Picking a faction

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.

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3 fun things about Gates of Antares

At my local gaming store we are in the process of beginning a ‘slow grow’ league for Beyond the Gates of Antares. BtGA is a 30mm sci-fi miniature game from Warlord Games written by everyone’s favourite gaming uncle Rick Priestly. The game was released a few years ago with a small amount of fanfare and has been getting a steady series of releases from the company since then. The core gameplay comes from their Bolt Action WWII game with additions for a science fiction setting.

Isorian Phase Squad

Isorian Phase Squad

As part of the process of familiarizing myself with the game and the background I thought I’d write some blog posts about the game and share them with the local gamers to help get us all up to speed. So to begin, here are three aspects of the game that I find interesting and distinct about Beyond the Gates of Antares.

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To-dos done

Just realised that I had manage to finish assembling the Forge Father and Iron Ancestor models for Deadzone so I was able to mark those off the To-Do List. I did a trade this week for some 15mm Battlefront Lee models so I added those to the list. They will be done as Lend Lease models for the Soviets as I already have two painted for the US North African force and I can’t see building a list that has five of them.

Deadzone Forge Guard

There are miniatures that are good looking and miniatures that are easy to build. Sometimes you are lucky and a set of models will be both. Such is not the case for the Deadline/Warpath Forge Guard minis.

There is so much to like about them. They have great weapons, bags of character and look fearsome. If they can’t shoot it they can smash it with their hammers and if its too far to smash they have great big guns. Everyone wins!¬†Putting them together was not a fun time though.

IMG_5772.JPG

If only they were fun to assemble

The models come with no instructions. Luckily there are not a lot of parts and they are all given a letter that, one assumes, guides the builder in putting the various parts together into a single model. Happily they are hard plastic and not the soft “restic” that Mantic has used in the past. The main body attaches to a cross piece that consists of the top of the head and the shoulders. This piece is meant to sit flush with the body but I couldn’t manage to do this with any of the six figures in the box. There are several leg sections that fit into specific models and it is clear which ones match which models. They assemble quite nicely. The other legs don’t really appear to fit into notches in the body and so they fit but not smoothly.

It would be easy to ascribe this to bad assembly or mismatching parts but without some instructions its really difficult to tell if the fault was mine or if the figures are just poorly modelled.

At least they look pretty darned nice once they are assembled but these have been my least favourite models to assemble since I tried to put together some plastic Warmachine Cygnar Storm Knights.

Your Internet may vary

I recently made the decision to delete my Facebook account. I have been unhappy with the service for some time and a recent break from using it proved that I was actually happier not being on it. Far fewer arguments for one thing. In previous years there were quite a few local forums that one could visit to keep in touch with gamers but in the last few years all of them, without exception, have closed and moved to Facebook. So the entire local gaming scene is now on Facebook and if you aren’t then… well you’re SOL.

Its an odd thing to do considering just how bad Facebook is at threaded conversations, or conversations at all, and also how poorly it is at providing information that you want. Facebook pushes information into your feed based on how likely it thinks that you will engage with it. And engagement isn’t necessarily a positive thing. If a post is liable to make you mad and get you to post a negative comment that is just as good for Facebook but maybe not as good for you.

The end result of this move away from Facebook for me is that I am effectively blocked out of any direct communication with local gamers. And not just them. Many game companies also post material either to Facebook first or sometimes exclusively to Facebook. For many communities Facebook has replaced the internet. So if you’re not on Facebook you are not in the community. Facebook loves to talk about bringing communities together but if that information is hidden behind Facebook’s own walls then its less about bringing a community together than walling off a community.

Well that was a long wait

So it has been a while since I have posted on the blog. A large part of that has to do with not really having a lot of time for any games or hobby related activity. I have been trying to do more in the past month but compared to June I have not really done much except assemble a lot of figures. Building minis has been something that has been easy to slip into my schedule and I also find it quite relaxing. So my gaming table is covered with assembled but unpainted Chaos, Deathwatch and Genestealer Cult figures. While I might not think that 40K is a very good game GW does make some excellent minis and their recent boxed games have proved an exceptional value (at least compared to buying the figures in boxed sets). And certainly if all you want to do is build figures, you can’t go wrong with GW plastics.

I assembled enough minis to build up some decent forces for Kill Team using either the GW rules or the Heralds of Ruin rules. Even if I don’t get in a single game I have enough between assembly and painting to keep me busy for quite a while. That said, the store I work at will be having a Kill Team event on the 19th so I am going to madly try to paint a Deathwatch force for the event. I suspect that I won’t be able to get them fully painted but I am going to try my best.

I have also been up some other hobby related activities but I will save those for a subsequent post.

The GW Death Spiral

Quite a lot of gleeful nattering has been going on in the far corners of the internet with the news that Games Workshop’s stock price dropped 24% is a single day after disappointing sales results.

GW price drop

The folks at Masterminis also followed up a few days later with news of GW firing the staff and closing regional GW HQs, like GW Germany, and also starting to look at the performance of their retail outlets.

This is a pretty standard reaction for the Games Workshop management. They have been slowly paring the company down for more than a decade now and it was inevitable that they would inevitably get to the point where they had no games to cut and instead starting slicing away at the meat of the company.
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