July 27, 2016 by brennon
We took some time to sit down with Alan, one of the minds behind White Dragon Miniatures’ new Shattered Void Kickstarter to learn about the background of their world and find out more about this dogfighting spaceship game.
Without further ado let’s dive in and find out more about their game!
BoW: Can you tell us a little bit about you and White Dragon Miniatures, where did it all start out?
Alan: White Dragon Miniatures started out in late 2011 originally as a small independent resin casting company and to produce a range of boutique miniatures that we found interesting. Initially we released several models with the most famous being the 1/35 Scale Fiddler Mech.
After a year of resin casting we decided that our focus would instead be on creating our own universe to eventually lead into a full gaming system.
How did Shattered Void come into being?
The story behind Shattered Void came about after a marathon of sci-fi TV series such as the new Battlestar Galactica series, films like Ender’s Game, District 9, Elysium and various PC games which include the Homeworld series, EVE Online, Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen and an endless list of other inspirations.
After having discussions with our tabletop gaming friends we eventually came to the conclusion that we wanted to produce a space dogfighting game within this universe we were creating. Therefore the first ship was commissioned, concepted, sculpted and 3D printed, this was the Draconus Heavy Fighter which was shown off at Salute 2013.
Could you tell us a little bit about the background of the different factions you have within the Shattered Void game?
Shattered Void is set during the initial conflict between three major races. The first being the Earth Exploration Fleet, made up of the last vestiges of Mankind who has had to flee Earth on fourteen huge fleets for survival. Earth has been wracked by years of industrialisation which has turned the planet into a husk, coupled with the shock of an imminent assault by a yet-unknown Alien Civilisation.
After many, many years of drifting through space, one of the fleets (EEF Livingstone) happens upon a world that is incredibly close to Earth in regards to its atmosphere, gravity and ecosystem.
Upon finding this new world EEF Livingstone transmits a signal to all the other Earth Exploration Fleets with their location. Unbeknownst to the Captains of EEF Livingstone the planet had been under the protection of an ancient Alien species which the EEF dubbed the “Vitruvians” as they resembled Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man.
The Vitruvian Sovereignty granted Fleet Livingstone sanctuary upon the world which whose name translated to “New Helix” and provided them with a sealed environment, provisions and safety.
New Helix was the Vitruvian Sovereignty’s escape plan as the Star of their home galaxy was close to the end of its life. The Vitruvians had spent hundreds of years terraforming New Helix to be their new home.
Sadly as other human fleets arrived, the Vitruvians found that those who had been granted sanctuary previously had broken their promises and had spread across the planet and contaminated the carefully designed ecosystem of New Helix. Conflict came about when the third fleet, EEF Cortez opened fire upon the Vitruvian Orbital Stations after they were denied entry to the planet.
As the Vitruvian Sovereignty had not experienced war in thousands of years, they looked to employing their A.I servants to conduct the war on their behalf so no Vitruvian lives were lost. When the Astivar Collective took to the battlespace they were initially beaten back by the combined EEF but over time the Astivar learned human tactics and slowly began to counter and bring victory for their Vitruvian masters.
In what the Vitruvian Sovereignty thought was the final weeks of the protracted war they were presented with an incredible shock, as during an all-out battle high above New Helix, humanity had managed to do the unthinkable. An unknown weapon had managed to shut down one of the main Astivar carriers, causing all drones to freeze in a dormant state.
Over the course of a few days the EEF armada managed to mop up the vast majority of the Astivar spacecraft. In time, Astivar drones began to return to their active states, having found that their A.I controls had been reset with no friend or foe systems functioning. They resorted to their basic programming. Maintenance, Production, Expansion. This is where the game picks up from, with all three races in conflict.
How do the basics of gameplay work in Shattered Void?
Funny you asked, as we made a video that outlines the basic gameplay (see below), but the game starts out with the planning phase, where the players get to pick the manoeuvre the ships are going to pull off that turn. Once that is done, it’s time to get get the ships moving. Each player takes it in turns to carry out the movement, turning, and shooting with their ships.
Shooting takes place with exciting face to face rolls, where the pilots try to out manoeuvre each other to either get the ship on target, or throw the attacking ship off its tail. They also are able to use some special effects, like Asymmetric ships using their special rules to cause chaos to enemy ships, or to help boost friendly ships.
Successful damage to ships is broken down into three damage types, Kinetic, Energy and Thermal and different weapons allow you to draw different cards. Once all the ships have activated. It’s time for the end phase, where players can try to repair their ships systems, recharge shields, and apply any effects that are still in play. It’s designed to be an easy to learn game, but they tactical possibilities are limitless.
Now that we know the basics could you give us some tactical tips for the different factions?
Each race has it advantage on the battlefield, but the big thing is that army lists are not picked until you know how the board is filled with terrain, and what scenario you are playing. You wouldn’t play the same list on a dense asteroid field as an open space with sparse terrain. So variety is the spice of life.
The Vitruvians have some nice fast ships, coupled with the ability to use transition matter across the entire force. This makes the ships faster, and better in defence, but also harder for the pilot to engage enemy ships. This is great for getting your ships into a good flanking position. They also have the ability to quantum shift, and it depends on the amount of capacitor as to where they reappear.
The EFF can form small wings, which mean that they can active a wing of ships rather than just a single one. This enables you bring some serious firepower to bare. The Astivar gain advantages for having ships swarm together, getting bonuses to their pilot skills and defence.
When it comes to sculpting the ships where do you draw your ideas from?
Firstly it was to establish the differing aesthetics of the races that were present. These were done in a series of ‘Thumbs’ were the concept artist creates small silhouettes and certain shapes or features of identified from them, Then it was a case refining elements.
The Humans have that look of near future tech, which makes it easily distinguishable that they are built by the human. The Aliens were a a bit more of a challenge. We want to show off a more ‘alien’ look as it’s easy to fall into the trap of making alien ships look like they are just made by humans, so we wanted to totally move away from that.
We have also been lucky enough to work with some great concept artists and modellers who are now working on star citizen and Eve Online.
The style of the game – fighting around massive capital ships in personal dogfights, is a great idea. Have you had dreams of creating massive tablescapes and if so what would be your ideal tabletop?
Oh the first thoughts for a big table was one of my (Alan) first visions for this. I always thought about the ships fighting their battles in a small sector of space, between two engaged cruisers or battleships. So much so, that it is a planned scenario for the game, It’s called ‘Hunting Bigger Prey’ and will feature the cruisers weapons piercing across the board to attack each other, while the wing commanders try to win smaller engagements that might give the cruiser an edge.
One thing though, these larger ships weapons don’t care if friend or foe is hit on the way to impact the enemy ship. So there will be some interesting twists and positioning of models. Ah I just see it now…
Where would you like to see Shattered Void go next after the Kickstarter – are new factions on the horizon?
Well first it will hit retail, on our website, then we have plans to get the rules firmed up. With more people playing it, the more it can be refined and made nice and solid which is one of the nice things with a living rule book. Once we’re happy with the state of the rules, we will look to produce a book (the PDF will always be online though for free) as people like a nice physical book.
We are then planning to add custom weapon load-outs, so when building you list, you can pick different options for your ships. So, if you fancy a Hydra Corvette with six missile turrets…well why not? We will also be giving the commanders options to purchase the pilot level for ships, and also pilot experience for campaign systems too.
There is also work going on with new races, and introducing them into the universe plus also some new weapons that could bring additional damage decks into play.
Thank you for your time Alan and good luck with the rest of the campaign!
If you’d like to read through the rules for Shattered Void you can download them on the links below…
Has this got you interested in funding Shattered Void on Kickstarter?
Get your comments below with your thoughts on the game!
"The story behind Shattered Void came about after a marathon of Sci-Fi TV series..."
"It’s [the scenario] called ‘Hunting Bigger Prey' and will feature the cruisers weapons piercing across the board to attack each other, while the wing commanders try to win smaller engagements that might give the cruiser an edge..."