Welcome to the Waste – a desolate and ruined Australia full of feral beasts, haywire cybernetic constructs, mutants, and ruthless gangs prowling the badlands. The continent was broken in two by forbidden experiments of a powerful corporation, Cerbero. Now it kneels divided, awaiting the fall. The government is nonexistent, and so are any laws of men. Every day is a battle for survival, and you are among those who are best fit to win. You are the shining beacon of courage in the darkness of the brutal age. You are the symbol of what humanity lost; the eternal wanderers always eager to help those in need. A new world is being forged from the ashes of the old civilization. You will embrace it… or die trying!

Waste Knights: Second Edition, a game of adventure and survival in a ruined Australia.

Waste Knights: Second Edition is a post-apocalyptic game of adventure and survival for one to four players inspired by cult classics of the genre, enabling the players to immerse themselves in a ruined world full of gangs, mutated creatures, sentient machines and – most of all – unforgettable stories. It is set in a dystopian Australia, half a century from now, and can be played cooperatively, competitively, or in solo mode, depending on the adventure.

Designed by Marek Mydel and Pawel Szewc, Waste Knights was first published in 2015 by Badger's Nest. This Second Edition, published by Galakta and distributed in US by Ares Games, is almost a completely different game, with a whole lot of narrative, choices, and adventures, easier and streamlined mechanics, and improved artwork and components.

Players take the roles of rugged heroes of the ruined continent, facing innumerable challenges in their journey through the wastes of the Australian outback. Depending on the adventure played, they must make narrative choices, overcome obstacles, fight unique and fearsome enemies presented on beautifully illustrated cards, and role-play their knights whenever they encounter various events and denizens of this destroyed land.

Each adventure is comprised of different plots.

The game is story-oriented, with each adventure branching out into different plots full of unique rules, goals, and associated tales. Players will face lots of decisions – from huge ones affecting the world around them and the course of the adventure to seemingly irrelevant, pertaining to their knight. Each choice will have some impact on the game – favors will be returned, wrongs avenged, friends and enemies made for life.

Easy-to-learn rules combined with a unique narrative setup enable to quickly start the game and plunge head-first into action. At the same time, each adventure is comprised of different plots and offers custom game mechanics to enhance gameplay and provide lots of strategic options. Hundreds of entries – or story snippets – guarantee replayability and create a rich setting for exploits. When the game starts, players have no idea where the story will lead them and whether or not their allies of today will become rivals tomorrow.

Players will travel around a huge, 6-panel game board, featuring the map of the broken continent of Australia. The country is completely changed after the cataclysm. They will have to scout it and learn the lay of the land by visiting both completely new places and ruins of real cities that once proudly stood along the coast. Depending on the vehicle they use – its Speed and Tank – they will cover longer routes to get to their destination.

Zoey Shaw, one of the six heroes to play, with her matching components.

Throughout the game players must manage their ever-dwindling Resources (Fuel, Ammo, and Meds), repair their Gear, and gain Experience Points needed to learn new Upgrades. Combat, utilizing custom dice, is both quick and deadly, so each Enemy encountered on the road forces players to consider their options: whether to fight or escape, spend their scarce Ammo, or risk closing in to fight a bloody melee.

At the heart of the game, there’s adventure. Gameplay is based on two books: the Guide, containing adventure sheets with new rules, maps, bosses and artwork, and the Book of Tales, where players find matching narrative entries for each scenario. Each adventure has a different goal and feel, with some of them more strategic and sand-box style and others highly story-driven with lots of branching subplots leading to different endings, depending on players’ activities during the game. However, in the end, the knights’ victory will depend only on their cunning, resourcefulness, and ferocity.

Get ready for unforgettable adventures full of dramatic choices and exciting plot twists. It is time to boldly enter the wilds and earn your place among the Waste Knights!

This article was originally published by Game Trade Magazine, issue 254 - April 2021.

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