|Alex, the shark senses blood in the waters...|
Since receiving my first models for the Ancients of Atalan (one of the enigmatic races in Antimatter Games’ underwater skirmish game Deep Wars), Antimatter Games has released a swell of new models and terrain for Deep Wars. What’s more, the digital rulebook has received an update to make slight corrections and clarifications. Perhaps the most exciting development for the game, however, is the fact that it is starting to be stocked in game stores across America! My local game store, Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie, Maryland is one such store. Moreover, Patrick Weaver, a huge proponent for the game and one who has helped revise the ruleset with Antimatter games, is a regular at the store. For the last few months, he has been fanatically assembling, converting, and painting the entire Deep Wars range of models in preparation for holding a Deep Wars booth at AdeptiCon 2013 this weekend (Friday and Saturday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm)!
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a demo event he held last Saturday at Games and Stuff, showing off all of his hard work in preparation for the Con. He spent the day running games with all four of the Deep War’s races (Fortune Hunters, Dark Mariners, Ancients of Atalan, and Scaly Horde), on two wonderfully crafted boards. One was filled with colourful corals, sea plants, and anemones, while the other was rife with jagged thermal spires that encircled an ancient and eldritch ether device. He also had a host of plastic sea creatures ranging from giant squids, to jellies, and sharks (aggressive Tigers and even a cyclopean Whale shark, whom swallowed many a warrior whole!).
|Patrick's stellar Fortune Hunter warband!|
|Not all games need to be in the Stygian depths of the Abyssopelagic zone!|
Having brought my Ancients along, I played a game against a friend using Patrick’s Fortune Hunters on the thermal vent board. Having not played extensively, Patrick’s familiarity with the rules was invaluable. The boards he created were so varied and thematic, that we were both quickly drawn into the world as we thought of crazy things we wanted to try. What, there are patches of silty seabed that well up and obscure vision? Why not swim through it? A bloated whale carcass has the potential to explode into blubber and release the vicious hagfish within? A noble goal we both thought.
|The whale is harboring deadly hagfish!|
While the Fortune Hunters attempted to gain valuable knowledge by examining the artifact that dominated the center of the board, my ancients attempted to fire at the precious ether crystals that surrounded it (being that they were ebbing with barely contained energy). My Technologist found out that his pistol was useless at the task, in that it used the same crystals to project a pin-point laser. As he struggled with that, my mechanical shark found that torpedoes worked better, and proceeded to ignite the crystals in a great explosion that engulfed most of the Fortune Hunters. When everything settled, the Fortune Hunters were unscathed, due to their thick armour (and some good rolling). My inept Technologist was not so lucky, and exploded into an impressive number of pieces in a rather gruesome fashion.
|It was only after the Technologist was atomized , that I discovered he could cast spells...|
As this took place, the Fortune Hunter scientist was able to activate the elder construct. His hope that it was some powerful death ray was quickly dashed, as it emitted a psychic shriek that spanned virtually the entire board. This made the Recon Trooper quickly realize that he wanted nothing to do with the expedition and fled the battlefield. The rest held firm, bolstered by a well-placed torpedo from the Breacher Mech that put an end to the Chariniform Shark. Things continued to run straight down for the Ancients as an ominous Heavy Support trooper realized how he could put his heavy claw to work. The Salvage Mech crab did its best to avenge his mechanical shark friend by immobilizing one of the dive soldiers with its gigantic claw, before tearing him apart with its’ micro-edge blade. This victory was short-lived, as the crab disintegrated under the assault of another torpedo from the Breacher Mech. With the Ancients dead or routed, the Fortune Hunters were able to get back to combing the area for ether tech and minerals.
|The Breacher Mech is a devastating foe.|
Although my Ancients of Atalan did rather pitifully, never have I been more excited about the game! I want to explore the rest of the rules in more depth and look into the vast selection of spells and sea-life that populate the game. Although I will not be able to make it to AdeptiCon this year, I strongly urge any of you that are attending to stop by the Deep Wars booth and let Patrick show you what it’s all about! You will quickly be drug to the bottom of the sea (in the best way possible), where you can cavort with the fantastic and terrifying Lovecraftian creatures that live there. Or possibly just impale them with harpoons! -Godwyn Fischig