Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Post eternal, shiny and chrome:-Wasteland Express Delivery Service

Game: Wasteland Express Delivery Service

Publisher: Pandasaurus Games

Designer: Jonathan Gilmour, Ben Pinchback, Matt Riddle

Year: 2017
Wasteland Express Delivery Service is a 2-5 player pick up and deliver game set in a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland. In it you’ll be transporting the bare essentials of survival; food, water, and ammunition, all in the interest of ensuring the survival of mankind making a fat profit! You can play the game as an honest postie, buying and selling goods and upgrading your truck to carry more and move faster, or you can become a savage warrior, getting your goods by raiding encampments and spending your money on bigger guns and missiles.

Each round every player has 5 actions, these actions can be used for a variety of things, but the most common is movement. Movement is done really well in this game, the first time you move you go (typically) 4 spaces, if you end up somewhere you can perform another action you can move your action marker from move to that action and do it instantly. However if you don’t perform another action then the next time you move you will accelerate, moving an extra space, up to a maximum at 3 consecutive move actions. All the other actions in the game are context sensitive; you can purchase items in outposts that have items for sale, you can deliver items to outposts that require them for money and quests, you can use special outpost actions such as the mod shop or drawing new quests or you can fight and pillage from raiders. After performing an action you place one of your action gear on that space which in turn tracks your speed/blocks off that action for the rest of the round.

A player board part way through a game, you only have so much room on your truck, and damage can take that from you. You have to be efficient, but also careful.
Ultimately your objective is to be the first complete three First-class contracts, three of these are publically available. Of these one is a constant in every game, while the other two are randomly selected from a decent sized pool. The rest can be found in the private contracts that you can get from the three factions. You start the game with one of these. Some private contracts priority which win you the game, while other, easier, contracts give rewards on completion. Rewards can be parts, allies or simply money. Money can be spent to buy more goods to sell, or to upgrade your ride. You can add more cargo compartments, a trailer to give you more room, armour, guns, missiles, turbos so you can move faster, nuclear vaults etc. This customisation really shines as you have some players who dart around the map completing odd jobs, while others get a big heavy cargo vehicle that can carry tons of goods, others might load up on weapons so they never have to buy goods legitimately, or you could try to balance them all. Of course you have to be careful not to spend too much time and money making a super truck while other people are completing objectives!

All of the unique minis have great detail and charm. I absolutely adore the way the raider trucks carry supplies.
Wasteland Express Delivery Service does a great job of controlling the market in a simple, but dynamic way. Each good has a base cost of a few dollars, then for each town that wants to buy a good that number goes up one. Every time someone completes a delivery the demand token they had gets replaced with a new one at random, causing the good they just bought to go down in value, then new goods to go up. You can’t sell at the same city twice in a row, apparently they remember what that “food” tasted like for a while. This prevents you from just hovering around one area of the map that is particularly lucrative.

Wasteland Express Delivery Service is a fantastically beautiful game, it has unique miniatures for each player’s ride which really injects character, while the minis for the raider trucks actually fit two cargo units on the back. Everything has been well thought out, with the exception of having double sided tiles with the same design on them, I do feel they could have added some extra replayability with that, giving you a far more varied map from game to game. The map is very varied however, with each game having you randomise the position of 16 terrain tiles and 21 location tiles. Naturally this can make setup a little long, especially for your first game, however the game comes with some brilliant inserts to speed that up. You simply take the insert from the box, remove the cover and then play directly from them! I have to credit Pandasaurus games on making a game about the aftermath of nuclear war without being too gloomy and serious. Wasteland Express Delivery Service is the best combination of theme and gameplay I’ve seen in a long while and is already one of my favourite games


1 comment:

  1. Amy, Did you see Monster Dice?