Monday, August 29, 2011

Basic Wargaming Scenarios and Infinity The Game

Infinity the Game, while a great system, lacks a set of scenarios or missions. There is one section in the main rulebook about victory conditions that only amounts to a single scenario, victory points. While the game is detailed and varied enough to make for exciting and challenging games every time, there is only one deployment option and one missions. I am sure the creators of the game well-understood that their players would be creating their own and that's what I would like to do here.

Fortunately, I have a database of several possible wargaming scenarios stored in my cube. that I collected over the years and seen played in various ways across various rulesets. 40k has been my main game for several years so this will seem as though I am transferring 40k missions over to Infinity, which isn't my intention. My intention is to create some great Infinity scenarios.

Scenarios should have a couple key elements.

Victory Conditions - Simple and Player Skill Based
Each one need to have an easy to grasp, yet challenging victory condition, which should never come down to a single die-roll. This takes luck a little more out of the equation and generally makes it more based on skill. That means that I would not like any scenarios that depend on Discover rolls to reveal an objective, or a randomly moving objective, etc. That way, winning is less about die rolls and more about player skill level. I will make the caveat, that as a dice-based game, die rolls are always going to affect the game, but I wouldn't like to see claiming an objective a matter of a Discover or hacking roll.
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Varied Deployment Options
There should be a variable set of deployment options to make the games more interesting and to add in variety. 40k does this well, providing there different options. Currently Infinity offers one way, but balances this out but providing a lot of different deployment options for special troops, like Hidden Deployment, the levels of Infiltration, Airbourne Deployment, and others.

Narrative - Where is that Infinity flavor?
This is where you all can help out. I would like the scenarios to have some of that Infinity flavor. This may actually prove to the be the most challenging part. We shall see.

The Five Basic Missions
Here I've outlined 5 basic missions that I have seen over the years. Most from 40k but some from other games.

1) Annihilate. 
Simple. Kill more troops than your opponent can kill of yours. In 40k, this is determined by kill points or victory points. I prefer victory points although there is room for debate here. I'm not at all sure what would work best for Infinity.

2) Breakthrough.
Breakthrough is a scenario in which you have to get some or all of your models into your opponent's deployment zone. The creators of 40k 5th Edition tried to re-invent this scenario with Capture and Control in which there is an objective in each deployment zone and the winner is the one who controls more objectives than the opponent. Unfortunately it wasn't an effective scenario because it frequently ends in a draw because there is little incentive to advance on your opponents objective, because you can simply hold your own. I think this would make an interesting scenario in Infinity because of Airborne Deployment, Hidden Deployment and Linked Teams, all of which make getting to your opponent's zone easier. So the challenge is to get models into that zone, while preventing your opponent from doing the same. This requires both a good offense and strong defense.

3) Capture X number of  objectives.
Seize Ground in 40k. This scenario is one in which multiple objectives are placed on the board and the winner is the one who controls the most objectives at the end of the game. The Cities of Death Codex had an interesting variation on this called Firesweep, in which you only have to control an objective at one point in the game, and it was marked as yours, allowing your unit to move on and claim mark more objectives. So the scenario was different in that the winner was the only who controlled the most objectives over the course of the game.

4) Capture 1 objective.
Old school Take and Hold. In Cities of Death it was Domination. This mission has faded from the 40k scene in recent years but it was once a staple. I think some players felt the mission favored Close-Combat specialists and therefore was dropped because it wasn't balanced. I can see it being problematic for Infinity. All it takes is a couple HMGs positioned within LOF of the objective and dropping suppression fire markers on the objective and well that's game pretty much. Smoke could also make it an unbalanced missions. I'm not willing to completely write it off so play testing is in order for this one.

5) Control table quarters
Another old school mission, seeing a comeback with big 40k tournaments like the NoVA Open. This entails having more points of your models in more table quarters than your enemy. I've never really like this mission because I don't find it interesting but many wargamers really enjoy it.

Translating these scenarios to Infinity would be very simple to do but how do you mix in some of that Infinity flavor? Thoughts from the community?

More to come in future installments.


  1. I like Malifaux and Heavy Gear Blitz scenario rules.

  2. You've probably seen this already but there's a good thread on the official English-speaking Infinity forums with a whole bunch of user-created scenarios in it:

  3. First off, I really like the blog, my hat's off to you. I discovered Antenocitis Workshop thanks to you, and I'm eagerly awaiting my first order from them.

    My gaming club will be starting our third annual Infinity Campaign in a few months, and we have several scenarios written for it. If you're interested I'll send you a copy of the rule book from our last campaign.

    I'm also preparing for a major gaming convention this summer, and writing scenarios for a tournament we are running. If you'd like to check out our progress take a look at

    Keep up the great work!