Sunday, January 19, 2020

Fallout Wasteland Warfare: Down the Rabbit Hole

As I mentioned in my last post of 2019  , I had received the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare two player starter set as a Christmas gift. Now this was a surprise because while I have been aware of the game since it was announced. I had purposely avoided it because  I didn’t want to get into another pricey game I wasn’t  going to play and other than occasionally seeing models online and saying “cool” I just let it pass on by.

Completely coincidentally I  had restarted my 3rd play though of Fallout 4 over the holiday break, I am an old time Fallout fan being into the game from the very get go back in 1997. And I played pretty much of all of its main incarnations for PC  (1-4 and tactics)  the current version Fallout  4, being the only one I have not managed to finish and having never done a run on its Survival Mode , I had an itch for that type of game (and an recently upgraded video card so I thought I’d give it another try.)

I wont bother going into much detail about Fallout 4 the 5 year old PC game and as to why I haven’t finished a play though I’m at roughly 200 hours logged on Steam over 3 play thoughts my current one about 20 hours  and in all that time I don’t think I explored more than ½ the map, the game is freaking massive.  It is this game that Fallout Wasteland Warfare is based, although they have expanded to cover the whole Fallout IP.

I’ll have to give  credit my current go to game Rangers of Shadow Deep here because it was while browsing the upcoming deluxe hardcover of RoSD on the Modiphius Website, while having just started a F4 playthrough that the browsing of the Fallout miniatures occurred.  While ogling them I my wife and kids came up to ask what I was looking at and I of course went into my Fallout spiel and why I wasn’t interested in the game.   I guess it was one of those > “don’t ask, and you shall receive type deals..LOL”

After getting the game, I was careful not to open it because honestly I thought I’d be flipping it on ebay once the holidays had faded away, I am not into PVC boardgame type miniatures and I didn’t know much about the actual “game” itself  I was interested at best -in the fancy resin miniatures at $40 a box, which isn’t what I got. However after doing a bunch of research on the game, it turns out to seem to be right up my alley , with a great solo, coop modes and an AI deck.  After a lot of time on you tube and the Modiphius website, I cracked the box.

So the following is my review of the Starter Set.  I’ll say right now, before I get into it -I like the game,  I am down the rabbit hole here, I bought a couple boxes of Resin figures they are fabulous and I really like the rules , Ill be doing my full game write up of the tutorial missions coming up here  shortly , BUT (you know there was a “but” coming)  I must say I’m scratching my head a bit  on the starter set

I picked these up once I decided I was playing so I could start on some official type terrain

First of all , this isn’t a board game FFG makes one of those for causal Fallout fans that want to scratch another itch..this is a  super hobby,  rules heavy , tactical wargame..not for the Tabletop faint of heart  if you are looking for a streamlined beer and pretzels once a month game, this sure the hell is not it.  The game comes with three books,  a getting acclimated book, (super basic stuff for new Tabletop players, its actually set up like video game tutorial which is interesting)  a Rule book and a Campaign book , and then a zillion different punch out tokens and a hefty stack of Stat, Event, Item and Effect Cards. With all my years of wargaming experience,  I was not remotely ready to jump right in here. While I have the background to understand all the concepts I still had to watch numerous videos on the game to get  the rules down to where I can start the tutorial missions, and Im still a bit foggy on the coolest part of the solo experience , its  ongoing campaign or “settlement mode”

Now its not that overwhelming I am being a bit hyperbolic here I’d compare the rules to something akin to the complexity of 7th Edition Warhammer, as those familiar know -if you were a new player then, there is a bit of learning curve. The rulebooks are great looking but they are not super clear , there are ton of components and lot of proprietary systems that  I havent seem to have to have run across in other wargames, The components and dice are all very ,very good.

The game comes with a 2 part fold out heavy paper , 4 color matte printed  3 x 3 play surface..This is my opinion is somewhat of a waste only something a wargaming newcomer would even will be difficult to keep flat, get the creases out of and store to keep that way, they make the exact mat as the standard 3 x 3 one piece neoprene gaming mat we all use these days (the graphic being  the area around the Red Rocket Truck Stop if  you are up on Fallout 4, is great)  obviously when putting a starter set together they want cheaper components but knowing a bit about printing myself self these particular paper mats are not that cheap to produce.
Here the map image, nice as solid neoprene mat, as two separate folded pieces folded 6 ways ? not so much
 Of course lets go to elephant in the room at almost 1000 words in here, The Miniatures.  I dislike PVC plastic , its sucks to work with , to clean up , to try to make look good.,  you cant scrape it or file it without a lot of residue that sticks around so you have to cut which isn’t always easy depending where those cuts are. The miniatures  here lived up to my skepticism BUT actually a reverse way, I thought the smaller miniatures would be worse than the large ones but here the reverse was true, The small ones , while all having annoying mold lines are pretty crisp , the facial details are soft but not horrible and all the weapons were pretty good. The bigger models where rough, warped bases, weapons so badly formed in the mold that the result is misshapen weapons with piss poor detail. PVC plastic also have a long “memory” to break so the hot water trick needs to be done multiple times , and even after painting those warps can come back.
These PVC guys came out pretty good but they took alot more time then the Resin figures to clean and prep and I definitely missed a few spots...

In my case I have to do weapon swaps on all three Super mutants and the Power Armored soldier , the guns where just molded like crap , thankfully I had suitable replacements from years of bitz saving. I ended putting  a lot of work into the miniatures to prep them and get the best looking  I could, in comparison I had to pick up some Resin miniatures for my own sanity, instead of rebuying the figures the Starter set should come with (they sell the resin versions of the starter miniatures separately minus the deathclaw  so I picked up the male survivor with codsworth the Mr Handy robot and the Survivor starter, the resin miniatures need washed and cleaned up with a knife but its easy not a chore like the PVC ,in fact the last miniatures I prepped that were this much of a hassle were Mantic Games much maligned “restic” plastic models for Deadzone…equally a hassle . I had the resin figures assembled cleaned up and primed in literally 25% of the time I spent screwing around with the plastic.
all three of the PVC starter set figs have swapped weapons..

Finally a comment about Scale, I read a lot of confusing information about the scale of these miniatures..they are 32mm but they are FINE scale, other  FINE SCALE  means 32mm to the eye but the proportions and weapons are realistic ….The models aren’t huge but actually small in comparison to many Reaper, GW type “heroic” 28mm figures.  FWW miniatures are their own thing, don’t expect to use “whatever models” here and have it look right unless you could care less about scale.  In my collection Im finding some older Reaper figs and original Mantic Deadzone figures which are 28mm  seem  to mesh well , many lines these days have succumbed to various levels of “scale creep”, so if your looking to mix figs , you’ll need to do some research.  Terrains another matter thou a lot of time 28mm terrain is undersized here stuff like Mantics Sci Fi terrain looks about perfect, Im  going thru my collection I am finding a lot of stuff that seems to work with the game.

In Summation (and I of course reserve the right to totally change my mind after I play it ton)

Fallout Wasteland Warfare, A great strategic miniatures games with multilayered tactics,  and multiple modes of play and a fantastic Resin miniatures line encapsulating the entire almost 25 years of the Fallout Universe. The starter set suffers from cheap components to make an easy entry point , but the Irony is this type of game doesn’t demand a cheap entry point, the preferred customer is an experienced wargamer and collector who rather pay $100+ USD for a Starter set with Resin miniatures and a neoprene gaming mat. Fallout fans may love the idea here but know what you’re getting yourself into it’s not casual game by any stretch


Great presentation
Fantastic line of Resin  Figures,
Great rules once you get a handle on them
Multiple play styles to appease wide player base, great AI system..
Great company support, downloadable  , Cards , Rules,  FAQ, errata , points updates, etc

Starter set Figures and Battle Mat should be better.
Steep learning Curve

Next Up Tutorial Mission 1-  Troubled Beginnings


Hendrid said...

Pretty much the same here excepting I have managed to resist the urge to pick up the game to date. Big fan of Fallout 4 PC game with probably several weeks of play time logged and was thinking the resin mini's and game looked interesting but didn't want to get sucked in with another crossover game, much as yourself.

Thanks for the review and honest appraisal of the game. Interesting and informative reading. I'll try and continue to resist but we'll see if this is successful.

Will look forward to your trial games write-ups with interest.

Simon Quinton said...

Interesting review of the set. Its very similar to others that I have read regarding the pvc figures.


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