By Jon Webb
As I sit and type this, I gaze out of my window at a snow coated landscape, a far cry from the irradiated Wasteland. Despite this inclement weather Fallout Friday has arrived once again.
Given we don’t do physical releases for December (logistics are hard enough before we get into Christmas shopping windows and shipping being even more disrupted than even the worst these past few years have thrown at us), I thought it would be good to do a retrospective of the year and give a quick peek at what 2023 is going to bring.
The year started quietly on the physical release front as the many many spanners the global pandemic threw our way were overcome, but by April we were able to restart the resin pumps and get the Commonwealth wave going before focussing in tighter on a very specific region of Boston and its surrounds with Forged in the Fire.
The Commonwealth expansion saw our continued efforts to improve on both component and content quality as we moved production to a new provider, seeing better cardstock and easier punch outs on the card sheets as well as initiatives to improve player onboarding and speed up game setup with the introduction of the Regional Overlay Wasteland tables.
The book also brought two factions to play, with the cold, calculating Gunners and committed liberators of the Railroad bringing new gear, skills and playstyles to your tables. Both of these ranges included optional parts to further customise your models and swap out weapon choices, which is something you will see more and more as the range matures (and we get to the hard plastic kits!)
Alongside the new factions was a taster pack for the Children of Atom, for now bringing the ragtag Zealot rabble to provide some target practice in your AI games and RPG adventures, but for those of you who want to bask in Atom’s glow, there may well be future expansion to fully flesh this irradiated flock out.
Robot players (and anyone who likes to add a Mr Handy or two to their lineup) were well served with the introduction of a stand alone box of Protectrons with new profiles as well as the long long teased box of Mr Handy and friends, which most importantly comes with dapper hat to dress up your Codsworth.
Meanwhile, those of you who like to walk on the wildside (or dare risk trophy hunting in the Wasteland) might have heard the roars of the Deathclaw Matriarch, Yao Guai, Mongrels and… yes… the lowing of the Brahmin (most feared of all hunters)!
Finally for the Commonwealth, Super Mutant players were able to add Swan. This is hands down my favourite model in the range so far, with Domingo cramming so much detail and texture into the piece, it should be a painter’s dream project.
Barely was the Commonwealth behind us when we turned 180 and drove right back, as it seems we had unfinished business in the hellfire of the Saugus Ironworks.
This time we welcomed two new subfactions, adding the Forged to any Raider’s arsenal and the Ghoul farmers of the Slog to any Survivor with a taste for Tarberry.
The book also echoed with the buzz of not so tiny wings as the sculpt team achieved the impossible and brought several flavours of flying pest to the table. The clear resin wings give an extra level of cool to these kits for sure.
The final sets are due to arrive in January including the (somewhat accidentally) teased Centaurs in both FO3 and 4 flavour, once again expanding the menagerie of all Super Mutant players and a pack of wild Radstags just waiting to be turned into tasty stew.
The accompanying expansion book continued to polish our efforts to ease player use as the Region Tables evolved to their middle stage, now featuring the rules for all of the Wasteland results so you didn’t need to scrabble for cards each turn. Expect to see their final form in Capital next year where there will be stand alone card sheets that accompany the book so you can have them handily next to your tables as you play.
With the book I was also very lucky to be able to invite community star Julian to become a contributor as he took over painting guide duties from me and immediately hit the ground running with some fantastic stage by stage help to paint several of the new releases. Expect to see a lot more from him (including his incredible terrain) in future releases.
Forged in the Fire was also the first time I was able to feature some incredible artwork from Fallout 76 cover star Astor Alexander who lent his talent to the looming artwork featured on the front of the book. He’s done further covers for the next two expansions and I hope to work with him again in the future.
With Capital and Nuka World on the slate for 2023, I’m really keen to hear from players about the books. How are you finding them, are there things you want to see more or less of, what can we do to take them even further to make them an essential part of your Wasteland Warfare gaming? Drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me on our forums, discord or even tag me on Facebook in the group and I’ll take it all in for consideration.
Of course, Wasteland Warfare is a much wider game experience than just line up and shoot, so while all these great new model releases and factional expansions are exciting, we wanted to make sure that the wide range of ways to engage with Wasteland Warfare were supported.
We released several rules expansions both physically and digitally over the year, covering the RPG in the concluding two chapters of The Unexpected Shepherd (great for solo RPG players to work through), a whole book of scenarios in Astoundingly Awesome Tales (worth it as a piece of Fallout ephemera if nothing else), Vault spelunking fun with Into the Vault, expanded settlement management in Homestead and a physical release for Into the Wasteland.
Thanks to James Sheahan and the dev team for all the work they did on those books and PDFs and I hope with this being the end of the releases that James worked on we do a great job in carrying his legacy on into the future of the game.
On the digital front, 2022 saw the further development of our STL range. This line of print at home terrain is really coming into itself and Sean has been doing a superb job translating the sights of the Wasteland into a variety of terrain pieces for any table.
With the range featuring sets from small pieces of scatter to larger buildings, greebles to add detail and flavour to your 3rd party or scratch built terrain and even more vehicles to take cover behind (watch out for them exploding) it’s been great seeing home printers take them and print, paint, remix and craft them into some awe inspiring tables.
Expect plenty more in 2023 from the line, with more terrain and new ideas for how we can use the line to support Wasteland Warfare as a whole.
We’ve even managed to appear on your computer screens a few times this year, with our intrepid AV wizard Steve hosting us for both ModCon 2022 and our Commonwealth reveal, as well as the upcoming (it’s tomorrow as I write this!) Capital showcase.
He also does voice over for our monthly wrap ups (worth it for the jokes and easter eggs) and edits all the fun little model videos, so check out the YouTube channel and throw him a like for his work.
With all that wrapped up, I want to thank everyone for being such a great community throughout the year, it’s always fun to hang out and chat Fallout. Also thanks for your patience as we try to get back to normal service… it’s not there yet, but it’s getting better.
Thanks also to all the incredible creative folks I am proud to work alongside, with the 3D team going bigger and better with every new challenge I throw their way, my freelance painters bringing colour to the Wasteland, the rules crew for putting together the words and numbers that make the fun happen, photography for their filming and images to illuminate our books and boxes, graphics for laying out all those (endless!) cards and books and Ben, our Fallout project manager, for doing the heavy lifting while I do all the fun bits.
Plus of course all the crew in the wider company who look after support, finance, the webstore, the logistical fun of global shipping and so forth. Check those names in the front of each book and raise a glass to them for all their efforts in letting us play when you get a moment folks.
Have a great festive period wherever in the Wasteland you are. I hope its a safe and happy one and you all find a bit of time to throw some dice or paint some new models and we’ll see you all back here for 2023 as we go to Washington, see all the fun of the fair in Nuka World and welcome the first hard plastic kits for the line.
Take it easy folks.