Traversing the Infinite…y

Well, they’re not all going to be great titles. Forgiveness, please.

Anyhow, I’m sort of in the gaming doldrums here of late. The state of 40K and its community has become, surprisingly, even more dismal and toxic than usual. That, plus all the strange rumors about what 6th will bring are sapping my excitement for Word Bearing. Usually, this isn’t a problem, as there’s always Privateer Press to keep a smile on my face (and they very well are, what with that new Centurion. God. It’s like they poured my dreams into a mould, then painted it with chocolate and sex.), but all of their exciting upcoming products are…upcoming, and while the spirit is willing, the flesh is impatient.

So, coming in all sideways from that is Covus Belli’s Infinity. Odds are, you’ve seen it. It’s the one with all those gorgeous miniatures with bizarre names, and an aesthetic that comes straight out of an Masamune Shirow book*. It’s been floating around the web for ages now, and seems to have finally made a bit of a breakthrough on the American scene in the past year or so now that they’ve got a rulebook that’s apparently much more comprehensive and well-translated than its predecessors.

I’ve actually had the books for a while now, and something that doesn’t seem to get brought up nearly enough is the universe the game takes place in. I haven’t been so excited by a gaming world since first hearing about the Iron Kingdoms, and it contains the same sense of openness, wonder and verisimilitude that originally drew me into Full Metal Fantasy. There’s definite echos of Battletech and Mutant Chronicles, in that you’ve got a set of large, squabbling human factions, kept from total war by a joint political organization and a new, fearsome force from Beyond that threatens humanity’s well-being. Each faction’s interesting and flavorful, and the writing is some of the best I’ve seen in gaming books for a long time now. The whole thing’s a treat.

Why not just shut up and play, you ask? Well, out here in my corner of Kentucky, Infinity’s already experienced a state of boom before dropping to bust – a status that people seem determined to perpetuate – and all before I arrived in the locale, no less. It’s difficult enough to get well-entrenched wargamers to try something new. Getting a second chance is almost impossible. Not a shot at the gamer population (we’ve got enough of that going around, don’t we?), but there’s only so much time and money in the world.

So, I come to you with this question, dear readers – how do you get something like Infinity, quirky and small, to take hold? Especially when it’s already been raised and toppled in the past? Is it impossible, or can people be brought back over? I’d like some opponents, so I’m hoping hard on the former. My fate is in your hands, everyone.

* That last one’s actually a deal-breaker for some, which is sad. Yes, the manga-splosion of the last decade was irritating, but let’s not hold it against these miniatures. They can only be held partially responsible.

One thought on “Traversing the Infinite…y”

  1. Well I’m a huge Infinity fan… but the first problem you’ll face at any club environment with Infinity is Terrain. The simple truth is the game needs a hell of a lot of it. If you want the game to take off locally I’ve found normally someone has to provide the terrain.

    Next up is demo games just showing the basics. I mean bare minimum stuff. Infinity isn’t complex in terms of the rules, but it is complex in terms of the options. You drop too much info on people at one time and you’ll end up with a defensive barrier you’ll never get past. Keep it simple.

    If people were interested enough to try it out in the first place that means there must have been some evangelists. Find out who they were and what went wrong. Learn from their mistakes and do it bigger, better, faster, harder, stronger… or whatever.

    You’ll more than likely find that the community had a few vocal opponents to the switch over to a new game. Don’t take them on head on, just ignore them and find the guys who still have Infinity stuff kicking around. They’re the ones who actually wanted Infinity to succeed and if you get them on board you’ll be able to grow a community of sorts.

    Good luck with it!!! =)

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