Antares arrives

Not many posts recently – I’ve been busy, so here’s a quick update. I’ve finally finished off a massive building that I started around er, 15 years ago. It could do with more detailing etc. etc. but I thought it was best to just press on and get it finished.

I’ll post a bit more detail on how it was made soon. I’m particularly pleased with the staircases (which can’t be seen in the photo).

Rowan has bought the starter set of Gates of Antares, after being inspired by our visit to the official opening of the Warlord games store a  couple of weeks ago. We’ve already painted the entire contents of the box – 38 models. The style is much more hi-tech sci-fi than the techno barbarity of 40K, so a bit of aesthetic culture shock at first but I’m warming to it. The drones which are used quite extensively for spotting, are a great addition to the usual selection of sci-fi infantry and are very believable as part of future warfare.

Ghar advance

Here you can see two squads of Ghar (degenerate, savage abhumans in primitive powered armour), advancing to crush some luckless Concord (conventional humans) in the distance. The rules play well – they are fast, a small game can be finished in an hour, but there are a reasonable number of tactical options. The turn order is decided by randomly picking dice out of a bag – whichever side’s colour comes out, they can activate a unit. Units become pinned when shot at, making it harder to move them and less effective when firing, and if subjected to enough incoming fire can break even before everyone has been killed. Another neat rule is that a natural roll of 1 (low is good) is always a success and often carries some bonus over and above just succeeding – e.g. if you roll a 1 to hit a unit, you can choose the specific unit member to hit, so you can pick off a leader or heavy weapon. Likewise if you roll a 0 (=10) then you well and truly fail, and may take an additional penalty. This adds an extra layer of unexpected outcomes without too much complexity.

Having been used to skirmish games where scenery is WYSIWYG, and each model manoeuvres independently, Antares, being very much squad based, feels a bit imprecise, but it is just a different scale of battle and at that scale it seems to work very well.

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