Universe

The heart of the Conflict

In the distant future the Terran Authority has exercised virtually unchallenged control over the colonies of mankind for centuries. Advanced nano-based technology has transformed the human race, extending life spans, curing hunger and disease. A large proportion of the Authority’s populace is enhanced by the ‘Brand’, particle-sized machines moving within their own bloodstream cleaning and repairing, speeding reactions and cognitive functions.

A handful of individuals among the trillions that have merged with the Brand have done so far beyond normal human parameters. They can wield unprecedented power like unto the gods of old; hurl lightning, disappear into thin air or move with preternatural speed. These gifted individuals are known as the Awoken.

The Authority is watched by the Iron Legion, a hand-picked military organization that spans the stars. It exists to protect the people, keep the peace and enforce the Authority’s laws by suppressing the senseless criminality that flares up among the colonies from time to time. Most of the Awoken serve with the Iron Legion as revered commanders, and those few who don’t are closely monitored to ensure their gifts are not misused. All in all life under the Authority is good.

The call from the colony world of Kharkyn is a routine investigation – non-payment of tithes, refusal of communication, all the usual signs of some local administrator getting delusions of grandeur. The disappearance of a judicial investigation team escalated the affair to the Iron Legion and prompted the dispatch of a force under the command of an Awoken named Kara.

You can probably guess what happens next…

Kharkyn will be the Authority’s first contact with a threat so far beyond their imagination that the universe will be changed forever. Mankind’s continuing existence will depend upon the actions of Kara and her legionaries.

Timeline

Game Info

Warforged: First Contact

Warforged: First Contact is a classic tabletop ‘man versus aliens’ board and miniatures game for two or more players inspired by classics of yore like Space Crusade and the much beloved Space Hulk, as well as the subject of more B movies (and AAA movies) than we’d like to confess to having seen. The plot: An elite group of warriors attempt to fight their way into the stronghold of a previously unknown enemy – an enemy that proves ever more threatening the further they go.

Sumptuous map tiles are used to depict the depths of the Mantra shrine portal and its network of interconnecting gates. Finely sculpted miniatures in quality plastic (or resin, depending on the miniature) will depict the heroic Kara and her force of Iron Legionaries with a variety of weapons, as well as their supporting Ironclad, a towering machine still possessed by its human origins.

Ranged against the Iron Legion are the alien Mantra, a convocation of diverse alien species that have dedicated themselves to a single, all-encompassing concept of divinity and an unquenchable will to bring it into being. While the Mantra forces are scattered initially, their response to the Iron Legion’s desecration is fierce and immediate.

The shrine-portal itself can add additional complications. In addition to cover pieces placed on the map tiles there are traps and special conditions (like low gravity or blinding light) to hinder the Iron Legion along the way. In many cases the Iron Legion must fight for time as well as against the Mantra, with a countdown timer to win certain scenario in a set number of turns before the game ends.

Our scenario book gives a succession of game lay-outs of escalating difficulty and complexity following the ‘historical’ Iron Legion campaign with facilities for gaining experience and upgrading along the way. The game also features a card-based system for randomising the Iron Legion’s exploration to create scenarios with virtually endless replayability.

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Factions

The Iron Legion

“Awake, Iron!” –war cry of the Iron Legion

The elite armed forces of the Authority, the ruling government of Earth, the Iron Legion companies consist of men and women touched by the alien artefact known as the “Seal” that allows them to directly fuse their bodies with their immensely heavy armor, making them in essence warriors of living metal.  These human/metal alloy soldiers are the backbone of the forces of Earth, able to withstand immense damage, move with lighting reflexes and use heavy weaponry a normal man could not even lift. But the price they pay is high: over the decades the Brand left by the Seal gnaws at their humanity and their bodies, until they are completely absorbed into their armor save perhaps for vestiges of their brain and cerebral cord.

The Iron Legion is led by the Awoken, individuals exceptionally attuned to the Brand who have gained virtually supernatural powers through their manipulation of it. They fashion themselves after the legendary heroes of old from Earth History and act as generals and commanders of the Iron Legion forces.

The Iron Legions of the Authority are massive organizations, each one capable of defending or destroying an entire world. Each Legion is led by a cadre of Awoken and every member of the Legion bears the Brand. Discipline is absolute and the ranks of the Legions are filled by enforced conscription. It is not uncommon for Authority ships to come to a human colony world and immediately ‘tithe’ it of an entire generation to be Branded and used as troops in an imminent campaign.

An Iron Legion is coordinated to perfection by the power of the Seal, a flawless instrument of destruction. It is also a pitiless juggernaut of war where the losses incurred to individuals (other than Awoken) are considered irrelevant. An Awoken will think nothing of sacrificing Legionaries to draw an enemy into the open, for example, or to hold a hopeless position while other forces are maneuvered into attack positions, or even to use up an enemy’s ammunition. Final victory is all that matters, and if only a single Branded remains alive to claim victory on the battlefield it is still a victory.

Iron Legion soldiers and war machines tend to be well-armored, with hard lines and protective plates very much in evidence. Warriors are often cybernetically altered to better perform their tasks and man-machine hybrid war machines known as Ironclads are a common support element. Legionnaires will be equipped for ranged or close quarters fighting according to the mission at hand, the power of the Seal means that their heuristic training routines can be modified by the Awoken in a matter of moments.

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The Mantra

“Enlightenment through destruction” –The Mantra Creed

In the beginning of the universe, there was a sound: The Great Song known as the Mantra. A sentient consciousness consisting of living waves of psychokinetic energy, travelling across the multi-dimensional vastness of creation, with a vision of the Universe unified under one rule, the absolute will of one supreme entity.

Since the dawn of time itself, the Mantra has moved across the gulf of Fracture Space, searching for planets among the countless shard realities that host sentient life. Upon reaching a world, the sentient waves envelop the planet and start their slow, subtle work on the minds of all living beings to bend them to the creed of Mantra.

Mantra does not directly control the minds of those who fall under the influence. Rather, gradually, insidiously, through dreams and nightmares, visions and preaching's of holy men new ideas enter the race consciousness. Over millennia of sly genetic and cultural manipulation the society of the sentient beings twists, warps and the worship of an outside force arises. Rituals are established, manifestations are made until one day the entire planet joins in a single deafening chorus of the Mantra.

The Mantra armies consists of hordes made of several Alien species overtaken by the mind-altering power of the Mantra. They all are under the thrall of the same higher power, obsessed with bringing all change in the universe to a halt. Mantra armies are not conquerors but devastators -if a world has rejected the Mantra, it can expect no mercy or forgiveness. The Mantra fleets first blockade a planet and then send their field armies to eradicate the sentient life on the ground, preferably in hand-to-hand combat in order to ensure that none survive.

In the past some survivors have escaped the Mantra after an orbital bombardment or planetary invasion of their world, Mantra forces make little effort to pursue and expunge survivors if their home has been destroyed. Such survivors will dwindle within a few generations, the blink of an eye to the billion year old  Mantra.

The Mantra modifies both the appearance and the behavior of the races it takes over. Startlingly, many of the alien races in the Mantra forces bear uncanny resemblance to supernatural entities of human mythology. It has been postulated that shaman and holy men who were influenced by the Mantra in the distant past were responsible for many of the traditions and religions of the Earth.

Many servants of the Mantra have the ability to project their likeness into the minds of susceptible individuals. They appear as angelic and demonic creatures who are then interpreted and described in mythology as supernatural creatures. Through the dreams and visions the Mantra sent to seduce the human race these ancient peoples learned of the strange entities that inhabited the heavens.

Mantra forces, while highly ritualistic, are also possessed of technology that outstrips human achievements. Mantra draws its warriors from dozens of alien cultures, giving them access to the many unique physical and mental traits of the various species under its command. The Mantra also has overwhelming numbers; hundreds if not thousands of space-faring cultures have been seduced by the Mantra.

As such the Mantra Forces consist of bewildering array of different alien races, but most common are the twisted creatures known as Chorals that fall upon their enemies in vast massed ranks. Close to them in sheer numbers as the Descants, hybrids consisting of three creatures melded together. Gigantic, elephantine members of the Ganth race provide heavy support, and winged, graceful Devas act as leaders and champions of the Mantra forces.

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Featured

Heroes

Units

Overview

Rules

Warforged: First Contact is a tactical battle game for two or more players. Players take command of the Terran Authority’s Iron Legionaries in mankind’s first encounter with the alien forces of the Mantra. Players use their warriors, war machines and heroes to vie for victory through cunning tactics and bold strategy (plus a little bit of luck) within the extra-dimensional realm of a Mantra shrine-portal. The fate of humanity rests in the balance.

This is a game where the gameplay is the king. The aim of the design team was to create an alchemical mixture of board game and miniature game where you can learn to play within minutes, and yet the replayability and depth of the gameplay will keep you coming back again and again.

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