First Vorl Models

Title image of Vorl firing plasma projector

Note: Joey Pruitt died in December 2022, leaving his Vorl designs as a wonderful contribution to the Antares universe. We will miss his ideas.

After seeing his work elsewhere, highly talented, regular Antares fan Joey Pruitt was contacted by Rick and Tim to produce the Vorl .stls. And he’s done a fantastic job! The first version is being tested by 3D modelers as this post goes to press (End May 2022).

Joey deliberately split the Vorl into several components at this stage to allow for multiple variations of look and pose, so it’s a complex model, indeed. Subsequent versions may produce a design with fewer parts but Joey wanted to give players as many options as possible: we need to wait and see what works best.

Joey was great to work with, taking the general concept, expanding on it and suggesting ideas in a superbly to-and-fro, creative fashion. What we’ve ended up with is a Vorl that sits on a 30mm base and is much closer to the original idea of the Vorl – which means we’ve had to go back and redo their lists, weapons and equipment. They have a unique way of fighting which makes for interesting combinations, so when we’re happy with the results we’ll put them out for play and feedback for subsequent lists.

Joey’s provided us with a number of variations of the first model, one armed with the fabled Vorl plasma projector, and has colourised one or two, as well. Below is a gallery of a Vorl with plasma projector, one of their two main weapons and one carried by their Fire Warrior squads (the other being a pulser). We also show the assembly diagram for the pulser-armed Vorl which shows just how flexible it will be.

We think these are superb and can’t wait for the test prints…

Rules development…

At present, we’re looking at having the Vorl organised into ‘hearths’ of 4-6 zugon (complete Vorl) each. In general, Vorl use plasma weapons or suspensor projectors, with even their version of the x-sling operating on suspensor technology. The rules we’re highlighting below as being ‘Vorl’ should be considered more as development approaches and concepts rather than hardened rules.

Vorl synthesis armour benefits from having more Vorl present, so a Vorl unit with all 4-6 presents has a high Res. Once they begin taking casualties, their armour field drops in effectiveness…

The hearth leader has a Vorl combat array (think ‘spotter buddy’) and can be given a temperamental kinetic dampener (think ‘light batter buddy’) which does not mean the leader has those two items of equipment, merely that it represents the focus of the hearth’s capabilities in those directions. Whilst the leader is Tough, reflecting their experience, their loss is also difficult for the squad as a whole.

As benefits their ‘hive’ mentality or ‘synthesis’ bent, all the Vorl in a hearth are armed identically: it is very difficult for opponents to tell them apart. The Concord’s experience in encountering Vorl recon forces in the Aan segment is that the Vorl use three main types of squads: Fire Warriors, armed with plasma projectors; Storm Warriors, armed with pulsers; and Mist Hunters, forward observer.

The Fire Warrior’s plasma projector is similar in effectiveness to a focused plasma carbine, but at short range. However, Vorl can harness the projectors of others in their hearth to either extend their range – using a ‘synthesis effect‘ – or can alter the mode of those firing such that a single shot is created at high power (SV). Each Vorl in a squad can either choose to use a synthesis effect, such as extend, or a mode (see the mode rules). When the two combine into a boosted mode with SV8 at ranges approaching a plasma cannon, it means that Vorl have no real need for direct-fire support weapons!

The combinations of mode and synthesis effect mean a Vorl squad can reach out at long ranges or can focus their efforts to target vehicles. It makes the squads highly flexible. From a design perspective, it is interesting that we’re finding it is much more difficult to explain than use!

Storm Warriors are given Vorl pulsers (there is one below) which fire nebuliser shells. The pulser can be used by individual Vorl in a direct fire mode, but is often used overhead (storm mode) to create a veritable storm of projectiles raining down on the same point. Once more, the extend synthesis effect can be used to boost the launching suspensor field so the projectiles are thrown further. Vorl can also use their combined efforts to launch an array of special munitions which include, of course, their own suspensor net. Once more, this focus means they have no need of separate, overhead support weapons.

Vorl with pulser
Vorl with pulser

Mist Hunters are normally Vorl who have lost many of their hearth but still work as a team for the survival of the nest or ordo as a whole. They are armed with a plasma projector but are focused on forward observation and scouting (so have ‘Infiltrator’ and ‘camo buddy’ capabilities).

The Vorl also use Askar as infantry, though given their structure, the Askar use weapons designed by panhumans. The squads they use are equipped much the same as in the Freeborn army list.

We’re still looking at Vorl probes. At present the intention is that they have a winged, targeter-like probe and a grasshopper-like bug that pounces on enemy probes and buddies similar to hound probes. But we’ll wait and see how these pan out.

For now, all we can say is: excellently done, Joey!

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