Fallout Wasteland Warfare: The Raider Leaders
The good folks at Modiphius hooked us up with the full launch wave of Raiders ahead of the full launch later this month, (they also sent over a Mysterious Stranger) and what a powerful faction they are shaping up to be.
In this writeup, we’re going to take a good long look at the Raider Leaders and their various battlefield applications, while also looking at what makes each one useful in their own specific role. We’ll be looking at Avery from Fallout 4’s Far Harbor DLC, Sinjin the ghoul from Fallout 4’s Silver Shroud quest line, and finally, Ack Ack, the minigun toting Raider who has set up shop in the USAF Satellite Station, Olivia.
Before we go on, for the sake of transparency, it’s important that I mention that I took part in the playtesting for this wave and that I’ve run demos of the game at public events with goods provided to me by Modiphius Entertainment. But with that out of the way, let’s see what the Raiders are going to bring to the wasteland.
Let’s start with Ack Ack.
Ack Ack is one of the best single ranged units in Fallout Wasteland Warfare who can, in a pinch, deal out a fair amount of melee damage. But more on that in a moment.
Let’s look at Ack Ack’s first named ability.
Rousing – Remove the Stunned effect from 1 other model within Range Green.
The Stunned effect is the sort of status ailments that can really mess up your Action economy in Fallout Wasteland Warfare, it can be the difference in life and death, success or failure and is definitely something you want to avoid. “A Stunned model must use an Action to shake off their Stunned condition before taking any other actions.”
Rousing will let you get a Stunned unit back in the fight at up to 8 inches away, meaning those stun batons that can cause so many issues for your brawlers are now markedly less threatening when Ack Ack is in play.
Absorb Recoil – For heavy weapons, one blank Damage Dice result counts as a -1 modifier. (Fallout Wasteland Warfare is a roll-under system, minus modifiers are a good thing.)
There are few things worse than having bonus dice to use in your attacks, only to have them come up blank. Absorb Recoil means that even if you’re slightly off target with your shooting and roll a blank on your Damage dice, you get a nice -1 buff to perhaps bring that shot more in line and hit the target. It’s a fantastic ability.
BulletStorm – Non-unique models shooting in the same turn after Ack Ack’s heavy weapon gain Pistol and Rifle skills +2.
Another fantastic ability that maximizes your damage output, this time by improving the baseline stats of those within Range Green (8 inches). Consider the most basic Raider unit. They have a Perception skill of 4 for pistols and rifles, but if they attack after Ack Ack has attacked with a heavy weapon, that skill goes up to 6. If they’re attacking with something like an Assault Rifle or Hunting Rifle, they’ll get an additional accuracy dice from the weapons range bonuses. Simply put, this is a massive for multiplier for your grunt units, especially if you rank up and open up with massed rifle fire.
Having Strength 7 means that Ack Ack will get a bonus black dice in melee combat, which isn’t great when you consider that her melee skill is only 3. Ack Ack does however have access to the Machete in Battle Mode, meaning you can at least get your hands on an Accuracy dice and two Damage dice to help boost your chances of hitting.
Now let’s check out Avery.
Avery is, in my opinion, best utilized as a long range support unit, or a sniper of sorts. Avery’s also much more a straight forward unit than Ack Ack, with simple and effective abilities and a great stat sheet.
Purpose – Resistant to Stunned.
The ability to go into a battle knowing that you can’t be Stunned is tremendously reassuring, especially if you’re coming up against fast moving melee units that might just so happen to be armed with the dreaded Stun Baton.
Weak Point – When attacking with rifles, one blank Damage dice counts as 1 Armor Reduction.
Armor Reduction is generally a great weapon effect, but not all weapons come with Armor Reduction options, like the Double-Barrel Shotgun for example. But Weak Point means that even if you whiff your Damage dice roll, you can still claim the benefits of Armor Reduction, which might actually be preferable in some circumstances.
Avery’s rifle Perception of 8 is absolutely fantastic, making any weapon with Accuracy dice almost guaranteed to hit each time you fire, hacking and searching on Intelligence 6 is another boon that will be particularly useful in scenario play, and chucking grenades at Range Green (8 inches) on Agility 5 gives you a decent chance of landing a molotov or frag exactly where you want it. Avery is well suited to long range and mid range combat with Hunting Rifles, Assault Rifles, and Combat Rifles being particularly good, low cost options.
Time to take a look at Sinjin.
Sinjin is the thinking player’s character choice. This ghoulish Raider mostly acts as a means of getting extra mileage out of your teammates, while also playing hell with enemy units that are set up to react to your Action Triggers.
Improvise – On activation, can Ready 1 Unready, non-unique, friendly model within Range Blue (10 inches) and LoS (Line of Sight). Its actions are Quick Actions.
Particularly useful if you have friendly units nearby that are highly skilled. The Quick Action penalty means your skills will be -2 when it comes to rolling for success. But if we’re talking about Scavver’s who (for example) have a Perception of 7, the -2 brings you down to around the same range as the average Raider or Raider Outlaw, so this is a great way of getting extra utility from your units.
Astute – Friendly units within Range Green (8 Inches) gain +1 Accuracy Dice for Danger Card Tests.
A very situational card, you may not always encounter Danger Cards, and if you do, you’re not always guaranteed to have Sinjin nearby, but additional dice can make or break a successful test, so this is still a great ability, despite its lack of consistent application.
Any 1 Pistol gets Silenced mod fitted for free.
Particularly useful against enemies who like to make use of overwatching and reacting to your actions, the Silenced mod allows you to attack enemies but avoid triggering a reaction if you fail to hit them. Perfect for countering those units who prefer to duck out of the fight when the going gets tough.
So as you can see, the Raider Faction comes with three great leader units right out of the gates. Personally, Ack Ack is more suited to my playstyle of a creeping, cover bounding wall of fire. But who knows, maybe I’ll grow to be more of an Avery player as time goes on.
Be careful out there in the wasteland!