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Tabletop Game: Infinity
Infinity is a tabletop wargame created by Spanish company Corvus Belli in 2006. It is influenced by Ghost in the Shell and other Post-Cyberpunk anime/manga and is known for its dynamic rule system (you can still take actions during your opponent's turn, meaning you never have "nothing" to do) and the "interesting" poses on many of its models.

It is 175 years into The Future and humanity has been able to colonise the stars thanks to wormholes and a grand unifying AI named ALEPH. ALEPH is overseen by an organisation called O-12 that also controls giant cargo ships called Circulars that travel around the 11 human-controlled systems in a circular route, effectively making them this universe's equivalent of CHOAM. Unfortunately, even with mankind so spread out, they still can't keep their hands off of each other and have split into 5 separate factions which make up the Human Sphere:

  • Pan Oceania, the largest (by a small margin) and most technologically advanced of the factions, a veritable melting pot of cultures that is heavily influenced by Western thought and has lots of kickass gadgets. Pan Oceanian troops draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, ranging from South American uniforms to Southeast Asia and African tribal designs to Catholic knights.
  • Yu Jing, the second-largest and constantly at odds with PanO. Consists mainly of the East Asian countries unified by China. Yu Jing draws heavily from East Asian designs - Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan primarily.
  • Haqqislam, a sect of Islam that emphasises humanism and the search for knowledge. Their ability to manufacture the immortality drug Silk makes them very, very rich. Haqqislam naturally draws heavily from Middle eastern art styles and uniform designs, both contemporary and historical.
  • Nomads, people who didn't agree with allowing themselves to be governed by ALEPH and left their respective societies aboard three giant colony ships. Nomads draw vaguely from Eastern European designs, particularly nomadic cultures, but for the most part are uniquely cyberpunkish in their aesthetics.
  • Ariadna, the survivors of the first colony ship sent through a wormhole, which mysteriously disappeared, only to be rediscovered several decades later. They don't particularly want to be controlled by anybody. Ariadna designs are a chaotic mixture of cultures from Europe, Russia, and the United States.
  • ALEPH itself maintains the Special Situations Section, essentially its own small, secret army of robots and cyborgs that serve as troubleshooters that eliminate threats to human stability, be they human or otherwise. ALEPH troops draw a lot of inspiration from high-tech cyberpunkish designs, particularly Ghost in the Shell (though GitS inspired a lot of Infinity, it is most noticeable in the aesthetics for ALEPH).
  • Tohaa, a newly-arrived alien species that has been worn down by a long war with the Combined Army and seeks to either ally with humanity or use it to distract their enemies while they recover. Masters of biotech and symbiotic weaponry, they use their skills on themselves and to 'elevate' inferior races into good servants.

Oh, did we mention that while they're beating the stuffing out of each other they're being observed by a Combined Army, composed of various Humanoid Aliens and lead by an AI even more advanced than ALEPH, called the Evolved Intelligence (EI). Oh sure, they're only watching for now, but nothing has been able to get them to leave.

UPDATE: At this point in the storyline, the Combined Army has invaded the Human Sphere in the planet Paradiso and the combined efforts of all factions of mankind has barely managed to slow down their offensives. Since this is only a scouting force, the leaders of the human factions lose sleep dreading when the actual military forces of the EI might show up.

Contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Weapons have damage types, ranging from fairly standard (fire, explosive, armor-piercing) to less conventional, such as monofilament, double action (which is basically two hits for the price of one), and viral. Also noteworthy is the fact that these damage types can apply to almost any type of weapon, leading to interesting combinations like explosive close combat weapons.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted. ALEPH shows no signs of betraying humanity so far and the EI has loyalty to the Ur-Rationalists encoded into every redundant system. Played straight, however, by the Rationalists' first AI, which promptly achieved enlightenment when it was switched on - and then decided that the Ur weren't worthy of ascension and left them behind.
    • The Nomads are quite convinced that the AI really is a crapshot, though. At least when it comes to ALEPH.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The Kum Motorised Units are violent outlaws and raiders persuaded to fight for Haqqislam but who, in practice, do whatever they want.
    • The main incentives used by the Yu Jing army to recruit the Aragoto Senkenbutai are speed, high risks, and all the shooting you want...and you get paid for it. (and the fact resurrection is a fact of life in the Infinity universe, especially if you're part of a military)
  • Anime Hair: A few models, especially among the Nomads, have that crazy matchstick style.
  • Armour Is Useless: Partially inverted. Everything can be brought down with the humble combi rifle on a basic mook, but the toughest Heavy Infantry and Tactical Armoured Gears can take a hell of a lot more punishment than line infantrymen. A Jotum super-heavy TAG against a Keisotsu line infantryman is effectively a foregone conclusion.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Taken to sometimes absurd levels by the models. It seems rather impractical to run while hunched over and hacking at the same time. You have to wonder what they were thinking on some of these. Fortunately it's not nearly as bad on newer models, which have slipped safely back into the realm of kickass.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The EI wants to recreate an AI that can do this, for the good of its creators. The previous one didn't think they were ready for it.
  • Bad Ass: At least one per human faction. Achilles ("Individual of Mass Destruction"), Joan of Arc and William Wallace definitely qualify.
  • Bad Ass Boast: Achilles. "The situation, in short, is this: I have just destroyed your escape module. You are trapped inside here with me. I am Achilles. And you are dead already."
    • Druze Shock Teams. Their motto? "We are bad people, but we can be worse."
  • Badass Longcoat: Surprisingly few for a Post-Cyberpunk setting but the Aquila Guard deserve special mention as each one of them is an elite trooper with highest level clearance.
  • Band of Brothels: The Haqqislam Odalisques, who are an elite bodyguard unit as well as courtesans.
  • Bare Your Mid Riff: Quite a few of the female soldiers. Especially those from the Ariadna faction.
  • BFS: The 45th Highlander Rifles and the 3rd Highlander Grey Rifles charge into battle with assault rifles and claymores.
  • The Blank: Nomad helmets practically run on this trope. Seriously. The only features you'll find are eye-holes and Tron Lines. There are too many examples to link individually, just look at their entire page.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The first edition of the book was riddled with awkward translations, rules made unclear by their translation from Spanish, and words that hadn't been translated at all. Much of this was cleaned and fixed in the 2nd Edition rules, which are available from the Infinity website.
  • Body Backup Drive: It's done through "Cubes", which save a person's personality and all other important data onto ALEPH. With the aid of Silk this can be transferred into a clone body. Of course it's still limited by the price of Silk and the few organisations (religious or otherwise) allowed to issue Resurrection licenses.
  • Boxed Crook: Many of the factions have units that are effectively “co-opted” prisoners. The Yu Jing, for example, make great use of their Wu Ming corps, violent criminals outfitted with heavy armour and weaponry and told to cut loose.
  • China Takes Over the World: IN SPACE!
  • Church Militant: Most of Pan Oceania's religious troops are members of this. The most common examples are the Knights Hospitaller, the Knights of Santiago and the Swiss Guard. The Nomads also have an example in the form of Reverend Moiras, followers of St. Mary of the Knife.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first contact between the various factions of Humanity and the Combined Army did not go well for the humans. Out-sniped, Out-fought, Out-hacked and Out-teched, the Combined Army basically blew past the various defenses as if they weren't there and even sacked a few of humanity's cities. The short skirmish basically stopped only because the Combined Army mysteriously paused their advance.
  • Cyberspace: Maya, which is used for virtually everything from business to communication to entertainment. Administrated by ALEPH, natch.
    • Due to their distrust of ALEPH, it is pretty inevitable the Nomads have their own Maya-copycat network called Arachne.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Not necessarily anything in-story, but very clearly present with some of the early models, which look almost off model when comparing to the style that Corvus Belli is currently adhering to.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The armies the player controls are generally intended to be special forces units who are conducting irregular or covert operations, which is why the game places vastly more emphasis on infantry instead of vehicles. Even the conventional low-cost light infantrymen are elite troops when compared with the rank-and-file riflemen of each faction's actual armies.
    • This has dropped off a bit as the game has progressed, mostly you will be fielding a handful of elites with support (read supplying order resources) from rank-and-file troopers.
  • Everything Is Online: Any piece of hardware can be disrupted or controlled by hackers. Even missiles in flight. Even people. Averted with Ariadna, who make use of more simple technology, essentially making them immune from Hackers.
  • Explosive Leash: The Kuang Shi of the Yu Jing army are comprised of political prisoners who have found themselves brainwashed, strapped with an exploding collar, and told to run screaming towards the enemy.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Slightly averted. No faction is entirely a counterpart culture of any one place, just of one place moreso than another. Pan Oceania, Haqqislam and the Nomads all contain traces of African influence, for example.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Many of the Combined Army's commanders are merely "aspects" of the EI. Killing one rids yourself of a powerful enemy, but the command structure continues unabated as the EI, well, finds another model and assumes direct control.
  • Gangsta Style: It's understandably cool, but was it really necessary for that many models to hold their rifles this way?
  • Gladiator Games: "Aristeia!", a game much like Professional Wrestling, complete with Kayfabe in some cases. It's much more lethal but this is largely offset by advances in medical technology.
  • Gone Horribly Right: William Wallace was recreated by ALEPH to cause chaos on Ariadna by fomenting war between the Scottish settlers and other cultures on the planet, weakening them all and allowing the other ALEPH-controlled human governments to increase their influence. He did exactly what he was supposed to - except that when he was dropped onto the planet, something went wrong on landing, and his loyalty to ALEPH was disrupted. As a result, Wallace didn't just rally the Scottish to his side, he rallied everyone to him, and now Ariadna is even stronger and more stubborn due to his inspiring leadership.
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • Ariadna uses Dog-Faces, humans who were infected in the womb by Antipodes biting pregnant women, as mercenaries.
    • The Nomads bring us the chimeras and the pupniks, who comprise the Uberfallkommando (Riot Police). The chimera is an undercover agent investigating underground fighting rings and the illegal body and gene mods involved has, to maintain cover, taken on several of these mods herself. The pupniks are hybrids whose very existence is illegal, as they are ridiculously violent, barely human in mind, yet still extremely clever. They are designed for combat, sex, or both. In fact, in many exclusive betting rings that pit these creatures against each other, a spectator can pay a large sum of money to have sex with the winning pupnik to allow the creature to let off some steam.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Joan of Arc, Miyamoto Musashi, Sun Tzu, William Wallace, Saladin, and Achilles, all recreations.
  • Humans Are White: Averted in that all of the factions are made up of several ethnicities, though the Nomad nation takes the cake where dying your skin is normal.
  • I Call It "Vera": The Merovignan Chasseurs are known for giving each of their weapons girly french names.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Present in the Yu Jing army, though they would vehemently deny it.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Many factions have access to "Thermo-Optical mimetizing devices", a higher level of basic camoflague. In game terms this makes the model both difficult to find and then difficult to shoot at.
  • The Juggernaut: The Combined Army is a Juggernaut army. The Human Sphere is only barely surviving against a scouting party.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Fire weapons are some of the more dangerous in the game, as they can permanently disable Optical Disruptor Devices, camouflage, and other things that make a target harder to hit; plus, targets that suffer damage from fire weaponry must make a second damage resistance check to avoid burning to death.
    • The Tohaa. This tactic is highly effective against their highly flammable symbiont armor; when a unit wearing symbiont armor takes fire damage, it instantly dies. Funnily enough, this doesn't stop them from equipping themselves with fire weapons.
  • Manchurian Agent: The Combined Army's Sepsitor transmits a computer virus to the target's Cube, which can have numerous nasty effects up to and including taking over the target and it often can't be detected until it's too late. Their infiltrators, the Speculo Killers, can mimic their targets down to a genetic level and take their Cubes to gain access to their memories.
  • Mini-Mecha: TAGs.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Inverted; Christianity has actually experienced a significant resurgence, and the curious politics of PanOceania, which has done away with political parties in favor of private lobbies, has allowed the Catholic Church to become a significant player in PanO politics - and their knightly orders are a significant part of the PanO military.
    • Haqqislam is another inversion, a unique sect of Islam that was actually built from the ground up so that anyone could defend it in public debate and actually embraces and celebrates scientific advancement. They have many of the best biologists and geneticists, giving them a strong edge in human enhancement and a monopoly on resurrection technology.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: ALEPH's own Achilles recreation is labeled as an "Individual of Mass Destruction" in-universe, and for good reason. His body is made up of the single most advanced technology in the Human Sphere, and his personality is modeled precisely on that of the mythological Achilles - violent, aggressive, brutal, savage, intelligent, and inspiring.
  • Powered Armour: Most heavy infantry wear it. On the other hand, hackers can hack it thanks to the amount of cybernetic systems involved that make it work, which can leave you high and dry in the middle of a fire fight.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Subverted with the Morat who don't have any particular leanings toward honour or glory. They are professional soldiers; war is what they do and all they know. Oh sure, they have diplomats, but considering that their first contact with every race they've encountered has been "shoot" it's not terribly reassuring.
  • Rapunzel Hair: All the factions have at least one example, even the Combined Army.
  • Recycled INSPACE: Many of the units are modern day or classical military units IN POWER ARMOUR!
  • Rock Beats Laser: Ariadna in general, due to their separation from the rest of the Human Sphere, has a much lower tech level, with very little powered armor, cybernetic implants, biochemical modifications, or high-end weapons. They make up for it with having lots of primitive but powerful armor-piercing weaponry, guerilla-style combat, sheer cussed stubbornness, and combat experience. As an added bonus, a lot of the advanced weapons used by the other factions just won't work on Ariadna, as they're designed to disrupt other high-tech weaponry; combat hackers, for example, are useless against an Ariadna force.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: It's a wargame so there's bound to be a lot. In particular, small arms fire is less effective over long distances where penalties are imposed and enemies can dive for cover.
  • Spider Tank: the Haqqislamite Maghariba Guard TAGs and most remotes.
  • State Sec: ALEPH's cyborg troops.
  • Sticky Situation: There is a gun which fires fast-acting glue. Despite the strangeness of the concept, it is Justified by the fact it is easier to disable TAGs and Heavy Infantry by gluing them down rather than to get past their superior armor with small arms.
  • Super Soldiers: Haqqislam has several different ones - the Khawarij, who get enhanced reflexes and strength, the Djanbazan, who get enhanced stamina and a Healing Factor, and the Janissaries, who are all orphans raised in The Spartan Way from birth and actually have their personalities broken down to the point where they can't be recorded on Cubes.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Present in the description of all of Yu Jing's ninja troops. You see, Yu Jing's army does not include ninja. Ninja disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century. They no longer exist. They certainly don't exist as an elite assassination and black-ops unit who hunt down enemies of the State and execute them with monomolecular katana. That would be absurd.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: How some of the TAGs are controlled, sometimes in control booths from the other side of the planet. This is even represented in-game by not "flinching" from shots received, because the pilot is not physically there.
  • The Squad: The whole idea behind the armies you build.
  • Unusual User Interface: Hackers are easily identified by the holographic displays floating near their hands.
  • Warrior Monk: Yu Jing's Shaolin Monks, Haqqislam's Hassassin, and the Daturazi Witch-Soldiers, who turn their comlogs into a martial art.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While you can paint models any colour you want, hair colours in the concept art range from reasonable and ordinary to pink and green.

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