Sunday, 28 August 2011

Infinity: What are Orders?

To help with my own understanding and to drum up a bit more interest in this awesome, action packed game I am playing, I thought I would talk through some of the game mechanics that make it different from other skirmish wargames.

I will talk through the D20 mechanic, Short/Long Skills, ARO’s, Army Selection and Orders…just not all at once!

I’ll start with Orders today, but there will be some crossover, particularly with Skills.

What is an Order?
This is the limited resource used to control your army and get individual models to do stuff.
Each miniature in your army generates one order. The lieutenant (your mandatory HQ choice) generates one extra order that can just be used for him or to make a unit in your army automatically pass 1 GUTS! Roll (This occurs after a miniature has taken enemy fire, been hit, but survived, if failed – the miniature moves to get into better cover).

So if I had 10 miniatures I would get 10 orders and 1 SO (special order) from my Lieutenant.

Each Order can activate ONE unit/model in your army and can be spent to get them to do a hugely varied number of Skills.

These Orders can generally only be spent during what is called your 'Active Turn' - this is the player turn if we are thinking 40k..

Skills are classified as either Short Movement (SM), Short or Long.
An example of a Short Movement skill is WALK. SM Skills may be taken TWICE in one Order.
An example of a Short Skill is to BS, which is to use your Ballistic Skill to shoot a ranged weapon. A Short Skill CANNOT be repeated in the same Order. So you may only shoot once per order for example, even if you are in range already and do not need to move or do anything else but gun down the enemy.

However, the use of ONE Short Skill does not take up the whole Order and it can be combined with a Short Movement Skill. In this way you may Order your miniature to WALK + BS for example. Getting into a better firing position before unleashing hell.

A Long Skill requires the use of the WHOLE Order to use, the action being more complex than a Short Skill. An example of this is Suppression Fire, wherein the miniature lays down a hail of bullet/laser fire along a fixed corridor, any other miniature in the fire lane is hit and the SF lasts until your next turn, anyone moving into is struck. This can be deadly with a high damage weapon and good BS.

ARO’s or Automatic Response Orders
This has to be mentioned really. When you are in your Active Turn (your player turn) and spending your Orders, your miniatures may walk into or activate within LOF ( Line of Fire, read: TLOS 40K dudes). When your miniature declares the first Short Skill of its Order, any enemy miniature with LOF or within 8” (the magic Zone of Control or ZC) may react.

For example, my Heavy Infantryman boldly jogs from the cover of one building to the opposite building, however, as he crosses the open space between he walks into the LOF of an enemy model. This model spots him and opens fire.

For today, I will leave it as being that simple. For every action there is a reaction yeah?
Except when the model does not have LOF. LOF in Infinity is 180 degrees in the miniatures FRONT arc…so if you can sneak around the model, you are free to engage that miniature or to run into a better position without the threat of an Automatic Reaction Order (ARO) being generated against you.
It is critical to note that ALL enemy models with LOF may fire or react to one of your models…so the poor dude could come under some extreme return fire!

Limiting ARO’s and Combined Orders:
You can limit the number of ARO’s generated against your models by up to 4 of them combining and activating at the same time.
Each model in the Combined Order must spend an Order to participate and each model in the CO must take the same action.. The benefit? Only ONE ARO can be generated against the models by each enemy, rather than say 4 in the full CO.
This could well reduce the incoming fire on each of your figures.
As I have said above, manipulation of Facings/Front Arc LOF and planning your movement and use of cover can also reduce the ARO’s generated against your miniature.
Super charging ONE dude?
Each model in your force may activate using an Order, as they each generate one…OR you can spend all your orders (except the Lieutenants Special Order) on just ONE dude! Your RAMBO!

This can create a real wrecking ball swinging its way through the enemy, and whilst this could easily seem overpowered, it is balanced out by the ARO system, meaning that your Rambo will really come under a lot of enemy fire!

But even here it can be played well.

In my first game of Infinity, I deployed by Dao Fei with a Heavy Machine Gun using his infiltration skill in the middle of the board out to the right flank, behind some blocking terrain. I then proceeded to wait a couple of turns for my opponent to move upfield, then Turn 3, pumped all my Orders into the Dao Fei, who moved and shot every order, putting himself out of LOF from the majority of the enemy due to the front arc/facing mechanic. Those enemies that could see him were at extreme range of their weapon and combined with Camouflage and Cover made him a bit of a tank. In that turn he gunned down 4 enemy models.

Rambo’ing can be a real game changer. But not something to rely on. I really fancy doing that with an Aleph/Myrmidon Force and just watch Achilles tear through the enemy army..with ARM 6 and 3 Wounds, he’d survive incoming fire well and rip people apart with his blade.

So that is an introduction to the Orders system in Infinity, a brief run down on how it works and how interactive the game is even when it is not your 'turn' due to the ARO system...truly forces you to think out your movement and actions, considering every single unit in the enemy force every time you move or shoot...


  1. I'm just putting the finishing touches to a similar article for the guys over at the HoP for their Idol comp. Its great to see more people getting involved in the game I love so much. I've been there pretty much from the start and its just so great to witness the game growing in popularity and taking off like it is. Its great, also if you want an Achilles force my article will include a fluffy one as a heads up!!!

  2. Awesome! I'm just building force and writing an article on my favourite Greek as we speak! I'll be sure to check it out when its on HoP!

  3. Looks really cool Ven.

    I like the idea of the Rambo and when and where to use it - its cool that you can sort of "play a deathstar" without actually playing a deathstar (if you know what I mean).

    Have to say this game is really perking my interest. The models look right up my alley as well.

    What's the sort of average game length?

    I am assuming its points based, so you could have 10 vs 15 or 20 models? or is everything quite evenly priced so your going to be roughly the same?

  4. Even the bog standard dudes can contribute and cost around 10-15 points...think guardsmen. So you could play a horde of them...heavy infantry can cost up to 70-odd points, Yu Jing have many types of HI and could have an army of elites at 8/9 models...
    I've only played one game, but due to victory conditions it only took an hour and a half...

  5. @Bully, An average 300 point game will take somewhere between 1 and 2 hours to play depending on the board and scenery etc. and forces will comprise anywhere between 10 to 15 mini's. Hope that helps!!! ;)

  6. Yeah - my brother seems interested.

    He of course wants me to paint stuff for him if we do get it. So he better get nice models :/

    In heavy planning mode for my new 40K project, but I think these models would be a really nice reward / break while I do that.

    Oh I remember what I was going to ask earlier but I got distracted and forgot lol.

    Whats the game balance like, is there any "GK or SW" of the game or are all the factions pretty even?

  7. @Bully absolutely not!!! The game is very balanced, arguably the most balanced game I have played in my 27 years of wargaming. Here are some articles I've written on it on my blog:

    Also here's the first article in a 5 part blog on game balance:

    Hope you don't mind the links Venerable brother, but it is in aid of helping a fellow gamer out!!! :D

  8. Awesome, going to check those out FG, look awesome.

    He won't mind the links, increases the size of community we have here so its great.

    Really looking forward to having a crack at this.

  9. Frontline...not at all, as Bully says its all about community dude... got my next two Infinity post written already...d20 mechanic and Achilles and his Myrmidons!!

  10. @Venerable the D20 mechanic in Infinity is very similar to an old RPG, but I bloody forget which one now... yeah its a sign I'm going senile. However for shooting with the range bands on various guns, burst and other modifiers its subtle and deep and does interesting things to chance that D6's and 2D6's just couldn't hope too. I touch on it slightly in a paragraph somewhere in one of my Infinity articles. Do any of you have the excellent and free Devil team Infinity army builder? If not get it:

    its bloody brilliant it is and allows you to print your armies out so no need to flip through the two rule books finding you WIPs and BS etc.

  11. D20 does seem excellent at first glance. I look forward to getting to grips with it again this week.
    Not seen devilteams product, will check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Devil Team Army builder is also free so its a bargain ;) I don't know ant Infinity player who doesn't use it.