So you’ve finished reading part one and want to pick and build up a force to play Infinity. My first piece of advice is not to rush into anything! Take a look at the full line of minis here at the Corvus Belli page. Like I said in Part One, the general idea for choosing your army is the Rule of Cool. Take a look at each faction and see which has the model range and aesthetic you like the most. Make no mistake, this should require research and time! Every faction can play just about anything (everyone can do a dude-spam list or a few heavy hitters), but look at what models and background really call to you. Even though each faction has a wide range of unique models and units, I want to go over what makes each of them unique from one another. Below is a little bit on the background of each army and a few ideas on what makes them their own,
-The rich poster-boys with all the toys-
Why Would I Play PanOceania?
If you want access to all the high tech toys that make this game’s setting unique, you want Pan-O. To represent their financial wealth and vast depths of technology, players can use a larger then normal amount of TAGs an REMs.
75 years from now Earth launched the Ariadna through a wormhole in the attempt to colonize a new world. Well Ariadna went through, but immediately lost all communication and was pronounced destroyed; the economic ripple effect of so much money and resources lost sent the world’s current superpowers into economic collapse. the U.S., Canada, most of Europe and India were all in a pretty rough spot. At this point a union comprised of Australia/New Zealand and Indonesia bought out that debt, essentially making one massive, ocean spanning union; and PanOceania was born. They are a massive force, both technologically and economically with the weapons and tools to back it up.
Pan-O has a lot of varied aesthetics; the most eye catching is often the Aquila Guard. The starter set does a great job of displaying the different aesthetics within the faction. Everyone looks very uniform, very clean and has on a lot of the state of the art gear that makes Pan-O the super power that it is.
PanOceania has a much higher then normal access to remotes, TAGS and other technologically advanced units; all with a slightly lower point cost to represent the proliferation of this technology within their ranks. Whats the draw back to having the best toys on the market? Well, Pan-O tends to struggle with WIP (Willpower). That means that any actions that require a WIP roll can get real hairy, real fast. Having a weakness to their WIP can really hurt in specific objectives and is a shortcoming that you have to be prepared for.
Why Would I Play Yu Jing?
Despite being as advanced as Pan-O, Yu Jing focuses on the traditional discipline of its warriors. Essentially that discipline takes the form of experienced troops that use traditional weapons such as the sword. Yu Jing also boasts some of the fastest heavy infantry and amazing melee combat abilities. Combined with their top tier tech, Yu Jing is a force to be reckoned with!
After the massive economic collapse that I spoke about earlier, China stepped in to buy out Japans debt and essentially annex it. By this time China has forgone their communist beliefs and using it’s vast resources and technology formed Yu Jing, the Asia spanning super country that alone can claim to be a true rival of PanOceania. The people once known at the Japanese are now second class citizens in a culture that demands the greatest tech and still holds traditional values like honor.
Yu Jing uses it’s incredible resources to directly compete with its only real rival; PanOceania. To that end, Yu Jing has made incredible advances in close combat weapon technology and TAG suits that do not minimize the users maneuverability. They are quick, deadly and well supported by discipline and technology: they are Yu Jing.
How Do They Look And Play?
Yu Jing have one of the most distinct aesthetics in the game, and it’s easy to see why. Yes, they use the same type of weaponry as everyone else, but take a look as some of their TAGS and remotes; there’s nothing quite like them. They obviously have a very traditional asian influence on their armor and that kind of flavor is what really makes them stand out on the battlefield.
If you haven’t gotten the gist of Yu Jing by reading above, I’ll say it plainly: Yu Jing is a master of maneuverability and close combat. They have to money to make TAGS affordable their remotes are even great. To that end, their heavy infantry are off the hook levels of awesome. A 4-4 move on a massive mechanized ninja? Yes please! Use that speed to suround your enemy and strike them hard and fast with target priority.
-Humanists and Warriors in Harmony-
Why Would I Play HaqqIslam?
HaqqIslam is the new, reinvented Islam that focuses on humanism and life sciences. They have a massive grip on the interstellar trade route and use the demand for their services to their advantage. They have some of the best doctors on the battlefield and the specialists to get the job done.
At some point in mankind’s colonization of the stars the humanist Islamic sect known as HaqqIslam (Literally “New Islam”) went out to find a new world to peacefully practice their religion on. As time went on the religion evolved to involve the complicated study of life sciences, eventually developing a product called Silk which is able to download and reload a human consciousness. Capitalizing on Silk, HaqqIslam has asserted itself as a major player in the Human Sphere. Their doctors are highly sought after and their network of galactic trade routes keep humanity functioning.
Haqqislam has become a huge support piece in keeping the Human Sphere functional and are rewarded for it in money and technology. Lacking the resources to build a lot of complicated machinery such as remotes, HaqqIslam focuses on the development of their infantry and biological research to keep themselves protected. Make no mistake, the humanist HaqqIslam nation is no slouch in combat, and the have the resources and willpower to get the job done right.
Haqqislam’s aesthetic os reminiscent of our modern desert warfare; both in color and the practicality of their armor. You’ll find that HI troops are lightly armored, fairly mobile and have a lot of flavor to them; to that end, check out the Kum (pronounced “Coom”) Bikers.
On the table-top the best thing about Haqqislam is the generally high willpower (WIP) of its troops. This means you doctors (among other specialists) are the best around. You’ll have some excellent light infantry and will often field a higher then normal number of troops. HaqqIslam has some strong remotes and TAGs, but you’ll find that they have a fairly high price tag (in points) to field. One unit that stands out is the Lasiq Viral Sniper, who exemplifies the power of life science when it’s turned against an enemy; your opponent rolls double damage dice when shot with this weapon. Use WIP and the cost efficiency of your troops to win the day and crush your enemy.
-Mad Scientists and Rogue Geniuses-
Why Would I Play Nomads?
The Nomads are a faction with an immense amount of character and options, with access to a lot of TAGs (yay big robots!) and some fo teh best hackers around. In addition to that, Nomads have a great backstory and the ability to wreck their enemies with digital warfare.
After the economic collapse following the loss of the Ariadna humanity developed a powerful artificial intelligence known as ALEPH to help balance humanity’s economy and daily systems. A great deal of scientists and free thinkers saw the danger of letting an AI run humanity and left Earth as a result. The Nomads reside in three massive ships were they are free to study and develop their rogue technologies without the interference of ALEPH.
Life in space has bred a crafty and crude civilization who view the freedom of their technology as the key to their success. Fiercely loyal and anti-authoritarian at the same time give the Nomads their unique identity. Misfits, pirates and mad scientists are all welcome with the Nomads as they circle the galaxy taking what resources they need in an effort to remain free of ALEPH and the authority it represents.
The Nomads have a wide range of aesthetics to match their range of beliefs and motivations. Some soldiers reflect their heritage while others push technology to the limit by entombing themselves in giant mechanized armor suits. It’s hard to pin down one true aesthetic for the army, which frankly is a look altogether. The varied troop types and aesthetics add to the flavor this army.
On the table The Nomads have some incredible hackers and TAGs. They are an army that favors denial, that is, the ability to deny your opponents plans while furthering your own. Individual troops tend to be fragile but with so many tricks up your sleeve you’ll rarely find that to be the source of your troubles. Look at what your opponent is trying to do and find a way to much it up, the snatch victory right from under them that is how the Nomads do it.
-Warriors Of The Future-Past, Unite!-
Why Would I Play Ariadna?
Because you love the underdog, with an emphasis on the dog. Also becuase you want to play a sci-fi game about future warfare and yet somehow live in the past. Lastly, you want to show off your patriotism and kick some corporation’s tail with some “ancient” weapons and tactics just to shame them.
If you’ve been reading the small history sections for the factions above, you’d notice that a lot of horrible things went down when the Ariadna was lost in space. Presumed destroyed, the Ariadna did in fact make it to its destination only to find that the initial probes did not report how harsh the planet was. Being all alone in this hostile environment made the passengers of the Ariadna develop into a hardy and strong willed people. Despite being all alone, old rivalries developed and the multiple nations( U.S., Russia etc.) that formed the crew of the Ariadna split up once again. A new foe presented itself in the Antipode, a dog-like species of the planet which has the ability to infect humans; changing them into wolf like hybrids.
The survivors of Ariadna had no idea that the planet that fiercely sought to destroy them was actually incredibly rich in rare natural resources. After being rediscovered by the Human Sphere larger factions like PanOceania and Yu Jing wanted to exploit their planet and resources until the Ariadnans refused, citing that the Human Sphere gave up on them long ago and had no entitlement to the resources on their planet. Despite being behind the curve in regards to technology, the forces of Ariadna are a powerful force that demand a place in the galaxy while still trying to catch up to it.
Ariadna has a range of incredibly beautiful miniatures that feature a strong modern military aesthetic. Each sectorial has a very distinct look while all being easily identifiable as an Ariadna model. They have a very interesting point of view as they are futuristic technology for us, but 100 years below the curve for the games setting.
On the table, Ariadna has scores of cheap light infantry who excel at laying traps and basic camouflage techniques; making them abundant (cheap in points so you ca field a lot of them) and harder to hit. They have no heavy infantry at all, unless you include the massive werewolf like soldiers that they use as shock troops. Much like the Nomads, Ariadna is a faction of tricks, using skills, numbers and brute force to win the day.
–Aliens Looking To Assimilate Humanity Into The Fold–
Why Would I Play Combined Army?
There is just something fun about playing the bad guy. The Combined Army is a collection of alien species with the focus of absorbing the knowledge of other races for their own gain.
Far away a collection of alien species realized that eventually the universe would die as the laws of physics dictate. In order to preserve life they set out to find a way for an intelligent life to evolve to form of pure energy, thus granting them immortality. To do this they built an Artificial Intelligence, which eventually found the solution… only to claim that the Combined Army wasn’t worthy of transcendence and promptly left them.
The Combined then built a second AI, but who was more concerned with the preservation of its creators. This new AI has yet to find a way to achieve transcendence and hungers for more information throughout the galaxy to solve the only puzzle it exists to answer. To this end, the Combined Army is constantly seeking, learning from and conquering new civilizations among the stars. Very recently an expeditionary force stumbled upon he Human Sphere and in those few initial engagements is where the setting of Infinity begins.
Much like the Nomads, the Combined Army has multiple aesthetics going through it, though each is more distinct. There are several alien races represented and each have a fantastic model line to back them up. The Morats are the red skinned gorilla-like warriors, the Shasvastii are the stealthy tricksters who use subterfuge to win the day.There are other species represented but those are the two most dominant ones.
On the table the Combined army is a more elite force, with individual troops having a higher cost but also more utility. Instead of numbers, these guys use special rules and technology to even things out. Also, while there are sectorials that use the Morats and Shasvastii separately, they work extremely well together as the tools of one can shore up the weaknesses of the other.
–The Possibly Rogue A.I. –
Why Would I Play ALEPH?
Because you love order, and being the one to enforce it. ALEPH functions as the “Big Brother” of the Infinity universe, doing its best to keep the daily functions of humanity running while always trying to repel the alien intelligence that the Combined Army represents.
After the economic collapse following the loss of the Ariadna, humanity realized the need for a single and unified control of the Human Sphere to keep things even keeled. Their solution was ALEPH, an advanced artificial intelligence that governs an incredible range of human needs; from daily operations, stocks and worm-hole travel. Aleph has the control over just about everything and is monitored by the O-12, the human council that makes sure that ALEPH stays under control and acts in the best interest of humanity. The question then becomes “Who is really in control?” they council or the intelligence they are sworn to control?
ALEPH has developed its own small assault force to further the protection of humanity, only intervening when the actions of a few would upset the delicate balance it seeks to protect. To do this, ALEPH has created a number of artificial consciouses based on historical warriors and leaders to carry out its agenda. The number one threat to ALEPH is the Combined Army, and ALEPH may be the only one sees just how much of a danger to humanity this new force represents.
Ever seen Ghost in the Shell? They look like some of the more hard-core anime that may have drawn you to the game. The main aesthetics are sleek looking robots and what are called “Post-Humans”; human bodies that have been robotically enhanced and have a new mind downloaded into them.
On the table ALEPH is the most elite faction out there. Every model costs more then its closest counterpart in other factions, but also brings more to the table. ALEPH has all the toys; visors, relays hackers, guns etc. If you want a small elite force in a game thats all about small elite forces, ALEPH is for you. The main key to victory is getting the most out of every model; really research and test all the special effects you have available to you.
–A Shadowy Race, Can They Be Trusted?–
Why Would I Play Tohaa?
Tohaa are the new shiny faction on the market and the second alien species humanity has come across in the galaxy. They have a smaller model range and relay on tricks, stealth and guile to win the day. To play with Tohaa is a puzzle in using your unique rules and technology to great effect.
Not long after bumping into the Combined Army humanity then met another race trying to fight the CA, the Tohaa. The Tohaa appear friendly and likeminded, until humanity took a wider look at their strategy for facing the CA. You see, it appears to some that the Tohaa are essentially using the Human Sphere as a meat-shield to throw in the Combined Army’s way. This raises a lot of question about just how friendly the Tohaa are, and what their endgame is.
Despite having some seriously questionable ethics, the Tohaa have proven themselves to get the job done when its needed, thus continuing the tenuous relationship with humanity. They are the acquaintance that you can never quite trust enough to be your friend; you just know there is more going on then they let you know about. For this reason humanity will work in conjunction with the Tohaa on occasion, but never fully embrace them as equals.
The Tohaa are another alien race with a unique aesthetic and forgo traditional armor in favor of symbiotic armor, a living suit to protect its wearer. in addition to that, the Tohaa are masters of biological weapons and technology with the knowledge of how to make devastating viral weapons. The fact that everything they use and interact with is a living entity in it’s own right gives the Tohaa an incredibly original look.
On the table, the Tohaa play a lot like a sectorial army for one of the bigger factions. They have access to less troop options and original rules for fire teams and weapons. They excel at using light infantry to shoot above their weight class in coordinated assaults and have the specialists to make a good backbone. Many troops will have multiple roles in a list and learning to use each troop to his full potential is the key to victory.
Check out the rest of the Guide to Infinity Series here!
Part One –Click Here