Is a Quad Dog a Sandwich?

After the previous week’s 150 point league game:

Adam and I threw down in a full-fat 300 point game of his JSA versus my CHA. I’m usually one of the later arrivals to game night, so Adam had set up this table with store terrain:

I kinda like the store terrain in the way you might like a grungy gym you frequent. It feels familiar and comfortable.


  • Mission: ITS14 Superiority
  • Forces: Caledonian Highlander Army versus Japanese Secessionist Army (300)
  • Deploy First: JSA
  • First Turn: JSA

I wanted to see if I could push to a full 4 dogs in a list: 3 Cameronians and McMurrough. That did require me to drop the Mormaer from my last CHA games, but I think the dogs are more generally applicable.

Man’s Best Friend
GROUP 1 1 6 4

WALLACE (Lieutenant) T2 Rifle(+1 Dam), Light Shotgun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, EXP CC Weapon. (0 | 35)
McMURROUGH Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / AP + DA CC Weapon. (0 | 27)
CAMERONIAN Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / AP CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
CAMERONIAN Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / AP CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
CAMERONIAN Chain Rifle(+1B), Grenades, Smoke Grenades / AP CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
CATERAN T2 Sniper Rifle / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1 | 23)
CATERAN T2 Sniper Rifle / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1 | 23)

GROUP 2 6 1 1

S.A.S. (Forward Observer) Chain Rifle, Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, D-Charges / Pistol, AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 21)
S.A.S. (Forward Observer) Chain Rifle, Light Shotgun, Flash Pulse, D-Charges / Pistol, AP + Shock CC Weapon. (0 | 21)
UXÍA McNEILL (Specialist Operative) Boarding Shotgun, D-Charges, Smoke Grenades / Assault Pistol(+1B), AP CC Weapon. (0 | 27)

HIGHLANDER GREY Heavy Machine Gun, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (1.5 | 28)
HIGHLANDER GREY T2 Boarding Shotgun, Grenades, Smoke Grenades, D-Charges / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 20)
VOLUNTEER (Paramedic) Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 10)

HIGHLANDER Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CC Weapon. (0 | 5)

3.5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

This list is tuned for Superiority/Supremacy so it has three midfield specialists in the form of two SAS FO and Uxia. The double Grey + Volunteer Paramedic is pretty helpful, and then I just padded out the list with cheap orders. Obviously Wallace makes this list work, but as I discussed in previous battle reports, killing Wallace is a big deal but not crippling.

Adam’s been tuning his JSA list from last game:

He’s got the Daiyokai + 2 Keisotsu link and the double Ryuken-9, but he’s dropped the O-Yoroi in favor of another link. This time it’s a very expensive one as it includes a Shikami, Oyama, and the Domaru Spitfire. He’s been wanting to try the Lu Duan, so that made an appearance as well. Frank Washburn has been going on and on singing the praises of the Lu Duan, so Adam wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Adam (TheDiceAbide)
GROUP 1 10 1

DOMARU (Lieutenant [+1 Order]) Spitfire / Pistol, E/M CC Weapon. (1.5 | 37)
OYAMA Chain Rifle, E/M Grenades / Breaker Pistol, E/M CC Weapon, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 29)
SHIKAMI Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, AP + DA CC Weapon. (0 | 48)

DAIYŌKAI MULTI Marksman Rifle, Panzerfaust / Pistol, AP + DA CC Weapon. (0 | 48)
KEISOTSU (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 11)
KEISOTSU (Paramedic) Combi Rifle ( | MediKit) / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 11)

LÙ DUĀN Mk12, Heavy Flamethrower(+1B) ( | Deployable Repeater) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 24)
CHAĪYÌ Yaókòng Flash Pulse / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0 | 7)
RYŪKEN (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage [1 Use]) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Shock Mines / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 25)
RYŪKEN (Surprise Attack [-3], Camouflage [1 Use]) Heavy Rocket Launcher, Shock Mines / Heavy Pistol, CC Weapon. (1.5 | 25)

GROUP 2 1 1 1

PANGGULING (Hacker, EVO Hacking Device) ( ) / PARA CC Weapon(-3). (0.5 | 15)
YOJIMBO Contender(+1B), Nanopulser, Smoke Grenades, Crazykoala / Pistol, DA CC Weapon. (0 | 20)

5 SWC | 300 Points | Open in Army | Copy Code

Adam’s group two makes me a little sad–I think the Ryuken-9 should be in group two to give Yojimbo more orders for smoke. JSA really needs some help getting up the table and smoke goes a long way for that. Adam was content with 2, maybe 3 orders, but I think this is a weak point of the list construction.


I won the roll off and had to make a tough decision. This was a practice/learning game, so I figured I’d make it hard for myself and picked the table side that I thought was stronger. This meant Adam would be going first, which is always dangerous with Adam being so aggressive and playing such an aggressive faction. I figured this would be a good test to see if my list and my deployment could weather the storm.

Adam stuck the Panguling EVO in his back right corner to keep it save, and then interleaved the two links in the middle in available cover. This was basically what I wanted, as there were firelanes from my DZ to the bits of cover where he would likely have to put stuff, in particular Neko and the Daiyokai.

He put the two Ryuken-9 on building rooftops with mines guarding the approach to them, and Yojimbo and the Lu Duan hung out together on the left to take advantage of the MSV1/smoke combo. We forgot about the CSU until quite late into deployment, and Adam’s ended up on his left. I think the Lu Duan was his reserve? Not sure anymore.

In any case, it was my turn to deploy. I held one of the Cateran in reserve then placed one in the back left covering both the Daiyokai/Keisotsu’s advance. Wallace and a Galewegian bodyguard took a nap on the rooftop of a building in the back of my deployment zone, as I was quite concerned about Neko or the Shikami making a suicide run on them. To discourage this, I put a Cameronian guarding the approach on the left and another one in the back behind the building guarding the ladder. The two SAS went down near objectives and also screened the approach to my deployment zone with chain rifles, and Uxia went on a roof near a ladder to throw smoke and/or get an objective herself, maybe even clear out the Ryuken-9 on the right.

McMurrough went in the middle, and the last dog guarded my right flank and the Grey/Volunteer link. I had some trouble deciding where I wanted the Grey HMG to go, and eventually decided he could go on the roof to take shots at targets of opportunity if necessary. Adam put down I think the Lu Duan out of reserve, and I put down my Cateran watching Neko and the Domaru Lt’s approach.

I chose McMurrough as my Key Ops and Adam chose his Domaru.

Turn 1

Top of 1 – JSA

Adam’s got a fair amount of tac aware and NCO in the first group, so rather than make a small dent there, I decided to force Adam to spend command token resources in group two and deny him access to smoke by denying the Panguling’s regular order. Neko and the Domaru can’t move without getting shot by a Cateran, so Adam tries to set up smoke with Yojimbo’s impetuous order but sadly fails the smoke roll. Since he’s only got the one order in the pool and it’s irregular, he chooses to flip it regular and use the Lu Duan’s repeater to give it Marksmanship with the Panguling.

The Lu Duan makes its way forward with its Holoechoes. Adam tries to bait a chain rifle shot out of the SAS by offering two of the Holoechoes (as it turns out the real one was the one in the back with the speech bubble). I decide that I can afford to delay and let Adam walk all three through the path of a chain rifle with the SAS, so I just delay my ARO and let him move forward. I don’t want to blow up the Holoechoes with the chain rifle and then let the Lu Duan flamethrower or shoot my precious specialist.

The Lu Duan keeps moving and I keep delaying with the SAS. Eventually it gets close enough to let the Cameronian on that side dodge forward. Adam gives me the same problem–the SAS is given two chain rifle targets and the Cameronian is given two. The SAS delays along with the link team members that can see, and the Cameronian chain rifles the two Holoechoes it can see.

Forced to act by the Cameronian, Adam reveals the real Lu Duan next to the SAS to shoot at the Grey BSG, who dodges. Since the Lu Duan can’t target the SAS because I’m still in camo state, I get an unopposed chain rifle. The SAS drops the Lu Duan and I successfully dodge the Mk12 shots.

This is incredibly good for me because that was a good chunk of Adam’s regular order pool and the only benefit he got was for me to lose marker state on the SAS. With nothing else really threatening me on that side this is totally fine though.

Adam commented that he “has to kill something,” and pushes the Daiyokai forward to do so. I have the Cateran watching the approach, so he’s forced to spend two cautious moves with the Daiyokai and the Keisotsu to get everyone advanced forward to safety. The Daiyokai goes for McMurrough to get the Key Ops kill, but I easily smoke it out with a very high smoke roll.

The Daiyokai then keeps pushing and attempts to discover my SAS. I let him do it, and he fails the WIP roll. Since the Daiyokai is close to my Cameronian I dodge forward.

The Daiyokai tries to take down the Cameronian at close range, but I roll a critical dodge and avoid the incoming fire. I dodged here instead of smoking because I wanted to get into view of the Keisotsu in the back to get a free chain rifle off on her. Sadly I don’t have enough dodge movement since Cameronians don’t have bonus movement. Obviously I’m sad about this, but they are already stupidly good and probably don’t need it.

Since I don’t have the movement, the Daiyokai retreats and Adam hides the Keisotsu behind the corner of the building. This time I smoke out the Daiyokai.

Adam plays to the mission and pushes the Neko/Domaru/Shikami link forward. He has to do another cautious move to get past the Cateran, but this is less impactful due to the higher first MOV number here.

With that, it’s over to me. Of note: Neko is standing in a firelane as the Shikami needed a short skill to grab the console.

Bottom of 1 – CHA

I’ve taken absolutely no damage last turn, and I have a completely intact list. My objective this turn is to remove the Ryuken-9 and a bunch of orders. I’m planning on tying on the quadrants, there’s no need to overextend here. I start things off with my ridiculous number of impetuous orders. The Galwegian on the roof guarding Wallace obviously doesn’t spend his. The Cameronian that was fighting the Daiyokai on the left rushes forward and sees the Keisotsu and Daiyokai. This also gives the Ryuken-9 shot, so he reveals as well. I chain rifle the Keisotsu and Domaru, fully anticipating I might lose the Cameronian here. I’m hoping for a dead Keisotsu and a wounded Daiyokai.

I get an unconscious Keisotsu and a single wound on the Cameronian. Could be better, could be worse. This does mean I can take a shot on the Ryuken-9 HRL with my Cateran though! With all the modifiers, we’re both on 6, but I’ve got burst two.

25.05 59.55 15.39

The odds are not particularly good here, I need higher burst, and I’m punished by losing the Cateran to a rocket.

I have similar odds on the other Cateran versus the Daiyokai in cover:

30.48 49.91 19.61

What this is telling me is I really need to find room for a Scots AP Spitfire or something, as the burst really makes a big difference:

54.92 35.78 9.29

In any case, I do force the Daiyokai back into cover. I use Wallace’s free coordinated to gets smoke down from McMurrough to protect the wounded Cameronian’s advance, block LoF to the Ryuken-9 on the right to the Cateran on the ground if he climbs up to the roof, and offer a shot to the Ryuken-9 on the right, who is still in camo. Adam does take the shot and loses to the smoke on the far right.

So this is pretty good. I’ve now forced the two Ryuken-9 out of camo, and I can push to trade for them now. I move the wounded Cameronian forward, eliciting a dodge from both the remaining Keisotsu and the Daiyokai, and I dodge forward to set up an attack if I want it.

I get the Cameronian into view of the Ryuken-9, the Keisotsu, and the Daiyokai and double chain rifle. The Ryuken-9 and the Daiyokai both shoot, but the Keisotsu dodges away. I down the Ryuken-9, do a wound to the Daiyokai, and lose the Cameronian. This is more than acceptable.

WIth that Ryuken-9 down, I have the opportunity to leverage the smoke in the middle of the table to block LoF to the remaining Ryuken-9. The Cateran climbs up and aces Neko in one shot.

I leverage the smoke and start grabbing objectives, coordinating the SAS and Uxia forward. The SAS on the left advances and flips the console…

then the SAS on the right gets theirs, sneaking back around the corner to be safe.

I eyeball the distance between the Ryuken-9 and Uxia and decide that it’s within 8″ and template it with the boarding shotgun. Thankfully Adam fails the dodge and the Ryuken-9 goes down. The Chaiyi flash pulses, but i’m not worried about it since Uxia has done her job and she’s actually in a forward quadrant now.

With the smoke on the right, I can appear in cover with the Highlander Grey HMG to drop the Chaiyi, so I do that quickly.

I’ve got two orders and McMurrough’s tac aware left in that pool, which is just enough to Berserk the Daiyokai. This isn’t the best idea, but it is the most fun, so I make the run. The Shikami dodges out of total cover to try and put wounds on McMurrough as I dash forward. I’ve got one more order on the SAS there, and I was wondering what to do with it, so I just go for a double template kill against the Shikami’s combi fire.

This has a 25% chance of succeeding for me, and I end up trading the SAS for the Shikami. No problem, this seems great! McMurrough makes his way forward, chain rifling the Daiyokai ineffectually.

With the last order I berserk, doing another wound. The Keisotsu does a wound to McMurrough on the way in, so we’re both one wound away from dropping now.

Turn 2

I’ve got three quadrants to Adam’s one, so I’ve got a 4-1 lead at the moment.

Top of 2 – JSA

Adam’s taken a fair bit of damage now, so he puts everything in the first pool and sets about salvaging his situation.

Yojimbo makes his way forward and manages to beat the Cateran’s shot with smoke.

The Keisotsu moves to get into close combat with McMurrough, but I dodge away while remaining in close combat, so Adam settles for picking up Neko and the Shikami with the MediKit. That’s pretty good!

The Daiyokai then tries his luck against McMurrough and lands a crit, killing him.

Adam reforms the link with Neko, the Keisotsu, and the Daiyokai, and then challenges the Cateran. The Cateran eats a Panzerfaust shot but tanks all three saves. Woof!

The next shot sees Adam push into 24″ to get the MULTI Marksman in play, but this time I sneak a T2 through and the Daiyokai is off the table.

Yojimbo sets up a Koala right next to Uxia and Adam passes turn.

Bottom of 2 – CHA

I’ve taken some damage, but I’m mostly okay here.

Uxia forgoes her Frenzy order, then the Cameronian on the right kills Yojimbo with chain rifles, then clears the Koala and the nearby mine. I fail the dodge but pass one of the saves.

The middle Cameronian startings throwing grenades at Neko and catches the Shikami as well. Neko dodges, but the Shikami fails its roll and goes down again.

The Cameronian moves again and then chain rifles both Neko and the Keisotsu down. Adam misjudged the distance and fired the Keisotsu’s combi, so this worked out for me.

Uxia climbs off the roof, tags a third console, and spends the rest of my order pool riddling the Domaru Lt with assault pistol bullet holes. I eventually force enough ARM saves and that’s that.

Turn 3

I’ve got three consoles and four quadrants, bringing my lead to 7-1.

Top of 3 – JSA

Adam’s in Loss of Lieutenant and retreat with just the EVO and CSU left.

We call it here at a

9-1, 209-15 Caledonian Highlander Army Victory!

Post Game Analysis

I’m actually really glad to have had this experience trying to defend against a concerted alpha strike from an aggressive player. I think Caledonia actually has a pretty reasonable defensive net, especially since they have such easy access to templates under camo tokens. The Caterans are really not delivering for me against hard targets, which is unfortunate, whether it targets with vis-mods like the Ryuken-9 or things with high ARM like the Daiyokai. That said, they definitely can challenge targets like Neko, who is middling in terms of ARM and can’t really threaten the Cateran at long range. That said, they’re cheap enough that I don’t mind asking my opponent to spend a few orders to remove them.

I think target priority was a pretty big deal for me in this game. I managed to neuter Yojimbo with a command token, which was pretty great. Then I just needed to take down the Ryuken-9 to open the table for me to move freely. Once the table is open I have a lot of attack power to move into Adam’s table half. What’s interesting is that it’s not really attack power it’s more delaying power, unless I truly have a very asymmetric advantage (which I did by the end of the game).

I was pretty happy with how I handled surviving the Lu Duan by carefully handling the AROs. Adam’s subsequent push with the Daiyokai wasn’t likely to do much damage, given my total immunity and crazy high PH numbers on the dogs, so I was pretty happy to see what amounted to an overextension there. I think Adam’s push to grab the consoles so early cost him Neko, which was really painful. That’s two orders and a competent CC specialist that is well suited to taking on the SAS in the midfield.

I’m pretty satisfied with my usage of my tools this game. As I said before, I’m a little disappointed in the performance of the Caterans, but I think that I’m asking them to do stuff they’re not well suited for. I do think that my list is a little undergunned. I’m going to try to work in another gun if possible, maybe even dropping the dog count to 3 from 4.

Post game, at the table, both Adam and I were struggling to figure out a path for improvement for him. I think there was a way for him to attack Wallace on Turn 1 with the Shikami. Wallace is of course quite competent in melee, but I think the Shikami gets one opportunity to take him on with a combi rifle, perhaps? I don’t know. In any case, I think there’s a reasonably order efficient path here:

I don’t think it’s great, but it’s at least better than what happened, maybe? The Shikami would have to content with the Cateran on the top right of this image, but that should be a reasonable ask. Mimetism -6 is hard to deal with for sure, and I think the point of engagement would be within 16″, bringing the mods back into the Shikami’s favor. The dogs are too far to dodge into combat effectively, so I think the Shikami is actually pretty safe to make the play for an attack.

The Lu Duan play was too early, I think. It has the capability to take on the dogs with MSV1, forcing me to dodge on 16s instead of smoke on 19s, and the Mk12 is well suited to taking on the ARM 4 (at least as well as anything can be). So perhaps the play is use the Shikami to make a suicide run on Wallace, which would degrade my ability to project power, and if that didn’t work it’s a similar amount of investment to the Lu Duan and Adam can still make the play with the Daiyokai.

This seems better to me, and has more long term staying power. I do think Adam pushed up too far with the Daiyokai as well. It’s less of an issue that the Daiyokai was so far advanced but more that his Keisotsu buddies were too close. As we saw, the Daiyokai is actually reasonably well suited to tackling the dogs, but the Keisotsu decidedly are not.

I also think the Ryuken-9 aren’t well suited to taking on the dogs in the reactive turn. Revealing them to shoot HRLs at dogs is alright, but I’d much rather see Adam force me to discover them or intuitive attack them. He’s going to lose them to the dogs, but make me work for it. The mines are great of course. I think that’s really the issue–Adam’s said multiple times post game that what happened was statistically unlikely, e.g. with him losing the O-Yoroi:

25% is not particularly unlikely. It’s less likely that some other outcome, perhaps, but it’s still pretty likely! I think a great example of this is the Shikami dodging into LoF of McMurrough’s approach to the Daiyokai. It’s a 25% chance for the SAS to kill it, but that’s still uncomfortably high! Prior to that dodge, it was a 0% chance, because there was no way for me to gain LoF with the orders I had remaining.

McMurrough is going to make it to berserk the Daiyokai unless something crazy happens like the Shikami rolls a crit and I fail both saves. So the question is “do you want to risk losing the Shikami to improve the odds of the Daiyokai taking McMurrough with him?” That’s multiple stacking probabilities, which seems bad. A lot of Infinity is about risk management. Adam’s taking risks that are 75% in his favor, but I think not preparing for the 25% outcome. This cost him an O-Yoroi in the last game, and a Shikami in this one, both of which are quite important.

What’s worse is that the JSA/CHA matchup is pretty bad for JSA, I think. They have very little in the way of MSV access to get through all of CHA’s smoke, and CHA has a lot of natural born warrior to bring CC back either to parity or actually in favor of Caledonia, negating a big part of JSA’s toolkit. That said, the Ryuken-9 would be really troublesome for a non-dog list, but fortunately I’m not playing that!

JSA in isolation also doesn’t really tolerate attrition well. They have excellent tools, but most of them are single wound and very expensive, so you really cannot tolerate bad rolls. My opinion on this is that you need to really use JSA like a scalpel and only take engagements that you’re prepared to lose. If you cannot lose the engagement, try to avoid it. It’s easier said than done, of course, but I think there’s something to this in the N4 environment. JSA is definitely an uphill battle these days with a significant increase in template weapons negating visual mods (shotgun template changes in N4) and a proliferation of natural born warrior. JSA is also somewhat designed to be bad at shooting, so you need to rely on all of their toolkit, and having a big part of it negated sucks.

This sounds like a good challenge though, so I’d like to spend some time with JSA in the near future to see how I feel about them in N4 after a few games. I’ve got one or two games in with them but they weren’t really representative, I think. For right now though, I’m really enjoying Caledonia! Thanks for reading.


I primarily play Infinity and Heavy Gear nowadays, but I dabble in plenty of other game systems.

2 thoughts on “Is a Quad Dog a Sandwich?

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