The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Model Spotlight: The SecDef Field Commander


Posted on Tuesday Mar 08, 2022 at 06:00pm in Models


The SecDef value nothing more than completing the job they're assigned to in a timely manner, regardless of what it takes to do so. SecDef Field Commanders are the ultimate representation of that mantra. With prototype machine-assisted armor with the strength of several men, firepower equal to a whole squad and advanced targeting and comm systems allowing them to monitor several different feeds simultaneously in real-time, Force Commanders have all of the tools necessary to decimate the enemy.


As with all SecDef units, Field Commanders tend to carry high-end sophisticated Araldyne weaponry, but in their case, these weapons are mounted onto advanced machine-assisted arms, allowing multiple weapons to be fired simultaneously with ease. Each Field Commander is given complete leeway to choose their own weapons load-out to best support their particular fighting style: Hydraulic Fists to rip the enemy apart at close quarters, Araldyne FG19 Flakk Guns obliterate targets at short range, Araldyne LM14 Machine Guns to mow down foes by the dozen and Araldyne LS99 High-Intensity Lasers to melt through even the toughest armor. Not to mention the option to take either back-mounted cluster missile pods or advanced targeting systems!


Ultimately, there are very few situations that a SecDef Field Commander is not able to handle, which does nothing to combat their massive ego, but rather helps to promote a sense of superiority both over any foe, as well as other non-SecDef forces they may be forced to serve beside.


This multipart plastic kit includes one SecDef Master Handler sprue and a 25mm base. Grab yours now from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here.

Sculpted by Bob Naismith. Studio model painted by Winterdyne Commission Modeling.

Note: If you are still using the first edition of the Maelstrom's Edge rules, this model is an Epirian Master Bot Handler. It has been changed to a SecDef commander in the V2 rules.

You can find the rules for the SecDef Field Commander in the Epirian Foundation Faction List, available in the V2 Beta Rules section here, and assembly instructions for this model here.

New Release: Plastic Artarian Remnant Nimbus Pathfinder!


Posted on Monday Feb 28, 2022 at 06:00pm in Models


Like its heavier Militus cousin, the Nimbus battlesuit is a marvel of Artarian engineering. Designed for sniper and scout roles, the Nimbus trades in the Militus' heavier armour in favour of speed and agility.


A Nimbus Pathfinder surveys the battlefield.




The Nimbus Pathfinder fills a scouting role within Remnant fire teams, using its Pinpoint Scanner to paint enemy units for the attention of heavier Remnant firepower.


The studio model, painted by Todd McNeal from Toad Painting




This is the second Nimbus model we have released, with the first being a resin model designed to be used as either a Pathfinder or Longshot. Check out the pic below for a comparison of the two (plastic on the left, resin on the right!):


The new model, alongside the original resin model, painted by Winterdyne Commission Modelling




Rules-wise, the Nimbus can be equipped with an array of additional equipment, including Hologram Projectors and Cloak Generators to confound enemy targeting, Vent Systems to assist with cooling, Thermal Trackers to enhance their already formidable shooting, and a Lorican Boostpack when additional speed is required. This kit is compatible with heads and boostpack parts from the plastic Militus kit, and also with the head and cloak generator backpack from the resin Nimbus model. And we'll be releasing a handy upgrade sprue a little later in the year that will cover off some of those other options!


The Pathfinder with a plastic Boostpack from the Militus sprue.


This kit contains a single, plastic Nimbus suit, along with a 40mm plastic base, for use as a Nimbus Pathfinder or Nimbus Pathfinder Prime. The rules for these units can be found in the Force Lists section of the website, or in PDF format in the rules section here.



Grab yours now from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here!

Model Spotlight: The plastic Faction Expansion Sprue


Posted on Tuesday Feb 22, 2022 at 06:00pm in Models


The Faction Expansion Sprue was an additional sprue created back during the original Battle for Zycanthus kickstarter project, intended to flesh out the Epirian and Karist plastic troops with a few additional options. Here's what's on the sprue!




For the Epirians, the sprue includes some alternate helmeted heads to replace the caps on the Contractor sprue, and some arms with the sleeves rolled down for those wanting a sun-smart militia. It also includes some grenades and melee weapons that you can use to equip Contractor Suppression Teams.



For the Karists, the sprue offers a cybel sword and glaive, and some loincloths for setting up elite Karist Praetorian units.



You can also find a mine for the Shadow Walker, and some loose grenades and weapons that are handy for customising troops, scattering around on scenery, or building Secret Cache objectives!





To build your own elite units of melee doom, you can pick up the Faction Expansion sprue in a handy pack of three along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.

What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For other modeling ideas, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Maelstrom's Edge V2 - Suppression Markers


Posted on Tuesday Feb 15, 2022 at 06:00pm in Gaming


- by Iain Wilson

The V2 rules for Maelstrom's Edge (which you can download for free in their current Beta format!) make some big changes to the way suppression works. Along with giving suppression a more active and serious impact on how units behave, the way suppression is tracked has changed. In V1, we used 4 sizes of explosion-shaped suppression markers to mark a potentially endless number of suppression points. V2 changes this to having 6 suppression levels, and so we need a different way to mark this on units during the game. Below, I go through a few different options for doing so.




With 6 suppression levels, the most obvious markers to use are six sided dice. Using dice does have its drawbacks, however, the most obvious being that it's easy to accidentally pick them up mid game and use them for other things. So if you go with this option, make sure you use dice of a very different colour and/or size to those you are using for your shooting!



If you would prefer to avoid the 'stray dice' trap, another easy option is to use numbered markers. Blank plastic tokens, cheap poker chips, or circles cut from cardboard or plastic can be numbered from 1 to 6 with paint or a permanent marker and swapped out as needed to track your suppression.



Of course, if you have the V1 suppression markers, it seems a shame to not continue using them! You could use them like the flat tokens above by writing numbers on them, or combine them with the dice method - glue a suppression marker to a spare base or circle of card and then you can tuck a small D6 into one side of the marker. You can also do this without the base, but having it there makes it easier to pick the marker up and move it around with the unit.



Or, because I can't resist finding an overly complex solution to a simple problem, you can go all out and make a numbered dial to glue onto the bottom of the cardboard suppression marker!



The one was made with a spare base sprayed white, with numbers added on with a permanent marker. I drilled a hole in the middle of the base and glued a piece of plastic rod sticking up through it. Onto the bottom of a suppression marker, I glued a circle of foamed PVC with a matching central hole and a cutaway on the edge to show the numbers on the base. With this sitting in place on top of the base, another piece of plastic tube glued over the top of the protruding base rod locks it in place.

With everything glued in place, the marker serves as a handle to turn the dial to show the relevant suppression level through the gap!



Get started with the V2 rules by downloading them from the Trial Rules section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here. The Beta rules documents contain all of the rules for playing V2 games, but keep in mind that these are just 'preview' documents - some rules may be revised based on feedback, and the final layout including background material for the factions and the Maelstrom's Edge universe, artwork and other 'flavor' material is missing.

If you have any thoughts on the new rules, pop on over to the Comm Guild Facebook group, or start up a thread in the Maelstrom's Edge section on the Dakka Dakka forums. We welcome any feedback, and would love to hear how everyone's forces stack up in the new rules!

Maelstrom's Edge V2 - Unit Actions


Posted on Tuesday Feb 08, 2022 at 06:00pm in Gaming


One of the goals of the new version of the Maelstrom's Edge rules is to give players some real tactical control over their units on the table. One of the ways we've achieved this is through breaking down a unit's activation into separate action categories, to give you more choices when it comes to choosing what to do with them each turn. We'll have a look at these different actions below.





When a unit activates it can chooses up to three actions from Movement, Status and Shooting categories. Some of these were already present in the V1 rules, but were a little more spread out and more difficult to keep track of. By consolidating a codifying the various actions, it's easier for players to remember what they can and can't do in a turn.

Movement actions dictate how fast the unit moves.

MOVEMENT ACTIONS
  • MOVE: The unit moves up to its MV characteristic in inches.
  • DASH: The unit moves up to double its MV characteristic in inches, but at the cost of degrading the accuracy of any shooting action it performs.
  • CHARGE: The unit moves up to double its MV characteristic in inches, but must move into contact with an enemy unit, who then gets to perform Defensive Fire against the charging unit.


Status actions allow you to focus a unit towards specific goals.

STATUS ACTIONS
  • ON THE MOVE: A unit on the move immediately gets to make a bonus move. In addition, a unit that is on the move is both less accurate when shooting and harder to hit when being fired upon.
  • TAKE COVER: A unit taking cover gains protection from the terrain it is touching when the enemy shoots at it, and even gets a small amount of protection if it is in open ground. A unit which is taking cover cannot also be on the move, and vice versa.
  • AIM: A unit that aims is more accurate when shooting during its activation.


Finally, Shooting actions cover the different options for attacking other units.
SHOOTING ACTIONS
  • FIRE: The unit fires a standard round of shooting, which can cause both damage and suppression on the target.
  • SUPPRESSIVE FIRE: A special round of shooting, which utilizes a weapon’s Suppression characteristic. No damage can be inflicted, but more suppression can be caused than with a standard round of shooting.
  • CQ FIGHTING: A special attack against enemies in base contact with the firing unit, using melee weapons or pistols.


By selecting actions from each categoy in turn, a unit steps through its activation. For example, a unit can Move, Take Aim in order to gain a boost to their shooting attacks, and then Fire on an enemy target.

While a unit can only select a single action each from Movement or Shooting, multiple Status actions can be combined so long as you stay within the maximum of three actions in total. So you could, for example, have a unit Take Cover and Aim, and then Fire upon enemy units from their more protected position.



Check out the Beta version of the V2 rules by downloading the PDF from the Trial Rules section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here. The Beta rules documents contain all of the rules for playing V2 games, but keep in mind that these are just 'preview' documents - some rules may be revised based on feedback, and the final layout including background material for the factions and the Maelstrom's Edge universe, artwork and other 'flavor' material is missing.

If you have any thoughts on the new rules, pop on over to the Comm Guild Facebook group, or start up a thread in the Maelstrom's Edge section on the Dakka Dakka forums. We welcome any feedback, and would love to hear how everyone's forces stack up in the new rules!

Maelstrom's Edge V2 - Sample Force Lists


Posted on Tuesday Jan 25, 2022 at 06:00pm in Gaming


With the second edition of Maelstrom's Edge on the way, some players have been asking how their existing forces will change in the new rules. So we thought it would be handy to put together some sample force lists to show what V2 forces might look like.





For this article, we're just looking at force composition, to compare force sizes with V1. We'll go into more detail on tactics and rules changes in future articles.

For the quick and dirty summary - most of the changes for force composition aren't huge. Forces are still built in the same manner as in V1, with a Command model for each detachment allowing you to make a number of unit selections from each of the different unit types - Core, Vanguard, Anvil and Hammer. Equipment selection is also mostly the same, although some options have been removed or changed slightly to fit with the new rules.

The biggest change is in the overall game size - in V1, the 'standard' game (the size game that we felt made for the best game experience) was 150 points, while in V2 this has been brought down to 120 points. Some tweaking of the individual unit costs across most factions, however, means that the actual size of the forces on the table potentially won't change a lot. See the below Epirian and Karist lists as an example:



Both of these lists are based on the 150 point V1 lists currently shown in the Rules section of the Maelstrom's Edge website, built from the original plastic models available to these factions. For the Epirians, removing a unit of Fireflies and swapping out the 1st Detachment Hunter's Cluster Missile Pod for a Strike Missile brings the force in at 119 points. The Karists received some more substantial points drops, and so their force list just gains two more Coriolis launchers on the Tempest Elites to switch from the 150 point V1 list to the 120 point V2.



To balance out their power level a little against the other factions, the Broken didn't receive quite as many points deductions and so their forces may wind up a little smaller in model count for V2. The below list is based on the 120 point V1 'all plastic' Broken list, assembled using just plastic Broken Infantry kits. It needed only a few minor equipment tweaks to fit neatly into the new 120 point limit.





These points changes mean that Broken forces remain significantly 'hordey' while not needing to collect quite as many models to put together a standard force.

Finally the Remnant, who came in a little later in the piece, and just needed a little rebalancing. The below 120 point list would clock in at 137 points in V1, so if you were using a 150 point Fire Team in V1 you may need to tweak some gear options or drop a rookie from your lineup to fit into the new points limit. If you were previously playing 120 point games, you may just need to add another couple of equipment options onto your suits, or consider upgrading a rookie to a full-fledged champion by removing his Mark of the Initiate:



Of course, building a list is one thing, but we also need to see how these play on the table! Stay tuned - Iain is putting together a new Epirian force based on the 120 point list above, and is looking forward to getting them into the action. Stay tuned!





Meanwhile, if you haven't already, check out the Beta version of the V2 rules, which you can download from the Trial Rules section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here. The Beta rules documents contain all of the rules for playing V2 games, but keep in mind that these are just 'preview' documents - some rules may be revised based on feedback, and the final layout including background material for the factions and the Maelstrom's Edge universe, artwork and other 'flavor' material is missing.

If you have any thoughts on the new rules, pop on over to the Comm Guild Facebook group, or start up a thread in the Maelstrom's Edge section on the Dakka Dakka forums. We welcome any feedback, and would love to hear how everyone's forces stack up in the new rules!

Model Spotlight: The plastic Militus battlesuit!


Posted on Tuesday Jan 18, 2022 at 06:00pm in Models


Lorican Combat Suits are the pinnacle of Artarian engineering, allowing a House Champion to have the utility and fighting prowess of many soldiers or workers. Each suit wearer is virtually a one man army, equipped with light but incredibly strong alloyed armour plating that is adapted from the same technology that is used in Remnant ship hull plating. It can absorb heat based weapons and even use it to recharge the suit's systems. The armour is quite capable of deflecting even heavy calibre ammunition, and is fully adapted to work in vacuum or underwater.

The most versatile and common of these suits is the Militus, and our multi-part plastic kit lets you build this Artarian workhorse in a huge range of poses to suit your style!




The Militus kit was designed to be as customisable as possible, with articulated joints and a range of different weapon and head options right off the sprue.



Because it's plastic, it's also extremely easy to mix and match with parts from other kits, or to modify the parts to push posing even further!



Thanks to the kit's versatility, you can easily put together a force that includes multiple suits without no duplicates, making your Fire Team unique!





Pick up the Militus suit from the Maelstrom's Edge webstore as a single sprue or in a discounted bundle of four for the price of three - Find them here!

Make sure you share your assembled suits in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For modeling and terrain tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Candy Jar Desert Building


Posted on Tuesday Jan 11, 2022 at 06:00pm in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

As a wise man once said, "With great Christmas comes a great big bunch of junk food!"

Amongst my family's collection of sugary delights this year was a plastic jar full of candy sticks, bought for my daughters to stuff into Christmas cards. Once empty, though, the jar itself was just too interesting a shape to toss it away. So, there was nothing else for it but to build something!




The jar in question, blissfully unaware that it was about to enter a whole different plane of existence.



After removing the labels and cleaning off the glue residue with some isopropyl alcohol, I sprayed the inside of the jar with some matt black spray. I do this whenever I'm using something clear as a terrain base, as it prevents stray light bleeding through the paint, and also stops things looking weird if the paint on the outside gets scratched.

I also gave the outside a scrub with some sandpaper to break up the glossy surface. This gives a better surface for the glue and paint to adhere to.



To fit doors and windows from the terrain sprue to the curved surface of the jar, rather than building a framework to square things up I decided to fit them to the curve. I laid a piece of sandpaper over the jar and used this as a curved sanding block to shape the back of the parts.



Adding the support struts around the rim of the lid was a little easier - I just bent them around the curve and glued them in place with superglue and a plastic primer.



In a happy coincidence, the spacing worked out almost perfect. I used three full struts, and cut the last one down to three sections, needing to trim only a fraction off the end to make it fit perfectly.



I glued the door and windows into place, adding some steps and gluing the jar down to a piece of hardboard. I also added a grating piece onto a bare patch of the board just for some extra visual interest, painting underneath it with some black as this was easier than doing it later.



To dress up the top of the building, I grabbed a few assorted pieces from the terrain sprues, whipping together an aerial array, a control box and a chimney using a piece of the sprue and some plastic tube.



With these parts glued in place, I finished off the roof with a fan and large pipe fitting glued onto a base that fit just perfectly over the cavity in the top of the jar lid.



The jar needed some texture, so I added a coat of textured paint and while that was drying I built up the base with some filling plaster.



Finally, I added a layer of sand and gravel mix over the filling plaster, fixing it in place with some PVA glue.



After a quick bit of paint work, the new building was looking totally sweet and ready for the table!







To build your own desert habitat of sugary doom, you can pick up the terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.

What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Welcome to 2022!


Posted on Tuesday Jan 04, 2022 at 06:00pm in General


Well, with 2021 consigned to the scrapbook, it's time to look ahead at what the coming year will bring. We have a bunch of new stuff in the works, which we're really looking forward to showing off. So to get things started, here's a sneak peek at just some of the models in the production queue!




Along with the host of new models, there is also the ongoing Beta testing for the second edition of the Maelstrom's Edge rules. If you missed the announcement just before Christmas, you can find out about some of the changes and download a copy of the Beta rules, including force lists for all four current factions, from the article here.



Start building your 2nd edition force by heading over to the webstore here.



Then make sure you share your models, terrain and game reports on the Comm Guild Facebook group!

Maelstrom's Edge 2021 Christmas Special!


Posted on Saturday Dec 25, 2021 at 06:00pm in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

It's become a bit of a tradition around this time of year for me to grab some leftover sprues and throw together a sci-fi Christmas tree ornament. For this year's trinket, I grabbed some parts from the original Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and made myself a somewhat technological snowflake!




The build for this one was pretty simple. I started out with two trapezoid windows and half a dozen energy fence pylons.



To make the branching parts of the snowflake 'arms', I grabbed some 1.5mm aluminium rod, cut it into 20mm and 30mm lengths, and bent them in the middle.



I made a simple formwork to glue the rod pieces in place, by laying a pair of struts from the terrain sprue on either side of the fence posts, adding a drop of glue into the grabby port on the post, and then sitting the bent rod in place. Another dollop of glue on top sealed the rods in place. I also added another piece of rod bent into a loop on the end of the 'top' fence post, to serve as a hanging loop.



Once the frankly horrific amount of glue I had used here had time to set, I used plastic cement to glue the windows together, and the bottoms of the fence posts to the window frames.



On to painting! I sprayed the whole thing with Army Painter Matt Black, and then with a layer of Plate Metal.



I then went over the window frams and fence posts with some Secret Weapon Soft Body Black wash that I had sitting around from an Adepticon goodie bag a few years back.



On the fence post bases and the window frames, I added a coat of Citadel Macragge Blue, with a highlight around the edges of Army Painter Ice Storm.



Then, because I apparently can't go for more than a week without weathering something, I took a sponge and some Vallejo Heavy Charcoal and added some chipping to the blue areas, highlighting with some more Ice Storm. As a final touch, I used some Army Painter blue tone to add a blue tint in the creases of the 'arm' attachments, for a little extra colour. And then on to the tree it went!



Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy time for whatever holidays you happen to celebrate around this time of year!



Build your own ornament of celebratory doom by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.



What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Maelstrom's Edge V2 Beta Rules released!


Posted on Monday Dec 20, 2021 at 06:00pm in Gaming


The 2nd edition of the Maelstrom’s Edge rulebook is on its way, and we're offering a sneak preview in the form of a downloadable Beta version of the rules. You can find the link at the end of this article, but you’re probably wondering: what’s changed? Is it a totally new game or just a sprucing up of the v1 rules? The answer is: a little bit of both.

If you’re a big fan of the v1 rules, then you’ll be pleased to know that the core pillars that comprise Maelstrom’s Edge are not only still there, but have been strengthened. It’s still an alternating activation, squad-based “skirmish” game (aka focused on small squads of 1-6 models) that features 6-sided dice (D6), multi-tiered mission objectives, a suppression mechanic, the ability to bring back destroyed units as reinforcements and a regenerating command point system that can be used for a variety of tactical functions.

If, on the other hand, you’re someone that liked the overall concept of the original Maelstrom’s Edge rules, but you thought that the rules were a little too fiddly, then we also have great news for you! The v2 rules have been totally re-written and highly streamlined: they are a good 30% shorter than the v1 rules as a result. While the v2 rules are undeniably simpler, they’ve also gotten more complex where it counts: giving you tons of new tactical decisions to make with your units during the game. On top of that, the dice rolling “engine” now feels really fresh: each round of shooting keeps both players involved rolling dice and utilizes a “dice flip” mechanic that adds an element of bad luck protection right into the core of the game.

Let’s run through some highlights of the major v2 changes:





SIMPLIFIED UNIT ACTIONS

The largest change in v2 is how unit actions work. The activation test is gone and a unit can now perform up to 3 actions, selected from: movement actions (Move, Dash, Charge), status actions (Aim, On the Move, Take Cover) and shooting actions (Fire, Suppressive Fire, CQ Fighting). While there are some additional caveats to this system (a unit can perform a maximum of only 1 movement and 1 shooting action per activation, for example), we’ve found during playtesting that by splitting the action rules into these smaller “bite-sized” chunks, it makes the whole system much easier to remember. In addition, decoupling movement, shooting and status rules from each other now gives players several new combinations of what to do with their units when they activate them.

SUPPRESSION THAT MATTERS

In v2, suppression is both much simplified and also a whole heck of a lot more deadly. Instead of utilizing tons of suppression tokens, each unit only has 6 suppression levels (which can be conveniently tracked with a D6 next to the unit). Not only does suppression still degrade a unit’s shooting and their ability to benefit from cover, but each time a unit already at max suppression is called upon to raise their suppression level again, one model in the unit instead suffers an injury (which is fatal for most standard infantry in the game). This means it is now entirely possible to ”suppress” an enemy unit to death, representing them fleeing from the battlefield due to the hail of firepower coming their way. This makes the new Suppressive Fire action (which trades-in a shooting unit’s ability to cause damage for a boosted ability to cause suppression) a deadly tool in certain situations.





A NEW DICE ENGINE

The new dice rolling engine in v2 is quite unique, but still based exclusively on 6-sided dice that most players prefer. It is both simple enough to quickly understand, yet nuanced enough to offer: built-in bad luck protection, having both players involved with each round of shooting and tactical player choice within the dice rolling process. Most importantly, when units shoot at each other, the amount of damage they cause now just feels right.

So how does the new system work? As a firing player, all you have to do is look to equal or beat the target’s Evasion characteristic (EVS) with your D6 rolls. For example, if the target has an EVS 4 (the standard EVS of most infantry units), you’d need results of 4-6 to successfully hit them. In addition, as the firing player you get to influence these results by making a number of “dice flips” (changing the result of rolls in your favor) up to the Skill characteristic (SKL) of your firing unit. For example, if your firing unit was SKL 3, you could add +3 to a single roll, +1 to 3 different rolls, or anywhere else in between. Where things really get interesting is that results of ‘1’ and ‘6’ are “critical” results. A “critical hit” (a hit roll result of ‘6’) provides that shot with extra lethality. But it also takes 2 dice flips to change a non-critical result into a critical result (a ‘5’ result into a ‘6’). This means sometimes you have to decide whether using 2 dice flips to change a single ‘5’ result into a critical hit will be more beneficial than just using those same dice flips to score two more standard hits.

And of course, once the firing player has determined how many hits they’ve scored on the target, the defending player gets to make an armor roll against each hit, looking to equal or exceed the Penetration characteristic (PEN) of the firing weapon. Similarly, the defending player gets to influence the results of these rolls with a number of dice flips equal to the Armor characteristic (AV) of their models.

FEWER SPECIAL RULES

With v2, we’ve realized that adding back a few more characteristics to the model/weapon profile means a big reduction in the amount of special abilities in the game. Plus, the abilities we have kept have been greatly simplified, all with the end goal of making each unit’s full rules (including all the text for their unit and weapon abilities) fit onto just a single page.

Here’s a quick rundown of the “new” model & weapon characteristics in v2:
  • The model profile has lost its Mass characteristic (MAS), but has gained the Close Quarters Attacks characteristic (CQA) instead, rectifying the biggest point of negative feedback we got about the v1 rules: the much maligned ‘formula’ that was necessary to determine how many melee shots a model was able to make.
  • The weapon profile has gained a Suppression characteristic (SUP), which is utilized when the unit makes a Suppressive Fire action.
  • The weapon profile has gained a Weapon Type characteristic (TYPE), which helps set apart the archetypal weapon rules (like “AoE”, “Heavy” or “Short Ranged”) from true weapon special abilities.






MORE LETHALITY

One goal of the v2 rules has been to improve the level of lethality in the game. Allowing massive amounts of suppression to inflict damage to a unit was a good first step, but the real key to this change has been the removal of the Mass characteristic (MAS) from the model profile. Now, each point of damage a model suffers just reduces their Fortitude (FOR) characteristic by 1 (and when a model reaches 0 FOR, it is a casualty). The vast majority of standard infantry models only have FOR 1, which means that any hit which gets through their armor will cause a casualty. While this doesn’t suddenly mean that models are now dying in droves in v2, we can safely say that you will notice and appreciate the increase in lethality in the game. You’ll definitely want to start using the reinforcement rules more often to bring back your destroyed units!

QUALITY OF LIFE IMPROVEMENTS

The v2 rules are chock full of little improvements that make the game feel way better overall. Here’s a taste of them:
  • Command points no longer need to be allocated to command models. They just stay in your command point pool until you decide to use them.
  • More command models have powerful abilities that cost command points to use, giving you further options for what to use your command points on (besides the mainstays of bringing back reinforcements and lowering suppression on your units). But don’t worry, we haven’t gone overboard and given every unit a Command Point based ability, these are still quite special.
  • When moving your units, you now only have to bother measuring and moving the unit’s squad leader. The rest of the models are just placed in coherency (within 3” of the squad leader) after their squad leader has finished being moved. This dramatically speeds up the process of moving units.
  • The v1 rules deliberately syphoned almost every non-damage effect down to just generating additional suppression, which made special abilities feel, well, not so special. With v2, we’ve expanded the range of what special abilities can do (and we’ll eventually be releasing a set of plastic tokens to help facilitate this). Be prepared to be able to set units on fire, slow them down, freeze them and confuse them, just to name a few options.
  • To promote unit movement, defensive fire in v2 has been reduced to just protecting a unit from being charged or shot by a hit and run attack. This means units equipped with Short Ranged weaponry can finally shine, being able to run up to enemy units and blast them at point blank range without fear of being decimated first.
  • The way mission objectives generate victory points (VPs) has been simplified, making it much easier to calculate how many VPs you’ve earned at the end of each turn. In addition, the margin you need to be ahead of your opponent to end the game immediately has been widened for all missions, now requiring a +5 VP margin. This gives a little more breathing room for close games to go the distance while still allowing for blowouts to end without one player having to bite the bullet and concede.
  • There are now 18 types of mission objectives (up from 12) and 6 different deployment maps (up from 2). There are also now 12 competitive missions and 6 narrative missions included with the core rulebook (up from 6 & 0 respectively). All this means there is now a whole lot more mission variety in v2!
  • There is a fun new objective marker placement rule forcing you to place objective markers in the opposing half of the table (and your opponent is bound by the same rule). This helps create tense, interesting games where both sides are fighting over objective markers clustered near the centerline of the table, as opposed to one player getting lucky and having one random objective marker near their deployment zone granting them an easy victory.






IN CONCLUSION

As you can see, the new rules for Maelstrom’s Edge are chock full of improvements...and none of what we’ve presented above even covers the massive rules re-work we’ve done for every single unit in the game. Their rules are both far more streamlined but also laser-focused on allowing them to perform exactly how they’re supposed to. It’s been an extremely long time coming, but we can’t wait for you to try out the new rules and let us know what you think!

The new rulebook will be coming along (hopefully!) in the first half of 2022, but you can get a headstart on the V2 ruleset by downloading a Beta version of the rules here. The Beta rules documents contains all of the rules for playing the game, but keep in mind that these are just 'preview' documents - some rules may be revised based on feedback, and the final layout including background material for the factions and the Maelstrom's Edge universe, artwork and other 'flavor' material is missing.

If you have any thoughts on the new rules, you can pop on over to the Comm Guild Facebook group, or start up a thread in the Maelstrom's Edge section on the Dakka Dakka forums. We welcome any feedback, and would love to hear how everyone's forces stack up in the new rules!

It's the 2021 Roundup!


Posted on Tuesday Dec 14, 2021 at 05:00pm in General


With another year almost come to an end, it seems like a good time to pause and look back at some highlights from the Maelstrom's Edge!




The Karist, Broken and Epirian factions all received some reinforcements this year. We also saw the end of the Battle for Zycanthus boxed set, as our existing stock sold out. With the second edition of the game on the horizon, rather than producing more of this set, we added some starter bundles and troop bundle deals for each faction to the Maelstrom's Edge webstore.

The Contractor Support Drone added some new equipment options to Epirian forces, allowing Contractors to field Engineer and Medic units and adding sensor drones to Contractor Scouts. This is the last full resin model to be released for Maelstrom's Edge as, with the exception of a couple of upcoming equipment options for the Artarian Remnant, we have now moved completely to plastic for our models.



The Kaddar Alessi Novitiate serves as an alternate command option for Karist forces. Slightly less unhinged than the typical Kaddar Nova, Kaddar Alessi use their charisma and oratory prowess to inspire the forces under their command, or to shake the resolve of any enemy within earshot.



The Spiral Arm Revolutionary Army are a new sub-faction for the Broken. These paramilitary groups tend to be more organised and disciplined than other Broken, and this is reflected in their command structure. Revolutionary Captains stands proudly at the head of their forces, co-ordinating strikes and holding the rabble steady with their iron discipline. While in the shadows, Broken Snipers lurk beneath advanced camouflage cloaks, picking out valuable targets amongst enemy forces.



As an added bonus, this year we also sourced some stock of the plastic gun carriage kit from PDC Gaming. This kit builds a range of variant weapon platforms, and is also a handy source of parts to build an Automated Uplink Relay for Epirian forces, as you can see in this spotlight article here.



As usual, Iain has been working away on a range of different modeling articles, often using found materials combined with the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues, including an energy plant built from a camping lamp, an air conditioner ducting barracks building and a communications relay made from a toy gun! You can find these and the rest of our various modeling articles compiled in the hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Fans on the Comm Guild Facebook group have also been sharing some great projects of their own!



You can check out all of these and more by joining the Comm Guild group here.



For the year to come, we'll be rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck into the second edition of the Maelstrom's Edge rules, with the Beta version of these scheduled for release very soon! Also coming in from the production queue we have some reinforcements for the Artarian Remnant, and that new faction that we've been teasing for a while now...





Stay tuned!



For the full plastic and resin Maelstrom's Edge model range, the ever-useful Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprues, novels and audiobooks, check out the webstore here.

For building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, have a look at the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

Terrain Spotlight: Fruit Jar Air Purifier!


Posted on Wednesday Dec 08, 2021 at 01:03am in Tutorials


- by Iain Wilson

Time for a super-quick terrain build! In the grand tradition of painting things instead of throwing them into the recycling bin, this week I built an air purifier station out of a plastic fruit jar, with some help from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue!




The bulk of this terrain piece uses the aforementioned plastic jar, which I think originally had plums in it. The plums weren't much good for modeling, but the jar itself was an interesting shape, so I figured it was worth hanging onto it.



I started out by spraying the inside of the jar with some black paint. This helps to avoid things looking weird if the outer layer of paint gets scratched with use, and also blocks light from showing through if the outer paint layer is thin in places. I also gave the outside a light sand to help the glue and paint to stick better.



To cover over the embossed logos on the bottom of the jar, I took a large base and cut some indents into the bottom to sit over the mould line on the jar. I glued this in place using some all-plastic glue (a superglue with a primer pen that helps give a secure bond on different types of plastics). In the middle of the base I added an iris portal from the second Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue.



I went light on additional details as I thought the shape of the jar was interesting enough by itself, but I added a vent on each side - the iris on top would be opened to suck in contaminated or otherwise unsuitable air, and the cleaned/chemically altered/now fit for breathing air would be pumped out through the vents, with all of the 'working gubbins' sealed away inside the unit.



Finally (or so I thought) I added a small base cut from a piece of 5mm foamed PVC.



While I was painting the purifier unit, I decided that it still looked a little too much like a jar turned upside down, largely because the lid is such a recognisable shape. So I broke it up a bit by adding some buttresses around it cut from a piece of polystyrene foam.



With some paint on, the air purifier wound up looking like this:







Build your own air purifier of respiratory doom by picking up the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprues along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range from the webstore here.



What are you working on? We would love to see your models and terrain in the Comm Guild Facebook group!

For other building ideas, modeling tutorials, army spotlights and conversion walkthroughs, check out the Hobby section of the Maelstrom's Edge website here.

StackaRack Kickstarter Update!


Posted on Tuesday Nov 30, 2021 at 06:00pm in StackaRack


We've been working away behind the scenes to get everything finished for the StackaRack digital release. As mentioned in the last Kickstarter update, the STL files were delayed due to the plastics production requiring some last minute changes to several components. This has been completed and tooling is in progress, so now we're all waiting breathlessly until the test shots are done!

So far as the STL files go, as per the Kickstarter backers who pledged for the £10 'Digital Files' pledge will receive the STL files for all of the basic StackaRack components. This includes the main unit, clips and base, as per the picture below. These components are identical to the upcoming plastic version.



Backers of the 'Digital Plus Pack' will receive everything in the basic pack, plus the corner and some additional parts for easier printing or customising your rack. This will include:

  • some pre-stacked pieces with and without bases,
  • two versions of the base (normal length, and a shorter version to butt up against a wall) with solid undersides to reduce the need for supports,
  • pre-assembled corner pieces with and without the base,
  • a flattened version of the clip for neater printing,
  • a top shelf piece that fits onto an upturned base used as a lid, or can be glued to the top of the uppermost holder unit,
  • a clip-in adapter ring to allow the P3/Coat D'Arms/Reaper style pots to sit in more securely.




Most of these components print with minimal or no support. Along with the files, we'll include a printing guide with our recommendations for getting the best results for each part.

SO, where to now?

We're sorting out the final setup for the pledge manager and STL distribution. Once we have digital backers sorted out, we will be able to look at setting up the digital files for regular sale through the Maelstrom's Edge webstore while we wait for the plastics to arrive!

What is SecDef?


Posted on Monday Nov 22, 2021 at 05:00pm in The Epirian Foundation


The Security and Defence force, or SecDef, is the elite fighting force of the Epirian Foundation. The men and women of SecDef are better trained, better armed and better equipped than the Contractors that make up the majority of Epirian defences on frontier worlds. SecDef take only the very best recruits, typically recommended by a trustee after a number of years of dedicated service as a Contractor. Those promoted into SecDef spend over a year training at dedicated off-world bases on Foundation worlds throughout the Spiral Arm, where grizzled veteran instructors inflict a brutal schedule of combat, security and fitness drills. Many recruits wash out during this gruelling period of indoctrination, and only the best of the best become members of the SecDef's feared infantry squads. The Foundation likes to play up this robust selection and training system, because the SecDef are a source of both great pride and great profit. The SecDef are billed by their corporate owners as the ultimate in precision combat. Even one SecDef squad is a honed killing machine, clinical and effective. Rich companies and individuals alike across the galaxy look to hire SecDef infantry as the finest mercenary units, working as bodyguards, military escorts or even leading attacks on rival corporations or hostile alien worlds.



In the days before the Maelstrom, the Foundation was a loose affiliation of corporate franchises, competing on designs for robotics and terraforming technologies, and for the rights to mine asteroid belts and transform worlds for new colonies. However, the franchises recognised the need to keep their free market competition civil and productive, and the elected Foundation trustees maintained the trading rights and regulations between franchises, as well as mediating disputes and deciding on the overall direction of the Foundation. The SecDef acted as the enforcement arm of the overarching corporate structure, a hand-picked selection of the best soldiers from across the different franchises, trained up to be the best equipped and trained fighting unit in the corporate sector. Because of this need for independence for the franchises, the SecDef eschewed the use of robots, as these might preferentially benefit an individual franchise. In the time since the Maelstrom, communication, transportation and above all trust across the Spiral Arm has disintegrated, and the Foundation has fragmented into individual franchises, each with their own SecDef division. Despite now being in more direct competition, much of the tactics and philosophy of the original SecDef charter remains in the individual organisations.



The number of soldiers employed in SecDef varies from franchise to franchise, but is typically much lower than the number of Contractors and robotic units. Most franchises like their security and military forces to be represented by robots, acting as a sales tool for the consumer models of the robots seen on the battlefield. However, robots are only as effective as their Bot Handler. With armed conflicts erupting across the Spiral Arm due to the constant threat of the Maelstrom, Foundation forces more often find themselves having to make do with fewer and less well trained Bot Handlers. SecDef forces are therefore often kept in reserve and used to clean things up when the robotic and Contractor units get bogged down or can't overcome a tough enemy. This gives the SecDef of certain franchises a reputation for saving the day, which the trustees utilise to charge even higher rates when the SecDef perform 'consultancy' work for other organisations. Their tough reputation and intense lifestyle means that most SecDef soldiers are much better paid than Contractors or even some Bot Handlers, but they are so in demand that when the contract of a veteran SecDef expires they will often offer themselves up to opposing franchises for better rewards, or even go completely independent, leading to some of the most cut-throat and effective mercenary forces in the galaxy.



The SecDef's weapons and equipment are traditionally manufactured by Araldyne, one of the last great Epirian Foundation franchises. Araldyne were the franchise with operational control over the Foundation just before the Maelstrom hit. Ever since, Araldyne has maintained that they should rightfully be in control of the entire Foundation, and use both political pressure and military force to seize ships, technology or even planets from other franchises, insisting that they do so for the good of the Epirian Foundation as a whole. Their weaponry is more expensive and advanced than most used in the Foundation, prioritising advanced design and optimised technology over the mass-produced weaponry used by much of the Foundation's lesser troops. SecDef infantry are typically seen sporting powerful Araldyne AR60 assault rifles, as well as the heavier models in the Araldyne range such as the LM14 Machine Gun, SR40 Sniper Rifle and CG100 Chaingun. Such is the prevalence of Araldyne technology amongst the SecDef that rumours abound that Araldyne is secretly funding them as part of their goal to take over the Foundation. As a result, some of the more independent Foundation franchises such as the isolationists of Arkacorp refuse to accept Araldyine support for their SecDef, and even manufacture their own inferior copies of the Araldyne equipment. To their chagrin, despite these imitation weapons being more common across the Spiral Arm, they are still called 'Araldyne'-type weaponry, due to the obvious imitation of their competitor's designs.



SecDef soldiers wear augmented power-assisted exoskeletons, with servo motors boosting the power of their arms and legs. As well as enabling antigrav aerial insertions from high altitude, the exoskeleton also allows them to wear thick ballistic armour without losing full mobility or movement. Their helmets are equipped with state-of-the art targeting and threat-identification heads-up displays, which when coupled with their years of advanced training and experience gives them an unparalleled instinct for tactical action on the battlefield. SecDef infantry sport the most advanced maglock weaponry produced by Araldyne Systems. The superior craftsmanship and state-of-the-art materials in an Araldyne AR60 assault rifle or G20 pistol makes it lighter to hold and more precise, with targeting optics linked into their helmets and a more expensive deadlier armour-piercing round made from rare earth metals. A squad can be supplemented with sniper or machine-gun armed specialists for specific combat roles, whilst the SecDef Annihilator team, armed with 2 Araldyne CG100 Chainguns, is capable of taking on even the most heavily emplaced fortifications. When more mobility or faster response is called for, SecDef forces can also include boostpack-equipped Rapid Intervention Teams armed with twin CB22 Assault Carbines, CF13 Clingfire Sprayers or FG19 Flakk Guns.



Promoted from amongst the most capable veteran sergeants, SecDef Lieutenants are found leading platoon-sozed forces. These level-headed combat veterans are experts on both a tactical and strategic level with extensive financial and material resources to hand. Often taking on the most difficult (and therefore highest paying) missions with their platoons, the aim of most lieutenants is to accrue enough backpay to purchase a field commander commission, and the heavy combat rig that goes with that position.





You can find out more about the units available to SecDef forces on the Maelstrom's Edge website. While you're there, you can pick up any of the SecDef models, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the webstore. You can also find some articles in the Hobby section with conversion walkthroughs and rules for fielding several unofficial units to add even more variety to your SecDef force.


SecDef transport converted from a Miniature Scenery Tactical Response Vehicle, Heavy troopers converted from Epirian Master Bot Handlers, and a walker converted from a Hexy-Shop Heron Light Battlewalker.


Meanwhile, if you have any questions on the Maelstrom's Edge background or gameplay, pop in to the Comm Guild Facebook group here.