I really enjoy the smaller-format games for several reasons, including a smaller play area (roughly 2'x3'), and a shorter play time. Infinity: The Game is a very detailed sci-fi combat system, with hundreds of pages of rules. I typically play with the Wiki open on a nearby smartphone or laptop.
Over the recent holiday season I played a couple of games of RECON+, with KyleF and with DerekY.
Play Area Configuration
As part of their army deployment, before placing their High Value Target, each player deploys 3 Civilian models inside the half of the Exclusion Zone (see below) on their opponent’s side of the play area. Civilians must be deployed at least 4” away from all other Civilians placed by that player. They cannot be placed on any terrain requiring a Climb entire order to reach. No model or marker may be deployed in base contact with any Civilian or vice versa.
Once deployed, take 2 Agent and 1 Citizen importance markers (or suitable proxies indistinguishable on the back side). Turn them face down, shuffle them, and randomly
assign one to each of your Civilians without being revealed to you or your opponent.
There is an Exclusion Zone extending 6” on both sides of the short centerline of the play area (12” long total) and covering the full extent between long edges.
Players may target Civilians they placed with the Discover skill. On success they may look at the targeted Civilian’s importance marker without revealing it to their opponent.
Once a Civilian has been revealed to both players as an Agent via the Interrogate Civilian skill, it may be directly targeted by the opposing player as an enemy troop and no penalty is
incurred by them for damaging it.
Exfiltrated: An Agent has been Exfiltrated if it is wholly inside its player’s deployment zone.
Secured: An Agent is Secured if it is wholly outside the Exclusion Zone on its player’s side
of the play area. An Exfiltrated Agent is necessarily Secured, but not vice versa.
Have at least one of your Agents in CivEvac state at game end. 1 Point
Have both of your Agents in CivEvac state at game end. 1 Point
Have at least one of your Agents Secured at game end. 1 Point
Have both of your Agents Secured at game end. 1 Point
Have at least one of your Agents Exfiltrated at game end. 1 Point
Have both of your Agents Exfiltrated at game end. 1 Point
Have more Agents in CivEvac state at game end than your opponent. 1 Point
Classified objective achieved. 2 Points
So, the game is all about finding and rescuing your own agents, and preventing your opponent from achieving his victory conditions.
Here is my army list for both games, from the Infinity Army list-building tool:
Below, Kyle can be seen after setting up his Nomads.
I ran my new Japanese Secessionist Army forces, who were set up behind cover, below.
Below, the exclusion zone, with various civilians and nearby infiltrating skirmishers from each side.
Kyle had previously won the roll off and chose to go first. He put a fireteam together and pushed toward the centre of the board, identifying one of his Agents right away.
Kyles had a trooper escort the Agent back deep into his deployment zone. Fortunately, I had succeeded in infiltrating a techno ninja ((Oniwaban) into the Nomad backfield. In a face to face roll-off, these deadly foes managed to blast each other into unconsciousness, and out of the game! Kyle's Agent was now out of CivEvac state, losing the 3 victory points he had gained for these efforts.
Meanwhile, the other two members of Kyle's fireteam had advanced up the flank...
...revealing their Classified Objective, which was to kidnap my HVT (a Kuge Delegate)! They proceeded to grab her, and pull back to the centre of the table. Kyle now had 2 more victory points to my 0.
After a bunch of shooting where we each inflicted a casualty or to, I managed to get a Kempei (a type of political officer) into contact with one my my own Civilians, and blew two or three dice rolls vainly trying and interrogate them.
In the last turn, running out of time and running out of orders, I sent my heaviest armoured trooper (a Daiyokai) into the fray with drawn swords against the heavy machine gun and rifle fire of Kyle's fireteam.
Against all odds, the heavy dude cut both opponents down, rescuing my Kuge Delegate, denying Kyle his victory points, and forcing a 0-0 draw!
This was an exciting game, which I was losing from the start, until I suddenly wasn't. KJyle played very well, achieving his goals in the first and second turn. The dice were with me that day.
A week later, I joined DerekY at Rickfest to,play the same scenario against his Ariadne. He went with a lot of cheaper troopers, ending up with 10 models/orders to my JSA's 6.
I ended up on the same board edge, and set up somewhat similarly to the previous game. However, this time I had to move first.
Derek successfully Infiltrated a trooper just beyond the planter. She caused no end of trouble, gunning down my own mine-laying infiltrator (the Ryuken, who looks exactly like Motoko Kusunagi from Ghost in the Shell), in ARO when the later tried to turn around. I ended up committing the big Daiyokai early, to get rid of her.
Deep in the Ariadne deployment zone, there was (from L-R), a hidden sniper on the roof of the small Japanese building, a war correspondent and a couple of troopers behind the same building, and a fireteam with an HMG on the roof of the small rectangular building. Again, before the game started I had managed to infiltrate the techno ninja (the Oniwaban) right onto the roof with the fireteam.
He revealed himself, and managed to cut all three down with his mono-filament blade.
My Lieutenant tried to get into the fight, moving up beside the self-driving car, but she got shot by Derek's sniper. Fortunately, the Kempei's presence prevented my forces from entering the Loss of Lieutenant state.
Derek's sniper had special, extra-damage-causing ammo. Throwing caution to the wind, I advanced the Daiyokai. In an epic firefight, the Daiyokai managed to outright kill the sniper.
Realizing that my forces had little chance of actually fulfilling game objectives, the Oniwaban stood up and gunned down a couple of Ariadne troopers who were by the Spinner hover car. This lowered the Ariadne's numbers enough to put them into Retreating off the table, ending the game with another 0-0 draw.
As the scenario itself states,
"The Exfiltrate mission is challenging and often results in low scores. In tournament play it is recommended to be used in the late rounds, so opponents will be of roughly similar skill but given the opportunity to differentiate themselves within win/loss brackets."
Following, some other photos of gaming action at the end of December at RickFest X, “the 6th most wonderful time of the year”!
One of the surprise hits from Rick’s collection was The Royal Game of Ur; it’s a dice and race game that traces back its origins to ~4500 years ago. (This video featuring Irving Finkel, curator at The British Museum, shows a play-through of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZskjLq040I )
Everyone brought lots of snacks and appetizers (unseen, meatballs etc. in slow cookers in the kitchen).
ClintS (in black shirt) running his game Ragnarok: Age of Wolves (available for purchase here).
Congratulations and thanks to Rick, for hosting another fun event. This year was the highest attendance yet!