Painted Hunzakut with Rifle and Light Grenade Launcher

Here is my next miniature for my slowly-growing Druze Bayram Security army in Infinty. This Hunzakut with Rifle and Light Grenade Launcher is actually part of the Haqqislam faction but is co-opted into the Druze for some reason. Actually it occurred to me that Infinity is quite unusual in that the mercenary faction takes many options from ‘main’ forces rather than the other way round, for example in Warmachine. I’ve enjoyed putting the Hunzakut on the table as she’s quite annoying to deal with thanks to her stealth abilities and can deploy near to objectives. This gives me some useful board control tools and also saves having to waste precious orders walking around. Offensively the Rifle isn’t much to write home about but every now and then having the Light Grenade Launcher in the right place can make a fairly entertaining mess of an opposing fireteam (at least, until Joe realised that they don’t need to cuddle each other at the end of each order).

Like so many of Corvus Belli’s miniatures, the pose here is very sweet and evocative, while not being the standard ‘I have a gun and I’m shooting it’ approach common to many games. The colour scheme is the basic white and green to match the rest of the force. I assume that the box in her right hand is supposed to be a mine though it looks a lot like the ghost traps from Ghostbusters to me. Unless I buy any more, I have just four miniatures remaining to complete the army and I will probably do a group photo at that point.

Next on the painting table: Dire Troll Mauler.

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Painted Dronbot Remotes (Clipper and Fugazi)

Here are two more remotes for my Infinity army, the Druze Bayram Security. Just like the Peacemaker, these are both ‘brought in’ from the PanOceania faction, which has the side-effect of making the miniatures frustratingly hard to find on a web catalogue for a new Infinity player like me (because they’re categorised under ‘PanOceania’ rather than ‘Non-Aligned Armies’). The Clipper (left in the photos) has a Missile Launcher which means that I really love to use it in the active turn. Being a remote, it can have various Supportware used on it by my Hackers to improve its accuracy and rather unusually for a remote it can also be part of a Fire Team. This makes it a really horrid piece to face when I can set the engagement. As a result, I’ve mainly lost it to camouflaged snipers gunning it down from halfway across the board in my reactive turn. The Fugazi (on the right) has some cool sensor equipment that I’ve never used well but I don’t mind because it’s really cheap and brings and Regular Order along. So if it does nothing but sit still and occasionally Flash Pulse some fools then I’m quite happy.

Nothing of note to say about the painting here; I just copied the Peacemaker as closely as I could manage. Trying to get straight lines along the green to white boundary gives me a new appreciation for all the talented painters out there who can do freehand.

Next on the painting table: Krielstone Bearer and Stone Scribes

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Painted Bashi Bazouk with Boarding Shotgun

This is a Bashi Bazouk, another member of my slowly-expanding Druze Bayram Security army for Infinity. In the same way that the Peacemaker hails from the PanOceania faction, the Bashi Bazouk is brought in from the Haqqislam army list. Bashi Bazouks are paratroopers and so can appear on other board edges than my deployment zone for a bit of extra confusion. On top of this, they have the Holoecho rule which allows me to place a pair of additional dummy models when he arrives. Like many Infinity rules, I am not yet sure that we’ve actually played this rule correctly, but in essence it gives the real Bashi Bazouk a chance to cause some mayhem while nearby foes split fire between him and the holograms (which are, of course, immediately revealed as fakes as soon as they don’t return fire). This sculpt has a Boarding Shotgun but I’ve generally used the profile with the SMG for the simple reason that it is much, much cheaper.

The sculpt is in a bit of an unduly heroic pose for a sneaky special operations type, and he is also taking advantage of the classic Infinity ‘tactical junk’ to look even cooler.  I have to admit that I can’t imagine many scenarios where I’d prefer to fight using a knife rather than a giant death-cannon, but then again I’m not a futuristic space gangster with wings, so what do I know? I rather enjoyed painting the Bashi Bazouk; I stayed with the same very limited palette that I’ve used for most of the rest of the DBS force and I think it is starting to pay off when they’re together. Once I have all of my current crop painted I plan to take a family shot. My gentle reader(s) can then decide if it’s a nicely coherent force or a mess in green, white and black.

Next on the painting table: Earthborn Dire Troll

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Painted Peacemaker and Auxbot

This cute little pair are Remotes (i.e. non-autonomous robots) for my Druze Bayram Security force in Infinity. The big one is the Peacemaker; the little one is an Auxbot that operates by broadly following the lead of the Peacemaker. The actual rules for this are a bit convoluted and I’m not completely convinced that we’ve managed to play them correctly yet. Anyway, both carry template weapons (a shotgun for the Peacemaker and a flamethrower for the Auxbot) so most of my play with them has been to throw them forward and hope to trade up in terms of damage before they inevitably get scrapped by return fire. Strictly speaking these are part of the PanOceania faction but, like many other entries for the Druze Bayram Security list, they are included in the general mercenary mish-mash.

The colour scheme is green and white to match the people from my Druze Bayram Security army. I tried to keep the transition lines between colours neat so that it would look a little more like they were factory painted, but at this magnification there are definitely a few bits where it didn’t work out well. Since both the Peacemaker and Auxbot are somewhat generic-looking future robots without obvious giant weapons they would be a nice fit as NPCs or even scenery in a space-set RPG.

Next on the painting table: Fennblade Officer and Drummer.

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Painted Valerya Gromoz

This is Valerya Gromoz, a mercenary hacker in Infinity who can be taken as part of my Druze Bayram Security force. Infinity hackers work more or less like wizards in other game systems, being able to use programs (i.e. spells) to do various cool things that other pieces cannot. I quite like using Valerya over other hackers since she has a very high WIP skill which helps to achieve offensive hacking.

Valerya has quite an unusual pose for a miniature, almost all of whom are standing up (makes sense I suppose). I took the chance to use the same colours as the other DBS members and I like the way that they look on Valerya as she’s a bit more civilian than the armoured Druze Shock Teams. I gave her pink hair partly because, as Faust noted, I like to paint pink and partly because I wanted to emphasise that the DBS aren’t a proper military organisation and Valerya in particular is a freelancer.  The miniature would make quite a good NPC or civilian in some kind of futuristic system since she (again, quite unusually) isn’t carrying huge weapons; she does have a holstered handgun though.  More so than other miniatures, I struggled with the photography and there is a bit of glare on her left eye that I just couldn’t get rid of no matter what I did with the camera.  Nonetheless, I’m very pleased with the way she looks even at this hugely inflated scale.

Next on the painting table: Deathrippers.

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Painted Druze Shock Team with Combi Rifle and DEP (second sculpt)

Here is a second sculpt for a Druze Shock Team carrying a Combi Rifle and DEP in Infinity. I’m not sure why this particular loadout needed two different sculpts but perhaps this was just an opportunity for the team to stretch their creativity. At least this one is visibly carrying the DEP, which I assume is that tube over the shoulder.

I enjoyed painting this Druze as it seems quite a realistic pose compared to some I’ve seen of people firing giant death cannons one-handed etc. I’ve got a few other parts of the Druze Bayram Security in the queue so probably I’ll set up a family photo once they’re all done.

Next on the painting table: Harlequin Skyweavers.

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Painted Druze Shock Team with Combi Rifle and Light Grenade Launcher

Here is the third Druze Shock Team. This one is carrying an underslung Light Grenade Launcher, which in theory means that he could catch multiple foes in the blast if using that fire mode (i.e. not just using the Combi Rifle or Viral Pistol to shoot them) except that it doesn’t actually come with any damaging grenade types. This Druze can choose between Nimbus, which creates a low visibility zone to cover my advance, or E/M to knock out robots and heavy infantry in powered armour (it also has effects on the communications of other troop types so it’s not useless against a lightly armed foe). I suspect that getting the most out of this Druze profile, and particularly when to select which of his arsenal to use at any time, will take me a lot of practice.

A bit of a boring pose on this Druze, but I suppose it’s more likely to be realistic for someone in the Space-SAS rather than all the running about that most of my preferred sculpts have from other game systems.  The colours are exactly the same as the previous Druze I’ve posted and [spoiler alert] they come in a pack of four so there’s another one coming when I get round to it.

Next on the painting table: Graveyard Spirit

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Painted Druze Shock Team Hacker with Combi Rifle

Here another Druze Shock Team for my DBS army in Infinity. The one has the standard weapon load-out (combie-rifle, viral pistol and knife) and a couple of tools that I never remember to use like d-charges. The main difference though is that this Druze is a hacker. As before, our pitiful skills at Infinity mean that the impact of this has been minimal, mainly limited to tuning up some of my remotes. However, I think that there are some very cool tricks that one could potentially use against enemy remotes or TAGs. In addition, some of the missions have scenario elements for which being a hacker has a bonus to the chance of success and therefore scoring. The way hackers are implemented in Infinity rules puts me in mind of wizards in other gaming systems.

The painting was the same as the previous Druze; green and white with the former predominantly for armour and the latter for cloth. Then black for straps and weapons. I tried to put a greyer tone for the weapons and bluer for the straps to suggest metal and leather respectively, but as usual my lack of photo skills doesn’t really show it up very clearly (or maybe the painting is just not done well enough).

Next on the painting table: Druze Shock Team with combi rifle and light grenade launcher.

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Painted Druze Shock Team with Combi Rifle and DEP

Here is a Druze Shock Team (er, member, I suppose). He’s a part of the Druze Bayram Security sectorial in the Non-Aligned Armies of Infinity. My friends and I are universally terrible at Infinity so I don’t have anything useful to say about how one might use this chap in a game. This particular profile (i.e. equipment load-out) seems to have a secondary role as an armour-buster since the DEP appears to be intended to act as a tiny rocket launcher or something. ‘DEP’ apparently is the Spanish equivalent of the English ‘RIP’; Descanse en Paz. For whatever reason, this sculpt doesn’t have one visible, and instead is carrying a big sword.

Infinity miniatures are extraordinarily detailed and sculpted, and I have the feeling when painting them that a really great painter could get some amazing results from them. Sadly, I’m not that painter. I picked white and green as the main colours for this force and intend to stick with them as I gradually work through this particular Pile Of Shame. Realising that I wouldn’t be able to get the super-realistic effect shown by other painters I deliberately limited the colours here so at least the force should be striking on the table top.

Next on the painting table: Druze Shock Team hacker with combi rifle.

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Combined Army vs Ariadna (200 points): Infinity After-Action Report; 31Aug11

Continuing our recent trend of trying out new skirmish-sized games, especially ones with free-to-download rulesets, Furycat and I have been trying to learn Infinity.  Furycat took Ariadna since a combined force of Scots, Russians and French, with a twist of Werewolves, was right up his street.  For my part, I liked the varied look of the alien Combined Army.  Since neither of us really know anything about the game it probably isn’t too important who has which force, or it may even be that there is no difference between the factions anyway.  Last week we played a couple of games with forces based loosely on the starter boxes (swapping the Charontid out of the Combined Army box for another Morat to keep the points close) so that we could learn the rules, and today we dived right in with proper army lists and everything.  Well, I write ‘everything’, but we still bodged a few rules and deliberately didn’t take some of the more complex units, such as hackers and airborne deployment options.

After some consideration, I realised that I couldn’t think of a good way to battle report this in my usual detailed style.  So this is more of an ‘after-action report’, in which I’ll highlight interesting (to me) events or things I suspect we got mixed up with the rules.

I’ve linked the unit names in the army lists to the pictures on the Infinity website, but beware before you click on them, lest you find yourself irresistably drawn to buy these beautiful miniatures.  The painters who worked on these display models have amazing skills.

Combined Army (200 points, 4 swc)

Skiávoro Lieutenant, plasma rifle and nanopulser

Vector Operator, heavy machine gun (HMG from now on)

Yaogat, multi sniper rifle

Morat, HMG

Three Shasvastii Seed-Soldiers, combi-rifle and light shotgun

So to ‘translate’, that’s a big killy alien leader bug who can transfer his consciousness to other miniatures if he dies, a flying bug with a big gun, an armoured space ape with a sniper rifle, an unarmoured space ape with a big gun and 3 bugs who start the game as seeds, then spring forth fully formed (and, apparently, fully armed) at the start of turn two.

Ariadna (202 points, 2 swc):

Kazak Veteran Lieutenant, AP rifle and light flamethrower

Two Highlander Grey Rifles, T2 rifle and lots of other kit

Kazak Dóktor, rifle

Line Kazak, AP HMG

Line Kazak, rifle and light grenade launcher

Three Line Kazaks, rifles

That works out as one man with a lot of armour and a lot of skills to help him kill stuff, two homicidal kilt-wearers with kill-you-straight-away guns, a medic, two grunts with big guns and three with normal guns.

We placed some terrain, looked at the rules for shooting a bit, then placed a lot more terrain.  The game rules allow reactions (including shots) to any action carried out in view of a miniature.  So if everyone can see everyone right from the start, there’s going to be a brief exchange of bullets followed quickly by us re-starting the game.  The mission was simply to kill all the other side, although the rules force you to begin retreating once you lose 60% (in points value) of your force.  To start off the theme of the game, in which everything has hundreds of special rules, my Combined Army have to lose 75% of the team before retreating.

Events of interest:

  • A Line Kazak realising that she had deployed wrong when the Yaogat sniper took her down as she tried to make the very first move of the game.
  • The HMG wielding Line Kazak spending a couple of turns putting suppressive fire down a long alley in the middle of the field, keeping the Yaogat pinned in cover.
  • The Vector Operator gunning down a few Line Kazaks, then getting a bit too clever and jumping over a wall to try to take out the Veteran Kazak and another grunt from behind (i.e. where there would be no return fire).  It was all going well until we found that among the Veteran’s many special rules was one allowing him to freely turn to face before reacting if the attacker was close enough.  The Vector heroically survived a reaction shot from the nearby HMG-wielding Line Kazak (notably this caused the end of the suppressive fire he was putting toward the Yaogat), killed the Line Kazak using his HMG and was felled by a pistol shot (of all things) from the Veteran.
  • The Yaogat noticed that the suppressive fire from the HMG had stopped, so put a shot between his eyes.  The Kazak Dóktor came over to try and resuscitate him (mainly so that we could see the game mechanics for medics), but he was as dead as a doornail.
  • The Veteran Kazak then went on a rampage, killing a couple of the Seed-Soldiers (one of whom I had left in the open since I’d run out of orders before moving to cover, so fair enough on that one) before the Skiávoro tried to take him out.  Despite being a terrifying alien with a host of fabulous weapons, I couldn’t lay a shot on the mighty human even after burning 3 orders of shooting.  And to make matters worse, the Veteran Kazak then charged into close combat and cut the beastie down straight away.  It evidently wasn’t the Skiávoro’s day – he’d previously hit a Highlander and the Kazak with HMG with a direct plasma blast only to have them both survive unscathed.  Luckily, thanks to the Ghost: Mnemonica skill, the Lieutenant status transferred safely to the last Seed-Soldier.
  • The Veteran Kazak was finally laid low by a critical hit from the Yaogat sniper.  Moral: don’t get into a long-range duel with a sniper.  Even then, he survived an unreasonable number of shots considering the weapon.
  • A Line Kazak spent about 6 orders speculatively hurling grenades at the Morat, initially managing an impressive scatter of about 28″.  He finally got his range and dropped 3 direct blasts on the alien, only to find that the Morat had stolen the dice the Veteran Kazak had been using for his armour rolls and the hits were all shrugged off.

After all was done, the Ariadna forces were below their 60% threshold and began pulling back.  We could have carried on (the game rules allow you some action if this happens, so that you can complete objectives), but there wasn’t much point in this case.  This day had clearly gone to the Combined Army.

I think we were generally doing OK with the rules.  I need to recheck the mechanics for burst template weapons, i.e. the Skiávoro’s plasma rifle.  I also used the Strategos skill from the Skiávoro after I’d transferred into the Seed-Soldier using Mnemonica, which I now believe was wrong (I assumed that it would go with the Lieutenant status, but it seems you don’t get to take special skills, even if they are ‘knowledge’ in the fluff).  Oh well, we’ll know for another time.

Overall, I’m rather impressed with the Infinity rules.  They take quite a lot of rulebook-flipping since every miniature has lots of special rules and several bits of equipment, but with less than a dozen models on the table this doesn’t seem likely to be a problem if we continue to play and get used to it.  For these early games we’ve deliberately shied away from the more complex stuff like hidden deployment, mines and impersonation.  My gut feeling is that we really need to play to some sort of objective or mission, since just lining up and shooting each other goes against the otherwise ‘realistic’ feel of the game.

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