As we move forward through the development stage of Beyond the Gates of Antares, we’re seeing more and more activity and excitement in the community which, in turn, feeds our excitement here at Warlord HQ!
A huge part of the development of Beyond the Gates of Antares is working in collaboration with the community – you’d be surprised the level at which your input, comments, and suggestions are taken on board!
As part of this, we’re launching a monthly ‘Ask Rick’ column. We want your questions to put to the esteemed Mr Priestley – whether it be rules questions, backstory questions, questions about the playtesting process, questions about our future plans for Antares, etc…
To put your question forward, head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment on the ‘Ask Rick’ post – we’ll then gather all of the questions roughly once per month, and post the answers in our Newsletter.
So, without further ado, we present the first edition of ‘Ask Rick!’
Matt Houghton: I would like to know if there will be customisable vehicles – or will it be quite strict in that only available models can be used! I like the idea of a base model onto which players may be able to bolt on bits for their force.
Rick: As far as I’m concerned you can use what you like – I see no reason why folks shouldn’t build their own vehicles or use whatever models they like – we Warlorders hope you’ll like our own ranges sufficiently to want to include those obviously – but if you want to convert, scratchbuild or whatever I can’t see why anyone shouldn’t. I’ve been working on a stats guide that suggest how to assign stats should you want to do so. The Vehicle entries we’ve been using are fairly broad with lots of weapon variations – there are some internal rules – heavy weapons are MOD 3 only and these are usually slow. MOD 2 vehicles are usually either fast with one armament or standard with two armaments – usually two support weapons – usually one cannon and one light support. I think you need to respect those internal rules – i.e. you can’t mount a Mag Mortar on a bike – but otherwise it’s fair game.
David Horobin: For each faction, what is the strategy for the discovery and subsequent colonisation of a previously undiscovered gate (on assumption that no other faction also discovers the gate during the colonisation process)?
Rick: The IMTel societies achieve a lot of that with drones – probably depends a lot on what’s on the other side – with Concord and Isori the model of civilisation would spread naturally as the IMTEL would deploy resources into those areas. With the Freeborn they would only use these places as recruiting grounds or staging posts – probably just drop down a small group and treat the planet as a colonial outpost. Algoryn – not really interested in territory unless it’s strategic – so build huge fortress! Ghar… maim, burn, destroy… Boromites – explore for mineral resources.
Jez Allum: Will there be individual army books like GW’s codices or a book covering all the armies with their respective units and background like Warmachine?
Rick: We are not committed yet – but talk has been on producing campaign style books that combine background with specific army variations for all the forces involved – as that would allow us to explore the background as well as the armies. The rulebook will include the basic army lists – which are shaping up to be quite extensive.
Karl Pedder: I understand that at this stage getting core mechanics is the name of the game. But are the various factions going to have unique special rules that give a level of spice beyond different statlines/weapon loadouts?
Rick: Those things are starting to creep in and no doubt we will do more. The Ghar, for example, put an extra differently-coloured activation dice in the mix that triggers a temporal distortion when it is drawn – this represents the out-of-control dirty dangerous technology that they use. The Boromites have recently acquired vorpal charges that can be set off towards the enemy like mobile bombs – as well as new types of Lavamite monster – so all these little differences are appearing.
Gregory Greenwood-Nimmo: Will the military forces of IMTel-dependent societies like the Concord and Isorian Shard reflect the subtly invasive nature of the nano-cloud? Will we get the option (perhaps from add-on kits released further down the line) to include a variety of different human morphs among the various units types at some point? I would also like to second the question about Pansimians – are they still a part of the setting, and if so will they be released as a faction at some point in the future?
Rick: Blimey that’s three questions at once! Okay, I think the nano-cloud background is something I’m using to build the game around and it affects the way the units have drones and how these interact, and it gives us our different factions, and much of the incentive for conflict – so I’m going with ‘yes’ on that one! The human morphs – I’d like to add a selection of alternative heads to the Concord and Isorians as that’s what we’ve always wanted to do – though as these are helmeted you’d have to go for the helmetless variants for that to work. Need to wait until we have time for that though. We’ve been looking at a new morph type for the Isorians – not sure how that will work out at the moment. Pansimians – we have already made a start with the Ghar – I did describe these as human, but looking at the blighters it’s kinda hard to tell! They certainly have some ape-like qualities.
Scott C Butler: What were the biggest influences behind each of the factions? E.g. particular books, films, comics, etc.
Rick: I don’t think there’s any particular one and even as the ranges have developed I’ve taken steers from different things for the background. The Algoryn have acquired a lot of the cultural characteristics of late Republican Rome – but a people under siege and at constant war. Otherwise nothing in particular – there’s a certain quality to the look of the models that comes from the latest batch of TV and movie SF films – though that’s more an influence on our sculptors than on me! The whole IMTel idea springs off speculation about how our society is becoming increasing driven by algorythms generated by machines – and how free access to information is destroying traditional knowledge based values including free thought, moral responsibility, ethics… all that jazz.
Thomas Brown: Is there still the idea of an online system for episodic interactive gaming?
Rick: There is still the idea – but getting to make it happen is going to be tricky! If we can find someone to do it at a cost that Warlord can bear we’d do it like a shot. Not likely to happen in its full form as envisaged to start with any time soon I fear – but bit by bit we are getting there.
Dom Sore: What is the part you have enjoyed most about writing the rules?
Rick: Ooh, it’s all good! I’ll know better when it’s all over I suppose – but I have to say it’s very satisfying to see all the early slog playing dividends as the more colourful and entertaining stuff just slots neatly into place! Often that’s when it all falls apart and you have to do a lot of reworking and compromise – but so far it’s looking good!
Jo Bain: Is there a recognised sound effect as a ship enters one of the gates, that players should do with limited ability? A bwuuUUU? A BWWWooooo? A ffffffff-KKpow? And the sound of a plasma weapon discharging? Kkkkkk-sshhh or a oooOOOO-hiss?
Rick: The sound can be mimicked exactly by standing beside a busy traffic flow and imitating the traffic as it goes past.. as loudly as you can… whilst waving your arms about like a windmill.
Rob Alderman: I love the look of the Ghar, but I wonder what play style they will have? How will they differ from the other factions? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Rick: They are very different – not least because they are all too big to hide, so they do have to close – they’re tough but at the same time vulnerable because of their plasma reactors which can pop on a ‘bull’s eye’ result and initiate a chain reaction. Their weaknesses tend to be fewer order dice than their opponents – and their units are small so casualties really hurt. Strengths? Very tough. Most infantry weapons can’t hurt them outright so you have to close for hand-to-hand fighting (using the forthcoming grenade rules which allow for hits to stack against the target’s Res) or keep them pinned with infantry and rely on your supporting weapons.
Clayton Conduff: Will there be dropships? Dropships are pretty much my favourite thing in any game ever; I just really love the idea of a ship coursing through a battlefield to hot-drop a group of soldiers where they’re needed, or to rescue a group of soldiers in peril.
Rick: Haven’t got any dropships in so far – sorry! The Concord Drop troops fall from orbit individually in armour field capsules and land using grav chutes – haven’t given the others much consideration yet. Most ship to planet transport is via transmats.
Remember – to have the chance to have your question answered by the one and only Rick Priestley, head over to the official Warlord Games Facebook page – and post your question on the relevant thread – and keep your eyes peeled for a response in a future Newsletter!