Beyond the Gates of Antares is a science fiction wargame by Rick Priestley (creator of Warhammer 40,000). Over this series of articles, I will explain what the game is, where to start and where to go from there, eventually culminating in my building a new Antares army.
What is Antares?
Set in the distant far future, mankind has expanded out into time and space, after discovering the vast network of inter-dimensional gateways, the Gates of Antares.
Rival civilizations fight to explore and control these portals, each with their own agenda. It is in this universe where you can command one of the mighty empires and vanquish your rivals.
Beyond the Gates of Antares is a 28mm skirmish game which can also host much larger games as well. The game utilises the Order Dice from the Bolt Action games system, with each unit being represented with said dice. These then go into an opaque bag or container and are drawn blind, these then can be used to activate a unit and perform an action. This marks a great change from the standard “you go, I go” rules mechanic which means you are always in the action and not waiting to use your forces!
The game uses d10s (ten-sided dice) but other dice are also used for some weapons and unit abilities. Each weapon and miniature has its own stat line and equipment within the city book and relevant supplemental books.
What’s the Appeal?
Having been into the hobby for just shy of 30 years I was looking for another science-fiction game to get into and loved the Order Dice system in Bolt Action. So when I heard that Warlord was going to be producing a new sci-fi game written by none other than Rick Priestley I jumped at the chance to get involved. Over the next few years, I became heavily involved in helping to promote the system, by playtesting games and scenarios and writing articles and the like.
The game appeals to me for its lore, innovative system and is a game that doesn’t need hordes of miniatures to get into, and it won’t break the bank either! The game itself is fast-paced, and you are always in the thick of the action. It can, of course, be scaled up, and I find having a few more players really make very large games more fun and that level of unpredictably with the Order Dice being drawn is great. Those best-laid plans rarely work!
There are also lots of nice little rules that enable you to sprint, jump, react to enemy fire, ducking into cover, initiating a Firefight and many more. It’s all these that really help make the game.
I have primarily played as the Algoryn Properate, as I’ve always loved the look of them. Recently I decided to modify the army by building up a Spearhead force, using mostly Hazard Suits, Avengers and the Liberator, though I’m still finishing up all the accompanying drones!
Each miniature and weapon has a points value, and each army is built up to an agreed points limit. For starter games I would recommend starting at 500pts, giving you a decent-sized game that can be played in an hour or so.
There are numerous factions within the game, Algoryn, Concord, Ghar, Rebel Ghar, Freeborn, Boromite and Isorians. Each has their own unique look and feel within the game, with each having a distinct playing feel to them.
Most of these factions currently have 500pt starter sets, enabling you to get into the game straight away. Alternatively, you can also buy them in squads and individually.
The core boxed game features a full rulebook, tokens and gaming aids as well as two forces, the Panhuman Concord and Ghar Empire battlesuits. This set is perfect for getting into the game on a larger level.
The smaller starter set, Strike on Kar’a Nine features the Concord and Algoryn, with tokens and a smaller softback rulebook. This set is a great introduction into the system, giving you enough miniatures to get a few small-sized games in before fully investing in the game further.