More than a year now after I started painting figures for Beyond the Gates of Antares (and nearly a year after I completed them all), I managed to play a game. Mike Lombardi and I talked it up some time ago and finally scheduled a game for the end of April.
We managed to get four 500 points forces on the table:
- Mike ran his Concord, which consisted of two C3 strike squads, a C3 command squad, and a unit of two light support drones.
- I ran my Algoryns, which consisted of two AI squads, one AI command squad, one AI assault squad, an x-launcher, and a mag light support weapon.
- Troy Wold ran his Isorians, which consisted of two senatex phase squads, a senatex command squad, an x-launcher, and a nhamak light support drone.
- Pat Clifford ran John's Boromites, which consisted of two gang fighter squads, an overseer squad, an x-launcher, and a batch of lavamites and their handler.
|Algoryns ready for battle|
|Running for the hill—Troy's Isorians are apparently drunk|
One interesting aspect of BTGOA are the "buddy drones" that can be used. Buddy drones are attached to a unit and provide a kind of support for it. We only used spotter drones in our game. These drones allow a re-roll of a missed shot and can be used to patch drone-to-drone indirect shooting: basically a drone in line of sight to a target can patch to another drone for a unit that doesn't have line of sight. The chain of patching can go on and on.
|Algoryn AI assault squad with its buddy spotter drone|
The game mostly saw Troy and Pat duke it out on one side and Mike and I on the other, though there was some crossover. My initial die rolling was classic. BTGOA uses D10s for its system (rather the D6s in Bolt Action). These allow for a lot more modification of the die rolls and seem to work better—even though I'm still a sucker for the classic D6 in gaming. The thing about D10s is that in nearly every game I play rolling a "10" ("0" on the die) is something bad for me, and I have a strong tendency to roll "10"s.
Troy's rolling was near perfect. I think we were well into the game before he lost a single figure (or maybe he never lost one at all). His shooting was pretty effective as well. He pretty much beat up Pat, who could never seem to do Troy any harm. The Boromite x-launcher (think "hi-tech mortar") either drifted off target or rolled a "10" (which is a dud shot).
|The remnants of Mike's Concord; worse for wear, but still deadly|
Pat ran his lavamites into one of the buildings, but they got no farther. Troy spent most of the game pouring plasma fire into them, which whittled them down, but kept the Isorians in place shooting at the same time. The lavamites hung on 'til the end, even though they were pinned beyond any hope of recovery. Lavamites are rock-eating critters that can spit lava and are mostly effective in close assault.
|The Isorians advance (finally)|
|Holding the ruins|
We called the game after about five turns. It looked like the Algoryn-Isorian pact would win the day—though maybe just barely. I was pretty shot up, but Troy was looking pretty with no (or almost no) losses. Pat had just his lavamite handler in the ruins and an x-launcher that had so far managed to miss or flub every shot it took.
We all agreed that we liked the game, so my time and money spent painting Algoryns wasn't a waste. I even bought more after the game. Look for a unit of intruder scout skimmers soon.