Across the Dead Earth

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A couple of nights ago while trolling thru the internet I came across something that piqued my interest. Its called “Across the Dead Earth” by Mike and Rich Chappell of Dead Earth Games. Across the Dead Earth was a successful kickstarter project requiring only £6,500 to launch and receiving over £8,500 in funding (congrats lads). Across the Dead Earth is a 28mm tabletop skirmish game set in a post apocalyptic world.

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In Across the Dead Earth players assume control of a gang of deadly persistent warriors and embark on campaigns to win loot, territories or glory. Between campaigns/ games gangs can be upgraded with equipment and skills allowing you to customise your gang to your own play style and tastes. Across the Dead Earth is set 3 generations after the “last” Great War. The majority of the worlds population has been killed off and what remains of humanity has been reduced to roaming gangs and family’s living in ghosts towns and the shattered remains of the old world.

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Across the Dead Earth 2 player starter set includes a 87 page printed full colour rulebook, a PDF version of the rulebook and 11 28mm metal miniatures comprising of 6 members of The Red Claw gang and 5 of The Family.

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The Red Claw gang comprise of Ronnie, Shrimp, Fat Boy, Pyro, Topper and Shay-man.

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The Family comprise of Adam, Ezra, Skylar, Reggie and Drexyl.

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So what does the game play like, you ask? Currently there is 5 classes (Leader, Medic, Assault, Sharpshooter and Scout). Each has its own unique abilities and skill tree, allowing you to learn new skills and abilities in between games in exchange for points. Points are earned by killing enemies, finding loot or capturing territories. The basics of the game are easy to understand but hard to master as they say. Each turn players alternate using models (so i’ld use 1 of my models, then my opponent would use 1 of their models and vice versa till all models have been used). Each model has 2 actions it can use so a model could move and move, move and shoot or shoot and shoot for example. Each model can move a certain amount of inches. There is a To Hit roll of a dice, a To Wound roll of a dice and then some modifiers to your results for using weapons. The winner of a game is decided by who completes the most objectives, claims the most Loot or kills all of his opponents models. You also get Event Cards during the course of the game, which can be used at any time. Event Cards have the possibility of turning a game on its head. Terrain plays a very big part of this game and the more terrain there is the better the game. Everything and anything can be used in a game as terrain after all its a post apocalyptic world from burnt out dinkies (toy cars), forests, ruined buildings etc. Just have a look at the last picture, its most definitely one of my favourite art pieces for the game.

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I had a chance to ask a few questions of the boys over at Dead Earth Games.

Q. whats your background in gaming.

A. I first started gaming when I was only 10 or 11 years old, rolling a 4+ to hit and a 4+ to save with 4 metal Games Workshop figures my cousin gave to me. From there I played Warhammer, 40k, Epic, Man O’War and the like for several years before giving up partly due to the expense. Back then it was pretty much Game Workshop or nothing, especially in a small town with no one to get you into historical wargames or other systems. I then didn’t play any tabletop wargames for a long time although was a big fan of both strategy computer games like the Total War series and X com – which are in different degrees based on wargaming. It was really only a few years back I got the itch to buy a few historical ships…and it spiralled, as it always does!

Q. What games did u play previously?

A. When I got back into gaming I initially played some home brew rules for the ships I had bought and then got into Black Powder and In Her Majestys Name in particular.

Q. What was your motivation for creating Across the Dead Earth?

A. I initially wrote a set of rules called The Rifles which was set in the Napoleonic wars but used only a handful of figures, the idea being that the figures would represent characters and they would have more RPG style characteristics. It was from that the game mechanics grew. The game was fun but there wasn’t much room for options or variety in terms of weaponry or skills. So I initially moved the setting just to Stalingrad in 1942, but that scenario soon became, as one might expect, too much about snipers NOT doing anything. So I decided on a fictional setting, which would give me all the freedom I wanted.

Q. Where any of the characters based on family/ friends?

A. No, actually. All the State troops are named after the core beta testers, but character wise no, not at all.

Q. What were u like when u received the printed copy your rulebook + models.

A. I was like a kid at Christmas! That was definitely the most exciting part of the process and I often still find it hard to belive that we make this stuff, because I think it’s all great, and would definitely be a huge fan of it myself! Though I would say that – of course.

Q. Whats your favourite piece of artwork + model from the game?

A. I think, at a push, I would choose the books front cover as my favourite piece of art, just because it’s so connected to the whole project. The cover is a post-apocalyptic Birmingham, the city that gave birth to AtDE, where I live and also where all the minis are made. And the painting Filip Dudek created I think is absolutely spot on – exactly what I had in my head when I asked him for it.

Miniature wise, my favourite was each and every one as I first saw them! But looking back, I love Adam, I think he’s just full of character, Fatboy and Shay-Man too, and Ezra…plus SIWOC from The State. We have some more figures coming soon which people haven’t seen yet which I’m very excited about too.

Q. What does the future hold for Across the Dead Earth?

A. I’m currently writing an expansion which will go out to the KS backers and will eventually be available as a PDF. This introduces the Sollus (virus infected zombie types) and moves the action to the Disunited States. We have one new Gang ready to be released shortly and another soon to be announced. There will be some accessories in the form of new cards somewhere down the line, some narrative campaigns, dog miniatures, reinforcements for the original gangs – all sorts. We’ll be getting out to shows, conferences and stores with the game and our board and generally spreading the word!

Well that’s all for now from us but stay tuned for more Across the Dead Earth coverage and be sure to stop by Dead Earth Games website (DeadEarth.co.UK) to learn more about Across the Dead Earth.

– from The Man Cave

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