Game Primer: Missions & Objectives
Posted on Monday Jul 12, 2021 at 06:00PM in Gaming
The Maelstrom's Edge rules allow for two different mission types - 'Narrative' missions, where each player has their own objectives that support the narrative of the game, and 'Competive' missions which aim to provide a balanced competition through both players having the same objectives. The mission cards that come with the Battle for Zycanthus set (also available for download on the website here) are the latter type.
Each Maelstrom’s Edge mission features several objective types, giving players multiple paths towards victory. Victory Points (VPs) are tabulated at the end of each turn, and if you can manage to reach the total needed to complete the mission while also outpacing your opponent by a wide enough margin, then the game immediately ends with you as the victor! This makes accomplishing mission objectives as efficiently as possible of paramount importance to the game.
Missions are chosen at the start of the game, before deployment, by shuffling together the mission cards and drawing one at random. Each mission card contains a number of pieces of important information, including a list of any mission special rules that apply, and the objectives that players need to achieve in order to gain Victory Points. For easy reference, the objectives are all each printed on reference cards, although these can also be found in the Maelstrom's Edge Rulebook.
Objectives may call for players to destroy or control objective markers scattered around the board, eliminate specific enemy models, capture territory, and so on, with each objective granting Victory Points each turn, at the end of the game, and/or when specific conditions are met. For example, when playing the 'Purple Gold' mission, players gain 2 VPs in turns 1-3 for each refinery objective marker under their control, increasing to 4VPs each from turn 4 onwards. Then at the end of the game, an additional 5 VPs are awarded to the player who controls at least half of the refinery markers.
Purple Gold also has Decimation as a secondary objective, which grants VPs based on how much of the enemy force you have managed to destroy. Players should always be mindful of both Primary and Secondary objectives, as reaching the mission's VP cap with a sufficient 'margin of victory' immediately ends the game! For Purple Gold, this means scoring a total of at least 15 VPs, while also having scored at least 3 more VPs than your opponent. If neither player reaches the required VP goal earlier, standard games of Maelstrom's Edge last for 5 turns. At the end of Turn 5, VPs from any objectives with 'end of game' conditions are applied, and the player with the highest final VP total is the winner - so long as they have a sufficient margin of victory. If neither player manages this, then the game is considered a hard fought draw!
To add a little individuality to the missions, each of the game's different factions also has one or more 'Faction Objectives' which provide a tertiary path to collect VPs. These faction objectives provide themed VPs tailored to that specific force, with some being available to any force made up of that faction, and others being specific to forces that contain certain sub-faction units. For example, any Karist Enclave force can utilise the Secret Cache objective, while a force that includes an Angel Keeper may choose to use the First Contact objective card instead.
Faction objectives usually provide a limited number of VPs, and also grant a special bonus to the force until those limited VPs have been tapped out. The Karist Secret Cache, for example, allows a Karist player with a unit close enough to the cache objective marker to utilise the 'Cache Resupply' rule to re-roll any failed rolls to hit, or to gain an additional VP at the end of the turn. Once they have received 3 VPs from the cache, the objective marker is removed and Cache Resupply can no longer be used.
While all of that can seem a little complicated at first, in practice it creates a layered game experience where achieving a solid victory relies on making best use of the forces at hand, rather than just how quickly you can eliminate enemy units.
It's worth noting in closing that the above all relates specifically to 'Competitive' mission types. We'll explore the differences that Narrative play can bring to the game in a future article.
Get your tactical hat on and order the Battle for Zycanthus set, along with the rest of the Maelstrom's Edge range, from the webstore here! Free shipping applies to qualifying orders - check your cart for details.
If you have any questions on Missions, or any other aspect of Maelstrom's Edge gameplay, feel free to pop in to the Comm Guild Facebook group here.