Monday, July 9, 2012

Infiltration.. and Batman

I promised you an Infiltration post, so here it is, a little bit late.

Way back on Father's Day, when our trip began to Maine, amongst my gifts were 2 games: Power Grid: The Robots (basically an official hack for playing 2-player Grid), and Infiltration , a game designed by Donald X. Vaccarino (who is also known for Dominion), and published by Fantasy Flight Games (who make a lot of games I like) in their Android universe (kind of Bladerunner/Cyberpunky).

So far, I've played 2 games of Infiltration: One with 2 players with my wife (the 2-player rules are just "each player uses 2 guys"), and one with 3 players at a gaming-centric bachelor party a few weeks later.
Hoping to play it some more.

I'm not going to go through the rules in detail; it's a pretty straightforward game.
Each "operative" wants to get in to the complex, collect "data", and get out before "security arrives". They use various action cards and item cards to move around and defeat minor obstacles, and the alarm level goes up each turn.
It could have easily been themed as "adventurers stealing treasure from a sleeping dragon" or whatever.

The game is very light. It is all about gambling between going further into the complex where the rooms are higher-risk/higher-reward, or just leaving with something.  If you have zero data and you're the only one who escaped, guess what? You win! (Although that scenario is pretty unlikely)
The one FFG mechanic that is kind of dumb is how the data bits are randomly distributed.
There are over 100 cardboard chits, which are either worth 1, 2, or 3 units of data.
The as-printed rules say to turn them all upside down and shuffle them. And when you enter a room, take random ones and put them into the room.
That is really clunky.
By my second game, I ended up using dice to mark "how much data" is in a room, and grabbing the actual bits from a bag. That works way better.

So, the short story is that it's a fun, easy-to-learn, semi-random beer and pretzels game. Not a game you'd structure your entire game night around, but I'm still happy to have it.
It rates a basic GRRRR on the arbitrary rating scale.

So, I promised you some Batman!

In other news, I've been trying to pull myself back into videogaming, both with my PS3/Wii and with plans for a modern gaming laptop.
The first step has been to replace my old 60GB hard drive in my PS3 (one of the original "60GB model" ones with the PS2 hardware) with a 1TB drive. That procedure went a lot more smoothly than expected, despite fears of certain things not being backed up by the Backup Utility, etc.  That documentation is really awful.
Anyway, I plan on maybe joining PlaystationPlus for a year, and downloading everything they've got for free. (You can't keep the free stuff if you don't keep paying, but it's definitely more than $50 worth of stuff)
But for now, I picked up a "new" game (catching up with the last few years): Batman Arkham Asylum, Game of the Year Edition.
I've only barely gotten started with it -- I've just faced off with Scarecrow and Bane (not the most comforting game sequences to have right before bed). But it is certainly keeping my attention, and making me actually look forward to turning on the PS3 again for more than just watching Blurays of BSG...

Regarding the gaming laptop, that purchase is still a few months away, and of course technology and prices are always fluctuating. I've got some pretty good ideas of what I need/want now, but it may even turn out that the PS3 scratches my itch enough that I abandon the PC gaming idea altogether.

We shall see...

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