Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Anything But...": Episode 15

SBWG can't get enough of "The View" discussions. We reflect on Domination releases. A bit of ramble and ranting about Gaming industry production issues. Some Skorne talk somewhere in there. Hope you enjoy!

Link to Episode 15

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Battle Reports!

In this Battle Report, Christian's Circle takes on Aaron's Retribution

In this Battle Report, Andy's Cryx takes on Aaron's Retribution

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Anything But...": Episode 14

SBWG recaps our November Hardcore tournament. We discuss tournament timing formats, competitive play, and where do we want to go from here.

Link to Episode 14

Friday, November 11, 2011

Battle Clock Released on the App Store

I'm very excited to announce that Battle Clock, a game timer, has been released on the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

I would invite to please check out the app's website or you can go directly to the iTunes store.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Learning Infinity: Part 1

Its always nice to learn a new game, and with that comes a journey to become skilled at it. I will try to chronicle this journey as I learn the game Infinity. I hope this also provides a good reference, as to encourage others not make my mistakes.

So lets begin. I had an opportunity to play two games in the last two days. My opponent, Aaron, was playing Nomads, and I was playing my PanOceania. We played 150pts.

Closed List
First things that struck me as interesting, was the concept of a "closed list". This basically means that you don't know what your opponents list is, only that it conforms to the required list building rules. This can provide a great strategic advantage akin to "What is in the Rhino?" in 40k. The "closed list" mainly came up with regards to models with TO: Camouflage, and models that would enter game play through other means like Combat Jump. (I encourage you to check out the Infinity Wiki to understand the special rules). 

The concept of "closed list" is quite a new concept to me, and can take a bit of a mental shift in how you approach your opponents list. Its as if you have to your own recon/intel on your opponent, which I find an excellent way to bring the game "off the board". You really only truly know your opponents abilities if you have confronted the enemy before on the battlefield, or you engage them in your current battle. 

It was a learning game between me and Aaron, so we were upfront about our models, but I could see in a competitive game, you don't get to ask your opponent about his list. 

So moving toward the game board itself, another paradigm shift happened from what I'm used to: lots of dynamic terrain. 

Our first game we played we set up a large amount of non-geometrical terrain. The terrain was very open, and often didn't cover a lot of firing lanes between the deployment zones. This caused for a short game, and often difficult choices for deployment. In the words of Andy, "You don't get to choose your battlefield." Or was that Sun Tzu? Oh well. 

The main point, terrain is important, and especially the style of terrain. I felt like when I was playing that I got a bit of terrain fatigue. It's great to have dynamic terrain, but with a game with true line of sight it can be quite a brain task to comprehend all the possible terrain interactions. This lead me to do a bit of research into the style of terrain that most people play. 

The screenshot above comes from a deployment tutorial on the Infinity forums, but it provides an excellent example of the ideal infinity terrain: blocky geometric multilevel buildings. This terrain makes for a more tactical game rather than relying on a opportune shot through 3 windows. I guess you can call it a personal choice, but it seems that geometric streamlined terrain is what Infinity is meant to be played on.

So in the second game with me and Aaron, I brought out my Terraclips that I originally purchased for use in Malifaux. The terrain offered the great geometric multilevel buildings required for Infinity. It seemed to work out well, and I didn't feel like I had as much terrain fatigue in the second game.

Terrain can be a double edged sword. On one hand you want terrain that you can take advantage of, on the other you want a surface that is conducive to use as a miniature game board. 

Models and Bases
This normally something I would overlook due to my WM/H experience, but this is comes into play within Infinity. First off, the 25mm bases a good thing. At first I wanted to just get 30mm bases, because I'm used to them, and I find the round lips ascetically pleasing. The problem is two fold: The 30mm bases are not what the game requires, and the 30mm bases are too big for the scale of the models. They seem to make the models quite clunky. As well scenic bases, although the look awesome, they adversely effect the games Line Of Sight rules mainly because Infinity relies on True Line of Sight. So stick with the standard 25mm bases. 

Line of Sight Rules 
One thing I still haven't wrapped my head around is the True Line Of Sight rules. I find them a mix of abstract line of sight similar to WM/H with "I can see your model". There's an interaction with the model's base, as well as the actual model itself. Its a bit odd because some models have very dynamic posses that don't quite fit over their base. With a game so heavily involved with LOS, I just want to understand the rules. 

Game play
Game play is overall a fun and smooth experience. After you learn a few basic rules the game progresses quickly. I think we each had 6-7 models on the board for a 150pt game. The games would last roughly 20-30 minutes depending on how quickly we could engage each other. In a smaller game, players are discouraged from bring pricey >40pt models, which often have some of the more sophisticated special skills. Without them, the game mechanics mainly revolved around the rules for cover, weapon attributes, and dice rolls. Even in such a small game there was the tides of fun gameplay: awesome dice rolls and maneuvers mixed with whiffs. 

I am going to try and keep encouraging small 150pt games until I feel comfortable playing the larger games that offer more special skills to enter game play. I don't feel I would have being defeated in a 300pt game purely based on my opponents use of special skills. 

In Closing
I'm definitely taking a "slow grow" approach to Infinity. I really want to understand the rule set and the feel of the game so when I do choose to invest into more specialized models I will know how to use them effectively. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Infinity: Caledonia

Why do I play Caledonia? Two reasons: kilts, and heavy firepower!

In all seriousness, though, the things that drew me into playing Caledonians in Infinity as a Sectorial force (and, for that matter, playing Ariadna in general as an army) are probably the same things that draw most players to this faction. Ariadnans are the underdogs; thrown over and forgotten (at least according to them), and fighting for survival against a hostile Human Sphere that, for the most part, wants them gone and their natural resources raped. They are the "Everyman" in the universe of Infinity. They don't have Hackers, TAGs (yet...), or sophisticated TO Camo or combirifles.

They've got guts, skills, and of course...


Seriously, Teseum. This puts them nearly on equal-footing with a lot of the other armies out there, and it does in in two ways. First, they can take a beating. Their heavy infantry have ARM 3-5, with 5 not being exactly uncommon. This means that with a little help from this uber-lightweight yet dense neomaterial they can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'! With a pretty decent WIP they'll probably stay in the fight, too, making the guts rolls when needed. And, push come to shove, the LMS rule from Human Sphere means that a Mormaer with a T2 rifle, X-visor and Teseum can fight to the nut...

What's a T2 rifle I hear you ask? Why, it's a nifty little weapon that fires unstable Teseum rounds (think DU rounds...) that fragment explosively upon impact with a target. How is this explained in game play terms? Essentially, if you're hit and fail your ARM against someone firing these little beasties of jacketed goodness at you, you lose two wounds, meaning the basic single wound model goes bye bye.

Do not pass go. Do not take advantage of docs or medikits. Kaput.

Aside from Teseum, the Caledonian Sectorial force's G.I. Scotty can do nifty things like link fire, join fireteams, and be equipped with chainrifles...

Is it just me, or are the Cale rocking a lot of Concilium-banned kit?! Good! :D

So, that's it for the first part of my Ariadna/Caledonian overview. I'll be back in the future with more writings about our plucky little fighting-for-survivalists, as well as pics, paint, and other Ari Secs!


First Shot at Painting Infinity

I got my order of Infinity PanOceania models in the mail. For my first dive into Infinity, I went for a small infantry force. I wanted to get some basic models, and a few with some support weapons. I settled on the PanOceania starter box for it's value, and added 3 models with support weapons: a Hexa Sniper, a Nisse HMG, and a Fusilier HMG. This should be a good list of models to get some variety in painting and play style.

I also tried something new with Infinity; I gave snow bases a try. Micro Art Studios has a great line up of resin bases, and at the time of purchase the Shale Winter bases were available, so I went for them. I have never painted a winter/snow theme before, but I felt like it gave me quite a bit of leeway in my painting approach.

I was really happy with how the Hexa sniper came out. I used a hand painting shading technique that I find really helpful with models that have high detail. Base the model white, and use a gray wash to bring out the high/low lights. Then using washes for color details.

I was really impressed with how the inside of the cloak came out. I washed with a very watered down Enchanted blue, then went over a dry brushed white. This did two things: kept the recesses dark, and made the overall coat look snow washed and lighter. It was an excellent effect.

The outside of the cloak and the rest of the model were a bit trickier. As a sniper model, I didn't want to go too high contrast, but I wanted to provide some distinction. The ice blue came about as sort of an accident, but after going with it, it really gave a subdued ice blue effect. I wanted to make the helmet a darker color to provide some contrast, which I felt came out well. After all was done, I went over the model with a dry brush of Skull White. This did two things: It made the figure look less striking, and a gave it a snowy look. This was great, as I didn't need to worry so much about the small details.

My next model will be the Nisse HMG model. She has a awesome snow cloak on with a very dynamic pose. I think I will go for a less "camo-ed" approach with that model, but still keep the snowy effect.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Anything But...": Episode 13

Spoiler Alert! SBWG discusses the recent Domination spoiler. We talk about Legion, Minions, and Trollbloods. Skorne, we'll get you next time.

Link to Episode 13

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Anything But...": Episode 12

SBWG took a small break from the podcastsphere, but we are back strong with some excellent discussions. Mark talks about his newly acquired Skorne, and then we talk about a new game for our group: Infinity. Infinity is a sci-fi skirmish game which you can check out at

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Link to Episode 12

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hit Gauge released on the App Store

I'm very excited to announce that Hit Gauge has been released on the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

I would invite to please check out the app's website or you can go directly to the iTunes store.

Thank you for all the great feedback, and I look forward to my next release: Death Clock.