Welcome to another Fallout tutorial scenarios battle report! This time, we have the Survivors and Super Mutants duking it out over water. As you can probably imagine, clean water is in very short supply in the post-apocalyptic landscape of Boston so this type of struggle for resources is all but inevitable. Without giving too much away, this battle report was a wild one and hopefully makes for an entertaining read!
Recap and Scenario Backstory – While Jeff and the Survivors had some early success rescuing Dogmeat and preventing a band of Super Mutants from securing resources in the area, they were unable to stop the Super Mutants from securing the ruins of Fort Davis which were littered with weapons and supplies. The dry season has taken its toll on the Survivors’ water supplies, making the journey to the pumps at the old water treatment plant unavoidable. The generator found there could be used to move water to the settlement’s reservoir, but its systems seem to have broken down. The main problem is that the treatment plant is located deep in Super Mutant territory. This won’t be a walk in the park.
Scenario Setup – Obviously, the most important part of this scenario is the water pump area. Unfortunately, my water tank terrain piece is much smaller than what you probably should have (though it does allow plenty of movement around it which is arguably just as important. I mostly used the remaining terrain in my collection to fill out the board though the reality that I need to get more terrain build struck me yet again for this report. On the flip side, this is a good reason for replaying this scenario down the road so I shouldn’t be too upset about this.
The main objective for the Survivors is to pump 30,000 gallons of water within the 6 round limit (they have two extra rounds compared to the previous two scenarios). Each turn, they can pump 6,000 gallons on the first successful Use Computer check and then 1,000 after that. However, if Tom, the Enslaved Tech, leaves the pumping area, they lose 2,000 of the first 6,000 since he is an expert on running the pumps. It goes without saying that he is really important to keep control over in the battle. It is also worth noting that I found the rules for pumping water confusing. The Wrench marker which is the far corners of the board is actually for a generator that will automatically pump 5,000 gallons per turn which sounds amazing but its risky considering Tom is discouraged from leaving the pump area and the generators take a turn or two to reach. Since I didn’t understand this rule beforehand, I didn’t use it, though I doubt that I would have gone after the generators regardless as it plays into the Super Mutants’ hands. So I don’t think this rules flub unbalanced this playthrough thankfully.
The Super Mutants, meanwhile, are capturing Survivors as they knock them out in melee. They need to capture four models and Tom, the Enslaved Tech counts for two which makes him even more pivotal in the battle.
This battle also adds new rules for terrain (which didn’t really come up in this battle) and quick actions which played a big role. I’ll talk more about this at the end of the report but I found this part of the rules to be the first thing in the rulebook that was confusing and not well explained. Hopefully, I got these right over the course of the battle and they certainly added another strategic wrinkle to the game which was nice.
Survivors – The Survivors’ side is unchanged except for the addition of Tom, the Enslaved Tech, who recently fled from the Super Mutants and apparently is a fan of S&M attire!
In terms of strategy, the Survivors are kind of “land-locked” in the pump area and would have to try and get a successful initial water pump each turn to have a chance to win. Tom would be doing that as much as possible because he has a really high computer use skill, whereas others like Bob and Daria’s skills are quite low. Obviously, with Tom being important and worth two models if captured, he would have to be protected from the mutants the most. The Super Mutants will definitely want to charge and get in close combat so the Survivors will hopefully be able to make their shots count before they get too close.
The Survivors have to deploy first in this scenario so I spread them out across three different sides of the board, thinking that would give me flexibility to redeploy as needed in the opening turns.
Super Mutants – Unlike the previous scenario, the Super Mutants had fewer models than the Survivors but they do get a Brute, named Ram, (curiously, this is Ram’s first appearance in the scenarios but I would imagine he’ll be sticking around for the remaining scenarios) which will definitely be their muscle in this scenario. Both myself and Jeff, the sole survivor, (kind of meta, isn’t it) learned in the first scenario how dangerous a Brute can be so the Super Mutants would try their best to keep Ram safe until he starts wreaking havoc in close combat.
While I’d like to say I had a genius tactical plan, my plan was to try and use the hound and Ram together to charge the front where Tom, Jeff, and Dogmeat were and the remaining two mutants would pursue Bob and Daria on the other side. The items available through scavenging in this scenario seemed like a bit of a red herring to me and the mutants would mostly ignore them as only a couple you could potentially get would likely be helpful and the focus had to be on getting close up and bashing in the humans!
Here is a look at the board from the perspective of the Mutants groups after deployment.
With the lowest model count, the Super Mutants were up first. Ram, Ram readied but did not take any actions yet, hoping that one or more targets would get a bit closer first.
Jeff readied and headed for the nearest water pump since Ram and his hound were out of pistol range. Jeff passed his Use Computer test and pumped 6,000 gallons since he was the first Survivor to have a successful test this turn. Jeff also received a quick action as part of that dice roll which likely would come in handy as Ram approached.
The super mutant hound activated and both Ram and hound would take their actions now. Ram moved forward which triggered Jeff’s prepare quick action. While Ram was in pistol range, Jeff was also very much in the Brute’s charge range now so he elected to move a reduced distance away with the quick action. With Jeff now out of charge range, Ram decided to take cover instead of trying advance and risk being shot by Tom and charged by Dogmeat. Ram rifled through the old military equipment behind the barrier and a blast of radiation emitted from some of the equipment. Ram shrugged that off because the mutants conquered radiation, just like they would the humans, and pulled out sturdy leather armor which would give him some extra protection against energy weapons which nobody in this battle had.
A cunning plan formed in the super mutant hound’s mind as it saw an opportunity to get after Tom, the Enslaved Tech thanks to the hound’s massive charge range. It might be suicidal or it could prove a major blow to the Survivors’ chance of winning. The hound charged Tom using both actions. The hound would either have to wait until next round to attack or more likely, try to bite him as Tom fled from combat.
Dogmeat readied to try and help Tom. Charging the mutant hound, the Survivors suddenly had a numbers advantage which would give them a bonus accuracy die in combat. Dogmeat used his second action to try and bite the hound. It was a success and generated a quick action too. Dogmeat bit into the hound and caused two damage.
The trap sprung by the hound was vexing for the Survivors. If Tom tried to flee he could easily take three wounds and be captured which would probably result in a loss this early in the game. Tom could try and attack the hound instead which surprisingly would keep him safer in the short term but the Hound would likely get two attacks next round unless Tom could kill the hound which was unlikely. While neither option was a great one, Tom decided to try and back away. With an extremely lucky poor attack roll by the hound, Tom broke away without suffering any damage and headed to the side of the water tank where he hoped to be safer.
One of the super mutants on the right side of the board readied and charged forward to try and make contact with Daria and Bob on their side of the board.
Daria activated and readied her assault rifle. The first shot just barely hit but caused three wounds which is half of a mutant’s health. The second shot did equally well and the mutant slumped over as the first casualty of the game! Much like in previous scenarios, Daria was a lethal shot and probably the most dangerous member of the Survivors. The Super Mutants probably made a bit of a blunder charging Bob and Daria here and paid a heavy price for it.
The second super mutant was not feeling so brave after Daria’s shooting. Instead, he moved along the right side of the board to try and reunite with the remaining mutant forces.
Feeling relatively safe, Bob moved towards the nearest pump but his poor computer skills meant that he could not get any water pumped this turn.
The objectives at the end of the first round were: 6,000/30,000 gallons pumped. No Survivors captured.
The Super Mutants maintained the advantage due to their lower model count and with the hound in a precarious position, it readied first and attacked Dogmeat. The attack landed causing two wounds and also generated a quick action which could determine the winner of the canine battle. Dogmeat had a quick action of his own and launched a counter attack! With some fortuitous rolling, the bite was fatal thanks to a bonus damage die. It was only the second round and Super Mutants force had already been cut in half.
Bob activated and tried to pump some water. He received a quick action and successful pumped 6,000 gallons on the first attempt and failed on the second.
Tired of seeing his lackey’s fail, Ram was able to charge Dogmeat. Letting out a fierce battle cry, Ram got a bonus accuracy and damage die. With a mountain of extra dice, Ram should have done real damage to Dogmeat but the hound somehow evaded the sledgehammer. Dogmeat reacted by using his quick action to launch an attack. It too missed but generated a quick action which would be lost as Dogmeat activated next.
Dogmeat was happy to stay in combat and do any damage possible so that is who activated next. Surprisingly, both bites missed as well!
The remaining super mutant activated and was just barely in charge range of Daria so he used both actions to do so and hopefully get revenge on her soon.
Tom activated and headed for the safest pump in the back. He successfully operated the computer and added 1,000 gallons to the Survivors total.
Jeff activated and moved back so that in the likely event that Dogmeat fell to Ram, he could fire a shot or two off safely and avoid close combat.
Daria activated last and moved away from the super mutant. The mutant’s “free” attack whiffed continuing the horrible rolls for their side. Daria aimed her assault rifle at the mutant and hit for two damage. The Survivors’ luck continued to hold and the Super mutants were struggling to make any impact on the game early on.
The objectives at the end of the second round were: 13,000/30,000 gallons pumped. No Survivors captured.
The Super Mutants retained the advantage yet again and the Super Mutant activated first since he was vulnerable to shooting otherwise. The mutant charged Daria and swung his board at her as Bob looked on. The mutant’s board hit her but only caused one wound on Daria thanks to her armor.
The Survivors readied Dogmeat for similar reasons and tried to attack Ram. The first bite missed but generated a quick action. Dogmeat lunged a second time and bit the Brute’s leg causing two wounds.
Ram readied and took a dose of psycho to help him shrug off future attacks. Ram then slammed Dogmeat with his sledgehammer for three damage. Jeff’s companion had one wound left. Dogmeat used his quick action to try and land another blow on Ram but missed by a single point. Ram took a drink from his Nuka-Cola and his two wounds were removed thanks to the miracle of carbonation! Ram wound up and swung his sledge one more time and hit Dogmeat with it. Dogmeat was severely weakened and captured by Ram. The first Survivor loss and finally some progress made by the Super Mutants towards their objective!
Jeff readied and took a dose of Jet which may help if any quick actions are generated. While he knew that his pistol couldn’t stop Ram, Jeff had to protect Tom at the pump for at least another turn or the Survivors could be in real trouble. Jeff’s first shot hit Ram’s chest and caused two wounds. Jeff’s second shot had the same result. Ram’s health had been halved as things continued to worsen for the Super Mutants.
Tom readied and tried to pump as much water as he could. Both attempts were successful and 7,000 gallons were added to the Survivors’ total.
Daria readied next, hoping to get away from the super mutant and gun him down. If that occurred, victory would be very close for the Survivors. But first, she drank her Nuka Cherry to recover her sole wound. While it was probably a bit wasteful as it could have healed more wounds, drinking the Nuka now would all but ensure she could break away from the super mutant without dying. The super mutant failed to hit her as she broke away but did receive a prepare quick action. Daria backed away and fired her assault rifle and missed!
This allowed the super mutant to use his prepare action to charge Bob instead. Bob used his prepare action to try and attack the mutant in close combat. Bob swung and hit the mutant with his rifle causing a wound. It was a rare moment of bravery for Bob but would it help save his life?
Bob readied last and even with the lucky wound he just caused, he knew his best chance was to back away and shoot. The super mutant tried to hit Bob but predictably missed. Bob aimed his rifle and pulled the trigger. The mutant was hit and started breathing heavily as it had a single wound left.
The objectives at the end of the third round were: 20,000/30,000 gallons pumped. One Survivor captured.
The mutants were up first and the pair left standing were feeling desperate. Outnumbered, outgunned, and heavily wounded, Ram would try to take as many down as he could even if securing the water was likely not possible.
The super mutant readied first and charged Bob. A critical hit with two extra damage meant Bob took four wounds and was captured! The super mutant finally came good after so many missed combats. And Bob’s strange and often cruel luck continued as well!
Jeff readied to try and gun down Ram before he charged again. Jeff missed by one point on a shot that would have done an incredible five damage if it was successful. Surely, that was a near headshot on Ram! The second shot barely hit Ram and managed two wounds. Ram had two wounds left.
Enraged and ready to beat something into a pulp, Ram readied and charged with a successful battle cry. With a bunch of bonus dice, Ram chuckled before swinging his sledge. Jeff’s armor helped a bit but he took three wounds as Ram landed a body shot with the sledgehammer. *Note* While I took the picture below before I remembered the rule, Ram executed a slide around Jeff’s base so he could perform a sneaky tactic next turn.
Surprisingly, things looked a bit more precarious for the Survivors now… Tom readied and nervously tried to pump water as his former captors started to surround him. Two critical successes on the Use Computer checks meant that the Survivors were one more round of pumping water from victory.
Daria readied last and she had to move forward to get in range against the super mutant. She needed to kill him before he could get to Tom. Getting in close range with her deadly assault rifle surely helped as she put the super mutant down with a single shot in its back.
The objectives at the end of the fourth round were: 27,000/30,000 gallons pumped. Two survivors captured.
Ram was first to go and surprisingly, there was still a chance that he could bring home a victory with a fair bit of luck. After the slide around Jeff’s base, Ram broke combat with Jeff to charge Tom. Jeff failed to hit Ram as he broke away but Jeff did receive a quick action. Ram charged Tom but without a successful battle cry this time. Jeff used his prepare action to try and shoot Ram which was dangerous since he could end up hitting Ram or Jeff. Jeff’s shot missed and Tom looked to be in serious danger now. The most important and dramatic roll of the game was devastating for the Super Mutants. True to their luck this game, Ram automatically missed.
Tom activated and successfully pumped the needed water. The Survivors barely got what they needed but they immediately retreated leaving Ram apoplectic and alone wondering how his plan went so wrong!
As of three scenarios, the Survivors are leading 2-1 and are now well-supplied on water. With Ram’s appearance, the troubles are not over for the Survivors. Further conflict with him and his forces were all but inevitable…
Post Game Thoughts – Well, I am no tactical genius (if I was, I’d be a chess grandmaster!), but nobody could have predicted some of the wild things that happened in this game. For example, the Super Mutants couldn’t hit anything in the early parts of the game when they desperately needed to thin out the Survivors a bit more. And Daria was just lethal and probably did the most to deliver victory for the Survivors. The rolls I got throughout the game were wild even if I didn’t share too many details to keep the report moving. I generated a ton of quick actions which was statistically unlikely but certainly gave me a lots of opportunities to try out the new rules. Some of the Super Mutant misses were shocking because Ram had roughly an 80% chance of hitting something in melee and still couldn’t get Tom at the end of the game. Sometimes it just isn’t your day!
I can’t help but feel that my tactical decisions with the Super Mutants were not quite cohesive enough to win this time. Charging two super mutants at the settlers with assault rifles was clearly a mistake. I also never seem to use the mutants hounds as effectively as I should. I probably wasted the one in this game with a sneaky but desperate attack on Tom that got nowhere. It really is key to know when and where to charge in with them because they can do so at their leisure. I’m rarely patient enough, though I will try to do better in the future.
With that said, I had a great time and this scenario is well-balanced just like the previous ones, even with me butchering a few rules like for the generator. I had a particularly tough time figuring out how quick actions worked because I didn’t feel they were explained quite as clearly as they could have been in the rulebook. An example or two would have really helped. I’m sure I made some small mistakes with quick actions but overall, I like what they add to the game and they make it even more strategic, not that the game is lacking in that department!
I also enjoyed Battle Cry which made Ram really formidable in melee. A Brute is already scary in these scenarios but Ram was clearly the most powerful miniature on the board and a lot of fun to use.
While it was tricky to get down some of the new rules and there is more and more to remember with each tutorial scenario, I did want to mention that this game had a great flow to it and it took me about two and a half hours to play solo. I didn’t have any issues of feeling mentally tired after I got done like the last time I played so maybe that was a one off thing as well.
I’d give this scenario 4.5 out of 5 stars as other than the generator rule which wasn’t as clear to me as it could have been, I think it is extremely well-designed and a lot of fun to play. I’d certainly give it another try and it would be interesting to give it a go with other factions once I build up my terrain collection a bit further.