Havoc7926

viability of CC

68 posts in this topic

It's Monday so time for another instalment of 'Noob question of the week'.

As I continue to learn the game I'm starting to struggle with the whole Close Combat thing in Infinity.  On the face of it, as a faction, we have some close combat capable troop choices (Imperial Agents, Ninja, Oniwaban) but Infinity seems to be a 'gunfight' game where close combat doesn't really happen much.  On the few occasions I've tried to get into close combat I've been gunned down on the approach.  Now I accept that a lot of this is due to inexperience.  I mean running down the street waving a Katana at someone is all very well but when that someone has a gun it tends to end badly for the Katana owner.

So as a general rule of thumb how do other Yu Jing players deliver their close combat guys to the enemy?

I'm assuming that dropping smoke is a good idea as that removes LOS (visors not withstanding) so that the victim is robbed of their ability to ARO shoot at you on the way in as long as you are not tempted to shoot at them and allow them the shot back?  

Do you rely on the camo state that things like the Ninja can start in to help protect their approach?

Do you just not bother given that it's order inefficient? (drop smoke + move + getting into cc usually means 3 orders or more.  Much like the famous clip form Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy pulls out his pistol to just shoot the sword wielding guy coming at him as it seems like a better option)

Is my desire to be waving sharp metal objects around just not a good idea in a game where shooting is king?

As always; thanks for reading and helping the new guy out.

 

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I'm still quite new to N3 but my general conclusion is this:

Close combat can never be your main means of attack with a list or within an individual game. As you say, it is extremely order inefficient and it also remains risky for anything outside of a hyper-specialized CC character. Even on those sorts of models you should be considering their BS options first (ex: boarding shotgun on the Oniwaban) due to the efficiency that BS attacks offer. 

YuJing's CC abilities should be conceptualized as another potential avenue of attack that is not really viable for most other factions. It is a strategy or option we find in our toolbox more often than others. Keep in mind it can be used not just to kill but also busy important targets. Tying up a TAG in CC for a turn or two with a ninja is a great use of our CC skills.

CC also remains strong enough that it is still a threat opponents need to consider, and with the relative cheapness of some great CC units we have makes them great distracton pieces. You can spend an order or two to put them in a threatening position without necessarily attempting anything at the time. Spending 1-2 orders on putting a Domaru, Musashi, Ninja, or Shaolin in a position that threatens a flank is something that will burn some of your opponents orders and units since they can't readily ignore it.

Again, i'm very far from an expert but this is what i've gleaned from a few games and this forum.

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CC in my experience is really a corner case. I use it as a deterrent rather than a tactic. Having a domaru guarding a flank is scary for any unit in infinity; KHD ninja or kanren are used as killer hackers with a nice defensive buff.

To deliver you cc guys, either use smoke, coordinated orders or make heavy use of camo/stealth for example. It does take practice and many orders, so I do it only when it is really needed.

IMHO though good cc fighters must have MA3+ and either a marker state (surprise attack is good), some form of defensive bonus to help close the gap (take a look at how mymidon links work) or at least berserk...crane is nice but in cc it kills efficiently only low-level troops, the same he'd gun down even easier.

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I get that some troops have a primary purpose and that the CC ability can be considered a bonus however things like the Oniwaban seem to be pure CC.  That's 41 points which feels like a lot of points if CC is only a secondary function in the game.

Now the special skills list of the Oniwaban does seem built to try and help you get them into CC but again, 41 points.  It's only a single wound ARM 1 model that's not a specialist so can't 'bang buttons' even.  If it's not slicing and dicing what else is it doing?

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2 hours ago, Havoc7926 said:

Do you just not bother given that it's order inefficient? (drop smoke + move + getting into cc usually means 3 orders or more.  Much like the famous clip form Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy pulls out his pistol to just shoot the sword wielding guy coming at him as it seems like a better option)

Whether CC is order-efficient depends a lot on what you're aiming to kill. If you're activating Shinobu Kitsune and rounding a corner on a Fusilier, then yeah, it's probably better to use the Combi Rifle than spend the orders trying to force CC. But if you're rounding the corner on a Jotum, suddenly that Monofilament CCW is far and away your best option, and worth spending the time to toss smoke to get into CC and chop the thing in half. 

CC has the advantage of being one of the most reliable attacks you can make, assuming that you're going up against someone who is not a CC specialist themselves. As someone mentioned above, that generally means CC22+ and at least Martial Arts L3. CC is very powerful against troops with high ARM and/or high defensive modifiers, like ODD or TO Camo. But you do need to pick your targets well - as mentioned above, if you are draining your order pool to CC a line trooper to death, you're probably not getting the most from your orders.

CC is a game of target selection and opportunity. Target selection is important - look for expensive models with CC scores under 20 and without CC special skills. Opportunity is the next most important part. Even if you've decided you want to CC that Swiss Guard to death, it'll do you no good if your CC model is 24" away on the other side of the table. Learning to position your troops for good CC opportunities is also something that comes with experience. The good news is that in many ITS scenarios your opponent is forced to come to you, so you can use that to your advantage.

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Nothing is to be discarded without a proper thought.

I run a tournament with The Triad of DeathTM (Kitsune, Musashi, Yojimbo) all of the three games. In each of these games I managed to use each of them in CC.

But the most intriguing episode was Yojimbo sprinting across the full table to kill a Kerail on the first turn. This allowed me to remove the beasts (direct effect) and to draw toward him 2 Impetuous models.

What you must ALWAYS bear in mind is "a CC Specialist will NEVER survive the fight" and he is more likely to be killed in CC than from distance. Because dice have a strange sense of karma...

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4 minutes ago, Havoc7926 said:

Now the special skills list of the Oniwaban does seem built to try and help you get them into CC but again, 41 points.  It's only a single wound ARM 1 model that's not a specialist so can't 'bang buttons' even.  If it's not slicing and dicing what else is it doing?

Surprise shooting multiple targets with his boarding shotgun, for one. Civ-evaccing civilians in the Rescue scenario, for two. I wouldn't underestimate the power of a TO surprise shot boarding shotgun, even if his BS isn't the best.

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As others said, CC is never the sole purpose of a unit.

 

An Oniwaban has a Boarding Shotgun! He can infiltrate real close, and then shotgun away! Place the templates well and spread death and terror amongst your enemies...

With TO, Surprise Shot and Cover he is a real beast to kill in ARO without templates, so choose your targets well and the shotgun will never let you down...

And only if you face a really tough target, like a TAG, go into cc and use that Mono Weapon of yours.

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As a JSA player, CC is kinda our thing so hopefully I can shed some light on this.  First you have to look at whether we're talking about TO CC units or HI CC units.  (I'll be focusing on JSA models, namely ninjas, oniwabans, and domarus since those are what I know best).

 

For TO models like Ninjas and Oniwabans, whether or not they'll get into CC is determined at deployment (of course this seems obvious, but hear me out).  You have to look at the board and determine your opponent's avenue of approach.  Figure out what paths they're going to take with what.  What path are they going to send their specialists along to get to the objectives?  What position are they gonna move their TAG to for optimal firing and board control?  How are they gonna advance their link team up the board?  We call this the Enemy's Most Probably Course of Action (EMPCOA).  Determine that, and hidden deploy your little death machine along that path in such a way that they can easily ARO with an engage after revealing themselves.  Make sure you're only engaging after your opponent has committed to that path (IE, don't engage the link leader, go after the tail end charlie who can't react to your ARO, don't kill the first specialist coming down the path, wait for all his specialists going that way to move past you so they can't regroup).  If your opponent is turtling up and not advancing any significant pieces (which you should be able to tell just by looking at their list), deploy instead on one of the flanks, the one with the least ARO pieces, especially the least amount of visors.  Then spend a turn ramboing him up, advancing in marker state, reveal, engage, kill, if you're still alive re-camo yourself, rinse and repeat until you're out of orders or your model is dead.  You're going to lose that CC model.  It's a given.  They are not built to survive.  The goal is to just make sure you kill as much as you can before that happens.

 

Now for HI models, like my boy the Domaru.  These guys obviously aren't gonna be great for ambushing your opponent.  With proper positioning and the right circumstances they can, but your opponent will know they're coming and plan for it.  These guys are better used as an offensive assault piece than an ambush piece like the Ninjas.  Outside of a couple profiles (Domaru Spitfire, Haramaki ML, etc.) most CC HI have weapons that want to close the gap or enable them to close the gap anyway (again, speaking from experience with JSA, can't really say how this holds up for ISS or Vanilla).  The two best pieces of advice for these guys are to again, pick the path of least resistance and pick a flank with minimal AROs, and to link them up to conserve orders.  Remember that these guys can take a hit.  ARM 3 and 2W might not be the best Yu Jing has to offer, but it's nothing to sneeze at either.  Provided you read the board right and avoid dangerous AROs, they can reasonably expect to get over the halfway line on the board.  And never forget about Berserk.  With Berserk comes Assault, which means your CC prowess has an 8" threat range.  The key is to learn to estimate 8" (which is a skill you should learn for Infinity regardless) and remember to utilize your tools.  Have your overwatch pieces kill big threats before sending in the Samurai.  Remember to use those E/M grenades, especially against suppressing HI or TAGs.  You won't get these guys into CC turn 1 most likely, so take your time and play smart.

 

As others have said, CC in Infinity is not something you can really rely on like in other wargames.  Making it work is difficult and requires the ability to properly read the terrain on the board and anticipate your opponent's actions.  If you can't do that, you will never get CC to work for you.  But keep in mind, most of your opponents won't even be thinking about CC.  Outside of Yu Jing, you can count the number of sectorials with more than a couple CC models on one hand.  Most opponents won't even be thinking that it's a thing, and unless they have experience against CC armies in this game, won't be planning for it and prepping to counter it.  Nothing throws off a player's gameplan more than losing a model to CC when they've never experienced something like that before.  This is an aspect of the game most players don't really experience outside of "Oh this is stupid I have to try it at least once just to say I did it."  Use that to your advantage.

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6 hours ago, det said:

IMHO though good cc fighters must have MA3+ and either a marker state (surprise attack is good), some form of defensive bonus to help close the gap (take a look at how mymidon links work) or at least berserk...crane is nice but in cc it kills efficiently only low-level troops, the same he'd gun down even easier.

As someone who came from Nomads, I highly disagree with the must have MA3. Jaguars, Morlocks, and Bandits do perfectly fine in CC.

MA3 is awesome, but don't get hung up on it as a must have. MA1 is perfectly workable, though the CC19 MA1 on the Hsien is arguably more "not get punked"  territory. In that case it's another vector in the toolbox along with the nanopulser. The Crane's combo of high cc values and nanopulsers cement you don't want to get close to them.

But I'll echo the sentiment it's not your primary plan, but a valid alternative if you can set it up.

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13 minutes ago, banthafodder said:

As someone who came from Nomads, I highly disagree with the must have MA3. Jaguars, Morlocks, and Bandits do perfectly fine in CC.

Sorry, but in Yu Jing we have higher standards for CC than "perfectly fine" :P

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CC tends to have a sliding scale in terms of unit you're committing to the fight, as well as what you're targeting.  If you have a chance to take out a Swiss Guard or TAG, or chop up a few members of a heavy infantry link team, then spending a good numbers of Orders to initiate a high-probability CC kill with the guarantee of a coup de grace may be worthwhile.  If you're slugging it out with another CC combatant though, or a simple 1-Wound line trooper or REM that happens to be standing around, then not to much.

The grey area in between those two extremes of high-cost enemy and 1-wound linetrooper is where your strategy and list composition will come into play. 

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Against any target that isn't good in CC the CC on the Bandit (21 MA:2) is better than his 12 BS camo LSG. That's not taking suprise shot/attack in to account  which favors CC even more.

Kasym Beg can reliable win against most units with his raw 23 CC.

Regular Kum LSG with a raw 20 CC is better off in CC against most units (again that's not good in CC) with a visual mod. I actually had a situation against a Locust BSG where matching 20 CC against 20 CC was my best option.

 

There are many uses for CC, but using smoke, etc. to force it is almost never worth it. The only time is against very powerful units like some HI and TAG, or if you are using free orders. If you have a token state (like Ninja) you can usually use that more efficiently.

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Amazing post Rend, thank you so much! Particularly the bit about CC not losing any effectiveness in ARO once you're engaged. For a newbie like me that's really really useful to keep in mind, especially as it can take so many orders to get into close combat. The ability to not worrying about following up immediately once you're engaged is a really good takeaway that is definitely going to save me orders.

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On 3/20/2017 at 8:41 AM, Havoc7926 said:

I get that some troops have a primary purpose and that the CC ability can be considered a bonus however things like the Oniwaban seem to be pure CC.  That's 41 points which feels like a lot of points if CC is only a secondary function in the game.

Now the special skills list of the Oniwaban does seem built to try and help you get them into CC but again, 41 points.  It's only a single wound ARM 1 model that's not a specialist so can't 'bang buttons' even.  If it's not slicing and dicing what else is it doing?

12-gauge to the face!

On 3/20/2017 at 8:57 AM, KestrelM1 said:

Surprise shooting multiple targets with his boarding shotgun, for one. Civ-evaccing civilians in the Rescue scenario, for two. I wouldn't underestimate the power of a TO surprise shot boarding shotgun, even if his BS isn't the best.

Exactly.

=====

Cypher and I actually ran a couple games of bring all the CC back when N3 first dropped, ASS versus JSA.  We discovered that you don't try to CC another CC monster, chances are you will both crit and be staring at each other across your crossed blades (unless it's a Domaru Berserking to get the Normal Roll and EM critting Achilles or Ajax).  You send your CC monsters after troops that can't fight back in CC and shoot the crap out of your enemy's CC monsters.

I recommend playing a couple training games where you don't spend any SWC on guns and try to get your troops into CC.  Makes for a very different game, and really helps your maneuvering and MA-level-choosing.

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21 minutes ago, Section 9 said:

I recommend playing a couple training games where you don't spend any SWC on guns and try to get your troops into CC.  Makes for a very different game, and really helps your maneuvering and MA-level-choosing.

This.^^

This i feel is a great way to get people to learn when and how to CC. (Unless you were one of those players that played JSA pre Raiden era.) It does alot to show both the pros and cons of CC even on non CC monsters. 

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Huge thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on this thread.  Lots of information for me to process but already I'm starting to understand the role of CC in Infinity and, as usual, it's not what I would have imagined coming from other games.  Sometimes a lifetime of gaming brings way too much baggage when trying to learn a new one. :)

Because I'm me I'm going to purposely take Oniwaban Shinobu Kitsune to my next game and see how it goes.  I just have to try things for myself I'm afraid but I will have a much better idea of what to do thanks to the great information here.  

 

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41 minutes ago, Havoc7926 said:

 

Because I'm me I'm going to purposely take Oniwaban Shinobu Kitsune to my next game and see how it goes.  I just have to try things for myself I'm afraid but I will have a much better idea of what to do thanks to the great information here.  

If you're going to take a combat specialist, Kitsune is the one to take! She is amazing because she comes with her own smoke grenades and superior infiltration. She is her own delivery system. If you get her in amongst your opponents cheerleaders and overwatch pieces, she is a literal fox in the hen house. 

I love Kitsune, with a monofilament weapon she is a threat to everything, even TAG's. You're going to have fun with her! 

And her model is awesome as well! 

Edit: I dont know why the quote is hidden in a spoiler box. Ah well. 

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27 minutes ago, Reservup said:
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If you're going to take a combat specialist, Kitsune is the one to take! She is amazing because she comes with her own smoke grenades and superior infiltration. She is her own delivery system. If you get her in amongst your opponents cheerleaders and overwatch pieces, she is a literal fox in the hen house. 

I love Kitsune, with a monofilament weapon she is a threat to everything, even TAG's. You're going to have fun with her! 

And her model is awesome as well! 

 

Yeah.  If I'm going to try out a CC specialist then I might as well try the best. :)

 

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She is definitely the best! 😀

I came into infinity from another system as well, and it was Kitsune and her awesome cc abilities that sold me on infinity and Yu Jing in particular. She was my first model as well! 

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1 hour ago, Reservup said:

Edit: I dont know why the quote is hidden in a spoiler box. Ah well. 

TO:Camo

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To add to the other excellent advice already given: resist the temptation to Engage with ninjas in your reactive turn, most of the time. Using your measly PH to get in instead of godly CC sucks. You're better in the active using your CC, and if the opportunity to get in close passes you up, might still get a back-shot from outside ZoC in (even better IMO).

 

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20 hours ago, Savnock said:

To add to the other excellent advice already given: resist the temptation to Engage with ninjas in your reactive turn, most of the time. Using your measly PH to get in instead of godly CC sucks. You're better in the active using your CC, and if the opportunity to get in close passes you up, might still get a back-shot from outside ZoC in (even better IMO).

 

Or even a back shot from inside ZoC that your enemy can't react to.

Tactical Bows are silent! 

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25 minutes ago, Col said:

Or even a back shot from inside ZoC that your enemy can't react to.

As long as he doesn't survive...

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