Brand New Antares and the preview of 'A Tale of Four Shards'

Since beginning the series of blogs surrounding our 'Start Collecting' Gates of Antares Army bundles I have been fortunate enough to speak to a number of players from the Antares community about all things they love and would like to see in the game going forwards.

So far this has meant that I've been able to attend some wargaming events such as a recent one in Lincoln (pictures from the event are on the Skytrex Facebook page here) from 01/04/2023. 

We've also been fortunate to hear about some exciting things that Jamie Morris is working on, firstly he and some others are doing a 'Tale of Four Gamers' style army building article called 'A Tale of Four Shards' that will be focusing on getting into Antares along with the composition, building, painting and gaming with a new force.The first part of this will be shown below.

Secondly he's also in the process of organising an Antares Gaming Day which is planned for Sunday October 8th at the Entoyment Wargaming and Hobby Centre in Poole.

Finally we're excited to also announce that there will be a BRAND NEW 2 Player Starter Set for Gates of Antares, this will be available from the Skytrex website from today and will be expanded and explored in more detail over the upcoming weeks. It contains existing Concord C3 and Algoryn Prosperate models and is a fantastic way to get into the game providing two closely pointed forces along with dice and templates to allow you to get stuck in straight away.

Anyway, without further ado, Part 1 of the 'A Tale of Four Shards' by Jamie Morris...

Getting to 30pts on a Budget

A shallow analysis of starting out with any faction.

For an upcoming campaign, I wanted to figure out how cheaply a new player might field a 30pt list for any faction (the smallest list size according to the rules).  Some factions benefit from the availability of plastic infantry, while others benefit from more choice when it comes to list building.  Either way, I think it's feasible to build a starting army for any faction on a modest budget, which can easily be expanded and shaped in the future.  To play about with the points values I used the Beyond the Gates of Antares List Builder, which some handsome devil [Ed: That' s Jamie, himself, if you don't know!] wrote to coincide with the release of V2.

Here's my take on each faction. While there are certainly other options in a lot of cases, I've tried to stick to 30pts while keeping the cost down as much as possible.  I also tried to lean into the play style or flavour of each army.


Algoryn Armoured Infantry

(2 squads of 5)


Algoryn AI team with X-Launcher





This depends on whether you want to go for an SD Hazard formation route or Vector formation, but the only difference at 30pts would be two Hazard squads instead of AI squads, knocking the cost up by £20 or so.  But for that you could swap in a Hazard Command squad, and with full 5 man squads you can eke out more than 40pts worth of troops easily.  The x-launcher is a good choice either way, covering your opponents in pins from that sweet, sweet suspensor net ammo.


Boromite Rockfather (Command Squad)


Boromite team with X-Launcher


Boromite Gang Fighters





Boromites are pretty flexible with how you build your list, having three different selectors to choose from, but some of the extras you need to pad out your points are sold separately (e.g. borer drones, micromites or lavamites).  A Clan Workface list is doable, but at 30pts you need 3 core choices, which means two workface gangs and a weapon team, which is less interesting than having a command squad.  A Lavan breeder force is a little more expensive because the suspensor platforms for the handlers are sold separately.  Guild Security force it is then!


Concord Strike Squad & Support Drones 

(2 squads of 5 plus drones)


C3 Scout Probe Shard





These are easily the cheapest force, due to the inclusion of C3D1 drones on the plastic sprues.  Unfortunately a Drop force isn't fieldable at 30pts, because it needs a minimum of three core units, which are all more than 10pts.  They are also more pricey models, albeit very useful on the tabletop.  If you did want to go the Drop force route and aim a little higher than 30pts, they are pretty comparable to other factions in price.


Domari Squad 

(2 squads of 6)


Vardinari Squad





The Antares space pirates benefit from plastics, though the Rogue NuHu selector can't be fielded at 30pts due to the cost of the Rogue NuHu unit.  But a simple Vardosi force only requires two core choices, which can be fulfilled by two Domari Squads for a mere £24.  Without upgrades they come in at 18pts, leaving you 12pts to spend on whatever unit you want - I picked Vardinari because they are decent infantry, but Freeborn have a wealth of choices here for a similar price.


Battle Suit Squad x 2

- Scourer Squad

- Assault Squad

- Bomber Squad





The battle suits are surprisingly expensive compared to other armies, given that £21.50 gets you a unit of metal infantry and it's £24 for three plastic battle suits of any description.  I assume this is just because of the number of sprues required (1 per battle suit). But because they're plastic, it's still in a sensible price range.  In terms of list building, at 30pts the Ghar must have 2 Battle Suit squads.  If you opt for a cheap 2 man Bomber Squad you can afford an Outcast Weapon team within the points budget, but that does push the cost of the models up by another £17.  Otherwise you can have just the two squads and spend the extra points on upgrades.  The cheapest option would be two Scourer Squads, with one taking a 4pt upgrade to Force Commander.


Phase Squad x 2

- Plasma Lance Squad

- Plasma Rifle Squad (new form)


Phase Sniper





These are reasonably flexible from a list building perspective, though naturally a little pricier than the plastic factions.  The main difference is whether to go with Tsan-Ra or regular Phase troopers.  The former would require the reduced squad size option, partly due to the points and partly because they are sold that way (here's hoping we see individual Tsan-Ra sold in future).  Also the Phase Sniper could be replaced with a weapon drone or support team, but I like fielding units that other factions don't have.  That said, I chose Phase squads for my list because they are cheaper and have the new form units with a plasma Rifle. If you can stretch to another £13 you can take two Tsan Vesh squads instead.


Tertiary Instance


Mining Constructor Squad


Worker Constructor Squad





These are pretty inflexible at this force size, requiring one architect and two constructor squads.  You have to take a Tertiary Architect if you want to hit 30pts exactly, but a Secondary would take you to 31pts, which isn't the end of the world.  The cheapest combination is to take Worker Constructors and Mining Constructors.  The latter comes in a pack of 6 but only has 5 in the base unit entry, so 2pts for the extra model takes them to 29, and the last point can go on an army option (when I fix the list builder so you can select it).  Despite the rigidity of the list, it does a good job introducing you to the Virai's main mechanic - the reprogram die!


Unsurprisingly, the factions with plastics are the only factions to total less than £50 for a 30pt list. The Ghar have less models than their peers for the same cost, but they are bigger models, worth more points and are very cool compared to those degenerate panhumans. What surprised me most was the surprisingly low cost of the peripheral factions - those only available in metal. The Boromites set you back £55.50 for a starting force, only £11 more than a similar Freeborn force. The biggest difference in price came from the inclusion of C3D1 drones on the Concord sprues. The number of points per pound makes them a fantastic starting choice for any Concord player.

None of this takes into account sale prices or army bundles, of course. I don't think price should be the deciding factor in choosing an army, and it's nice to see that all factions are within the same ball park when it comes to parting with your cash.

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