About this project
Across the Dead Earth is a forthcoming Post-Apocalyptic skirmish wargame from Dead Earth Games. Three generations on from The Last War, pockets of survivors and their descendents roam the ghost towns and ruins of humanity, looting and fighting for profit, glory, dominance and their very lives Across the Dead Earth.
Assemble your Gang of deadly warriors and embark on campaigns to win loot, territory or simply glory, as you upgrade your Gang and their equipment from game to game, building a persistent and truly personalised Gang, honed to your style of play.
This Kickstarter campaign is to fund the publication of the rulebook in a colour, illustrated softcover form and the design, sculpt and production of a series of 28mm white metal miniatures
The rules are complete, have been extensively alpha tested and beta tested and are ready to roll, although we will continue to listen to feedback and update the rules from user feedback as the project goes on. We have concept art for several characters already and have the first three miniatures cast, as you can see from the photographs on this page.
Gangs generally consist of between 5 and 8 members, who may be simple grunts to begin with, or may have a specialist Class. Even a lowly Grunt may rise to become a deadly Sharpshooter or fast-paced Scout over the course of a campaign. Each of the seven current classes (Leader, Medic, Assault, Sharpshooter, Scout, Heavy, Scrapper) has it’s own unique ability, and each has a Skill Tree allowing the learning of new skills and abilities in-between games in exchange for Points. Points are gained in game by killing enemies, finding loot or capturing territory. As well as learning new Skills for your Gang members, or recruiting new members to your Gang, you can kit them up with rare and exciting weapons, weapon modifications and equipment, when the between game Travelling Trader has them.
ALL MINIATURES ARE SUPPLIED UNPAINTED UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.
All pledge levels are inclusive of postage and packing within the UK.
This is a substantial reduction against the post Kickstarter RRP.
Read chapter one of "The Rag Market" ADE Fiction here: http://www.deadearth.co.uk/?cat=4
We can’t tell you exactly what we’ll produce in the next couple of years, all we can tell you is that we don’t see the funding of the Kickstarter as the end of a project, but as the beginning of one.
We've just created our first add-on, this post-apocalyptic Bar, which would grace any battlefield as scenery, objective, or Gang base. Simply increase your pledge level by £15 to add this to your order. Season Pass holders: do nothing! You get this anyway!
If we exceed the target which we have set for the project, we will continue to use any extra funds to expand the game. As such, we've set a Stretch goal of £8000 - what this means is that, whilst everything currently described in the rewards section to the right will get produced if we hit our target of £6500, if we exceed that and hit £8000 we can produce a whole extra Gang, a squad of troopers from The State, a Gang of five members based on those below:
The Last War was not just a nuclear apocalypse, although many of the great cities and indeed entire countries were all but destroyed by nuclear warheads. In the Formerly United Kingdom, most of the population was wiped out be chemical weapons, and towns and villages still stand as they were three generations ago, or are slowly crumbling back into the Earth, reclaimed by nature. Across mainland Europe, Gangs fight for survival against hordes of the shambling husks of the Sollus – the unknowingly dead and in the United States the war rages on, both civilly and against Russia, across a nuclear wasteland. Across the Dead Earth therefore allows you to utilise almost any terrain set-up you already have. You may want to represent small villages, virtually unchanged since the wars of the 20th Century or even before, fight across the ruins of the greater Cities or in newly build settlements constructed of salvage.
Across the Dead Earth has been written with 2 or more players in mind. Although individual skirmish battles can be fought, the game is designed to be played as a campaign, with the players progressing and developing their Gang from game to game.
Each player’s Gang will likely start with around half a dozen members. The two “starter” gangs have 5 and 6 respectively, although players can and are encouraged to personalise these or create their own Gangs.
Each game within a Campaign may have one of a number of objectives, most commonly to gather Loot of variable value, which can be used in between games. Other objectives can be to capture buildings, or even out and out grudge matches where the objective is simply to destroy the enemy Gang. Winning an individual campaign game gives that Gang control over a territory. The ultimate aim of the campaign may be to control specific territory, or entire areas. Some territories also convey bonuses when captured, such as cheaper rare items or an income from “tax” or protection payments.
During each individual game each player has 3 Event Cards which can be played at any time, regardless of whose turn or phase it is. A further card is taken at the beginning of each turn, though players may only keep 3 at a time. Each turn, players alternate phases, acting with 1 Gang member each phase. A Gang member may normally perform 2 Actions – such as moving, shooting, fighting hand-to-hand, hiding in cover, or Waiting and Watching. Whilst Waiting and Watching, a Gang member does not act during their own phase, but may fire during an enemy’s phase should they move within the line-of-sight of the watcher. This mechanism, along with increased cover by using a “Hide” action, the various cards and their effects, and the various skills of the different Class types, allow for a variety of tactical play. Sharpshooters, if they have progressed up their Skill Tree and acquired the required ability, may be able to fire twice in one action if their first shot is a hit, whilst Scouts with the Quiet ability receive a significant advantage when attacking enemies from behind.
The tokens by this character indicate that he is both Hidden, and Waiting and Watching. Hiding makes the best use of the cover of the fence, whilst Waiting and Watching from this elevated position will make it hard for enemies to cross the open ground without him firing upon them. Note also in this shot we're using miniatures from a different - well known - company. Across the Dead Earth doesn't dictate which miniatures you use - use any you think suit! We're just making some of our own that we think work rather well ;-)
As well as Sharpshooters and Scouts, there are the Assault Class, who benefit with various forms of weaponry, Heavy's who specialise in the larger more powerful weapon types, Scrappers who excel in hand to hand, and the Medic and Leader Classes. The Medic Class can attempt to revive fallen comrades. Leader characters are unique in the game in two respects. Firstly, they may act 3 times instead of twice, and secondly they may give Orders to other characters, which, if successful, mean that the character receiving the Order may Act again outside of their own phase.
Each Gang member has stats for Toughness, Speed and Skill, but the real variety between them comes from the weapons and abilities they utilise. The game includes comprehensive rules and stats for most ranged weaponry, from crossbows to Submachine Guns, each having their own ranges and variable scores required on 2d6 To Hit. Submachine guns, for example, are highly damaging at close range, and therefore require a relatively low score to hit with, whilst sniper rifles do less damage overall, but can hit targets from considerably further away with ease.
Unlike many other game systems, the higher the difference between the score rolled and the score required has a direct effect to represent how good a shot was scored. A score of 12 when only 7 was required considerably reduces the chance that the hit character will survive, by decreasing the amount they would normally need to score UNDER, which is the character’s Toughness, by, in this case, 5. The game plays fun, fast and frequently frantic, but don't just listen to us:
"*Unique setting and background. *Direct rule style allowing a deep immersion in the game. *fast deadly pace to the game but with good tactical combinations. *friendly, committed developers who care about giving players the best gaming experience." - Carl P.
"Rules which do not force you to look into the rulebook each time you roll the dice. Fast paced and deadly!
Campaign system which allows your gang to grow, with skills and scars!" - Johnny F.
"Immersive setting and great rules. The UK setting from a developer based there puts a really unique spin on the tabletop skirmish game." - Paul C.
"Across the Dead Earth is a fast paced tactical skirmish game. Easy to learn, it uses a great card system that can make the game unpredictable as well as entertaining.
It includes a great campaign system allowing you to customize your gangs to your heart’s content whether you prefer melee or gunplay in your apocalypse." - Simon Q.
"Well ordered and easy to follow
Could do with some pictures to help examples
Like the extra detail rules like gun jams which add realism
Found myself leaving them out in early games (probably because i'm lazy though)
Feels like you're really striving for an objective which is good, i don't usually feel that in 40k and some other games
You actually start to care about the interaction of your gang which adds a slight rpg element, again this is a good thing." - Al S.
The complete rules for Across the Dead Earth contain all the rules to play the game as described above, character profiles for numerous factions, Gangs and characters including, of course, those for our two starter Gangs, the Red Claw and Adam's Family, weapon statistics, rare item profiles and information, Skill Trees, an example campaign and advanced and detailed rules on movement, terrain, hand to hand combat and in between game play. The game mechanic is simple enough that we have been able to teach numerous people to play the game “as we go along” but detailed enough that they should be able to answer any question that might arise. Unlike some game systems, which suggest players improvise or come to an agreement between themselves about that which is not covered fully, we want to provide the answer to those questions. What would happen if, instead of going down this ladder, I jumped? Can I move past that player if he’s in a doorway? Can’t I just smash the window and climb through? Rules for these rarely occurring incidents don’t need to be remembered, but can be looked up in the Advanced section if desired.
We already have the very talented Andrew May (of Meridian Miniatures) on board. In order to give you an idea of what kind of end product you can look forward to, take a look at the first three white metal production models here, sculpted by Andrew using Pijus' drawings as a base. These particular examples were then brought to life with some paint from Bob (of Artificer Miniature Painting):
Crimson is a bit special, she's going to be exclusively available to those of you who got her through Kickstarter, until at least 1st March 2016!
When we get full funding our artists will then design the rest of the characters to make up our two Gangs, which will all be sculpted by Andrew.
To learn more about the members of the two Gangs and their roles in the Game, click here http://www.deadearth.co.uk/?page_id=196
Please note, painted miniatures are for illustrative purposes only, all miniatures are supplied unpainted with the exception of those specific to the Fully Painted Limited Edition Starter Set pledge level.
Here you can see the concept art which was eventually transformed into the three miniatures above. Below you can see the concept art for two of the further characters who will be sculpted; the Leader of the Red Claw Gang (who can be named by you, see pledge levels to the right) and Adam, the Leader of Adam's Family.
Original Concept. Characters and Rules - Rich Chappell
IT / Project Stuff (Photoshop, Website etc) - Mike Chappell
Artwork - Pijus Baksys, Filip Dudek and Raul Santos
Sculpting - Andrew May of Meridian Miniatures
Miniature Painting and Scenery - The Artificer
Risks and challenges
As well as being creative types we also have a fully qualified (PRINCE2) project manager with over a decade's experience with FTSE 100 organisations. We know what we're doing and we've built in contingency... but there are always risks to any project. Where we think we're different is that we've already got a Plan B (and even Plan C) to mitigate any of the common problems people experience.
As you can see we've already made some figures. Unlike other new start-ups we are not handing our money over to another company to do all the work for us. Although we obviously do have suppliers they are all UK based and we can either drive to see them in a couple of hours or in some cases, walk down the road.
We already have the artists, sculptors and metal casters we've used for the samples on standby in April / May however as with all projects there is always the risk of delays. We can't predict the future, if someone breaks a limb or gets hit by a bus or anything out of the blue we will obviously be subject to delays.
We like the people we've used so far though so where humanly possible we would bear with them for a few weeks rather than look elsewhere.
Put simply, if we hit our target we can afford to do this. This won't be our last project either so there is already starting capital in the bank which provides us with a sensible level of contingency.
Shipping in the UK and USA will be handled by Royal Mail. Whilst delays may sometimes occur, we're confident in the Royal Mail to deliver, and user backers, your packages will be Signed for.
Most other destinations should also be fine with Royal Mail - certainly all the EU locations we have checked should not cause any problems at all. If you have any concerns about the ability of Royal Mail to deliver to your country, please get in touch and suggest an alternative.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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