Beyond the Gates of Antares

 

Beyond the Gates of Antares is the new science-fiction skirmish wargame written by Rick Priestley (the creator of Warhammer 40,000) that pitches technologically advanced human civilizations into a conflict that no one can afford to lose.

I followed the creation of this new game since the Alpha ruleset, Rick had the good idea to share with the community Alpha and Beta rules.

The game seems to be similar to Bolt Action, truth is only the order dice and activation are common in the two games, Antares add several layers of "beliavable realism" (for a sci-fi game of course) starting by using D10 instead of D6 for a wider results matrix, some very interesting rules like the drones and most important a system of action-reaction which just fit right in a futuristic combat wargame.

I'm very excited about this game, so much Ialready have two starter armies (Boromites and Algoryn) and I pre-ordered the basic set, which comes with several bonuses for pre-ordering at Warlord directly.

Below you can see all the goodies:


JurjenB
Not cheap!

As you might know 'wargaming on a budget' is a fetish of me. I continously wonder why some companies like Games Workshop can ask so much for quite cheap plastic in a box and that fans are willing to pay the prices, knowing that they are 'just' gaming tools and that other companies offer similar figures for a much lower price. I can't help thinking that GW is abusing the monopoly they have as main supplier in the teenage SF-wargame market (but well, it's the economy, stupid and companies are made to make as much profit as possible. It's not the Salvation Army we're dealing with). I somehow hoped that more competition would lower the price. And that GoA would be cheaper than 40K.

Apparently it isn't. The 40K Dark Vengeance box with 49 minis is 68 euro (with tabletopminiaturegames discount). A GoA-starter kit with 39 mini's is 70 pound = 95 euro. Might be difficult for Warlord to conquer the SF-market if their starter set is more expensive than market leader GW. Maybe I underestimate the costs of development. 

The Bolt Action starter kit is also 70 pound, for 32 mini's, a farmhouse and a vehicle. But extra plastic infantry is about 1 pound per miniature. The extra made-to-order metal GoA starter deals are 70 pound for 22 (metal) miniatures. A plastic GW Space Marine Tactical Squad with 10 plastic miniatures is 20 pound, 2 pound per miniature.

If upcoming plastic boxes are better priced (a Bolt Action mini is roughly 1 pound per miniature) then GoA might become a price competitor with 40K and gain popularity. However, I'm not overly optimistic:

  • If you like the game system, why not stick with Bolt Action and the many different WWII armies?
  • If you like SF and already own 40K, why not stick with 40K?
  • If you like your 40K miniatures but also like GoA, why buy the new Warlord miniatures? Buy dice and a rulebook and start playing GoA with the 40K miniatures you already have.

Maybe Warlord thinks that gamers who buy WWII like other themes as well - I play HC and P&S and BP - same ruleset, different era's. Or maybe it's smart marketing again: with the SF-theme the company targets relatively younger players, who will play WWII when older.

Conclusion?

Yes, Simone, I can't wait to see your nicely painted miniatures and I would like to play a game against you.

But on a macro scale: I doubt if this game is competitive enough against 40K, or Warlords own Bolt Action set. Or Hordes or Mantic's new Warpath, to mention other recent skirmish themes/systems. If this is the 40K-killer, chop off my head...