In Maelstrom, players join one of two warring pirate bands battling for control of deep space. Initially, players dogfight around massive convoys of dreadnoughts in their own combat fighters. As security and defences are breached players embark upon a daring internal raid aboard the vessels. Once on board, players battle on the ground against the enemy troops. The object of each attack is to retrieve valuable booty - with each mission increasing in difficulty and ferocity and players notoriety increasing with each successful raid!