Fallout gets a post-nuclear board game from Fantasy Flight

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 some hands-on time with the new game 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, 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.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).