One of the biggest stumbling blocks to learning Infinity is the sheer volume of units, equipment, special skills and their interactions. However the basic mechanics are pretty simple if you don’t get ambitious and try jumping in with ‘full’ 300 point lists…
Having run a whole bunch of intro and advanced intro games, here’s my suggested order to learn the rules. These are broken down into quite a few steps so more experienced players may want to combine some of them. For the sake of brevity, most of the rules descriptions are descriptions to give you a feel for the rule, rather than a full explanation.
Stage 1 – Basic Mechanics
Orders, AROs (Automatic Reaction Orders), Normal Rolls, FtF (Face to Face) Rolls, Movement, Cover.
Forces – four basic light infantry with an LT, or three light infantry and a heavy infantry.
The idea of the first game is to get the basic Order/ARO and Normal/FtF roll mechanics god and solid, plus modifiers. Even though you’re using very basic forces there will be a lot of tactical thinking going on. Corvus Belli have a bunch of basic mechanics videos up on their YouTube channel which help with this stage. I’m not going to go through all the basic mechanics here as I’m just going to assume you’ve already read Leviticas’ article already. 😉
Stage 2 – Intermediate Mechanics & Tactics
Coordinated Orders, Suppressive Fire, Cautious Move, Guts Rolls, Dodge in active & inactive turns.
Forces as above.
Once the basic structure of the rules is there, it’s time to start adding in some of the more advanced ‘common skills’ such as Suppressive Fire, Coordinated Orders and Cautious Move.
Some brief explanations:
Cautious Move lets your model make a shorter than normal move (just the first MOV value) but if they begin and end out of sight then enemy models don’t get to react to the movement. This is very handy for nipping across the ends of an alley etc. without getting shot to pieces. One of the counters to Cautious Move is…
Suppressive Fire lets you put down a suppression corridor that lasts through your opponent’s turn. Instead of getting the normal single reaction shot you’ll be getting the full burst of your weapon. Very handy for locking down choke points in the terrain! Cautious Move doesn’t help in this case because the suppressing model isn’t waiting to spot you, they’re just firing anyway.
Coordinated Orders let up to four models act in a coordinated way. They all have to perform the same actions, any attacks they make have to be at the same target and the burst values of their guns is halved (round up). The upside to burning an Order on each model and losing those shots is that only one reaction is generated – rather than each model walking round the corner and the target getting an ARO shot on each one, they all pile round at once and the target only gets to shoot one of them.
Guts Rolls happen whenever a model gets hit by gunfire and survives. To stay in position they have to make a successful Willpower roll or attempt to hide like a crybaby. or, depending on your viewpoint, a very sane person…
Dodge is one of the most misunderstood rules for new players, partly because it’s spread across several different sections of the rulebook. The most important thing to remember in your own turn is that Dodge is not a movement skill, so if you do a Move-Dodge you only get one lot of movement and it’s not possible to Shoot-Dodge. In the reactive turn, you need to make a successful Dodge roll (also beating any incoming fire) to be able to make any movement in reaction.
Stage 3 – Big Guns, Ammo & Heavy infantry
SWC (Support Weapon Cost) weaponry, Heavy Infantry, Impetuous & Irregular, Direct Template Weapons, special ammo types.
More varied forces, for instance two line infantry, a medium infantry and a heavy infantry with an HMG or similar in the force. An Impetuous or Irregular model in each force.
We’re not adding much in the way of new skills here, rather concentrating on equipment.
SWC (the big guns) is one of the limiting factors for your force, limiting the number of big guns etc. that you can include. Weapons like HMGs and Sniper Rifles have lots of advantages like high rate of fire or very long effective range bands.
Heavy Infantry will have more armour (which won’t help much) and, with the exception of Ariadnan forces, more than one wound (which does) – this makes them far more durable as a single reaction shot can’t take them down.
Impetuous models get an extra Order at the start of the turn but it involves charging towards the enemy, barely in control. You can cancel the Impetuous Order, but it’s going to cost you another Order to do so!
Irregular models are selfish and keep their own Order for themselves – although you can still use normal Orders on them as well. A force of Irregular models will be able to put a lot of models on the table due to their low cost, but will be hard to control as you won’t get much option about where you are spending Orders.
Direct Template Weapons like flamethrowers don’t roll to hit. This is horrifying, both for the firer and the person being fired at. The target automatically gets hit (unless they choose to Dodge with a negative modifier), but on the other hand if they shoot then their shot will be unopposed. Mutual Assured Destruction often results.
Special Ammo types add even more deadliness to the game, as if it needed it. To pick out a few:
EXP (Explosive) ammo, for example, forces the target to make three ARMour rolls instead of one, with each failure causing a wound – even TAGs (Infinity’s Dreadnought equivalents) can be one-shotted by EXP ammo.
Adhesive ammo is basically a big glob of superglue. Instead of making an ARMour roll, the target has to roll against their Physique, with a failure meaning that they are immobilised for the rest of the game, regardless of armour, wounds or special abilities…
Monofilament ammo in close combat weapon form is basically a lightsabre – it ignores armour, ignores cover and any failed ARMour roll results in immediate-death-do-not-pass-unconsciousness-just-die-outright. In mine form it’s even scarier as it leaves a cloud of monofilament wire hanging around.
Over and out,
Ian aka IJW aka The Wargaming Trader
So that’s my suggested steps 1-3, how many shortcuts will you try to take?