|Infinity - A Skirmish Game|
|Wargame published by
|No. of Players||2+|
|Session Time||1-2 hours|
|Authors||Gutier Lusquiños Rodríguez|
|First Publication||2005, 2012, 2016, 2020|
"I keep warning you. Doors and corners, kid. That's where they get you."
- – Detective Joe Miller, The Expanse
Infinity is a game with 28mm metal miniatures that simulates combat and special operations in a science fiction environment with Manga aesthetics. Small teams of highly trained operatives (or brutal, frenetic killers) share the board with black market criminals, remotely operated support robots, AI-controlled androids, power-armor operators, recreated heroes from history or fiction, and giant robots capable of jumping over buildings. The board is dense with terrain with each model ultimately fending for itself in risky firefights and close combat.
A typical game revolves around a mission with a public objective and one or two private objectives. Each player gets 3 turns. This is offset by a player's models being able to react to movement and attacks by the opposing player. Orders (generated by models) fuel actions, and most everything is resolved by a quick face-to-face roll on d20s. On top of that, exact positioning of your models matters: if the model (represented by its silhouette) can see another model, they can likely do something to each other.
A gritty, cyberpunk Sci-fi future, focused on black ops and realpolitik through weeb lenses. Humanity discovered travel through deep space via gates/wormholes, resulting in the first disaster caused by mysterious forces. After an economic crisis and recovery, humanity reached out to about a dozen habitable systems with the help of a caretaker AI. Humanity is still balkanized, but now it's not just by nation but also by corporate allegiances too. Just as Humanity was getting confident and Aleph was learning what it could do, they made contact with another alien culture who wants to annex humanity into their empire. The Combined Army wants to assimilate us or turn us into computer chips for its Evolved Intelligence. The Tohaa are being coy about what they want, but it will likely involve something similar. Military action is never overt, as diplomats maintain an appearance of civility while "rogue insurgents" are dealt with by "police actions" among the colonies and "unsanctioned criminals" are eliminated with "unfortunately" too little evidence to identify them.
While the main powers of humanity fight a constant cold war, the interstellar Combined Army seeks to conquer and assimilate humanity's knowledge and technology.
Infinity Factions and Sectorials
The Great Powers in conflict are:
- PanOceania, the Hyperpower: Leadership & Technology. Power-armored Crusader Knights
- Yu Jing, the Asian Power: Modernity, Control, & Tradition.
- Ariadna, the Lost Colony: Russians, Werewolves, the French, Drunk Scotsmen, and 'Murica!
- Haqqislam, the New Islam: Wisdom & Bravery, and Islamic Ray-Guns. Only this time, it's intentional
- Nomads, the Nonconformists: Rebellion & Resourcefulness.
- The Combined Army, the Alien Threat: Power from Deep Space.
- ALEPH: An AI who watches over All.
- Tohaa, the Aliens: The ally that you cannot trust.
- Non-Aligned Armies, Mercenaries: The Profession of War.
- O-12: Unity, Cooperation, Support, Progress. They are the law.
Each faction generally sports one or more sectorial lists, which are a thematic variant of the entire army that change how many and what type of units you can deploy and allows certain troops to link with each other in Fireteams for more/better dakka. Note that any sectorial listed as unsupported in the description is still playable. Corvus Belli has kept them in the Army Builder (and updated them for N4!) but we shouldn't expect much else for these factions moving forward outside of updates with new editions. This also means that starting these factions may be difficult, as their models are generally discontinued (for example, most of the MRRF line has been out of print for years).
The result of an Australian/New Zealander/Filipino/Indonesian economic alliance buying out the US, EU and India's debts which they acquired when the first space colonization program failed and the markets went through another huge crash. They're the most high-tech human faction overall and have a lot of remote-control robots and mechs. They're easily the shootiest faction. The setting itself is in the midst of both a second Cold War between PanOceania and Yu Jing (the two hyperpowers), and a more traditional war against the Combined Army. They are ultra-capitalists who've killed off most left-wing ideologies by worshipping the free market as the ultimate arbiter and the 'fairest' redistributor of wealth, with their democratic system now run directly by corporate/special interest lobbies instead of traditional political parties. Oh, and they're also fanatical Christians who've allowed the Catholic Church (which re-unified all the Christian denominations and is a major Lobby itself) to have power-armoured knights as its own private military.
- Shock Army of Acontecimento: A provincial force based on the jungle planet of Acontecimento, not as tough as vanilla PanO but fields some interesting units. Their actual army list is extremely small and doesn't do anything Varuna doesn't, except for a bit of a close combat bent. While a cool concept, they tend to have problems distinguishing themselves on the table, which is potentially what lead to them being no longer officially supported.
- Military Orders of the Papacy: SPACE KNIGHTS. VERY CATHOLIC SPACE KNIGHTS. Thematically they're all based on the crusader orders of old and then some, except for the Knights Templar who like the real counterparts were wiped out for committing heresy, although in this case its related to breaking the "Don't make AIs" rule, by putting illegal AIs into everything that can hold a microchip. Tend toward elite armies. Tons of close combat potential, religious (duh), and interesting fireteam combinations, not to mention the powerhouse that is Joan of Arc.
- Neo-Terran Capitaline Army: The uber-elite high-tech security forces of the capital planet of the PanOceania sphere. They get better access to high-tech units and field Auxilias bonded with Aux-Bots as their line infantry, or field Australian Jarheads with a propensity for shotguns and bioimmunity, probably because of their Aussie heritage. Shoot things even more deader with high BS, Camo, heavy weapons, and MSV. It'll make your opponent cry. No longer officially supported.
- Varuna Immediate Reaction Division: PanO's water world and the sectorial that Acontecimento wishes it was. Varuna breaks the PanO mold with access to above-average infiltrators, camo units, and hackers, allowing the hyperpower to finally play a decent shell game. Can find a great use for orcs (theirs have stealth) and the amazing orc character, Patsy Garnett. Varuna can also form very unique fireteams, with many units having the wildcard ability to be able to join any fireteam.
- Svalarheima's Winter Force: The Norse-themed mountaineers of the PanO army. Svarlarheima brings a lot of climbing plus and some mimetism to the table, along with a bit of a close combat bent. They also come close to rivaling Varuna for deployment options while bringing more sturdy units. A smattering of MSV keeps them feeling like PanO.
The result of China embracing state capitalism, and buying South Korea's, Japan's and pretty much the entirety of East and Southeast Asia's post-crash debts. China basically bought the countries as a means of vindicating its colonial ambitions and treats the Japanese as second-class citizens. Other Asian countries soon joined the newly-formed "Greater China" and Yu Jing quickly became a hyperpower to match PanOceania. They have slightly less emphasis on remote-control drones and thermo-optic camo but are as technologically advanced, just in a different way - they favour elite power-armoured infantry instead (though they also have a piloted mech or two), and have a bit more of an emphasis on close-quarters shooting. They were the first to restart their space program and as such what they lack in the raw economic advances of PanO, they more than make up for by having a shitload of land and people.
After Uprising they've become the Designated Bad Guys of the Human Sphere and are supposedly Evil(tm). This is a bit confusing because Yu Jing is supposedly tied deeply into the ALEPH infrastructure, takes recommendations from the AI about how to handle things, and is a multicultural superpower with deep intentions about what is best for everyone. Either ALEPH is confused about how to handle agents of an alien civilizations trying to undermine its plans (Tohaa), Yu Jing's military Hawks are acting with emotion instead of logic (people in charge of the ground actions screwed up), or something is deeply wrong with the ISS (the secret police overstepped their authority). The answer is probably a simple "we wanted a human bad guy faction" and they chose the one that already treats its people like less than dirt, has ambitions to take over the entirety of the human sphere and run it their way (read: like a dictatorship that treats its people like less than dirt), and is near-genocidal in its actions. The ALEPH situation can be explained by the AI desperately trying to keep humanity together and it probably not caring about human rights violations so much as it cares about a united human sphere.
- Imperial Service: Inquisitors, police special units with shady reputations at best, convict soldiers, and security service agents. Overall it plays similar to vanilla YJ with a heavier emphasis on trickery and subterfuge as opposed to smashing your opponent with heavy infantry.
- Invincible Army: All heavy infantry fighting forces (with some limited light support) showing the full power of Yu Jing's armored might. THE premier heavy infantry sectorial. You will be outnumbered but you will never be outgunned. Can field very unique HI fireteams due to a lot of their units having the wildcard ability, not to mention a large number of special characters who can do the same.
- White Banner Army: The military arm of the Imperial Service. They are infamous for committing their own reverse Rape of Nanjing and decimating the Japanese city of Motobushima, earning them the nickname "The Butchers of Motobushima". Ever since, they have been considered the premier Japanese hunters of the Yu Jing army. They believe that they have the right to commit war crimes because their enemies are dishonorable. Also known as the Yuándùn (Shield) Division. Their sectorial list harkens back to the older design philosophy of sectorials made famous by Qapu Khalqi; that is, drastically cut down versions of the vanilla list in order to gain more access to specific units. Have very little in the way of fireteam options, but can fireteam the Blue Wolf TAG and bring a Guija along for the ride.
A nation formed by the descendants of the Kazak Russian, French, Scottish, and American colonists who were sent through a wormhole to the planet Dawn, the discovery of which prompted the second space race and the first colonization program. They set up colonies on the newly christened Ariadna, named after their ship, and waited for the second wave of colonists. Unfortunately, when Earth tried to send the second ship through the wormhole the wormhole collapsed, killing the colonists and causing a massive market crash on Earth, not to mention stranding the Ariadne on an inhospitable planet. They quickly antagonized the sentient, dog-like Antipode natives and ended up at war with them for the better part of a century while intermittently going to war with each other, since each nationality had decided to set up its own base to maximize survival chances. Eventually, with the whole colony on the brink of collapse the Kazaks (who are ultra-capitalists and other oligarchs which Putin likes to try to kill every now and again), who had about twice the population of every other colony, just declared themselves the planetary government and started flexing their military muscles to make sure everyone focused on fighting the natives instead of each other.
Eventually, the planet was rediscovered, first by PanO and then by YJ, at which point everyone discovered that this odd metal the Ariadne had been using since they got there was actually something called Teseum, which is harder than diamond yet easier to shape and is also the primary component in advanced building materials. Normally only mineable from asteroids, both of the hyperpowers rushed to exploit a technicality in interplanetary law by claiming that Ariadna only owned part of the planet and that the other 75% that didn't have any settlements on it belonged to the original nations that had financed the colonial mission (by now absorbed into PanO/YJ) and was up for grabs by anyone. They started paying corporations to land on Ariadna and claim ownership of bits of the planet. This pissed the Ariadne off, especially since they already felt they had been abandoned and left to die by Earth. The ensuing Commercial Wars were fought by Ariadna on one side with training and weapons provided on the cheap by the Nomads (acting to protect their interests as a minor power by making sure the hyperpowers didn't establish a precedent of violating sovereignty) against the PanO and YJ-backed and equipped corporations on the other. Eventually, the Nomads and Haqqislam managed to ram a bill through O-12 (the "Organization of 12 Planets", basically the Space UN) that established Ariadna's sovereignty over the whole planet and recognized them as an independent nation.
Needless to say, this didn't exactly sit well with Ariadna who now have a major grudge against PanO/YJ, but are bros for life with the Nomads and Haqqislam.
Gameplay-wise, Ariadna has cheap light infantry, little access to heavy infantry, elite dudes that are really cheap, though fragile, a shitload of troops with camouflage, and infiltration. They also generally cannot be hacked because they're using early 21st century equipment in the 23rd century and generally work best as a guerrilla army, setting up traps before the game begins and dropping out of camo to take shots before going back into camo. Unfortunately, if you came to Ariadna for the sauce of playing crazy Scots, sneaky Frenchmen, or MURICA, be warned, they are being discontinued at an alarming rate, leaving Ariadna as the RUSSIA (and friends) faction.
- Caledonian Highlander Army: Psychotic Scotsman. Practically a 40k army with most of their units having an unhealthy obsession with beating shit to death with claymores in a setting where guns are more than just practical. Runs a fair number of camo units, infiltrators, and some interesting regular units. Move forward, throw smoke, charge and shoot if you have LoS/survivors. This is a very simple army and splits between whether you want to charge forward really fast with berserker units that can smoke for cover or whether you infiltrate forward with semi-elite infantry, get the drop on them for easy kills and then charge forward like the berserker units do while using smoke for cover. No longer officially supported.
- Merovingian Rapid Response Force: To fight the Antipodes and later the corps, the French colonists developed tactical doctrines that enable police, military, and paramilitary units to operate in an integrated fashion in the event of an emergency. Specialize in coming at you from every angle with a ton of camo, infiltration, and parachutist options. Have some surprisingly high-tech options for Ariadna, like MSV-1/X-Visors and viral rifles but do not gain access to any teseum weapons. Extremely fragile, even by Ariadna standards, you need to make sure your plan comes together or your Frenchmen will die to a stiff breeze. No longer officially supported.
- USAriadna Ranger Force (USARF): The US contingent of Ariadna, the USARF brings bikes, well-armored troops, airborne deployment, flame throwers, Devil Dog teams, and a bit of the camo shell game. Their line troops are of a tougher build than most other order-monkeys, and the sectorial is almost entirely shock resistant. They even manage to bring a few troops with MSV-1 to deal with pesky units. Playing them means playing a combination of USMC-esque assault gunnery, with sneaky-beaky infiltrating rangers slipping around and breaking necks in the opponent's back lines. They offer Van Zant, a "he walks in from your table edge" parachutist and The Unknown Ranger (literally Captain America) as their unique characters. Tough and stalwart, though a bit generic in the shooting game. Despite their stats, they have the typical Ariadna "problem" of needing a solid plan to succeed.
- Tartary Army Corps: The first indication of Corvus Belli's obsession with Russians, the TAK is a bit of a middle ground sectorial for Ariadna. Their troops are extremely solid operators who generally have either camo or mimetism, though they lack the forward deployment options of the MRRF and USARF outside of Scouts and a character or two. They can also field the "I Can't Believe It's Not a TAG!" Ratnik, showing up the American Blackjack quite handily. Most Ariadna lore nowadays focuses on the TAK being the primary military of Ariadna, occasionally using the other forces for back-up. The unit descriptions even go so far as to characterize them as the best soldiers in the human sphere, held back only by Ariadna's limited equipment. K. This dressing-up is reflected in MRRF and CHA no longer being supported and by the next sectorial in our list.
- Kosmoflot: Have you ever wanted to see Captain America go to space with Russian space bears supported by raging Scotsmen and a French werewolf? No? Well fuck you, because Corvus Belli decided that this is Ariadna now, bitches. A sectorial that almost feels like a bad joke, Kosmoflot is essentially a cut down TAK list with a couple French units, a few Caledonian units, and the Unknown Ranger (for some reason). It introduces the Bearpode... presumably a bear version of an Antipode. In terms of gameplay, they get some dead hard unit combos and their unique units (Bearpodes, Zenit-7, and Kosmosoldats... yes Space Soldiers) are quite good. They also pull some of the best units from the Caledonians (Scots Guard, SAS, Uxia, Varangians, and William Wallace) and even Paracommandos and Equipe-Mirage 5 from the French. Looks to be a bit more well-rounded than Ariadne forces tend to be, as it has a smattering of parachutist, infiltration, and camo supporting actually competent straightforward gunfighters.
Followers of a new branch of Islam that preaches tolerance and scientific enlightenment, based on the Islam of the Golden Age but with a divergence from the conservatism of the past in order to embrace more progressive, humanistic ideas. They're absolute masters of biotechnology and have a monopoly on a substance called Silk which allows for mind uploads/reincarnation and has advanced medical technology by decades if not centuries. As such, they're financially secure and no one faction can really afford to take them out, even though they only control a single planet in a single system, since they're officially neutral and sell silk to anyone. They have more of a reliance on light infantry than the first two factions, but this is compensated for by their more expensive troops having funky abilities thanks to bio-engineering and a lot of their infantry are religious fanatics which means their army stays on the table longer.
- Hassassin Bahram: Remember those Hassassins from the first Assassin's Creed? Them, but in SPACE with genetically engineered super soldiers and shitty tribal guys backing them up. Very interesting force to play, one of the hardest sectorial lists for newcomers due to them being very fragile, generally preferring melee (or at least closer ranged shooting), and having a heavy reliance on unconventional deployment options.
- Qapu Khalqi: The "Men at the Gate". Essentially an alliance between PMCs, large Haqq based corporations involved in the silk trade, pirates willing to go privateer for the Haqqislam government, Corregidor mercenaries and the security and counter terrorism services of the Haqqislam Nation. Considered the template for all modern sectorials, QK has the distinction of being one of the first sectorials to be able to field smaller "haris" fireteams. Nowadays they continue this tradition by fielding extremely varied fireteams that can be absolutely filled with wildcards. Their unit access is very limited but they get some of the best non-Hassassin toys that Haqq can field and can run the infamous Hafza LT, where your LT could be disguised as any model in the sectorial. Despite their popularity and history, they are no longer officially supported.
- Ramah Taskforce: The Royal Forces and the clean public face of the Haqqislam military. Drops most of the Haqqislam tricks to instead be a force of solid troops and straightforward gunfighters. Field a large number of super soldiers with abilities like regeneration and super-jump, so can be tougher and more mobile than they appear. Currently the only Haqq sectorial able to field Captain Islam himself, Tarik Mansuri, an absolute unit. Can field Maghariba guard duo teams with either a human friend, a lil robot, OR ANOTHER MAGHARIBA GUARD. Jesus Christ. Spam out TAGs with that AVA 2.
Inhabitants of three huge spaceships that declared their independence from Earth in the early years of the relaunched space program. They bunched together because it was that or be easy pickings for ALEPH and its PanO/YJ puppets (so they say). They're a collection of misfits, criminals, and people with weird fetishes, and generally the last refuge of all the kooky stuff you could think of - basically, the internet as a nation. They do bio-modification for fun, have all the best drugs and throw the best parties, and you can even buy sections of Bakunin where you can have the laws be anything you fancy (as long as they don't jeopardize the ship itself), so if you're really interested about making your army fit into the fluff you can do all sorts of fun stuff. They even have Anarcho-Feminists.
In terms of the actual game, they focus on being a pain in the ass to the opponent, with a good mix of camo, drones/mechs and elite medium infantry plus some of the best hackers in the game. They feature excellent board control and specialists who can be where they need to be. Tend to be fragile as their primary workhorses tend to only have a single wound.
- Jurisdictional Command of Corregidor: In Soviet Corregidor, union bust you! A former prison ship, full of African and South-American convicts turned space workmen and mercenaries. The more straightforward element of the Nomads, they are not without their tricks. They have as many airborne deployment options as some vanilla factions and some quality skirmishers. They even have access to cheap smoke. JCC does lack some of the higher technology and hacking prowess of the vanilla faction, with even their TAGs being relative lightweights. To round out their forces, JCC can field a good number of the named mercenaries.
- Jurisdictional Command of Bakunin: Similar to the Corregidor sectorial there isn't too much of a big deal to Nomad sectorial lists, with generally more camo and better hackers than Corregidor. They also have a strong MI section thanks the cult of the Obervance (think nuns with guns). If you want to field an army of mutants, gene-modded furfags, weird cultists, and literal feminazis this is the sectorial for you.
- Jurisdictional Command of Tunguska: The Russian Mafia money behind the Nomad Nation. Multiple mafia factions that are all vying for power, money, and status. There are hackers everywhere in the list, and repeaters galore. Have more of a focus on light infantry than the other sectorials but can still field some real heavy hitters.
The CA force that recently arrived in the Human Sphere is the very tip of the Combined Army's scouting forces and yet humanity is already losing badly, barely holding them back. They actually have one of the cooler backgrounds: ancient aliens called the Ur-Rationalists figured out that the heat death of the universe was eventually going to shit all over life so they built an AI that could figure out how they could be elevated to beings of pure energy and leave the material world behind. Unfortunately for them, the AI found the solution, promptly concluded that its creators weren't fit to receive that knowledge, then ascended without them.
The creators then decided to build a new AI, only this time they made it think like them so that it would willingly give them the secret to ascension. Unfortunately, the fact that it thinks like them is exactly what prevents the second AI - called the EI, or Evolved Intelligence - from ever finding that secret, but the creators don't know that, and the irony inherent in the fact that they're on a total fool's errand is pretty hilarious - or would be if humanity weren't about to be flattened like pancakes unless they can close off the Human Sphere. Unable to find this secret on its own, the EI concluded that what it needed was more computational power and the easiest way to get that was to conquer new systems and turn them into computronium. Thus, the Evolved Intelligence began conquering the universe. Those species that would be good fighters (aggressive, loyal, survivalists) were included in its Combined Army. The species with mastery of science were told to build AIs of their own to work in parallel with the EI to increase the number of thought patterns that were working on solving the ascension problem. Finally, those species that had absolutely nothing of worth to offer to the EI just had their solar systems deconstructed and turned into thinking matter and planet-sized computers to increase the EI's computational capacity.
Game-wise, the Combined Army is one of the most elite factions - high point cost per unit but decent stats and arguably the best equipment in the game. Their technology is alien and does funky stuff like allow them to not die, or transfer their mind from one body to another if the original host dies, or shapeshift into enemy units, and their weapons include plasma guns that can either hit harder or damage enemy units in a blast area as well as the dreaded sepsitors, which project nanoviruses that can target cyberbrains and overwrite/destroy them.
- Morat Aggression Force (MAF): Pretty much all the SPESS MONKEES in the CA operating as an autonomous division. Close-quarters and very aggressive, not as melee based as the Caledonians but able to challenge them for the title. MAF is similar to the Steel Phalanx or JSA but with far fewer infiltrators, Camo or high-tech; they supplement this with hardy units and raw firepower. Often considered a good faction for newcomers to learn the game with, as their total lack of tricks and weird rules (outside of Oznats and Zerats) lend themselves to mastering the basics as opposed to relying on strong equipment and skills.
- Shasvastii Expeditionary Force: A force of infiltrators, camo, expanded deployment options, mimetism, and trickery. Shas play a bit like Hassassin Bahram cranked up to eleven with less return on your investment. Have access to a couple of competent gunfighters, but to get the most out of this faction you really want to leverage their sneakiness. Has a couple of unique rules that allow them to not count as dead when they're unconscious for some game effects and the "grow-your-own-dudes" seed-soldiers.
- Onyx Contact Force: The obligatory "little bit of everything" sectorial. Specializes in fielding robots called Batroids and the living nightmares that are Umbras. Hits very hard and retains a bit of the CA deployment trickery with Shas and Fractaas. Perfect for building thematic and effective little death squads.
The very-much-Ghost in the Shell-inspired dudes who work for the Human Sphere's super-AI, which regulates the minute details of life for the entire Sphere. ALEPH runs the banks, the stock-markets, the Internet, the Circulars (special ships fitted with technology that allows them to pass through wormholes without causing them to collapse), and the infrastructure for pretty much everything. The only caveat is that it operates under mandate of the O-12 and there are (supposedly) safety protocols in place to prevent it from doing anything except run things efficiently. To get around this, ALEPH has its own special military force made up entirely of post-human field agents supported by the most advanced drones you can make with human technology. They are a very points-heavy faction like the CA, relying on expensive but well trained and high tech soldiers with a heavy emphasis on drones. They also have blood-frenzied Greeks and excellent hackers as well. Like most factions, the ALEPH fluff is deliberately ambivalent; the AI could either be our new domineering overlord in the making or a true caring ally, only time will tell.
- Steel Phalanx: Also known as the "Assault Subsection" or "Homeridae", ALEPH has basically created artificial vat grown human cyborgs and conditioned them to be inspired by the Odyssey and Iliad. Led by Hector and supported by Achilles (who is basically a TAG that is human sized) this is a very aggressive list with gnarly units. Losing units is quite painful but the Homeric units are pretty hard to kill and bring some serious pain when they get to hit back. The centerpiece for the army used to be Achilles who is the nastiest motherfucker on the table in spite of the nerfing he has received; the focus today is on Hector, who's just as tough as Achilles but trades the raw assault power for some leadership tricks as well as the ability to link with damn near any unit in the army list (who forgot that Hector is one of if not the only thing in the Human Sphere that gets a plasma rifle?? Amazing). No longer officially supported, but supposedly the discontinued characters will be getting all new models sometime in the future.
- Operations Subsection of the SSS: Also known as "OSS" or "Vedic", these are the black ops units used to deal with hackers and rogue AIs. They have recently been deployed as a more traditional army to the planet Dawn (Ariadna) to root out the Combined Army there, despite protests and armed opposition from Ariadna. Unlike the Steel Phalanx, operatives from the OSS are more like your typical terminators, they are made to be exact, to be infallible, and to work undercover if needed. It is a very high tech force that leverages superior stats, gear and durability to win the day. Notably loses access to most of ALEPH's crazy named characters, relying on the strength of its generic dudes.
Aliens with an obsession for the number three, they have recently allied with humanity against the Combined Army. Can they be trusted? We know that they use advanced bio-tech, viral weapons, and other "alien" goodies. They rely on units deployed in teams of three, like the fireteams of the other faction's sectorials. These "triad teams" have no cap on the number of teams you can include in a single list, potentially getting you five total. Many of their units get symbiotic armor that protects AND enhances them. An extremely difficult army to list-build for, as most of their options can fireteam with most of their other options, it just has to be in groups of three. Can bring a ton of versatility to the table or have completely wasted points on making every team as "cool" as possible. Now holds the dubious honor of being the only main faction to be no longer officially supported (though see below for Spiral Corp, which is essentially 80% of the Tohaa list with mercenaries crammed in).
Also known as NA2, the catch all term for armies not associated with any of the main factions of the game. Generally these are mercenary companies and as such almost always have access to gobs of named characters and mercenary style units. They all function as sectorials, allowing fireteams as usual with the exception of Spiral Corp, which also has the Tohaa Triad Team rule.
- Druze Bayram Security: The most powerful subfaction of the incredibly powerful Submondo mafia, the Druze Society is notorious for their brutal methods and sheer amount of damage they cause to the Human Sphere's economy. Centered around the fantastic Druze Shock Teams and Brawlers supplemented by Haqq and PanO remotes, a couple of Haqq units, and a variety of named characters. Fairly mono-build due to their extremely limited options, pretty much any Druze list is going to focus on a fireteam of Druze with Brawlers (or the reverse) with a character or two.
- Japanese Secessionist Army: Generally referred to as the JSA. Fairly high tech and close quarters oriented to the point where they can break shooting stalemates by assaulting and relying on their better CC stats. Cheap access to Chain of Command means their lieutenants can be played extra aggressive. The tradeoff is that they aren't particularly strong at a distance and have only average specialists. But they have ninjas with stealth suits and monofilament katanas, power-armored samurais and the biker gangs from AKIRA so who cares?
- Ikari Company: The bad guys who only care about money. Honor? Nope. Standards? Nope. Pay them for their services and point them at who you want dead. Almost exactly the same army list as Druze Bayram, but adds JSA units and removes a few of the characters. WILL kick puppies for money.
- Starco. Free Company of the Star: The good guys. Mostly Corregidor Nomads (and Riot Grrls) combined with the regular merc fare, with a bunch of "good guy" special characters. Can build very powerful link teams usually centered around Emily Handelman, who singlehandedly gave StarCo a bad name as the munchkin sectorial from the moment of their release in N3.
- Spiral Corps: The secret society of the Tohaa bought a merc company in order to hide their actions, ostensibly working as Alien Hunters and hiring humans. Now that the main Tohaa forces are cut off, they're trying to take control of the Human Sphere (or at least guide it from the shadows... maybe? It's all very confusing). More of a side-shift for Tohaa instead of a focus or improvement. Whether losing some of the Tohaa options to gain access to a couple of the human merc options (most notably Brawlers) is worth it is up to you, but they generally play like Tohaa with some friends.
- Foreign Company: Combines PanO and Nomad units with some merc options. Centers around a few named characters all from the same team in lore. These characters all link with a different unit but they can all link with PanO Orcs, leading one to believe that this sectorial focuses on a character-driven Orc team.
- Dahshat Company: A mercenary company owned by an extremely powerful Silk magnate who is also a part of Submondo. Made up mostly of Haqqislam units with a smattering of Yu Jing (and of course mercenaries). Almost no wildcard options, making this list look a lot more like older editions in terms of fireteam composition and forcing you to choose your units carefully.
- White Company: Very new, their lore is still a mystery (to this editor at least). They combine Svarlarheima units with Yu Jing units for some reason and have a very small selection of mercenaries. Seems extremely redundant due to Svarlarheima existing.
If you've noticed a theme here, congratulations! You aren't the only one. The non-JSA and Spiral mercenary companies tend to be very limited in selection, reliant on characters, lore-light, and tend to field either very popular units from the armies they are composed of or very unpopular units from those armies. They also seem to be a lazy copy paste job of "pick one army and add some of their core units, pick another army and add some of their elite units, give them PanO/Haqq remotes, done". There have been accusations of Corvus Belli making the mercenaries simply to sell models, even as they discontinue main faction sectorials. Add to that the N3 debacle of StarCo being blatantly overpowered due to a model you can only get in a pack with four other models you can't field in any army, and you will find that there generally isn't a middle ground to mercenary opinions. People seem to either love them or hate them, with little in-between.
Ostensibly the governing body of the entire Human Sphere, the Organization of Twelve Planets keeps the peace and manages ALEPH. Born out of the ashes of the UN, O-12 fulfills much the same role, but with greater power to exercise its will. O-12 has finally decided the time has come to unleash its full military might and regain some form of control, both due to the Combined Army and the never ending squabbling between PanO and Yu Jing. While most view this as a good thing, some powers are concerned that O-12 may prove too harsh a judge, warranted or not. Notably, O-12's military volunteers put aside all previous affiliations to work with the twelve bureaus that encompass the organization.
On the tabletop, O-12 is a relatively fragile force that relies on hitting hard, good tech, and copious amounts of nonlethal options. They are masters of discovery, able to seriously hinder camo and holo users, and can field a large number of named characters and ALEPH units (notably Devas and Hector). They tend to have good close combat ability and generally specialize in closer ranged shooting. While they tend to lack deployment options outside of Foward Deployment, they have a number of ways to move up the board, such as Climbing-Plus.
- Starmada, Burea Aegis Naval Police Department: Exactly what it says on the tin, O-12's navy. A slightly cut down list that removes any kind of forward deploying options outside of Crushers (and a single combat jumping Knight of Santiago) in favor of giving O-12 fireteams. Despite this, their fireteam options are extremely limited. Play it if you want fireteams, but it doesn't bring much in the way of new options to the table.
The biggest difference between Infinity and certain other futuristic wargames can be boiled down to the outlook of the game's producers. Corvus Belli is refreshingly community focused, publishing its core rules online in the form of a wiki as well as an army builder that can be used for free on the web and as a downloadable app. Additionally, CB is very liberal with respects to forging relationships with third party suppliers for terrain and other items, though the advent of 3D printing might be a strain. They recently released a board game set in the same universe and it is surprisingly awesome, Aristeia. For good or ill, some of the Aristeia characters can be used in Infinity proper, though are only available in that game and its expansions.
Like most tabletop miniature games, Infinity is not "cheap," but it's cheaper than a lot of games because of its small scale. Some of the large snazzy models such as the Tactical Armored Gear (TAG), can get quite pricey $ wise (pushing $40-50), but TAGs are about 80 points each in a system where 300 points is a normal game. Each infantry model costs around $9-15, but some infantry models can be worth 40+ points depending on the model’s stats, weaponry and equipment. All factions and many sectorials have starter packs for ~$50 that have the models to play 150 point games (generally regarded as the smallest you can feasibly play but also perfect for beginners).
One big downside Infinity has is the game is dependent on proxies to build a large army. There are units that have been in the army builder for years and have never been released as a model, and even some flavors of existing models that have never seen the light of day - meaning that Nomad Hellcat Paramedic you have in your list is going to have to be a proxy. Tying into this are that the unit boxes the game has being rather terrible value depending on what you're looking for - a box may for example have a dude with a Combi Rifle, two special weapons, and a hacker version, when all you want is the guy with the Combi Rifle - and you have three of them in your list. There are entire units that need a box purchase because they've never been released as blisters at all (see the mini rant under Mercenaries). Another cost factor is the amount of terrain required to make the most of Infinity's high-verticality system. DIY terrain builders can get it done cheaper, but that requires another skill set and more time.
Corvus Belli has also recently started releasing more and more "special edition" sets. Limited sets to complete army boxes, more Dire Foes, Aristeia box sets that have Infinity units in them that you can only get in Aristeia... and more worryingly, the Kickstarter they ran for a board game, Infinity: Defiance. This added a mess of new characters to the core game that you can only get by backing (or buying, when available) Defiance. The problem is, some of these characters are resculpts, some are sculpts that already exist, and most are entirely unique, not to mention any Kickstarter exclusive models that may represent a character who you can field but have yet to get a general release. Time will tell if they eventually make proper blisters of these characters, but considering how many things they've been discontinuing lately, the future looks grim.
Infinity is a skirmish game about operators operating operationally, so each side consists of approximately 6-15 models. 150 and 200 points are standard for small games, 250 and 300 points are standard for... standard games, and 400 points is standard for large games. Battlefields are fairly terrain dense due to the Automatic Reaction Order rule. Since this is a sci-fi game, there are no unit coherency rules (radio is a marvelous invention) unless you are running a sectorial specific fireteam and even then, it is eight inches from the leader. Models can freely climb buildings (if there is a second/third floor), snipe out of windows, flank the opponent, etc. The game follows a fairly strict "if you can see me, I can see you" policy on LoS, but only within the model's vision cone, which is a hemisphere around the model's front for most models.
Models & Sculpts
The models in Infinity are top-notch sculpts, highly detailed and heavily stylized, however age is catching up on some of the older models - compare an Aridna Line Kazak to a USAR Grunt for example. Everything has a sleek "iPod future" feel to it, to the point that Infinity is often accused of being anime. Infantry is broken down into three classifications, light, medium, and heavy infantry. There are two other minor categories for infantry, Warband and Skirmisher, but Warbands are basically medium/heavy infantry that like melee combat and assault tactics while Skirmishers are various kinds of specialized light infantry scouts with some extra options (mines, hacking or sniping etc) or less commonly expensive stealth experts. Unlike the familiar 40K and PP miniatures, infantry are sleek and slender, and rarely extend far from the base's footprint, notably NOT using Heroic Scale (enlarged head, hands, and feet to give a sense of being bigger than a thing is).
There are really three main sticking points about Infinity that might throw new players, the first of which are actions. In most games, play is divided into phases where units do an action in each phase which are restricted depending on whose turn and what phase it is. This doesn't happen in Infinity - you instead have orders which most of your troopers generate and you can then distribute to whomever you want as the turn progresses. You spend an order to activate the chosen trooper and then can do either two short movement skills, one short movement skill and one short skill, or one entire order skill with them. So you can effectively activate one model 10 times in one turn and rampage around the entire table! Sounds completely broken, but it isn’t as bad as you think because for every action there is a reaction. Whenever an action is declared, any model within Line of Sight (LoS) of the activated model may declare a response to or against him. For example: if you activate a model with a “move/shoot” command, the instant your model peeks around the corner to draw LoS to my model, then I may declare an Automatic Reaction Order (ARO). ARO is a short order response to enemy model(s). If someone walks around the corner with guns blazing, are you going to stand there and watch? I wouldn’t either. So when an opposing model shows up, you may fire back, dodge their fire, go prone, etc. Rambo is good, but he may not be good enough to withstand 10 shots fired back from my ambushing squad's ARO action! There are more complex counters to this in order to get around line of fire and ARO, but that's the basic premise and one that makes prospective players think twice about their actions. See below for a more complex breakdown of the action/reaction system.
Second is the profusion of states, tokens and markers. From the most basic prone and unconscious to immobilized, sepsitorized, and unloaded, these states flavor a given game such that a basic plan is often insufficient. When your opponent can possess your TAGs, immobilize your heavy infantry, isolate your lieutenant or sepsitorize your Rambo and use him against you, well, really drives home the emphasis on getting to understand how these things work and how they effect your guys. There are some models that can deploy in such a way as to misdirect you, either with holograms or by being concealed in Thermal-Optic Camouflage OR they can impersonate your own guys. What it all boils down to is ensuring that your guys can spot these things, which often requires a WIP roll before you can do anything.
To that end, the final point revolves around specialists: Infinity is, first and foremost, a game about objectives. Most of the time this means having one of your guys run up and grab some documents or a McGuffin or to kill or render unconscious a particular model or sabotage some terrain piece. This requires some careful consideration on your part! It isn't enough to have killed the most guys (although that helps) because if your opponent has accomplished their objective and you haven't - they still win! In order to achieve any victory in this game, you will need to construct lists and plans for them that can achieve an objective or prevent your opponent from achieving theirs - and then have a backup plan for that! Remember, kill points are only for tiebreakers!
The standard stats for Infinity are:
- Movement Value (MOV): Used for moving. Always given in two numbers separated by a dash (i.e. 4-4). This is the number of inches you can move for your first move action and your second, respectively. Average is about 4-4 for humans, 6-2 or 6-4 for robots and TAGs, and 8-2 or 8-4 for motorcycles.
- Close Combat (CC): Used for making close combat attacks. This number is often much higher than ballistic skill due to how close combat works in Infinity. Average is mid to high teens.
- Ballistic Skill (BS): Used for shooting. Average is about 12 to 12.5
- Physique (PH): A combination of how much melee damage you deal (modified by weapon), how well you dodge, and a catch-all stat for some skill use like regeneration, combat jump, and the like. Average is about 11 to 13. Notably, TAGs tend to have high PH but special rules that count it as lower for things like dodge.
- Willpower (WIP): Used for morale checks, activating an objective, engineering, and doctoring. Average is about 12.5 to 13.
- Armor (ARM): Reduces the amount of damage you take. Average varies by unit type but tends to fall into ranges. Light infantry tends to have 0 to 2, medium tends to have 2 to 3, and heavy tends to have 4 to 6. TAGs generally have 6+.
- Bio-Technological Shield (BTS): The same as armor but for use against hacking and any attacks that specify they hit BTS, such as viral weapons. Always comes in a multiple of 3 from 0 to 9.
- Wounds/Structure Points (W/STR): The amount of damage a unit can take before falling unconscious or being destroyed. Doctors and medikits heal wounds, engineers and gizmokits restore structure. Most infantry will have a single wound, though a lot of heavy infantry will have two. TAGs generally have three structure points.
- Silhouette (S): The amount of space your model takes up, regardless of pose. Extremely useful. Most infantry is S2 with some Heavy Infantry being S5 and most TAGs being S6 or 7. The other numbers are occupied by bikes, remotes, and other special cases.
- Availability (AVA): The specific number of that type of unit you can field in a single list. This is always worth checking when looking at sectorials compared to the vanilla faction, as this number usually changes.
- Support Weapons Cost (SWC): Listed with the unit's cost, this is an additional cost that you must pay for the profile you are choosing. Better/more unique options tend to have higher SWC. You get 1 SWC per 50 points of the game you are playing (so a 150 point game gives you 3 SWC while a 300 point game gives you 6).
- Cost (C): The profile's cost in points. See above for standard point levels.
When a unit activates, you are able to either give your model two “short” orders (either two short movement skills, or one short movement skill + one short skill) or one “entire” order. Short movement skills generally encompass standard movement and short skills can be things like “shoot, dodge, hack, etc”. Entire orders are actions like: suppression fire, cautious movement, speculative (indirect) fire, climb, jump, etc.
Rolling is divided into two categories, Normal and Face-to-Face. Normal rolls are simply rolling the d20 and trying to get your target number or less after modifiers. Note that hitting your modified target number is a critical hit and may have extra game effects! Face-to-Face rolls are rolls where you and your opponent are acting at the same time in opposition to each other. For example, if I attempt to shoot an opponent and his ARO is to shoot back we would have to do a Face-To-Face roll. In this case, we both roll as for a normal roll. However, every die that a player rolls that is within their target number range cancels all of their opponent's lower results. In other words, to win you need to hit your target range AND roll higher than your opponent.
Movement stat is broken down into two sets of numbers such as: 4-4, 4-2, 8-6, etc. First number means the distance in inches a model may move on its first move, and the second number is how far the model may move on its second “short” move. So a heavy infantry with a MOV stat of 4-2 is give an order of “move/move” may effectively move 4” then move again for another 2”, or “move/shoot” by moving 4” and firing their weapon at a target. Motorcycles are fast and can move 14” (8-6) a turn with a basic “move/move” order.
Shooting an enemy can either be a normal roll or a face-to-face roll, depending on if/how they react. Simply tally up your range and cover modifiers and attempt the rolls as described above. Note that for shooting, individual shots do cancel each other out. So even if you beat your opponent on one of your three dice, if they beat your other two dice, you only hit them once. Once hit, your opponent must make an ARM or BTS save. This save is a normal roll against your weapon's damage minus the target's armor or bts adding three to the roll if they are in cover. They pass if they roll OVER the modified damage. This is the only instance in the game where equal to or under is changed to a different system, remember! Finally, a hit opponent (regardless of whether they failed the save or not) has to take a Guts save, since getting shot is scary. This is a normal WIP roll. On a success, they stand firm. On a failure, they dive into cover or run away! You can always choose to fail a Guts roll (unless a special rule says otherwise).
Close combat is difficult to successfully perform in Infinity due to AROs and the general shootiness of most armies, however it can do a lot of damage in the right hands and is very high-risk, high-reward. Close Combat is performed exactly like a shooting attack, though uses its own skill modifiers, such as Martial Arts. You may notice that many dedicated close combat units have CC skills of over 20. What this means is that they will always hit and will crit on the difference between 20 and their CC if the sum of the difference and the die roll exceeds 20. Bear with me here, it is a bit confusing but an example should help. A unit with CC23 will always hit and will crit on 17 or higher, since 17 + 3 is 20, 18 + 3 is 21, etc. You always add this bonus, even if it wouldn't lead to a crit. For example, a CC23 unit who rolled a 5 for its attack would modify it up to an 8. This is where Face-to-Face rolls cancelling each other is very important, as even a low CC character can beat a high CC character if they manage to beat their modified roll. (Note that this phenomena can happen to any roll in which the target number exceeds 20, but most often occurs in close combat due to naturally high CC stats.)
Automatic Reaction Orders (AROs) The real bread and butter of Infinity that makes it truly unique. The ARO system allows you to declare certain skills in reaction to your opponent doing things on their turn. You can dodge their fire, shoot at them as they cross an alley, or any number of things! The structure of an order and ARO follows.
- Choose a model to act and expend an order.
- Declare the first short skill of the order or the entire order skill. If any form of movement is declared, move your model to its final location, showing your opponent the path it took to get there.
- Opponent must declare ARO with any model that can see your model at any point during the resolution of the previous skill. They may choose not to declare an ARO but any model who can declare an ARO and does not loses it for the remainder of the order.
- Declare second skill.
- Opponent declares any new AROs, such as if you move a model into the line of sight of a model who couldn't see it previously.
- Resolve all rolls simultaneously, making sure to do determine which are Normal and which are Face-to-Face. Note that since all rolls happen simultaneously, even a trooper killed in an opening salvo may have a chance to do something!
That is a slightly shortened version of the book's description, but should help you understand AROs!
- Infinity Tactics page. (Outdated)
- , The various partners for Infinity products such as terrain and bases.
- Infinity The Wiki, the official rules wiki and your Infinity Bible.
- Recon+, an unofficial rules supplement for 150 point games to smooth out potential balance problems with traditional ITS rules. Note that this was made for N3 and may require modification for N4.
- TACOS Mk ii, an unofficial set of round-by-round objectives for less-serious play. Note that this was made for N3 and may require modification for N4.