Sunday, May 15, 2011

Infinity: Shang-Ji Invincible and Zhanshi Soldiers

Yu-Jing specialize in Heavy Infantry and the Shang-Ji is one their front-line units. Not as expensive as the walking-tanks, Hac Tao, nor as sneaky, the Shang-Ji offers a well-armed and armored trooper at an affordable rate in points. Their basic build-out is a Shang-Ji armed with Combi-rifle and Light Flamerthrower, that roughly translates into a Space Marine with Combi-flamer, but the bolter part of the equation can actually do a fair amount of damage, while the flamer part doesn't run out after one shot. I ran this for a couple games, was unimpressed but then I looked at the unit entry again and realized this guy can carry a Spitfire. Spitfires are small hand-held machine guns that pump out a sick amount of lead per second at a high velocity...in game terms it means the weapon has a burst of 4 and damage of 14, the second highest in the game. Say good bye to the combi-rifle!
Besides having a respectable statline and power armor, the Shang-Ji is pretty basic. No frills but that certainly doesn't mean no thrills. The first of note being his movement rate of 4-4. Most heavy infantry, like regular Invincibles and Orc Troopers, are slowed by their armor down to 4-2, but not this gentlemen. What this means is that early on in the game he is quick enough to take up forward positions where he's needed most. Additionally it means he gets to move 2 inches when failing a guts-check roll instead of 1 inches, so if he's taking fire, he can pull back quicker to cover. 
Secondly, like most Yu Jing Tiger Soldiers, he's got an above average AVA at 3. What is that you say? AVA is availability; how many models of a certain type you can field in an army. Most HI of other armies are 2. Veteran Kazaks: 2, Janissaries: 2, Mobile Brigada: 2, the exception is the Orc Trooper of Pan O at 3 as well. On top of that, it seems Yu Jing have a wider selection of Heavy Infantry, meaning you could possibly field an entire special ops unit composed of mostly power armored troops. 
Of course, no elite trooper would be without his mandatory support section of line troops, often called order-monkeys or cheer leaders. These are the basic trooper, who are included in the unit to provide support to your main troopers by adding their orders to the pool. Below you can see 3 of the Zhanshi soldiers I've done. They look fairly decent, although I'm not 100% satisfied with the color-scheme. They just seem to be a little dull and overly grey. After viewing these pictures myself, I've decided to paint on some more orange so that they match their Shang-Ji comrade. 

I've done six of these chaps, as when I initially started writing lists, I thought that having a good sized force of line troops would firstly generate lots of orders and also overwhelm my opponents in the game. However, line troops like the Zhanshi die easily under fire due to their lack of armor. It really isn't difficult to pump a bunch of orders into a well-placed Orc Trooper with an HMG and rack up the kills in a single turn. Instead it's wise to have a good supply of armored troops that can take on opponents like that.
One thing I really like about Infinity is the scale. You've only got a handful of troops and that means you can lavish each model with bright colors, blending and details without getting burned out by having to paint the basically the same figure 10, 20 or even 35 times, with 6-12 vehicles on top of that. While I love the spectacle of huge armies, I am really loving the amount of details I can bring out on the small special ops units that you run in Infinity games. 

On the way to me is a box of Haramaki, another Heavy Infantry unit that I cannot wait to bring brush to. They are space samurai! First however, I've got to get started on my Heroes of Armageddon project. I'm getting 5 Sanguinary Guard assembled this week so hopefully I'll be able to post some pics on that as well. 

8 comments:

Martin said...

Excellent stuff! Love the way he looks! I especially like the two-tone approach you've taken to the head/helmet. It really accentuates the sculpt.

And I don't think your Zhanshi look too grey. But then again, I would say that wouldn't I? Hehe!
But of course some orange details here and there wouldn't go amiss I suppose.

The scale is definitely something that appeals to me as well, for just the same reason. I mostly find it tedious to paint large armies, but one or two minis at the time? Great fun!

Looking forward to the Haramaki!

jarv said...

Nice paint job. I recently entered into Infinity myself, and I share your enthusiasm about the game - it really brings a lot to the table - tactical possibilities are great.

As for AVA of the HI - well... that depends of the faction - I'm playing Haqqislam, and you're right, that Jennisary has AVA = 2 in basic Haqqislam, but there are subfactions now (called sectorial armies) in each faction - and for example in Qapu Khalqi sectorial list they have AVA =5 and they can also be linked into fireteam... ;]

Btw - check InfinityPool - really nice online army builder with printing option.

Simon said...

The Shang-Ji is such a great model, and your painting really did him justice.

Simon

Pete W said...

The models are looking really great there OSH. I think your painting scheme is bringing out the good sculpting nicely.

I'm definitely stoked to give the game a try as soon as I get a chance.

Andy said...

I really like the Shan-Ji chap (or Chappess?) your paint job is really crisp and colourful - spectacular!

The Zhanshi are nice too. :)

Tael said...

Oh damn, they look smart. Even in these subdued tones, which appeal to me more as it is. :)

Top stuff OSH :D

- Tael.

Cannonfodder said...

Well done. I also jumped the YuJing bandwagon and did not regret it by now. THanks for the link to the cardboard terrain.

Militant.Jester said...

Infinity is a game I've always been interested in and these excellent models only increase that interest... thanks for sharing!