Saturday, April 18, 2015

To Infinity and Beyond (the Gates of Antares)!

I have a soft spot for Sci-Fi gaming, though I don't know why. I've never played Warhammer 40K, nor had an interest in doing so (although I kind of like the figures and the flame-throwing gattling gun fully-automatic self-propelled chainsaw of doom kind of weapons they use). I have been a big fan of Silent Death and painted a huge amount of models, sold them off, and then restarted painting another collection after a hiatus of several years.

When Warlord Games came out with Beyond the Gates of Antares (BTGA) last year, I wasn't sure what to think of it. I saw a lot of hoopla about the system, but for the longest time there was no product of any kind. Eventually, you could start buying a few blister packs here and there. Last October, they released a beta copy of the rules as a PDF download.

John Kennedy has played a few games of BTGA at The Panzer Depot and gives it rave reviews. He thinks that it has a lot of features that Bolt Action should have. As a dealer, John got a few sample packs of the figures. I was happy to see that they're quite nice.

Typically, I haven't really liked the figures that come from Warlord. Their resin and metal AFVs for Bolt Action are great, but the 28mm minis have never gotten me excited. They seem small compared to other 28mm ranges. I admit I like a chunkier figure (perhaps being well-fed myself, I have a natural affinity) and Warlord lack chunk. I'm also strongly averse to plastic figures (just say NO, people!) and Warlord seems to be moving plasticwards.

The sample figures that John had grabbed me right off. They have chunk (or heft, they're often the same) and they're metal—glorious, glorious metal.

In the last few months, retail figures have been available and John carries them at the shop. I browsed them a few weeks ago, but balked at buying because of the price tag. A box set containing a squad of five figures runs $32.00 USD—that $6.40 a figure!

Just today, however, I stopped by the store and bit. I picked up a box of the Algoryn Armored Infantry (AI). The box contains a single blister and five round plastic bases. You also get a command die for the squad. (The command dice are the same used for Bolt Action.)

A whole lotta package
I wonder whether less packaging, no dice, and no plastic bases would lower the price a bit. I have buckets of command dice from playing Bolt Action and I won't use the plastic bases. Probably not. Some items, like command packs, come as three figures in a blister only with no dice or bases. The price point per figure is the same.

The good news is that squads are five figures and an army is only about three or four squads. In fact, you can get starter sets with two squads, a command group, and two heavy weapons groups for just over $100.00. In short, you don't need a lot of figures at $6.40 to make a game.

I'm sitting down this afternoon to clean and prep the figures. They come with separate heads, but are otherwise easy on assembly. I'll likely mount them on metal washers 1" round. I'm not sure yet what color scheme I'll use for them. Maybe something metallic...


  1. Silent Death! Way-back-machine talk.

  2. I know nuthin' bout this, David. But your comment that the command die are the same as Bolt Action has gotten me intrigued. Could I use the dice for getting my 40K Space Marines on the table? :)

  3. You can. John's first games were done using 40K figures. Even though Warlord makes a whole range of figures, you're able to use any figures you want.