Company: Micro Art Studio
Infinity relies heavily on status markers, most people print them out or photocopy them and cut them out, but Micro Art Studio are now offering official 'Designed for Infinity' versions in laser-cut acrylic.
Having been slightly sceptical during the design/discussion phase on the Infinity forums, now that I've seen the markers in the flesh, they're lovely.
You want to see this for yourself, though.
In a former life as a photographer I had some prints rear-mounted on acrylic and it's a great way of presenting images - you have a reasonably robust shiny surface with the colours almost 'glowing' through it. The same holds true for these markers as you can see above.
Construction & Quality
On close examination the images appear to be some form on inkjet print which has been glued onto the back of the acrylic disc. When you look really closely the print quality isn't incredible but from a foot or more this is invisible - to the extent that it's not really noticeable in the smaller image below, only when you click on it for the magnified version.
UPDATE - it turns out that I was wrong, the print is actually on the back of the acrylic disc with a white foil backing to protect the printed surface and show the colours more clearly.
The images are printed on a thin hard substrate rather than 'paper'. I could score the back with a thumbnail but it took a lot of pressure to make any mark that would show from the front so my fears about durability of the print backing are answered. With some work I did manage to lift the edge of the print but it was difficult enough that I doubt it would happen during normal use. As you can see below there's no paper sticking out at the edge to catch on things.
On some of the markers you can see a faint hexagonal pattern on the back from the vacuum table that would have been used during laser cutting, oddly appropriate for Infinity items.
I received several different sets for review (and as prize support).
"Regular" - contains 1 Link Leader and 11 Regular Orders. The numbers in this set are perfect as you can never have more than 11 Regular Orders in a Combat Group or more than 1 Link Leader.
"Irregular/Impetuous" - contains 6 Irregular and 6 Impetuous. You don't typically have more than 2-3 Irregular or Impetuous models in an Infinity force so this has potential for sharing between a couple of players.
"Shasvastii" - I think this is the only faction-specific set. Contains level 1 & 2 Impersonator markers for Speculo Killers, four Seed Embryo markers for Seed Soldiers and Cadmus and six Spawn Embryos. In practice a Shasvastii list will run five Seed Soldiers if they are being used, but as they start the game disguised as camo markers four markers should be plenty. The Spawn Embryos are placed when a Shasvastii model is 'killed' and need to be destroyed to count the downed model for victory points and retreat thresholds so having plenty of these is useful.
"TO Camo Purple" - contains 5 Thermo-Optic Camo markers numbered 1-5 for identification purposes and 1 Burnt marker to represent models whose camo has been burned off by a flamethrower. In a nice touch the numbers are also surrounded by different colour circles making them easier to tell apart. Not many lists would need a full five TO markers but I can also see offering a smaller pack as well getting fiddly for stock control. Two other colours are available as sets.
"Camo Paradiso" - contents as the TO pack but with regular Camo markers instead of TO Camo markers. Five markers is much more reasonable for the normal camo as it's much easier to include multiple camo markers in a list - some lists will even find this too few! Two other colours are available as sets though.
"Special #1" - contains level 1 and 2 Impersonation markers for Speculo Killers and Hassasin Fidays, 2 different sets of numbered Holoecho markers, 2 Burnt markers for showing models whose camo or ODD has been burned off, two Hostile markers for Civilians who turn out to be unfriendly, a Proxy Active marker for ALEPH Post-humans and one Unconscious marker. This is a general grab-bag of the more obscure markers, as you might guess from the pack name.
Set #2 contains 1 Suppression Fire, 2 Prone, 2 Immobilised, 2 Disabled, 1 Foxhole, 1 Link Leader, 1 Possessed & 1 Unloaded marker.
"Deployables #3" - contains 3 deployable E/Mauler markers, 3 deployable Repeater markers, 2 Possessed markers for possessed TAGs, two Immobilised markers for glue hits, hacks and electric pulse/stunning ammo victims and 2 Disabled markers for models whose equipment has been disabled by E/M ammo. Nomad lists in particular will be making use of this set with their ready access to deployable and shootable Repeaters.
Set #1 contains 3 Repeaters, 3 E/Maulers, 3 Mines and 3 Unloaded markers while set #2 contains 3 x 3 different types of Mine (AP, Mono & Viral) and 3 Unloaded markers.
Finally, the wound markers set contains 8 Wound and 4 Unconscious markers.
Styling, Pack Selection & Cost
The majority of the designs come directly from the Corvus Belli-designed markers and will be familiar to all Infinity players. Some markers have been added or altered for the marker sets and these aren't designed to the same level or style as the 'original' designs. This is most noticeable in the Hostile and Unconscious markers which are much more cartoony than the other markers. The Spawn Embryo markers also appear to be new but fit in better with the existing marker designs.
There has been much discussion on the Infinity forums of the selection of markers in the sets. Sets like the Orders, Wounds and Camo markers are very straightforwards. The Camo sets in particular are better than the printouts in that they give you fifteen unique markers instead of nine.
When it gets into the specials and deployables things get tricky. A Nomad player might potentially need 8+ Repeater markers but 0-3 E/Mauler markers etc. while buying several different specials & deployables sets can lead to some odd duplicates like three Possessed markers - it's unusual to see three TAGs on a single table, let alone have all three of them be possessed, although those markers can also be used for Sepsitor victims.
Finally, cost. The rulebooks include almost all of these markers in the back and they are also available as free PDFs. This makes the smaller pack's retail price of £4.67/4.75€ for six markers result in a wince-inducing 78p per marker although you can find them for 10% off RRP if you look around. The twelve-packs are better value at £7/7.25€ giving 58p per marker.
According to MAS there should be a 33-marker set released for around £15 which will help a lot with price.
In summary, they're definitely not cheap but look very nice on a table - enough so that I'm looking into stocking the range.
These items were received as dual-purpose review items and prize support for the Spring Challenge tournament.