We all imagine that we’d be the cool survivors of the post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is certainly beneath us to be the random ragged wretch that raiders kill to set the scene and we are equally unwilling to become the bleached bones that serve as set dressing. But in
Punkapocalyptic, we’re not even guaranteed to have a gun.
Listen to the Fortified Niche episode.
Punkapocalyptic is a game about running your band of post-nuclear idiots. The gangs – Gangers, Junkers, Black Blood Children, etc. – have their own rosters of troops, but there are very few limitations on what combo of guys you can take. So if you want to take five squishy tech guys, take five squishy tech guys.
It uses an initiative system that sorta reminds me of Skirmish Sangin but also of Battletech The Videogame. The miniatures acts based on their Agility stat, with higher moving before lower. This could make for a fun IGOUGO mix… if you didn’t happen to accidentally take a gang where everyone is slower than the enemy.
Yon resolution system in Punkapocalyptic is very simple: add your applicable bonuses together and roll versus the enemy’s. Whoever scores highest wins. If the roll is unopposed, your target number is your stat, roll under.
The thing about Punkapocalyptic is that you’ll die like a dog. Miniatures essentially have one HP each, and once you’re down, you’re down for good. Though technically, you can loot the equipment from the fallen.
It’s a fairly light game, with the free online rulebook clocking in at 23 pages. Although that is not entirely true, as the gang lists are separate from that. Still, everything is free and, hilariously enough, there’s a BattleScribe file. Actually, that’s how I got the idea to review it for the pod.
One bit of weirdness about Punkapocalyptic it’s a setting that’s not overflowing with guns. Contrary to American imaginings of a wasteland dotten with broken cities and intact crates of 5.56 NATO, in Punkapocalyptic, you buy individual rounds for your guns. They’re costly, but they may be worth it: hooting someone is a good way to take them out without risking yourself. Or you can play the Junker that can get ammo 30% cheaper, but it may jam their gun for the game.
All in all, Punkapocalyptic is certainly a game. It’s light and uncomplicated, which is nice, but there is some uncomfortable stuff in the fluff. But a bigger issue might be the relative lack of depth: even if you look into the campaigns, how much space to expand is there?