I’ve now had a few games, some at 200pts and one at 300pts, of Infinity. From those games I’ve picked out a lot of good things and it’s also raised a few concerns.
1. List building is a balancing act.
First there is the unit cost. Managing the load outs of you different troop types. Standard games is 300pts. If you go mostly heavy infantry then 300pts will be eaten up fairly quickly. Stray too much into light infantry and you’ll fair better but bleed orders in the game very quickly. So in this area you can build to a particular strength of the faction but also keep in mind the need for versatility and survivability.
Special Weapons are another factor in a list build. A one-per-50pt also needs to be managed. At 300pts that’s an allowance of 6 SWC (Special Weapons Cost) in your list. This cost is fairly abstract in that it is not solely based on the weapons the model is loaded out with It is more a “Elite” costing. It includes the capabilities, equipment, specialist role as well as the weapons the model is armed with.
For example, the Deva Functionary for ALEPH (my faction so I’m sorta familiar with it) comes with a SWC of 0 on it’s basic load out. Upgrade it to a hacker and you see a significant unit cost rise and a SWC of 0.5. This is giving is access to the hacker abilities but with the same weapons as the basic model. Upgrade the weapon to a Spitfire (the iconic weapon in Infinity) and the model cost goes down but SWC goes to 1. As you can see from this quick overview that adding in one column can take from another. This is right across the board with all models and factions in the game. AND amazingly feels very balanced. (Not perfectly balanced but close)
Specialists… This one is my stumbling block. Mainly because I haven’t had enough games with using them. The questions that I’m asking myself are:
- Should I take one of each to fulfil a classified I might roll?
- Should I go heavy in one area because it’s more likely to come up? (e.g. Doctor or Engineer)
- How flexible do I want to be without giving up how I want to play the game?
The other problem I have is that is some situations I can’t see a benefit for a specialist over a standard, cheaper unit. For instance, the forward observer role feels very situational. You have to spend X amount of orders to perform the role’s best tactic. Whereas smart movement and use of terrain can get a similar/ better result at a fraction of orders/SWC/model cost. Medics are cheaper than Docs but riskier (failed heal attempts = dead unit). I’m still puzzling this one out so I’ll give my thoughts on it at a later date.
Overlapping fields of fire are devastating. I was able to set up two Heavy Machine gun units on the same flank but at different elevations and angles but gave a good coverage of a fire lane. I also hidden deployed a sniper high up to cover the same area. My opponent walked out into what he thought was good cover to get a shot at one of the HMGs and found a lot of AROs coming back at him. Since he couldn’t get a burst on to each model things went bad quickly for that model. I was then able to lay down suppression fire and block that area for one of his turns later in the game.
You can do the same with mines it turns out. Spending a few orders on a unit armed with mines can close out an objective to your opponent. Placing them in such a way that if they try for the objective you can trigger one on their turn and then another on yours. I was using Monofilament mines which stay in play. A nasty little deterrent. 🙂
3. Knowledge is key
Not knowing what the opponent’s army does is a huge disadvantage. Knowing what a unit is armed with and what special skill it has is vital. Down the line I should be able to figure out what a unit’s Stat is and to be able to work the game to a point where they automatically fail a test. I’ve seen this done. A situation is worked by a good player where the opposing role is modified to the point where it cannot succeed. I believe this will be harder to do in 3rd Edition but as it stand veteran players will have a big advantage over us newbs.