First Contact 2035 - 2 (Run by Very Large Huge Games)

4th June 2015

What would happen if it all fell apart today? If something hit; an event so big, so inescapable, that only one hundredth of one percent survived? What would you do to make it through? What wouldn’t you?

And if by some miracle – or pure dumb luck – you were one of the 0.01%, what then? Would you try and remake civilisation, or just do what needed to be done to protect you and yours?

Aftermath puts you in the shoes of one of the survivors of a global catastrophe – and not just a survivor, but someone who helped drag others through the Event. A leader in a time of need.

If you think you have what it takes to protect what’s yours, to rebuild and reshape the country, then take your place in the Aftermath – a Megagame of survival and recovery set in the south of England.

A young survivor scavenging in the ruins


The game was last played on the 14th of May 2016.

You can check out the Player’s handbook here Survivor Guide to the Aftermath the Government handbook and other guides are available on request.


Want to know more?

There are two write up about the game from the perspective of a survivor group and the head of the government

The first is from the Misery Farmers and there all female board game review team, and the second is from the head of Gold Command, veteran Megagamer and designer on the GoT inspired megagame Everybody Dies!


The game

No one likes to talk about the event that shook the world, that shattered our civilisation and all our civilised rules. They say that the time for looking back is over; that all that’s left is to focus on the future, and to do whatever is necessary to ensure the people who depend on you can make it through another day, another storm, another year.

You and a small group of other players – your team – will either represent the leaders of a small and isolated survivor group that made it through the first terrible storm, or the remnants of the UK government desperately trying to re-establish their hold on the country.

The game will be asymmetrical, with one larger and better-resourced team – the Establishment – facing the herculian task of re-establishing civilisation, order and central governance over the British Isles… Everyone else will be playing desperate and dispersed groups of survivors, who did whatever was necessary to make it through. Some were organised, some were lucky, and others were ruthless – but whatever they did, they all now find themselves at each other’s throats over resources, territory and food.

And they might not appreciate the government that abandoned them just rolling back in like they owned the place.


How the game will work

With communication and transport limited, each team will be restricted in what they know about the world beyond their immediate control. Aftermath will use a double-blind mechanism to represent this fog of war – there will be no open shared map, and each team will pass unit commands and instructions to the Control Team, who will report back with the outcomes of all actions.

Unlike a board game or a typical tabletop war game, Aftermath will keep the game mechanics relatively hidden – allowing players to concentrate on the action and reaction not the rules. You will have to manage your assets and resources, think strategically and tactically when instructing your people, and negotiate with other teams… and hope that when it all goes wrong, you gave your guys the freedom and resources they needed to succeed.


The teams

The Establishment. Those of the government, the civil services and the armed forces who managed to escape the worst of the Event by hiding away in government bunkers (or retreating to safe zones). Unfortunately not all the bunkers and safe zones made it through unscathed, and those that did make it need to reconnect and rebuild. The UK infrastructure has collapsed, but the things this country was built on can be restored.

The Establishment remnant is managed and directed by what’s left of the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBR), and organised into Gold, Silver and Bronze commands. Gold command look after the strategic direction of the recovery; Silver command looks after the tactical decisions in their area (by location or responsibility); and Bronze command carry out the operational work on the ground, and provide essential intelligence back up the chain of command. More on this can be found in the UK Government State of the Nation Report (Aftermath SotNR), which will be issued to Establishment players.

The Survivors are everyone else. They had to adapt to survive and in adapting may have changed their vision of what society should look like. Three types of Survivor groups emerged from the winter; the organised, the lucky and the downright dangerous. Each group surviving through the Event and following winter did so in their own unique way, shedding the skin of the old skinny caramel macchiato life and learning new skills to survive in a new world. A world that now belongs to them, whatever the government says.

Non-Player Survivors (NPs). Out there in the ruins of this once-great nation are many other small (and not so small) groups of survivors, just as desperate as you are to make it through another day. Some of these people are truly wild, driven mad by the very act of survival, some are simply cautious, while others are just waiting to find the right group to join. Often it’s hard to tell the good from the bad until it is too late.


Team and personal objectives

The game has three types of objective: open, hidden and personal. Each team will start with a set objective, but these can change and evolve during the game.

Open – an objective that is obvious to the world, such as to gather and secure all resources needed to survive the coming winters.

Hidden – each group will also have its own initially secret objective. Examples might include finding and restoring Britain’s churches for the glory of God, or making Winchester the new hub of the UK.

Personal – players may also have their own personal objective which could set them at odds with their team-mates, or cause problems at the most inconvenient of times. Examples might include finding their old family pet, or becoming Mayor of Winchester.


The Event

No one really knows what happened, but many speculate.

It could have been a disease, a terror attack, a limited nuclear exchange or a meteor strikes – no one really knows, even in government. Whatever it was, it triggered a societal collapse – and when the dust settled, just over half million were left alive in the UK.

What we do know is that high density urban populations were hit first… and as the Event escalated, it spread fast from hub to hub. People in neighbouring rural areas fared little better. As the cities emptied, seeking refuge in the countryside, they pillaged as they ran and left nothing standing.

The government was overwhelmed, unable to deal with mass crises on so multiple fronts. The armed forces and police were similarly swamped, as aid efforts descended into riots and ended in massacres. Transport networks were jammed almost instantly, stopping the effective movement of emergency services and halting all evacuation efforts. The fall was so fast and so hard. Rumours have emerged of deliberate sabotage, although most just think it was inevitable hubris of modern life coupled with the inefficiency of government.

And as if the Event itself was not bad enough, a winter like no other known in living memory hit. Months of storms and snow trapped people in little isolated pockets. Without the infrastructure of modern life providing food, water and heating, groups did what needed to be done… or they died.

Now the storms are subsiding and the first green shoots of recovery are starting to show. Now it is the time to emerge and find out what is left of the world out there, and to gather what is needed to before the  the next storm…