Core Space: Stealing a sample of Plasma

Being a smuggler in the Outer Rim isn’t easy when the Imps are trying to gain control over the sector…

As the Homel docked onto the frontier station, Jace, Lars and Satiene prepared to quickly board. Jace felt the need to say it again to his crew, “Remember, the Empire is trying to exert it’s influence out here. So we get in, grab the sample as quickly and quietly as we can, and get out. Local security is light, but cameras are going to pick us up as soon as we open these doors.”

As the crew quickly move in, Lars opens the door to the operations room, startling an engineer.

The engineer, surprised by the sudden appearance of intruders!

Lars dismisses the engineer and proceeds to open the security hatch to the research bay. Jace rushes in to begin extracting a sample while gesturing to Satiene to cover the engineer.

… while gesturing to Satiene to cover the engineer. #boardgames #corespace

Jace quickly extracts a sample of the condensed plasma from the reactor, but finds it only partially fills the bottle – they must have just recently drawn most of it out!

Perhaps that is what is inside the the storage crates…

He waves for Lars to go check the other container

As Satiene moves to cover the now cowering engineer.

The engineer figures he isn’t paid nearly enough to risk his life so offers up his pistol in exchange in exchange for his life. Satiene glads accepts as the sound of a firefight would only hasten the arrival of the Empire.

Meanwhile, Jace and Lars rummage through the crates and find the plasma split into tiny vials. They grab them and look around for more of the packaging containers. Where was the station planning to send them?

Hearing from Jace about the containers, Satiene rummages through the one the engineer had tried to hide behind and collects the vials before moving to search the next room.

Looks like the Empire’s sent their droids to investigate the activity at the station. Do the crew have time to try and collect more of the valuable plasma? Or time to cut bait and run…

Jace makes a quick calculation on how much he still owes the Rodian, and calls for Lars to cover him while he breaks the glass to the power room and heads for the large crate there.

Lars moves to cover the exit

As Satiene hastily moves into the next room to grab another vial…

… and then head back towards the safety of the Homel.

Well, that didn’t turn out so well for Lars as he hears the sounds of mechanical feet above him.

Who knew the droids could jump like that!?!?

Lars spins at the sound of the metal just in time to avoid the mechanical arms, his armored vest absorbing the one blow he couldn’t dodge.

And Satiene learns that these droids can also jump up as well as they do down!

Lars drops his hand to the blade at his hip and rips it free of the sheath to stab clumsily at the battle droid. The armored shell repels the blade, but the momentum allows Lars to regain is feet and come back with a powerful overhead blow that severs then electronics, dropping the Z-23.

In the meantime, Jace finds another two vials of condensed plasma in the storage container, which he quickly pockets and moves back to support Lars.

Satiene also moves to support Lars while making sure to keep clear the path back to the Homel.

Her shot from the blaster cripples the droid, but the sound of the energy discharge is sure to attract more unwanted attention from the Empire.

The remaining droid lands a solid blow with it’s metal fist into Lars’ side.

The fighter in him just spins into the attack and drives the knife into the droid’s power supply, disabling it immediately. However the melee has cracked the large plasma chamber! “We got a leak! Careful in using blasters!”, he shouts out.

With a quick respite from the droids, Jace scrambles into the next room where another storage box catches his eye.

And radios for Satiene to check the last room.

The alarms blazing through the facility now sure enough lead to three more droids quickly appearing on the catwalks…

which drop down and charge Lars!

He parries the blows of the two Z-23 droids and braces himself for the blast of the battle droid – only to cover his eyes when the droid’s blaster results in a small fireball as the energy weapon sets off the plasma leak he had just warned his companions about! Guess these droids’ programming doesn’t take into account warnings from the enemy!

The explosion also damaged the adjacent Z-23, allowing Lars to easily bring it down.

Jace open the storage container to find two more large canisters of the plasma. Chiding himself for not bringing a bigger satchel – “why didn’t they tell us it was going to be parted out already?!?”, he makes the decision to drop his weapons in order to grab the two bottles and head back for the Homel.

Satiene moves to the last of the big boxes and spies one last small box in the adjacent control room.

Another battle droid stomps down the catwalk…

And lands with a thud next to Jace, its blaster searing his torso under the armored vest!

And another pair of 23s show up.

The station security hears the commotion and fires at Jace, whose arms he sees are full of the stolen condensed plasma. The first shot goes wide, but the second catches the captain in the shoulder – at least his armor in the back was still intact…

and then rushes toward Jace.

Jace needs to get out of there, and fast…

He calls for Lars’ help as he passes, and the soldier spins, slashing the Z-23 in half while he launches a pair of EMP mini-grenades at the other two, shutting them down immediately! [he used his Hacker Level 2 ability here]

Satiene manages to locate another bottle of condensed plasma in the large crate and grabs that, before making a snap decision to search the small one in the adjacent room. [in retrospect, this was a game-defining decision…]

Looks like that wasn’t the best choice…

And is that an IG?!??

Yes, yes it is.

And it doesn’t discriminate in targets as it obliterates the station security guard.

The IG then proceeds towards Lars…

Satiene opens the last crate to disappointingly find no additional vials of the condensed plasma. Looks like her gamble to look for more went completely wrong as her only exit is now blocked by the pair of Z-23s. She quickly activates her stealth suit and says a silent prayer that the droids don’t notice her and that the charge will conceal her long enough for them to leave.

Lars hears Satiene whispering over the comms that she needs some time, so he turns and looses a burst from his slug thrower, but watches in dismay as they harmless bounce off the IG’s plating.

He then leapfrogs back to cover Jace’s retreat.

Jace takes the opportunity to scramble into the Homel’s airlock, where he is surprised to find the station engineer now cowering in the shuttle!

The IG doesn’t give up so easily as it advances, but Lar’s ducking and weaving through the doorways keep him from being hit by the barrage of blaster fire.

But he is none too pleased as the other two Battle Droids also advance.

As well as another from behind!

Fortunately for Satiene, her camouflage worked as the Z’s leave to support the IG… Unfortunately for Lars…

Satiene’s luck continues as another station security guard shows up and attacks the Z-23s!

Weighing her options, she decides to make a break for it rather than trying to keep up the stealth – it doesn’t sound like Lars is going to be able to hold them off for too long. [She can’t quite make it without provoking an AOO… Tempt it?]

Jace meanwhile drops the canisters of condensed plasma, and grabs a hold-out pistol from the airlock and moves back to assist Lars. Frantic, his shot goes wide.

Lars jams his combat knife into the adjacent Battle Droid’s neck to disable it, but watches in dismay as the shuddering metal heap snaps his blade off as it falls!

The soldier then spins behind the doorway, dropping the now-useless knife and bringing his carbine to bear on the new droid, but sadly to little effect.

Well, looks like Jace’s decision to move back for support didn’t turn out so well for the captain. With the droid that Lars dropped… well, dropped – the IG now has a clear line of sight to Jace. A barrage of blaster bolts that cripples the captain instantly… [6 damage, 2 armor, 2 hp = downed… I guess that’s one of the surprises of 3D terrain – lines of sight can be unexpected!]

And another hail of blaster fire results in Lars only hanging on by a thread.

Satiene likewise finds herself in trouble as one Z-23 easily dispatches the station security guard and the other one moves up to engage her.

As well as more droids showing up.

Maybe this security guard that came rushing to the sounds of combat will help the Crew? Nope, he barely was able to properly aim… Now, it looks like he will help in another way, by being the distraction the remaining crew needs to flee?

Satiene makes a break for it, but is wounded in the process. She rounds the corner to see Lars take down another droid with a flash of his carbine muzzle. Knowing she won’t be able to beat the droids to the shuttle, Satiene activates the last charge of her stealth suit, the low battery warning haunting her as she triggers it.

Either the engineer realizes the only way he was getting away was that the crew made it back to the shuttle, or it he just panicked at the site of the Empire’s killer droids, he probably doesn’t even know. He just found himself picking up the pistol Jace dropped and firing it at the battle droid. Unsurprisingly, his shot doesn’t even come close to hitting it.

And more station security show up, adding to the chaos.

From her vantage point, Satiene can’t help but feel guilty at her subterfuge as she sees Lars fall to the next burst of blasters and more droids moving onto his position.

And the sounds coming from the next room as the IG and company ruthlessly dispatch the station security don’t alleviate her guilt nor concern.

Oh no! Right as Satiene’s stealth suit runs out of charge and she thinks she’s made it with sufficient movement to get to the shuttle, a Lockdown of the station occurs – All doors slam shut and lock! Game over for the crew…

So that’s the end of my first game with Core Space. I had a fun time playing it, and the rules were suitable easy and dramatic. It was a little slow on the start, but picked up quite rapidly at the end – I suspect it was because I was playing without a competing Crew that was also racing to search the boxes. I think my next run will try out the Automated Trader Crew variant.

A few changes I made during the play-through:

  • I also played without character classes to familiarize myself with the basic rules.
  • The setting was changed to Star Wars (only change to the robots was switching the asassin attack to 2 melee and 4 ranged.
  • I used the Salvage Run mission set-up, but re-themed the salvage as Plasma worth the amount of re-sell credits.

Here’s the board set-up below, with the main playing surface on the Level-Up by Spidermind games.

Core Space board game

Core Space is a board game developed and published by Battle Systems. I’ve been a backer of their various Kickstarters for great 3D cardboard terrain over the past few years, and have been very pleased with their products.

As gamers, they decided to create some rules to use for a miniatures game of their own design. Core Space was the result of that, and they have also just completed the 2nd Kickstarter for another introductory box / expansion to the main game called Core Space: First Born. It is a co-operative / semi-cooperative game that has the feeling of Firefly mixed with Clank. Players can team up or compete or switch back and forth through the game.

I got the Core Space board game last year, but hadn’t had a chance to play it. I opened it up last week and tried giving it a spin playing solo to familiarize myself with the rules. I don’t paint, so decided to reskin the setting as the Outer Rim in Star Wars so I could use my ton of pre-painted Star Wars minis.

The set-up was pretty quick as the grey plastic clips are much easier to use than the original Battle Systems design of the ramps for the walls. It also looks cleaner and definitely easier to store.

Since this was going to be a solo play through, I decided to basically use the Salvage Run sample mission, but use an Example map from the Deluxe Rulebook as well as add on a second level. And since I already had my Galactic Terrain prepared, decided to use that instead of the included Cyberpunk Terrain that comes with the Core Space Starter Set.

Gameplay post coming up next.