Core Space – Multi-Level Gaming

Battle Systems has been making gaming terrain for many years now, so when we finally got around to doing a game it would have been silly not to use it!

Core Space comes with the single-level, dungeon-crawler-style Cyberpunk Terrain, allowing us to keep the mechanics of the core game simple and focus on the narrative and the campaign. Many of our other terrain sets however have multiple levels and a far wider variety of scatter terrain, perfect to scratch that skirmish gaming itch. But how do you get around the board?

Those with the Deluxe Rulebook will know that there is an extensive section on Advanced Rules. These rules are absolutely not necessary to enjoy everything the core game has to offer, but if you’ve mastered the basic set-up and want to take your games to the next level 😉 you can add as few or as many of these rules in as you wish.

This section of the book includes rules for climbing, jumping, falling, and even diving through windows! Stairs can be climbed as part of normal movement, whereas ladders take longer to scale and require Traders to use their valuable actions. Other scenery (such as tables and crates) can also be climbed on to gain a better vantage point.

Jumping, either down from a higher level or across a gap between platforms, is done with a simple dice roll modified by the character’s ability. Succeed and you can carry on with your turn, but fail and you will fall and potentially take damage!

2019-09-18 Blog Multi Level Terrain Scramble

Scramble: you may have seen this symbol on some of the character boards. This represents a character’s ability to jump and climb. The top number is the height or width of items that a character can move across as part of normal movement, effortlessly leaping up or over them. The bottom number is the distance that a character can safely jump with fear of falling.

Most characters won’t have more than 1s and 2s for this ability, but you may notice that the Purge have values as high as 5! In real terms this means that multi-level boards are far less restrictive to the Purge than they are to your Traders – while you are climbing down ladders and dodging obstacles, they are vaulting railings and leaping from floor to floor without slowing down. This relentless pursuit makes them all the more scary!

2019-09-18 Blog Multi Level Terrain Purge

Multi-level terrain is more than just going up or down though. All the different floors and ceilings and struts and angles will provide far denser cover to keep you safe from flying bullets. You’ll also have more avenues of escape – you can now go over or under your enemy as well as just going around them.

The Core Space rules are intentionally left open for more of an RPG feel, and this means that you can also assign extra rules to your games to suit the terrain that you’re using. One example given in the book is the use of elevators. Our Frontier and Galactic sets come with grav-lift platforms as well as special clips that allow you to attach the platform to different floors. Traders can use actions to call or operate the lift – it will often be quicker than climbing and safer than jumping! That’s just one example though – you can do whatever you want to suit your collection.

2019-09-18 Blog Multi Level Terrain Elevation and Cover

Line of sight can be trickier to deal with on a multi level board!

Elevator clips are one of many things you’ll find in our terrain sets to help with gaming on multiple levels. All of our upper floors are designed so that they do not clip onto the lower ones (unless you want them to of course). Instead, the plastic clips slot into grooves in the walls below so that each floor can be lifted off, allowing access to the one below. Just don’t forget where your models are!

The sets also come with plenty of stairs and ladders. The stairs are designed so that your miniatures’ bases can be placed on the steps, avoiding any awkward issues if characters end their turn halfway up the stairs. Ladders can be used in tighter spaces – you may just need to decide that certain floor tiles can be used as hatches if there is no more obvious access.

You may think it’s intimidating to build a large multi-level terrain set for each specific mission, but don’t worry. Core Space is flexible enough that you can build the terrain however you like and adapt the mission to that. As long as you keep any objectives equidistant from each player, and make sure the Traders have enough time to reach them before the hostility gets too high, the game will work just fine.

You can even take the existing missions from the Starter Set or from the Mission Monday archives and put them on a multi-level board. Maybe drop the hostility a little so you’ve got more time to explore, but otherwise just build your map, and then build another map on top of it!

2019-08-05 Newsletter CS Mission Design

You don’t have to be restricted to sci-fi terrain. For this mission Colin took inspiration from our new fantasy terrain and added some sci-fi elements for a mission where his crew had to head down to a planet and break into a private residence.

Add any comments and questions below.

Until next time, happy gaming!

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Get to the Shuttle!

Get to the Shuttle! is a mini-expansion for Core Space that introduces a brand-new piece of terrain, and mode of transport! It’s released in September 2019.

2019-08-28 Blog Shuttle Packaging

Overview

First and foremost, this is a cool space ship! It can be used as a vehicle or a stationary terrain piece in almost any sci-fi game you can think of. It’s got a chunky, functional design that will be at home in most gritty settings.

It’s got a detailed interior and removable roof for RPGs and skirmish games, the wings come off for easy storage, and it’s light enough to put on a flying stand should you wish to.

If that wasn’t enough for less than £10, it’s an expansion for Core Space too! It includes rules for using it in game and two new missions to play.

Read on to find out more.

The Shuttle

The Shuttle is built with the same high quality arwork and from the same strong, high-density card as the rest of our range, so the finished kit looks great and is very sturdy.

Get to the Shuttle Contents

This is a slightly more advanced kit than most of our terrain as some pieces like the engines and intakes do require glue. It’s still easy if you know what you’re doing, and once you’ve watched this tutorial video, you will!

The Shuttle measures 18cm long with a wingspan of 21cm.

This is a very flexible kit. It can be built as a solid piece, leaving all the doors and windows in place for an enclosed vehicle. However, if you want to make it more interactive you can easily fit miniatures inside, and the cockpit chair has been designed to pop in and out so you can replace it with a mini. There is a even slot in the chassis  underneath the back door allowing you to slide the open door in and use it as a ramp!

Get to the Shuttle Colour Shot 3.jpg

If you’re feeling ambitious you can go even further with it too!

2019-08-28 Blog Shuttle Windows.jpg

Simon Clements has coloured in the edges of the card for a little extra realism, and he has also glued some clear plastic into all the windowframes! Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/349338038811268/permalink/667623206982748/

2019-08-28 Blog Shuttle Destroyed

Colin and Drew played a game at Battle Systems HQ where they used a wrecked shuttle as an objective. At this price it won’t break the bank to pick up a second one to cut up and use as a terrain piece. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/349338038811268/permalink/584848478593555/

Using the Shuttle in Core Space

The Shuttle can be purchased between games like a piece of equipment, and is stored in your ship’s hold, taking up cargo space. At 90UA it is pricey, but it can also be rented at just 7UA per game. There’s a discount for purchasing it after the rental period, just like buying your company car :-P.

It can be used in game in multiple ways:

The Emergency Extraction rules allow the Shuttle to fly in an rescue your crew from tight situations. A Trader has to use actions to call it in, and then it will arrive at the end of the round. Once it turns up, it is scattered randomly, to represent it finding the nearest roof or open space to gain access. If the Traders can get to its landing position, they can escape the board without having to return to their airlock.

It can be used between games too. In the Extraction Phase it can be used to mount a rescue mission, deploying in a similar way to the above, allowing you to save a stranded crewmate. In the Trade Phase one of your Traders can use it to visit a distant trading post, allowing you to purchase from two stores per phase instead of one. Finally in the Maintenance Phase you can use it to gain easy access to the outside of your main ship to make some free repairs.

There is also an optional rule to use the Shuttle for deployment in custom missions, especially those set outside using our Outlands terrain.

Get to the Shuttle Colour Shot 1.jpg

Finally, the rulebook includes two brand-new missions:

  • Shuttle Run can be added into a campaign to allow players to pick up a Shuttle. In the mission they will need to meet a contact and persuade them to lend you a shuttle to escape an area overrun with the Purge. The result of your negotations will give you the shuttle for the following few games at a discounted rate!
  • Get to the Shuttle can be used as an alternate ending to another mission or campaign for crews that have already purchased a shuttle. It’s a gauntlet-style scenario where you are cut off from your ship and must make your way across two mats to the shuttle bay to escape before the station explodes! It can also be played as a standalone mission for when you want a challenge!

Get to the Shuttle is released in September and can be ordered from our website HERE or from your local store. 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!

Mission Monday #02 – Egg Hunt

It’s that time again! In case you missed the last one, Mission Mondays are where we will be releasing brand new narrative missions for Core Space to download for free.

Mission Mondays will return on a regular basis. To stay up to date with the latest game content makes sure you subscribe to this blog (link in the bottom right corner) and sign up to our newsletter HERE.

Egg Hunt

Happy Easter!

This week’s free download is a new side-mission for your campaigns for up to four players. It’s the perfect opportunity to add a couple of new crews (like the newly released Cygnus and Yamato packs) to the mix.

Yamato Colour Shot.png

The Crew of the Yamato

It’s a seasonal affair this time. Giger’s Emporium are hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunt and there are big prizes up for grabs. Send a couple of your Traders into the store to grab whatever they can, but be warned that they won’t be the only ones on the hunt…

Download the mission HERE.

Let us know how your games go in the comments below!

Mission Monday #01 – Lost in Space

It’s Mission Monday! If you love Core Space there’s no better place to be at the start of the week. This is the first in a ongoing series of brand new narrative missions for Core Space. The starter set already comes with 11 missions, but the universe is huge and the story never stops being told.

We will be releasing new missions on a regular basis. To stay up to date with the latest game content makes sure you subscribe to this blog (link in the bottom right corner) and sign up to our newsletter HERE.

Lost in Space

This week’s free download is a new solo side-mission for your campaigns. If you’re short on supplies between games you can head out into the unknown and see what you can salvage.

2019-04-08 Blog Mission Monday

On this occasion you’ve come across a derelict ship floating through space and you venture on-board, but find yourself trapped and surrounded by the Purge! With the air running out this mission will be tough going, but if you can secure the wreckage it will be a great source of parts for a long time to come.

Download the mission HERE.

Let us know how your games go in the comments below!

Core Space – Round Break Down

Today we are going to take a closer look at the gameplay. Conveniently, Colin was over at Beasts of War recently and played through a few games with Justin. In the video below you can watch part of their game, and they will be explaining each part of the rules as they go. By the end of the video you should have a good idea of how Core Space works.

2019-03-29 Blog BoW Video

Each round consists of five phases:

  1. Hostility Phase – the hostility rises and new events will occur.
  2. Trader Phase – players alternate making actions with their Traders.
  3. Purge Phase – the Purge will arrive and activate using the AI rules.
  4. NPC Phase – all other NPCs – Civilians, Galactic Corps etc will activate, also using the AI rules.
  5. Assessment Phase – resolve any ‘end of round’ effects and pass the Turn Counter over to the other player – they will go first in the next round.

These phases will be familiar to most veterans of miniatures games. Alternate activation is in fashion at the moment and Core Space makes good use of it. The difference comes from the resource management of health, skills, ammo and equipment (see the post on Character Dashboards) and of course dealing with the relentless AI actions of the Purge.

The other key feature of Core Space is the narrative – during the video you’ll see that Colin and Justin aren’t just moving pieces on a board, they are telling a story. In a way Core Space is like a more accessible RPG, with immersive visuals set out on the table in front of you.

2019-03-29 Blog BoW Video Top Down

The video goes into a lot of detail, showing everything the players do action by action. It’s a great way to learn the game.

Don’t forget, everything you see in the video comes in the box – you get a full table of terrain as well as the minis, plastic dashboards, and other game components.

For those who prefer reading rules, they are available for FREE on our website.

Core Space Unleashed!

As of this weekend, Core Space is no longer a pre-order and is officially released! The stock is in the warehouse and ready to ship. We are finishing up the KS dispatch and then we will move onto website pre-orders and retailers. You can pick it up HERE.

Keep up with the latest news by signing up to our newsletter HERE.

Happy Gaming!

Core Space – NPCs and AI

Core Space is a narrative-driven game. In the end what’s important is that your crew lives past the end of the mission and keeps their ship in the sky. Sometimes you may want offer a little charity to a Trader in need, and sometimes it’s a simple choice – you either fight alongside another crew or you die.

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs Gangs.jpg

So, that’s why many Core Space missions are designed to be played co-operatively or even solo. For this to work the common enemy, the Purge, had to be AI controlled. Of course we didn’t want to complicate the game’s mechanics to do this so we came up with a simple process to follow each time the Purge activate.

Firstly, the character will select a target for its actions. Being emotionless robots the Purge aren’t too picky about what they kill; they just want to assimilate biomass! Therefore they will always pick the closest non-Purge character as their target, prioritising those that are visible and/or not in cover. The Purge Assassin adds a little twist to this rule – if they can see a Trader Captain they will be a priority target for an Assassin, so be careful!

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs Assassin.png

With their target chosen they will then carry out their actions – one for a Harvester and two for the other Purge types. We got this clear in our heads very early on – essentially the Purge will attempt to cause the most harm possible in the easiest possible way. While this means their chosen actions are usually very obvious, it wasn’t quite precise enough for a set of gaming rules.

The end result was a neat little chart as you can see below, but once you’ve got a couple of games under your belt you won’t even need that. It boils down to just move, shoot or fight depending on their current position.

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs NPC AI Chart

Combined with the various special rules this makes the Purge quite terrifying to fight at times. Their actions may be predictable, but they always advance faster than you expect! The Scramble ability used by all but the Devastators means they can effectively ignore terrain, clambering through windows and vaulting tables as if they weren’t there. They may not move any faster than your Traders, but they do most of their movement in dead-straight lines while you have to go around the scenery!

The First Strike ability of the Harvesters and Live Ones makes them even more flexible – if they can reach you they will attack you for free! This doesn’t just apply in the Purge phase either – some of the game’s Event cards will move the Purge in the Hostility Phase before the Traders even get a chance to react.

Other NPCs

The Purge aren’t the only NPCs in the game of course. The board wouldn’t feel like a living, breathing spaceport without the locals. While some of them fled when they heard about the Purge invasion, not everyone had that luxury. Some couldn’t afford to leave and some saw lucrative opportunities for looting!

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs Treva.png

The game includes three Civilians that are AI-controlled just like the Purge. Not being emotionless robots however, they are a little more nuanced. The box contains a white Chance die. It’s got numbers and arrows used for randomising or scattering, but it also doubles (or triples) up as a method for activating Civilians. The die is rolled when they activate, and could see them wander around on their day-to-day business, attempt to sell items to a nearby Trader, or throw caution to the wind and defend their home with violence. There’s also a chance they were never a regular Civilian in the first place as they throw off their disguise to reveal a Live One!

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs Live One.jpg

In addition to these three, ALL traders can also be used as Civilians just by flipping their character boards. If you’ve got spare Traders they will come in handy!

Coming in expansions later this year (or in your box very soon if you backed the Kickstarter!) are other types of NPC to add even more life to your gaming tables. They include:

  • Criminal Gangers – low-life who want you off their turf
  • The Galactic Corps – the galaxy’s police force
  • Security Guards – Civilians with body armour and a sense of entitlement
  • New Purge – the Annihilator and the Gatherers will present a whole new threat

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs Anni and Harveys.jpg

NPCs can be used in all games to add a twist to a familiar mission. They can change your gameplan by doing unexpected things, and if you’re clever you can use them to your advantage.

Going back to the narrative, where the NPCs really shine is as objectives. They are great for building missions around as you will see in the Core Space expansions, really adding to the immersive RPG feel of the game. You may have to rescue some civilians, or negotiate with the local organised crime syndicate, or even be commandeered by the Galactic Corps to defend a space station from attack. The options are endless.

2019-03-27 Blog NPCs Galactic Corps.jpg

You can pick up Core Space HERE. Keep up with the latest news by signing up to our newsletter HERE.

If there are any other types of NPCs you’d like to see, let us know in the comments below.

Happy Gaming!

Core Space – Character Dashboards

Miniatures games, especially those towards the skirmish end of the scale, can get fiddly. Many of them use counters, dice, or handwritten rosters to keep track of your characters’ health, special abilities and any other resources.

Core Space solves this issue neatly with its bespoke plastic dashboards. They keep everything in one place and easily visible, and the design means you don’t have to worry about the table getting knocked as the raised lip and tight-fitting pegs keep everything firmly in place.

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Arianna Dashboard

 

Let’s take a look at how they work:

Trader Board

The top section contains your Trader Board. This contains your character’s personal details (name, species, etc) and statistics. It is these statistics that determine how the character acts in game.

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Trader Boards

The four main statistics are Health, Actions, Skill and Career, each depicted by a series of circles. You will notice that each statistic has some spaces filled out with an inner circle (default), and some left blank (potential). Default statistics show the character’s starting level, whereas the potential spaces can be filled when levelling up in the Advancement Phase (see Campaigns). A character can never exceed their potential, but they can drop below their default!

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Pen

You’ll notice that Core Space Trader Boards have a laminated finish. This adds strength to the card, making it feel almost like plastic. However, this is just a bonus – the lamination is there so you can use a dry-wipe pen on the boards. You can use the pen to fill each space as your character advances. When you finish your campaign you can wipe it clean and start afresh!

Health and Actions are pretty self-explanatory. The Skill statistic allows the character to use Skills during the game. These are one-off special abilities that can really make a difference when things get tough. Skills are represented by the coloured symbols on the Class Board (see below) and sometimes on the Trader Board too. They can be found in the reference section at the back of the rulebook (also available as a free download).

The Career statistic represents the character’s experience during their time in the crew and affects how many Skills they can learn, as well as improving their other statistics later in a campaign. Each completed row will enhance a character’s Health and Skill statistics, and some characters can even gain Actions!

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Career

Once the game begins, you will rarely need to use the Trader Board. The two statistics that change during the game, Health and Skill, are both transferred down to the peg section at the bottom so it’s very visual (more on the pegs later). For a non-campaign game you won’t need the pen either as your default stats are already marked.

Points, Abilities and Armour

There’s more to the Trader Board than vital statistics. Most importantly it contains a points value used for building a balanced crew. Many Trader Boards also have Skill icons – these are innate abilities that the character has regardless of their Class. Finally there is an armour slot in the bottom right hand corner. This can be used for an armour equipment token (see below), but note that many characters have an ability in this slot that they lose when they wear armour!

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Armour

This icon in the armour slot means that Arianna can move one inch further when not wearing armour.

Items

The second section of the dashboard is the character’s pack and is used to store equipment tokens. There is an actual, physical size limit – the character cannot carry more items than the tray can hold. Larger items such as rifles take up more space, so use this area wisely. You can’t carry everything!

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Items

It’s not just the dashboards that physically hold items. Core Space’s real-search feature makes the game board fully interactive. At the start of each game the crates around the board are physically filled with equipment tokens. When you want to search a crate as one of your actions, you literally pick up the crate and look inside to see what you find!

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Equipment Example.jpg

Class Board

The next section contains the Class Board, representing the character’s profession and specialisation and therefore the type of Skills available to them. The Board has a number of coloured Skill icons with spaces around them to show the character’s proficiency with that Skill, from Level 1 to Level 3. One space on this board can be filled for every Career point on the Trader Board, so characters will become more skilful as time goes on. Like the Trader Board, a dry-wipe pen is used to mark these spaces and keep track of them during a campaign.

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Class Boards

There are hard choices to be made here – do you focus on one type of Skill or be an all-rounder? Do you spend your latest Career point on refining an existing Skill or do you learn something new? These choices can really change the playstyle of your character. With a few exceptions, Trader Boards can be used with any Class as well, so there’s a huge amount of replayability.

Pegs

The bottom section of the board is where the in-game action takes place. The three rows represent the characters Health, Skill and Ammo respectively, and are filled with the coloured plastic pegs provided.

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Pegs

The starting number of pegs for the Health and Skill rows is taken from the Trader Board. Traders always start with a full row of ammo pegs. All of these can fluctuate during the game – Health pegs when taking or healing damage, Skill pegs when using Skills, and Ammo pegs when firing or reloading a ranged weapon.

Future-Proofing

This is sci-fi; we have to be prepared for the future, right? These boards do everything we wanted them to and more, but we’ve still got more ideas. What if in the future we wanted to make some more powerful alien races, or put a character in an exo-suit? It would make sense that they could have more health, or carry more items.

2019-03-25 Blog Dashboards Future Proofing.jpg

Well, as and when this comes to pass, we’ve thought ahead. On the back of the dashboards you will see some sockets on each side. These will allow us to clip expansion sections to the sides of the dashboards to do fancy new things. Cool, eh?

Signing Off

That’s about it for our overview of dashboards. Don’t forget that the core rules of Core Space are available for free on the website, so you can download them if you want to find out more – just click HERE.

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To play the game you will need one dashboard per Trader taking part. You can pick up a set of four, enough for a single crew, HERE. You get all the pegs too, so they’re great value. Of course, you get two complete packs in the Starter Set – as if the game wasn’t insane enough value as it is!

Keep up with the latest news by signing up to our newsletter HERE.

Happy Gaming!