Wednesday 17 February 2016

ITS 2016: Tournament Pack Unboxing

They've arrived!

I've been eagerly awaiting the new ITS tournament packs ever since the 2016 season was announced and I'm pleased to say that eight of them showed up at my door yesterday. I now have the pleasure of cracking them open to see what goodies they hold.

The 2016 season has arrived.

As you may be aware the contents have changed substantially since the 2013 season when the idea of a limited edition miniature was first introduced.

The philosophy of these new packs definitely leans towards giving out more limited edition stuff instead of the patches and blisters that people could buy anywhere. Not only that but the cards, badges and posters that tended to languish at the end of events are long gone.

I think all these changes are excellent as they give real incentives to keep attending events and it also means that the items within the pack are slightly more faction agnostic. No more Keisotsu Missile Launchers for me!

The contents of an ITS 2016 'classic' tournament pack

So what do we have here then?

  • 1x Winner's pack including 'Krakot Renegade'
  • 1x Hephaestus Scenery Pack
  • 3x ID Tags
  • 3x Camouflage markers
  • 3x Limited edition patches
  • 2x Secure HVT classified objective cards (1x English and 1x Spanish)
  • 1x Poster with blank space for event details
  • 1x Winner's certificate
  • 1x ITS Code
That's a pretty decent selection and can easily be split between four or even five players. In fact there are twelve distinct prizes in case you wanted to spread them quite thinly among all participants.

Winner's pack

The winner's pack includes a Krakot Renegade with unit badge plus a winner's patch and badge. A very suitable first place prize!

The renegade himself comes as a body, two arms and a separate head. All of the joins are nice and big and a preliminary dry-fitting shows that it should assemble very easily.

Krakot Renegades profile

Yes, that's AVA 2 and Linkable. No, I don't know how that is going to work.

In terms of profile they are definitely an interesting unit with a number of rules that have raised eyebrows so far. MetaChemistry L2, Chest Mines and the Red Fury are all skills and weapons that we just don't have stats for at the moment, which makes it hard to put a value on them.

Having said that it's speculated that the Red Fury is some kind of heavy plasma weapon of some kind.

It's going to be interesting giving all factions, especially those that tend to get their Lieutenants shot, access to someone with the Morat skill (including Veteran L1) so they can retain a regular order while in Loss of Lieutenant or Retreat!

I can certainly imagine using him in scenarios such as Frontline or Quadrant Control to aggressively push up the table and threaten camouflaged troops with my 2 Chain Rifles. Burst 4 SMGs and CC 21, Berserk Double Action CCWs are not to be ignored either.

There are three randomly selected ID tags and Silhouette 2 camouflage markers included in each box. These may or may not be matching sets and at the moment I haven't unboxed any duplicates.

I can certainly imagine players trading the camouflage markers between themselves to try and get multiples of a particular faction, so these are likely to be a draw for events. I imagine that the Ariadna ones will be in especially short supply!

Up close you can see that each camouflage marker has the silhouette of its faction's Spec Ops - in this case the Chandra, Vortex and Indigo.

The ID tags are designed to look like futuristic dog-tags and could make for good key rings if you wanted to feel like an elite, secret operative while opening your car door. Otherwise though I find them to be the least exciting of the new inclusions

Secure HVT objective card and patches

Whereas in previous years there have been two general-release patched plus one limited edition one which was generally unit-specific, this year all three are limited editions!

I'm pretty excited about this because these are generally the more interesting or intricate designs and sometimes reference companies or organisations outside of the military aspect of Infinity.

From left-to-right above we have the Yu Jing Guijia Squadron, Combined Army E Drone (EVO Repeater) and Haqqislam Odalisques.

Secure HVT objective card

Hands up if you've ever forgotten that Secure HVT was an option or had to stop to look up the rules for it during a game? I'm really hoping it isn't just me.

Aside from the prestige of having something a bit special it's genuinely quite useful to always have a Secure HVT card with your selected classified objectives so you'll never forget that you have the option or what you need to do.

I'll be curious to see if they'll do different versions of this card in the future or if alternate art cards for the normal classifieds will be released instead.

Hephaestus terrain pack

The Hephaestus terrain pack comes in the same format as the other MotoTronica packs that can be found in Operation: Icestorm or in the USAriadna army box - although it has the unfortunate distinction in that it is almost impossible to spell correctly without looking it up.

The scenery set has a distinctly Aleph vibe and it will likely mostly appeal to newer players as long-time Infinity gamers are more likely to have substantial collections of scenery already. As such it may be that this pack will regularly end up as the 'Wooden Spoon' prize for last place so it is more likely to end up where it is needed the most

There's also a picture of how it all looks unfolded here.

ITS 2016 poster

Lastly there is an A3 poster in each pack with the bottom half open for you to write your event details. It's a good way to advertise a tournament if you can get it up in your local store or club.

Unfortunately I have the handwriting of a 5-year old and so this won't be much use to me unless I can get someone with superior penmanship to help me out!

Now it's just time to go run some events!

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