A downloadable mini zine

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When the visitors first came, they said they were coming in peace. When the first disappearances were reported, we didn’t want to believe it. We were too blinded by their technology, their superior intellect, everything they could offer us.

When the inevitable attack came, it was quick, brutal and devastatingly effective. They knew all our weaknesses by then. All our defences were wiped out in seconds.
In the days that followed, in the shadows of the flames, we came together. We got organized, and now we are bringing the fight to them.

* * *

T-DEF is a GMless game that comes in two 8-page mini zines: the Tactical Handbook that contains the rules for character creation and taking actions; and the Operations Manual, that contains everything you need to create missions for your troopers.

The game is a homage to XCOM by way of Dark Fort and Mörk Borg.

The game comes in both screen readable PDF:s and one-page printable files that you can cut and fold to have physical booklets. Put this in your pocket, wallet or purse with a couple of dice and a pen, and you're always ready to go on a bug-hunt! Play alone or with friends, in between slots at cons, on the bus, or over beers at the pub (you know, after the pandemic is over).


Please note! T-DEF 2 is now out and available!


Made using Star West's One Page Zine Template.

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(36 total ratings)
AuthorLari Assmuth
TagsAliens, GM-Less, minizine, solorpg, Tabletop role-playing game, zine


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T-DEF_1.4.zip 8 MB

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T-DEF is a GMless RPG inspired by X-COM. Two mini-zines (each contain 8 A7-pages that fit onto a single A4) contain everything you need to create your own troopers, understand the rules of combat, and to go on missions to save the earth.


I've played this twice already and had a lot of fun. I've been using it as a journal game - writing down the haphazard adventures of my doomed squad of troopers.

I have some questions about a couple of the rules, though.

  • What happens, if a trooper has both a knife and a pistol equipped? Do they get two interrupts? If so, do they get them against the same attack or does the trooper have to be attacked twice in a turn?
  • What happens if a sniper rolls a 6- when attacking a distant enemy?
  • Is there a limit on how many weapons a trooper can carry? The rules only say to "choose" an item when advancing. My intuition tells me that they can carry multiple weapons (but no duplicates). Still, I have this nagging feeling that I'm doing it wrong.
  • Do alien pods have the same type of alien or should I randomize their composition?
  • How does the Powered Exo-Skeleton from the expansion work? Do all troopers ranked squaddie+ get it, or is it a piece of gear you have to choose when advancing? Does the additional action that it gives bypass the "no duplicate actions" rule?
  • Does suppression clear when killing the last alien in a location? How about when moving to a location with no aliens? 

Seconding this.

Very good questions. I have another two:

- Rules says you can use "fast" once per "round". Does it mean "turn" or "mission" ?

- Isn't taking "mark 1 ammo" always better than "mark 1 supression" ? It seems troopers have infinite ammo, so it's a matter of doing RELOAD and ATTACK in one turn, and since I can ATTACK only once per turn it doesn't matter anyway.


Hey there! I was wondering, if I wanted to publish an unofficial expansion or some missions or something, would you be alright with that/ how would you prefer I went about crediting you for the base game? I don't have anything set in stone yet but I have some ideas!!

I am all about people using, hacking and expanding on this or any of my games! I love that stuff! :-)
I don't care very much about how you mention me: "inspired by/based on T-DEF by Lari Assmuth" or pretty much whatever is fine! And it's not a requirement either but on principle I like it when people credit their sources of inspiration.

And if you do make something please tell me about it here or on twitter so I can come check out your project and boost it with what little reach I have! :-)


You rock, thanks man! I've posted it up on my page, hope you check it out!

Deleted 1 year ago

Great from idea to delivery! And there's always more coming!

5 Stars!


We came, we rolled two Elites on our second area, we got destroyed 😂. Perfect emulation of the X-COM experience.