3 Sep 2013

Table Top - My Love of the Infinity

When you talk table top miniature wargaming, most of us think Games Workshop right off the bat. They are the TSR (bought out by Wizards of the Coast) of their hobby. GW is the first to really take the table top hobby into international mass success. Warhammer is to table top players as D&D is to role players.

Over the last decade or so both D&D and Warhammer have changed and no longer hold the crown for best game in their genre. Pathfinder has become the defacto heir of the D&D players since Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition was released. Privateer Press and their games Warmachine and Hordes have come up and started replacing Warhammer and Warhammer 40k in most tournaments. 

Times have changed. 

There is one game that I dream about. I love playing this game and my opportunities to play are minimal. The game is called Infinity

Lets take a look.

The setting is a future far enough into the future that we can put aside our subconscious misgivings when we glance upon anything familiar. It's a future post sigularity with an anime/manga esthetic. The various human factions are diverse and deep enough to support their own motivations. The aliens factions seem alien in their motivation but not so much that they un-inspire players from picking up the faction.

Hassassin Barids (Hacker)
great pose and sweet looking mini
The game is the covert operations of the various elite units of the factions as they fight a cold war during the start of a real war starting on the planet Paradiso (the focus of the 3rd published rule book). You play small skirmish scale battles with close to ten regular miniatures trying to complete various objectives.

Objectives are the key to infinity. Multiple objectives that require expertise. Closed doors to be blown open or simply bypassed. Security system, use an E/M weapon or Hack the system. Support units are just as important as stealth units and front line combat units. This game is about the mission more then the fighting.

Units are a little hard to wrap the head around when we've gotten used to the GW and Privateer Press experience. You pay a point cost for your miniature, each single miniature has a selection of variations that the player chooses paying the appropriate cost. Your lists are made covertly, keeping a full list for yourself and a list that omits your leader and non-standard deployed troops. You're playing the game before you roll the dice.

Infinity has some of the most interesting rules and gameplay mechanics of the hobby. So much so they they feel simply refreshing. A slew of skills, abilities and equipment round out the simple stat system that adds that deep complexity to the units you pick for your faction. Over three books a slew of rules for each ability, skill and piece of equipment makes the game a bit spooky for first time players.

Yet the mechanics are the same through the game. It's the special rules and how they interact with each other that looks scary. My first games went really smoothly as I read the crap out of my team's abilities and equipment rules. I knew what I could do and when I took on one of the vet players in Ottawa, he had to be reminded of some of my own special rules. He couldn't rattle off everything my guys could do off the top of his head. He had to be reminded of my rules. This game rewards the player who knows their own abilities.

Speaking of dice you use d20's.

The video has an example of play.

Yeah this video and all the rest are super handy for new players. Those alongside with a free online army builder, unit stats, and all the rules it's hard to not start Infinity.

Yes I said free rules.

The amount of free support for this game is astounding and refreshing. No one else does this and I can't imagine why. You can pay for the A4 sized hardcover rule books that includes a slew of fluff and you'll be rewarded with great production value and quality of rule books that GW is trying to match with their hardcover codex collections.

The Infinity line which is known for truly stunning miniatures. and fantastic sculpts with some really dynamic looking poses. 
Bagh Mori looking like he's gona gut you

For example:

The Bagh Mari is low, moving slowly. His knife is out as he closes in on his target. His weapon tucked in but ready at the shoulder. In a moment he can take you down if you turn around before you get the blad his rifle will snap up and he'll double tap you in the chest. 

Cost wise some of the minis in the line are about what you pay for other games. But a $35 starter pack that gives you a really good core start to your faction is hard to turn down. The templates and tokens can be a bit pricey but having them around mitigates the small expenses.

This game is worth your time. Having to only paint a half dozen minis is great. Double that if you're deep into the faction but don't expect to spend your hours painting. The low number of minis your have is great for my wallet.

The real cost to the game is making terrain. I've been designing various terrain solution that would fit my flat and still be transported if I headed out to a mates for a match. Infinity will make the largest demand of terrain on you compared to any other game. Only Mordeheim and Nercomunda put such a focus on terrain in the past.

So this is Infinity for those who've yet to try it out and look its way.