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"There are three simple rules to follow with Brotherhood equipment: if you damage your weapon, you will spend a week in the box. If you damage your armor, you will spend a week in the box. If you lose either, I'll kill you myself. And one more thing, ladies... Welcome to the Brotherhood of Steel."—Paladin Rychek, welcoming the main characters.
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is first spinoff of the Fallout series. It was developed by Micro Forte. The game was rushed, and it shows; the 50s vision of the future is less prevailent than in the rest of the series, in favor of more realistic weapons and designs, and there are continuity errors and inconsistencies with the previous games. The official stance on the game from Bethesda is that it's Broad Strokes canon.
The Mid-western wasteland around the ruins of Chicago is an okay place to live. Sure, there's monsters everywhere that can tear your head off easier than you could swat a fly, almost all the water is irradiated, there are large groups of Super-Mutants who escaped the destruction of The Master's army that want to Kill All Humans, and... Actually, the Wasteland is a horrible place to live. But it's not like you have a choice.
And then everything changed. A huge storm caused gigantic airships to crash-land nearby, and soldiers in huge suits of technologically advanced armor marched out of them, setting up bases. They are the Brotherhood of Steel, and they are not happy to be here. They are the descendants of the United States military, surviving the Great War in a secret military base, and their stated duty is to protect the technology of the past, so that the future may benefit from it.
The Brotherhood is at a loss, however, for their carefully built airships have been destroyed before they could return to their home base, and they now have no way back. They will not be missed, however, because they've been exiled from the Main Brotherhood, due to an argument which has lasted years: Should the Brotherhood remain a closed faction, secret and pure, dwindling as the decades go by, or let in the clueless Wastelanders that may misuse the gifts of the Brotherhood? The survivors of the crash were the ones who decided upon the latter choice.
And now they are forced to stand by in their decision, because the majority of this new Brotherhood are now dead and buried under the rubble of the airships, and they've got to replace them fast, or the Wasteland might just swallow them up. And that's where you come in. You were one of the ones they chose, among others, to join the Brotherhood, and as a test, you will be leading a bunch of other initiates to disperse the nearby Raiders that are causing trouble. If you succeed, you will be fully incorporated into the Brotherhood; If you fail, you can just go back to the Wasteland.
Tropes that apply to this game shall follow. This is law.
- AKA-47: Averted. Most of the real-world guns are licensed and use their actual names.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Maximum six initiates in your squad, one of which is you and cannot be replaced. Them's the rules.
- Artificial Stupidity: supermutants tend to do things like getting stuck in one place, charging at a vehicle with a melee weapon or shooting their own team members. And all enemies routinely fail spot checks regarding mines.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The player finds an APC in one of the missions. Slow, but well-armoured and carries a lot of gear.
- Awesome but Impractical: Deathclaw recruits. They are fast. They are strong. They are tough. They tear through metal armour and supermutant skin like tissue paper. They have no weapons or armour whatsoever and show up just in time for the point where Big Guns become the alpha and omega.
- Awesome Yet Practical: The Browning M2. Requires 9 strengh (doable with Power Armour or for a super mutant), dish out lots of damage, and can use depleted uranium amunition.
- The Rocket launcher: high firepower, and lots of different amunition, including EMP rockets.
- Brain In a Jar: The Big Bad, the calculator, is an amalgam of around a dozen of these. Potentially you or Barnaky as well, in the ending.
- Broad Strokes: There are some minor inconsistencies with previous games here and there, but the main events are still canon.
- Rule of Thumb: If the events don't clash with canon of the main games it's canon.
- Crouch and Prone
- Depleted Uranium Shells: The Browning M2 can be equipped with these.
- Disc One Nuke: Several
- You can get an FN FAL as well as EMP shotgun shells if you get the merchant random encounter, the EMP shells let you bust the turrets in Preoria mission very easily.
- If you encounter the brotherhood prison random encounter, you can kill the 2 paladins using poison or drug overdose and take their miniguns.
- If you encounter another merchant, his guards can be killed using drug overdose, and they carry Jackhammers, which let you make short work on deathclaws.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Paladin Rychek.
- Easy Amnesia: Horribly, horribly averted. The leader of the super mutants is one of the leaders of the Brotherhood who sustained a horrible head injury and started to forget who he was. He also becomes schizophrenic, eternally violent, and gains various other signs of a serious concussion gone untreated.
- Enemy Mine: The Mid-Western Brotherhood eventually expands their membership to Ghouls and Super-Mutants, which are still on the Holy Genocide List back west. They also ally with a clutch of intelligent deathclaws.
- Especially prominent with the Super-Mutants. The Brotherhood have never actively searched out ghouls to kill (they just have a nasty tendency to shoot first when they see them), and allying with deathclaws was never an option (what with them being non-sapient) before. Tracking down the remnants' of the Master's Army, on the other hand, was the official reason for the Brotherhood's expedition east in the first place.
- Flechette Storm: Flechette rounds are available for shotguns. Quite effective against unarmoured opponents, but most late-game enemies just shrug them off.
- Gatling Good: The Gauss minigun. One of the most powerful weapons ever.
- Grenade Launcher: Not the most effective weapon around, but it gives Small Guns parties some explosive goodness. Also handy for equipping anyone without good small guns skills, like medics.
- Infinity Plus One Machinegun: Either the Browning M2 due do armor reduction on target (with depleted uranium shells), or the gauss minigun.
- Joke Item: The chauchat, a French WW 1 light machine gun whose frequent jams have been flanderized to epic proportions. It can be found in a hidden cache, but it's not even usable as a melee weapon!
- Lethal Joke Item: The 'Mutate' perk. Worthless in Fallout and Fallout 2 where you pick your traits at the beginning of the game. In this game however, it can be used to make all your squad members Gifted retroactively, and is well worth the perk slot.
- Luck-Based Mission: Springfield. One squad of brotherhood soldiers, multiple hostage-taking situations each with enough enemies and hostages to outnumber your squad 2-to-1. And they hostage takers are all linked up by radio, so once you start shooting all hell breaks loose all over the map. Oh, and you have to save everyone. Good luck.
- Machine Worship: The Reaver Movement, which makes the Brotherhood look positively secular by comparison.
- Multiple Endings Depending on your alignment and how you choose to answer the calculator's request. Every ending is morally gray except the one where you convince Barnaky to join with the machine. That is very much a Downer Ending. The canon ending, however, is the one where you destroy the calculator.
- One-Hit Kill: The bazooka is this one low armor targets. A critical burst can do the trick too.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: General Barnaky. If he wasn't already, the events of the game does this to him.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: You start out fighting rag-tag bands of outlaws and raiders. You then move on to the more organized beastmen, who have freaky mutation powers and deathclaw allies. Then you meet the remnants of The Master's army. They last just long enough to let you come into contact with the Reaver Movement, who are replaced by the Calculator and its robotic forces who were already hitting the Mutants and Reavers hard.
- Tank Goodness: Yes, you get to drive a tank. However, it only holds five passengers (less than a full squad) and there is very little ammo for the gun.
- Useless Useful Stealth: Stealth has only three uses in this game: getting to a tactical position, getting the first strike on the enemy and getting the mines planted on the paths of enemy patrols. When enemies start using rocket launchers, you start to understand how useful it is.
- Wake Up Call Boss: Macomb. Until this point, you could just move forward and shoot everything hostile in sight. If you try this on macomb, all raiders will get a first strike at you. Halfway through the mission, one of them is equipped with a rocket laucher (One-Hit Kill on low level armor like the ones you will likely be wearing at that point). To make things worse, there is another one near the end. Hope you put some point into sneak skill to sneak two guys behind him and shoot a burst.
- Quincy too, when earlier you can just go in guns blazing, this is the first time you encounter Deathclaws. That is, unless you are lucky enough and managed to get Auto Shotguns or Miniguns early.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Midwestern Brotherhood is still a quasi-fascist militant organization with the goal of monopolising all technology like its parent organization on the West Coast. Unlike the original BoS they allow outsiders into their organization, operate similarly to the NCR in that they provide protection and aid to nearby tribes in return for manpower and supplies, and aim to share the technology they possess to their protectorates for the common good. In all of the endings they eventually transform the Mid-West into a stable, secure place to live and share non-military technology with their protectorates, though they are still non-democratic.
- Zeerust: A bit inconsistent with the rest of the series, but the game still maintains a retro-futuristic look.