What does each faction feel like?

One of the recurring questions on the boards is about how each factions feel in play. Rather than keep cut-and-pasting I thought I’d put down a few ideas.

It is important to realise that each faction in Beyond the Gates of Antares fights and feels different. Further, there is no one faction who can guarantee to beat every other, at all points levels. Below is a rough overview from the forums as well as links to more detailed analysis for each faction (all opinion’s the authors’!) from Gate Builder Aston Howes’ blog and the Freeborn Shard’s podcasts (from Justin Shearer and Gate Builder Tim Bancroft).

Ghar

Ghar Symbole

I guess we have to start with Ghar, one of the messiest armies around, simply because of the number of rule exceptions they bring: Plasma Reactors (which might explode on a lucky hit and wipe out a squad) to Outcasts (who are vulnerable) to the Distort Dice (which forces units Down) and to the battle suited squads, everything is different.

In play, the core Ghar suits are pretty tough, but not invincible. Their scourer cannons can put out a lot of firepower at close range, but it is the disruptor cannon that are the most deadly. These are able to put lots of pins on units and damage equipment (drones and probes) but have short range. It is only at the higher points costs or by using special command figures that the Ghar are able to bring long-range threats.

Ghar are normally outnumbered in order dice and the heavy squads are expensive in points and can be pinned or negated by good or accurate long-range fire. As a result, the Ghar player typically needs to get in fast and hard.

Visually, the Ghar look brutal and bulky, even intimidating. In general, they win big or lose terribly, so are not suited to players who like control or who are tentative or defensive in outlook on-table, but they are also one of the most fun to play.

More detailed, external links:

Concord Combined CommandConcordSymbol

The IMTel is never wrong, they say. This arrogant, aloof statement sums up the feel of the C3 on the table: stay aloof, use the firepower, use the abundance of drones and technology. Whilst they have some units who can stand up well in hand-to-hand, the C3’s greatest asset is their ability to strike at range.

High points costs means the C3 are often outnumbered on a squad-by-squad basis. This means they must take care to use cover, move fast, strike and back off, and not be afraid to use some of the twists in their squads (a lance trooper and spotter drone upgrades in their normal squads is a great asset). Their support drones are more potent than many first realise. At close range, though, the C3 can take a pummelling from many other factions.

The C3 are great for players who like to keep at a distance, perhaps finesse their battle plan. Visually, they have a curved, technological aesthetic that is a huge contrast to the Ghar and extremely attractive.

More detailed, external links:

Algoryn

Featured Image -- 416

The Algoryn are forged by war against the Ghar. Their basic squads can cope with many units in the game (though may struggle against Ghar, interestingly) but their flexibility through specialist units, upgrades and support options helps them survive and overcome: AI Assault Squads can take on Ghar Assault squads and beat them at their own game; AI Infiltrators can pose an annoying threat to many opposition squads.

In play the AI need careful handling and sensible use of their upgrades; in force selection, they need a savvy hand to select the most appropriate weaponry, support options and upgrades – for the latter are advised. However, they are fundamentally tough and have the flexibility to adapt their tactics to attack an enemy’s weakness.

The AI are great for players who like analysing their opponent and teasing out their weaknesses, adjusting their strategy as necessary. The AI visual aesthetic is often angular, hard and representative of a non-nonsense, war-footing civilisation: they even look tough.

More detailed, external links:

FreebornFreebornSymbol_1024

The Freeborn are a mix of hi-tech C3, mid-tech AI and feral fighters from primitive planets within each Freeborn House’s domain. Whilst not as directly tough as the AI nor as long-range a force as the C3, the Freeborn have access to an incredibly wide range of weaponry and upgrades that means each unit can be different. They have access to some of the C3’s drones and have very good access to support units, but can also make good use of a range of unusual creatures as well as solid, basic, core infantry and terrifying ferals. The flexibility of their command units is second to none.

From a background perspective, the Freeborn are the most flexible and (possibly) interesting as a player can create their own house, with its mores and customs. They certainly suit players who like extrovert forces or fluff, incredible flexibility and tailorability, but also those who like a variety of aliens and a flambouyant visual appeal.

More detailed, external links:

BoromiteBoromiteSymbol_256

Genetically engineered miners, the Boromite guildsmen are very tough, solid and prone to use much of their mining equipment on the battlefield. Their support choices are excellent and it is a good idea to make maximum use of the opportunity. However, their hand-to-hand and close range capability can be excellent and a Boromite commander should not be worried about putting his work gangs up close to an opponent: perhaps a Concord commander’s nightmare.

Adverse terrain can sometimes pose a problem for the Boromites, and they are not as responsive as other factions, but they are more likely to obey direct orders.

Visually, the Boromite force can look very different: plenty of opportunities to use strange, geneered creatures and weapons exist, most of which are quite dangerous. They suit a commander who doesn’t mind getting stuck in close, as quickly as possibly, but a bit of finesse is required to support that march forward with the options available.

More detailed, external links:

Isorian

Isorian Faction Symbol

The original Pan-Human Concord, the Isorian’s broke off when they became infected with biosilicon nanospore. As a result, their organic aesthetic is very different and one of the most interesting to be found. They are, however, as advanced as the C3 and have access to some unique equipment, both weapons and armour.

At range and general feel, at the moment, they can be compared to the C3, but are ‘sneakier’ in that the infantry can drop (go Down) when targeted, making them difficult to hit. Their snipers, armed with a phase rifle, have a very long range. Further, their drones and heavy equipment are a match for the C3. However, despite the similarities, they have a very different feel to the C3, especially with the Tsan Ra (alien) phase troopers.

Choose them for their organic visual appeal and potential for awkwardness and finesse tactics.

More detailed, external links:

Rebel Outcast

RebelGhar_512Not to be confused with the Ghar Empire, the outcast Rebels are led by Fartok, a disgraced High Commander who was on his way to greatness when Karg intervened (read: double-crossed). Fartok is on a crusade, rescuing outcasts and even many regulars if they wish to convert to his cause.

His army is, therefore, Outcast heavy, with elite units of Black Guard taking up much of the slack. They are still Outcasts, though, so rely on strength of numbers and, in the Rebel army, get real benefits from being close each other.
A major strength is a large number of cheap light support weapons in their plentiful tactical slots, as well as support and strategic slots that use captured suits.  All in all, it’s an extraordinarily powerful army who is tough to face… unless you’re Ghar Empire, of course.

If you like standing up for injustice, infantry-heavy armies with hordes of troops, then the Rebels are for you. Mind you, they still hate humans…

More detailed, external links:

Army List Summary

There is a blog dedicated to building army lists for each Antares faction that might also help with choosing a faction. This is David Horobin’s Listing to Port.

Of course, there is also an official video put out by Warlord Games.

Hope this helps, and have fun!

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One thought on “What does each faction feel like?

  1. Pingback: Useful blogs | The Vardos Delhren

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