Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Infinity Unit Review: Guiláng Skirmishers

This is Pete (YueFei23) helping out with Yu Jing unit reviews. As I’m choosing units that have got me excited after moving from exclusively playing ISS one profile leapt out as super useful to me. ISS has a pretty weak infiltrating skirmisher game outside the auto-include ninja and the  expensive Kanren, which has to make a sad choice between being a specialist and protecting itself with perimeter weapons when really you want it to do both. Gŭiláng skirmishers are camo midfield infiltrators and minelayers with AVA 2 that give Yu Jing an effective way to push buttons early and slow enemy troops coming through the middle of the table.

 

STATS AND SPECIAL RULES

Guilang are Zhanshi with additional “Ghost Wolf” training as skirmishers, which gives them a fairly standard infantry stat line. Their training obviously involves plenty of forced marches and hardship which bumps them up to a beefy PH 12 and WIP 14, but sadly doesn’t involve much extra time on the range and they still share their BS 11 with Yu Jing’s standard troops.

Gŭiláng are a full-fat traditional camo infiltrator, which means they bring camouflage and infiltration. In addition, they all have multiterrain, which makes them great in missions like rescue where mobility in difficult terrain can help you score. It’s also super handy if you go to tournaments run by sadistic tournament organizers who like to make players suffer all kind of strange terrain types on their table layouts. Last but not least they all have MSV1, which gives them a nice little edge if they get into a midfield camo slapfight.

All Gŭiláng bring mines, but they don’t all have minelayer, you have to pick the right profile to pick that up.

All this brings a fairly hefty price tag, with most Gŭiláng coming in at over 25 points by the time you’ve got the profile you want. They can look a little underpowered compared to some tightly tailored recent profiles like Ryuken-9, which seem to pack in more (minelayer, smg with AP rounds, X-visor, ODD, BS 12… Arm 2) and offer solid midfield gunfighting for a cheaper 24 points, however the Gŭiláng brings full infiltration, a proper token state and a range of useful specialist profiles. Ultimately it’s an apples to oranges comparison and JSA players probably wish they could get a couple of Ghost Wolves for some missions. But they can’t… because they’re filthy traitors who don’t deserve them.

In fact, this brings us to the saddest stat on the Gŭiláng profile – they’re only AVA 2. There will be plenty of lists where you wish you could just fit in another midfield specialist and a minelayer… but you’ve already maxed out your Ghost Wolf quota.

 

PROFILES

All Gŭiláng bring Antipersonnel mines, to make things easier to read I’m not going to list it in every profile.

Combi rifle: This is your basic, vanilla Gŭiláng at 25 pts. He can do most of what a Gŭiláng does. He can discover & shoot camo pretty well. He can lay a mine around a corner then jump out to force a nasty choice between dodging  and eating some surprise attack combi rifle bullets. He can set up in suppressive fire to lock down the enemy advance. He can suicidally ARO minelay when an enemy discovers him and confuse them into wasting another order while they figure out how to not get their faces blown off. But this is really the most boring Gŭiláng. Why would you burn your AVA on this guy when for just one point more you could take a true minelayer? Or for two points more you could get a forward observer with a deployable repeater? That’s right, you wouldn’t. You’re an infinity player of wealth and taste and you deserve only the very best Gŭiláng.

Boarding Shotgun: If you were in the mood to just bring a basic “jump out and say boo” ghost wolf, you might just go for this option at 24pts. You lose the ability to go into suppressive fire, but with a middling BS of 11 a boarding shotgun helps avoid those embarrassing days where you miss with all your shots and brings you DAM 14 along with a choice of cover ignoring impact templates and AP rounds. Given that Gŭiláng can often get into close range firefights, face down enemy camo infiltrators or be in a position to push into an enemy DZ, this option isn’t bad. It still doesn’t shine as much as the specialist profiles, and I’ll admit I’ve never put it in a list but it might be worth trying out.

Multi Sniper Rifle: Some people swear by this guy and the multi sniper rifle is a great gun on an infiltrating camo platform, but for 1.5 SWC and 33 pts I’ll take a pass at buying it on a BS 11 ghost wolf. The real reason is that if I wanted a 1.5 SWC camo sniper I’d be saving 4 points and calling Major Lunah first, as her marksmanship level X is worth a really good look now the rule has been revised in 3rd offensive. By picking this guy you’re paying points to infiltrate closer to the enemy with a gun that works best at long ranges and chipping away at your ghost wolf AVA.

Combi rifle, Assault Hacking Device: Now we’re into one of the great options. For 0.5 SWC and 31 pts, you can have a camo token in the midfield that can lock up enemy heavy infantry and possess tags, on a well educated WIP 14 and with camo status that will keep killer hacking devices from smoking it out before you want to use it. Got an opponent who likes taking heavy infantry data trackers and needs to get them to midfield? This will be a major monkey wrench in his plans. Super useful for missions like Biotechvore where the enemy has to come to you and this guy is great at pushing buttons, especially when missions like unmasking have a hacker bonus. When you infiltrate close to an objective and don’t have to spend many orders to get there, Gŭiláng let you get on with the mission quickly and spend your orders on killing things. Also great for scoring a variety of classified objectives.

Combi rifle, Forward observer, Deployable repeater: Another extremely solid choice for 0 SWC and 27 pts. Forward observers are great, cheap, specialists that can target enemy models with a surprise attack, helping speculatively fired grenades or a Son-bae Yaokong’s guided missiles rain down hell on them. In addition a forward observer’s flash pulse can be a very powerful ARO to trip up incoming enemy troops with better range bands than your combi rifle. More often than not you’ll just need this guy to push a button for cheap and do all the things a regular combi rifle ghost wolf can do. What’s more, this guy packs a deployable repeater, which is something very rare for Yu Jing. Admittedly it isn’t a pitcher or fast panda like the real hacking factions have, but Yu Jing’s repeater net is normally limited to repeaters on remotes, so the novelty of being able to deploy one up table early in the the game is pretty great. Just watch out you don’t give your opponent an easy run at frying your own hackers with his killer hacking devices.

Combi rifle, Lieutenant: All the fun of the combi rifle Gŭiláng, but why not spend 2 SWC to make him your lieutenant? Perhaps you’re considering this if your opponent repeatedly puts you in Loss of Lieutenant and you think hiding him in token state on the tallest building on the table would be a good idea. However I really wouldn’t bother with this – you’re going to starve the rest of the list of the SWC it needs, waste AVA you could spend on more useful ghost wolf choices and lock up 25 points in a model you’re afraid to reveal or use. If you do play him at all aggressively and spend that lieutenant order, you’re sticking a huge kick me sign on a model you’ve infiltrated right into the enemies teeth and they probably have to kill anyway, so you’ll be in LoL sooner than if you’d left him at home. You’d be better off putting your 25 points towards a Pheasant agent and buying a heavy infantry lieutenant that can make use of the extra order. Or take a zhanshi with a decoy or two.

Combi rifle, minelayer: For 0.5 SWC and 1 point more than a combi rifle, your mine toting Gŭiláng can lay a mine in midfield during deployment, increasing the number of scary camo tokens your opponent has to worry about when they’re setting their troops up. Unlike the Ryuken-9, which can’t hide itself and makes mines rather obvious to spot, Gŭiláng hide themselves away, and your opponent will have to sweat about that camo token being a lurking Dàofěi. Also, with full infiltration and not forward deployment level 2 like their estranged Japanese cousins, Gŭiláng can actually drop mines far enough forward to counter deploy a Ryuken-9 hanging out in his ODD suit, which is neat.

 

ON THE TABLE

The real dilemma is, should you take two specialists, two minelayers or one of each. Really you can’t go wrong with the assault hacker, forward observer or minelayer and you end up letting the mission guide you to the correct choice. For a mission like looting and sabotage throwing a mine down to nail Saito Togan before he blows up an AC2 could be a game winner and for Unmasking having a specialist close to each console is what you need.  Gŭiláng are really useful units, letting you choose between board control, scoring specialists and a hacking game.

They’re also really useful supporting one of the Yu Jing’s other stand out units, the Dàofěi. Left on his own, even heavy armor won’t provide enough support for the Dàofěi, but if you let him do the heavy lifting and take some ghost wolves to give him a safe area to operate in and provide decoy camo tokens, he has a much better chance of doing some real damage. The new Libertos fishman freedom fighter would be an interesting addition to this mix, letting 3 minelayers place 6 camo tokens around a Dàofěi and making your opponent double check they’re not playing against Shasvastii or Ariadna.