I have started to read the Rulebook for Beyond the Gates of Antares. Whilst I haven't yet worked through the rules, or indeed played the game, I have read the background material, neatly organised at the back of the book, on Antarean Space, the Seventh Age, and the different factions you can play. First impressions? The Rulebook is certainly beautifully produced. Its overall design is attractive and the page and chapter layout adds to the book's readability. The text is nicely supported by illustrations and photographs, allowing you to get a sense of what the different factions look like, and although more illustrations of support vehicles would have been beneficial, this being a new game clearly limits what can be included. The book is also well written - although typos remain - making it a pleasure to read.
I found the background material immersive, leaving me with an itch to know much more about the Antarean Universe. Many Sci-Fi universes exist in our hobby, and the extent to which a 'convincing' background helps a gamer choose one game over another is a question worth asking. For me it is important to get a sense of how the forces of different factions reflect the distinctive societies to which they belong, important that these forces possess different fighting traditions, and important to understand why these factions are fighting each other in the first place. The Rulebook goes a long way to meet these requirements. Sure, more could have been said, especially since the section on Antares and its Gates was repetitive, and I wasn't convinced that the Concord would commit humans to war given its priorities and technological supremacy. Yet the book is a first attempt to bring this universe to life on our gaming tables, and given this, Warlord Games are to be congratulated on the depth and detail they weave together. I'm hooked and looking forward to future releases.
I will comment on the rules when I've actually played the game.