Hello, TechRaptor readers. Today we’re examining something what may already be on your Christmas wish list if you’re an aspiring Infinity player or if you’re a current player looking to start either a Yu Jing or Haqqislam army. We’re looking at Operation: Red Veil, the new starter set released earlier this year from Corvus Belli that is designed to better bridge the gap between a new player’s first steps into the game and full-on ITS fights and tournaments.
Lore-wise, Operation: Red Veil is centered around a Haqqislamite operation aboard the Neon Lotus orbital facility looking for evidence of PanOceanian hiring mercenaries to disrupt Haqqislamite corporate shipping lanes by raiding the offices of one of the shell corporations aboard the station. The Yu Jing forces, on the other hand, don’t care one way or another about corporate-backed piracy; they’re more interested in not letting armed members of another nation’s military run amok on their space stations.
The Operation: Red Veil box set comes with the following miniatures:
- 3x Zhanshi (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Zuyong (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Tiger Soldier (Combi Rifle + Light Flamethrower)
- 1x Hsien (HMG)
- 1x Ninja (Tactical Bow)
- 3x Ghulam (Rifle + Light Shotgun)
- 1x Khawarij (Rifle + Light Shotgun)
- 1x Tuareg (Sniper Rifle)
- 1x Zhayedan (Marksmanship L2) (Breaker Rifle + Light Shotgun)
- 1x Fasid (HMG + (Smoke and Normal) Light Grenade Launcher)
Compare this with the contents of Operation: Icestorm:
- 3x Fusilier (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Nisse (MULTI Sniper Rifle)
- 1x ORC (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Akal Commando (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Father-Knight (DA CCW)
- 3x Alguacil (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Mobile Brigada (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Spektr (Combi Rifle)
- 1x Grenzer (MULTI Sniper Rifle)
- 1x Reverend Healer (Combi Rifle)
The first thing that stands out is Red Veil miniatures have a much greater variety in weapons and equipment, which introduces new players to a wider array of tactics and uses than Icestorm. It also does a better job introducing new players to the idea of facing and zones of control with the Ninja and her tactical bow. It also does a better job exploring how line of sight (and blocking it) with smoke grenades functions within the game, which is an incredibly useful skill once players decide to move into standard games of Infinity.
Another improvement on the Icestorm starter set is the variety of papercraft terrain available in Red Veil. The Neon Lotus terrain pack comes with several buildings of various sizes rather than one uniform size. The Red Veil terrain pack also comes with two bridges as well, making elevation changes and line of sight a bigger issue in the new starter set and bringing the concept into the minds of new players as well.
The missions in the Red Veil starter set are very similar to that in Icestorm. The missions start out with three line troops and slowly introduce new units, rules, and concepts culminating in an all-out battle between both forces with the mercenary Yuan Yuan fighting both sides. Each mission comes with an explanation of the new rules that come with the new units being introduced to help upcoming Infinity players, much like Icestorm.
On the hobby side, the Red Veil starter book includes a section on building metal models and a basic painting guide to replicate the studio schemes. The assembly section will be invaluable for people who have little to no experience in building metal miniatures. The painting tutorial, written by studio painter Angel Giraldez, is very easy to follow and will easily allow novice painters to quickly and easily recreate the default Yu Jing and Haqqislam color schemes using Vallejo Model Color and Vallejo Game Color paints. If your paint collection is primarily Games Workshop or P3 colors, take a look at this handy paint conversion chart to figure out which paints you can use and which you’ll need to add to your next hobby purchase.
Operation: Red Veil seeks to help bridge the gap between new players and full ITS missions, which the Infinity community thrives on. And while it introduces several new ideas, the gap between the two still exists. Red Veil doesn’t cover things like hacking or the use of command tokens. It does more than Operation: Icestorm, but it’s still missing a few key pieces to make the learning curve a bit less steep.
With all that being said, the main question remains: which starter set should I get? The best option is to go with whichever starter set features at least one army you’re interested in. If you like the look of Haqqislam or Yu Jing, go with Red Veil. If you want to start a PanOceania or Nomads army, get Icestorm. The differences between the two mechanically is minimal overall. If you have the money (or if you have a group of friends willing to go in to the game), the best option would be to get both starters, play through them individually, and take a look at the fan-made Operation: Ice Veil, a campaign combining both starter sets and introducing several new units and rules including dipping its toes into hacking. Operation: Ice Veil is the critical keystone in the bridge between being an Infinity novice and ITS play.
Operation: Red Veil is available for purchase from the Infinity web store or your local FLGS. The copy of Operation: Red Veil used for this article was purchased by the author.