As always I’ve been pondering over Infinity lists recently. I’ve always liked list building, turning to it whenever I get spare time. But I’ve looked at it more with a view as to what I can use next rather than creating a Death Star list. When it comes to tabletop other systems seem a bit muted as there are very few variations on what is viable and should you stray from them you have to accept losses on tabletop. This is one of the big reasons why I’ve gravitated to Infinity.
Speaking of which, I always relish the chance to look at an army builder for Infinity, mainly due to the fact there are so many usable units there is always something new to try out. But armies still need constructing, you can’t just throw anything in and be done there are a few considerations to make.
Lieutenant. This is mandatory in just about every organised game so most of the time you will need to have one. Loss of Lieutenant is devastating, especially in ITS, so you need to have an idea of what you are going to do with you Lt and you have a few options. You could make a tough Lt and use him/her (I’m not sure if there are any Lt female options tbh) and make use of the Lt order to go smash face. Obviously this can be risky as you are intentionally putting you Lt in harms way but if you had an Lt with Automedi kit or Regeneration then you could limit risk of ARO death a little, or you could use a tanky Lt like Achilles who is difficult to take down and if it happens you are probably in a bad situation anyway. You could use an Lt with defensive skills such as camo not using its benefit for attack but using it for defence, making you opponent discover the marker before being able to act and if you have multiple camo markers this further exacerbates the situation by not hiding the Lt even further. Something like an Intruder is a good choice here. Another option is the shell game in using a Line Infantry Lt but taking multiple troops to hide the whereabouts of the Lt. This has benefits as there is usually a zero SWC Lt option in each army so you can reserve that for special weapons or other equipment and can be a deterrent for Lt hunting as i fyou opponent chooses wrong will waste a fair amount of orders. It does have drawbacks though in that you are losing the use of the Lt order and you need to find the points and Combat Group space for the troops. The latter not always an issue as a lot of lists have ‘Cheerleaders’ anyway but that is not always the case.
You also have to consider the mission. Now here I will admit most of my Infinity games have been ITS recently. We did start with YAMS in my area, which is a good system, and also are part way through the Paradiso Campaign but with a few tournaments taking place ITS was the main concern. So this is where I will focus most here. So Specialists then, you need em. This is across the board for ITS but depending on missions will require different sets of skills. A bit thing to remember is even in Annihilation you need specialists for Classifieds and in Annihilation in particular they can take a big chunk of your OPs. So you need to figure out what they need to do. Is it just Classifieds? If so which one and how will they manage it? Something like Sabotage is good for Nomads who have access to AD troops with Demo Charges, whereas Data Scan can be more problematic as many times you want your Hacker to be safe in you DZ operating through Repeaters. Telemetry is a favourite as most factions have access to cheap FOs and the range allows for efficient completion. But lets not forget they are the ones that are going to get you your big bucks in game but taking the primary objectives. Here you should think abut how they are going to reach their target, be it Infiltration or plain speed. Infiltrating Specialists are worth their weight in gold. Infiltrating units are also good or the area control missions due to spending less orders to reach the zones. AD troops are also worth a look for these reasons. Other considerations are are they resilient in a firefight or are you going to protect them with other units? There are also the unusual missions of Lifeblood and Beacon Race where it is necessary to have troops with correct ammo and a plan for moving the Beacon in order to complete the mission.
On to everyones favourite part guns! Even though ITS rewards mission objective completion you should never leave home without big guns, more so for the area control and Annihilation missions. Sometimes you will need to remove a threat to achieve your objective so you will need some way to do damage to your opponent. It also hampers their ability to stop you in your tracks if you take out certain threats. It is also always handy if you can eliminate their ability to achieve the mission, which means you will be much more likely to come out on top. Big guns have their uses directly connected to the mission sometimes as well. They tend to be expensive unit, or at least more expensive than their rifle counterparts. This means they will be a direct asset to the area control missions and again if they come with Infiltrate, AD or camo then all the better. This leads into equipment. There are things to look at here too both offensively and defensively. An obvious one is smoke. Smoke Launchers or Grenades can be very helpful to reaching an objective, especially if your opponent has no MSV. So MSV then. This can help you offensively both negating their smoke or taking down any pesky camo or ODD troops, so it is usually good to find some way to get an MSV unit into a list.
Lastly but by no means least what do you want to use. Now this usually is the first or second (only to one or two Specialists) thing I think about for my lists. If you are not using troops you like you are much less likely to have fun in your games. Handily there are very few troops that are unusable in Infinity so as long a you have a plan for your list and are not throwing things in willy nilly then you can pretty much go with whatever you like.
I think I’m going to cut it short there. This post got out of hand pretty quickly. I hope I’ve covered most things to look at when building a list in Infinity, if not feel free to make some comments below.