23 Sep 2014

Inspire my Infinity Terrain - Table Top

When I think of Infinity I think of awesome looking miniatures, great crunchy rules that have plenty of breadth and depth, and terrain – the need for lots of terrain.
15mm Terrain by Impudent Mortal 

When you plant Infinity without the major amounts of terrain you feel constantly exposed, vulnerable. The feeling of cold war black ops mission gone wrong takes over from the feel of a Tom Clancy Rainbow Six mission. Playing Infinity like Warhammer 40k or like Warmachine/Hordes is simply not the way the game is played – the rewarding experience is lessened if not vanishing completely.

So terrain is a Big deal in Infinity.

Recently, Ontos and I were putting  together his 15mm terrain from his Kickstarted Backer package that his pitched into for his Heavy Gear miniatures. Once we had some of the larger buildings done and they sat next to the smaller tower, pillboxes, and scatter terrain – the table was awesome. Minutes later we were pulling his Southern Gears and NuCol Gears off the shelf and putting them next to or in the various pieces of terrain we had laid out in the table.

A well built table makes the games we play much better. We started going on about Infinity Terrain and we both research some options and the various official partners to Infinity and the non-official suppliers.

Wow what a sea of awesome looking terrain – and it is not cheap but if it makes my games that much more fun, I think of it as an investment. I also had to start thinking on what type of table I wanted to have. So I started to about things I’ve seen that would look good as an Infinity table – so I could buy and build towards that goal rather than have a hodge podge of random terrain.

When I think Infinity terrain – I’m thinking orbital stations, cooperate facilities, war-torn urban centers, and crowed neon city streets. So I started to look for the best examples of those types of settings:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a great example of a cyberpunk location. The game hubs of Detroit and Hengsha are great and very different examples of crowed streets made up of the old buildings and new streamlined buildings drowning in neon warmth with desperate groups of people; corporate, poor, criminal, moving through the web of streets, alleys, and rooftops. Littered with food stands, police barricades, parked vehicles and plenty of crowded foot traffic.
Hengsha from Deus Ex: Human Revolution
by Square Enix
Detroit is a mess of old and new, the odd bit of vertical spaces on signs and fire escapes mixed with multiple levels of alleys and side streets with plenty of random littered storage garages, dumpsters, and police barriers. Hengsha is a vertical heaven of rooftop shacks hiding on the top of tall apartment buildings that map out narrow streets with tight alleys. Crows and people are more prominent and the never sleeping feel of open shops and night clubs is everywhere.

When I look at Hengsha I think Yu Jin for a table. Tall stoic clean lined buildings, with plenty of adverts and signage littering every space of the compact streets that seem barely enough to handle both the mobs of foot traffic and the odd car or delivery truck. The downtown sprawl feeling is always present in Hengsha and that’s one of the tables I want for my Infinity games.

Using another Cyberpunk game as a reference, Syndicate (the new FPS) has another cleaner aesthetic, thinner lines, more stark, clinical. The research stations and corporate facilities scream ALEPH and Pan-O. The use of cooler colours, plastics, and brighter background Syndicate has a whole different feel then Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but it’s still immediately identified as Cyberpunk.
Syndicate (2012) by Starbreeze, published by EA
There is a lot more use of glass and open spaces in Syndicate. The military forces seem to be more disciplined, uniformed, and organized over the mercenary vibe from Deus Ex:HR. The use of on the fly hacking of enemies is a great example of hackers and their use in Infinity. More drones and cyber ninjas as well.

Syndicate has a great feel and look but only some of the layouts of the levels in the game are supportive to translate onto an Infinity table. There are lots more open spaces and cover is a premium in Syndicate – a little to sparse for Infinity.

I have to say some of my favorite layouts and maps for Infinity games comes from Battlefield and Call of Duty. The multiplayer maps are designed for two forces right off the bat. Each map adapts to the addition of objectives and scatter terrain is everywhere. Some of the CoD maps are too small but some of their maps are close to perfect for translation. Battlefield’s smaller maps tend to be better urban warzones and facility maps that would suit an Infinity table very well, while their warzone maps are way too large for Infinity.

CoD limits the corridors of movement while Battlefield has more selection in paths and the destructible terrain is 1. A love of mine, and 2. Gives some great ideas for an Infinity table. Most of these maps have some great vertical features and plenty of cover.

With these great examples I’ve got lots to work with when  planning my design and purchases of terrain for my Infinity games.

What are you looking at for your table?