There's always been a problem with Bethesda's Fallout games: they just don't have enough hexes in them. Board game company Fantasy Flight clearly realized that shortcoming, because it announced a Fallout: a Post-Nuclear Board Game today, with a modular hex-based board making up the Wasteland and card decks designed to simulate Fallout's roleplaying decisions.
Game Informer got and laid out how it plays. The included hex pieces can represent locations from Bethesda's Fallout games and expansions, which obviously includes Fallout 3 and 4 and hopefully means the Bethesda-published New Vegas, too. As in the videogames, you'll pile up equipment and level up perks and stats. The V.A.T.S. aiming system is even represented with body parts on combat dice. Expect to see familiar characters and weapons show up as quest and item cards as you go.
The most interesting element of the board game, according to Game Informer, is how it adapts Fallout's choices into a deck-based mechanic. "Throughout the game, encounters and quest cards offer choices about how to confront a situation. Your choice has definitive consequences," Game Informer's Matt Miller writes. "Depending on the route you take, new numbered cards are pulled from a card library, and enter the draw deck for subsequent encounters, changing the entire course of the potential adventure for both you and the other players. In one instance, you might choose to free some super mutants from imprisonment. Afterward, super mutant encounter cards enter the draw deck, as the hulking creatures range out across the wasteland. Thanks to this system, even a second playthrough of the same scenario can have drastically different encounters, quest outcomes, and opportunities for alliances and enemies."
The Fallout board game supports 1-4 players, with a choice between five pretty rad miniatures. It'll be out "in the coming months," but no details on pricing just yet. I've got dibs on the ghoul with the laser pistol when it arrives.
Update: Fantasy Flight has dropped more details on its official site (opens in new tab), and it sounds like New Vegas didn't make the cut. You can read more about the gameplay systems there, and now we have a slightly more specific release window: Q4 2017.