Amidst a universe vast beyond comprehension, a universe of human endeavour stretches eons into a dark and turbulent past, a universe of embattled civilisations possessed of unimaginable power. Across millions of worlds rival empires are locked in a struggle for dominance, driven by intellects that are as much machine as human, the omniscient integrated machine intelligence of a society and a time very different to our own.
This is the universe of the Seventh Age of Humanity and the setting for our game. Our game is called Beyond the Gates of Antares because that is where our adventures will take us. We will travel through Antarean dimensional gateways to the galaxy spanning empires of the PanHuman Concord and Isorian Senatex, and further to the myriad worlds of the Determinate and beyond. We will board the glittering space borne cities of the Vardari, the great mercantile powers of Antarean space, and we will confront foes as implacable as the Ghar and as merciless as the Renegade NuHu Shards.
Warlord’s very own Ches headed over to the Beasts of War studios to take Justin and John through the game, using their Algoryn and Boromite armies…join them as battle commences! And if you’re new to Antares carry on reading after the video:
What Is Antares?
Beyond the Gates of Antares was originally conceived as a game and that is where our journey begins.
However, our game is only the first step upon a path that promises to take us to new stars and undiscovered
worlds as the Antarean story unfolds over the years to come exploring the many different aspects of our setting.
Beyond the Gates of Antares is a tabletop wargame that can be played with relatively few models or, if preferred, with substantial armies depending upon the tastes and ambitions of the players. The premise of our design is that it should be possible to play a challenging and entertaining game with no more than thirty models a side and taking experienced players about an hour to complete. The game is also constructed to be easily scalable, allowing for larger forces if players wish to fight bigger games. The army lists in this book provide all the information needed to play the forces described, providing options for different sizes of game from a scouting force to a full army of conquest.
Antares is essentially a game of infantry combat in which larger vehicles and machines called combat drones play a mostly supporting role. Of course, as bigger battles are contemplated these machines, together with heavy weaponry of all kinds, will assume a greater level of importance, but for the most part the rules of our game are concerned with combat between rival troopers. The level of detail covered by the game rules reflects this emphasis.
Learning the game
Don’t worry about learning the whole game at once – practically impossible in any case – it is far better to get stuck in with just a half dozen models a side to begin with and learn as you go along. Before we embark let us remember that as gamers we share a common bond not only with each other but – specifically – with our opponents, without whom there would be no games to play, no dice to roll and no reason to collect and paint our armies. All wargames are to a degree collaborative affairs in which, win or lose, it is the adventure of battle that matters most. These rules have been created to help us moderate our games, but no rules can hope to cover every conceivable circumstance, let alone the inconceivable ones! There will always be occasions when we must rely upon our mutual understanding, consideration and good sense. When we ready our forces for battle let those be the qualities we bring to the table along with our armies and dice.
Your First Game
So – whats the best way to get into Antares? Where can you go to get a feel for the game, it’s core mechanics, and how it all feels?
First and foremost – head to your local Warlord Games stockist (which can be found at this handy link!) – and ask them for a hands-on demo of the game in person!
They’ll likely take you through the Drone Integration Scenario – one which we’ve specially created to introduce new players into the action using the ‘Xilos Horizon’ starter set contents – with the Concord forces racing to activate a strickened drone – and the dastardly Ghar attempting to scuttle it and salvage the scrap for their own! (keep watching the Warlord Newsletter for a Battle Report playing through this scenario coming very soon indeed!)
But what if you can’t get to a stockist, or you simply can’t wait to get into the action?!
Well never fear – Keep your eye’s peeled on the Warlord Games Beyond the gates of Antares facebook page for the most up to date news, community inspiration, rules help and more!
We’ve also ripped-out pages 256 and 257 from the core Rulebook – the Reference Sheet and Weapons Charts – and made them available as downloadable PDFs for ease of reference!
If you’re looking to get started with Beyond the Gates of Antares, what are the key things that you need to play? – Well, the obvious answer would be the starter set – ‘Strike Vector One: The Xilos Horizon’ – which sees the forces of the Concord Combined Command face-off with the Ghar Empire!
This box set contains everything that you need to get playing!
- 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.
…but what if you want to collect one of the other factions?
We’ve also put together a number of specially-created bundle offers for all of the Antarean factions, designed to give you a competitive, balanced starting force in a single-click bundle deal!
The Algoryn Prosperate
There are millions of independent human worlds belonging to small, self-governing empires or federations. Some of these societies are relatively primitive whilst others are as technologically advanced as those of the Concord and Isorians. The Algoryn Prosperate is the largest and amongst the most advanced of these independent federations. It is unfortunate to lie upon the Antarean borders of three great rivals: the Panhuman Concord, Isorian Shard and Ghar Empire. Whilst the Concord and Isorians ultimately pose the greatest long-term threat, their operations are sporadic, whilst all three civilisations benefit from peaceful trading contact. The Ghar, however, are implacable foes: evolved from genetically engineered slave-soldiers in ages past, the Ghar believe themselves to be the sole agents of divine will in the material universe. The Algoryns and Ghar have been engaged in constant warfare for hundreds of years.
The Prosperate’s homeworld of Algorya lies at the centre of twelve substantial colonies, numerous outposts, several staging planets and a few allied worlds occupied by other panhuman species, which altogether comprise the mutual trading and defence pact called the Prosperate. The Algoryns themselves are panhumans of distinctive appearance. They lack hair upon their heads, which are instead covered with crest-like keratinous growths. Similar nodules of keratin form a thick scaly layer upon their necks, shoulders and forearms. This dense protective layer shields the Algoryns against the harsh rays of the twin suns of Algorya, which periodically bathe the planet in dangerous levels of heat and radiation. Algoryn troopers are less lavishly equipped than the Concord’s shock troops or Isorian Shard phase troopers, but their weaponry is practical and effective, honed by years of war just like the Algoryns themselves. Troopers are generally armed with mag guns, with only a few carrying heavier plasma based support weapons. Algoryn troops are protected by reflex shields mounted upon metallic plates: a useful general-purpose armour that is both sturdy and reliable.
The Boromite Labour Guilds
The Isorian Senatex
In ages past the world of Isori stood at the forefront of human civilisation, renowned throughout all of Antarean space for its pioneering dimensional research, its vast fleets and its unrivalled prosperity. According to Isorian legend, the planet was amongst the first of Earth’s settlements, the first to be fully terraformed, and the first to establish its own colonies independently of Earth itself. Today the worlds of the Isorian Shard are second only in number to those of the Concord. Both civilisations emerged from the ashes of the Sixth Age. Both are integrated machine societies ruled by cerebral NuHu elites. Yet the two cultures are irreconcilably opposed due to a strange quirk of fate that created a root incompatibility in their respective machine based IMTel.
With the temporary collapse of the Antarean gate network at the end of the Sixth Age, the world of Isori endured a long period of isolation. Over the following centuries the Isorians explored local space using advanced near-light speed spacecraft. They discovered and then fought an inter-stellar war against an alien race called the Tsan Kiri. The Isori eventually triumphed, but during the long war the Isorian IMTel absorbed a portion of the alien race’s silicon-based organic technology. When the Isorians re-established contact with the rest of Anatean space, their IMTel had become so distinct the two forms – or shards as individual iterations of the IMTel are called – failed to recognise each other. They had become incompatible.
The Shard’s most important NuHu rulers comprise what is called the Isorian Senatex, and its NuHu officials are the Senatexis. The Isorians share a great deal of the technology of the Concord, but some of their Tsan Kiri derived weaponry is unique to them. Like Concord Strike Units, Isorian Phase Troopers are armed with plasma weapons, but instead of hyper-light shields they employ space warping phase armour. Their ability to merge biological with technical equipment gives Isorian troops a distinct and immediately recognisable appearance.
Ghar Outcast Rebels
The Ghar Outcast Rebel Army, lead by Fartok has to rely on what they can capture, repair or fabricate using the modest resources available to them. This has resulted in a force with a wide variety of troops and equipment, at least compared to the relatively homogenous armies of the Ghar Empire. Most significantly, it means that a rebel army is fundamentally an army of ordinary outcast infantry supported by a lesser number of machines including refurbished battle armour and captured crawler vehicles.
The rebel army is itself growing so large that Fartok has divided his forces into several smaller commands, each under the eye of a trusted rebel leader. It is not yet certain whether Fartok has established permanent planetary bases, although this seems likely. Most rebel action takes place in space, in the form of attacks upon Ghar and other convoys, and raids upon Ghar outposts, often with the express purpose of freeing slaves. The rebel fleets pose a threat not only to the ships of the Ghar Empire but to all those traversing the western Determinate.
*Please note that the Ghar Outcast Rebels army list is found in the ‘Battle for Xilos’ supplement book, so you’ll also need a copy of this book in order to play this faction*
Keep your eye’s peeled on the Warlord Games Beyond the gates of Antares facebook page for the most up to date news and more!
Article written by Richard Dando