How To Mod 'Fallout: The Board Game' For Longer Solo Player Survival - Nerdist

How To Mod ‘Fallout: The Board Game’ For Longer Solo Player Survival

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Fallout: The Board Game is a post-apocalypse game based on the beloved Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout video game universe. Released in late 2017, Fantasy Flight Games has created a tabletop version of the Fallout experience that’s both inspired and inspiring, especially if you’re a true Fallout fan.

Fallout: The Board Game (FBG) is unique in that it does something the video games franchise has yet to do: provide a multiplayer experience. However, FBG also does one thing as well as its video game forebearers: provide a top quality solo player experience. FBG’s solo player mode is just as challenging as its video game counterpart, due in large part by playing solo on a relatively small map that can quickly become crowded with enemy creatures.


I have played through all four scenarios in solo and multi-player mode many times since FBG launched, and taking a cue from video games, have modded a couple of the rules to help my character stay in play and alive longer. I also think these mods help bring an extra element from the Fallout video games that I was missing, thereby raising the FBG solo play experience closer to the level of what I love so much from the video games.

RAW Play

FBG’s solo play mode only makes three changes to the standard rules as written (RAW), which cover how quests, encounter cards, and the agenda deck operate. The three main actions – explore, move, and fight – remain the same.

In standard gameplay, you explore map tiles (flip them over to reveal more of the map), move your character through the spaces on explored map tiles, and fight and attempt to kill enemies on explored map tiles.

Enemies activate at select points on specific explored map tiles. After enemies are initially activated (spawned), they then activate again at the end of your turn, according to icons at the bottom of drawn Agenda cards. The rules state: “When an enemy type activates, you move each enemy of that type one space toward the nearest survivor.”

So, here’s the dilemma: The more map tiles you have explored, the more enemy activation points there are, resulting in an increasing number of enemies. In multiplayer mode, this isn’t so much of a concern, since there are other characters on the map who may encounter and fight an enemy before you do. In solo play, it’s just you, and you can get surrounded by enemies rather swiftly, with each enemy on the map making a beeline directly towards you.


Modded Play

Playing through the scenarios in solo mode, I naturally thought about how well FBG captures the feel of the Fallout solo player experience. Alternately, I also thought about what was missing. As I noticed the above dilemma, where every enemy on the board had my character dead in their sights, I also noted they were ignoring each other in their paths to get to me. If you’ve played the Fallout video games, you know this doesn’t happen often and have likely witnessed many battles between enemies out in the open world.

So, in an effort to increase the inspiration factor from the Fallout video games, and to help me stay alive just a bit longer in solo mode, I developed and changed a couple of rules to apply to enemies on their activation turn.

Enemy Mod Rule #1
When two (2) or more enemies occupy the same map tile, there is a chance an Active enemy will spot other enemies and will use its Move action to go towards a selected enemy INSTEAD of using its Move action to go towards the player character.

  • To determine if an Active enemy spots another enemy on the same map tile, roll all three V.A.T.S. dice. If the rolled dice results in showing more hit indicators than non-hits, the Active enemy has spotted another enemy.

Enemy Mod Rule #2
If an Active enemy moves into a space with an Inactive enemy, no Fight action occurs. If an Inactive enemy becomes Active, AND has one or more Active enemies in its space, the Fight action occurs immediately.


Enemy Mod Rule #3
When an Active enemy Fight action occurs, initiative is determined by rolling all three V.A.T.S. dice, once for each enemy.

  • The enemy whose V.A.T.S. dice roll results in the greater number of hit indicators wins initiative, and attacks first.
    Ties are rerolled.

Enemy Mod Rule #4
Enemy Fight actions against each other happen exactly as the Fight action between enemy and player, with one exception:

  • Enemy abilities are ignored completely.

And with that, you have my improvised and adapted homebrew rules for increasing the fun and survivability factor in Fallout: The Board Game solo play. Hope you enjoy it!

Let us know what you think about these homebrew rules in the comments! And don’t forget to check out into our tabletop show Game the Game hosted by Becca Scott as we play games and talk about what’s happening in the land of tabletop gaming. New episodes go live every Thursday here on G&S!

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Featured image credit: Fantasy Flight Games/Bethesda Softworks LLC.

Image Credits: Jim Moreno

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