11 Mar 2015

To Play on the Table (part 3) - Table Top

EDIT: Here is the link to part 1 and part 2 of this weeks breakdowns for the more popular games on the table.

Here is the preamble -

Unless it's a Games Workshop product or otherwise mentioned I found all my prices on meeplemart and they are all priced in the Canadian Dollar.

Below you'll see the suggested table size, average length of a game, and the size those games are played at. I’ve also included the sizes and lengths of listed tournament style events. I've included the price of tokens, templates, and rulers needed to play at tournament events. For most tournaments each player is required to have the minimum of all the templates, tokens, rulebooks, and non-proxy miniatures.

I will not add in cost for paints and tools - you're just going to guess based on the size and count of the listed models. The time to paint each miniature will also be ignored as each reader will build and paint at their own level of quality and speed. Transportation of miniatures is also a cost that is not included in the evaluation below. The variety of transportation options is too varied to be included in the comparison.

Terrain will not be included in the comparison. In many cases, players will buy some terrain to start up but afterwards terrain is free to use when playing at most local game shops (LGS). I'll mark down size of table and how heavy the table is filled with terrain. Readers should look at and determine for themselves the extra costs of terrain if they are prone to playing more games outside of an LGS.
Please pay attention to the notes at the bottom of each entry for more details.

The scenario for my comparison is:

Two folks are wanting to get into a new miniature game. They would like to put together their miniatures, play a few matches, before jumping into a few matches at the local game store. As this is not their first miniature table top game, they are assumed to already have all the paint, glues, brushes, and other tools needed to build and play the game.

They would like to play between 2 and 5 games before playing at the store. They expect to be ready after a dozen store games, at one game a week in three months. During this time they expect to buy more minis to round out their respective forces after some experience on the table.

Their goal is to be ready to play at a large non-expert level tournament by the end of the year. They don't expect to do well at the tournament but at least be ready to participate and have fun.

Today let's look at …


Infinity is the small game with the fancy miniatures. It's not as popular as Games Workshop or Privateer Press but it has a strong following that has been growing since the release and widespread success of the last ITS launches. The release of their 3rd edition (aka N3) and two-player starter set Operation: Ice Storm has been so successful that Corvus Belli had to push back release dates of other products to meet the demand. Forces are built using a two tiered point system, where points are spent on each unit and some units will also cost from a pool of Special Weapon Cost (SWC) points.

Each game is played between two players using small skirmish forces to complete a set of objectives that are known and/or secret when the game starts. Each objective can be completed in multiple ways depending on the miniatures; i.e. only some units can open a stasis pod, depending on the type of unit will determine how they will open the pod; hacking, re-wire (engineering), releaseing (doctor), etc...

Each scenario has a set amount of turns before the game ends. At tournaments players are given blocks of time to play their scenarios. Players come to each tournament with two lists – one that has all of the information of their force (secret information) while the second list is to be shared with their opponent and only has public information.

Infinity has a slew of official and unofficial support. From the various terrain makers and the official forums to the dozen more terrain builders and online spots like Data-Spere, Mayanet, and the host of other blogs. Multiple game formats are popular and many have been designed by the community. YAMS (Yet Another Mission System) is the most popular and even shows up at Infinity tournaments. I.T.S. (Infinity Tournament System) is the official tournament package that Corvus Belli produces every year to support and help organized events.

Play Space – 4'x4' (Heavy)
Store Game: 45min – 1.5 hours at 200-300 points
Tournament: 1-1.5 hours at 300 points

N3 Rule Book – 83$ or FREE*
Operation: Ice Storm Two-Player Starter Box – 120$

- Panoceania (169 points/1.5 SWC)
3 Fusiliers
1 Akalis
1 Nisses
1 ORC Trooper
1 Father-Knight

- Nomads (165 points/1.5 SWC)
3 Alguaciles
1 Spektrs
1 Grenzers
1 Mobile Brigada
1 Reverend Healer

Multiple Counters
Terrain – 1 poster and 6 small pieces and 6 small buildings

Nomads **
Interventors – 35$
Iguana – 55$

Panoceania **
Jotum – 50$
Auxilia – 31$

Final Verdict
Splitting the two-player starter box and the free rules makes Infinity a cheap game when not including the time and money players need to invest in terrain. As above each player is only spending 140$ each. Getting ready for tournaments most players will be buying the odd miniature or two (12$-20$ each) to round out their forces to provide a skill or fill a particular role. Options are recommended in Infinity and many players will buy one or two smaller purchases to give more play to their respective forces.

Expected final cost of the game: 160-200$ per player

* Core Rulebook is available online for free as a downloaded PDF or through the free online official Army builder.
** Each list, Nomad (300 points/4.5 SWC) and Panoceania (300 points/3.5 SWC) are suggested new models as seen at the end of the Operation: Ice Storm rule book to help direct and bring a new player to 300 points.