The Hùsòng Yáokòng variant is Yu Jing’s total reaction HMG remote. This humble remote features in most Infinity factions and is affectionately known as the ‘Total reaction bot’ or ‘TR bot’ for short. Most players have either faced or fielded this type of a remote and it still remains even post HSN3 an effective cost and order efficient remote for what it can do. It is well loved yet well hated at the same time by players of all factions, fun to play but scary to play against.
So what is the background behind these infamous remotes?
“Yáokòngs are semi-autonomous robotic units employed by the Yu Jing military as infantry support. Compatible with the Guījiă systems as well as Hacker interfaces, they can become the eyes of their army or its armed enforcers. The key to the dazzling versatility of Yáokòngs lies in their modular design, allowing any model to be adapted to the specific needs of the tactical scenario with ease and speed.
Hùsòng Yáokòngs, or Escort Remotes, carry a heavy machine gun and remote sensor devices. It is most often used as mobile fire support, to defend an area or halt an enemy advance.”
The Hùsòng most certainly can do all of those things which we will look at later.
The Escort Remote
Let’s have a look at what the Hùsòng brings to the table:
The Hùsòng brings a lot of punch and some interesting stats and equipment in a small affordable package.
Hùsòngs are fast! Faster than standard infantry which is very useful when you’re packing a HMG. Total reaction remotes don’t always need to be in one spot for the whole game and actually work really well when moved to adapt to enemy movements. 6-4 allows for the Hùsòng to redeploy to a new position relatively quickly and can redeploy up to 20″ in as little as 2 orders. It can also be called on as an aggressive HMG piece thanks to it’s fast movement, this makes the Hùsòng flexible and not consigned to just a defensive role.
This may look underwhelming at first but it can be augmented with supportware making the Hùsòng effectively BS 14. But even without supportware BS 11 is still decent on a high burst weapon such as a HMG. It’s BS is on par with line troops yet can be buffed unlike most line troops.
The Hùsòng is fragile so this must be kept in mind during deployment, always always always use cover. Deploying the Hùsòng up high or on top of something out of cover is a rookie mistake and usually ends up in disappointment when the Hùsòng can’t even shrug off small arms fire.
One thing I love about the Yáokòng remotes in general is that they don’t have a large footprint unlike the S4 remotes. This means they can be tucked away in low pieces of cover and in small spots that a large attack remote couldn’t fit in. This is ideal as they can be placed in a position near your infantry to support your infantry without being too over exposed nor taking up too much room.
This is an amazing piece of equipment for this type of remote and means that the Hùsòng can always see around it at all times. This means the only thing you need to worry about when deploying the Hùsòng is available cover and where it has LoF too. Having a 360˚ visor makes flanks attacks or AD troops that much more difficult to use for your opponent if your Hùsòng has visibility to the back areas of your deployment zone. It also serves as a deterrent when using the Hùsòng aggressively as there will be no safe angle to approach the Hùsòng from without it drawing LoF.
This adds a layer of durability and stalwartness that isn’t always found in infantry and provides many benefits. To begin with Remote Presence gives the Hùsòng the V:Courage skill which means you can choose whether or not to pass or fail a guts test. This is very useful as it means unless your opponent takes the Hùsòng out, it’s not going to budge from the position you have put it in which can be important if you are using your Hùsòng to hold a firelane or position.
Remote presence also gives the Hùsòng two levels of unconsciousness meaning that an opponent is going to need to inflict 3 wounds on the Hùsòng if they want to make sure it is gone and doesn’t come back which is going to cost orders. This gives the Hùsòng that little bit more durability to survive so that it can hang in there until an engineer can repair it. Which leads to another benefit of Remote Presence which is that an engineer can spend a command token to reroll the dice on a failed repair attempt. There’s nothing worse for your opponent than to see the Hùsòng fully repaired back to operational state after spending orders and maybe even casualties to take it down.
It goes without saying how good this is. Burst 4 in ARO? Yes please! Unless the opponent is bringing superior burst, BS or stacking modifiers then engaging the Hùsòng is a dicey prospect. The chance to crit is always there and the face to face roll becomes even more deadly once supportware is involved.
25pts / 1 SWC
All of this for only 25pts and 1 SWC, bargain! 1 SWC is line troop price for a HMG yet the Hùsòng can amplify the effectiveness of it far more than the average line trooper thanks to total reaction, 360 visor, supportware and 6-4 MOV. A Hùsòng is doable in most lists and is useful in almost every mission to some degree. They are kind of addictive once you start using them!
With these things in mind let’s move on to supporting the Hùsòng.
One of the keys to getting the most out of the Hùsòng is to support it with someone who has a regular hacking device using ‘Assisted fire’ supportware. My go to units for this support is usually either a Zhànshì hacker, EVO hacker or Celestial Guard hacker depending on what I am doing with the rest of my list. Most of the time though it is usually a Zhànshì hacker since he is the cheapest and is able to hide somewhere prone while he supportwares the Hùsòng.
Assisted fire is such an awesome supportware granting the Hùsòng the Marksmanship L2 skill and shock ammunition. If you have never played with Marksmanship L2 you have no idea how awesome it is. Marksmanship L2 ignores the -3 penalty to hit MOD from cover and also gives you shock ammunition, effectively meaning the Hùsòng is BS 14 against enemies with no defensive modifiers and instakills 1W models! This is brutal, especially when its a B4 HMG. This also applies to the reactive turn too where surprise surprise, the Hùsòng has total reaction. BS 14 B4 shock HMG rounds in ARO! Just chew on that for a moment. This makes the Hùsòng a formidable defensive or aggressive piece.
As far as the hacker is concerned if the terrain is favourable I’ll deploy my hacker within 8″ of the Hùsòng but sometimes this isn’t always optimal. If I need my hacker to do other things too (like classifieds) I’ll put a repeater near by it in the form of a Pangguling minesweeper or Wèibīng Yáokòng so that the hacker can use supportware through the repeater. It is worth keeping your hacker safe because if your hacker goes down, you lose your supportware for the Hùsòng.
Since the Hùsòng has Remote Presence it’s a good idea to make room for an engineer to support it. This is always a good idea as engineers are always useful in variety of ways for your force whether it be classifieds, repairing IMM2, repairing remotes or deactivating mines. If your Hùsòng goes down and you have no engineer it’s out of the game, having an engineer nearby means it is going to be a threat potentially all game and not just one turn.
For engineering support the Zhànshì Mech-Engineer with a Yáozăo servant is a great companion to the Hùsòng. The Yáozăo is also a fast 6-4 remote and can keep up with the Hùsòng if you use it aggressively. The 6″ move on a Yáozăo means you can keep it at a distance from the Hùsòng so that it doesn’t get hit by possible templates that might hit the Hùsòng, yet at the same time still be within reach to repair within one short skill. The Yáozăo also has a smaller silhouette than the Yáokòng meaning it can hide behind it as it runs in to repair it! It is best keeping your engineer in a safe spot too so that she can do her work through the Yáozăo and can continue providing orders for your force. If you deploy your engineer prone near your Hùsòng you run the risk of possibly being hit by a template and losing your engineer. I learnt this the hard way with guided smart missiles!
When supported with a hacker and an engineer the Hùsòng reaches it’s peak and can be used in a variety of ways and situations. The Hùsòng can still operate on it’s own without them but taking a hacker and an engineer is good for your list overall anyway since your hacker has access to all kinds of other supportware or supportive hacking programs (U-Turn, Hack Transport, Controlled jump, Fairy dust etc) and the engineer is useful for your remotes, HI and classifieds.
Here are some ideas in ways to use the Hùsòng:
‘Mobile fire support’
Since the Hùsòng has a 6-4 MOV value it can be moved around to support your other troops. This is especially useful if your opponent has counter deployed to try and ignore your Hùsòng entirely. The Hùsòng can lend it’s HMG to help units that may be stuck behind cover and unable to move because they are out ranged by an enemy unit in cover that has a sniper rifle or HMG or other similar long ranged weapon. Used in this way the Hùsòng can knock out those long range targets dug in cover to help your closer ranged units move up. The Hùsòng also works well as a flanking piece since it is so fast and can put pressure on a flank, once it is there too it can be a real thorn in the enemies side thanks to total reaction and the 360 visor. If you lose one of your main attacking pieces (e.g a Zu Yong HMG) the Hùsòng can rapidly redeploy to try and fill that gap as a back up HMG.
‘Defend an area’
The Hùsòng is a great candidate for holding a fire lane or watching objectives. The long range of the HMG coupled with total reaction make it a formidable opponent for defending an area/objective/quadrant or even whole fire lanes. Position the Hùsòng in a good piece of cover with a restricted LoF to the area you are defending to make it difficult to dislodge for your opponent. The Hùsòng will basically act as a sentry turret ready to shoot at anything that moves in the area. The key to using the Hùsòng in this way is to think carefully about where it is positioned and where it has LoF visible to, the last thing you want is for your Hùsòng to be knocked out by a sniper from the other side of the board because of careless positioning. Anything that costs your opponents orders is a win and is less orders for them to accomplish the objectives.
You can also use it not just to defend parts of the board in a territorial sense but as a defensive piece to watch over some of your back line units. The Hùsòng is effective at watching your back line and flanks from AD troops and good at protecting other units like your cheerleaders and support remotes like the EVO hacker Pangguling or Son-Bae Yáokòng.
‘Halt an enemy advance’
The Hùsòng is very effective against impetuous troops and frontal assault units who’s only option is to come forward. If you know your opponent may have impetuous troops or deploys them first the Hùsòng works well to deter or eliminate them. Since impetuous troops don’t get cover bonuses the Hùsòng will usually be hitting on 14s against them at B4 which is pretty effective in face to face against smoke grenade rolls. A smart opponent however will deploy them further back to get smoke out first before they break cover. Still though, depending on deployment it’s sometimes possible to draw a bead on them and when you can the Hùsòng makes short work of impetuous units. With supportware the shock ammunition can really ruin some impetuous troopers day since it stops them from using things like V:Dogged and just kills them. Since the Impetuous phase happens first too in the turn it can mean the Hùsòng will get a chance to stop them before the enemy lines up a sniper on your Hùsòng.
The Hùsòng also serves well in the same role if you counter deploy to enemy attack pieces to try and stop their advance. For example this could be heavy infantry units like Father Knights or fireteams. Anything you can do to stop your opponents plan from happening is a win in Infinity.
For all it’s praise and benefits the Hùsòng is not without weaknesses though and these need to be taken into consideration. A Hùsòng can still be knocked out easily or avoided with certain methods.
- Camo/TO Camo snipers with long range weapons can ruin a Hùsòng’s day by using surprise shot, long range, cover and camo to impose a -12 mod on the Hùsòng. Without supportware or in it’s good range band this is going to leave the Hùsòng totally unable to shoot back.
- Anything with camo/TO camo is going to make the Hùsòng’s life harder. They can move past the Hùsòng’s LoF and the negative mods hurt.
- Any unit with access to smoke can put smoke down to avoid and move around the Hùsòng completely. Close combat units in particular could even throw a smoke on your Hùsòng and take it out in CC.
- Close range units with shotguns can potentially out roll the Hùsòng if they get within their +6 range and the Hùsòng’s -3 range likely hitting on 16s/17s with the Hùsòng on 9s. Watch your flanks! The 360 visor is helpful but can’t save you from a shotgun blast to the face unless you crit!
BEEP BOOP BEEP
Hùsòng’s are very useful units that can be adapted to a lot of situations rather than merely just being confined to sitting on a building. Their high damage, high burst, cheap cost and potential to be buffed is a great addition to your list if you are looking for some board control and/or area denial or fire support.
So what do you like about the Hùsòng Yáokòng? What are your experiences with them? Please leave a comment below and we can all share in the knowledge.