War. War never changes. The end of the world came pretty much as we though it would, too many people, not enough resources to go around. At first everyone was optimistic. But soon enough things went out of control. Even in the grand underground vaults, society’s last hope on the impending nuclear devastation, human nature prevailed. Entire vaults shut their doors too late, and were bested by the radiation, other were found by the terrified people and destroyed. All contact with the outside world was lost, the nuclear winter killing billions. After the vaults opened, the survivors realized that they were alone in this harsh new land. It wasn't long before human nature took its part in the play again. From inside the Brotherhood of Steel, the organization that had risen from the survivors that came out of a west Californian vault, rose a sect that wanted the brotherhood's technology shared with the world. It was only time before the schism in the brotherhood ranks was irreparable, and the sect was banished over the great mountains, on a mission to hunt down super mutants, the fleeing footmen of a broken army. This is their story, the story of the Brotherhood of Steel.

 

Captain's log - Raven squad, January 3rd- After the successful liberation of the village of Brahmin Woods from raiders and bandits another problem arose: The village idiot elder was apparently captured by the raiders while in the forest and is now being held captive and moved from camp to camp to avoid being discovered. One of the brotherhood spies in the raider ranks managed to discover the location of the elder and our squad is moving in to the raider outpost of Freeport where sight of the elder was last reported. There, we are to rendezvous’ with one of the brotherhood;s spies, learn what we can, and attempt to take down the raiders guarding the elder and set him free.
-End log

I left that Kevorkian wannabe that was assigned to me for the first mission, a "doctor" named Stitch, back in the bunker. The guy couldn't shoot the broad side of a barn with a rocket launcher, not to mention it took him 25 minutes (rough estimate) to arm the damn rocket launcher. I hired some small weapons expert named Jo as a temporary shooter until my rank in the Brotherhood would allow me someone that can both hold a gun and walk at the same time. Also recruited some cannon fodder named Trevor, he seems large enough to stand in front of me and stop incoming bullets, and that's all he has to do. I kept Farsight from the last mission, she's a good shot with a hunting rifle and can sneak around without being seen.


Dialtone is the custom merc you're allowed to create at the start of the game. I picked the Small Frame (+1 agility / less carry weight), and Gifted (+1 to all stats, minus 10% to all skills and less skill points per level). Gifted is a rather radical trait, it forces you to make a specialized merc since it cuts down severely on all your skills at early game and limits your choices later since you'll have less skill points to attribute. If you can handle the reduced effectiveness of most skills at the first stages of the game, gifted is a tremendous advantage later on. Effectively, it removes 180 skill points evenly from the 18 skills and reduces the skills points you get each level by 5. Thing is, you can still get these lost skill points per level back and actually get more than you would without the gifted trait by just dropping a few of the 8 extra attribute points you get to max out Intelligence, which is the decisive attribute for skill point per level gain. Small frame just adds an extra attribute point to the loss of maximum carry weight, but you'll never miss it anyway, as the rest of the team can carry pretty much anything that is dropped on any mission during the game.

Skills and Attributes

The loot from my last mission on deposing the raiders that held the Brahmin Woods tribe captive was quite good, I only kept four Colt semi-automatic rifles, good choices for my team since all where small weapon experts, as well as Berettas for me and Farsight, just incase the situation required someone’s head blown apart in close proximity. Berretas can deliver quite a punch if you aim for the head. The assorted melee weapons, smg's and grenades were exchanged for some stimpacks. My rank in the brotherhood doesn't help much for getting some of the better weapons and armor yet. Our team is equipped with standard issued Brotherhood leather armor, extremely effective if a little weak against some attacks, like bug bites, slight gusts of wind, butter knives, and quite possibly sun rays. Some stimpacks would realistically provide battlefield first-aid, in case someone was shot, or had his head realistically ripped from the rest of his body by a particularly large deathclaw.

Damn raiders, why can't we all just get along? The place looks like its been pieced together by spare car parts and the only possible entrance is through a ditch, a dried up river that once marked the borders of the city. Our initial recon showed three potential entrances through the dried up river, 2 ladders, one east and one west, and the main way, a guarded bridge in the middle. Well, i guess "guard" is a figure of speech. The place doesn't’t really look like it's guarded, most of the raiders we've seen passing through are either doped up on psycho or drunk out of their sculls.

Defenses didn't look that strong and I wasn’t particularly keen on walking through that ditch to get inside the city. We had already killed some of the outer rim guards shooting them across the ditch. I slowly crept everyone behind some rocks where they could get cover and sent out Dialtone to take some pot shots on the two guards to get their attention. The raiders followed and where quickly turned to small, unpleasantly shaped chunks of flesh.

 

I spotted another small patrol of raiders moving around to the east as soon as I entered the settlement and set up a small ambush for them. Needless to say following someone that shoots you once and runs away into a suspiciously sharp corner is not the smartest of ideas. These folks don't look like they belong in the upper echelon of the IQ scales if you know what i mean. The rest of his patrol were smarter than their friend but our superior skills and firepower dispatched them without even a scratch.

We found the informant hiding in some wrecked building near where we had set up the trap for the patrol. He didn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know, and he wouldn’t even propose to help us out with the raiders.

I sent Farsight to sneak around a bit, take a look at what we'd be up against soon. (The sneak skill puts a character into "invisible mode" where they are harder to spot on a distance and make no sound walking. Good to creep behind someone and deliver a friendly knifing to the neck. Our recon was successful and I soon discovered that most of the raiders were gathered around the main road and the tents set up there, with a few gathered far to the south getting ridiculously drunk around an old still, and a few more uncomfortably close to one of the two alarms in the base. I couldn’t see how many of them were in the tents but it couldn’t have been more than those I could see outside. I regretted taking along only four mercs for this mission as I had a slight suspicion I’d lack the firepower to take them all at once. I decided to take it like a man and set up a defense in a plaza that I had just cleared out, littered with barrels that would provide good protection. There was only one way to get from the main street to the plaza and that gave the additional advantage that i could concentrate fire to the alley and cut down half of them before they got even close.

I cleared the surrounding area, some raiders sleeping in the ruined buildings, and set off to make the plan work. It actually went surprisingly well and I slaughtered all of them before they even got close enough to fire. I held our position for a few more seconds but didn’t see any movement at all and figured that none of the other raider had seen or heard this so I moved on into a small, half torn down building at the end of the alley.

Uh… Uh... Shit. With the subtleness of a bull in a glassware shop, I spotted the second wave of raiders attacking, and they didn’t look particularly happy to see us. Stupid me, not only I was stuck in a place that pretty much had none of the defensive advantages the plaza a few feet away did, our long range shooting skills where worthless in close quarters, and they were coming at us from two sides. I should have at least sent Farsight out first to sneak around and make sure no one was still around. So I took it like a man – no, actually, I run like a schoolgirl, occasionally stopping to take a shot to slow them down. They managed to chase us back all the way to where I had set up the ambush for that patrol. That's where i stood to fight it. I microed my way out, but ended up with Farsight and Jo hit pretty bad, forcing me to waste some bandages to heal them, but considering that i still wasn't done with the bulk of the raiders, i had to do it. Generally, healing supplies are a pain in the ass to find in Fallout: Tactics. The standard stimpacks are effective now that my mercs have 35 hit points, but will be less useful when each will have over 100 hp. First aid kits and Doctor's Bags are better but you can't use them all the time like stimpacks and you need good doctor skills, not to mention they are extremely costly to buy from the brotherhood traders and rare to come up in the wasteland.

With the alarm triggered the raiders that didn’t follow us were hiding wherever they could, waiting for someone from my team to show his head. The main road was littered with improvised fortifications and tents, not to mention a line of wrecked buildings to the north, all in all not a bad place for someone who wants to blow us up in small little peices to sit and wait. I crawled my team behind a huge old garbage bin and peeked around. Empty. For a second two heads went up from behind some metal barrels, took some shots at us and went back into hiding. This wasn’t going to be easy, they were too far to shoot them ever for Farsight, I’d have to either bomb them out, and I didn’t have any grenades, or take a chance to bring Dialtone and Farsight out in the open and try to get them to show their heads to get them blown up.

I crept Dialtone and Farsight to the west side of the street to get a better view of where they had been hiding, and make sure no one was hiding behind the tents; Jo and Trevor crawled closer to their fortifications. The movement prompted the hiding raiders to show themselves, an overall silly idea, since that would be the last time they'd be showing themselves anywhere and to anyone. I killed another one that was hiding behind some tent at the end of the street and moved closer to one of the largest shacks, which looked like it would be where the raider leader would be. Soon enough, the raider head honcho, some beast of a man named O'Reilly showed up from his camp. He wasn't as tough as I was expecting, even with less than optimal firepower on my side, (I was missing three soldiers, Trevor I had left behind since he was down on red health and I wasn’t about to waste stimpacks on cannon fodder, and the other two i did noteven bother to recruit). I found the elder in one of the shacks in the main street and set him free, completing the mission's main objective. I didn't learn anything much from him, except that he was moved blindfolded from camp to camp to avoid being tracked. With the elder freed the Brotherhood should have some new recruits from the nearby tribes.

The rest of the mission was pretty much cleaning up the southwest side of the map from some raiders that had barricaded themselves around the still and scavenging what loot I could getfrom the dead bodies. The completion of the mission also gave Dialtone and Farsight a level each, and I spent most skill points on small guns and energy weapons. Although i won't get my hands into any energy weapons yet i'd rather have a healthy amount of points invested there for later on. Additionaly, every 3 levels, each character gains a Perk. Perks are special attributes that help you in some simple or obscure way. They range from the rather useless for the first levels to damn near terrorizing later on. Awareness is a useful thing to have to the end of the game, you might as well know if that old lady is carrying a rusty sewing pin or a loaded energy gatling gun.


After returning to the Brotherhood bunker i checked out what i had looted from Freeport. A number of Rangemasters i wouldn't need (already had enough to equip my team), some Scorpio semi-automatics, a few stimpacks and a couple of AK47's. Ah, the AK47, the thing hits harder than russian women heavy-weight champions and will have raiders running for the mountains soon enough. All in all, not a bad mission, and no one got hurt. Well, except Trevor. Heh. The rest of the assorted ammunitions and weapons that i got from Freeport went into the brotherhood's weapon and ammunition trader for a hefty amount of cash.

 

Here ends the first installment of the Brotherhood of Steel series. Check back for part two soon, with more raiders, more guns, and quite possibly rabid monkey attacks. Check out The Warsmith for more great reports.

Dialtone aka OrcDork - Warsmith.org

 

Fallout Sites: No Mutants allowed, Duck and Cover, Interplay's official BOS page, The Fallout Bible.