Having that in mind I've prepared something not exactly related to painting miniatures. It is a small Tutorial about Preparation before an 'Infinity the game' Tournament. A preparation that in my opinion is especially important from the 'beginners' point of view but will benefit all the players present at the evet, and here's why:
The game lives on as long as it sells and it sells as long as it's fun. 'Fun' is the principal of hobby, still a lot of players consider miniature wargaming tournaments of being 'all about competitive play'. The fact that both sides should have the same amount of fun is pushed to back burner as once the adrenaline kicks in, there's no thinking about 'what the oponent feels?' - only what he 'thinks' and only if related to the current game :) Sometimes that leads to stressful situations or even unpleasant behavior. On the other hand there are players more interrested in throwing some dice and moving miniatures enjoying scenario flavor and nice looking scenery pieces. These happen to misstriger some reactions, forget rules or equipment vital to play the game according to the rulebook. So in order to bring fun to the tournament and have some fun ourselves we shoud both prepare mentally and grab some gear for the upcomming event.
Mental Conditioning: First of all try to think about what the opponent feels? Off course it won't be fun to be massacred by some unpainted 'tournament ready in 15 minutes' miniatures of a guy who 'must win this one to get to top 3'. Stone face and lack of sense of humour is your's enemy as much as it is for your opponent, regardless of which kind of player you face. At the same time have in mind what's going on in your opponent's head while you shift back movements and can't make your mind for what seems to be an eternity. Or while you whine about your opponent's miniatures being unpainted and how 'devoid of climate' that is instead of facing this match like a man.
- You play against 'non competitive flavor snail'? Even when you behave nice and point out some vital rules, that your opponent may to forget, try adding a joke or some short battlefield anegdote to smooth the atmosphere. It is possible to win literally obliterating oponents army and still to achieve fun for both sides. Try to keep your adrenaline glands dormant as once they flare up you only worsen the opponent's reaction time.
- You play against a 'rookie'? Keep the atmosphere calm and friendly having in mind your own first tournament experience. Try not to use tournament slang and abbreviations - your opponent nodding does not have to mean he understands what you said. Tutour your oponent (ok, do it after some actions have been taken so he learns on mistakes) to help him understand what did just happened but also to become a better opponent for the future matches. This way you also become a better player.
- You play against a 'tight ass pro'? Don't treat some rules as not obligatory, for example be thorough while moving your miniatures (don't steal some vital inches due to being lazy). Be calm and accurate but at the same time try to decide fast even if it costs you a loss of confidence on the table. Better to loose and learn from your opponent than to win and stagnate without evolving your skills. Remember that once you estabilish an accurate form of contact you will be able to ask some vital questions thus fastening the game and having less difficulties with making important decisions.
- You play against 'Luck'? Don't be angry at dice. This game is all about RNG, also luck is a bitch. You will take your time to position a sniper in full advantage just to be taken out by a stupid pistol's ARO while at the same time some Combi Rifle grunt will multikill on a spree! Infinity is just 'that kind of a game'. Deal with it or move on to ther systems;)
Some basic rules of having 'Fun':
- Clock is ticking! Keep track of time as you may be the one overthinking too much.
- Hands off! Under any circumstances do not touch opponent's miniatures unless he lets or asks you to.
- Obtain certainty! Ask your opponent for any ARO's or other actions available to him so that he won't misstriger. Have in mind that the harder it is to win the better player you'll become.
- Buckle up and disengage! When game ends just pack your stuff and report results to a judge. Then transfer your things to a neutral place (parapet, empy table...). Most people tend to leave their belongings scattered around the table and dissapear to be late for another round. In that case you being late and unprepared means that four players, yourself included, will be awaiting while you chaotically collect your stuff from around the table.
- Write down every major choices so that there won't be any doubt about them. For example which Camouflage Marker reffer to which miniature etc.
- Read the official Infinity Tournament System rules and Scenarios that will be played at the event.
Gear Preparation: Gaming is so much easier when you don't have to borrow stuff from all the peeps at the tournament. Usually it's also much faster! Being professional does not mean that you go straight for Power Gaming, it means to play according to the rules thus reducing a number of conflicts to a minimum.
Pro: If you consider yourself a Pro then I don't need to tell you of how important some of this stuff actually is. You probably own your personal tournament set and know your own ways of waging war.
Rookie: One of the reasons why Infinity is such a great game is that you don't have to spend a lot of cash on a bunch of useless items (say 'hi' to Games Workshop from me) and can focus your finances on miniatures instead. Rulebook, Unit Profiles, Unit Silhouettes, Tokens and Markers are all printable. Just fallow to Download section at Infinitythegame.com. Even the Classyfied Objective Deck is not obligatory as rulebook includes a special table that you may use instead! That leaves you with some vital stuff like Tape Meausure, Dice, Templates and off course Miniatures to obtain. So regardless of what kind of Tournament Gear you have - it's time to pack it correctly.
- Pack your bag! Try to pack your bag/box to the optimum. An optimal packed bag will let you move swiftly on the tournament ground, embark your miniatures fast after the game (to let other use the same table) and unpack them rapidly when facing next opponent! Some vital stuff will be within reach all the time also!
- Print an Army Roster! That goes both for your's and 'Courtesy' one to show it to your opponent. A printed roster is easy to apprehend and will fasten the 'game preparation' process. Also you will be able to decide on strategy easier when facing plain enemy roster yourself. Did I mentioned that wothout it you won't be able to participate?
Use ARMY program to prepare your army list and don't forget to print 'Courtesy' roster for your opponent.
- Templates ('teardrops'), Blast Markers ('cookies'): Must have, just don't show without them!
- Precise Measures: Precise Measure is in my opinion the most important tool of precise gaming so I recommend you bring one. It comes in handy while moving miniatures and checking their Area of Control. It makes the game a lot more pleasant.
- Tokens: Wounds, Unconsious, Prone, Regular Orders, Impetous*, Irregular Orders*, Camo*, Command Tokens (*if your army uses these) are vital to the game performance. These are must have and if you lack some cash to purchase fine versions of these - you can always print and cut yourself.
- Objective Markers: Objective Markers are not obligatory but they come in pretty handy. All for the sake of keeping track of what's going on at the table.If you lack these yourself then probably your opponent will provide his own set, but what if he thought exactly the same?
- Silhouettes: Silhouettes* are a must have in N3 (*if your army uses these) and they tend to be used at some point in the game. They are being used if a certain Line of Fire situation is not clear. At first you will probably mean they are an inconvenience but after couple of tries you won't be able to play without them.
- Classified Deck: This item is just awesome. All the rolling involving a special table and then searching how does a certain secondary objective works is just frustrating. You can either buy one of these along with your friends or print a copy. Whatever you choose you won't regret!
- Laser Pointers: No more Line of Fire arguments, no more asking other players if a miniature sees another miniature, no more judge involvement needed. Fast and awesome method to check out LoF!
- Facing Markers: Facing Markers are a whim, as you can just mark facings on the miniature's base. Still I preffer these instead of destroying smooth, black surface of my miniatures' bases.
- Wound Rings: Wound Rings have one advantage over Wound Tokens - they fallow the miniature wherever it goes without you being involved.
- Tape Measure, Dice: These must be present. They all are vitat to the game and not taking one is like forgeting to put your pants on for the event. (Well if you actually happen to like going out without pants consider this actidentally putting them on instead!).
- Pen & Paper: Pen & Paper are important as you will be asked to write some vital information like which Camouflage Marker is related to a certain miniature etc.These ARE OBLIGATORY regardless if you consider yourself a Pro or a newbie.
- The Miniatures: Try to pack only the necessary ones and in a configuration that will be easy to access and won't require lots of time to be deployed/swiped back.
The Rules: No one demands that you take a paperback Rulebook with you, not to mention all the errata, Paradiso, FAQ, whatever. A mobile phone with basic Rulebook.pdf will usually do. Be advised tho, as leaving on a tournament without any means of consulting a Rulebook is a mistake. Syre you may be able to memorise all the rules but I doubt that and a Rulebook is much cheaper than amphetamine.
A mobile phone with internet access to check out Infinity Wiki is also a nice thing to have.
So a lot of what must and musn't be done here :) Please remember that this is my own opinion based on personal experience acquired during over fifteen years of miniature wargaming including some world class tournaments. As for Infinity I'm still a noob so I will have to confront my ways with a bunch of tournaments but I'm sure that most of these will prove true.
Infinty Tournament Checklist:
- Roster for you and the opponent,*(printable)
- Pen & Paper,
- Tape Measure,
- Dice set,
- Tokens, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Silhouettes, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Templates and Blast Marker, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Rules,** (printable)
*- Printed Roster for you and the opponent,
- Precise Measure, / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Objective Markers, (printable) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Classified Deck, (printable)
- Laser Pointer, / WHERE TO PURCHASE
**- Paperback Rulebook, (printable)
- Facing Markers, (may be painted) / WHERE TO PURCHASE
- Wound Rings, / WHERE TO PURCHASE
**- Printed Errata, FAQ,
**- Paperback/printed Paradiso etc,
Feel free to add some stuff in the comments - In the future I will gladly expand this article according to wise advice.
Steel for humans...Silver for monsters...
Brush for miniatures...
...and Dice for gaming!