Fallout Wasteland Warfare – Loot The Area – Battle Report

31 thoughts on “Fallout Wasteland Warfare – Loot The Area – Battle Report”

  1. Nice write up! Thanks for taking the time to write this all down. I totally understand you wanting to move away from these longer written battle reports, as they do indeed take a lot of time to write.

    The random event deck seems interesting and a fun addition and all in all this playthrough felt very thematic and narrative-driven. Just what I like in tabletop wargames!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re very welcome and I appreciate you reading it as well. I don’t mind the time and effort to write these reports per say but I think about half of my regular readers enjoy them and the other half don’t get a lot out of them so if I can find a way to write them in a quicker way, it seems like it might be a win-win.

      The event deck is a cool touch in that it just adds a little theme to each round. I didn’t draw much that impacted the game but I think throwing a few surprises into the mix helps keep the game interesting. I find that Fallout is best as a thematic and narrative driven game which is probably why I’ve taken to it. It is kind of the reverse of MESBG which I think does points matches best and narrative is second. Fallout is best at narrative and not a great tournament game. If I remember correctly, you want to give Fallout a try and I’ll certainly be curious to see what you think of it when you get around to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great write up. A tense game. The only bit I was a bit confused about was the lead pipe had more points than a grenade. Maybe it was a big lead pipe 😋. I started looking at the 3D printer files for Fallout last night. I was really drawn to the vehicles as I love the aesthetics.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Cheers, mate! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it and it was a tense one to be sure. I think a grenade is better than a lead pipe too but those were the point values assigned by the developers so I went with them. The only thing I can think of is that a lead pipe can be used repeatedly where a grenade is a single use item but even then, I’d rather have the grenade in-game! Modiphius makes plenty of vehicles taken straight from Fallout 4 though I’m sure you can get others if you’d like. Eventually, I hope to make some streets and cars for Fallout. Its definitely in my future plans!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great write up Jeff, can fully understand having a break from them, as it’s a lot of write up to do. Look forward to seeing what scenery you have planned.
    The AI is interesting, if it gives the feel of the computer game, then I guess it’s giving it a sense of realism to the gaming, even if it’s not what we would consider being tactically sound.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Dave! I don’t like to think about it but I suspect it takes between 5-8 hours of work for me whereas the typical article I write takes less than two hours and probably closer to a single hour most weeks.

      I think the AI in Fallout will be iterated upon by other games and overall, I think it does what its supposed to do and the AI works well for a narrative focused game. I don’t think an AI will ever be better or more fun than a human opponent for tournament style games but I’d love to be wrong on that.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Very cool report. I do love the more in depth write ups but I do agree they take an inordinate amount of time to put together.
    I’ve played with AI before in other systems and the fact this game has an
    App to handle it is really cool, rolling on a bunch of tables for each model really slows down the pace of the game, so that has to be a massive plus for Fallout if you’re going to play it solo or coop.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, mate! I enjoy working on these types of battle reports as I read my fair share in White Dwarfs growing up so I think its neat to try and make my own. While I want to make them shorter, its entirely possible that they aren’t as satisfying that way and end up staying in this format in the long run too. We’ll see how it all shakes out!

      I think the app is a big asset for Fallout and other wargames like MESBG would really benefit from it. It just speeds up a lot of things and makes it really quick and easy to reference stats and abilities for units too. Not only that but it makes money for Modiphius (or at least I assume so) so I don’t see why people like Games Workshop don’t jump on it!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Great battle report and as always your photos have me feeling nostalgic for the PC game.

    Real players make tactical blunders as do AI. Sometimes real players intentionally make what appear very poor tactical decisions because of a deeper plan. So random AI “mistakes” can simulate that. However I understand the slippery slope temptation to just ignore what looks like “broken AI decisions”. One way to avoid the slippery slope is perhaps to give the AI a certain number of “AI Wasteland Fate Points”, allowing the AI to spend the each point to discard and redraw an AI action.

    From what you have said the narrative aspect of a campaign is my kind of thing and in the grander scope of a campaign a Super Mutant making a stu… er… flawed…tactical move seems a pro rather than a con when it can so easily add a fun narrative moment. Like the Tech who has had enough of life in slavery, waiting until his owners gets too hungry and rushes forward to escape one way or another!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Cheers, mate! 🙂 I agree with everything you’re saying and I think your Fate Points idea is a cool one. You can always just throw out bad actions and generate a new one with the app as well. I think I’m leaning in that direction after this game though it is a credit to the system that the game was still good and tense even with the tactical errors that occurred.

      And yes, the narrative possibilities for this game are incredible. You can pretty much reenact things from Fallout if you want or you can create your own version of Fallout using the rules as well. Its not too difficult to adopt the rules you want and disregard ones you don’t like too. There are some weapons that are complicated and/or hard to figure out how to use and I avoided anything like that for this battle to try and make it easier on myself for example. If you didn’t have a lot of other great projects going, I would say that Fallout fits your goals very well but as it is, I know better than to tempt you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Battle reports – it depends for me. Usually it’s a game I don’t know or maybe have no interest in. But, JNV will often write up a battle report and I will find it interesting, even though I have about 0 experience in the games he plays. Mainly it’s the narrative of his stories that make it interesting and I can imagine things like the dogfight taking place in the skies. Probably what hurts battle reports is being overly long and using very game specific terms without explanation. I was able to follow your battle report just fine, because I played hours of the Fallout computer game, have familiarity with Frostgrave as a skirmish game, and was interested in hearing about the AI. Kudos! About the AI, does it have different actions according to the type of foe you’re facing? The decision to put the non-combatant into combat was dreadful. Sure, maybe he was mad that his pet super hound does or something, but still. My hope is that these AI apps only become better and better, as they are a great tool for games!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m glad you were able to follow everything and a reader like you is a great litmus test for how good a battle report is. If people who don’t know the system enjoy it, then you’re doing alright.

      To answer your question, unfortunately, the AI doesn’t change depending on who it is facing (which would be awesome!). Instead, the AI is different depending on which faction you use and what the goal of the scenario is. Super Mutants generally attack as hard as they can but I bet that the Survivors’ AI or The Institute’s AI is different and they’re a bit better at sticking to objectives. The best way to find that out is to give those factions a try as AI opponents which is something I will happily do in the future!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hmm, could you have used the Survivor AI for the techie? It’s a shame the app AI isn’t able to differentiate, I’d expect more from the app than just acting as a digital set of cards.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I didn’t explain it in the report (though I think it would have been worth mentioning hindsight) that the Enslaved Tech in particular is more or less a captive of the Super Mutants and it acts differently depending on if there is a Super Mutant nearby or not. It could be that the Enslaved Tech got the AI command it did because the Super Mutants had left him alone though I’m not sure. If the Tech used the Survivor AI, it would probably act too smartly but having said that, I think it is well worth experimenting with. The Enslaved Tech is kind of a made up thing to make sure that Super Mutants can lockpick and hack computers anyway so there’s no reason not to alter the rules to your liking with him I’d say!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Sounds like a great game and the photos looked great – the effort you’ve put into you models and terrain really shows everything off to its best effect.

    Your thoughts on the AI are interesting. On the one hand I’d actually like to see more face-to-face gaming (both for myself and to see more done to encourage it in general) in order to combat some of the terrible side-effects of social isolation following all the covid lockdowns. On the other hand, the way things are going, I think AI in gaming is here to stay (as, sadly, is a degree of social isolation) so we should be making the best of it. My wife and I have often talked about wanting to team up against an AI opponent which might be a great way to get the best of both worlds.

    Regarding the AI making poor decisions is there a way to “re-roll”? That is to say, if the AI makes a tactically terrible choice, or a choice that doesn’t fit with the nature of the unit being activated (such as the enslaved tech running into close combat), can you ask the AI to supply an alternative result – and then go with that instead? It would be similar to when a human opponent makes what looks like a poor choice and you politely ask “are you sure you want to do that?” before they commit to a schoolboy error.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words and for giving it a read!

      I think Fallout is a versatile game for solo, co-op, and versus human opponents, so long as you don’t want to play points matches (I don’t know what those are called in Warhammer currently but I’m sure you know what I mean). You can certainly play points matches, but Fallout’s narrative focus is so good that you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Truthfully, Fallout doesn’t have a strong tournament scene either like Warhammer and MESBG do.

      In terms of re-rolling actions, yes, absolutely. In the app, its easy, you would just request a new AI action for that turn. If you were using the cards, you could just re-roll the die until you get a different result (which probably only takes a single roll most times). In the rules, they tell you to use your own judgement and don’t be afraid to throw out a bad or weird AI command. I didn’t do that very much because I wanted to see how the rules did without much management and the results speak for themselves. In the future, I think I would just re-roll for the Enslaved Tech, in particular, because it was a suicide charge and there was zero value in that move. So in that sense, I think the AI is quite promising and as I get used to it, I could see it being the main way I play in the future. I certainly think it could work well in a co-op game as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Glad you got in an enjoyable game with the fall out stuff. The miniatures and terrain all look fantastic together.

    Long style details oriented AARs are such a pain to write and I’ve never done one well enough to publish. I just default to some nice pics and general narrative. It’s the note taking that gets me. I never seem to have the time while playing.

    On reading these I read yours of course (of course!) but generally unless it’s a game that I know we’ll or what to know better I just skim them for the exciting bits. 😀😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Stew for the kind words and thanks for making it all the way to the end too 😉 I think you know what I’m saying about reading it all. On a computer screen, we’re all prone to skimming because of the harsh blue light or something like that. That is partially why I try to have as many nice pictures as possible for those who are skimming 😀

      You’re spot-on with the notetaking too. I tend to record most everything that happens and then edit out details which are unneeded and it definitely takes an extra hour or two to do that work. The way you do battle reports is much more sensible than me but it is fun to do a bit of creative writing when I can at the same time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Enjoyed the report, Jeff! 🙂 I could see it was a longer post, so I left it to come back to when I had more time (I do that with all the longer posts)! Looked good to me, but if you think you need more scenery you’d be the better judge of that – it can slow movement and block line of sight too much sometimes. As far as the AI goes, it maybe worked out on a balance – the survivors won the game close to the end, but if you’d changed some of the AI’s decisions they might not have won at all, so you maybe need to see how it works out. I don’t like apps in games but sounds like it makes it easier to manage for you and that can’t be a bad thing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for giving it a read and I do the same thing with longer posts myself. I would like more scenery to mix in but I also want to have a couple of key pieces of terrain to add more life to the board. I think you’ll see what I mean when I get around to making it!

      I agree with you that the Super Mutants likely would have won if the Hound and Enslaved Tech weren’t thrown away early on so in some ways, I can’t complain about the AI because it led to a fun game with the result I wanted (even if I try to keep the game fair and not steer it towards a particular result). It is funny how gamers, including wargamers, can be so finicky. We’re always looking for perfection it seems like 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Nice report, nice pictures! Thanks for taking the time to do the report, it was an enjoyable read. Looks like the AI needs some homebrew rules, but glad you got a chance to use it.
    To keep the containers from looking like they are just being placed on the board, you might want to think about mounting them on a thin piece of MDF or similar material where you can break up the bottom edge with grasses,etc. Because of course you have nothing else to do 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading it! I wouldn’t write them if it didn’t seem like people enjoyed reading them. I think the AI has potential but you definitely have to learn how to make the most of it.

      I like your idea for the MDF basing. I wouldn’t do it for every shipping container since you want to be able to stack them from time-to-time but I agree that the “board” is too flat currently and there isn’t enough “immersion” with things right now. That is something I hope to address. If only I didn’t have Hellboy to paint and an MESBG diorama started! That is the biggest reason why I suspect I won’t be playing Fallout for a couple of months. I need time to make some headway on all of these different projects.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You could always base them but not fasten them down. Containers would of course be stacked.

        I haven’t done much myself lately with my usual painting, etc., I’ve been playing the Last of Us again, such a great game.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s a good thought, I didn’t even think of it which is surprising because I usually do fasten things down. And that is a great excuse for not hobbying. Its a game so great that its been partially remade three times now! I hope you’ve played Part II as well. I actually liked it better than Part I, I think though not everyone agrees with me in that regard.

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    1. Thanks for giving it a read and for rooting for my namesake 😉 There will certainly be some campaigns in my future as they are a lot of fun (especially if you’ve got minis and terrain ready to use!).

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  11. Thanks for taking the time to write this up, I really enjoy reading about your adventures in Fallout.

    I wouldn’t worry about the AI system sometimes making poor moves – you just need the system to work well enough that you can play the game rather than being something so smart that you’d find it a genuine challenge. Similarly I wouldn’t sweat too much if you sometime want to over-rule it for the sake of a fun study. The main point of this is for your own entertainment; it’s not like the wargaming police are going to come to your door if you fudge a decision in your single-player game!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, thank you for reading it! I know there are lots of ways for us to spend our time so I appreciate anyone who reads a battle report.

      Those are good points, mate! I do try to focus on having fun and I sweat getting rules wrong much less than I used to (if you can believe it). I will definitely keep your advice in mind when I get around to playing Fallout again. I’m already looking forward to it!

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