I don’t know about you guys but the second I stumbled across the news of Fallout: The Board Game being released I felt like I could lay down and die…I just don’t feel that there is going be another game that I’m going to be more excited about. I guess maybe a lot of you guys have had similar moments when a game is announced.
I’ve been a massive fan of the Fallout series for years now, from the great main storylines that the wasteland has to offer, to the music that keeps you singing along as you’re shooting your way a super mutant basecamp or even exploring the ruins of a vault finding tech to help you on your quest!
So as just Fantasy Flight Games have announced the US release date is less than two weeks away (30 November), we take a look at what we know so far…but first a brief history.
The World of Fallout
The Fallout series was first launched in 1997, set in a post-apocalyptic world. The main characters normally being a human either raised or cryogenically frozen in a vault, you leave the safety of the vault to find a world influenced by 1950’s post-war American state of mind. You battle your way through the desolate landscape while listening to Bing Crosby blasting out of your Pip-Boy, discovering ghouls, super mutants, and numerous creatures mutated and supersized by years of radiation.
Fallout is an adventure board game for one to four people. So, which characters can you pick from?
The Vault Dweller
A human who’s spent their life underground in the safety of vault life…now it’s time to crack open that vault door and let that sweet, sweet radiation hit your skin! You start with a rather fetching vault suit that’s going to let you reroll during a test that requires Endurance.
So, as the Wastelander you’re used to the rough and tumble of the wasteland now and you’re pretty damn handy with your tire iron…that’s going to let you re-roll during a fight!
So life in this world has worn you down a bit and that radiation you’ve absorbed has turned you into a hideous super-strong beast… (Kind of like the Mountain in Game of Thrones post Qyburn’s fiddling)… but you make the most of it with your massive hammer, and everyday life in the wasteland in which you absorb more radiation it just gives you XP to level up quicker!
The Ghoul, just like the Super Mutant those pesky rads have got to you, unlike the Super Mutant though you haven’t become the size of the house…instead, it’s lowered your HP, but on the plus side whenever you’re in rads you regen health….oh and you’re probably the snazziest person in the wasteland with that suit!
Now this is a guy you’re not gonna want to mess with…but being that damn awesome has a downside, instead of your usual movement points it looks like you only get one, you can, however, pay a cap to overcome this…but my goodness he just looks soo damn cool!
What makes you S.P.E.C.I.A.L?
The game itself, from what we’ve seen, still seems to keep the main aspects of the video games that really keeps me hopeful that this game is going to be amazing. Throughout the video games, you level up your character and can assign points to your S.P.E.C.I.A.L skill system:
There are going to be a few ways to level up your character and to gain new S.P.E.C.I.A.L tokens. Firstly you’re going to have win fights against various opponents in the wasteland, each victory you have you gain the XP amount equal to that of your vanquished foe. Secondly, you’re going to be completing quests assigned to you on your journey.
Seeing as you would mainly class Fallout as a fighting game, I was wondering how they were incorporate this in without losing that Fallout feel. For those of you that haven’t played, you can either freestyle attack in the games or use the V.A.T.S system (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) which allows you to line up attacks on certain body parts of your enemies up to the values of the action points you have, this can end in you blowing off somebodies head or crippling limbs.
When you meet an enemy in the board game no matter whether it was a planned attack or if you’ve stumbled into a nest of fire ants, you always start by rolling three VATS dice and hope to roll areas of your enemies body which they have weaknesses. If you win, just like the video game you get to try and grab some loot off the corpse…if you lose, well you’re going to lose some health.
So you know about characters and the skill system…you’re probably wondering what have you got to do. You begin on the edge of an unexplored landscape covered by fog of war, players will have to disclose, at the beginning, a scenario which will determine the layout of the land (made up from Catan shaped tiles, radiation levels on one side and the map on the underside), which factions are battling and the main questline of the game.
Throughout the map, as you explore more, you will come across side quests to complete, vaults to explore and decisions to make which will put your morals to the test. Some areas of the map will feature tough terrain and varying levels of radiation, I can only imagine if you’re a character that doesn’t level up or get healed in radiation, you’re gonna want to find some tech that’s going to help you in these areas. As you complete quests and certain encounters you’re gain influence cards, at the end of the day influence points are what are going to get you to achieve that win either individually or by working together.
The graphics, from what I’ve seen on the previews, are all that I could ask for from a Fallout game, I just can’t wait to crack open that box and have a go at painting the figures. The games are predicted to be between two to three hours long, so if you’re not someone who has a long attention span you might need to play this one over several sessions.
Everything I’ve read so far about this game looks like it isn’t going to disappoint. Fantasy Flight Games seem to have been able to capture the magic which engrosses people so deeply into the video game series, but we’re going to have to wait for the UK release date to find out…as soon as I get my hands on it then you’ll get a gameplay review!