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Infinity Musings – Guest Post!

Bad Dad Gaming’s first ever guest post! Local player and friend John has written up this great summary of tips and tricks for new Infinity players (of which I am one) and when I saw it I asked him if I could share it. Here we go:

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One of the guys I know who is relatively new to Infinity has been
recently frustrated with his lack of success, and asked me to give him
some general advice. He is certainly not new to miniatures wargaming,
nor is he inept at other wargames like WarmaHordes (he’s definitely
beaten up on me and other non-trivial opponents in that arena).
Infinity, however, is a very different game. I love it because it’s
fast, fatal, and relatively realistic (IMO). The things I love about
infinity can also make it a challenge to learn, especially when
frustration sets in. I have attempted to write down some of what I’ve
learned playing Infinity since it came to the US (~5 years ago, though
I did take a break in the middle when I had no one to play with).

Setting up

Good terrain is important to the game, as I’m sure everyone who’s
played it has found out. Keeping the number of firelanes low,
providing lots of cover, etc. makes for a much more interesting and
less “My camo multi-sniper on the roof kills your whole army.”
Scenarios other than “Pound the other guy until he’s dead” also make
it a much more interesting challenge (especially after you’ve played a
few games and gotten a hang of the rules, or have been frustrated
repeatedly by one tactic), and I will be promoting them at the next
Infinity day, whenever that ends up happening (and by promoting I mean
bringing multiple copies of the rules for them, perhaps demoing one
between experienced players, and playing with them in my own games).

Cover is your friend

-3 to hit/+3 ARM is the best bonus you can get without paying lots of
points. Try not to get shot when you’re out of cover, and weigh the
benefits of shooting when not in cover very carefully (when you’re in
the active turn, you should be shooting from cover the vast majority
of the time).

He who owns the firelanes owns the game

Controlling the existing firelanes is crucial to controlling the board
and the game. When you control the firelanes, you can advance and take
the battle to your opponent. When your opponent controls them, you’re
stuck until you can wrest that control from him. Even on very terrain-
dense battlefields, there are likely to be one or two long firelanes
that will likely be important to the game. In order to control a
firelane, you need good ARO weapons and you need to find and then use
the best defensive position along those lanes. To prevent your
opponent from locking you down by controlling the firelanes, you need
to have models with the speed and equipment to flank whatever they
have covering the lane (camo, especially combat camo, is great for
this, as are cheap CC specialists with smoke).

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight

Literally: Cheap chainrifle/smoke grenade CC specialists and
impersonators should try to slice people with their swords, but
otherwise CC is VERY situational. Remember that in CC you only get one
shot, and that most of your defensive measures (camo, cover, etc.)
don’t work. Just think before you go charging in with anyone with a
weapon with more than burst one.

Or figuratively: Don’t shoot a camo multi-sniper from 18” with your
combi-rifle! Rather, close to <12” and suddenly your odds go up
astronomically. Much of Infinity, in my experience, is about getting
the better shot. Stack your bonuses and your opponent’s penalties. Do
the math in your head before playing it out on the table. Try to roll
as many dice as you can, because that can make up for a lower hit
percentage. Don’t underestimate the power of a lowly rifle or combi-
rifle on your active turn.

Don’t be afraid to hide, especially if your opponent has the first
turn

Nothing is worse than losing important models because you wanted to
get an ARO with them and instead got them destroyed before you even
had a turn.  If you’re going second, deploy second, so that you can
pick the places where your AROs will be valuable and where your models
should just hide and wait for their active turn. On a related note,
don’t ARO with a camo marker unless you have a good/great chance to
get the kill. Combat camo is so valuable, and it only works in the
active turn. Make your opponent spend orders to discover you. I
learned this lesson the hard way, and it had to get beaten into my
head repeatedly before I really learned it.

The order reserve is very important

I’m sure you know this already, but it bears repeating. You can only
do as much as the orders in your pool allow you to do. 10 cheap models
vs. 5 expensive ones have the advantage because of their flexibility
and activatability (not a word, I know). This is obviously a high
level of abstraction, but I’ve seen it play out on the table.

And so is your list

Don’t take this to mean that Model Y is worthless or that you must
bring Model Y. But each list you create will play differently,
potentially very differently. Some people like to play a certain way,
and have trouble adjusting their playstyle to the tools they have at
hand. Try thinking about what you like to do when you play Infinity
and build a list that is focused on doing that. Alternatively, draft a
list that contains tools to cover most of the bases and takes
advantage of your faction’s strengths and then learn how that list
works well. Some basic categories of model that I usually try to
include when creating a list (remember that I only play Pan-O and
Ariadna, including the sectorials, and that all of these categories
can be covered by something completely different if perhaps not quite
as well):
A long-ranged support weapon (HMG or sniper usually, though spitfires
can fill this role sometimes)
An infiltrator (helps to control the board)
Camo of some sort (often 1 model fills this category and one of
previous ones)
Multiple models that could be the Lt (unless you have a Chain of
Command guy, or your Lt is so ridiculously expensive/hard to kill that
if he dies you’ve already lost, like the Avatar)
Something with MSV or that can otherwise handle camo (like cheap
flamethrowers and chain rifles)
6+ orders in 150, 8+ in 200, otherwise I try to get to 10 (this really
depends on the faction, though I don’t think I would ever go below 5
at 150 or 7 in 200)

I hope this helps some of you new players think about their game plans
and tactics. The Infinity forums are also a great resource, and the
community there is very helpful.

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Thanks John for the contribution! If you have any questions leave a comment here and we’ll make sure to respond! If you liked this, wait until we start doing our Risk Legacy Campaign reports!

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Photo Gallery: Vessel of Judgment 2

Completed VoJ as promised

 

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Tutorial: Simple Light Box

There have been an number of local players recently looking at purchasing light-box setups for miniature photography. Some of the pre-configured set-ups look like this:

Regular Photo Studio-in-a-Box

Professional 30″ Photo Studio Soft Box Dome Light Tent with 4 Backdrops (Red, Blue, Black and White Backgrounds)

These can be very nice set ups, and frankly for the price they’ll be most people’s best bet. I took a different approach though and used this project as an opportunity to build something. Now, I’m not saying that this was easier, or cheaper, but it was certainly more fun for me, and I’ll walk through some of the steps I took to build the photo booth I’m now using to take pictures.

I modeled the design on the “Photo Studio in a Box” from above, so basically it’s a cube with an open side, a backdrop and surrounding lights.

To make the cube I first made wood armature frames:

These are simple 9 inch squares made from pine strips that are 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch. The corners are held together with glue and a brad from a brad nailer. The nail is really only for support until the glue dries. These are not fine carpentry, in fact they’re only ‘eyeball’ square, but for my purposes on this project that was more than adequate.

I didn’t take a photo of the next step because the baby was crying and I got distracted, but after the glue is dry on your squares you have to cover them in some light diffusing material. You can get very technical here, as a former theater-nerd I went and bought real diffusion gels from a theatre supply place near my house, but you can use wax paper in a pinch or tracing paper. The stuff I bought is very much like this: Lowel Frost Diffusion Lighting Gel Filters for the DP Light System, Four 12″ x 16″ Sheets. or Rosco Cinegel Tough White Diffusion, 20″ x 24″ Sheet of Light Diffusing Material. The specific material isn’t so important, what matters is that it can soften the lights you use and avoid hot spots on the models when you photograph them. I just taped the diffusion to the frames I made with duct tape. Once that was completed I tested the set up on my work desk like this:

You can’t see it here but I taped the four frames together too. For the first set of photos I tried with this set up I just used the lights I have on my desk normally:

And this actually worked fine as you can see here:

I think in this photo I actually added another light from above the light box. This was my first test and I was really pleased, the model looks pretty well lit, there aren’t weird hotspots and the background really makes the model stand out. The background was a free pdf I printed from Massive Voodoo. However, I ‘m not one to leave well enough alone, and this wasn’t a permanent solution, since it was sitting on the part of my desk where I paint.

I also wanted to have a more self-contained solution with integrated lights, and so I went to our local IKEA and picked up: these and these. I’ve been using these LED lights in my display cases for a few years now and they’ve worked great. I used some scrap pine I had from making the frames to make light stands and so as of last night the set looked like this:

and was taking photos like this:

Which is pretty good for an hour’s worth of work and 80 bucks in parts (mostly that cost is the lights, which I could have saved more on, but I bought extra).

My next step will be figuring out how to use a better camera to take pictures with and hopefully I’ll find the time/inclination to work on some image editing too, since it seems like a lot of the best photos are enhanced with some simple color balance and background clean up.

Feel free to ask questions etc. Thanks!

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Storm Strider Conversion Tutorial

I recently completed a massive conversion project for the new Cygnar model the Storm Strider. I posted about the project here: Tutorial

This is the website for my local store: Games and Stuff

Hope you like it. Feel free to ask questions.

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