After popular demand, I’ve wrangled up a Yu Jing player to review their units! Pete, ITS YueFei23, plays exclusively ISS and Yu Jing, making him an excellent representative of the faction.
A long time ISS sectorial player, I made the switch to Yu Jing just after the JSA uprising. As an optimist rather than a pessimist it seemed obvious that some new and exciting State Empire units were in the pipeline for the Invincible Army. I’m going to share a few reviews of my favourite Yu Jing units, with a focus on the ones that feel like shiny new toys after playing ISS for so long. First amongst these is the Yan Huo Invincible – solid proof of Yu Jing’s mastery of heavy infantry firepower.
STATS AND SPECIAL RULES
Yan Huo are a large S 5, ARM 5 heavy infantry, so are pretty tough customers. They’re intimidating models that look at home alongside an Al Fasid or Kriza Boracs and pack in the systems needed to carry the heaviest of weapons. Their excellent BS of 14 is as high as it gets in Yu Jing, which puts them in a good position to use their wonderful toys.
On the downside, 4-2 movement means they are not a fast moving model. It’s generally best to find a good vantage spot to shoot from with your Yan Huo rather than try to burn orders repositioning it during a game. The other weak spot is the rather lackluster BTS 3, which leaves you relatively vulnerable to a viral sniper or other nasty bio-weapons.
Yan Huo rely on armor and big guns to get work done and they don’t pack any special rules on the base profile. Their most special feature is by contrast to the other unit type that more normally carries their guns – TAGs – the weapons Yan Huo carry would normally be found on the biggest models in the game, so simply being an infantry model that can dodge with good PH, hide easily and go prone is a big deal when you’re carrying a hyper rapid magnetic cannon.
Hyper Rapid Magnetic Cannon: Burst 5 is such a rare and powerful thing that the HRMC is easily the most powerful gun in the game. This is the winning load-out for me and one that gives vanilla Yu Jing so much more firepower and capability to deal with tough enemy models than their secret police competitors in ISS. Damage 15 and AP or shock ammo let it reach out and knock down a Jotum from across a table, never mind lighter targets. With that high burst a BS of 14 is good enough you can reliably hit camouflaged enemies or even ODD without needing to stack mods in your favor. The range bands are also excellent – up to 32” range it behaves like an HMG, but effectiveness over 32” is much better with a 0 range band that beats out HMGs, rocket launchers and missile launchers at extreme range. In ARO, the HRMC has a single DA or Stun shot and is the weakest of the Yan Huo guns though, so keep this guy hidden or prone until you really need to kill something. This load-out is also available as a lieutenant.
2 Missile Launchers. There aren’t many unlinked models in the game that can throw two missiles down table in the active turn at BS 14. This profile can definitely do some damage to enemy fireteams and closely packed models and is a solid active turn gunfighter at long range, while still putting out a scary ARO in the opponent’s turn. Generally though, one of the higher burst weapons will make a better active turn model and get chosen over this.
2 Missile Launchers + Tinbot C (neurocinetics): This is a really scary defensive piece sometimes capable of dominating firelanes for a whole game. Neurocinetics lets the Yan Huo fire with full burst in the enemy turn, at the expense of firing at burst 1 in the active turn. This works with the double missile launchers and also with your pistol, so you have a good option if someone tries to pop up inside the -3 range band of your primary weapons. Placing this as your reserve model will lock down an enemy fireteam or threatening enemy model. An important advantage over lesser ARO pieces like TR bots is that BS 14 is high enough to leave you firing back two missiles on 2s even if your opponent maxes out -12 mods on you. In the active turn a burst 1 missile is less scary but can be really useful in the right situation, especially if you link it into a coordinated order.
The downside with this profile is that as with all reactive pieces an active turn player can generally find a way to murder it, with mod-stacking, coordinated orders or smoke and visor shenanigans. With high armor and the ability to drop prone with guts your Yan Huo may waste a few orders for your enemy and do it’s job for a couple of turns, but if it does die you may wish you’d invested less points in a couple of TR bots or left the job of slowing the enemy down to a 3 point warcor.
Multi-HMG. As the saying goes, this is a jack of all trades and master of none. While this is a ridiculously good gun to see on a heavy infantry platform it’s the least frequently taken option. Defensively an EXP shot is great, but it’s worse than the two EXP shots from the tinbot C missile launchers and burst 4 is edged out by the HRMC in the active turn. Also available with lieutenant stripes. (This may change with the release of Invincible Army – rumor has it that the Multi-HMG yan huo will be an option in a haris and link bonuses would give this loadout two EXP shots in ARO and 5 AP shots in the active turn for best of both worlds.)
ON THE TABLE
I regularly take a Yan Huo with HRMC as my lieutenant, taking chain of command and a doctor to support it then being able to play the lieutenant order aggressively to shoot away anything my opponent has left in the open on the table. If possible, I deploy prone on a high vantage point so I can be relatively safe during the opponent’s turn then stand to light up the target of my choice on my own terms. When facing multiple fierce ARO, I use smoke to block some of them off so I can always have burst superiority. Even hiding out of sight it’s impressive how much of a deterrent this Yan Huo will become – it can force your opponent to hide ARO pieces and cower behind buildings, because they know they can’t last for long once the HRMC spins up to speed. Like any tank it will be a priority target for you opponent, so make sure you hide it well and give it support to defend it from impersonators, hackers and enemy infiltrators.
For some missions or army build styles, both the missile launcher load-outs have their appeal. If ARO traps and a reactive game is your thing the neurocinetics missile launcher will be a favourite for sure. If a mission has destructible consoles or terrain then the tinbot free missile launcher Yan Huo will make short work of it.
Invincible army will bring new ways of running Yan Huo and maybe we’ll see the multi-hmg model at last along with a good way to bring it to the table.
Whichever you choose the Yan Huo Invincibles are excellent static gun emplacements to rule the table with. They let Yu Jing use heavy infantry to tackle the heaviest of targets and give you firepower beaten by very few other factions, generally on Tags.