SHELLSHOCK COMBAT SYSTEM
We first debuted the Shellshock Combat System in the fall of 1996. If you have stopped by the gaming room at any of the major Chicago area science fiction conventions since then, you've surely seen us. You may be one of the many who have played and complimented us, one of the few who had some criticisms, or one of the myriad who simply walked by, took it all in, and said to yourself, "Hey, that looks pretty cool."
In the past five years, the Shellshock Combat System has evolved from its humble, yet idealistic beginnings into a truly superior wargame system. While we have retained our idealistic bent, we feel that thanks to you, our players, we no longer have a need to be humble. You see, we've been listening. All the compliments, complaints and ideas you have put forth have been taken into account. Thanks to that input Shellshock is better than ever, mostly because it has been built for our players expectations, not our own.
Shellshock is the fastest playing, most realistic, most adaptable, and most robust wargame system in the world! We have brought the real flavor and feel of war to a tabletop game. All the action, all the fury, all the tactics and chaos, in a system that's easier to learn, more intuitive, and more fun to play, than any other wargame on the market today.
You may scoff at the concept of an easy to learn wargame. We understand. We've been burned in the past also. But we challenge you to give Shellshock a try. The basic rules can be learned in less than 15 minutes, and most new players can run the game themselves after the 2nd or 3rd turn, even those who have had no wargame experience. We have had many first time wargamers play our system and enjoy it. Remember the age old axiom, "Keep it simple, stupid?" We did.
You might be thinking that simplicity and realism just don't go hand in hand. While that may be true in most circumstances, we have broken through that barrier. Pick up a Jane's Reference guide and compare the units there with the ones we have on our record sheets. Notice any substantial differences? Didn't think so.
Of course, realistic units are one thing, but a realistic combat system? Well, when's the last time you even tried a pincer movement in a wargame whose rules were not specifically designed around that single maneuver? When's the last time you flanked someone because it actually made a difference? For that matter, when have you ever even used a real formation because it actually increased your survivability?
Of course, many of you may be thinking, "Yeah, this sounds great and all, but I don't have the time to do wargaming." We realize that in the past our competitors have limited wargaming to only those few players who were blessed with an infinite amount of patience and spare time. Not us. Shellshock was designed for the speed requirements of the CCG generation. A typical battle of 12 units on 12 units can be resolved in about 2 or 3 hours, and this includes teaching time for new players.
Shellshock has finally come of age. We have thoroughly tested the rules and playability. Now that everything is as it should be, it is time to evolve. Maneuver your super agile Walker across chemically contaminated battlefields to flank the enemy tanks and pierce their rear armor with lasers and railguns.
If futuristic science fiction is not your style, try delving into the stark reality of history. Center the sighting periscope of your Tiger II on what will soon be the smoldering hulk of a Sherman tank, all the while hoping there are no enemy infantry nearby that have a sticky bomb with your name on it.
Not nostalgic for World War II? Try the present day and bring your Apache AH-64 attack helicopter screaming in inches over the treetops as you prepare to rain destruction on an unsuspecting T-72.
Soon even more eras will follow: the muddy trenches of WWI; the steaming jungles of Vietnam; Napoleonic formations; even ancient Roman Galley naval warfare.
So come give Shellshock a try. It's free, it's fun. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours. The only thing you have to lose are the lives of the men fighting under your command. And believe me, you will.
So, if you've read this far, you may be asking yourself, "This is all well and good, but exactly how much is all this wonderful innovation going to cost me?" Well, here's the kicker: Absolutely nothing!
Welcome to your free lunch.
Remember earlier in this pamphlet when we said we retained our idealistic bent? Well, we meant it. Welcome to the world's first "Open Source" style wargame.* Simply visit the website and you will be able to find everything you need for a game. Rules, Unit sheets, Glossaries, Example Combat, even counters for you to print out. It's all there for the taking. About all you'll need to play are your own dice and some rulers, but if you're like most gamers, you have access to plenty.
I know what you're thinking, and No, THERE IS NO CATCH!
Now don't get us wrong. We do hope to make money at this, that's the main point. But not by raping our players' pocketbooks. This is the one wargame where you can spend as much or as little as you want. We do plan on marketing boxed sets for World War II and the Gulf War. We also plan on marketing our own line of miniatures and gaming accessories. But you don't NEED any of them to play. Everything you need is available for free from the website.
We are gamers ourselves, and we wrote this game for gamers like us who were sick and tired of the status quo. We will never force our players to use only our miniatures in Tournament play. We will never publish book after book after book forcing you to buy them all just to keep pace with the game universe. Oh, we plan on putting out new weapons and equipment and units, but they will all be available, for free, at the website.
Welcome to the Revolution!
Yes, our goal is to make enough money at this to quit our real jobs. But our pledge to you is that we will never be dicks to our players in order to achieve that goal. Find anyone else willing to put that in writing.
Many of you have seen us at the Chicagoland area conventions over the past five years. If you have, you may have noticed the "giant fighting robot" miniatures which we have dubbed "Walkers" that are on the game map. The Walkers were created because we decided to design the future version of this wargame first. While Walkers may be more fiction than science, they are a staple of futuristic sci-fi gaming. And they're cool.
Unfortunately, many who have seen these Walkers have automatically assumed we are just a another Battletech* knock off. This couldn't be further from the truth, but first impressions are hard to change. We have built this game from the ground up using Jane's reference guides, military ballistics charts, and other credible sources to maintain the sanctity and realism of the system and game mechanics. Whenever we changed a construction rule the first thing built was an M1A2 Abrams or a Mil 24 Hind D. This was done to insure we had maintained the realism level we were striving for.
However, the modern day units we built were for testing and calibration purposes. We always enjoyed the sci-fi version more, so the future variant of the game is what we brought to conventions...and it cost us. It wasn't until a nasty rumor we heard about at one of the cons last year that we were aware of just how serious the situation was. So, in August 2000 we decided to expand and show everyone what Shellshock is truly capable of. Hence the Gulf War and World War II versions.
Shellshock isn't some "unrealistic" game where huge fighting robots slug it out with each other, toe to toe, trading blow after blow after blow. This is real life. Smart tactics and maneuvers will win the battle. And when your tank gets hit by a 120mm sabot round, you're fried.
So, you be the judge. Do you really think we're just another Battletech** ripoff? Try Shellshock and decide for yourself. No hype. No sales pitch. Just you, your dice, and your opponent.
The Future and Your Part In It
As we said before, FUTURE STUFF IS COOL! Lasers, Railguns, EMP cannons and Walkers! Infantry as powerful as a WWII era tank! We enjoy the future variant, and we want you to as well.
We want to you to be part of the lore of the future. When you create a unit, we want it as a permanent part of the game. If you and your buds have a great game on the weekend, describe it and write in, it can become part of the official history of the game.
This game is for you the gamers. Your actions affect the outcome of the game's universe. By playing our game you are more than just another player, you are an active participant.
Other gaming companies understand that they need players to fund the game. We want you to understand that our players ARE the game.
*Shellshock has a standard copyright, not a GPL.
**Battletech is a registered trademark of Fasa Corp.