The Antares Initiative: Poole Gaming Society – Month 1

Howdy Ladies and Gents, Dan from Poole Gaming Society(PGS) here.

May I start by saying how pleased we all at PGS that the club has been chosen to take part in the Antares Initiative. For those out there that don’t know about it the Warlord Games recruited  8 gaming groups to collect, paint and play Antares over a 6 month period and document our travels through the Gates.

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As quite large group it was incredibly hard to choose who would actually get to participate. So after a serious of gladiatorial matches (only was person was hurt, a new record for us) we whittled down to 4 people.

And we promptly ignored them choose four new members!

So without further ado, let me introduce themselves to you.

Well, where to begin?  With me I suppose.  My name is Matt and I’m the President (read – elected scapegoat) of Poole Gaming Society.  I’ve been collecting, painting and gaming with miniatures for 25 years (yikes!).

Matt Daunt   

So, why Gates of Antares?  Well, I’ve collected a number of Sci-fi armies over the years, from enormous hordes to small skirmish forces.  Beyond the Gates of Antares, to me at least, seems to sit somewhere in between.  With a turn mechanic that resembles Bolt Action (a game I have played a fair amount) and an interesting background and selection of miniatures (that will no doubt increase in coming  years).  So, the game appealed to me right from release.  I even got my hands on (and painted) the Concord miniatures from the starter set for the Club, an experience that left me wanting more.

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Now, looking at the Gates of Antares miniatures, it didn’t take me long to narrow down the factions until I’d decided on the one that was right for me.  The two factions that appealed purely from an aesthetic point of view were the Freeborn and the Algoryn.  However, the Freeborn Skimmer and Jetbikes really won me over and made the decision between the two factions far easier than it’d first seemed. 

Of course, miniatures are one thing (albeit an important one for me, as I’ve always considered myself more a painter than a gamer), but I also wanted to have an army that would be different from the sort of armies that I usually play.  The idea of a lightly armoured and fast moving army fitted that description perfectly, and the Freeborn seemed to offer those qualities in spades. 

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With the decision on which faction made, the next step was deciding on a list.  The easiest part was the decision to include a unit of Jetbikes.  The Skyraiders are stunning miniatures and also could be outfitted with a nice mix of weapons.  So they were in, but what else to take?  I really liked the idea of taking a Highlander list, which is an army that contains no duplicate units.  This results in an army that is inherently flexible.  A take-on-all-comers army that should  be good regardless of the scenario it faces.  So, with this in mind, I added a Vardanari unit, a Domari unit and a Feral (Mhagris) unit.  This left me with enough points for a 2nd Feral unit and a Spotter Drone for the Vardanari unit.  A few (free) weapon upgrades across the units I’d selected and my army list was complete.

Army List:

Vardanari Squad (6 men) with Spotter Drone

Domari Squad (6 men) with Micro-X Launcher

Feral (Mhagris) Squad (6 men) with Micro-X Launcher

Feral (Mhagris) Squad (6 men) with Micro-X Launcher

Skyraider Squad (3 Jetbikers) with Mag Light Support and Plasma Lance

Total:  500pts

This list gives me a nice selection of units and also weapons, with Mag and Plasma weapons as well as a few Micro-X Launchers, this should serve as a good introduction to the combat mechanics of the game.  I also have a variety of different armour values and command quality across the army, which should prove interesting.  The aim being, to give me as broad an experience of the army as possible.  This means that, when the time comes to expand on this scouting force, I should have a good idea of where my army needs that little bit of extra support.

David Palmer  

Why Boromites?

Personally with sci-fi wargaming its all about the look of the miniatures and their associated ‘fluff’. I am a great believer in really embracing the theme, history and background context of an army which you can build and develop over time.

Having never played Antares before and with very limited knowledge of the rules, my choices were never going to be based on a competitive choice of army and subsequent 500 point list.

Overall I really like the idea of the Boromites clan structure which has plenty of tribal connotations  and scope for conversions and interesting paint jobs.  I was also really attracted by their secretive nature and the limited information available about their structure/society. Again this provides plenty of scope for development.

Anyway I have limited words so now on to my 500 point choices.

My starting point was listening was to Episode 6 of the Freeborn Shard podcast which I found very useful and well timed in terms of making choices.

From experience I know that starting with a core of infantry is always a good idea hence I went for three squads of work gangs.

From pure visual appeal and the quality of the models I had no choice but to also go for a rock rider squad.  I have no idea how they will play, but I suspect this unit will take a fair bit of punishment  due to its visual prominence on the table. Where possible I will use them to outflank, but generally I will be relying on my work gangs to get the job done and get stuck in!

My final choice for the list was very difficult, mainly due to the limited number of points available out of the 500 allocated. I was tempted with an x launcher to provide my list with more options on the battlefield. However it was clear from the Freeborn Shard that lavamites were the way forward.  They will be my ‘killer unit’ that I need to get stuck in as soon as possible. 

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In the future depending on how my first games go and how this army place I will probably look to add more lavamites and an x launcher.  In general I looking to build an aggressive army that takes the fight forward via assaults. Time will tell whether I change my mind.

In addition I am looking forward to developing some background for my clan (Clan: da’ Tesoro)  and creating a distinctive paint style via use of clan tattoos. 

Regardless I am looking forward to the adventure and getting my first games in.

Jack Masterman

Hi my names Jack, I’m a member of Poole Gaming Society. I have been playing wargames for a few years, my war gaming hobby like most started with Warhammer. But I then branched away from Warhammer and moved on to other games such as Bolt Action, Infinity, X wing and many others (well maybe too many others). I enjoy many different aspects of war gaming such as the building and painting of the models, trying different colour schemes and new techniques to improve the look of my models. Then to actually playing the games with models. Making army list to try get the most out of the army, and then using strategies (well trying in any case) to get the upper hand. But what I love most of all is the war gaming community which is made of some great people, who make playing so much more fun.

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I have played in a few tournaments, one of which myself and some other Poole Gaming Society members travelled to Norway to play in a bolt action tournament, which was hosted by those gents over at TableTop Battle.

So why did I choose Concord. The main aspect for me when choosing an army is the model design whether I like them or not. The models which I like the most was concord, they reminded me a lot from human soldiers from the Mass Effect game series which I enjoyed playing. I also really liked the interceptor squad, which I have made sure was included in my starting army. There other units I like for the concord as well such as the C3 drop squads, and the variety of drones the concord can take. Once I had chosen my faction I then started to think about paint schemes. I decided to do my own scheme for the concord rather than copy warlords. I went for a grey base for the armour, with blue highlights on the upper chest plate and should and knee pads. I felt these colours worked well and gave my concord a unique feel.

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I am looking forward to starting Antares adventure, with my friends at Poole Gaming Society where no doubt some great games and fun moments await us, and I look forward to sharing these with the Gates of Antares community.

And that just leaves myself,

Dan Ewing

For me Beyond The Gates Of Antares(BTGoA) fills a long vacated space in my hobby arsenal. I collect and play a wide range of different games, both miniature and board, but 28mm Sci-Fi has been a little quiet for a number of years. So when the chance to came up to start a new system and shout about it as much as possible I wasn’t going to miss the chance. As the clubs resident motivator (mischief maker) it means I usually am the one who coerces the guys into new strange paths. Which seems to end up with travelling to other climates and waging war with new friends.

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So what I have chosen you ask? Well I have gone with the mighty Algoryns. None of that supposed ‘Superior Imtel’ for me, no obsessed troglodytes, no space faring traders or crime gangers. Just good old reliable squads who have a job to do.

The background drew me in like a sponge, the Algoryns forced to wage war for centuries have changed their culture to survive, and I can sympathise with that.

To that extant have based my initial 500pts on a core of AI squads. Two 6 man squads with Micro X-Launchers and Overload ammo should give me a solid anchor or firm base to advance from. I like the look of the AI Assault squad so they snuck in too. That left me with around 110pts left so I started to pick toys, a Light Plasma Support gun and some targeter drones. Targeter drones are a fun little unit for only 30 points that I’m sure I’ll rave about in the next few months.

As our destination was the planet Cauldron (jungle world, very friendly place?) I decided to go with rich green colour scheme with purple to break it up alittle. Now that scheme is sorted I have moved on to starting the scenery that will bring Cauldron to life. We have received a generous care package from Warlord and putting it to good use. The large vegetation like bulbs (read that as ’Space Onions’) have been mounted on mdf and awaiting some sand before they get painted up. Matt is working on some large industrial pipes that have been overgrown and Dave has some more stuff in the works too, but more on that next time.

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We’ve played the Drone Integration scenario a few times now as well as a few 500pts games to get to know the system. Its fun. I mean really fun, like no queues at theme park fun. Dave and Jack played it most recently using the quick start Drone Integration scenario and drew quite a small crowd. Unfortunately for Jack despite Matt rolling deceptively average the Concord were wiped out to a man (bodes well for Jack that we have no Ghar players yet) My poor old Assault squad have been targeted with extreme prejudice in my games(maybe I should stop calling them Assault specialists) but the AI squads are just brilliant little workhorse units.

So what do we have planned for next month? Well Matts chosen his new colour scheme and it’ll be worth the wait knowing him. Dave will also crack on with painting his Boromites. Jack? He’s painted his 500pts already but I’ve noticed him eyeing up some support drones, ouch, so expect to see them soon. Myself?It’s terrain, terrain terrain for me and some more games at 500-750pts.

So that’s it from us here at PGS in Dorset, until next time, Ciao.

~ Dan Ewing

(Wait a second, is that a Mag Mortar on the shelf? Where’s my card?)

Download your own copy for FREE below…

If you haven’t yet tried out the drone integration then download the PDF of it below as there is no better way to get started in the Antarean Universe…

You can download your own copy of the scenario by clicking the image below!

Drone Integration Scenario

Take a closer look here!

You can use the C3M4 combat drone or a standard C3D1 Light support drone as a proxy without changing its rules to get you started!

The downloadable match-up has been specifically designed by us Warlord folks to get you playing as quickly as possible using the contents of the ‘Xilos Horizon’ starter box set (with which – incidentally – you can pick-up a FREE box set when you purchase through the Warlord webstore!)
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View in Store

We’ve also taken some of the key reference pages from the core Rulebook and made them available separately as PDFs for you to download and print as gaming aids, to save you from flicking back-and-forth through the Rulebook – the Quick Reference Sheet & Weapons Summary are available to download here
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Download PDF

This information is taken from pages 256 & 257 of the Beyond the Gates of Antares rulebook, please download it and print as you see fit – it’ll help tremendously with your games!

For a brief summary of some of the key points of Antares gameplay, take a look at this webpage.