November 10, 2017 by crew
Stuart Marsh (@sam2064 on Beasts of War) has been playing Infinity for three years and now writes a blog about his time with the game. In this two-part series, Stuart explores the Infinity Tournament System or “ITS” and offers suggestions on how to get involved if you’re looking to take that leap.
Worked your way through Operation Red Veil or Operation Ice Storm? Played a few casual games of Infinity? Then you’re ready to take the next step into the larger world of the Infinity Tournament System (ITS).
What is ITS?
ITS (Infinity Tournament System) is now entering its 9th Season. Each season runs usually for a year from September-August and usually ends with Corvus Belli’s major international tournament in Spain – The Interplanetario!
ITS is not just a system for running tournaments, it’s a great way to play casual games. Before ITS most plays just placed their forces and fought to the death, but with ITS killing the enemy is not always the primary objective.
ITS missions are all about collecting Objective Points (OPs), of which there are usually a maximum of ten available. The player who wins is not necessarily the player who kills the most enemies or has the most surviving troopers, but the player who has the most OPs.
In fact, in many games, you may feel you are losing the battle of attrition, but win because you have secured your objectives!
The key document that describes all of the rules for ITS play and the twenty different missions can be found at this link ITS Season 9 – Treason.
I’m not going to go through every mission or rule here but give an overview of how to play in ITS and some hints and tips for your first Official Tournament.
There is also now a paper copy of the ITS Book Season 9: Treason which includes a Battle Log section where you can collect stickers from each official tournament you attend.
Finding an Infinity Official Tournament
The best way to find a local tournament to you if you’re in the UK is the go to the UK Infinity the Game Facebook Group which includes as a pinned post a list of most of the Infinity tournaments in the UK.
Most tournament organisers create a Facebook Event using either this of their own FB pages.
Your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) may, of course, run some casual Infinity Tournaments using the ITS system.
These events don’t have to be officially registered, but if you do register, them then you get your points recorded and added to the Infinity Ranking System.
You also get a prize pack (this year it comes with a Winners Certificate, some freebie tokens and a limited edition Cube Jager, Mercenary Recoverers model), plus you get sent pin badges, Velcro-patches and some stickers.
Another option to find events is to log into to the Official Tournament Manager and use the search for tournaments option.
In my experience, most tournament organisers usually post their tournaments much further in advance on Facebook and leave the official registration to the last few weeks.
How is an Infinity Tournament Organised?
The standard format for an ITS official tournament is three games, usually at 300 Points which is called Mid-Tier.
You can also find Low-Tier 200 Point tournaments and high-tier 400 Point tournaments but these tend not to be as common.
Each game is usually 2 hours long, although this is not an official time, most tournaments allocate this as a reasonable amount of time.
The first game is drawn randomly – and then game two and game three are paired up using the “Swiss” system e.g. the top 2 players are paired, next 2 etc. If there are an odd number of players, the lowest ranked player will earn a Bye.
In each game, you earn Tournament Points. Three Points for a Total Victory, Teo Points for a Victory, One Point for a Draw, 0 points for a Defeat (and 2 points for a Bye).
The type of victory you earn is based on the Objective Points you earn. If you have 5 or more OPs than your opponent you get a Total Victory. If you have 1-4 VP’s more you get a Victory.
In each game, you also count the number of Victory Points you have scored, which is equal to the total of your surviving troopers army points cost.
For the overall tournament standings, the placings are determined first on Tournament Points. Ties are first broken by Objective Points and then finally by Victory Points.
There are some other tournament formats which can be added on to these.
The most common other formats are…
- Limited Insertion: You can only take 1 combat Group of up to 10 troopers
- Soldiers of Fortune: You can spend 1 SWC and get up to 75pt of Mercenaries
- Special Ops: You may take one Special Ops Trooper profile which you can customise
- Escalation: 1st round is 200 Points, 2nd is 300 and 3rd is 400
Preparing for your First ITS Tournament
In an Infinity tournament, you may take two different army lists. Each list must be from the same Faction/Sectorial e.g. both JSA but not one JSA and one Yu-Jing.
You can choose which list you use for each mission. The lists don’t need to have anything in common e.g. they don’t need to have the same Lieutenant.
What do you need for an Official Infinity Tournament?
It seems simple but ensuring you have the following basics is important.
Tape Measure or appropriate measuring templates. The 8” cardboard measuring tool from the starter sets can be really useful here.
5 x 20 Sided Dice. You will never need more than five dice.
A paper copy of your two tournament lists. These can be printed from the Army Builder website.
Although there is a way to use tablets/phones in games, most tournament organisers prefer a paper copy.
An Official ITS Classified Deck. Although in casual games you can share one, in official tournaments each player should have one each.
Tokens for your army (more on this later).
A set of Silhouette Templates. You need S1-S8, including a Blast Template and Small and Large Teardrop template which you can print on card from N3Markers but it may be worth investing in a set of Acrylic Templates and Silhouette Markers.
A High Value Target (HVT) model – which can be any model (but try and choose something which will not be confused for a model in your army)
And of course your miniatures!
Some extra’s I’ve found really useful include a print out of the first four pages of the appendix in the core rule book, which contains the Order Expenditure Sequence, some key tables including Martial Arts, Booty, Metachemistry, and a list of all the skills in the game.
Also, a Camera Phone to help with deploying TO: Camo Troopers in Hidden Deployment. The easiest way is to take a photo of them on the table while the opponent turns away, or just make a quick sketch map.
Do I need to paint my Army?
In a word, no. There is no requirement that any miniatures are painted, or primed/undercoated for official tournaments – although tournament organisers may change this if they like.
All miniatures must be on the correct sized bases S1/2 (25mm), S3/5/6 (40 mm), S4/7 (55mm) and S8 (70mm).
Each base must have Facing Markings on them. This is simply a 180-degree arc, 90 degrees on either side of the miniatures forward facing.
This can be painted onto the base as either an arc of a different colour or simply have 3 marks (Forward/Left/Right) drawn or painted.
What Tokens do I need?
Tokens can be printed out from N3Markers.
You can also create a custom sheet of the tokens you want at Infinity Marker Sheet Creator.
As a minimum you have to have; an order token, a Lieutenant token, four4 Command Tokens, Link leader tokens, several unconscious tokens, wound tokens, Prone tokens and Suppression Fire tokens.
Other tokens such as Immobilised, Isolated, Burnt, Unloaded, Stunned etc. you should try and have if your army need uses those states.
I like to make my Order tokens double sided, and have the Unconscious markers on the other side, that way when one of my troopers goes unconscious I simply flip the Order token to the Unconscious side.
Another trick is to have the Camo tokens double sided with the mine token as mines start in a Camo state.
If you prefer to make your own tokens I find them best printed on thin card. You can also stick these onto Bottle Top Stickers to give them added durability.
What is Open information?
Open information is information you must share with your opponent.
All Open information appears on the “Courtesy List” you give to your opponent.
- All your stats on you troopers on the table, not including troopers in a marker state / of table e.g. Camo or Hidden Deployment.
- All the skills on your troopers with a few exceptions e.g. Chain of Command is closed information.
- The equipment on your trooper, including the number of disposable items.
- Any states on troopers e.g. Prone, Wounded, Unconscious.
- The identity of your Lieutenant is usually closed information, however, the missions can state otherwise.
This should be everything you need to get started in the ITS.
In part two of this series, Stuart explores army building, ways to speed up gameplay and keeping yourself right on rules when it comes to the ITS.
What do you think of the depth found in the Infinity Tournament System and have you got any advice to offer to anyone engaging in competitive play?
Stuart Marsh (@sam2064) ‘in the day’ was an avid Role Player of old-school D&D, BattleTech and later Shadowrun 3rd Ed. In 2013 he discovered miniatures gaming in the shape of Star Trek Attack Wing and the X-Wing Miniatures game. In September 2014 while at his local gaming club he saw some people playing a futuristic/cyberpunk manga like tabletop game and soon became hooked on Infinity and has been playing ever since! In between being a High School Science Teacher and looking after two kids, he writes his blog, mainly because he is obsessed with taking lots of photos!
"ITS missions are all about collecting Objective Points (OPs), of which there are usually a maximum of ten available."
"In an Infinity tournament, you may take two different army lists."