We take to the infinite sea of space as part of a crew of the Space Pirates in Verge of War, a wargame with a living storyline. In this article, we introduce Verge of War, the Space Pirates faction, and also talk to Andrii Voron the background author, and Kirill Mandryka, the rules author about designing the Space Pirates.
This article forms part of our Nautical Tabletop Month that's running across all of November. We're going to look at different nautical wargames and board games, as well as interview developers about capturing the sea feel on the tabletop. We'll also look at nautical factions in popular wargames along with tabletop accessories that are available to keep your hobby ship-shape. You can see all the articles here on the hub. So come aboard as we set sail and celebrate all games nautical in nature.
You can buy all the Nautical Tabletop Month products from our tabletop sponsor, Firestorm Games.
Verge of War Introduction
Verge of War originally began life as a successful Kickstarter in 2018, followed by a second successful Kickstarter launching 2 new factions, the Asgars and Space Pirates. All the rules and army books for Verge of War are available for free online here. All you need to add are miniatures to represent your forces, a tape measure, and 6-sided dice.
Verge of War games are slightly different from other wargames. Depending on the point size you chose, Commanders get a level and can pick from skill and upgrades across 3 different skill trees, giving a great deal of flexibility and unique flavor game to game, even using the same units. The Verge of War storyline will also be affected by players in an ongoing narrative.
An ill-disciplined but numerous force.
Their speed and maneuverability make it hard to predict where they will strike next.
Pirates have access to almost any technology.
The Space Pirates are an irregular crew of different races, all fighting and looting together for their own reasons, but with a singular common goal. The Pirate Captains keep them together under their harsh command, usually backed up with the muscle of the Shork Boatswain.
You can get straight into Verge of War with the Space Pirates First Contact Pack. It's a 330 point pack that contains the core of the Space Pirates faction and is easy to expand out from.
The Space Pirates First Contain Pack contains:
- Pirate Captain
- Shork Boatswain
- 3 Veteran Void Raiders
All of the miniatures come with multiple weapon options, and the Captain and the Boatswain come with different head options. The massive Shork Boatswain is free-posable, meaning that you are able to attach the arms and legs in whatever pose you want. We opted for raising the huge Anchor weapon high, whilst sweeping the boarding-beamer across, opening a path for the Veterans to enter. The 3 Veterans are from different races, Human, Skrag, and Kja, carrying powerful ranged and assault weapons, they are elite operators able to move fast between targets.
What I like most about the set, is the slight stature of the Pirate Captain. Keeping a crew of killers like these in check takes an equal amount of intelligence, intimidation, and ability. The veterans and boatswain stand large over the Captain, meaning that there's something there that keeps them under control, ready to follow the Captain's orders.
Space Pirates Developer Interview
TechRaptor: Welcome Andrii Voron and Kirill Mandryka to the Nautical Tabletop Season and thank you for taking part. To those readers who are unaware, can you give us a little introduction to the Space Pirates? Who are they and what do they want?
Integrity First Games: The best way to understand who is the Space Pirates is to quote one of the Pirate captains: “We are a free fellowship of truly independent creatures. We respect each other and stand united for our liberty. Tell me, what is higher than that?” Captain Markurig, Thirty minutes before stealing Thirunga Brotherhood’s bounty.
TR: The Captain and Boatswain have some great looking thematic parts. What were the must-have aspects when designed their sculpts?
IFG: When we designed the Space Pirates the main idea is to use the most iconic part of the Earth pirates from history, like hats, beards, skulls, and bones, etc. So anyone who could see these models could understand that this is a Pirates without reading the text.
TR: How do the Space Pirates play on the tabletop? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
IFG: The pirates are faster and cheaper than the other factions, but the units are generally weaker than their counterparts. The pirates strongly rely on maneuver and unit synergy and their main tactic is: Hit as hard as you can, Grab as much as you can carry, and run away as fast as possible.
TR: Space Pirates are a little different from the original sea-dwelling pirates of old, but do the Space Pirates have any nautical or piratey mechanics in Verge of War?
IFG: The pirates are no line troops of the standard army and so they have some special mechanics like a captain who can cover himself with the bodies of the team, or Boatswain’s special skill “No Sleep on the Job” that improves the other units awareness and though protection from enemy fire.
TR: How did you go about capturing the feel of the Space Pirates? Do they operate differently mechanically from other factions?
IFG: The pirates have unique gameplay comparing the other factions. They are the fastest faction so far, most of their units can appear anywhere on the battlefield and attack the weakest part of the enemy force, but if you are captured you are dead. Also, pirates have access to almost all technologies and weapons of every race. And pirates teams it's real intergalactic gangs. It is unlike the tide of flesh the Seits could unleash, the nearly immortal Asgars robots or the Glorious Knight of the Humans.
TR: The Shork Boatswain is huge. What impact does he have in the game?
IFG: The Shork is Pirate's heaviest asset. He is the one who will stop the charging Knight or another big guy, but unlike all other “Big” guys on the field he also has a support role, he has one order that he can use to boost the stats of the friendly unit and a Special skill that makes the other fight much better.
TR: The First Contact Pack is an ideal place to start for players picking up the Space Pirates for Verge of War. What should their next purchase be to expand their force?
IFG: We recommend purchasing a Void Raider Team, and a Boat after it. It will allow you to complete a Void Raider Commander Captain skillset model.
TR: What’s next for the Space Pirates? Are there any more specialist members of the crew due for release?
IFG: The next step will be the Brigands and an Astro mining drone. Brigands its core pack of pirates forces. The backbone of assaulting teams. Mining drone - its first assault unit. Don't have enough armor and protection pirates use these thought machines as the first wave of assault.
TR: What’s next for Verge of War? Can you tell us what’s next for release and what’s in development?
IFG: We are currently developing Humans Sergeants (support infantry of knight banners), Asgar dryads, Pirate astra-mining drone, and the base model for the Eltofa faction. Eltofa is a race of huge four arms creatures.
TR: Thank you very much for introducing us to the Space Pirates and for being part of our Nautical Tabletop Season. We look forward to following the ongoing Narrative of Verge of War.
You can buy all the Verge of War products, and get hold of the free rules at the Verge of War site.
The copy of the Verge of War Space Pirates First Contact Pack used to produce this preview was provided by Integrity First Games.