Infinity Faction Focus: Imperial Service

An article by    Competitive Play Infinity        0

In our Faction Focus series, we take a deep dive into the factions of Infinity and look at how they play, what makes them work, and strategies for playing with them and against them. In today’s Faction Focus, we’re looking at the Yu Jing Imperial Service.

The Background

Yutang and Shentang, the capital worlds of Yu Jing. Credit: Corvus Belli

There are two pillars of Yu Jing society – the Emperor and the Party. Whereas the Party is the evolution of the Communist party of old and makes their will known through the egalitarian Invincibles, the Emperor is an enormously powerful autocrat at the head of a vast and unaccountable security apparatus. The Imperial Service are inquisitors, spies and assassins who run a parallel state to the semi-democratic and accountable Party, and they are infamous for the complete disregard for human life and morality in how they accomplish their ends. In particular they have no qualms about recycling those who have been deemed to fail the State Empire. The Kuang Shi – a Chinese term translating roughly to ‘zombie’ – are brainwashed political prisoners wearing bomb vests sent on suicide attacks, and the Wu Ming Assault Corps are the most violent criminals sealed within prisons of powered armour and given more appropriate outlets for their aggression. They are overseen by the elite and highly trained Imperial Agents, enormously powerful inquisitors and master spies who are authorized to bring the most precious assets of the State Empire to bear against their foes.

Make no mistake, these are the bad guys.

 

Faction Overview

The Imperial Service are one engineer away from being one of the best factions in the game.

The Sophotect deserves serious discussion when talking about the IS because it is the anchor around the sectorial’s neck. Access to doctors and engineers is almost non-existent in IS, which is a serious limitation because IS has access to a huge range of the game’s best Remote Presence units who benefit enormously from the presence of an engineer. Being only able to repair these models with a hideously overcosted pile of mediocrity is a huge part of what keeps the sectorial from being genuinely great. Instead though, IS players are forced to walk an awkward line of forgoing any healing at all, or making lists without natural synergies and mixing biological and remotes without the points savings that’d come with going remotes-only. It’s a mess.

But once you get past the Sophotect block one way or another you’ll find that there’s a really fascinating sectorial under the surface here. Vanilla Yu Jing is extremely good, so any YJ sectorial needs to do a lot to justify its existence – and IS goes the furthest towards doing this. Most notably, it doesn’t do this off the back of its link teams – which are often more ‘nice to have’ than key selling points as they are with something like VIRD. Instead, IS sells more through the inclusion of a number of excellent Aleph units and increased availability on some extremely compelling options.

In terms of playstyle, the Imperial Service is a Yu Jing echo of PanOceania’s Varuna Immediate Reaction Division. They’re both highly trained, highly skilled counter-terrorism experts that operate at the heart of their respective nations, given full access to the cutting edge of tech in a political environment that brooks no failure. But while VIRD functions more like an army, the Imperial Service is an intelligence service. Its focus is on shutting down your opponent’s tricks, with great access to sensors, visors, and disposable assets. The IS is the faction to play if you prefer foiling your opponent’s plans to succeeding with your own.

Note that much like PanO, the IS suffers severe problems with enemy hacking networks. IS has a lot of amazing heavy infantry and the presence of powerful enemy hackers can shut them down extremely hard. You need to balance your list with counterhacking abilities of some kind – and be aware a killer hacking device is not likely to be enough. The Nomad Interventor is hitting the meta in a big way, and with BTS9 – up to 12 if engaged through a repeater – they ignore 90% of successful killer hacking attacks(!!!). Pack some light infantry even if you don’t want to, you’ll need it or your entire army will get bricked.

One upside is that this is a faction that does not need to worry about SWC. Many Crane and Hsien Lieutenant profiles offer bonus SWC if you take them, but it’s rare that you’ll run into that problem in the first place.

 

The Fireteam

As I mentioned before, Vanilla Yu Jing is extremely good and the fireteams available to the Imperial Service do not on their own justify giving up the full range of the core faction’s assets. To a degree, they don’t need to though – the fireteams available to IS even if they’re not as game-defining as a core linked Kamau sniper tend to be so cheap and easy to get you’ll end up with one or two almost accidentally and IS’ great range of models means that the extra punch you pick up doesn’t come at as big an opportunity cost as it might elsewhere.

There are a couple of variants available to the core slot. My personal favourite is the Celestial Guard Monitor + 3 Kuang Shi + Crane Agent with Spitfire. Not only are you likely taking the Celestial Guard+4 Kuang Shi just because they’re amazing and cheap, IS tends to have limited Lieutenant options – and one of the better options is the Crane. Being able to wildcard it into a dirt cheap link is a fantastic way to make that Spitfire punch like a HMG for virtually no opportunity cost. As an added benefit you’ll be able to shoot smoke extremely accurately at long range, providing cover for approaching into ideal range bands or engaging with MSV troops. In my mind, this link is a major selling point for IS not because it’s great on its own but because it solves multiple problems for a bargain price.

The second link really worth discussing is the Wu Ming link. Wu Ming are very cheap for what they bring. At the price point of a Zhuyong Invincible you get something with stats closer to a Shang Ji. One of their best assets, and something their Invincible peers can’t pull off, is the ability to have an Imperial Agent in the link. These Agents can bring a variety of toolkit assets, most notably a Sensor for sweeping camouflage defenses or MadTraps to set up a powerful midfield defense or complicate the defense of a key enemy asset – and if necessary, give the link a little close combat punch. As strong as the Wu Ming link is they’re very vulnerable to hacking so you need to have a serious plan for dealing with a hacking defense that does not involve these guys. Also be aware that the link doesn’t have doctor access which means they’re a lot more vulnerable to attrition than many HI links.

 

Unit Focus

Zhanying Imperial Agent

The Hsien Warrior leads Zhanying agents

There are a lot of profiles here, but only one of them is worth a serious look: the Madtraps option. The base chassis is not good enough to be worth putting a heavy gun on, but 23 points is a very reasonable price to pay to have two Madtraps tag along behind your Hsien Warrior. Especially if you’ve got first turn don’t feel compelled to start with one of those Madtraps in your deployment zone, you can just as viably keep both in pocket and then park your Hsien in mid field surrounded by multiple Madtraps for defense and let your opponent figure out how to try and crack it. They also natively come with sixth sense which makes them a great add to a haris team, letting it function like a 4-man core link, and the chain colt is a nice way to keep light infantry away from your Hsien. I wouldn’t take one alone but they’re very reasonable adds for a Hsien team, especially as they can serve as unhackable point men when closing into your opponent’s repeater network.

 

Deva Functionaries

No Wound Incapacitation is not a great rule right now – shock ammunition has become way more common than it used to be, so the meta has shifted to disfavour models like the Deva. I think their real use right now is as one of the two hacker profiles in a Dakini haris – a way to add a specialist and leverage that WIP15. The Killer Hacker is probably slightly preferable because IS has, as mentioned, a hacker problem. As long as you’re not up against an Interventor she stands decent odds against most enemy hackers.

 

Sophotect

The fly in the ointment herself, the Sophotect is overcosted and underequipped – if you want to see what a doctor/engineer has to bring to be worth that price point, look at Aleph’s Parvati in envy. Sometimes you’ll feel compelled to bring her anyway. It’s… not the worst thing in the world if you really have to, you probably make up the price just with access to Kuang Shi, but damn. Every time I look at that 31 points I just feel compelled to play vanilla.

 

Celestial Guard

There’s only two profiles here worth a damn – the hacker and the monitor. The monitor you will just take because it’s the way you get smoke and Kuang Shi in the list, and the hacker isn’t a huge amount worse than the Deva for 10 points cheaper if you just want to leverage your repeater network. Not the first thing I’d look at but you can do worse.

 

CSU

These are very decent profiles, especially the specialist options – doubly especially if you roll a Metachemistry result that boosts their movement speed (a 20% chance). They make very good corner guards and backfield defense. Still, it’s hard to find space for them because the Kuang Shi perform a very similar function but cheaper and better.

 

Kuang Shi

A Crane Agent in a fireteam of Kuang Shi

These are one of the signature units of Yu Jing and you are not playing the faction right if you don’t put four in every list. They’re some of the cheapest regular orders in the game, and while another faction will pay 4 points for a dead inert netrod that can’t do anything or defend itself, for one point extra you can get a chain rifle – the mutual suicide gun – the Dogged rule – you get to commit suicide twice – and the ability to explode instead of going Dogged – committing suicide twice but efficiently. The Impetuous rule is all upside in the new edition – and remember it’s suppressed when in a link, giving them the ability to take cover.

Finally, they’ve got pistols. A BS11 pistol is never something you’ll fire as your first choice but I have put a roadblock of Kuang Shi up in midfield firing fusilades of pistols before and it can take an entire turn to chew through them – and if you do this on turn three that’s your opponent’s final turn gone. Games have turned before on a long range pistol shot from an idiot kuang shi.

 

Imperial Agents, Pheasant Rank

My first take on these is that they’re extremely Dreaded 30 Point Zone troopers. Expensive, fragile, just enough close combat stats to make them expensive without enough to make them good at close combat. It’s ugly. Only the MadTraps profile stands out – as it usually does – if you think of it as a 4 point premium over a Zhanying you were taking already to add Chain of Command to your list. Also, the E/Mitter is really good. E/M ammunition is devastatingly good in this edition – but it’s not on a chassis cheap enough for you to feel good about making suicide trades with so I’d be very hesitant.

 

Father Lucien Sforza

Another terminally Dreaded 30 Point Zone guy. You’re paying a lot for that viral rifle, and the holoprojector isn’t a unique capability in a sectorial with the amazing Kanren.

 

Bao Troops

Cut down in the new edition to a svelte three profiles, the Bao now merit serious consideration as Discount Hsien. Something that may not be immediately obvious but is an important interaction with smoke: If a model moves within 8′ of an enemy model while concealed within a smoke cloud, the enemy model must make a Dodge roll or forfeit their ARO, they can’t wait until you shoot to shoot back with a penalty (or apply a template weapon). A Bao Trooper with a boarding shotgun, covered by long-range smoke fired from the Celestial Guard Monitor, can accordingly do a lot of work into a lot of defenses while being immune to hacking. Having come face to face with the Hsien’s limitations recently I’m seriously considering a Haris of these guys as a substitute, ideally with Gui Feng wildcarded into the link to give the team Madtrap support.

 

Gui Feng Xi Zhuang

This guy is absolutely worth a slot in any link you’re putting together, especially haris teams. He brings specialist functionality, burst 3 flamethrowers making him the ultimate in suicide pact pieces, and Madtraps which are the bee’s knees. Even Number 2 can save you a precious command token at a crucial junction.

 

Authorized Bounty Hunter

Like the CSU, these are good and have a place in some factions, just not this one.

 

Miranda Ashcroft

She’s okay, but IS has better ways to accomplish what she brings.

 

Major Lunah

A much more interesting piece in this edition. She brings a lot of unique functionality to IS – the ability to shut down smoke warband offensives, the ability to fire a Triangulated shot to fight big visual modifier snipers, a genuinely scary gun, and camouflage. There will be absolutely no mystery about what is underneath that one camouflage token in your deployment zone but that might not matter. She’s the rare 30 point single wound model who brings enough to justify her existence.

 

Taowu

And this guy does not. He has one weird job: to shut down enemy CC specialists. If you’re sick of Achilles backflipping into your deployment zone and decapitating your Crane Lieutenant in CC Taowu can be the ultimate galaxy brain surprise counter but everything about him is like setting a very expensive trap and hoping your opponent blunders into it. I’d consider him at 14 points, put it like that.

 

Sun Tze Marksman Leader

You know what the best place is for your delicate, incredibly telegraphed lieutenant is? Up on overwatch with an unlinked sniper rifle! He’s fifty points – the price of a Su Jian – and that’s not counting the extra 27 you’ll need for the Chain of Command when he instantly dies in the first order of the game.

 

Imperial Agent Adil Mehmut

He’s hugely expensive for what he brings. His crane armour edition is worth a look, this edition isn’t – as I said before, NWI is just not enough to keep a piece this expensive alive.

 

Wu Ming Assault Corps

These are serious contenders and every profile is really compelling. They’re cheap enough to fill out a full Core Fireteam and have enough cool multi-role profiles to make a nice aggressive Haris team.

The Combi Rifle/EMitter and Shock Mines profile is pricey but it’s an absolute toolkit of everything you could possibly need. E/M ammunition is especially incredible in this edition and I’d give serious consideration to any situation where it shows up. The mines are great both defensively and offensively and help prevent ‘dead orders’ where you’d need to idle for the second half of an order because you don’t have quite enough movement to round the corner you’re aiming at.

The Multi Rifle/EM grenade launcher is genuinely spooky to me. It’s very expensive but if you land one of these you can brick a TAG. Doing this from 24 inches away, landing a speculative shot on 10’s – not something to rely on but definitely a way to make your opponent sweat without having to overextend into their defensive lines.

The BSG/Tinbot-6 is an almost mandatory pick if you’re taking the full core link, or even a haris you intend to run aggressively. BTS 3 is not a lot of BTS so you need every edge you can get. You could instead rely on a gameplan where the rest of your list will wipe out all enemy hackers before the Wu Ming activate at all, but that would be very bold.

The HMG and the HRL are both picks for your big gun. You’ll probably regret not having the other one whichever you pick. I think I favour the HRL overall because it’s much cheaper, more damaging, better on overwatch and you never know what you’re gonna catch in the template but there will be times when you kick yourself for not having that extra burst.

The Chain Rifle/SMG and LSG/Panzerfaust are the bargain link filler profiles. I like the LSG more – in the previous edition I was much more worried about skirmisher attacks, but nowadays being able to hit a heavy target at range with a panzerfaust is more important to me.

The Forward Observer profile I’d avoid if at all possible. If I need a specialist in the link I’d prefer Gui Feng.

 

Hsien Warriors

With some of the most well rounded profiles in Infinity, the Hsien Warriors will rarely let you down. They’re quick, deadly, and will hit almost anything in the game on 14’s. They’ve also got some absolutely fascinating choices and come with bonus SWC for your army.

You don’t need to run these linked. Arguably the link is a trap – it definitely was in the previous edition and I’m not completely convinced that’s changed. As a solo piece the Hsien can move quickly and minimizes risk, especially if you take the LT+1Order Multi Rifle profile – who represents an amazingly mobile late game sweeper and scoring piece. The Marksman Rifle I’d sadly avoid – the Tinbot-6 is tempting but my experience is that it’s just not enough to penetrate a serious hacking defense. The HMG is just a fantastic all-rounder its function can be replicated by other assets.

 

Sun Tze

An absolute unit. Sun Tze is a model with a special role: any scenario where you need to stand on a central antennae and not die he’s your boy. With three wounds, mimetism and total immunity to chew through this guy can endure an entire turn of getting shot while in suppressive fire. While with his weak BS of 12 he’s unlikely to inflict any counter damage but damn can he absorb a lot. Currently there are no scenarios where you need to hold a central button like Season 10’s Acquisition but if they show up in Season 11’s mission pack this guy will be your guy.

He’s arguably much better in vanilla, though, because vanilla has more ways to leverage that extra command token. He’s definitely better with the multirifle.

 

Imperial Agents Crane Rank

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

 

The Crane agents are all pretty mediocre. Their only selling points are A) They’re one of the few picks for Lieutenant in IS, and B) They can wildcard into a Kuang Shi link turning them into above average gunfighters for zero opportunity cost. Those are pretty good selling points, though, and I find that most of my IS lists end up with a Crane agent just because they solve a lot of problems and synergize with things I’m already taking.

Their CC skills make them resistant to assassination but there are scarier CC things out there in the deep, so this is a deterrent and not a true defense. The Spitfire profile tends to be my main pick; linked up it can still fight like a HMG in its bad range bands. The Multi Rifle profile is oddly okay too because that X-visor gives it really good range bands, meaning that it can potentially fight a TAG in cover using AP ammo in a way that the Spitfire simply can’t.

 

Adil Mehmut Crane Armour

A Crane agent who trades the Sensor and X visor for Veteran and a Monofiliament CC weapon. I’d honestly seriously consider him if only for the reason that he can’t be Isolated and, accordingly, can’t get hacked and put your army into Loss of Lieutenant. If your opponents enjoy FastPanda’ing you, consider switching to Adil.

 

Su Jian

Straight up my favourite piece in the game. The Su Jian is an absolute beast of a unit for a bargain basement price. You can think of it as a TAG on a motorcycle.

8 inch movement is huge, not least because you can usually use it to make a Cautious Move across incredibly long gaps. It dodges a magnificent 4, meaning that if you’re sending it through a minefield it can wind up accelerating instead of slowing down. It’s got climbing+ to help it find weird angles and approaches, but can also vault a whole lot of terrain with just its silhouette. Finally, it has an incredible amount of health. Just for clarity, here’s how the interaction between NWI and Remote Presence work: You have 2 structure and 2 unconscious levels. This means if the Su Jian gets hit for 4 damage then it goes into Unconscious Level 2, which is then negated by NWI. This essentially means that a 1W Su Jian can take an unlucky missile hit, lose 2 wounds, and still be fine (you still die immediately when wounded after NWI kicks in so it’s not actually Structure 4 but it can feel like it at times). This is the model that suffers the most from being chained to the Sophotect – it gets huge mileage out of having an engineer around who can give it re-rollable healing, but this is much better done with a 15 point guy in Vanilla than a 31 point guy in IS.

The +1 Burst BSG and the Spitifre are both such great weapons take whichever sings to you. I personally favour the Spitfire because the synergy with Climbing+ lets you strafe a lot of the enemy’s backfield at once, but the BSG is the superior weapon against highly armoured targets. Something to keep in mind with the Spitfire Su Jian is that it is a model that preys upon the weak. It is magnificent at getting into the enemy backfield and monstering their support crew but a BS14 spitfire with no visual modifiers isn’t really that much gun and it doesn’t really benefit out of getting in a firefight with a TAG even if it can leverage its mobility to catching it out of cover/in the back arc. It’s also very resistant to chain rifle defenses, though very vulnerable to hacking networks. The Su Jian is also a fantastic model for running up a wall and leaving prone on a rooftop – vertical movement can be extremely costly for a lot of models to manage and when they get to the top you can just flamethrower them as they come at you.

Finally, that Panzerfaust will seem irrelevant a lot of the time, but I have fired it in ARO to one-shot a Zeta TAG. It’s one of those things to keep in mind as an option – just like the Heavy Pistol might be occasionally the right choice to reliably put down a Dogged Warband that is looking to dodge or chain rifle you due to its shock ammunition. These sidearms won’t be relevant every game but don’t forget you have them.

 

Garuda Tacbots

These are absolutely incredible and the major non-Fireteam reason to take IS. 20 points gets you a mimetism specialist drop trooper with an incredible 6/4 movement speed. 25 points for the Spitfire edition is 10 points cheaper than the already incredible Tiger Soldier with Spitfire, and it can be buffed by an EVO hacker to have Marksmanship so it’s a serious gun even if it misses its landing roll and has to start in your deployment zone. These are just absolutely perfect pieces and, in extremis, can be fired at with a long-range gizmokit shot to bring back online if you’ve bit the bullet and purchased the Sophotect. You won’t get a better deal on drop troopers anywhere.

 

Dakini Tacbots

The Dakini is worth mentioning because it’s the only way to get healing in IS other than than the Sophotect. As a solo piece or even in the Deva haris team, the Dakini is just a really good, reliable model and as a remote it can be buffed with Assisted Aim. A Dakini HMG+Dakini Paramedic+Deva KHD+EVO hacker is a deadly little package that moves deceptively quickly. The combi rifle versions also make great suicide attack pieces because they’re so quick and reasonable at gunfighting.

 

Weibing Yaokong

Standard issue scanner bot. I don’t rate these in IS due to their often mentioned engineer problems.

 

Husong Yaokong

Similarly, these are always great – but they do expose your defense when you could instead be cowering behind a layer of chain rifles and madtraps. I think that IS doesn’t quite have the offensive punch to take out your opponent’s big guns on turn one so these probably aren’t the best keystones for your defense, especially due to the Damn Sophotect.

 

Son-Bae Yaokong

No synergy with this faction, bypass.

 

Chaiyi Yaokong

You will never need one of these in a world where Kuang Shi exist. Cheap orders is something that Imperial Service has like no other faction, limiting factors will be combat group slots more than anything.

 

Ru Shi

The evil opposite of the PanOceania Spitfire Bulleteer, the Ru Shi is a really solid choice for discount backup gun. Buffed with Marksmanship and covered by smoke there are few targets it can’t beat. Alas, one of many units better in vanilla YJ due to having a cheaper engineer there.

 

Lu Duan

This is a really weird unit. The meme play is if you want to give up Holoprojector and Minelayer to disguise as an EVO hacker and hope your opponent is tempted into flamethrower range, but that’s kind of a Taowu galaxy brain Yu-Gi-Oh play more than something that will consistently win your games. Deploying in full three-model array is probably better, in which case it can be a weird midfield sweeper able to counter camo tokens.

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Ninjas

The Ninja Killer Hacker is one of Yu Jing’s iconic units. Able to come out of Hidden Deployment and seize a key asset or objective, murdering anything holding it in close combat, it’s a game winning model. It requires a lot of patience and sacrifice to get the full use out of it, though – playing the whole game 30 points and an order down is rough – but the payoff can be massive.

As far as actually killing hackers go, be careful – and if at all possible see if you can engage through the enemy’s repeater network. Trinity as a hacking program has a very low damage value and some key hackers like the Interventor can laugh it off when armoured by their firewall. Relatively few factions have seriously good hackers, though, and picking off an isolated fusilier hacker can be the play that opens up a Su Jian offensive. If at all possible use your marker state to get within your hacking area before engaging. Being able to engage hackers is such an important asset for an IS list, and the Ninja KHD is one of the best tools for doing that.

The other profiles are much less interesting. The tactical bow option is a nice trading piece able to ambush an exposed midfield opponent but losing specialist functionality hurts on a lot of maps. The profiles with guns can kind of gunfight but it’s rarely how I want to use the ninja – usually she’s a combat group 2 option who does one thing to clear the way for a combat group 1 heavy hitter.

 

Kunai Ninjas

A term borrowed from the Warmahordes community is “Skornergy” – a term describing the opposite of synergy. Case in point is expensive martial arts skills on a long-distance ambush sniper. Either the Kunai Ninja is backfield and the CC skills are wasted, or they’re close up and the long-range gun is wasted. You might want to take one once or twice just to contribute to a reputation for unpredictability but I wouldn’t do so more than that.

 

Kanren Counterinsurgency Group

Kanren are a sleeper hit in the new edition, with a wide range of genuinely useful profiles and great toolkit functionality for very low cost. Firstly, they are amazing midfield sweepers. With two orders spent sending holoechoes forwards to soak hits you can completely clear the midfield of all mines, madtraps, and other deployable garbage. Secondly, they come with just enough close combat skills and a Monofiliament CCW to make them viable TAG assassins – a suicide run where you use the holoechoes as ablative shields to have a single order stabbing an enemy TAG can be a decisive play. Thirdly, they can come with mines or madtraps – both amazing, but I generally favour the Madtraps because IS has no other midfield camo tokens, making it immediately obvious what that mine is. Finally, every version has some sort of direct template weapon giving them a serious reactive bite.

Note that Holomask isn’t useful at disguising the Kanren as other IS models – it’s just not worth giving up the forward deployment for a gimmick play. What it is useful for is disguising exactly what Kanren you have. As long as you don’t take the Mines or Madtrap profiles who give the game away with their deployables, you can make it unclear if any given Karen is a hacker, a killer hacker, or neither.

 

Sample Lists

In most Infinity tournaments you can bring two lists. Conventional wisdom is to tailor to the scenarios – but in IS I’ve found it’s perhaps even better to tailor to the opponent. If you don’t have to worry about hacking at all you can get away with a lot.

Vs. No Hacking. Play this into something like PanO, Yu Jing, Ariadna – factions with a weak or nonexistent hacking game. This is also an example of a list that just brings the damn Sophotect. The idea with this list is to obtain total firepower superiority – if the Su Jian can target any enemy models that threaten the two Total Reaction remotes you can obtain total firepower superiority over the board,

Group 1:

  • Sophotect with Yudbot
  • Ru Shi
  • Su Jian Shotgun
  • Celestial Guard Monintor
  • Kuang Shi Chain Rifle x4
  • Crane Agent Spitfire
  • Kanren Madtraps

Group 2:

  • Total Reaction Remote x2
  • Garuda Tacbot Forward Observer
  • EVO Hacker
  • WarCor

 

Vs, Hacking. A list that can penetrate a hacking defense. As you can see, compromises have to be made and this packs much less punch overall. I’ve been experimenting with this list over the past week and I actually think it’s a bit of a failure – the Ninja isn’t enough to kill an Interventor or fight multiple enemy hackers at the same time, and the Hsien might be able to punch past a single hacker but not necessarily three of them. I think a future edition of this list might replace the Hsien link with a Bao Trooper haris team.

Group 1:

  • Hsien Multi Marksman Rifle
  • Zhanying MadTraps
  • Xi Zhuang
  • Celestial Guard Monitor
  • Kuang Shi x4
  • Crane Agent Spitfire
  • Kanren Madtraps

Group 2:

  • Ninja Killer Hacker
  • Total Reaction Remote x2
  • EVO Hacker
  • Warcor

 

Finishing Thoughts

The Imperial Service has a lot going for it. Dirt cheap orders, fantastic heavy assault pieces, the ability to efficiently clear the midfield of mines, MadTraps and Crazy Koalas. It’s right on the edge of being truly excellent but it has a few extremely harsh weaknesses: difficulty dealing with hackers and lack of a cheap engineer. It’s a faction that can deliver impressive wins when you can leverage its strengths, but also leave you really lamenting its limitations. Much like the Varuna Immediate Reaction Division, it’s a unique playstyle in Infinity and both strengths and weaknesses contribute to a feeling of excellent design. The one thing the Imperial Service is very much not is generic. Overall I think it’s just a bit weaker in power than Vanilla Yu Jing but that itself is a vote of confidence – vanilla Yu Jing is one of the most versatile and powerful factions in the game, and coming in just behind it is not a mark of shame.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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