Operation WildFire is the latest two-player starter set for Infinity. It follows the same formula as Operation Red Veil and Operation ColdFront before it. If you're interested in the Infinity rules system itself, then check out our Operation Red Veil review.
In this article, we're going to focus on what the two forces that Operation WildFire includes, what they add to Infinity, how they operate straight out of the box, as well as how they can be expanded on if you wish to take the factions further. For this, we've also brought back Andy 'Riker' Roo a previous UK Number 1 ranked ITS player who has helped us with his insight throughout the Start Collecting Infinity series. We also get input from James 'Murkage' Newman, the current world Number 1 ranked ITS player.
For Andy's history, you can check out our Beginner Infinity Interview.
James: Well unsurprisingly my first tabletop gaming set was a Games Workshop starter. My dad dropped me off at a store when I was 9 and when he picked me up I wouldn't shut up about Space Marines and Orks. So for my birthday I got the 2nd edition Warhammer 40k starter set, the one with the amazing cardboard dreadnought in it. That was it really, ever since then I've been painting and playing tabletop games. The only system I didn't play was Epic. As for the games, I play now other than Infinity, are Pathfinder and a skirmish game called Bushido.
TechRaptor: You’re currently the No. 1 ranked ITS player. Tell us a little bit about that. Has it been a long road, a solid series of short wins? What factions have you been using along the way?
James: It's been a long road in the sense that I've been playing Infinity for 5 years now. It took me about a year before I won my first event. The first tournament I ever went to I won 2 out of 6 games and I still remember one of those was all down to some very lucky dice rolls and scenery set up ( sorry about that Luke). This year however its definitely been a series of short wins so far. The season is only a few months old but I have been fortunate enough to make it to the first 3 events in the UK and do quite well at them. When it comes to tournaments I usually take 1 of 4 factions Yu Jing, Ariadna, OSS or Combined. I decide on the faction depending on missions but will take Combined if it's a Limited insertion event.
What's in the box?
The Operation WildFire box includes the following:
- An O-12 starter set of 7 miniatures (including an exclusive miniature) that we'll cover in detail below
- A Shasvastii starter set of 7 miniatures (including an exclusive miniature) that we'll cover in detail below
- Salvora Governmental Complex Scenery Pack (including 4 buildings, 15 scenery items and a gaming mat)
- Cardboard templates and tokens
- 6 faction themed D20 (3 for each)
- Plus a full-color Operation WildFire booklet that includes a beginner's step-by-step onboarding rules process themed around the miniatures in the set, as well as background information and narrative around the two forces and the Infinity setting
TechRaptor: What do you think of the new WildFire release overall? Corvus Belli has made a few changes to their starter kits, most noticeably the new scenery. What do you think of it?
Andy: As a starter set, Corvus Belli has knocked this one out of the park! Beautiful minis, some simple yet interesting scenarios to teach you the basics, all of markers and templates you’ll need, and yeah, the new terrain set which really is perfect. Not only is it great to get new players understanding how important terrain is in Infinity, but by using 3 or 4 sets of the terrain, which has just been released separately, you can get a great looking, affordable board's worth of terrain that is quick and easy to get together!
James: As per usual Corvus have knocked it out the park with this starter set. Shasvastii got such an overhaul it might as well be seen as two new factions. I'm currently painting the Shasvastii now and the models are amazing. The scenery is a great improvement on the previous packs. The older card scenery does a basic job of getting some much-needed scenery down but it never felt like the solution to getting a proper table. The new stuff, however, being thicker, weightier and having print on both sides of the product for more variation makes it feel and play much better not to mention you now get lots of scatter as well. It's not something I need but I think for new players it's great.
Operation WildFire O-12 Force
O-12 are a brand new faction for Infinity, although they have been around in the lore for a while. The O-12 or Organization of the 12 Planets are a security and peace-keeping force.
The O-12 forces included in the Operation WildFire starter pack, along with Andy's breakdown for each unit:
- 3x Kappa Troopers - Your basic infantry. Good for covering flanks, setting up in suppressive fire, and generating orders. They also make good proxies for any S2 unit you want to try using.
- 1x Delta Trooper - An absolute bargain AD specialist! They’re going to be great for last turn button grabbing (The FO option is my favourite) or, if you’re feeling gutsy, a first turn assault on enemy strike pieces, using their riotstopper to glue things in place!
- 1x Epsilon Trooper - It’s hard to not like an MSV2, mimetic, BS13 sniper! They will lock down firelanes, and act as an excellent speed bump to slow your opponent up.
- 1x Gangbuster - A really versatile midfield control unit. The Killer Hacker profile is a great toolbox unit, that can either move around and grab buttons, hunt camo troops and enemy hackers, provide a solid ARO unit (especially with the MadTrap!), or go after the enemy HVT.
- 1x Gamma Unit - The other really solid ARO choice in the starter set. This unit is incredibly hard to shift (being armour 9 in cover!!), and with the addition of Full Auto Lv1, can be a really scary active turn piece, too! Use it for locking down lines of approach, and dealing with enemy armour.
TechRaptor: O-12, how do they play out of the WildFire units? How should players look to use them? Overall strengths and weaknesses.
Andy: So, as with any new faction, it’s hard to say how they will play when the models are limited, and we haven’t had much time with them on the table. That said, O12 are a very rounded faction, and so should be played a such. With a good average BS, you should be able to reliably engage with enemy units at range, a solid average WIP means you can grab those buttons when you need to, and a good spread of weapons means you will have the tools needed for most situations.
They’re not, however, overly strong in the CC department, so you should try and keep your opponent at arm’s length; holding them off with strong ARO pieces, and midfield control units.
James: It's early days yet for O-12. I have only played against them 3 times so far. If I were to compare them to any of the other factions, I would say they play most like Pan O but with way better specialists. They are no-nonsense hard hitters with the ability to win a lot of gunfights and hacking attacks head-on. Of course Infinity is a game with lots of nuances and tricks, they can have a few camo units and a few drop troops but they really excel at shooting and hacking.
For any new players reading this, out of the 2 factions they will be easier to use and you will feel powerful with the amount of Tec and guns you can have. However against a more experienced player using something like Ariadna, Shasvastii or Haqislam you might feel something is lacking when suddenly your big cannons can't hit back against a cheeky guy with a rifle or when an assassin is stabbing you in the back and there's not much you can do about it. All in all, they're a good faction and I really like the direction Corvus have gone in making something new, different and not too complicated for beginners.
Operation WildFire Shasvastii Forces
The Shasvastii Expeditionary Force are a sectorial of the Combined Army that focuses on spreading fear and despair through stealth and ambush tactics. They’ve been available for Infinity in the past, but not for a little while and this is a new and updated release for them.
The Shasvastii forces included in the Operation WildFire starter pack, along with Andy's breakdown for each unit:
- 3x Nox Troopers - Again, the standard line infantry. Use them to generate orders and lockdown close fire lanes. They have the added benefit of being immune to shock (because of Bioimmunity), and due to the Shasvastii rule, they still count as scoring, even when unconcious. This makes them great for missions involving holding areas of the board.
- 1x Mentor - In my opinion, one of the best support units in the army. Counterintelligence is a great rule, and Ambush Camo allows you to mask any holes in your combat group you might have from TO hidden deployment, or AD units. The Hacker profile would be my prefered option.
- 1x Caliban - Hands down the best unit in the box, and a strong contender for the best unit in the game! They have a terrifying array of options, including specialists, decent weapons, and MSV, and Protheion makes them incredible up close and personal. A good friend and regular opponent of mine, Hawx, regularly uses Calibans to devastating effect.
- 1x Shrouded - Although Camo-infiltrators are abundant in Infinity, the Shrouded’s range of options and comparatively cheap cost makes them a really versatile unit. Use them to grab buttons, or to wait in ambush for an enemy TAG. The Dazer minelayer option also allows you to lock down a chunk of the board (as Multiterrain isn’t a very common skill...unless you’re Shasvastii!).
- 1x Gwailo - The big gun option of the box, and a really good one at that! Although only ARM3, they have a Nanoscreen, meaning they carry cover around with them. Also, Albedo makes them invisble to MSV troops, so use them in your first turn to hunt anything that’s going to make life hard for your camo units! Leaving this in suppressive fire also gives a great way of slowing your enemy up!
TechRaptor: Shasvastii next, how do they play out of the WildFire units? How should players look to use them? Overall strengths and weaknesses.
Andy: The ultimate stealth and subterfuge army! You’re best off using them slyly, picking off key enemy units before pressing forward - they’re not very well armoured, relying mainly on vis mods like camo or ODD, so try not to get too entrenched in long shoot outs. Manoeuvre into position as a marker, and then strike from the angle that best benefits you.
James: Compared to O-12, Shasvastii are a whole new kettle of fish. Sly, sneaky, quiet and deadly. They have a lot of glass cannons in the faction and if you know how to use them, they can be extremely powerful. Using equipment and cunning to gain the advantage on the battlefield, they take a little practice. The basic As an example, the Nox trooper may seem a little expensive at 14pts minimum but by using stealth and a zapper, they have the ability to creep behind a tag and isolate them, essentially making them useless until fixed. Or the Gwailo heavy infantry, at a glance they seem a lot at circa 45pts and a minimum of 2 SWC but when linked with the Sheskin character and always being in cover, they can be a right menace.
As an overall view of the faction they can deal a lot of damage in the active turn but be careful when defending. You will need to get the right balance of hiding enough of your units to survive but not let your opponent with their O-12 run around unchecked because they will be grabbing a lot of objectives and blasting bugs away with relative ease.
Playing Against the New Factions
TechRaptor: If players come across Shasvastii or O-12 from the other side of the table, how should they handle playing against them?
Andy: As with a lot of Infinity, there’s no sure-fire way to deal with any problem, as it will depend on the tools you have at hand, but as a general principle, try and get close to O-12, and avoid letting them leverage those strong BS units. They will suffer if you can get up in their grill, so take care of any shotguns at range, then press forward - just watch out for those Riotstoppers!
For Shasvastii, it’s almost the opposite - don’t let them get near you. Keep as many fire lanes covered as possible, deal with threats as early as you can, and always, and I mean ALWAYS, expect more units to appear out of nowhere!
James: Against O-12 I would suggest not trying to play them at their own game, it's not going to be easy to take on that many hackers at once and while shooting can work most of the time they can have some decent and durable ARO pieces. It might not be order efficient to take them head-on. The main weakness of the faction is very low PH. If you can get your impetuous warbands close they will easily be able to tear them apart with chain rifles or CC. Failing that, engage with camo skirmishers and lay as many mines as you can. If you can make them work for their kills try and get someone close with a direct template weapon, and try to hide them in a place where they will have to get close to take him out if they survive your turn. This will waste orders and give you high odds of taking them out with ARO without the chance of missing the shot with a roll.
Against Shasvasti I would take the opposite approach. Behind all the rules, equipment and trickery they are a flimsy faction. The character Sheskin for example. For anyone who hasn't seen them yet, they are one of the most damaging active units in the game. They have a very high BS and always counts as being in cover, so they can shoot at an advantage from anywhere on the table and actually gains wounds back when she deals CC combat damage as she consumes your soul! However under all their abilities, they're an expensive unit that can die to a single decent roll from a HMG, or crumble easily to a flame thrower. Considering you get some nice big guns in the O-12 starter just go after Shasvastii head-on. Don't be intimidated by all the camo markers and weird alien Tec. If you can manage to hunt them directly, you will be winning most gunfights easily.
Building up the Operation WildFire forces
We asked James for his recommendations on taking the two forces further though.
James: For O-12 that's easy. I would definitely add a 4 man box of Varangian Guard. For me they are an absolute must-have. Cheap regular orders with smoke and an impetuous order if you want to cover some ground quick and a direct template weapon. I can't imagine people taking the Kappa very often over these guys unless you needed a cheap hacker or if you are taking a Limited Insertion list.
For Shasvasti that's harder. With all the goodness coming in the new Defiance game and the Beyond Wildfire box having Sheskin in, it's hard to decide as we will soon be spoiled for choice. I would like to see a new Noctifyer with a missile launcher model as its something that every Shasvastii player needs and the model has recently been discontinued. That or the Tensho blister, which we have no idea what that's going to look like and I will put one in my lists when using a Nox link team.
TechRaptor: Some closing questions. Which is your favourite of O-12 or Shasvastii in Wildfire?
Andy: This is a hard one - I *think* it’s O-12 - I really like the background, and think the models are gorgeous. However, the more I look at Shasvastii, the more I feel the pull of running them. The beautiful models from Wildfire certainly don’t help the hobby magpie in me!
James: Definitely Shasvasti. I'm a big fan of using camo markers and the models are so radically different from the other factions. My all-time favorite faction is Ariadna but honestly, the models can get boring to paint after a while as they are mostly just units in camo with generic guns. Painting up the Shasvastii has given me the chance to try some new painting techniques and try out some very unique rules on the tabletop. I managed to get hold of some really old Combined remotes and next to the newer units they really emphasize something weird and alien from a faraway galaxy. Also, I've had great fun with the Specillio Killer. Even when it doesn't do what was originally intended its always a laugh to use.
TechRaptor: Which is your favourite WildFire miniature?
Andy: Now that is a hard question! It’s got to be either the Gwailo or the Gamma unit though - there’s just something in the way CB have captured the size, and imposing nature of both of these units, that really reflects how they work on the board!
James: Undoubtedly the Gamma Trooper with the Fhurerbach. What an absolute beast! With that big amour and that huge cannon he is wielding, it doesn't look like much is standing in his way. It might also help that he is also a great unit on the table.
TechRaptor: Is this release going to change how you play or make lists, or are you even taking on one of the new factions as your main?
Andy: Well, I’m partway through painting up O-12 now, so I guess it has, yes. That said, I’m focussing on Spiral Corps for season 11, so I’m going to try and keep my Space Cops as a side project...that is, at least, until the inevitable release of things like the Alpha and Zeta units… :\
James: Personally for the moment not much now. O-12 are new so I'm going to wait until the first sectorial is out and they have a few more units and models to choose from. Hopefully, it will have a mix of Aleph as I play OSS. I am however excited for Shasvastii but again models are scarce. When Defiance is out early next year and there are lots of models available I can see myself taking them a lot. It's my style of play with lots of camo, good objective grabbers and hard hitters in the active turn.
TechRaptor: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Andy and James, we look forward to hearing from you again next time.
What do you think about the Infinity Operation WildFire boxed set? Are you on the side of 0-12 or Shasvastii? What do you think of the new units? What would you add to them to build up the lists? Let us know in the comments below.
This copy of Operation WildFire was provided by Corvus Belli.