This is a review of the items that were available in the Gencon Bundle. I say “were” because this bundle is no longer available, and was only available at Gencon or direct from the Corvus Belli website. Operation: Ice Storm will be available separately from your usual retailers at the end of the month, Bootleg Penthesilea will be getting a general release at sometime in the future (currently unknown), and the special Bolt character – Tabitha Lyons – was a limited run that was only available at Gencon (or on the CB webstore), and seems like it will be making a couple of small reappearances at smaller events.
Corvus Belli’s Bootleg range is aimed largely at collectors and painters. It takes certain elements from the game/universe and allows the scupltors to do something that you wouldn’t normally see on the table top (though the majority of the releases so far can actually be used on the tabletop if you want to). Past releases have featured the Tactical Armoured Gear (TAG) pilots with several just stood on 25mm bases, though the larger and more popular ones featured the upper torso of the TAGs opened up and having some interaction with the pilot or mechanic. This particular model falls into the camp of being tabletop ready with the only real difference between this and her regular release being a change of attire and style of bike.
Penthesilea is a character model from the Aleph faction and Steel Phalanx sectorial (sub-faction). Here are the studio photos of the original, so that you can see the difference.
Looking in the box, here are the parts as delivered….
and here they are cleaned up, ready for assembly….
and finally, here is the assembled model….
Cosplay Bolt: Tabitha Lyons
This model was produced as a result of cross-promotion between CB and professional prop/cosplay studio, ArtyFakes. Corvus Belli had contacted the company regarding the creation of a scale Spitfire model, to be presented to the winner of the Interplanetary tournament, held in Spain back at the end of June.
As the story goes, this prompted Tabitha Lyons (one half of ArtyFakes) to look into Infinity a bit closer and liked the style and look of the miniatures enough to start on her own cosplay project. Corvus Belli decided to get in on the act too, and using the benefits of 3D sculpting and rapid proto-typing, were able to adapt the standard Bolt sculpt to resemble Tabitha as a limited release. Tabitha also made an appearance at TableTop Nation for their Ice Storm release event, now sporting a base to complete the effect!
Here is Tabitha at Gencon and TableTop Nation, looking the part….
Looking in the blister, we have these parts….
and cleaned up….
and once again, final model(s)!
This is the first Neoterran Bolt model to be available with the Dropbear launcher (yes, that is its name!). The Dropbears are a new Infinity 3rd Edition (N3) weapon, which has been described as being able to deploy mines from range rather than being in base to base.
Operation: Ice Storm
Operation: Ice Storm is an entirely new product from Corvus Belli, and if the name is anything to go by, possibly just the first, with people speculting on future Operation: XYZ box sets. It is an introductory 2-player starter kit which has everything required to start playing the game included in the box – Models, Dice, Measure, Terrain and Quick Start Rulebook!
The two forces contained are Pan-Oceania and Nomads. Each force is composed of resculpts of their factions army boxes (which are now discontinued – I imagine that they will be available separately again, once the rush for Ice Storm has died down a bit), as well as one exclusive sculpt of a new N3 unit for each faction. Pan-Oceania get the imposing Father-Knight, and Nomads get the alluring Reverend Healer. The first print-run of Ice Storm will also come with a Corporate Security Unit (CSU) model – think bodyguard (originally this was limited to the first 5000 boxes, but Corvus Belli actually received around 8000 pre-orders…). This CSU has a role in the starter missions, but for those not lucky enough to get the model, there is also a token that can be used to denote the unit on the table for mission purposes. The CSU will also be given a mercenary profile once N3 hits.
3 x Fusiliers with Combi-Rifles
1 x Nisse with Multi-Sniper Rifle
1 x ORC Troop with Combi-Rifle
1 x Akalis Commando with Combi-Rifle
1 x Father Knight with Combi-Rifle
3 x Alguiciles with Combi-Rifles
1 x Grenzer with Sniper Rifle
1 x Spektr with Combi-Rifle
1 x Mobile Brigada
1 x Reverend Healer
Corporate Security Unit:
Cleaning up the models….
Now the models are out of the way, here is a closer look at the tokens provided – everything you need to start playing the game, including a new silhouette marker for use with determining line of fire for your models (note – whilst silhouette is the official terminology, it is essentially magic cylinders. Just regard the silhouette as a 2D cross-section of the cylinder, placed perpendicular to the line of fire being drawn).
And the dice! As you may or may not be aware, Infinity is played using D20’s. The ones included in Operation: Ice Storm come colour coded to your force (blue for Pan-Oceania, red for Nomads) with each factions logo occupying the number 1 face.
Moving on to the scenery, we have some lovely cardboard crates and buildings to fold into shape (made from rather thick, high quality cardstock), as well as a mat to lay it all out on. In a wonderful example of planning, these cardboard buildings are the exact size and shape to for around the standard boxes that Corvus Belli use for their models. I have always advised new players that they are ideal to hold on to for when playing at home, and now this reason has just got better. As you can see in the picture below, they are rather sturdy for standing models one, and even more so, when reinforced with the model packaging boxes (the Jotum and Raicho aren’t part of Ice Storm, but they are a large lump of metal shown stood on top of a carboard box 🙂 ) I have also included Tabitha in one shot for scale….
The rule book is a bit misleading at first – half the book is in English, and the other half is in Spanish, with the language chosen by flipping the booklet over and reading from the other side. That said, it is a great introduction to the game with the story to set the scene for the missions, some lovely artwork, and instructions on how to learn to play.
This is done very smoothly over the course of 5 missions that introduce new rules elements gradually. The missions hold the hand of a new player very well, in my opinion, going so far as to dictate how the table should be layed out using the objects included in the scenery pack.
Once you have completed the 5 missions, players are ready to start looking at the rest of the game. This however will have to wait a bit. This is because Operation: Ice Storm is built around the new Infinity Third Edition ruleset… which is not yet available. At the time of writing, word is that the company is aiming for a Black Friday (US) release (28th November to the rest of the world). This is not too long to wait though, especially as most retailers won’t have their copies of Ice Storm until the end of September. That said, the rulebook does go on to give example of how to build up the Ice Storm forces to a “standard” size force of 300pts with 2 purchases, 1 TAG and 1 infantry box.
It is worth saying that as new information has been released about N3, a lot of veteran players have started to incorporate these changes in their games (effectively playing Infinity 2.5) to help ease the transition, and it is working rather well. I don’t see why this couldn’t be done by new players too, though the point at which the final mission tails off is still a worthy stand alone game, even without the entirety of the third edition rules.