The Galactic Corps is an expansion for Core Space that introduces security forces to the game. My expression right now is one of exasperation and struggle.
How do I write about this?
It’s only part of the reason why it’s been four long months since I’ve written anything, but it is a significant part.
I’m sure you don’t know this about me but my first position of employment post-secondary education – so my first job as an actual adult – was IT work for the local metropolitan police department. I was only a civilian employee but I felt like I was contributing to a very important public service. It felt good. It felt wholesome.
It felt even better when I was able to dodge a ticket by flashing my employee badge after making an illegal turn; a young white male discovering a new level of privilege.
There were times when it did not feel good. Standing on the sidewalk watching a motorcade drive by to honor a young fallen officer was one of those times.
Retrieving a damaged laptop from a police vehicle that had been in a shootout was another. I will never forget seeing the blood that had run from the leather seats and pooled on the concrete. It was surreal.
I was a part of that police organization for three years and it’s still a part of me 10 later.
This is why my gut reaction to Michael Brown’s murder was complicated and even defensive at the time. I worked near Ferguson Missouri and this was a very troubling moment. It was all anyone talked about.
That was the first time my identity was really challenged. I’ve changed in thousands of little ways and a few large since. Life of course hasn’t gotten easier for anyone and 2020 has been hellish.
So what do I write about Galactic Corps?
My connection with this release is one of confusion and self-reflection. The easy part is in assessing the quality as it’s another stunner from one of tabletop’s best miniatures game companies. The two new missions are some of my favorite, particularly one which sees your equipment confiscated and your crew making a daring escape while Purge flood from every crack in the station’s hull.
The new NPCs function on their own set of priorities, the local security wardens operating on a random die roll being my favorite. They will occasionally wander over and interrogate your character which offers a low level of harassment. Outright combat between your people and theirs doesn’t happen often, but it’s a constant threat you must maneuver around.
Primarily, an environment which never felt safe feels even less so.
Yet the heavier Galactic Corps troops can be quite a boon as well. They will combat the purge and the juiced armored Juggernaut figure is a treat to behold. He squared off against a towering Annihilator in one of my plays and it was pure spectacle.
This extension, much like Shootout at Zed’s, is top shelf because it provides well designed and streamlined content which you can include in nearly every mission written for the game. It’s another tool to spice up the situation and can easily be integrated by just tossing in a few event cards which may or may not be triggered.
I love Core Space and find this to be another near essential expansion, particularly if you’re a solo player. The dynamic tactical challenges compound and cascade in orchestrated ways which keeps things interesting for the long term.
The new terrain is also interesting, although the large teleporter platform is perhaps the least solid piece of Battlesystems terrain I’ve encountered. The outside apertures want to fall off occasionally and it’s a bit unwieldy to store. That’s not to say I’d toss it in the bin as it’s quite visually impressive, but it’s certainly not as sleek as Zed’s balcony and bar.
It’s surprising that the system doesn’t feel as though it’s overstretched. One of the largest issues with a constant stream of content is previously straightforward systems begin to bow under the stress of new rules and modules. Core Space remains streamlined, at least for the moment.
This is my primary concern with this excellent game’s future. I’m eager to see what they’ve accomplished with the Dangerous Days material just released, but I worry because I’ve seen this before. I’ve seen Kill Team and new Necromunda start off strong and I’ve seen them relegated to ‘has beens’ in my life. I don’t want that for this game.
Yes, this expansion is indeed a banger. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s uncomfortable. Fortunately it was developed long ago with a bit of distance between itself and the current issues we’re combating.
This is fortunate because it absolves a small U.K. company just trying to produce a science fiction game. It’s unfortunate because it does little to absolve my own issues pushing around little blue dudes who fire upon and cuff little multi-colored ones.
But, like Monolith’s Conan, I will still play it. I will push those ugly images and feelings to the back of my brain, suppressing them with electrifying scenes of drama and adventure because I’m able.
The best quality of this expansion is the final question left lingering once the gunfire has subsided: am I part of the problem?