Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Wasteland On Your Tabletop: Five Games For Fallout Fans

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Everyone is hyped for the debut of Fallout on Amazon Prime. I know I certainly am. But if you’re like me, you can’t just stop thinking about Fallout when an episode ends or when the credits roll on a video game. The themes and aesthetics that make the series one of the best out there are things you want to stay immersed in (unless it makes you depressed, then you may want to go outside a bit). So to help you scratch that itch at home, I’ve put together some of my favorite titles that let you be a wasteland warrior with your friends.

Fallout: Factions And Wasteland Warfare

Publisher: Modiphius

Fallout Wasteland Warfare Starter Set

Maybe I’m cheating a bit here because from a technical standpoint these are two different games, but are so similar Modiphius had to make an entire post about it. Wasteland Warfare is essentially the Fallout version of Modiphius’s Elder Scrolls: Call To Arms, being a tactical sandbox that essentially lets you create new rules and stories on the table. Yes it is wargaming, but angled for storytelling. It’s aimed at people who want to tell original Fallout stories. You can build out your own little battlefield or even a Vault or settlement, with rules for how to incorporate these settings into the game.

 You build your own crew from different factions and take them across the wasteland and the Fallout series, including characters from The Capital Wasteland to The Mojave and from factions like The Nuka World Raiders, the Gunners, The Children of the Atom and, naturally, the Enclave, NCR, and Brotherhood of Steel.  They also just announced tie-in minis to go with the new Amazon Prime show.  

Fallout Wasteland Warfare Amazon Prime Minis

Fallout Factions is a newer offering (as in, it’s not even out yet), focusing much more heavily on PvP play similar to Marvel: Crisis Protocol or Star Wars: Shatterpoint. Here you play as a gang of raiders facing off with other raiders and features a more stripped down rules set from the designer of Necromunda. This is a great entry point into both miniature skirmish gaming and the broader Modiphius Fallout Universe, since it does allow for the minis to be used for the story-based Wasteland Warfare. 

Fallout The Board Game

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games


If you don’t want to go through all the work of painting minis and measuring out movement, Fantasy Flight’s Fallout: The Board Game is maybe something a bit more your speed. It also focuses heavily on storytelling, but doing so in a competitive way. You take on the role of a survivor emerging from Vault 34, experiencing all the dangers of the wastes for the very first time. All the trademarks of the Fallout games are here: warring factions, branching stories, radioactive monsters. I highly recommend you use the Atomic Bonds expansion if you do play, since the game works a lot better as a co-op. If you want a more Western-focused game, you may want to try the New California expansion that lets you explore the titular region as five new characters.

Radlands

Publisher: Roxley Games

Radlands box and cards

Of course, Fallout doesn’t have a monopoly on the post-apocalypse. And when it comes to neon-soaked punk mayhem it’s hard to beat Roxley‘s two player card duel game Radlands, which squeezes just about as much out of two players and a bunch of cards as anything ever has. Both players are raiders battling for water and setting up their camp to battling it out for survival and dominance. You’ll use your colorful group of raiders to increase your water supply, destroy your opponents infrastructure, and generally have an explosively good time. There’s a lot of depth and strategy hidden underneath the hood here but at the end of the day this is just a whole lot of fun with some of the coolest art in board games.

Thunder Road: Vendetta

Publisher: Restoration Games

It’s big, loud, and it’s straight from the golden age of the apocalypse: The 1980’s. Thunder Road Vendetta is another resurrection job from Restoration Games that brings the classic car brawler back with a whole lot under the hood. It’s probably the closest thing to a tabletop demolition derby as you’re ever going to find. You’ll move your car around the road, pushing it to the limit while trying to take our your opponents with your huge gun or just by simply ramming them. The base game already has a ton of mayhem packed in, but you can add to it with the Big Rig and the Final Five, Carnage at Devils Run, Choppe Shoppe, and Extra Ammo that add plenty of new toys to destroy with. Or go all in with the Maximum Chrome version that contains ALL that plus exclusive items and a fancy box.

Tribes of The Wind

Publisher: Hachette / La Boîte de Jeu

Finally, I wanted to offer up a game that’s a little less grungy and grimy than the rest. Something that’s almost, dare I say it, hopeful? Tribes of the Wind is a solarpunk game of drafting and card management that takes more than a little from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. In a world ravaged by a dangerous form of pollution, isolated tribes live high above the world and use flight to avoid the nastiness below. Your goal in Tribes of the Wind is to use elemental magic to push back the pollution and build new cities for your people to ensure a more hopeful future. Vincent Dutrait’s beautiful art evokes a futuristic but somehow retro world, using bright colors to keep you feeling positive even if the theme can feel a little too real at times.

Images via respective owners

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