This is Not a Test

The great armed conflict known as the End War ravaged the world for years but came to its devastating conclusion in just seconds. In the aftermath of the nuclear attacks, remembered as the Great Fall, the United States was left a scarred wasteland. Millions died, polite society collapsed and scientific knowledge was lost in a forest of mushroom clouds. But hey, it’s not all bad. You and your fellow survivors live in the Tri-State Wasteland, an unforgiving land of mutants, lost technology and as much opportunity as danger. In this new world anyone can make their own destiny. But it's not easy and you better have grit, cunning, and a willingness to get a little dirty. This is the world of This Is Not a Test, a 28mm skirmish wargame set in a post-apocalyptic United States where warbands fight for survival, power and greed in the wastes.

Whats in the Book?

  • Fast and involved game play – Play in as little as an hour. The game rewards tactical thinking and the activation system ensures play passes back and forth in a dynamic fashion that keeps all players involved to the very end.
  • Many factions to choose from – Murderous raiders, unusual mutants, profit-driven caravanners, primitive tribals, technology-seeking Preservers and wasteland rangers known as Peacekeepers.
  • Mutations, skills, and abilities – TONS of different mutations, skills, and abilities to customize your models and make a truly unique warband.
  • Harness the power of the past – No wasteland is complete without powerful ancient weapons littered about; everything from laser carbines to plasma casters. And don't forget about the ever popular power armor.
  • Multiple scenarios and full campaign – Play through the scenarios in the book or an entire series of linked games. A fully detailed campaign system is included to keep track of injuries, income, experience, new skills, and overall power. Watch your warband go from a bunch of softbellies to full wasteland legends.
  • A truly dangerous wasteland – Full rules for wasteland hazards such as emberquakes, ripwinds and other natural occurrences that are as dangerous to your warband as your opponent. Additionally, a bestiary is included with over 30 entries for various wasteland creatures. Watch out for all types of fauna from simple rad zombies to the terrifying landsnapper. All have been catalogued and presented for your hunting pleasure.

Whats new in the 2nd Edition?

A note from the writer Joey McGuire

Improved Rules Experience

No rules writer will tell you that their game is perfect. Frankly, if I had to name the two biggest hang-ups, I had with version 1.0 of the rules, it was that ranged combat was too powerful, making close combat a secondary tactical option. With the help of some great playtesters, we have improved things quite a bit by some simple additions to the combat rules, giving a much more dynamic and tactical play experience.

Both the smallest and biggest change to the core rules is that all ties now go to the attacker. This counts for all opposed dice rolls, not just close combat. No longer will combat be drawn out affairs, coming to a much more decisive conclusion. This encourages charges and taking the battle to the enemy.

Next, we have the Surge Forth rule. In the old rules if a model killed their target in melee, they would just sit there. Now if they do so, they may make a free move, up to half their Move stat, to either engage a new target, get into cover, or just go somewhere more convenient. If the model has remaining AP, they could conceivably chain into a new opponent. This rule was added to make melee warbands more attractive and I loved using it when running my raiders.

Lastly, the Burst rule has been tweaked. Burst still allows models to make multiple ranged attacks during their activation, but if you want that free Action Point to shoot again, the shooter will receive an automatic Jammed Token as the model empties the clip. I like this rule as reins in the all-powerful assault rifle, but it makes the decision to use Burst more tactical. Do you really want that enemy dead, are you willing to take that Jammed Token to do it?

There are much smaller tweaks throughout the mechanics, and I am very happy with the new play experience.

New Stats

The Ranged stat was changed to Aim. A simple change but done to clear up confusion from referring to the ranged stat and ranged attacks. Mettle has also changed. In the original rules I used the Mettle stat as a combined stat for intelligence, agility, and matters of fortitude and will. This was great for a clean stat line, but really limited model stat diversity. For instance, all models with a Mettle of 5 were equally smart, dexterous, or strong-willed and any difference required an extra rule like Weak. Instead, by separating out the stats, we can have these differences easily visible with less actual mechanics.  

More Warband Options

Freelancers have been completely overhauled. Before they were just an alternative Elite options. They were cool, but I always felt they could be much cooler. In the new rules, I have renamed them Wasteland Weirdos and they are a much larger cross-section of wasteland archetypes, at all points levels, that you can add to your warband for some flavor. Speaking of flavor, you can take the Chef De Wasteland, who can feed your models and has excellent knife skills.   You want a large mutant or a robot, we got that covered. Dual pistol wielding Desperado or a Prophet of Doom, they are in there as well There are 22 in all

The original six warbands are intact, though some have new options, like caravanners can now take an Armored Cow. Many of the warband options have been tweaked and balanced as well. As an aside, we are only sticking with the original six warbands and are not introducing any new warbands currently.  

New and Improved Skills, Mutations, and Attributes

The Special Rules section of the book has also been overhauled. Skills have been removed, updated, or added. We have new skills like Fancy Footwork that lets you choose how you engage your opponent in melee or Eagle-Eyed that guarantees your targets can’t dodge or trying any fancy tricks to avoid your shot, sorry Chameleon mutants. Old powerful standbys like Flurry of Blows are still there, but they have been tweaked to make them more balanced, you still get that extra attack, but with a -1 penalty. Some skills that were not interesting or never taken were dropped as well.  

As with skills, there are several new mutations like Chitin Barbs and Pheromones, the latter is useful for convincing your attacker not to strike and the former is a range mutation that launches out a spread of sharp pointy projectiles.   Lots of quality-of-life balances for almost all the mutations. There are too many to list, but I think if you run a mutant warband, you will be happy.

The old General Ability term has been dropped, for the simpler Attribute. With the new stats, we were able to drop unnecessary ones like Weak or Dumb. As much requested, the Medic rule has been moved from Attribute to Skills. Some attributes from the expansion rules were added as well, so your models can now Hover and your Wasteland Weirdos can be Mistrusted.

The Armory

Weapon choice has always been one of the big features of This Is Not a Test and multiple changes in the Armory have only made a great thing better. One major focus is making primitive weapons a better tactically viable option to take. After much playtesting, I changed it so that primitive weapons no longer gain Jam Tokens. While they can fail in theory, they are so prevalent in wasteland battles, they are quick to fix, unlike more temperamental modern options.

Additionally, new weapon rules have been added like Impale and Barbed. Barbed weapons gain extra strength against unarmored opponents and weapons with Impale sink projectiles deep into their targets, causing them slow down. Quality of life upgrades include simplified armor rules

While this could be thought of as a new mechanic, I wanted to include them in the discussion for Armory. TNT now has rules for engagement in close combat at multiple ranges. No longer limited to fighting just enemies in base contact, models equipped with weapons with Reach, like spears and whips, can engage at a distance, forcing their opponents to close the distance under their relentless attacks.


While also being reviewed and balanced, relics have been improved and new options are available. Several relic grenades and weapons, like the Thunder Punch and the Rail Gun, have been pulled from supplements and added to the main book. Additionally, the old rules only had three relics armors. This has changed with the addition of options like Anti-Bully Armor, which makes the weakest dweeb a powerhouse, and the mighty protection of Interlocking Armor. Don’t worry the king of the wasteland protection, power armor is still there.


Perhaps one of the biggest additions to the rules is FIVE new scenarios! Now you get 10 unique ways to kill your friends and foes. Old standbys like Pest Control are back, but now you can hunt through wrecked cars in Junk in the Truck, search out the Secret of the Ruin, or really push your warband to their survival limits with Totally Radical.


Finally, we come to campaigns. Honestly, I was happy with how campaigns worked in the old rules, but I improved the experience system to give a more even progression and to no longer force models to become Elites if they player did not want to. Perhaps, the biggest change is that Warband Ranks have been formally introduced into the rules. The one weakness of the old system was that leaders could become too powerful. Warband Ranks slow their roll somewhat by letting leaders invest their hard-won experience into upgrades for the entire warband, among other great options.