To Antares, and beyond!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Lots of real life stuff has taken up my free time and attention over the past few weeks, so I haven’t had time to write anything up. However, I have been able to do a little bit of hobby work.

Now, while I primarily focus on Warhammer 40k here, in no way is this blog exclusive to that game. One game that has been sitting on my shelf that I’ve been wanting to try is Beyond the Gates of Antares, which is from Warlord Games and written by Rick Priestly.

Antares models, both sides

I’ve spent some time putting the models together. In The Xilos Horizon starter box, you get models from two factions: the Ghar Empire and the Concord. I haven’t read the fluff for the milieu quite yet, but the Ghar seem kind of like a cross between 40k Orks and Tau. The Concord are pretty much just humans. A 40k equivalent would probably be Tempestus Scions.

The models in the Beyond the Gates of Antares box are pretty detailed, though not as detailed as modern 40k models. The Ghar battle suits are fairly easy to put together. The Concord are a little tougher because the arms are so small and the left hands of the models are attached to the gun rather to the left arm (gluing it all together was annoying). The bases are neat because the side where you glue the model down has a raised edge. That should make gluing down ballast easier.

One of the problems with the models in the starter box is the point disparities between the sides. You could load up the two Ghar squads with all the options available, and the full, basic Concord faction would still be more points. So, unless you buy more Ghar models some stuff from your Concord faction is going to be sidelined.

Antares models, Ghar Empire faction

The Ghar Empire faction includes one squad kitted for shooting and the other kitted to get into assault. That’s nice as it gives you a mix of tactics to employ. The Ghar models come on 40 mm bases and are a bit bigger than Space Marine Terminator models. With some patience and imagination, you can probably do a bit more posing of the Ghar models than I did. My main concern was getting them table top ready, so I was not thinking much about poses.

Antares models, Concord faction

The Concord models do not give you as much flexibility in posing them. They models go together in a pretty specific way, and like I mentioned earlier, working with the left arms on most of the regular troopers is a pain. That said, the drone models are pretty much a breeze to put together. You have some weapon options for the troopers and the larger drones. This is important as the basic plasma guns the troopers have would have a tough time cracking the armor of the Ghar suits.

All the models in The Xilos Horizon box are plastic, except for one. You get a special (limited edition, I think) commander model for the Concord forces and he is metal. While I haven’t bought any other models yet, it looks like Warlord offers a mix of metal and plastic models. That may be important to some folks who prefer one material over the other.

One thing you’ll note is that the models here are all basically infantry. The game seems much more geared toward that level of play than Warhammer 40k. Modern 40k uses many more vehicles than earlier editions of the game, and you can see some of that “nostalgia” in the rules for Beyond the Gates of Antares. That said, Beyond the Gates of Antares is not a Warhammer 40k simulacrum. It uses Warlord’s random activation mechanic, and it uses d10s as the game’s main dice rather than d6.  I actually like this as it offers the opportunity to make more gradations between statistics for factions. Some of the shooting and combat rules are also a bit more streamlined that previous editions of 40k.

I’ll wrap this post up now, as I was really only meaning to give some brief thoughts. I’m planning on getting my first game in this week, and I’ll report back my first gameplay impressions.

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