We sat down with Fallout: Wasteland Warfare’s designer, James Sheahan, to talk about the new profiles in the Mojave Wave. Over to James.
Creating new units and their weapons is always a fascinating design challenge. It is important to portray what players know from the video games using the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare game mechanics, but it is also important to create something that has its own identity within Fallout: Wasteland Warfare too. Creating a new faction makes this challenge even more interesting as it’s important for each faction to have some defining characteristics so it feels and plays differently to other factions. Fallout: New Vegas contains various factions but the most noticeable are the New California Republic (NCR) and Caesar’s Legion so those were the first two chosen for release. With several army-like factions in Fallout: Wasteland Warfare already, such as the Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave, creating two new army-like factions which had their own in-game identities was set to be an interesting design task.
In the videogame, the NCR are severely stretched so they suffer from a lack of troops and equipment; however, the troops they have survived are often battle-hardened so are quite skilled, and the newly recruited must learn fast. I translated this to Fallout: Wasteland Warfare by having the NCR units be all-rounders, rather than high-quality or specialists, because they need to cover many different functions. As a result, they have a good spread of skills including the expertise skills, though the basic NCR Trooper is still not very competent as they’re quite ‘green’. With few troops, the NCR is more about shooting than melee to try to reduce potential losses, so their pistol and rifle skills tend to be better than their melee skill. The NCR tends to use weapons with a decent punch - such as the Trail Carbine - which further portrays their fewer-but-better-quality trait, so these types of weapons are their Standard Equipment on their AI cards. One exception in their weapons is the Service Rifle which is weak and variable but it’s fast-firing so that is reflected by it potentially awarding the wielder an Action Point when fired. Better than the Trooper are the Rangers. The Ranger is skilled in combat with a good armor rating of 3, whilst the Civilian Ranger is lightly armored, fast and can use a pistol in close combat without the usual penalty.
Of course, the most recognisable of the NCR are the Veteran Rangers who are seriously tough with excellent skills and a lot of armor (rating 4). No Veteran Ranger would be complete without the infamous Anti-Material Rifle - a very heavy-hitting weapon at long-range but less efficient at close range. For those of you who have read the rule book carefully and have been wondering when this would come into play, the Anti-Material Rifle is one of the first weapons in F:WW with a minimum range (of Orange).
As well as the troops, the NCR has three highly skilled officers. Chief Hanlon gives other NCR models nearby the chance to gain an Action Point which could be used to make an extra move. Lieutenant Gorobets encourages those around giving them an extra Health and making an extra model Ready. General Lee Oliver’s tactical ability means the NCR is much more likely to have the Advantage each round, though much less likely if he is lost, plus he can order a nearby model to perform one of his actions for him.
Overall, the NCR are skilled with some hardened troops and encouraging leaders - just what you would expect from an experienced, trained army which is yet spread thin.
Next time, we will look at Caesar’s Legion. Until then, watch your rads...