What Is Infinity?
Infinity is a strategic, skirmish game that uses 28mm scale, metal miniatures. (And they’re really awesome miniatures too!). It’s produced by a company called Corvus Belli.
Let’s break down what this means:
- The core idea of a skirmish game is that you control a small selection of troops (usually 10 to 15) and you use those to fight against your opponent, who has their own selection of troops.
- Infinity being a strategic game means that you’re constantly required to make tactical decisions, which determine the outcome of the game.
- The game pieces are 28mm scale, metal miniatures. This means an average miniature representing a human is roughly 28mm tall (just over 1 inch).
How Does An Infinity Game Work?
In a typical Infinity game you and your opponent play on a 48″ x 48″ table and take it in turns to complete game actions with your troops. These actions include moving, shooting, and interacting with important scenery elements.
Unlike other wargames, Infinity allows you to activate your troops multiple times. At the start of every turn you receive a number of “orders” equal to the troops you have on the field. You can use these orders on your troops in any combination you wish. You could spend all of them on a single unit if you wanted!
One of the main selling points of Infinity is that you get to react to your opponent’s actions. Even if it’s not your turn! When your opponent spends an order on one of their troops, you gain the ability to declare an “automatic reaction order” on any of your own troops that can see, or are nearby. Consequently, if your opponent spends an order on one of their troops and uses it to shoot one of your models, then you might have the chance to shoot back! This means Infinity is a very interactive and exciting game to play.
Each player alternates in taking turns for three rounds and then the game ends. At the end of the game both players add up how many points they score for completing preset mission objectives, and based on this a winner is declared.
What do the miniatures look like?
Infinity models are 28mm scale and made out of metal. They’re remarkably detailed and many have incredibly dynamic poses. Miniatures are supplied by Corvus Belli unassembled and unpainted.
All of the below images are provided courtesy of Corvus Belli’s online store.
The year is 2200 and humanity has reached the stars. The old nations that we know from today have either slipped into irrelevance or been subsumed into much larger federations. These new factions control their own star systems and use wormholes to quickly jump from one system to the next. The expanse of human space is known as the Human Sphere.
Despite living in a brand new world, humanity is still driven by many of the same motivations as today. Resources, power, space. Friction is constant and confrontations are commonplace. The Human Sphere perpetually teeters on the edge of war. Each faction, not wanting to risk open and direct conflict, constantly wages shadow strikes against the others. Behind the curtain, small groups of special operatives assassinate, extort, and steal assets for their parent nations. All of this adds to the dizzying maelstrom of politics and turmoil, creating a tenuous and delicate balance.
Whilst the Human Sphere fights amongst itself an alien menace, known as the Combined Army, presents a serious and ever-present existential threat. The Combined Army has launched frequent offensives against the Human Sphere, and thus far the defenders have only been partially able to rebuff them. As the alien forces march ever onwards, the Human Sphere shrinks and begins to look like a far more dangerous place. Combined Army units skilled in stealth and subterfuge have infiltrated critical human organisations – governments, militaries, and research labs – creating a feverish paranoia. Where will the Combined Army strike next, and can the Human Sphere put their own differences aside for long enough to rally together and launch a coherent defence?
Infinity’s lore is deep and pulls references from real world politics and military doctrine. It focuses on a tense narrative involving subterfuge, struggles between corporate and government interests, and mysterious alien technologies. The universe uses extensive sci-fi and cyberpunk tropes (e.g. futuristic weapons, human augmentation, and space travel). The story-telling treads a fine line between being gritty and serious but also humorous and light-hearted.
You can learn more about Infinity’s lore through the books published by Corvus Belli (which include both rules and lore sections). Alongside this, the company Modiphius produces a tabletop RPG system set in the Infinity universe. The RPG books are packed with information about the setting and the factions that inhabit it.
Other lore sources:
About the factions
Factions in Infinity are sorted into large, parent factions and smaller subfactions called sectorials. Many people in the community refer to the main factions as ‘vanilla’ factions.
The main, overarching factions are known for their flexibility and wide range of options. The subfactions, or sectorials, are smaller selections of units from their respective parent faction. Units in sectorials tend to all have a particular theme. Sectorials lose some amount of flexibility and choice, but gain the ability to take more of certain units, and can also be built to have some powerful bonuses.
Below is a description of the main factions (no sectorials!):
Panoceania is number one. The biggest, most advanced, and richest nation in the human sphere. This faction controls the most planets and boasts the largest economy. Panoceania uses its enormous wealth and power to support a healthy welfare society and to fund the development of exotic new technologies. Whilst some might accuse Panoceanian citizens of arrogance or complacency, they would argue that they’re protected by the most advanced and destructive army in the Human Sphere.
On the tabletop: Panoceanian armies tend to not be subtle. They boast the widest selection of TAGs (Tactical Armoured Gears: big walking mechs), and a healthy array of infantry in power armour. Their troops are equipped with the best weapons money can buy, and they’ll confidently answer most problems with a hail of deadly gunfire. On the other hand Panoceanian forces tend to be lighter on stealthy, less direct options. Panoceania really are the number one gunfighting faction.
Quick pitch: Big guns and heavy armour. Blast away any problem. Opponent’s will be envious of your aggressive technology (but you may be secretly envious of their stealthy options!)
Yu Jing is Panoceania’s perpetual challenger. It is an Asian giant; the far East united under the banner of what was once China. Consequently, Yu Jing culture is vivid and heterogenous but also integrated. It is the second largest faction in the Human Sphere, supported by robust technological and industrial sectors. Yu Jing sets itself apart from the passing whims of the West and prides itself on possessing a foundation of rich cultural wealth, stretching back thousands of years.
On the tabletop: Yu Jing is a remarkably varied faction, but leans towards aggression. It is best known for possessing the widest variety of heavy infantry (tough troops in powered suits of armour), supported by strong weapons and equipment. These troops are often remarkable gunfighters and can absorb a lot of enemy fire. However the faction also possesses more subtle options, such as stealthy ninjas or camouflaged remotes, and notable close combat options. Another interesting facet of YJ is that they have access to many troops that give the player more moves in a turn than they would ordinarily get.
Quick pitch: Balanced faction that prioritises aggression and heavy armour, but has options in all areas and can do subtlety well. Good melee and ranged choices.
Ariadna is a faction of hardened survivors. A human colony that was once left adrift in an isolated star system on a hostile planet, Ariadnans had the endurance and mettle to build and develop. The faction might lack advanced technology, and be positively old-fashioned compared to most others, but Ariadnan individuals make up for these shortcomings with true grit and tenacity. In the Human Sphere Ariadna struggles for recognition and respect, but leverages exports of the super-hard metal Teseum to improve both its military power and its financial position.
On the tabletop: Ariadna is an extremely low-tech faction that typically uses clever tricks over raw power. The faction has no TAGs, and virtually no capability to hack opposing heavily armoured targets. However, it boasts incredible access to stealthy, camouflaged troops and weapons that can punch through armour. Ariadnan forces typically block enemy fire with smoke grenades and attack from unexpected angles. The faction also has access to terrifying werewolves that can viciously rip apart opposing heavy infantry.
Quick pitch: The stealthiest faction, which carefully preys on weak aspects of your opponent’s defence. Has werewolves for brute force! Lacks technology but possesses good armour-penetrating weapons.
Haqqislam is the faction that this blog focuses on! Haqqislam (from Arabic meaning New Islam) is a neo-Muslim culture, formed on a revision of classic Islam. Haqqislam is a relatively minor faction, occupying just a single star system and an associated planet named Bourak (hence the name of this blog). Haqqislamite culture has rekindled the tenets of the Islamic Golden Age and places great emphasis on scientific advances. Their medicinal research is responsible for pioneering the processes through which individuals can be resurrected, and tissues can be regenerated. These discoveries ensure that Haqqislam plays an important role across the sphere.
On the tabletop: Haqqislam is another varied faction, but has a particular emphasis on light infantry and less-direct methods. They often utilise lots of lightly armoured troops, but many are highly elite operatives with advanced biomedical capabilities. Some have the ability to regenerate themselves, others can use augmented physiology to jump great distances. Many Haqqislam lists use camouflaged troops and smoke grenades to avoid enemy fire, but the faction also has decent access to heavier troops and strong gunfighters. Haqqislam is particularly known for using shadowy assassins that can disguise themselves as enemy units before launching a lethal opening blow.
Quick pitch: Strong fighters and skilled specialists that hit hard and fast, but generally lack armour. Haqq units such as assassins and light infantry require a careful, methodical playstyle, which rewards viciously striking then pulling back to safety.
Three gargantuan ships traverse the breadth of the Human Sphere, doing the jobs that others cannot – or will not – do. Nomads are rogues, tricksters, and outcasts that skirt the edges of not only human space, but also the definitions of normality and acceptability. Nomads value free, independent spirits and thoughts, unshackled by the usual trappings and taboos of other human cultures. Each Nomad ship specialises in a different trade: Tunguska on data, Corregidor on skilled labour, and Bakunin on exotic bioengineering. Nomad society functions effectively by travelling the sphere and offering their services to corporations and governments.
On the tabletop: Nomads are the hacking faction. They are the undisputed masters at using hacking devices to interfere with enemy heavy infantry and TAGs. This strategy lets them deal with opponents who might be bringing much heavier weapons to the battlefield. Besides this, Nomads are best thought of as the multi-tool faction. They have a huge range of profiles that fulfil multiple functions – gunfighting, controlling the battlefield with mines, and completing specialist functions like repairing their own remotes. On the subject of remotes, Nomads are very well known for fielding exceptional and unique robots.
Quick pitch: Balanced faction that prioritises subtlety and tricks, but has some recognisable big guns. Stealthy, camouflaged troops and hackers work together with well equipped gunfighters.
Aleph is the greatest ally of the Human Sphere. It is the sole artificial intelligence that controls all data within humanity’s known universe. Without Aleph, all civilisation would end – it is responsible for political systems, economic systems, and social systems. On the surface, the AI puts its substantial efforts towards securing humanity’s future. It provides troops to fight for the sphere, and the essential functions to ensure everyday life continues unimpeded. But who knows what Aleph’s real motivations are? Is it a benevolent ally, a creeping malignant tumour, or some combination of both? The question is – who is the puppet-master, and who is the puppet?
On the tabletop: Aleph is an incredibly elite fighting force, boasting some of the most expensive and effective infantry you can field. As part of Aleph’s effort to protect humanity, it produces recreations of famous human warriors, and therefore its forces can include legendary fighters such as Achilles or Hector. Similarly to Panoceania it leans towards being a heavily aggressive faction that emphasises strong gunfighters. However unlike Panoceania it also includes some respectable subtle, stealthy options too.
Quick pitch: Legendary Greek heroes supported by combat robots result in a faction with terrifying offensive and defensive potential. Expect one or two signature hero units with backup.
O12 is the law. The organisation is an international and representational governing body, endowed with a tactical police branch. O12 is the arbiter, judge, and jury of the Human Sphere. It is responsible for protecting weaker nations, for controlling international systems and legislation, and preventing abuse from hyperpowers. O12 strives for stability and progress. If Aleph is responsible for the out-of-sight systems that keep the Human Sphere running smoothly, O12 is the highly visible watchdog that ensures compliance. And it does so with force if necessary. This is not an easy job, but O12 will never give up. How far will they go to fulfil their duty?
On the tabletop: O12 specialises in board control and non-lethal weapons. Their troops are typically well equipped, highly trained, and carry exotic weaponry to the field. Some of their troops carry equipment which can automatically launch itself at approaching enemies (essentially running mines), or use attack robots to take out enemies without risking their own lives. O12 also has some extremely high-tech heavy infantry, which act as uncompromising hammers. Playing O12 is about forcing compliance and aggressively defending your territory.
Quick pitch: Heavy infantry with the best technology are supported by strong board control elements. Layered defences and strong hammer units make subtlety unnecessary.
The alien menace. The largest existential threat currently facing humanity. The Combined Army is comprised of the Evolved Intelligence, which is an alien AI, and its subjugated peoples. The Combined Army possesses a vast wealth of knowledge and the relentless will to conquer. Its ultimate ambition is to reach transcendence and evolve in such a way that it reaches a higher plane of existence. Unfortunately for the Human Sphere, that means their technology and biomatter being subsumed. How can humanity stand against the might of a terrifyingly advanced AI and the legions of civilisations it has already swallowed and integrated into its vast war machine?
On the tabletop: Combined Army takes a leaf out of the Yu Jing book of versatility. On the surface, Combined Army boasts some fantastic TAGs and aggressive gunfighting units. It has some of the most notorious heavy infantry and TAGs in the game – famous not only for being extremely tough, but also very hard to hit in the first place. However, one of the subsumed races within the Combined Army specialised in infiltration techniques, and therefore they offer the faction great stealth troops and disguised assassins.
Quick pitch: Technologically advanced gunfighters combine with stealthy aliens, resulting in a flexible force. Able to brutishly smash through opponents or pick at weaker defences.
Tohaa are the only faction to have successfully mounted an effective resistance to the Combined Army. They are an advanced alien civilisation that specialises in biotechnology and genetic engineering. They frequently harness the power of minor species in order to bolster the capabilities of their own race. They boast a technological level above that of the Human Sphere, but their war with the Combined Army has stagnated their progress. The faction also acts as custodians for a mysterious set of artifacts known as Digesters. It is this facet that brought them to the attention of the Combined Army initially.
On the tabletop: Tohaa on the tabletop are an extremely robust and tough faction. As a faction that specialises in biotechnology, they often forgo heavy armour, but instead many of their units possess multiple wounds and therefore can take a few hits before going down. Their army is entirely biological and has no mechanical elements. Tohaa are also known for their unique triad rule, which allows three of their models to take actions together simultaneously. Therefore their forces tend to operate as multiple small groups all working together.
Quick pitch: Tough aliens trade away offensive superiority for defensive prowess. Possess the ability to move groups of units together, making the faction efficient at controlling the field.
A note on model availability and discontinued factions:
Corvus Belli have a rotating selection of models and factions that they support and offer for sale. There are two consequences of this:
- It is very usual for older forces to be rotated out of active development and discontinued. In this circumstance Corvus Belli still provide rules for that faction and it’s still completely playable. If you love the faction and have the models – you absolutely will not lose out. However, it does mean that the models will no longer be in production and therefore might be very hard to find.
- Corvus Belli don’t produce models for every profile in the game. This means it’s totally acceptable to use one model to represent another (called ‘proxying’). The tournament rules have a note at the very beginning explicitly allowing players to proxy. As a player this is fantastic because it means that there is no obligation to rush out and constantly buy the latest releases. As a downside it means that if you’re desperate to play the correct model for every troop choice you include in your army then you’re going to be in a tough spot.
More faction and unit information:
- The Dice Abide Blog’s article – which faction is for you?
- The Human Sphere Wiki – information on factions and individual units
- Corvus Belli’s faction introductions
What do i need to play the game?
In order to begin playing Infinity you need the following:
- Tape measure
- Dice (Infinity uses 20 sided dice – 4 is a good number to have)
- Rules (linked below)
- A list of the units you have and their rules (the army builder is linked below)
- Someone else to play with, with their own miniatures (!)
Unlike some other companies, Corvus Belli offers many of the resources you need to play, such as rules and unit statistics, at no cost!
Corvus Belli currently offer two rule-sets for Infinity:
- Code One – a streamlined and simpler ruleset for individuals that are new to wargames
- N4 – the full game.
Here are all the resources you need to play the game, and some other useful links:
- Infinity Universe – information about the game from Corvus Belli
- Official Code One rules
- Official N4 rules
- Infinity army builder – view unit profiles and build lists
- Infinity wiki – a rules wiki to help with rules queries
- Corvus Belli’s store – to view the miniature catalogue and buy new models!
- Infinity community on reddit – to help with queries
- Infinity community on facebook – to help with queries
Bonus Section: Competitive Infinity
Infinity is built for competitive play and stands up to the challenge of competitive games admirably well. Corvus Belli spend a lot of time attempting to ensure that each year Infinity has a brand new packet of different missions to play. Some missions favour aggressive, shooting forces, and others favour less-direct, subtle forces. This means that Corvus Belli are ensuring that there are varied and interesting competitive scenarios being put out for Infinity every single year.
Results from tournaments are published by both Corvus Belli and the community. These suggest that Infinity’s balance between factions is reasonably high. It is not absolutely perfect. There are a few factions that are considered slightly weaker than the others. However, the vast majority of factions in the game hover between a 45%-55% win rate, meaning that they’re very well matched. Faction choice is far from the most important factor in determining the outcome of an Infinity game; player skill is.
Internal balance between individual units in Infinity is less robust than balance between the factions. Within each faction some units and loadouts are considered much better than others. In typical Infinity style, the balance is still very good and most troops have viable loadouts, which can easily make their way into competitive lists. Having said this, there are a few units in each faction, which don’t feel too interesting.
In this article I’ve attempted to provide an introduction to Infinity for new players. However, there will inevitably be things I have missed. If you have any further questions then you could try asking me here, or contacting me through facebook. Alternatively you could try the communities I’ve linked above – the Infinity reddit and facebook pages. Good luck, and have fun!