For those who missed our introduction, Infinity is a skirmish tabletop game created by Spanish company Corvus Belli. Using 20-sided dice and 28mm diecast miniatures, you take control of a special operations team to execute covert missions somewhere in the Human Sphere. Fight your way to each objective using the units at your disposal and try to finish your mission – while your opponent attempts the same.
Every unit you choose for your XCOM-style team needs to be a member of the same faction, whether it’s one of the larger overarching factions like PanOceania or a more specialised sub-faction called a Sectorial. In this two-parter, we’ll introduce you to each faction and Sectorial you can play as in Infinity and how they fit into the game’s larger universe of corporate espionage, cold war politics and mechanised power armour.
Note that a number of these factions are currently inactive, which basically means that sales did not reflect popularity and Corvus Belli opted to put them on the backburner in favour of the more popular factions. Fortunately, a decent amount of their units are still available if you’re interested; they just won’t be getting a refresher for a while.
PanOceania was created when Earth’s richer nations — the United States, the European Union and India — experienced a massive economic failure when the space colonisation programme failed and a new conglomerate purchased their debt. Composed initially of Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Indonesia, this trading alliance grew to encompass much of the European Union and the Americas.
In a wave of new corporate dominance, PanOceania grew to become the most technologically advanced and arguably richest faction within the universe of Infinity. They are not subtle in the slightest, either: their armies favour highly-advanced power armour and their forces include fanatical believers in either corporate manifest destiny or traditional faith. There are five Sectorials of note from PanOceania:
The Military Orders of the Papacy: The forces of a resurgent Catholic Church, you will probably favour these guys if you come from a Warhammer 40K background. Spacefaring knights clad in full-powered armour, clutching swords as they race into the enemy is the name of the game here. Multiple Military Orders are represented, such as the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights of Santiago. Interestingly, the Knights Templar have been declared heretics again after meddling too much with A.I. experimentation. Led by a recreation of Joan of Arc, the Military Orders of the Papacy are a strong force on the battlefield – underestimate them at your peril.
The NeoTerran Capitaline Army (inactive): In a game world inspired by a great many manga and anime influences, NeoTerra is exactly what you would expect. Towering cyberpunk cityscapes cover the off-world capital of PanOceania, and the NeoTerran Capitaline Army reflects this. Taking some thematic inspiration from RoboCop with a dash of Demolition Man and Minority Report, this sectorial is basically a glorified police force.
Their core forces are Australian marines armed with top-of-the-line riot gear and robot assistance, backed by the security forces of the megacorps (who own much of the planet and indeed PanOceania).
The Shock Army of Acontecimento (inactive): A jungle planet, the Shock Army is thematically close to the idea of a Space Vietnam War. Specialised jungle fighters supported by elements of the ALEPH faction to provide extra killing power and mission-critical specialists, the Shock Army is a decent all-rounder force. Unfortunately, given this state, they don’t really have a huge amount of identity to give them a unique flavour and are currently discontinued.
Svalarheima’s Winter Force: The Scandinavian representation within PanOceania, this faction inhabits a winter world and has a focus on mountaineers and heavy-hitting power-armoured shock infantry. Locked in a perpetual Cold War border skirmish with the Yu Jing colony also present on their world, Svalarheima’s Winter Force is a straightforward faction of guns and armour, with support from elements of the Military Orders.
Varuna Immediate Reaction Division: A reaction force from a water-dominated world, the Varuna Immediate Reaction Division places a great emphasis on being sneaky – which is unusual for PanOceania. With a plethora of stealthy options, including premium heavy infantry with stealth training to back up the lighter equipped specialists, you wouldn’t be far off comparing them to Navy SEALs backed up by a hard-hitting Marine Corp force.
Yu Jing — The Glorious Empire
The other major faction in the never-ending Cold War that exists within Infinity, the Yu Jing are probably best described as a Communist Empire. Ruled by a dictatorial Emperor and maintaining many of the tenets of Maoism, the Yu Jing is tradition and order made manifest. They form a greater Asian union comprising much of what was Southeast Asia and, for a while there, Japan as well. In the advances of campaign settings, Japan fought for and won its independence, but the State Empire still rules over a great deal of the Human Sphere.
The Imperial Service: Essentially State Security, the Imperial Service Sectorial is formed by a leadership of secret agents alongside traditional police to provide order, while the majority of their forces are made up of political prisoners forced into service. They are not the good guys, they take the Emperor’s word as law, and anyone who gets in the way will be killed at best, lobotomised and pressed into service at worst. Relying on hordes of chaff infantry to power their mechanised and heavier units, they’ve been hampered a little by the latest edition due to tides of troopers not really being an option anymore. Though that’s not to say they aren’t a powerful force in the field, because they definitely didn’t lose any of their punch.
The Invincible Army: The more traditional armed forces, the Invincible Army is made up primarily of heavy infantry clad in power armour. Able to leverage superior training, as well as command and control units, the Invincible Army is able to be much more mobile than you might expect of heavily-armoured gun platforms, with a plethora of extra orders available in their list-building options. If you want pure firepower and the mobility to match, the Invincible Army is where you’ll find it.
The White Banner: The forces of the Yu Jing colonists on Svalarheima, the White Banner Army eschews some of the heavy infantry focus the other Yu Jing Sectorials embrace. A combined arms force, they have a small core of heavy infantry choices backed up by a vast array of skirmishers and camouflaged units, as well as an abundance of kung fu fighters in the form of glorious Shaolin monks. We’re waiting on a decent amount of their units to be sculpted and released, but they are definitely playable and can draw from some of the most powerful parts of the other Sectorials.
Ariadna — The Lost Colony
When the first human expedition ventured out into the stars via wormhole, the ship Ariadna was ejected near the planet Dawn — and Dawn was not welcoming of its new occupants. This might not have mattered as much if the wormhole hadn’t also collapsed on the second colony ship, killing everyone on board and stranding the Ariadnans alone and far from their homeworld. Equipped with technology they were in no position to properly maintain and attacked relentlessly by the native species, the Ariadnans carved themselves a foothold on their new mineral-rich home. While it was always clear that only the hardy survived on Dawn, those who did weren’t always lucky; some were tainted by the attacks of the Antipodes, transforming victims into half-breed human hybrids.
The surviving Ariadnans were later rediscovered by humanity, only for their more advanced brethren to announce the conquest of Dawn, insisting that legal loopholes meant they owned the planet and its vast Tesium mines. Fighting a resistance with the help of the Nomads and Haqqislam, eventually the O-12 (Space United Nations) declared that the PanOceanians and Yu Jing could not retroactively claim ownership of the planet, recognising Ariadnan independence.
On the tabletop, Ariadna often fights at a disadvantage to technologically superior foes in terms of firepower, but makes up for it with extreme resilience and an effective immunity to hacking.
The Caledonian Highlander Army (inactive): The British contingent of the Ariadna colonisation effort consists mostly of Scottish settlers. With the regression of technology on the planet, the Scots have once more divided heavily into clans. As such, the Highlander Army is made up of very few regular regiments and mostly clan-aligned volunteers. The most elite of these forces are the Mormaers, rich clansmen clad in Tesium body armour, making them effectively equal to the heavy infantry of other factions absent the same powered systems in their suits. Also amongst the Caledonians are the Wulvers, half-breeds mixed with the native Antipode species who can control their mutations; and the Cameronians, who fight in a raging fully-transformed state at all times.
Force de Réponse Rapide Mérovingienne (inactive): The French representation amongst the original colonists, the forces of Merovingia are perhaps the closest to a modern military force present on the planet – in terms of Infinity, at least. While they do not have powered armour, they are the only Ariadnan faction who can field a TAG (Tactical Armoured Gear). They have an emphasis on mobility, with their best units consisting of agile paratroopers and skirmishers, backed by a solid heavy infantry force and mercenary hacking support.
Kosmoflot: The most recent Ariadnan Sectorial, Kosmoflot is what you get when you cherry-pick the best parts of the Tartary Army Corp, mix in some French and Caledonian seasoning, add in the major named characters from the Ariadnan factions — and also bears. With a lot of flexibility, Kosmoflot can take the fight to the enemy with efficiency and effectiveness in equal measure. However, as a new Sectorial, they are missing a great many sculpts.
Tartary Armoured Corp: Composed of the Russian and other Slavic peoples of the colonial expedition, the Tartary Armoured Corp represents the elites of Ariadna: powerful Russian oligarchs who can provide the best equipment available on Ariadna to their military and actively engage in proper research to improve it. While the French are the only force on Ariadna to be able to field a proper TAG, the Russians counter with the Ratnik Project, an armoured walker wielding a giant sledgehammer, though not armoured nearly as well as its counterparts in PanOceania, Yu Jing or even the Nomads.
The Tartary Armoured Corp on the tabletop is very much the all-rounder faction of traditional Ariadna. It includes gunfighters who can engage the more advanced factions’ troops without being significantly outperformed, while also including a decent range of specialists.
USAriadna Ranger Force: It’s the modern American military… in spaaaaace! The most recognisable force in Ariadna because basically all the units that aren’t Dog Warriors or Blackjack Armoured Units look like modern special forces soldiers. With Airborne Rangers, regular infantry units, mechanised assault troops and the Devil Dogs taking the field, the USARF fields a well-rounded assault force to take and hold ground while their rarer specialists move up to claim objectives.
But wait… There’s more!
Can you believe that was only three of the nine main factions? Fortunately, most of them don’t have as many Sectorials as PanOceania or Ariadna do, so we should be able to squeeze them all into our next feature.
Join us next time when we run through some of Infinity’s more independent-minded factions and Sectorials, the alien menace, and the benevolent A.I. who watches over humanity.