Category for all posts about the Shattered Earth game.

State of Play

Hello fellow Survivors!

The harsh climate and unpredictable weather of the Shattered Earth has made communication difficult over the past several months, but we’ve managed to jury rig a makeshift transmitter out of a pre-Event cell phone and some processed food tins to send this message to you.

This past year has seen us fulfil the dream of releasing a brand new tabletop miniatures game into the wild, and we’re delighted to have such an appreciative and dedicated fanbase. Unfortunately, post-Kickstarter sales haven’t been where we would have liked them to be, and the tabletop industry as a whole has experienced a challenging twelve months, especially for small (read: tiny) companies like ourselves.

As is often the case, real life and the pressures of working a full-time job have meant that we’ve had little time to rectify the financial situation. Short of attending every gaming convention on the calendar we have no way of reaching beyond the people who already know about Shattered Earth, and that’s a challenge we’ve been struggling to overcome. We’d dearly love to increase the range of miniatures currently available to players, expanding on the fiction and rules we’ve established over the past few years, but we can’t do that without increased income.

And so, with much thought and consideration (cue drumroll…) we’ve decided to make our long-awaited return to Kickstarter!

The intention of this second Kickstarter is to provide us with a more retail-friendly product that we can then use to advertise Shattered Earth to a much wider audience, ultimately bringing in more revenue so that the game can effectively support itself. To do so we will need to create new packaging and more balanced starter sets – including additional miniatures – and all the admin and legal requirements that go with it. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time but have lacked the capital to pursue, and so the best option available to us is another round of crowdfunding.

We’ve been hard at work fleshing out the core factions and have some early concept art and playtest rules for a raft of new miniatures already lined up. We also broke into our piggy bank one last time so that we could have a brand new sculpt ready to show you (hint: he’s adorning our new Kickstarter banner) but the full reveal will have to wait a little longer…

In short, we want to continue supporting Shattered Earth, but in order to do so we need your help once again. We’ll announce details of the Kickstarter nearer the time, and look forward to inviting you all to once again explore the Shattered Earth with us.

John and Si

Gen Con Sale – 20% Off Everything!

Hello citizens of Shattered Earth!

Massive Awesome are not able to attend Gen Con in person this year (maybe next year..?) but to celebrate the general awesomeness of the event’s 50th anniversary we’re running a sale for its entire duration.

Using the code GENCON50 when shopping on our official webstore will enable you to enjoy 20% off any orders from midnight EST on the 17th through the 20th inclusive, whether bolstering your armies with additional units, buying a new faction, or just picking up a rulebook.

We will also have some exciting news about the next step in the Shattered Earth journey coming very soon so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Thanks for your continued support,

John and Si

Webstore Now Open!

The Massive Awesome online store is now open! You can buy everything that was available as part of the Shattered Earth Kickstarter campaign, including the awesome Shattered Earth: Emergence rulebook.

To celebrate we are giving you 10% off all orders until midnight BST on 11th June. Simply enter the code LAUNCH10 at checkout to claim.

And That’s a Wrap!

Ladies, gentlemen, fellow hobby enthusiasts, it brings us great pleasure to announce that we have now completed fulfilment for Shattered Earth! This means that every parcel has shipped out and should arrive with you in the next few weeks. If you have any queries regarding your order, then please email us at [email protected].

So what happens next? Well, first we need to set up our webstore which will be going live very soon, and after that we have a few articles in progress that we will be sharing online. We also want to know the best way we can help you in your communities so please either email us or message us on Facebook and let us know what you’re up to!

We’ve had great feedback across a number of websites, forums and Facebook, and as we are now moving away from Kickstarter we need a new home for all of our fans to get together. As Facebook has been by far the most active site, we’d like to invite you all to continue the discussion on our Facebook page.

We’ll be posting a number of topics over the coming weeks, and this will be the main source of news regarding Shattered Earth. For those of you that do not use Facebook and would instead prefer to continue posting on your favourite forums, please let us know where you post so that we can keep engaged.

Thank you all once again for your help and support, and we look forward to seeing your progress and hearing about your adventures in the world of Shattered Earth!

March Kickstarter Update

No fancy pictures this month – just cold, hard facts!

We’ve sent the profile cards off to the printers and are expecting them back sometime next week. They look fantastic and Iwo has done a great job with layouts. We’ve opted for a horizontal format similar to games like Dark Age which makes the cards easily readable.

The rulebook is also in production and should arrive in the next couple of weeks as well. John has taken the time to make a few final tweaks to the fiction pieces and we’re sure you’re really like what he’s put together.

We’re still waiting on the second batch of miniatures coming through and they should be arriving around the same time as the rulebook. This has been the one aspect of the Kickstarter that has taken us by surprise: casting the highest quality hand pulled resin miniatures takes a very long time indeed!

There are loads of other things as well like the dice, boxes, foam inserts, baggies, and so on – they’re all stacked up at Simon’s parents house at the moment! We’ve already started filling some of the orders so we can get a headstart on fulfilment once the rest of the items arrive over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again for your patience and support – we are literally weeks away people!

September Kickstarter Update

It’s been a few weeks since our last update, so we thought we’d check in with you and let you know where we are up to with Shattered Earth.

Miniature production is well underway and we should be receiving the first masters for review in the next couple of weeks. The process has slowed down a bit recently due in part to the complexity of the sculpts, and also how busy our printing and casting partners have been. Unfortunately this means that, right now, it is looking very unlikely that we will receive the full complement of miniatures before the end of October. We realise that this is disappointing news, but the nature of pushing the envelope for miniature detail has necessitated some re-work in order to get the casting spot-on. Massive Awesome have and always will be focused on quality first, so we hope you can accept a small delay in order to ensure that the end product is as good as we can make it.

In other news, the rulebook design has been finalised, and we’re now just putting the finishing touches to the text and layout. We will post up a release candidate for download in the next couple of weeks so that you can take a look at it and provide any feedback before it goes to print. Likewise the card design is also mostly done, and we will take the extra time afforded by the longer production phase to do some further playtesting on the profiles; as previously noted we’re going to hold off printing the book and cards until the very last minute to ensure that they have had as much testing as possible.

That’s it for now; we’ll follow up with some photographs of the masters as soon as possible so you can see what the miniatures you’ll be getting actually look like. We can’t wait to see them ourselves – there’s nothing quite like high-quality resin to bring out the detail in a sculpt!

Those Who Speak C - Concept Art

Those Who Speak

“You need not words; you convey through your actions, you declare through your devotion”

Those Who Speak C - Concept Art

Sister Lucia held out her hand to Brother Sunil as he clambered down the stone bluff behind her. He was limping heavily from a wound that raked the length of his left shin, preventing him from putting his full weight down on that side. Although he had not complained of the pain or even mentioned it at all, the brothers and sisters known as Those who Speak were acutely aware of each others’ needs. As Sister Lucia provided support on one side, Brother Yusef walked alongside on the right carrying both his own pair of Censers and Brother Sunil’s pair.

The three of them walked in silence for the hour it took to return to their barracks, each ruminating on the victory they had achieved in the name of the Prophet over the faithless blasphemers of the Humanist Rebellion. As they filed through the tall, intricately-decorated doorway with the rest of the returning soldiers, they were directed by the Faithful orderly towards the smaller of the two buildings of worship. A successful battle required a service of celebration but when there were injured to tend to and dead to bury, time was of the essence. The gathered warriors recited their prayers of veneration and gave thanks for their return and the gift of being able to fight another day to defend the honor of the Prophet.

Those Who Speak A - Concept Art

As Brother Sunil departed for the infirmary, Lucia and Yusef made their way to the armoury with their and Sunil’s Censers and began the ritual of repair and cleansing. First they washed the blood of their enemies from their weapons and, in Lucia’s case, from her brass face plate. Then they each took their own set of blessed tools and worked slowly and carefully to flatten any dents and re-sharpen the edges so that the next time they swung the holy weapon into the face of an enemy, it would look as perfect as the day it was forged.

Throughout the many hours of quietly diligent work that the process required they were lit by torchlight and could hear the sounds of the hymns to the Prophet drifting in from the nearby hall of worship. This gave the the armoury an air of sacred ritual and enabled the Faithful to complete their work in a state of near-meditation. After three hours, they were joined by Brother Sunil who continued the work on his own weapon from where his Brothers and Sisters had left off. As the night drew in and they withdrew to their dormitory, they each nodded quietly to each other, in recognition of a good day.

Kodiak THF

“When subtlety is uncalled for and stealth unnecessary, hit first and hit hard.”

Shattered Earth - Kodiak THF (Travel Mode) - Concept ArtConcept art by Shen Fei

Corporal Vasilov moved his hand over the control surface and twisted his wrist slightly. The massive metal frame he was commanding deftly stepped over the fallen soldiers in front of it and bounded forwards. He wanted to push his advantage and pursued the remaining Children of the One True God soldiers with a grim determination.

His HUD warned him that his own Coyote Assault Troopers were approaching from the right and so the unit of fleeing Speakers would be forced to pause their retreat in order to engage them. The Speakers had not yet spotted the Coyotes and so felt a moment of relief when they saw the hulking frame of the Kodiak slow to a halt and drop to its knees.

A second later though they saw the Coyotes pause their own pursuit and take cover behind the rubble. The lead Speaker, a battle-hardened veteran named Liebowitz, realised that something terrible was about to happen, and looked over his shoulder just in time to see the stabilised Kodiak spin up its terrifying minigun and slowly strafe his entire unit. As the red mist that was once his fellow soldiers approached his position, Liebowitz barely had time to whisper a prayer to the Prophet before diving into the rubble to avoid being torn apart by the Kodiak’s fearsome weaponry.

At last Vasilov powered down the minigun but remained motionless for a few seconds, surveying the scene to ensure there was no movement. Satisfied, he engaged the control surface again, raising the Kodiak up from its static firing position, and began walking back towards the main battle. Behind it, Liebowitz looked in horror at the patch of red ground where his brothers and sisters once stood mere moments earlier. He turned to regard the departing Kodiak, and thought that perhaps he had seen the devil himself.

Shattered Earth - Kodiak THF (Firing Mode) - Concept ArtConcept art by Shen Fei

The Kodiak Tactical Heavy Frame (THF) is a mobile artillery platform, and the largest frame currently in production. The predominantly-Russian made unit represents the pinnacle of UNM engineering, providing mid-range fire support for UNM soldiers on the front lines, and packing heavy armour and high-impact weaponry for use against multiple different threats.

The Kodiak is physically imposing at almost 12’ high, carrying more than a passing resemblance to the bear it shares a name with. It is often described as a ‘walking tank’, and occupies much the same role on the battlefield. Whilst tracked vehicles are still in use in some operational zones, the rugged terrain of 30 A.E. ensures that heavy frames like the Kodiak are in much more widespread use.

Like most frames the Kodiak is bipedal; however, being a heavy frame, the pilot inside sits within an enclosed cockpit rather than providing direct limb control as with light and medium frames. The cockpit itself is housed within the enlarged chest cavity, with a series of external cameras providing a 360 degree viewport for the pilot.

Piloting a Kodiak is a complex operation, akin to the jet fighters of the previous age. An in-built Static Intelligence (SI) controls most of the more complicated functions of the frame’s multiple systems, with the pilot free to directly control the movement and weaponry. Targeting systems provide all-around coverage, and are able to track high-velocity targets. The frame itself is surprisingly agile, with a rotational mount at the waist allowing the torso to spin through nearly 270 degrees when the legs are planted.

Weaponry varies as the Kodiak can be modified to suit the engagement, with hard-points built into the shoulders and along the length of the arms. Most are equipped with arm-mounted miniguns for mid-range anti-infantry, and top-mounted micro-missile launchers (called MIRVs) for anti-armour and long-range threat elimination.

The thick armour of the Kodiak can withstand almost all projectile weapons, and is insulated against extremes of heat and cold. The outer casing also provides some protection against EMP attacks, although the SI is still susceptible to enemy hacking. To combat this, the SI is protected by a high-level firewall and low-level intrusion counter electronics (ICE).

Echoes

“If real human lives are precious, the simple answer is to create artificial ones to take their place.”

General Martinez looked at Professor Alison Watkins with suspicion. The military commander was aware that she was the most gifted scientist the Advanced Weaponry and Tactics unit had ever produced, but there was something about her that made him uneasy. She had pioneered the research that had created the Echoes, the almost-human front line troops used by the Humanist Rebellion and, for this, the General had the greatest respect for her. However, the more time he spent in her company, discussing the efficacy of the units in combat field tests and suggesting small iterations to improve their performance, the more he thought that the enigmatic scientist may be as coldly indifferent as her creations.

A veteran of countless battles over the last two decades, Martinez had witnessed carnage of the worst kind and was rarely moved by such sights, but there was something about the Echoes that got under his skin. Witnessing one calmly walking up to a fallen enemy and executing it without the faintest glimmer of emotion still jarred. The General had for many years been a front line troop himself and had killed countless foes, but even he felt a tightening of his face and chest when taking a life at close range. Not so the Echoes; they did not kill through a shared responsibility to further the cause of the Humanist Rebellion, or through a sense of duty or drilled-in obedience to the chain of command. No – they were simply programmed to kill.

Initially the first few prototype units were nothing more than metal skeletons, but the human soldiers that took part in the first few field tests found them to be unnerving, and several experienced psychological episodes as a result. In response, Professor Watkins and her team produced a flesh-like gel coating covered in artificial skin to sit on top of this skeleton, helping her creations to look more human and better integrate with the Rebellion’s regular soldiers. Even so, they had found it difficult fighting alongside the Echoes when they looked physically identical to them but could not share in the same camaraderie post-combat.

Martinez reported back to Watkins that a few subtle changes would be needed; something that made the Echoes look slightly less human. Professor Watkins pressed her lips into a thin frown, and began to sketch some adjustments on her tablet. Less variation, each unit’s bar code made more visible to help identify them, more angular features (Watkins remarked that this would save time spent ‘smoothing’ the Echoes’ appearance). Finally she showed the design to Martinez, and the General nodded in agreement; perhaps this would help his men treat them more like weapons rather than fellow soldiers. As he returned to the barracks, he couldn’t help but wonder what terrible consequences might be brought about in the name of protecting human life.

Shattered Earth - Echo - Concept ArtConcept art by Klaus Wittmann

Echoes are currently mankind’s greatest advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI), made possible through the twin technologies of cybernetics and Whole Brain Emulation (WBE). They are mostly human in outward appearance but have been engineered in a number of key ways. They have not been built to approximate humans perfectly, more they have been built to approximate the perfect human soldier. Many people regard Echoes with suspicion, especially those within the Children of the One True God, who consider Echoes to be inhuman avatars of godlessness, the apex of humanity’s arrogance.

Echoes have a skeleton built of a lightweight and super-strong lattice polymer covered in a bio-farmed skin material that is much tougher than the human equivalent, effectively enabling them to use their bodies as weapons. They have the ability to heal themselves of serious injuries and, in certain circumstances, can shut down extraneous functions in order to fire off an extra shot or two.

Echoes are fully autonomous and have had their brains programmed specifically to be as efficient as possible in combat situations. They lack the capacity to ‘learn’ beyond battle tactics and they neither feel nor exhibit emotion, a ‘good kill’ simply being their prime objective. They carry pulse rifles – more advanced versions of the UNM Modular Assault Rifle – for long range combat. In close combat, they have no need for weapons, as their speed, lack of fear and increased physical toughness enables them to perform martial art attacks directly on their enemies.