Fallout: The Board Game is back in stock here in the UK, and by now I’m sure many of you will have already made your mind up on whether this one is for you. There’s still plenty of you out there who just can’t decide though. So lets see if I can help push you folks one way or the other!
If you haven’t seen what this one’s all about, then take a few minutes to watch my time lapse overview, to find out a little bit more.
Hopefully you’ve got a good feel for what to expect, and I really can’t stress enough that, as a thematic experience, Fallout really does shine. You get a great sense of the source material and Fantasy Flight have done a great job translating the wasteland environment into a board game. That said, it’s important to point out that Fallout is not a game that shines, when examined as a competetive experience. It’s something I touched on in the video overview but I feel that it’s worth expanding on a little more.
The win condition in Fallout revolves around Agenda Cards and Influence points, which on the surface is just fine and something that should work perfectly well. Players collect Agenda Cards and gain Influence. The problem in practice, however is a little more complex. You see, the vast majority of Agenda cards revolve around advancing one faction over another and the majority of your end game scoring is going to rely on faction advancement. However, drawing into the Agenda Cards you want, or need, is an exercise in pure, unadulterated luck.
It’s quite possible to draw into two or even three Agenda cards that all belong to the same faction. Equally you might end up with one Agenda Card for each of the two factions, meaning one of those Agenda Cards is not going to be generating the Influence you need for a winning score. The third possibility is that you end up without any Agenda Cards that relate to faction advancement. In which case, you’ll probably be having more fun than anyone else at the table but are unlikely to gain enough Influence to win the game. The Agenda Cards are simply too random and their distribution is not something players are able to control.
Fallout is still an incredibly fun game with some unique mechanics that will provide the right gaming group with some memorable gaming experiences. However, it’s really important to understand exactly what you’re getting into here. If you want, or need a tight, well balanced gaming experience this is probably not the game for you. At least not until we see an expansion to tighten up the end game.
Ultimately, while the Euro gamer inside me is still occassionally frustrated by Fallout, there is still just so much to love about this game. If you’re a fan of the thematic, then make sure you pick this one up.
And if you’re still not decided, you can go ahead and check out another couple of playthroughs over in the video section!