Infiltration Thur – Being a Drax Report

I’ve never tried Marmite, I’ve no idea what it’s like, I’ve seen it, I imagine it’s a bit like Bovril.  I do like Infiltration from Fantasy Flight, I’m sure there’s people that hate it, but that doesn’t matter, what’s important is we played it last Thur and it was bloody good, no if buts or maybes.

Infiltration (which is surprisingly cheap on amazon at the moment) is a non co-op game where operatives are trying to outdo each other by downloading as much as they can from a corporation they’ve broken into and get out of the building before the security mercs arrive.

Mercs is a great word, it makes everything way more cool.  Too many romantic comedies could have been saved with the introduction of Mercs to the ‘story’.

Having carefully read the rules* we set to play and carefully interpreted the rules as best we could.  NOW we only really got one thing wrong as tradition demands and that was the count down.  It ran a little bit lower than twice as fast as it should BUT it still didn’t ruin the game.  It just made it a bit shorter.

Each player starts with a hacker and four random pieces of gear at the entrance to the research facility.  The facility itself is made up of a first and second floor, each of which consists of 8 face down room cards.  The rooms contain traps in the form of NPCs, obstacles to overcome in the shape of Hi Tech Locks and lab workers and treasure as downloadable victory points and extra gear.  The first person to reach a room gets the pick of the treasure but must also overcome whatever the room contains.  The rooms each game are random so you’ll rarely face the same challenge twice.

Being a Fantasy Flight Game it’s a given at this stage that the quality is high, the artwork excellent and the whole thing reeks of quality.  

I like the premise of the game, working against a clock is always a great mechanic and adds to the tension of the game, do I get out now and risk losing on points? or stay a little longer and risk losing everything when the mercs arrive?  It’s also a fast game, the turn whips around pretty quick and whole thing rattles along at a nice pace.

The game is set in the Android universe, one of FFs IPs and it’s nice familiar setting.  Android itself was a bit of a mixed bag.  The Bladerunner esq setting was great but the game itself just never really worked and I did really want to like that game.   I’m happy to report that infiltration works very well indeed and we nearly played it a second time straight away but restrained ourselves to play something else.

Next up was Colossal Arena which cost me a whole €5 at Knavecon and was worth some of that.  Reiner Knizia is a great fella and all that but his games do tend to be a bit… well dry.  CA is no exception.  I understand it’s a rewrite of a horse racing game that’s been tacked onto a monster arena betting game… typical.

We dragged our way through it regretting not playing infiltration a second time.  I’m not saying it’s a terrible game, I’m just not saying it’s a great game and with all the other good stuff available to us why waste time on this.  I’m sure it will see the light of day again sometime but we’ll see.  I’m hard pressed to think of a Reiner Knizia game I really like, this one didn’t change that.  with that done it was time for a final chat and home, lucky in my case I didn’t have far to go!

More of that next thur



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