|Infiltration: are you|
up for a caper?
|Dominion: another landmark|
of design innovation
|Infiltration: inside the box (via)|
|Infiltration: all in the cards…|
|Operative (or not?)|
|Specials & NPCs|
|“Swag” and other tokens|
|The security tracker (via)|
The security tracker is an example of FFG’s luxurious production values being used right. I mean to say, its functions could easily be handled by a track and markers but those would be a clumsy addition to the game’s table footprint, not to mention prone to accidental ‘resets’ when 2 clumsinesses interacted- as they inevitably would! There is much more that could be said about the security tracker; sufficeth here to note that it’s very satisfying that the petard on which FFG sometimes hoists itself- ie. lavish production, is- with Infiltration’s security tracker, functionally and thematically the most apt of solutions to tracking the game’s most singular mechanic: random game length.
Those little detailsThe necessary dice and plastic stands aside, the box also contains ziplocks sufficient to store all the parts and spare parts to boot- another stand plus a plastic plug for a dial on the security tracker. You really can’t complain about attention to detail like this, even if you might sometimes wish that same attention had also been paid elsewhere.
|Infiltration set up for play (via)|
Cardplay and rooms: the basics
- Selection: each player secretly selects 1 action/item card to play.
- Resolution: starting with the First Player, players take turns to reveal and resolve their chosen cards.
- NPCs: any NPCs in play follow the instructions on their cards.
- Security: roll that dice and increment the damn security tracker!
- Advance: move deeper into the building.
- Download: grab yourself DF if there are any available in the room.
- Interface: use the room’s interface option if available (some are one-use only, which is what the tokens are for- a room’s interface token is removed if a player activates its one-use interface option).
- Retreat: move out of the building, towards the exit.
|Sample item cards|
Moving through and otherwise interacting with the building is a key feature of Infiltration’s gameplay, and the room rules are equally clear. Each room will have at least one of several types of text on it:
- Reveal: what happens when a room is revealed (typically when an Operative enters it for the first time).
- Enter: what happens when an Operative enters the room.
- Advance/Retreat: the secret rooms have special entry and exit conditions.
- Interface: every room has an interface; ie. there’s something to be done wherever you go in the building.
- Tech lock: some rooms have special rules pertaining to the destruction of tech locks.
The twists and the turns
|Yet more of the|
usual suspects… (via)
|“’On whose clearance?’,|
you ask?” (via)
- The security tracker: the random game-length (which players might manipulate- either way) does more than just introduce uncertainty and the key ‘push-your-luck’ tactical dilemma of the game; it also breaks Infiltrate out of the ‘flat’ time of the simple turn count, so bringing a qualitatively different tempo to the drama inherent in the action as the turns unfold.
- The ‘virtual space’ of the rooms: ‘concrete space’- ie. a traditional map and counters, would’ve produced a skirmish game of the sort that FFG can do in their sleep (Android, ‘nuff said); the altogether slicker system of virtual space dovetails perfectly with the unique tempo of the random game length.
- Action/resource-management instead of hand-building/management cardplay: hand building and/or management would be distractions which would simply lengthen the game with little apparent payoff for the added complexity; the actions- your ‘running about and doing things’, give you your sense of being an actual Operative in a concrete environment; items (your ‘gear’) likewise, although items’ limited supply also serves to heighten tension in the face of the security tracker’s implacable advance- suckers and losers use theirs too lightly or too late!
- Rotating First Player: this is an essential element of fairness- otherwise the same player would always have the advantage when looting rooms. It also forces you to think ahead so that you can figure who’ll be where doing what and in what order when you want to get up to tricks yourself- this is more demanding than the simplicities of virtual space and limited actions would have you imagine.
- Functionally identical Operatives: an oddity here, because you’d expect the opposite, wouldn’t you? Leaving aside the fact that items are what differentiate Operatives, special abilities for each Operative (after, eg. Battlestar Galactica) would have to be limited use (eg. once only) if they were going to be as effective as items (and what else would they be?)- ‘owned’ items in other words; or of limited utility if of unlimited use- which hardly sounds appealing. Cute but worse than pointless then, an encumberance Vaccarino wisely ignored. (There is an optional rule which gives each named Operative 2 specific items to start; a novel exercise but hardly the most interesting way to play.)
the gleaming setting for
an equally slick game (via)
|“I’ll give you bloody|