I was graciously hosted by Nik to have my inaugural (two player) game of This is Not a Test on a recent public holiday. He had a Raiders warband which already had some runs on the board after one game, as well as a great looking table with plenty of varied terrain on which we could duke it out. I decided to run a Peacekeepers force comprised of WWX miniatures, to ensure I had a fully painted force so as to not bring down the excellent aesthetics of the table.
We chose to play the Scenario ‘Pest Control’ from the rulebook, effectively a zombie hunt scenario, as Nik also had zombie models from Mantic’s Walking Dead game which he thought would be cool to use. This saw four zombie nests deployed on the table which would spawn additional zombies each turn, but could be closed for additional victory points.
Nik deployed first, placing his hardest hitters on his left flank effectively next to a zombie nest, his machine gunner and pistol armed raider were deployed towards the centre, and he had two dogs on his right flank.
I spread my deployment somewhat, having the riflemen and minigun on my right flank as I was anticipating getting them to onto higher levels of the ruins for better vantage points. My Hanging Judge (warband leader), Frank, and his Warden (like a lieutenant), Wade, deployed centrally, whilst I had my Quartermaster and two officers on my left flank. I figured this would give me the best chance of closing the central nest near my deployment zone, as well as the nest close to the centre on my left flank.
Nik wins the initiative and gets to work quickly, charging a zombie and killing it. Another raider launches a charge on the other zombie at the nest near his deployment zone but fails to kill it. His machine gun opens fire in Burst mode (giving him three shots) but misses the nearby zombie he was targeting. The Worm activates and makes a double move. Raider champion fails her activation roll, however the Leader has Iron Discipline which allows a reroll (although if the reroll is failed, you have to dodge or take a hit from him), which is passed and sees a double move. Nik’s first dog fails to activate so makes one move forward.
I start off by moving my minigunner twice out to the right flank to get him an open field to unload lead into. My first rifleman clambers up to the first level of the ruin (climbing takes one action point per vertical inch, and Nik and I agreed that the levels would be 2” for this purpose allowing a level per turn of climbing). My second rifleman starts by firing at a nearby zombie, missing and also jamming his weapon. Frank fails his activation roll, so just shuffles across a bit to position for next turn.
Back to Nik, who elects his second dog, which also fails his activation roll and just moves forward.
I activate Wade who moves forward and fires a shot off at a zombie, but misses. Logan fails his activation roll so just moves forward to get closer to some zombies hoping to see his pistol more effective next turn.
Finally, Nik’s leader activates, failing the activation roll he charges into a nearby zombie, promptly rolling a critical fail and seeing his chainsaw jammed (with three jam tokens no less).
The zombies all activate and shuffle towards people, with two having some swings at Wade, however do nothing impactful.
Nik gets initiative again this turn, but his first raider fails activation and just moves out of sight from my minigun.
Wade fails his activation roll but manages to disengage from the zombies he’s been mobbed by and moves away.
Nik’s first dog fails activation and charges a nearby zombie but fails to do anything.
Frank activates and unloads with his shotgun at the nearby zombies, dishing out one hit on each. My rifleman on the first floor of the ruins moves to a better vantage point and fires at Nik’s leader, hitting. My minigunner fails his roll and simply moves forward hoping to draw a bead on something next turn. Resolving the hits, one of the zombies dies but Nik’s leader is OK and chooses to fail his grazing test to duck back into the ruins and out of sight.
Nik activates his other dog which attacks a zombie, but ties with it. On the second attack the zombie wins and takes a bite out of the dog, seeing the dog out of action. The leader is up next and starts making field repairs on his chainsaw, clearing two of the jam tokens, whilst cowering in the ruins. The Worm activates and moves twice to hide below the ruined highway. One of the raiders on Nik’s left flank activates, initially failing the roll but passing on the Iron Discipline reroll. It attacks a nearby zombie twice, the first failing but the second taking the zombie out of action. The other nearby raider activates and moves into cover, and attempts to close the zombie nest, getting the first of two required successes (to close a nest you need to pass two strength tests at TN10). Lastly, the machine gun armed Scraptaker makes a double move to position himself better to unload on some nearby zombies.
My quartermaster fails his roll and just shuffles forward (really living up to the Old Man Logan name). Anna also fails and takes a single pistol shot at a nearby zombie but misses. Hawkeye moves towards a nearby zombie and lets an arrow fly but misses. My rifleman on the ground moves into contact with the zombie nest nearest my deployment zone, ready to start the closing process next turn.
The existing zombies all move towards nearby models, and two of them make attacks on Lucky the Dog, who dispatches one of them in melee. From this turn onwards the open nests spawn further zombies, and of course the one near my deployment zone spawns three zombies whilst the others spawn one each.
I win initiative this turn and start with rifleman on the zombie nest who uses both actions to attempt to close the nest but only succeeds once. Wade activates next but fails his roll, despite which he successfully charges and kills one of the zombies which emerged from the nest last turn.
Nik starts with his raider attempting to close the zombie nest, failing the first test but passing the second seeing the first nest closed. The pistol armed female raider fails her roll, so takes a quick pistol shot at a nearby zombie which hits but fails to wound.
My minigun finally has something unlucky enough to have crossed his line of sight and opens up with a full bore Hail of Lead. However, due to the negative modifiers attached to the shots, they all miss! So much for that… Next up, Frank moves towards the zombie nest in the ruins and blasts a zombie on the nest with his shotgun, hitting. Hawkeye fires his bow at a nearby zombie, but a critical fail sees this jam (I presume a jam means that the bow strong snaps or something similar…), and he uses his second AP to remove the token. Anna moves and fires her pistol at a zombie but misses. My rifleman perched in the ruins fires on a zombie on the bridge and hits him. Resolving wounds as everything has now activated sees the shotgun blast eviscerating the zombie and the rifle shot failing to take the zombie on the bridge down.
Nik’s dog attacks the zombie it’s engaged with twice but fails to hurt it. His machine gunner then opens up on Logan, but fails to hit despite the burst fire. The worm charges a nearby zombie but fails to hurt it. The submachine gun armed wrecker opens up on a nearby zombie scoring two hits from burst fire. Finally, Nik’s leader gets up and moves deeper into the ruins. The zombie is splattered by the hits from the submachine gun.
Pretty much every zombie makes a charge action, with very little damage done by any of them. The one who charged Logan is handily dispatched by his pistol. Spawning sees an Irradiator (buffed zombie) spawn on the nest in my deployment zone, three zombies in the middle nest, and one next to Logan.
Nik wins initiative again and starts with his raider nearest the leader. The pleb fails his activation roll twice, but manages to dodge the leaders iron discipline strike before cowering behind a wall out of sight of my minigun.
I start with Logan who uses both actions to close the zombie nest he’s on, but he only succeeds once. Hawkeye then fires his bow twice at the freshly spawned zombie near Logan, hitting once. Anna fails her activation test and just moves towards Logan. The zombie takes an arrow right through it’s eye, going down.
The submachine gun armed raider also fails activation twice but dodges the leader’s discipline, moves around to position for a strike against me next turn.
Frank fails his activation, and so just blasts the Irradiator with his shotgun, taking it down.
Nik’s leader fails activation roll (seems to be the turn’s theme!), but charges a nearby zombie, hitting it but failing to wound.
Wade attempts to close the nest he’s next to, passes the first and fails the second, but uses his Shiny Object to re-roll and manages to close it up. My first rifleman disengages from the zombie, moving away before firing his rifle at the zombie, but seeing the shot go wild and jamming his gun in the process. My rifleman perched in the ruins focusses and then fires at a zombie on the bridge which hits. The minigunner opens up on the Worm, but his shots end up hitting two zombies engaged with the Worm instead, but fail to wound.
Nik has the Worm attack one zombie and kills it. The machine gunner fires a burst at Anna, hitting once of the three shots. The dog kills the zombie it was engaged with. Anna manages to survive the machine gun hit.
Zombies activate, with the other zombie engaged with the Worm hit and killed by him, Nik’s leader hits but fails to wound. Four more zombies spawn across the two remaining nests.
I win initiative and start with Logan attempting to close the zombie nest he’s on, but failing twice. Anna moves across into contact with nest Logan is also on. Wade makes a double move towards the same nest. Frank then activates and moves towards Nik’s leader, hoping to unload with his shotgun in coming turns. My minigunner fails his roll and so just makes a move.
Nik’s leader attacks a zombie twice, with the second jamming his chainsaw, the zombie wins combat both times but fails to wound. The Worm charges in to combat to help Nik’s leader, and hits the zombie twice but fails to wound. Pistol girl manages to pass on her Iron Discipline reroll, firing her pistol at a nearby zombie before moving back. Machine gun opens up on Anna, with the burst fire resulting in one hit. The submachine gun armed raider makes a double move up and threatens to make combat with my minigunner next turn. The last raider fails his test, and so just continues to hide. Both the zombie and Anna are unhurt by the hits sustained.
My first rifleman clears his jam and then shoots at a nearby zombie but misses. My second rifleman then shoots at a zombie but fails to hit.
Nik’s dog charges Anna who wins combat and wounds it, taking it out of action.
The two zombies on the left nest charge Anna, with one failing to wound and Anna dispatching the other. The other zombies move and four more spawn again.
Nik wins initiative, with the SMG armed raider passing activation after an Iron discipline reroll and firing burst at my minigunner but jams on the first shot. The other raider nearby activates and charges my minigunner, making it in, hitting but failing to wound. The machine gun raider fires burst at Anna initially, hitting her, hitting a nearby zombie but missing Wade. The girl with the pistols then activates, passing on the Iron discipline reroll, throwing a smoke grenade to protect the submachine gun armed raider then shooting a zombie. Nik’s leader goes next, clearing the remaining two jams on his buzzsaw. The Worm fails activation, making a single attack against the zombie he’s engaged with, hitting but failing to wound.
Logan activates, failing, but clearing the zombie nest with his action. Anna is finally killed by a zombie after attacking it but being overcome. Wade comes charging in to support Logan, but fails to kill the zombie so remains engaged with it. The minigunner pushes out of combat with the raider and makes a run for it. Frank moves around the corner and fires a shotgun blast at the nearby raider, hitting him. Both riflemen shoot at the nearby raider, one ends up jamming, the other’s shot hits. Resolving the hits, the shotgun takes out the raider without fuss, and so the rifle hit is wasted.
Zombies activate, with Wade being mobbed by five zombies. Despite the desperate odds, he makes a strong showing, killing a first, then a second, the third failing to wound him, the fourth being cut down by his sword, and the fifth almost wounding, but not quite getting there. Logan is not so lucky, and is taken out of action by the zombie engaged with him. Nik’s leader dispatches the zombie he’s engaged with. Two more zombies spawn on the remaining nest.
Nik wins initiative, however the SMG raider fails his activation and falls back behind cover.
I start with Hawkeye who attempts a shot with his compound bow, but scores a jam and spends his second AP clearing same. Wade fails his activation roll (again…), but launches an attack on one of the remaining zombies who failed to kill him last round. The zombie hits but again fails to wound.
The pistol armed raider drops a smoke grenade at the back of a nearby car, but the grenade turns out to be a dud. She then shoots a nearby zombie, hitting. The Worm fails initially, but Iron Discipline reroll sees him pass and he moves away. The machine gun raider concentrates and then fires burst at a zombie but misses both shots despite the bonus. Nik’s leader moves, then makes a charge on a nearby zombie, hitting it but failing to wound.
I start with Frank, who decides discretion is the better part of valour at this point and backs into the ruins to take cover. One of the riflemen clears his remaining jam and fires on a zombie (ultimately taking it out), the other rifleman shoots at a zombie but misses. The minigunner follows Frank’s lead and backs up behind the ruins.
Zombies activate, with the two remaining finally taking down Wade. Nik’s leader kills one zombie, but the other two survive. Hawkeye is charged by a zombie but surprisingly manages to take it out.
Nik wins initiative, starting with his Pistol armed raider who breaks combat and moves back before unloading her pistol at the zombie who had engaged her. The machine gunner fires burst on a zombie, scoring two hits and a miss. Nik’s leader attempts to close the final zombie nest, but only succeeds once. The Worm makes two move actions in an attempt to bait a zombie away.
Frank fires his shotgun at a zombie, blasting it into gory pulp. The rest of my warband then attack the zombies they are engaged with, but fail to do any damage.
Wrap-up and Post-Game
That ended up being an overwhelming victory for me with 24 victory points to 13, more due to luck than good planning, getting two nests closed and mowing down numerous zombies and an Irradiator) in the meanwhile. I expect that without the zombies the game would be lower scoring and a lot less hectic.
My luck held out in the post-game with Anna and Wade both rolling ‘Lucky Break’ (no injury and extra XP), whilst Logan ended up with the ‘Banged Up’ result (penalty for the next game only). None of my models levelled up from the game, although Anna went close with 4XP and should get an advance next game. I send the maximum four members out into the Wastes to scavenge, with one of my members getting conned at the local watering hole (Queen of Spades) and forced to miss the next game due to his hangover, as well as 24BS in number cards. Of this, my upkeep was 13BS, so a net 11BS earned, and going shopping I rolled up an Ultra Rare relic but didn’t have the treasury to afford to buy anything, unfortunately.
Only having his two dogs taken out of action, Nik rolled for each, with one getting a 10 and the other sustaining two injuries (and likely becoming dinner for the warband). In his scavenging the waste, Nik stumbled across a Gunshop (Queen of Clubs), looting 15 BS and some pre-fall ammo, as well as flipping an additional 22BS, netting him 23BS after upkeep.
I just reread the scenario whilst writing this up and Nik and I would’ve also received BS equal to double the VPs we earned during the game, so an additional 26 to Nik and 48 for me… there may be some shopping done after all.
This was a super fun game, although I wouldn’t recommend playing Pest Control as your first game given the zombies flying everywhere makes the game quite hectic. We missed a bunch of rules over the course of the game, most notably was the gazing roll when a model is hit but not wounded. It probably wouldn’t have had a significant impact as I feel we spent most of the time trying to take down zombies. Like with many of these games, I immediately get sixteen further ideas for warbands and terrain and want to start all of them after playing my first game.
Thanks again to Nik for hosting and looking forward to playing more games of this.