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What is Maelstrom's Edge?

Maelstrom's Edge is a tabletop war game using detailed plastic miniatures that fills the gap between small scale skirmish games with several individual models per side and large scale war games with scores of models per side. With forces typically built from 20 to 30 models a side, Maelstrom's Edge is easy to model, easy to paint and easy to play. Forces consist of several small-sized units, which is why we call the game a 'squad-based skirmish game'. Because it is a miniatures game, you get to assemble and paint your own models to pit against an opponent on a table dressed up with terrain to form your battlefield.

The conflicts on your table take the form of missions set in the desperate Maelstrom's Edge universe, populated by the Epirian Foundation and their robotic forces, the secretive Karist Enclave supported by the alien Angels, and a growing list of other factions. The content below highlights our game, background and models, and how you can get started. We'd love to have you on board! If you're ready to get stuck in, you can visit our online store to view our product selection and if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us.

Our models and terrain in action

The Game

  • Keeps you involved with alternating unit activation and a tight ruleset

    Maelstrom's Edge features alternating unit activation, which means you get to react to what your opponent is doing straight away.

    We've made it our goal to create a ruleset that doesn't get in the way of having fun. Once you're familiar with the basic concepts, you'll find the rules form a coherent whole that won't keep you guessing or fruitlessly looking for what needs to happen, holding up your game. A comprehensive index will quickly point you to the right page when you need to look something up and, if you prefer, the rules are available digitally with clickable references and full bookmarks. Any box set purchase allows access to the digital rules, and you can now also download a PDF copy of the rules for free if you'd like to look into the rules before making up your mind.

  • The game builds suspense as you score points towards achieving your mission each turn

    There's no sitting the game out in the back corner of the board in Maelstrom's Edge. Players need to score points by meeting objectives each and every turn. If you let your opponent gain too much of a lead, you might find they have completed their mission whilst you've been idling! When you are in the lead, you'd better stay alert. The scoring system and the availability of reinforcements can turn the game at any point.

  • The game challenges your tactical wits as you deal with cover, suppression, attacks from the rear and command points

    As long as you keep your units in cover, your opponent will have a hard time destroying them. However, when he manoeuvres to your rear, or cripples your effectiveness with suppression, you're in trouble! Maelstrom's Edge encourages you to cleverly plan and coordinate your forces, using the terrain and command points generated by your HQ models to overcome the enemy.

    Epirian and Karist forces clash over a critical objective.

The Universe

  • The Maelstrom's Edge setting depicts a far future frontier where factions fight for wealth, faith and survival as the inevitable doom that is the Maelstrom approaches

    In the far future, humanity had colonized large parts of the galaxy's spiral arm. Then disaster hit. A violent explosion of energy known as the Maelstrom erupted at the heart of humanity's worlds, destroying the core of human civilization and expanding rapidly to threaten more worlds. The edge of the storm forms the frontier where Maelstrom's Edge battles are played out. On the edge worlds, those who have the means will have left. Those who remain are those trapped behind, including many stellargees from other now destroyed planets unable to go any further, but also those who see profit in the unstable situation these worlds find themselves in, as well as those who make it their mission to save as many as they can, be that physically or in spirit. The enormous movement of people, disintegrating governments and conflicting goals of those who remain inevitably lead to strife as the circumstances are exploited by the powerful factions at the Maelstrom's Edge.

    The Maelstrom Approaches

  • The universe is represented in novels, short stories and audio books by Tomas L. Martin, Stephen Gaskell, Karin Lowachee, Jaine Fenn, Rob Ziegler, Liz Williams, Jeff Carlson, Aliette de Bodard and Alastair Reynolds

    The Maelstrom's Edge rulebook covers the universe and its faction in some detail, but the setting really comes to life in the various stories written by renowned authors in the form of novels, short stories and audio books. We have several available now in our store and on Amazon, with more stories in the pipeline!

    Our game is not just about tactically outmanoeuvring an opponent, it is also about creating stories that cater to your imagination. We very much encourage players to invent back stories for their armies, to design campaigns where multiple games chain together in order to tell a tale, and to customize their models as much as they want to create a very personal force.

  • The universe hinges on cybel tunnels which bring wealth and power, but also strife and destruction

    The discovery of cybel tunnels allowed humanity to travel across the galaxy. They form a web of energy connecting large celestial entities. Some tendrils of this web are big enough to travel, forming tunnels that ships can enter and leave. In a refined form, the energy of these tunnels can be used as fuel or even weaponised, reacting violently with conventional matter. Like cybel tunnels, the Maelstrom is attracted to large bodies of mass. The Maelstrom also disrupts the web of tunnels, increasing the complexities and dangers of travelling on the edge. Learn more about cybel travel in our rulebook and in the designer's notes here on the website.

The Models

  • Include versatile contractors, zealous warriors, mind-link controlled bots, enigmatic Angels, giant battlesuits and desperate Broken rabble, alongside parts to create your own battlefield terrain

    Our model range covers many different units for our factions. The core of most forces will consist of basic infantry models with various weapon options. Add elite hammer units, fast vanguard units and specialist anvil units made up of fearsome large models to build up your collection into a destructive and versatile force. Each faction has its own aesthetic and unique units.

    For any tabletop miniatures game it's important to have a good selection of terrain. Maelstrom's Edge benefits from generous amounts of cover on the table to make for the most tactically flexible games. To help you out with making terrain, we have created 'terrain sprues' that supplie a host of plastic terrain elements which you can combine with simple foam and cardboard to make up the battlefield. See our gallery pages for some examples. Like our other models, the terrain sprue is available separately in our store. It's also included in the Battle for Zycanthus box set.

    All the models included in the Battle for Zycanthus box set

  • Are all made of the highest quality plastic or resin at the familiar 28mm scale

    Our models are made in the popular 28mm scale and are therefore compatible with a host of other miniature war gaming products on the market. We use injection moulded High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) plastic for the core units in each faction, which we believe is the most user-friendly material for war gaming models, with crisp detail, ease of conversion and flexible assembly options.

    The plastic sprue for our Bot Handler model, this sprue makes two distinct models with a large range of assembly options

  • Our plastic models come on multipart sprues with various posing and weapon options, allowing you to assemble, convert and paint your models to match your vision

    Every plastic model comes on a sprue with multiple posing options and optional weapons and other parts, so your models can truly reflect which weapons you've selected for your force. One of the joys of using plastic is that you can easily convert our models, making cool diorama's like this one:

    Karists guard an Epirian bot workshop they've just secured

Getting Started

  • Maelstrom's Edge is easy to get into, requiring only about 20 to 30 models for a full force

    Getting into a miniature war game can be quite an undertaking. Maelstrom's Edge, however, is easy to get into. You don't need many models to have a complete force, we provide plastic parts which make it simple to create cool terrain pieces, and as everything is made to the common 28mm scale and in plastic, you won't need exotic or complicated tools and materials to assemble your force. All of the rules come in a handy A5 book or a digital file if you prefer, and we provide convenient summary sheets to aid your memory during games. A unit's abilities are displayed on its unit card which you can easily keep on the table during your games. A typical small game will last about 90 to 120 minutes when players are familiar with the rules, with a full size game lasting about two hours.

    The Epirian forces in the box set, covering all units types and making up a complete force

  • Get started with the Battle for Zycanthus box set

    The best way to get started with Maelstrom's Edge is to get our Battle for Zycanthus box set. In this set you will find the rules, enough models to complete a Karist and an Epirian force, large enough to play a standard 'small' game (about 120 points, going to 150 points gives you the 'normal' game size recommended to give a little more flexibility in choosing forces), all the card tokens and templates you'll require, dice, unit cards, mission cards and the Maelstrom's Edge card game. The box also includes a terrain sprue which can make up to 12 detailed, unique terrain pieces. You can get the Battle for Zycanthus box set from our online store or ask your local tabletop gaming hobby store if they stock our products!

    The rear cover of the Battle for Zycanthus box set, showing its contents

  • We're here to help

    We supply detailed assembly guides for our models on our website. If you need help with any aspect of the hobby, be it painting, gaming or finding new friends to game with, it's always a good idea to hook up with a forum such as Dakkadakka or our Facebook group. You can also contact us directly if you have any questions.

Spiral Arm Studios Ltd.
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