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One thing that Games Workshop does really really well is provide a set of designations for each unit as to what you should purchase. Core, Troops, Special, Elite, Rare, Heavy, Fast, etc. There is the force organization chart and everyone knows it.
Infinity is a little different. You can have a lieutenant (the leader of your force) from many different types of troops. You could have a glorified grunt as your lieutenant or a badass ninja who hides behind enemy lines as your lieutenant.
The way I figured it out is by looking at the unit types in the rulebook. You can also check it out on the wiki.
•Light Infantry (LI): The common backbone of every army. These are fast troops, with limited armour but a good number of Support Weapons.
•Medium Infantry (MI): Special Forces. Better trained and equipped, these are experts in special combat tactics and techniques.
•Heavy Infantry (HI): Outfitted with heavy armour, standard or powered, and able to resist enemy fire but slower than Light Infantry.
•T.A.Gs: A Tactical Armoured Gear is heavy powered armour and a light combat vehicle combined. A heavily armoured unit, gifted with superior firepower and movement.
•Skirmishers (SK): These are light Special Forces, specifically trained in stealth and infiltration.
•Warbands (WB): Light assault troops specialized in Close Combat.
•Remotes (REM): Semiautonomous support units, fast and versatile but with limited armour. Remotes require a Hacker or a T.A.G on the battlefield to be deployed, but they keep acting normally even if this dies.
•Special Units: Any units not falling under the above categories.
So I figured on filling out a list of 300 points with mostly light infantry, medium infantry, and some specialist troops like a heavy infantry or two and remotes. The starter box will provide you six models that will likely be mostly light infantry and a medium infantry or two.
There were some pretty tough challenges when I started looking at forces. I knew I wanted models that looked sweet, but I wanted to make sure I was getting stuff that would fit in a 300 point army. The names of the models are also insanely foreign and hard to remember. Corvus Belli has provided a great way to get past that - the Infinity Army Builder.
What I did was build a 300 point list by going from the miniatures part of the site to the army builder, adding each model as I found one I liked. I realized that I probably needed a hacker and a doctor as they seem pretty integral to many missions, so I added one of each. I did not focus on a sectorial list; I wanted to try out models from the entire army first before I chose to do any specialized list.
The nice thing about the Army Builder is that it allows you to sort and search by different aspects of each model. Want only line infantry? You can filter it on that. Want more elite troops? Filter on elite or veteran. Want a heavy weapon? Filter on HMG (heavy machine gun).
TAGs are super sweet looking and have awesome weaponry but they cost a LOT of points. I would say it probably isn't worth purchasing one until you have the basics of the game down first.
The other part that was challenging to me was the fluff. I wanted to know about the army I was purchasing. GW does a great job of this by providing the stories and background in their codex. If I were to recommend a book for a person who was interested in this, I would recommend the Second Edition revised Rulebook. You can print the rules for free but this also provides a great background into a rich sci-fi (not grimdark fantasy in space!) universe.
Check the blog later this week for background videos and more!