Saturday, 14 June 2014

Infinity Starter Packs - PanO & Nomads

Update: This post has now been bought into line with the 3rd edition of Infinity.

So, you've had a demo game, seen the pretty models and want to get playing, but which starter pack should you buy? My aim is to rate each of the currently available starter packs on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the following criteria and provide some sample army lists to get you going.

  • Immediate Usability: How well can you use the starter box to build a 120 and 150 point list for the first two rounds of an Escalation League. Top marks are for being able to use all six figures effectively and being able to play the first two rounds with minimal extra purchases.
  • Long Term Value: Are the models that come in the Starter Pack going to be useful in the long run, will you end up using them all consistently as your army grows and are they likely to replaced by newer sculpts in the foreseeable future.
       Two ratings are given, the first when playing the 'vanilla' army with no limitations, and the second when playing the Sectorial that the box specifically belongs to (if available).
  • Model Quality: Are the models good quality, recent sculpts. Some starter packs show more age than others or have outdated models in them.

I'm making the assumption that it is the player's intention to play the 'vanilla' faction, which means that they are interested in the full range of models for that faction. If a player is interested in just a particular Sectorial (a sub-section of a faction) then they should always just get the relevant starter box for that Sectorial as it invariably provides the best value.

All images in this article are the property of Corvus Belli.


PanOceania represents the greatest superpower in the Human Sphere. They are an amalgamation of the surviving Western Powers and possess great wealth, technology and military might. They have the best BS (Ballistic Skill) in the game and good access to high tech gear such as remotes and heavy armour.

The new 'vanilla' starter for PanOceania

The new starter box features all the models from Operation Icestorm except for the Father Knight. You can find my own attempt at painting it here.

  • The Fusiliers are competent infantry with good Ballistic Skill at a cheap price and will likely see service as Hackers, Paramedics and Forward Observers indefinitely because they are available to all the Sectorials to date.
  • The ORC has had a bit of boost in this edition and is now a capable fighter who can also act as a resilient Lieutenant with multiple Wounds and good Armour. 
  • The Nisse is a solid sniper which combines Mimetism, making him hard to hit, and a Multispectral Visor which allows him to ignore many to-hit modifiers. 
  • Lastly the Akalis is an elite unit with Airborne Deployment that can help you open up new avenues of attack.

Overall there is a decent distribution of weapons and all the models have clearly defined roles. This box provides a very solid starting point for making an army and the figures will be useful for a long time to come. All the sculpts are brand new and feature the most recent weapon designs.

There are many ways to bring this set up to an even 150 points, such as adding a Hexa or a Magister Knight, and it's really hard to go far wrong.

Immediate Usability: ****
Long Term Value: *****
Model Quality: *****
120 Point List - 150 Point List

Shock Army of Aconticimento

This used to be my favourite of the starter packs as it comes with a good variety of models - three light infantry, two mediums (one of which is a drop troop) and a heavy, but this is now matched by the Icestorm version above. The set as a whole suffers somewhat from a lack of big guns, being armed exclusively with Rifles and Shotguns and this should be the first thing corrected when expanding the army.

  • Aconticimento Regulars are very versatile and can be armed with a Sensor and Mines, with any of the standard specialist options (Paramedic, Hacker, Forward Observer) or a Sapper with MULTI Sniper Rifle. It is worth noting that you may only use two Regulars in a vanilla list so you may find that the third model will sit on the sidelines, although you could always proxy them as Fusiliers.
  • The Bagh Mari is a solid trooper with a good suite of skills. He'll be the number one solution to ousting troublesome camouflage as his Multispectral Visor helps mitigate PanOs generally poor Willpower.
  • The Akalis can deploy directly into the fight, but do be careful in the reactive turn as he isn't much stronger than the Regulars. Putting him  into Suppressive Fire after you've finished a rampage is a good way of keeping him safe.
  • The Montesa Knight is a slightly under-gunned heavy infantry who can use his Mechanised Deployment to get straight into the combat. Combined with the Akalis, he largely make up for the lack of long ranged weaponry because they can both get up close and personal quickly.

The box weighs in at just under 130 points so will need another blister, such as the Aconticimento Sapper with MULTI Sniper Rifle, to get to 150pts.

Immediate Usability: ****
Long Term Value: **/****
Model Quality: ***
120 Point List - 150 Point List

Military Orders

Military Orders are based on crusader knights and if that sounds like your cup of tea then this is a great starter set as it comes with some decent light infantry and a couple of fun heavies. All the troops are fairly competent and the entire force is Religious so can safely ignore the penalties for being in Retreat and they'll never be obliged to fall back under enemy fire..

  • Order Sergeants are fairly comparable to Fusiliers in stats, but with a different array of upgrades. In particular the Forward Observer with TO Camouflage tends to be a popular option. In practice they can all be used interchangeably between the normal and Spec Sergeant options.
  • The Teutonic Knight is a great all-rounder, armed with a Combi Rifle for close range work and a Panzerfaust to take pot-shots at further away targets. With BS14 he can reliably engage most enemies. He's also vicious in combat with the Berserk skill meaning he is guaranteed to cause a hit!
  • The Magister Knights is even more close range focused, carrying a shotgun instead of a rifle. They are pretty tough for their cost, but may find it difficult to close the distance on enemies. They can also be armed with Missile Launchers if that's your preference.

While a great introduction to Military Orders. the box doesn't have a whole lot of value outside the sectorial. Specialist Sergeants cost a lot of SWC (Special Weapon Cost) in the vanilla list and Order Sergeants are only Availability 2 normally so you will not be able to make use of the 4 of them in this set.

A Crusader with MULTI Rifle and a Light Flamethrower is a good way to expand the army. It gives you a bit more reach and a second powerful gun to play with.

Immediate Usability: ****
Long Term Value: */*****
Model Quality: ****
120 Point List - 150 Point List

Neoterran Capitaline Army

This fairly recent pack weighs in at a hefty 223pts. It's got a lot of cool models in it but lacks any proper light infantry and both the heavies are very expensive.  It is also the only other PanO starter to contain the redesigned weaponry.

  • The Bolts are moderately expensive troops that are an all-round upgrade to the Fusilier. They come with an interesting suite of weapons, but their points cost makes them too expensive to just leave hiding at the back of the table. Because of this you'll likely want to proxy some of the models for cheaper alternatives for your first few games.
  • The Hexa is a great little model. With TO Camouflage and a Spitfire he can be a terror in the active turn before re-camouflaging or entering suppressive fire to survive the reactive one. Never underestimate the power of stacking lots of to-hit modifiers and carrying a big gun!
  • The set also comes with two Heavy Infantry. The first is the Aquila Guard who comes with a Multispectral Visor L3 as standard so automatically passes discover checks. This is really handy for PanO because of their generally poor willpower. He'll crop up in lists moderately often and is always reliable.
  • The second is the Swiss Guard. With TO Camouflage and a Missile Launcher he is a bit more niche, but great fun! Unfortunately it's not a model that comes out too often as it is generally outclassed by the other weapon options for the unit.

This box isn't the ideal way to start with PanOceania, but would pair well with the core starter box if playing vanilla, or a box of Auxilia if you are planning on sticking with Neoterra specifically.

Immediate Usability: *
Long Term Value: **/**
Model Quality: *****
120 Point List - 150 Point List - Lists were built assuming that Bolts would proxy as Fusiliers.


The nomads are a faction of discontent humans, unhappy with the way the rest of the Sphere is run by Superpowers and Artificial Intelligences. Instead, they've chosen to retreat to three massive colony ships from which they conduct their lives and businesses. "Tunguska is dedicated to the traffic and storage of information. Corregidor offers skilled labour at a good price, while Bakunin trades in all that is exotic and illegal in whatever area, from fashion to nano-engineering." - ItG Website

The new 'vanilla' starter for Nomads

Again this is the new starter pack from Operation: Icestorm, this time minus the Reverend Healer. It is another well balanced box and comes to just over 130 points and is a great way to get into the faction. Like the PanO set, I've made an attempt at painting these guys too and you can see my set of them here.

  • The Alguacils form the backbone of the Nomad army and act as your 'cheerleaders' - those troops which tend to stand around, provide orders and do their best not to attract bullets. They are roughly equivalent to the Fusiliers of PanOceania, so not fantastically skilled but quite cheap.
  • The Spektr is a TO Camouflaged Infiltrator, meaning that he can basically get to wherever he needs to in order to cause the most havoc with his Combi Rifle and Mines. A very versatile and straightforward unit with a lot of tactical nuance.
  • The Grenzer is the Sniper for this team and is fairly good at his job, although he has a tendency to die if any enemy gets within Rifle range of him so use with caution. Unfortunately the Grenzer doesn't see much use as his position is largely usurped by the Intruder.
  • Lastly there is the Mobile Brigada, a practical heavy infantry with a MULTI Rifle and Light Flamethrower. Very solid in smaller games and comes in at a reasonable price.

Unfortunately the set is a little awkward at 120 points so I'd recommend using the Alguaciles as, slightly cheaper, Moderators instead. For the jump to 150 I like the idea of using a Zero to support your Spektr on the battlefield.

Immediate Usability: ****
Long Term Value: ****
Model Quality: *****
120 Point List - 150 Point List

Bakunin Jurisdictional Command

This is a really cool starter pack, but unfortunately comes in at a paltry 106 points so will need the addition of some more troops to be viable. However it contains a fairly diverse range of units and special rules, and all of the models have uses in the faction and are likely to see play.

  • The Moderators are pretty similar to Alguaciles, but with worse stats and for less points. As is true for most basic infantry they are best off hiding at the back, preferably in Suppressive Fire. 
  • The Sin-Eater is particularly intriguing as his Neurocinetics allows him to fire a full Burst in the reactive turn - albeit only Burst 1 when active! This ability is arguably less useful now that Suppressive Fire is common but he is still a powerful unit that can be hard to shift from a defensive position.
  • The Zero is a completely standard Camouflaged Infiltrator without any bells or whistles. In the active turn he will be jumping out of camouflage to attack vulnerable units with Surprise Shot and then re-camouflaging to escape reprisal. Don't expect him to survive if caught out in the open and discovered though.
  • Lastly there is the Reverend Moira, an elite unit with good stats, a decent weapon and the powerful Optical Disruption Device which forces significant penalties on those attacking her. She is likely to have the upper hand in every fight she takes part in on her Active turn, but is quite fragile if hunted down by a unit with a Multispectral Visor.

The number one priority for the army should be acquiring some longer range firepower so you can contest opposing Snipers and HMGs. A Zero Sniper is a good starting point and a Moderator with Spitfire is an easy way to add a bit of punch to a Fireteam.

Immediate Usability: **
Long Term Value: ***/****
Model Quality: ***
120 Point List - 150 Point List

Corregidor Jurisdictional Command

The latest starter pack is a mighty 132pts at minimum as written, although you can cut it down to 124pts if you downgrade the Hacker to a regular Alguacil as per Escalation rules. This is the only starter outside of the Icestorm one to contain the redesigned weapons, but unfortunately the models only have Combi Rifles!

  • There's nothing more to say about the Alguacil, so I'll go straight onto the Wildcats. These are more expensive medium infantry (starting at 18 points) with solid stats and a good suite of weaponry. Not every list can afford to spend the extra points over the Alguaciles but those that can will make good use of these versatile troops. they also have the potential to make up a potent Fireteam.
  • The Intruder has a great, unique combination of abilities (Camouflage and Multispectral Visor L2) but is unfortunately hampered by only carrying a Combi Rifle and having a 4-2 move value. Both the Sniper and HMG variants are superior and would see more use.
  • The Hellcat is a fairly cheap Airborne Deployment unit, albeit one without many special skills. In the active turn it should do fairly well at killing light infantry but he's unlikely to survive the return fire after your turn ends. Finishing on Suppressive Fire is good for his survivability but eats into your order pool.

Although this starter is a bit awkward at 120 points, every model here looks great and has good longevity so it is a solid set to build on. It also goes very well hand-in-hand with the Icestorm set if you are looking for an easy way to expand a generic army.

When  adding tot his force the first thing to address should be the lack of heavy weapons. I wouldn't normally advise dicing straight into Fireteams as a new player, but a Spitfire Wildcat linked into a 4-man unit is a really powerful tool and it fits perfectly.

Immediate Usability: ***
Long Term Value: **/****
Model Quality: *****
120 Point List - 150 Point List

Next time, Haqqislam and Yu Jing!

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