Rules Version 17: Last Updated October 18, 2018. Looking for the new 1 player mode? Scroll down to the bottom!


Welcome to Elysium: The Shining City of Scraps

“It’s been fifty years since the War ended, and two hundred and thirty since the War began. The city of Elysium stands bright and shining in a sea of ashes and rubble. Our grandparents lived in squalid bunkers from a bygone era. They salvaged war machines to fight the never-ending War started by people who had long since been dead and whose grievances had long since been forgotten.”

“After thirty years, they never made the ground fertile, but they did make it safe. We could walk the plains without hazard suits. We created the first terraformed city since the war: Elysium.”

In Yesterday’s War: The Salvage, you and your friends play as salvage workers. You wander the wasteland looking for parts to scrap from what’s left behind from the War. The entire city is built from scrap parts. The government issues contracts and salvage workers fill them with equipment borrowed from corporations. Your mission: gather materials to build this glorious city and impress your bosses – the suits of Corporate Elysium – while you do it.



  • 16 mechs, 4 of each color
  • 12 cubes, 3 of each color
  • 40 blue “energy” discs
  • 40 gray “metal” discs
  • 54 1E credits
  • 12 5E credits
  • 6 10E credits
  • 4 Character Cards
  • 9 Objective Cards
  • 24 Contract/Raider Cards
  • 1 Wasteland Card
  • 1 Die
  • 4 Tracker Cards
  • 4 Reference Cards
  • 1 Player 1 Token


How to win

The player with the most victory points wins. The game ends at the end of the round when one Objective Card is left. There are two main ways to earn victory points: filling contracts throughout the game and by achieving Objectives.



Each player will pick a color and take the (4) corresponding mechs, (3) corresponding cubes, and the corresponding tracker card. Each player receives (2) E credits, (2) energy, and (2) metal. Each player will select one character. Each character has a special ability that will become effective around the middle of the game, after all unearned objectives are face-up.


The player who most recently visited a junkyard goes first and the Player 1 Token. Everyone receives a Reference Card. Players take two of their cubes and place it on the Tracker Card, but not on any numbers until scoring.

Place the Wasteland Card in the middle of the table, with the die next to it. Shuffle the Objective Cards, and Contract/Raider Cards separately and place them on the table where all players can access them. In a two player game remove (2) Objective Cards, (10) energy, and (10) metal from the game. In a 3 player game remove (1) Objective Card, (5) energy, and (5) metal.

Place Objective Cards face-up in a row – one for each player plus one (3 objectives for 2 players, 4 for 3 players, 5 for 4 players). Starting with player 1 and then moving clockwise, each player will choose an objective by placing their remaining cube on the Objective before revealing contracts. More than one player can choose the same objective – the first to complete it will take the objective.

Place Contracts face-up in a row – one for each player plus one. These are available for purchase by players as the game progresses.


The Wasteland has two sides. The side with 6 spaces is used in 3 and 4 player games. The side with 3 spaces is used in 2 player games.


Player Routine


Each round of play is broken into four phases. Phase 1 of any given round starts with the player that is holding the Player 1 Token. This means that Phases 1 – 4, each player will need to take their turn within that phase before moving onto the next phase of that round.


Phase 1 – Gain Income & Buy Contracts

  • Gain Income: Each player in this phase will Gain 2 E credits at the start of their turn, starting with Player 1.
  • Sweep, Switch, or Ditch Contracts: Sweep contracts, switch objectives or ditch contracts if desired. (See Sweeping and Ditching Contracts & Sweeping Objectives).
  • Buy Contracts: Purchase up to 3 contracts, replace the selected contract(s) with a new card from the top of the deck if purchased. You can hold up to 3 contracts at a time. (See Purchasing Contracts.)


Phase 2 – Place Mechs & Assign Resources

  • Assign Mechs: Each player in this phase will be able to assign or reassign up to 2 mechs to any contracts they have purchased, any raiders that are currently in play, or to the wasteland. Mechs return to players after contract fulfillment, robbing raiders, and processing the wasteland (further detailed in the Fulfilling Contracts, Raiders, and Wasteland sections).
  • Assign Resources: Players may also assign resources to any contracts that they would like to, including E credits. Unlike mechs, when resources are assigned to contracts, they cannot be reassigned. 
  • Pay Raiders: If there are one or more raiders in play, pay the raiders as described in the Raiders section.


Phase 3 – Rob the Raiders, Use Wasteland, & Fulfill Contracts

  • Rob the Raiders: Rob raiders according to their rules. (See Raiders.)
  • Scrap in the Wasteland: Use the wasteland according to its rules. (See Wasteland.)
  • Fulfill Contracts: Fulfill contracts and gain contract rewards. (See Fulfilling Contracts).
  • Exchange Resources: Exchange the resources needed by following the resource exchanges rules. (See Exchange section.)


Phase 4 – Process Objectives & Rotate Player 1

Phase 4 occurs for all players simultaneously.

  • Process Objectives: Players receive any Objective Cards that they have completed and hold onto them face down. Their victory points will be added to the player’s total at the end of the game.
  • Rotate Player 1: Player 1 rotates clockwise every round – giving the Player 1 token to the clockwise player.


Purchasing Contracts

Players may purchase up to three contracts each turn. To purchase the contract, players must spend the amount of E credits listed in the top left corner of the card. Upon receiving the contract, players receive a bonus depicted in the top right corner of the card. If there are no more contracts in the contract deck, shuffle the discarded contracts into a new deck, and draw new contracts from this deck.

  • Metal: steel beam icon
  • Energy: lightning bolt icon
  • Victory Points: upward arrow icon
  • E Credit: the letter “E”

Please note: the first two lines of every contract tell you what the contract is for and who is requesting the materials in-universe.


Sweeping and Ditching Contracts & Switching Objectives

Players may perform as many of the following actions as they like:

  • Players may sweep all face-up contracts from play and draw new ones. If there are one or more raiders (see Raiders) in play, do not sweep them – only sweep contracts. This costs 1 E credit for every card swept. You must sweep all contracts – you can’t pick and choose!
  • For the price of 2 E credits, players may ditch one contract by discarding a contract they no longer wish to work on. All resources and mechs placed on the contracts are returned to the player.
  • For the price of 2 E credits, players may switch to a different objective by moving their cube from their current objective to their desired objective.



Raiders are drawn at random from the top of the contracts deck, just like a contract. As soon as a raider is turned face-up, place 1 metal and 1 energy from the resource pool on the raider. During each player’s Phase 2, raiders raid the current player. The player must give each raider 1 metal and 1 energy, if they have the resources available and not assigned to contracts. When more than one raider is in play, give to raiders in left to right order.

During each player’s Phase 2, the player may choose to place mechs on raiders. A player can place up to 2 mechs on a raider. If even a single player decides to place mechs on a raider, that raider has been robbed. Resources are then distributed to players as described below, effective during Phase 3 of the first moving player who has a mech on the raider being robbed.

Please note: mechs are placed during Phase 2, but robbing the raiders – distributing resources and doing bonus rolls – happens during Phase 3.


Resource distribution amongst players

Resource distribution is based on which player has placed their mechs first on the raider. The first player will place their mech(s) in the leftmost slots, the second in the second leftmost slots, and so on. This is called priority order.

When it is time to distribute the resources, start with the energy. Distribute one energy at a time to players in priority order. Do this until energy runs out. Then do the same for metal.

Players may not get the same amount of resources, and the last players to place mechs might not get anything at all! The person to first fight the raiders usually has an advantage because of the risk they took.


Resource Bonuses

  • If a player places 1 mech on the raider they gain a cut of the resources on the raider.
  • If a player places two mechs on the raider, they have a chance to push their luck and roll the die. When a player rolls a 1, 2, or 3 – they receive two extra metal and two extra energy. If a player rolls a 4, 5, or 6, they only receive their cut of the resources on the raider. Players still roll for a resource bonus even if they got nothing from their cut of the resources on the raider.

After the round is over, the raider card is then placed in the discard pile. All mechs are then returned immediately to the players.


The Exchange

In Elysium, resources are hard to come by, which makes trading important. Players may exchange one resource for another resource once on their turn. The exchange rate is as follows:

3 Metal => 1 Energy

3 Energy => 1 Metal

3 Metal => 1 E Credit

3 Energy => 1 E Credit


Fulfilling Contracts

To receive the reward on a contract, players must fill the condition. That means players must place all resources listed on the condition of the contract on the card and fill all mech spaces at the bottom of the card in order to complete the contract. When players meet all the resource conditions and have placed enough mechs – a process which often takes more than one turn – they may fulfill the contract during the resolution stage and receive the reward. Players may fulfill more than one contract in a turn.

Once contracts are fulfilled, the mechs are returned to the player immediately. Please note that even when a player has all the necessary resources assigned to fulfill a contract, they may still choose not to fulfill the contract until a later turn.


The Wasteland

Each turn, players may place their mechs in the wasteland to gain additional resources (energy, metal, E credits). You may only have 2 mechs per player in the wasteland at a time. If all wasteland spaces are full, a player may not place their mech in the wasteland.



During the wasteland part of Phase 3, each player has a choice. For each mech in the wasteland, the player may choose to take the resources depicted on the space OR roll the die for “double or nothing.” When choosing not to roll the die the player always gets the resources on the space. When choosing to roll for “double or nothing,” the player has a 50/50 chance of receiving twice the resources.

If a player rolls a 1, 2, or 3 – they receive two times resource(s) depicted on their space in the quantity depicted on their space If a player rolls 4, 5, or 6, they gain no resources.

In either case, mechs are immediately returned to the player after taking resources or rolling.



Once a player’s objective is complete, they will take the Objective Card, keep it facedown, and the awarded Victory Points will be added to the player’s total score at the end of the game. If an Objective Card is completed the player may then choose to work on a new objective from the available objectives. A player will again choose their objective by placing their color cube on it. (More than one player can declare the same objective – the first to complete it will take the objective.) Objective Cards are taken during Phase 4.

If two or more players are tied on an objective, the player with the most E credits takes the objective. If tied on E credits, the player with the most VP takes the objective. If tied on E credits and VP, both players receive half the points on the Objective Card (rounded down to the nearest whole number) and agree to secretly resent each other.


Character Abilities

Characters can use their special abilities throughout the game:

  • Delilah Keskinov: Intimidate – contracts cost 1 E fewer to purchase
  • Jack Harris: Wildcard – contracts take 1 fewer resource to fill (E credit, metal, or energy)
  • Sally Gray: Delegate – can purchase contracts at any time, even when not her turn
  • Rich Duval: Trust Fund – income is to 3 E per turn



When resource pieces – metal, energy, or credits – run out, players will not receive resources until there are more pieces available.


End Game

Players can exchange left over metal, energy, and E credits for victory points. The exchange rate is as follows:

  • 5 metal to 1 VP
  • 5 energy to 1 VP
  • 5 E credits to 1 VP

Victory points are tallied by adding the points on the tracker plus bonuses gained through Objectives. Ties on the final score are broken, in this order, by the player with the most: E credits, metal, and energy.



1 Player Mode


Alone in the Wasteland

“They told me not to go out here, but I ignored them. The allure of the untouched side of wasteland, with so much to salvage was too great for me to forget. Little did I know that this is raider territory. They’re building something – who knows what it is and what it’s for? They’re clearly not happy about my presence…but I’ve got a job to do.”


What’s Different in 1 Player Mode?

Yesterday’s War works differently for 1 player than it does for 2-4. Here is what changes in 1 Player Mode.

  • How to win
  • Setup
  • Raider Rules
  • Objectives
  • End Game


How to win

In 1 Player Mode, you play against the raiders. The objective is to complete six Objectives before the raiders complete their two Objectives – the Steel Baron and Tower of Power Objectives. The game ends in one of two ways: either you complete your six Objectives or the raiders complete their two Objectives.



Like in a regular game, take 4 mechs, 3 cubes, and a tracker card. Take 2 E credits, 2 energy, and 2 metal. Select one character – their ability will become effective when you have 2 objectives left. Take a Reference Card and place your cubes on the Tracker card. You do not need the Player 1 Token for 1 Player Mode. Set it to the side. Place the Wasteland Card in the middle of the table, 2p side up.

Remove the Steel Baron and Tower of Power Objectives and give them to the raiders – a random one face-up. Their face-up objective is their declared objective. Once they complete that, they automatically flip over and declare the other Objective. Remove the Soldier for Hire Objective from the game entirely.



Take one raider out of the Contract deck. Place the raider opposite of you – this is your opponent. Shuffle the Objective Cards, and Contract/Raider Cards separately and place them on the table, like you would in a 2-4 player game. Remove 15 energy and 15 metal from the game. Place 2 Objective Cards face-up in a row and 2 Contract Cards face-up in a row (still following the one for each player plus one rule from the 2-4 player game).

If any new raiders come up on your first turn, shuffle them back into the Contract deck.


Player Routine

The player routine is largely the same, with two exceptions:

  • The “Pay Raiders” step works differently (explained below)
  • You will not rotate the Player 1 token


Paying Raiders in 1 Player Mode

The game starts with one raider out (with no resources on it). Each time a new raider comes out of the Contract deck, place it in the raider area (with no extra resources on it) and draw another contract. In 1 Player Mode, raiders gather their resources into a single pool. They will still take resources from you like normal. This is so they can pursue the Steel Baron and Tower of Power objectives, which involve collecting large amounts of metal and energy.

During the Pay Raiders stage, roll the die once for each raider in play. If it’s a 1, 2, or 3, nothing happens. If it’s a 4, 5, or 6, give the raider(s) 1 metal and 1 energy from the pool of unassigned resources.

As stated above, if you achieve your last Objective before the raiders, you win. If the raiders achieve their Objectives before you achieve your last one, you lose. If you achieve them simultaneously, it’s a tie.

You cannot place mechs on raiders in 1 Player Mode. To fight them, you must spend Victory Points.

  • You pay VP to take either 1 energy or 1 metal from the raiders’ pooled resources.
    • If there is 1 raider in play, 1 resource costs 3 VP.
    • If there are 2 raiders in play, 1 resource costs 2 VP.
    • If there are 3 raiders in play, 1 resource costs 1 VP.
  • You pay 10 VP to discard a raider (as long as there is more than one in play).
  • You can do multiple of these actions during the Pay Raiders stage, as long as you have the available VP.



Objectives work the same way, with four exceptions:

  • Completing Objectives is the win condition – not VP!
  • You remove Soldier for Hire from the game entirely.
  • The raiders and working on the Steel Baron and Tower of Power Objectives.
  • When you complete an Objective, you receive the VP immediately.


End Game

The game ends with either you or the raiders completing your Objectives. If you achieve your last Objective before the raiders, you win. If the raiders achieve their Objectives before you achieve your last one, you lose. If you achieve them simultaneously, it’s a tie.

You can exchange leftover metal, energy, and E credits for VP at the normal exchange rate.

If you win, refer to the amount of VP you have left over.

  • If you win with 0-9 VP, it’s a “Near Death Experience”
  • If you win with 10-14 VP it’s “Nothing Surgery Can’t Fix”
  • If you win with 15-19 VP it’s “Just a Couple New Scars”
  • If you win with 20+ VP, you’re a “Legend Among Raiders”