Infinity: Just Two Noobs Trying to Learn N3

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Or: “We make the mistakes so you don’t have to.” Jump on in here new Infinity players!

This series of articles will chronicle the experiences of John and I as we learn N3 pretty much from scratch. It assumes you know at least something about the game. It’s for other Noobs like us or maybe for experienced players to have a chuckle at. If you know nothing about the game a lot of this won’t make sense. Check out the rules for yourself here.

John and I played our first game of N3 this week with almost no experience with the game and no one around to teach us. John was quick to point out the foolishness of me trying to bring a 300 point list for our first game. The few V2 games I played back in 2013 were at 300, so I had built the army without thinking. Duh. I cut my PanO force in half and was left with three combi fusiliers, a Spitfire Father Knight and a Swiss Guard with an ML. John had a Maghariba Guard, and four rifle Ghulams.

PanO 150

That First Game

We’d both heard Infinity requires a lot of terrain, so we started shovelling it onto the board. It was a sad mix of LGS terrain: some fantasy cottages and mausoleums arranged alongside urban ruins so we could get enough. I put my “cheerleaders” completely behind the one small piece of cover I had. “If he kills them I’ll lose order tokens,” I thought to myself. My heavy hitters ended up in only partial cover. “I want them to get AROs.”

This proved to be a mistake. John managed to march his giant tag up the field in such a way that he kept the Swiss Guard out of sight even though he was still able to see the Father Knight, minimizing my AROs. I still managed to damage it once. Eventually it walked in sight of the Swiss Guard too, and a missile shot ARO dealt it another point. But John’s initial ARM rolls were bad, and once he’d shaken off the poor luck and found some cover his tag murdered my two best soldiers. Out of orders, it killed my fusiliers one at a time with AROs as they emerged from cover.

While that might make for an awful battle report, the experience was already getting us more familiar with the basics. And since we’d had a good time we decided to go for another game. I noticed my Swiss Guard had TO camoulflage. I’d completely neglected to use it the first game. After a few minutes spent trying to figure out how it worked John had another good idea: just swap him out for different models with easier rules. The Swiss Guard was replaced with a Multi Rifle Orc and a Neoterra Bolt.

PanO Orc Bolt

John and I agreed the table needed even more terrain, so the board got even thicker with it. Having learned a valuable lesson, none of my models were deployed out of complete cover.  But I still underestimated how fast that TAG was. By his second order, John was already drawing a bead to my Father Knight (yes he rolled first turn again). This time I tried Dodging as my ARO. The Father Knight dodged one shot, was hit by a second and watched the rest whiz past. Unfortunately I hadn’t properly read up on his kinematika ability and only moved him 2″ with the dodge. The extra inch would have gotten him safe. The second HMG burst finished him off and John spent his last two orders firing ineffectively at my Orc.

It was time for my army to activate and my Orc almost managed to finish off the TAG with his AP ammo before I ran out of orders. He died swiftly in John’s turn, and John decided to move up the rest of his army rather than hunt my cowering cheerleaders with his TAG. Clearly insulted, the first Fusilier I activated took out the TAG with a critical hit.

That was about the best I would do though. John’s decision to move his Ghulams up to cover fire lanes was a good one because it meant I couldn’t move anyone out of cover without them taking multiple ARO shots. I tried to maneuver a bit to do the same, and on his turn the tide almost turned when I managed to ARO one of his Ghulams with my Bolt. I was able to place the impact template from her Light Shotgun over a second Ghulam, but John defiantly rolled an 18 and 19 for his ARM rolls, and everything was downhill after that.

Lessons learned:

  • Use even more terrain. If you don’t have multiple decent hiding places at the start of the game you can get in big trouble.
  • We did shooting a bit wrong and weren’t cancelling hits during shooting Face to Face rolls, just assigning them in order highest to lowest.
  • We completely forgot about Guts Rolls. Probably other stuff too.
  • Knowing range bands is super important. All models have a sweet spot where their weapons work best. You need to work to make sure they’re in it. For example, in my first game I deployed my ML too close to really take advantage of the long range that makes it special.
  • Scenarios will probably be super important in the future since they will make sure no one plays too cowardly. It would have been easy for me to position my Fusiliers to try to make John come to me at the end of the second game. This could have led to both of us just refusing to move. Fortunately we’ve known each other too long to pull that kind of crap, but it’s theoretically a possibility.

The important thing is I think we both ended up with a good understanding of the basics and we’ll be in a good spot to learn more next week.

 

New Ghulam

Here’s John’s Take:

“I had played a couple of demo games at Texas Games Con a few years back and really enjoyed the quick pace and high level tactics the game seems to offer. (I haven’t personally played it at a high level yet.) It took us a little while to figure out how to set up the game and how we wanted to play this first game but the quick start guide is very helpful and gives you a simple version of the game to figure out the basics.I got lucky and won the Initiate roll, not knowing at first if my Maghariba Guard (Haquislam’s TAG) got cover or not I had deployed him fairly stupidly out in the open but since I was going first I was hoping that would not be a problem.  Not having played the game except for the few demos two years ago made me go for the whole let’s roll dice and try to kill things approach. I saw Ben had hidden two of his models in a building in front of me and decided I would start by trying the “super soldier” tactic and send my TAG forward and shoot, shoot, shoot. I got super luck and was able to kill both of his guys not even know what they were of if they were anything good. When Ben’s turn started and he marched out the troops from hiding and I picked them off one at a time I quickly realized I had pretty handily won this first exchange through pure luck.

This was a very quick game, but still showed us a ton of things we did wrong and right. We re-racked and went at it again. I was under the impression we had a ton of terrain on the field but realized just how wrong we were. Because the average trooper moves about 4” I would make sure you always have terrain with in 4” of each other or at least away to daisy chain it. I won the Initiative and chose to go first that seems to me at least without scenarios to be a very strong advantage. It allows me to spread out my troops and line them up for AROs. I actually from my vantage point didn’t even see Bens Father Knight but when I moved up he fired off an ARO shot after my second move of the order. My TAG proceeded to get mad and mow down his Father Knight quite skillfully. I still had some left over orders so tried to kill Ben’s Orc but the dice giveth and also taketh away so it was not to be.

During Bens turn I found out what Ap Ammo is and ouch. AP really diminishes the tags high armor value. I got lucky though and managed to roll extremely well on the ARM checks for most of the shots and was able to squeak by and survive with one STR left. Ben had hidden all of his grunts where I could not shoot them so I repositioned a few my Ghulams to get them in the fight as well.During Ben’s turn he got a crit potshot off on my TAG and bam down it went. The fighting got was very balanced at this point after losing my Tag but I felt like my Ghulams did a tad better. We started exchanging fire but because I could bring multiple troopers to bear it allowed me to dodge with the one being shot at and shoot back with the others, making it very tough for Ben to kill off my guys. When Ben busted out a surprise shot gun I thought I was in trouble but managed to shrug it off with some good rolls and pull out the win the second time as well. I enjoyed both games we played it was fun rolling the dice and how quick the game plays.”

Lessons Learned:

  • After our first game I realized how limiting it was not having terrain pieces with in about 4-5 Inches of other piece because it made it very difficult for your troopers to move and stay in cover.
  • We missed a lot of rules and kept them out to keep our first game simple. I am looking forward to adding doctors and engineers next so that way I can keep my tag alive longer.
  • I want to know what the scenarios are because Ben could have waited me out or I could have waited him out in either game and that would have made for a very negative play experience.
  • Mistakes were made but our made up version and the most vanilla run through of the game was still incredibly fun the Active and Inactive turns keeps you engage through the whole game so you’re not groaning waiting for your opponent to finish his turn so you can go.
  • I love seeing how much depth there is to the game although there seems to be almost way too many special rules I cannot wait to dig in and add some of the advanced game play like hacking and jamming.

~That’s it for now. If there are any infinity vets reading this do you have any advice? Does it look like there was anything else we did wrong?

  • MarcoT

    Next time use those new command tokens or whatever they’re called. I heard you can rob a first turn momentum a bit with it (-2 orders?), preventing the second player from starting his turn with half an army.

    And nice article!

  • disqus_eWfO0Gb0iB

    Yeah command tokens can really minimize first turn Rambo’s.

    Also, playing a TAG during your first games and at 150pts isn’t doing anyone any favors. They really skew the game and until you both are familiar with rules, rule types, and solid list construction I would leave them out. It’s the type of model that either wins big or loses big which isn’t very conducive to learning IMO.

    • JohnheV

      Yea we knew it would not be Ideal but that was really all I had. Our second go at this should be much more balanced.

  • Gavin Bateman

    Tags in low point games arent a good idea. And when learning you really should be playing missions not kill games. You will.see the value in other things when playing its or.some variant of it.

  • Gavin Bateman

    Also you should be aiming for at least 8 orders when learning. A ad troop.in your backfield would have ruined your day.

  • Gavin Bateman

    Start at 150 points. Play objectives (preferably ones that require specialists) dont take tags until you are solid.on the rules. Taking ultra tough units ( swiss guard mag guard ) have so man special rules that make them good playing with these at the start does neither player any favours… This game is verrry different to 40k. Also you need some open space or there is no point taking drop.troops. and yes if you have 2nd turn you can spend a command token to strip two.orders from first players first turn.

    • An_Enemy

      Corvus Belli doesn’t suggest playing objectives lower than 300 pts because you end up spending points on costly specialists unless you stack up with FO’s. Its also probably a good thing that people just learning the game don’t use command tokens. CB pretty much outlines their preferred method for learning the game in their rulebook.

      • Gavin Bateman

        Playing objectives prevents tag shock and taking.ultra powerful units in low points whilst a mag guard is good. If they played objectives theres no way it could do.enough to.win a game. Kill games are fine to learn rules yes… But couple Kill games with tags in small point games and people are not getting the point of the game. Provided they had fun good for them… But after learning to pkay the.mission and not worry about killing if its not necessary is a good.lesson to learn to enjoy the game. Some armies frankly dont kill.as well as.others, pano… Great shooters however in objectives this is mitigated by lousy wip.

        • Gavin Bateman

          Sorry for grammar, my phone is atrocious

        • An_Enemy

          I think its inadvisable for two players that don’t even fully grasp how something basic like how Face to Face rules work to jump right into advanced rules and scenarios. They shouldn’t have started with a TAG. That’s a pretty simple solution don’t you agree? A lot simpler than trying to adapt a scenario designed for 300 pts to 150 pts.

          • Gavin Bateman

            I agree that yes a tag is bad to start. I disagree that its.missions dont work at low point games.. After the first couple of games kill loses its appeal. At that point missions are where infinity shines. I have pkayed its tourbaments at 200 all the way to 400. And it works at 200 well. 150 possibly not, but even a capture quadrants is better at showing how infinity is good better than kill. You learn the value of area denial, fire lanes, fast troops, sneaky troops etc better in objectives than kill. Infinity is not designed to be a kill game. Sure you can do that but thats like using an expensive bottle of wine as cooming wine. First 3 games play kill, after that regardless of points do something else… Doesnt have to be ITS or YAMs but something which demonstrates brite force is not the only option.

          • An_Enemy

            I could see capture quadrants working sure. I was thinking more in regards to Armory etc etc where the Haq player would have to drop his TAG anyways just to fit specialists in his list.

            I went full ham personally. Started with Ariadna starter and pretty much went straight to 300 pts after playing about eight games and falling in love.

    • JohnheV

      Great advice I look forward to putting it to use in our next couple of games.

  • Aurion Shidhe

    And you don’t want to be facing TAGs unless you are using all of the rules (especially Hackers). Having your Hacker expel or overlord your opponent’s TAG makes for good times.

  • Vekhr

    Started Infinity with few friend week ago:)
    We played game and… made the same errors:) Seriously, its like I was reading report from our first game:D

    After this I read more rules, got more prepaired with weapons and units stats… Played game with Infinity Veteran:D Totaly new experiance:D
    This game is amazing. Lost interest in other games since I played Infinity tbh:D We found other people to start Infinity and our group is bigger with every day:)
    Fingers crossed for more ‘noob’ reports:D

  • Gavin Bateman

    The best thing to do is not worry about special rules and equipment when starting out and whenever you add anything new in read the rules for its abilities/equipment. Provided your opponent does the same and is.honest you can.pick up rules quickly and have.smooth games eg taking swiss guard? Read rules.for its abilities before using it.

  • Gavin Bateman

    Also an awesome tip to first players is to design your lists like the ones in ice storm. (Start with 3 line troops) add next a hi, then a cool ability (to ccamo, ad troop etc) then different weapons (sniper and combat shotgun etc to learn range band) sorry if Im going on too much. Enjoy the game how you like it just some opinions.

  • vonDietdrich

    “But John’s initial ARM rolls were bad, and once he’d shaken off the poor luck and found some cover”

    I don’t know if you mean that he was behind Total Cover with his TAG, but he can’t benefit from Partial Cover on a TAG (or any robot/remote).

    People take ‘cheerleaders’ way too literally. Cheap combi rifle infantry in cover are a great way to set up cross fires, since there’s not too much difference between a rifle and an HMG, especially on AROs. Advancing into four incoming ARO shots is much more intimidating than advancing into one or two.

    If your opponent wastes a few orders trying to kill a cheap infantryman instead of your lieutenant, it works in your favor.An infantryman in cover with an ARO isn’t a sure kill, even for heavy weapons.

    You want to adopt the mindset that losing models is inevitable: the trick is making your opponent spend orders to kill your cheap models instead of threatening your valuable ones. You actually want to keep your powerful models back during deployment and use them to target your opponent’s weak spots.

    It’s better to have multiple moderately expensive models (20-30 points) than one really expensive (50+) model when you’re playing small games. Nisses are one of my favorite PanO troops and they’re great in medium-sized games.

    I disagree that TAGs are a complete taboo. As long as you have some heads-up that you’re playing against a TAG, it’s relatively easy to build a list with AP ammo on two good shooters and have a fair chance of killing it. A good shooter with TO Camo, partial cover (so, -9 total to be shot without Multi Spectral Visor), and an AP ranged weapon (Swiss Guard) will wreck a TAG’s day, no problem.

    On that note, trading out a Swiss Guard for an Orc is brutal: Swiss Guard are about 30 points more expensive, and for good reason. A Swiss Guard with MULTI rifle is practically an infantry-sized TAG with TO Camo, and would be a much better counter to a TAG than an Orc.

    For illustration, a Swiss Guard in cover with MULTI rifle on active turn would be able to shoot a Maghariba at BS 18 within optimal range band, and the TAG would be shooting back at BS 8 with one shot on the ARO (assuming you’re in its line of fire). Two or three orders of hosing the TAG down should kill it even if the dice hate you. Since you can get Hidden Deployment with TO Camo, all you have to do is write down on a slip of paper where you’re deploying the Swiss Guard to during deployment and you don’t even have to put a camo marker on the table. This will hugely screw with your opponent’s head since Ramboing the TAG could mean running right into an Active Turn Swiss Guard that can turn it into swiss cheese.. and he can’t counter it, since the Swiss Guard is invisible (not even on the table) until you choose to activate him (preferably on your own turn).

    • Overall, good advice to new players, but I do want to point out that TAGs gain partial cover like everyone else (same with remotes). That’s why the official silhouette markers for S7-S8 (the ones that are only used by TAGs) even have a line on them designating how much must be concealed to grant cover. There is no wording in the book that indicates TAGs or Remotes can’t use cover.

      So barring Frenzied TAGs or Remotes they get the bonuses to cover. The only debate I’ve seen centers around the ARM10 TAGs possibly not getting the full +3 bonus from cover because of iffy wording surrounding the maximum bonus/penalty of 12.

  • It takes time to pick up the rules and play with confidence. The first few times my group played we missed Guts checks, allowed Shoot-Shoot orders and all sorts of stuff. Add rules as you are comfortable adding them otherwise everything becomes a jumbled mess and you can’t remember what rules you got right and what rules you played wrong (unless you played them really wrong)

    I always tell people coming from WM/40k to imagine a cityfight table and then double the density and add a bunch of smaller scatter terrain. There really shouldn’t be more than a single fire lane that crosses the board and many people play with no open fire lines from deployment zone to deployment zone.

    I second everyone’s call to use Objectives. Despite some comments they are balanced for small games unless you drop to the 100 point range. Plenty of specialists for 10-15 points and you’d really only need 3-4. ITS has structured tournament scenarios for as low as 200pts.

  • Gavin Bateman

    Also… Total reaction hmgs remotes.. Very good especially for.new.players

  • Camio

    All posts regarding Infinity are much appreciated, especially from the point of view of new players. Please keep ’em coming !

  • Martin Barrow

    I would suggest using the ITS missions to learn with, even at lower point levels, more as a learning thing. With Infinity its easy to lose track of your missions and start John Ramboing your way round the board. As aggressive and brutal as combat is the game requires subtle tactics and sometimes if you keep the mission in mind you can lose a load of models, but still have a crushing victory!

    Really focus on learning your own army skills with just the models you have. There is a lot to take in and by learning a few select skills your own force provides really helps you understand the game. You will get a few suprises from your opponents but every game you play you gain knowledge and become very confident quite quickly.

    I remember when our group started it took us tons of games to get smoke grenades right!

    IMO its the best Sci fi game on the market…