YAMS: Yet Another Mission System
So, you’ve played your umpteenth kill-them-all game in Infinity, and you are feeling slightly bored with it. You are looking for something to spice it up, but Paradiso is too time-consuming, ITS 2014 requires geared up lists, and so on, and so on.
Well. My local community has found the ITS to be uninteresting, and we somehow cannot manage to get 4 active, experienced players to finally run a Paradiso campaign. Which makes us favour YAMS for regular games.
Yet Another Mission System – YAMS, from here on – is a card-based, semi-random, objective-oriented mission system for Infinity. Oh, and it is free to download, naturally.
You’ll need the cards printed up (there were a bit over two dozen of these last time I checked), two models to represent objectives – a Crate and a Civvie, and one Flag marker per player. Which is relieving after the loads of props the ITS requires…
So, how it goes?
Basically, each player is dealt 6 cards, each with different objective. He keeps 4 of his liking, and discards the other 2. Objectives vary a lot – you may be required to capture a civvie (or kill him), place a homing beacon near an enemy corner of the table, see a number of enemy models, blow up a terrain piece, capture the enemy flag and so on. Fulfilling each of the objectives is worth 1 Victory Point.
And yes, they are secret.
Crate and Civvie are placed on the central line of the table, in random distances from the respective side edges. The flags are deployed with the player’s main deployment.
Before the game starts, each player has the option of Double-or-Quits – revealing one (and only one) objective card to the opponent, to double up its Victory Point value.
Once the game is over (YAMS calls for a 4-turn limit, which I find much less constricting than ITS 3-turn limit – but still a mile from unlimited number of turns), you count the VP you obtained, and compare it to your opponent’s tally. Being in retreat, LoL or the like does not matter here – only whether you’ve achieved your objectives or not.
Of course, killing an enemy Lt or putting the opposing force into retreat do remain very effective ways of sticking a prybar in your opponent’s wheels 😉
With two dozen objective cards, the number of possible combinations is pretty high, so it makes for a great replay value.
Some folks consider the basic YAMS too vanilla. Or they’ve played it too many times in the standard format. What then?
- Well, you can print another set of cards, so each player will be pulling from a separate deck – allowing them to have the same objective (and know nothing about it).
- You can alter the number of cards being drawn and / or kept.
- You can also draw an extra card to form an objective for both players.
The good, the bad, and nothing ugly about YAMS:
- it comes free.
- it is simple and easy to use.
- it does require 4 markers / objects only (crate, civvie, 2 flags) and makes no requirements for terrain.
- it has great variability and replay value.
- doesn’t call for a specialized list buildup (unlike ITS, there are no specialists required).
- going second allows for (mostly) unopposed last turn: a distinct advantage for the player.
- easy to modify.
- while all the objectives have the same VP value, some are pretty hard to achieve, making them an unpopular choice.
- no special place for specialists.
- you have to keep in mind 8 objectives, 3-4 of them being hidden from you.
- pretty random in terms of objectives and their placement.
Where to get it?
At the Wargaming Trader’s website, Downloads section.