35 – Faction Focus Part 1 – Neoterran Capitaline Army

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The last blog post was by far the most popular I’ve ever written, with around 500 views and counting. It was also an interview of other people, proving that you don’t really give a fuck about my opinions on Infinity. Well, Goonies never say die, so I’m going to completely ignore the numbers and bludgeon you with my unwanted views about the faction that, out of the four I play, is probably closest to my fat-clogged and over-worked heart – the pinnacle of human evolution that is the Neoterran Capitaline Army. In this first faction focus I’ll be ‘Doing a Britney’ by interviewing myself, but the self-same questions have been posed to my gaming chums in the hopes this will become a regular series with insight from Infinity players who actually win more games than they lose. But first, a disclaimer; I may talk a good game, but if Infinity was football I wouldn’t even make the Socatots team. Follow my advice at your own peril

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34 – Confessions of a Tournament Player

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The best part of getting older is that, as I gain more and more grey hairs and wrinkles, I give less and less fucks. Slippers adorn my feet no matter the venue or the occasion, to the continued mortification of the missus; I hold loud conversations with myself in public, and fart just as freely. ‘Taboo’ does not feature in my vocabulary, and I will gladly engage in any topic of conversation from knitting to necrophilia. The reflection of my pasty and pudgy body staring back at me from the mirror no longer elicits any feelings of guilt, and internal recriminations over indulging my vices have been replaced with cheers and encouragement. Therefore when the Friday lunchtime question “Doing anything nice this weekend?” inevitably arrives, no longer do I prevaricate, embellish or divert.

“I’m playing tabletop wargames in my garage with my mates while we get pissed.”

“Oh……………. Like Warhammer? My, uh, my nephew plays Warhammer.”

“Similar, yeah.”

“That sounds… nice. So… do you paint the models and everything?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, well… have a good one!”

Don’t worry, I will. While you’re engaging in ‘normal’ activities like watching open-mouthed as a dancing dalek delights you on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, I’ll be having the time of my life playing Napoleon with my little metal soldiers. Despite being ‘out’ about my geekiness, gamers generally gravitate to gamers as they instantly understand the compulsion, bereft of the awkward explanation that usually accompanies conversations about this strange little hobby. Luckily enough I made the acquaintance of a lovely gaming couple who also happen to be bloody good at Infinity; so much so that they even attend lots of tournaments together, and consistently place towards the top of the rankings. Thinking it would be a great idea to delve into just what makes a competitive gamer tick, I requested an interview, and they didn’t tell me to piss off! Result! Over to the Kim and Kanye of  wargaming, James and Laina, AKA Murkage and… Laina.

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33 – Garagefinity II – The Final Showdown

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“Would you rather have the entire infinity range for free, or sex with Megan Fox?” Standards were slipping considerably as alcohol meandered its merry way through our bloodstreams. For the sake of posterity, Matt, always the dedicated hobbyist, chose the models over the model. After clarifying that we were only seeking the comforts of the Hollywood superstar due to the gentle and pain-free deaths of our other halves,  Tom opted to make Megan’s day, although there would be a few unusual requests made of Ms. Fox to seal the deal [which I won’t go into here]. Initially, I wholeheartedly agreed with Tom; however, after seeing the new Caledonian starter, I want a takeback. Sorry, Megs, maybe another time. Chin up love.

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32 – Garagefinity II – Opening Skirmish

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Facebook is a fantastic forum for staying in touch with far-flung family members, a perfect platform for sharing in life’s little successes and setbacks, and an excellent example of cutting-edge technology being employed to bring communities, countries, nay, the human race, closer together. It’s also a cracking place to get into pointless arguments with complete strangers in a petty attempt to ruin their day. ‘All Things St. Albans’ residents’ group was my latest battlefield,  lines drawn up on either side of the momentous matter of whether commuters should be permitted to park their cars outside other peoples’ houses to save themselves the cost of sticking their Merc in the train station’s multi-storey. Leading the charge against the sadistic space stealers I dealt what must surely be a mortal blow with the comment “Yeah, but what if they’ve got kids, or are disabled even, and you’re stopping them parking outside their house?” Logic you way out of that one Colin, you twat. However, no sooner had this ferocious attack left my furiously typing fingertips, a riposte was immediately returned; “If only those selfish wankers with garages would actually park their bloody cars in them rather than use them as sheds, we would all have a parking spot”. Conceding defeat, I retreated from social media in order make my lists for the mini-tournament I was holding in my garage that weekend.

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31 – Baconland

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Over-hyped, a waste of resources, a joke taken too far, the Fat Yuan Yuan has split opinion in a way not seen since, well, the Tech-Bee a month earlier. Some members of the community have been left saltier than a side of bacon by the beer-drinking butterball taking up the lion’s share of April’s release slots. Surprisingly, I found that the release of this dumpy droptroop had absorbed all of my usual cynicism like a slice of bread soaking up gravy, with the porky pirate soon coming to represent everything I love about Corvus Belli; a willingness to engage with and respond to their customers, creativity bordering on genius and, most importantly, a sense of humour, something a certain large competitor lost in the early 90s amidst all of the GRIMDARKNESS [TM]. When my good friend Matt challenged me to a game I leapt at the chance to delve into the delightful dossier of missions designed especially for the mammoth mercenary. First on the butcher’s block was Baconland.

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30 – Heeeeeeey, Macayana!

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Last time out I was making my first tentative baby steps into the weird and wonderful world of competitive gaming, aiming to become the scourge of the social club, scout hut and community hall by wresting the wooden spoon from the biggest and best Infinity tournaments around the UK. Then life, being the evil, sadistic bastard that it is, delivered a massive sack slap in the form of a mystery illness. Almost overnight I went from being a fairly active bloke training to run the St. Albans Half Marathon to being knackered just from climbing the stairs and barely able to lift my head off the pillow. To cut a long story short, after being MRI’d, X-rayed, ECG’d and electric shocked [the last one being by far the worst, involving the doctor harpooning my muscles with 6 inch needles before sending an electrical current through them, allowing me to finally empathise with that big rubber shark in Jaws 2] the best guess is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME, or, my favourite term [because it evokes images of DiCaprio dwarf-throwing in Wolf of Wall Street], Yuppy Flu. Despite my flippancy this illness is no fucking joke and totally derailed pretty much everything; work, family life, and, most importantly, gaming. Before I finally move on to actually talk about Infinity in this Infinity blog, I have to add that the NHS is an absolutely incredible institution, and I was met with the highest standard of care at every point. Nice work NHS!

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29 – Watch out Logan, I’m coming for you…

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A ranking of 1225 in the world and 602 internationally makes me a scrub of the lowest order. If this was a game of darts I wouldn’t even make the team for the local pub, forced to look on in envy while nursing  a flat pint of Carling as Fat Mary and John ‘Hawkeye’ Harris  from the Hairy Bush take on the Cock Inn at a game of ‘chuckin’ arras’.  It doesn’t help that one of my regular opponents, James ‘Gribbley’ Newman, AKA ‘Murkage’, is number 8 and 2 respectively, and, even more annoyingly, is a really nice bloke, so I can’t even hate him for it. Determined to ruthlessly claw my way up the rankings no matter who I had to dislodge to get there, I was invited to my first proper 8-person tournament last Saturday, at the Hemel Hempstead Wargaming Club.

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