Monday, February 15, 2016

First Steps into Infinity

So, after nearly 10 years of watching I have decided that this is the year I will get into Infinity.  Since the beginning of the game I have been interested in the models (and maybe the back ground but mostly the models).  The problem has been that the first two editions suffered from a nearly incomprehensible Spanish-English translation.  This meant that you were unlikely to figure out how to play the game on your own - you needed to have someone who already knew how to play teach you.  But if you did that you still did not know how to play the actual game just that person's version of the game.  With the third edition of the game those issues seem to have mostly been addressed.

As with any new endeavor I have taken my time and tried to find the best way to jump in.  The incredible diversity of the factions and the rules for the various armies has really made this tough.  Where the hell to begin?  My first thought was the Operation: Icestorm starter set.

This is a really great starter set that includes rules, miniatures, dice, counters and terrain.  At about $120 it is not bad as starter sets go.  There were a few reasons I chose not to go this route.  The first is it was redundant as one of friends already has the set.  The second is that the set does not include the complete rules but a trimmed down starter rule set.  This probably shouldn't be that big of a deal as the full rules are available for download.  Another factor was that this box did not contain the faction I was most interested in starting with - Ariadna.

After playing Call of Duty: Black Ops III on the PS4 I really wanted to do something that had the look and feel of the near future Black Ops setting and the Ariadna forces fit that bill perfectly.  With the recent release of the new USAriadna figures and rules this seemed the natural place to start.  I purchased the army box (pictured at the top of the post) and a box of Tracktor Mul.

The USAriadna set includes 10 figures (9 normally but my set has an extra bonus figure), terrain, counters, dice, rules for the army and background information.  It also includes the quick start rules for the game.  The Tracktor Mul box has two models.  The initial investment was nearly $180 (thank God my wife does not read my blog).  The models are absolutely amazing and are much nicer than most of the other Ariadna models.  The drawback to this approach really comes in with the other items in the set.  The quick start rules are a complete waste of paper in this set.  Since you can download the quickstart or full rules there is not much point in including them in this set.  This is especially true when you realize that the QS rules do not tell you how to build a force, or what the weapon rules are.  You literally cannot open this set and play the game with what is included (not without guessing and making stuff up anyway).

There are three special scenarios included in the set but these are also not usable with the set.  Each of the scenarios require 300 point armies and a 4'x4' table but you only get less than half the amount of terrain required and only about half the points required for one side.  It just can't seem to decide if it is a army box or a starter set.  In addition to these issues it is tough to determine at times what is what in regards to models and rules.  This is very evident in the Devil Dogs models.  This is something that you can make an educated guess at but there is nothing that just spells out what is what.

I don't want to sound negative because I am really excited about getting into this game.  Just be warned that even with the improvements with the current edition there still seems to be lots of room for interpretation as to how things should be done and what the designers meant when writing the rules.  At this point I will be reading the download rules, building and painting models.  I plan to purchase the rules soon and I will certainly have to make a few more miniatures purchases before this is ready to hit the table.  I am fairly sure this game will be one where we break the 'no unpainted miniatures' policy so that we can start to learn the rules.  Stay tuned for more...