Friday, 14 January 2011

Getting Infinite: an Intro

As I've highlighted in the last post, Infinity is a true skirmish game compared to 40k. I'm not up to speed on the fluff yet, but here's a biblically brief synopsis:

a) It's the Far future
b) A bunch of Wormholes happened
c) Different Cultures busied off through wormholes
d) Cultures diversified and embedded away from others
e) come back AND FIGHT!

Infinity fighting is all about the secret war between the factions, which can be loosely pulled down like this:

PANOCEANIA: The big power. Think America meets Halo with a fanatical religious twist (America meets Halo then, boom boom!), me no like them.

YU JING: The other big power. Chinese/Japanese Culture. The Chinese are the high tech masters, the Japanese are treated as second class citizens and cannon fodder (boot -> other foot) but with wicked cool Ninjas. Think uber gundam/appleseed with a heady mix of Shaolin Monks and Samurai thrown in. I'd get these guys ... but Spin's already maxed out!

ARIADNA: Cossacks, French, Scots and American. These guys were some of the earliest wormholers and got proper "Buck Rogered" and have only just come back. Low tech, numerous, but they've bought Werewolves... Anton's got these guys covered.

HAQQISLAM: Eco-Muslims with a divine mission. I was drawn to the environmentalist warrior angle, plus the models are seriously cool. You've got Tuaregs alongside Cyber-warriors ... great fun and many many many machine guns ... ho,ho,ho! My choice.

MERCENARIES: Hordes like faction that can be picked in pieces by anyone. Not an army in their own right ... but great models.

NOMADS: Babylon 5 meets Battlestar. Very cool models, these guys never left their colony ships and have been cruising the galaxy picking up cool tech and nasty viruses ... my second choice and the last of the 'mostly human' armies.

ALEPH: Ghost in the Shell, truly. Aleph is an ultimate uber-intelligence (Think SKYNET), with a horde of hackers and droids in their army ... but more on that angle later. Gorgeous models, serious firepower ALL round.

COMBINED ARMY: Aliens, lots of aliens. They are ugly, but very cool. Aliens in their alienest alienation. Yep, make the Tau look positively homely.

And that's it, so Suneokun, I hear you say ... how does it play?


As I've previously mentioned, 40k is quite ludicrous in its 'turn sequence', because in real life - if you stomp around the corner, I will shoot you - yep, thought so. So in my (albeit limited) experience where would I place infinity?

HORDES/WARMACHINE: Well i've had a go at hordes, and there's a gamut of random information that you have to get your head around ... activations, boosts and cumulative attacks ... its very very cool, but a world away from 40k. That said the combat style is actually very close, with a strong lean towards chopping eachother up. At least it still uses D6.

MALIFAUX: Eeek, well Malifaux's even more odd, dropping dice altogether and using cards, similar to Hordes in activations and actions, it has a pot full of unique ideas and concepts and very specific rules to get your head around. Neither HORDES or MALIFAUX are happy with the 40k term USR. While there's still a lot of shooting, over half the death dealing is dealt in close combat (but in an elegant and majestic way).

INFINITY: I don't know about you, but I hadn't noticed many soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq sporting halberds and basterd-swords? Lets face it, close combat tilt is popular as its not actually very common in real combat (take the Japanese in WW2, the last army to successfully (?!??!??) arrange bayonet charges). Infinity has a decidedly shooting tilt, and is a skirmish game in line with Necromunda and Confrontation (for you old buggers out there), but well, better.

Here's the top eight which makes Infinity cool:
  1. Everyone operates independently, but in squads. Well dah? This means orders are shared between squads of up to 10 men, and your army is spread out, hugging cover. Oh and the squads, well they're up to you!
  2. You can shoot people when they come into view. Or dodge out of the way, or charge them, or run away. Snipers are really snipers in this game, not ratlings. Think how this changes the game mechanic, you have to plan ahead, cover eachothers backs, create firezones and ambushes. Everyone (yes I know, everyone, how weird) get an Automatic Reaction Roll, and can well, react.
  3. Face to face nearly always has one winner and one loser. But at least its a competition. This has a certain 'top-trumps' aspect. Going toe-to-toe with a MeQ equivilent, then don't shoot - try to dodge or run away ... or hack his internal power armour, take control and make him shoot his buddies instead.
  4. You've got six men, you get six orders, but you can spend them how you like. So the guard at the back isn't 'wasting' his actions, he's giving them to the sniper or ninja who be killing! Each order equates to one long action (cautious movement, laying a mine, suppressing fire) or two short actions, run and shoot. So in a ten man squad can get one guy with a Heavy Machine Gun fire 80 shots (but they'll be 10 shots coming back at him!).
  5. In addition, you can launch combined orders. This cost the same, per man, but they all do it on a Lethal Weapon "1...2...3" and can only be reacted to once. Need to kill that pesky armoured monster, time to gang up on him...
  6. There's an arms race going on ... so power armour is awesome, but liable to hacking. Sometimes lowtech is best tech. This maps into all the best things about System Shock 2, Bioshock and Fallout 3.
  7. Cover (and camouflage) affects both your to hit roll (usually -3, -6 in a bunker), and its also affects armour rolls. so cover is truly king for everyone.
  8. Camouflage is intrinsic to the game. You have lictor like camouflage, Impersonation (particularly evil) camouflage and straight 'you can't see me until you make an 'identify' roll' and I can react... or I shoot.
Awesome-sauce all round! Downside, well the close combat is a bit clunky...

Suneokun's Army list

Here's a quick synopsis of the starter army I've opted for and why they are cool.

Light Infantry - these are largely basic troops or engineers, with minimal armour.

Hassassin Muyib Lieutenant: He comes with a Rifle (which is standard fare in this game, and unlike the lasgun - actually effective) and a grenade launcher. The grenade launcher allows him to drop both parabolic shots (indirect) of normal grenades or smoke. Smoke is essential in a game which loves cover and can allow you to assume a better firing position, without being shot at.

2 Daylami: Irregular (ie untrained) but cheap, standard armament of a rifle and shotgun. 50/50 shots and no armour. One Daylami has a 2 shot panzerfaust (that's bazooka).

3 Ghulam: Think IG veterans, better trained, slightly better shots and (unlike Daylami) can work in combined actions with all other regular troops. Armed the same.

Skirmishers: Light Special Forces trained in stealth and infiltration.

Hassassin Fiday: veteran at shooting and evil in hand to hand, he carries smoke grenades, antipersonnel mines and an armour piercing CCW (close combat weapon) on top of his rifle and shotgun. He's particularly nasty as he can pretend to be an enemy soldier and wander about laying mines, dropping grenades and stabbing people in the back. Evil. He also has Martial Art Level 3 ... which is a bit mean.

Tuareg: I've avoided going for another sniper (I already have 2) and instead gone for the hacker model. Another Veteran with the rifle/Shotgun comba and antipersonnel mines ... she can infiltrate AND has Thermo-optic camoflague (think Sam in Splinter Cell)... so she can be placed without placing her, can then move about without being shot at AND can take the first shot when she wants to engage WITHOUT THE ENEMY BEING ABLE TO REACT!

Medium Infantry - here we get into the bigger boys with the better armour...

Hassassin Lasiq: Good shot. She has Armour (which helps) and mimetism (basic camoflague -3 to hit), and she can climb walls like a monkey, she also has an x-visor - which effectively makes her a great shot at medium to long range. She fires a viral sniper rifle, which is both long range and very very evil.

Hassassin Ragik: Deep striking, armoured, dogged (ignores incoming fire for panic tests) carrying standard weaponry (Rifle and Shotgun, which are pretty good). Better shooter, even better in combat. Think IG Storm trooper.

Djanbazan: Another Sniper, he has a multispectral visor - which means he's the man when it comes to spotting all the camo'd enemies. He can also fire through smoke with no penalty. He has multiterrain (so getting around is no bother) and he has armour and regeneration. Which means he can spend an order, take a physical test and regain a wound.

Heavy Infantry: A Space Marine ... but not.

Asawira Regiment: This guy is seriously nasty, he packs an Armour Piercing Rifle (nice) and a nano-pulser (which is an illegal weapon, against the secret war conventions and effectively pulps the competition). He's nearly as big a monster in combat as Fiday, with Martial Arts L2. His explosive CCW (don't ask) means every wound he causes force THREE rolls - Eeek! Oh and he's got two wounds and regenerate.


I guess I'll soon discover I chose all the wrong toys, but I've chosen all these models on looks and sometimes stats. Their options for synergy are endless and should make for a lot of fun. The best part of all. This army is 'equivalent' in play and game time to a 1500pt army list.

And it cost me £51 for the 12 models from Maelstrom Games in the January Sales (thanks Anton).

The Defiler and the Obliterator cost me more than that!!!
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