Friday, October 28, 2016

The Antares Initiative: Building Exonnin


One of the coolest things about being a part of Warlord Games' "Antares Initiative" project has been building the worlds our experience will be taking place on.



Each club participating in this project has been assigned a planet within the Beyond the Gates of Antares universe to wage war over.  These planets weren't simply an afterthought; they were designed by the man himself, Warlord's Antares Overlord, Rick Priestly!  Long time gamers know his name and newcomers can feel his influence all over the wargaming hobby still, even if  they don't realize it.
When we were told about having a unique planet assigned to us, we asked Andy, the GoA community coordinator, if it would be possible for us to battle over an ice world.  I had just painted my old Citadel Realm of Battle board in that scheme and was about to begin building some terrain to match. As luck would have it, we were granted the privilege to call Exonnin our new home for the next six months.

 A few coats of grey base paint with some white "highlights" on the edges of the terrain, and I had the board painted.  Honestly, I am always painting my terrain with an eye towards how it will look on our battle reports, so I wasn't too concerned with getting the details perfect.  I used some Woodland Scenic's Realistic Water to fill in the obligatory GW skull pits.  I wanted that greenish-blue color to represent pools of super cold liquid.  It also provides a nice contrast with the grey and white tablescape.

What is it with GW's skull fetish?


When it came to the rocky outcroppings, I knew I wanted to make several sizes of area terrain.  I measured them out using some Warhammer 40k vehicles for scale, then cut the base out of some hardboard from Home Depot.  Some spray adhesive and two layers of sand from my daughters sandbox and it was ready for the rocks.  At $3.00 for a 20 pound bag, pine bark nuggets would be perfect.  Unfortunately, being late summer, it was hard to find landscaping supplies still on the shelf.  However, the new Menards that opened up in Davison happened to have more than enough.

The hardest part of this project was finding this stuff!


I started by sorting the nuggets into piles by size.  I knew I would have to stack them like building blocks if I wanted them to look right.  Mixing and matching the pieces to fit was the hardest part.  Once I found pieces that looked good together, I started stacking them using some super strong craft glue.  Once they were dry, I hit them with the same paint as the board and they were done.

The way the spray adhesive dried made for some interesting textures.

You can drive a C3M4 drone right through this arch.


Of course, a mining operation like Exonnin needs some kind of outpost.  I had several bunkers from a Kickstarter I backed a few years ago that would fit beautifully.  Also, the new shipping crates from Games Workshop would provide a thematic addition to the table and, after painting them red, a nice contrast in color as well.

The crates and bunkers add to the industrial feel of the mining base.


The final touches came when Warlord sent us some extra terrain.  I grabbed the resin rocks and painted them the same as the rest of the table to use as scatter terrain.  I also won a gift certificate to Broken Egg Games at the Michigan GT last month.  I picked up some of their resin pools.  A quick spray and fill with Realistic Water and the table was complete.

We have special rules for crossing through the super frozen pools.


All in all, I spent less than $20 on the rocky outcroppings, and around $200 on the buildings and crates.  Because the club inherited the Realm of Battle board, it was free.  It would be very easy to swap the RoB board for a slick game mat from any number of quality producers.  Heck, a nice piece of white felt would, do in a pinch.  As far as I am concerned, this is a killer home table that everyone gets excited about playing on.  Now to get my Freeborn acclimated to the cold...




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