Game Review: Infinity the Game

By Drew

Infinity is the first Featured Game of the Month for Anime Kat, and with that, the first game to get a review.

Background
This is a miniature hobby game where players buy 28mm high metal miniature model kits, paint them, and then play the game.  From their website: “Infinity is a tabletop wargame in which sci-fi themed miniatures are used to simulate futuristic skirmishes.

Infinity recreates Direct Action operations, high-stakes missions in the battlefront or behind enemy lines, where victory or death are a trigger pull away.  Players command a small group of elite soldiers, chosen for their adequacy to the mission parameters at hand.  Each battle calls for a different composition, and building an effective team from hand-picked members of different regiments is key to a successful operation.

Infinity is a groundbreaking, dynamic system that allows you to make meaningful, fun choices throughout the entire game sequence, and gives you the tools to implement any number of strategies with realism and flexibility.”

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoy Infinity.  There are currently 8 factions with their own play styles.  The art style is very anime/manga inspired.  Unlike some miniature games, the scale of your force is smaller.  An Infinity player typically has between 5 and 10 units to his or her side.  Aside from being tactically more manageable, it also means players don’t need to purchase as many models to play making the game more affordable.  With the mechanics, there is no waiting for your opponent to finish before you can do anything.  Your units can respond to actions taken by your opponent while it’s your opponent’s turn.  There is really no down time for either player.  You don’t have to wait until it’s your turn to shoot back at your opponent.

Review
You may not agree
Pros: Inexpensive (a good starting army is $55 and the rule book is legally available online for free), Both players are active (you still have options of play when it’s your opponents turn), Interesting mechanics (hackers, camo, mechs, paratroopers, minelayers, and more), Smaller army force, the rules are less complex than many other miniature war games

Con: Metal models (makes kit bashing more difficult), not all named units have a representative model, Smaller army force (there are no real vehicles except for mechs)

Final Thoughts
Regardless of if you are an existing miniature wargaming fan or new to the hobby, Infinity is a good game to try out.  The relatively low cost of the models, free access to the rule book, and the less complex rule set of other miniature games makes Infinity one of my favor miniature games.

Nomad faction Starter Pack

Khans of Tarkir Prerelease, Release, & Game Day at Anime Kat

MTG_KtK_UNI_Logo

From MTG Salvation, Khans of Tarkir is the 65th Magic: the Gathering expansion, and the first in the Khans of Tarkir block.  Tarkir is a world embattled with ambitious warlords and powerful clans that wage eternal war for supremacy of their plane, a conflict that spans over a thousand years. Tarkir is also the home plane of the planeswalker Sarkhan Vol.  Tarkir was previously inhabited by dragons, all of whom were killed before Sarkhan’s arrival.  The clans each worship one aspect of the extinct dragons.

Anime Kat offers several events whenever a new set is about to be released.  Always first is the prerelease event.  The First Khans Prerelease event was the largest event Anime Kat has ever hosted.  With 33 total players, the event lasted for 6 rounds.  Congrats to all of the winners from the two days of prerelease events.

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Khans prerelease 1 Khans prerelease 2 Khans prerelease 3

The following Friday, we hosted the Khans of Tarkir Release event.  The event was a 3 round Draft.  Cliff and Troy earned 1st and 2nd place respectively.  Our top top 2 players competed the following night against Dragonrail’s (another local store) top 2 players to earn the title of Top Khans of Tarkir Player and earning their store the Title of Top Store for the Khans of Tarkir Release.  Congrats to Cliff for winning the title for himself and Anime Kat.

The last major event during the release of a new set is the Game Day.  Game Day is a Standard Format tournament that gives players a chance to play with the newest cards.  Allow players at Anime Kat walk out with promotional cards.  The Top 8 earn additional foil promotional cards, and the 1st Place winner also receives a Champion mat.  For this Game Day, Anime Kat owner Drew took 1st place running a Jeskai Tempo deck.  However, Greg (2nd place) and Will (3rd) were very close behind.  The final standings were based off of Opponent’s Match Win Percentage (you get more points for beating a player with a higher standing).

The next set in the Tarkir block, Fate Reforged, is released January 23, 2015.  We hope to see you at one of our events.

Third Annual Clallam County Magic: the Gathering Championship

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We recently had our annual Clallam County Magic: the Gathering Championship.  The Championship is a chance for players to participate in a Modern Format tournament to win big prizes.  This year we had over $1,500 worth of prizes from Anime Kat, Mark’d Body Art, and Northwest Fudge and Confections and included a custom Anime Kat playmat, full booster boxes of Magic cards, tattoo and piercing vouchers, and other great stuff.

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This year we had a total of 12 players for the event, but only one can come out on top.

CCMtGC 2014

Congratulations to Travis for his First Place victory.  Good luck to everyone at next year’s Championship.

Born of the Gods Prerelease

The second set of Magic the Gathering’s Theros block is Born of the Gods.  On February 1st and 2nd, players got to participate in a prerelease event where they were able to play with the newest cards before they are released on February 7th.  Born of the Gods is a smaller with only 165 cards.  The set introduces a new planeswalker: the blue/green Kiora, the Crashing Wave.  As a continuation of the Theros’ gods, the set also introduces the ten demigods of Theros.  The demigods are dual-colored and uses their controller’s devotion to both of the demiogods’ colors.  Born of the Gods will feature five of them with allied-color combinations while Journey Into Nyx (the final set of the block) will feature the remaining five.

We want to thank everyone that came out to the store for the prerelease event.  A special thanks to the players who came to our Sunday event (Go Seahawks).  Hopefully, next year Wizards of the Coast won’t schedule the prerelease during Super Bowl weekend.

Born of the Gods Prerelease 1

Born of the Gods Prerelease 2

Born of the Gods Prerelease 3

Anime Kat Supports the Seattle Seahawks with Free Booster Packs

Greetings and salutations.  It’s been 2 months since our last entry.  The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, and we wanted to wait until things slowed down a bit.  But, things aren’t slowing down; they’re speeding up.  Last week’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Sneak Peak started off 4 weeks straight of card game weekends at Anime Kat.  In the middle of all  that is the Born of the Gods prerelease event on February 1st and 2nd.

What else is on the 2nd of February…the big game!  All season Anime Kat has supported the Seattle Seahawks.  If you listen to the radio coverage of the Seahawks’ games on Twilight 96.7, you’ve hear Anime Kat and Mark’d Body Art‘s joint radio ads. (If you haven’t, feel free to listen to the ad here).  You may have noticed we were closed during the Saints and Seahawks playoff game (we were at the game!)

Now, we are giving a gift to other fans.  If you play in any of our three Born of the Gods prerelease events (Feb. 1 & 2) in Seahawks colors or team apparel we will give you a voucher valid during the release weekend for a free pack of Born of the Gods.  That’s right.  Get a free booster pack for supporting the Seahawks.  Only at Anime Kat.  Go HAWKS!

foot ball special

Tanksgiving 2013 at Anime Kat

On Sunday November 10, 2013, Anime Kat hosted our very first “Tanksgiving” event.  Tanksgiving is a Warhammer 40k event.  Each participant in the Tanksgiving event fought in a free-for-all vehicle battle against all other participants.  When a player’s vehicle was destroyed they re-spawned from any table edge on their next turn.  When the game ended prizes where awarded based on points. (1pt-immobilized enemy, 2pt-killed enemy, 3pt-killed enemy by ramming, 5pt-killed enemy Super Heavy).  Players also got 10 points for getting the Tanksgiving Cup from the center of the board and successively leaving the battlefield with it.

We had 9 players for our event with some interesting choices of vehicles and obvious winners and losers.

1. Duke – 37 points – Ork Stompa
2. Jeff – 13 points – Imperial Guard Baneblade
3. Carlton – 12 points – Reaver Titan
4. Brandon – 10 points – Chaos Space Marine Helbrute
5. Ben – 6 points – Chaos Space Marine Helbrute
6. Brian – 6 points – Tau Hammerhead Gunship
7. Kieth -5 points – Necron Triarch Stalker
8. Drew -1 points – Space Marine Land Raider Crusader
9. Marcus -0 points –  Ork Bommer

The mighty Ork Stompa took out the mightier Reaver Titan half way through the game.  The Stompa was the only model to take down the Titan.  While Marcus’s Ork Bommer didn’t score any points, it is very important to note that he had the most assists.  It was his craft exploding into flames twice that allowed Duke’s Ork Stompa to pick up the trophy twice and scoring 20 points.

Tanksgiving Winner

The combatant line up on the store's brand new Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard

The combatants line up on the store’s brand new Citadel Realm of Battle Gameboard

The Stompa takes on the Titan and wins.

The Stompa takes on the Titan and wins.

An Ork Bommer lines up for a bombing run.

An Ork Bommer lines up for a bombing run.

An Ork Bommer takes on a Titan and fails.

An Ork Bommer takes on a Titan and fails.

Magic the Gathering Commander Event at Anime Kat

On Saturday, 11/9/13 Anime Kat hosted its first Commander Tournament.  According to Wizards of the Coast, Commander (sometimes called “Elder Dragon Highlander”) is a multiplayer Free-for-All game in which any number of players compete against each other as individuals.  It’s played with the Singleton format (in other words, except for basic lands, each card in your deck must have a different name), and each player starts with a life total of 40 rather than the usual 20.  Most importantly, the centerpiece of each deck is a legendary creature that serves as that deck’s commander.

To build a deck, you first choose a legendary creature, called a “commander” or “general,” then construct a Singleton deck around it containing exactly 99 other cards. Only cards of the commander’s color(s) and colorless cards may be included in the deck.

Appropriately enough for a format named after the legendary creature that’s leading your team, your commander works differently from other cards in the game.  Before the game begins, each player removes his or her commander from the game.  You may play your commander from the command zone (no matter how it got there) for its normal costs plus an additional {2} for each previous time it has been played this way.  If your commander would go to the graveyard or the exile zone from anywhere, you may put it into the command zone instead . In addition to the normal Magic loss conditions, if a player is dealt 21 points of combat damage from a single commander over the course of the game, that player loses the game!  Currently, MTG Commander hosts the complete rules for the format.

For our event, we ran 2 rounds (which turned into 3).  All players were divided up into 3 groups for the first round.  The winner of each group went on to play all other winners in a second round.  Because of a great play by Mike,  he and one other player lost simultaneously in the second round forcing a draw.  They went on to a third round were Mike was the last person standing.

Commander StandingsCommander Event

Fighting to win Round 1

Fighting to win Round 1

Fighting to win in Round 2

Fighting to win in Round 2

Theros Prerelease Events

With the Magic 2014 Core Set release still fresh, we are diving head first into the newest Magic the Gathering block, Theros.  According to Wizards of the Coast, the plane of Theros is ruled by a pantheon of all-powerful gods.  Krakens, minotaurs, and other monsters threaten the safety of walled cities.  Heroes rise to battle, bolstered by their devotion to the gods.  Theros is a very dangerous land outside of the walled cities Meletis, Akris and Setessa (which are inspired by Athens, Sparta and the legends of the Amazons).  Nyx is the night sky, and home of the gods, it moves around each night.  The five main gods are: Heliod (white), Erebos (black), Nylea (green), Thassa (blue) and Purphoros (red).  The gods can take multiple forms and walk among mortals.  The planeswalker, Elspeth Tirel, will fight a Hydra and attracts the attention of Heliod.  Elspeth doesn’t want to be a hero and does not believe she will be called on to be a leader in a world of gods.  Minotaurs are the rampaging savages of Theros.  The Merfolk of Theros are called ‘Tritons’. Thassa (goddesss of the sea) favors appearing as a Triton when she’s among mortals.

Waiting for Theros

Waiting to get inside Anime Kat to register for Theros.

With every new release, there is a prerelease.  Anime Kat had a more limited than usual number of available player slots for this prerelease.  We did sell out and had to turn away hopeful players from our final event.  Players were able to get their hands on the newest cards before the official release date.  Congrats to all who came to Anime Kat to kick off the new Theros block.

Theros Sat Sealed winners

Theros Two Headed Giant winners

Theros Sunday Sealed winners

2013 Magic Celebration

On September 7th, Anime Kat was of many game stores that hosted the Magic Celebration.

Magic Celebration is a free, yearly event courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.  Each Magic Celebration player received one Magic 2014 Core Set booster pack.   After opening his or her booster pack, the individual was able to choose a Magic 2014 Core Set Sample Deck to add cards from your booster pack to.  That created the deck players were able to use for the event.

When players were finished playing their matches, they received an additional Magic 2014 Core Set booster pack as a prize.  We had enough booster packs for only 18 players and we had every slot filled.  Thanks to Wizards of the Coast and our players for making this a great event!

Magic Celebration 2013 at Anime Kat

Magic Celebration 2013 at Anime Kat

How to lose at minature wargames

By Marucs T.

No, you didn’t read that wrong.  As Captain Kirk once said, “How we deal with death is certainly as important as how we deal with life”.  There is a simple truth here that does in fact relate to miniature gaming.  That is that you will lose. Perhaps not today, or perhaps not against someone with no idea of what they are doing, but you will experience defeat.  This is ok, it’s good for you.

There are a nearly infinite number of guides online to winning, list building, unit selection, and tactics.  Far more rarely do we address NOT winning.  Let’s face it, it’s a competitive game. One of you isn’t going to make it.  Here’s how to deal with that, and if you really pay attention I can even show you how to enjoy it.

I like to think that I’ve made an art form of losing games over the years.  Sure, I win some but I’m fairly sure I lose more.  Part of this is my character.  I am not a super competitive person by nature, and this is reflected in my gaming habits.  If you ARE a super competitive gamer this isn’t a burn on you by any means.  I’ve seen good losers and bad losers, as I have also seen good and bad winners.  It’s an easy thing for a person to say, “relax buddy- it’s just a game!” as they skip to the winners circle but it’s a harder thing to accept when you have been beaten for the 46th time in a row by a guy who paints the corpses on his models bases to resemble your army.

The first trick is to laugh.  When something terrible happens to your forces during the game don’t lose your cool. If the opponent chuckles, you guffaw.  If they snicker, you He-Haw.  Recently I attempted a hail mary pass at the final turn of a game of Infinity, trying to assassinate my opponents lieutenant and deny him victory.  My first shot with a grenade launcher missed and deviated about half a mile to the left, landing directly on the only model on the OPPOSITE side of the board. That model happened to be mine, and she died in a burst of high explosive irony.  I’m pretty sure I laughed harder at this turn of events than my opponent did.   When a model performs in a spectacularly disappointing manner, I like to verbally berate them in front of their squad mates and describe the punishment they will receive later.  Painting them pink, renaming them Corporal Fail-pants, etc.

The second trick is to never allow an impending loss to compromise your sportsmanship.  Even in the midst of defeat, I will remind my opponent if he didn’t move a tank to a more advantageous position, or point out a rule in his favor they may have forgotten.  In this way, I know that even though I lost, I lost honestly and fairly.  I lost because they were a better player, or I chose tactically inferior models.  I have never “softened defeat” by trying to be sneaky.  It’s a capricious thing but you could say then that at least you “died with your boots on”.

The third trick I’ve found is to allow yourself to share in some of your opponents victory.  A simple handshake or “good game” will accomplish this, but be honest with yourself.  Did he have one brazen moment of glory that really turned the tables against you?  Was there a one-in-a-million dice roll that they pulled off?  If so, it’s time for the post battle 3 R’s.  Recognize, Relive, and Respect.   This gives them a chance to do the same for you, and in that you can regain some of your lost dignity.  When you have just been soundly beaten it’s hard to see any bright sides, but if the other guy is telling you about how scared he was to take on that one unit, or how he was sure your Commander would slay his, it’s a reminder that you probably had some good moments too.

It’s only “just a game” if you don’t take steps to make it a great game, regardless of who won or lost.  Now what to do if you mistakenly win a game once a decade….is a story for another time.