Picking a faction in any game is often a problem. One can go with the faction that has the best looking models, the coolest in-game effects or just the one that grabs your attention. So lets take a look at the factions in Beyond the Gates of Antares and examine their strong points. My path to pick a faction is complicated somewhat by the fact that I am doing so as part of a slow grow league so I don’t want to interfere with anyone else’s decisions.
My initial thought was to go with the Concord forces for two reasons. First, they are easy to get as the Combine models are in both of the current BtGA starter sets. Secondly, they have so many awesome looking drone models. Sadly there is already at least one Concord player.
I then had a look at the Freeborn since they also have access to, at least, some of the more interesting Concord drones. A quick read through the BtGA rulebook left me without any immediate connection with them though so I looked elsewhere.
Reading the Antares background one becomes aware of the two main conflicts in the universe. The first is The Concord against the Isorians. Both were once the same society until the Isorians long conflict with an alien species left their nano-spore machine intelligence infected with alien nano-machines and information. This forced a split in the society with these two incompatible IMTel societies fighting against one another on multiple levels. The second great conflict is between the IMTel societies and the smaller less developed peoples such as the Algoryn. The Algoryn fight against the Ghar but also fight against assimilation by one of the massive IMTel civilizations which encroach on it.
So from looking into those two conflicts I became interested in the Isorian faction based on the idea of a human civilization being taken over, indirectly, by the aliens they are fighting and what that says, indirectly, about the Concord. A quick look through the Isorian models got me hooked. They have the same basic aesthetic as the Concord but they have been warped somehow by alien concepts and look thick and brooding. They also have aliens fighting for them. How cool is that?
So I was pretty much set until I saw a photo of the Ghar Outcast Rebel army box. Prior to this I really hadn’t given the Ghar much thought. The armoured battle suits are interesting but it seemed as if a force of nothing but armoured suits wouldn’t be that interesting.
The Rebel army though is a much different thing. It is as if someone had shrunk the Tau and made them mean and stupid. They have small, emaciated troops carrying what look like Tau pulse rifles surrounded by a few, poorly maintained, armoured battle suits.
So I am at a bit of an impasse. While the Isorians are certainly an interesting force both visually and thematically there is something about playing a game with these stunted lunatics that seems like a lot of fun. I hope to have my mind made up in the next few days. What may help decide the issue is that there are no plastic Isorian models nor is there a boxed starter army so the entry cost for them is slightly higher. They also don’t go to battle in suits that rip holes in space time.