Friday 1 August 2014

Unboxing Operation: Icestorm

I've been absolutely dying to tell people about this, but Corvus Belli requested that we don't disclose any pictures or contents of Operation: Icestorm until 1st August (fair enough, really). But that day has finally come!

This package arrived for me at work (and was freaking huge) so it raised a lot of questions that went somewhat like this:

Colleagues: Whatcha got there?
Me: Toy soldiers.
Colleagues: There's got to be a lot in there?!
Me: Mistakes may have been made...

Turns out, it was a copy of Operation: Icestorm that Corvus Belli generously let me buy early for the purpose of running demo events.

What's this? A Package? For me?

But first, a bit of background. Operation: Icestorm is a new 2-player starter box released for Infinity. It contains 14 models - two of which are exclusive to the box - split between the factions PanOcenaia and Nomads. The pre-ordered copies also contain a further limited edition miniature, the Corporate Security Unit (CSU). Copies of Icestorm are limited to 5,000 to my knowledge, which heavily implies that there are likely to be other similar sets in the future with other factions.

Operation: Icestorm contains everything that is needed to play a simple game of Infinity, including models, scenery, dice and rules. What it does not contain is the full rulebook as the new edition (N3) will not be available until later this year, likely November. This means that the rules and some of the models contained within are not compatible with the current edition. This is unfortunate, but luckily it will only be a temporary issue.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at the beautiful sight that awaited me upon opening the package. The rest of the box was actually taken up by two ITS tournament packs, so thankfully is isn't (even) more stuff to paint. This pic shows the PanO forces which includes 3 Fusiliers, an Akalis, Nisses, ORC and a new Father-Knight.

What light through yonder window breaks?

Pretty artwork and actually a really sturdy box.

Awww yiss! I can't wait to crack this guy open

The Nomad forces include 3 Alguacils, Mobile Brigada, Spektr, Grenzer and the new Reverend Healer. It's good to see that the starter packs actually seems very well balanced against each other. This is a big improvement over the previous starter sets which can really leave a new player struggling to make a decent force. After all, nobody really needs to start with 4 Fusiliers, right?

But first, a couple more teaser picks - The Nomad forces 

A full look at the contents. Yes, all that scenery is in the box, not bad right? I guess they've taken a look at the success of the Dropzone Commander and Deadzone starter boxes and have decided to sell Icestorm as a 'complete' game.

The back of the box

Briefcase gun!  I may have to buy a second box just to get another of her.

Limited edition model included

Alright, enough teasing, so what's it all actually look like? Once again the box is good quality and very sturdy.

Alright, so what have we got in here?

Looks good so far, everything arrived undamaged as it was protected by about a bazillion packing peanuts.

Scenery packs, boxes of models, rules, dice and the CSU

The Nomad part of Icestorm, three dice and a specially stamped box containing the seven models for the faction. I really like the special dice, but it's a shame that the box only includes 3 as you often need 4 or 5 for a normal game.

Dirty Nomad scum

The PanO equivalent.

Goody two-shoes PanO

That's a lot of to paint.These models are absolutely gorgeously sculpted, hugely detailed and with very dynamic poses. The downside is that half the models have the 'guns in both hands' pose which can be a bit of a paint to assemble unless you have some spare limbs to use.

A couple of the models also come with very fiddly antennae to attach, which I might just choose to ignore to be honest as they are the parts most liable to break.

Also, compared to how many single piece models there were in the original PanO and Nomad starter these are much more complex models, but they shouldn't be any trouble for someone with prior experience of assembling miniatures - I hope this does not turn anyone away!

Turns out I've got a lot to paint....

A token sheet is also included which has a lot of the common tokens printed on card. I'd recommend sticking them to something sturdy to make them more durable though such as round plastic bases. A proper budget token set is really useful as it means all new players should now have sufficient order markers without buying expensive 3rd party tokens.

Ignore the crinkling at the bottom right corner, that was just me being excited and clumsy!

There is also silhouette template included, size 2, to use when determining cover. This means that everything in the box uses the same template which is interesting enough. Another titbit is that the templates apparently go up to, at least, size 7!

A bunch of markers including the first silhouette (size 2)

The rulebook is actually only half as big as it seems. Halfway through it flips over and switches between English and Spanish.

It gradually introduces new concepts, units and rules as it guides the players through five missions using the scenery and models included. It is a very gentle way of letting people into the game and really showcases Infinity well with it's balanced forces and solid rules.

Centre page of the new booklet showing the Corvus Belli official partners

The scenery contained within is fairly simple. First you have a nice 3'x2' printed gaming mat on glossy paper which has a suitably Infinity-esque deisgn. It's a shame about the awkward size though as it is almost impossible to make good use of it in a standard 4'x4' game.

Gaming Mat and buildings

Secondly you have the buildings themselves which I'm pretty impressed with. They seem very good quality and go together easily. The larger buildings have built-in lips for cover and pre-printed ladders for access. The smaller cargo containers are still plenty big enough to block Line of Sight even for the taller heavy infantry.

There are four large buildings in two variation and there are six crates split between three variations. A box or two of Icestorm scenery seems like a good start when constructing an Infinity battlefield. Having said that, it is lacking in scatter terrain which you will want to add yourself for full sized games.

Not looking too shabby. eh?

Overall, it looks like a great introduction to the world of Infinity to me and presents decent value for money, clocking in at under £70 from your friendly local retailer. :)

Right, this has been rather picture heavy, so discussions of rules changes will be coming in part 2 (very) shortly.


  1. Ooh, I do like the look of that. More especially should I say I like the look of them... most especially should I say I like the look of the 6th mini along on the Panoceana set!

    1. Yeah, she looks awesome. I'm going to have some pics of the fully assembled models up soon hopefully. :)