Saturday, 17 September 2011

Terrain: How much is right for Infinity?

Shown in the rules, dense, multi-height buildings are cool! 
I’ve been playing Infinity for a few weeks now with my good buddy Bringer of Death or BOD, Bringer…maybe BODhi…anyway, and we’ve been really enjoying it.
Aside from the mechanics of the game, the fact that it’s a skirmish game and that’s its not set in the grim dark…one of the key differences from 40k is the relationship the game has with terrain.

In 40k we work on a 25% coverage, mixed between LOS blocking, ruins, buildings, hills, trees etc…with a little bit of everything. We know that the mixture is key to avoiding gun line dominance and a boring game.

For Infinity, the terrain plays a truly key role. Too little and the mechanics break, with AROs (Automatic Response Orders) flying everywhere. I’ve explained ARO’s here, a quick reminder is that when an enemy model moves/shoots/uses a skill, any of the opponents models that can draw LOF (Line of Fire) to that model may act against it, commonly by shooting at it.

So without properly positioned and suitably dense terrain, the game doesn’t work. Bringer and I started out using standard 40k terrain, but just using much more of it. This didn’t work right, so we upped the amount of LOF blocking terrain, making the game both more tense and tight.

This is the board we are playing on now, a lovely 4’x4’ board modelled as a oil rig/port. We have not been playing the sea as a water feature, but with the game having a mechanic for Swimming (how cool?!) we may as well from now on.

As you can see, lining up shots can be tricky – primarily because, in a fashion not dissimilar to chess, movement leading up to that stage where you can act has been anticipated and a strategy built up by the opponent. Traps can be set and in the dense terrain, it is sometimes easy to forget an enemy model, what direction they are facing and suddenly you discover that your miniature is the target of a Double Action Sniper Rifle from afar as he scurries across a small piece of open ground! (Double action means you have to make 2 armour saves for every wound caused)

William Wallace braves the ARO of a Sin Eater...the last mistake he'll make!
 Rounding a corner can be dangerous too, knowing that as you cross the distance between cover, it is likely you will be sniped or shot at. This can be mitigated for in the game through the use of smoke grenades, throwable items that create a large area of zero visibility, through which no LOF can be drawn…unless your opponent possesses the hated Multi Spectral Visor (MSV L2) which case he will gun you down like a dog…or attempt to!

I'm assembling loads of these this weekend! All different!
Check out my latest piece of terrain – no, not the cardboard or the polystyrene…they are Works In Progress! I mean the very cool, paper, freight container…with extra graffiti! This is a free pdf from the excellent toposolitario website…I have around 9 more of these to assemble, ready to create a dangerous corridor of doom! They look great and are a good size for the game, though I feel they are not truly in proportion/scale…they still provide sufficient effective cover. Did I mention they are FREE!

View from a high up snipers nest...a deadly corridor to cross!
This board will improve over time as I paint the 40k Barriers, create real buildings from polystyrene and cardboard….the next big project will be to turn the long strip of cardboard into a docked, carrier boat thingy…with a crane coming from the central piece.. Bringer and I were talking about having a container hanging from the crane, the piece would start in a random deployment zone, so a miniature could be placed on top of it (perfect sniper position or what?), every turn the crane would turn around in a direction controlled by the opposing player using the Dispersion rule, making for a highly unpredictable and fun little bit of crazy. Of course, if the sniper found himself without targets, he can always climb the chains up to crane itself and leg it back across the crane arm to a better position!

Seriously, how cool would that be! Whilst also not being a critical part of the game..if you don’t want to pop your sniper (or don’t have one) up there…there are sufficient locations elsewhere on the board.

So there you have it, our current Infinity board, a WIP to be sure…but it creates a wonderfully tense game where movement is utterly deadly and positioning/forward planning crucial to survival!


  1. I like, I was curious how terrain was working out and have been thinking of a few ideas for a board of my own that I can fit in the car. I'm thinking of placing my order soon so I can play when I get back. Speaking of, looks like I'll be available for play at the end of the month!

  2. Haha! Awesome! We'll be glad to have you back brother...
    I too am almost ready to place my orders...but I can't decide what faction yet! Help me out Kabalite..what you going for? I'll not do the same.. although I have a sneaky suspicion you are going for Haqqislam and I'll be a bit gutted...
    I am torn between Haqqislam, Nomads and Yu Jing...I'll prob stick with Yu Jing as I have a few models already...

    The terrain is now working out start with it was a little too open, despite us cramming in tonnes of 40k terrain...but the ruins etc are too open...

    But it's good now, just needs working on to make it look more sci-fi than cardboard!

  3. Scenery in Infinity is something that quite frankly every new player struggles with.We knew we needed more than 40k and that was about it... beyond that it was a brave new world. The weird thing is its not just the amount of terrain but its shape, size and type that vitally important. I still maintain that having any building above 3 stories is just too high. Never have really high buildings in deployment zones as there's a damn good chance you'll create a strong point with a snipers crows nest and spend two turns dying horribly as your opponent looks smug. But playing with trees and shrubbery which block LOS and provides little actual cover totally changes the vibe of the game and how you approach the game... and that's why I love it, scenery matters. Its not just there to provide a backdrop to the game it serves a fubction.

  4. Nice stuff Ven! I agree with you and Frontline, after reading through the rules and such it seems terrain is much more of a factor in Infinity as ARO's change the dynamic drastically between how you interact in/on and around terrain.

    As an aside, I've built 5 lists so far, 3 of which are sectorial (though only 2 of them utilize the Linked rules). I have yet to really delve in and try to make some more linked lists with the Caledonians. Also met a guy last night at gaming night who's getting started too with a Nomad army so looks like I've got someone in town to play with soon :)

  5. I think I've built a list, its a Hassasin Bahram Sectorial list.

    1x Hassasin Fiday w/ Boarding Shotgun
    1x Hassasin Lasiq w/ Viral Sniper
    1x Hassasin Muyib w/ X-Visor, Spitfire
    1x Hassasin Muyib LT w/Rifle, GL
    1x Hassasin Muyib w/ Rifle, DEP,E/Mauler
    1x Hassasin Muyib w/ Rifle, DEP,E/Mauler
    1x Hassasin Muyib Doctor w/Rifle,LSG
    1x Hassasin Ragik w/HMG
    1x Hassasin Ragik w/Rifle,LSG
    1x Hassasin Ragik w/Rifle,LSG

    The plan is for the 5 Muyibs to move together giving each other the max link team bonus while the Fiday impersonates to cause havoc behind enemy lines, when I saw he can carry the boarding shotgun and then pickup weapons off people he's killed in CC I had to take him the go back to L1 Impersonation I had to take him. The Lasiq will hang back (obviously) and pop anyone willing to poke their head out, x visor and climbing, being able to pop people from max range while hanging off the side of a building just sounds awesome. The Ragiks will probably all drop together even though they can't be linked.My idea for a board was Haqqislam based, a bombed out slum of a city, I see alot of the terrain people use are very Mass Effect, Halo-esque futuristic with all metal plating on everything with nice boxy buildings. I'm thinking bombed out buildings, lots of rubble, burnt out vehicles and they have a nice mechanic for being able to break doors and terrain and such, so Id like to find a way to make removable doors for the buildings, or just put markers on them. Probably a high point on each corner of the table and 1 in the middle to block site between those 2 so snipers can fire a bit without having to worry (completely) about the sniper on the other side.

  6. @Frontline - It's a tricky one indeed, the shape and 'completeness'? are very important...the rubble/ruins of 40k are not really right for Infinity...hence all the cardboard etc!!
    From the board shown, how close are we to getting it right, in your opinion?

    @Roland - that's awesome that you have a dude locally to play against! Bringer is running a Caledonian army now, if you want I can ask him to have a look at it, or simply provide some thoughts on what he has found to be useful/crap?

    @Kabalite - the board sounds wicked man. Get on it!! AS for the list, figured Haqq had your attention..looks solid, the Muyibs are good for the Burst and BS bonus on the spitfire, but also a big deterrant in ARO. Fiday makes it fun and a challenge, Viral sniper is a real fucker (technical term) and the Ragiks will be great dropping in and HMG'ing the crap out of something! Disperion allowing ofc.
    Is it 300? We are currently running 200 point lists to get to grips with stuff, aiming to work up to 300 soonish..I would try and build a 200 pointer as well, so we can get you up to speed with mechanics etc...

    Thinking bout 3 player games too, bigger board, more terrain, could be very cool...

  7. @ Ven: Can I email you the lists so you and Bringer can look at them?

  8. Yeah man go for it, email is on the profile -

  9. @Ven honestly from the pictures you don't look to far off for me. I hoping to get some scenery together ASAP for Infinity and chuck the odd guide to building Infinity terrainas well as maybe showing some articles on battlefield layout but I've got that much going on in my life at the moment finding the time to do it all seems a bit tough!!! If you or any of your readers though wants to drop me a line and ask anythung at all please feel free guys to email me at:

    As always I'll do my best to get back to you all as quick as I can and if I don't have a decent answer for you, I'll know somebody in te community who more than likely does. I'd also advise peeps to head on over to the official Infinity forums and ask peeps there too, honestly hand on heart I've never seen a friendlier, more welcoming and helpful community on the net. They're all awesome over there.

  10. Yea, that was a 300 point list, I brough it down to 200, still a Hassasin Sectorial list but with some Line Troops instead of Muyibs/Ragiks

    Muyib w/Spitfire,X-Visor
    Muyib w/D.E.P.,Viral Mines,Rifle,LSG
    Muyib w/Rifle,LGL
    Lasiq w/Viral Rifle
    Ghulam LT
    Ghulam Doc
    Ghulam Rifle
    Ghulam Rifle
    Hassasin Fiday w/Boarding Shotgun, Smoke Gnades

    The Muyibs and Ghulams will both link up seperately while the Fiday deploys forward to assasinate any high threat targets (HMG,Snipers,LTs,ETC) and best case scenario, grabs their weapon and restealths, or kills the target and does some damage to others before dying. CC17 w/martial arts L4 and explosive CCW. Yes plz. The Lasiq will hopefully pop some HI and heavy weapons as well. The muyibs will advance through smoke to get into range to blow shit up with the DEP,DCharges,LGL and cause general hell with an XVisored Spitfire with Burst 5 and BS15. I feel weird planning it out this much when I haven't actually played yet lol. I'm so stoked to get home and play some games!

  11. X Visor is a great piece of equipment...especially on a weapon like a Viral Rifle or Spitfire..
    Right sort of number of bodies/orders.
    Remember only on elinkteam in action at a time, you'll need to think about who does what an din what order.
    its a good thing to plan it out and familiarise youself with kit/skills...hit the ground running..