Beyond the Gates of Antares is a fast-paced game of combat in a future universe. Battles range from small skirmishes between a few squads to much larger conflicts involving drone-tanks and aliens. There are currently seven factions in the game, all of whom are descended from humanity as we know it. They are termed PanHumans, some having diverged more than others from the original human norm. Each faction fights and feels different on the table, as well as having a unique aesthetic and composition. There is no one faction who can guarantee to beat every other, at all points levels!
If you are starting out in Antares, it can be a great idea to find an army that you like the look of and can paint to you own satisfaction. This page and its links helps provides the the third part of this exploration: does the army suit your play style? If you are looking for a brief background, then try this introductory article.
We have a fixed page containing links to all the major resources that is also likely to be very useful, as well as a regularly updated page with links to the free, online Army List PDFs. Of course, there is also the original official video put out by Warlord Games.
The following provides a brief overview of each faction, as well as links that, at the time of writing this, are to high-quality, fan-produced content. External sites are beyond the nurturing IMTel of the Nexus, however, so take care when stepping outside the warm embrace of the IMTel!
The IMTel is never wrong, they say. This, perhaps arrogant, statement sums up the feel of the C3 on the table: stay aloof, use overwhelming 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 with the most potent weapons in the Antarean universe.
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.
The Nexus focus: Concord Combined Command
External links are building up so can be found in the Concord Home Page, above!
The Ghar are one of the craziest armies around, simply because of the number of rule additions they bring. From Plasma Reactors which might explode on a lucky hit and wipe out a squad, to their vulnerable Outcasts to the Distort Dice – which forces units Down – everything is different.
In play, the army’s core Ghar battle 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 quickly damage equipment such as drones and probes. Though tough, the saving grace from other forces perspectives, is that Ghar mostly have short range weapons and it is only at the higher points costs that the Ghar are able to bring in long-range threats.
Ghar are normally outnumbered in order dice as their 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. They are, however, one of the most fun to play.
The Nexus focus: Ghar Empire
- Aston Howes blogged thoughts on the Ghar Empire
- Dave Horobins suggested lists for the Ghar
- The Freeborn Shard podcast’s Ghar episode
The Algoryn are forged by war against the Ghar. Even their basic AI squads can cope with many units in the game 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; Hazard squads can even resist light and medium drones, as well as take on Ghar.
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 exploit the weakness of any enemy.
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.
The Nexus focus: Algoryn
- Aston Howes blogged thoughts on the Algoryn Prosperate
- Dave Horobin’s suggested lists for the Algoryn Prosperate
- The Freeborn Shard podcast’s Algoryn episode
- Shimonds Gudie to Algoryn (multiple parts)
The Freeborn are a mix of hi-tech C3, mid-tech AI and feral fighters from less-advanced worlds they trade with. 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.
The Nexus focus: Freeborn
- Aston Howes blogged thoughts on the Freeborn Vardos
- Dave Horobin’s suggested lists for the Freeborn
- The Freeborn Shard podcast’s Freeborn forces episode
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 is excellent and a Boromite commander should not be worried about putting his work gangs up close to an opponent: they are 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 as there is plenty of opportunities to use strange, geneered creatures and mining tools, most of which are dangerous on the battelfield, too! 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.
The Nexus focus:Boromites
- Aston Howes’ blogged thoughts on the Boromite Guilds
- Dave Horobin’s suggested lists for the Boromite Guilds
- The Freeborn Shard podcast’s Boromite episode
The original Pan-Human Concord, the Isorian’s broke off (became a separate shard) 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 and they frequently field the Tsan Ra aliens in their forces. They are, however, as advanced as the C3 and have access to some unique equipment in both weapons and armour.
At range and general feel, 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 and their drones and heavy equipment are a match for the C3. However, despite the similarities, they need a careful hand at the helm, especially with the Tsan Ra (alien) troopers who can be devastating in close combat or when used in support but can be vulnerable if unprotected.
Choose them for their organic visual appeal, potential for posing awkward questions to the opposition and if you like finesse tactics.
The Nexus focus: Isorian Senatex
Ghar Outcast Rebels
Not 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…
The Nexus focus: Ghar Outcast Rebels
- Aston Howes’ blogged thoughts on the Ghar Rebels
- Dave Horobin’s suggested lists for the Ghar Rebels
- The Freeborn Shard podcast’s Outcast Rebels episode