Monday, 29 August 2011

Infinity: How does the D20 work?

Haqqislam is burning...175 years in the future...
Next part in the introduction to Infinity the Game, my current, flavour of the month wargame…I say this, but I only play 40k and Malifaux…I don’t often wander off into new games. Infinity has really caught my eye though…

You can catch up on how Orders work in the game here.

Here we cover how the D20 works in the game, through it of course…the fates of every bullet shot and armour ricochet are decided…
Like most dudes, I am used to working with a D6. It is simple…roll above a 3+ and you’ve done your job…Space Marines hey?!
So the D20 used in Infinity has a few more sides.. thankfully the mechanic is very simple..

There are typically 2 types of dice roll required in Infinity:

-Face to Face Rolls

Normal Rolls
These are typically used to measure the success of an attribute, much like a characteristic test in 40k…an Initiative test in 40k to avoid the Jaws of the World Wolf for example. In Infinity, an example would be a Doctor. A Doctor has the ability to heal a model when they have been knocked unconscious (this is what happens in Infinity when you take a wound, your model is not necessarily dead, but on the ground unconscious instead, if you have healers you can get them back in the action)…all the Doctor has to do, when in base contact, is to roll EQUAL TO or UNDER his Willpower (WIP) statistic.

This EQUAL TO or UNDER the models statistic roll is transferable to a lot of skills in Infinity, another example may include Climbing buildings using the Physical (PH) stat or using your WIP to Discover a Camouflaged enemy model nearby.

Face to Face:
When the skill being used is opposed by another skill…when one model shoots using BS (Ballistic Skill) and the target model tries to Dodge the shot as the simplest example.

There are several issues:
- Both players need to succeed at their individual roll, that is to say, rolling equal to or under their statistic.
- If one succeeds and the other fails, then the skill that succeeds is the one that happens…for example, Model A shoots Model B who responds with a Dodge. Model A rolls OVER his BS stat, missing and Model B succeeds in Dodging.
- In the same example, if both players fail their rolls…nothing happens.

From here is where it takes a moment to think:
- Both players succeed in rolling under their statistic. Only one can succeed, so in this case the HIGHER ROLL succeeds.
- If a player rolls EXACTLY his/her statistic, this is regarded as a Critical Roll. In this case it automatically succeeds, unless the other player ALSO rolls a Critical. If this is the case, whichever player has the higher STATISTIC wins.

To summarise the Face to Face… there is a sweet spot. The 1 or 2 numbers at and below your relevant statistic..this is where you want to roll. If your BS is want to be rolling 11-13.
The sweet spot is critical, because to me, F2F Rolls success criteria is simply this:


ARM Rolls/Armour Saves
After being hit with a shot or a blow, a player must make an ARM (Armour) roll to avoid the damage.
Every weapon has a damage profile, from the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) with 14 to the Pistol at 11 and everything above and below and in between these..
In order to avoid taking a wound and falling into the Unconscious state you must roll the D20 and add (+) your ARM value.
If the roll result + ARM value total is GREATER than the Damage profile of the weapon then you have succeeded and do not take a wound.
If you roll equal to or fail the roll…BOOM! Wound time..

GUTS! Rolls
If you survive a shot, you must take a Guts check to see if you hold your position or dart back into better cover.. To succeed you must pass a Normal Roll (see above) using your WIP. If you fail, you drop into the nearest cover or towards it (this can include going Prone to get better cover), moving half of your first MOV (Movement) value.

So, being a game of toy soldiers and dice, knowing how the dice mechanic works in Infinity takes you close to being able to just throw yourself into the game and get started..

Having read the Orders article and this one on dice, you should just admit that you want to try out this wonderfully cinematic game, download the rules from Corvus Belli/ Infinity HERE and get cracking!

The next article, published Tuesday (tomorrow) is on building an army in Infinity. I will use the Aleph faction as an example, building a themed force of all-Greek Myth inspired proto-humans and super advanced AI...Achilles has never been so badass!


  1. On the guts roll you can also choose to wimp out, which is sometimes worth it, if one of you guys is suddenly faced with a rampaging Avatar!!! I think what I'd add is that the D20 mechanic in Infinity is very reminiscent of many RPGs and if anyone has played any D20 based RPGs that aren't D&D then you'll actually feel right at home with how this game plays.

  2. Looks cool Ven - I like D20 systems generally as it just has a much wider spec of what can go on. Like you say - "3+" sometimes just gets boring. In a small scale game/model count, having the variation be the dice is solid - also allows for a ton of modifiers (sounds like there is) due to the wider scope of results available.

  3. @Bully the variance is very subtle in this game, plus the weapon modifiers for range also play into the chance thing. Theres a lot to think about including different ammo types and the burst of weapons. Genuinely it never gets too complex because the way it works is so simple, its just so slick.

  4. Thanks for the pointer on just choosing to wimp out of a guts roll... I can see that being a perfectly valid decision a lot of the time, espcially as moving and shooting will still generate the same ARO as just shooting from original position...

  5. Yep, choosing to fail a guts role, although cowardly is often the wisest choice. My article is up now on HoP, although the formatting went all weird so I'll re-post it on my own blog tomorrow: