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Subject: Infinity, first impressions rss

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David Barlowe
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TLDR:

Infinity is fast, fun, deep, and has a robust community and tournament system. It’s models are fantastic. It’s rules require an investment in time but not money. I believe it may be one of the best values in miniature gaming.

Details:

It’s free. No joke, you can download (.pdf) and print or iPad everything you need off of the manufacturer’s website. There are some fan made materials that are a google search away that improve the player aides quite a bit. There are least two free iOS apps (MayaNet and Opps Infinity) that let you build armies online or offline, and that provide hyperlinks to the wiki for ease of reference during a game or when learning the game.

It’s deep. There is a learning rule set which is easy and free. Then there is a somewhat large N3 (3rd edition) free rulebook which contains advanced rules, which make up the bulk of the game. Then there is a Human Sphere book, and another expansion, and a FAQ which are all necessary to have and use if you hope to compete in a tournament. For casual play I believe N3 would be all you need.

For miniatures in casual games, you can use your SW Imp Assault minis, your Legion stuff, or most any other miniatures game. Heck you could use My Little Pony or Little Pet Shop if you wanted to. Legos anyone?

For tourney play you must use official minis from Corvus Belli. They are amazing, but of course come unpainted and unassembled, so there is a serious hobby aspect to the game if you wish to get involved in that. 25mm figures are small but large enough to see a lot of detail.

The central hook to the game is its cyber/manga theme, its fast action, and its command/order system which lets you invest movement/firing actions in one model, or 15+ models. This makes for cinematic moments where a single grunt or hero model can plow through enemies or perform amazing feats to accomplish an objective while the rest of the force suppresses the enemy with reaction orders (AROs).

More than just wiping the other guy’s dudes off the table, the game is really about scenarios or missions, where objectives score points and eliminating models is only part of the fun. Solving tricky tactical puzzles (with cool thematic hooks, like neutral models that represent High Value Targets) by use of terrain, technology, and clever combinations is where the meat is at.

It feels almost like an RPG in a way, in that just about anything you could think of a character doing is modeled in the game, which explains its rather large rule set. It even has an optional campaign mode available in an expansion ( Human Sphere) if you wish to link missions together in a narrative.

It scales extremely well. I’ve had a blast with just 3 grunts versus 3 grunts (30-points), up to 150 point games with more specialized characters and a dozen orders available (you usually get 1 order per character, but can spend them all from a pool however you like).

In some ways the game reminds me of Advanced Squad Leader, in terms of tactics. Models are super vulnerable in the open, cover = life. Smokebes is available to most factions, or some sort of camouflage. Games are best with lots of terrain. The reaction mechanic (AROs) means you must collaborate with your opponent as you move about the board. The reactive player must play attention to every moment of every move made. Players must communicate and sometimes work through moves together, as a central tenant to the game is that “if you can see me, I can see you”.

My first couple of games I had a hard time with how quickly everything died. You cannot get to attached to your characters in this game, as weapons are deadly. But each game is fast (90 minutes or less with 300-point armies on a 4’ by 4’ board in a tournament with 10-15 models a side?) so Infinity just gets its business over with and doesn’t dink around with tons of hit points. It’s very much a ‘special forces’ engagement than a army battle.

We’ve been using Imperial Assault minis to play our first games and they’ve worked just fine. There are starter boxes which give you an army for both sides from two different factions, scenarios, counters, starter rules, and terrain, for under $80. But so far I’ve just used crap I’ve had lying (shoe boxes, cups, cardboard print-outs) around and have had a blast.

There is almost no action on BGG regarding this game so it might appear to anyone passing by that this game is dead or was not popular. Quite the contrary - like a number of miniature games, all the action is on the manufactures website or a number of fan sites. Check them out, but keep in mind the company is apparently based in Spain so the interface and atmosphere feels more European than a US player might be used to.

There are a number of useful podcasts out there - I’ve invested close to a dozen hours listening while commuting or painting. Check out Limited Insertion for tactics for newer players (who have played at least a couple of games), or Personal Flashpaper for three fanboys who are learning the game together and have Warhammer backgrounds. There is a Tabletop Simulator module for Infinity that I have not tried; it looks cool.

Infinity might be best as a lifestyle game. But I’ve enjoyed it throughly as as a casual with my small group of gamer friends, and we’ve just barely scratched the surface. I’ll eventually pick up a starter box and paint some models. But loving what I’ve played with so far.

Since its a free ruleset, I can’t really offer much negative about the game. It is what it appears to be once you get models on the board and try a battle or two. It does not try to hide it’s depth or complexity. It’s dripping with theme. It’s infinitely playable with many factions and variations to try. They kind of overdue it with all the weapons and skills that she somewhat similar, but if you see it through the eyes of a role player that makes more sense. Perhaps they’ll streamline the rules in the next edition. But you could argue all the fluff and rules give you much more of a world to explore if you chose.

Download the starter rules from their website, put three LEGO guys on your kitchen table, set up some salt shakers and cups and grab a tape measure and a couple of D20’s and give Infinity a try. Add some special weapons or skills (super jump anyone? Hidden deployment anyone? Mines? Hackers? Fast Pandas? What?) and try it again. Good stuff.
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Phil Triest
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Phuntom wrote:
It does not try to hide it’s depth or complexity. It’s dripping with theme. It’s infinitely playable with many factions and variations to try. They kind of overdue it with all the weapons and skills that she somewhat similar, but if you see it through the eyes of a role player that makes more sense. Perhaps they’ll streamline the rules in the next edition. But you could argue all the fluff and rules give you much more of a world to explore if you chose.
Two points here. Firstly, the weapons are very different. Ranges and the number of dice rolled (HMG or Spitfire is 4 whilst Combi is 3 on your turn) as well as the bonus abilities in ARO on some weapons like Armour Piercing or double action (in the case of the MULTI sniper rifle) or say Jammers or templates, explosives etc all vary the game dramatically. Then you also have the damage values and what kind of weapon is more likely to dent say a tag's armour.

Secondly, I really hope Corvus Belli do not oversimplified the next edition of rules. I doubt they make a jump to the next rule set for now as everything seems to be going well for them. Their studio is growing as are the number of players globally.

Great succinct review!
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David Barlowe
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philtrees wrote:
Phuntom wrote:
It does not try to hide it’s depth or complexity. It’s dripping with theme. It’s infinitely playable with many factions and variations to try. They kind of overdue it with all the weapons and skills that she somewhat similar, but if you see it through the eyes of a role player that makes more sense. Perhaps they’ll streamline the rules in the next edition. But you could argue all the fluff and rules give you much more of a world to explore if you chose.
Two points here. Firstly, the weapons are very different. Ranges and the number of dice rolled (HMG or Spitfire is 4 whilst Combi is 3 on your turn) as well as the bonus abilities in ARO on some weapons like Armour Piercing or double action (in the case of the MULTI sniper rifle) or say Jammers or templates, explosives etc all vary the game dramatically. Then you also have the damage values and what kind of weapon is more likely to dent say a tag's armour.

Secondly, I really hope Corvus Belli do not oversimplified the next edition of rules. I doubt they make a jump to the next rule set for now as everything seems to be going well for them. Their studio is growing as are the number of players globally.
Thanks you for your feedback. Perhaps my opinion of the rules will change as I move forward. I’ve played Advanced Squad Leader and tournament Star Fleet Battles, so I’m not intimidated by complex rule systems. But as boardgaming has evolved I’ve come to appreciate the power of simpler systems which can hide complexity but still have great depth.

The lack of quality player aides from CB is really disappointing. And I think their army builder is okay, but why not put the stats on cards and sell them with the miniatures? Save all the printouts and hassle with the web interface.

Anyway - game is great and I’m diving in now. My buddy just got some army boosters in the mail and we’ll be painting an playing this weekend hopefully!
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Phil Triest
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Phuntom wrote:
philtrees wrote:
Phuntom wrote:
It does not try to hide it’s depth or complexity. It’s dripping with theme. It’s infinitely playable with many factions and variations to try. They kind of overdue it with all the weapons and skills that she somewhat similar, but if you see it through the eyes of a role player that makes more sense. Perhaps they’ll streamline the rules in the next edition. But you could argue all the fluff and rules give you much more of a world to explore if you chose.
Two points here. Firstly, the weapons are very different. Ranges and the number of dice rolled (HMG or Spitfire is 4 whilst Combi is 3 on your turn) as well as the bonus abilities in ARO on some weapons like Armour Piercing or double action (in the case of the MULTI sniper rifle) or say Jammers or templates, explosives etc all vary the game dramatically. Then you also have the damage values and what kind of weapon is more likely to dent say a tag's armour.

Secondly, I really hope Corvus Belli do not oversimplified the next edition of rules. I doubt they make a jump to the next rule set for now as everything seems to be going well for them. Their studio is growing as are the number of players globally.
Thanks you for your feedback. Perhaps my opinion of the rules will change as I move forward. I’ve played Advanced Squad Leader and tournament Star Fleet Battles, so I’m not intimidated by complex rule systems. But as boardgaming has evolved I’ve come to appreciate the power of simpler systems which can hide complexity but still have great depth.

The lack of quality player aides from CB is really disappointing. And I think their army builder is okay, but why not put the stats on cards and sell them with the miniatures? Save all the printouts and hassle with the web interface.

Anyway - game is great and I’m diving in now. My buddy just got some army boosters in the mail and we’ll be painting an playing this weekend hopefully!
If you are just playing Red Veil or Ice Storm with 150 point armies then you are only seeing a little of what this game offers. The factions play very differently and within them the sectorials if you go down that route and get the benefits of squad teams (can be very strong to give your cheerleaders +3 in attack and an additional die roll on in both ARO and your turn plus 6th sense).

The game gets better and better the deeper you go. Races like Tohaa and Combined are very different from the human nations. Symbio mates and symbio armour buff the Tohaa which drain the order pool more often than not from your opponent. Combined get a bunch of toys including elite space apes called Morats and shasvasti who are nearly all in TO camo. Also impersonators with monofilament weapons that are one shot killers.

I encourage you to reach out to your local players. Most of the people I've come across who play are really helpful and are there for the fun of it!

In terms of player aids the game is just too complex. You get this game best by playing with others who know it and can teach it well. Just expect to learn something new every game. All you should be rolling with is your army list and weapon/ballistics chart. That is really all you need as you should have the hacking programs at your disposal. You will start to get the damage and number of dice you roll as you play eg Combi 3 dice at 13 damage, as well as your unit BS Fusilier BS 12 phys 10 WIP 12. It becomes second nature to you. I picked most of this up after about my 4th or 5th game and the most complex minis game I played before that was Star Wars: Armada.
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Phil Triest
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Phuntom wrote:

Anyway - game is great and I’m diving in now. My buddy just got some army boosters in the mail and we’ll be painting an playing this weekend hopefully!
Send me some pics! I need to get some encouragement and get painting my stuff!
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David Barlowe
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Roger Hobden
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Thanks for the review !

Makes me want to look more into this game.
 
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Phil Triest
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Do you watch this channel?:
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Kevin Riddle

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have you played Deadzone by Mantic?

superb game, plays in a fraction of the time, but still the skirmish feel
2nd edition is a wonderful game
I love the terrain they have
 
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David Barlowe
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David Barlowe
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Phuntom wrote:
I commented on the first picture but I doubt you are subbed to it...
 
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David Barlowe
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David Barlowe
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I’m relearning how to paint after being away from it for 30 years.

I’ll have to be satisfied with table quality. But hopefully I’ll get better.
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Greg
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I had painted some minis back in the early 80's as a teenager, but hadn't picked up a brush again until almost 4 years ago in my late 40's. I'll be 52 in June and that will be about the 4 year mark of getting back into painting, and I can definitely see a lot of improvement over that time. Heck, even in the past year I've gotten noticeably better. It's just a matter of practice and trying out new techniques. There are plenty of painting videos to learn from on YouTube.

Anyways, nice job on your Nomads. I painted mine from the Operation Icestorm and Beyond Icestorm sets over the summer. Fun models to paint.
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