What’s Your Opinion?

It’s an interesting time for SF gaming.

For many years there’s been 40K and not a great deal else in the way of large scale 28mm SF battle games. Yes, there have been others, and some have done OK for a while, but none have really stuck. 15mm has been a popular scale for SF battles, and the 28mm games have mostly moved to smaller fights and skirmish games – apart from 40K, which GW have pushed into bigger and bigger battles.

40K Apoc28mm SF skirmish gaming offers a much wider set of options with many active games kicking about. So why is it that there’s so little in the way of mass battle SF gaming outside 40K? And, is that about to change?

Warlord have Gates of Antares on pre-order (it’s out on the 7th of November this year).

GOA contentsIt’s got good quality plastic miniatures and is based on their popular Bolt Action game, so you’d expect it to do fairly well. Warlord is a reasonable size and growing steadily. Can they grab some of 40K’s market, or perhaps tempt new blood into the SF battle game space? Or disaffected gamers back?

Then there’s a re-re-launched Warpath from Mantic.

Warpath battleThey’ve just finished a Kickstarter campaign for this. It’s looking like another interesting entry into the field, though their estimated delivery date of September 2016 is going to hurt if GoA takes off in the intervening year. Warpath might struggle to find a space between 40K and an established GoA. Then again, gamers are mostly magpies and buy way more games than they have time to play, so who knows? Well, maybe you do.

The following poll is partly an experiment for me to see if I can make polls work, and partly a curiosity about these games.

The question is what you think you’ll be playing a year from now, at the end of next year, when all 3 of these games are available.

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72 Responses to What’s Your Opinion?

  1. redtrombone says:

    So I’m a Magpie you say? Yes I am, yes we are!

    I’m quite fond of 6mm after finding out we have to take MANY compromises to make room/time for bigger scales. And even though we were led along the slippery slope to 40K apocalypse, there are many more alternatives out there, as you point out.

  2. Thomas Cato says:

    In terms of universe & miniatures, it’s still WH40K for me. I don’t care for the rules though, and certainly not for the push towards bigger & bigger battles with ever more oversized models, but I just love the Grimdark aesthetic. I might be check out the rules for GOA or Warpath, just out of curiosity. The visual style & miniatures of these two leave me stonecold however, and I can’t see myself buying any of them. All a matter of personal taste of course, and it’s nice for haters of Grimdark to finally get some decent plastics 😉

    I guess the real answer is I’ll be playing none of these 3, but buying WH40K stuff.

  3. Seb says:

    I can say that I totally stopped Wh40k since two years now. I assume that I’m selling everything because the game doesn’t interest me anymore (ok, I keep my old Rogue Trader, my ’87 Marines and Orks, and my last Blood Angels, because of my souvenirs ^_^).
    I’ve just finish Warpath kickstarter, as you Jake, because I found the rules system pretty interesting (i’m into Mantic games maybe because of you, too! 😉 ). I’ve tested it last week, and I’m really pleased with them. My players-friends have done the kickstarter too, and I can believe that we’ll gonna play Warpath a lot next year! (and DreadBall, and Dungeon Saga, of course!)
    For GoA, that’s another case. I’ve looking on the old kickstarter, and, maybe because this is Rick on command, I was very interested by this game. And really, i’m still interested. So, I’ve pre-co GoA as soon as the game was presented by warlord. I don’t know if my friend will play it with me (we play Bolt Action anyway), but I’ll give a try. I’m sure they’ll love it.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Happy to hear you like my games Seb. I didn’t have anything to do with Warpath, though it does use a number of ideas from Deadzone. Sounds like you have a healthy gaming group going there 🙂

  4. heretic30k says:

    I answered 40k & Warpath on the basis that I will have purchased and will purchase the figures. How much I get to play either as mass battle games is minimal – work & family commitments take up too much time & money at the moment. I love the 40k lore, but the system is really crusty now. The quick play/streamlines approach favoured by Mantic is appealing as it may make it more viable for me to play a bit more regularly. The lore is still immature though

  5. Teemu Hemminki says:

    I pledged for Warpath Kickstarter mostly for models, but will be interested to see what comes up with it. I also tried to read BGoA beta rules, but didn’t get interested too much back then.

    My problem with Sci-Fi is that there really isn’t just the right game I would want to play. My first introduction to miniature wargaming was through “Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate” computer game and while many games (especially Rogue Trader and 2nd edition of 40K) have much in common with it, none really has managed to bring the feel I got from it into tabletop. Deadzone comes really close though.

    I would love to get my hands into skirmish wargame with focus between squad and platoon levels. 30 models per side and 3 vehicles would be absolute maximum size for army. More commonly it would be within 15 models and 1 vehicle. Just a little bit bigger than squad based skirmishes. Of course, model count is secondary to how the game actually plays.

    This week I found old computer game called “Full Spectrum Warrior”, which was originally supposed to be training tool for USA military forces. You control one squad, split into 2 teams and have to make teams work together to achieve objectives. Leaving cover without support leads into death of soldiers and enemies must be flanked to get them down. I would be interested to see something similar in tabletop wargames.

    About 40K, I see it refreshing that old giant is losing it’s foothold. It would be sad to see it to go the way of Sigmar, but seeing how the death of WHFB affected fantasy wargaming community, it could actually be for the best.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m wondering how much, if any, difference Warpath and Gates of Antares will have on 40K’s market share in the next few years. I’m sure that any change won’t happen overnight, and it will depend on things like the depth of the background Rick’s done for GoA – background is a lot of a game’s stickiness as you can see from some of the comments above. Remember though, that Rick wrote a lot of the original framework for 40K, and from the bits I’ve read you can feel a similar stylistic vibe. The stuff reads to me as both familiar and new, which is a bit strange, though not unpleasant. Like nostalgia you didn’t know you had. It’ll be a fun read if that keeps up when I get the full rules/background.

      • Thomas Cato says:

        I also wonder whether there will be any impact on Infinity’s market share. In the past there have been a number of ambitious competitors to WH40K who tried gain market share by better rules design and a different universe/visual style but apart from that one game, they’ve mostly failed to gain any major following.

      • I suspect Warpath will have an impact on 40K’s market. I know very little about GoA. The thing is, before WFB was killed by GW, I only heard Mantic’s Kings of War to be a cheap knockoff ruleset to accompany cheap fantasy miniatures. When WFB died, I was so surprised that I went online and learned that KoW now had lists for WFB armies. I finally decided to give it a read and the rules are fantastic. So then I looked at my Space Marine army and Tau army, and wished Mantic would create a ruleset that would do them the same as for my Rats. And suddenly, there’s Warpath 2.0! And Firefight. And I wonder how many more disgruntled 40k players out there, who also moved their WFB armies to KoW wonderland, supported WP’s Kickstarter, and will bring more and more fellow gamers to it once its release is consolidated.

  6. Lee Wygant says:

    I am a fan of Bolt Action and have enjoyed all the Mantic products so far. I have jumped into the Warpath KS and have hopes it will be as clean and balanced as their other games. Antares looks very interesting but there would have to a fundamental shift in the local gaming community for me to find players. As for 40K, I had my fanboy chip removed at 3rd edition with “winning codex of the month” silliness and increasing model costs.

  7. Chad C says:

    Heavy Gear Blitz and Deadzone are my two go-to forms of Sci-fi gaming. I’ve been a HGB fan for YEARS, and Deadzone is just a decently easy game to teach and play due to its boardgame nature.

    I’ve tried getting into Firestorm Armada, Firestorm Planetfall, and numerous other Sci-fi wargames, but nothing else really stuck. I also fell away from GW around 3rd edition for the same reason I don’t care for Magic the Gathering. Power creep and price. Looked into Dropzone Commander, but with me so heavily invested into HGB already, why get ANOTHER game of the same general scale?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve had a couple of people tell me that HGB is worth playing, so I did get the rules. Couldn’t get through the book despite some interesting concepts – just felt like hard going. I think I need someone to teach me on the tabletop then I can read it afterwards.

  8. Willem-Jan (Hephesto) says:

    More or less moved away from GW due to the company’s approach to their customers and the armsrace they seem to want to force their fans into. More than that though I find myself more tempted to try new experiences, both hobby and ruleswise. Sadly the GW side of the hobby just isn’t suited to that, you either go in big or there’s no point in bringing minis to the tabletop. Which isn’t to say I begrudge anybody from playing the GW games, it’s your hobby and there is a lot of fun to be had there.

    However it is why I rather like Mantic’s approach to the Warpath universe where in between Deadzone, Firefight and Warpath there is a diverse set of rules to play around with, sizes of games to run, armies to build up and use or worth to get from your collection. Also helps Dreadball and the numerous stories over the years have really helped flesh out the setting. Taken together the Warpath universe is a ‘good investment’ for somebody looking for a new scifi universe that will give them tons of content.

    Somewhat tempted by Gates of Antares as well, not in the least due to the core rules system it is build on. That setting just hasn’t caught my attention as much yet, which may change i over time. The models and new starter are definitely making it easier to give it a go, there’s quite simply enough hobby fun in there to justify the purchase. And I feel that if the universe keeps developing as it has these last two+ years the same thing I see with Warpath could happen here setting-wise.

    Currently also dabbling with Bombshell Minis’ scifi pulp Counterblast (warband-sized, campagin-focused gameplay) and have good hopes of Anvil Industry’s Afterlife (under development, near future, squad-based, breach and clear mechanics-focused gameplay), both games where the look and feel of the models and factions initially drew me in as a hobbyist. Technically stunning products, but more than anything offering something entirely different (pulp scifi and near-future, Equilibrium-esque scifi) from the more gothic or traditional space marine feel we get from most other scifi games.

    I have noticed though, looking at my every increasing hobby/painting cue, that after all those years of 40K and Necromunda, more and more fantasy, warband-sized games have snuck into my collection. For some reason I drifted away from that genre during my 40K period, but now it’s back in full swing with stuff like Anyaral, ShadowSea, DeepWars, Arcworlde, Norsgard and Relics.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Equilibrium is a fun movie. Flawed, but still very entertaining, and with one of my all time favourite quotes.

      As you say, there’s a lot about these days, and a particularly wealth of small model-count games with gorgeous models.

      • Willem-Jan (Hephesto) says:

        The movie has a ton of good moments, shame the release of the Matrix pushed it out of the publics attention. Interesting little plays on human emotion as well, though everybody of course loves the puppy moments 😉

        Rather curious to see where this entire ‘big’ army thing will go the next couple of years, not quite sure the concept has enough appeal for a new audience once the 40K community starts loosing more numbers. Warpath may be an alternative, but even there the size, needed time and maybe even cost of entry into the biggest version of the game make it tough sales with today’s smaller games and tons of hybrid boardgames. Not quite sure there is an audience looking for what is eventually more a full-time hobby rather than a game in the collection.

        Sure miniature gaming isn’t going anywhere but up in technological development, not quite sure how big it will remain player and size wise though. Then again 10-15mm gaming and Napoleonic haven’t disappeared either, so who knows. Scifi does feel like a tougher product to develop and sell if you actually want to create a game and ruleset with lasting power. Concept wise you can start any fantasy game with a few classic tropes like a dwarf, dragon, elf etc. and build from there with even the slightly unique twist, for scifi you need a more fleshed out setting to anchor your visual design and draw people in into using your models for the actual game and not just as count as models. Think Mantic did this quite well through gameplay in Dreadball and Deadzone, while Gates of Antares is now just getting around to ‘selling’ the setting to an audience.

        • Thomas Cato says:

          They’ll have to build it up. I can’t see anyone doing really big battles with GOA or Warpath early on, there just isn’t enough variety in miniatures & vehicles. And no big stuff like you have for WH40K. Sizeable skirmishes, sure, true Apocalypse style mass battles, not for years.

          I’m currently reading Playing at the World, Jon Peterson’s history of early Dungeons & Dragons which also devotes quite a lot of attention to wargaming back then. It seems that even in the sixties miniature gaming was a small niche within the wargaming world, where board games were far more popular as they required less out of game effort & were cheaper (and could easier be played by mail!). Yet while board wargaming has seriously declined in popularity since then, miniature wargaming has grown exponentially. So I wouldn’t worry too much about the impact of technology.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Supposedly., technology has been just about to swallow miniature gaming ever since I can remember, and it’s yet to happen. If anything, I hear this less frequently now than when computers were a new thing. I think people have generally realised that traditional hobbies can coexist with tech as they scratch a different itch.

          We’ll have to see how much development Warlord have done on GoA when it releases. I’ve heard that they already have the next year’s worth of releases sculpted, so they’ve clearly done a fair bit of planning.

          Mantic have been building the Warpath background for a while through DreadBall, etc, so they’ve got a bit of a head start in terms of time and number of people that are familiar with it. But the companies have taken two different routes, and I suspect that there will be a fair amount of background stuff in the GoA book when it comes out.

  9. edward3h says:

    Out of the factors that affect whether I pick up a new game, I would say the rules are a pretty minor one.

    Bigger factors are:
    a) Inertia – I have a few 40k armies, and not a lot of time to work on new stuff. So I might gradually add new units to what I have, but I don’t want to have to begin with a whole new army.
    b) Opponents – I can easily get a game of 40k at my local club (and my regular opponents are happy to discuss whether we’re looking for a fun game or a super-competitive one and adjust army selection appropriately). If I want to start something new I have to hope or persuade others to join in. (If I wanted to play Warmahordes that is established at the club, and a bunch of people have recently gone crazy over Firestorm Armada, but I’ve heard very little discussion of Warpath and basically none about GoA)
    c) Models/aesthetic – I’m a long time fan of 40k (every edition) so I’m well immersed in that look and feel. All the models Mantic make have looked a bit second-rate to me, and GoA hasn’t really shown models that made me go “I must have that”. (And I have occasionally bought into random miniatures Kickstarters that did give me that feeling)

  10. lord_blackfang says:

    Regarding sci-fi massed battles, I wrote my own 40k patch (based on 4th edition with reactions, suppression and all that modern stuff added) that I play with the last few gamers of my generation while the old farts play KoW and the whippersnappers play ETC 40k.

    I’ll certainly try Warpath and Firefight once (I even tried AoS) but I’m not optimistic.

    I have zero interest in DoA, sorry, GoA.

    • lord_blackfang says:

      Old farts play FoW, I meant. Definitely not KoW, despite my best attempts.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        People who’ve gone to the trouble of tailoring games to perfectly suit their own group have been bitten by the design bug and are seldom happy with vanilla rules after that. I’ve seen the infection before 🙂

  11. Bobalot says:

    I think the poll will be woefully skewed by the fact there are so many Mantic players trawling your blog for DZ:R tidbits. That said I will be playing Warpath rather than Beyond the Gates of Antares purely because I already have good starting armies for it from Deadzone and in the near future reinforcements from the DZI kickstarter. Even though the rules are still in beta they are fun enough to keep me interested for the year before the kickstarter is delivered. That said Beyond the Gates of Antares looks like a lovely game and I hope to have a look at it in the future as soon as I pay off my kickstarter debt 🙂

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As you say Bobalot, “woefully skewed”. That’s true. It was never going to be scientific. It’s just a curiosity.

      I didn’t actually have anything to do with any of these games in terms of rules writing (though Warpath admittedly steals concepts from Deadzone, which I did write), so in that sense it’s all the same to me. Of course, the folk that wander past this blog are likely to include a lot of Mantic players because of the other work I’ve done. That’s a predictable bias/

      Perhaps the question then is why are only half the replies saying that they’d play Warpath?

      🙂

      • Tyr says:

        Because everyone will be playing Deadzone of course. 😉

      • Bobalot says:

        Ah, well we are also gaming magpies! I do think Warpath is a far more marmite game than Deadzone – since Deadzone was attractive to people from all walks of gaming hobbies while even in the smaller niche of mass sci fi war gamers the abstractions involved in the warpath rule set aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Which abstractions in particular do you think cause issues?

        • Bobalot says:

          Well there was a very long debate in the feedback thread about the hub and multi basing rules. People disliked the fact that four troops in each squad were effectively decoration for the hub model and hated the idea of movement trays in a sci fi game. I think the consensus was that these abstractions were too abstract for a 28mm game and were suited more for epic 40k style games.

          Having played a few games I would disagree; having a tray under units speeds up the movement part of the game and as a commander in my ship overseeing the battlefield as the plague rip though am I really going to care where each individual soldier is taking cover so long as their squad is in position?

          As for the hub rules I don’t think it detracts from the cinematic nature of war gaming, it just upscales it to units instead of models. Using Deadzone as an example I once had an enforcer charged by a third gen in a building, I doubled my survive and the enforcer jet packed through a hole in the building to the one next door then in his activation clear shot murdered the third gen. It was an awesome moment! In the last game of Warpath I played I had an anti tank squad and an assault squad holed up in an objective building; my opponent charged in some second gens the anti tank unit shredded half the second gens before they got close and assault squad was wiped out but not before taking the last of the second gens with them (whichever of the squad that hadn’t been slaughtered had no doubt started succumbing to the plague. It was also pretty awesome but at no point did I feel like I was really just two models with decorations!

          I think most people’s problems with these abstractions is that they are more used to seeing these mechanics at smaller scales and also they were expecting from the last set of warpath rules, for lack of a better term “Warpath 40k”, I’m glad they are trying to do something a little different.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          So you expect people to be happy enough once they’ve had the game on the table?

        • Bobalot says:

          I hope so, I certainly did!

  12. Kevin says:

    I firmly believe that Warpath will have more legs than Antares. Mantic’s universe model allows a lot of crossover among products which was such a huge attraction with GW back in the day. Personally, there is absolutely ZERO appeal with Antares aside from a couple models, but everybody has different tastes. I am not entrenched in either camp (Mantic or Bolt Action/Warlord), but I see more of an upside with Warpath versus Antares. Remember, Warpath (and their Kings of War) even goes a long way with allowing proxy minis which makes it even more attractive to non-tourney type players. I for one am looking forward to using my very large non-Mantic Corporation army.

    • Tyr says:

      Warpath has a lot of non-human aliens to draw from, which is pretty important, I think. GoA background is based around human-derived subraces, iirc. So youve got a lot less variation there (no crazy insectoid creastures, no ancient civilisations, etc).
      That said, Ill probably try both at some point. Probably Firefight rather than massbattle Warpath though.

  13. eriochrome says:

    Not a big fan of sci-fi battles in 28 mm especially at the model volume GW is pushing and Mantic is targeting for Warpath at like 60-100 each side. I think about 30-50 per side is a nice number with maybe a few tanks/big things (reducing the counts) but not super heavies or something. The 6*4 board is just too small for most of the stuff GW is trying to shove onto it recently. My personal favorite is the intercontinental missile carrying tank firing at things only like 100 yards away.

    Sci-fi battle belongs in 6mm.

    I am excited to see Warpath:Firefight and gave Mantic a dollar for the digital rules and source books in their kickstarter.

    Sci Fi battle is a harder market to break into as the models are often more game specific than generic European fantasy and the money invest is high enough that you want to game to last. Trying a skirmish game at 50-100 dollars is a much smaller investment than a battle game that is usually 200-300 dollars to get a real game going. That other games are even trying to pop up now shows that 40K is weaker than it has been in quite a while.

    • Tyr says:

      Good point there. With fantasy games, you can push out a couple of models and rules, and build up from there. If your rules contain dragons and you cant produce dragons yet, no prob, players can get a different manufacturers’ dragon. No difficulties getting your game off the ground and people playing it (well, theoretically anyway). Sci Fi though? Each variant is pretty much unique. Sure, youll get some thematic crossover, but a dragon is a dragon. A xenomorph is not a tyranid termagant though. An ultramarine is not a spartan. Even if scale isnt an issue, the designs will not match, meaning you have to produce pretty much everything required for the game from the get go.

      • Thomas Cato says:

        Sci-fi has its generics too. If you look at paperback covers from past decades, contemporary illustrations often have a similar visual vibe, sharing assumptions on what future technology or aliens look like.

        Warpath and GOA miniatures look pretty compatible too. Yes, one has ratmen, dwarves & orcs, but for the rest they don’t look all that unique & different. Both go for a somewhat similar cleaner more techy look than core WH40K. You could have both miniature ranges in action on the same table and still have the sense of playing in the same universe. This not a bad thing, it doesn’t indicate they’re uncreative or second rate, only that they draw on other sources than GW usually does.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I think you can see generics of specifics in the same thing if you look. To a large extent it’s down to the tolerance of the individual for using non-specifics. Even many fantasy games want specific models really (and a dragon is not always just a dragon if your background has anything about it at all).

        • eriochrome says:

          Sort off. In fantasy if you have a Human, Elves, Dwarf, or Orc armies you sort of have a basic level of coverage that goes to most games. For Sci Fi the most generic thing is probably the Space armored Human vs some type of alien.

          How much variance you want between the type of alien you have and the type they describe is up to you but we are talking about a mini game and not a paper cutout/counter so some correspondence is probably desired by the players.

          Comparing my 2 40K armies mapping to say Warpath: Marines=Enforcers no problem but Nids do not seem to map very well. My bad luck. I ofcourse can play warpath in 6 mm with my Marines, Squats, and Eldar all mapping pretty straight forwardly. Then again EA a very solid game but 6 mm miniatures are just not as evocative as 28 mm.

          When you look at the kickstarters for Mantic, big successes are say 5K backers but those people are spread all over the world. I think I calculated once that there were probably 2 Deadzone backers in my county. For a skirmish game this is fine since people generally have multiple factions so they can front their opponents minis to try to game. In the Warpath kickstarter if you were trying for the firefight size you could get 4 forces at the 235 dollar level but only one full army. This might be why you see games generally start smaller scaling from 10 models per side Skirmish to 30 model Platoons to 100 model Battles.

          For new battle games this is a bit more of a problem unless the minis can be proxied from another. Now Mantic does not always want to be trying to get GW leavings but having some reasonable matching certainly does not hurt getting people to try the game. Then if you get some players they can expand into your unique model lines.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Finding opponents is always a problem, and the higher the cost of buying in, the worse it gets. Obviously that means that the big games always struggle more.

          GW were in the right place at the right time, and so many people have collected something for Warhammer or 40K over the years that getting a game is relatively easy. That is one of GW’s biggest advantages, and one of the hardest problems for other companies looking to break into the area of larger games to overcome.

          Being generic is indeed one way forward. Personally I think it’s a poor choice in the long term, but that’s just me.

        • eriochrome says:

          Certainly a tough line to find the right balance for. At the end of the day you have to sell your minis, so you want it generic enough so people can get a taste but with enough unique elements to lock them in.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Hmmm… maybe. You’re definitely right about needing to sell them though 🙂

  14. S. says:

    I’m more of a Fantasy Player and I’m here mostly for DS (and formerly DKH).
    But mantic got me hooked so I took part in the last DZ-Kickstarter.
    I was also in on the warpath KS because as you said we buy more that we are able to play. But I jumped off and am now only recieving the PDFs for the game.
    DZ has to be enough to feed my hunger for SciFi.
    I figured I will have a hard enough time finding an opponent for DZ as my friends are boardgamers and not wargamers. So I’m fighting my urge to be a Magpie 🙂

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Brave of you to fight it, but the magpie urge is strong…

      You’ll have to let us know how you get on with DZR and your boardgames friends. Some board game groups I’ve heard about take to it well, and others struggle (mainly with assembling miniatures and so on). It is a hybrid, so sometimes it works well with one half of the ancestry and other times it doesn’t. Mind you, if a miniatures gamer is there to take some of the figure aspect of it off the board gamers then it will be more likely to go down well 🙂

      • S. says:

        Well I won’t be having problems with assembling the miniature… though I’m not a wargamer I’m not new to the hobby. And I’m actually looking forward to it. Recently two of my boardgaming friends asked for advice on starting to paint minis. One of them backed Zombicide Black Plague and the other on bought Mars Attacks at Essen. I hope DZR will go down good with them.
        I may be picking up 2-3 of the KS-Exclusive Characters of the Warpath KS when the pledgemanager comes out. For DZR of course.
        My only Problem with the DZR-KS at the moment is that I don’t really like the rats. As far as ‘villans’ (is there such a thing in the Warpath universe) go I like the marauders or the plague much better.
        Of the other armies I like enforcers, Forge Father and also asterians (especailly the Kalyshi). Sadly apart from the enforcers it does not seem that we are getting enough of them for a playable troop. And Since I don’t know the game I did not want to go over the basic pledge.
        I may have to sell my veermyn stuff or trade it in for something I like more…

  15. Graeme says:

    Went for “I don’t play mass battle SF games”. I have two 40k armies at home but they’ve not left the cabinet in about 4 years.

    I would have been interested in Warpath, but I cannot get my head around a 28mm unit-bases mass battle game. I wouldn’t be able to use any of my existing terrain cos it’s all built for 40k style individual basing, and I don’t have a table (or room in my house even) big enough to make it worthwhile. In fact I think Mantic have been very slightly cheeky in all their promo photography which seems to present WP as something more akin to 40k – not a unit base in sight!.

    Gates of Antares does nothing for me at all.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I find the unit bases visually grating as well. However, they’re not obligatory – simply a means to speed up movement (at least they were the only time I played it). I’ve seen people play 40K with those bases too.

      The photography may be pragmatism rather than cheek. I’m not sure they have the unit bases made yet to photograph.

      Out of curiosity, could you put your finger on what specific lack there was within GoA that you find so underwhelming?

      • redtrombone says:

        I recall you mentioned the lack of spider-baddies on tabletop, but how about the (extint) Starship trooper arachnids?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The Starship Trooper movie bugs are great. I don’t think they’re really spiders though. Certainly not like any I’ve ever bumped into!

          I never had the ST game, and didn’t see much of the models. From the little I recall they were one of the better insect miniatures. For some reason though, I don’t think of them as being a fair comparison or really gaming pieces. They’re film things rendered small as models, not native game miniatures, if you see what I mean.

          There’s a distinction – at least in my head 😛

      • Graeme says:

        Unit basing is now (as of a few weeks ago) required for the Warpath mass battle game. They’re doing a more skirmishy 2nd-ed 40k sized variant called firefight too that doesn’t need unit bases, but I was trying to stay on the mass battles topic 🙂

        I just can’t understand how unit bases will work with most people’s 28mm terrain, which is almost always set up to allow positioning of indidual guys.

        As for GoA, I just find the factions and setting on offer very uninspiring. None of the miniatures or concepts appeal, and although I’ve not read a huge amount of the background, that’s because the snippets I did read just didn’t drag me in.

        • Graeme says:

          …and just to reiterate, the scaling is an even bigger issue to me than the bases. They’re talking about hundreds of models a side. I don’t see how you can have a game with meaningful movement on a standard 6×4 if each player’s army occupies 1.5 sq m of table. (37cm^2 seems to be the smallest 5-man base you can make for 28mm models, and you’ll need 40 of them for 200 men, i.e. ‘hundreds’)

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I hadn’t been watching the development of Warpath, so it hadn’t registered that the unit basing was required now. That’s an intriguing choice. I only heard about the Firefight one when the KS went live, so I don’t know about that either. Sounds more accessible though, just in terms of size of battle. A little off my intended topic though.

          Your back of an envelope numbers do suggest a problem for 6×4 tables. Maybe it’s supposed to be played on something bigger. Dunno.

          Personally, I think that Warlord would have been better served by including a couple of more unusual factions in their initial offer. I think that some of their models are rather nice, but it’s hard to get a real wow out of space humans.

        • Rasmus says:

          the Unit Basing is not required, that is why Mantic did not want to sell movement trays in the KS, they where afried some would think they where a requirement, they are not

  16. Ed Lowe says:

    Well I’ve backed warpath and preordered goa, but I’m actually rather looking forward to Malstroms Edge in December.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Well they certainly think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Me, I’m naturally skeptical of claims such as “nothing short of the finest, most engaging wargame on the market”. I’ve been doing this a very long time and have heard such claims before.

      Maybe they’re right this time. We’ll see when their full rules come out.

  17. allgamerman says:

    for me…
    skirmish game 28-32mm
    mass battles 10-15mm
    …not everyone can have huge tables at home
    Jake, I need a mantic game for space ships battles 😉

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Indeed. I work on the assumption that a 6×4 table is as big as is practical. And to be honest, I don’t think I can recall a game that I’ve played on a bigger table which was better than a 6×4 game for its extra size. The monster games can look impressive, but they very often play worse.

      And as for a spaceship game, you’d have to press Mantic for that one. It’s tricky though – Ronnie loves his 28s, and I’m pretty sure that even at Mantic prices an aircraft hanger full of 28mm spaceships might be quite costly 😉

  18. I’m waiting to see the new DZ rules and I pledged 1$ for the Warpath rules to see if they’re any good. Firefight is probably the biggest size game I would play these days. Not enough time or space these days for mass battles and I skew towards skirmish because gaming nite is 3-4 hrs. and I have to get up for work the next day… I’m not in college anymore and all weekend 40k games are long gone! 😉 GoA looks interesting and I really like the order system as it mimics the fog of war aspect and it usually results in laugh out loud gaming moments – much more preferable to me than the ultra competitive win at all costs type game… Hopefully the AI will work with the new DZ so I can get in an hour or two of ttwg at home when I can’t get out… Yeah I’m like a junkie that way – “I need my tabletop gaming fix, man” 😉

  19. Pingback: Poll Ponderings |

  20. Zethnar says:

    In what is I guess a bit of an opposite here, I have no interest in Warpath, but I’m definitely curious about Gates of Antares. Part of what turns me off about Warpath is that a lot of the miniatures look like they were designed for a children’s toy line, not for a ‘Hard Science Fiction Wargame’. Serously, look at the Forgefather trike for an example. It’s a dragon’s head welded on to the technodrome from TMNT.

    A big draw for me with GoA is the lore. Not that what they’ve released so far is particularly compelling, but that it’s at least somewhat believable. I find that the lore from Warpath sounds more like it was written by an adolescent who had read Snow Crash after binging on 40k fiction, and that’s really a turn off.

    EIther way I can imagine it’s going to be difficult to find opponents, but I’ve given up on 40k, the rules have gone completely off the deep end and it’s just not fun anymore.

    Having said all that, I do have quite a few 15mm figures lying around, I just need to convince someone to play a few games of something with me. I’ve picked up a couple of rulesets over the years that I’ve been itching to try out.

  21. usiandrew says:

    Sorry if I am ignorant. What is the model count in an average size army for Gates of Antares. I have stopped playing the New GW product and simply used the Miniatures I own(Thousands) to play my favorite Editions of 40k and WFB. AOS destroyed the game and they took the lore in a direction I just don’t like. However I can still enjoy my models and WFB just not the current edition. My gaming group(20 or so Men and Ladies) agree and we have voted on the edition we will play.

    I want to play Gates of Antares because the models are quite frankly amazing and the lore that I have read so far will rival 40k one day(as it gets more established) for creativity and innovation I believe.

    Since I am not going to stop collecting Models just GW models I want a Sci-Fi Game that scratches the itch and I want to get my gaming group playing. So How many models in an average army or side?

    Thanks I know this is a necro-post but it was the one that came up in google.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m not sure I can really help much. I played the game with the contents of the basic box, and that was a small battle. Playable, but you felt like you probably wanted perhaps the same again for a mid-sized scrap.

      Your best bet is to go to the Warlord forums and ask there. That’s where I would guess the Antares players hang out 🙂

      http://www.warlordgames.com/forum/

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