Friday, September 16, 2016

This is Not a Test (Warband Construction)

All right Game Fans, Today we’re going to take a nice long look at building your warband for This is Not a Test.  We’re going to go over the nuts and bolts of the unit entries and start to breakdown the important stats you’re going to need for understand for getting maximum fun.
Remember, you have six factional choices to pick from, but they all share some key characteristics.  Let’s take a closer look at putting together a warband for This is Not a Test.

The first thing we need to talk about when putting your warband together is deciding how much Barter Scrip (BS, i know there’s a joke in there somewhere) you are starting with.  The recommended starting value is 400, but you and your friends could play a larger game at 600 BS or more.  As always, check with your friends to see how big of a game you are going to be playing and build accordingly.  

As a caveat (and this is included in the book) try not to build a warband that automatically wins the game.  There are some incredibly complex interactions between skills and equipment that could potentially lead to you have a significant advantage over your opponent.  If this were a tournament style game, and you were headed out to win the big one, sure, bring a list that wins as hard as it can.  This however, is not that style of game, so  build a list that you think is going to be fun, not necessarily opponent crushing.  Now that we’ve gotten the don’t be jerks to each other portion of the day out of the way, let’s get back to the numbers.

You’re going to need a Roster sheet to keep track of your warband, so let’s break that down first before we dig into the nuts and bolts of building your shiny new warband.  At the very top of your Roster sheet is a line with the Apt descriptor :Roster Title.  This is what you call your warband, and we suggest you find your best option, We’re tagging Charm School Dropouts for our first warband, so don’t steal it.  

Once you’ve got a name, you’ll need to select which faction your warband is made up of.  Again, you’ve got six choices to work with out of the core book, and each one will have a definite effect on the characters you can select and the equipment and other selections you can make.  Take your time, look through the choices and pick the faction you want to play for.  There’s a line on the roster sheet for you to note your selection, and now you’ve made two of the most critical choices you’ll have to for building a warband.  

The next thing you’ll need to make sure you have in front of you is the Warband Purchase table.  It’s a quick reference so you can figure out what types of models are available for your faction, their BS cost, and what options they can take.   Once you have this table and your roster sheet, you can start buying dudes and gear.  

The individual entries blocks look exactly like the demo warbands and lists all of the relevant information for that specific model.  If you need a quick recap of what that looks like, check out our previous article on This is Not a Test at  Keep track of your accessible skillsets, Special abilities and Barter Cost, those are going to be explained a little bit harder right below.  

Each model in your warband will belong to one of four classifications, Leader, Elite, Rank and File, or Specialist.  This will give you a broad idea of what they’re good at, and it will tell you how many of each you can take in your warband.  Each warband currently has at least one Leader type (most have two) three or four elites, at least two rank and files, and at least two specialists.  Let’s take a look at who and how many you can pick up.  

Leaders are a maximum of one.  Even if you two different leader choices available, you can only select one of them in a warband.  Leaders are important to a warband, and you have to have one.  Some Leaders (especially in warbands with a couple of choices) can affect the availability of other units, and some are more geared towards combat than others.  Take your time and research what you want your guy to do.  

Your Elites are a different matter entirely.  You can select up to three models in this class.  Elites are going to give you better stats that rank and file models, and probably have better gear access to boot.  You can select any combination of the options available to you (unless that model’s specific entry says otherwise) so long as you stay under three.  

Rank and File are you normal troopers, and should probably make up the majority of the models in your warband.  These are the common clay that shapes the irradiated future, so you’re going to be using a lot of these models.  Each faction has a variety of choices, so you can tailor to your liking.  Make sure that you record them individually so you can track different powers and equipment individually.  (It also lets you name them individually and swear vengeance when one of them dies).  

The last class you can pull models from is Specialists.  Specialists are limited to one specialist per three other models in the warband, so for 1 you’ll need three other guys, 2 needs six, so on and so forth.  Specialists have a unique quirk or special ability that makes them desirable to have in your warband.  Figure out which one of those quirks you like the most and add in the specialist that tickles your fancy.  

Now you have a maximum cap of twenty models in your warband, with the following dispersion.
  • 1 Leader
  • 0-3 Elites
  • Any number of Rank and File
  • 1 Specialist for every three models in the army from any group but Specialist.

When you add a model to your warband, record his stats on your Roster (or her stats, as the case may vary), and make any selections you have to make now.  If you have starting skill, mutation or detriment choices to make, you need to make them now.  One of the things we really like about this game is that you can select your starting skills rather than randomly determining if the model carrying the sniper rifle is a marksman or a knife wielding cannibal.  Look through your skill and mutation options, record your choices, and then it’s time to buy some gear.

Each roster has access to a selection of guns and gear from the trading post.  Some factions have better access to gear than others, and some equipment has limited availability.  Other than the restrictions listed with each piece of gear (No, you can’t give everyone rocket launchers), you can pick up as much gear as you can afford with BS.  Anything that you don’t assign to a model goes into a special section on your roster sheet, appropriately named Unused Inventory.  

You also have the opportunity to pick up two relics before the game starts.  You don’t have to make an availability check for them, so if there are any relics you absolutely have to have, get them now before you have to roll for them.  

Once you’ve acquired your dudes, recorded them on your roster, and bought them gear and relics, you should be ready for your first game with your warband.

Remember you can find the demo rules for TNT at .  While you’re there, be sure to check out the bad ass models for TNT and all of the neat shiny things they’ve got in their shop.

Game on, Game Fans


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