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Showing posts from 2017

The Knife Syndicate

If you've been following Broken Contract on social media, you may have seen mention of my Knife Syndicate crew. You may have wondered what that is all about since we've only ever really talked about Breakers and Black Squadron. The FerrumSky Campaign Book is going to introduce two new Factions, the Knife Syndicate and FerrumSky Loyalists. Today we're going to talk about the Knife Syndicate.

The Criminal Underbelly of the FerrumSky Mines
Take away people's right to choose how they will live their lives, and they will rebel. Not every rebellion is in the form of work stoppage and open fighting with management and their hired goons. Instead, the most common form of rebellion happens during the day-to-day grind through general rule-breaking. Workers smuggle rations back to their barracks and sell them to their co-workers. There are those who hide anything with natural sugar to slowly ferment in the dark, tucked behind rocks or under storage containers. There is a thriving m…

Vision of Fire: Broken Contract Battle Report

(The following is a narrative battle report documenting a new Act called, Visual Recognition. In this Act, Black Squadron Security team up with two Recognition Drones who have the objective of capturing images of breaking miners to confirm their identities. The role of the drones is to not engage the enemy. They are there to provide visual documentation for the files of the transgressors. It was a really fun mission to play and then put into words. The Black Squadron were played by Hal, and the Knife Syndicate were played by myself. Enjoy! -Nick)

"Work Site CI08 reporting. That new guard jacked up the count. He's not sure how many slipped away while we were dealing with those other worthless breakers, but we're short several bodies."

"Understood. Don't sound the alarm just yet. We're sending over a Recognition Team, and a squad is moving from holding to section CG04 to intercept. They'll be rounded up. Hold your crew until their daily target is met. …

Pre-Order: Adam Walker Multi-Part Model

Our first new model of 2017 is available for pre-order now. Adam Walker was developed around the specs and likeness of one of the Backers of our first successful Kickstarter, back in 2015. It's taken a long time to get this character from idea, to concept, to sculpting, and then finally, to production. I think he demonstrates a move forward in our evolution and I am really happy with the results.

The Adam Walker model comes with three different heads to choose from, and two different sets of arms, giving you multiple possible builds, and increasing the utility of the model. In Broken Contract, two weapon options are the Arc Carbine and the Crowd Control Repeater. The Arc Carbine is a high powered taser rifle. It has a low rate of fire, but a high likelihood of dropping it's target in one shot, leaving the victim incapacitated and easy to put in Restraints. The Crowd Control Repeater is largely a weapon of suppression. It fires D3 rounds per Action, and is usually loaded with …

New Act: Blowing Off Steam

(This is a great introductory scenario for learning the basic mechanics to the game. Check it out. -Nick)

Act: Blowing Off Steam Staggering work quotas and bitter rivalries create tension. It can be felt on the work sites, at feeding times, and even in the barracks. Folks can find it hard to get along even when things are going well. Under the punishing stress of the FerrumSky Mines tempers flare regularly.

Crew Goals: Inflict more Wounding Hits on your opponent’s Crew than they do on yours. Try not to let your enemies become Critical or Dead.

Points: All players should agree to an equal point total and draw that many points off of their Crew Roster. A game with two 50 point Crews should take 45-60 min if neither side Sounds the Alarm to end the game prematurely. This Act may be played with more than two Crews, but it is recommended that the players reduce their crew sizes to 25 or 30 points to complete the game in the above mentioned timeframe.  

Set-Up This Act can use any mutually agree…

Game Designer's Notebook: Dogs in Broken Contract

One of the most frequently requested additions to Broken Contract has been dogs, and honestly, I was a bit resistant to the idea at first. My biggest hang up with dogs in games is that they have frequently been used as living shields. When I came up playing Dungeons and Dragons, they were a piece of equipment that you bought and were treated as disposable. Flash ahead 30 years, and in a game like Zombicide, they felt roughly the same way - like an object more than a sentient being. I just didn't like that dynamic, so I wanted dogs in Broken Contract to be different.

Broken Contract, in many ways, has been designed to highlight the individual. The models are designed on a flexible scale based on perceived character height, and every character is dealt their own individual Initiative Card each Turn. These are deliberate design choices, meant to create attachment and investment in the character's stories. Similarly, the animals in my life are all unique individuals, with wants, ne…

Using the Crew Roster

The Crew Roster was a last minute addition to the Broken Contract Rulebook and has no example or explanation, so I'm going to break it down for all of you.

When we sat down to fill out sheets for playtesting the other day, Hal's first question was, "What is Crew Designation?"

Crew Designation: This is the official name of the crew. It should be something completely bland and dehumanizing like, Work Detail C1007. I chose "C" for the C Level of Orin Mine, which is where the action begins in the FerrumSky setting. 1007 would be for the first wave of assigned work details, and 7 being the 7th crew of ~10. In all seriousness, I named this on the fly. The number was actually higher, I thought about how I envisioned C Level as being the newest dig and that it wouldn't have many assigned crews just yet, but a low number like 7 seemed reasonable. Long story short, a random serial number of some sort is fine.

Crew Nickname: This is what your crew get's called.…

Game Designer's Notebook: The FerrumSky Condition Deck

Last week I started work on the FerrumSky Condition Deck. This is not a new concept, many games use rolling charts for a pre-game sequence that throw the "unpredictable" at the players. I always loved the Strategy Card Deck from 2nd Edition 40K, so a deck presents a bit of warm nostalgia for me. What kinds of things will you find in the FerrumSky Condition Deck?


The other day Hal and I played a game where we drew the Limited Visibility Card, which gives -1 to the die roll on all Shoot and Perceive checks. This worked out in my favor because Hal brought along a character with a Shotgun with Bag Shot. The Shotgun has a low rate of fire (you have to Load for 1AP after every firing) so you really have to connect with every shot if you can. Anything that crippled the effectiveness of that gun was a win for me. I still only won the game by 1VP so it didn't dramatically affect the game. It did give us something else to think about while playing though, which is great.

There ar…

Game Designer's Notebook: Drugs in the FerrumSky Mines

(Editor's Note: People have been asking about Drugs used in the FerrumSky Mines for a while. It just so happens that in February of 2016 I jotted down the names of six different drugs and possible game effects. A year and 1 month later, I've crafted explanations and tweaked the effects of what they do. Let me know what you think. -Nick)

Common Drugs Found in the FerrumSky MinesMeeting the daily quotas set by the FerrumSky would be a difficult, if not impossible task, were it not for those willing to upset the delicate chemical balance within their own bodies. Work enhancing drugs are often used by the most fervent Loyalists, but even the average miner might find cause to extend their efficiency for the day for some goal outside themselves. Perhaps they have a child to care for, or a friend on their crew who is injured and they feel the need to compensate for. Of course there are those that just do drugs to dull the pain of their awful daily lives, or to step outside themselves …