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dboeren

What's your best ninja themed list?

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I'd like to try a 10-order list with a ninja theme.  Anyone got some good ones they'd like to share?  Tips on usage would be awesome too.

Otherwise I think I'm going to go with Shinobu LT, 2x Shikami in a Duo, Saito, and an Oniwaban paired with a Keisotsu link team w/ CoC Kempeitai.  The nice thing is that ninjas don't burn much SWC so I can afford two Missile Launchers and an HMG in my link team.  Last guy I think will be a Paramedic just in case I can bring a ninja back and to be a 4th Specialist.

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logo_203.png Japanese Sectorial Army
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png10  orden_impetuosa.png4
logo_21.pngSHINOBU Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0.5 | 47)
logo_9.pngNINJA MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (1.5 | 42)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 22)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 22)
logo_6.pngDOMARU Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 25)
logo_11.pngTOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
logo_18.pngYÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

5 SWC | 299 Points

Open in Infinity Army

Haramaki hold the fort, Ninjas do the active turn work. If you want to get good at getting things done with Shinobu or the Ninja Sniper, this is the list for you. I would not recommend this list for retaining friendships.

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Looks nice!  And there's one point left over to upgrade one of the base Haramaki to a DA CCW.  I've done the Domaru/Haramaki link before but never without a Spitfire in the link.  Dual Missile Launchers seems like fun though and Haramaki are a much more capable platform to put them on than Keisotsu.  Three specialists, two of which are infiltrating Ninjas.

I'm not too familiar with the Ninja Sniper, but I'm willing to give him a try.  Tomorrow is game night, hopefully I'll get a chance to use it and I'll post back how it went.

Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, dboeren said:

I'm not too familiar with the Ninja Sniper, but I'm willing to give him a try.  Tomorrow is game night, hopefully I'll get a chance to use it and I'll post back how it went.

Sounds fantastic! And yes, definitely spend the last point to upgrade to DA CCW. I always forget to. 

My advice on the Ninja sniper is this: when going first, look for an opportunity to deploy on your opponent's table half if you think you can get into the back of their deployment zone. I've found this angle of attack is often completely unexpected and leads to a lot of kills. It's definitely risky, considering it's 8s to succeed, but even if you fail you can take up position on your friendly table edge and still work the ideal range band of the Sniper. 

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Who do you keep for your reserve model?  Shinobu or the Sniper?

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14 minutes ago, dboeren said:

Who do you keep for your reserve model?  Shinobu or the Sniper?

Almost always Shinobu, as Smoke is your get-out-of-jail-free card. She's also the most efficient killer if she can get into CC, I reserve her so she can get the shortest line to high value assets. The Sniper has a ton of range so she isn't as sensitive to initial positioning.

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Something like this comes to mind:

logo_203.png Japanese Sectorial Army
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png10  
logo_21.pngSHINOBU Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0.5 | 47)
logo_23.pngSAITO TOGAN Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW, Knife. (0 | 39)
logo_10.pngONIWABAN Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0 | 41)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0.5 | 40)
logo_9.pngNINJA MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (1.5 | 42)
logo_1.pngKEISOTSU Lieutenant Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (1 | 9)
logo_2.pngKEMPEI (Chain of Command) Boarding Shotgun / Pistol, CCW, Electric Pulse. (0 | 21)
logo_26.pngYURIKO ODA Combi Rifle + E/Mitter, D-Charges, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, CCW. (0 | 23)
logo_1.pngKEISOTSU Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)

3.5 SWC | 300 Points

Open in Infinity Army


Really could use a medic, though.  Might drop the plain Oniwaban for a Shikami, drop the Kempeitai and shuffle some points around to make room for a Keisotsu medic and some additional guns (ML is the easy fit).

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This is pretty close to a ninja list I used to run. It's difficult and fragile but highly entertaining and amusing under the correct circumstances. 

 

logo_203.png Did somebody call a doctor?
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png10  
logo_10.pngONIWABAN Lieutenant Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (1 | 41)
logo_10.pngONIWABAN Boarding Shotgun, Nanopulser / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0 | 41)
logo_4.pngRAIDEN (Minelayer, X Visor) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 21)
logo_4.pngRAIDEN (Minelayer, X Visor) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Antipersonnel Mines / Pistol, Knife. (1.5 | 21)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA MULTI Sniper Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (1.5 | 42)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_11.pngTOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
logo_18.pngYÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

5.5 SWC | 299 Points

Open in Infinity Army

 

If you really want the smoke then you can get Shinobu in there by swapping out one of the Oniwaban, dropping the yaozao and downgrading the 3rd killer hacker to just a tactical bow Ninja. I quite like this version though. It has two completely difference styles of play depending on whether you are going first or second. I will warn you that this list is super fragile and incredibly vulnerable to some types of list. It's also pretty order starved most of the time but because nearly everything that matters infiltrates, most things will deploy near to what they are targeting. 

 

When going first you are best off being very aggressive and deploying just about everything you can in a marker state so that you have enough orders. The only models I would put in hidden deployment are the regular Oniwaban (who will infiltrate right on the enemy deployment line) and the ninja sniper. The Oniwaban Lt should be the reserve model and you can either deploy them aggressively in a marker state or defensively to give opponents the concern whether it might be another Raiden but with spitfire instead of HRL. The ninja sniper wants to go into hidden deployment because you can cover fire lanes and not let your opponent know this.

 

If you go second then almost everything that can should be in hidden deployment save for the poor doctor and all those camo tokens from the Raiden. The Lt Oniwaban should deploy as a regular camo token mixed among these to make it even difficult for the opponent to know what camo token is likely to be what. If the opponent has a lot impetuous troops then don't be afraid to deploy the Raiden with good avenues of fire and back them up with the ninja sniper who should deploy even further back but with a field of fire that covers them as well. This should stop the opponent from easily getting cheap troops with direct template weapons across the table to your tokens too quickly and easily. As they cross the table you can reveal the hidden dangers that lie in wait for him. The Oniwaban is great in this regard as his boarding shotgun and nanopulser are excellent ARO weapons and whilst I would often advise trying not to reveal in ARO early in the opponents turn it can be very tempting if a link team walked past his position. Tactical bows are also quite decent ARO weapons although I would rarely recommend do so unless the opponent doesn't really have any more orders left or other models that can quickly get to the ninjas position. 

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@KestrelM1

I ran a variant of your list last night for two games.  The Ninja sniper was dropped for two reasons.  First, I forgot the ninja sniper model at home on my painting table.  Second, I was facing Steel Phalanx and I wasn't sure a list with 9/10ths of the models having ODD would be a good first test.  So on short notice I swapped in a 3rd Missile Launcher Haramaki and filled the rest of the points with an Aragoto w/ Spitfire.

The one specific issue I ran into was not having a higher burst weapon or more generally a reliable way to take out a hard target in a fireteam.  My main obstacle was dealing with Phoenix.  She was in a link team and in cover on a rooftop.  With ODD and Cover and two shots back at me I had a great deal of trouble taking her out even with link team bonuses.  We each had two shots but her target number was better than mine.  A Ninja Sniper would have been fairly similar.  I'd be giving Phoenix an additional -6 but I'd be shooting at BS11 instead of BS16 so it would be a -5 to me too, not that much difference and the Ninja sniper is single wound and much harder to reach with doctoring.  My inclination at this point is to see if I can either rearrange the fire team to include a Domaru w/ Spitfire or fit in a Rui Shi.  Rui Shi breaks camo better but the Domaru is hardier, can be doctored, and has a higher BS against non-camo things.

Fortunately, once we broke Phoenix the rest of his list crumpled nicely - it just took my entire first turn to keep shooting her and then a couple more orders to heal my unconscious Haramaki.  We killed one model and ended up with two Haramaki ML's wounded.  On turn 2 my killer hacker ninja took out his hacker and then we proceeded to pick things apart from there without serous issues.  Having the Killer Hacker ninjas start next to objectives in Safe Area to guard/claim them was useful but I need to work on positioning my doctor better to be able to claim objectives with him too.

Second game was against Hassassin Bahram, still doing Safe Area since this is one of the scenarios in our upcoming tournament.  My Killer Hacker got Leila Sharif, helping whittle down his Muyib fire team early.  Dogged was a significant issue all game that slowed us down.  Shinobu was pretty boss, debuting with a kill of his TR-HMG remote and then helping take down the Muyibs.  She did go down but the Killer Hacker picked up where she left off and the other Killer Hacker took out three Muttawiahs and a Fiday before going down to a Chain Rifle.  We took significant losses but won the day 6-0.

Anyway, I will continue to tinker and try out another version for next week.

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42 minutes ago, dboeren said:

The one specific issue I ran into was not having a higher burst weapon or more generally a reliable way to take out a hard target in a fireteam.  My main obstacle was dealing with Phoenix.

Yeah, I will admit this can be a potential problem with this list. The Ninja Sniper is actually not bad against Phoenix from 33"+, as she reduces his BS to 1, but a good old MSV2 Spitfire would probably do better. Glad to hear you had fun with it, though, it sounds like you were able to bring home wins regardless. Thanks for writing it up, it was fun to read! :)

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Ran some numbers on the vs. Phoenix situation.  Stats read "I hurt her" vs. "she hurts me".  Assuming +3 range bands for both parties and both sides in cover.

Ninja Sniper:      22.78% vs. 34.43%  (29.10% vs. 20.11% w/ surprise shot in the first round only)
Harakami ML:    42.20% vs. 30.16%
Domaru Spitfire: 45.85% vs. 20.99%
Rui Shi:               53.02% vs. 16.92%

I was surprised that the Spitfire option is such a small improvement over the Missile Launcher for causing damage, but it does substantially cut the chance of me taking wounds. Essentially my odds to hit are a fair bit better but it's the odds of wounding that drop. Rui Shi is better than either in this scenario but not as good as Domaru Spitfire when the opponent doesn't have camo and is much less durable of course.

Here's a new core list with some room free using the Domaru Spitfire and trading Shinobu for Saito, I've basically tried to strip it down as much as possible everywhere else:

logo_203.png Japanese Sectorial Army
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png9  orden_impetuosa.png3
logo_23.pngSAITO TOGAN Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW, Knife. (0 | 39)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_6.pngDOMARU Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 25)
logo_6.pngDOMARU Spitfire / Pistol, E/M CCW. (2 | 38)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 22)
logo_11.pngTOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
logo_18.pngYÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

5 SWC | 265 Points

Open in Infinity Army

There's 35 points and 1 SWC left which feels like an awkward amount to me.  I can't fit a premium grade ninja.  I can fit a plain ninja or Killer Hacker but that feels like it doesn't really give me a new tool other than one more Killer Hacker being useful for grabbing terminals.

I can fit a Rui Shi or Aragoto and minor upgrades - put the 2nd Yaozao back in, Oyama LT, and give the Haramaki a DA CCW as one option.  Maybe leaves a few points on the table.  I guess a TR HMG bot or Lu Duan is possible too.  Could turn Saito into a Shikami but I'm not sure that's what the list needs.

I could also throw in three Keisotsu or cheap remotes and have 12 orders.  There's room for them to be specialists for objectives and they can potentially provide some AROs.

Or, I could turn the Domaru Spitfire back into a Haramaki and have more room - this would get me Shinobu back (on top of Saito) or a Shikami.  Something like this:

 

logo_203.png Ninjamaki
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png10  orden_impetuosa.png4
logo_23.pngSAITO TOGAN Combi Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CCW, Knife. (0 | 39)
logo_28.pngSHIKAMI Combi Rifle / Pistol, DA CCW, AP CCW, Knife. (0 | 47)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_22.pngOYAMA Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Breaker Pistol, AP CCW, EXP CCW. (0 | 28)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 23)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 22)
logo_11.pngTOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
logo_18.pngYÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

3 SWC | 300 Points

Open in Infinity Army

Shikami gives me an additional specialist and we call it "good enough" on the Missile Launchers for long range because most things aren't as hard to crack as the Phoenix scenario.  I can also keep Oyama as a plain Domaru and take a 2nd Yaozao, not sure which is better.  I never used the "other" Yaozao last night.

 

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@KestrelM1, I really liked your list and rebuilt it to take out the sniper with a Rui Shi before I read @dboeren's post. Not only is it a decent tool against camo or ODD, but you can use it with smokeshot to really get rid of annoying obstacles. Might take you half your orders for the turn though.

I'm also a big fan of Assault Hackers (I love freezing HI and REMs so very, very much), and am not a huge fan of the tac bow, so I replaced one of the KHDs with an AHD. Makes getting Spotlight off for objectives easier too. If you think AHDs are pants, one could also swap in Togan instead to get more smoke coverage, allowing Shinobu to focus on cutting up HI and the like.

Anyways, losing one ninja for a killer robot might seem like a lame loss of theme when looking at the list here, but on the table there's almost no way to feed 3 ninjas enough orders in one turn, let alone 4 (with very different roles). 3 seems like just enough ninja to play with without wasting spare capacity too much.

Ended up with this:

Spoiler

logo_203.png JSA 300 NinjasAndSamurai
──────────────────────────────────────────────────

orden_regular.png10  orden_impetuosa.png4
logo_21.pngSHINOBU Combi Rifle, Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, Monofilament CCW. (0.5 | 47)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0.5 | 40)
logo_9.pngNINJA Hacker (Killer Hacking Device) Tactical Bow / Pistol, DA CCW, Knife. (0 | 29)
logo_12.pngRUI SHI Spitfire / Electric Pulse. (1 | 20)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Missile Launcher / Pistol, DA CCW. (1.5 | 33)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Combi Rifle / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 29)
logo_7.pngHARAMAKI Blitzen, Contender / Pistol, DA CCW. (0 | 23)
logo_6.pngDOMARU Lieutenant Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Pistol, E/M CCW. (0 | 25)
logo_11.pngTOKUSETSU EISEI Doctor (MediKit) Combi Rifle / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
logo_18.pngYÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
logo_18.pngYÁOZĂO Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)

5 SWC | 299 Points

Open in Infinity Army

 

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1 hour ago, dboeren said:

Ran some numbers on the vs. Phoenix situation.  Stats read "I hurt her" vs. "she hurts me".  Assuming +3 range bands for both parties and both sides in cover.

Ninja Sniper:      22.78% vs. 34.43%  (29.10% vs. 20.11% w/ surprise shot in the first round only)
Harakami ML:    42.20% vs. 30.16%
Domaru Spitfire: 45.85% vs. 20.99%
Rui Shi:               53.02% vs. 16.92%

I think you gave Phoenix his +0 range band instead of +3 in those scenarios, because those numbers don't look quite right.

I think you're on the right track, though - assuming +3 range bands is not the best way to think about taking out a piece like Phoenix. Your Sniper Rifle is +3 out to 48". The Missile Launcher is +3 out to 40". You've got smoke to force your way under 16" with a Spitfire. Why sit in his ideal range band when you can get a better engagement? Consider these numbers instead:

Ninja Sniper (no surprise shot) @ 35": 32.49% vs. 8.8% (Phoenix needs 1s!)
Haramaki ML (full link) @ 35": 54.54% vs. 20.36%
Domaru Spitfire (full link) @ 12": 45.85% vs. 20.99%
Rui Shi (no assisted fire) @ 12": 53.02% vs. 16.92%

Suddenly the Ninja is the safest option, and the Haramaki the most decisive. When you're using B2 weapons for offense you can't afford to take "fair" fights. You have to use your range superiority to make the situation favor you instead. This is certainly harder and more restrictive than just brute-forcing your way with an HMG or HRMC, but I think it's an important thing to remember when trying to get the most mileage out of units like the Haramaki ML and Ninja Sniper. 

20 minutes ago, Savnock said:

@KestrelM1, I really liked your list and rebuilt it to take out the sniper with a Rui Shi before I read @dboeren's post. Not only is it a decent tool against camo or ODD, but you can use it with smokeshot to really get rid of annoying obstacles. Might take you half your orders for the turn though.

I will readily admit that the Ninja Sniper is for Rule of Cool and nothing else. A Rui Shi is much more versatile tool, and something I'd highly recommend if you want a more all-comers unit.

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44 minutes ago, KestrelM1 said:

I think you gave Phoenix his +0 range band instead of +3 in those scenarios, because those numbers don't look quite right.

I think you're on the right track, though - assuming +3 range bands is not the best way to think about taking out a piece like Phoenix. Your Sniper Rifle is +3 out to 48". The Missile Launcher is +3 out to 40". You've got smoke to force your way under 16" with a Spitfire. Why sit in his ideal range band when you can get a better engagement?

You may be right, when running a bunch of combinations on dice calculator sometimes an oversight creeps in.  It may be related to local tables but I find outranging 40" to be difficult.  Yes, I do reach further but how can I get so far away on a 48"x48" table?  Do I spend several orders trying to run away to the corner?  Is that efficient?

Generally, a piece like Phoenix is going to be near the front of the deployment zone and relatively centered left-to-right unless there's a tall building blocking her view from that point.  So if she's 10" up for instance, it's only 38" to the back of my own deployment zone, not enough to out-range a 40" gun until I start going sideways.  Any cover in my own DZ is often not pressed against the back either, so if I want that cover I have to be even more off-center to maintain 40"+ and it gets tricky and/or sucks up orders to relocate.

Getting too close seems like a more practical option to pull off and one that leaves me in a more active position once the job is done.  However, I also freely admit that I'm not that good at using a sniper in my back to cover my other guys with ARO's at this point due to lack of experience with this.  An up close ninja can get the kill, but won't be covering his buddies much.

Yeah, the Rui Shi is probably the "best" option and just as importantly the option that brings the most different tool.  I can bring more guys that are good at the same things and that gives me backup options, reinforcements, etc... but likely not substantially better rolls in a given situation.  Rui Shi is a different tool and DOES offer much better odds in some situations.  If the situation isn't one of those?  Then I can still use my original tools.

I'm still tinkering with the list and bumping back and forth across the 10-model group limit for the best way to fit things.

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34 minutes ago, dboeren said:

You may be right, when running a bunch of combinations on dice calculator sometimes an oversight creeps in.  It may be related to local tables but I find outranging 40" to be difficult.

Phoenix's HRL is only +3 out to 32", so that broadens your options considerably. Or did you have a different ARO piece in mind?

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Ah, sorry.  I misread your comment:  Your Sniper Rifle is +3 out to 48". The Missile Launcher is +3 out to 40".

I was thinking you were saying Phoenix went out to 40" and didn't bother checking the weapon charts.  Yes, outranging 32" is significantly easier than outranging 40".

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No worries, I can see how that was misleading!

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With the current season of ITS, who is your Datatracker and does it matter if it is the hunted or the hunter version?

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@dboeren Taking out Phoenix with good odds warrants some MSV guy or monstrous active turn piece.

Assuming he is in a 4 man Link he has Sixth Sense L2 (ignores Surprise Shot), B2 Smoke/Heavy Pistol/HRL basically gives him an ARO ons 13s/16s most of the time.

Rui Shi with Assisted Fire in +3 is by far your best bet if you want to kill him. If your goal is just to make him use Smoke so you can walk past him, then other things work fine, no real alternatives in JSA outside of CC though.

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7 hours ago, Mahtamori said:

With the current season of ITS, who is your Datatracker and does it matter if it is the hunted or the hunter version?

I would probably not play this list in a Datatracker scenario. If forced, it would be Shinobu.

I am very much not a fan of the "no marker state" restriction on Datatracker. 

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Datatracker Fiday or Speculo would be horribel if they could marker state, though I wonder if not "Datatracker must start the game inside their deployment zone" or something to that effect wouldn't have been a better compromise. The infiltrating Datatrackers are making Decapitation nearly trivial to score 5+ in.

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In my test games I was using the vanilla Haramaki, figuring people would have to choose between attacking one with a good weapon or the harmless one that was Datatracker.

Something I just noticed - since Ninjas don't use a lot of SWC you could use Le Muet instead of the Ninja Sniper.  It costs an extra SWC but you've potentially got it to spare.

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