The second week of the Antares online campaign has seen forces jostle for position, and the conflict spread further in-land as all factions struggle to further their influence upon the builder planet. The forces of the Ghar Empire have furthered their lead – however, the Concord seem to have focused their assault upon the Landing Grounds and have struggled to established the Orbital Transmat from Episode 2 – which may serve as a disadvantage as the campaign progresses…
Let’s take a closer look at some of the second week’s highlights!
The forces of the Concord struggle to activate Orbital Transmats under fierce attack from the forces of the ever-encroaching Ghar Empire
Karyle pushed forward through the humid menagerie of fauna and scurrying wildlife, clicking away feeds from his Spotter Drones, annoyed. His two bodyguards kept close, the only two boromites he could afford to split away from his main fighters to accompany him directly. He’d been sent back to the surface of Xilos, assigned what amounted to little more than a suicide mission to destroy the site of an Algoryn transmat. He’d been told he could seek redemption from his previous assignment that should have seen him dead alongside his comrades. He’d been told he would receive constant reinforcements, but that he would only have a few men to work with at first, and that it was of the topmost priority to prevent this transmat’s construction. He’d been told a lot of things by the Guildess, actually. He really hadn’t paid much mind to the things she’d said, though, after being told that he would be assaulting the transmat construction site closest to his previous location on Xilos. Images of the imperious Kurar flashed through his mind every time he thought of it, the hateful Algoryn standing smugly over him, gloating at the death of his brothers-in-arms.
On his feed, Karyle was notified that his support team was in position, their X-Launcher set up and ready to fire; meanwhile his Worker Gang, sporting Mass Compactors, were in the same vicinity and preparing to charge the fortifications the Algoryns had prepared around their transmat. The spiny-headed bastards had built sizeable walls with gates around the transmat, clearly intending to wall it in completely. Luckily the walls were still under construction, as well, and there were openings enough that Karyle’s small contingent of fighters could hope to pull this off. Coming up on his position on the opposite side of compound, Karyle signaled the go-ahead for engagement.
The X-Launcher sent a deadly barrage of OverHead fire directly onto the defending Algoryn at the transmat, inflicting a casualty and drawing the attention of the Algoryn. Meanwhile, the Worker Gang sprinted forward clutching their Mass Compactors to their chests as they ran, collapsing from exhaustion in the relative safety of being shielded from view while immediately against the wall. The Algoryn weapon emplacement wasted no time, sighting up the boromite X-Launcher and dropping a direct hit onto it, obliterating the weapon crew. Karyle winced as the feed reached him, doubling his pace through the fauna towards the clearing up ahead.
Knowing the Worker Gang rested against the wall outside, the bold Algoryn assault squad rallied from the blast they’d received. Taking the Worker Gang by complete surprise, the Algoryn opened the functional gate in the middle of the wall, charging unexpectedly straight through into their ranks. They lost one warrior to the powerful Mass Compactor blasts, but utilizing their specialized D-Spinners they cut down the boromites to the man.
Roaring in frustration, Karyle had reached the clearing, taking cover behind some boxes that had been recently unloaded from a shuttlecraft. Checking his feed for reinforcements, he saw none with the sole exception of his new lavamite squad. Led by his former comrade’s brother, Leroy (apparently all the males in that family bore the name Leroy), the lavamites and their handler had somehow gotten off course, and were arriving at the transmat site from a different direction. Seeing the feed of Leroy’s arrival simultaneously with the Algoryn’s fixing on their weapons on the mites based on their obvious heat signature, he made the snap judgement to act. Rushing forward, Karyle and his bodyguards eliminated the Algoryns on the wall closest to his crew as they were sighting up the lavamites, using the angle provided to them from the unfinished construction of the fortifications to their advantage. The oblivious Leroy gave a battle cry and rushed toward the wall with his mites, unaware that without his Overseer’s intervention he would be dead upon the rocky ground.
Kurar, ever practical, saw that the destruction of the transmat was inevitable. The blasted boromite Overseer he’d allowed to live had returned to be a thorn in his side, after all. Viewing his sprawling feed of information, he saw the boromite reinforcements encroaching from their landing site several cliks away. He could keep his promise now, and slay the spiteful boromite Karyle, but he would be overrun in short order. It wouldn’t be honorable to command his men to die and ultimately fail their mission just to serve his ego. He would allow karyle this small victory, knowing full well that he would fulfill his promise to the ugly boromite soon enough. Smirking, the Algoryn commander signaled his squads to retreat their position, transporting them away to another nearby fortification on the planet’s surface.
Karyle managed to get inside and terminate the auto drones’ construction of the transmat with a quick burst from his plasma carbine to their control box moments later, finding only the dead bodies of his own Worker Gang. Growling in frustration, he slammed a stony fist into the plasteel wall of the fortifications, leaving gnarly knuckle imprints upon the otherwise smooth red surface.
Running up behind him, one of his bodyguards began to relay their new orders, “Sir, we’re being told th-”
“Yes, I know.” Karyle interrupted, the fury clear upon his face. “We hold here. For now.”
Rock Rider Rampage! The Boromites have seen a huge surge of support, securing a strong footing upon the builder planet this week!
The C3 were discovered setting up a transmat in the jungle, the construction nanosphere surrounded by kinetic barriers. As per Karg’s standing orders, Shaltok’s command converged on the sight to deal with the situation.
Unfortunately, the searching Ghar were dispersed throughout the jungle so took some time to arrive. The suits and bombers pushed through the jungle and arrived to find the nimble outcasts had just gotten there first – and taken punishment. After dropping a few disruptor bombs within the barricade, the bomber squad was taken out by the combined fire from multiple interceptors and C2 strike squads, the last remaining trooper bravely charging the interceptors and being brought down in a hail of fire.
But construction stuttered, no doubt due to the subspace dysfunction caused by the disruptor bombs. More Ghar came on, including tectorists and flitters, though even Shaltok and an accompanying troop of bombers were delayed by the dense undergrowth. More outcasts arrived and took out a complete strike squad before bravely advancing further towards the transmat and the despicable demonstration of technological humanity. Near them, the battle squad finally brought down a batter shield to leave an exposed weak face of the Concord deployment. This was quickly taken advantage of by a pair of disruptor cannon and the malevolent drones sank to the ground to avoid further shooting – one was even disabled.
Shaltok finally broke free of the tendrils of mutated undergrowth and trundled onto the table in his crawler. Assessing the situation, he quickly blew away some of the kinetic barricade, exposing the troops hiding behind it to any further Ghar coming on-table. His subsequent shots tore through the abominable humans with the accuracy expected of the veteran of Shamasai and numerous other battles.
The Concord were overwhelmed…
…excerpts decifered and decoded from the comms transmissions of KiltedTech’s forces…
Whatever plan the IMTel had, none of my troops were in on it. The rolls for deployment edges made things very challenging. The howitzer came onto the edge closest to a Ghar assault squad and was mostly isolated. A strike squad showed up on my preferred edge, but without any fire support it quickly went to ground under a hail of ambush fire from the lowly Outcasts hiding behind their kinetic barriers.
An X-Launcher team showed up out in the open. All I think is that the team got lost in the jungle and all the radiation from the Ghar power generators messed up their nav-comms; when they showed up they got caught with their pants down and recycled for turn 2 FAST.
Afte that the Ghar figured out pretty quickly that the secret to this scenario is to pin your opponent’s units enough to make them non-effective, but to not wipe them out.
A lot of great stuff showed up on turn 2, but again the random element of board edges forced some hard decisions with placement. Sadly, the ever-amazing drop command team failed its roll to come on in turn 2! The bravest strike command team ever showed up with a medium support drone and put some serious hurt on a battle suit unit. The plasma cannon on the drone cut straight through the armor on one suit, boosting the C3’s morale!
The recycled X-Launcher managed to show up on the board edge alongside the X-Howitzer and another strike team, which was enough to start putting some pins onto the assault squad.
It would take 4 turns, but eventually the Ghar assault squad would accrue 8 pins from light support drones, plasma carbines and nets.
By the time the right flank finally broke through the assault squad, the transmat station was close to completion. Unfortunately, it was too late for these brave units to reinforce the battered units already assaulting the compound. Before they could reinforce the center, the crafty Outcasts finished the Transmat and won the game.
This was another very challenging but rewarding scenario. Even though I didn’t make it to the center to stop the Transmat build, it could have easily gone my way instead. Such is the way of battle (and dice)! Brendan played a great game and I look forward to next episode!
No guts, no glory!
A quick note from the editor – this week it was particularly difficult to pick highlights, as there were so many impressive write-ups and photographs – the response to the campaign (and in particular, the story-telling) has been incredible! Thank you all for your efforts and input!
At the end of week two, and at the closing of Episode 2, here are the overall scores;
Ghar Empire – 95
Concord – 71
Boromites – 50
Freeborn – 46
Algoryn – 43
Isorians – 40
Ghar Outcast Rebels – 18
Interestingly, it seems that the forces of the Concord have focused their push upon the ovjectives featured in Episode One – so their strength lies around the Landing Grounds, whereas the Boromites have divided their forces more equally between there and the mission to secure the Orbital Transmat, so have a more even distribution of points across the two episodes. While the Ghar Empire have a convincing lead at this stage, there are several other forces which threaten to gain ground – and the standings have shifted quite significantly in the second week…
…what will Episode 3 hold in store?
As forces advance from the Landing Grounds, urgent support is required! – all sides need reinforcement and resupply – so be sure to sign-up to the campaign and show your colours now!
If you’ve already signed-up and have taken-up the cause – why not share the link around to your gaming buddies and other friends in order to rally support!
Don’t forget that there’s loot on offer – each week we’re picking a bunch of winners to receive all sorts of exclusive Antares-related prizes.. take a look here for details!