What books are required to play? Can you just get by on the army builder app thing? What books would you recommend?
None. All of the rules are available for free online from Corvus Belli. I actually recommend you don't try to learn the rules with the official books. They're poorly and irrationally organised. Instead, use the wiki...
Or Beasts of War's Quickstart guide...
http://www.beastsofwar.com/wp-content/u ... les-V1.pdf
The Infinity Army app linked from the main site is awesome but if you've got a tablet, Aleph Toolbox is an excellent choice as well. Your best choice is just to sit down and get someone to run you through the basic mechanics like Face to Face rolls, then just learn the more advanced rules as you encounter them.
What's the tournament format?
Today, we used YAMS
. I'm starting to love it more and more as it gives you a few things to do in game that don't necessarily involve trying to out shoot your opponent. I can see it becoming very common.
Is there a particular way to build balanced lists?
Take what you like. Screw balance. Infinity is a bizarre system. When you start, everything that gets thrown at you will feel broken but the more you play, the more you start to understand the very complex system of counters and options available to you and how best to deal with problem units and abilities. Often, it's going to come down largely to how
you play, not what you play with.
What factions are over represented or under represented?
PanOceania and Haqqislam had the majority today but even then, it felt like a fairly even split as those two factions were also split again between standard lists and Sectorials. I didn't see any identical (or even similar) builds between any of the players. I think the only faction that wasn't represented today was Combined but that was because Jarrod was running, not playing.
Which factions would best suit beginners? Are any particularly hard to play?
Any. None. Again, it's a bizarre system. The basic equipment/weapons are shared between all factions and the stat line for a standard Human is pretty much identical across the board, with maybe one point change in either direction to represent better or worse training. All factions have basic order monkeys, medium infantry, cavalry (mechanized/air drop), heavy infantry with different weapon mixes, specialist infantry etc. The differences aren't overly huge. Best advice is just pick the one you like the look of. See below for a short version breakdown.
And last question, do any of the factions have a particular style of play- what is it?
Ariadna doesn't get a lot of real fancy toys like TAGs but gets a lot of awesome cheap dudes.
Aleph's cyborgs tend to be a little better than most factions basic infantry but are pricier to boot.
PanOceania and YuJing are fairly balanced factions, both with a mix of excellent CC, shooting and trickery models.
Nomads love hackers and get a lot of cheap aerial drop troops.
Haqqislam get lots of cheap doctors and excellent medium/heavy infantry.
Tohaa are very efficient as they can form multiple Fireteams (Infinity "squads") but are weak to fire.
Combined can be a short range assault army (Morat) or a stealthed out, sneaky list (Shasvasti).