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  • #11729
    AvatarUniversal Head
    Keymaster

    Must admit I haven’t had the urge to go back to Infinity after our first doddering attempts to play it. I got so frustrated by the poorly written rules I just didn’t feel like slogging through it any more.

    #11732
    WonderSlugWonderSlug
    Participant

    My Infinity

    While the motivation (or lack thereof) is different for me, I must also admit I’ve not been able to play Infinity as much as I’d like. Life, etc. keeps preventing me from moving forward with it.

    However, that hasn’t prevented me from indulging in my love of the minis whatsoever. . .

    They’ll get painted….one of these days.

    #11735
    AvatarCK Lai
    Participant

    @UH: “Must admit I haven’t had the urge to go back to Infinity after our first doddering attempts to play it. I got so frustrated by the poorly written rules I just didn’t feel like slogging through it any more.”

    Sorry to hear this. Are the rules really that bad? I know Infinity is picking up momentum here in Malaysia, and you did seem to have a pretty good time in the video…

    #11736
    WonderSlugWonderSlug
    Participant

    In my opinion, they’re not bad. They could definitely be trimmed down a bit and made much more concise. I must point out though, that my opinion is based on my reading of the core rule book in a vacuum. I’ve never read another miniature war gaming book to have any sort of comparison.

    Now for a funny story…I don’t know how I forgot about this until just now.

    See those PanO Fusiliers in my drawer? I actually base coated those at a hobby night a couple weeks back. The hobby night was held at a local guy’s house, who I’d never met before. The guy is actually……..wait for it………the lead editor of the rule book for Infinity!! LOL Small world eh?

    So before I learn this jewel of information I mention how I’m currently working through the rule book and mention some of my critiques of it. It essentially goes like this…

    me “I think I may be approaching the rules from a less than optimal approach.”
    him “how so?”
    me “Well, as a noob, I’m reading the book in its entirety, page by page. I want to learn it all, right? There are a lot of skills and special rules and details about a bunch of things that, when taken without context as they’re written, don’t hold a lot of meaning to me. I think perhaps I need to build an army of troops, see what specific skills they have and look those up individually instead of trying to learn the whole book.”
    He looks at me with a puzzled look “hmmm. Well, you know, I actually edited the book.”
    me: awkward pause….

    As I understand it, he’s also the editor on the upcoming re-release/N3 update of the Human Sphere and Campaign Paradiso books.

    Anyway, he was a super nice guy and didn’t take offense or anything like that. It’s pretty neat to have someone so connected to the game so close to home.

    Perhaps some of you more experienced war gamers could offer some comparison between the Infinity rules and other war games?

    #11738
    AvatarUniversal Head
    Keymaster

    That’s bizarre!

    He may be a nice guy, but the rules are not well written IMHO. Perhaps they have played the game so much that were unable to step back and see it from a newbie position – a bad enough error in the main rulebook, but a serious error in the starter set rulebook. The whole basic concept of how the game works is poorly explained, and I had to go to demo videos to work it out. There are other reasons I didn’t like the rules at the time but I can’t recall them just now.

    I think the game is perhaps a bit too ‘hard scifi’ for my taste. From a distance the models all look a bit the same, and the individual abilities are very detailed. For some reason its more serious take on tabletop gaming left me a bit cold.

    But I’ll still finish painting up my starter set minis and give it another go.

    #11739
    WonderSlugWonderSlug
    Participant

    Bingo!

    The rules are written so precisely, and there are so many rules, a zoomed out explanation at the very outset should have been done. Instead, they dive straight into the details without ever giving the new player a broad view of what they’ll actually be doing. Simple things like clearly describing HOW and WHEN ARO’s happen and Face to Face rolls occur (a fundamental aspect of the game) should be laid out so clearly but they’re not.

    A good example of poor organization starts on page 9 of Operation Icestorm. The third section defined is Line of Fire (LoF), then after that is Roll, along with a description of Modifiers..then Criticals! Criticals!!! Line of Fire and Modifiers and Criticals all occur mostly during combat, which the rule book hasn’t even discussed to this point.

    So they probably talk about combat next right? Nope. Next is Initiative, then Deployment…..THEN!!!!!……Game Sequence. I shit you not.

    Here’s how I would have liked it to read.

    1 = Here’s is generally how a game will go. Discuss Game Sequence…
    2 = Here is how a round will go. Each player will take a turns a.) as the active player, then b.) as the reactive player
    When you’re the active player, your opponent is the reactive player.
    3 = Here is how the active player’s turn will proceed. (Talk about the order pool and spending orders and Line of Fire)
    4 = Here is what the reactive player will be doing. (Talk about ARO and reemphasize Line of Fire being reciprocal)
    5 = Here is how movement works. (Here you would point out the troop’s movement stat)
    6 = How combat works (Here you would point out the troop’s combat stat/stats, modifiers and criticals)
    6a. Unopposed rolls
    6b. Opposed (Face to Face) rolls
    6c. Cover (full and partial)
    7 = Now let’s walk you through setting up a basic mission. (discuss table layout, deployment, victory conditions, etc.)
    8 = Now that you know the basics, know that every troop has its own unique set of abilities and features. An in depth
    appendix contains descriptions of all the abilities and weapons load outs available for your army.
    Or better yet, since we’re talking about Operation IceStorm, how about a page for each troop laying out his stats and all
    of his special abilities? That way, the new player can easily associate certain abilities with his new shiny minis. “Oh! This one is the doctor. It has the “doctor” skill. Here’s what the “doctor” skill does.”

    But that’s just me. . .

    After spending a LONG time with the full rule book, UH, I totally agree, the game is very technical and over written. A great many of the abilities are annoying and redundant, because they’re essentially upgraded versions of another ability. And instead of wrapping all the various versions of an ability into one definition with maybe a subsection for the benefits of each upgraded version, each individual version has it’s own completely separate entry, with all of the previous language written again, so distinguishing the difference between one version and another is incredibly cumbersome.

    I dunno…

    Like I said, I really like the idea of the game, and the theme is spot on for me. I understand it’s not for everyone. I LOVE the models, and if my time and money were infinite, I would collect and paint them all just to have.

    At least my hopes of getting an occasional game in here and there are helped by the fact that my area has quite an active Infinity community, and as previously stated plenty of people who can know the rule book for me instead of me having to deal with it all.

    Still curious how other rule books approach the noobie explanation.

    #11740
    AvatarUniversal Head
    Keymaster

    There you go WS, a better approach already, and it didn’t take that long to come up with it did it? Unfortunately, rules writer and rules editor are jobs that are not necessarily given to those trained or experienced in writing and effective communication. And someone with a more technical background or bent is usually the wrong person for the job. It reminds me of those old SPI rulebooks with the chapter headings that had numbers like ‘Section 5.45673’ – an obomination I recently saw resurrected in the Béthorm RPG book.

    #11741
    WonderSlugWonderSlug
    Participant

    Thanks. 🙂

    The editor, Jeremy, is actually a technical writer by trade.

    So….yeah. There ya go.

    Perhaps, Corvus Belli could use one more pass in their writing process.

    1. Game designers -> Technical Writer to “translate”
    2. Technical Writer -> Editor with journalism background (nobody particularly in mind) to make it readable.

    #11742
    AvatarUniversal Head
    Keymaster

    The problem is they have two audiences: one is the experienced gaming crowd whose main concern is absolutely zero ambiguity in the rules for tournament play, and the other are the casual gamers and newbies. I think there’s a fine line that can be walked that satisfies both, but it’s tricky.

    #11743
    WonderSlugWonderSlug
    Participant

    Very true.

    I think perhaps the core rule book, a very well made book that sells for over $50 is written as it should be…? That’s not going to be the entry point for new players.

    But for a product like Operation Icestorm, they should have taken more care in making it n00b friendly.

    #11744
    AvatarUniversal Head
    Keymaster

    I tried to clarify the basic rules by using the core book PDF, and it didn’t help! 🙂

    #11745
    WonderSlugWonderSlug
    Participant

    That was my plan as well.

    What I quickly learned is they wrote both books for people who already know how to play Infinity. LOL

    Like you said, the competitive tournament players’ “rules reference”, instead of a “how to” book for n00bs.

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