Wasteland Express Delivery Service
Followup Play With 5
Between several dropouts and an unexpected house guest, last night was a boardgame night. Five is such a great number of players, exceeded I think only by 4.
Last time we tried Wasteland Express it was just two and we basically just learned the game. Five is not bad! It’s got downtime problems, but half the time someone’s action can’t possibly affect or be affected by anyone else so the next player can do their thing.
Best part of five players is that the map is packed full of activity. Mostly that means you can almost always meaningfully nail someone with a raider ambush, which is the only direct interaction in the game. Otherwise it’s pretty solitary play. Which is fine most of the time.
I like the game. I don’t loooove the game, although if the bits were painted I’d probably tick it up from a 7 to an 8 or so. But I very much like that it’s not a brutal brain-burner, which I have plenty of thank you very much. There’s also this thing where my players aren’t actually into color text when they’re playing board games — they just wanna play the game. But since this is by the same crew that did the Dead of Winter games, I think that’s a lot of the appeal. It’s too bad the color really doesn’t matter in Wasteland Express the way it does with the Dead of Winter Crossroad cards.
EDIT: There is one bit about the game that is legit vexing, and it made a couple of my players so crazy that it might have been a deal-breaker for them. The language around delivering, fulfilling, and transporting is super vague related to whether those things are delivery, outpost, or bonus actions. And since you really have to plan your round around the action constraints, you can lose lots of turns headed toward some mission where you thought you’d be using a Deliver action but it turns out to be something else instead.
I super-duper wish they’d normalized the rules language around that stuff because it’s straight up sloppy development. They could have put an icon on mission cards to indicate which kind of action was needed. Or something.