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Core Space – ‘The Expanse’ Custom Crew (via Hero Forge)

Core Space – ‘The Expanse’ Custom Crew (via Hero Forge)

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Project Blog by donimator Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 39

About the Project

I have been enjoying Core Space and its many options for narrative play. Having gone through the campaign and a lot of the 'Mission Monday' scenarios, I've looked to some custom creating as described in the deluxe rulebook. I've seen some 'inspired-by' crews posted and took a stab at my own from The Expanse. With the TV version ready to spool up Season 4 and having read well past that in the book series, it seemed like a good time to bring in the crew of the Rocinante.

This Project is Completed

Rest of crew finished

Tutoring 1
Skill 2
Idea 4
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The remaining three models arrived from Hero Forge. I continue to be impressed with the quality of the models and had no issues moving onto painting. Some pics of them as unpacked – basic plastic, primed:

Hero Forge give you an option to see the absolute size of a model, shown as a measurement of the model’s height if the pose was straightened to standing. I’m happy with how these turned out compared to my first test prints and they will fit in well with the rest of the Core Space minis.

The Hero Forge basic plastic comes primed grey. With my test Holden models I added a dusting of my own primer, but with these ones I went straight to blocking in some colours.

… and some more pics with a wash and a bit of drybrush to get them to the table.

Lastly, here are the models with the laminated character cards I’ve made for play. The crew of the Roci is ready to explore beyond the ring gates …

Holden model painted

Tutoring 0
Skill 4
Idea 5
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I’m happy with the model quality from Hero Forge and have the rest of the crew on order. I’ve painted up the Holden model(s) to work out a scheme for the Martian light armour like in this reference image …

Holden model painted

With two models to work with, I’ll do one a little cleaner to see what looks best, but will save the final weathering until I have all of the models ready. The Amos model will get a similar scheme. Alex, the pilot, will be in his Martian Navy uniform. The Belter, Naomi, will have a mix of working clothes. Should fit well with the other Core Space models.

I designed Holden with a hex base, though the rest of Core Space models are 25mm rounds. He’s the Captain model and the Purge Assassin will target Captains as a first priority. I’ve got an awful habit of forgetting I’m moving my Captain and dropping him directly in LoS (but not closest) to an Assassin and thinking he’s safe. Hopefully the hex base reminds me!

Here’s Holden with colours blocked …

… and again with some wash and drybrush …

Getting the models right

Tutoring 3
Skill 1
Idea 9
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I looked through various 28mm ranges and couldn’t find any real good proxies of the Roci’s crew – Holden, Amos, Naomi and Alex – so I started playing with Hero Forge’s options and found I could make some good approximations. The software gives enough variation to create distinct models with a fair resemblance to the cast.

Satisfied with the designs, I went ahead and ordered the captain, Holden, as a sample. I had the test print done in both the lower cost basic, primed plastic and also in the premium plastic. Reading up on it before ordering, there were concerns the basic plastic was more brittle and lacked detail. A short while later, a Shapeways box arrived with the two minis for comparison.

… and later with the premium plastic primed (premium plastic on left)

Pictures may not do it justice, but I was quite impressed with the quality of both types, but especially with the crispness of the basic plastic (and thankfully, lower cost) model. As a tabletop model for use in Core Space, the basic plastic model will work fine. No concerns about the brittleness, as it seems no worse than a resin model.

Before committing to the whole crew, I also wanted to ensure they would work well with the Core Space range and not look too out of place. One of the Hero Forge controls lets you see actual model height if the chosen pose was standing straight. I picked a height that seemed a good match for the other Core Space models. Some pics below show Holden alongside a few different crews. Overall, I would say Hero Forge models appear a little more heroic scale, but not to a point that they would seem out of place.

Next update should see the models for the rest of the crew arrive and will get them painted up.

Designing the characters

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Skill 1
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Character design is explained in the Core Space deluxe rulebook with a point-costing system. While players are free to mix any set of characters together to form a crew, for narrative purposes, specific crews are defined as a collection of specific characters. Skills are a limited resource in the game and can give a character a boost at a critical time. Most are available through a character’s class board. Many characters also have a default skill on their character board that helps define and differentiate their play style. Battle Systems has a link to a fan-created online custom character board designer that did the trick for the images below.

A crew can only have one captain, a designation that grants no additional abilities, but may single the character out as a target for specific foes. Captains are usually stronger with more room for growth in their abilities and skills. Starting with Holden, I gave him the potential for decent health and growth, but kept his available skill points lower as a rookie captain. I gave him 2 levels of the Persuade skill as an innate ability keeping with the narrative from the novels. I’d select a ‘Support’ class board for him to best reflect his role and play style.

Amos is the tank of the crew and his character board shows that. I gave him lots of potential for increased health and an above average potential for skill and career enhancements. I figure he will focus on one or two skills and be very proficient at those. Soldier is likely the obvious class for him, but Hunter may be an option too. His innate abilities reflect his persona in the novels to include some skills that wouldn’t be available with his typical class choice. Counter shot lets him return fire out of turn, Assist lets him protect another crew member from ranged attacks.

Naomi fills the engineer role and has a little more skill potential, but less health. Tech would be the likely class to put her in to fit the narrative, allowing her to hack and disrupt the Purge. An innate Evade skill gives her the option of moving out of base to base contact for a little more survivability.

Lastly, the pilot Alex. He doesn’t see a lot of action off ship. Many Core Space scenarios are for 2 or 3 crew members, so Alex would likely be filling the rare fourth spot. Not a lot of room for advancement in skirmish game and the generic ‘Crewman’ class would be a good fit. Level 1 of Fade to Black as an innate skill lets him get to cover if targeted. A house rule might be just to leave him on the Rocinante and fully tool up the ship’s abilities allowing for scanning, moving to different access points, and point defense fire … ahh the Roci.

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