Hey Everyone, Rocketyeti here with some Infinity love! Check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
I’d like to start my first post here by telling you why I’ll be playing Infinity at LVO 2016 and passing on the record breaking ITC 40K tournament. I love 40k and consider it my main game. However, after playing both Infinity and 40k in competitive tournaments I’ve come to notice a few differences. Obviously Infinity is a skirmish game, where players use orders to activate models; players have active and reactive turn phases where they act offensively and defensively. The models are sexy, the terrain requirements are heavy, and it uses the mysterious yet exotically alluring D20. But what may be less obvious are the differences in preparation, transportation, mental exhaustion, and the social interaction between this and my main game in a tournament setting.
Let me explain…
There is a saying amongst Infinity players to those who transfer over from other systems, “It’s not your list- it’s you.” While slightly passive aggressive it is none the less true. In Infinity there is no “Top Army” or “Tier 1” or game breaking lists. It’s true, if you don’t understand how to build a balanced list you will have a tougher time, but even the humblest units have their place, and most list deficiencies can be overcome by a good player.
This means that I don’t need to go scrambling for the latest releases and fretting about last minute additions to the game which render my army toothless. This also frees me up to look at the units I really want to play and paint, not the ones I feel I have to bring in order to be competitive. If I’m going to spend my hobby time it ought to be on what I’m really excited about. This doesn’t mean I won’t build and paint a few new minis – after all tournament prep is probably the best motivation there is to get stuff finished and up to snuff, right?
Get to Ze Choppa!
Infinity does have the requisite templates, dice, and tokens but on the whole packs up into a very small footprint. In fact, my Infinity army is smaller than a single Ork Boyz squad! Instead of a huge plastic crate that I have to make room for in a car, I have a small box that fits inside a little backpack. Oh you have plenty of room to haul stuff to Vegas? Don’t forget you still have to lug those models from your room to the gaming floor, from table, to table, to table – setting stuff up and re packing it every time in between.
Now imagine taking just 10-15 models and throwing them in a small foam-lined bag, or small box with a magnetized bottom. That container fits inside a backpack that also holds all your dice, templates and book. Now I’m not talking about those massive backpacks that look like they have a shipping container barely contained inside their tactical grade fabric – I’m thinking about a small day pack that I can fit under an airplane seat or wear comfortably all day long.
You see that? That’s not my list, that’s my whole army!
The Undead Heads
Speaking of all day long… ITC rounds at LVO last 165 minutes, or 2 hours and 45 minutes, that’s over 16 hours of dice rolling in two days! That’s great from a standpoint that it gives you plenty of time to play a game to completion, and gives you more play time for your money- But it also kills your brain. We have all seen or been that person who has dragged their army to the elevator with a glassy eyed stare muttering how they are never going to play this game again. Win or lose, 8+ hours of gaming a day wears you out!
Infinity conversely, last 60 to 120 minutes a round, depending on the event you are playing in. Over the course of six rounds this equates to 9 hours. Not only is this much less draining on your brain (well my brain at least) but it also frees you up to walk around, meet vendors, try game demos, attend some hobby classes, take in the atmosphere, and enjoy the city a little better in the evening. (Pub crawl-woot!)
The Social Contract
I’m a big believer of the idea that a social contract exists between two players. Both have the obligation to the other person to play fairly, politely, and try to make the game enjoyable for both. Win or lose we are playing a game and a game should be FUN. If we the player make it unenjoyable for the other person, then what is the point of playing? More than that, we are traveling a good distance, paying good money, to play a game with strangers. I want to meet the person I’m going to spend several hours with and get to know them. We may not become BFF’s, but I want to come back knowing that I’ve expanded my gaming circle just a little bit.
Some games make this harder than others with the style of “you go, I go” where players take turns trying to smash the other person as hard as possible while the other sits and watches. This means that out of those 16 hours we mentioned above, 8 of them are spent watching the other person try to destroy your carefully crafted army. Infinity on the other hand with their Automatic Reaction Order (ARO) system keeps both players actively engaged with each other. By keeping both players engaged and talking to each other Infinity is going to let me be the social butterfly I’ve always dreamed of being.
In the end what I want more than anything is to have a good time at LVO. Infinity, I think, is going to maximize the chance of me having a good time. Others may disagree and I look forward to them telling me why I’m wrong! But from my keyboard there will be less hobby prep time needed, it’s going to be easier getting my army down there and move between games, it won’t melt my brain by the end of the second day, and is going to give me more of an opportunity to meet my fellow gamers. So what are you going to play at LVO and what factors weighed in on that decision?