Saturday, 9 January 2016

Infinite Possibilities: Part 2: Getting started with the Yu Jing

Hi Everyone.

Medge back, this time with the second installment of my Infinity series. This time I though I would go in to slightly more detail about my Yu Jing Army, starting with what models I bought first, why I chose them, and how I painted them.

But before all that I want to show you my Nomads and my PanOceania.

As the first army I really bought in to, I still really like the Nomads. A big part of me wants to go back to them some day (probably soon), but I'm so far down the path with my Yu Jing that turning away from the Jade Empire now seems too much like betrayal! Fortunately I still have a number of unpainted, or partially painted, models for the Nomads which I can turn to for a painting change at some point (and probably will do!).

The models from this photo were painted close to 18 months ago now, and still have only a single game under their belt. That's quite sad, right?

In contrast, my PanOceania models were painted a lot more recently (only about 5 months ago) as part of my first big project after arriving in Cambridge. My local group were looking at getting into the game, and I excitedly painted up my PanO only to swap to Yu Jing at the last moment because another player expressed an interest in playing PanO.

I really love these guys. The sky blue was a joy to paint after so long painting Red (Word Bearers and then Nomads), and the clean, Sci-Fi aesthetic of the PanO heavy army just leaps out at me. I will be revisiting this army at some point (if/when I get through my Yu Jing backlog of painting), so expect to see more of these models!

The reason I chose to show those small collections was not just to show off the models, but as a reference point for collecting the armies. With both my Nomads and my PanO I had limited intention of playing bigger games; the Nomads were collected when no-one in my community was playing, and the PanO have only been expanded after I swapped to Yu Jing. The models I bought for these armies were motivated by the rule of cool; great looking models that would be awesome to paint (and they were!). I've since gone back and looked over the army lists and they're missing a few pieces that would make them work as coherent armies. That's not to say they couldn't be played as armies, but they'd struggle to be competitive in a real game.

Getting Started with the Yu Jing

I made the decision to swap to Yu Jing following a conversation with my local gaming community. A few people had already started painting up Nomad and PanOceania models, and I wanted to play something different. The motivation behind a lot of my Yu Jing purchases have been a little different to my PanO and Nomads. I was primarily looking to build a competitive, tournament legal force, and so my decisions were more about what the force needed, rather than what looked cool. My initial purchase, however, was based on rule of cool.

The Yu  Jing model range comes with three starter sets; the Yu Jing 'Vanilla' starter set, along with Sectorial starter set's for the Imperial Service and the Japanese Sectorial Army (JSA) Starter set.

The three starter armies available for the Yu Jing - images taken from the Corvus Belli e-store

I mentioned Sectorials briefly in Part 1 of this series, but I'll explain them in a little more detail now.

The factions within the Infinity universe represent huge, planet-spanning empires or organisations. These large factions are made up on a number of sub-populations and sub-cultures based on their history, culture, beliefs, practices, politics, etc. The Combined Army are the clearest example of this, since the entire faction is made up of a dozen difference races, each with their own unique cultural background, that work together for the benefit of the faction. The same types of division exist within all the human factions of Infinity, based on the customs and heritage of the faction. 
The Infinity rules system allows players to chose to play one of these sub-factions as a bespoke army, known as a sectorial. Sectorial armies require the player to make a large sacrifice in the pool of models they can choose from, limiting themselves to those only the models from their sectorial. In exchange for this sacrifice, sectorial armies allow players to form small squads, or fireteams, from similar types of units. Fireteams allow players to use their turn more efficently, and convey benefits to the fireteam by providing certain special rules and bonus to combat based on squad size.
I'll get back on track now before I go too far down the 'Vanilla vs Sectorial' list - that'll be a topic of a later blog post.

Back to the Yu Jing!

At the time of writing, Yu Jing have two sectorials; the Imperial Service and the JSA. 

The Imperial Service are the secret police - the black hand of the Emperor tasked with protecting the Jade Empire from dissidents and traitors. Whilst their skills are normally employed within the Empire, somethings the emperor must extend his reach beyond the Jade Empire in order to accomplish his goals.

The JSA are the Japanese-themed sectorial - the Space Samurai. In the origins of the Yu Jing, Japan was one of the last nations to become part of the Empire. Many of the Japanese populace the decision to become part of the Yu Jing was a betrayal of their culture and heritage. The Japanese population remain fiercely proud of the culture, and keep their old traditions alive despite the pressure from the state. Naturally, the Japanese are seen as outsiders within Yu Jing because of their resistance to embrace widespread culture. The Japanese have been allowed to keep their own standing army which reports directly to the normal Yu Jing military command. Featuring a number of samurai-themed soldiers, the Japanese army are primarily used as expendable light infantry by Yu Jing high command. 

I picked the Imperial Service (IS). I was originally drawn towards the JSA, given my love of Samurai (hence the Bushido models featuring on this page). However, I used to play Warzone Resurrection a lot, and my preferred faction in Warzone was Mishima - the Japanese Megacorporation. Having already collected a number of 'Space Samurai' I opted for the IS, mostly their models looked a little newer than the standard starter set.

Imperial Service Sectorial Stater set. From left to right: Wu Ming with a Shotgun, Imperial Agent (Pheasant Rank) with a CCW, Hsien with Multi-rifle, Celestial Guard with Shotgun, and two Celestial Guard with Combi-rifles.

Since my first games had been played against a USAriadna force I decided to base my models on a kind of rocky/ overgrown base to represent the wooded mountains of Hope (the Ariadna homeworld). I went for the standard orange and grey paint scheme shown on the website for the Imperial Agent, Celestial Guard and Wu Ming. For the Hsien I opted for the standard yellow and green scheme. One of the reasons I chose Yu Jing over the other factions that weren't played in my local community was the opportunity to paint orange and yellow, something very different, and so far I haven't been disappointed.

As with all of my painting, I use the Citadel Paints (sold by Games Workshop).
For the Celestial Guard I used the follow colours:
The orange was painted using a base coat of Jokaero Orange, followed by a Purple wash, then a layer (or two) of Troll Slayer Orange.
The grey were painted using a basecoat of Skavenblight Dinge, followed by a Nuln Oil wash and the a second layer of Skavenblight Dinge.
The trousers were painted used a base of Castellan Green, followed by a wash with Athonian Camoshade and a second layer of Castellan green over the raised areas.

For the Wu Ming, I used the same method as above for the orange, but the Grey was painted using a Skavenlight Dinge base, followed by a Nuln Oil wash and a final layer of Mechanicus Standard Grey. The metallic sections of his armour were painted using Leadbelcher followed by a Nuln Oil wash, and a second coat of Leadbelcher over the raised edges.

For the yellow armor of the Hsien I used a base layer of Averland Sunset, followed by a wash of Seraphim Sepia. Layers of Averland Sunset were applied to the raised areas, followed by a highlight with Yriel Yellow. The yellow has been the only colour I've really applied a highlight to so far, since it looked too dark on the model without it, and I imagined the Hsien to have more ornate armour than the Celestial Guard, Wu Ming or Imperial Agent.
For the Hsien's green coat, worn over his armour, I used a base layer of Castellan Green, followed by a wash with Biel Tan Green, followed by a another layer of Castellan Green with highlights of Loren Forest. Small patches on the coat are a darker green, and were painted using a base layer of Caliban Green, followed by a Biel Tan Green a wash. The metallic sections were painted in the same way as Wu Ming.
The spines on the back of his back were painted using a base layer of Stegadon Scale Green, followed by a thin layer of Sotek Green and a highlight with
Temple Guard Blue.

The orange armor, green trousers and grey armor panels on the Imperial Agent were painted in the same as a the Celestial Guard. His tabard and cloak were painted using a base layer of Stegadon Scale Green, followed by a thin layer of Sotek green on the raised edges and a highlight of Sybarite Green. The edges of the cloak were painted using a a layer of Balor Brown, followed by a Seraphim Sepia wash, a layer of Zamzi Desert and a highlight of Averland Sunset to look like a golden-coloured fabric. His Hair was painted by drybrushing Sybarite Green over a base layer of Kabalite green. His sword was painted using a base coat of Balthasar Gold, followed by a Seraphim Sepia wash and a highlight with Ironbreaker. The mask and chest were painted using a Celestra Grey base, followed by a Nuln Oil wash and a Ulthuan Grey second layer.

All in all, I think this took me about 2 weeks to finish. It comes to about 140 points (1/3rd of which is the Hsien) making it one of the more points-heavy starter sets, but also a good set for starter games. I've used the Hsien in almost every game I've played so far - he's a very strong unit that I'm possibly a bit over-eager with (so he dies... a lot). The Imperial Agent is becoming a more common pick for me thanks to his special rules. The Wu Ming is my most under used model, but I plan on making some changes to that soon. The Celestial Guard from this box haven't been used as much as they could as I favour Celestial Guard with different weapon options. Nevertheless, it was a great box to start me on the road with the Imperial Service.

Next Blog Post in the Infinity Series I'll talk a little more about what I use these different models for, and what I added to the army after this starter set and why.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this, and will come back for the rest of the series.

Thanks everyone, and have fun!