The reason I started Yu Jing can be summed up in one model – The Hac Tao. This guy embodies everything I love about Yu Jing and the Infinity universe, from his background fluff to his bad ass tech to his role on the tabletop. Infinity simulates Black Ops skirmishes and the Hac Tao is a real Black Ops Elite who captures that feel.
In this post we are going to look at the Hac Tao Special Unit and their different profile choices.
I went for a very dark colour scheme for my Hac Tao as I wanted to set him apart from the rest of my troops. I wanted to capture that mysterious Black ops feel about them but also make him look striking at the same. To do this I kept his armour quite dark and low profile to represent the thermal optical camo but made his helmet and gun casing pop with a pure white. Red stripes were also applied on areas of the armour to keep him in theme with the rest of my force.
Achieving the look of the armour turned out to be quite easy, after a black undercoat I drybrushed grey across all of the armour and then used 2 black washes to tone it down. After this I highlighted all of the armour edging grey followed by white.
So who are these Black Ops specialists?
The name of the Hac Tao Special Intervention Unit can be translated as “Black Magic”, and refers to the camouflage and thermal emission dampener technologies of their armors. Brave, lethal and trustworthy, Hac Tao are known to tread very lightly and hit very hard. The function of this well-trained unit is usually enemy interdiction, with a focus on dealing the maximum amount of damage with their actions. Hac Tao are specifically equipped to carry out Harassment and Elimination missions, but can also provide support in broad-scope special operations, and collateral activities that include Direct Action, internal defense, and combat Search and Rescue operations. The leitmotif of the Hac Tao Special Unit, their fighting philosophy, is extracted from Sun Tze’s The Art of War:
Be subtle to the point of formlessness.
Be mysterious to the point of soundlessness
Thereby you will be master of your opponent’s fate.
If the fluff alone doesn’t make you want to pick up one of these maybe I can help to persuade you further…
Be subtle to the point of formlessness…
The Hac Tao comes with one of the highest Heavy Infantry stat lines in Yu Jing, there are other HI’s who come close such as the Hsien but their loadouts and roles are very different. Looking at the stat line is impressive, the Hac Tao has good stats in pretty much every attribute and that is reflected in the cost and equipment. He will excel at whatever role is given to him. Be it dodging with Kinematika L1 or taking shots back and advancing, the Hac Tao performs well. Even Yu Jing’s main rival PanOceania with their Swiss Guard cannot compare to this guy, a testament to Yu Jing’s advanced heavy infantry suit manufacturing.
What sets the Hac Tao apart from other HI however is his TO camo, without it he is just a HI with a big gun. But with it the Hac Tao becomes an altogether different kind of HI…
…Be mysterious to the point of soundlessness…
Although the Hac Tao does not have infiltration he does have Hidden deployment. This allows him to be deployed secretly in your deployment zone and remain completely off the board without your opponents knowledge. Some players do this by drawing a simple map with some scribbled notes, others may take a photo with a smartphone. I usually do the latter in my friendly games but in an ITS tournament I would write it down so as to try and not give my opponent a clue about him.
Hidden deployment is great as it keeps the Hac Tao almost completely safe until you are ready to use him, only a sensor can detect him. In the reactive turn a clever tactic is to keep the Hac Tao in Hidden deployment until the enemy reaches the end of his order pool and then reveal him with an ARO. This does reveal the Hac Tao but it can catch the opponent completely off guard, especially if he is going after another target. The nanopulser can be a great surprise ARO if you are being attacked on the flanks and works great as a defensive measure since it is an automatic hit. Usually however, Hidden Deployment works best in your active turn. In the active turn you can spend the Hac Tao’s order to reveal his marker and begin using him, TO camo grants the Hac Tao all the benefits of regular camo but even better.
TO camo helps the Hac Tao to be able to move around the board relatively safely (apart from visors) to get towards objectives, each enemy only gets one chance to discover at a -6 penalty. Once a target is chosen surprise shot will make short work of the enemy. TO camo also imposes a -6 BS penalty on anyone who wants to shoot at him. With his high ARM 8 in cover and the BS penalties from TO camo and surprise shot, the Hac Tao is a tough nut to crack. In cover and at long range the enemy could potentially be on a -12 BS penalty!
3 things that the Hac Tao definitely needs to avoid though are visors, sensors and flamethrowers to stay safe and effective. But even in a firefight against an MSV model the Hac Tao has a good chance of winning thanks to his high BS and weaponry.
…Thereby you will be master of your opponent’s fate.
Let’s look at each of the profile options open to the Hac Tao:
MULTI Rifle Profiles
The standard Hac Tao brings a MULTI rifle, Nanopulser and DA CCW. The MULTI rifle is a great mid-range rifle that is lethal in the hands of the Hac Tao. In the active turn he can use Burst 3 AP or Shock making him a serious danger to 1 wound models and heavy infantry and in the reactive turn he can ARO back with Burst 1 DA ammo – scary. With his high BS it will take a lot of negative mod’s to bring the Hac Tao down to a disadvantage. The MULTI rifle Hac Tao makes a great midfield skirmisher and killer who can engage in any firefight. Having a nanopulser also opens more tactical options by being able to intuitive attack camo markers and through smoke. It also gives the Hac Tao an edge against clustered troops and especially against troops with 0 BTS. Carrying a DA CCW with CC 19 also means the Hac Tao is no pushover in CC.
65pts / 0.5 SWC (Executive Order)
Similar to the above this profile means that the Hac Tao takes over as the Lieutenant once he is placed on the table out of hidden deployment. This can be incredibly useful at the right time. If you lose your Lieutenant in the reactive turn a way to prevent loss of Lieutenant in your upcoming turn is to reveal the Hac Tao by declaring an ARO with him if possible so that he takes command.
However I have found that a better way to use this skill is to use it intentionally and trick and bluff the opponent poker style. Your opponent does not know if the Hac Tao has the executive order skill as it is private information. A tactic I like to use is to take the Zú Yong Lieutenant with HMG and go on a shooting spree with him, I intentionally use my Lieutenant order so that my opponent thinks that he is the Lieutenant, then towards my last few orders I reveal the Hac Tao out of hidden deployment and he takes over the Zú Yong as Lieutenant.
Then in the reactive turn your opponent will focus on killing the Zú Yong thinking he is the Lieutenant, this will tempt the enemy into burning orders on him only to find out that it was in vain! Not to mention the Zú Yong might get back up anyway with using the automedikit. Mind games abound!
70pts / 0.5 SWC (Assault Hacker)
This is the only specialist option for the Hac Tao but it is very much worth it, turning him into a dangerous threat both in and out of LoF. The assault hacking device makes the Hac Tao an aggressive multi layered threat. Without it he is already deadly, but with it he becomes even more lethal. Having TO Camo means the Hac Tao can use surprise shot when hacking giving the opponent a -3 mod to their reaction! TO camo also means that the Hac Tao can hack on his own terms usually as being in marker state does not allow enemies to hack him until he is revealed.
With a WIP of 14 and BTS 6 the Hac Tao is no slouch at hacking and makes a great aggressive button pusher and objective taker in ITS, able to lock down an area of the board by himself. Having an assault hacking device means there is no enemy the Hac Tao can’t take on, whether it is heavy or light infantry, 1 wound or 2 wounds, highly or lightly armoured, TAGs or remotes, anything is vulnerable to the Hac Tao hacker. Back up the Hac Tao with a repeater and the Hac Tao becomes a whole bag of fun. This profile really rounds out the Hac Tao and brings out some of his greatest strengths.
68pts / 2 SWC
The standard HMG Hac Tao is just brutal. High burst, high BS, high damage, he.just.hurts. And sometimes that is just what you want. Although I love the MULTI rifle profiles I always end up going back to the HMG as I love slowly advancing up the board, surprising and peppering anything that moves. With a HMG the Hac Tao makes a great spearhead in a list lacking teeth. Since he starts in your deployment zone the Hac Tao will almost always find himself in a good range band making him BS 17. His TO camo gives him great protection in firefights and there is very little that can stand against a Hac Tao with a HMG in Infinity. For those close up fights and AROs the nanopulser is always available too. Although he isn’t a specialist he is still viable in ITS for clearing the way for your specialists and is brilliant at quadrant/area holding.
69pts / 2 SWC (Executive Order)
Similar to the above the executive order skill means that you can use all the tricks mentioned previously about Lieutenant switching. I like to take this option if I have a Lieutenant I want to use aggressively or if I know my back line Lieutenant is not likely to last long against certain opponents with a lot of AD/Infiltration options.
Hac Tao on a budget, but no less destructive. Using the boarding shotgun means a very different playstyle with the Hac Tao but one that can be immensely fun. The difficult part is getting the Hac Tao into a position where he can make the most of the shotgun. The key is to use the TO camo to push as far forward as possible. Once in position however the Hac Tao with a boarding shotgun becomes a real headache to shift. Combined with surprise shot, TO camo and +6 BS from the boarding shotgun the Hac Tao is nasty up close. A nice added bonus is the template option with the shotgun to ignore cover and still having the AP option for harder targets.
65pts / 2 SWC
Boom! The Hac Tao makes a great platform for the missile launcher thanks to his high BS and TO camo. Nothing is more frightening for an opponent than for a Hac Tao to suddenly reveal and surprise shot with a missile launcher. He makes a great ARO piece, set him up in a nice piece of cover in your back line with a nice view of the battlefield and watch the fireworks. The circular template from the missile launcher is also a great way to catch enemy troopers huddled up together behind walls and cover. Even though it is only Burst 1 the missile launcher has explosive ammunition, meaning 3 ARM rolls if it hits! In ITS the missile launcher can be useful for destroying captured objectives since it is anti-material.
The Hac Tao brings a plethora of options and can be kitted out for different playstyles and roles. Whether it is long range firefights with the HMG and missile launcher, getting up close and personal with the boarding shotgun, taking the midfield with the MULTI rifle or immobilising your enemy’s servo-armour with the assault hacking device, the Hac Tao is always a threat and a lot of fun to play with. He is very durable HI who represents some of the best Yu Jing has to offer. Yu Jing opponents can only cry when they see this Black Ops Elite coming.
The Hac Tao received some love with the new Human Sphere N3 update giving him access to one of the most deadly pieces of equipment in the sphere…
67pts / 0 SWC – Killer hacking device
When playing the Hac Tao one of the things that can take him out of action quickly is if he himself is hacked and then shot to pieces. It’s difficult, but not impossible for an opponent to get the drop on the Hac Tao if he is not in good cover or in TO Camo status and one of the ways to take him out is through hacking. This profile however, prevents that happening pretty much.
The Hac Tao killer hacker is simply frightening, he is one the most deadly hackers in the game currently while at the same time being a specialist. The assault hacker is a great all round hacker for a variety of opponents, the killer hacker however is very specific and this should be kept in mind when using him. He can be used offensively to hunt enemy hackers and works in tandem with the Guilang perfectly since the Guilang can drop repeaters with no one to stop him. On the offense the Hac Tao Killer hacker is great for taking an objective and ensuring enemy hackers don’t take it back, he also works well in a defensive hacking sense by covering your other hackers and units if you have repeaters down. Since the killer hacking device ignores firewall mods it’s risky for enemy repeater remotes to come near too otherwise they could put their own hackers in danger.
The Hac Tao Killer hacker works best in tandem with a hacking focused list containing repeaters. Taking an assault hacker, regular hacker and EVO hacker in a list can make for some startling results with co-ordinated hacking.
The drawback to the killer hacking device is of course it’s exclusivity in what it can hack, but this is not a big deal for the Hac Tao since he is such a badass anyway with his TO Camo/MULTI rifle/Nanopulser loadout.
So what do you like about the Hac Tao? What are your experiences with them? Please leave a comment below and we can all share in the knowledge.