Setting up the Gaming Table
Infinity is a game that possesses a great amount of realism and flexibility, faithfully depicting tactics and maneuvers in a modern combat. As in a real combat, in Infinity the terrain, the combat environment, has a special relevance, determining both the strategy and the tactical options of the players. That way an Army List, as effective as it might be, will not be as strong when played on two different tables. Hence, an important step in the preparation of an Infinity game is the setting up of the gaming table and the placement of the terrain.
Due to the importance of this step, it is advisable that both players participate in the process of setting up the gaming table, alternating between one another to place the terrain elements, or simply placing them by mutual agreement.
|The advice given in this section is for information only. Although advisable, it is not mandatory to follow this guide to set up a gaming table.|
Terrain and Cover
In Infinity most of the troopers have the ability of performing BS Attacks, in addition they tend to be equipped with weapons that shoot up to 48 inches or even 96 inches for the long range variants. Hence, the main goal of terrain on the gaming table is to provide Cover that allows troops to move and maneuver without immediately falling under enemy fire. Using cover to round and flank the enemy is vital to ensure victory!
The layout of the terrain must force troops to maneuver across the gaming table to try to obtain a tactical advantage over the enemy. When deploying terrain it is advisable that both players find a point of balance placing enough Cover to allow the troops to maneuver, but without canceling the usefulness of long distance weapons. That way a balanced gaming table will be created, providing the same level of advantages for both players regardless of the Army List that they have crafted.
In a standard Infinity table of 4 x 4 foot size, this balance is achieved by placing a minimum of eight big terrain pieces (4 x 6 inches base and more than 2.5 inches in height) and at least 6 small pieces of terrain.
Nevertheless, a balanced gaming table is based not only on the quantity of terrain used, but also on its layout.
When placing terrain on the gaming table it is advisable that the big terrain pieces be placed so that the gaps between them are less than 10 inches. It is also advisable that the big pieces of terrain be placed in a way that the majority of the Lines of Fire that could be traced from one side of the table to the other are blocked.
A good way of ensuring that the placement of the big terrain pieces is blocking LoF is by trying to trace a broken line in the middle of the table using three big blocks of terrain. This way the safe zones alternate with Lines of Fire suitable for snipers.
Small terrain pieces must be placed in such a way that Cover is provided in those zones that have less terrain. It is advisable to build corridors between the big terrain pieces using small terrain pieces, providing Cover that enables the troops to maneuver across the table.
Also, when placing terrain on the gaming table it is important to make sure that the troops of both players can deploy without being completely exposed to the opponent's Lines of Fire from the beginning of the game.
It is very useful for the big terrain pieces to have parapets, windows, porches, and other elements that allow the troops to cover while advancing through them.
Big terrain pieces can represent buildings or structures with their respective rooftops and high zones that are an ideal place to deploy snipers or heavy support troops. If these rooftops do not have a way to access them (through stairs or elevators, for example), it will be hard for the troops to climb up or down them, limiting the tactical options of both players. Hence it is advisable that the majority of the terrain pieces have upper zones that are accessible from the ground.
It is also advisable to avoid placing the terrain in such a way that too many bottlenecks and blind alleys are created. The more options the table offers for advancing towards the enemy the more interesting the tactical choices will be.
Symmetric and Asymmetric Deployment Zones
Symmetric Deployment Zones are those that have the same amount of terrain pieces of the same size, placed in a similar way on both sides of the game table. On the other hand, Asymmetric Deployment Zones are those that do not have the same amount of terrain pieces, or those terrain pieces are not of equivalent sizes, producing an imbalance and an obvious advantage for one side of the table over the other.
When starting an Infinity game, the players make the Initiative Roll. The winner of that roll will have to choose between being the first player to activate his/her troops (Choosing Initiative) or decide which side of the table each player will deploy their troops on (Choosing Deployment).
Hence, it is advisable to deploy terrain in such a way that one of the Deployment Zones provides more Cover and/or has higher terrain pieces, giving a tactical advantage to the player who chooses to deploy on that side.
A good way to break the symmetry of a gaming table is to add a “sniper's nest”, in an elevated tower on one of the Deployment Zones. The advantage that this provides will not go unnoticed by any veteran player.