Infinity: Stars of the Human Sphere File #005 – Shinobu Kitsune

Chris H returns to looking at some of the biggest and baddest models in the Infinity miniatures game. This time, he reviews the formidable assassin, the Shinobu Kitsune!


File #005 – Shinobu Kitsune

Infinity includes many models with extraordinary abilities. Some can jump vast distances, others can see through smoke. But very few can claim to be, hands down, the most lethal close combat unit in the entire game; and it is hard to think of anything more lethal in base-to-base contact than the Oniwaban Shinobu Kitsune, of the Yu Jing faction!

Plenty of units in Infinity are good in close combat. The trick is, how to get them into base contact with the enemy in an order-efficient way. Like the Oniwaban and other ninja units, Shinobu Kitsune can sneak up the table, deploying ahead of the main force, invisible and undetected, ready to pounce. This makes her more order-efficient than many other models because she has less distance to clear before she can start chopping things to pieces. And this is what she excels at.

Dead Before You Know It

Like everything in Infinity, close combat is a gamble. If you lose, you risk getting skewered. However, as well as having very high Close Combat (CC) scores, some models have the Martial Arts skill which further augment their close combat attacks. A few models even have CC scores higher than 20, which boosts the chances of them scoring a critical hit and also makes it harder for less well-honed units to defend themselves.

See, in Infinity, you often roll face-to-face, attempting to score equal to or less than your statistic, but simultaneously having to roll higher than your opponent. Now, with a CC higher than 20, not only is every roll a success (you can’t roll over 20 on a D20, after all!) but you also add the extra value onto your dice roll.

So a model with CC 23 rolls a D20 and adds 3 to the result. So a roll of 12 becomes 15. Already you can see how this can make it tough for models with a fairly nominal CC of 14 or thereabouts to keep up.

Not only that, but there’s more chance of a critical hit that bypasses Armour. Critical hits are scored when a model rolls the highest possible successful number. So, a model with a CC of 14 scores a critical hit on a 14. That’s a 5% chance. But a model with a CC of 23 scores a critical hit on a 17 or higher, since a 20 would be classed as a critical hit (because it’s the closest possible roll to the unit’s CC value) and the unit is adding +3 to its dice result.

So a skilled close combat unit can make mince-meat out of even the toughest enemy units. And none do it better than Shinobu Kitsune! Let’s look at her profile:

shinobu stats

Straight away we see she has two options, both the same in terms of equipment but one allowing her to be a Lieutenant. This is an intriguing option for a unit with her abilities… but let’s talk about her stats and skills.

First of all, we see that she has CC 25. This means that in close combat she is scoring a critical hit on a 15+ (since you’re trying to roll a 20, and adding +5 to the result). That’s a 30% chance of a critical hit!

Her Physical (PH) of 13 is slightly higher than average, helping her dodge mines. With Armour 1 and Bio-Technological Shield (BTS) of 3 and only 1 Wound, she’s fairly flimsy. But it’s her skills and equipment that truly set her apart.

Martial Arts Master

Shinobu Kitsune has Martial Arts Level 5, the highest available level. This lets her choose from five different bonuses, but you’ll usually be choosing either Level 3 which adds +3 to her CC and removes -3 from the opponent’s relevant statistic, Level 4 which lets you roll two dice instead of one, or Level 5 which imposes a -6 penalty on the target.

With Level 3, she has CC 28, allowing her to score a critical hit on a 12+. That’s a 45% chance of scoring a critical hit!

Invisible Threat

Shinobu has Thermo-Optic Camouflage allowing her to deploy invisibly, so the opponent doesn’t know where she is until the player chooses to reveal her (or she gets discovered by a Sensor). It also confers a -6 Ballistic Skill (BS) penalty against enemies shooting at her, and a -6 Willpower penalty if anyone tries to discover her when she’s moving around as a Camouflage Marker.

Superior Infiltration lets her attempt to start the game anywhere in the enemy’s table half, but not in the enemy deployment zone, if she succeeds in a PH roll. But she gets a +3 bonus to her PH when attempting this, so she has an 80% chance of success.

In terms of weapons, she carries the standard Combi Rifle and a Nanopulser, giving her a template weapon option. But the really important items in her kit are Smoke Grenades and a Monofilament Blade.

Smoke Grenades

These allow Shinobu to cover herself or her enemies in smoke, making it easier to kill them. She may be hard to hit thanks to her camouflage, but once she’s been revealed she can be brought down quite easily, due to low armour and only having a single wound.

However, with some cleverly-placed smoke, you can protect her from most ranged attacks, and make sure that she can get into base contact.

Monofilament Blade

This is what makes Shinobu Kitsune so deadly. Monofilament causes wounded enemies to go straight to the Dead state, regardless of how many Wounds or Structure points they have. Now, a hit with Monofilament is stopped by rolling a 13+ on a D20, no matter what your Armour might be. But a critical hit with Monofilament bypasses armour.

Which means that if Shinobu scores a critical hit, you’re dead. It doesn’t matter if you are a light infantry soldier or the biggest, heaviest war machine in the game. If she rolls a critical hit, you’re off the table!

Remember that with Martial Arts Level 3 she has a 45% of scoring a critical hit! Coupled with Monofilament and her ability to Surprise Attack from camouflage (which forces a -6 penalty on the enemy) this makes her arguably the deadliest thing in the entire game.

Queen of the Vanguard

Shinobu Kitsune is great at murdering things! She’s not a specialist, so she has limited use in certain objective-based ‘button pushing’ games, but can take down even the toughest target. Do enough damage with her and you can neuter your opponent’s army with a few swishes of Monofilament. At 47 points, she is very expensive for a 1 wound model, but with all those skills and weapons, and in the hands of an experienced player, she’ll feel like she’s worth double.


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