No, I’m not talking about rules here. I’m talking about fighting the instincts that cost you games or at the very least, put you in a bad position. Infinity is a game based on combat, and it’s understandable to get caught up in the excitement while going for the “kill.” However, in the games I lose, over-extending is my most common mistake. This might not be a problem for some people, but I find I need to remind myself of a basic Infinity truth if I am going to keep myself in check.
Keeping your own units alive is usually more important than killing your opponent. I frequently take units that I fully expect to lose, often in the first turn (usually McMurrough). That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try to keep them alive. Orders are the precious resource in Infinity. Keeping your models alive is a priority because it gives you more orders (Yes, even irregular orders matter. You have Command Tokens, don’t you?). It is also important to try not to lose your models in ARO. Make your opponent spend his precious resource (orders) to do the killing. Think about what other options you have besides combat. Asking yourself some questions can help a lot.
- Does “X” really need to be dealt with, or will it just make things a little easier? It’s easy to get fixated on a model in Suppressive Fire or on a TR bot covering an important part of the board. I sometimes find myself fixating on that one model and will give up too much to try to take it out. There’s often a way to work around the situation if you take the time to give it some thought.
- Do I have to deal with this now? Needing to get a camper off an objective might be necessary for you to win, but it probably isn’t necessary in turn one. Rather than pushing a bad position, it is usually better to back off and try a different tack. Sure, it might mean leaving that camper there until turn three, but it will be fine as long as you deal with it eventually. On the other hand, sometimes you do have to deal with a threat immediately.
- Am I taking the bait? So you’ve decided that yes, that model must be dealt with directly. Take some time to do a quick risk assessment. Are there unidentified camo markers lurking? Does my opponent have access to TO camo? Will this action leave me vulnerable to AD troops coming in from the board edge? Is the unit I’m committing holding my opponent back in some way? The answers to these questions might not change your mind, but it is important that they be considered.
- What’s the mission? In a recent game, I foolishly lost my only Hacker before accomplishing a secondary objective. Sure, that model was in the best position and best equipped to force one of my opponents models out of Suppressive Fire. Unfortunately, getting that model out of Suppressive Fire did not get me points. The mission always needs to come first.
Losses are to be expected in Infinity, but it is important not to sell your models cheaply. The person who wins the game usually is the person who made the least mistakes. So don’t get your blood up. Stay frosty and make your opponent beat you instead of doing the job for him.