Being a “veteran” of a total of 5 Infinity battles at the time of this writing, I think I have a little bit of perspective to give on my impressions of the game and that will be my goal in this post. Please understand that some of this has to do with my impressions of the group that I’ve found as well as the game. Having only played 3 people for the totality of those 5 games, I won’t try to homogenize the entire Infinity community, but here goes;
I’m impressed with the format of the game. Being only 10-ish models doesn’t seem to limit the amount of fun had on the board. I’m used to playing a game with 20 – 70 models on one side of the table in a fairly grimdark setting and so I thought that Infinity would akin to a snack, by comparison. Leaving you hungry for something more substantial a bit later.
What I’ve found has been both surprising to me and refreshing. First, the cost of the figures is a bit lower than other, larger scale games. Single figures are about 50% less than larger game systems that I’ve played. There may be other game systems that have cheaper figures, but I haven’t regularly played those games. Because the cost is lower, the initial buy in is lower. And the cost from “starter box” to competitive army is very low. Also, to change the dynamic of your “army” (It’s a squad, let’s be honest), only takes one or two figures. By “competitive army”, I do mean tournament ready. I’ve never been all about the tournaments, as the vibe is usually he who plays the most popular deathstar list wins.
There are guys in my group who play multiple factions. One gentleman in particular, has played ALL of the current factions in the game. He owns all but one faction and has an amazing collection of very well painted figures. I am sure he didn’t buy all of those figures at once, but I think that example speaks to the affordability of the game.
But I digress somewhat, the game has an interesting dynamic. The line you hear when Infinity is described is, “It’s always your turn” and I suppose that it always is. When it’s your turn, it is your opponent’s reactive turn and vice versa. I’m sure you, if you’re familiar with games at all, know what a “turn” is. Your turn is when you get to do the things that you expect to do with your faction. Move, shoot, claim objectives, etc. What’s different is the Reactive Turn. In this turn, while your opponent is moving around, you can shoot and perform other abilities that are in a certain category as described by the rules. Most Automatic Reaction Orders, that I’ve seen so far, are shooting reactions. Example, a figure is moved across a corridor that one of your figures is “covering”, the covering model gets to roll one die to try to shoot the encroaching model, as a reaction to the movement. To me this is, at least, a very novel concept. At most, it’s a revolution that pits the old guard of “my turn then your turn” against something that you’re reasonably engaged in during the entire encounter. There’s no checking out and waiting in this game as you’re working with your opponent to ensure all moves and maneuvers are the way they were intended. (i.e. ensuring a model stays hidden, model remains in cover, etc).
In the short time I’ve played this game, I’ve observed that this is a very collaborative game, while still maintaining a great level of competition. Of any one faction to create a group of 10 models to use in a game, there are none that you absolutely have to take. As a result, every model has a use. There are no minimums to bring in a group, though there are maximums. Three people could be playing the same exact faction and have 3 completely different army lists. I am sure that it could, mathematically, be more than that but you get my point. Additionally, there are no invulnerable troops to x type of ammunition. The lowliest grunt with a really bad rifle has a chance to wound the largest model. Not a great chance, but a chance none-the-less.
I’m very interested to see where this game goes. The release of 3rd edition is just around the corner and the changes listed are going to be very cool from my, very new, perspective. The group I, and Woody, have found seem to be a good bunch of guys. This looks to be a fairly cool way to pass the time.