I posted this on Instagram last week (@pimpmyboardgame) but was actually able to play a little bit of Infinity this weekend.
My friend has been talking about trying to start up Infinity for over a year when he picked up the starter Operation Ice Storm. I’ve been wanting to get a little sci-fi skirmish game going, having considered MERCS first, and finally settled on Infinity due to all the good press and spectacular models.
My friend and I decided to split the Operation Red Veil as I wanted to play the Yu Jing faction and he liked the concepts of the Haqqislam. Honestly, a major impetus to get me to buy in was seeing this model, the Su-Jian combat kitty (trademark pending).
I saw that model browsing around the net and knew I needed it in my life. I did some additional research and it was Yu Jing all the way. I mean who wouldn’t want to play with a transforming death kitteh? Unfortunately, I can’t just start at the “death kitteh” phase. These things take time and I will work towards the goal of that model so that I treat it with the respect it deserves.
Where does that leave me? Well, back to the top of the post with a nice shiny starter box. I put together the models and was really excited about how dynamic the models are. It was also fun to work in metal again after all the Frostgravian plastic. That isn’t a knock against North Star’s Frostgrave models but they are a different style and fit a different need.
After getting my models assembled, we decided to run through the first mission. My friend hadn’t put together his Haqq figures so he was using some of his in-progress Nomads. He likes to do things like “wash” his pieces and “pin” them whereas I just pulled them out of the box and slapped them together with superglue.
The starter is cool in that it is one of the “all you need to start” packages with minis, dice, measuring ruler, play mat, and terrain. I loved this in Dropzone Commander and I am glad to see it becoming more common.
As expected, the terrain and mat are of pretty cheap quality but the printing on the paper works well. The assembly instructions on a whole are pretty lacking so some of the terrain pieces took a little work to figure out. The miniatures assemble easily but again, instructions would have been nice there too. All-in-all, the set up took about thirty minutes initially. Now that we things assembled, it will go much faster.
My friend had played through the entire Ice Storm starter mission set so had a pretty good concept of how to play. I read through the intro work and the mission rules so had a good idea of how to play as well. The mission is really basic though as it wants to just teach the base combat rules and options. Even though we could likely start deeper in, I don’t mind a slow build of concepts and rules before tackling the rest of the game.
The Nomads-counting-as-Haqq won the initiative. I pretty funny concept since we both did a roll-off with d20s and I rolled a natural 20 to his 11. Immediately, this games puts you off balance because the main idea it drives home is trying to achieve a target number (usually dictated by the figure’s stats) with exceeding the stat. Rolling high is usually not great unless your start is equally high. These mooks don’t have a good willpower stat, which is used in determining the winner of the initiative, so that “I roll 20s” moment actually meant I lost the bid.
The “Haqq” got to go first then and decided to move all his figures forward, with the forward-most trooper engaging the central building and peaking around the corner to have an open firing lane in case I wanted to rush the roof top of the side building with a ladder available.
I decided I still really wanted the high ground so I burned a couple of orders on my forward-most figure and ran around the other side of the building an went up top. I could have ran around and stayed on the ground to shoot his guy in the back but I thought the height vantage point would work better and I was eager to see if it translated well in the game mechanics.
Back to the Haqq, one of his figures peaked out and shotgunned my elevated trooper. I decided to react by shooting back and the cover worked in my favor, absorbing the lethal close range of the shotgun while my guy picked off the nameless female. It was a nice stroke of luck as the dice fell in my favor, me passing my armor roll (the only time in the game where you do want to roll high, that I’ve seen so far) and the Haqq soldier failing hers.
On my turn, I looked down to see that covering soldier at my feet with his back to me. I took my shots and one landed home. Another failed armor save from my friend and the game was looking increasingly over for the Nomad-looking Haqq. Maybe they were all in cosplay armor.
I used the rest of my orders getting another member of my squad to the top of the building. There wasn’t much left for the Haqq to do. If he tried to wait me out, I would just use my third soldier to flush him out into overlapping fields of fire. He decided to go for broke and stepped out, shotgun blazing, taking a shot at each of my soldiers. Cover and armor saves kept everyone alive in the salvo.
A hail of gun fire from my MVP, the lone dude in my squad, took down the last soldier. He tried to dodge this time but failed the roll and one of my shots struck home, ending the engagement.
Though this was a really simple and unexciting mission, it did what it needed to do. It was short and to the point, having us work through the concepts of activating, moving, attacking, and reacting. We decided we would try to get our minis painted up for the next mission since it only adds one more figure. Likely, my friend will continue working on his Nomads to get them complete and we’ll still use a “counts-as” method to maintain the concepts put forth in the missions.
Writing this report reminds me of a cool new app being developed on Kickstarter. I have no affiliation with the Kickstarter creator and got the link from Tabletop Gaming News. It’s called MyMiniReport and it is up for another three weeks or so.
It seems to be a quick and easy image program that can collect your game pictures and lay them out in a quick comic-style layout. After doing this for multiple session reports via Illustrator and Photoshop, I can’t tell you how valuable this would be to do all in-phone. I’m sure there will be a lot of limitations to this program vs making these in Illustrator but one of the reasons I’ve slowed down and basically stopped making my comic sessions is the crushing time it takes to complete those. I’m really hoping this app succeeds as it looks like a perfect way to continue those reports that I love.