Ian from the Wargaming Trader here again. With three Infinity gaming books available it’s getting to the stage where new players need a guide on which book to buy for what reason…
So, the books.
2nd Edition Rulebook
Published in 2008, this contains the bulk of the game’s rules, lots of background and a large number of units.
The actual breakdown is around 120 pages of background including unit descriptions, around 55 pages of rules, skills and equipment and 38 pages of army lists and unit stats.
This is the first book that I would recommend a new player buy, it contains the bulk of the rules and all the most introductory background.
Human Sphere Expansion Book
The second publication for Infinity (published in 2009), this was an expansion book which added as many units to the game as were in the main rulebook. As an example, PanOceania went from 21 units and characters to 42! Some existing units also gained extra equipment loadout options, integrating some of the new skills and equipment introduced in the book.
In addition, HS introduced the ALEPH faction who had been mentioned in the background but hadn’t been a playable force before.
Thirdly, HS added Sectorials to the game. Sectorials are basically themed sub-factions who get more of their own toys in return for access to fewer different toys.
Sectorials also get access to Fireteams, which let multiple models of the same unit type work together as a cohesive unit rather than a set of independent individuals.
The breakdown is around 130 pages of background and unit descriptions, 25 of rules/skills/equipment and 37 of army lists and unit stats.
Campaign: Paradiso Campaign Book
As you might guess from the name, the third book (published in 2012) is primarily a campaign system and missions. Of the three books, it’s the least useful for a beginning player but the most useful for more advanced players…
The book starts with 10 pages of background and then goes into 50 pages of scenarios, but all of the scenarios have background descriptions as well – the campaign missions echo an in-universe campaign. This makes the CP book as background-rich as the previous two. Then there’s 90 pages of faction-specific background and unit descriptions, 13 pages of campaign system (both in general and Campaign: Paradiso-specific), 15 pages of new rules/equipment/skills and 27 of army lists and unit stats, although several pages of that is updated versions of unit availability for the Sectorial lists.
The amount of new units is drastically different from the previous books – the new Tohaa faction and expanded ALEPH faction get the vast bulk of the new units with the other human factions generally getting 3-4 additions instead of 20 or so. A good thing on the whole, as most of the factions were heading towards 50 different units which does not always make for a newbie-friendly system.
A discussion about the books isn’t complete without mentioning the Infinity wiki. Due to the way the Infinity system has grown across the three books, the wiki version of the rules is the only place where all the rules are collected together – and also includes all the FAQs. Although I have all the books (if just for all the lovely illustrations as well as the background), the wiki is where I look up rules.
The Future – Acheron Falls?
Secondhand rumour is that the next book will be a Human Sphere-style expansion book, possibly called Acheron Falls. Acheron is the codename for the main wormhole gate that the alien Combined Army use to access the human area of the galaxy, so rampant speculation would be that we will see a ramping up of the hostility level between humans and aliens.
So which book will you look at first?