|This recent model by MassEditor is just one example of the amazing builds that regularly emerge from Guilds of Historica.|
So when Andromeda's Gates was announced as a new sci-fi version of Guilds of Historica, I decided to get in on the ground floor. The idea is that you choose to join one of three corporations* vying for control of the Andromeda Galaxy, whose planets are connected by a network of the titular gates. The factions are:
Octan Corporation - Even in 3815 AD the Octan Corporation is still going strong under the leadership of Lord Business, with fingers in every pie. They have the familiar colour scheme of white with red and green.
|Octan drones hard at work in this great build by Shmails.|
Kawashita Group - This faction of robotics specialists have a Japanese theme and enigmatic family leadership. Their colours are grey and red.
|Kawashita space station by Nuckelberg. Digital builds are welcomed, and this is one of the best yet.|
M.A.N.T.I.S. - It stands for Marine, Air, Naval, Tracking & Intervention Services. At least that's what they want you to think. A colour scheme of black and green is well suited to these covert operations specialists.
|M.A.N.T.I.S. troops ready to ship out in this stunningly lit build by Mark of Falworth.|
After a bit of thought, I decided to sign up for M.A.N.T.I.S. with the character of Big Sal, a hairy scientist of dubious competence. To participate in the game, you can build one MOC per week featuring your character going about their business on one of the planets your faction has access to. Each build is scored out of seven and the score contributes points to your team which unlock access to new planets and resources. What's nice is that you can depict your character doing whatever you want and still earn points. Big Sal's lax approach to health and safety has cost M.A.N.T.I.S. both money and personnel, but in the context of the game it all contributes positively.
|Another one of Sal's experiments goes horribly wrong.|
While the quality of builds has been fantastic, with loads of great things to learn from, my favourite part of the game is the story telling and world building. My favourite builds and characters are the comedy ones, like the hilariously oblivious Pombe and eternally anxious Guy K. Wynd. As you'll see if you read those posts, Octan have been doing a fantastic job at intertwining their characters and builds. I love how in-jokes are developing, such as the bureaucracy of Octan (often represented by rule-obsessed scientist Dr Long) and M.A.N.T.I.S. troops' love of eating larvae. Of course, a dense network of history and in-jokes is one of the things that can put off new players, which is unfortunate but probably inevitable. Guilds of Historica has a wiki, but one of the things putting me off joining that game was the very fact that there was so much background to learn that a wiki was necessary! I'm not sure what can be done about it, or if anything really needs to be. Any thoughts?
|M.A.N.T.I.S. and Kawashita troops clash in this incredible build by David FNJ which was the first to score a perfect seven out of seven.|
Anyway, I guess the best thing to do if any of this sounds interesting is to get involved as soon as possible! The game has only been running for five weeks so there's not much to catch up on, and plenty of room still to make your mark on the galaxy. Things are just starting to hot up as the factions come into contact with each other and M.A.N.T.I.S. needs you!
* It's also possible to make alien builds without having to join a faction, so they're a nice way to start getting involved if you're not sure. These can occur on any planet and result in the corporations losing points. So far there haven't been very many, so it would be great to see more!