Real Talk By: Haggy
As strange as it is to see, yes you are reading that correctly. As some of you may already know, Bethesda and Fantasy Flight have come together once again after their partnership with DOOM to take you to the Wastelands of the Fallout Universe! What you may not have known, is that said game is slated to be getting an expansion soon, and I’m quite looking forward to it! But, first, you’ve gotta know… What is Fallout: The Board Game?
Fallout: The Board Game is brought to us by Fantasy Flight and Bethesda, and features a new take on the Fallout universe as a competitive RPG-Lite. Meaning each player will select from a group of Characters, and then go through one of the Wasteland Scenarios (All pulled from Fallout Titles) and try to complete their agendas before the other players can do the same, or before the wasteland they are in is overrun by one of the powerful factions in play. This game also doesn’t require a Game Master in any way, which leads to no one feeling excluded from the experience. Otherwise, it is a fully fledged RPG, with Encounters, Monsters, NPCs, Quests, Items, and More! Sounds appealing to say the least, but how well was it really implemented?
We’ll start with the general presentation. It’s just as you’d expect from this wonderful partnership. Similar to DOOM: The Board Game, F:BG offers several high detail, well made miniatures for the players to use. However, unlike DOOM, there are only tokens used for enemies and NPCs with art from the games on them. It feels authentic, but it was somewhat done out of necessity for how random spawning works. On the plus side, it makes the games well made map tiles much easier to see, and it has brought the cost of the whole experience down some, especially compared to some of Fantasy Flight’s other creations.
So, the Presentation gets an A+, especially with cards, and every asset in the game extremely fitting to the motif and easy to understand. But, is the Gameplay nice? The Game is an exceptionally easy to learn and play game as far as board games are concerned. It may take you a couple of rounds, but soon every turn will be going by quickly, and the games themselves start ending at around the 2 and a half hour mark if not earlier! The Game has an interesting way to do encounters and quests as well!
Similar to how cards work in other games like Eldricht Horror, These Encounter and Quest cards give players options of how to proceed with an encounter they’ve gotten involved with, and will give results based off their responses and their actions/tests. Further more, a lot of encounters and quests actually chain coherently, calling from a Deck Library to find the correct card to add once conditions have been met. It’s a bit of a long sequence, but leads to long story lines and quests throughout the game, despite it’s limitations, and it keeps players involved as the game requests the players around you to read them out to you.
Actually winning a game of Fallout however, becomes a slight sticking point. At the start of the game each player gains an Agenda, a secret objective they have to complete for Influence Points, with the goal being to be the first player to meet or go past the influence limit for the number of players. Furthermore, players can receive more Agendas by completing quests, and other tasks throughout the game. The main drawback to this however is sometimes you get an awful draw of agendas that do not synergize with each other, which can muddle your whole game if you don’t play to that style. However, worse is how suddenly a game can end. If the factions don’t win, a player can score their secret objectives once they have enough points, and can sometimes win seemingly out of no where. It’s not actually the case, but it does feel somewhat ingenuine.
All in all, Fallout: The Board Game is quite the engrossing experience, and with its fast paced gameplay, surprising depth, and accessibility. If you’ve ever wanted to play a game of Fallout with friends over several scenarios, this is the game for you. Where else is one of you (A Super Mutant) going to be running away trying to save someone’s sister while your friend (A Wastelander) is busy trying to fight their way off an alien Mothership while your rivals, (The Brotherhood Exile and his Ghoul Friend) are taking on the Enclave? If you like Table Top, Get this Game, Especially if you have friends to join in the fun!
Fallout: The Board Game Gets
4 out of 5
+Very Nicely Made, As Per Usual From Fantasy Flight
+The Game Flows Nicely, Not Being Too Long or Short
+For $60, The Game Is Fairly Priced For The Experience
+With Four Scenarios and Five Character Types, This Game is Extremely Replayable
-Occasionally Unexpected Game Endings
-It Would Be Nice to Have Some Direct PVP
-Some Assets Share Symbols and Otherwise Add Some Confusion Every Now and Then (Influence and Agenda Cards are different things!!!!)