After attending my first Infinity tournament last year with the Winter Challenge and squeezing one more in the space before the Spring Challenge I find my excitement for events reinvigorated. This is spurred on not least by coercing two other players, who have never been to gaming events before, to join me. Seeing the enthusiasm of fresh tourney goers again is a good feeling and more than a little contagious. This led me to wonder as to exactly why I feel like a kid at Christmas again.
The first had got to be the game itself. Now I’ve been banging on about Infinity for a while and that is because I think it is the best game I have come across in a long time. This adds to the ‘Christmas’ feeling as I find myself really enjoying gaming again and I can’t wait to try out my latest list. There are going to be a lot of comparisons to 40K here as that is the system I have spent the majority of my gaming events playing. Unfortunately it has been a long while since 40K gave me that same excited feeling, for either casual gaming or tournaments so it is definitely nice to have that ‘freshness’ back.
The second has to be the community. Everyone is willing to pitch in and the forums appear to contain much less flaming. I usually inhabit the rules and list building sections of forums because I like to know the nature of the beast. I think that a lot of that community spirit comes from the origins of the game as in a lot of the rules are taken on faith for one reason or another so there was more of a gamers agreement when playing. It also helps that the internal army balance is there so whenever a list critique comes up there is no ‘why are taking that?’ posts. Having run a 40K event last year and wanting my club to run events I naturally have turned my eye to Infinity but our club is in no way ready to manage such an endeavour. Again the community steps up and I have had several offers of help in that department.
Lastly is twofold. Partly the reason I took up Infinity in the first place game balance and partly the ITS system which is run in house. Both for me lend credibility to the tournament results. You can debate how much that is true for the second issue and I would agree that is subject to opinion but for me the first is solid. That is because with game balance it takes skill to come top (and some luck of course) but you cannot just buy your way to the top with the latest power build. Now I agree that buying the net list in 40K may not be enough to win you a major tournament alone but it will damn sure help. Don’t get me wrong I’m no WAACer and I will always take an event as an excuse to have a weekend of gaming, but anyone who says they do not want to win is kidding themselves. I considered myself reasonably good at 40K, I had a good handle on tactics and knew the rulebook quite well. But always taking lists that I wanted to use rather than ones that were more streamlined I felt cost me a few places at events and to be honest it started to grate a bit near then end as I neither had the capacity or inclination to build those net lists. With a centred ranking system and a game balance that enables any list to come top with some skill it really feels like the results mean something, which give it an edge that has been missing in the tournament scene for me before.
But having lamented on how I now believe the ranking system means something I’m going to go back to a point I touched on earlier and that is events are there for the fun of the game. This is a hobby we do, something to make our spare time fun not some we gain much from. Maybe a gift voucher or two. So enjoying the weekend should be top priority, even if now you know the number one player got there by skill!