Factions of the Determinate!
A report of an Antares Factions Games Day on 9th September 2017, organised by Tim Bancroft and the Boscombe Down & Amesbury Wargames Club
What is a Faction Games Day? Simply speaking, more than a Boot Camp, but not a tournament. The idea is to give players a chance to play new opponents, different scenarios, and in a friendly atmosphere that takes the edge off an individual’s win-loss-tie record and puts it ‘out there’ in a broader world. Each player’s game result isn’t recorded against their own name, but against the faction, they use to fight that game. Players can elect to fight for a shard, too – their own Freeborn House or a Concord shard, for example.
We had a wide range of scenarios ready for the day – some of which were in the late stages of playtesting – and a broad range of tables ranging from a cavernous underground, to dust/desert world, snow and ice, jungle/wilderness and an enclosed city/arcology, complete with bridges spanning overhead. Almost all the terrain was scratch built – apart from a rather lovely Sarissa habdome that was twice selected to sit in the middle of a table.
Though we had a few cancellations. 12 players turned up from across the central South and West. The mix of armies included Boromites, Ghar, Isorians, Concord, Algoryn, Freeborn plus a few (final stage) playtesting armies, too. Such a mix, together with the scenarios, provided for some really interesting games and some amusing results and effects: several commanders were killed by lucky shots and a Command Crawler twice sat on an objective, daring the opponents to come closer!
Notable features of the games were the Boromites using their Vorpal charges to deny an area to an enemy. It seemed they were often released without any hope of hitting the opposition but making a tactical ‘clear space’ that acted as a protected flank. Of course, the Boromites were worried about their own mining tools coming back and biting them…
The final game was a big, bag-assistant-aided, 5-way affair with 4000 points that could have easily supported another player. The interaction was hectic, especially as the scenario gave room for double-crossing. This frisson of doubt led to a great deal of amusement and some careful positioning of batter shields: who was the real enemy? Who do I trust? When will they do to me what I’m intending to do to them?
Thanks to Warlord, once more, from the club for providing some handouts and sprues, and thanks to all the players who brought such brilliant attitudes: laughter was heard throughout the day. Some of the painting, as can be seen from the pictures, was superb!
Though it was a tough fight, in the end, it seemed that the Isorians came out on top – discounting the one, clear win the Ghar Exiles achieved, that is. But this is only the start: we’ll continue, adding to the results, and will look to see just who comes out on top of the warring Factions of the Determinate!
Thanks for reading. – Tim
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