Unlike the previous two Fallout games, Fallout Tactics emphasizes tactical combat and strategy. Players are not able to respond to non-player characters, but they can still trade and gamble. Instead of towns, Fallout Tactics centers around Brotherhood bunkers and missions. The bunkers serve as a central point for the Brotherhood, and players can obtain the services of quartermasters, mechanics, personnel yeomen, and medics. Characters from completed missions occasionally visit the bunkers.
A squad uses high ground to attack deathclaws and beastlords.
After receiving a mission briefing from the general in charge of the bunker, the player's squad can then move to the area where the mission will take place. Although this is usually a town, it can also be a factory, military encampment, or a Vault. There, the player is given a map of the area marked with objectives and notes.
Combat in Fallout Tactics is more complicated than in the previous two Fallout games. Unlike those, which featured an individual turn-based system, Fallout Tactics features three modes of combat: Continuous Turn-Based (CTB), Individual Turn-Based (ITB), and Squad Turn-Based (STB). In CTB, everyone can act at the same time, and action points are regenerated at a rate based on Agility. ITB is the system used in the original games. STB is a variation of that; each turn is given to a squad. Other changes include the ability to change stance, modifiers for height, and setting sentry modes, which let characters shoot automatically in CTB upon encountering an enemy.
Fallout Tactics is the first Fallout game to feature a multi-player mode. In this mode, each player controls a squad of characters and faces off against opposing players. During game setup, players are granted a number of points with which to purchase squad members and gear.
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