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Review: Thoughts on Infinity - A Gaming With ADHD Review

At GenCon 2017, I took my first steps into the Infinity Universe by Corvus Belli with the Operation Icestorm starter set. Since then I have picked up the Operation Red Veil set, the associated Beyond sets, the JSA starter, and the core rule books. All without having played a game. I was attracted to the game for the quality of it's models and as I started looking into it further, I found that I really liked the story they had constructed around the game. With so many games out there these days, the story is very important to me. Without a good story to hook me in, I'm reluctant to get interested in a game.

So what is it about the story that has me hooked? In short, it's a not too far future where humanity has not yet unified into a homogenous whole, but has moved out into the universe, encountered new life, and is still working through nationalism, individualism, and life in general. The game has done a great job of integrating all sorts of aspects of science fiction. There's the sterile utopia commonly seen in Star Trek, the gritty frontier life like Firefly, and everything in between. With a distinct anime feel in the artwork, you get drawn in and definitely feel like this is a real world that you can explore.

The components included in the starter sets are great for getting you into the game with a minimum fuss. The miniatures are all great quality and in most cases with only a few pieces to put together. I would like the pieces to have more built in pins or keys, but for the most part they go together just fine with some good CA glue. Just be careful, there are many fine details on these models, gap filling glue can definitely affect the final look of your models. The game also includes tokens, blast templates, measuring templates, silhouettes (needed for checking line of sight), and other parts that will serve you in your first games and beyond. They are on a thin cardstock, but they are clear and easy to read. They also more than adequately fill the roll until you decide to upgrade for more durable tokens from their licensed partners such as Warsenal.

In addition to the components, the starter sets also include terrain and a play mat for you to get started playing. The terrain is cardstock buildings, crates, and bridges. The physical design is basic rectangles and cubes, but are designed to give you a great play surface quickly. The art for the terrain is very well designed and definitely adds to the atmosphere of your games. The cardstock used is also of a very good quality so that with some care, your terrain will last for quite some time.

Finally, the gameplay is very similar, but also very different from games I have played in the past. It is played in turns where the first player will activate all of his models, then the second player will activate all of his. What makes Infinity stand out though is the Automatic Reaction Order, or ARO. When activating a model, the player may give it two different actions. These actions are broken up by the opposing player having a chance to react if the activating model is in line of sight. All enemy models that can see the activating model can react to shoot or dodge the activating model. This has the effect of keeping both players paying attention to the game and is very effective. The problem for someone like me is that with ADHD it requires a massive amount of concentration to follow along. In fact, even though I have only played a couple of small games so far, my brain comes away from it feeling rather drained.

Now having said that, I am still giving it a chance. My son is interested in the game as well, and it is something we can go play together. As I get better with the rules I suspect that a lot of the energy being used to concentrate on the game will be freed up and it won't be as rough on me. But over all it is a great skirmish game and I'm enjoying delving into the world and building the models. Here's to many more years of fun with Infinity from Corvus Belli.

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