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January 29, 2013

Infinity - Weighing the Pros and Cons

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When deciding to play a new table top wargame, it's important to know the PROs and the CONs so that your gaming dollar can be well spent.

Welcome to....



You may have seen battle reports or articles talking about Infinity and wanted to take a look.  Or maybe you just saw this post on Bell of Lost Souls.  In either case, let me welcome you to Infinity and give you a quick list of pros and cons regarding the game.  Hopefully, this will help you decide on whether you should pick up Infinity.  We'll start with the pros first:

PROs:
"It's Always Your Turn".  A slogan for the game of Infinity, you're never left waiting around for your opponent to finish their turn.  During your non-active phase, you have Automatic Response Orders (AROs for short).  With an ARO, models respond in a natural way when being fired at, such as attempting to duck behind cover or fire back.  The action in each game of Infinity is incredibly cinematic.

"It's about the experience, not about the list".  While list generation can be a fun exercise, spending an inordinate amount of time trying to determine if your list is playable when you first start playing Infinity isn't.  By utilizing twenty sided dice, a critical hit system, and extremely balanced units (with regards to their point cost) stress is greatly reduced with list generation.  You do have the ability to create lists that can be new player friendly.  Given a little bit of experience, any list can be effective.  This allows you to focus on taking models that you think look cool instead of being forced to play with a particular model to be competitive.



"Online Support".  Corvus Belli hosts a great deal of online tools as well as the entire rule system for Infinity online, all for free.  Army list generator, yes that too.  Want to try a list builder not on the Infinity site?  The numbers of people playing Infinity has dramatically increased and new online tools are popping up so you can take full advantage of a smart phones or tablets.  And if you're not rocking that latest Android phone, download and print the PDF of your list or rules.  Reminder, this is all free.  Not to mention a growing number of YouTube channels hosting Infinity tutorials.

"Low Cost to dip your feet in".  We've already talked about how you can find all the rules and army builders for free, but you can also find templates and tokens for free as well (on the infinitythegame.com website under downloads).  Purchase a single starter box and a blister, and you're likely at or above 150 points which is a great point value to truly start enjoy Infinity.  Beyond money, you're also saving time.  With Infinity, you're not required to assemble hundreds of models.  An average game is likely to have 6 to 14 models per side.  Don't be bogged down with committing to a life sentence of assembling and painting before you can enjoy a game.

"Keeping the Hobbyist in Mind".  Just because you won't have to assemble a ton of models does not mean that the hobbyist happy won't be happy.  Take a look at the Infinity miniatures... the sculpts are simply amazing.



"It's extremely fun". Not much to add here.  At the time of this writing, I've demoed Infinity to well over 100 players and every player had fun.  We even witnessed an extremely high adoption rate of the game after our demos.  Which leads us to our next "PRO".

"You can find players".  Not sure where to look?  Check out the ever-growing community database of players on the infinitythegame.com's forum pages.  

As amazing as Infinity is, there are a few CONs.  

CONs:
"You'll need a lot of terrain".  This is true.  You'll use more terrain in Infinity than you will for most other wargames.  The good news is that there are vendors who are supporting Infinity specific terrain.  And if you feel like getting your hands dirty and have access to a mitre saw, I can show you how to build an entire 4x6 Infinity board of terrain for around $30.  And I'm not the only one working on low-cost and easy to assemble Infinity terrain boards.  Take a quick peek over at infinitythegame.com's forums and you'll find other players who have put together terrain for their boards for even less.


"Models do not come with instructions on how to assemble".  This is primarily a concern for those brand new to the wargaming hobby.  This is not an issue for the human-sized models.  It's only some of the more advanced larger "TAG" models that may be a bit tricky for people new to the hobby.  Can't figure out how to put it together?  The list of videos on YouTube and around the net are growing to provide detailed instructions on how to assemble the larger models.

"The rules seem difficult".  The important word is "seem".  In demos, my group has seen that most people can pick up 85% of the rules in about 20 minutes.  Can't find someone to demo the game to you, you're still in luck.  Infinity Tutorials and battle reports on YouTube can be a good first look at the game.  And beyond that, there is a more streamlined "Quick Start" Rulebook as well.  And yes, the "Quick Start" rules are free too.

And honestly, that's about it for the CONs.  The game is highly accessible and has a very friendly community waiting to jump in and help new players take the plunge into the Human-Sphere of Infinity.

If you've played Infinity before, add to this article with your experience.  If you're a new player, feel free to leave a comment or question below, I will be sure to respond.  

You can also find me on my YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/doremicom

Happy Gaming,

Brian "doremicom"
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