Welcome to the 4th Fallout tutorial scenario. The mini-campaign continues on and this time, the Survivors are searching for a journal with potentially valuable information while the Super Mutants hope to exact some revenge from their previous loss. This battle report did not go the way I planned or necessarily even expected but you’ll have to read on to find out why.
Recap and Scenario Backstory – After a successful run to get water for the settlement, Jeff and his fellow settlers had a fairly peaceful week or two until a battered stranger in power armor staggered into the settlement.
“I failed to retrieve it,” Aspirant Goddard gasped. “The journal. The chemical compound capable of reversing the effects of F.E.V. The end of all Super Mutants.”
That explained the gunfire heard from near the rad-drenched junkyard. This soldier was in no shape to return, but something that could drive the Super Mutants away? That’s worth investigating. Radiation in the junkyard was a problem, surely Goddard wouldn’t mind lending you his power armor.
Scenario Setup – As you can see from the picture above, radiation pools play a major part in this scenario. The Survivors have to navigate the junkyard and find a key for a safe and then unlock that safe with the journal in tow and escape the board in six rounds. Each turn a Survivor is within yellow range of a radiation pool, they have to take a check to see if they suffer any radiation damage. The Super Mutants have no such issue with radiation and while the Survivors, have to escape with the journal, the Super Mutants simply need to stop the Survivors from escaping with it.
Its worth nothing that when I placed terrain, I deliberately gave the Super Mutants a bit better terrain to use. In the previous scenarios, I don’t think I’ve had nearly enough line of sight blocking terrain and I’m sure that has helped the Survivors rack up a couple of wins. So for this scenario, I thought why not give the Super Mutants more terrain and see how it impacts the game?
This scenario adds some pretty exciting new rules including thrown weapons like grenades, more powerful weapons and their potential effects (setting someone on fire, stunning them, etc.), and power armor! Bring out the big guns and armor because they’re finally going to hit the wasteland battlefield!
The Survivors – The usual cast of characters is available in this battle with a few notable changes. Jeff is in power armor which makes him even more powerful and more importantly, durable. Meanwhile, the remaining Survivors are basically the same as in other scenarios. The one thing that I should have done before I played was check the errata because Bob and Daria are supposed to have fragmentation grenades according to the rulebook but they actually do not have the ability to throw them which means they’re worthless. This is fixed in the errata and unfortunately is not in the Wasteland Warfare app so I wasn’t able to test out grenades in this scenario.
In terms of strategy, I’ve had great success blasting mutants at long range so I figured that I would spend a couple of rounds thinning them out and then try to find the journal a bit more at my leisure. I also planned on keeping Dogmeat back early on to make sure I could use his speed later on to hunt down any Super Mutants who were feeling a bit shy. Perhaps falling back on old habits, I kept Jeff and Dogmeat close together and the two Settlers, Bob and Daria teamed up as well.
The Super Mutants – First off, I should acknowledge that it is hard to play this scenario with What You See Is What You Get. There simply aren’t sculpts to represent some of the characters in this scenario. With that out of the way, what is immediately noticeable is that the mutants get a real shot in the arm in this scenario by getting a Brute with a missile launcher. I suspected this would be a very nasty combination as the range on the missile launcher is HUGE and it can potentially do a lot of damage in the right hands even if it can only be fired once a round. Sledge would have his namesake and be paired with a hound since they were both best served in close combat. The Aviator had fairly routine equipment and would hopefully chip in with some shooting or charging as needed. I figured the Super Mutants would try to shoot as many missiles as they can and keep their “shock troops” safe until they could charge and that would just about take care of tactics for their feeble minds!
Jeff advanced towards the nearest searchable marker and scavenged a stimpack which is always handy to have in a fight.
The Super Mutant Hound activated next and played it safe by advancing to the shipping crate and checking the nearby item. This searchable marker related to the safe which the mutants don’t care about so the counter stayed in play as if it had never been checked. I suppose in theory since I was playing both sides, I could have benefitted from this information but I realized at this point in the game, the Super Mutants shouldn’t even bother and just go after the Survivors with everything they had.
Daria moved up and took cover behind the closest barricade because of the threat of the missile launcher across the board.
Sledge wanted to sneak up on the settlers but stay safe at the same time, so he followed the hound to the shipping crate to stay in cover.
Dogmeat advanced to the suitcase and checked the searchable marker which contained Radaway. Another item that is likely to be handy with all the radiation pools in this section of the wasteland.
The Aviator readied his pipe rifle and moved near the hill with a radiation pool since the large rock offered partial cover. Next turn, the Aviator would be well-positioned to shoot at Bob or Daria next turn.
Bob took a similar cautious strategy to Daria and found nearby cover to try and wait and shoot at some super mutants next turn.
The Brute with a missile launcher took a few steps forward and fired off a shot at Daria. Even with the barricade, the missile was a critical hit with an extra damage thrown in. This would have just killed Daria if not for the Settlers faction armor rule which saved one of the wounds. She was lucky to survive but was not going to last long in this fight which did not bode well for the Survivors considering her general knack for heroism and deadly shooting.
At the end of each round, any Survivors within range of a radiation pool have to take a radiation damage check. Dogmeat took a single point of radiation damage and Jeff’s armor blocked the damage. In case you were curious, Super Mutants do not take any radiation damage since they’ve already been about as damaged by it as possible!
The mutants went first in the second round so the Brute activated first to try and finish off Daria. The missile hit again with extra damage thanks to a die roll and Daria had no choice but to withdraw with grievous wounds.
Bob readied next and lined the Brute up in his sights. The first shot hit the ground harmlessly but the second shot hit. Unfortunately for the Survivors, the damaged was saved by the Brute’s armor.
The Aviator left the rocky cover behind to try and get a shot at Dogmeat. The Super Mutant’s shot missed Jeff’s loyal companion however.
Dogmeat readied but decided not to activate yet since there wasn’t really a great tactical option available.
The Super Mutant Hound loped across the board and charged Jeff to try and tie him up further. The Super Mutants seemed to be in a really good position to win so why not press the advantage and keep the pressure up?
Jeff readied and the remaining Survivors had to activate now. He decided to go first and try to move away from the Super Mutant Hound to blast it with his Laser Rifle. The hound missed on the free attack as Jeff moved away but it did get a quick action as solace. Jeff fired a shot at the hound and hit for three damage. The hound used the prepare quick action to charge back at Jeff.
Dogmeat readied next and charged the hound. With his second action, Jeff’s loyal companion delivered a fatal blow to the hound. Another scenario, another sacrificial super mutant hound! One of these times I’ll get better mileage out of the hounds though the stalling and distracting the hound did had some value too.
Sledge activated last and moved around the shipping crate and then charged Jeff to try and take advantage of the distraction provided by the Super Mutant Hound.
At the end of the round, Dogmeat took another point of radiation damage and Jeff’s armor once again saved him.
The Survivors took the initiative back and Bob activated with the Brute in his sights. The missile launcher had to be stopped as quickly as the Survivors could manage as it was wreaking havoc and preventing them from achieving their objective of finding the journal. Bob’s first shot barely hit the Brute but completely ignored its armor, causing two wounds. This was unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, a rare moment of effective shooting by Bob. Bob returned to form and missed wildly on the second shot.
Sledge activated next to try and take a couple of swings at Jeff. The first attempt hit Jeff upside the head and did a point of damage which was only possible thanks to a bunch of favorable dice modifiers for the Super Mutants. The protection power armor offers is no joke! The second swing was completely saved by Jeff’s armor.
Dogmeat was next and sprung into action to try and protect Jeff. With a bonus damage and armor break, Sledge took three wounds and had three left.
The Aviator activated and moved forward. While he was more exposed in this position, it gave him a better chance of shooting the Survivors next turn. The Aviator took a shot at Bob and hit him causing a single wound. Bob was now in a tough spot with the Brute still yet to activate this round…
Jeff was last up for the Survivors and instead of fleeing Sledge to try and fire his Laser Rifle, he decided to use his improvised weapon to attack in melee. The first stab did a point of damage and generated a quick action. The second thrust caused another which left Sledge with a single wound.
The Brute strutted forward and could only aim for Bob. Unfortunately for the often suffering Bob, the missile once again was accurate and did three wounds which was exactly what was needed to end his participation in the battle.
At the end of the round, Dogmeat took another radiation damage and Jeff was able to prevent it due to his power armor.
Thanks to Bob’s untimely demise, the Survivors were outnumbered by the Super Mutants and thus would go first this round. Dogmeat started off by using Radaway (I assume that Jeff helped with this since they were right next to each other but you can do strange things like this with items in Fallout so its not as crazy as it sounds). Unfortunately, the radiation is only converted to regular damage so Dogmeat was still quite vulnerable. Dogmeat then turned their attention to Sledge. The first attack missed but the second did not and Sledge was knocked out of the battle.
The Brute went next, sensing a chance to strike, and put a real dent in Jeff and Dogmeat. The Brute fired the missile launcher which caused a critical hit on Jeff and collateral damage to Dogmeat. Jeff’s companion took two wounds and Jeff took a single wound thanks to the superior protection of the power armor. Not great but it could have been worse.
Jeff readied and aimed his sights on the Brute who had caused enormous harm to the Survivors this game. His first shot from the Laser Rifle singed the Brute and caused two wounds. The second shot bounced harmlessly off its armor.
The Aviator readied and fired a shot at Dogmeat. Jeff’s companion whimpered after being hit and limped away from the battlefield, leaving Jeff to fend for himself. The Aviator set his sights on Jeff and scored a hit with two extra wounds but Jeff negated them with his power armor save! A lucky break for the Survivors when the battle was starting to really turn against them.
Jeff once again shrugged off any radiation damage thanks to his power armor.
With two rounds to go, it was obvious that recovery of the journal was impossible due to my own bad tactics. More on this later. Instead, Jeff vowed to try and kill as many Super Mutants as he could. He went first and aimed for the Brute to try and finally get rid of it. The first shot hit and caused three wounds but the second missed leaving the Brute with a single wound much to Jeff’s chagrin.
The Brute was up next and knew it needed to cause damage to Jeff if the Super Mutants had any chance of pulling off a victory. The missile hit Jeff and caused two damage to his armor. The armor was now degraded and offered less protection and Jeff would take damage directly for the first time in the game. The Brute used his second action to charge Jeff.
The Aviator moved forward and then charged into Jeff as well instead of trying to fire a shot and potentially killing the Brute.
Because of Jeff’s degraded armor, he finally took a radiation damage at the end of the round.
Jeff readied and decided to try and target the Brute again. The first attack hit but the Brute’s armor prevented the wound. The second stab caused the Brute to stagger and slump to the ground. Finally, the Survivors stopped the unit that terrorized them all game.
The Aviator had one last chance to try and knock Jeff out of the battle for a more decisive victory but the odds were not in their favor. The first whack of the board hit Jeff and caused two wounds in spite of the power armor. The Aviator had a chance to get Jeff with the final attack… The second attack could have done four damage but it missed and Jeff escaped without too many wounds (for once!). The Super Mutants were roughed up but they emerged victorious making the mini campaign tied at 2-2.
Post-Game Thoughts – Well, that did not go according to plan and I made some real mistakes playing this time. I almost thought about not doing a write up for this scenario because I completely lost track of the objective for the Survivors and accidentally played to lose. I’ve played somewhere between 10-20 games of Fallout and MESBG combined so it is a bit surprising to have it happen now but I chalk it up to rushing a bit more than I should have to get this game in. I’ll talk a bit more about this in a bit.
Obviously, the Survivors should have rushed the objective markers, tried to find the safe and key, and got the journal off the board. In my defense, this scenario seems to be tough for the Survivors and that missile launcher is strong enough to throw anyone off their game. Truthfully, I played scared with the Survivors after the first missile hit Daria. In my mind, I thought that I would try to weaken the Super Mutants for a couple of rounds and then go for the objectives when it would be easier but that was flawed and was never going to work.
I also foolishly setup the terrain to be a bit more advantageous for the Super Mutants. I have had a theory that the previous scenarios lacked the needed amount of terrain which made it easy for the Survivors to pick apart the mutants with all of their firepower. So this time I overcompensated and let the Super Mutants have some extra cover, all while accidentally giving the Brute a great fire lane to rain down missiles on soft targets. In a sense, I’m impressed the Survivors did as well as they did and I think if I had charged Jeff towards the missile launcher and made him the focus of the Super Mutants, I would have had much better luck even in a straight fight.
I foolishly did not look over the stats and weapon loadouts of the units for this fight and devise a strategy using that knowledge. I’m sure that is partially why the game turned out the way that it did and if I had done a bit more thinking, I would have used the Survivors more effectively in this one. In the future, I’m going to try and slow down and give myself a bit of time to strategize and make sure I’m actually playing the scenario wisely to prevent what happened here. I probably also made some rules mistakes along the way due to how fast I tried to play this one but I don’t think they made a huge impact on the final results thankfully.
But enough about all of the mistakes I made, how is this scenario? Well, its probably more fun to be a Super Mutant than a Survivor this time. The missile launcher is great fun and blasting targets does not get old! I do think that the random nature of this scenario makes it weaker than the previous ones though I’m hesitant to rate it because I didn’t play it correctly. The fact that the Super Mutants had the advantage all game and looked like they would win even if this scenario was a straight up deathmatch indicates to me that the scenario is probably tilted in their favor. What I am about to say next is a potential spoiler if you haven’t played this scenario and want to see the story after you play your game then I suggest skipping the rest of this paragraph. This scenario also seems thematically weak. If the Survivors win, it turns out, there’s nothing of value in the safe. The journal has already been more or less destroyed. If they lose, the journal is lost as well. If that isn’t a McGuffin, then I don’t know what is! I think it might have been better if something less earth-shattering was the focus of the scenario so as not to create disappointment when it turns out the fighting was a waste of time but that’s just my take. All in all, I think this scenario was probably the worst of the ones I’ve played but it was still fun and worth playing. I have certainly played a couple games that were worse than this one.
It was great to play another game of Fallout and to get to use some new terrain. I thought the board looked nice and I really appreciated having a mat that matches my terrain. I think I picked a winner there and this is the best mat I have purchased for my terrain collection.
Best of all, the fifth and final tutorial scenario is going to determine who wins the mini-campaign. It should be an interesting game because it involves a Deathclaw! I’ve got some hobbying to do before I can play it of course but I hope to tackle those projects in the near future so I hope you will look forward to that.
Thanks as always to anyone who reads the full report. I know these things are long (heck, they take me a ton of work to write them up) so I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to more!