Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Infinity Philosophy: It's ALWAYS Your Turn
In the last Infinity Philosophy article, we explored the "It's Not Your List, It's You" concept, and looked at how it could impact not just the individual gamer, but the community as a whole.
This time around I want to look another core philosophy of Infinity: The Game: It's ALWAYS Your Turn.
What does this mean exactly, and why does it have repercussions beyond just the turn order itself?
For the folks who may not be familiar with Infinity, I can hear the question now...
"But Tim, this is a turn-based game with two players…how can it always be your turn?"
This would be the question I asked when I first showed genuine interest in Infinity as well. It definitely piqued my curiosity though as I was, and still am, tired of not playing for half the time during games. Let's be honest with ourselves here; how much does your attention wander during a turn-based game when you aren't the one actually doing things? Sure, in a competitive setting you want to pay attention, and even in a casual you still want to in order to be respectful. However, let's admit it right now…your attention wanders. And why shouldn't it? In a typical 2 hour game, you're really not doing much for at least 45 minutes of it. And even if your attention does wander, once it is your turn, it's relatively easy to get a handle on what just happened with a scan of the table.
But what if it really was always your turn? What if you had good reason to stay attentive, not just out of courtesy, but because you truly have have the potential of something to do all of the time that can affect the game. That's where this particular catch-phrase/philosophy from Infinity comes into play.
How does this happen? Every player-turn you are either in your ACTIVE turn, meaning you are actively spending orders to do things, or in your REACTIVE turn meaning you are paying attention to your opponents actions and reacting to them during their turn. This is commonly referred to as an action-reaction style of gameplay. Old-hats at GW specialist games will remember this mechanic from Necromunda. You have to pay attention in both player turns so that you can take advantage of reactive opportunities, as well as be careful during your active turn to minimize your opponent's reactive opportunities. This action-reaction mechanic keeps both players engaged in the game at all times.
I can hear the next question in my head now…"Doesn't this slow down the game if you are always doing things?" Nope. If anything, my experience has shown that it actually keeps the games moving at a good clip. I think the constant action keeps the players involved at all times, making it seem like time flies by as well. It's a refreshing change from what has been the norm for me for 10 years.
Whatever you call it, and wherever you remember it from, it still means one basic thing: It's Always Your Turn. And I'm darn happy for it!