particle group shatter question

I make a mesh, in this case extruded text, and cut it into pieces manually and place into separate objects then add the missing pollys to the individual pieces creating “chunks of letter pieces”. Next I select all of the pieces and make them a group. I create a separate plane and enable particles, setting the group as particle type (tried both Dupli group and pick random). Problem: I want to cause the text to “shatter” apart but they act as a single object rather than multiple when forces are applied. This is just trial and error, so i’m sure there are concepts that I am not grasping here. Can anyone please tell me how I could set this up to work properly?

Have you tried the ‘explode’ modifier?

Yeah but what I want are chucks and not just 2d faces. any ideas?

As far as I know that not possible without actually constructing/skinning the individual chunks.
There is a build over at that uses volumetrics. It should be possible with that but you have to check.