Post-Apocalypse Board Games
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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A list of all board games I can find with a Post Apocalypse (PA) theme.

I'm a fan of the PA theme and suddenly there seem to be a rise in PA themed boardgames. So to keep track of them all I started adding them to this list.

Focus is on proper board games, but card-based games, like 51st State, and to a lesser extent even miniature ones work as well.

All additions are welcome as well as any comments, especially regarding the games theme, flavor and mechanics. I am a big fan of exploration games and storytelling games, but resource management and such is fun to. And of course, the occasional Mad Maxy vehicular mayhem ...

What a Post Apocalyptic game is, is of course an interesting question. The Oxford online dictionary defines Post-Apocalyptic as: Denoting or relating to the time following a nuclear war or other catastrophic event.

That makes both the story of Noah and Judge Dredd, as well as Star Trek post-apocalyptic, which is a bit strange in the context of this list or a specific type of games. As far as I see it, Post-apocalyptic games, and stories, take place sometime after the technological civilization has collapsed through an catastrophic event, and an important aspect is the struggle to survive and maybe even rebuild society. How catastrophic and how fast the event is supposed to be and how long after it can take place to still be Post Apocalyptic is a matter of taste.

The genre is of course very much inspired by movies such as Mad Max, where the society bit is in the background and the mayhem in focus. Where a game, and a story, changes from being Apocalyptic, like in Pandemic or the first Resident Evil, to being Post Apocalyptic is again a question of taste.

Overall, the games seem to split in at least two broad categories if you exclude the miniatures skirmish games:

-The Mad Max inspired vehicle race/battle games which is a distinct and large category.
-And a more diverse collection of games that includes survival-rebuild your town/gang/country-worker placement-resource management games among others.

Of course, there are other types of games as well like the cute as heck campaign game Aftermath and other stranger ones if you look into it in more detail. Anyway, they are all welcome here.
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1. Board Game: Fallout [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1076]
Board Game: Fallout
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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The Fallout setting needs no introduction.

This game has a good combo of exploration and a interesting mechanism to build and expand the event deck depending on the outcome of your previous events which makes the narrative/story develop while you play.

The expansions Fallout: New California and Atomic Bonds seem to make the game more enjoyable and add an appreciated co-op mode. I have not tried the game with any of them though. So, all reviews are welcome.
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2. Board Game: Fallout: Wasteland Warfare [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:3902]
Board Game: Fallout: Wasteland Warfare
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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As always the Fallout setting looks fantastic and this is the miniature skirmish version. If it had not been so expansive I would have bought it all.


As in most games of this kind you build your crew from a wide range of factions, allies, and iconic characters from the Fallout series, then play in apocalyptic games of 3-30 high-quality 32mm scale resin miniatures through a huge variety of scenery and settlement buildings.

The BGG page mentions a narrative campaign arc as well as unique random missions with narrative-style objectives which sounds interesting.
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3. Board Game: Maximum Apocalypse [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1159] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Board Game: Maximum Apocalypse
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Co-op exploration of randomly placed tiles. You can choose between several different Apocalypses, Zombie, Alien, Nuclear and Robot. You choose a character who gets their specific deck of action cards and gear, and you can find more gear by scavenging. Each type of apocalypse have three or four scenarios with a rising difficulty.

It might be more towards surviving the ongoing apocalypse than pure PA, but it still has a lot of resource gathering and potentially mutants so it is OK in my book. It feels a bit like Dead of Winter light. And yes, I can confirm, that the learning curve is steep between the Zombie Apocalypse scenarios and the Nuclear / Mutant ones. The first in that series is a bleak scenario where you are trying to find supplies to survive the nuclear winter. Great stuff.

Now there are at least three expansion, the large Gothic Horrors that contains three new apocalyptic scenarios, Cthulhu, Vampires, and the Yokai, and the smaller expansions Jurassic Perils and Kaiju Rising.
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4. Board Game: Maximum Apocalypse: Wasted Wilds [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Board Game: Maximum Apocalypse: Wasted Wilds
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Maximum Apocalypse: Wasted Wilds is a stand alone expansion to the Maximum Apocalypse game. It adds two distinct campaigns with a lot of new twists around exposure to the elements and interactions with other survivors. It also features four new characters, new mechanics, and tons of new monsters and apocalypses to face.

We have played the original Maximum game a lot now during the pandemic, thanks to it easy set up and simple rules that still makes for fun exploration games, so this is an expansion we look forward to.
 
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5. Board Game: Battlecars [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:6813] [Average Rating:6.23 Unranked]
Board Game: Battlecars
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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An old classic I played a lot. Have not played it in a long time so I am unsure how the rules hold up.

Choose a car, add armament, build a game board with terrain elements and start the fun. Several similarities with Car Wars but this one have a gameboard.
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6. Board Game: Critters Below [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:10522]
Board Game: Critters Below
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Critters trying to survive in a bunker. Is the war over when you open the hatch?

Maybe more of an apocalypse game, than post apocalypse, but as it has animal mutant critters in it there must have been some mutant inducing event prior, right?
 
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7. Board Game: Outlive [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:707]
Board Game: Outlive
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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A management and survival game. Focus is on sending out people to collect resources, hunt, and developing your own bunker/vault by building more rooms that generate stuff.

I like this game as it has a nice layout and presents a challenge gamevise. It feels like you are working against constant starvation and that there always to few resources, or workers to get them. The only thing that bugs me about the game is that some of the game mechanics, the rules for movement and placement for example, add a challenge but are not completely connected to the setting/game narrative. You need to think real hard about how to move your meepels, which adds a fun challenge, but the movement rules forces them into a behavior that is purely abstract and have no "in game" explanation. I am still undecided about this. It is still a great game though.

There is also an expansion, Outlive: Underwater, on the way.
Outlive: Underwater
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8. Board Game: 51st State: Master Set [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:312]
Board Game: 51st State: Master Set
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Card driven engine/resource management game.
This master version seems to be more well liked than the original version. Any opinions?
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9. Board Game: Saltlands [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4152]
Board Game: Saltlands
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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A race game with a lot of Mad Max flavor. Escape the terrifying raiders.
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10. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:141] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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A co-op game which might include a traitor. Groups of survivors try to keep their colony and them selfs alive through different scenarios by collecting resources and avoid getting bitten.

Generally I do not tend to think of zombie games as post apocalyptic, rather apocalyptic. But in Dead of Winter the zombies is just part of the scenery, the real focus of the game is to keep the colony alive. Thematically it has a bleakness I like a lot. Especially the co-op theme with a potential traitor, and the cross road cards story function, adds a lot of flavor.

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11. Board Game: Fallen Land: A Post Apocalyptic Board Game [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4127]
Board Game: Fallen Land: A Post Apocalyptic Board Game
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Seems to be on a larger scale than most PA games and has both an full US area map as well as individual player city maps. Oh, and it has a whooping 8.6 BGG rating

The BGG page describe it as:
... a hybrid game that combines the elements of a strategy board game, with card building and role-playing. It is driven by macabre stories of a world gone mad and features adventure, politics and economics to deliver an unlimited sandbox experience. Each game the variables change: cards, player interactions, stories, strategies and threats. While the game has a strong pulp influence, its roots stem from Cold War studies. We have expanded upon this research to arrive at our game’s premise: What would happen after a nuclear and biological apocalypse?

Our answer is Fallen Land. As a player, you are the leader of a unique faction of survivors competing for primacy in the ruinous aftermath of post-apocalyptic America. You must manage and enhance your town, protect your citizens and secure resources. You will also have to make and break treaties to endure, amidst a myriad of bribery and betrayal by the other players. But that is just where the adventure begins! You must also direct your agents (a party of characters), to explore the rugged landscape, establish your territory and solidify your agenda.

There is also several expansions for the game, among them Journey into Darkness which adds a 6th player and solo rules, and Outriders Trading Post.
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12. Board Game: Salvation Road [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:5543]
Board Game: Salvation Road
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Co-op game, that seem to combine a hero and a survivor character with strengths and disadvantages, per player.
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13. Board Game: Posthuman [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:3186]
Board Game: Posthuman
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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This game seem to differ somewhat from the general PA theme. Its main theme is a journey to a safe place through ten random zones full of mutants and humans. The struggle seem to be about keeping ones humanity as well as surviving.
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14. Board Game: Posthuman Saga [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6063]
Board Game: Posthuman Saga
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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The standalone sequel to Posthuman.
Seems to have more of an explore and story focus. As I am a big fan of story based games I am very curious about these games and their mechanics.
 
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15. Board Game: Metro 2033 [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:15646]
Board Game: Metro 2033
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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Faction fighting and resource management in the world of Metro 2033.

It would be interesting to know if it manages to be both a good game and work in the books environment and mood in a good way.
 
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Board Game: After the Holocaust: The Nuclear Devastation of America – Recovery and Reunification
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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17. Board Game: Lords Of The Middle Sea [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:16787]
Board Game: Lords Of The Middle Sea
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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18. Board Game: 4th Reich: Puremen vs. the Mutants for Control of the World [Average Rating:5.04 Overall Rank:20127]
Board Game: 4th Reich: Puremen vs. the Mutants for Control of the World
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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19. Board Game: Thunder Road [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:3335]
Board Game: Thunder Road
Kent Fletcher
United States
Saratoga Springs
Utah
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A favorite from my childhood. Certainly captures the Mad Max vehicle chase in a simple and fun way.
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20. Board Game: Wasteland Express Delivery Service [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:786]
Board Game: Wasteland Express Delivery Service
Kent Fletcher
United States
Saratoga Springs
Utah
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I like this one quite a bit. Pick up and deliver in the PA with some really nice flavor.
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21. Board Game: Raid & Trade [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:16338]
Board Game: Raid & Trade
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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"Raid & Trade is a post apocalyptic game of negotiation and resource management for 3-5 players." It also includes a modular exploration mechanic.
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22. Board Game: Across the Dead Earth [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Board Game: Across the Dead Earth
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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A PA miniature skirmish game with an British touch. A rather "realistic" game low on mutants and sci-fi elements. Action cards add an interesting elements of unforeseen events.

A pdf with the free rule can be found here : https://www.deadearth.co.uk/

 
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23. Board Game: This Is Not a Test: Post-Apocalyptic Skirmish Rules [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:10572] [Average Rating:8.70 Unranked]
Board Game: This Is Not a Test: Post-Apocalyptic Skirmish Rules
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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A PA skirmish level miniature game.

The start setting begins in the heart of the Tri-State Wasteland, a part of the old Mid-Atlantic States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. But it can of course be used for almost any place, a bit more American though than Across the dead Earth. The game has a lot of miniatures and expansions.

Free demo rules can be found here:
https://worldsendpublishing.com/
 
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24. Board Game: Wreck Age [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Wreck Age
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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This one is a Post Apocalyptic skirmish miniature game that seem to have some roleplaying added. Sounds interesting.

You can get the 2nd edition rules here for free.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204387/Wreck-Age-2nd-edition-tabletop-miniatures-rules
 
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25. Board Game: 7TV: Apocalypse [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: 7TV: Apocalypse
Jhonny Therus
Sweden
Uppsala
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7TV: Apocalypse is a miniature skirmish game set in a lot of different post- or just apocalyptic settings.

Published by crooked Dice who are famous for their 7TV pulp/60-70ies-TV miniature games, this game is also inspired by all the different TV and movie genres that feature the PA setting. You can play zombie-apocalypse games, Mad Max inspired vehicle based games, Mars Attacks inspired games or anything you fancy. The 7TV system is made to be very easy to adapt to all kinds of genres.

Just like the other 7TV games it has very entertaining mechanism and a meta story that is focused on TV-series and movies. Your miniatures are categorized as stars, co-stars or extras with varying degrees of abilities. You activate them on your turn by spending plot points, which also can be used to activate the stars special abilities.

There is also a count down deck from which both players draw cards each turn that might affect the play in ways related to where in the story it takes place, in the first, second or final act of the show.
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