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The DiRT – The Philosophy of Infinity 3rd Edition

6 Minute Read
Aug 28 2014

At the heart of the changes made for Infinity 3rd edition, a philosophy that keeps players engaged in the game.

Before you dive too far into this article, I need to give a shout out to Allen (handle WildChevy).  He was one of the people who covered GenCon for Beasts of War.  A mixup on the Infinity Seminar and me losing my voice led to some issues with me arriving on time to film the Infinity Seminar.  Last year I had posted the seminar in its entirety.  Wanting to help keep that tradition alive, Allen offered to allow me to copy his footage for my YouTube channel.  I did not take him up on that offer, instead (for those of you who had missed the seminar and wanted to see the entire thing without interruption or cuts), I ask you to follow the link to the ENTIRE INFINTY GENCON 2014 SEMINAR.

Now, if you have either returned or never left, let me welcome you to the DiRT article #20.  In this article I’d like to talk about the philosophy of game design that permeates every piece of data that we’ve seen thus far for Infinity 3rd edition.  Without giving too much away at this point, I’ll say that the philosophy breaks down into 3 motifs – Keeping Fundamentals Intact, Charts, and Allow Every Model A Chance React To Threats.

The News – Keeping the Fundamentals Intact

The guys from Bell of Lost Souls stopped by the Infinity booth and filmed me giving a demo.  I’m hoping the audio and everything came out (the ambient noise on Saturday was daunting).  The first thing you’ll notice is just how awesome the board is that I’m demoing on.  When you’ve gotten past the ogling of the masterful terrain, you’ll notice that the video Covenant TCG took of me at GenCon 2013 is REALLY similar.  The changes between 2nd and 3rd edition, from a core rules perspective, are two things.

First, in a face to face roll crits cancel each other out, no matter what the target number of the critical success was.  If I needed and rolled a 19 and my opponent needed and rolled a 3, they cancel each other out.

A crit is a crit is a crit is a crit and they cancel each other out no matter what the target number is.

The second change was describing what happens in a loss of lieutenant situation.  Namely, that all models produce irregular orders and a lieutenant can be reassigned at the end of the turn.  And, that, is, it.

I would highly recommend that you take a look at the Bell of Lost Souls video (if they release it), because we talk about other 3rd edition items that are outside the core rules you have to learn.  And it should be entertaining!  But if we just focused on a core rule demo, the similarities would totally outweigh the differences.  And that’s a great thing. veteran players can continue to teach 2nd edition all the way until 3rd edition is available and players should have a feel for the game.

The Skinny – Charts

If 100 people, who had at least a passing knowledge about Infinity, were surveyed and asked what rule was easiest to follow in Infinity.  An overwhelming number of them would say, looking up weapon modifiers.  The chart layout, maintained collectively at the same point in each of the rule books was easy to find, easy to use, and easy to explain.  But what if every rule, at it’s essence, could be formatted in that concise table structure?  And by every rule, I mean, every skill, every piece of equipment, even how hacking works?

Well, that’s exactly what is coming for us in 3rd edition.  At GenCon, it was hinted at (and demonstrated from the aspect of martial arts levels in close combat).

I also have a little treat for everyone.  The weapons charts at GenCon had a type typo.  The ones listed in this article are what will be available in 3rd Edition rulebook.


The correction is with the missile launcher, who’s +3 range is between 32″ and 40″ (instead of the 24″ to 32″ range published at GenCon).

The Dirt – Allow Every Model To Defend itself

Bostria said that the goal was to make every action defensible.  So rules that exist in 2nd edition that introduce an out of order execution, like combat camouflage, will be removed.  For the Infinity uninitiated, combat camouflage would allow an undiscovered model to reveal itself in it’s active turn and shoot at an opposing model who just had to take it.  In 3rd edition, the undiscovered camouflage marker will have a +3 surprise modifier, but the model being shot at will have a chance to respond.  It may not mean that the defender will be able to shoot back if the penalties to hit are too extreme (might have to dodge), but it’s more opportunity than in 2nd edition where it had to wait to see if it survived before it could respond.  And with the crit changes (mentioned above), if a model can respond at all, it will always have a 5% chance of a critical success to pull it out of the worst situations.

I look at this slightly differently.  Because hidden under the notion of every model always having the chance to defend itself is the importance of a face to face roll.  Why do I explain it that way?  Because that’s what it boils down to.  Nothing in Infinity is as enjoyably nerve wracking as going head to head against your opponent.   By the way enjoyably nerve wracking is the best experience table top gaming has to offer…. so I’m using that phrase as a compliment.  It is the basis of the cinematic feel of the game.

In Infinity you’re not moving model 1 from point a to point b and firing from point b.  In Infinity, it translates to your miniature gunning down your opponent while you’re on the run from point a to b.  And instead of sitting there and taking it like a fool, your opponent is firing back or looking for cover.  The action on the table is in real time.  It feels like it’s part of a movie.  By simplifying the rules (because there will be fewer one off scenarios) and allowing a miniature to defend itself (under a mountain of negative modifiers) you are creating a game that will have even more opportunities to have unbelievably epic moments.

And when you boil it all down…. I want epic moments in my gaming life.

So that’s the news, the skinny, the DIRT on the philosophy for 3rd edition.  As always find me here, my YouTube Channel, or drop me a line or Infinity photos at my new email address [email protected] .


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