Wasteland Express Delivery Service

Wasteland Express Delivery Service

I am such a sucker for a visually exciting board game.

This is really cute! It’s a fairly straightforward pickup-and-delivery game, themed around a Borderlands- like postapocalypse. It’s very colorful and they’ve done a nice job of building a fairly specific setting.There are four different raider gangs, three different civilized factions, and lots of unaffiliated settlements with their own little bonuses and effects.

I played a single two-player game of this yesterday, and it did what a pickup-and-delivery game needs to do. Mostly you’re doing your deliveries in service to various Missions you’re trying to complete. You need to finish three of them to win the game. There are three on display that everyone knows about, and then you can also go digging around for missions with the three factions. Some of those provide different payoffs — allies or equipment instead of money — and some build up your relationship with a faction and qualify you for I-win type missions.

The map is very clever: octogons! And the squares between the octogons are filled with the outposts and raider enclaves. The octogons are divvied up into asymmetrical segments that you need to speed through in your Mad Max type cars/trucks/school buses/weaponized RVs.

There are lots of ways to customize your vehicles, yay! And every character (there are 6) you can play is a little different. That is so nice. Even though there are very few ways to directly interact (other than directing raiders to go hit your opponents, which ceases to be a real danger about halfway through the game and everyone’s armored up, hired a gunner, hooked up a machinegun, etc.), the fictional bits are fun. But because there’s so much relying on the fictional bits, I feel like we’ll have seen all of it sooner rather than later. The game is screaming for more everything.

Also! Check out the organizational trays the game comes with. Game Trayz is the same group that did the inserts for Armada and Mechs vs Minions. They’re super nice. Makes setup and teardown quick as can be. You use the remnant cardboard from the punch-out chit sheets to provide a spacer under the inserts, and if you line up the height of the cardboard against an insert, yup, they’re definitely saving room in the box for one more layer. 🙂

Gameplay is fun but not ground-breaking. You can’t really get paralyzed with choices. There are some neat twists, like how your speed increases the more you keep picking move actions, or how the supply and demand of the three resources (water, food, guns) is constantly in flux on the board. My opponent called it a faster, more fun version of Merchants of Venus.

Mostly the game makes me want to paint the vehicles. They look so drab and gray and the models themselves are pretty clever.

14 thoughts on “Wasteland Express Delivery Service

  1. Your post is perfect timing. This is the game I have on screen at the CSI website right now, deciding if I want to get it for my son’s 23rd birthday. Replayability seems like the only hitch.

  2. Christopher Weeks I think you could easily get a half dozen genuinely varied plays out of it, and then it might start seeming same-y.

    There’s a very small event deck that will probably not quite get you through one game, for example. But the map is always different and there are a lot of missions to see.

  3. Adam Blinkinsop I think we were a little inefficient in our mission chase. But one of our missions was the Motown Vision Quest set, which is quite time consuming!

    The third was the treasure dig one, which struck me as unfun so I didn’t bother.

  4. Three games with four players, one with three. It doesn’t seem like a good choice for two players to my mind, but haven’t tried it that way. Five players might wear out its welcome, but the time/fun balance seemed pretty good at four.

    That being said, raider ambushes seem to be a relatively minor part of the game so far. Its rare they can have a big impact on the game (although I did see one case where it mattered a lot to take that one extra point of damage and the exact wrong moment).

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