Fallout: Wasteland Warfare
A skirmish-level wargame set in the Fallout universe created by Modiphius Entertainment and released in 2017. Also, a campaign game. Also, a single player game. Also, a co-op game. Also, a roleplaying game.
Basically it was just designed as a skirmish type game with some light rules for additional modes, but due to fan response the game was pivoted more towards being an entire system for different kinds of play centering on the same cards, books, and miniatures.
Why Play Wasteland Warfare?
To start, its Fallout and decent so if you're a fan of the games and can afford it, why not? While its not very unique as far as skirmish games go, its lacking in any major drawbacks and incorporated what pretty much all of the skirmish games in 2017 were doing right. That said, all the other modes are very well put together, and WW is unique (at least not considering The Elder Scrolls: Call To Arms, but if you know Fallout you knew that was coming) in putting them all together into one game.
The miniatures also match the games amazingly, although the quality of the starter set minis much closer matches the rubbery material of the pieces in a board game, so it evens out. The rest is high quality resin.
Although the launch minis mostly consisted of Fallout 4 NPCs along with the generic enough Brotherhood and Super Mutants, further waves include both the more generic monsters and Raiders as well as models from other eras.
Shit You Can Buy
As many reviewers have pointed out, the multi-mode game Modiphius created has a built-in economic incentive; you only need to buy what you want to field from factions you collect in skirmish mode like any other game as well as anything that has upgrades you want like most other games that use card-based upgrades, but if you have the components for skirmish mode you also have the components for the other modes of play. In the other two you not only want to buy what you want to play regardless of what faction it is, but also what you want to play against, since every opponent has their own AI and you can mix factions outside of competitive play. Love Super Mutants, but also love Mama Murphy? Center your campaign on her psychic powers being from FEV as she becomes The Master of the east. Love Liberty Prime but hate the Brotherhood from F4? Split your Brotherhood into an east/west civil war over the steel giant. Fuck, run a faction of talking Deathclaws if you want.
- Two Player Starter Set
Obviously, you want to start with this. It gives you the usual stuff like markers, range and templates, dice, and the rulebooks, but the other contents are more useful than most game starter sets. The playmat is generic enough that almost any video or picture you can find of people playing the game is one or two of them put together with different scenery on it, looking fitting every time. The miniatures included not only represent your start to the Survivors and Super Mutant factions, but also include a Brotherhood Of Steel Paladin, a Deathclaw, and an alien which find a fair amount of use in the non-skirmish game modes. You'll want to pick one up. They go on sale sporadically on Miniatures Market and the price fluctuates on Amazon, more so than the starters for similar games. Its not exactly the best deal to buy two of them since there's not much need for a second Nora, there's another pack where you can get another Dogmeat that has a different sculpt and different cards, and the game doesn't have much need for each player to have their own set of the tools, there's something to be said for getting two Deathclaws, two Paladins, two aliens, and two game mats. Still, if you do want those things then consider looking on ebay for individual parts being sold first.
A few campaigns are available to download for free from Modiphius, located unhelpfully in their Shop page. In addition, every set you buy from Wave 1comes with a tutorial mission for that group of models, similar to the X-Wing Miniatures Game. Unfortunately this ended for Wave 2 and onwards, requiring the card expansion set below to get the appropriate ones going forward. The rulebooks and templates in the starter set can also be downloaded for free, but you have to buy the dice and campaign mission book separate.
- Raiders Wave Expansion Card Pack
Unlike Wave 1 where every set came with their own cards, Wave 2 requires you to buy this set individually and get cards for models you may not want. Thankfully the extras are useful in all game modes regardless of faction. Worth considering if you play Settlement or Campaign mode, but if you're a skirmish player and don't want any of the Wave 2 goods or the upgrades then there's not much use for this. The Raiders faction, the Creatures faction, and the Robots faction are covered in the cards along with the Mysterious Stranger and X-01 Power Armor along with a fair amount of generic cards for all modes.
- Settlement Deck
On one hand, you're paying a lot for a large deck of small cards. On the other, this fucking thing MAKES Settlement mode, consisting of an enormous amount of loot and random encounters. While it has merit for skirmish mode, its more of a fun little upgrade rather than a necessary component.
- Roleplaying Game
If you want to play anything deeper than the skirmish game and barebones rules for the other modes presented in the starter set books and short campaign missions, buy this. It contains the rules for character creation, stats for monsters, loot and encounter guides, and so on. A nice side effect is that you don't need to buy a licensed Modiphius pack of models for things when you have a Rules Lawyer in the house since you have a system for statting things. You still need a DM for the non-combat portion of the game, but DMs can join in on combat since it kind of reverts to the skirmish game when you use the AI system. As a result, DMs have been choosing to play characters without agency to affect the non-combat portion of the game such as the dog or robot characters (we're not saying Codsworth and Dogmeat since, this being an RPG, you can make your own characters). While presented as a standalone, as mentioned above its more of an expansion to the skirmish starter set than anything else. Due to a lot of pages being dedicated to lore, and example campaign, and pictures of the miniatures as well as this book being basically a DM book and player book in one, it may seem bare bones; again, that's because this is more of an expansion to the skirmish game, which can be considered the first half of this book. You can just buy this and the dice, then download the skirmish rules while using your existing miniature collection without a problem.
The Notebooks are basically bundles of sheets for Settlement creation and maintenance, as well as functioning as a notebook to reflect on the past of the campaign. Unfortunately these sheets are not available for download. Each notebook is designed to hold five Settlements, which would obviously be player Settlements since the DM would certainly fill it up fairly quickly and it isn't designed for capital city type settlements. Only the first two pages are actually useful info, the rest are just lined sheets and blank pages with Fallout borders. Since the actual two sheets you would want this for are proudly displayed in the example pictures in the store page, albeit at an angle, you can just copy them into a regular notebook. These aren't recommended for anyone unless they want the ultra luxurious experience of buying premium shit that you don't need (so Fallout 76 fans will want it). There's no difference between the two notebook designs other than cover art.
A set of bottle caps printed to look like Nuka Cola caps that are used as currency in the Fallout universe. These are NOT intended as currency in the game, but rather a sheet of stickers is included to place on the bottom of the caps which allow you to use them to replace tokens. Why do this? Well, there's too many different kinds of tokens in the game for Modiphius to easily make a token set, and they got the jump on companies like Litko that usually make third party ones out of plastic. Some people just hate the stock cardboard starter set shit included in games for some reason. You can still use them as currency in campaigns, but you may need more of them for longer ones since you only get 50 in a pack (for comparison, a fairly valuable Sealed Wonderglue bottle you can find as loot has a value of 16). You're better off just saving real bottle caps from whatever you drink, and paint them red then glue some printed out Nuka logos onto them. This pack comes with a bonus weapon card if that means much to you. Highly skippable, unless you just want them for decoration on your desk or the side of the board or whatever. You lay be able to recoup some of the cost by buying multiples and throwing the cards on ebay, or buying the cards that way if that’s what you want.
Its the terrain. It looks exactly like what you see in Fallout 4 and most of the rest of the series. You can easily emulate it all for much cheaper, but it does look really good painted up and saves you scratchbuilding time for buildings instead. There's no reason in the rules you have to buy the official stuff, since there's no real height requirements for specific things. Its just premium content.
- Red Rocket Scenic Set
The ultimate in premium stuff you don’t need, this scenery set perfectly replicates the iconic Settlement from the Fallout 4 trailers and load screen which is (usually) the second Settlement you get in the game. Very overpriced for printed cardboard and resin bits, but you get what you pay for in terms of appearance not to mention only having a few pieces to paint. Has detailed interiors. Its made by Battlesystems, which is amusing since they are probably your first choice for cheaper generic premade terrain. Get this if you’re the kind of person who gets into Warhammer 40000 by browsing Forgeworld.
- Red Rocket Scenic Set (No Mat)
A cheaper version of the above set, coming in around half the price ($44.66 vs $82.93). So what are you giving up to get this cheaper set? The playmat. The 3ftx3ft mat, which is identical to the one you got in the Starter Set. If you want a Red Rocket, buy this one obviously. Hell, you can get an entire Starter Set when its on sale for the price of that fucking mat.
- Liberty Prime
This fucking thing is TO SCALE. It doesn't even have rules yet, and the description of the miniature in the store suggests not gluing it together so the ten pieces can be used as scenery objectives as well as a single miniature. Its not exactly an Imperial Titan, given he costs only around 10% of one at $125 and is around the same height, but Wasteland Warfare is a fairly low cost game considering how much you can do with only the starter set and one or two $40 packs of minis so throwing down the bastard on the table is seriously upping the ante.
- Yes, there are rules for cars exploding in a mushroom cloud when they take enough damage. Bust out those old Hot Wheels cars from your childhood or pick some up. Any faction can take advantage of this.
- No matter what mode you are playing, there are objectives beyond just killing. Characters who can react well to situations indicated on cards, or hack terminals and pick locks, are useful to let wander the map and loot shit like a player character and try not to be picked off while the rest of the group kills the enemy like Essential Companions.
- Super Mutant Suiciders
Well hello, broken game. Suiciders function exactly the way they do in Fallout 4, and if you skipped the entry just know that these are Super Mutants who have decided to carry a fucking Mini Nuke like a football, and they intend to tackle you rather than throw it. There's no lore explanation of why they do this, and given the higher wisdom of F4 SMs compared to the rest of the series its possible they're the dumbest and that their companions just told them to do it as a means of weeding out the stupid and ensuring victory (given the fact that other than Deathclaws this is one of the most reliable ways to kill a player in the entire franchise, its practical). They'll spout off voice lines implying they think they'll survive while they charge, although this may just be due to not having unique lines (although since a surprising amount of the game has unique scenario lines, its hard to say).
Lore aside, Suiciders break the game while just starting out. They can easily reach the opposing player on a charge on the map that comes with the starter set, and since the game rewards grouping models together they can wipe a team. So if you're playing Super Mutants you have no reason not to pick them up, there's no downside unless you're dumb enough to group them together or alongside your other SMs. You can possibly knock out one or all of the opponent's models immediately, or sit on a pivotal point on the map and refuse to budge and dare them to come make you. Even when your opponent knows how to deal with them, they're still a Distraction Carnifex allowing you to put your Hounds into the opponent without them getting picked off from the beginning.
As for countering them, there's three strategies. 1) Invest in a higher point character, such as someone in Power Armor who can tank the explosion or a character who has high accuracy/damage. 2) Refuse to play unless the map is bigger and/or there is more scenery, since its easier to counter them when they don't get immediate line of sight and no obstacles in their path. 3) Concentrate ALL your firepower on killing the fuckers.
In all three strategies you want to keep your models far enough apart they can't get more than one kill per Suicider, but this comes with the drawback of being isolated against a faction that excels in getting in your face and beating down lone opponents in melee.