by Tim Bancroft
For the Antares Boot Camp, as well as for other, quick, intro games days, I like to use a ‘-PLUS’ format list. Such a list is used later on in the day and it relies on the players learning, building and using a smaller – typically infantry-heavy – list to start with.
The PLUS component is intended to allow a player to learn how to use the bigger pieces of kit such as vehicles whilst still keeping the number of units they have to deal with to a minimum. As the players have already used their basic infantry squads, they can focus a bit more on understanding MOD units and Damage Charts.
I stress that players should not feel obliged to provide a PLUS option if they’d prefer to just play with 60pts; further, I also ask all players that if an opponent does not have PLUS option, that they should be understanding and just play with the base points.
FL1/60 Base Points
A good starting place for the list is a 60-point, FL1 list. This allows a fair bit of experimentation without being overwhelming, and also gives a good game.
To make the 60-point list, players should choose an army totalling 60 points from one of the selectors given in the A2 army lists: that’s it! I stress ‘selector’ refers to a specific type of army within a faction, such as ‘Concord Drop Force’ or ‘Concord Strike Force’, not just ‘Concord’.
In such lists, it’s up to the organisers whether or not they allow players to use Characters and Mercenaries-for-Hire such as the Askar and Hükk (see Playing the Game and the Freeborn Army List). Allowing these in a low points value list may mean a player can use a favoured model and does so without forcing them to remember too many rules.
Alliances are not recommended: at 60 points, they are possible, but are likely to be too messy and constraining.
The PLUS Option
The PLUS option is a single, high-powered unit from anywhere else on a player’s selector, but at FL2. FL3 is an option, but players tend to go for overwhelmingly heavy vehicles, so only use FL3 with experienced players and, say, a 100-PLUS format.
So, for a 60-PLUS list, the player uses their 60 point, FL1 force they have already selected and to that ADDS
- ANY SINGLE UNIT that would be valid in that selector at FL2 – this extra unit could be anything valid to the selector, irrespective of FL1 limits, whether vehicle, weapon team or whatever, and may be upgraded providing it remains valid at FL2 and does not exceed 25pts;
- TWO FL1 units that are valid for their selector totalling no more than 25 points, also irrespective of selection limits or Limited Choice restrictions (Unique remains Unique, though) – any upgrades available to the units are possible providing they remain FL1 and total 25pts or less.
For example, a 60-point Freeborn Vardosi list could consist of: a Fleet Command with batter buddy (14pts), a Vardanari infantry squad (10pts), a Domari infantry squad (9pts), a Domari Ship Defence Team (6pts), a Targeter Probe Shard (5pts) and a Renegade NuHu (16pts = total 60).
For its PLUS option, the list could EITHER include a Liberator-style Combat Skimmer (21pts – perhaps upgraded) OR another Renegade NuHu (16pts) and another Domari unit (9pts, total 25pts). Normally, the extra NuHu could not be taken at FL1 as it is both Limited Choice and has a limit of 0–FL; however, another Fleet Command unit cannot be taken as it is Unique.
The point is that the player has a chance to get to grips with a vehicle or a bigger army – their choice. And if they think that’s too much for them, they can just use the 60-point list.
Of course, as an event manager, you have to make sure the scenarios can cope with 60 or 60-PLUS lists. We’ve tagged a few of these used on the Antares 2 Boot Camp in May 2022. The remaining scenario used at that boot camp is the Decaying Orbital scenario used on Tim’s custom, ruined spaceship mat first seen in 2018.
Tim runs through the fourth of his 60/60-PLUS scenarios used for beginning players and in the 2022 Antares 2 Boot Camp.
Tim runs through the third of his 60/60-PLUS scenarios used for beginning players and in the 2022 Antares 2 Boot Camp.
Tim runs through the second of his 60/60-PLUS scenarios used for beginning players and in the 2022 Antares 2 Boot Camp.
Tim runs through the first of his 60/60-PLUS scenarios used for beginning players and in the 2022 Antares 2 Boot Camp.
At the Games Day in 2018, a number of scenarios were created or adapted for quicker games. Tim’s updated these to V2 with FL1 or 60-PLUS format games.