Antares – Playing a game

Clark asked me to play a game the other day, likely my first at the club in almost 3 months, and I had a hankering and had a couple other errands to run in the area so I agreed. It was nice to throw down the Antares!

The club, led mostly by Clark and myself, have been writing a tournament scenario for Antares. Just one scenario. Because it has enough randomness built into it to serve the kinds of purposes you need in a tournament scenario — forcing balanced lists, keeping people entertained all day, providing plenty of opportunities for success and for failure. But we need to playtest it, because there are a lot of random elements to it and you need to make sure that all the pieces fit together. So it was also nice to get another playtest in!

And THEN because I’ve been drawing up a storm (my buildings), I folded up all the prototypes I’ve made and stuff them into a folio and threw them down on the table too! It was great to get to actually use these, as opposed to just stare at them on my desk! Clark immediately took advantage of them. He really likes giving buildings teleporters, and I think it’s a decent idea too — makes the game a lot more mobile — but this top photo is of lavamites pouring out of my two-storey building.

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I managed to kill them, which was great because they can really run amuck. This next photo Clark is pushing forward to take the center, and moments later I sprint my T7 up to contest it.

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These photos might be in the wrong order, but I doubt you’re scouring them anyway. He teleported 2 units of Gang Fighters into this building near my deployment zone. I had hoped that overwhelming firepower would make that a bad idea, but the building defenses and a couple less than amazing rolls in combat meant he got to keep the building, and got to use it as a funnel for his more powerful combat troops.

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Unfortunately, I keep failing to learn that C3 Drop troops aren’t really amazing in combat. I mean, they’re the best I get, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot.

I took advantage of the version 2 of the rules to bring a T7 and an X-Howitzer in 1000 points and I was happy to be able to do so. I stripped the T7 of it’s gun and acc6/co8/in8 which brought it down in points, while still allowing me a mobile bunker for my squishy troops and a speedy objective contestor. Like it.

Antares – X-Howitzer and Airbrushing

A friend was doing some airbrushing of 40k tanks recently and after he showed me his work I was inspired to think about airbrushing again. It was 4 years ago the last time I wrote about airbrushing, and these articles remind me a bit of how I was feeling — rather like I should sell the damn thing. I had no skill with it and keep messing up. My friend said his was a breeze – start ‘er up, do your thing and BOOM, nice looking shading. I bought some new things to help — a new Golden High Flow Acrylic in fluorescent blue, and a Wicked Colour airbrush colour in light blue. In the earlier of those two articles, I appear to have also bought new toys to help, and they appear not to have helped.

What did help a lot this time…is having a deck. I pulled all my stuff onto my deck, plugged it in and relaxed. Previously my outdoor space was shared space — a parking lot or shared rooftop — and I had no ability to just sit and play, I had to constantly be worried about whether someone would come along and ask what I was doing there, painting the parking lot floor.

I had planned on doing the lighter colour, then ringing it with the darker colour. Which, it turns out, is not the correct way to do this. 😛 So this first photo is that. I had the PSI set to 15 and held the brush relatively close, to get more intense colour with a thinner line.

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I went back afterwards and re-did the lighter colour and ended up here. This I did at about 30 PSI and further away, which diffused the paint.

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My next plan is to follow my C3 steps, and wash into the recesses some watered down blue wash, then nuln oil the shadows. Then clear up mistakes with Ulthuan Grey and whatever the GW white is called these days. I think this guy will be done pretty soon!

There is an airbrushing course happening in Vancouver on June 17th. Unfortunately, I’m busy that day with another hobby — I’m in a circus show. 😛

Antares – A Game

Unfortunately, not a campaign game. Or maybe it was fortunate, since I lost. 😛 We played a 2000 point game, the largest I’ve ever seen played, and we used a modified “Maelstrom mission” scenario which was inspired by the 40k scenarios of that name. Really liked it, although I think it needs more playtesting from people who aren’t myself. 🙂

I think the camera on my phone is going to shit – these photos look like they’ve had a glamour filter or something put on them?

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The “Atlas”, also known as “Objective 1” came up a few times for me, along with objective 4 which is behind the temple on the left-middle of the photo, so I spent a lot of time trying to hold these guys.

 

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In our mission, you generated 6 objectives at the start of the game. Each turn, you had one less “maximum” to work with, so first turn you either scored one or you dropped one. Greg got an early 2+1 point lead because he scored twice in the first turn, while I had to drop one of mine. Which meant he was up by 2 points, plus 1 for “opportunity”. Every objective you don’t score is a lost opportunity! This gap increased and then shrunk as the game continued, and then in turn 5 I scored 3 points to his 0 to tie it up!

The last ones generated — he had to rally 4 times and I had to take objective 2. Here’s where objective 2 was:

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It’s inside the rock cluster on the right. Greg had it to score a few times over the game, so he had been holding it no problem. Rallying 4 times is a hard objective mid-game because you have to lose the use of 4 units for that turn. At this point it was less of a problem since he just had to hold and he knew exactly where I needed to go – he could just rally those units that weren’t near my objective.

At the end, a well placed Grip ammo right in the middle of the only 2 squads that could take it, sealed my fate.

Speaking of Grip, we both made good use of special ammo. I was dropping Scoot like it was going out of style! I made that Plasma Bombard move a lot, and he did an early disrupt of my planned X-Launcher firebase.

I think the Nuhu won’t be making an appearance in many lists. He’s to fragile even with the shield drones. My opponent only needing a 1 to remove most of his power.

 

Lastly, here’s a photo of Clark winning the Blood Bowl championships, which happened while we were playing. Damn him! But at least he was the guy who took me out of the play-offs entirely!

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Antares – Concord Interceptor Bikes All Done

I finished some bikes! I bought these guys a while ago, and decided to prioritize them over the rest of the assembled things I have for Antares. These are going to be in a lot of lists, I think, in particular for Wet Coast GT in July.

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I did them similarly to the last drop squad. I used Nuln Oil in a very light layer after the middle layers, around the exhaust ports. I was trying to darken the area, so that when I drybrushed up it would look brighter because it was darker to start with. I did a couple layers of drybrushing here, trying to make it a little more …OSL? The bases make me happy. White does not make me happy. >.> but it’s to late to change that up.

Antares Bases

It turns out I don’t have a post for Antares bases. I noticed this because I went to paint a bunch of bases and clicked the tag “bases” and couldn’t find anything for Antares. Usually I pick one of the post where I paint bases and tack the tag onto that so I can refer back to it.

This post is just about bases!!

So exciting.

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I almost got the bikes in the photo, which are almost done, but due to some fancy angling managed to ensure that this post was entirely devoid of anything interesting.

Here’s the bases recipe:

  • Snakebite Leather
  • 1-2 layers of Seraphim Sepia
  • Drakenhof blue shade as a shadow
  • drybrush up with Tallarn Sand and then Ushapti Bone.

Antares – Concord Plasma Cannon Team

I totally forgot I asked Mike to buy these for me, and picked up the D2 drones a while back because they were actually available whereas this guy was not at the time. I wanted some heavy firepower, as my opponents were starting to bring res 12 models to the table, and the plasma support team is a relatively inexpensive way to bring that down to res 6.

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But now that I have the bikes, I have a different plan. An “eggs, meet basket” plan. I’ll take the bike squad, and buy a compactor drone and stuff the plasma cannon into it. I’m planning for Wet Coast, right, so flexibility is good. The bikes are a super mobile unit for taking objectives, and when they get to their destination they’ll be a giant piece of artillery too.

Could also be a terrible idea, a 200 point unit that loses their super gun on a lucky shot. >.>

Antares – Concord Bikes

Wet Coast GT is being planned, and Clark is planning to run Gates of Antares at it and I’m doing helper-monkey things and planning to play in it. I finally broke down and decided that if I was going to try to win a game (I did win one, a few weeks back) I needed bikes. Speed is going to be the name of the game, and bikes are the best speed Concord has.

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Similar to the D2 drones I started (and didn’t finish), I drilled into the existing flying-stand holes in these models to allow the flying stand peg to sit deeper into the model. The guy in the back has an unnaturally long stand, but I’m confident the other two won’t fall over when you look at them.

These are nicer models than I gave them credit for in the photos. I thought they looked dumb and disproportionate, but I’m pretty happy with them on my desk. Except the heads, which are the softest cast I’ve seen out of Warlord. >.>

Antares – Drop Squad and C3D2 Drones

It’s been a while since I wrote, because Christmas and some other things got in the way unfortunately. But tonight I powered through the last of my drop squad guys and finished assembling the C3D2 drones.

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The drop squad guys are the same recipe as the leader, drone about a month ago. I painted one a night for a few days and then life. These are absolutely the coolest models in the Gates of Antares range. They’re so dynamic, and so bad ass looking and every drawing in the rulebook of them I see makes me dream of awesome space war movie scenes. I’m glad I’m done them so I can move onto other projects, and I’m super stoked to play with them all painted!

The last game I played I noted that I was very behind in the arms race. My NuHu was the only way of getting a really solid anti-tank weapon — SV4 on the lances just isn’t enough — and the NuHu is very expensive at 200+ points if you kit her out properly. I wanted some guns that were a little more tough to kill, and a little more dependably anti-tank. The C3 plasma cannon support team hadn’t been released yet, so I ordered the C3D2 Drones which have a plasma cannon on them. They are more glass cannony than the support team version – they have +1 Acc which is great, and +3 Res (roughly) which is awesome, but the support team I think wins out the defense race because it has 2 (or 3) guys to soak hits and the drone has to roll on a weapon drone chart which doesn’t make up for that.

These guys were stock to assemble, except that I took a drill bit to their underside to drop them lower onto the pegs. I learned from watching Clayton and his Freeborn Skyraiders that metal models standing high on little flying stands are going to get knocked over a bunch.

Remember years ago when I would pull out my photography equipment and take some really nice photos with nothing in the background to distract you? I got lazy. Thankfully, TableWar came to the rescue with this kickstarter, and I bought a new home. Once that KS comes in the door I’ll be setting up a small area to take photos, and we’ll make this happen.

I also have a couple Antares related projects coming up, so if you love Antares hold onto your hats, this is going to be a great few months!

Antares – Drop Command Leader (and Targetter Probes)

Is it “Targeter” or “Targetter”? Both are spelled incorrectly according to Chrome.

I speedily finished off the Targeter Probes, lamenting my singular lack of painting talent while I did so. I’ve been playing World of Warships and painting in between deaths, so I’m actually painting more than when I play Hearthstone. 😛

After I finished the Probes (just avoid the “T” word entirely), I made a decision — I was going to paint the Drop Command Leader, and only the Leader.  To see if I could paint and make myself believe that I was ok at it.

I’m pretty happy with the results, although my OSL against white needs work.

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Recipe

  • The Probes are the same as the last Strike Squad I painted.
  • The bases are how I wish to do my Antares bases from now on — Snakebite Leather, 1-2 layers of Seraphim Sepia, Drakenhof blue shade as a shadow and the drybrush up with Tallarn Sand and then Ushapti Bone. Much nicer looking, in particular with the extra base effort I took last time!
  • The Leader guy I finally slowed down. Ulthuan Grey all over. Watered down Drakenhof in the recesses, then watered down Nuln in the recesses. The watering meant I could easily paint over with the Grey again where I needed to. White Scar at the top. He looks good as is!
  • His gun is the same as for him, but then just a lazy wash of Nuln over top, with a little bit wiped away with my finger. I want it to look the same, but slightly different.

The lights are Ice Blue. I read this tutorial on OSL and it says:

The easiest and most effective way to create a believable glow effect is to start with an otherwise dark model. This doesn’t mean you have to paint your model black—you still want good contrast—but it does make your life easier if you choose a darker than average palette. Remember the cardinal rule. It’s not impossible to pull off a lighting effect on a white model, but it is extremely difficult. (Retribution players, you have been warned.)

(Emphasis is mine) Ah hell. I tried to start darked by going over with the watered Nuln a few times around the areas that I knew I was going to try to Ice up, so I had a darker surface to lighten. Drybrushed up the Ice and put it in the center of the lights. Then mixed the White with the Ice and went inside the lights. I really like how it looks on his shoulder lights! But the backpack (which you can’t see in this photo) bugs me in the same way that my unphotographed T7 bugs me — painting into engine vents is tricky work.

More

When I added the “Recipe” header, I had more I wanted to write that wasn’t about the painting. I guess it’s just nice to know that when I take the time, I can make a model that looks pretty sweet.

And with this scheme, it should be pretty easy to do the rest of the squad (9 more models, over 2 squads) the same. It was pretty quick, so I should be able to get at least 1 guy done every time I sit down.

Now I just need to find the time to play…>.<

Antares – Transporter Drone

I decided to run an Antares campaign for the next 6 months, so if you’re reading this and are in or near Vancouver, Canada, let me know!

I want to play with this guy this coming Wednesday, so I decided to give him some paint so he wasn’t just a grey plastic model in an otherwise entirely painted army.

Ulthuan Grey, Drakenhof Nightshade in the recesses same as the rest of the army.

Brush strokes. I haven’t painted something like this in a while, and brush strokes are currently causing me problems on the underside because I used the Drakenhof to shade it.

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