Now that I have a semi-decent grasp on the basic rules and gameflow, I feel I can make this post.
As you can tell, I’ve been taken with Infinity as of late. Even more so now that some of our locals have also picked up armies. And from what I hear, there is actually a pretty big Infinity meta already here in NoVA, I just haven’t been paying attention I guess.
Here are some thoughts on the game so far..
…A wall of text is incoming…
- Infinity is deadly. The first thing I noticed is just how deadly things in Infinity are. Sure in WM/H, I’m used to mooks dying left and right, heck, sometimes it’s even built into my strategy. But I was taken back with the massive swings that occur in infinity. Everything seems like it can kill everything. And with the game being a “skirmish” game, every loss is felt. Hard. Not that this is a bad thing, as I feel like it really adds to the drama of the game and a sense of attachment to each little army bro.
- Don’t take a break. One of the hardest things for me coming from Warmachine is Infinity’s ARO system. Basically this enables the each player to make a reactive action on the active player’s turn, ranging from things like dodging out of the line of fire or even returning fire. I’ve really screwed up in all my games so far because after I finish my turn, I just sit back. Big mistake. Since Infinity also uses true Line of Sight, you have to constantly be on the look for any opportunities to mount a counterattack. It’s as much about what you do on your inactive turn as it is what you do on your active turn.
- Terrain. Terrain. Terrain. Man, Infinity uses a ton of terrain. It’s extremely vital to the game. This is both a good and bad thing. Good because it makes for some really cool boards and scenes as you can see above. Also it gives you a bunch of tactical options you may not have in other (flatter) games. Bad because of the logistics involved in a ton of terrain. Good terrain isn’t cheap. Also there’s the extra time involved in making or painting it and not to mention hauling it all to the LGS. Yes, you may not be spending a lot on an army in Infinity (a good list can be had for around $60-$75), but you can end up spending much more in just terrain. Just be aware of that. On the other hand, there is some really cool laser cut stuff out, like from Machen Miniatures. Look out for a review and pics of that soon.
- Rule lawyers rejoice/need not apply. This is an odd one. On the one hand, getting a grasp on the basic rules and how things work is easy. The rulebook is free on Corvus Belli’s website and there is an extensive wiki for all the rules in the game. On the other hand, there is an extensive wiki on all the rules of the game. Having a browser open to it is pretty much a must. There are so many skills that have multiple levels and each one has a different effect. Not to mentioned that anything you think of tactically, you can pretty much do in Infinity. So that will require more rules looking up. I imagine once I get comfortable with them, I’ll be faster (it helps that Tohaa only really have a handful of individual special rules overall), but right now, there is a lot of stop and start to the game, even more so than I experienced when I started with Warmachine (which allow me to remind you, was my first tabletop game ever).
- Think outside the box. Infinity requires a different mindset when playing due to the aforementioned AROs, terrain, and rule density. I feel like this can turn people off if they are used to a different game. Also this is a game, more than any other, that needs scenarios/objectives. With the long range of the guns (and the deadliness discussed earlier) this is very much a game for campers. With out something to force opponents to duke it out, a deathmatch style game gets one-sided very quickly. A number of my games have been like this and it can be frustrating. In part because of Tohaa’s general weakness at range compared to others (more on that in a later post), I am usually forced to be the aggressor (someone’s gotta be).
I still much prefer the complex simplicity and elegance of WM/H’s ruleset and mechanics, but Infinity isn’t bad, it’s just…different. Which is good in it’s own right. For a side game, it’s just what the doctor ordered when you want a fast-paced, action-oriented game. Infinity very much reminds me of playing an action scene from a summer blockbuster. It can get ridiculous, but go in with an open mind and you’ll have a good time. The models are simply amazing too.