the cost of losing the light flamethrower however so you must determine which you need more depending on your opponent. You are basically swapping your short range tactical options for longer range ones.
The hoser – 42pts / 2 SWC
With a trusty spitfire in hand the Shàng Jí becomes an offensive powerhouse once he steps out of your deployment zone. The +3 BS 8″ – 24″ range band allows him to shoot well up to about camo marker status in cover, hitting on 10s at burst 4 from +3 but -6. For none camo marker opponents they are going to be eating either BS13 (in cover) or BS16 death unless there are other mods. This profile is useful if you just need some extra firepower in your army that is also mobile, it does come at an SWC cost of 2 though and you do lose the light flamethrower so these tactical options should be considered. But if you have the SWC spare and you are not bothered about the flamethrower then the Spitfire Shàng Jí can hose em’ down!
The hacker – 45pts / 0.5 SWC (obsolete since HSN3)
The hacker profile is the most expensive option but highlights some of the Shàng Jí’s greatest strengths, making him a tough button pusher in ITS whether it’s opening doors or pushing for objectives. Need to secure the HVT or perform that data scan? No problem, the Shàng Jí is tough enough to get there and do it. Having a hacking device also means he can put down Supportware: Fairy Dust to protect himself and fellow heavy infantry from hacking attacks. The hacker aspect makes him even more dangerous up close by being able to spotlight nearby enemies out of LoF or using Gotcha! on any enemy HI, he is also able to buff any nearby REMs or assist any AD Combat jumping troops like the Tiger soldier, he can also threaten TAGs who get too close.
If this wasn’t enough you can also play ARO mind games with your opponent by making them think you will shoot so they declare dodge and then just hack them nullifying their ARO against the hack! Against enemy hackers he also has BTS 6 which is helpful for resisting hacking attacks. All this is in addition to his standard loadout, one of my favourite profiles.
It’s important to know the Shàng Jí’s limitations, even heavy Infantry can be blown to pieces in Infinity. The Shàng Jí is a great all-comer and dangerous up close but his shooting can dwindle at long ranges when the mods stack up on a combi rifle. He makes a great pressure piece which your opponent just has to deal with if you push him up the flank or midfield. That being said he is vulnerable to smoke tricks since he lacks an MSV and is only average at discovering any camo so this is something to be aware of. In that situation apply fire! The Shàng Jí rewards tactical and thoughtful play.
Human Sphere brought some big changes to the Shàng Jí and in my opinion, made them better than ever. Let’s look at the new profile:
The Shàng Jí received two new profiles, a change to the existing hacker profile and also ALL profiles gained Fireteam: Duo!
KABOOM – 39pts / 2 SWC
The Shàng Jí received one of the most infamous template weapons in the game, the dreaded heavy rocket launcher. This super weapon is punishing and has the option of firing either in blast mode or hit mode. Blast mode is usually best as the template ignores the enemies +3 ARM bonus from cover, but if you do catch a guy out in the open hit mode ramps up the damage to 15. The damage is fire ammunition too meaning any failed saves result in further burning rolls. Why is this good for the Shàng Jí?
Well apart from the Wu Ming, the Shàng Jí is the only other HI with access to this weapon. This weapon is commonly found on the Raiden Seibutai and they are a great unit no doubt, however the Shàng Jí takes it up a level by having a better BS, 2 wounds, more armour and also comes with a light shotgun, cause y’know, why not? This makes a Shàng Jí with the HRL a great durable heavy weapons platform that can punish people in the active turn and in ARO. Having a light shotgun as well means it is difficult to get the surprise on him up close and also means the Shàng Jí can be called upon in close quarter engagements if necessary, using the light shotgun template to deny the +3 ARM bonus. This makes this profile particularly flexible and attractive and a solid supporting piece in missions like Annhilation, Frontline, Quadrant control, Supremacy etc.
Tinbotting – 40pts / 0 SWC
This is a new profile with an anti hacker emphasis, Tinbot B is a great piece of equipment that, when combined with BTS 6, makes the Shàng Jí have little to fear from enemy hackers. It also costs nothing SWC wise which is great, this is a very straight forward profile which is simply more hacker resistant than the default profile. Where it shines however is when it is taken in a Fireteam: Duo of Shàng Jí, making not only him but also his fellow Shàng Jí receive the tinbot bonuses…we’ll get to that.
From hacker to assault hacker – 43pts / 0.5 SWC
The Shàng Jí hacker was one of the best profiles previously but now it is even better in my opinion. He has now become the cheapest heavy infantry assault hacker Yu Jing has! While having a regular hacking device was useful before it was only ‘okay’ in the midfield as its offensive options were the more basic hacking programs and lower burst. The idea of the Shàng Jí hacker was never to hold him back in your deployment zone buffing remotes with supportware, he is a frontline fighter hence the combi rifle and light flamethrower. Having an assault hacking device has made the Shàng Jí even better at this intended role as now he can go toe to toe with most enemy hackers and HI very effectively, especially since he has BTS 6.
The assault hacking device opens up powerful programs to the Shàng Jí such as carbonite and basilisk, is there a troublesome remote or HI nearby? No problem, carbonite it and then turn the corner to burn it with the flamethrower or pepper him with the combi rifle on normal rolls! Having the option to isolate units is also really powerful as is having the stronger programs for possessing TAGs. Blackout means the Shàng Jí can knock out enemy comms equipment like repeaters or enemy hacking devices. At the same time the Shàng Jí can still use spotlight for classifieds making it a useful and durable unit. The assault hacking device gives the Shàng Jí a stronger midfield presence than ever and makes him a great offensive piece, especially if you use repeaters in your force.
Whats better than one Shàng Jí ? A duo of Shàng Jí. The icing on the cake for this unit is the ability to mix and match the profiles with Fireteam: Duo, providing you have an EVO hacker. This can lead to some amazing combos and works fantastic for this unit, pushing two flamethrowers up the table for half the order cost is a scary thing for most opponents. Even more so when they are heavy infantry! It also makes them very viable for ITS. Here are some duo combos:
This combo makes the Shàng Jí duo a hacking fortress applying a -6 WIP mod to any enemy hacking attempts. But since the duo has an assault hacker they can be an offensive hacking powerhouse that can outhack all but the toughest hackers. This means this duo can take on hackers face to face without fear and have the durability and firepower to back it up. Since hacking can be a close quarters engagement having flamethrowers makes this one of the most tactical duos in the game. The assault hacker is of course a specialist making him very useful in ITS for capturing objectives.
Since taking a duo requires an EVO hacker backing them up with Kaleidoscope or Fairy dust makes this one of toughest hacking duos in the game!
Two specialist Shàng Jí’s which can be useful for certain ITS missions. Remember Coffin Raiders? This a great duo choice for getting two paramedics into the objective room to raid those tech coffins with a +3 bonus. Or how about supplies? Another mission where paramedics get a +3 bonus. The great thing about this duo is the order efficiency of getting two specialists up the field in half the cost. If one goes down, the other can try to revive him!
Spitfire / HRL / MULTI rifle + any other Shàng Jí
Depending what you need the different Shàng Jí weapon options make a good compliment to any of the other duo choices. You could run the assault hacker with a spitfire Shàng Jí to give the duo a midfield punch as they move in. Or you could buddy the hacker up with an HRL to give the duo long range punch and short range punch with the shotgun.
There are so many duo combos you could try with Shàng Jí, they are just so flexible now that you can tailor a Shàng Jí duo to fit in with the mission and wider context of your list effectively. Now all we need is Corvus Belli to resculpt some new Shàng Jí for us, come on Corvus!
So what do you like about the Shàng Jí Invincible? What are your experiences with them? Please leave a comment below and we can all share in the knowledge.