Thursday, November 24, 2016

Broken Contract Faction Box Sale!

Black Squadron Faction Set
Hello all! As we get closer to finishing up the Broken Contract Rulebook and jumping into FerrumSky Campaign Book next, I'd love to commission some new art. With that in mind, selling a few Faction Sets would go a long way toward reaching that goal. To that end, I've reduced the price on the Black Squadron Faction Box Set and the Breaker Faction Box Set from $35 to $29.75 on  breakerpress.storenvy.com The sale runs until Wednesday December 7th. All packages will ship with whatever cool bonus stuff I have laying around, so you'll be receiving more than just the 15% savings. :)

Thanks in advance!
-Nick


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Game Designer's Notebook: Playing A Campaign Part 1

Sometimes you end up lying in the dirt.

Last week, Hal and I started playing out our first Episode. In Broken Contract each individual game is called an Act, and three games are called an Episode. I feel like this sort of structure encourages campaign play by breaking it down into manageable bites. We started last week by creating crews and playing Act 1. Here are some thoughts on the design decisions that have gone into this process starting with what we did during Week 1. -Nick

Anyone who's played any of the classic skirmish games knows, one of the greatest joys of skirmish gaming is creating your Crew (gang, team, or other cool "group" vernacular) and watching them evolve from game to game. One of the biggest frustrations though is seeing one player's Crew grow so rapidly that they dominate the campaign or league from day 1, and their spot never really gets challenged. Additionally, being wiped straight off the board isn't really much fun for either side. The question becomes: How will Broken Contract approach campaign play differently to mitigate these effects?

My Crew Creation notes. I need to sketch out a Crew Creation
sheet for my graphic designer, Sam Alcarez.

Creating a Characters

When I designed the Crew Creation rules for Broken Contract, my goal was to undermine traditional list building min/maxing dynamics. I feel like there are plenty of games out there for list building fans who enjoy the puzzle of trying to win the game before the first die is rolled. However, Broken Contract is designed for people like me who enjoy the puzzle of, "what can I make happen with what I have on hand?" I find this type of structure to be much more enjoyable, but I've never really liked optimized list building. I came to miniature games from 1st Edition AD&D where you rolled up the stats for your Character and you made them work the best you could, and I loved that. So how does all of this translate into Broken Contract?

I already posted a version of the Crew Creation rules a while back, but just as a brief overview, each Character has a starting point value and can pay points for upgrades. These upgrades you then draw out of a deck. You don't get to pick them to build optimal characters. Instead, the deck has upgrades to various stats, access to drawing an Ability out of a separate deck, and of course - Re-Rolls, which are effectively Re-Draws. These give you opportunities to potentially tweak a Character that isn't coming together quite as you may have hoped. The only time you get to personalize your upgrades a bit is when you draw an "Ability Upgrade". When this happens you build a deck of 8 Abilities of your own choosing and draw one from that. This allows you to attempt to compliment your stat upgrades with useful Abilities.

One of the discussions I had with Hal about this before we started the campaign was that he was concerned that it took away the feeling of choice. That was until he was introduced to the campaign structure where we were about to create 100 point Crews to draw models out of, rather than the 50 point Crews he was used to for our one-off games. Suddenly, he recognized that his seemingly random collection of Characters had turned into a toolbox that he could draw from. And any artist or craftsman has favorite tools for performing different tasks, and that feeling creates attachment. His concerns were allayed.

We each sat down and created 100 point Crews. He built a Black Squadron Crew and I built Breakers. His crew was composed of a Crew Leader, 4 Adults, a Gen-Mod, and 3 Drones decked out with various weapons and equipment. My Breaker Crew was composed of a Crew Leader, 5 Adults, 3 Teens, 1 Child, and a Gen-Mod. We looked at our respective cast of Characters and picked out 50 points worth. As dictated by the Episode, my Crew started out with no weapons; we had to take them by force. At the close of six turns we had a great, tight game that ended in a draw.

Break the padlock and pull everything useful out of the Storage
Container that you can, and get off the board within 6 Turns.


Victory Conditions

We had played Act 1: From Nothing from the rulebook. This mission awards Victory Points for stealing equipment from the FerrumSky Corporation and for capturing Breakers. One of the key differences between Broken Contract and other games is that killing your enemies is penalized rather than rewarded. Each Character rendered Critical or Dead by the opposing side removes one of their Victory Points. This discourages decimating your opponent and instead encourages the Players to play to the objectives. Yes, it can be satisfying to cut your enemies in half, but that doesn't make it wise.

Another detriment to executing a crushing victory is that your opponent receives +5 points to work with in the next Act for each Victory Point that they are beaten by, The losing side is constantly rising to the challenges issued  by the victors. This should temper the compulsion to keep beating on Characters when they are Down, and it also takes away the need to hike up the points for more powerful weaponry. An Oversized Rock Saw is awesome in a pinch with it's ability to cut down an opponent in a single swing, but the likelihood that they will sacrifice a Victory Point by using that Weapon at all should change the role in which they are used.

At the end of Act 1, Hal had earned 2 Victory Points for Sounding the Alarm and Restraining one of my Breakers. I earned 2 Victory Points for having one model Escape from the Exit Point with a stolen sledgehammer. We tied and it was tense until the end. It was a good game.

After the Act

With the game ending in a tie, and with none of the Characters Down, Out, Critical, or Dead there were was no post-game sequence to resolve other than adding points to my Characters that stole equipment. This meant that I'd have to alter my 50 point Crew list in the next game.

All told, Week 1/Act 1 went extremely well and helped to reinforce my design decisions. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!
-Nick

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Broken Contract Update

Hard copy of the Broken Contract Rulebook.

The Broken Contract Rulebook is getting very close to a completed state. Pictured above is a hard copy of the current incarnation with graphic design by Sam Alcarez. He's currently working on the 3rd draft and I'm still going over the 2nd draft looking for corrections and changes that need to be made.

The new Critical Successes and Fumbles Chart.

One of the key changes from the first draft to the second was the inclusion of this chart. If you've looked at or played older incarnations then you may know that most Actions and Interruptions had special rules for Critical Successes and Failures, triggered by rolling natural 6's or 1's. Some of these had their own mini charts under their entries in the Actions and Interruptions section of the book, and this resulted in a lot of page flipping. It also chewed up a lot of space with needless repetition throughout the section. This chapter went through a complete re-write and the chart gives a concise presentation of the information so it doesn't slow down the game.

My favorite part of this chart was the opportunity to expand the Critical Success and Failure results so that the action is heightened and the dramatic moments are more varied. So far I feel like this has made games even more dynamic and interesting. Yesterday I played a game where a Character attempted to Strike one of my own Characters and I elected to Dodge as my Interruption. I got a Critical Success on my Dodge and that triggered a 2nd free Interruption, which I used to Defend and hit back at my opponent. I like this sort of interplay better than something like an Ability that allows me to always Defend after a Successful Dodge. It just feels more uncertain and interesting.

A glimpse inside the rulebook.

There's still a lot to do. For example, the sample cards and counters pictured above don't cover some key bits of information, like the Action Counter that is used as a dial during game play. So there's some stuff that is strictly graphic design oriented that needs to be done, and then there are larger sections like the Equipment and Scenario chapters at the back of the book that need to be significantly tightened up.

All said, we are getting close. I'm behind the schedule that I had intended, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Black Squadron Security models.

In other recent news, I've been busy working on a bunch of models for the three Kickstarter Backers who pledged for the custom painted models and terrain. I've been working steadily along and progress is being made. I'm spending a bit more time per model than I intended but I can't help myself. I have to put another coat of primer on the drones I'm working on so I'll wrap up here.

Thanks for reading!
-Nick

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Game Designers Notebook: Kickstarter Prep

Kickstarter build in progress.

Building a Kickstarter is a complicated beast. In my time developing Broken Contract I've built several that I have never launched, and I have pulled the trigger on two. I learned a lot from both of those experiences, but there are so many variables at play that it is always hard to feel ready - even when you know you are more ready than you've ever been!

With getting ready for the next Kickstarter I wanted to take some time to reflect on some of those lessons.

Broken Contract - Deep Underground 
Cancelled Kickstarter 09/2014

I can still remember how I felt going into that first Kickstarter. I had been working relentlessly on Broken Contract for a year. Most of that time was while I was on worker's compensation from an ACL tear on the job. I had a strong vision and what I thought at the time was a lot development put into art and sculpting. Most importantly, I had calculated what I needed to launch a boxed game and I had exhausted my financial resources at the time. I felt like, "I do this now or never!" so I created my own video with my rudimentary video editing skills, and I used my equally amateur Photoshop skills to create some semi-attractive looking headers out of part of the Broken Contract logo. Looking at what I listed as the box contents, it would have made a fun little game set, though it would have been released woefully behind schedule had it succeeded. I knew where I was headed, and I was impatient to get there. I had read all of the Stonemaier Games Kickstarter Lessons and knew I wasn't entirely prepared but when I was looking at the thought of needing to move onto the "next thing" in my life and being out of money to continue on the path I was on, I just needed to launch and succeed.

History shows, it didn't play out like that. My vision and execution were not conveyed strongly enough to warm the hearts of a weary gaming community. By 2014 so many had been burned by a bunch of other dreamers like myself. I understand now that I just didn't have enough development to show. I had a playable game with some art and sculpts, but I had only a fraction of what I needed to make a strong presentation, I had no traction in the community, and I had very lofty goals. Those aforementioned Kickstarter Lessons told me I needed to make 25% of my Goal by Day 7. At the end of Week 2 I had only reached less than 10% of my $30K Goal. I cancelled the project, absolutely devastated. Still, I needed that money to reach the next stage of development and it didn't come. I gathered myself together and found it in me to pushed on.

The Broken Contract Miniature Starter Set KS
had a lot of pics like this one.

Broken Contract Miniature Starter Set
Successful Kickstarter 04/2015

Impressed by my drive, even if it resulted in failure, my family took notice and gave me some investment capital to work with. I spent the next 8 months pressing forward. My graphic designer, Sam Alcarez, was churning out versions of cards, and character dashboards. My sculptor at the time, Tim Barry, kept sculpting more and more Breakers and Black Squadron models. My artist, John Gendall, kept concept sketches coming. And I continued to develop the game. Most importantly, I continued to refine the Kickstarter.

I started to think really hard about the words Minimum Viable Product, something I had learned about in another Stonemaier Games Kickstarter Lesson. At this point, most of the investment capital had gone into models, and the models themselves, even without the game, were a viable product and the best way for me to recoup some of the investment already put in. With that in mind, Kickstarter attempt number two would be for me to complete the development and manufacture of the models, with a tiny financial goal of $2000.

My real goal though, this time, was to create a "can't lose" Kickstarter. This was meant to be a confidence builder. I needed to show the world what I was capable of, and build trust with the gaming community. I also needed to build confidence in myself and my dream. I needed to know that this was something worth pursuing. The emotions you go through during and after a failed Kickstarter are difficult. I've seen others go the same route as I on that first Kickstarter and then give up their own dream. In my mind though, this was the sort of game I wanted to play, and I had put in too much to give up.

Once again, I slapped together my own Kickstarter video, a little more honed than the one before but still amateur. I had just started working with a new artist, Filip Dudek, and his pieces built great atmosphere to supplement the concept sketches and sculpts I had amassed. Rewatching it now, with this blog post brewing in my head, I can see that I actually did a solid job of highlighting exactly what I had developed, and had to offer people. It was a video designed to sell a set of models for the Broken Contract setting, and it does that as best as I could muster with my skillset.

It was still a stressful experience, but I focused hard on keeping in communication with my artists and sculptors while maintaining constant communication with my Backers to keep them enthused about the project and every development that entered my inbox. It succeeded in three goals: 1) Giving me a success to build confidence. 2) Giving me valuable experience to carry into future endeavors. 3) Giving me capital and time to keep the development process moving forward. In all those regards it was a success.

Aerial shot of a game of Broken Contract 
with the current components.

Broken Contract Rulebook
Kickstarter Coming in September (Hopefully)

During the process of getting everything complete for the last Kickstarter, a whole stack of play aids were created to coincide with the Broken Contract Rulebook. This week Sam sent me his first draft of the rulebook itself without art and it looks great so far. Of course, there will still be proof reading and last minute rules tweaks, that's expected, but we're almost ready to launch this Kickstarter and move onto the next phase of development.

The reality is, we've been preparing for this Kickstarter for a year now. In September of last year I thought we were "wrapping up" the last Kickstarter and I sent out the Backer Surveys and started planning, "the next thing," but the gears of progress sometimes grind more slowly than anticipated with nothing shipping for another 6+ months. I remember using some of that time to start structuring the next Kickstarter, pricing things out, and building the new page. Since then, my printer has offered new and exciting options, pricing has been recalculated a couple of times, and everything has been refocused and refined over and over again.

The next Kickstarter isn't going to focus on models at all. Once again it will be another minimum viable product KS with all of the materials developed during and after last year's Kickstarter. It will push the Broken Contract Rulebook as it's focus and give people access to the game tiles, character dashboards, custom dice, rulers, initiative deck, game chits, and fleshed out ability and equipment decks. Most of this work is completed. If the Kickstarter goes well I'd like to include a couple more models, but that isn't the focus here. I'm working with what I have developed, instead of pushing for something that needs substantially more time and investment.

I started work on a prototype of the next Kickstarter's video, and I'm struggling to decide if I go with my own work, or use the prototype to have a legit video editor take a crack at it. I have some promotion lined up to coincide with the Kickstarter as well, but it's hard getting all of the ducks in a row. As I started the post with, building a Kickstarter is complicated. It's more than throwing an idea out there and hoping it sticks - and the better I understand the process, the more I wrack my brain trying to cover all of the bases. I almost miss my ignorance. It made me more fearless!

Concerns and fears can be the mark of wisdom though. We've learned so much and this Kickstarter will be bigger and better than the last because of it.

Thanks for reading!
-Nick

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Game Designers Notebook: Six Sided Dice and Design Philosophy

My first round of custom dice for Broken Contract. The -# dice
are for Critical Fumbles and the 7/8 dice are for Critical Hits.

I watch a lot of "how to play" videos on YouTube. I think it's important to know what's going on out there even if I don't have the opportunity to try every game available for myself, so this is a great way to stay up on the industry. One of my favorite sources for these videos is the "Let's Play!" series on Guerrilla Miniature Games YouTube channel. By demand, Ash did a video of a game of his own design that he's been developing called, Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse. It's a great looking game and the video is very entertaining. It just seems like it will be very fun to play. But a question came up in the comments: "Why D6?"

Ash didn't answer that I saw, but I'm sure there will be those out there who will wonder the same thing about Broken Contract. I figured I would take the time to discuss the D6 design decision and also go into some detail about the custom dice I'm working on because these choices tie into each other.

The biggest reason to choose the D6 as the basis for Broken Contract was familiarity. The six sided die is comfortable to most people. Almost everyone has played a game or rolled a D6 at some point in their life. Unfamiliar elements make new experiences seem more complex and/or alien. That feeling creates a barrier to entry.

My feelings on this were recently reinforced. I started playing D&D with some friends here in Milwaukee and not all of them are experienced with either D&D or the polyhedral dice used to play the game. As DM, I'd say "Roll a D8" or "Roll a D12" and they'd look at me confused and say, "is that this one?", often holding up the wrong die. Long time gamers don't have that issue, but if you want to court new people, it is a serious consideration.

Some of you will balk and say, "But D10 and D20 systems give way more options, and allow for more modifiers for more gradual bonuses and advancement." I agree, this is all true. but more modifiers mean more math, and that can be a barrier to entry too. The one area where I will clearly agree is that simple D6 systems with target numbers that only fall in the 1-6 range do severely limit character advancement. We worked around that by having a robust collection of characteristics that could be advanced so that a character can continue to improve in skill over time. They just will progress in a more well rounded way instead of just being a Shooting or Close Combat expert like most people try to devote their increases to. At the end of the day, the D6 keeps things simple, but it has limitations. That's where simple charts can come into play.

The original ruleset for Broken Contract had a general 1's and 6's rule, where 1's on a D6 were always a Critical Fumble, and 6's were always a Critical Hit. This rule existed to give a heightened sense of action where things went really well, or could go really badly. The problem was that Fumbles were so frequent, games sometimes felt more like slapstick comedy than action movie glory. This needed to be fixed. My solution was to make it more nuanced. Fumbling meant rolling a 2nd D6 to determine the result. Originally, all of the D6 results were bad, but in this new incarnation 1 was awful, 2 was crappy but not as bad as 1, and a 3 was just an inconvenience. Any result from 4-6 was just a miss. This meant that on natural 1, something bad only happened 50% of the time, and when something bad happened, it didn't always have to be something awful.

First sketch of a Critical Fumble and Hit Chart in my own
game shorthand.

Along the same thinking, a natural 6 was always awesome, and in some cases that didn't fit because the Character might need a target number of 6 just to succeed in the action - so why should it be Critical? This was rectified by adding a D3-1 roll to the result. For those of you not familiar with a D3 roll, a D3 is simply rolling a D6 and halving the result. So 1-2=1, 3-4=2, and 5-6=3. Subtracting 1 from this result gives you a range of 0-2 which is then added to 6, giving a final result of 6-8. This is the kind of math that can push people away from gaming as feeling too complex, so I decided to get some custom dice made. This 2nd roll meant that a natural 6 could still just be a 6, or it could be bumped up to a 7 or 8. And that means that a 7 could be designated a soft critical hit and an 8 could be an awesome critical hit.

In the final incarnation of these dice that go along with the Kickstarter, I may switch over from numbers to symbols. The Fumble dice might have 3 blank sides and then 1 exclamation point, 2 exclamation points and finally 3 exclamation points to indicate the severity of the fumble. The Critical Hit die would have 2 blank sides, 2 sides with small explosions, and 2 sides with large explosions, once again to indicate the magnitude of the critical hit. By switching to symbols it should reduce that confusion. In fact, a player could roll three dice for one attack all at once, the Critical Fumble die, Critical Hit Die, and D6 and ignore the results of the two Critical dice unless a 1 or 6 are rolled, just to speed up game play.

Which brings me to one final note that you may have picked up on... Critical Hits are more frequent than Critical Fumbles. There is a 50% chance of the 2nd roll being a fumble and a 66% chance of the 2nd roll being a Critical Hit. It's only a 16% improvement but you might ask, "Why?" The answer is that players prefer to be rewarded than punished and I want the game to capture "action movie glory" over "3 Stooges slapstick" and this was a nuanced way to do just that.

That's my take. Thanks for reading!
-Nick

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Troublemakers Card Game and Skirmish Supremacy Podcast

Troublemakers prototype.

It's been a busy summer and I've been jumping from project to project based on time, weather, and availability. I was working on a bunch of Broken Contract scenery projects and the custom boards for a few of the Kickstarter Backers but it just got too hot in the attic to work up there, so I moved on to the painted models for those same backers, and took up temporary painting residence in our living room.

We've also had a lot of visitors and a few short trips of our own to go on. My partner, Lisa, and I, went out to Cincinnati, Ohio to visit our friend Jami. Jami requested we bring Broken Contract and Troublemakers with us because she wanted to try both of them. Troublemakers was a project that had been sitting for a while untouched so it was a little thrilling to crack it out and play it with fresh eyes.

Our Harlow, illustrated by Blutt. 

The Genesis of Troublemakers

I lived in Chicago from 2006-2014. During my time there I would see stickers everywhere I went from a street artist who went by Blutt. When my band, Poison Planet, got stickers, it was common practice to sticker the poles outside the places we regularly visited. I picked up on the fact that almost everywhere we went, Blutt and Poison Planet stickers were side by side, so I became really curious who this mysterious street artist was. Lisa and I were both fans of his art and started following him on social media. Little did I know that 1) we had met and 2) he lived a few blocks away from us.

When I noticed that he was posting pics of commissioned art pieces I hit him up to do the above art of our dog, Harlow. His art features a lot of skateboarding, bad kid antics, and dogs, so I thought he'd be a great choice to capture Harlow for Lisa's birthday. Above is that very birthday present.

It was right after I gave Lisa that gift I thought to myself, "Blutt's art would look fantastic in a card game format." I promptly pulled out my notebook and started sketching out a card game featuring the subject matter of his cards. I remember pulling the notebook out on a summer day in the car and Lisa and I brainstorming card ideas back and forth as we drove on some now forgotten errand. Troublemakers was a game inspired by Blutt's art, not a card game that was cleverly structured in advance. In that way, Troublemakers is an homage to one of our favorite street artists.

An outline of a game and possible cards were detailed in my notebook and ready to be prototyped in some way. I was immerse in gearing up for the Broken Contract Faction Set Kickstarter, so those ideas sat in a spiral notebook for another year untouched. We moved to Milwaukee a few months before that Kickstarter and I hadn't fallen into a steady group of miniature gamers just yet. Instead, we did make a bunch of casual boardgaming friends, so once the KS was over my thoughts turned to Troublemakers as a project to explore further.

This is what my early prototypes look like.

The original prototype was 50-60 cards written out on black cardstock with a white fabric pencil. (Why? Because the black cardstock was what I had laying around in abundance, and the fabric pencil was more visible that the normal pencil I originally attempted.) It featured a list of words, symbols, and numbers, some representative of my experience as a young adult, and most of it based upon bits of Blutt's art. The cards were mostly items that had subcultural currency, like skateboards, rebel jackets, and fixed gear bikes. This incarnation was played quite a bit to kick off board game nights before we dove into something heavier, which was part of the design philosophy: Create a simple, fun, quick game that will bring some laughs through cool, clever art and sometime ridiculous circumstances, with Blutt's art being the driving force to facilitate it all.

During this stage we talked to Blutt and he was amped on the idea but gaming is a world he's never explored. The coolness and excitement was tempered by a lack of familiarity and confidence with the execution. You can tell someone, "just draw what you normally draw" but with a massive list of card names and icons staring you down, it can be overwhelming. With me now full-on immersed in working to deliver those Broken Contract Faction Sets to the backers, I just had to put Troublemakers aside. So it went back into the closet for another year.


After Jami encouraged us to bring Troublemakers to Cincinnati, we settled into a weekend of gaming and played a half dozen hands or so. We also showed Jami samples of Blutt's art. Through it all, we just got hyped talking about the ideas behind the game. When we got home I shot Blutt a message and he said he was still excited about the idea, but just felt stuck on the execution. This is when I took matters into my own hands. I wanted him to see that what he does every day is exactly what we wanted. I raided his published images and constructed cards based around them just to get a visual prototype he could use as a guide. The above cards are not final cards, but all of the art is his. Everything from photos of gallery pieces he's done to sketch book doodles were remixed to create a 72 card deck over the span of 3 days, drawing from 100's of images he's created over the last 2-3 years. A professional prototype was then made through TheGameCrafter so that I could send one for him to hold and use as a basic guide.

He has since received the cards and he's looking forward to exploring the game further in the autumn when his schedule frees up. I think this will be a really fun project. I know I had a great time putting together this prototype and I have even more ideas for the future.

Before parting I want to direct you all to an interview I got to do with Skirmish Supremacy Podcast. They took an evening out to talk to me about Broken Contract and gaming as a whole and I had a stellar time rambling on about a bunch of gaming related subjects. If you are into that sort of thing you should give it a listen. Thanks for reading!

-Nick

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Act: From Nothing

This group of FerrumSky miners has been plotting their escape for months, watching and waiting for their moment. Tonight is that night. Gambling, distracted security officers and a malfunctioning drone have created a golden opportunity to slip out of their barracks chamber. The only hitch is, the crew has already returned their tools for the night and are completely unarmed. Without tools or weapons this break attempt can only be made through their abilities and determination.

Breaker Goal: Get off the board with as much equipment as possible, with as many Characters as possible. Try not to let your enemies become Critical or Dead.

Black Squadron Goal: Sound the Alarm and Restrain as many Breakers as possible. Try not to let your enemies become Critical or Dead.

Points: Breakers and Black Squadron 50. The Breakers may spend no points on Equipment other than required Equipment like the Gen-Mod Apparatus. They are starting the episode with nothing.

Set-Up
Place the tiles in a 3x3 grid of all 4 way tunnels. The Breakers start in their Deployment Tile in the upper left of the grid. The Black Squadron Characters start in their Deployment Tile in the upper right of the grid. A storage container full of tools should be placed on any wall of the center tile (Breaker player’s choice. If there are multiple Breaker players they should each draw a card from the Initiative Deck and whoever gets the lowest card gets to place the storage container.) The Black Squadron player may place D3 Barricades across any passage outside the Breaker Deployment Tile, at the line where two tiles meet. The Black Squadron player must split their Crew into two groups. Roll a D6 with Group A (1-3) and Group B (4-6) being placed on their Deployment Tile. The Group not placed at the start of the game may come on the board from any board edge passage after someone Sounds the Alarm. The alarm should be placed on one of the far walls of the upper center tile by the Black Squadron player. The last thing to be determined will be the Exit Point. The Exit Point will be one of the passages along the bottom board edge on the grid. Roll a D6. Bottom Left (1-2), Bottom Center (3-4), Bottom Right (5-6).

The board will also have D3 Barrels (1-4) or I-Beams (5-6) littering the area. Take turns placing these starting with the Breaker player. These can be placed anywhere on the board that isn’t in a Deployment Tile.

Breaker Deployment Tile
Alarm Tile
Black Squadron Deployment Tile

Storage Container Tile

Exit Point
(1-2)
Exit Point
(3-4)
Exit Point
(5-6)

Special Rules

Barrels and I-Beams: Barrels and I-Beams are Oversized Equipment. Barrels are Range: 6”, Str: +1, Push (as Action) or Reach: -, Str: +1, Push (as Action).

Barricade: Barricades may be 2” or 4” long and may be placed at least 1” from any tile edge, including exit points. Barricades are 1” tall obstacles that must be Jumped or Climbed. A Jump of 1” will not clear the Barricade and the jumping Character will stop at the point where they intended to cross. Walking and Climbing are separate Actions so it will take an Action to get to the Barricade and a second Action to Climb over it.

Exit Points: If any part of the base of a model crosses the over the edge of an Exit Point they are considered to be Escaped! And are removed from the board.

FerrumSky Mine: The FerrumSky mines are littered with large rocks. At any point a Character may pick up a Rock for 1 AP, no Search Action required.

Sound Alarm (1AP): When a Character is in base contact with the Alarm token the Character can spend 1 AP to sound the alarm and cause any open hydraulic doors to emergency release and close in an instant. After the button is hit the door immediately drops with a crash. If any part of the base of a model is on the hazard stripes when the door seals the model takes a Strength 3 hit doing D6 Wounds. This does not require a Key Card but will alert the control room of the mining facility that there is a problem in this sector.

Storage Container: Storage Containers are always placed along a wall so that they do not block through-traffic. There should be a 1.5” path around the Storage Container so that it narrows the route but does not block it. Storage Containers may be climbed and stood on top of. Containers may also be entered by breaking the padlock with a Strike Action from a Character with a Strength stat of 4 or better, or a weapon that would allow the Character to succeed on a 4 or better. The padlock is considered Prone (+1 to hit) for the purposes of Striking it. It takes 1AP to enter or exit the Container. A Character may also Search a Container for 1AP. A successful Perceive check will result in potentially spotting something useful. Roll a D6 if successful: 1 Lose an Additional Action, 2-3 Nothing of Value, 4 Shovel, 5 Sledgehammer or Big Wrench, 6 Pickaxe or Rock Hammer, 7 Oversized Rock Saw or Mining Drill, 8 Choose any 1 item from the Equipment Deck.

Act Length

The Act lasts 10 turns. If at the end of any Recovery Phase all of the Breakers or Black Squadron are Restrained, Shocked, Down, Out, Critical, Dead or have left the board the Act ends and the game is over.

Winning

Tally up Victory Points. The Breakers earn 1 point for each Character they get off the board from the designated Exit Point. The Breakers earn an additional point for every piece of Equipment they get out of the Storage Container and off the Exit Point. The Breakers lose 1 point for every Character they leave Critical or Dead on the opposing side.

The Black Squadron officers or Loyalists earn 1 point for each Breaker Restrained at the end of the game, either in Restraints or Grappled. They also earn 1 point for Sounding the Alarm. They lose 1 point for every Character they leave Critical or Dead on the Breaker side.