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Dispatch #1 – Miniatures Neutral


Greeting wastelanders. Welcome to the first dispatch. Today I would like to talk about miniatures, but not just any miniatures, your miniatures, and how they relate to This Is Not a Test. When talking about This Is Not a Test I often sell it as a miniatures neutral game. But what does that mean? It’s a fancy term I once heard online and have grown rather fond of. It means a game or ruleset that is not tied to a unique or proprietary set of miniatures.   The rules can be played with any miniatures.

Now let me be clear before going too far. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a miniatures company wanting folks to use their figures for their games. Game companies need revenue to survive and there are some first class companies offering great games and an entire stable of excellent miniatures to go with them. Yet, there is also a niche for games that allow players a chance to use the miniatures in their own collection.

If you are reading this is, chances are you have quite a miniatures collection already. I actually wrote This Is Not a Test with my own miniature collection in mind. I first started collecting zombie survivor miniatures and then moved in the more generic tropes of the post-apocalypse genre (Mad Max style raiders, laser-gun toting Native American analogues, and more mutants than a rational man should own). I wanted to play with the miniatures I thought were cool, but did not necessarily have a game in mind for them. So I created a game that would let me. However, I also considered not only the classic genre tropes, but also miniatures lines in the industry with a strong post-apocalyptic theme, even though I did not own them specifically. When the rulebook comes out you will see that it contains miniatures from numerous companies. 

How is miniatures neutrality built into This Is Not a Test? Well the game is made up of warbands and each has different levels of models, these are divided along leaders, elites, rank and files, and specialists. For instance, the raiders can be led by the brutal warlord or the bandit king. The warlord is your classic hulking tyrant who is more concerned about tearing his opponents in half whereas the bandit king emphasizes cunning over physical prowess. I offer some descriptive text, but the door is wide open as to how they can be armed, equipped, and modelled. One of my hopes for This Is Not a Test is to see all the fun ways people cook up to represent these concepts. The rest of the warband works the same way. I am not going to tell you what raiders look like in your wasteland!

There are 6 warbands, with approximately 10 roles in each, and over 50 weapons and items they can be armed with. The combinations are through the roof.   There is a good chance you have models in your collection that probably already work.   Part of the fun of the post-apocalypse genre is that you can have Iron Age barbarian types fighting laser rifle bearing troops in power armor.   Have orcs from a fantasy game? They make great mutants.   Have a historical army? Make a reenactor group that pushes for justice out in the wastes. Have a gang from a certain game that centered on fighting in the bottom of a hive city? You have a warband. These ideas are possible in This is Not a Test with a little tweaking and some super glue. So buy a copy of my rules, go home, read through the book, break open your collection and start pulling models. It’s that simple.

Now of course, I am producing a miniatures range for This Is Not a Test. My initial offerings are some wasteland critters, a robot, our company mascot, mutants, and the Peacekeepers. The latter of which are inspired by the rangers of the Fallout universe. So please check out our shop when it comes online.

So that’s it. TLDR: Buy This Is Not a Test, use whatever miniatures you want, check out our offerings, have fun.

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