From way back, we took a look at the Antares Facebook Group and forum and found some fantastic examples of Freeborn colour schemes. We’ve been slowly adding to them: domari, vardanarii, and even ferals!
Whilst the brilliant scehems of many players are here, some have been placed into their own gallery:
The Freeborn are the greatest merchants and travellers of Antarean space. Their vast mercantile fleets carry goods, services, technology and people from one world to another. Although the PanHuman Concord, Isorian Senatex and many of the worlds of the Determinate have space fleets of their own, there are countless human worlds that depend entirely upon the services of the Freeborn. Even the Concord and Isorians rely upon the Freeborn in their dealings with other human worlds and with each other. The Freeborn are neutral intermediaries able to travel between rival human and alien worlds where others cannot.
Every Freeborn craft is potentially a fighting vessel, so armed bands of Freeborn may be found serving on board ships, undertaking exploratory missions, or acting as garrisons or guards on any of the planets controlled by the Freeborn. When a Freeborn Vard has need of military forces he calls upon a general levy of ordinary troops from each domas, or household: the domari. Troopers are often equipped at their own expense, or that of their family, so the appearance and quality of their armour, clothing and weaponry can vary.
Clothing is characteristically styled to be loose and flowing – a fashion that is universally favoured amongst the Freeborn, especially the Oszoni. The majority of troopers carry mag-type weapons because they are practical and durable, requiring little by way of complicated maintenance. Domari troops make up the majority of the Freeborn fighting forces – householders, levy, militia or even just ship crews! The richest and most powerful Freeborn families employ professional guards called vardanari. Vardanari units are lavishly equipped and uniformed at great expense, an expression of the grandeur and status of the family they serve. As well as being elite troops vardanari are trusted attendants and advisors.
The military forces of the Freeborn are not just there to fight the vardos’ wars, protect its interests and explore the vast unmapped realm of Antarean space. They are also a valuable resource for hire; for the Freeborn are the chief suppliers of mercenary fighters throughout Antarean space. Demand for mercenary armies is greatest amongst the rival worlds of the Determinate. However, even the Concord C3 and Isorian Senatex has been known to call upon the services of Freeborn mercenaries.
Because the demand for hired troops is so great, most large vardos actively recruit, train and arm mercenary forces from amongst the primitive or underdeveloped worlds that they control. These so-called feral troops are equipped by the vardos often using the most basic or cheapest equipment. The capability of these fighters varies a great deal. Some are bloodthirsty savages, brave but difficult to control, whilst others from more advanced societies may be indistinguishable from domari. Primitives and degenerates are sometimes given soma grafts to make them more controllable in combat – a process undertaken by renegade NuHu and regarded as barbaric by many vardari.
Dan ‘Gurnecopter’ Barton (from the Noise Sector) particularly impress the Nexus editors with his take on the plastic Freeborn domari.
Allan George Mathieson
We were particularly impressed with Allan’s conversion of this Pike & Shotte Firelock Command model, to create a unique Freeborn Commander!
We’ve added captions to each image in the showcase to explain what the troops are. To start with, try Chris Carr, Cliff Clarke, David Horobin plus Ira Clements and James Blair – a mix of domari, ferals and command figures.
We continue with Matt Haslam’s clean and striking styling on his domari, Thomas Brown’s Command and Vardanari squad, Walter Caywood’s command figures and Craig McNicholas’ very different scheme.