Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Convoy Ambush - Beyond the Gates of Antares AAR

This past weekend Sam, Brandon, Dick and I got together for a game of Beyond the Gates of Antares, which hasn't seen the table for years. 

Brandon asked if we could try out a convoy scenario. So we ended up with Brandon and Dick commanding the convoy with Sam and I acting as the ambushing party. 

The scenario background saw an Algoryn Prosperate armored column moving through a war-torn area, supported by forces of the Isorian Senatex. 

Unbeknownst to the convoy, the Panhuman Concord's forces had set the area up as an ambush spot, readying it with transmat homers and drop troops. The Concord had also hired on mercenaries from the Freeborn House of VanShael. While lightly armed and armored, the Concord and Freeborn forces had the advantage of choosing where and when they would deploy (mostly).

Sam provided the terrain, which was a mix of jungle growth and industrial buildings. 

The scenario goal was simple. Either the convoy managed to get off the left side of the table, or the ambushers destroyed the Liberator heavy skimmer.

Sam decided to drop in early against the Algoryn skimmers at the head of the convoy. His drop troops were fast and could carry more anti-tank weaponry than most squads. 

Initially the attack went well, with the drop troops taking out the lead Intruder skimmers in a single attack. However, the heavier skimmers that followed up wiped out Sam's command squad and hammered another drop troop squad. 

In addition, the Isorians moved up through the jungle, so I brought on a Domari squad to cover the flank. Unfortunately the plasma-armed Phase Squad and the Tograh transport drone shredded the Freeborn. 

Around a third of the way up the convoy's route there was a choke point that Sam and I hoped to use to our advantage. While the Isorians were chewing up our troops in the jungle, for a moment it seemed like we may have had a chance against the Liberator and the lighter Avenger skimmer. 

A well-placed x-launcher (sci-fi mortar) round from Sam's concord landed on the Avenger and did some damage. In support, my own x-launcher landed a Scrambler round between the two skimmers, dropping their Resist value and messing with the Algoryn buddy drones. However, we failed to capitalize on the moment, even with Sam's C3T7 transport and my Freeborn Striker skimmer.

With some well-placed shots, the C3T7 transport and the Striker skimmer were destroyed. 

Then my ambushing mag cannon failed to hit the Liberator and was promptly destroyed in return. 

At that point, Sam and I realized that we didn't have anything left that could scratch the Liberator, and while the Avenger was damaged, the Isorians were relatively untouched, with a few Andhak drones prowling the jungle, searching for more ambushers. 

At that point, Sam and I called the retreat, with the remaining ambushers running for the cover of the deeper jungle regions. The convoy collected itself and pressed forward. 

I always feel like I want to play more Antares, but actually playing the game itself is a hassle. The rules are a sprawling mess, with multiple rule books, updates for the rulebooks, rules documents, and game aids. I'd also like more games at lower points levels and using the basic, matched play scenarios to get my head around the rules. There's a lot that was adapted into Warlords of Erehwon, but enough different to cause headaches if you're not careful. 

I'm really hoping that this game gets a second edition and more support from Warlord. 

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