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Game Changers – Playtest Rule Adjustments for This Is Not a Test

Greetings wastelanders. 

Welcome to something rather unusual I have put together.  As I have hinted at in various places, I am considering releasing a new version of the This Is Not a Test (TNT) rules.  This is a long-term plan, so there is no need to panic if you just bought your rules.  As a game designer, I do not take your business for granted, so I will give plenty of notice on a new version so you can plan your purchases appropriately.  That being said, TNT has been around since 2016.  In tabletop wargaming, that’s practically ancient for a set of rules that has not seen a second edition or major rules update.  From first release until now, I would like to think I have improved as a game designer and my work and game tastes have matured as well.  This Is Not a Test is a great game, but nothing is perfect.  I see a lot of room for improvement, which brings me here today. 

Below are some adjustments I would love to test out to the base TNT rules.  These are based on community feedback I have gotten over the years and ideas I have had on my own to improve the game.  In some cases, these are minor tweaks, but in others, major overhauls.  It is my hope that some of these changes offer an enhanced game play experience.  Keep in mind that I am asking you to go with me on a journey.  Some ideas may work and some may not.  Game design is equal part art and science and there will be failures and triumphs along the way.  All I ask is that you give things a fair shot and report back to me what works and maybe what doesn’t.

What I am asking you to do is to try them out the next time you play a game of TNT.  You can use one or more of the changes, or all at the same time.  You can play full campaigns with them with friends or just try them out rolling dice by yourself.  Racing is about running the entire circuit and sometimes just tinkering with the engine, and rules systems work the same way.  After you tried them out, I then need your unique and valuable feedback.  Tell what me you liked, what you did not like.  What went wrong and what went right.

When providing your feedback, please feel free to be honest. The game experience is more important than any individual rule or mechanic.  If something bothers you, please tell me. I want to know. It’s quite possible that I, or other players, may not agree with you, but by letting me know, you add to the growing list of feedback that will make the game better for everyone. So I humbly request you give these changes a thorough try during your upcoming games.  And the sooner the better.  While I can’t promise any physical rewards, those wastelanders who provide me feedback will get a special acknowledgment in any future version of the game. 

Big Changes

Table size - Reduce the standard game size to 36” square instead of 48”.    For implementation, just literally reduce the table size and play any scenario as you would keeping any existing deployment rules, such as setting up along a table edge or 6” from a table edge. 

Ties on opposed rolls - When two players roll against each other for any reason, all ties now go to the attacker instead of the defender.  This will mostly occur during close combat but applies to other tests as well.

Movement reduction - When models take a second or third move action during their activation, they now move half-speed (rounding up) instead of their full movement.

Deadlier close combat - When a model wins close combat, regardless of if they were attacking or defending, they may roll to wound their opponent.  Normally they would only get to do so if attacking.

Burst weapon nerf - Replace the current Burst weapon rule with the following:

“Burst – When using a weapon with the Burst rule, the firer is no longer limited to shooting once per turn.  Additionally, a weapon with Burst, may use the Empty the Clip special shooting rule.”

  • “Empty the Clip – If using a Burst weapon, a model may choose to expend all their loaded ammo in one glorious barrage. If the model takes no other actions, except to shoot, they may gain one additional AP to shoot again.  However, after resolving this last shot, the model gains a Jam Token.  This is in addition to any Jam Tokens they received due to any Fumbles.” 

Small Changes

Extra AP - Models now gain 3 AP on any turn a Critical is rolled on the Activation Test. 

Suppressive fire boost - Suppressive fire now forces Grazed Tests with a -2 penalty.

Overwatch change - Hold is now called Overwatch.  Further, a model may stay in Overwatch status for multiple turns, though they must still roll for turnover when it’s their time to activate. 

Combat modifier nerf - Remove the +1 melee bonus for having two 1-handed weapons.

As you play through these changes, you can provide feedback by filling out the following form:

The form has questions you can answer and space for you to provide any other feedback.  Please note the form can be a little long, so please feel free to fill out as much or as little that is relevant to the current feedback you are providing.  You do not have to provide the same feedback every time.

You may also post feedback and questions on the TNT Facebook page:

If you have any questions for me about the changes or with the form, you can reach me at

Thanks everyone for your time and continued support.  You are truly the best of all gamers.

Your Humble Author

Joseph McGuire

World’s End Publishing, President/Head Janitor

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