Monday, June 20, 2016

Deep Thought: The Stories a Game of Infinity Tells (AKA Don't Be so Serious)

Infinity isn't just a game about tactically outperforming your opponent or winning some cool, exclusive models, it's about the story; the feelings, the drama, the tension, the action, the near-death experiences! It's about watching a movie unfold before you. Each game you'll play will be very similar to another episode in long, but excellent, TV series (like Firefly, but with much less talking and involving a lot more violence and death). Tales of heroics and dastardly duds occur so frequently, with pulse-pounding, intense action, as you sit on the edge of your seat (just kidding, when do you have time to sit while playing Infinity?) hoping your favorite character can pull off whatever crazy shenanigan they're attempting.

No matter why you're playing Infinity or what you're playing, you should be playing to have fun and watch some imaginary violence and mayhem occur. Don't stress so much about winning, don't stress about scoring as many points as possible, focus on getting your troops in and out of there alive (it's always a sad day watching your favorite characters die) and the beautiful story that plays out in front of you. Too many times we get caught up in "Win, win, win. Destroy, destroy, destroy. ITS, ITS, ITS" and we sound like robots going out to punch some faces off and we really lose sight of what makes this game so wonderful; the incredible action scenes that occur on the table. You are the author of this story, so make a great story, one you'll never forget, and get ready to watch the hot TV action that's about to hit your imaginary eyeballs!

Just like when getting comfortable to watch a TV series or movie, there's a few tricks to the trade to get the most out of your "viewing pleasure" when playing Infinity too:
  1. Make sure you're comfortable with ample food or drink (should be self-explanatory, but it's a commonly forgotten step to self-enjoyment)
  2. Read a little of the background and unit backgrounds to better understand what's going on
  3. Don't place so much focus on winning, set "fun" and "entertainment" as higher priorities
  4. Come up with a quick backstory for your team and why they're doing the mission 
    1. Possibly give a name to your few favorites or the entire team, maybe even name your team too!
  5. Use your imagination to actually -see- how everything's playing out, to witness the sweet action, translate "game action" into "real life action"
  6. Pretend you're a TV announcer and mentally note what's going on, order-by-order, firefight-by-firefight
If you can do most of these, or at least practice them, you'll definitely enjoy your games of Infinity a whole lot more and have some really awesome stories to tell your Infinity buddies!

Now, let me share some of my favorite (and least favorite) Infinity stories with you to give you some examples:

March of the Veteran

Veteran Kazak Artyom was running paramedic duty while the team was attempting to eliminate the enemy lieutenant; a Bakunin Custodier, a nasty run of 'Decapitation', as command called it. Luckily, the Kazaks planned well in advance to coordinate a Paratrooper Spetsnaz to come in from the same side the Custodier was attempting to hide. He arrived into the mission perimeter as soon as the fight commenced, climbed a building to see the Custodier and then unloaded his boarding shotgun on her. Sadly, he lost the firefight and the Spetsnaz went down. Artyom heard his comrade call for support before he went down and he immediately sprinted into action: killing a Zero, dodging fire, climbing the building, dropping prone, absorbing a hit from the Custodier and then stabbing the poor Spetsnaz with the medikit, Artyom succeeded in his mission.

The pair was then bombarded by grenades from a Prowler who snuck up on the duo. After five explosions, the Spetsnaz went down again, but the Veteran still remained intact. The Veteran attempted to revive the Spetsnaz, but sadly battlefield medicine is a dangerous pursuit and his comrade didn't survive. The Veteran then stood up, discovered the Custodier (after she used 'Cybermask') and proceeded to shoot her until the body stopped moving. Artyom did his regiment proud.

The Spetsnaz that Thought He Could

The Kazaks forces were pinned down by an Intruder sniper and Szalamandra while in a desperate attempt to claim a couple of antennas in order to give Kazak High Command better intel, in operation 'Antenna Field'.

Having already suffered heavy causalities by attempting to claim the antennas, the Line Kazak lieutenant knew that his team needed to take down that Szalamandra and Intruder, and quick because their time was almost up, an evac was imminent. The Spetsnaz heavy machine gunner was sent to dispatch the Intruder to give the Tankhunters some extra wiggle room to take out he Szally. The Spetsnaz carefully maneuvered, so the Szally couldn't spot him immediately, thanks to camo, and setup on a roof opposite the Intruder, he was in clear line of sight now. Weighing the odds in his favor, the Spetsnaz opened fire on the Intruder knowing well that his mission was critical for the success of the team. The Intruder turned to face the Spetsnaz, leveled his sniper, loaded the correct ammunition for the job and fired back. The Spetsnaz took a shot of double action straight to his left breast, puncturing his heart, and knocking him out cold (freaking critical!). Needless to say, the Kazak team had to fall back and catch their evac, the mission failed.

Blindsided by Fire

Pinned down and needing a saving grace, the Hassassin's team had no where to go without suffering heavy casualities, the Ariadnans held the field in their sights and they were out to kill. The Barid lieutenant did a quick survey of troop positions with his own troops and quickly discovered a weakness in the Ariadnans flank; they brought their heavy guns to bear to pin down the Hassassins, but they forgot to keep an eye on their flanks. The Barid immediately relayed this weakness to the Hassassin Ragik that was still waiting to drop, hoping to exploit this weakness.
Little did the Ariadnans expect to be flanked by a Ragik toting a sptifire.
He walked into the mission perimeter and immediately unloaded on a Spetsnaz sniper, killing him before he even got a chance to turn around. Hearing gunshots and somber cries, the Tankhunter whipped around ready to face his demise. The Ragik moved closer and unloaded again, killing the Tankhunter who barely stood a chance against the deadly accuracy of the Ragik's spitfire; however his mission wasn't done yet. Moving up the landing pad behind him, the Ragik moved behind a Spetsnaz heavy machine gunner in suppressive fire and eliminated him before he knew what was going on. Moving to the edge of the landing pad, the Ragik opened up downrange with his own field of suppressive fire and allowed the Hassassin team to start moving freely again.

Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Tohaa were attempting to secure a foot hold, but the Kazaks weren't about to give up their foothold peacefully in this bloodbath. Tohaa forces were moving in and quickly, pushing the Kazaks back, but little did the Tohaa realize the Kazaks had reinforcements coming.

A Rasail team was moving feircely across the field and eliminating targets just as quickly. With support from a Tohaa triad and a Clipsos, little could withstand the firepower the Tohaa Trident brought to bear. Once the Tohaa moved a bit further away from the mission perimeter and weren't watching their backs, the Spetsnaz silently crept into vision from behind. He snuck behind the Rasail, sliced him to pieces, and then moved behind cover to brace himself for the ensuing firefight. Once ready, he opened fire on the the Clipso with his shotgun, wiped them out and then opened fire on the Triad. Sadly, he was only able to knock out a Makaul before the rest of the members of the Triad took him out, but his death was not in vain! With the Rasail and Makaul out of business and the Triad broken, the Kazaks were able to launch an effective counter-assault and take seize victory!

Last thing to note; as Mark Twain once told me, don't let the truth interfere with a good story

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