As part of our ongoing Start Collecting Infinity series, we thought we would catch up with some of the Infinity development team for their insights on getting started with and collecting Infinity. We sat down first with Gutier Lusquiños, Infinity Background and Rules Developer and also with Andy “Riker” Roo, the current UK Number 1 ranked Infinity player.
Gutier Lusquiños Interview
TechRaptor: Welcome Gutier! Infinity has been going for a while now and there are lots of products available. There are two starter sets (Operation Red Veil and Icestorm), each with their “Beyond” packs. Are these the best way for new players to get started?
Gutier Lusquiños: That’s an interesting question, because the reply is yes, it is the best way to get into Infinity, even it seems counterintuitive. I am meaning that maybe a Battle Pack seems to be a more expensive product compared to a Starter Pack, so people would favour these last ones, but sales and feedback from players says that usually they prefer the two-armies Battle Pack. Why? Because it brings everything you need to start playing: die, markers, templates, scenery (quite important in Infinity!) and the tutorial missions, which are the perfect way to start learning how to play this wargame.
TR: Once a player has been through one of the starter and beyond sets, how do you advise them to continue? Should they move on to the full rulebook and start to create their own forces?
Gutier: Battle Packs show the basic mechanics of the game and thanks to the Beyond files, a new player has been in contact with the main core rules, so he is ready to explore his army list. However, I would recommend to keep playing 200-point army lists, as this would allow him to add one or two new profiles not covered by Beyond. By this way, the player limits the number of new rules he is trying, which is nice as less doubts can appear during the game. Of course, you can do the same with 300-point army list, meanwhile you control the amount of new profiles you are adding to that list. But, the most important here is: don’t be shy, make army lists and share them with other players, being in the forums (the official or the others you can find there), in the Infinity groups Facebook pages or in your local hobby store, to get feedback from seasoned players. One of the funniest experiences of Infinity is the army list creation, that is the moment in which you start thinking what your strategy will be, and you mind is full of game possibilities.
TR: Any advice for new players on creating their army?
Gutier: I am a very bad player, as I play just for fun, I am not a competitive player, so I am not the best person to ask for an advice about that! Any case, fun is always important, so start with the troops you like the most, but take note about what veteran players say about your list, and try to balance that. Each army has its core of models which are needed to play a game, but our Proxies rules allows flexibility when deploy them on the game table. That would be my advice, following this order, and not necessarily at the same time: get a Starter, a Beyond box if possible, add your favorite models and add what seasoned players recommend you. Soon you will have all the models you need to deploy capable army lists without proxying.
TR: Any advice for new players on playing the game? What should they watch out for? Any handy tips/tricks?
Gutier: Mostly what I said before, contact with the players community, which is probably the best of the show. Infinity has a friendly community and they are always eager to help rookies, happy to see how Infinity grows up. Each faction has its own tips and tricks, and the best way to know about them is just asking and taking notes from seasoned players.
TR: Infinity has been through several versions to get to N3. What has been the biggest change since release?
Gutier: Mainly, the structure of the rules. In N1 we were newbies doing rules, so the didactics were our weak point. As Infinity was a game for veteran wargamers, the rules were too straight forward, but to get new players you must facilitate the learning of the rules, and once you get into an organized play, then everything needs to be tied. One of the “problems” with Infinity is as it is so realistic and flexible, allowing to do a lot of things on the game table, that players always want to go beyond and do more. Once they get free from a Move-Shoot-Assault frame they want to experiment the cinematic game mechanic of Infinity, being really creative, and sometimes that drives to weird situations, easy to fix in a casual game by agreement, but not so easy when playing a tournament. And those are the main reasons of the changes in N3, as the previous ruleset structure were not really conceived for a competitive environment.
TR: A big part of the Infinity community is the ongoing tournament system (Infinity Tournament System or ITS). If a new player wants to get involved in that, what advice would you give them and how should they start?
Gutier: It is important that rookies be apart from ITS when they are still learning, casual games are the best, specially if you can play with a seasoned player. Why? Because the best way to learn is playing and your opponent would be more appealed to teach you or to provide advice in a casual game rather than in a tournament one. Please realize than in a tournament everybody goes to the gold, so it is not the best moment to ask for advice and a veteran player can sweep the ground with a rookie. However, once you have played several games and you feel confident about your skills and your list, a tournament is a great experience, apart of the fact it is a good moment to meet and play against new players, which is neat to learn more. Once again, asking the community or your local Warcor if you are lucky enough to have one of these braves close to you, about when and where join a tournament is a good idea.
TR: Are the future plans to keep going with the story development of Infinity?
Gutier: Yes, of course. As you have seen recently with Uprising and the Narrative Guide we provide freely to you from the Download section of our website, the story line of Infinity is moving through ITS events, narrative campaigns and books also. The great side of the ITS events and narrative campaigns is they allow players to be part of the story making this game universe alive. Now, we are in midst of the Treason plot, and we know thanks to the last Dire Foes scenario that the Combined Army is getting more presence in Dawn, so those are the next story lines to explore.
TR: The JSA are the latest edition after breaking away from Yu Jing. What can players expect next?
Gutier: Tunguska, of course, and finally! A new and nice Sectorial Army but different to other thanks to its unique new units. While other future Sectorial Armies will be more straight forward and easy to get for new players, Tunguska brings to the table new troops with a different game behavior. But Tunguska will be not the only Sectorial you will meet this year, the future of Infinity is really promising and we are just getting started.
TR: Which is your favorite Infinity faction and why?
Gutier: This is a recurrent and natural question to ask me, but I am afraid that all of them are my favorite, as all of them are my creatures. All of them are different and provide different kind of challenges. For example, with Haqqislam I have to deal with Muslim religion and culture, trying to be respectful at the same time I have to provide something new and appealing to the players, but avoiding to fall in the stereotypes. With Tohaa and the Combined Army I have to explore the space opera side of Infinity, creating different alien cultures. And while you are working and dipping in any of the Infinity factions, you find them more and more fascinating and full of possibilities. That’s what happened with Tunguska, for example, the complex society built there, with so many actors and their relationships were so exciting that it was a pity to have not more time and resources to have a complete book only for it.
TR: Which is your favorite Infinity model and why?
Gutier: What happens with Infinity is every month we release a new favorite model to me! Falling in nostalgia, I was always very fond of already discontinued models as the old Djanbazans or the old Celestial Guards, but the new ones are also really great, so I don’t complain! Thinking about big models, the Rocket Launcher Al Fasid, or the Black Jacks are the dreamed models from my days as student lot of years ago when I had time to paint but there were not really good sci-fi miniatures, reason why we had to release Infinity, to fix that unfair situation! And that is what we do in CB, changing the market for a better future in the hobby world! ?
Thanks to you all for your care about Infinity!
TR: Thank you very much Gutier!
Andy ‘Riker’ Roo Interview
We also caught up with Andy ‘Riker’ Roo, the current UK Number 1 ranked Infinity player about how he started playing and he advice for new players and those thinking about trying out under the Infinity Tournament System (ITS).
TechRaptor: Hi Andy, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself for those readers who might not know you. How long have you been playing? How did you start? What games did you play before? How did you get in to Infinity?
Andy Roo: Hi, thanks very much for getting in touch! So, probably like most wargamers, I started off with Games Workshop. In particular, it was playing Space Crusade with my older brothers when I was about 7, that first introduced me to the hobby, which got me hooked on painting models. It was around the time of 3rd edition 40k that I got into playing the game and it kind of snowballed from there. After a long love affair with GW, including working for them for a time, I put down my paintbrushes and dice and fell out of it for a while. A few years later, a good friend of mine, Grantt, convinced me to try this game he’d recently got into; Infinity. This was about 2 years ago, I guess. I instantly loved the game and with miniatures as awesome as Corvus Belli’s, it was hard to not be tempted in, so I grabbed the Haqqislam starter box, dug out my paints, and got cracking.
TR: Which factions do you play? Which have you played?
Andy: I’m currently playing Yu Jing, and have been for all of this ITS season. I’ve dabbled with ISS, a Yu Jing sectorial, but never really got too into them. I started with Haqqislam, and will definitely return to them at some point, but am currently painting up a force for the Pan Oceania sectorial, Shock Army of Acontecimento. Like most hobbyists though, I’m a bit of a magpie and have models for most factions, both assembled and still in box, which I will at some point get round to doing (or at least that’s what I tell myself!).
TR: When did you start playing competitively? How long did it take you from deciding to and reaching the top?
Andy: My first tournament was at the Totally CRIT Open in October 2016, which I was convinced to go along to again by my buddy Grantt (he has a lot to answer for!). I think I lost all of my games bar one, which I drew, so didn’t even manage to bag the wooden spoon, but despite taking a hammering, I was hooked on competitive play immediately. When ITS season 9 rolled round, I’d just started Yu Jing with the release of Red Veil, so I decided to play the same army throughout, go to as many tournaments as possible, and see how it went. It was around the end of last year that I realised I was in the top 100 globally, which was when the pressure started piling on. A few lucky results at the beginning of this year, and I found myself at the top.
TR: We’re assuming players have started with one of the two Infinity two-player starter boxes, or an Infinity Army Pack. What would be your advice on how to take their army forward?
Andy: Start slow! Infinity can be daunting at first, with lots of rules, interactions, and exceptions. Get used to the basic rules of your army first, and then start bringing new bits in. By all means, buy, build and paint as many models as you like, but try to add only a couple of new units each time you play, and get used to their special rules and equipment. The nice thing about Infinity is that a combi-rifle is the same whether it’s fired by a PanO Fusilier or a Combined Army Rodok, Mimetism does the same whether on a Tikbalang or a Moran, Smoke Grenades are just as useful, regardless of who’s throwing them, etc. By introducing rules and equipment slowly, you’ll build up your knowledge of how things work, which you can then use to decide how you want to use those various tools in your army. Saying that, do try out lots of different units over time, and see what appeals to you, and your play style.
TR: Any advice for new players on creating their army in general? What are your core creation rules?
Andy: Read the mission you are going to play. You will need different units for different reasons, depending on what you want to achieve, so knowing what has to be done to win the scenario will help when making a list.
Creating an all comers list (ie, one that can achieve solid results in all of the scenarios) is really tricky; not impossible, but definitely a hard task for someone new to the game. Try to create a few lists – one for missions based around killing your opponent, one for those scenarios that involve hitting buttons, and one with a mix of the two.
Combat groups and order spread are important too – too many orders and you’ll find that your troops lack the punch they need; too few, and you’ll find yourself out maneuvered. Around 14 regular orders is a good amount to aim for, with a full 10 orders in one, and the rest in a second group.
Tr: Any advice for new players on playing the game? What should they watch out for? Any handy tips/tricks?
Andy: Find a good way to track your orders! There’s a lot to think about with Infinity, so trying to reserve some brain space to keep track of how many orders you’ve spent/have left can lead to being distracted for your master plan.
CB do a great job of supplying token templates from the download section of the website, or you could go for something more fancy, like Art of War Studios (my personal choice).
In terms of in game tips – check your line of fire as much as is convenient; Nothing will catch you off guard more than walking out in front of a Total Reaction HMG remote which you didn’t think could see.
Conversely, think about where your units will be able to see in your opponents turn. Covering fire lanes, or points where Airborne Deployment troops can come in, can really make your opponent think twice, or scupper their battle plan.
TR: A big part of the Infinity community is the ongoing tournament system. If a new player wants to get involved in that, what advice would you give them and how should they start?
Andy: DO IT!! What really struck me about the ITS events I went to, and the Infinity community as a whole, was how welcoming and friendly everyone was. It really felt that it was more about playing the game with your opponent, rather than against them. I also learnt more about the game (both rules and tactics) from the 6 games at my first tournament, than the first 6 months of playing casually.
Facebook is a great way to find out about the UK event scene, with pretty much all of them being promoted through there. Similarly, speak to people at your local club/store, as they may well know of some.
TR: How do you prepare a force for a tournament game? What steps do you go through?
Andy: I start by reading the missions we’re playing (usually 3 at a one day event), and deciding how I will split my lists. ITS events allow you to bring two variations of list with you, which you can choose between for each game. I’ll find common ground between the missions being played, and see if any of them warrants having it’s own list (Biotechvore and Hunting Party are good examples, in my opinion).
From there, I’ll then start by adding a main attack piece – Infinity is, at it’s core, a game about shooting things, so having a solid ranged offensive unit will always help. I’ll add in units which support my attack piece, along with some those which can add orders – these usually come in the form of engineers (I’m a big fan of remotes), hackers, or basic line infantry. Next I’ll add in something which will perform well in ARO – usually a TR bot – so that I have something which will dish out pain in my opponents turn. I’ll then choose a Lieutenant, which can be a bit of a headache sometimes. Often, it will be a basic line infantry, who will hide, or be protected. Sometimes, I’ll go with an aggressive Lt, but only if the mission doesn’t play the Loss of Lieutenant rule, or I can afford a model with Chain of Command.
If needed, I’ll add in a couple of specialists, who will usually have Camouflage and/or Infiltration, and then if I still have points, fill up my order pool with cost effective units – never underestimate the power of an 8pt repeater bot with Flash Pulse, or a well positioned Warcor.
When I think I have a final list, I’ll rearrange the combat groups, so that anything I need to be active sits in the main group, with the second group for support units (TR bots, engineers, Warcors etc).
I’ll then usually go through days of hating the list, loving it, hating it again, then deciding to just go with it and see what happens.
Then I’ll do another list for the other mission(s), repeating the process above. I’ll try and keep some key elements (support units, ARO pieces etc), so that I have some consistency between lists, mainly changing up the pieces that will be active, as they are what will get the objective points!
Then it’s down to practicing, which I will do as much as I can in the run up to the tournie.
TR: How often do you usually play and where?
Andy: I’m a member of the Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts (HATE, for short), who meet every Wednesday at the Bethnal Green working men’s club from 6pm. There are a load of really great Infinity players there (along with other games), with a fantastic atmosphere, great playing space and good beer. I try to get along to play a game there every week, and have recently started playing weekly games at Dark Sphere on Thursdays, in preparation for this year’s Interplanetario Tournament. Anyone in the London area that fancies playing some Infinity, should definitely come down to HATE, or find the club, or myself, on Facebook and arrange a game! The more the merrier!
TR: Which is your favorite Infinity faction and why?
Andy: I’m still hugely in love with Yu Jing. I love the aesthetic, and their play style is a nice mix of aggressive beat sticks, and well equipped specialists…. saying that, I’m getting pulled more and more towards Shock Army, who I’ve not yet played with, as I’m still painting them up, but they look like they’re going to be awesome on the board.
TR: Which is your favorite Infinity model and why?
Andy: Ooof, this is a hard one. Maybe the Su-Jian? Both sculpts are excellent, and a real joy to paint, and there’s just something about the concept of a transforming robot cat that really appeals to me!
I also really like the Ayyar from the Hassassin Bahram starter – there’s just so much motion in the model, which is really impressive considering it’s such a static pose.
Thank you very much for talking to us Andy!
Infinity Development Team Favorite Factions and Miniatures
We also asked other members of the Infinity Development Team about their favorite factions and miniatures.
Which is your favorite Infinity faction and why?
Fernando Liste (Lord Commander): My favorite faction has always been Ariadna. I’m a kind of Atek myself, and, most important, in the first days of playtesting, I used to play Ariadna. Also, as a sculptor, most of my creations were for this faction.
Carlos “Koni” Morales (Warcors and Partners Manager): Nomads. Why? There are three spaceships full of hackers, freaks and awesome robots. AMAZING!
Al (Alberto Abal) “Bran Do Castro” (Game Designer): Nomads, no doubts. I love to travel, to try new things, I have my own style dressing and cooking, I´m nerd and I was a bit outcast, I´m absolutely sure that they would have a place among them for me.
Jesús Fuster (Game Designer): Nomads (Tunguska). Because it’s the faction with real awesome cyberpunk look. Because Nomads is the only faction if you like comic-books. They have rebel spirit, hackers and nice toys. The Interventor of the starter pack was true love at first sight. And they hate Aleph, who always is lying…
Juan Lois “HellLois” (Organized Game Manager): PanOceania. I love PanO because they have the coolest hightech goodies. Big robots, Sci-Fi armours with coats, and futuristic medieval knights!!! It’s a dream comes true.
Belén Moreno (Marketing Team): Haqqislam. Because Haqq proclaims Humanism, the Search for Knowledge, and a set of Metaphysical axioms. Their doctrine is profoundly concerned with political and social issues, and the culture built around it has rekindled the scientific and artistic concepts.
Which is your favorite Infinity model and why?
Fernando Liste (Lord Commander): I have a special place in my heart for the old Roger Van Zant model. When I sculpted it, before we went into 3D virtual sculpting, I put the miniature into the oven, to “cook” the Fimo clay we used to sculpt the miniatures. The oven was too hot, and the clay started to melt in some places, and to crystallize in others. I had to re-sculpt several parts, but the result was good. He proved to be a tough and stubborn guy!
Carlos “Koni” Morales (Warcors and Partners Manager: Cassandra Kusanagi. She is an old & traditional sculpt, but she looks so great with a spectacular Dynamic pose. And I love her design.
Al (Alberto Abal) “Bran Do Castro” (Game Designer): Are you kidding me? I give you a clue, my nick is Bran Do Castro.
Jesús Fuster (Game Designer): First Interventor really was a statement of intent from CB. But those were the old days. Watching the hole 10 years is difficult for me, but I think I’ll choose Reverend Custodier with Combi Rifle. I can imagine her controlling a possessed enemy TAG, making them feel her power… like hEXx3r would do.
Juan Lois “HellLois” (Organized Game Manager): The first Knight of Santiago, the one who is running with the Spitfire and the sword. It is my favourite because, it is a nice model, it is so dynamic, you can see the speed of the brutal charge while the knight makes his way, he is hitting shots with his spitfire to finish the task with his sword.
Belén Moreno (Marketing Team): I love the Avicenna, Mercenary Doctor, she is gorgeous. The pose is perfect, and she has a top attitude. She is the boss. And her background is fantastic too.
A huge thank you to the team for taking time away to answer our questions!
Are you an Infinity Player? What’s your favorite faction and miniature? Let us know in the comments below.