Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This is Not a Test (First Looks)

              This is Not a Test is a skirmish war game created by World’s End Publishing.   Set in the nuclear wasteland of a post apocalyptic America.  It’s set in the northeast, focusing on the Tri-State Wasteland (made up of parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia)  and the areas surrounding them.  The background and setting are very comfortable to a new player.  It embraces the nuclear wasteland aesthetic and embraces themes that we’ve seen in other media, notably the Fallout series of games, and a host of movies including A Boy and his Dog and the Mad Max series. Gamers looking for role-playing games in this vein should take a look at the old classic Gamma World, and for a more animalistic approach, After the Bomb.
The world has effectively ended in the world of This is Not a Test (TNT), destroyed by a nuclear war.  This war has covered the landscape with radioactive fallout and mutated what life survived.  Surviving bands of people roam the landscape, looking for salvageable equipment and other resources.  It’s a bleak world filled with horrific monsters and terrible people.  
TNT offers a variety of scenario based gameplay with customization options to make sure that each experience with the game is different. Each player controls a warband of survivors that are attempting to complete the scenario while surviving the predations of the Wasteland and the other player’s warband.   Scenarios lend themselves to inclusion in a campaign, and the rules are tailor made for campaign style play.  
As I’ve said regarding other skirmish games, campaign play lends itself to telling stories across multiple scenarios and play experiences.  Every player starts with their own warband, and you can have two gamers pick the exact same warband down to their paint choices and upgrades.  Campaign play will create divergence in those two warbands because each warband will face different challenges, find different loot, and probably make different choices for their upgrades.  
With six different factions to choose from with the main rulebook ( I know of at least one family of cannibal mutants in a supplement) players have a range of choices for setting up their warband.  The other thing i enjoy about these factions is that not only do they feel appropriate to the setting, but they all play differently on the battlefield.  Preservers and Peacekeepers may look similar, and have access to similar gear, but they will play differently because of the way their gear and equipment choices line up.  The author has put energy and effort into making these groups different, and that’s something i can appreciate as a gamer looking at a new system.  
World’s End Publishing has taken an excellently bold choice of producing their own miniatures for the game.  They also offer a variety of tokens, templates, and in case you haven’t quite gotten which faction you want to play down, they offer paper stand ins until you make that choice. TNT is an excellent skirmish game that lends itself to a new gamer.  If you like Fallout, Mad Max, and the idea of struggling to survive Post Apocalyptia, you’re probably going to enjoy the hell out of This is Not a Test.  ,

Some cool links to follow for the game: is the home site for World’s End Publishing and is Mothership One for the game itself.  Of important note in the online store is a free version of the demo rules so you can check the game out before taking the plunge. is an extremely active facebook community of gamers.  It’s also the official Facebook page for TNT and has updates and great ways to interact with the community and the publisher. is a let’s play from those wild and crazy kids over at Guerrilla Miniature Games.  

No comments:

Post a Comment