N3: The Closer You Get

Its been relatively quiet on the Infinity front since their Gencon announcements, and its been trying to keep up the hype I had going for it when it was first announced. I was initially psyched to get some games in with my current line of models and rules, but that thought was quickly quashed by the portions of my brain that just want new stuff to come out.

Its not even just the new shiny syndrome, which I tend to suffer less from. Instead, its the promise of a better balanced and more intriguing gameplay. There are a number of things that I just don’t feel like playing against on the off chance that they could change. Instead, I’ll revel in the good news nuggets that they drop here and there and be very excited about the game.

Thankfully, I’ve been rewarded! You can now pre-order N3 Directly from Corvus Belli or through your local store. It is very pricey, honestly, approaching $77.00, but the mail rules are divided into two parts, so your paying for two books: The price of each is about $38.50 at that point, which I am more likely to pay. I’m not sure that I really like the concept of a split book, but it definitely has its selling points. Carlos mentions that he was approaching 400 pages in the standard rulebook, and that they had to cut it in half for it to be portable and useful. While I am not particularly in tune with the Fluff, and don’t necessarily want to pay for the fluff, I am willing to shell out the cash to have a nice, streamlined rules tome to take with me, and a neat, shelf-watching fluff book I can maybe sell off to someone.

Though, honestly, some people aren’t even going to want that, and will be able to update their entire collection on Jan 1 when the downloadable rules come out. The fact that there are even downloadable rules is a boon to their company and a nod to their fans. They want to make this game as easy and simple to get into as possible and having rules on line is exactly the way to do that. It also makes sense with their insanely high learning curve. Give the new people rules to be able to peruse and get excited about, and they will purchase models.

That announcement of the pre-order, along with its requisite exclusive miniature, has started off a week of announcements about the game, the news, and what is going to happen in December. One of the details they keep going over a decision that gives me pause every time I think about it. They keep mentioning that they are only replacing the first, core book. The other two rule books, Human Sphere and Campaign:Paradiso, are going to remain legal rule books, able to be used with the new edition. Except where they aren’t. Supposedly, all the profiles got tweaks, skills were revamped and rules were clarified. Even if none of that was true, the weapons got new range bands, and are invalid for the books. Its all very confusing to me, and makes my poor brain hurt.

In addition to the announcement of a pair of books, they have also announced a new mechanic for Infinity: Command Tokens. Command tokens are a spendable resource that each army starts the game with. Each army will generally have four, though some models or abilities may add or detract from that. These tokens, which you may only spend during your active turn, are used for a number of powerful in game effects and never replenish.

Command Tokens

You are not limited in how many you can use in a given turn, and sometimes  its very useful to have a number of them hanging around in order to save your bacon. Whats really fun about the tokens is that they have a variety of uses, and depending on the events over the course of the game, you will inevitably have a reason to use them. They also add an interesting element of control over some of the more notoriously random elements in the game, namely Doctor and Repair.

I am intrigued by the fact that this command token is how you recreate a fire team. This has stunning implications on Tohaa, as they can have multiple fire teams in a single army, and may have the need to reform more than one in a round. Where before this wasn’t possible (at least as far as I remember), you now can. This comes with risk, however, because you can only do that on two of your turns before you run out of Command Tokens.

It also allows a resource that Link Teams don’t really have a ton of access too. A vanilla army is extremely likely to use the tokens to leverage advantage, where an army with a link team will either conserve them against inevitable Link Team Deaths, or burn them and have the opponent take advantage. Its an incredibly interesting system, and I can’t wait to try it out, get frustrated, and swear to learn the game.

The more utilitarian uses for the tokens are ones that straight up offer re-rolls: Doctors and Repair via remote presence. Though each roll can be re rolled only once, it does represent an added chance of victory. This is something I really want to see in action, and see if it will affect my usage of Doctors in Haqq.

The final group is part of Order Manipulation, which I think is a grand Idea. Spending the tokens in this way gives you more control over your models/orders. These effects include: Turning an Irregular (only spendable on the generating troop) order into a standard order, removing a single model from the state of retreat, recover a possessed TAG, and move a model between combat groups. I really like all of these abilities as they make the game more manageable in previously untenable situations. Retreat, Loss of LT, Possessed TAGS and picked apart combat groups can be exceptionally frustrating to deal with, and I can see the immediate use in being able to spend an outside resource to mitigate them to a point.

Overall, I’m still really looking forward to seeing the new rules, stats and abilities. Its a good time to have played infinity!!!