Corvus Belli and Carlos continue to reveal new tidbits and whole rules around the new Edition of Infinity. Extremely late on Monday they revealed how retreat works, with an addition Tuesday as to how the new templates will work. Each of these portions of the rules has some very, very strange interactions in the last edition. Each of these rules needed serious work, and they got them. Continuing to build on the excitement of how Loss of Lieutenant works and the clarification and simplification of a number of issues, the new template rules and the new retreat rules are fantastic.

Retreat was always a funny beast in 2e. I never really suffered from it, but it was always on your mind. You’d have to keep track of how much of your army you lost, and what portion was left to loose before your army went into retreat and started acting weird. The new rules are extremely interesting to me, as morale and fleeing are very large parts of many miniatures games, but no player likes to see their models turn tail and run or collapse with feat. Instead, everyone wants their troops to behave in predictable, standard ways. Some game companies temper morale by eliminating it completely, which I am not a fan of, and some will simply try to have it exert a minimal effect.

The new strategy that Corvus Belli is enacting with N3, is one of mitigated failure. They’ve moved the retreat threshold backward to 75%, meaning that you have to have less than 25% of your points on the board in order to be in retreat. In a 300 point game, that’s 75 points or less on the table. Combined with what Carlos mentioned were longer games, this is likely to come up later in the game than it used to. In addition to being later in the game, they way retreat works varies based on certain skills they have.

Normal_impetuous_courage

 

The chart above gives a good concept of what is happening at two points in time: Loss of Lt. and the Retreat Status.

Normal units are units without any special skill mitigating these two very bad positions.

  • Loss of Lieutenant – Normal Troops become Irregular, and may generate only a single (Yellow) Impetuous order, which only they can use.
  • Retreat! – Normal Troops become Irregular, but they also become non-combative. This means that they may only move, dodge and be scared.

This is a large change from 2e, where any number of times I would have had to deal with troops retreating in place. The old rule was that these troops had to make a compulsory move towards their owning board edge. This is no longer the case. Many losses in the game can be mitigated by getting models that are retreating off the board edge, due to the fact that you don’t get points for what you’ve eliminated of the opponents, but what you’ve managed to save of your own squad.

Impetuous units are those troops who suffer from the Impetuous skill. They are generally uncontrollable, and tend to have other benefits that allow them to ignore or mitigate this rule, but it is here for completeness sake, a method I can get behind.

  • Loss of Lieutenant: Impetuous troops become Irregular, but also retain Impetuous (red orders).
  • Retreat: The Impetuous Order Phase (the “red” phase) no longer occurs during retreat, denying them a move, and during retreat they are both Impetuous and suffer from non-combative.

Courage: Troops with the Courage Ability suffer the discord of retreat and loss of a chain of command admirably. Instead of becoming non-combative, these troops become Irregular in both situations. This allows them to continue to act, albeit at a loss of effectiveness, while the rest of their unit gets their shit together. This ability, granted by all levels of martial arts, also allows a unit to perform a fighting retreat, attempting to get off the board and and save points.

Remote_Religious_Veteran

As the list goes down, the type of troop gets better and better.

Here we have Remote Presence, the Courage of the robot world. This operates with the same minimal downfalls and immense upside that comes with impetuous troops.

Regular Religious Troops.
As a Haqqislam player, I really look forward to using this profile. While in Loss of Lieutenant they suffer the same penalties as other factions, they refuse to retreat due to their overwhelming religious teachings. This allows them to generate a Green (standard) order, allowing them to both spend orders from the pool, and contribute orders to the pool as normal. This is truly amazing, allowing your troops to keep the fight going while the rest of the army retreats in good order. Oh, and one more thing: Religious Troops are not allowed to leave the table edge in a retreat situation. They will stick it out and sacrifice themselves to cover for the retreating troops.

Veteran Level 1
Veteran troopers are amazingly skilled and disciplined warriors. They have the ability to work together through the toughest of times and come out on tip. Neither Loss of Lieutenant or Retreat will cause them to break, and they will continue to function at full capacity no matter what the fight entails.

Finally, we have the baddest aliens in the known space.

Morats Morat

Not only do these guys retain their orders, they are also religious, meaning that they will never retreat off the board, they will always stay and fight, and they will keep fighting until they perish a glorious death. Its very interesting to me and I look forward to fighting them once again!

The other rules change, as part of an almost half-hour video, is the changes to template weapons. There are some very interesting changes here. Because I’ve not had a ton of experince with templates, I’ll just list the parts that seem important to me.

  1. All templates act the same. The only difference are terminal templates now exist. The simple difference between a standard blast and a terminal blast is that the template either exists, or is generated on hit.
  2. Templates ignore partial cover.
  3. If you can see the model who originated the Template, you may dodge the damage. This is a normal PH roll. The worst PH still had a 50/50 shot!
  4. If the model does not see the originator of the template, that model may still dodge, but at a -3.
  5. Templates cannot affect models that are completely blocked from LOS by terrain in between the template focus, ie, the point on the template with the hole, and the target.
  6. All models attacked may choose to ARO as normal, and all will a normal roll. Each troops results will have no effect on the next. You cannot eliminate a terminal Template (Missile Launcher, Shotgun) by being the target and succeeding in your ARO.
  7. A troop may place the tip of the template anywhere within their silhouette, but not next to it. This is true in all three directions. You can shoot it from your head, your toes or your chest, but not next to you, over you, or under you.
  8. Smoke Grenades are template weapons, and can be ARO’d as normal. He specifically calls out a model being targeted by smoke grenades nullifying their placement with a good ARO, but I’m not sure about targeting the ground.

Templates deserve their own entire post, but that’s all the time I’ve got right now! Hopefully tomorrow they have move videos and sneak peaks!

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!!!

 

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.