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Earth Under Siege: Flashpoint Late Pledge

Created by Dark Horizon Games

1-4 player, co-op, sci-fi dungeon crawler where players complete covert missions against an invading alien force! Note: Your card will not be charged until shipping rates are final. At that time, you will have the chance to review your order before your card is charged. Please follow our updates for notification as to when these shipping charges are final and when orders will be locked down and cards charged.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update 33: Big update, feedback needed!
23 days ago – Fri, Nov 11, 2022 at 06:17:24 PM

Hey everyone, we have a big update for you! We wanted this to come out a couple of weeks ago but we’ve been waiting on some things to fall into place before posting. We're also looking for feedback on the pledge manager and one of the stretch goals, so make sure you read through this update and give us your thoughts. Without further ado, here we go!

Closing of the Pledge Manager

First and foremost, let’s talk about the closing of the pledge manager. We had originally planned to have this closed in October, but obviously that didn’t happen. Why the delay? Well, the short answer is that we are still working towards getting updated shipping rates. The largest holdup there is getting updated box sizes and weights. LongPack has been waiting to give updated info on the boxes until all miniatures and component counts were finalized (which makes sense). The good news is that miniatures were recently finalized (more on that below) and we've been working with LongPack to see the most efficient way to combine the components to reduce shipping.

Once we have the final box sizes and weights we can get an updated shipping quote and plug them into the Pledge Manager. Unfortunately, this process is taking longer than we’d hoped, mostly due to the length of time it took to finalize the miniatures (again, more on that below). We should have updated shipping rates in the next week or so, but because we need to give everyone at least a month’s notice before closing the pledge manager, that would mean closing it down sometime in December which isn’t ideal. Remember, we haven’t actually charged anyone for late pledges or any items added during the pledge manager because we've been waiting for the final shipping rates before doing so. Closing the pledge manager and charging people’s cards around the holiday’s generally isn’t the best idea for the sake of the backers pocketbooks.

With that in mind, at this point, we are thinking that closing the pledge manager in late sometime in January would probably be best so that we don't charge anyone’s cards before the holidays. This wouldn’t delay production. Waiting until January would also allow us to get even more accurate shipping rates. 

We’re interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Would you rather us close the pledge manager and charge cards mid-December, or is waiting until mid to late January okay with everyone? We want to do what is best for the backers and not be an additional expense on anyone during the holiday season if that would be a burden. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Stretch Goal Box

One of the things that backers unlocked during the campaign is a special box to hold all add ons. We’ve been working with LongPack on options for how the components of the game are boxed so that we can be as efficient as possible when it comes to shipping. We have a few options in regards to this unlocked storage box that we’d love your feedback on. The first option is to create the box as originally planned and have it designed to just hold the add ons. The other option is to alter the size and design of the box so that it serves as a new, larger, core box that can accommodate the core box contents and all stretch goals (including the Operative stretch goal pack).

We feel that a box that holds the core box plus all stretch goals has much more utility and makes much more sense since ALL backers are receiving stretch goals, while not everyone purchased add ons (or purchased the same number of add ons). The redesigned box to hold the core contents and stretch goals would look something like this:

What are your thoughts on the matter? Would you rather have a box that stores the core box and all stretch goals? Or a box designed only for add ons? Let us know in the comments!

Finished Art

Since our last update, all art for the game has been completed! We received the last of it a few weeks ago and have imported all of the images onto the cards. The only additional art we will likely add is for additional tiles for the World Killer expansion (more on that below). Here are some samples of the new gear card art we received:

Miniatures

We just recently finished the final tweaks to the miniature files last week! This took a little bit longer than we planned, but it is a very important process to get right, so rushing it was not an option. There was a lot of communication and requests for changes between us and LongPack, and each request and tweak would take 2-3 days due to LongPack being very busy with many projects and the time zone difference. However, we’re very happy with the results and the minis should turn out amazing! Most of the miniatures have stayed true to their original design, with only slight modifications to certain details or limb position, but there were a couple that were a bit problematic to mold and needed to be tweaked to accommodate the miniature creation process. As an example of this process, we can show you the evolution of the Marauder figure. In the original sculpt, the figure was in a crouching position and had his fingers spread out touching the base, as seen here:

The splayed fingers proved to be a bit of a problem for creating the mold (this was actually alluded to by the King of Average in his unboxing video). The first solution LongPack proposed was to fill in the gaps with plastic, but we didn’t like the way this looked, as seen here:

After discussing things with LongPack we came up with an alternate solution that looks much better, but required altering the hand position altogether, as seen here:

While not quite as cool as the splayed fingers, we felt this looked much better than filling the gap with plastic and we’re still very happy with the overall miniature. 

The next step for LongPack is to create the masters, and from there, the molds. As soon as we have pictures of the masters, we will be sharing them as we get them!

Tiles for the World Killer expansion

As mentioned in our last update, we made some changes to the components for the World Killer expansion, including the reduction in the number of tiles and an increase to the number of miniatures. However, many of our backers commented that they really, really wanted some additional tiles for the expansion to increase variety in the setting. We took that feedback very seriously and have been exploring our options, including reaching out to the artist, Henning Ludvigsen, to check his schedule (he's available!). We've decided to go ahead and add six large 9"x 9" double sided tiles to the expansion to increase the diversity of the environments (that will bring the total in the expansion to eight large 9" x 9" double sided tiles).  These new tiles will feature an outdoor environment which will put a new spin on many aspects of the game, such as performing roadside ambushes of enemy vehicles; deploying your Operatives into the water for a beachside infiltration; and even driving a truck into the heart of an enemy base while disguising yourself as lowly thralls!  We hope everyone is happy that we'll be adding these tiles back to the expansion!

We should have the art for these new tiles to show in the next update!

Language Translations

Some of our backers wanted us to check if having the language translations as an actual separate printed pack was an option (meaning they would get both an English and a translated copy of all cards and books). We spoke with LongPack about it and unfortunately, it’s just not really an option due to the small number that would be printed. Doing a print run of less than 200 copies of a separate translation pack would be far, far too expensive. So, with that info in mind, the translations will be as originally outlined in previous updates, with German and French backers who purchase the translation add-on getting a copy translated in their language, and Italian and Spanish backers getting an English copy with a translated PDF of all cards and books.  An English PDF will also be given to all German and French backers in case they want a copy in English as well.

Also, some backers have expressed concern over the quality of the translations, which is completely understandable, so we’ve got links below to the rulebooks translated into German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Keep in mind, these are still a work in progress and will have additional changes made before the final versions as we tweak rules and continue to edit. If you have any feedback, or catch any mistakes on these translations, please share your feedback by emailing us at info@darkhorizongames.com. Remember, if you want your game translated into German or French, you need to purchase the translation option in the pledge manager.

 Rulebook in German 

Rulebook in French 

Rulebook in Spanish 

Rulebook in Italian 

Projected Timeline

Things are still moving along nicely, especially since the art is finished and miniature tweaks have been finalized.  The biggest hurdle still remains the testing and tweaking of the rules and later missions.  We are really striving to balance the game so that there is a good mix of challenge and fun, but that takes time, especially since each mission can be approached with a different strategy card and a different mix of operatives.  Still, things are coming along well and we're still hopeful for delivery to begin in May/June.  We'll have a better idea as things go forward and we'll be sure to share the current status in each update!

Whew, that was a lot of info!  

Please share your feedback in the comments below on the closing of the pledge manager and the box design as described above.

Until next time, watch your six!

Update 33a: Quick clarification on the German translation
24 days ago – Thu, Nov 10, 2022 at 02:16:22 PM

A quick update for our German backers. Apparently the version of the rulebook that I posted was not ready for sharing. That's my fault, I misunderstood what was communicated to me.  I thought it was ready, but apparently there is still work to be done.  I was informed by the translator that there are several typos that need to be corrected which are being worked on now.  Also, our translator has made arrangements to have it edited by a professional proofreader, so the quality should be quite good when finished.

I've pulled the file down to avoid confusion and we'll post an updated version as soon as I'm told it's ready!  If you've already downloaded it, just be aware that it's an early first draft and hasn't been edited to check for typos yet!

Update 32b: Translation add on packs fixed and a clarification on tiles!
3 months ago – Sat, Sep 17, 2022 at 07:49:49 AM

Translation Add Ons

Hey everyone, sorry for the multiple updates on the same day, but unfortunately backers were getting an error with the language pack add on.  That issue has been fixed and backers should be able to add that to their pledges now!  Please let us know if you encounter any issues!

World Killer Tiles Clarification

Also, I wanted to clarify my previous comments on the World Killer tiles from the original update since there was a bit of confusion.  Just to be clear, backers are not receiving any less art or variety for the tiles, they are just being condensed onto fewer components.  Since we didn't hit the stretch goals to get additional tile art done, we weren't able to do two sets of tiles with art on both sides.  It didn't make much sense to have two sets of tiles with art on only one side, as opposed to one set of tiles with art on both sides.   So everyone is still getting the same amount of art and variety, they are just getting less cardboard.  Obviously printing less cardboard makes things less expensive for us to print, which is why we added the new miniatures to the expansion so that backers are still getting value for what they paid and we weren't just pocketing the savings.   I hope that makes sense to everyone!

Also, the alternate tile set that will be on the backside of the tiles looks different enough that it should keep things fresh in the campaign.  As an example, the image below shows the same map, but with the two alternate tile sets, so you can see the difference in the feel and look of the tiles (note: there are tokens placed on the maps):

Same map with original tile art on the left and new tile art on the right

Lastly, one of our backers suggested that we do an add on pack for additional tiles to help pay for the art, and that is definitely something we could consider, although we aren't sure if it would be viable or not, but feel free to share your thoughts on that idea!


Thanks everyone!

Update #32: New art, component changes, translation update!
3 months ago – Sat, Sep 17, 2022 at 06:21:00 AM

Hey everyone, we’ve got a lot of information to share and lots to show you in this update, so buckle up! Also, be sure to read the translation update below for those seeking non-English versions of the game! Let’s get started!

Pledge Manager Closing Date

A lot of people have been asking if we’ve firmed up a date yet for locking the pledge manager. The short answer is, not quite yet. As for the reason why, it’s because we still don’t have shipping rates firmed up. What is taking so long on that you ask? Well, we’ve made some changes to the component counts of the game (more on that below), and we are still waiting on a few final pieces of information before everything is final. Once we have those changes finalized with the manufacturer, they will give us revised box sizes and weights. Until we have that revised information, we can’t really get current shipping rates since obviously size and weight of the boxes is what determines the cost.

Once we have those the revised box sizes and weights, we will get shipping rates as soon as we can and post them in an update. We’ll give everyone at least a month after announcing the shipping rates before locking down the pledge manager so everyone has time to verify if they are okay with the rates, or if they want a refund, or if they want to add anything else to their pledge before it gets locked down. Realistically, with it already being the middle of September, we’re looking at closing the pledge manager near the end of November. 

Remember, any add ons, upgrades to a different pledge level, or late pledges that were added in the pledge manager have not been charged yet. When the pledge manager locks down, all of that will be charged along with shipping.

Development Progress

The game is coming along at a good pace. Nearly all art is complete, with our artist Todd Ulrich working hard to get everything finished. He’s currently in the process of putting color to the final gear cards for the core box (which is the last of the art that needs to be done for the core box). After that, we still have a few gear cards for the World Killer expansion and stretch goals, and then the art for the entire game will be complete! Exciting stuff!

On the miniature side we sent all of our feedback to LongPack based on their suggested changes and they made additional tweaks based on our requests. There are only a few minor things we’re still working out with them, but that should all be wrapped up very soon. 

The main thing slowing down development is the writing and testing of the latter missions. We are working hard to get the missions tested thoroughly but it’s taking longer than expected. Testing each mission with each different Strategy card and different mixtures of Operatives takes time, but we're working on it as fast as possible. Luckily, manufacturing can begin while the writing and testing is still being done because the cards and books can be sent to the manufacturer last since it requires the least amount of preparation on the part of the factory. Once we’ve locked down the pledge manager and given the green light to LongPack to begin manufacturing, we’ll have a better idea of the overall timetable for the project completion and delivery (we’re still hoping to be on track for delivery May-ish).

Did Someone Mention Art?

As mentioned above, we’ve continued to receive that last pieces of art needed to complete the game, and we’re very close to having it all finished.  See below for some of the new stuff we've received!

Specialists

The last three Specialist cards are complete, which you can see below. Specialists are special rewards you can gain by completing Special Op missions. For those that don’t know, Special Op missions are side missions you can unlock by hacking Enemy databases during a regular campaign mission. Once you’ve successfully hacked a database, you will draw a card from the Special Op deck during the HQ phase to gain one of these special side missions. By design, the majority of Special Op missions are much more condensed and shorter than a full campaign mission, but tend to be more difficult and give better rewards. Specialist cards are just one of the many things you can gain by running Special Ops.

Specialists provide a variety of bonuses that can apply during the HQ Phase, the Mission Phase, or both

New Tile Art!

We recently received new tile art from the super talented Henning Ludvigsen, who is the best tile and board artist in the business (in our opinion). However, being so good at your job often means being quite busy, and we’ve been trying to get onto Henning’s schedule since February, but it was worth the wait! Check out some of these new tiles for the core box below, including a Med Bay, a Server Room, R&D Lab, and two 6" x 6" tiles that combine to form a 6" x 12" Barracks:

Below you can see new tiles for the World Killer expansion. Each of the first two tiles are 9” x 9” for larger fights, but the backside of those two tiles combine into one massive 9” x 18” tile where you will face the World Killer himself. A massive boss deserves a massive place to fight him in!

The Summoning Room, Human Experimentation Chamber, and the World Killer factory

World Killer Expansion Component Changes

Speaking of tiles for the expansion, this brings us to an important point. When creating the game, our goal had always been to include a set of double-sided tiles in both the core box and the expansion, which would give a nice variety for players to run missions on. However, we never hit the kind of financial milestones needed to justify two sets of double-sided tiles (they would have been stretch goals but we never got there). 

So, that left us with a dilemma. Do we have a set of tiles in the core box and a set of tiles in the expansion, with both of them only one-sided? Or do we have one set of double-sided tiles in the core box and remove most of the tiles in the expansion? It just seemed strange to have two sets of tiles with art on only one side instead of one set with art on both sides, so we made the decision to have one set of tiles in the core box with art on both sides, and a few special tiles in the expansion for specific missions (pictured above). That decision would change the expansion contents from 18 tiles, to 2.

But I paid for those tiles! Why are we paying the same money for less content! Obviously this is something we thought about right away. We definitely don’t want anyone to feel like they paid for something they aren’t getting (same money, less content is never a good selling point). However, we came up with a solution that we hope everyone will be happy with. We did some consulting with the manufacturer and we are able to squeeze another miniature onto the existing mold plates that we can include in the expansion to compensate backers that purchased it. This seemed like a good compromise so that no one was getting shorted.

We have several Enemies in various conceptual stages that are planned for future releases, so we picked one that was the most mechanically developed and got our artist to put together the character art for this new threat. Enter, the Thought Reaper! You can see the art for this frightening new opponent below, along with the new Enemy and Spawn cards for him:

The Thought Reaper isn't just scary looking, he's also quite scary in combat
The Thought Reaper is an insidious enemy that feeds on the pain of others, gaining strength from their misery. Also, for those that don't know, each Enemy card has an Empowered side which come into play as the campaign progresses to increase difficulty

The Thought Reaper gains strength from Operatives having negative conditions or injuries.  But what if the Operatives don't have any of those things?  Well, unfortunately for the players, the Thought Reaper all but ensures that Operatives will have some negative conditions when it spawns...

The Thought Reaper all but guarantees his opponents will be inflicted with the misery it needs to feed on

Hot off the presses! One of our sculptors, Marco R Sassi, has been hard at work turning the Thought Reaper into a 3d sculpt and we just got the images back today!  I was waiting to post this update until these images came in because I really wanted to show it off.  Keep in mind that this is a work in progress and is still having some finishing touches put on (such as some details for the hands and the gun):

Each backer receiving the World Killer expansion will receive two of these Elite Enemies along with the Enemy card. 

Hopefully everyone that purchased the expansion is happy with our decision to replace most of the tiles in the box with two new figures, but if you aren’t for whatever reason, please let us know!  And if you skipped the World Killer expansion previously, you can still upgrade your pledge to get the World Killer expansion along with this new figure if you want!

Language Translations

After reviewing the poll we did last month along with several DM’s where people shared their opinions, here is where we stand regarding language translations:

1. German and French: These backers can purchase an add on pack to have the game translated into their native language. The cost is $25 for Incursion pledges, and $30 for Invasion or Extinction pledges. If a backer doesn’t wish to purchase the add on but still wants the game, they will receive an English copy with a PDF translation (all cards and books).

2. Spanish and Italian: These backers that still wish to receive the game will be sent an English copy with PDF translations (all cards and books).

Also, these translations are being worked on by native speakers and aren’t being done by something like Google Translate or anything like that. In fact, the rulebook is being translated in each of the above languages right now! 

The pledge manager has been updated with the language add on packs, so if you want a printed copy in German or French, be sure to make that selection before we lock down the pledge manager sometime in November.   To do so, just log into your BackerKit account, go to your survey, then to the Add Ons tab, and select the appropriate add on (see below). 

As before, if anyone isn’t happy with these options, please email us a info@darkhorizongames.com and we will get a refund processed for you if that is what you prefer.


Whew...that was a lot of information! Hopefully everyone is happy with the direction the game is going, but please post in the comments to let us know what you think! 


Until next time, watch your six!

Update 31a: Quick update about the language add on packs!
3 months ago – Sat, Sep 17, 2022 at 06:03:03 AM

Many of you have pointed out that the language packs are giving an error when selected.  We have BackerKit looking into this, but they are apparently very busy today so we're not sure if this will get resolved today or not until Monday.  Everything looks good on our end, so we aren't really sure what the issue is, but as soon as BackerKit lets us know things are working correctly, we'll let everyone know! Thanks for your patience!