A while back I mentioned that Infinity was going to have a new version of their game come out this year, and over the last few weeks, their has been a flurry of activity around what these changes will bring.

Infinity is sticking to the time tested version of edition change, and has already done all the work. Unlike Warmachine, Malifaux, D&D and numerous Kickstarters, there will be no public beta test of this edition. I think this is a bold move, in the modern age of minis games, but not one without its perks. The game is built buy a Spanish language company, but a large portion of its community are decidedly not. While this includes the USA, it has a broad appeal across Europe. This has created problems with translation to other languages, including English, obscuring the original intent of rules. The decision not to let the community test the product signals confidence in the product that they have,  it also signals that they don’t feel they need the community input to make a balanced, enjoyable game. It also shows that they feel they have achieved a very solid translation, and I hope that they have achieved that goal. I think one of the defining traits of a good minis game is the tightness of the rules set, and Infinity, while good, has a ton of growing room in the clarity department. I don’t like arguing over obscure or strangely interpreted rules in any system. I have high hopes for N3, something I try to keep myself from doing.

These are the changes I have found and/or been exposed to:

  • Combat Camo – What used to be an unopposed shot will now be an opposed shot, but the target suffers a -3 penalty on their return fire. Almost all the math shows that this is a nearly lateral change. Before, you could only shoot back, with no penalty, if the sniper completely missed, you now get a chance to defend yourself, but with a penalty. While it is a lateral change, it does make the game easier to explain and more enjoyable to the defender due to rolling v. not rolling.
  • Capped Modifiers: Supposedly, all modifiers are being capped at +12 and -12. I don’t think this is incredibly common, but in a game that can stock mods, making shots impossible is something to try and avoid.
  • Ranges are being changed, and though I don’t get the particulars and nuances of the numbers, many people smarter than me are extremely enthused. Changes of note
    • Double effective range of grenades, from 0-4″ to 0-8″
    • Double the bonus of the shotgun at short range (+6) which is the only gun to achieve the +6
    • HMG’s have reduced good ranges, making other guns stronger chouces.
    • Sniper Rifles are stronger at long range than they are now, and also the penatly maxes at -3, which X-Visors ignore.
  • Climbing: Climbing is now a long skill that does not require a roll, no longer being betrayed by the dice and plummeting to your death.
  • Discover gets a minor range buff, now being +0 at 8-36″
  • Measurement: Ranges are now measured from Edge to Edge, instead of Center to Edge.
  • Silhouette LOS – When determining LOS from/to a model, you may use a pre-determined silhouette instead of true LOS.
  • Inaction: A rule that allows you to activate a trooper/model but they don’t do anything. It just forces an opponent to declare ARO’s
  • MSV1:  reduces combat camo and TO camo by -3
  • Kinematika is a new skill, that adds 1 inch further with every ARO Dodge, and has levels
  • BTS: is now a positive stat, like all the rest.
  • Smoke: A model touching smoke is considered part of the smoke cloud its touching. I assume that it simply means that he is completely concealed, not that his base can conceal others.
  • And, my favorite change:
  • Loss of Lieutenant – The loss of your LT will no longer cripple your order pool and loose you a turn. Instead, each model becomes Irregular, only able to spend orders on themselves. Using the LT order will now also reveal the LT. You also get an auto-promote of a new LT
  • The dispersion template has been changed in N3 too, it now has ten scatter directions instead of eight – the 9/10 and 2/3 results have been ungrouped.
  • Finally, there are some significant changes to models points and stats here, but they are of factions that I don’t really understand the significance.

Relic Knights is lucky that its game play seems to be fun, different and completely cool, because otherwise, I’d have just pitched the bunch of models I’ve assembled into the trash or to someone else, because I supremely disappointed.

Nearly every model I put together was either boring, stupid, flat or some combination of the three. The saving grace of the Corsairs line is Calico Kate and The Iron Chef. Every other model falls extremely short of my admittedly low expectations that I had for them.

Battle Box:
Harker: This model is the definition of sad. His art is cool and posed well, but his model is completely static and flat. I was originally really stoked to get him, but this really tempered my enthusiasm for him.
– Caesar – This model is actually not that bad, but its really hard to mess up a bird on a sword. I do believe that part of my disappointment was that they had planted the idea that it was going to be a dude holding the bird, but due to rules, Caesar has to be a separate model

Corsairs: Man, this is a trifecta of terrible, with each model worse than the last. Lola Bunny Ears honestly isn’t that bad of a model. She’s cylindrical even though she could have easily been made more dynamic by splaying her army just a little bit. Then, we have Scoliosis Boy.  His pose is so weird it just pulls me away. Finally we have Flatso. I’m just so rottenly disappointed by this model that it makes me angry. That they give you two in a box of Corsairs, and then foist two of the units on you is just icing on the crap cake.

Broadsides: Now, here is a model that doesn’t make me want to hurl chunks. Its about as average as you can get, but that seems to be the bar set for this lineup of models. What makes this thing aggravating is that is a huge pain in the ass to assemble!

Extra Models
Kenobo and Moffet: I don’t violently hate Kenobo, His sword is a bit large, and his nose is freakishly large, but I can get over both of those. Moffet is another story. I don’t think I like anything about her. Her face is mashed, her hand lost a ton of detail in plastic, and her sword is uninspiring.

Iron Chef and Squall. I like Iron Chef, I really do, which is great because he is one of the models I expected to like the least. I might change out his strange circular weapon for a blade, but that’d be it. Squall has a strange stance, but otherwise is a really cool model.

Blowhards: Man, am I disappointed. They look nothing like the art I wanted and are extremely static. Just not my cup of tea here.

Wildspace Gabe and Fleshreaper: These models look like they have to be painted to really get a good look at them. I originally thought that Gabe had an awful face, but I think its just sculpted weird to get the effect they needed. Fleshreaper is both tiny and not terrible.

Isabeau Durrant: I’m not upset with this model for anything other than her hair being a separate piece.  Unless paint can save it, its going to look like a whig. Not ok

Calico Kate: I’m over my 500 word count, but I didn’t want to leave without stating how pleased I am with this model, the one I was most dreading. With the bomb-and-Sword pose, I think she looks really cool, though I did have to re-position her sword. She’s got that Cheesecake flair, but it doesn’t look terrible on the model. Skully, however, is freaking TINY!

the more I look over the line, the more convinced I am that there ins’t a single faction that I’d enjoy every model from, or even most models, and thats a shame. Thankfully, the game plays pretty cool, and I like both resource management systems they have going. At least for now, those rules are a saving grace.

I’m also upping my word count to 750. Jesus is 500 small! so tiny! its Fun Size, not even Bite Sized

I’ve been playing a ton of Warmachine lately, but its not all I’ve been doing. Its been too hard to keep up with all my hobbies, but I still get in what I can, when I can. I’ve left a bunch of quick events unwritten, and I’d figure I’d try to put them in quick, Wednesday, digest I’m going to call Bitesize Nerd. I’m going to try to keep them under 500 words, just for brevitys sake and for my sanity. I am having trouble finding the time talking about everything I want to as it is – the last thing I need is to spend another few hours a week trying to write more long articles.

So, First off! Conspiracy!

The summer set of magic is generally one that is lighthearted and fun, something that is not tournament legal yet still has an impact on the players through reprints or some other expansion of the non-standard game. They do a similar thing in the fall, and I’ve really enjoyed them, in theory. A few weeks ago I was able to experience this event as I think it was always intended to be.

Last years Modern Masters showed that people love to draft one off and strange sets designed exactly for that purpose. This year, Conspiracy turned that concept on its head, bringing a set that messed with the drafting mechanic itself. My brother bought a box and quickly drafted it, but then he started constructing a cube out of the drafted box. A cube is a self made set of cards that is meant to be quickly drafted and played, and maintained by its owner. Cubes started out as a way to get the most powerful, absurd combos and cards into play that normally would not see play in a draft, and has blossomed and exploded since then.

The Conspiracube had input from friends, and we all kind of built the card list together. Its a non-standard cube in that it is not singleton, with only one of each card, but is a standard booster style draft with commons, uncommons and rares. When we finally sat down to draft, we had what we thought would be a pretty awesome set, and we weren’t to far off.

The first draft I ended up going with a Red – Blue burn/tempo deck that just wasn’t able to get off. All I needed was 5 mana, and I’d be able to drop a 6/6 Lurking Automaton, backed up by Secret Summoning. Alas, my deck only provided me 4 mana, and I was unable to contest with a pile of Ally tokens and my brothers giant wall of cards.

The second time, I was able to draft a pretty solid blue – something deck, but the other color never got on a roll. I ended up dropping 4  Marchesa’s Emissary on the board with three Muzzio’s Preparations, but was unable to get past that state and one of the guys came over to top to end me, first out of the game!

Whats really cool about Conspiracy, especially in cube, is that unlike normal drafts, it works extremely well when playing with just about any number of players. They mentioned in one of their articles that it works best with 4-5 players per game, which means that a drafting group of 3,4,5,6 and 8 all work extremely well. 7 is strange, but that’s OK – don’t have 6 other friends.

After the first test run of the draft, there was a ton of conversation and dissection of the cube into what was good, bad and terrible. I’;m really excited to play again with the new version we’ve all thrown in to create, and its likely to end up one of the most fun games, let alone cubes I ever play, and man has it got me excited to build my own Ravnica Cube.

Follow me on Twitter, @seethingginger, for even more nerdings and happening!