Tactical Espionage – The Dàofěi Tactical Section

The Dàofěi Tactical Section are Yu Jing’s answer to the midfield infiltrators and skirmishers of other factions, other factions might send in lightly armoured skirmishers with mines….Yu Jing being Yu Jing send in heavy infantry infiltrators! This unit always has a shock factor when he appears as he is always expected to be something else like a humble Gŭiláng or even a Ninja. The Dàofěi are also unique in that they are the only unit of the Invincible Army that has a braid on their helmet which I thought was very interesting. Even though it is an older sculpt the model is still very detailed and has a great pose, Dàofěi look quite scary and rightfully so!

I covered painting the Dàofěi in my brush time which you can check out in the painting section, he was a fun but challenging model to paint as he is smaller than the new HI aesthetic.

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So who are the Dàofěi Tactical Section?

Dàofěi are Heavy Infantry specializing in Infiltration and Hostile Environment Survival. The Tactical Section of the Invincible Army combines training in infiltration techniques with the standard Heavy Infantry program. Dàofěi units receive their name, meaning ‘Bandits’, from the final test they must pass to graduate the State School for Scouts. For the test, they are abandoned in the inhospitable region of Dailing without food or weapons, and expected to survive two months surrounded by poachers, highwaymen, outlaws and the police forces of the area, who consider prospective Dàofěi the worst of all criminals. In order to survive in these lands, they must resort to banditry and pillaging, attracting the attention of the Law as well as the local criminal element, who are unwilling to share their territory with these outsiders. From that point on, the graduation test gets messy and people start to die. The survivors, callous but excellent infiltrators, are welcomed into the Dàofěi Section, where they are entrusted with missions that reproduce the conditions of their graduation, only with better weapons and support.”

The Dàofěi’s 2 month final test is a major step up compared to the Gŭiláng’s 8 month training program, being incredibly intense, dangerous and even fatal. Whereas the Gŭiláng receive their training alongside the Zhànshì and are state trained in the art of infiltration and camouflage for 8 months, the Dàofěi are dumped into a hostile environment without any support or help and are expected learn to survive or face the consequences. Failure could mean being either arrested by the police, kidnapped by poachers, robbed by highwaymen, tortured by local triads or even death from starvation or bullets. It is those that triumph and survive that prove their worth and become part of the Dàofěi Tactical section.

Hostile Environment Survival

Surviving in such conditions breeds a veteran troop of real worth. Let’s look at the profile

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The Dàofěi have great stats across the board being similar to the Shàng Jí Invincible but with some differences, having lower BTS and CC namely. The only downside really is the AVA 1 meaning we can only take 1! (Until the Huang Di sectorial hits). Apart from this the Dàofěi have great stats and are excellent in firefights thanks to BS 13, ARM 4, 2 wounds and camo. They also boast a generous PH 14 making them excellent at dodging in a bad combat situation. WIP 13 is average and is decent enough for hacking and objective capping which the Dàofěi performs quite well thanks to infiltration and camouflage. Although not intended for close combat, the Dàofěi does have a Shock CCW which is nice and could prove fatal if the opponent rolls poorly.

‘…Callous but excellent Infiltrators…’

One of the most noteworthy things of the Dàofěi Tactical section is that they are the ONLY infiltrating camouflaged heavy infantry in the game currently. (note camo not TO camo) This is an exclusive to Yu Jing and rightly so as the pioneers of heavy infantry suit manufacturing! The Dàofěi combine their survival skills with the high tech of the State Empire to make a truly terrifying combination. Even the Elite Hac Tao with their TO camo cannot infiltrate the midfield like these guys.

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Taking back the midfield

Infiltration and camouflage on a veteran HI like the Dàofěi is deadly lethal. Infiltration provides order efficiency by being able to deploy in the midfield so that you don’t have to spend orders moving up, the Dàofěi greatly benefits from this and can deploy near objectives for first turn capping or for deploying in areas where he can attack on the flanks or rooftops. It also means the Dàofěi will pretty much be in his good range band from the start of the game depending on what weapon loadout you choose. Some good tricks to use are deploying him along side a Gŭiláng minelayer for an awesome camo shell game. The opponent has 3 camo tokens in front him, one who is top notch MSV1 camo skirmisher, one which will blow up in his face, and one which is a 2W HI beatstick! Even without the minelayer option the Gŭiláng and Dàofěi buddy up well and he also synergises with other camo units in the Yu Jing arsenal like the sneaky Ninja’s or Raiden. With infiltration the Dàofěi can choose the best spots in your table half ready to pounce on the enemy and is often mistaken to be a lowly skirmisher until he reveals himself.

Having camouflage protects the Dàofěi from hacking while in marker status and also adds the usual level of protection of -3 to non visor enemies in shooting and discovering. The Dàofěi can move about quite freely thanks to camo and is able to get up in your opponents face very quickly. In the active turn he is a great ambush unit and very deadly thanks to surprise shot and his high stats, he can shoot with the best of them and stand his ground well in firefights. Surprise shot also works well with the assault hacker option and enables the Dàofěi to hack and eliminate other enemy HI with relative ease.

‘…People start to die…’

Lets look at each of the profile options available to the Dàofěi:

MULTI Rifle Profiles

53pts

The default loadout for the Dàofěi is the awesome MULTI rifle. The MULTI rifle is a great mid-range rifle that is lethal in the hands of the Dàofěi . 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. Thanks to infiltration the Dàofěi can get into the +3 range band very quickly with the MULTI rifle and also has the added bonus of surprise shot if using it in the active turn while in camo putting the enemy at a -3 on their reaction.

53pts / 0 SWC (Lieutenant)

Same as above but now your Lieutenant, the Dàofěi is an interesting Lieutenant choice. On the one hand he is right at the front and could be snuffed out quickly if you are not careful putting you into loss of Lieutenant. On the other hand though the extra Lieutenant order gives the Dàofěi a bit more fuel for killing stuff. A good way to use this is with the Hac Tao executive order profiles, use the Dàofěi aggressively and use the Lt. order to put the Daofei into suppressive fire in the midfield. Then switch over and activate the Hac Tao with Executive order to take over command, the opponent will be none the wiser and try to kill the Dàofěi in vain! It’s a pricey option, but a Dàofěi/Hac Tao combo is super deadly.

59pts / 0.5 SWC (Assault Hacker)

My favourite profile out of all of them is the assault hacker variant. This makes the Dàofěi a swiss army knife who is able to be a multi-layered threat to LI/HI/TAGs/REMs alike thanks to his MULTI rifle and assault hacking device. It also makes him a specialist meaning you can use your infiltration to get close to those juicy objectives for capping early in the game and denying your enemy. Let’s not forget the assault hacking device DOES still have spotlight so he could be used to get an early classified on a HVT or enemy!

The Dàofěi can make great use of the hacking device combined with surprise shot and usually the enemy won’t realise what your camo marker is until it is too late and the trap is sprung. Hacking opponents and immobilising them with carbonite then rounding the corner with the MULTI rifle and filling them full of holes is a disgustingly good tactic. He can also hold down an objective or quadrant with an 8″ bubble of hacking nastiness. The only thing to be aware of is the Dàofěi only has BTS 3 so fairy dust is advised or careful target selection. If it looks too dangerous just recamo to become immune to hacking again. This is the only specialist option for the Dàofěi but it’s very potent, having a HI assault hacker midfield at the start of the game in camo status is really hard to pass up on. Because he is heavily armoured he doesn’t get swatted as easily as a Gŭiláng assault hacker.

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Behind enemy lines

HMG Profile – 57pts / 2 SWC

The HMG option works well if you want to use the Dàofěi as a nasty long range camo beatstick. Because of the range bands it is more effective to use infiltration to pick a nice a long fire lane spot or a good rooftop overlooking objectives. Infiltrating up to the midline is not advised as the HMG is at the 0 mod range band in 8 – 16″ and -3 if within 8″. Deploying prone on a rooftop with a good view is a good way to use this profile ready to pop up and lay down some heavy firepower with surprise shot. This profile can be a refreshing alternative to the Zu Yong HMG or Hac Tao HMG giving you a lot more deployment freedom.

Spitfire Profiles

55pts / 2 SWC

The spitfire is almost the perfect weapon for the Dàofěi and it is a difficult choice between this and the MULTI rifle. I prefer the MULTI rifle myself because of the hacking profile and also the ammunition choices. That being said the Spitfire has fantastic range bands and the Dàofěi is pretty much guaranteed to be at +3 straight away when infiltrating. If increased burst and damage is your thing then the spitfire is an appealing option that works well. This is another beatstick profile like the HMG except that it is better at making use of infiltration because of the +3 8 – 24″ range band.

55pts / 1.5 SWC (Lieutenant)

Same as above except this profile gets a nice 0.5 SWC discount, sweet! The Lieutenant order can once again be used as extra fuel for the fire and can be synergised with the Hac Tao Executive order profiles for Lt. mind games.

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Infiltrating HEAVY infantry?!

Boarding Shotgun – 48pts / 0 SWC

The budget option rocking in at 48pts but no less scary. The Dàofěi can actually make really good use of the boarding shotgun because of camo and infiltration. He can make a nice area denial piece in confined areas with the shotgun but can also be used very offensively. Infiltration means the Dàofěi can get right up close and use his camo to push forward into the enemy half of the table, if you use cover effectively and move wisely you can get into the enemies face with the boarding shotgun quite early on. The great part about this is using surprise shot with the shotgun to give a negative modifier to your opponent and also denying their cover with the blast mode template. This Dàofěi is particularly scary against link teams and can pull them apart fairly quickly.

Tactical Espionage

The Dàofěi Tactical Section are again another excellent HI choice in the many varied HI choices Yu Jing have. The hardest part about playing Yu Jing is choosing which HI to take because they are all so awesome but also costly at the same time. We really do have a HI for almost every situation. The Dàofěi are a powerful midfield presence with plenty of profile options that can be used in multiple ways, you can use him as a beatstick at short/mid/long range or you can also make him a specialist and a hacker that is difficult to counter. They truly are the masters of Tactical Espionage.

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Surprise!

Feedback

So what do you like about the Dàofěi?  What are your experiences with them? Please leave a comment below and we can all share in the knowledge.

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