Category for all posts about the Shattered Earth game.

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.

Crusaders of the Faith

“To wear the Crusader armour is a privilege; to take it off again a blessing.”

Sister Amonarth did not feel pride – such selfish thoughts were beneath the devoted – and yet still she knew that this was a special day for her. She had served the Prophet faithfully through countless battles as one of the Faithful with squads of Speakers and Listeners, excelling in both melee and ranged combat and catching the eye of her superiors as one possibly worthy of donning the famous Crusader armoured Frame.

To join the ranks of the Crusaders was one of the pinnacles of military achievement for the Children of the One True God, the ultimate reward for their battle-scarred veterans. Sister Amonarth had indeed proven her worthiness and was determined to repay the high-priest’s faith in her abilities at the next opportunity. First, though, it was time for her induction ceremony.

As the music drifted out of the vast doorway, she began to clear her mind and shifted on her stocking feet, slightly cold in her basic underclothes. Then the colossal door opened, revealing the ranks of the Faithful lining the aisle down the centre of the temple, leading to her blessed armour. As the organ music swelled, she strode forwards with her head held high and the choir chanting the hymn of benediction.

The chorus repeated its chant as she slotted the various armour pieces together, enclosing herself completely within the ornate Frame. When the final piece locked into place, the priest adorned her Frame with the heavy fabric garments that represent the Crusaders’ complete devotion to the One True God. She turned slowly to face the congregation, her mind familiarising itself with the neuro-command system that allowed the human controllers to steer the massive Frames. As the chanting came to its tremulous conclusion, Sister Amonarth lifted her Sword of Worship above her head, knowing that the next time she would wield the blade, it would be tearing through her enemies.

Shattered Earth - Crusader - Concept ArtConcept art by Iwo Widuliński

Crusaders typify the military ethos of the Children of the One True God; steadfast in the face of the enemies of the Prophet with a fearless determination to bring them to the sword. They consist of experienced soldiers who have shown the skills and bravery needed to wield the medium Frames and heavy weaponry of the Crusaders wing.

Their Frames consist of mechanically-controlled armour plating, pieced together in a way that enables unimpeded athletic movement and full body defensive coverage. It can absorb a great deal of punishment before the soldier inside comes to harm. A suited-up Crusader is a fearsome sight on the battlefield, around 7 feet tall and immensely broad and strong. Their huge Swords of Worship are far too heavy to be wielded by a normal human but the power of their Frames enables them to be employed with a lethal dexterity.

While approaching their targets with a grim determination, the Crusaders close ranks in a highly effective defensive formation, laying down terrifying covering fire from in-built flechette launchers. What these weapons lack in accuracy they make up for with a terrible destructive power that can freeze enemies in their tracks, leaving those who survive the onslaught to face the mighty blades in close combat, where the Crusaders are brutally effective.