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Fight for survival among the stars in this next generation tabletop wargame from the team behind dakkadakka.com
Fight for survival among the stars in this next generation tabletop wargame from the team behind dakkadakka.com
813 backers pledged $70,105 to help bring this project to life.

The Maelstrom's Edge Card Game - Included in every box!

Posted by Spiral Arm Studios USA (Creator)
13 likes

It is with great pleasure we can reveal our main secret gift for our backers which we've had up our sleeves for the past year. The Maelstrom's Edge card game! As of today, every $90 and up pledge will receive a copy of the card game for free!

The Maelstrom's Edge Card Game (note, tokens are not included, they are from the board game 'eons' by Gamer Nation)
The Maelstrom's Edge Card Game (note, tokens are not included, they are from the board game 'eons' by Gamer Nation)

Although the tabletop game is our focus for creating tactical, squad-based skirmish battles, the universe of Maelstrom's Edge is much bigger. We wanted to represent the larger scale conflict going on across planets and star systems, as factions compete for resources to build fleets so they can evacuate people from planets doomed by the Maelstrom. We've designed the Maelstrom's Edge card game to be a quick, complementary game to the miniatures game, giving context on an interstellar level to the battles being fought on the tabletop.

In the Maelstrom's Edge card game, you control a fleet in space which is in close proximity to a planetary system doomed by the Maelstrom. The planets are full of people desperately trying to flee, and are loaded with useful resources for long term space travel from water to ore to organics. Unfortunately for you, a rival faction controlled by your opponent is in the same system and wants the same resources that you do. You only have a finite number of ships to harvest resources, so some resources and people will inevitably need to be left behind. While you are busy harvesting resources, there is a constant flow of spacecraft coming from the planets, and they are ready to pledge their allegiance to whoever they reach first.

Manage your fleet, counter your opponent, stockpile resources and save a population, but beware the Maelstrom can strike randomly and at any time in the Maelstrom's Edge card game.

The Maelstrom's Edge tabletop game uses cards for missions and unit profiles. At the same time, we've spent a lot of time and money developing a large amount of high quality artwork, including a broad collection of spaceships for our universe. As card production gets notably cheaper per unit the more you make, it did not take much of a leap for us to realise that for very little extra cost, we could add an entire additional game to the Maelstrom's Edge boxed set in the form of a Maelstrom's Edge card game.

It is no secret when you go into a gaming store that large numbers of people are usually playing collectable card games, and with limited gaming space available in many places, a full on wargame is not always possible. The Maelstrom's Edge card game is designed to be a solution to that problem, allowing you to get your Maelstrom's Edge fix and bring in a wider number of gamers to play against, hopefully getting them interested in the tabletop game as well. Each game takes around 20 minutes to play, so when you don’t have time for a full game of Maelstrom's Edge, the card game can fill the gap. We've also been able to enjoy the Maelstrom's Edge card game in pubs, waiting rooms and similar locations where a full tabletop game would not be possible.

We started development on the supplementary card game about two years ago, and have been tinkering and tweaking it ever since. We are pretty happy with it now, but it still needs some more playtesting before we put the rules to the final print, and we'll be happy to share the rules with you soon. Our long term goal is to make this into a standalone gaming product, but in the short term, we'll be focused on getting the cards into as many people's hands as possible and developing a card game which, like everything else in the Maelstrom's Edge suite of products, stands the test of time. The card game's development is independent of the rest of Maelstrom's Edge, so has no impact on the schedule or quality of the tabletop game.

We'll be providing one set of cards per boxed set for free right now, including in the no-models boxed set option! The final card count is not yet fixed, but it should be around 35 or so. All text shown is placeholder content, so please allow for its simplicity. There are five types of card, so lets look at them now...

Planet Cards

The four planet cards
The four planet cards

These are the heart of the game and four are provided and needed. Each planet generates a number of resources each turn, indicated by the number in the lower centre of the card. This can be modified by events such as a plague or rebellion. When resources cant be removed from a planet, they are stockpiled on the planet's card, building up ready for harvesting or destruction.

Syphon Cards

Example Syphon Cards
Example Syphon Cards

Your syphon cards allow you to extract resources (including people) from a world. Planets are large enough that you and your opponent can syphon at the same time, but you only get three syphons in the entire game for mining, physical resources and population evacuation. If you dont defend your syphon ships, you are going to end up in a very difficult spot.

Military Cards

An example military card
An example military card

Defense and offense are carried out by your military, which can consist of everything from small scout ships to full mobile starbases. 

Modifier Cards

An example modifier card
An example modifier card

Ships and planets can be buffed with modifier cards, altering their strength or other attributes, but every card comes with a cost and needs to be purchased with your precious resources.

Event Cards

The Maelstrom event card
The Maelstrom event card

Events can occur at any time in the game, and can decimate or multiply your plans. The most dangerous event of all is the arrival of the Maelstrom, which can happen twice per game. When the Maelstrom arrives, a random planet is permanantly destroyed along with all cards attached to it. The planet is chosen in a high stakes bidding war in which you and your opponent must each decide privately on a random number between 0 and 10, and then those numbers are added together. You then count along the planets, going back to the first after the last, and the planet you end on gets destroyed, leading to some very entertaining second-guessing and bluffing, and some very delicate resource and placement management. Do you put all eggs in one basket and hope for the best, or risk spreading yourself too thin to protect your syphons from assault?

The game ends when a player is left with three or fewer cards, and no more cards are left in the draw deck. The winner is the player with the most resources in their stockpile at the moment the game ends. You can usually only play two cards per turn, but certain events can allow you to change the timing of the end game to your advantage and catch your opponent short, from playing an extra card to depleting their resource stockpile.

We've had a lot of fun developing the Maelstrom's Edge card game, and have had instances of playtesters immediately wanting to play again after their first test game which bodes well for the quality of our rules. We are very excited to share this game with you and polish the development of it with our Kickstarter backers. Thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing more information about this game with you in the future! Please feel free to ask any questions you might have from this teaser and we'll answer them promptly.

Some of the cards included in the Maelstrom's Edge card game
Some of the cards included in the Maelstrom's Edge card game
Tracy Vierra, Tomas Martin, and 11 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Spiral Arm Studios USA Creator on

      Lots of comments, good to see :)

      Will there to be an advantage to having more than one set of cards? It will make the game last longer, and there will be 4 maelstrom cards present, so the game could end when every planet is destroyed. In playtesting though we found that did not make it more fun, though the slight increase in tactical options kept things entertaining at higher card count.

      It is a shared deck for both players and there is no deck building ahead of time. Each player starts with three syphons, two random military cards and two fully random cards. Buildable decks is certainly something we'd like to explore in the future but is beyond our scope for now.

      It has been designed to be expandable, with the ability to add lots of planets, events, modifiers, alternate syphons and building your initial hand and draw decks all things that would work well, but for the near term we'll not be pushing along those lines until we've had a good deal of real world playtesting. Turning around updates and expansions for a card game is very quick and easy compared to plastics though!

      The layout and design is about 90% final but not set in stone. We dont have the resources to explore it a huge amount graphically without negatively impacting the development of the rest of Maelstrom's Edge, but welcome anything people suggest, doubly so if alternate designs are attached.

    2. Luke on

      Wow! Totally blindside by this, that's a pretty incredible bonus. A few questions!:

      1. Will there be an advantage to having more then one set of cards? More interesting game, etc?
      2. Is it a shared deck for both players? Do you build your own deck ahead of time. Is it a deckbuilder like dominion?
      3. Will this be expandable or a game in a box?
      4. Is the card layout/design final? There are parts i'm not really feeling, especialy the symbols around the number values.

    3. Benjamin Jelley on

      Bravo! Bravo! Impressive addition and will be my first foray into card games, something I've been keen to do for a while, but didn't know where to start.

      *standing up to applaud*

    4. Martin Sugianto
      Superbacker
      on

      Maybe the card game only pledge tier? :p

    5. Missing avatar

      garret hines on

      This is AWESOME! ive always wanted to play a wargame that let you figure out the space battle too but most you have to have an entire other army and set of rules to do it. this is such a great simple idea to make that happen. the more you guys show the more excited for the project im getting. keep it up :)

    6. Missing avatar

      Remy van Vliet
      Superbacker
      on

      Cool! Thank you!

    7. Spiral Arm Studios USA Creator on

      FYI, the main page will be updated to reflect this addition within the next 24 hours or so, but we are a bit backlogged catching up on things right now so it wont be this instant.