|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|
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.
"I keep warning you. Doors and corners, kid. That's where they get you."
- – Detective Joe Miller, The Expanse
A gritty, but ultimately optimistic, Sci-fi future. 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, suddenly 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. "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. Space-Sikhs and Crusader Knights
- Yu Jing, the Asian Power: Modernity, Control, & Tradition.
- Haqqislam, the New Islam: Wisdom & Bravery. And Muslamic Ray-Guns.
- Ariadna, the Lost Colony: Fucking Russians, Werewolves, the French, Drunk Scotsmen, and 'Murica!
- Nomads, the Nonconformists: Rebellion & Resourcefulness.
- The Combined Army, the Alien Threat: Power from Deep Space.
- Mercenaries: The Profession of War.
- ALEPH: An AI who watches over All.
- Tohaa, the Aliens: the ally that you cannot trust.
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.
- The Neo-Terran Capitaline Army: The uber-elite high-tech security forces of the capital city of the PanOceania nation. 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, ODD/TO Camo, heavy weapons, and MSV. It'll make your opponent cry. Tactics
- The 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. Looking better with the change to magister knights and Jean. As of N3, MO hasn't been as bad as it seemed on paper, the main surprise being that because they're all religious and have access to Impetuous or Frenzy etc, giving them extra orders provided said order is to move into CC and stab, which was the goal all along, they've done ok. Also Knight Linkteams, especially 3 Hospitallers, Joan 1.0 (The tanky version) and Hospitaller Father Officer Gabriel de Fersen, have proven to be a beast in terms of kill potential. Tactics
- The 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 including the yet to be released character TAG that functions like those Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell. Tactics - It's looking like they're taking a hit from the Combined Army during the 3rd offensive, and their models are going away for now. The faction will still be playable, Corvus Belli just can't support the SKUs for the time being.
- Varuna Immediate Reaction Division: PanO's water world, and the current new shiny of the faction. The biggest interest piece in this faction are the new Helots: local aliens that have been recruited to support the local militia. Yu Jing is supporting a Helot uprising and arming rebels (including the Libertos Helot available to everyone but PanO). Apparently have Squalo Duo teams, which is obscene. Tactics
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 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). Corvus Belli hasn't given us any indications on that front yet, but maybe some new fluff will be released alongside the Invincible Army sectorial.
- Japanese Sectorial Army (JSA): Pretty much a military division of Japanese Yu Jing citizens who are driven by the blatant stereotype of Japanese culture being obsessed with war and HONRAR. Very 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?
- Note: Since April 2018, the JSA is now a force separated from Yu Jing, with its own nation (Japan) after a six months "Uprising" and two years of advance on the fluff. Notable changes are the reduction in the amount of ninjas and oniwaban you can deploy at once, the bike character becomes Celty from Durarara!!!!, the "ashigaru" heavy infantry Haramaki becomes the Tanko, and the Rayden evolved to the Ryuken-9 (Batou & Kusanagi based) unit. Plus Musashi is now integrated and Saito is trusted enough to capture objectives. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Japanese_Sectorial_Army
- Imperial Service: Inquisitors, Police Special units with shady reputations at best, convict soldiers and Security Service Agents. Overall it plays similar to the Vanilla, tends to run lots of Hsien Lts for the added Heavy Weapons. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Imperial_Service
- Invincible Army: All Heavy Infantry fighting forces (with some limited Zhanshi support) showing the full might of Yu Jing's armored might. Includes a pseudo-HI drop troop (1 wound, NWI, shock-immune) with Explode L:X. Drop on top of misplaced light infantry, scatter them, then go to town with your spitfire or boarding shotgun. Includes Yan Huo duos, Shang Ji core teams, and other blunt tools.
HaqqislamSilk which allows for mind uploads/reincarnation, among other purposes. As such, they're financially secure and no one faction can really afford to take them out since they're officially neutral and sell the Silk to everyone who can buy. 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. They are also a shooty faction, but this is the norm rather than special.
- The Hassassin Bahram: Remember those Hassassins from the first Assassin's Creed? Them, but in SPACE! With genetically engineered supersoldiers backing them up, and shitty tribal guys. Very interesting force to play, one of the hardest sectorial lists for newcomers, capable of very nasty alpha-strikes but you can build them around a number of playstyles, they just excel at alpha-strike better than any other list at the moment.
- 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 & Counter Terrorism Services of the Haqqislam Nation. Very competitive and somewhat demanding, QK can run 2 Linked Fireteams instead of 1 like other factions as well as field tons of Hafzas who let the Haqq player run a shell-game with their Lts making the assassination option difficult to play against a QK player.
In terms of the actual game, they focus on being a pain in the ass to the opponent, with a good mix of TO, drones/mechs and elite medium infantry plus among the best supported 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 for their beloved Intruders. JCC does lack some of the higher technology and hacking prowess of the vanilla faction, with even their TAGs are relative lightweights. To round out their forces JCC does hire the mercenaries Valeria Gromoz (hacker), McMurrough (werewolf, see Caledonia), and Senor Massacre (totally not Deadpool).
- 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 as well as two excellent HI choices. If you want to field an army of mutants, gene-modded furfags, weird cultists and literal feminazis this is the sectorial for you.
- Tunguska Jurisdictional Command: 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. Their line infantry is BS12, WIP14, but doesn't have access to cheap missile launchers in the core link. They're brand new and have some weird combos and links (Securitate, Grenzers, Hollowmen, Kriza, and Interventators, and Zonds in overlapping configurations). Be prepared for something different with this list as people figure out how to play it. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Tunguska
Eventually, the planet was rediscovered first by PanO 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, so 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 the bits of the planet, which obviously pissed the Ariadne off (who had been abandoned and left to die by Earth, from their point of view); 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/Haqq managed to ram a bill through the O-12 (the "Organisation of 12 Planets", basically the Space UN) that established Ariadna's sovereignty over the whole planet and recognised them as an independent nation.
Needless to say, this didn't exactly sit well with the Ariadna who now have a major grudge against PanO/YJ (though fabulously rich from the sale of teseum to them), but are bros for life with the Nomads and Haqqislam.
Gameplay-wise, Ariadna has cheap light infantry, little access heavy infantry, elite dudes that are really cheap, though more fragile, by the standards of the other factions, a shitload of troops with Camouflage (but no TO), and Infiltration. They (with one exception) also 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 hiding to go back into camo.
- Merovingian Rapid Response Force: Pretty much the French colonists have tactical doctrine that enables police, military and paramilitary units to operate in an integrated fashion in the event of an emergency. Quite a mobile force, it doesn't run as much camo as normal but brings some good elite light infantry with the Loup Garou link team. One of the most competitive Sectorials at the moment as short of hacking and Smoke+MSV2 it can do everything, they even have access to mercenary hackers and TAGs.
- 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, Cameronians (Werewolves that only fight in their fuck huge angry form), Wulvers (children of normal humans and Cameronians--arguably the better of the two as they can play as melee or elite shock troopers), 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. Also home to the loathed 4X SASCRAP cheese, SAS elites that can just popup next to your opponent's units and kill anything that isn't a TAG, except times by 4. They can field the mercenary Tearlach McMurrough as in-faction when they want a Cameronian that can take down TAGs or Achilles.
- USAriadna Ranger Force (USARF): The US contingent of Ariadna, the USARF brings bikes, relatively 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 sectorials is almost entirely shock resistant. They even manage to bring a few troops with MSV 1 to deal with pesky camo markers. Not so much access to the truly horrific weapons of the Ariadna arsenal, they still have access to AP HMGs, Molotok's, and HRL to bring the pain. They can even bring a second fireteam. Playing them means playing a combination of USMC-esque assault gunnery, with sneaky-beaky infiltrating rangers slipping around and breaking necks in the opponents back lines. They offer Van Zant, a "He walks in from your table edge" infiltrator as their character-based source of pain, whos abilities, combined with the infiltrating 6th rangers, created a a move called the "Van Zant Tango". Additionally, they have Captain America in the form of the GenCon "The Unknown Ranger" model.
- Tartary Army Corps: Certainly the most Russian of the factions, way too much ambush camo and hard-ass light infantry than any of the other Ariadnans, and that's saying something!
Combined Armyancient 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, that AI found the solution, promptly concluded that its creators weren't fit to receive that knowledge, then ascended itself.
The creators then decided to built a new AI, but this time, make it think like them so that it would obligatorily give them the secret to ascending to a higher plane. Unfortunately, the fact that it thinks like them is exactly what prevents the second AI 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 quest 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, the AI 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 the 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; and the species that had absolutely nothing of worth to offer to the EI just had their solar systems deconstructed and turned into thinking matter to increase the EI's 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. Don't expect to field more than 10-12 models in your average 300 pt. game, but what they lack in numbers they make up in being very good. 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. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Morat_Aggression_Force
- Shasvastii Expeditionary Force: The Shasvastii are basically creepy lurkers with some stealth and trickery. Loses in straight up battles with the aggressive lists (Hassassins, MAF, JSA, Caledonians and Steel Phalanx) but if you play these guys in straight up battles, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. Also by taking this list you can build a whole list of the Seed Soldiers which is something that Corvus Belli wants to happen, in the same way movies studios keep trying to make Jayden Smith happen. They are a very difficult list to build and play, relying heavily on misdirection, camouflage and surprise attacks. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Shasvastii_Expeditionary_Force
- Onyx Contact Force: A peculiar sectorial to be sure, it incorporates a lot of stuff from the main list like Morats, Sygmaa and Shasvastii, but allows for awesome link teams with Umbra Legates and Samaritans supported by battledroids (Batroids) in various sizes and firepower levels. Great for fielding awesome little death squads with great guns, special ammo and an Umbra close-combat hammer. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Onyx_Contact_Force
AlephGhost in the Shell-inspired dudes who work for the Human Sphere's super-AI, which regulates the minute details of life in 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, and basically controls the Human Sphere - the only thing is that it operates under mandate of the O-12 and there are safety protocols in place to (supposedly) prevent it from doing anything except run things efficiently. To get around this, ALEPH has its own special force made up entirely of post-human field agents supported by the most advanced drones you can make with human technology.
- The Steel Phalanx: sometimes called the Assault SubSection or Homeridae, the great AI 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.
- OperationS: also known as OS, OSS or Vedic, these are the black ops counterpart that used to deal with hackers and rogue AIs but they have recently been deployed as a more traditional army to the planet Dawn 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. Losing units is still quite painful but even the line infantry is deadly and can pull some serious weight, while the camouflaged units in OSS are some of the best in the game. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Infinity/N3_Tactics/Operations_Subsection
Note: Since April 2018, three Mercenary companies (the first shown on December 2017) sit in the NA2 (Non-Aligned Armies) section with the JSA (aside from the "Include Mercenaries" option when making an army list): the Druze ("we are bad people, we can be worst"), the Ikari (dislike Yu Jing, hate Japan) and StarCo ("good guys"), all have access to the Brawlers as basic and common infantry. In the end, they are mixes of other factions: the Druze are Haqquislam (specifically, Qapu Khalqi with some extra units), the Ikari Company is JSA with some Imperial Service and Haqquislam units, and StarCo (Corregidor gets Bakunin's Riot Grrrls!!! and some Ariadnan irregular troops with some characters and Marvel's Moon Knight).
- Druze Byram Security: The military force of the biggest Mafia in the Human Sphere, and utterly brutal in their methods. Combines PanO and HaqqIslam units with the mercenary core.
- Ikari Company: Combines PanO and Japanese Secessionist units. They're the bad guys and only care about money. Honor? Nope. Standards? Nope. Pay them for their services and point them at who you want dead.
- Starco: The good guys. Mostly Nomads, with a bunch of special characters. The star (pun intended) of this force are the special heavy infantry links and Emily. Because someone with a high BS should get a link and be able to spec-fire both E/M and regular grenades into the mid-field. Obviously.
The following sectorials either have models that fit with them, are rumoured or about to be released or are still up in the air.
- Svalarheima: Scandinavians in space, mountain climbing abilities to be expected. Expect multispectral visors, linked Nisses or a linked team supporting the hardest TAG in the game - the Jotum. Likely will get released as part of a campaign pitting them against the Huang Di.
- Yu Jing
- Huang Di: the "White Banner," basically Tibetan guerrilla snipers and linkable Shaolin monks with power weapons. They are a constant pain in the side to Svalarheima as both have laid claims to the planet they both inhabit.
- Al-Medinat Caliphate Ramah Task Force: expect Khawarij to play a prominent role but the sectorial will also include the Haqq's only TAG, the Maghariba Guard.
- Gabqar Khanate: post-apocalyptic wasteland full of neo-Mongol bikers and Mad Max wannabes, may also feature a smattering of Kazak troops and assorted mercenaries.
- Black Hand: Nomad Spec-Ops and intelligence community, will probably be similar to the Onyx Contact Force for the Combined Army, taking units from other sectorials.
- Combined Army
- EI/Ur sectorial: doesn't even have a cool name yet, but will allegedly allow linkable teams with EI aspects. Status: up in the air.
- Trihedron: Rumored to be an NA2 faction. Maybe some group that's split off from the main faction? Or another special ops group trying to infiltrate the Human Sphere? More questions than answers at this point.
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.
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 (around $40), but TAGs are about 100 points each in a system where 300 points is a large 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 (a good amount for beginner's to learn the rules).
One big downside Infinity has is the game is dependent on proxies to build a large army. There are models 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. Another cost factor is the amount of terrain required to make the most of Infinity's high-verticality system. While a table can be populated relatively cheaply using papercraft, a table of commercially made MDF terrain can cost upwards of $150. DIY terrain builders can get it done cheaper, but that requires another skill set and more time.
Infinity is a skirmish game about operators operating operationally, so each side consists of approximately 6-15 models. 150 points is standard for small games, 200 and 300 points are standard for tournaments, 400 points for large games. Battlefields are fairly terrain dense (terrain should be no more than 10” apart across the entire (4x4 or 4x6) battlefield. Since this is a sci-fi game, there are no unit coherency rules (radio is a marvelous invention). 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 Aridana 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.
Units have their standard stats, such as movement (MOV), ballistic skill (BS), close combat (CC), wounds (W), armor (ARM), biotechnology shield (BTS) – aka armor against biological attacks, hacks, etc., will power (WIP), physique (PH) and they will be called upon to make tests throughout the game based on those stats.
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 to perform in a given turn to do usually a combination of two things per order (basically, one full order equals two short orders but requires you to spend an order to activate at least one short order). 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. However, 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.
Second is the profusion of states, tokens and markers. From the most basic prone and unconscious to burnt, 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, burn off your camo, 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!
When a unit activates, you are able to either give your model two “short” orders (either two short-move, or one short-move + one short-action) or one “long” order. Short-move actions are things like, move, climb, prone, etc., and short-actions can be things like “shoot, dodge, hack, etc”. Long orders are actions like: suppression fire, cautious movement, speculative (indirect) fire, etc.
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.
Head-to-head rolls are about the only new feature here. Roll D20, if your result is less than your BS including modifiers (range, cover, etc.), then you hit your target, and the target must make a save. If target’s D20 roll + ARM/BTS stat is greater than your weapon strength then the armor stopped/deflected the bullet. Although getting hit by bullet(s) will sometimes cause GUTS rolls, by which a soldier may grow skittish and seek the nearest full cover.
Most miniature games seem to have a heavy emphasis on close combat. Infinity is a game about SHOOTING predominately, with CC being treated as a high risk-high reward option. Close Combat stats are usually a lot higher than Ballistic Skill and close combat specialists often have them beyond 20 (in effect they auto-hit and have a higher chance to crit). What's more, in Close Combat various optical disruption modifiers are not applied. A cheap warband of CC specialists (eg. Corregidor Jaguars) is often a good way to kill a non-CC focused heavy unit, like a TAG. Some factions (mainly JSA, Caledonians and Steel Phalanx) have a heavy CC focus, although it is still mostly treated as a secondary option to just shooting.
Units typically have two point cost values on their profiles - first, a tried-and-true points cost for selecting units that's largely tied to the models equipment and abilities. Second, the support weapon cost (or SWC) is technically tied to equipment and abilities, but is more of a limiting factor for certain things like heavy weapons, TAGs etc. Basically, it takes a lot of resources to get something like this out in the field and this is another way of reflecting that while also ensuring that players don't lazily spam powerful items making broken, cheesy lists.