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The best Fallout games to stash in your tabletop vault after finishing the Fallout TV show

That SPECIAL something.

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare miniatures power armour dogmeat
Image credit: Modiphius

Amazon’s Fallout TV show has reignited the love for the post-apocalyptic series of video games, venturing out of a new vault into a previously unseen corner of the irradiated wasteland. While its characters - peppy vault dweller Lucy, imposing gunslinger The Ghoul and conflicted Brotherhood of Steel recruit Maximus - are fresh faces exploring uncharted territory, the Fallout TV series is packed full of references and lore straight out of the video games.

That provides plenty of motivation to dive back into the likes of Fallout 4 and New Vegas, but what about those of us who prefer to unhook from screens for a while and share the horrors of the wasteland with friends around a table? While Fallout hasn’t seen as many tabletop spin-offs as you might expect for a franchise approaching its 30th anniversary, its satirical vision of a North America soaked in blood, radiation and Nuka Cola has inspired a wide variety of adaptations - from board games to miniatures games and tabletop RPGs.

Whether your favourite part of Fallout is using your survival savvy to venture across the ruins of civilisation alongside your trusty companions, managing the demands of the wasteland’s other inhabitants or simply turning foes into a bloody mess with a wide array of weapons, these Fallout games should have what you need to spend dozens more hours in its atom-bombed world. Should you ever find yourself needing to pass the time in an underground bunker while the surface turns to dust, you can’t really go wrong by adding these to your vault.

1. Fallout

The definitive Fallout experience in a box

The Fallout board game packs in everything you expect from the series - just be sure to grab its expansion for co-op play. | Image credit: Fantasy Flight Games

Somehow it took until 2017 - two decades after the first Fallout computer game - for the series to be turned into an official board game. Fortunately, the wait was worth it - with one small caveat.

The Fallout board game looks to condense the experience of crossing the vast wasteland as your lone wanderer into a multiplayer game lasting only a couple of hours. It’s the perfect board game for Fallout fans, crammed with faithful details from the video games - from your character’s unique SPECIAL stats and traits to the items you scavenge during your adventures. Even the video game’s VATS targeting system makes its way in, reimagined as dice-based combat when you stumble upon pesky raiders or intimidating super mutants.

What makes the Fallout board game most worth your time, though, is its quests. Drawing from both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, players can discover dozens of different storylines that can change the world around them based on their decisions - just like in the video games. For example, rescue a dog from being beaten in a town, and it might reappear later on to join you as a loyal ally. The branching plots and evocative writing bring the world to life, with a compelling array of possible hijinks to occupy your travels - from hacking robots and becoming a bounty hunter to using your charisma to talk your way into a vault.

There’s only one caveat. The base Fallout board game strangely opted for a competitive format, with the players fighting to earn the most influence in the wasteland. That’s a problem solved by the Atomic Bonds expansion, which introduced much-needed options to play in co-op or by yourself in a single-player mode. With the rest of the original game being so good, it’s definitely worth polishing out its one notable dull spot to enjoy a properly worthy Fallout adventure. I’d even argue we don’t need another Fallout board game when this one is so definitive.

Buy the Fallout board game on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

2. Fallout: Wasteland Warfare

Part miniatures game, part RPG - all Fallout

Wasteland Warfare can be played competitively, cooperatively or solo, with the option to fight one-off skirmishes or run a longer campaign. | Image credit: Modiphius

Whether it’s the stomping T-60 power armour of Brotherhood of Steel knights, the terrifying reptilian threat of Deathclaws or the vivid blue-and-yellow jumpsuits of vault inhabitants (and their fashion inspiration Vault Boy, of course) , the Fallout universe is packed full of iconic character designs that beg to be turned into a Warhammer-style miniatures game.

Well, good news for you and me, because Fallout: Wasteland Warfare is exactly that, shrinking down robots, humans, ghouls, raiders, mutants, creatures and more into 32mm plastic figures for you to paint up and let loose on the battlefield. (There are even figures based directly on the characters from the Fallout TV show!)

Importantly, Wasteland Warfare isn’t just a game of battling armies and one-off fights - though you can pit a squad of knights against a pack of Deathclaws if you want. Sticking to the video games’ roleplaying roots, the wargame brings in narrative events and objectives to tie scenarios into ongoing campaigns, as well as having rules to let you build up a party of characters and improve their perks, VATS bonuses and gear over the course of multiple encounters. (A separate expansion leans even more into the roleplaying feel by turning the game into its own standalone RPG.) There’s even the ability to create your own settlement, like in Fallout 4, to help support your adventures across the wasteland.

If you’d prefer not to battle your friends, you can team up in co-op against AI opponents or even recreate the sole survivor feel of the video games by taking on missions by yourself.

Part miniatures wargame, part roleplaying game, Wasteland Warfare is perfect for Fallout fans ready to lose themselves in another epic campaign with friends or by themselves, with the opportunity to bring its world to life in incredible detail with figures and terrain.

Buy Fallout: Wasteland Warfare on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

3. Fallout Shelter: The Board Game

An underrated fresh take on the post-apocalypse

Fallout Shelter is based on the mobile game, but don't hold that against this surprisingly enjoyable vault management sim. | Image credit: Fantasy Flight Games

Fallout Shelter is one of the arguably lesser entries in the series, springing up some years back as a mobile management sim that puts the player in the role of overseer for one of its iconic vaults, which they must build and lead to survival and success. Still, the switch from post-apocalyptic RPG to management game offered a refreshingly different perspective on the universe - one that its own board game adaptation continues.

In Fallout Shelter: The Board Game, the players are competing for the position of vault overseer, needing to outperform their rivals to emerge as the new top dog. To prove their credentials, the players must expand their vault with new rooms and manage their share of the vault’s dwellers, directing them into different rooms to gather vital resources, deal with threats and, most of all, make them as happy as possible.

Fallout Shelter’s management gameplay lends itself to a worker-placement board game, arguably feeling even more at home on the tabletop than on a phone screen. While its connection to the mobile game may cause many to dismiss it as little more than a cash-in, Fallout Shelter: The Board Game is far better than you would expect - and a worthy addition to the library of Fallout games on the tabletop. Plus, it comes in a cute lunchbox with eye-catching components - including vault boy miniatures - for that added pop on the table.

Buy Fallout Shelter: The Board Game on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

4. Fallout: The Roleplaying Game

Video game RPG, meet pen-and-paper RPG

Fallout's tabletop RPG is one of the best ways to experience its world away from the video games - plus, you can play as a ghoul! | Image credit: Modiphius

Despite starting life as a video game adaptation of a pen-and-paper RPG system - Steve Jackson’s GURPS - before licensing issues caused it to become its own original title, Fallout’s tabletop-rooted gameplay was somehow never turned into an official tabletop roleplaying game for almost 25 years.

It wouldn’t be until 2021 that a full tabletop adaptation of Fallout would arrive, with Fallout: The Roleplaying Game applying a SPECIAL touch to the 2d20 system used in Modiphius’ games such as Star Trek Adventures and Dune: Adventure in the Imperium. A couple of years before, the publisher had released a standalone expansion for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, adapting the rules of the miniatures game into even more of a roleplaying experience, but Fallout: The RPG truly realised the vision of a tabletop Fallout adventure.

Fallout: The RPG builds and expands on the wasteland adventures seen in the video games and even the TV series, opening up the chance for players to create characters beyond the iconic human vault dweller - even becoming ghouls, super mutants and robots like Mister Handy. (Keep your best Matt Berry impression at the ready.) There are rules for action points, perks and joining forces with the various factions across the wasteland, making it feel just like the video games have expanded beyond the virtual world onto your kitchen table.

With its rulebooks full to the brim with creatures, equipment and perks from across the series, the Fallout tabletop RPG is a highly faithful translation of the video games to a collaborative experience you can share with friends together around a table. If you’re looking to embark on a new adventure across the wasteland and want to take some friends with you - that aren’t NPC companions and without having to play Fallout 76 - the Fallout RPG will be worth every bottlecap.

Buy Fallout: The Roleplaying Game on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

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