by Tim Bancroft
Whew… I’m finally at home recovering after a great weekend. But by no means did I have the longest journey: Jan Rudolph travelled from Thuringia and the Pressburg Shard travelled in from Bratislava! It was great to see them come and join those from the UK and add so much fun to the hunt for the Ghost of Yu Hamnu.
There was a mix of armies playing, though it appeared the PanHuman Concord poured vast quantities of troops into the Determinate and the surrounding area in an effort to gain the artefacts or rescue Yu Hamnu! The various Ghar factions, however, were well-represented, no doubt spurred on by the thought of doing much damage to the human civilisations.
Individual Winners: Nottingham, UK
The atmosphere was fantastic – I wished I’d been playing rather than refereeing and organising. Whilst the faction league lends itself to narrative scenarios and a friendly, co-operative style of play, everyone who came were really helpful to me and to each other, and I saw loads of smiles and heard loads of laughter. Indeed, it’s a fantastic element of the Antares community that finding the ‘best sportsman’ or ‘best player’ is incredibly difficult as so many players get nominated and when voting players told me they wanted to nominate several people. In the end, Ondrej had to roll a dice to decide between the four top votes: a ‘5’ resulted in Jan Rudolph receiving the prize, but it could have been so many!
The standalone painting competition had a delightful mix of entries. There was some really crisp and tidy painting, as well some great conversions and some really interesting vehicle schemes. Rick struggled to choose a winner, but in the end went for a highly imaginative and fun ‘steampunk Virai commander’ on the grounds that it was not only nicely painted and neatly converted, but was also highly representative of the Antares spirit and the Virai themselves: the Virai using whatever they had to hand to shape and mould their drone bodies.
Whilst there were many nominations for Best-Painted Army, Steve Porter’s Concord came out on top — deservedly so. His style was really crisp and clean, and whilst most were in the house colours, his M25 Heavy Combat Drone sported a really nice camouflage scheme!
Most of the terrain was provide by me, supplemented by some of Warlords own Antares buildings and jungle terrain. Each table was set up differently to represent a different area on one of four planets: Shamasai, Dilexyon, Tolek and Taskarr – Shamasai and Taskarr having featured in previous supplements and fiction, of course. Each table had a label and its number, plus a short overview, and on each table we also placed a reference sheet with all the penalties and bonuses for the terrain on that table. This saved players hunting through the book for details on each type of terrain as there were a great many different terrain pieces used.
Feedback from players was that the approach was really appreciated, with many saying they loved the terrain, the different table layouts, the reference placards and the different mix of issues on each table.
We have say thanks: we had invaluable help setting up from the Pressburg Shard – Ondrej, Gergely and Rudi – together with Jan from Germany. Ondrej Slezacek kindly took a photo of each of the tables at set-up Friday – thanks so much for letting us use them!
We also had the Tabletop Warlords film their run-through of the mini-campaign, and also had players in Perth and Canberra taking part in Australia. We’ve fed their results into the final standings to give a worldwide result. Thanks to those who organised local events, particular Geordie Irvin, and to those who tried to organise events in Melbourne, New Jersey (USA) and New Zealand: it would be nice to think that, next year and with a bit more notice, we can have a better-organised international campaign day!
The fabulous Tabletop Warlords made a three-game video of their run-through of the game, the first of which is below and the others follow on from this (YouTube)!
The Concord gained the most victory points but mainly because they flooded the systems with troops (12 players with Concord!). Militarily, they dominated the worlds on which the artefacts were located – no doubt due to their deep concerns about the apparent collapse of Xilos and a wish to save Yu Hamnu from wherever she is trapped! Relatively speaking, however, it was a number of other factions who ruled the day, the Isorians and Ghar doing very well. The Virai collected a few – perhaps not enough to be useful unless they can use it to unlock the secrets of Xilos and the gate collapse – and the Boromites collected enough to be secreted away by one of their semi-mystical guilds, who will no doubt use them to benefit the Boromite cause.
Despite their numbers, the Freeborn made off with a fair number of artefacts and no doubt either trading them in extravagent deals (one house wanted a heavy cruiser for theirs!) or pouring more resources into research to see how they could profit further from the capabilities of the artefacts. Similary, the Algoryn collected enough for SD to begin studying the situation, perhaps adding to the mistrust the Progressive mochs have of the isolationists.
But what all this means to the political situation and the collapse, only time will tell…