Tuesday, 28 April 2015

I touched Infinity and I loved it! Part 3; Playing your first game.

Yes its done. I have played my first game, and it was good. Great even.

So 6 months and 30 days after purchasing, I finally had my co-purchaser over to try out Operation Icestorm. Using our figures, and the included pack which starts you like a tutorial mission you would find in any PC game; simple mechanics, basic premise with more and more layers each time you finish a mission. For the moment, lets discuss this using the rules learned thus far. No delayed ARO’s etc.

3 grunts vs 3 grunts, kill the opposing team. Rifle and knife for each guy. No leaders.

First, set up the board, handily the terrain is simple to put together and doesn’t need glue, but fits the scene nicely. Deployment maps and placement of terrain was also included in the awesome Icestorm book.
This was brilliant. Going into the game knowing a little about the mechanics does help but the book really takes you through everything you need to do. Using orders, and using them in the right way is easy to grasp. That was a big thing that was well explained and the format of when to do what specifically. A nice diagram was provided.
In Infinity you declare and perform first half of order. At this level it’s pretty much always Move, and then a shoot, dodge, or close combat.
Remember to use order markers!
Then, the opposing player can react using anyone who has Line of Sight. By dodging, shooting back, or fighting in close combat.
Oh yes. Before you've declared what you are doing the opposition can react to something you did! You haven’t even finished and some guy is taking shots at you, the cheek. As a 40k player this came as a shock for someone to chug a rifle burst at you mid-turn.

Shooting as the player whose turn it is generally turns in your favour. You have three rifle shots, while the opposing player only has one. Three times more likely to hit are you? Pfft? You’d think. Unlike 40k, cover also makes it harder just to HIT. There are no to wound rolls, just Hit, and the opposition tries to save.

You aim to be under the skill you are using. BS 13, get 13 or under. Get dead on 13 and get a critical. BOOM headshot.

You have modifiers on each roll that you combine dependant on each situation. At this level they are simply a range check for the weapon and any cover applicable.
Further on that can be modified by camouflages, distractions, injuries, ammo types, height, movement, speed, armour, any more, all are modifiers that cumulate and calculate elegantly.
For example being within the short range band of an enemy with your Multi-rifle means that you get +3 to whatever you roll. Being behind cover means you -3 to the same roll and so the two cancel each other out.

Here are the range bands for a small selection of weapons.
2 rolls
Compare those 2 dice to a shooting attack in 40k. To Hit. To Wound. To Save. Three minimum. But we know 40k right?
Remember there are Feel No Pain or ‘Look out Sir!’ rolls, rolls for number of shooting attack, twin linking, rerolls, multiple shots (a la Ork shootas), rolls for ‘Gets hot’. All those are fun and relevant but do slow things down by comparison.

Face to face rolling in Infinity is a new one though. Wow, that’s a mind melt…
2 guys are shooting one another. The active player (he who’s turn it is) rolls three dice, the reactive player rolls a single dice. Both are aiming for 12. The active player gets a 20, 20, 10. 2 misses and 1 success. 

The reactive gets an 11, a success and higher than the opponent, the reactive player wins and the guy moving takes a save. This mechanic means that although the guy who’s turn it is is more likely to damage his opponent, it’s not always the case.

The book then goes into further detail in each mission, so it adds Lieutenants, then Camo, then Snipers, and finally a fun final mission to capture the ‘flag’.

All of which make for a very fun education into the game. And speedily too. We played a comfortable 5 games in 4 or so hours with some great moments. At one point we managed to kill each other simultaneously, which we shouldn't have managed but hell, it was good fun.

For a 40k player like me, it’s a great sideline. You can focus on the game, think about it as tactically as you want, covet the miniatures and lavish them with extra time and attention, all whilst being supported by the free stuff from Corvus Belli. Did I mention free stuff? I’m sure I did.

I would definitely recommend Infinity, and the Icestorm starter set by extension. It breaks you in easily to a great game, one that is far less daunting to newcomers. I would happily try this game on family as the scale of it is far easier understood.

For now I’ll keep playing and keep upping my understanding.

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