Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Infinity: Modifiers

The probability of an outcome is, like any miniature wargame, determined by a combination of the result on a dice roll and the statistical ability of a model at any given action.

This is no different in the game system, infinity.

However, there are a number of additional modifiers that can alter the likely outcome of an action.

This system can exist due to the wider spread of results available on a D20 dice. We have discussed the D20 previously (see Infinity page top bar).

I want to discuss the variety of Modifiers that can affect you in game.
Modifiers exist in 2 broad categories – Cover and Range. Both of which are equally important.
When rolling to hit a model, we do not just use our Ballistic Skill, we must consider the range at which we are shooting, this represents the ability of the weapon to accurately target specific areas over an ever increasing distance.

Typically, the further away we are from our target, the harder it is to accurately hit them, certainly for automatic weapons or those without technology to stabilise them. When we consider a shotgun, we know this to be a short ranged weapon compared to the long range nature of a sniper rifle or other high powered weaponry that can push projectiles a considerable distance.

Weapons have 4 ranges, short, medium, long and maximum. Every weapon has a modifier attached to each range, dependent on the nature of the weapon. Like so:

Certain equipment can reduce the effect of firing at extreme range, such as the X-Visor, which reduces the ‘Long’ range modifier to 0, and the ‘maximum’ range modifier to just -3. This can be incredibly useful in a fire fight at extreme ranges, considering the cumulative effect of the other modifier – Cover, more on that shortly.

Here the Sniper (left fore) has a range advantage as indicated in his +3 to hit, the reactive model is worse due to range...

But such equipment is of course, not the norm for your force but the exception - an incredibly valuable one. Typically this equipment is paired with weaponry that is primarily short ranged in nature, but an a medium to long range can be lethal. For example, a Viral Rifle is extremely lethal, targeting you with biochemical rounds and bypassing armour with a 3 shot Burst, however, like all rifles, is primarily short to medium ranged. With the addition of an X-Visor however, this weapon can overcome its range failures and pump out Long range shots at a 0 modifier rather than the -3.
This is pretty important, -3 to your BS is livable with, -6 is a crippling to your accuracy.

And we have yet to add in the second modifier, Cover:

Cover is king.
Being in cover requires 2 conditions to be met, 1) that you are more than 1/3 obscured from sight and 2) that you are in base contact with the piece of terrain that you are claiming cover from.

Meeting those criteria conveys 2 benefits to your model:
1) +3 ARM (Armour), example a Line Kazak (basic Guardsman) goes from having ARM 1, to having 4 ARM. This makes it a lot easier to beat the damage of the weapon that has hit you. Remember, in Infinity, to make an armour save we must roll HIGHER than the damage value of the weapon. A basic rifle has Damage 13, with the combination of our D20 roll result and our covered 4 ARM, we are more than 50% likely to survive the attack.
2) -3 BS to the attacker. Due to our obscured nature it is harder to hit us. The initial dice roll required to hit becomes less likely to succeed and our survivability increases. It is more than worth knowing that this modifier, and indeed all modifiers, stack with other modifiers.
Whilst he may be obscured, if not fulfilling the 2nd condition of cover, i.e. base contact with said cover, then the bonus is not important note!

Game example, a model with the Sapper skill digs his foxhole and gains Mimetism, granting -3 to any BS attacks against him. In addition he is considered partly obscured and therefore in partial cover, granting a further -3 to BS. We now consider the Range modifiers and find that the model is under attack from a regular Rifle at range 23" - considered to be Long range for the weapon and suffering a further -3 modifier.
Our attacker now suffers a massive -9 to his roll to hit. For reference, regular line troops are around BS 11 (needing a 2 on a D20 to hit) and elite units tend to be around 12-14 (needing 3-5 on a D20 to hit).
On the chance that the model is hit, the partial cover also confers +3 ARM to our model, increasing the chance of survival, in the case of a Ariadnan Moblot (French Heavy Infantry) the existing ARMour is 3, so a 6 ARM value is almost half (and more in many cases) the damage profile of many weapons.

As we can see from the game example, the use of both cover and range to protect your troops can be extremely effective in Infinity. It is of course worth noting that whilst it may seem apparent the keeping at arms length, out ranging the opponent and tucking yourself into cover is the key to success.

This is not the case.

Infinity is a game where the interaction with terrain is all important (check out the Sons' Infinity table for an example) and the terrain is incredibly dense. The type of terrain also differs from 40K in that the terrain is far more 'whole' than 'hole-y'... blocking Line of Fire in almost all cases. In addition, split level and multi level terrain means that whilst high sniper nests may be useful, they are not dominant as it is easy to get behind a building or wall and stay out of sight, whilst still being able to control a region of the board, not fearing the reprisal of the sniper...

As with all the Ininfity articles at the minute, they exist more to further my own understanding of the game as well as to whet the appetites of any of you guys that have been considering the game, or indeed have just started the game yourself.

Please check out our Infinity Page (at the top of the blog) for more introductory pieces and links to resources elsewhere on t'internet.


  1. As always, excellent article! I love the dynamic and interaction between range and cover in Infinity as it harkens back to my other favorite skirmish game, Necromunda.

    Oh and the Moblot w/ HMG and Sapper skill is just nasty :)Or the Zouave w/ Sniper Rifle and Sapper. Just gotta love the modifiers

    And if you get a sec here are some Ariadna lists I through together...would love to hear your opinion on them

    Mero List 1:

    Mero List 2 (Linked):

    Mero List 3 (Linked):

    Mero List 4 ("Legion" Linked):

    Mero List 5 ("Legion" Linked 2):

  2. Hey man, cheers. As for the armies, I'll write it up as a post if that's ok by you as it'll be a bit long for comments!
    I'll try my best to give decent feedback!