Last weekend we ran our monthly casual day for Infinity. We only played one game, but we took our time with it; Steve and I were both playing some unfamiliar stuff so there were a lot of things to look up. Steve was running Varuna; for me, it was Ikari Company. We fielded 150pts each against Aaron’s 300pt Nomad crew.
When the Non-Aligned armies came out, I was excited by a couple of them. Both StarCo and Ikari included some models I already owned, and when I managed to get some old Wu Ming and a Yojimbo for cheap, my decision was made (while I was certainly interested in many of the Nomad models in StarCo, the idea of Yojimbo leading a pair of Desperadoes was too good to ignore). Casual day is the perfect opportunity to try something new, especially because I have a pretty bad track record with bikes in this game (they show up, they blow up). I brought:
Keisotsu x2 (1 paramedic)
Al Fasid (HMG)
Bounty Hunter (Spitfire)
No lieutenant for me, as my crew were paired with Varuna, and Steve had the better lieutenant.
The Keisotsus performed admirably. They missed a lot of shots but managed not to get killed themselves. The paramedic attempted to save some folks but without success; all of his patients failed their PH rolls and died. The Brawler accomplished very little beyond taking a bullet that might have killed somebody else, the very first shot to hit him was the DA round that killed him. I definitely underused the Al Fasid. He made some good advances and claimed a Quadrant in the final turn, but the first two turns I barely touched him. He was a little too buried in cover to be especially useful in AROs, and those pesky Nomads kept landing repeaters next to him, which had me playing a little more hesitantly than was probably really necessary.
The bikes, though! This was quite possibly my first game in which I had bikes last beyond the first turn. Both were killed, but they both went down in admirably violent outbursts, which my friend Peter (who fields many a Haqq bike) assures me is what bikes are for. Yojimbo took out a couple of threats with his CrazyKoalas. I was a little surprised to see he had no rifle/long gun (since there is clearly one strapped to his bike) but he still took out a pair of serious threats; next time maybe I can get him into close combat…
With the way cleared, my Desperado sped up the left side of the board unopposed and took used his shotgun to do a bit of damage.
Kablam. He managed to take out a trio, and it would have been 4 had the last fellow not had No Wound Incapacitation. This was probably the crux of the game; it left Aaron with neither the points nor the orders to claim sufficient quadrants in the third turn (we were tied after the first two, 2-2), and I still had the Al Fasid to advance into his quadrant to claim a couple points for our coalition.
Final Score: 4-2 for Varuna and Ikari Company.
Before I get started here, I would probably mention that the meta I play in is relatively casual. We’re competitive, we play to win, but the vast majority of us would rather lose an interesting game than win a boring one. With that in mind, the following thoughts and opinions might get more or less mileage based on your own community, but I think the core sentiments stand.
One of my favourite things about Infinity is that it’s not a list-building exercise. What you bring will totally impact your game, and your ability to react to situations or complete specific objectives, but the miniatures you put on the table are far less important than what you do with them. There are totally benefits to preparing ahead of time, but that isn’t enough on its own. [Aside: the primary reason I could never really get into Warmachine/Hordes is that it always felt like the opposite; the outcome seemed determined before the game even began, because no amount of skill seemed able to overcome a ‘weak’ list.] I feel like one of Infinity’s strongest selling points is the necessity of *playing* well. In a straightforward Annihilation scenario, a really skilled Infinity player could do decently with a list provided by their opponent.
That said, in ITS and other scenario based formats, a well planned list can still be a huge benefit. This is usually my weakness. Life makes a lot of demands, and I don’t always make time to sit down and prepare lists. I often set up the tournament and then just select a couple of appropriate lists from among my past creations. This generally serves me fairly well. I play vanilla, and tend to like well rounded ‘toolbox’ lists that provide me with an appropriate response (albeit a limited one) to just about every game-based situation that’s likely to come up. I’m usually short on specialists, so I have to both play well, to make up for those shortcomings, and really pick my early targets carefully (I often lean towards trying to get second deployment in these cases, since my ability to respond effectively in the early game becomes particularly important to me). In Direct Action tournaments I generally do really well; Operations tournaments are harder but I can usually eke out enough minor victories to place in the top half (we’re a pretty small community, so that still usually means I’ve placed). It’s a bit of a slog, though, and I sometimes feel like I play too slowly when I have to lean so heavily on tactics. I can speed myself up by using Limited Insertion, but I’ve had mixed results with that so far. It definitely keeps me fast, but I wind up really feeling the paucity of orders.
The last couple of tournaments I’ve tried to prepare my lists around the declared scenarios. The first time was a very small tourney where I had a pretty rough day with the dice, so it was hard to tell whether the lists were working or not. A couple weeks ago was the second time. 3 rounds: Nomads (can’t remember if it was vanilla?), Qapu Khalki, and Military Orders.
Round 1 (Acquisition) – Nomads
This was the scenario I didn’t plan for, and was my best game. Controlled everything, and even got the Classified objective (I *never* get my Classified objective), so it couldn’t have gone much better. I played a strong tactical game. I had to, since my list didn’t provide any really advantage.
Round 2 (The Grid) – Qapu Khalki
I lost this one, and I shouldn’t have. I brought a list that should have crushed it, and then focused on all the wrong stuff. Tactically, this one was a tire fire. I brought a Limited Insertion list with 7 specialists (I think 5 were Forward Observers). Peter’s QK went first; he had no useful specialists for this one, so his only hope was to kill the Designated Target, and to kill me before I could tag some Antennas. He did indeed manage to take out the target with his Datatracker for 4 points, then got into playing some long range tag with me. We were pretty even, dice-wise, and both lost a couple units. On my turn, I neglected to respond to the situation. My initial plan when designing the list was that I’d wait for the second turn to start attempting to designate antennas; this would avoid wasting orders on antennas that my opponent would just flip back anyway. You see what happened there? I let my preparation trump my tactics. Peter *couldn’t* flip antennas. Designating even one would have netted me a guaranteed 3pts. Half my list or more had Anti Materiel weaponry, so another 3pts would very likely have followed in my second turn. Instead, I focused entirely on trying to remove some of his units, thus giving him 2 full turns to reduce my numbers before I even attempted to *fulfil the scenario objectives*. He eliminated most of my specialists during his second turn, and took out the last one with an ARO during mine. I managed to kill the Designated Target, but not with my Datatracker. I lost, 2-4. Peter approached the scenario with a nearly useless list, but played with his weaknesses in mind and prioritized eliminating my strengths before I could put them to use. I failed to respond to the situation at all, and let my preparedness be a hindrance. Well played, sir.
Round 3 (Rescue) – Military Orders
80% of this list had terrain rules, and I selected one of the other 20% as my Datatracker out of habit (I often use the Unknown Ranger because I find he survives very well). That’s about how this round went. I spent about half the game’s orders dealing with 2 *very* hard to kill units (ignoring them as much as possible would have been a much better plan), and then made a bad call in my last couple orders of the game. I used an order or two to try and clear a path when I should have just triggered AROs instead. The orders used up trying to remove threats meant that my Datatracker couldn’t get his civilian to my DZ (to add insult to injury, I also failed to remove the threats). The extra order worth of movement would have gotten him there, which would have resulted in a major victory instead of a minor one, and that would have won me the tournament. Our first kit ever, and I was so close… but so far. I put too much faith in my lists, and let my preparation get in the way of my tactics.
It was an eye opening experience. I still came in second, and I had a blast, but it hurt to be able to look at the games and see so easily what I’d done wrong. If only I’d opened my eyes earlier, while playing. Hahahasigh.
I must really like Infinity, because I don’t usually buy into multiple factions for the games I play, but here I am.
The arrival of Uprising brought a variety of new factions/sectorials, and since they include a mix of regular units and mercenaries, I already had a bunch of appropriate miniatures. My old Yu Jing demo list has been given a new purpose, as the Keisotsus, the Wu Ming, and the Ninja all have homes in the new Ikari Company, along with my Desperadoes and a few others. I probably had more models for StarCo, but the pull of Ikari was strong, especially because it gave me an excuse to track down Yojimbo.
No shortage of finicky bits on this thing. The baggage is suspended off the back of the seat, which is in turn pretty much suspended in midair. It looks cool as it comes together, but at first glance, the parts don’t even clearly indicate which end will be the front, haha. He also came with a pair of CrazyKoalas, which are significantly less finicky. Just a head to glue onto a body, and I feel like even that was probably not especially necessary. These guys probably could have been one-piece minis.
The most brutal bit of multi-part cruelty is the right handlebar, which is this super tiny piece that you’re supposed to glue on and then (I guess) hope never brushes against anything? Can you say Further Adventures in Pinning? For this little project, I broke out the 0.6mm bit and a staple.
The fact that I used a staple should give you some sense of scale where these pictures are concerned. The left handlebar is actually a part of the torso, and is molded into Yojimbo’s hand, but of course the right had to stand alone.
It has to stand alone because it needs to hold an insanely long sword, which I fully expect to cause problems forever. I’m tempted to leave the blade unpainted so that there’s no paint to chip when the blade inevitably bends.
But dang, it’s pretty.
So. Unlike the Maverick from the USARF box set, the pair of Mavericks come with little cargo containers that hang off the rear of the bikes. While they’re actually designed to have a fair amount/variety of surface contacts, they still struck me as pretty doomed without a bit of help, so I broke out the pinning gear again.
Look at these monsters…
The 3-surface bond actually made pinning a little trickier because it meant each surface was a little smaller, but left me feeling really good about how solid the joins are now that they’re done.
And who am I kidding? I was always going to be pinning this miniature…
I cannot picture these exhausts staying attached otherwise.
With all the finicky stuff out of the way, they do of course shape up into great looking units.
Personally, I particularly like this one, the fellow reaching for his sidearm. It’s such a dynamic pose that I was actually surprised not to find a heavy pistol in the profile.
The resin bases are from Antenocitis Workshop, purchased through Warsenal a while back. I went to look into getting some more (the USARF box set means I have 5 bikes, and I only have the 4 forest bases), and I guess Warsenal has been clearing out the AW stuff; the 55mm bases were extra cheap so I snapped up another forest set and a badlands set. While I was at it I grabbed a set of 6 ‘Access Terminals’ that I’ve been eyeing for years. Definitely happy with those.
Simple but effective, and they seem a lot sturdier than the fancier stuff we’d grabbed in the past.
Back to the forest bases. They look great, but the level of detail makes them pretty brutal to get paint coverage onto them. Lots of hard to reach nooks and crannies, but they pick up drybrushing like nobody’s business.
(That’s a Desperado and the USARF Maverick, I haven’t washed/primed the bases for the new ones yet, since I was waiting on that order to come in before I could base both of the ones from the boxed pair).
I’ve been avoiding my Blackjack because I haven’t wanted to deal with the extra packs, plating, and fiddly foot bits, but I finally bit the bullet and started dealing with it. Paint-wise so far, I mostly used Vallejo Olive Grey for the major stuff and Citadel Warplock Bronze for the machine parts. Did some cleaning, fighting, and gluing as well, and got all those extra parts on now.
I’ve been purely focused on the areas involving the extra parts, so the arms got no paint this time. Finished or not, I gotta get this fellow on the table soon. I haven’t even tried him yet and I’ve got his HMG buddy on his way.
But the big news?
I finally got one. This particular Limited model drives me a bit nuts. Not because it’s desirable (which it is, it looks amazing), but because the regular version when it was announced was awful. I’m sure not everybody would agree on this, but I had zero interest in the non-limited Unknown Ranger. Heck, let’s do a quick recap for the folks that don’t know what I’m talking about.
Corvus Belli do lots of limited edition miniatures. Most of them are alternate versions of existing models, and since those look great too it’s really just an opportunity to change things up a little.
Gencon Limited Editions on the left:
Maybe I’m unreasonably thrown by it, but I have yet to meet anybody that prefers the regular one.
Anyway, I finally tracked down an LE Ranger for less than a bajillion dollars and snapped it up. Haven’t really started painting him yet, but he’s built and ready to field.
This guy consists of some *very* big chunks of metal. There is definitely some pinning involved in this, and i’m leaving some parts off for now.There are front and back armour ‘plates’ that will get added later but i’m holding off as there are some large paintable details on the back side of those. I’m sure this thing will be awkward enough to paint as it is. That right arm with the guns is big enough that I can barely place that back armour plate as it is.
The pieces for this desperado were trimmed and cleaned up about the same time as the other one; he’s just been sitting in a box waiting for me to be in the mood. That finally happened the last week. A while back, my youngest son found his way into my workspace, and managed to knock a whole bunch of prepped and cleaned – but unassembled – infinity miniatures onto the floor. 2 grunts, this desperado, the dismounted maverick, and a couple others. Between one of those mottled rugs that hide everything you spill on them, loose hardwood flooring with very wide cracks, and the space just generally being overpacked with random hobby stuff, it took me a long while to find everything… almost everything. One Grunt arm stayed missing. This was probably a year or more ago now.
Recently I was tidying up some of the random pile of hobby junk, and decided to really search every square inch of the space in the hopes of turning up that arm. At one point I reached into a bag of Atari cartridges and similar stuff and pulled out a plastic bag full of 72-pin connectors and other loose NES parts. I emptied the bag, but didn’t see anything. This is the part where my desperation really began to show; I reached in and pushed out the corners of the bag, and broke out my flashlight… and there it was! The missing arm!
The downside of this discovery is that I promptly abandoned by cleaning efforts, but I was also overcome with the desire to build infinity models so I’m calling it an overall win (and thus began sudden burst of assembling unbuilt models).
There’s a fair but of pinning in this one, although less than my previous Desperado (I’m giving the gorilla glue a little more credit these days, now that I’ve got more use under my belt). The big example is the exhaust. I have no idea how anybody thinks that thing will stay on without some serious help, so it’s pinned at the tire edge. Pretty sure I also pinned that little crosspiece that runs through the bottom of the bike (little footpedal things? I’m obviously a real bike expert…); it seems like something that shouldn’t need pinning, but it’s just a little too loose in that hole and doesn’t want to stay where it belongs. I had the same experience with the first one, months ago.
There’s also a pin in his butt, that’s not currently glued into the seat, so that I can more easily paint him separately and attach him later.
Some of these are less in focus than others, but there you have it. My first Infinity building blast in a while, including my Outrage sniper whose name starts with a K. Can I just say I really enjoy how Infinity miniature generally piece together really well? I think I take it for granted sometimes, but the whole process just goes so much smoother than with some other stuff. More on that when I eventually get around to telling you about my recent Freebooter pickups.
We’re running a miniature league right now. Basically, each session is a single ITS mission, we escalate the points a little each time, and at the end of the sessions we score it like a tournament. It just takes us three months is all, grin. So far it seems like a good option for us, providing the time to get in proper matches while fitting into our Sunday evening availability.
Our most recent Infinity night saw us playing out session 2 of 3, and the ITS scenario assigned to the evening was Rescue. Group consensus? Once was plenty, let’s never play Rescue again.
Rescue felt like one of those overly complicated ITS scenarios where you keep losing track of what you’re supposed to do. Not as fiddly ss some, but still a lot of extra stuff to keep track of. We had two games running (only 4 of us that night), and we finished with scores of 0-0 and 6-0. Almost nobody was able to get effectively through the massive difficult-terrain exclusion zone.
I had the 6pts, and even that pretty much hinged on the fact that I brought Uxia with me and managed to drop her into Pan-O’s dead zone, halving the distance she’d need to travel. If she’d failed her deployment, I’d have done significantly worse.