Factions Gameplay 102: Actions Explained

By James Hewitt
Photography by Fatima Martin


Hello, wastelanders! James here again, back once again to give you more information about the gameplay in Fallout: Factions. If you missed the first one, you can check it out here - or, hey, why not head straight to the hub page, where you can see the whole list of published blogs, and sign up for the newsletter so you get the rest as we publish them? 

In my previous post, I talked about how models can make Actions when you Activate them. Today, I want to talk a bit more about how those Actions work! 

The Actions a model can make depend on whether it is Engaged with a model from the opposing crew. [1]

Most of the time, a model will be Unengaged, and it can make a Get Moving, Open Fire, Patch Up or Rummage action. If a model is Engaged, it can only make Brawl and Back Off Actions. Let’s take a quick look at each of them! 

Get Moving

This is unquestionably the action you’ll use more than any other. [2] It lets the active model move up to eight inches [3] across the battlefield. Factions is designed to be played across a fairly cluttered battlefield, and this action also lets you climb up and down suitable terrain. (Obligatory plug for our incredible range of 3D-printable Fallout terrain - there’s nothing quite like playing across actual Nuka-World ruins!) 

If you need an extra boost, you can get your model to Hurry. This lets it move up to 12” instead, potentially crossing half the board’s width in a single Action, but the model takes two Fatigue rather than one. Really handy when you need to do a mad sprint across open ground! 

Oh, and here’s an interesting twist - when a model makes a Get Moving Action, you can give Movement Orders to other nearby models. Each one takes Fatigue, and also gets an 8” move (or a 12” move, if they take another Fatigue.) This is a great way to move whole chunks of your crew at once… but don’t put all your eggs in one basket, or a cunning opponent will make you pay for wasting your Actions early. 

Open Fire / Brawl

Both of these actions are fairly similar, so let’s cover them together. In both cases, you pick one of the active model’s weapons and make an attack against a target enemy model. Depending on the outcome of a dice roll, you might Incapacitate your target (removing them from play), Injure them (check off one of their health boxes - if the last one’s checked, they’re Incapacitated) or deal them Harm. Harm is tracked with a token, like Fatigue; most models can take up to three, and if they take a fourth Harm, it is converted to an Injury. 

Harm also has another, much more devastating effect: each point of Harm a model has grants a bonus die to any attack roll made against it. (We’ll talk about dice rolls in the next blog.) This mechanic allowed us to make Super Mutants and models in Power Armour [4] feel suitably impervious to small arms fire… while still allowing a crew to focus their fire and bring them down.  

Patch Up

This action lets an unengaged model recover up to two Harm. This lets you keep an important model in the fight and stop the enemy from getting all those tasty bonus dice when they attack it, but it comes at a steep cost; as it’s an Action, the model is effectively trading two Harm for one Fatigue, and halving the number of useful things it can do in this round. Like a lot of things in Factions, this action is a gamble, and a shrewd player will think carefully about when to use it. 


When you think of Fallout, it’s a safe bet that one of the first things that comes to mind is the idea of scavenging for useful items in the Wasteland. 

At the start of each scenario, a number of Search tokens are placed on the battlefield. A model within 1” of one of these tokens can use a Rummage action to search it and see what they find. You might find some caps, which you can spend on your crew after the battle is over. You might find some parts, which you can use to modify your models’ weapons. Or you might get lucky and find some Chems, which give you special one-off bonuses! 

Back Off

Finally, there’s the Back Off Action, which lets a model move up to 2” out of Engagement, freeing them up to make some more useful actions. It’s not flashy, but it’s essential! 

So there you have it - a rundown of the Actions that models can make in a game of Fallout: Factions. Hopefully you’re enjoying this series - make sure you don’t miss the next one, where I’ll be talking about how dice are used in the game. In the meantime, stop by the hub page if you want to sign up for the latest news, check out the game in action, and learn more about the awesome Nuka-World starter set!
1. No, we’re not prying into the personal lives of Raiders, here. “Engaged” just means the models’ bases are touching. 
2. Unless you were one of our playtesters, and you saw the Operators Gunline of Doom. If you were there, you know. If you weren’t… don’t ask. Hooray for testing! 
3. Whereas Wasteland Warfare uses custom measuring sticks, Factions goes back to basics with a tape measure. You even get one in the box, branded with the Nuka-World logo! 
4. Neither of those appear in the initial releases for Factions, but we’d be missing a trick if we didn’t design the rules to accommodate them. 
Fallout: factions