The Meeple Guild - Graphic novel ties to mini game world

It’s always interesting when two hobbies come together.

For example, when it comes to the hobby of reading, delving into the pages of a Sean Stranahan mystery by Keith McCafferrty dovetails nicely with the hobby of fishing, because the series always has an outdoors/fishing element.

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When it comes to board games, there are several examples where games have been plucked out of books.

A recent example would be when author Patrick Rothfuss teamed with game designer James Ernest to create Tak that was initially mentioned in Rothfuss’ book; ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’. That game is one of the best of the last decade.

And of course there is Jetan, a form of chess drawn from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel The Chessmen of Mars which dates back to 1922, and is quite playable although you do need to ‘bodger’ your own set of pieces.

While games do come out of books, they also inspire them.

That brings me to Infinity: Betrayal, a graphic novel by the team of Victor Santos and Austin Graham Nakamura.

Infinity is a game with 28mm high metal miniatures that simulates combat and special operations in a science fiction environment with Manga aesthetics. As a skirmish level game it offers highly detailed miniatures, tons of variety and strong game support from company Corvus Belli. I easily put the line in the top-five miniature companies going at present.

Like all miniature game rulesets, Infinity has rolled through several editions, holes need patched on gaming systems as players delve into them and find flaws unseen initially to exploit, and of course new features get added. Infinity has just launched its fourth edition – more on that in a future column.

But, with the launch Corvus Belli also published the graphic novel. It comes in a boxed sleeve as a ‘limited edition’ which makes it look amazing as you unwrap it.

The artwork inside is black and white and heavily influenced by the Japanese manga style. Manga in general is something of an acquired taste, so be forewarned.

The story is a solid sci-fi romp, if not an outstanding one. Of course the authors here had some limitations in terms of being true to the Infinity universe.

There is also a balance being struck as most readers are going to come at this from the perspective of an Infinity player, knowing the world at least to some degree as a gamer. But, this story also is readable by someone with no experience in the Infinity ‘verse’. It’s just a good take on subterfuge with lots of things being blown up. As I stated early it’s a solid romp,

Yes, if you are an Infinity player this one becomes a must have, but sci-fi readers won’t do bad to pick it up either.

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