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Author Topic: Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?  (Read 750 times)

Offline KTG17

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Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?
« on: May 06, 2023, 02:32:15 AM »
I know this has been out for awhile, but I just got the starter set for free. It is a Rick Priestly game by Warlord. It seems to share some similarities with Bolt Action.

My first impression was that is falls a little short, being that one side, the Concord, comes with 21 troops and a variety of drones, while the other side, the Ghar, comes with 6 beefy walkers. Not a lot of tactical options for the Ghar. While I like the Ghar walkers, they are a race of these odd looking humanoids which I am not keen on. Actually, flipping through the army section of the rulebook, I am not really keen on any of the factions. Concord, which is the equivalent to Space Marines in 40K, are rather lackluster.

What is pretty interesting is the hardcover rulebook, which is pretty dense and packed with rules. All in all is a nice looking rulebook, but really looks like itís going to take some time to get the gist of it and itís not a high priority item at the moment. I did look to see what it would take to fill out the starter armies, and using the force lists did pick up a few minis off eBay.

The game seems to use a lot of drone tech, which is interesting, and I see some mention about some of these drones being able to be hacked or interfered with. It made me realize how behind the times many games are with the absence of drone warfare. I know we see Ďdronesí in Tau armies, but seem kind of limited in scope. GoA seems to take this much further and I think itís about the most interesting thing I am seeing at the moment. As a matter of fact, the Concord in the starter come with 4 sprues, each with a light weapon drone and 2 spotter-like drones, so they are meant to make an impact. Actually the starter gives you some nice options for the Concord while the Ghar are just stuck with their walkers as is.

The force lists are kind of strict and limiting. Kind of annoying when we have other games that are much looser these days. For example, some Concord units canít be chosen unless you take a command version of that unit, so you could end up with multiple command units which seems a little pointless. Not a lot of vehicles either. Lots of infantry and support weapons though. It kind of reminds me of the early days of Void 1.1.

There was some terrain released, mostly the dreaded MDF kind, but not a lot and a game like this set in a specific universe with its own look and feel should have more.

I really like the starter box, as there is plenty of room to store the components and more once everything is built, which I appreciate.

Anyway, anyone actually get a game in?

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2023, 11:03:11 AM »
I know this has been out for awhile, but I just got the starter set for free. It is a Rick Priestly game by Warlord. It seems to share some similarities with Bolt Action.

A couple friends played the game quite extensively some five or ten years back. My answers are based on following through some games.

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My first impression was that is falls a little short, being that one side, the Concord, comes with 21 troops and a variety of drones, while the other side, the Ghar, comes with 6 beefy walkers. Not a lot of tactical options for the Ghar. While I like the Ghar walkers, they are a race of these odd looking humanoids which I am not keen on. Actually, flipping through the army section of the rulebook, I am not really keen on any of the factions. Concord, which is the equivalent to Space Marines in 40K, are rather lackluster.

Yes, neither of the starter box forces are among the most liked factions. Especially the Ghar. That's why they later made a new starter box with Concord and Algoryn forces.

IIRC, the Ghar walkers have three different variants, so you will have options for unit type and playstyle. I personally quite like the Ghar walker design in the starter box, although the three different types do not vary much in their outlook. The drivers remain unseen, so you don't need to think how they look like. (They're a bit like Goblins or Grots with different kinds of walkers, but can take some mercenaries too.)

Wouldn't say the Concord resemble Space Marines. Not the look of the troops, not the style of play. They are essentially a modern or near-future force, with armoured light infantry and drones, a bit like the Tau in 40K. Then again the difference between the different GoA factions is smaller than between most 40K factions. Just like you note here:

Quote
The game seems to use a lot of drone tech, which is interesting, and I see some mention about some of these drones being able to be hacked or interfered with. It made me realize how behind the times many games are with the absence of drone warfare. I know we see Ďdronesí in Tau armies, but seem kind of limited in scope. GoA seems to take this much further and I think itís about the most interesting thing I am seeing at the moment. As a matter of fact, the Concord in the starter come with 4 sprues, each with a light weapon drone and 2 spotter-like drones, so they are meant to make an impact. Actually the starter gives you some nice options for the Concord while the Ghar are just stuck with their walkers as is.

Exactly. Based on a WW2 rules system (Bolt Action) the GoA takes those rules and adds a layer of modern and near or far-future stuff, and some non-human factions with blanket rules of their own.

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The force lists are kind of strict and limiting. Kind of annoying when we have other games that are much looser these days. For example, some Concord units canít be chosen unless you take a command version of that unit, so you could end up with multiple command units which seems a little pointless. Not a lot of vehicles either. Lots of infantry and support weapons though. It kind of reminds me of the early days of Void 1.1.

Just like Rogue Trader, GoA (and all other future skirmish games) started with a limited number of mostly infantry squads with some support. Until now several of the factions have gotten some heavy equipment, especially the Concord and the Algoryn.

These games tend to play best as big skirmishes among squads of infantry. Just as 40K does. These games are not intended for tank battles or barrages, which actually feel rather stupid on a 4x6 table. The range really is for small arms and some support, and I think Rick Priestly made a good choice of leaving heavy vehicles out.

The real game in GoA (and Bolt Action and Warlords of Erehwon) is in the unit activation and concentration of fire. I don't know if you have played any of the games in this family, but it's really intense and fresh after the I-go-you-go system typical of the 80's game design (including all games in the Warhammer family).

GoA suffered from limited unit choices, limited vehicles, a bit cheaper design (less detail and smaller guns), and being a new game in an already crowded market (Infinity, and Mantic's space battle game now turned into smaller Deadzone, and still others). While the game mechanics are simple, solid and entertaining, you sort of feel like you're playing a cheaper game compared to 40K or Infinity.

But really, in the end, it's about how you paint those troops and if you like the style of game. It was and is well supported as is.

Warlord moved the game to Skytrex, who thus far haven't added to the game:
https://skytrex.com/collections/beyond-the-gates-of-antares
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 11:24:36 AM by Zygmund »
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Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2023, 07:21:51 PM »
I saw this: Skytrex, and didnít know what to make of it. So GoA is supported by two companies?

You mention Infinity and I thought I would review one of those starters too, but figured most were more familiar with it by now. I actually went down the rabbit hole on Infinity starters and I think bought them all, then realized I was nuts, and sold all but the one I like the most, the Icestorm set. Those starters are pretty solid even if they contain less minis and have no customization. But they are super easy to learn and quick to play a game with. If I was going to stick with Infinity I would have been happy to keep them, but I realized I just wanted a taste of it and not a whole meal, and the setting doesnít really rope me in.

I do think AoG does have some things going for it too, but like Infinity, the setting doesnít really do much for me. But I like it on a limited scale, like the Infinity starter.

I guess that says a lot about games: how important the models and setting is. We will tolerate crappy rules for cool models and an awesome setting, but skip over cool rules if the minis and setting arenít great.

Offline Zygmund

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Re: Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2023, 08:00:11 PM »
I saw this: Skytrex, and didnít know what to make of it. So GoA is supported by two companies?

I think Warlord doesn't support it directly anymore. Then again I don't know who really owns Skytrex and how close it is to Warlord.

Also I don't know if Skytrex has serious plans of republishing GoA as Antares 2.0, or if they have the capacity of designing and producing models. Worst case scenario is they just sell Warlord's backlog of models until they're sold off.

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I guess that says a lot about games: how important the models and setting is. We will tolerate crappy rules for cool models and an awesome setting, but skip over cool rules if the minis and setting arenít great.

Agree. Although I also tend to like models others see as crappy. Like 1st ed Warzone.  :laugh:

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Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2023, 09:06:47 PM »
Oh boy we are really going back lol. I really tried to like Warzone, especially after that great second edition box, but it didnít survive the purge. I wish I at least kept that starter.

Speaking of going backÖ the first game I can remember using drones of any kind was Vor the Maelstrom, which I still have and like. But never used any of the Union drones.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone give Beyond the Gates of Antares a try?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2023, 10:54:18 PM »
Bought the original starter box on sale at 40% off when a hobby store was moving and they didn't want to bring all their stock wiht them to the new location.  I liek the models in the box, although have not done a anything with the set.

Hearing that the rules are patterned off of Bolt Action is not appealing to learn.  Bolt action feels a bit like 40K, and I've never been impressed with it primarily for this reason.  From my view, that doesn't say a good thing for the GoA rules.
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