In Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, players build their own crew from a wide range of factions, allies, and iconic characters from the Fallout series, and play in apocalyptic games of 3 - 30 high-quality 32mm scale resin miniatures through a huge variety of iconic scenery and settlement buildings, from the Red Rocket to Sanctuary Hills, Nuka-Cola vending machines and wrecked cars. Pick units or characters to be Heroic giving them access to V.A.T.S bonuses and then select a Leader who can gain Perks and other abilities to support your crew. Develop your settlements buildings, defenses, and resources which impact your crew’s army list and abilities in the wasteland. The game uses a customizable solo-play AI deck to control enemies that play to their strengths and replicate a faction’s tactics while attempting a narrative mission or straight caps-based battle. Play through a solo campaign or set up AI forces as a third party in your player vs player or co-op games.
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare - Players build their own crew from a wide range of factions, allies, and iconic characters from the Fallout series. Play through a solo campaign or setup AI forces as a third party in your player vs player or co-op games. Check out the collectible miniatures, dice, character sheets, free PDFs, and accessories.
In Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, players build their own crew from a wide range of factions, allies, and iconic characters from the Fallout series, and play in apocalyptic games of 3 - 30 high-quality 32mm scale resin miniatures through a huge variety of iconic scenery and settlement buildings, from the Red Rocket to Sanctuary Hills, Nuka-Cola vending machines and wrecked vehicles. Settlements include buildings, defenses, and resources that impact the crew's army list and abilities in the wasteland.
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare includes an entire narrative campaign arc as well as unique random missions with narrative-style objectives, and Crew Caps recovered in missions can be used to improve the crew’s perks, weapons, gear, and upgrades for the next encounter. In either Player vs. Player, or Tournament mode, players can try to survive the tabletop wasteland.
The game also comes with a customizable solo-play AI deck to control enemies that play to their strengths and replicate a faction's tactics while attempting a narrative mission or perfecting a settlement-building strategy. Players can also team up with a friend to defend a larger settlement or explore narrative missions in cooperative games against AI forces or the post-apocalyptic dangers of the wasteland.
Review Summary: A great miniatures game in its own right, and the best Fallout offer out there after the computer game.
Blurb from the publisher: 'War... War never changes.
In the ashes of civilization, factions of humanity struggle against horrific creatures, irradiated wastes, and human nature itself. Grab your weapon, assemble your forces and fight for control of the wasteland and the ultimate prize: survival.
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare is a narrative skirmish wargame set in the post-apocalyptic future of the Fallout video game series. Build your own crew of iconic characters from the Fallout series, and play in apocalyptic games of 3-30 high-quality 32 mm scale miniatures.
This 2-player starter set includes everything you need to get started in the world of Fallout, and includes rules for 2-player games (versus or co-op), 1-player solo play, narrative settlement modes and competitive battle mode. This is backed up by extensive online content available free from modiphius.com/fallout, allowing you to take the game even further and conquer the wasteland for your faction!'
What you get: Your EUR 67,99 or USD 74,99 or GBP 60,00 buys you the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare - Two Player Starter Set, the least expensive entry point to the post-apocalyptic Fallout: Wasteland Warfare line of skirmish battles. The game can accommodate one or two players, and depending on the scenario may last anything from just over half an hour to more than two hours. Fallout: Wasteland Warfare should not be confused with the Fallout boardgame or its Fallout: New California expansion from Fantasy Flight Games. The source material might be the same, but the games are overall different. More on that later.
In addition to the introductory 8-page Getting Acclimated booklet and the 58-page Rules of Play which can be downloaded from the publisher's website free of charge, the box contains the following items: one 50-page Campaign Handbook, one loose Errata Sheet, 12 pre-assembled multi-part hardened PVC 32mm scale Miniatures, 24 large cards (Unit, AI, Reference), 100 small cards (Item, Boost, Heroic, Quest, Perk, Leader, Explore, Event, Wasteland), 10 custom dice (9 12-siders, one 20-sider), 2 die-cut counter sheets, and one 3 ft x 3 ft gaming mat.
Gameplay: It took a while for the enormous Fallout franchise to reach the table, yet Modiphius finally did it. I don't take for granted that everybody has heard of the CRPG series or has played one of its many iterations; I myself have only played the very first Fallout that came out. Thus this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.
'Fallout is a series of post-apocalyptic role-playing video games created by Interplay Entertainment. The series is set during the 22nd and 23rd centuries, and its atompunk retrofuturistic setting and artwork are influenced by the post-war culture of 1950s America, with its combination of hope for the promises of technology and the lurking fear of nuclear annihilation. A forerunner for Fallout is Wasteland, a 1988 game developed by Interplay Productions to which the series is regarded as a spiritual successor.
The series' first title Fallout, was released in 1997, and developed by Black Isle Studios. With the tactical role-playing game Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, development was handed to Micro Forté and 14 Degrees East. In 2004, Interplay closed Black Isle Studios, and continued to produce Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, an action game with role-playing elements for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, without Black Isle Studios. Fallout 3, the third entry in the main series, was released by Bethesda Softworks, and was followed by Fallout: New Vegas, developed by Obsidian Entertainment. The series' fourth main entry Fallout 4 was released in 2015, and Fallout 76 released on November 14, 2018.'
As a model-based skirmish wargame, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare pits heroes against the dangers or the wasteland. The two sides that meet each other in the field of battle are the Survivors and the Super Mutants. Models can be standard or unique, in which case a player can field only one of them in his army. Each model has a set of 7 attributes, each of which broadly influences an aspect of the model. These are Strength (close combat), Perception (ranged combat), Endurance (damage taken), Charisma (charm, intimidation, cunning), Intelligence (computer terminals and many skill tests), Agility (thrown weapons), and Luck. Values range from 1 to 11, even though they are most commonly encountered between the 3 to 8 range. Attributes are used for roll-under skill tests where a custom 20-sider is used. The die has numbers from 2 to 10, while its remaining 11 sides are covered by emblems denoting critical points, action points, and even failures. Effect dice might be rolled along the main 20-sider regulating damage, accuracy, armor reduction, and special effects.
A round is broken in turns. All models must act within the round. In a given turn a player must make one of his models ready. Only unready models can become ready. Following that, a player can activate either all of his ready models at the same time, or none at all. When all models from both players are Used, all models become Unready and a new round begins. There are seven actions a player may take with his models: move, shoot, charge, close combat, use expertise, prepare, and throw. All of them are self-explanatory (and nothing exotic for existing miniature wargamers), Use Expertise and Prepare however require further explanation. The former is about hacking computers, lock-picking, searching stuff, and dominating the battlefield through sheer presence. The latter on the other hand is setting up a quick (re)action as a reply to a trigger action taking place on the board. Reactions can be anything from attacks to moving or what have you.
Combat works as any other skill test. Depending on the range different types of effect dice will be used. There are three types of damage in the game: physical, energy and radiation. Armor does not make one harder to hit, it reduces the damage already received. As expected, different damage types are reduced differently, depending on the armour of a unit. Damage reduction is not static; an Armor Dice needs to be rolled each time. Physical and energy damage are considered regular; radiation damage however is a thing of its own, namely because when a model receives that kind of damage, its regular damage is first changed to radiation damage before additional radiation damage is added.
The game can be played in many different modes: as a standard skirmish game (and there are five tutorial scenarios lasting from 4 to 6 rounds), as a solo game against an AI (with five different scenarios), as independent scenarios (again, five of them), or as a campaign of interlinked scenarios (five). The plots run the gamut of wargaming, with tower defence, all-out fights, specific objectives etc. In addition to the already made scenarios rules are provided for the players to create their own, with details relating to setting up both the forces and the actual battlefield,
In case of campaigns, the Settlement Phase takes place in-between battles. Battles award Caps (as in Nuka Cola caps) to both participants. Caps can be spent by the players towards developing their settlements via purchasing new structures and perks, draw and explore, and finally selecting which cards to use with their units. Starting settlements are sombre affairs with nothing but two small generators and a couple of buildings. The more games progress however the more things a player may build, like bigger generators, pumps and purifiers, all sorts of workbenches and stations, shops, posts, and ranches. He can even obtain more land to host more structures.
The game's rulebooks also provide advice on resin model assembly even though all the minis in this boxed set are plastic and preassembled, as well as painting instructions with existing colours from the Army Painter palette.
The strong points: The first thing to look at a miniatures game are the miniatures themselves. The models are mostly caught in static poses, this doesn't reduce however in the least the cool factor. The enormous Deathclaw is one of the exceptions, rushing towards its opponent in order to hug him. Don't let that happen. There is an incredible amount of detail in all these scruffy looking characters, irrespective of what side they are all. The aesthetics are very pleasing and faithful to the computer game series. The designs of the cards and the rest of the components (not the plastic miniatures themselves) are purposefully worn and haphazard. That's what one would expect a survivor of a nuclear holocaust to come across and use. Fallout is the king of post-apocalyptic franchises, if however you would prefer using its minis in a targeted way in other games, like in Strontium Dog they will work just fine.
The remaining components and designs are also of a high quality. The game's tokens are extremely small in order to fit on the units' bases and not distract on the terrain, they are however tough. The cards are a bit thinner than I would have liked, their aesthetics however are impeccable. Pictographs are immediately reminiscent of the computer game, as are the washed colours, the signs of wear and tear left and right, as well as the ever-present face of the Vault Boy.
The game really feels like Fallout. It doesn't hide the fact that it is a wargame, yet it presents its battles within a well-structured narrative format. Winning one-off battles is great fun, what is equally fun however is to run a campaign and improve your settlement. The interaction between the two is substantially more immersive than I expected it to be, in one of the best campaigns I have ever seen in wargames. When a character improves in other wargames the cause and effect are rather obvious: you survived, you kicked ass, you get rewarded from a pool of options. In Wasteland Warfare however the intermediary step makes the process more satisfying. There is a community behind all this; if you perform well in battles, the community marches on, improves and might eventually thrive. With it, you thrive as well. That's genius! If RPGs didn't exist yet, this would be a proto-RPG right here. No wonder Modiphius has already published RPG rules as a standard part of this line. I can't wait to get my hands on them and try them out.
When it comes to the system itself, there are a lot of things that I really liked. I enjoyed the readying and activation mechanic a lot; that intermediate step that very few wargames have makes a lot of difference. The fact that a player can delay his use of a mini creates an additional tactical consideration that adds depth to the game. Idem for the Prepare action, which isn't a simple 'guard' action that other games also provide. The trigger and the end result may lead to a variety of situations, and that makes the game highly replayable. How come I haven't seen this earlier? Combat is solid and engaging, if a bit slow, but then again, it would have been weird if it weren't so in a dedicated wargame.
I initially felt daunted by the highly customize dice, which reminded me of the way Fantasy Flight treated and still treats some of its RPGs like Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings and the now OOP Warhammer Fantasy. Ultimately however they did not come out as hard to use. In fact, I would even say that the game has a less steep learning curve than the one it would have had in case it used a different resolution method.
I particularly enjoyed the solo mode. It is extremely easy to implement, it is intuitive, it is entertaining. Quaintly, it is also not that far from playing against a human being. My statistically insignificant number of playtests didn't demonstrate any overbearing issues or buggy AI behaviour, even though statistically speaking the opponents will at times come out as indecisive. I can live with that seeing how seldom it might appear. Even more so, I can correct the AI's move to something which is against my interests once or twice in order to play an even tougher game.
If you are wondering which Fallout tabletop game to go for (the present wargame or FFG's boardgame), I'd be rooting for the one here. I won't tire to repeat that they are different games going for different angles of the Fallout franchise, yet ultimately they can be compared. FFG's Fallout has redeeming values (like having a much lower investment cost, a tangible end-game, and a more concise Fallout experience if one compares it to the present Two Player Starter Set only), yet when one compares lines it can't stand up to Wasteland Warfare. More engagement. More tactics. More entertainment. More anticipation. Fallout: Wasteland Warfare wins by a margin.
The game includes plastic bags to store everything tightly. Even though they are bigger than they should have been, I applaud the move.
Wasteland Warfare is incredibly well-supported. I am counting dozens of products for the factions, miniatures, cards, RPG rules (!) and additional accessories. Even Nuka-Cola bottle caps have been made to be used as markers. We will examine many more items from this line shortly.
The weak points: The Two Player Starter Set is just that: a starter set. The gaming experience is nice, it is however crystal clear that if you want to deploy the game's full possibilities you will have to invest more heavily in it. Easy example: the two terrain maps are rather thin, and the set does not include 3D terrain. Battles in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Fallout will look a lot more interesting with things like the Gamemat.eu: Double Sided G-Mat - Quarantine Zone and Wastelands / Modern Warfare Set / Explosion Craters Set or with the Gamemat.eu: Sands of Time Mat / Badlands Set / Desert Houses Set on your table. That's what the game is aiming for, yet you need to help it achieve it. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly Fallout game, Fantasy Flight's boardgame iteration might be better suited to your needs, even though that game has other issues.
In a rather adjunct comment, the game's starting price should have been a click lower. If one wants to enjoy a full experience, he will need to invest anyway. Shouldn't the starter set be friendlier on the wallet?
The miniatures are preassembled, meaning that you can start playing immediately. This might annoy the more dedicated wargamers out there seeing how fully assembled minis are much harder to paint and treat around the joints. You win some, you lose some.
Like with any other wargame, there are a few rules and exceptions to learn. I don't find the rules hard, if you are however new into miniatures it will take a bit of a learning curve to assimilate all the details and use them cohesively during a game.
Wasteland Warfare comes out as fiddly in its effort to be complex. Take the different dice and the types of modifiers you can use, or the six (!) differently coloured rulers as an example. All this partially stalls the game (and forces you to move a lot of things around). While you are still not used to it this might come out as daunting. There are worse offenders, yet here the moving parts also extend to the game's setup. Friendly advice: if you run campaigns and you know what you will be running next, prepare the decks you will require when you finish your previous game already and before putting everything back in the box.
Conclusion: Fallout: Wasteland Warfare is a terrific miniatures game, and the Two Player Starter Set is the best way to get a taste of it. It is totally respectful to the theme of Fallout, gets the miniature design and the rules right, while aiming for an involved, complex experience. Even more so, it plays as a solo, as a coop, and as a competitive game. It requires you to invest heavily in the line if you want to enjoy all its aspects, isn't that however how all miniature games work?