The Warlord troops have – rather unsurprisingly – gotten themselves a little carried-away in all of the excitement currently buzzing around Beyond the Gates of Antares – and we’re launching a campaign amongst the staff, so that we can familiarise ourselves with the rules and this strange new universe…. and we want to bring you all along with us!
We’ve enlisted the talents of a certain Mr Rick Priestley to assist with the inevitable rules queries – and for some additional flavour text to set the scene…
T.O.R SEVEN ZERO ONE
When the Freeborn convoy arrived at the world of Qaro its ships brought the usual cargoes of goods and materials, passengers on route to worlds that lay deep within the Determinate, travelers searching for work or trade, and ambassadors of the free peoples of Antarean space. For Qaro was a free world still, despite the presence of a Concord base upon its nearby moon and a Concord embassy upon its dusty soil. It was true that many Qarons resented the presence of these ‘spies’ in their midst; but few would willingly forego the wealth that flowed into their hands in return for that which was known throughout Antarean space as ‘Qarono’. Qarono had made the world rich. The search for it had brought many panhumans to Qaro, all keen to grab a little of the planet for themselves. There were many upon the Freeborn convoy who had embarked for just that reason.
This time, however, the ships of the Freeborn brought something altogether unexpected and potentially even more lucrative. It was a transit observation report. News of the T.O.R soon spread throughout the disparate communities of Qaro. Spacecraft carried the news to neighbouring planets. Before many days had passed the discovery of the T.O.R was common knowledge as the report passed from shard to shard. Before long it seemed as if half the population of Qaro was preparing to search for the T.O.R.
‘What is this tee-oh-ahh place anyway?’ Ma’bak’s stony brow furrowed into something like a mountain ridge. The other Boromites looked at him with feigned disbelief, ever ready to mock the ignorance of youth.
‘It’s T.O.R which, as everybody who knows anything at all knows, stands for Transit Observation Report,’ drawled Tek’tu with affected impatience.
‘In other words,’ stepped in Ranam keen to join the fun, ‘the ship spotted something out there in the photosphere – something – could be anything. The ship scanned it and logged it.’
‘Ah yes,’ Tek’tu picked up the baton once more, ‘but it’s not just anything is it. It’s something big.
‘Not as big as a Freeborn House!’ Bostro interrupted the big Boromite gang leader. Which might have been a mistake.
‘No not that big Bostro,’ agreed Tek’tu leniently, ‘but a big ship of some kind – a wreck most likely – maybe even some ship that’s been floating round the photosphere for centuries. We won’t know ‘til we get there will we!
‘We’re going there!’ exclaimed Ma’bak, ‘but we only just got here! How are we going to get back through the gate without a ship?’
Tek’tu smiled a knowing smile and tapped the side of a flinty nose with a pinnacle of a finger. ‘Hitched a lift on one of the Freeborn explorer ships – leaves in three hours – we got ourselves a contract!’
The volatile plasma flows of Antares carry all manner or flotsam across its surface. Sometimes the wreckage of a spacecraft drifts for decades before being sucked down or trapped in a vortex of energy and reduced to raw plasma. More commonly such objects fall into a decaying orbit and slowly descend beneath the photosphere and sink into oblivion. Salvage is often difficult, always dangerous, and sometimes extremely lucrative. Objects identified within the plasma flow are commonly called T.O.Rs – which stands for Transit Observation Report.
Observing anything within the Antarean photosphere is difficult enough, and detection ranges rarely exceed a few miles. When ships come across T.O.Rs during a standard transit from gate-to-gate their first recourse is to avoid them. A T.O.R could easily be an enemy vessel lurking within the plasma flow or drifting wreckage that could damage or even destroy a spacecraft were it to collide with it. Once the transit is complete, information about the T.O.R is exchanged and shared. A drifting T.O.R might be worth investigating or it might represent a hazard to navigation that needs to be avoided. Occasionally, just occasionally, a T.O.R presents something of a mystery. And this is exactly what has happened. T.O.R Qaro 701 is unlikely any common flotsam of Antarean space and, whether it represents a threat or opportunity, it cannot be ignored.
T.O.R SEVEN ZERO ONE – PLAYERS BRIEF
A routine transit of the Antarean surface by a Freeborn convoy has discovered a vast object floating in the Antarean photosphere. Interested parties from the nearby melting-pot world of Qaro are already boarding spacecraft to investigate what appears to be an abandoned spacecraft of vast size and unknown type.
Boromites: This is surely the motherload of all salvage – time to stake out your claim. Find the ship’s helm and she’s yours by the common law of salvage. Of course, sometimes you have to fight for what’s rightfully yours. Pretty often in fact.
Freeborn: There’s a fortune to be made hiring craft to transport explorers to the T.O.R and who knows what opportunities lie on board? Alien technology? Information about where the ship has come from? Even if there’s nothing of value you can clean up by hiring out fighters to the other explorers.
Concord: Fortunately the Concord base on Qaro’s moon is able to furnish troops for the expedition ordered by the C3 security shard. Only by gathering data from the T.O.R can the IMTel assess any value or threat level. Immediate action is required. The IMTel is never wrong.
Algoryn: Your extensive Freeborn connections have uncovered an anomalous T.O.R not far from the Prosperate’s borders. Could this be some new trick of the hated Ghar? Could the floating wreckage contain something useful to the High Council?
Ghar: After only a little painful persuasion the crew of the captured scout craft have revealed their secret – the whereabouts of a gigantic spacecraft floating in the upper energy flows that border the glorious Ghar Empire. As we speak the feeble humans gather to it like rats to a corpse. If we move quickly we shall trap them there and destroy them! It will be a great victory! The Ghar shall prevail.
Isorians: Only recently a Freeborn trader has brought information about a mysterious and massive space-wreck floating in the Antarean atmosphere. Although it lies some distance from our nearest base the shard demands we learn as much about this T.O.R as possible and deny its secrets to those who oppose the IMTel. It is well that the IMTel does not make mistakes.
We’re doing everything from scratch…and we thought we’d invite you all along for the ride! – showing you exactly how we set-about undertaking our campaign – from army selection, list-building, painting our models, building terrain, right through to playing a game or two!
So – over the coming months, you can expect a deluge of Antarean content – showing you the process of setting-up an introductory campaign within this strange and exciting new universe… experiencing it exactly as we do!
We’ll also share our learnings… any questions which have arisen… any helpful tips and tricks that we learn along the way – sharing the knowledge and our experience with you so that you can learn along with us!
There’ll be a number of regular content contributors, along with occasional content from staff from all of the departments at Warlord HQ… the campaign will see forces present from the Algoryn, Boromites, Concord, Freeborn and Ghar – and again, we’ll try to give a little insight into how each faction plays, and a few tactical tips along the way.
All of that – along with additional content from Rick to support the campaign in terms of flavour text and comments/designers notes…. there’s a veritable bucket-load of Antarean goodness coming your way!
Launch Edition Box Contents
The ‘Strike Vector One: The Xilos Horizon’ starter set for Beyond the Gates of Antares is shipping now – and contains;
- Full colour 260-page hardback rulebook.
- Quick reference sheet.
- Getting started booklet.
- 3 multi-pose plastic Ghar Battle Squad walkers.
- 3 multi pose plastic Ghar Assault Squad walkers.
- 20 multi-pose plastic Concord Strike Troopers.
- 4 plastic Concord support drones.
- 8 plastic spotter drones.
- Strike Leader Kai Lek Atastrin metal figure.
- 12 order dice.
- Ghar distort dice.
- 13 Polyhedral dice.
- Launch Edition plastic templates and tokens.
- 12 red plastic pin markers.