Infinity Unit Review: Dāoyīng Operative Control Unit
YueFei23 (Pete) here working my way through Xmas jet lag with another Yu Jing review from the new Imperial Army units. Today we look at one of the real winners for Yu Jing and for Imperial Army - the Dāoyīng, which elbows most other contenders out of the way to take the crown as the best lieutenant in the game.
STATS AND SPECIAL RULES
CH: Camouflage is incredibly useful for a lieutenant option and is an ability the Dāoyīng pays no SWC for. This is a huge deal as a Guilang lieutenant with Camo would previously have cost 2 SWC for Yu Jing and now they can hide their lieutenant away for free.
Dāoyīng lieutenant profiles have lieutenant L2, which brings two lieutenant orders that can be used on the Dāoyīng itself or on NCO models like the Mówáng or Tai Sheng. It also gives you great options for spending an order to do something useful and then getting your camo state back without stealing orders from the rest of your army.
Unlike most of the Imperial Army units, Dāoyīng are Medium Infantry. Their stats are a little less resilient than the rest of their faction, with PH 10 and a single wound alongside a slower 4-2 move. Their BS is a respectable 12, not bad for a camo unit and their WIP of 14 is solid for a unit that will often be making lieutenant rolls and doing a little hacking. Even though they’re not as solidly armoured as the rest of the Invincible Army they are moderately invincible with ARM 3 and BTS 3 as well as bioimmunity. This means they’re unlikely to die outright from a single shock or viral hit, which is helpful sniper duels - even if an enemy sniper takes them out you can doctor them back up.
As a bonus for ITS season X, all Medium Infantry gain Forward Deployment Level 1, which lets your Dāoyīng deploy up to 4” forward of your deployment zone. Not something you’re often going to want to do with your lieutenant, but nice to find the perfect sniper’s nest or drop a mine in front of your lines.
There are 3 weapon profiles, all of them available with and without Lieutenant L2.
Boarding Shotgun: This is an incredible profile for a cheap camo lieutenant at 21 points and 0 SWC and it brings two lieutenant orders to power an NCO. The boarding shotgun is a useful close quarters defensive weapon, but while it’s your lieutenant this Dāoyīng is going to want to stay hidden for the first two turns of the game and only risk a shot if threatened.
I tend to overlook this profile when not taking it as a lieutenant, but especially for this season it may be worth taking a second look at it - a camo boarding shotgun with BS 12, ARM 3 and forward deployment L1 is actually pretty good for 21 points. Surprise shots with a boarding shotgun would hit on 18s, while putting -9 mods on an opponent from cover, which could be a nasty surprise for a link team or heavy infantry that made it as far forward as midfield. Boarding shotgun Zhencha are really pricy, so this is a way to get the same gun on a very similar platform for a little less and send a surprise IA unit up the table that can’t be hacked.
Hacker (Hacking Device & Boarding Shotgun): If you’re taking a Dāoyīng lieutenant it seems almost silly to not spend the extra 8 points & 0.5 SWC to make this the boss of your army. In addition to powering your NCOs, your two lieutenant orders can then also be used to choose from lots of great supportware options: Controlled Jump for your Liu Xing, Fairy Dust for all your HI that doesn’t want to get hacked, and Assisted Fire for your Rui Shi and Lu Duan attack remotes. After doing this, you can use your second lieutenant order to recamo, or use two lots of supportware and share a recamo coordinated order with other camo units. This combination really adds efficiency to list building - instead of adding a lieutenant option AND a camo lieutenant you get both in a bargain package. The camo token state should be enough to avoid getting killer hacked through a repeater or TO camo hacker in all but the most dire situations.
My first reaction is to say that the non-lieutenant version of this profile probably won’t see much table time - it’s not really worth the points to play a regular hacking device offensively and the supportware is really much more efficiently used by your lieutenant. However for season X with free forward deployment L1 this is a profile well worth considering for some missions - a 29 point Dāoyīng can deploy in scoring sectors and closer to buttons and is cheaper than a Zhencha and all the Assault Hacking Device options in the Imperial Army.
Multi Sniper, Antipersonnel Mines (Minelayer): This profile is interesting for Invincible Army as both lieutenant and non-lieutenant options at 32 points and 1.5 SWC, though in vanilla Yu Jing it has serious competition from Major Lunah. It brings the pretty great package of a camo sniper & minelayer with forward deployment L1, so the mine can be deployed to guard approach to your DZ and a decoy to protect your Dāoyīng.
With surprise attack, camo, cover and sniper range bands this profile can put an enemy TR bot at a -12 MOD and as lieutenant you can use your two lieutenant orders to safely clear ARO pieces that might hold up the rest of your force. Be careful to recamo and hide before the enemy turn and use with caution against any army that can bring TO snipers or missiles though, as a swiss guard could really put a big dent in your command structure.
ON THE TABLE
Almost all lists I’ve been building for Yu Jing and Invincible Army have included a Dāoyīng hacker lieutenant. It’s a better lieutenant and cheaper supportware source than ever before for Yu Jing and a way to have your lieutenant do useful work while keeping it very safe. Many lists will then add a Mówáng or Tai Sheng and make use of the NCO rule to fuel a bully or link team, which is where lieutenant L2 make a Dāoyīng an almost auto include choice.
In Yu Jing I find it hard to turn down the supportware flexibility of the hacker, but the cheap Daoying and the Multi sniper will also find their way into lists. With AVA of 3 in IA Daoying are cheap enough, flexible and hard hitting enough to explore additional roles. I’ve seen great looking lists that contain a pair of snipers to provide long range support and ARO threats and I’ve also been playing around with this list using max AVA of 3 daoying to take a couple of cheap forward deployment camo shotguns to support Zhencha in the midfield.