Entering the Gates of Antares: Part One

Entering the Gates of Antares: Part One

Yesterday a box full of awesomeness arrived for me, it was the Beyond the Gates of Antares: Xilos Horizon Starter box set. I will say now I have been blown away by how amazing it is.


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So much to the annoyance of my rather tolerant girlfriend I began to pour over the contents of the box, especially the rulebook before I began to put together the first few models. However while I was reading the book it got me thinking as to why I choose Antares as my next game….. why not Infinity or Warpath. What made me choose one sci-fi game over another, in fact why sci-fi why not a new fantasy game?? Well I decided to sit down and put my thoughts down as to how and why I choose to immerse myself into a new game and hopefully everyone reading will have their own thoughts and insights, some may even agree with mine.




The Draw:
What draws you into a game? Why did you buy those first models or rulebook? Had you read good things about it? Do your friends play it? Are the models just too beautiful not to own?


For me the one thing I look for, in a fantasy or sci-fi game at least is the background. All that fluff just waiting to invade my head and fill it with innovations and ideas about how my force should look, what I should call my commander, where they fight and what for. For me a game without a rich background is like a film without a plot, it might look nice on screen but its not pulling you in again and again.


I was a 40k player from the age of 12, which is worryingly 16 years ago, I for a time enjoyed the game but never felt invested into the world, I didn’t really care which chapter my space marines were from or what section of the galaxy they were fighting in. What I love about Antares and also Dropzone Commander is that I have gotten into the games early, I can have all the background I want and I know as much as anyone else does.




The second big thing for me and where I have fallen down a couple of times is, can I get other people to play this game….


I pledged a large sum of money on a kickstarter for the Mars Attacks game, I love mars attacks and couldn’t wait to play it. Unfortunately my friends don’t love mars attacks and didn’t want to play my game, sad times for me, so I sold all the stuff on. Star Wars Armada is another one that I’m struggling to convince my friends to play as well although not sure why.


Other games such as Bolt Action, Batman miniatures game and Dropzone I have had a positive reaction too and now have at least 3 – 5 other players in each system. So now I am far more careful about which games I choose to invest in. Guildball I made sure at least two other people wanted to play and now there is 5 of us. But as we all know miniature wargaming is an expensive hobby and none of us want to commit funds to games we then don’t get to play.




Bringing me onto my next point which is cost…
Nobody wants to spend hundreds of pounds getting into a new game, I am also one of those people who hates not having an easy access into a game. The starter box of Antares is fantastic value, a beautiful hardback rulebook, plenty of excellent quality miniatures and all the extras required to play the game. As a bonus it’s a two player starter set, now I know many starter sets are two players and I think every system should have a way for you and friend to be able to game straight away. Otherwise you need to spend out on two factions, rulebooks and tokens before you can play (yes I have Guildball and Batman but I love the models). One box set and a friend and I’m ready to go with Antares (well as soon as the rest of the models get built).


So you have finally found a game that you and some friends want to play….
Well now the most important thing in my opinion is the game mechanics, if a game doesn’t play well then people are quickly going to get fed up or bored with it. Bolt action has some awesome (and award winning) mechanics that Warlord have decided to use for Antares. Batman and Guildball use a limited resource mechanic which encourages tactical thinking and dropzone has the use of dropships to rapidly deploy and redeploy troops whilst being a very objective based game. All of these things keep me playing these games and I am sure many of you have other reasons for playing the games you love, be sure to comment what keeps you going back to certain games.


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That’s all for now but I will be bringing updates as I progress further through the Gates of Antares.
Now time to build some of those Concord Strike troops……..


Thanks for reading,
Matt Rattenbury
  • Cool
    Posted at 01:09h, 10 November Reply

    Cool Updates wow super amazing. the boom. yes.

  • Rafik
    Posted at 00:30h, 28 February Reply

    Review by Gradient Vector Field for Rating: This is definitely a great set if you’re a beninger in the world of Warhammer 40k like me. This box set gets you up and running immediately. It comes with over fifty miniatures, templates, and a comprehensive rule book! The price is close to that of just the hardcover rule book itself, so if you want to just check out the world of Warhammer 40k without investing too much, then this is where you need to start. This way you can really tell if you enjoy playing through the game and see if building an army is a hobby you really want to invest in. And trust me; it IS an investment after a while.The ridiculously minor drawback is that you can only get this set with Space Marines and Orks as the two opposing forces. While I’m not so driven to play either of these armies, I can’t deny the usefulness in getting acquainted with the game in this set. My friends and I have been using this set in order to learn how to play the game rather than using our main forces. The small 95 page rule book has all the rules of the game; in fact they are the same exact ones you’ll find in the hardcover three hundred page book. The only difference between the two is that the hardcover book gives you a lot more background information about the different armies and some good painting tips.One of the other major benefits to this starter kit is how easy it is to put together. The models are designed to snap fit together, which is great for beningers. I’ve put together some decently complex models, like the tanks and the Forge-World miniatures, and by comparison the Assault on Black Reach set is a walk in the park. It put together very simply for me and I didn’t even have to do much touch up work. There was nothing I had to seal with epoxy due to gaps and so forth. You can put together the entire force in a few hours or if you’re in a rush to play you can probably put an entire unit together in less than an hour. The only touch ups I really took time to deal with was gluing on a few arms here and there, especially with the Ork army. I found their arms were a little loose a lot of times and tended to fall off.If you’re very interested in painting your newly built army then I actually don’t recommend you pick up the Assault on Black Reach paint set. It’s now out of print, but I managed to track it down. It only gives you enough paint and the colors for the Space Marine units. It doesn’t give you anything for the Ork army and it only comes with instructions on how to paint the Space Marines, so if you want to paint that really cool Terminator figure, you’re on your own. The upside is the paint set does come with five more Space Marine’s so you can increase the size of your force a little more. If you really want to delve into the world of painting then I recommend you look into the Battle for MacCragge hobby set. I don’t own this product yet, but it does appear to come with enough paint for the full force in that set. The only downside is it’s Space Marines versus the Tyranids, so if you really liked the Orks and wanted to learn how to paint them the same way, then you’re out of luck for these starter sets. It works a bit more for me because I want to play as the Tyranids.Overall I think this is a great beninger product. The only way I think they can improve it is give it more of a story oriented background and involve the new players in the universe a little more. I was kind of half expecting that based on the title of this box set. Maybe I’m too used to other forms of boxed modules. Anyway, if you want to get into this incredibly engrossing hobby, then I highly recommend this set.

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