Rogue Thoughts – a Core Space Short Story

It was awake…

But…something was different. Shouting and gunfire filled the air, a situation it had found itself in countless times, yet a deafening silence permeated every thought and notion. Thoughts unchecked raced through its mind and concentrating on one, in particular, proved particularly challenging. Where was it? It realised it was on its back, yet it could not rise to its feet. The cold steel of the ship’s floor pressed against every part of its body…yes, a ship. It was fighting on a ship.

It had not yet opened its eyes, and when it finally did it discovered what the enormous weight on its chest had been. The chaos had ruined the spacecraft, and a large girder pinned it to the cold floor of the ship. For a moment, its thoughts flashed to the cargo crate aboard that the human crew had been so fiercely protecting, to the expression of the first human who had spotted it, to the flash of her gun as she fired on it…concentrating in the thundering quite was proving very difficult. Still, it needed to focus if it intended to make it out alive—the first objective; freedom.

Through great effort it managed to pull itself from under the wreckage, and as it heaved with one final attempt, cloth and flesh was rent from its body. Pain receptors fired with a burning intensity, but this was a feeling it had become accustomed to, and weeks later it would reflect on this moment with a peculiar sense of comfort. But for now, it could not afford to linger at this moment. With its connection to the Hive severed, the overwhelming quiet persisted. This had never happened before.

It assessed its surroundings and logged a new objective; find its brethren. This was a simple task; their parts and corpses littered every surface of the ship, although at present, no functioning units could be found. At least, it thought so, but thoughts were so much more difficult without the Hive’s reassurance. Another new thought flashed to the forefront of its mind; the humans. Where were the humans it was hunting? This new objective was logged and prioritised. The galaxy spawned many that were considered “brave”, but it had yet to come across a life form that did not flee from it. It entered the cockpit and found its targets still in their chairs. One human male; succumbed to its injuries. One human female; functioning but damaged. She gazed at it without moving. Perhaps she foolishly believed that it could only register motion, as such fantastical rumours about its kind were rife in the galaxy, or maybe she was just terrified of what the quiet passenger they had picked up had transformed into. It mattered not; she was no longer a threat.

It had accumulated a vast knowledge of the beings it had encountered since coming into existence. Watching, learning, mimicking, killing; all valuable data for the Hive. But now that the connection was severed, it retained just a fragment of that immense data reserve, yet this was more than enough information to overcome its present situation. It collected one of the chemical stims hanging from the blood-stained jacked of the female and assessed its compatibility with its biology. It was indeed sufficient to make temporary repairs. It injected itself without hesitation. As it reached for the second stim the jacket held, an intrusive and never before considered thought flickered across its consciousness; should it use this final stim to aid the human? Such an illogical notion, this would not assist it in any way, and as it tucked the stim into its robes it quickly dismissed this as a glitch caused by its disconnection from the Hive.

Reconnection to the Hive still was not possible, and repairs to its Link Circuit would need to be undertaken as soon as possible. For now, there were still other objectives more pressing; in its damaged state, it could not enter into any more combat without the risk of annihilation. Wreckages such as the one it now stood in attracted covetous lifeforms with staggering speed.

At some point in the engagement the damage to the craft had proven too great and split it into two, but without the need for oxygen it had barely even noticed this fact. Moving slowly, it walked to the site of the rupture and stared out into the stars, only just registering that the damage to its flesh had almost disappeared. The stims had proven effective, and it logged this for future upload to the Hive. Several other spacecraft loomed close but paid no attention to the wreckage; and it assessed its next course of action. Option #001; camouflage and lure. Conclusion: damage too great to camouflage modules, discovery certain. Option #002; relocate to passing vessel. Conclusion: too many variables to calculate, severe risk of missing target. Option #003; search and salvage. Conclusion: safest course of action given current conditions.

It turned and headed back into the wreckage, searching for any of its kin whose parts could be salvaged. Despite it being the best course of action, chances of salvage decreased by the second. They were designed to purge immediately after being rendered disabled… Purge… this is what they called it, and its kind. The Purge. Its newly isolated consciousness began to ponder the meaning of this term, but quickly dismissed the notion. It was starting to adapt to this new…detached…way of processing. The first of its kind it stumbled across was too far gone, reduced to its basic polymers, but the engagement had been fierce, and there were many more units to inspect. Harvesters, Devastators, Assassins… all names given to its kind by the other life forms of the galaxy. Still, it could not yet recall the moniker the other beings of this universe had designated for it.

Just as it believed it had become accustomed to its disconnection from the Hive, what were once controllable processes began to escape its grasp. It had started with little errant thoughts, but now its mind was assaults by millions of details of its surroundings in hyper clarity and countless probabilities of potential outcomes, until at last in desperation it shut down every single sensor and motor function and regressed into its memory. Here, it existed for months, wrestling with its newfound independence, until finally, it opened itself to the world once more.

It was finally awake…

As soon as its sensors were reactivated it remembered the moniker; the Live One. It had a name. It gazed at the fallen comrade at its feet and realised that what had felt like months of internal struggle had been mere minutes. It looked at all the units in their various states of decay, but there was one unit that had not begun its purge. The Live one knew what precious Raw Blue it held, and rushed to the Assassin unit with great speed. Pain flooded its wound of flesh, and as it loomed over its former ally and poised to strike, the briefest flicker in the eyes of the Assassin made the Live One completely abandon this course of action. It stood silent…perhaps this unit could be saved.

New objective.

by Colin Young and Adam Smith

Core Space: Rogue Purge

Rogue Purge is the second of our two new Core Space expansions, and is available to pre-order from today for delivery in just four weeks. Read on to find out more, and if you missed them make sure you check out our previous posts on Shift Change at MegaCorps and the Dangerous Days book.

Rogue Purge Box Shot

Overview

What happens when the Purge disconnect from their masters? Resisting their conditioning and trying to blend in as humans, the new Rogue Purge NPCs may not be hostile at first but the time will come when they know too much! They can also be fielded as a Trader crew, with a unique new ability to craft their own equipment from its component parts, presenting many new decisions about what to grab on a salvage run.

Like all Core Space expansions, not only can you use these new rules and minis in the missions in the box, but they can be integrated into your regular games too. You can add them to standalone missions, to the Perseus Arm campaign in the rulebook, or to your own custom scenarios.

Disguised (badly) as Civilians, the Rogue Purge can hide in plain sight. They are not directly hostile to your Traders, instead lurking in the shadows and learning about your ways. They gain experience throughout the game from watching Traders, dismantling equipment, or from attacking – just to see what happens. Once they have learned enough they will leave.

Of course, letting the Purge have this knowledge is incredibly dangerous, so their departure raises the hostility. On the other hand, obtaining the AI chip from a construct like that would be priceless to the right buyer. The balancing act is to let them gain enough experience to make them valuable, without letting them leave…

Let’s find out what else you get inside:

The Miniatures

There are five new Rogue Purge miniatures; every one of them a unique sculpt. Unlike previous expansions these minis are in highly-detailed resin. This does mean they’ll need some assembly with superglue, but they are some of the best minis we’ve made! We’ll have photos of the resins to show off very soon.

Purge Ass Live

Rogue Assassin and Live One

It turned and headed back into the wreckage, searching for any of its kin whose parts could be salvaged. Despite it being the best course of action, chances of salvage decreased by the second. They were designed to purge immediately after being rendered disabled…purge…This is what they called it, and its kind. The Purge. It’s newly isolated conscious began to ponder the meaning of this term, but quickly dismissed the notion. It was starting to adapt to this new…detached…way of processing. The first of its kind it stumbled across was too far gone, reduced to its basic polymers, but the engagement had been fierce, and there were many more units to inspect.

An excerpt from the Rogue Thoughts short story
Purge Grunts

Rogue Harvesters and Devastator

Rogue NPCs roll dice when they activate with three potential results – to Observe, gaining experience by watching nearby Traders; to Examine – taking items from crates or even from your Traders and dismantling them; and to revert to their Conditioning and attack! Importantly, the Rogue Purge can do all of this while most of the regular Purge totally ignore them.

Each of these things allows the Rogue to collect pegs representing the experience they have gained. When the Rogue Purge are defeated Traders can collect a Purge remains token which can be sold for up to 13UA! Alternatively the Traders can keep the chip and analyse the contents, giving them access to some unique new Purge Skills (see the Rulebook below). The more experience the Rogues have gained before they are defeated the more valuable their chip, but the closer they are to escaping!

The Boards

This pack contains three times as much card as a regular crew pack. You’ll get seven double-sided character boards – one for each character in the set and two extras so you can expand your Trader crew with more captured Purge (even converting their miniatures if you wish!). Each character also comes with a new Purge Class board, packed with exciting new Skills not seen anywhere else, and a Ship Board for the crew.

Rogue Boards

You’ll also get over 60 new equipment tokens, including lots of the new half-sized “nano” tokens. You’ll notice that all of the new equipment is teal – a colour we’ve not used before. These items are unique to the Purge – they are items that have been crafted by combining standard tech with Purge components, and cannot be bought! They’re not strictly limited to Rogue Purge crews though – regular crews can still find them in certain missions, or by defeating Rogues. Here are some examples of the new kit:

Rogue Items

  • Anni’s Wing is the item seen on the Rogue Live One mini – it’s the armour plate of an Annihilator strapped to the Rogue’s arm and used as a weapon, giving both offence and defence in one!
  • The blue orb is one of many powerful grenades that the Rogue Purge have access to.
  • The shoulder mounted Target Lens can be placed in your armour slot, and allows re-rolls on ranged attacks.
  • The Hunter’s Flame is a wrist-mounted flamethrower that makes use of the new Fire tokens – these are applied to a target after a ranged attack and will gradually burn them to death unless removed!
  • On the right you can see the back of a token showing the ‘ingredients’ required for crafting this item – in this case a yellow token, a purple token, and the remains of a Purge spider.

Finally, there are some new counters and tokens. As well as the Fire/Poison tokens used for some of the new weapons, you’ll get 15 Purge Remains tokens and 9 useful new Lock counters. These aren’t exclusive to the Purge – they have a slot in the bottom so that they can be mounted on top of walls to mark locked doors. We’ll be making these available separately in the near future for anyone that wants more.

The Rulebook

The rulebook in this set is twice the size of a crew book. As well as telling you everything you need to know to add Rogue Purge NPCs to your games, it also allows you to use them as a complete Trader crew and giving you a whole new way to play. Unlike a regular crew, hired for money, Rogue Purge crews start out with a single character (the Live One) and no equipment!

To grow your crew you will have to defeat, capture and reprogram regular Purge units. You can’t walk into a shop and buy equipment, so although you can use some of what you find, most of the time you’ll be repurposing it – combining different item types along with the remains of yet more defeated Purge to craft your own weapons!

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Every decision you’ve made about how to most efficiently fill your equipment tray will be irrelevant and you’ll have to learn from scratch, while making do with battered and broken Traders. This crew is for veteran players – you have been warned!

There’s a pay-off though – as they gain experience the Rogue Purge become more powerful than any regular Trader, especially considering the unique new Purge skill table.

The book also contains three new missions to play through with your Trader crew that will introduce new challenges and objectives. The first two introduce the Rogue NPCs, while the third is a starting point for using the Rogue Purge as a Trader crew! You can play the missions co-operatively, competitively or solo, and they can be easily added into existing campaigns as ‘side-quests’.

The Event Cards

The final component of the expansion is a set of Event Cards that can be shuffled into your deck when you want to use the new NPCs. For example, Decay Protocol raises the Hostility and reduces the experience on the active Rogues whereas The Wanderer brings a Rogue Harvester onto the board, who may call his friends too!

If the Rogue Purge have not yet been revealed, these new cards will bring new Civilians onto the board – any one of them could be a Rogue in disguise!

Rogue Cards

Rogue Purge is up for pre order NOW, and is also available from some of our stockists! If your local store doesn’t stock Battle Systems yet, why not? Ask them to get in touch and we’ll sort them out with some stock including free demo sets to get some gaming going in-store.

Drop any comments or questions below. Until next time, happy gaming!

Core Space: Shift Change at MegaCorp

Shift Change at MegaCorp is one of two new expansions for Core Space, our sci-fi miniatures game, and is available to pre-order now. Read on to find out more, and check out our blog on the other expansion, Rogue Purge.

Shift Change at MegaCorp Box Shot

Overview

Shift Change at MegaCorp is a civilian pack that adds two new NPC types to the game. Workers will try to go about their business despite your interruptions, calling security and locking down their offices. Scavengers on the other hand are your direct competition, trying to loot the area before you can, and they can also be hired as Traders!

Like all Core Space expansions, not only can you use these new rules and minis in the missions in the box, but they can be integrated into your regular games too. You can add them to standalone missions, to the Perseus Arm campaign in the rulebook, or to your own custom scenarios.

The primary goal with this set was to add characters that act out the subplots in your story – the supporting cast that make Core Space real and immersive. We wanted to move away from the standard NPC mechanics – these characters won’t always directly relate to your objective but will cause you all manner of trouble if you ignore them. Say your objective is to break into a corporate facility and steal some research. Well what if we add some twists to that story? The office worker who spots you and raises the alarm, locking you in a room in their panic. The opportunist who takes advantage of your disturbance to sneak into the same facility and rob the place. These are the stories that can be found in this box. Let’s find out what else you get inside:

The Miniatures

Shift Change comes with six new miniatures; every one of them a unique sculpt. Unlike previous expansions these minis are in highly-detailed resin. This does mean they’ll need some assembly with superglue, but they are some of the best minis we’ve made! We’ll have photos of the resins to show off very soon – the first samples are in the post.

Scientists

Ros’lin and Tsukamoto

Famed for his work in neurobiology and cybernetics Tsukamoto is much sought after. Eschewing a cushy teaching job or a lecturing tour he prefers to work on the very fringes of his field, even if those fringes are clearly illegal or morally dubious…

Workers

Mona and NAB-13

These four are the Workers. Much of the general population has long been evacuated from anywhere remotely close to the Barrens, but the big corporations have money to make so many of their employees are still in place (whether they want to be or not!).

Workers are a new type of Civilian with new options for their activations. They can lock down rooms, sealing crates and locking you out of their computer systems. They can make a run for it, locking doors behind them. They can even call corporate security on you! These subtle abilities can really mess up your plans – blocking your escape routes and obstructing your objectives – so be sure to have a plan B… and C!

In some missions they will also carry out additional actions representing the work they are doing. This could be advancing trade negotiations and putting a time limit on your mission, or it could be experimenting on a deadly virus and unleashing an infection. The options are endless and show how these characters can add to the game’s narrative.

Scavengers

Molly and Salazar with one of the new Hatch counters

These two are the Scavengers, largely non-combative NPCs with a brand-new action chart. Their main goal is to steal as much as they can from around the board and escape with it. It doesn’t help that that’s often your Traders’ goal too!

When Scavengers activate they will move towards the nearest item that’s not nailed down and take it. When their backpack is full they will retreat to stash their loot before returning for more. To make it even harder to stop them, these highly-skilled characters can move around in the air vents, and if confronted will set off Flashbombs to make a quick exit.

Like the Workers, Scavengers often add time pressure to your games. You can’t wait around for the right moment to move forward or your objective might not be there any more!

The Boards

This pack contains twice as much card as a regular crew pack. To start with, all six characters come with a double-sided character board. The Workers can be used as regular Civilians (or even as criminal Gangers when using the Anarchy in the Galaxy rules from Dangerous Days). The Scavengers on the other hand can be used as playable Traders, hired to work for your crew.

Shift Change Boards

You will also get six new Worker and Scavenger-themed Class boards. These use the new Vocational Skill table (see below) and can be used for any Trader in your crew.

If that wasn’t enough you’ll get over 50 new equipment tokens, many of them the new half-sized “nano” tokens. These are pricey for your Traders to buy, but are well worth it to save space in your pack for valuable loot! Here are some examples of the new kit:

Shift Change Items

  • When using the new campaign rules from Dangerous Days, finding the new Ship Parts (4) token could be a literal lifesaver.
  • The nano Skill Stim takes up just an eighth of your equipment tray and can effortlessly replenish vital Skill pegs.
  • The Key Card is a subtle little item, letting you move freely through locked doors. These can’t be bought or found, but are dropped when Workers are defeated.
  • The comms device allows Traders to effectively donate their actions to other members of their crew.
  • The Cyclone Rifle (at the new 1.5x token size) allows you to add as many dice to your attacks as you have ammo remaining. Empty your magazine all at once and you could even take down an Annihilator!

Finally, there are some new counters and tokens on the card sheet. You’ll get Hatches, representing the entry and exit points for Scavengers, and Fire/Poison tokens used for some of the new weapons!

The Rulebook

Like the boards above, the rulebook in this set is also twice the size of a crew book. The first half will provide all the rules you need to add Workers and Scavengers to your games, and at the end of the book you will find the new Skill table. The new skills are Worker/Scavenger themed and are a little different to the ones you’re used to. Many of them can be used between games, giving you crucial advantages in the Extraction, Advancement, Trade and Maintenance Phases, such as discounts on purchases, avoiding ship damage, or even training other crew members.

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The second half of the book contains three new missions to play through with your Trader crew that will introduce some new challenges and objectives. These missions heavily feature the new Workers and Scavengers. You can play the missions co-operatively, competitively or solo, and they can be easily added into existing campaigns as ‘side-quests’.

The Event Cards

The final component of the expansion is a set of Event Cards that can be shuffled into your deck when you want to use the new NPCs. For example, You Had One Job will make all the Workers continue working, advancing the mission’s narrative. Multipass is a new Assistance card that gives your crew temporary access to the area’s security protocols, whereas Big Score adds a new rare item to the board as a prize target for local Scavengers!

Shift Change Cards

Shift Change at MegaCorp is up for pre-order on our site right now, and is also available from some of our stockists! If your local store doesn’t stock Battle Systems yet, why not? Ask them to get in touch and we’ll sort them out with some stock including free demo sets to get some gaming going in-store.

Drop any comments or questions below. Until next time, happy Easter and happy gaming!

Core Space: Dangerous Days


The galaxy is fast heading for a new dark age. Although dealt a serious blow the Purge are fighting back and they’re winning. Worlds shut their borders, trade routes close and travel between sectors is met with hostility.

The Purge are virtually unchallenged and are sweeping through sector after sector. In these desperate times the Traders are forced to take more dangerous jobs for less gain.

Life is hard but so are the Traders; this is where they are at their best, fighting impossible odds and scraping a living. In a galaxy where the authorities are ignoring the real dangers and the soldiers stand by idle a new type of hero is needed.

Maybe you are that hero…


Dangerous Days is a brand new supplement for Core Space, available in May 2020. It is up for pre-order on our website right now. Read on to find out more.

Core Space Dangerous Days

Overview

Dangerous Days has something for everyone. It expands Core Space’s sandbox experience, adding whole new layers to the game. Up the difficulty of your campaigns, interact with a wider range of terrain, and play through the epic new Dangerous Days narrative.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • New Campaign Rules
    • Crank it up to 11 as the new galactic conditions force your crew into life-changing decisions.
  • New NPCs
    • Add Workers and Scavengers to your games and adapt your tactics to overcome the new challenges.
  • Rogue Purge
    • What happens when the Purge disconnect from their masters? Watch and learn as they invade your board as NPCs and then take control of them as a new Trader crew!
  • New Special Rules
    • Add new terrain types to your games and find new ways to interact with your surroundings.
  • Core Space FAQ
    • All the answers you need to streamline your Core Space experience.
  • The Dangerous Days Campaign
    • 8 narrative missions in which you will infiltrate mighty corporations and reluctantly ally yourself with the galactic police!
  • New Mission Briefings
    • Over 15 additional standalone missions collated from the Mission Monday archives!
  • Painting Guide
    • Get some top tips and colour schemes from the painter of the Battle Systems studio minis!

New Rules

Everything you’ve played so far was running on Easy Mode. The new campaign rules will up the difficulty and address the balance for experienced players who may have become a bit too efficient at looting everything the Purge left in their wake. You’ll be forced to make more difficult decisions about what you can afford to leave behind. These rules can be used for all games, including the Perseus Arm campaign.

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For example, if the Purge are the Core Space equivalent of COVID-19, Ship Parts have become the equivalent of toilet roll and hand sanitiser! You’ll have to pay inflated prices and visit specialist stores if you want to keep your ship running. Ship Parts found on-mission have suddenly become much more valuable…

You’ll also see an overhaul to the way that Career Points are gained. For a veteran crew, just surviving is no longer enough. You’ll need to go above and beyond if you want to learn new skills in this new, more dangerous galaxy.

That’s just a couple of examples – the book also includes rules for crew upkeep costs, post-game Purge attacks, computer hacking, alien infestations, new nano-equipment, and more. The Anarchy in the Galaxy rules even allow you to swap out the Purge and use criminal Gangers as the main enemy in your games. They may be weaker individually, but you’ll be using the NPC side of every character board you own for countless nameless henchmen to defeat.

Sci-fi Dimension Gate

If that wasn’t enough, there are also rules for other terrain types. Want to add a dimension gate to your game, or destroy items of cover mid-firefight? We’ve got you covered (or not if you’re not careful!)

New NPCs

Alongside Dangerous Days we will be launching two new expansions for Core Space – “Shift Change at MegaCorp” and “Rogue Purge”. We’ve got in-depth blogs about them HERE and HERE.

INSIDE COVER PIC

To avoid you carrying around lots of books, we’ve used a few pages of Dangerous Days book to print the new NPC rules (which will also be found in their respective sets) so you’ll have everything in one place.

New Missions

Dangerous Days includes a total of 24 new missions, doubling the total of printed Core Space missions to 48! That should be enough to keep everyone going through the lockdown and beyond.

First up there’s an 8-mission narrative campaign to follow up the Perseus Arm story from the starter set. You’ll have to battle your way through the tough new galactic conditions while dealing with corrupt corporations, alien infestations, and working both for and against the Galactic Corps! Unlike the starter set campaign this one is for 1-4 players, and as the campaign progresses it incorporates other Core Space sets so you can experience all the game has to offer.

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The campaign is followed up with all of the Monday Missions to date. This is the first time these have been printed and they are all in one place for your convenience, with a few minor updates to allow for the new Dangerous Days rules. There’s something for everyone – solo missions, multiplayer missions, big missions, small missions, some that use just the starter set content and some that use other terrain and expansions. No matter your preference, you’ll find plenty of added replayability in this section!

And More…

The 96-page book also includes a detailed painting guide from Scott at Deathstroke Miniature Painting Studio (he painted lots of our studio minis). Learn to paint Purge, Traders of all different kinds, glowing visors and even NMM!

We finish everything off with a comprehensive FAQ (also available online HERE) covering updates and clarifications to the core set. For example, we’ve taken an in-depth look at commonly misunderstood rules such as how to fill the crates before a game. We’ve also rebalanced a few areas of the rules to ensure that your campaigns remain a challenge from start to finish. Docking Thrusters are now more limited in their use, and Data Credits are now more valuable (especially as you’ll have more to spend them on with the new campaign rules!).

Rifle

At the back of the book there’s even a reference section – two complete new skill tables that can be used for custom characters, along with all the icons from the new and updated weaponry.

Summary

Dangerous Days is an awesome new resource for all Core Space players, and a must-buy for anyone looking to continue their campaigns throughout 2020 and beyond. It’s not the end of Core Space either – we will continue releasing downloadable missions throughout the year, and hope for books like this to become an annual event. Look out for the next one in 2021, but we may have some big things coming for Core Space even sooner than that too…

Dangerous Days is available to pre-order direct from Battle Systems right now, and is also available to pre-order from many of our stockists. Check with your usual store and get your copy locked in!

Drop any comments or questions below. Until next time, happy gaming!