This week I received my copy of Gates of Antares, those who know me personally will know the hellish three or four weeks I have had recently which is why I have been a bit lax recently of posting things. But today I am starting the catch up process, all that aside here we have Warlord Games Gates of Antares and a quick first thoughts of the game, specifically the rule book and its layout and back story, the actual game I will cover a bit later when I have had chance to at least build the miniatures and have a game.
If you have played Bolt action you should be familiar with the dice drawing mechanic and its off no surprise that the formula has been repeated here with a few additions and modifications, the first, if you noticed in the picture above, is the inclusion off three different colours of order dice for two sides, this is due to the Ghar force having a disrupt ability, if the odd colour dice (black) is drawn a second dice is drawn the force for whom the dice belongs to must immediately give a down order to one of their units, handy for the Ghar, unless you then draw a Ghar dice.
The second change to the order dice is some units have two order dice so can activate twice in a single turn, these units are clearly marked in the army lists and a full examples are given so I really wouldn’t want to spoil your reading too much. After a read though of the rules they seem pretty much what you would expect a very solid set off rules that will last a long time with probably very few or very minor changes. It’s a game that a Bolt Action player will pick up instantly (remember your rolling under the target number in this game though) and a non Bolt Action player will be playing through quite nicely after a turn or maybe two. While this gives the impression that it’s an easy game to learn and play, it is a bit miss- leading the game is easy to pick up but learning your force and what to do, with what unit and when is not quite such an easy task as it at first appears.
Apart from the rules there is a Forces List which gives you the Unit stats, costs and profiles for the released range of miniatures and some of the not yet released ones as well, so it’s an added bonus, I would imagine as the ranges expand we may see more ‘Army Books’ come out for varying races, possibly even new races, or even campaign ‘supplements’
As a gamer I love ‘Fluff’ its part of the reason I can’t bring myself to totally clear my house of 40k stuff as I love the Dark Angels because of their ‘Fluff’, this rule book is full to the brim with it so much so that you may start to feel a bit spoilt! Which you have been, there is the general history and story of the Antares Gate Network, as well as a brief history of the different eras in history and how the Universe has shaped itself, there can’t possible be more surely, if that wasn’t enough each race has its own ‘Fluff’ section, and not just a few paragraphs or washy phrases like ‘alien bad guys intent on destroying everything’ but quite an in-depth brief analysis of the history of the faction that will start to get you into the feel of things, you wont turn up to a game thinking oh its Bob with his Ghar Force, as you set up your Pan Human Force you will be thinking of all the vast and horrible crimes perpetuated throughout history by the Ghar and the worlds they have destroyed and that you will avenge.
That’s about all there is to say on the general contents off the rule book other than its stunningly white to match the Box and full of great artwork so really when you put it on the shelf along side the rest of your rule books and or other books it will stand out always catching your eye for daring to be so bold, and in a genre of Sci-Fi games that is becoming every cluttered this isn’t a bad thing as you should always find time to take the fight to the Ghar, unless you play Ghar then everyone is fair game!