Yeah well I guess I only have myself to blame on this one. The past few weeks have been a bit hectic and down right difficult round here and as such I haven't exactly kept on top of things on this here blog. But boy have there been some pretty darn huge updates going on in the World of Infinity! I obviously didn't do my July Infinity update release, so those will be covered here, as well as Augusts rather exciting looking bunch of releases. However, the biggest news regarding Infinity has to simply be the release finally of the the third Infinity book, the campaigns and mission book. This has got me massively excited, because lets face it, missions and campaigns have been the missing part of the jigsaw for Infinity for almost... well... since it was released actually. The Campaign Paradiso book is a very welcome sight for Infinity players indeed, it's what we've been asking for, for years, and it's what I've had minor grumbles about on here for the last few months now. Obviously I haven't seen what it's all about and how good it is yet, but I remain optimistic that it will plug a large gap in the game system successfully and finally make Infinity a complete game system.
The other massively exciting news that came out of the announcement of the Infinity Campaign Book was the revealing of a totally new alien race and faction in the Infinity universe called the Tohaa. Rumours of a second all new alien race / faction have been murmured about for some time now. However, I'll be honest and say I didn't quite expect to see them released so soon. I thought they might have been held back until Corvus Belli were ready to give us all the full on updated 3rd Edition. I guess I was wrong. So we have been told a little bit of the fluff behind them, like the fact they're at war with the Combined Army, like the number 3 and are apparently hoping that humanity will help them out with their war against the Combined Army. Beasts of War have covered them in a bit more depth in a video found here. I however am waiting to see what is actually written about them in the campaign book itself, I'm quite a fan of the Infinity backstory, no doubt when the book is released I'll do a full breakdown on the Tohaa, and of course review the book.
|The Tohaa as painted by Angel Giraldez|
So that's some of the stuff covered, but there's still yet more! Firstly I think I need to go through the July releases, as that's really overdue! As with Junes releases there were some new options not yet seen in either the Rulebook or Human Sphere book, so we can look forward to some new profiles it seems in that campaign book.
First up lets have a brief look at what the month of July brought us for Infinity. I was actually really impressed with the mini's that Corvus Belli brought out, not a one I didn't like this month on an aesthetic side...
Right this in another one of those units that we have yet to see the rules for, and will be in the aforementioned campaign book (finally). As somebody who collects Aleph (and Yu Jing, Haqqislam as well Nomads... what it's a medical condition!!!) I've always felt that they struggle in what I call the instant threat department. In short they're a bit light on decent infiltration troops who can take the fight to the opposition from the get go. For this role in my lists I normally like a decently offensively TO Camo infiltrator, preferably with a HMG, Spitfire or Missile Launcher... failing that an Oniwaban will do. So I was very pleased to see that Aleph are getting another AD trooper choice, I love AD troops as they can respond to unexpected tactics or glaring tactical mistakes your opponent might have made. It is these opportunities you have to make the most of in Infinity or pay the price. AD troops give you that ability to hit an opponent when they least expect it. I just hope their profile doesn't suck. As for the mini itself? It looks wicked, I'm a bit of a sucker for the whole Aleph aesthetic, perhaps its those purple and pink lines and cool white appearance... just appeals to me for some reason, can't think why! But I love the back pack on this mini and the pose of him coming in to land combi-rifle raised and combat knife ready. The armour is very Aleph, with sleek panels a sharp lines. I can't wait to see what it is like on the table.
I have a terrible, terrible secret to admit... although regular reader will probably already be aware of this... I'm starting to fall for Pan-O. It's the TAGs and their knights amongst many others. The first force I got for Infinity, way back when the game first appeared was Yu Jing. The sworn enemies of Pan-O. I promised myself I would never buy the Pan-O faction. Turns out this was a foolish move... because I'm starting to love their Appleseed vibe a little bit too much. Martin over at Fire Broadside said he had an issue with the cloak, He felt the way it flowed didn't seem quite right. While I can see where he's coming from, given the games aesthetic is heavily inspired by anime and manga I think it's perfectly in keeping. There's a first, me and Martin disagreeing on something (trust me it's very rare). Genuinely I like this bad boy, from the typical Masume Shirow inspired head and armour, right through that flowing anime cape and including that badass future Knight vibe he has going on. Plus he has a kickass sword and a spitfire. Sweet!
He's also one of those Pan-O units that all the other faction players whinge about, because he's a bit good. Regular and Not Impetuous, but you expected that didn't you? Martial Arts L2 might not be as good as some close combat experts, but it's better than most units in the game, plus his CC of 17 is pretty darn good, and his explosive close combat weapon really is an utter bugger if he hits you with it. No he's a bit of a close combat monster, not amongst the top tier true, but certainly in the second tier. When you couple that with a BS of 14 and his Spitfire he starts looking bloody mean at only 58 pts and 2 swc, and for no extra cost he can also be your Lieutenant... *grumble*... any way that's a bargain if you're a Pan-O player. But his redonkulous stats don't stop there, oh no, he also has a PH 14, so he can dodge with the best of them if needs be, a WIP of 14, which you know is good, but it's his ARM 4, BTS -3 and W 2 that really make you sit up and take notice. He's one tough cookie and I would be less than pleased to face him. Did I mention he's also a religious trooper? I didn't!!! Well he is, so even when the rest of your army is running away he'll carry on. Seriously Pan-O get all the nice toys (yes that is a whinge).
Here is a resculpt... and one that quite frankly was long overdue. I'm not the worlds biggest fan of the Dog Warriors for Ariadna. It's not the idea of them that I'm not keen on, more the execution. For me on the whole they just don't do it for me, I'd prefer to see them a little bit more feral looking and bestial. However, the original McMurrough was laughably bad, and for my money was one of the Infinity ranges worst miniatures. This sculpt does at least put that abomination right, and also brings him more into line with the recently released 2nd Irregular Cameronians Regiment. So maybe slowly but surely this is what we can now expect to see from Ariadna's dog soldiers, if so I'm OK with it, if not totally over the moon about it. Still the Ariadna players I know seem pleased with him, so who am I to complain?
How does he come out onto the table? Quite well for the points I think. He has some interesting skills, notably Martial Arts L3 (by now you must know I'm a fan), Total Immunity, which is far handier than people think it is and Super Jump. With a Mov 6-4 in Dog-Warrior form he's a pretty darn mobile option. With 3 Wounds and Arm 3 in Dog-Warrior mode he's also pretty hardy too. His PH 16 and WIP 14 aren't bad either. His BS 11 leaves a fair bit to be desired though, although if you go for the Chain Rifle 36 pts option it is mitigated somewhat, and a 52 pts for the Heavy Shotgun option I remain unconvinced. Nope its his CC 19 the aforementioned Martial Arts L3 and AP and Shock Close Combat Weapons that people will be taking him for. That and the fact he has a nifty skill of being able to fight with two close combat weapons at once. He is no slouch when it comes to close combat, and with smoke grenades he might actually stand a chance of getting into close combat. Interestingly this resculpt doesn't come with a Dogface form, although I'm not too sure why. The Dogface form does take some quite obvious stat hits though notable going down to Mov 4-4, CC 17, PH 14 and ARM 1. Truth is I don't think in many instances you'd choose to take the Dogface form, even if it is easier to hide behind scenery. Any way, he's not a bad option for those Caledonian players.
The Yáoxiè remotes are the final REMs for the Yu Jing faction. It is one of the great shames in my opinion, that the REMs in Infinity look as cool as they do and genuinely are in general terms a bit pants on the table. And so it proves with this release. I love them, the boxy and stocy appearance is in keeping with the later REM releases for Yu Jing and I personally like the stylistic direction they've taken. They look significantly different to the Yáokóng's, while retaining similar features, most notable the legs. The sensor array on the... erm... heads(?) also looks similar to those of the Yáokóng's, thy're just housed in a more rounded unit. Nope there's Yu Jing DNA in their design, but they thankfully look different enough to warrant a purchase... if they're any good on the table that is.
So what the hell are they like on the table then? Well truth is like most REMs in Infinity when push comes to shove most people will be able to find something more worthwhile to spend their points on. It is one of my great disappointments that although they look awesome, and are supposedly a big part of the Infinity background, REMs don't really feature that often because unless they have something like Baggage or an EVO Repeater there really isn't all that much point in taking them, and so it proves with the Rui Shi and Lú Dun. The Lu Dun has a Holoprojector L2, Repeater and Multispectoral Visor L1, which isn't a bad set of stats. Weapons wise it has a Mk12 and Heavy flamer plus an Electric Pulse Close Combat Weapon. However, like most REM's it's the statline that lets them down a bit, Mov 6-4 isn't bad, CC 8 is awful though, but it's BS 12 does mean that Mk12 isn't totally pointless. PH 8 means its better off not trying to dodge... or do anything physical. WIP 13 isn't bad, and neither is the BTS -3. What really hurts this REM like so many before it is the fact it has ARM 0 and on STR 1. Yep it's made of paper and will get blown to pieces very easily. Just like the Rui Shi, which also has ARM 0 and STR 1. In fact the Rui Shi statline is the exact same one as the Lú Dun, the difference here being that the Rui Shi has a Repeater and Multispectoral Visor L2. The Rui Shi has a Spitfire and Electric Pulse Close Combat Weapon. I remain unconvinced by them, especially as the Lú Dun comes in at 25 pts and the Rui Shi clocks in at 25 pts and 1 swc. For me I just feel there are better things I could be doing with those points.
So that wraps up Infinity's July releases, just a little bit late, OK so it's a lot late. But it's done now. Sweet!!! It was a crackling month for fans of decent mini's and I know for a fact that a few of my mates picked up some of these on pre-order. I just wasn't up to writing the article when they were initially released.
So now I can finally get round to talking about this months releases, and August has brought us a really interesting set on mini's and other stuff to talk about. The most interesting being the inclusion head and weapon options in every releases. This is something Infinity fans have been asking for... well... for ages. So it's great that yet again Corvus Belli listen to their fans and do something about it, so kudos. It's also looking like a bumper month of releases with every faction (excluding the Tohaa) getting a cool spec-ops option.
Husam Spec Ops
Well sadly like all the spec ops options this month we actually know bugger all about any of them in terms of background and stats. Luckily with the release of the Campaign book we probably won't have too long to wait to see what any of them do on the tabletop. So I'm just talking about what I think of the look of these minis. I'm going to say that the two head options on this mini are really, really similar which is a bit of a let down when you see some of the other faction options, but on the whole I really like the look of the Hussam. The amount of bandoliers, pouches and storage space gives him a behind enemy lines spec-ops look, so I guess it nails the design brief. It also manages to look very much in keeping with the entire Haqqislam miniatures line.
Treitak Spec Ops
The Combined Army get a rather cool looking Morat Spec op called the Treitak. I wasn't overly keen on the Morats when I first got started in the game, but over time they grew on me. In particular their awesome curved axes, so this bad boy wins some brownie points in the form of that wicked looking curved axe. However, I really hope they've only shown the one head variant, because if they have shown both I really can't tell the sodding difference. His Armour is in keeping with the rest of the army, but for me it's arguably the weakest of the spec ops released so far for me, but hey it'll keep my Morat playing friends happy.
Intel Spec Ops
Ariadna have slowly been growing on me over the past 6 months or so. They just seem to keep getting these really, really cool looking miniatures every month or so. This miniature is no exception for me. An awful lot of the Ariadna stuff looks like current warfare spec ops to me anyway, especially the SAS stuff. They just have that vibe about them. But this chap does seem to take that to a new level for me. Again it's the bandoliers, back pack and all the extra equipment he is carrying around, like the Haqqislam Husam he's loaded up with gear. Unlike the two previous spec op options his two head variants are significantly different too. Helmet with goggles and gas mask or hood with scarf, the choice is yours and both look pretty cool.
Gui Feng Spec Ops
Yu Jings spec op offering, the Gui Feng looks a bit like a Shang Ji to me. Not that that's a bad thing, I like the Invincibles and it would be a bit weird if the armour and equipment of the Spec Op looked very different to the rest of the force. On the various head options I'm sort of flitting between liking the helmet and non-helmet options best. Part of me thinks it's just a bit dumb to be running around a battlefield in all that armour and not wear some sort of head protection... but what do I know as the non-helmet version does have a rather dashing hairstyle. Like the others though the pose is static and a bit uninspiring, no doubt a function of having multiple weapons options etc. I guess be careful what you wish for right? Even so it's a good sculpt and I like it.
Chandra Spec Ops
Yeah OK so she's got an "I'm a little teapot pose" going on, and is woefully armoured around her midriff, but hey, the Aleph Chandra Spec Ops option is actually my pick of the bunch. What can I say, I really like the Aleph aesthetic right now. I'd also say that despite this miniature having some very clear Aleph DNA it is actually doing something new with it. The helmeted head option looks very different to many other Aleph units, as does her leg guards. Yet she is undeniably an Aleph unit, and it's not just the paint job either. There are design motifs like the hexagon armour on her one arm, and the power lines running through the flowing and crisp looking armour. As with the other spec ops options she is loaded out with lots of bandoliers and stuff, but not as much as the others, this gives her a fully prepared vibe without being overly cluttered... because Aleph always know what they're doing!
Indigo Spec Ops
PanOceania have also been one of those factions like Ariadna that have been growing on me slowly, because of their recent releases. I already own Yu Jing, Haqqislam, Nomad and Aleph forces. So if anymore cool looking Pan O stuff gets released I'm doomed. Thankfully I don't actually like this chap very much. I just think he's a bit boring looking. His stance isn't too bad I guess, and his armour looks suitably Pan-O, but he just doesn't look like a spec ops to me. Looks to neatly turned out and armoured. Doesn't look like the sort of person you'd be able to dump behind enemy lines if you catch my drift. The two head options are the standard Pan O beret or multiple eye slits helmet. It's Pan O by numbers and a little uninspiring for me.
Vortex Spec Ops
And so onto the spiffing looking Nomad Spec Op the Vortex. Looking a bit like a tooled up Prowler in my opinion the Vortex looks pretty cool, which is good because I'm loving my Nomads right now! He also seems to have a bit more about his pose, true he's not running or leaping over a barrier, but he is holding his gun menacingly and looking like he's stalking around doing spec ops type stuff. I also really like his man bag, very chic... and not at all gay looking! I have a man bag and they're practical and useful, so there! OK so they're a little bit camp, but where else am I meant to put my moisturizers and aftershave?
Firstly sorry for that being such a mammoth update, and for taking so long to get some of this stuff up on this Blog. I'm slowly starting to get on top of some of the personal things I've been dealing with, and hopefully this will mean I don't get to out of sink with things again. I aim to try and get back up to full speed soon. Peace out!