In this series of articles, I’ll talk about Infinity by Corvus Belli,one of the newer wargames currently on the market. This first article focusses on the basic ruleset of infinity and why I like this game so much. Following articles will cover some special rules and options, as well as a more in-depth look at the play style of all the factions that are currently available.
For those that do not know, Infinity is a 28mm skirmish game set in the future. The human race has finally reached the stars and is constantly looking for new planets to colonize. While nations as we know them no longer exist, humanity is still divided in several factions. The human factions have their conflicts and all are at war with the terrifying aliens known as the Combined Army.
Why I like infinity so much.
I own and play several wargames, but currently Infinity is my favorite wargame. The complexity and tactical options are very appealing and the models are sublime. There is a strong anime theme visible in the models and in the artwork which, for me, is something that makes the models that more striking and allows for some daring colourschemes.
Infinity is a skirmish game which is played with approximately ten models on each side. The low number of models allows for a more complex and detailed ruleset compared to the wargames that play on a company- or army-level. In this game your models can climb walls, sneak around, use suppressive fire or even hack their enemies’ high tech equipment! This detail is not only visible in the options available to a model, but also in the equipment and number of special skills models can have. It is entirely possible that an infiltrated model immobilizes your models with a glue gun or that a cloaked sniper suddenly appears, shooting your models when you thought they were safe. It is the sheer number of options that make this game so different from other games such as Warhammer 40.000 or Warmachine.
But how does it work?
The most defining aspect of the infinity rules has to be the order system. For each model in your army you are allowed to put one order into the order pool. Every time a model wants to take an action, he spends one order from the order pool. You can spend one order per model, or multiple orders on the same model if you want and when you run out of orders your turn ends. But your opponent won’t sit still while you approach him. When you attack him or come close to an enemy model your opponent is allowed to take an ARO (Automatic Reaction Order). This might be shooting back, diving for cover or alerting other models for example.
But if I shoot him and he shoots me, we’re both dead, right? Wrong.
Infinity uses a mechanic called the face to face roll. This means that if you both shoot each other, you compare results and the best shot wins. Several factors help winning these face to face rolls. Namely, modifiers such as distance, visibility, cover and the number of dice you’re allowed to roll. For example, a trooper carrying a heavy machine gun can fire four shots at an opposing soldier, while that soldier is only allowed to fire a single shot back as an ARO. As you might guess, it isn’t healthy to be on the receiving end; bringing the fight to the enemy is a much safer option!
What do you need to play Infinity?
First of all, you need to have a couple of models. A selection of ten models would set you back somewhere between 60 or 70 euro’s, depending on what you buy. The starter sets of your chosen faction might be a good place to start, since these boxed sets usually contain a diversity of different troops. Aside from that, just have a look at which models appeal to you the most and get another one or two blisters of those. This should give you a nice starting force, with some variety of different troops to play with.
The people at Corvus Belli are nice enough to make the rules, markers and armylists freely available online on their site. In addition, a comprehensive overview of the rules is available in a wiki designed specifically for Infinity. For more insight in the background of each faction and the troops, you’ll have to buy the books that are currently available, Infinity 2nd edition, Infinity: Human Sphere and Infinity: Campaign Paradiso.
Besides models and rules, you will also need a tape measure, some 20-sided dice and quite some terrain. The terrain on a table can have a strong impact on how a game of Infinity is played. It is best if you have a good variety of different kinds of terrain, including large and high pieces of terrain that block line of sight, and many smaller terrain pieces that allow soldiers to find cover against opponents on ground level. It is also helpful if you use many tiny pieces of terrain that can provide partial cover to one or two models at a time. Several companies make awesome terrain for infinity, micro arts studios and sarissa precision sell laser cut terrain. But there are also many gamers that use home made terrain. It doesn’t matter what kind of terrain you use, as long as you make sure it is not possible to easily shoot from one side of the table to the other and that there is plenty of cover for your soldiers to hide behind!
Well, this concludes the first part of the “Infinity beginners guide”. If there is anything you want to know about starting Infinity or have just started and want to share your experiences, feel free to comment below.