|Just what has this little token brought to the table?|
So Infinity has a new rule, Fireteam: Haris L1, you can read it for yourself here. What does this little rule update actually mean though for the game of Infinity? Answer it's probably too early to say for sure. I remember the furore over Link Teams and Sectorial lists in the Human Sphere book. It caused quite a stir at the time and people were sure it would lead to at least one of two things, if not both:
- Totally unbalance and unhinge the game
- Lead eventually to a bigger squad based Infinity
Now at the time I wasn't really a full member of the online Infinity community, I was more a lurker who occasionally posted a brief comment, so I didn't get all tangled up in any of the 'debate'. Although I did find much of it very interesting to read at the time.
|My current Link Team of Choice... with a Missile Launcher!|
There were the doom mongers who preached that the apocalypse was coming, there were the moderates who preached we should wait and see before deciding, and then their were the blind zealots who believed Corvus Belli could do no wrong and soon Infinity would take over the globe!!! Now... I didn't fit into any of those three broad camps, and if I did it was probably with the moderates. Nope I believed all three viewpoints were valid, for the people who held them. For the doom mongers Link Teams might very well have killed Infinity off for them, they're certainly a potent option for some Sectorial forces, less so for others. Meanwhile for the zealots they might have added an extra layer of awesome on top of an already heady mix of greatness... and the moderates are still probably sitting on an uncomfortable fence somewhere, worrying about piles!
What I'm trying to say is this, wargames are a very personal thing, and we all want to play the sorts of games that appeal to us, things we enjoy, and the marketplace is giving us more options than ever before. So Infinity going one way or the other will only be a bad thing for me personally IF it goes the way I don't want it to. Meanwhile others might love the very direction I hate. For Corvus Belli success is measured very differently though, on their profit and loss sheet. So what does Haris L1 mean for Infinity? Honestly I haven't got the foggiest idea yet, I can speculate though. What we've seen so far is a single page PDF, possibly taken from the new missions / campaign book, and that has potentially been taken way out of context for me. We could have other rules in the rest of the book that limit their use, or actively negate it in other ways. So I'm not going to go off the deep end on the rule just yet... but... I have my concerns!
|Never has a profile update caused as much discussion amongst Infinity players!|
First up I thought Link Teams were a clever idea, that was implemented very well with the Sectorial lists by limiting the options that a player could take in their force. Want a Haramaki Link Team? Sorry you can't use that Hac Tao! Are Link Teams a potent tool in Infinity? They sure are, and some are more potent than others, but they're not hideously overpowered or 'broken', and they can be dealt with by a none Sectorial force quite easily. I have no doubt that Haris L1 Link Teams can be dealt with in the same ways, indeed the fact that this second Haris L1 Link Team has to be focused around a Rifle+Light Shotgun variant Odalisque already limits their effectiveness somewhat. That's not a great weapon load-out. Just thank the lord it wasn't a spitfire variant! But, facing two Link Teams at once does pose some difficult tactical choices and raises some further questions for me:
- Why are Haris L1 teams needed?
- What will they do to the average games points cost of 300?
- How will it effect list composition and army builds?
- And what other units will get this skill in the future?
Unfortunately I really don't know the answer to any of those questions I've posed. Plus I certainly won't be trying to tackle answering them without playing the game and seeing the full impact of Haris L1, hell there might even be L2 and L3 versions of the rule yet!
What I do know though is that for Haqqislam players to take full advantage of this new rule, and to run with in effect 2 link teams in the standard 300 point Infinity game will take up at least two thirds of their points allocation. It is possible to argue, quite effectively too, that it could actually take a little bit more than 200 points if they wish to maximise the potential of both Link Teams. Sorry but I can see this rule starting to push people northwards of 300 points, possibly closer to wanting 400 point games. For me personally this isn't too much of a bad thing as I've wanted to see my games start looking at 400 points any way. I can also see it introducing far more squad based combat than maybe many will be comfortable with in what is supposed to be a skirmish game, one that was built around the independent individual soldier. It seems to me like Corvus Belli are looking at maybe slowly growing Infinity into something more than a simple skirmish game, it feels to me like squads are being introduced via a back door.
|If any of the Pan-O Knights get Haris L1... well... lets wait and see!!!|
Do I have a problem with that? I don't know, as I haven't played the game yet with these rules in place. I'm not sure what further troop options will get the skill, and I don't know what it'll do to lists. Are there current troops I'd be scared to see get the rule? Hell yes! Thing is I'm all about the effect on the tabletop as I'm sure many of you are well aware, I don't have an intrinsic inbuilt opposition to Infinity becoming more squad based or even a little bit larger as a game. That is as long as it remains fast fluid and in-depth, and not some form of Infinity-lite, or worse yet a turgid bogged down drudge mired in rules that weren't designed for coping with squads. I obviously love the scale and flow of the game as it stands now, and anything that upsets this equilibrium or potentially changes the focus away from something I already like I'm going to be cautious about. But I'm willing to wait and see before proclaiming the sky is falling in. This new mission / campaign rulebook is going to be a fascinating release it seems in more ways than one. Lets hope it's not for all the wrong reasons. Peace out!