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  5. Badlands: Outpost of Humanity from Lavka Games – War never changes

Badlands: Outpost of Humanity from Lavka Games – War never changes

Badlands: Outpost of Humanity from Lavka Games – War never changes

Like so many post-apocalyptic games, Badlands: Outpost of Humanity envisions a dark future by mixing Fallout and Mad Max.

In a short time, I was lucky with the second post-apocalyptic game, which in a small part this time is Fallout and in a small part Mad Max. Unlike Waste Knights, Badlands: Outpost of Humanity draws more from the latter, it couldn’t be much different. The focus here is not on the story and the collaboration, but on the race to race and the confrontation.

Badlands: Outpost of Humanity

In Badlads: Outpost of Humanity, our ultimate goal is to reach 100 victory points, which is most easily achieved by accumulating money (here beer caps), but also for our leaders and defeated monsters. Acquiring them is aided by our four units (well and of course our luck) who can be moved between different areas on the playing field, using as much fuel from our inventory as is on the yellow board near it.

Gangs of the wilderness

I would mention the first of our two unarmed teams to be settlers on foot. They can only search the gas station and the junkyard, and in each case it is a dice roll that decides what fuel, useful waste, bandages, weapons and how much we find. Next to them, we can launch a caravan from our own base into the “city” that sprawls in the middle of the game board, symbolized here by a bus, and stuff it with all sorts of goods (including alcohol brought from home) to exchange or shop. We can go collect missions to the pub, play casinos, or sell our ally characters in exchange for some money.

In addition, we also had two armed gangs, a lighter and a better armored vehicle team, symbolized here by a sports car and a pickup. With them, we can go on research to three more locations: we can review the flights of the military base, the shelter, and the mine, and we can attack anyone and anything. In the former locations, in addition to getting the raw materials marked on them, we can also draw as many cards as we want from the deck belonging to them. In these we can find useful objects, closed doors, helpers and monsters. We can take the objects and companions with us immediately, the text on the pages tells us what can be done with their help. For closed doors, we first need to find the right key and get the raw materials marked on them, but all we can take with us is as many weapons as we have equipped the vehicle and as much as will fit in the hold (except for money, it’s ten tokens and five cards). Monsters, of course, have a fight, depending on whether it’s defensive or aggressive.

The fight itself is basically the same in all cases: first the attacker rolls, with the number of dice corresponding to his attacking value (he finds 1-3 next to him, 4-6) and the defender reacts to the injury and then they change roles. The attack value is the number marked with a skull on the cards and in the field, in the case of our vehicles it is maximized, but not more than the number of weapon tokens we carry with us. For each hit, we have to take down a weapon token (the attack power decreases on cards, cities), but we can also choose to negate it with our cards or first aid kits. The fight lasts as long as we can drop a gun. And the winner takes everything with him if it was a city or a hostile gang. In a vehicle fight, we can also try to escape, in which case we have to throw a six (we can improve the value with fuel), but if we do that, we can no longer defend ourselves.

The law of the wilderness

Hopefully, from this, it is clear that fighting is the essence of the game, and at the same time our only option is to restrain our opponent when it is already very long. In the case of two players, this is a bit of fun, the ideal one here too, which already brings enough unpredictability, that is, more of a human factor into the game. But either way, I could best describe the whole thing in the form of a tug of war: a fight back and forth that can be extended almost indefinitely, which, if very protracted, can become quite tiring and boring.

The components are absolutely good quality, but at least I would have been happy with some rudimentary insert next to the carriage token and the tiny cards. There are also more serious design flaws: it’s obvious that decks of cards for special areas are clarified with their backs, but here’s a barely noticeable color code. And that always led to this scene: “is green now the military base or the mine?” – rulebook in advance – “Of course it’s a shelter”. And if we go to the rulebook: I haven’t seen a booklet so bulky, unnecessarily over-explained, and I don’t even know the editor from the news. Unraveling the rules and special rules from a bulleted list is quite cumbersome, and the relevant images are pretty big, but it doesn’t help much, as there may be blurry spots on first reading.

I said goodbye with mixed emotions to the wilderness that commutes between two extremes: it takes minimal tactics and maximum luck to win, the latter being somewhat manageable with the former, but ultimately we are entrusted to the graces of Fortuna. The game gives a lot of atmosphere, but it is a direct confrontational, those who prefer peaceful coexistence or gentle competition can hardly find their calculation in it. I could also say lyrically that it is a game of wild fortune hunters in the wilderness, which only fits the choice of theme.

(The test copy was provided by our partner, Lavka Games – thank you!)

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