Monday, November 14, 2016

Deep Thought: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hyperpower

So, while not ENTIRELY connected to enhancing everyone’s enjoyment of Infinity, I wanted to talk a little bit about what it was that brought me to the game, and to give an opportunity to others to discuss the same thing.  Just as a note, this will be mildly confessional, but nothing too much…  I hope.

By A Mão Esquerda

My journey to Infinity was rather convoluted and roundabout.  During the early 1990s, I was very fortunate to 1) have a source of steady income, even as a middle and high schooler (yay youth soccer refereeing!) and 2) have parents who were open minded about role playing and table top games and 3) a game shop on an easy bus route and then one an easy bike ride from my house.  I got deep into Rifts, and also into Battletech, with a smattering of 1st Edition Heavy Gear (the old, big RAFM minis).  However, two years of university out of state and then two years out of the country kind of disconnected me from the scene, and even though I began to dip my toes back in when I returned to the United States, marriage and starting a family kind of meant I had more important things on my mind.

Fast forward to 2010, and finishing up living overseas once again (here comes the confessional bit).  As my wife and I looked back at what had been good and what had been bad about living overseas, we looked and saw that one of the primary things that I had MASSIVELY neglected was having something outside of work to do…  each day had been the same:  wake up, get ready, work from (including transit time) about 730am until 600pm, eat, give my wife a break from taking care of our kids, sleep, rinse, repeat…  while my wife had her art to enjoy and work (the only types of art forms she doesn’t do are the ones she hasn’t had the chance to try and/or the ones we don’t have physical space for), I totally shut myself off and had pretty much nothing.  We knew that (for our and my sanity) that couldn’t go on.  I didn’t want to dive in video games (I foolishly thought it would be too much of money pit – yes, I said I was foolish) and CCGs were right out (I’m a snob, and I know it, and I quasi-apologize for it).  So, I decided to get back into miniature gaming, and looked at the games I had previously played, trying to pick which one I liked…  ah, the fun!

I decided on HGB!, and got going with it.  Suffering (even at this early stage) from Pokemonitis, I began getting, well, EVERYTHING!!!  North, South, Black Talons, Caprice, NuCoal…  I had the lot…

Old friends, gathering dust...

There was (it’s dead now) a small group of local players, and I managed to get a game in, with one of the players (BlueDagger) talking a lot about this other game he played, Infinity.  Even as we played HGB!, the idea of the ARO mechanic intrigued me, and even more so the idea of spending more than one order on a specific model (especially as one of my HRFL Jaguars scored enough hits to slow down one of BlueDagger’s hovertanks, and couldn’t bring anyone else to bear to take it down) REALLY seemed attractive to me.  I started looking at Infinity online, and trying to find a local store that carried it…  I did, and with the end of the school year (my one year foray into teaching…) my days were ending early, so I had a chance to go by the store, and look at the rules and the fluff, and I started to get sucked in.

I have always followed the rule of cool in choosing my armies, and so I had to decide between PanOceania and Ariadna.  Both looked AWESOME (even more than any of the other armies) and I kept perusing the selection at the store (which, alas, has long since both stopped carrying Infinity and, I believe, existing) and I saw it…  the mini that meant I had to play PanOceania.  Even without fully understanding his rules or his weapons or, really, ANYTHING about him, I saw the Swiss Guard Missile Launcher, and knew I had found my army.  The menace, the CCW with the Swiss cross inlaid in the blade, the just plain deadliness of the mini…  all of that combined to pull me in.

From the one...

I knew that I wasn’t a good enough painter (and, truth be told, I’m still not) to do him justice, but I knew that I had to have him.  And things went downhill (for my wallet) and uphill (for my enjoyment of the game) from there.  I needed to lay my hands on everything PanOceania that I could.  Lore, minis, game aids; I wanted all of it and I wanted all of it yesterday!  Neoterran Capitaline Army, Shock Army of Acontecimento, Military Orders, Vanilla, ALL…  OF…  IT!!!  Now, around a gross of minis (just PanOceania…  my need for more has since seen me add ALEPH, Tohaa, QK, Tunguska, and Ramah) and several thousand points later, I have been entirely captured by this army and this game.

...come the MANY!!!


What first brought you into Infinity?  Was it a friend?  Was it a mini?  Was it a demo at a convention?  I always find it fascinating to hear what brought others into a thing that I enjoy, nay, that I love to do and collect and to paint and to play and to and to and to…  I’d love to hear from you in the comments, and promise to respond to each and every story that you share!


  1. Well, I started playing Wolfs at a local store that got the same destiny as the one you mentioned. But there was a lot of minis needed and then the costs increases and there was no body near for playing and well, everything ended badly but as that was going down, I started to look at some art and minis at a FB group of wargaming and as I'm an anime fan I found pretty perfect the minis of Infinity.

    I was in love with the Geckos but also I liked the Aleph's Greek Heroes and the Caledonian Army, at the end 'cause the lore, the Geckos and my lacking ability for painting faces I decided to start Corregidor and I really like it! Also I'm going to start QK just for fun and for having a second army.

    1. Yeah, fear of painting faces was part of the reason (as I noted) I went with PanO (yay six eyed helmets!). I've KIND of gotten over it, but still working on it...

  2. "Panoceania its the HYPERPOWER! and the military orders the civilization arm against chaos and destruction! Quell your fury atek! and DEUS VULT!" Ft Knt Luisjoey

    Great army and good collection! the best its you paint your minis and enjoy the game, thats the point of all!

    1. Que o Senhor sempre proteja e guarde as forças da HIPERPOTENCIA!

  3. Nisse sniper was the excuse I needed, had wanted to play it for ages but seeing it was in the starter set was all I needed to jump in :)

    1. Mmmmm... Nisse MSR... so choice... It's such a great troop. We had a 2v2 match, and (while my side lost) the Nisse MSR was a boss... several Morlocks, a Prowler, and a Intruder HMG all ended up... NOT alive because of him!

  4. A mate of mine tried to get me into the game back in 1st Edition, and I always loved the idea of the ARO mechanic and F2F rolls. But back then it was just too difficult to play (that janky Spanish to English translation) and I wasn't a fan of order pools, so that was that.
    The game basically died in New Zealand, with only a small handful of people playing through 1st and 2nd Edition and the early surge of availability in brick and mortar stores dying out (and doing lasting damage to willingness to stock the game now).
    I had a couple of games with people during 2nd Edition (the wider group of wargamers I was involved in played a lot of different stuff) but just when Operation Icestorm came out and 3rd Edition was on the horizon came the moment of decision for me.
    The same friend who had tried to get me into 1st Edition all those years ago was tutoring me in Italian Longsword Fencing. He'd realised that his family and other hobbies had grown to the point that he never wargamed anymore, and asked if I wanted his Infinity stuff.
    I left that day with a Yu Jing and Combined Army force along with a table of card terrain.
    But from the very beginning the background and setting of PanOceania had spoken to me. When I nearly started playing back at the beginning it was PanOceania that brought me the closest. As a New Zealander the idea that we had been part of the alliance which grew into the Hyperpower was intoxicating.
    I learned to play 3rd Edition with my Yu Jing and Combined while I collected PanOceania. But in only a couple of months I had a grasp of the game and a collection of PanO units sufficient to dive in.
    And I've never looked back.
    Now the Yu Jing are my standard OpFor and the Combined Army are what my wife uses when I can cajole her into playing (she's not really a wargamer, but does usually enjoy it once she gets a game going, and loves modelling).
    With my NeoTerra approaching completion it'll soon be time for me to build my Acontecimento, then Military Orders and every other PanOceania Sectorial which becomes available.

    1. No army is EVER complete, especially in the HYPERPOWER! There is ALWAYS some new shiny toy with which to defeat the pretenders to the throne!