Seeing as it's Christmas CB has been kind enough to give us an extra fat month of releases! Sure one of them was up for sale at Gencon, but still. :)
If the images look a little different that's because the third edition of the game (N3) has finally hit the wild and CB have updated the Infinity website to go with it. The blue that has accompanied the game since 2005 has been replaced by more muted colours that I feel at least gives the website a more modern look. The quickstart rules are of course available for new players and, to everyones great surprise, CB made the full rules available this week as well! A great decision as we're all now on equal footing no matter if we pre-ordered or not. I've been reading through the new rules of course and will post my first impressions of them later on. The Infinity Army (builder) has yet to catch up with the new edition but we should see an update within the next couple of months. Oh, and I have yet to find a good gallery of all the minis, like the old site had, which is a shame as they really help sell the game.
So anyway, let's have a look at the new releases!
As a long time Yu Jing player my heart skipped a beat when I saw the new Hac Tao. You remember me complaining that the Janissary from last month looked way to thin? No problem with that here as the Hac Tao looks like a man sized tank (as he should!). The recent Yu Jing HI releases has really set a new standard of making them the larger-than-life units they should be in my eyes; imposing and powerful looking. While I quite liked the old Hac Tao design (although talk about too thin!) this update really adds a lot of detail. I especially like the chest plate and the backpack looking thing. The pose is nothing too exciting but then again he certainly looks like he knows what he's doing! This is a model I need. The sooner the better! Oh, and I'm glad I didn't get the lat HMG release... :D
When I read the Hac Tao was being released I was certain that it would be my pick of the month, and then this Ariadna Kazak Spetsnazs shows up and blows me away! I really liked the Spetsnazs Sniper from a few months back (will get as a Sectorial when Acheron Falls drops!) and this one is even better. I mean... just look at this guy! The whole retro yet near-future vibe just works. The armour and the pack looks great and I love the kneepads and gloves but what pulls the whole mini together is the gasmask that has a great design that I look forward to painting. Of course, the old school Ariadnan shotgun doesn't hurt. In game these guys work either with Ambush Camouflage or as Parachutists (this loadout being the latter) and have a solid statline and two great skills in Marksmanship L2 meaning shock ammo and no cover mods, and Martial Arts L2 allowing him to sneak around the battlefield quietly. They are a little pricey for light infantry at 31+ points but come with a great toolkit for destruction.
This was the special Bootleg version of ALEPH Penthesilea released at Gencon and now available to the rest of the dirty masses. It's basically Penny if she'd had a part in Easy Rider. I think it's a great looking miniatures (I've rambled on about the new Kum bikes before), I especially like the hair, however given the choice I actually prefer the original figure. She just looks more... dangerous. Still, it's cool to see a somewhat more casual looking ALEPH mini. In game she's (still up in the air since we don't know her N3 stats yet, but...) a diverse toolbox that can fill various fast-attack roles. She'll certainly be a key piece in my fledgling Assault Subsection.
The first TAG resculpt is upon us and fittingly, as it's the oldest TAG in Infinity, it is the PanO Squalo Amoured Cavalry Heavy Lancer. This is certainly a great upgrade from the old sculpt and probably my favourite PanO TAG, next to the Jotum. However it is spoiled somewhat by that very awkward looking gun. Or rather, the gun itself is not the problem, but having the stock go up over the shoulder like that and have the HGL integrated in it just looks strange in so many ways! I guess having it like this means the HMG can be used one handed (only) but it also means it can't traverse as freely and the HGL won't be able to do independent targeting. I think it's great that they actually show the HGL, but this just seems like bad design from a practical standpoint. If I were to build the Squalo I'd cut off the HGL and mount it on the left shoulder in the style of VOTOMS or Heavy Gear.
The odd design also leads to the problem of what to do with that free hand, hence the "fist of doom" that has become somewhat of a meme in the Infinity community lately (see the Jannisary from lat month for another example). In N3 the weapon loadout of many TAGs have changed and many of them have got heavy pistols as backup weapons. The Squalo is no exception with an AP heavy pistol that I think would have been a cool to have modeled in the left hand instead of a fist. Still, apart from that awkward looking gun I think it's a sweet model!
Now here's something completely new for N3, the Tohaa Rasail Boarding Team! We've seen Chaksas before but these seem a little better armoured. The Tohaa handlers(?) are both neat looking models, I like the female especially, and the Chaksa look suitably badass. I'm guessing these teams will be similar to the PanO Auxbots as they each pack a heavy flamethrower (look out for friendly fire!). Nice looking models to be sure, but to me most of the Tohaa look so similar to each other. Maybe it's their lingering newness, I don't know. Still. Cool looking. :)
We round off December with another massive Morat! This time a Sogarat with HMG. You get the Feurbach version in the new Morat starter box and this is a resculpt of the HMG release from a couple of years ago. The old one was pretty big but this guy is even bigger and on a 40mm base! I think he's great looking and the armour detailing is spectacular. The new blocky Morat weaponry has quickly become some of my favourite in Infinity but the one thing I'm not all that keen on is the axe. First off it looks really awkward to use with just one hand and the lack of details on the blade (yes, a design decision but a bad one in my eyes) makes it look like a movie prop rather than a deadly weapon. Still, I'm nitpicking - this guy is pretty damn cool!
A good month! I think the Squalo could have been my favourite sculpt, but the weird gun spoils it so I'll have to pick the Spetsnazs followed by the Hac Tao. I'm currently reading through the N3 rules and should have some first impressions up on the blog soon. Oh, and merry christmas and all that! :D