Toy Corner

Fallout Board Game Review

Apr 22, 2024

fallout board game front of box

After the release of the new series, I thought it would be fitting to give you my review of the Fallout board game. I'm sure most of you reading this have suited up your Power Armour and have gone into combat in the video games. But could the board game version capture that same magic?

Gameplay Overview

Engaging with the Fallout board game isn't as simple as rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Quite the contrast, it's a nuanced recreation of the Fallout world, encouraging strategic play and quick thinking. And while it's not all smooth sailing, there's genuine fun under the irradiated surface.

Setting up the Fallout board game is like engaging with your own miniature Wasteland. From detailed pieces to an expansive game board, Fantasy Flight Games certainly made a lasting impression. I'll always remember the joy of popping out tilesets and manoeuvring the minute denizens of the post-apocalyptic universe. It felt like a bona fide Bethesda experience right in my living room.

I won't sugar-coat it. The setup is, initially, a bit time-consuming with some growing pains involved. However, the thrill of exploring the environment and its accompanying challenges does outweigh the early confound. Plus, it's a bit like the original video game - challenging at first but so rewarding when you get past the initial hump.

fallout board game miniature figures

The turn structure is where the Fallout board game really harnesses my nostalgia. Each player takes two actions during their turn, be it travelling around the Wasteland, fighting off threats, or trading at various encampments. It's not all too dissimilar from the original, video game fallout. It's a classic nod to the streamlined turn-based gameplay of the initial release.

Interestingly, the dice-based combat system offers a consistently challenging thrill. Even though there were instances of, well let's call it, 'unfortunate dice outcomes', these unpredictable setbacks nudged me to revamp my strategies. A bit frustrating? Sure, but it added another layer of realism to the game. Life in the Wasteland ain't a walk in the park, and the dice reflect this perfectly.

Components and Design

Let's dissect what makes the Fallout board game package truly unforgettable.

The board itself is a maze of hexagonal tiles, each inviting exploration and mystery. As players venture forth, they begin to uncover new ground - literally - each tile turned revealing yet another slice of the wasteland. As I laid out my first game, a grin crept across my face as I came to appreciate the highly detailed artwork on these tiles. You can't help but feel plunged into a compellingly desolate world, evoking strong likenesses to the digital version.

fallout board game components

Converting digital elements into a board game rendition is a labour of love. Nowhere have I seen this more crystallised than in the Fallout Board Game's player cards. Compact and yet thorough, each player's card efficiently distils their stats, items, faction alignment and special abilities. An ingenious feature here is the ability to level up by popping a peg through a hole each time you gain experience. Just like in the original game, right? Well, not exactly. Here's where it gets cool - instead of rolling for your stat increases, you draw from a few face-down tokens, adding a layer of unpredictability.

Finally, the joy of handling physical components is another aspect I relish about board games. Of course, Fantasy Flight Games doesn’t disappoint. From health, rads, agility - to strength tokens; each is distinct and easy to handle. Now, let's talk about the dice. Truly capturing the essence of the Fallout world, they're a frustration at times as they can render you helpless in the face of adversity. But isn't that part of the allure of the Wasteland? From my standpoint, they embody the harsh, unpredictable quality that Fallout instils in players.

In my next section, I'll be looking at something that truly sets this game apart - its storytelling mechanism. Each quest is a tale, each decision spins a new yarn. Are you ready to delve deeper into the Fallout Board Game experience? But that's a tale for another day...

Expansion Packs

The Fallout board game experience doesn't end with just the base game. Fantasy Flight Games have expanded the core gameplay with additional content that adds depth to this riveting adaptation of the iconic post-apocalyptic franchise. From new characters to fresh scenario additions, there's plenty more for players to explore.

If you've found yourself yearning for more wasteland wanderers, worry not! The expansion packs introduce a plethora of new characters, giving you more options and enhancing the strategic depth of the game. Is it worth it to get hooked on these new personalities? You bet!

Every character adds their own unique flavour to the game, influencing player strategies and providing fresh narrative possibilities. You could be an armoured crusader from the Brotherhood of Steel, bringing technological superiority to the table. Or maybe a resourceful scavenger, clutching to survival in true Fallout spirit.

Each new character comes with its special abilities and challenges, reflecting the diverse character builds you've come to love from the video games. That feeling of punching rats to a bloody pulp with a freshly minted character? You'll get a dose of that too. The introduction of new characters maintains the immersive role-playing experience of the Fallout board game.

fallout board game atomic bonds expansion

These additional scenarios are really what makes the game worth getting, I highly recommend the Atomic Expansions pack. This expansion makes the game a coop, me and my friends love it and it is usually our top choice game to play when we hang out. There are friendly settlements, new weapons and items and a whole different bunch of threats and rewards to find.

Overall, these expansion packs take the compelling gameplay of the Fallout board game and build on it with new layers of great content. 

Final Thoughts

Overall I've found the Fallout game by itself a little disappointing, maybe it was because I had high hopes and expectations for it due to being such a huge fan of the video games or maybe it's because I don't have enough control over the gameplay the same way I had on the game. However, I gave it a second chance trying it with the Atomic expansions pack and I can say that it is a real game-changer. If I have a piece of advice to give you is to play it with the expansion and forget about focusing on winning, look at completing each quest instead and I guarantee that you will have a much better experience with the game.