Infinity CodeOne is a sci-fi skirmish wargame from Corvus Belli. CodeOne is a streamlined version of their Infinity game and while it includes the core mechanics of Infinity, it has a limited army pool, originally with four factions, but with this latest release, two more have been added, and a maximum limit of ten units in a force. Operation Crimson Stone is the brand new two-player starter set for Infinity CodeOne and along with Operation Kaldstrom, is the quickest way to get into CodeOne.
In this article, we'll have a quick look at CodeOne and talk about the Operation Crimson Stone boxed set and the forces it contains.
CodeOne is a more beginner-friendly Infinity experience as the limited pool to draw forces from means that there is less to learn for a new player in terms of troops, abilities, and weapons. Games are much faster and take up less space than full games of Infinity. It’s a perfect jumping-in point and if players like CodeOne, they can easily expand their forces out to the full rules. Infinity CodeOne is still a complicated game, so if you're new to wargames, the learning curve can be steep, but the Operation Crimson Stone box guides you through the learning process with some step-by-step tutorial games to the full rues.
Infinity CodeOne Mechanics
For those new to Infinity, Infinity CodeOne has two core mechanics. The order pool and Automatic Reaction Orders (ARO). Each turn, every unit still standing in your CodeOne force provides an order token. Order tokens are spent to activate your units during your turn and can be allocated to units as you choose. For example, if you have ten orders, they can all be spent to activate a single unit ten times, or split between different units. This gives a lot of flexibility each turn and you can prioritize a goal, spending orders until it’s achieved.
Automatic Reaction Orders are actions you take during your opponent's turn. They allow units to react to actions made by the enemy, like dodging an attack or shooting in response to an enemy attack or movement. This makes turns very dynamic, and you have to be aware of your opponent’s possible reactions to your actions. If your units move out of cover, which enemy units will be able to fire at them? If you fire at an enemy, will they be able to return effective fire?
Skill tests are taken on D20’s, and require rolling under the attribute being tested. If the enemy reacts to your action, it changes the roll to a face-to-face roll, which means you have to roll under your attribute, but above the enemy's roll to succeed.
Infinity N4 vs Infinity CodeOne
The main difference between Infinity, which had the brand new N4 rules released for it last year, and CodeOne are the forces that are available for it. Infinity N4 has nine main factions, each with several available sub-factions along with a number of Non-Aligned Armies. Each force has a huge selection of units available to it. Infinity CodeOne has six different factions, each with just over twenty units available to them. CodeOne games are limited to ten units, which controls the required table space and the time it takes to play games.
There are some streamlining of rules, but the core difference between N4 and CodeOne is this smaller scale game, with limited forces. Infinity N4 is well known as a complex game. The simplicity of the core mechanics are followed by a huge learning curve, and this control and limitation of the CodeOne forces makes it a lot more beginner-friendly, whilst keeping the rules that make Infinity what it is.
CodeOne and N4 are entirely compatible, within the CodeOne forces. What this means is that players picking up any CodeOne releases can use those forces in Infinity N4, expanding into a full game when they want to. Infinity CodeOne also has streamlined releases planned, with limited key boxes for each faction, which will make it easier for players to build up their forces. All of the tokens, templates, and dice in the CodeOne boxes are also the same as those used for N4, so once you're ready to upgrade, you can buy the N4 rulebook or download the core N4 rules and you're ready to go.
Operation Crimson Stone
Infinity CodeOne Operation Crimson stone contains everything that two players need to start playing. It includes two forces, an Ariadna force on a covert mission to inspect an asteroid that could destabilize their control of teseum, a highly dense but light metal, and a force of Nomads, to whom the asteroid belongs. Crimson Stone also includes a scenery pack to represent the Hlokk Mining station, all the tokens, dice, and measurement tools two players need, and an introductory rulebook, that sets the narrative for the operation and includes five introductory missions that slowly build up the forces and rules, guiding players through their first games.
After players have worked through the introductory booklet, they are free to expand to the full rules, which are available for free download here. Also on that page are the quickstart rules. So if you already own some miniatures, you can give the rules a go straight away to see if you like the system. Infinity CodeOne also has a free army builder, that's available online and in an app that can be used to plan the expansion of your force.
Infinity CodeOne is a fairly brutal game, and your units can be eliminated quickly if left in the open for too long, so ensuring your battlefield has sufficient scenery is essential. Operation Crimson Stone comes with enough scenery to fill the recommended 32x24 inch battlefield and a gaming mat that matches.
The scenery is all solid and extremely durable card, and the four buildings can be built in one of two ways. The scenery slots together, so no glue is required, letting you disassemble it for transport or storage and rebuild when you need them. The two small buildings fit on top of the larger ones if you want to build multi-level terrain and the barriers offer mixed full and partial cover terrain to spread between the buildings.
The Crimson Stone box includes a token set that has all the tokens you should ever need for CodeOne (and Infinity N4 later on) including templates and measurement sticks. All the tokens are double-sided and include information and modifiers about the condition, which is an incredibly handy addition. All the tokens and templates are the same solid card that the scenery is made from, so they are very hard-wearing.
Operation Crimson Stone Forces
Operation Crimson Stone includes two brand new factions for CodeOne, the Nomads and Ariadna, for which they are also a new sectorial sub-faction for Infinity N4, Kosmoflot.
The Crimson Stone Nomads force contains:
- Alguacil - The Nomad line infantry. They've got options for hackers, paramedics, and out of the Crimson Stone set, one will also be your lieutenant. They've got a better ballistic skill over the Aridna infantry, making it slightly better for them in a shoot-off.
- Sombra - The Sombra, armed with a multi rifle and light shotgun, are very stealthy hackers with a solid hacking resistance of their own. Stealth, Camoflague, Forward Deployment 8, and Mimetism -3 make them very effective at not getting hit.
- Evader - Evaders, unlike their name, are more inclined to walk into fire than evade it. Well armored and armed with the awesome AP Spitfire, they can join a fireteam core with the Alguacils to make some devastating ARO attacks.
- Hellcat - With Combat Jump +3 and Parachutist, the Hellcat is able to arrive anywhere on the board to make use of their boarding shotguns with devastating effect. Armor 2 helps with any return fire.
- Intruder - Intruders have it all. Stealth, Camoflague, and Mimetism -3 to stop them from getting hit. Armor 3 to protect them if they do get hit. Multispectral Visor Level 2 to target any enemies trying to hide and a Heavy Machine Gun to bring the pain. Oh, and they also have Terrain (Total) to keep them on the move no matter what the situation.
The Ariadna Crimson Stone force contains:
- Rokot - The Ariadna line infantry have a lot of options. One is armed with a submachine gun and can take a Leuiteant, Infiltration, or Forward Observer option. The two armed with rifles and shotguns can be your Lieutenant or take an Infiltration option.
- Para-commando - The para commando as their name suggests has Parachutist to get them onto the board, along with Mimetism -3 and Armor 2 to protect them when they land. The boarding shotgun option comes with Forward Observer to improve your chances of other units hitting a target when putting them in a targeted state, and there's also an option for a couple of extra points for a +1 Dam option.
- S.A.S. - As well as Infiltration, Dodge +1", Stealth, Camoflague, Mimetism -3 and Terrain (Total), the SAS also have Martial Arts L2 and a shock CC weapon to bring the pain to their opponents in close combat.
- Volkolak - Volkolaks can join a fireteam core with the Rokot's, making use of their heavy machine gun. But with their armor 4, Natural Born Warrior, Super-Jump, Immunity (Total), and No Wound Incapacitation, they're pretty durable heading forwards by themselves.
- Zenit-7 - The Zenit-7, armed with their AP Sniper Rifle is a deadly force multiplier on the battlefield. They can deploy with Decoy to protect them until you're ready, and have Camoflague, Stealth, and Mimetism -3 to protect them later, along with Armor 2. They also have +1 damage and shock as standard on ballistic skill attacks.
Expanding Beyond Crimson Stone
Both of these forces can be expanded instantly with the Xanadu Rush Dire Foes mission pack and then later on with the Beyond Crimson Stone pack. Xanadu Rush contains:
- Jazz Hacker and Billie - Jazz is a great anti-hacker. Their Hacking Device Plus has access to the Trinity program with an extra damage boost to deal some real damage to enemy hackers. Billie acts as a repeater, that can extend the reach of Jazz and other friendly hackers, with the Remote Presence skill keeping them active as a repeater beyond death.
- Cadin "Firststrike" Donn - Firststrike is as his name suggests. Frenzy gives them the impetus order after damaging an enemy, and Berserk allows them to get into combat quickly in order to get them impetuous order. Armor 3 and a T2 rifle protects them when they're at range, and then a close combat skill of 23, Martial Arts L2, along with a T2 close combat weapon and the Close Combat AP skill means that once they're in combat, they're a force to be reckoned with.
- Lab-Tech - The Lab Tech is an objective miniature and doesn't have a specific profile for use in any faction. They're used in the Xanadu Rush mission available on the CodeOne downloads page.
The Beyond Crimson Stone pack will come with six new units, three for each Nomads and Ariadna and we'll look at that in more detail when it's released.
The copy of Infinity CodeOne Operation Crimson Stone used to produce this preview was provided by Corvus Belli.