09 August 2017
V.A.T.S combat system, SPECIAL ability traits and more elements from the video games all make it to the tabletop
After teasing its Fallout board game, Fantasy Flight has taken the wraps off its adaptation of the post-apocalyptic roleplaying video game series.
In the game – which is simply titled ‘Fallout’ – players can explore the wasteland – represented by an arrangement of hex map tiles – together as a group, or head off on their own. Either way, they’ll be competing to become the most influential figure in the post-apocalypse.
Growing your name mainly consists of acquiring influence cards, which can align players with a specific faction or require specific amounts of caps or items to count towards victory.
The player characters include a selection of Fallout staples, including male and female humans, a ghoul, super mutant and Brotherhood of Steel soldier. Each has their own unique traits, from radiation resistance to special SPECIAL stats, representing qualities such as influence, strength and perception, as in the video games. These can be levelled up over time, with XP also unlocked the chance to gain perks for specific abilities. (We’re crossing our fingers for Bloody Mess.)
The game uses a health system that reminds us of Dark Souls: The Board Game’s combination of health and stamina on the same tracker – health is tracked from the right of the board and rads from the left, and if they ever pass each other the player dies.
There’s the chance to discover and equip various items and equipment while scouring the wasteland, with companions such as canine pal Dogmeat also making an appearance. The Fat Man portable nuclear missile launcher has been confirmed to be in the mix – we can’t even imagine how it works in-game.
Even the series’ iconic V.A.T.S. combat system has been adapted for the game as a series of dice rolls, with the dice representing the different body parts that players can aim for and weaken.
What’s most intriguing is the role of narrative decisions, which have been designing to capture Fallout’s branching conversations and storylines.
Four scenarios come in the box, taking place around environments seen in Fallout 3 and 4, as well as the game’s DLC: The Capital Wasteland, The Pitt, The Commonwealth and Far Harbor. (The Fallout game in the middle of those numbered entries, New Vegas, doesn’t appear to be in the game.) The modular map tiles mean each layout will be unique, even though the scenarios remain the same.
During the missions, players will be able to choose which faction they side with, contributing to their allies’ power – although if they grow too strong, the game can end without a winner. Objectives are driven by cards, which unlock more quests as actions are completed.
As players progress through each scenario, they can decide their reaction to specific events, which can add new cards to an encounter draw deck, potentially making each playthrough unique. For example, players could free super mutants early in the game, only to bump into the monsters out in the wasteland later on.
Fallout will be out later this year.