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Character Build: The Vanguard (FO4)

Tags: #Fallout 4 Build  #Character Build Gunslinger  #Character Build Chemist  #Character Build Daredevil 
  • Member
    March 21, 2016

    The Vanguard

    U: Well, what about Shepard? Born in the commonwealth, but no record of his family.
    A: Doesn't have one. He was raised on the streets. Learned to look out for himself.
    H: They say his whole unit died in Anchorage. He could have some serious emotional scars.
    A: Every soldier has scars. Shepard's a survivor.
    U: Is that the kind of person we want protecting the future of humanity?
    A: That's the only kind of person who can.
    U: I'll make the call.

    -Recovered from Vault-Tec administrative terminal.


    In the year 1945, the U.S. ended World War II by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The world awaited Armageddon. Instead, something miraculous happened. We began to use atomic energy not as a weapon, but as a nearly limitless source of power. People enjoyed luxuries once thought the realm of science fiction.

    They called it the greatest breakthrough in human history. But we of the Brotherhood know better. Because war... War never changes.



    This build was born out of my love of the Vanguard class in the Mass Effect series. They were very efficient at closing the gap with enemies and taking them down with shotguns, and their charge ability was unrivaled in that it allowed you to play aggressively without dying too much (If used correctly). And so, I set about trying to create a similar play-style in Fallout 4. This build is what I came up with.

    Welcome to Hell The Glowing Sea.



    There's not much to explain about the stats beyond the perks they're needed for. Put the extra point from the "You're SPECIAL" book into strength, and grab the bobble head later at the mass fusion building to bump it up to 10. This will unlock the Pain train perk, which makes for a nice upgrade to your charge ability. This isn't a power armor build though, as I played on survival and found it to be already more than strong enough. This is really used just for fun, or on special occasions.

    Primary Perks:

    Moving Target

    When using shotguns, getting in close is half the battle. Moving Target allows you to shrug off some damage while sprinting towards the enemy. Eventually, you'll be practically invincible while sprinting. Effectively giving you the vanguards biotic charge ability, except it can be used more often and you have more control over your movement.


    A major setback I encountered when using the sawed off shotgun early on in the game, is that oftentimes I would miss. Charging melee enemies, especially feral ghouls, tend to be hard to hit while charging. Or, playing on survival difficulty, two body shots wouldn't be enough to kill some enemies. Which can often leave you vulnerable while you reload. The most effective way I found to counter these disadvantages was to use jet. A whole lot of jet. The slow time effect on it makes it much easier to line up headshots, and run circles around enemies that use speed to their advantage.


    This is necessary for improving the damage on your main weapon.  So obviously this is one of the most important skills to invest in. The starting stats put Perception at 1, but the bobble head for this stat can be found very early on in the game.


    It's a good idea to use pistols as your secondary weapon skill. The slow time effect from jet allows you to quickly and consistently empty a full clip into an enemy's head, making this a good damage dealing skill in its own right.


    Secondary Perks:


    The main tactic this build uses is to pop some jet, sprint up to an enemy, stun with melee, and shoot it right in the face. While the main purpose of the bash is to keep the enemy from retaliating while you unload on it, rather than doing a lot of damage on its own; some extra damage from the bash can save you some ammo.

    Chem resistant

    Even though it's not very hard to cure yourself of addiction in this game, this build's use of jet will have you addicted more often than not. A few points into this perk will save you a fair bit of caps that can go towards restocking your ammo and jet supply.

    Life Giver/Toughness/Armorer/Medic

    One of the main goals of this build is to let you be on the offensive at all times, and fight aggressively. Survivability is an important aspect of that goal, and these perks all contribute to that. Medic and Lifegiver rank 3 help you recover after a fight. Toughness and armorer keep you from dying during the fight.

    Gun Nut

    Some people argue that this perk is unnecessary, because you can find the mods you need in loot. While that is technically true, it's nice to be able to get the exact mods you want instead of waiting for the RNG gods to let you have them. So if you have any leftover perk points, this is a decent place to put them


    Required to build industrial water purifiers that make for a good source of caps. Maintaining a large supply of jet isn't cheap.



    - BOS uniform: Can be found during The Lost Patrol (an early Brotherhood of Steel mission) http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Combat_armor_(Fallout_4)

    - Combat armor: Heavy or sturdy pieces (depending on your level) can be found on Captain Bridget. http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Hub_City_Auto_Wreckers

    - Flight helmet: The brown flight helmet can be found early in the game; In the front seat of a crashed vertibird near the robotics disposal ground.  http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Brown_flight_helmet

    I really like the look of shadowed combat armor worn over the orange BOS uniform, with the Brown flight helmet to top it off. For some alternate looks, you can try Polymer combat armor over a synth uniform with the red flight helmet. Or a yellow flight helmet with default/BOS paint over the green BOS uniform.


    - 10mm pistol: A pretty common weapon. Upgrade accordingly as you level, but don't make it automatic or silenced.

    - 44. Revolver: Less common than the 10mm, but can probably be bought from Arturo. A legendary variant is guaranteed to drop during the main quest.

    - Double Barrel Shotgun: Can be looted of raiders early in the game.

    - Combat shotgun: You'll probably have to level up quite a bit before finding one of these, but when you do you can pretty much ditch the double barrel.


    - Jet: You're going to want a lot of this. Early on, you can use the chemistry station, and the bag of fertilizer next to it, behind one of the houses in Sanctuary to make a couple. After you level up and grab the first rank of Science, you can start farming water from industrial purifiers. Jet is made from fertilizer, and plastic. Shipments of fertilizer can be bought from Abernathy farm, and you get a discount after doing their quest.

    - Psycho jet: After you've built up a decent supply of jet and caps, you can spend your extra cash on psycho; which can be combined with jet to give you extra damage resistance in addition to the slow time effect.


    Vanguard Charge

    The main combat strategy of this build.; this is what makes the Vanguard a powerful force on the front lines. Pop a psycho jet, sprint up to an enemy, bash them in the face to stagger, and shoot them in the head until they die. Throw in some extra gun bashes if they recover from stagger before dying. The extended slow time effect from using jet with the Chemist perk lets you go from target to target like a whirlwind of death. Expect lots of bloody head explosions.


    If you watch the video, you'll probably notice that there are a lot of times where my ammo is refilled after switching weapons; which I do a lot of. This was originally going to be a "special ability" of the build, that allowed you to keep firing almost endlessly without ever having to reload. The concept of this build, and the video, were made before an update to the game that removes this ability. Fortunately, you can achieve a similar effect by simply putting more guns on your quick-select menu. Early on, favorite three 10mm pistols, and three sawed off shotguns. And remember to make sure they are all reloaded before a fight. This lets you keep shooting for a very long time later in the game, once you've upgraded your guns with larger magazines.





  • March 21, 2016

    Its a bit light on content but I love where this build is going. 

  • Member
    March 21, 2016

    Same here, especially as a fan of Mass Effect

  • Member
    March 21, 2016
    AWW YISSSS shotgunz. Love it. Love the Doom pic, too!
  • Member
    March 21, 2016

    I'm glad you liked it. My photo editing skills are kind of nonexistent, but I liked the way it turned out.

  • Member
    March 21, 2016

    Yeah it is. I'll try and add some more stuff soon. I get severe writer's block though, so getting in a roleplay section is kind of a challenge for me.

  • Member
    March 21, 2016

    Well, as former co-host of the RP group, shoot me a PM for help, or most builders here, we're happy to help

  • Member
    March 22, 2016

    Can someone tell me if the picture with the special stats is showing up?
    It's not loading for me.

  • Member
    March 22, 2016

    Can someone tell me if the picture with the special stats is showing up?
    It's not loading for me.

  • Member
    March 22, 2016

    Not seeing it.