Eikosiphobia Reaches Infinity
I’m talking specifically about twenty-sided dice here. I fear them.
OK, I’m not actually afraid of them. I don’t gibber and run screaming from the room at the sight of them, but I really do seem to have unfathomably bad luck when rolling them.
Let me also state that I have a Stats qualification and know that (assuming the dice is unweighted) my chance of rolling numbers is exactly the same as for anyone else, and that numbers previously rolled have no bearing on future rolls (statistical independence).
Blowing on or whispering to the dice, leaving them face up on a certain lucky number – all these things are nothing but irrational superstition. Gambler’s fallacy.
But trust me my d20 rolling skills really are infamously bad.
Why am I saying all this? Well, it’s because I returned to Infinity on Tuesday with a (re)introduction game at the Cross Gaming Club with Chris and Vish – and the Infinity system is based around that accursed Icosahedron!
My Haqqislam are still in a state of disarray so Chris lent me his Yu Jing – pronounced “Ju Ching”, so I’m told – and we faced off against Vish’s Ariadna in a small but tightly packed battlefield of ruined buildings.
Infinity is a great game. It’s probably the most cinematic of the miniature wargames I’ve played – largely a result of its innovative reaction mechanic. You try to do something with a model and an enemy can see it? Blam! they get to shoot at you. So instead of marching en masse across an empty field, you end up sneaking from cover to cover, setting up fire lanes and relying on camouflage. A carefully placed sniper or heavy machine gunner laying prone atop a gantry can cause all manner of trouble.
You can see how this sort of thing can make for a very cinematic and tactical game.
Genre-wise it is a hard sci-fi/anime fusion. I know some people are put off by the anime reference but to my mind it’s more Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed than the Big-Eyes-Small-Mouth cutesy stuff. It also sports some of the nicest and most dynamic miniature sculpts in the hobby, with studio paintjobs by the awesome Angel Giraldez.
The game is not without its flaws, however. The rulebook, despite being nice to look at, is hard-reading and littered with exceptions and special actions – even in second edition. I can’t help feeling that the rules could be trimmed right down and made more slick or elegant, without losing the aforementioned cinematic quality.
But that may just be a result of my inexperience with the game. I think we can conclude that it’s got something of a steep learning curve, at least.
Anyway, how did the intro game pan out?
I got pretty much owned in the early stages as our two advance scouts chased each other around in a bizarre game of mine tag, while my other forces took a pounding from some cunning HMG placement. The impetuous Aragoto biker was gunned down and my doctor was also killed by HMG fire, causing the ghost-controlled medic remotes to also power down, and I struggled to make much progress up toward the enemy.
Eventually, with time running out, Chris declared it would be a good time for Yu Jing to unleash the Heavy Infantry – a Hac Tao in powered exo armour who had been hiding ready to ambush.
This totally turned the game. The heavy armour and thermoptic camouflage allowed him to brave suppressing fire and take the fight back to the Ariadna. More significantly perhaps, I had also relinquished d20-rolling duties to Chris!
Unfortunately as things started to get really interesting I ran out of time and had to head home, leaving Chris and Vish to finish the game.
Now I’m fired up to get my own Haqqislam force ready and start learning properly how to play them.
I wonder what the Haqqislam equivalent of that Hac Tao is.
And I wonder if anyone has re-written the ruleset to use a different die…