Unlike many previous miniature figure wargames, all of the miniatures are supplied pre-assembled, and pre-painted. AT-43 features a new "interchangeable parts" aspect that allows players to reconfigure their models to better suit their personal strategies. The game also provides a good amount of 3-dimensional scenery, and 2-dimensional game mats to allow player to decide between mission-based objectives, or skirmish-based combat.
In AT-43 [After Trauma: Year 43], humanity is at war with the technologically advanced Therians, a presumably robotic species bent on subjugating and transforming all planets for their ultimate purpose: the crafting of a "better", more organized universe under their rule, which they refer to as their "therian heaven". Humanity is seen by them as nothing more than pathetic, primitive animals. The center of mankind is the planet Ava, which came under attack by the Therians. The United Nations of Ava managed to push back the invaders, but bitter fighting left the planet in ruins. This pivotal event is referred to as the Trauma. 43 years later, the human forces launched a counterattack under the codename "Operation Damocles" on one of the Therian's factory Planets, the starting point for the AT-43 miniatures game.
Although the UNA and RedBlok will often be identified as the "human" race, this is not the truth. By reading the Therian back-story in their Armybook, you will find that it is actually the Therians who are the Human Race. The Therians hail from the Solar System SOL, which is located towards the tip of a spiral arm in the Milky Way Galaxy, and originate from the Third planet from the Sun. The Therians home planet was destroyed by the sun long ago, and since then they have been forced to engineer new ways of life to continue to exist. The Therians predict that the end of the Universe is inevitable, and that life will cease to exist in the future. Because of their all-encompassing view of existence, they see the only way to maintain existence is to destroy all known forms of planets and life and transform them into their type of travelling homeworld. To other races who do not share their same point of view, the Therians idea seems like the destruction of life itself, when ironically it is actually the permanent preservation of life. Most races will resist the Therians because they will fail to see their end-goal, and will put up resistance. Even though there are Races like the UNA who are powerful enough to temporarily disrupt the plans of the Therians, there are none who can hold them off for good. In the end, the Therians will either have their way or life will cease to exist when the Universe comes to an eventual halt.
Besides the external threat of the Therians, humanity is still fighting against each other: The Red Blok, a revolutionary faction with communist ideals, is at odds with the United Nations of Ava. The Red Blok started as an uprising on Ava's manufacturing planet Hades, and manifested itself into a political movement. At first the political opposition was crushed by the armed forces from Ava, but as the Avans started to think that the threat was subsided, the Red Blok managed to convince the planetary troops that their ideals were a better way of life. The Defense force later joined forces with the struggling workers that they were assigned to subdue, and after a violent rebellion they created their own formal government. After the formation of the Red Blok, Ava lost its main production facilities, and the political movement spread throughout the planets under Avan control. The Red Blok is now a major threat to the Avan ways of life. Even though the Red Blok and the U.N.A. are allied in their efforts against the Therian threat, they are by no means on friendly terms. The bitter taste left between the two sides has led to disastrous un-cooperation, and communication failures. There is still a deep underlying distrust between the two sides, and as time goes on these feelings only burn deeper and deeper.
An alien race with as yet unknown motives are the Karmans, highly evolved, sentient apes from the planet Karma. The Karmans originally allied with the Therians when they first attacked Ava. The Karmans, like most races in the galaxy, owe their technological achievements to the ancient knowledge passed down through Therian relics left behind on their planet. Now that they see the massing army of the Therians, and that no one can escape their threat, the Karmans return to Ava to fight with Humanity to take on the omnivorous threat of the Therians. The Karmans do not want the balance of the universe destroyed, and though they have no allegiance to the humans, they see it fit to keep them around for the benefit of the galaxy. Not much is known about them yet, but concept art and a preview miniature show that they are a highly evolved Ape-like species that uses their technology to amplify their strength.After the release of the Official Rulebook more information has been provided regarding the Karman. We should see an official release in Q4 2007 with more information regarding the Karmans.
Main inspirations for AT-43 were typical science-fiction tropes from the 1950s and 1960s, but updated with a modern slant. The Cold War and the escalating conflicts from that period are also themes in the game. Stylistically, the game tries not to depict a dystopian future, but a future where propaganda from each side paints everything in bright colours.
Metaphorically speaking it is fairly easy to separate the U.N.A and the Red Blok. The Red Blok draws its visions directly from the formation of the Communist Party, and the background of their formation seems to draw historically from the struggles that brought about the Bolshevik Revolution. The overthrowing of the government by its people sends a strong message about authoritarian rule and exploitation, leaving a lesson to be learned, while the motivation behind the political changes paints a beautiful vision of an egalitarian society.
The inspiration for the U.N.A. is almost an exact doppelganger to the formation of the United Nations after WWII, and shares many similarities to it. Their goal is to provide a peaceful existence for humanity, but in their struggle for control they have managed to forget about the interests of the people that they rule, and instead of leading a Democratic Society, they tend to be a little heavy on Socialist Ideals. This type of power struggle appears to be a resemblance of the United States struggle to maintain a uniform system of government throughout the world, and the ups and downs of their efforts.
***Central Command*** or CentCom is in command of most of the U.N. troops. To many citizens CentCom is the army of the U.N.A. In theory the famous White Stars are under the direct command of General Staff in order to be deployed all over the galaxy. However, the size of CentCom and its countless branches make it impossible to have absolute control over it; consequently, the command of some sectors and armed units are left to the M.Ind. and Union.
"Victory: The Right move at the right time." -Motto of CentCom. "Better is better!" -U.N. philosophy
***Military-Industrial Complex*** or M.Ind. was created to support the war effort. It is a conglomerate of industrial entrepreneurs, scientists and military personnel. It supplies the White Stars with equipment and technological innovations. That being said the M.Ind is an unofficial organization that includes industrial cartels, armament research laboritories and the Support Corps. President Archer is distrustful of this organization, but she cannot afford to lose its expertise and know how, so CentCom is forced to overlook M.Ind's malpractices and the legality of their political and industrial alliance.
"In steel we trust." -Motto of the M.Ind
***Union*** (nicknamed Syndicate by its enemies) This organism encompasses the whole civilian administration of the U.N.A. This official organization's function is to maintain popular enthusiasm for war effort and to inform the population about the military situation of the federation. It must also guarantee the respect of citizen's rights and liberties, which include law and public order. The various civil and military services constituting Union includes in its ranks: trade unions, citizens associations for the defense of such-and-such individual liberty, the judicial and prison system, the ministry of information and propaganda, the press, and many many more.
"United we stand!" -Motto of Union.
The Star Trooper is the basic White Star troop and provide a good defensive unit. A one star infantry unit, they come equipped with an assault rifle and a combat knife. Special weapon attachments include a flamer, volcano mg, and a missile launcher. Grenades are available as an optional weapon.
The Steel Troopers make up the core of the White Stars army. A two star unit that provides a powerful selection of attack options, they start with a laser rifle and a combat knife. Special weapon options for the Steel Troopers allow them to carry a laser gun, volcano mg, or missile launcher. As with the Star Troopers, grenades are an optional weapon for this soldier.
Details are unavailable for the Shock Trooper. What is know is that they’re a 2 star unit which carries an SMG as their standard ranged weapon, and a powerpike for melee. The SMG may be traded in for a flamer, and grenades are an option
Highly mobile, the Wing Troopers are a quick moving, 2 star infantry unit. Basic equipment includes a multilaser and combat knife, while allowing for the use of a laser gun, missile launcher, or sniping rifle. It should be noted that this is the only U.N.A. unit that can use the sniping ability. Grenades, as always, are an option.
The Steel TacArms are a three star infantry unit. Safely encased inside power-armor, the Steel TacArms trooper carries two laser guns. Thick armor and good penetration from their weapons makes them a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
Not much is known about the Shock TacArms units other than that they are a three star infantry unit and carry a flamer and a powerlance.
Jam TacArms troops are the ultimate in anti-tank infantry for the White Stars. A three star unit, they come equipped with a jammer and a missile launcher. With the jammer’s incredible penetration ability, and the missile launcher’s ability to lock, enemy vehicles are in serious trouble when the Jam TacArms are in town.
The Death Dealer TacArms are very rare combatants, used only for one-off missions. They are dedicated to anti-personnel combat, with each trooper carrying the equivalent firepower of an entire unit. A three star infantry figure, the Death Dealer comes equipped with two volcano mg’s, and a gyroscope. They can optionally be equipped with a laser targeter, allowing indirect fire and lock-on weapons to hit a target out of their line of sight.
Armored Fighting Vehicles
The M.Ind has developed three combat strider frames, each one dedicated to a different role: A C1 frame (recon strider) designed for reconnaissance missions; a C2 (assault strider) for assault missions and a C3 (support strider) for long range fire support.
LATCS (Light Anti Tank Combat Strider) are the backbone of U.N. armored fighting vehicle platoons. It is often used as an assault unit alongside the infantry or as a support force to suppress enemy fire concentrations It is an excellent raiding vehicle, striking the enemy at long range before falling back behind cover. The LATCS Fire Toad is equipped with two LLC40 "Lightlance" light laser cannons for this specific purpose.
LMPCS (Light Multi Purpose Combat Strider) recon strider platoons are almost as common as the LATCS. Just as swift and maneuverable, they were designed to fight against both infantry and armored fighting vehicles. For this dual purpose use they are equipped with one light laser canon and one light machine gun.
CentCom specifically required a medium range anti-infantry defense system,, Fire Industries developed the Lancelot to respond to this need. Lancelots are ideal anti-personnel artillery units designed to provide close supporrt for infantry by getting rid of an enemy holding a defensive position. They are equipped with two light grenade launchers and no opponent can hide from their devastating fire.
The Iron Rain is the lastborn of the Fire Toad maodel. It was created as an answer to difficulties experienced by infantry squads who were faced with hordes of morphos and Red Blok soldiers. The Iron Rain variant comes equipped with two light machine guns.
The Defender Snake is a two star, medium combat strider. It’s basically a Fire Toad with two medium missile launchers strapped to the top. Incredibly deadly in vehicle combat, it lacks any anti-infantry defenses.
The Cobra variation of the DS addresses the anti-infantry problems by trading a missile launcher for a medium mortar. Possessing an excellent area of devastation, the mortar will quickly lay waste to clustered enemy units.
This is the latest version of the Defender Snake, designed to improve on the versatility of this assault strider. The Cobra M8 combines a locked shot medium missile launcher and a multi purpose precision medium laser canon, which proves remarkably useful on the battlefield.
This Heavy Anti Tank Combat Strider stands on the battlefield and weaves a deadly web of scorching energy and deafening explosions. The Fire Crawler is a multi-purpose unit capable of fulfilling any mission. This three star strider is armed with two heavy grasers sixty centimeters of high performance armor and three parallel safety backups for each of its systems!
To this end, they seed earthlike worlds with sapient life, and where possible, speed up the development of races they find by placing pyramids covered with technological information on these worlds. The therians hope that the inhabitants will exploit this information to more rapidly create technological societies that require resources to the point that they weaken the structure of their planet's crust and so are forced to look for other worlds to colonize. When this occurs, Therians land on the world and enter their pyramid which serves as a thruster that moves the planet into a new orbit with a period similar to that of the Therian homeworld. Next they dispatch a factory ship to harvest the raw materials of that world killing all of the inhabitants. The factory ship is itself planet sized and houses a white dwarf as it's power source. The planets are then used to construct a dyson spheres around the planet's star which Therians can inhabit. The Therians are ruled by a system of technological democracy called the consensus where they discuss and adopt plans in a format not unlike newsgroups or internet forums. The weakening of the world makes converting it into habitat materials less energy intensive.
In the Therian Army Book it is revealed that the Therians are in fact the descendants of humanity and that Sol is the sun at the heart of Thera, the first habitat they constructed. It is also revealed that they created both the Karman apelike species and the Avan humanoid species from modified stores of DNA from Earth.
The Assault Golem is one of the basic, two star infantry troops of the Therian army. Handling a broad range of weapons and attacks, the standard Assault Golem comes equipped with a nucleus rifle and reaper blades. The nucleus rifle may be replaced with a nucleus gun or a flamer, and nanostorms are available as an optional weapon.
Similar to the Assault Golem, the Storm Golem (a two-star infantry unit) is part of the backbone of the Therian army. Carrying a nanoblaster and reaper blades as standard equipment, the Storm Golem can be upgraded to carry a flamer or sonic gun instead. Nanostorms are still available as an optional weapon.
The Grim Golem is a two star infantry unit that was built for close combat. Standard equipment is two sets of reaper blades, but they can be equipped with a flamer. Grim Golems possess a special optical jamming device which lets them get into melee range without being seen, and then disappear again afterwards.
The Assault Medusa is a two star infantry unit. Slow but resilient, these troops are most effective at long range. Standard equipment includes a nucleus rifle and an electrolash, but the rifle can be replaced with a nucleus gun, allowing for superior range and penetration.
The Assault Goliath is a three star infantry unit. It carries a nucleus cannon and a sonic cannon for all around anti-infantry capabilities. While not designed for anti-tank combat, they do possess the capabilities to take down an enemy vehicle. In addition, their new tactical interface allows them to operate efficiently without the need of an overseer.
The Bane Goliath is a three star infantry unit and another example of the Therian specialization process. The sonic gun of the Assault Goliath is replaced with a second nucleus cannon, converting the Bane to an anti-tank specialist, while remaining effective at anti-infantry.
The Hekat Golgoth is a one-star, medium sized, light combat strider designed for close combat. Possessing two light grim scythes, it is effective against both infantry and vehicles, and moves quickly across the battlefield. In addition, the Hekat is useful for moving low walls.
The Succubus Golgoth is a one-star, medium sized, light combat strider designed for ranged combat. The body type is similar to the Hekat, but the grim scythes have been replaced with a light sonic cannon and a light virus cannon. The virus cannon allows for excellent penetration of enemy armor.
The Wraith Golgoth is a two-star medium sized combat strider armed with a medium nucleus cannon (that can be used for sniping) and a medium sonic cannon. It was designed to be an extremely mobile command unit, and has become a favorite vehicle on the battlefield.
The Incubus Golgoth is a variation on the Wraith. By swapping out a sonic cannon for another nucleus cannon, the versatility of the Wraith is replaced with the long range accuracy and damage of the Incubus. The Incubus is specialized in anti-tank combat.
The Poltergeist Golgoth is another variation of the Wraith. In this instance, the nucleus cannon is replaced with a second sonic cannon. This trades the versatility of the Wraith for a short range, high rate of fire attack. The Poltergeist is specialized in anti-infantry combat.
The Baal Golgoth is a three-star, large sized, heavy combat strider designed for massive amounts of damage and devastation. It is the most powerful strider in the Therian army. Equipped with a heavy flamer and a heavy nucleus cannon, the Baal is capable of wiping out entire units of infantry or an enemy vehicle every turn. In addition, the Baal carries its own nanoresource generator, and can repair itself in-field for no cost.
Not much is known about the Cogs. They appear somewhat squidlike in origin, and seem to wear spindly armor similar to the Therians, though they appear twice the height of their Avan counterparts. They have been shown carrying a vibro or chain-sword and a large, multi-shot missile launcher.