While only recently converted into a traditional roleplaying experience, Infinity has been a fantastic tabletop war game with lots of flavor and a robust setting to match. One of the coolest aspects to the game is the unified alien threat known as the Combined Army, the inclusion of which allows a player assume control of various extraterrestrial archetypes found throughout sci-fi, each with an original spin. These servant races were brought together by the Evolved Intelligence, an extremely advanced A.I. that seeks to conquer the stars and advance its hidden, sinister agenda. With the release of the TTRPG, players can now come face to face, so to speak, with these dedicated villains and explore their intricacies firsthand. I’ve listed some of my favorite member races of the alien menace below.
The Morats appear as humanoids sporting shaggy white fur and red skin. They form the backbone of the Combined Army’s forward military force, and are also used as shock troops when fully armed and armored. What sets this group apart from other standard brutish aliens is their universal and unwavering discipline. In the wargame, this translates to an effect that prevents them from breaking or routing even when their leadership structure crumbles. They fight to the last; their higher cause eliminates all room for doubt or fear. In the tabletop RPG, players encountering the Morat should expect to face hardy opponents that don’t retreat even when singled out, as well as experts in small team tactics. Morats can be heard humming their battle songs mid salvo, are almost universally resistant to torture tactics, and thoroughly enjoy killing in the name of the Evolved Intelligence. Player characters are advised to freely utilize their array in-game assets and equipment if they plan on facing off against these worthy foes.
The perfect counterpoint to the aggression of the Morats is the quiet, subversive force known as the Shasvastii. “Diplomats,” assassins, and infiltrators, these lithe creatures attack from stealth or the skies, or sometimes even from the ranks of their enemies. Shasvastii make for the perfect surprise that keeps your players guessing, as they can practically be anywhere at anytime. One variant, known as the Speculo Killer, can disguise itself, nearly instantaneously, as a member of another species (such as Homo Sapien, for example). They are masters of deception and learned in both the languages and cultures of their targets. GMs will particularly enjoy introducing these terrors by way of a trusted friend who turns on them suddenly, and even when the player characters succeed in laying low the surprise assassin, they must deal with the pervasive suspicion that follows. Fans of John Carpenter’s the Thing will certainly have fun with this enemy.
3) The Hungries
Rounding out the list of capable and terrifying baddies are the Hungries. They appear much like the Tyranids of Warhammer 40k (and by extension the Zerg of Starcraft), and are essentially mindless killing machines. The best things about these critters are that they come in waves and can crawl over any surface. The player characters could be picking through an old battle site, looking for lost data cubes or recoverable armament, when a nest of these monsters is riled up and sent screeching after them. What’s more, they come in two flavors: Gakis, which rush up and claw at you, then explode upon death; and the Pretas, which spray acid on an entire group of characters. When put together, they make for an exciting and horrifying chase sequence wherein player characters scramble to keep their distance and kill enough of them to stem the tide, or make it to an escape vehicle before they are overrun and/or covered in acid.
Now, imagine a fighting force that combines these individual races into a cohesive, near-perfectly drilled and deployed unit overseen by an intelligence far greater than any that humans can dream up. Arguably the most fun a gaming group can have with the Combined Army is to actually combine the different species into one encounter, and to have the players try to overcome the unique challenge presented by this cohesive whole. Are there other unified fighting forces that use a similar model in games you’ve played? What’s your experience with Infinity as either wargame or TTRPG?
David Horwitz is a gamer and freelance writer with an obsession for exploring new forms of leisure. If you’re looking for an inquisitive mind and a deft hand, or just want to chat about gaming, contact him at www.davidhorwitzwrites.com/contact .
Picture Reference: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modiphius/corvus-bellis-infinity-roleplaying-game
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