Fallout: Gold Rush

Article and photos by Jason “foolybear” Lineberg

The Great War changed everything that mankind once new about life through devastating nuclear fires, but not even a holocaust can destroy the faults of man. Since the days of the Great War the darker sides of mankind have taken precedent, none more so than Greed. Individual wealth and power have become the base for everything in the wasteland. Some obtain it through hard work, but the larger percentage use physical force to take what they desire.

Set in a post-apocalyptic chaotic, war-torn world, Fallout: Gold Rush was a return to scenario play at North Carolina’s Boss Paintball field.  The minds behind the adventures at Boss Paintball have always pushed against the boundaries of traditional scenario games, and in their Fallout event they took things in a new direction.

What sets a memorable event apart?  The details.  Fallout: Gold Rush, based on the popular video game series, pitted the Miner’s Militia against the encroaching King’s Army.  The video game series has a signature look and feel, and the scenario producers attempted to capture that through costumed role-players, bottle cap currency, and even a set of rules designed to mimic Fallout’s visual style.

One critique that players often bring against scenario games is that it can be hard to get fully involved in the storyline.  Generals typically get a set of missions, and they divvy these objectives out to teams they trust to bring home the points.  Fallout: Gold Rush largely took the generals out of the equation and made the missions accessible to all players.  Rather than looking to a general for direction, players interacted freely with a host of NPCs (non-player characters) on the field.  Each of these costumed residents of the wasteland could buy items, sell goods, or swap out equipment.  Some offered a chance to gamble, and others gave missions.  The game then became a balance between the traditional goal to gain territory by shooting the enemy and getting the attention of the role-players to initiate trades, gather intelligence, and start missions.

The two sides took different approaches to the event, and that ended up making the difference in the outcome.  The Miner’s Militia set out to gain as much ground as possible, and once they established a strong field position, they then retook the one guaranteed source of points on the field – the gold mine.  The King’s Army played out a more calculated strategy.  They marshaled their guns to grab the gold mine early in the day, and they led raids into the city field held by the Militia, but they never over-extended and left their own base vulnerable.  While the Miner’s Militia had STAR paintball team running riot and taking bases, the King’s Army had a more subtle threat - Brandon Chance from Team Boxer.  Brandon approached the game like a puzzle to be solved, and he cracked the code by creating a system to manipulate the game’s economy.  He worked it like a stock broker; he bought low and sold high.  For instance, one role-player would sell syringes for two caps a piece.  Other role-players weren’t interested in buying syringes, but the doctor would pay a premium five caps for each syringe.  Brandon bought low, at two caps a syringe, and sold high for a profit of three caps. 

When the points were finally totaled, both teams had held the mine, and both completed almost all their missions.  The balance of the game came down to money, and only the King’s Army had a player who raked in the cash all day, and it was that smart play that pushed his side to victory. 

From close quarters battles in the town to low crawling in the woods, this game had a ton of action.  Combine that with the role-players, bartering system, and add a heavy dose of props, and you’ve got a successful event.  I’m looking forward to more boundary-breaking scenario games at Boss Paintball!  Props to Matt “ColMustard” Leonard, Calvin “Fenway” Hill, and Dustin Lowder, the producers of this event, for their hard work and vision.

Foolybear is on a mission – a mission to play a lot of paintball!  If you see him at a game, be sure to say hello, and he’ll probably give you a free sticker.  You can follow his exploits on this blog, on Twitter (@foolybear) and at the same name on Instagram.  Check his game calendar to see where he’s playing next!


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