It’s now two years I regularly play Beyond the Gates of Antares and I collected five armies (yes, one day I’ll play the sci-fi version of that famous battle) and I like it very much. I lost count of the battles I played but I remember the fun I had and the tactics I’ve learned during these years.
So I decided to start writing a series of articles on the different factions to help new players or just curious to understand better how the different factions play, the background references, the lists and also provide some simple army list and buying guide.
Important note: Beyond the Gates of Antares is a living game, Rick Priestly and the Warlord Team (especially Tim “Gatekeeper” Bancroft) often release free updates on rules and army list – available for free in this page – so it might well be that some of the rules references or army list entries will become obsolete. I will try to publish updates when this happens – Update as per 04/12/2018 -.
The Algoryn Prosperate is surrounded by subtle enemies and at the same time is facing an implacable enemy in an all-out war. The subtle enemies are the Isorians and Concord and their intrusive IMtel, while the implacable enemy is the Ghar empire. To deal with these enemies the Algoryn need to keep a strong military force and the AI is the epitome of this need. At the same time, a secret branch of intelligence and research is gaining more and more political influence thanks to the recent addition to the AI arsenal.
The armored infantry forms the backbone of the Algoryn military power, and simply put it’s one of the most flexible Tactical units in the game. The squad has a good armor and fair standard weapon, the mag gun, which while not as powerful and flexible as the plasma carabine, has a very good range which allows the AI squads to hit a bit better at long ranges. The squad can also be equipped with up to two mag repeater, one to the leader and one to a squad member. I have to say I don’t quite understand this option, I might take one mag repeater for the leader but only for fluff reasons, I don’t see the value of having only one squad member equipped with a mag repeater. I would say the entire squad should be able to replace their mag gun with mag repeater.
Most of the times the weapon you really look for in an AI squad is the micro x-launcher. When shoot overhead has a useful blast D4 which can easily double the number of hits the squad can cause, and the no cover rule is always useful against infantry.
When fired directly has an SV 1 like a mag gun. In both cases the possibility to have special munition is excellent. Slingnet can cause a lot of trouble to infantry and Overload is very effective against armored infantry or light vehicles.
You can take up to two micro x-launchers which in combo with special ammo can make a simple AI squad very effective for a cost of 94 points plus ammo and eventual spotter. With two micro x-launcher the spotter is not even so necessary, even if it scatter there are good chances one of the two will hit the target somehow.
AI Assault squad
The assault squad on paper is great, mag repeater and D-spinner means not many squads can take an assault from them, however, its efficiency is seriously impacted by casualties. With no transport models available to safely bring the squad where is needed the only alternative is to send them running around, possibly sprinting, with serious risk of getting shot by the opponent. That would be perfectly fine if the cost of the squads wasn’t 120 points. There is high chance the squad will suffer one-two casualties and pins before getting close enough to the target and at that point, the effectiveness of the squad is seriously compromised. So my suggestion at this point is to hold on and keep your assault squads in the closet until the Algoryn transport is released, then I will update my guide.
With the assault squad (temporarily) out of the game let’s focus on the only other tactical choice with plenty of mag repeaters, the Infiltrator squad. Although not cheap at 109 points it comes with a nice spotter drone, four mag repeater (8 shots) and a nice ability to move before the start of the game.
Like the AI squad, the infiltrators have plenty of options that can give the squad different roles on the table. First and more overlooked is the camo drone, for a mere 10 points you basically create a squad which is very difficult to dislodge from an objective from distance. Sure they will not do much else when the camo drone is activated so they cannot react or else but if their mission is to quickly grab an objective with their initial extra speed and then hold it until the rest of the army arrives they are the perfect squad for the job. Do not underestimate the spotter drone in these cases, it can always be used to patch sight even if the unit is down so be sure to have a X-launcher within 20” or another spotter drone from the X-Launcher team and the infiltrators so the support weapon can lay barrage over incoming enemies.
You can also opt to use the infiltrators as an assault squad, in this case, you want to replace the mag pistol of the leader with a mag repeater and give plasma grenades or solar charges to the squad. The unit will become way more expensive and probably there will be no need for a camo drone. Solar charges are excellent as mines so think carefully where you want to place them in combination to the initial extra move and the terrain, you can create deadly death zones, once again the support of an x-launcher with grip ammunition can help dominate the terrain and battlefield zones.
AI commander – AI Assault commander
Here we are to the famous commander controversy of Antares. Are they just a tax? Are they a waste of points? Are they just cool? Well, there’s a little bit of truth in all these feelings, in my opinion, what I’ve experienced on the table is that sometimes they are key and sometimes they are a waste of points. And they are a bit of a gamble. But let’s talk specifically about Algoryn commanders and let’s start with the one that I would strongly suggest to leave at home. Yes, as the astute reader could have guessed I don’t consider the AI assault commander worth its huge cost (119 points for three models) until we get the Defiant for the same reasons I don’t suggest using the AI assault squads. I mean, go ahead and buy the models because they are very nice but they are not yet worthwhile.
So what about the classic AI Commander? First of all, it’s expensive. At 104 points for three models considering how effective are normal 5 men AI squads with two X-launcher for 10 point less you might wish to invest somewhere else. Yes and not. Surely for small games of 500-750 points, there are better choices but once again the type of mission you’re going to play is very important to decide if include a commander or not. From 1000 and more you start to think about it has a must have.
And for one simple reason, +1 Co is something you always want to have handy. I can’t remember how many times I succeeded in an order or morale test thanks to the Commander sticking around. That’s for me the main reason to take a command squad. The truth is that you’re going to use follow once per game or even less unless you use your commander to lead a fire brigade of support and heavy support weapons, but even in those cases only in a specific situation because rarely your opponent will leave in front of your fire brigade a defenseless target. But the Algoryn have another reason to take a Command squad and is to get those nasty Plasma Carabines that could be very useful against the Ghar battlesuits. But if you want a powerful plasma equipped unit you have to invest some points, at least bring the squad to 5 men to be effective and it’s 144 points. A solid fire unit but expensive.
Starting from 1000 points and more you might think to use your command squad in the center of your formation, especially if you have a lot of cheap AI squads, and give the unit a medi drone. Medi drone plus +1 Co means much more survivability to the surrounding AI squads. The only cons of this tactic is that most likely the command squad will not be able to shot because to be effective it will have to be surrounded by AI squads that will block LOS. But that’s a quite cool sight if the boss has to shoot that means the rest of the crew is gone so…