After groping my way through the slideshow program, I figured it was only proper to do a real write up of last Tuesday’s NIGHTWATCH mission. Other Pat, Occasional Tom, and Matt the Evil Meme Master showed up to game on the new mouse pad mat from Playmats.eu and some freshly-painted 3D printed terrain designed by 3DHexes.
It was the end of a long day for everyone and it was good to get together. To make things even easier, Pat, Tom and Matt ran the Hunters while I scrounged through my collection for various cool figs to represent the Forces of Darkness.
Tom picked an old GW elf lord for a Tracker, Pat found a suitable Reaper fig for a Blade heavy, and Matt went with a Rackham barbarian for his Mancer. The Duke and the Hirelings were represented by some of the excellent Game of Thrones plastics. (I get them individually from Troll Horde Games.)
A simple ESCORT mission, the job was to get the Duke from one corner of the mat to the opposite. The forces of Darkness needed to take the Duke in melee in order to win.
Charging out of the gate, the Hunters advance into the ruins. The Tracker and Mancer move to watch the flanks. The Hirelings – a melee and a ranged fighter – fan out. The Blade leads the Duke toward the shattered road between the ruins.
Good defensive posture but the Minions start spawning. (They do this at the start of their phase every game turn. Four numbered entry points on the mission area. Location determined by 2 D4 rolls) Roll one puts a batch at a portal on the far edge but the second has them entering on the Hunter’s right, near the ancient statues called ‘The Slaves’.
Waves of monsters inbound and the Hunters express their first regret: they should have taken an Alchemist for Healing Potions and Grenadoes. (“Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don’t ya think?”) *
Not to worry, the Mancer wrote some Elemental Fury spells in his grimoire for this trip.
One evil bunch flambéed (fancy Mancer word for ‘torched’) the Hunters move to the middle of the area, but the monsters keep coming.
The Hunters had a good start but a crisis boils up in the middle turns/middle of the mat as waves of evil creatures keep coming. Even though the monsters spawn at random, NIGHTWATCH requires constant vigilance. A few unfortunate rolls and unwary Hunters will find a mob of slavering fiends right behind them.
Tom’s Tracker snagged the high ground early on and is using the longbow’s extended range to snipe monsters. Despite that, a serious brawl develops in the shadow of The Slaves. (“Hell Hounds and War Toads and Cultists, oh my!”)
The Hirelings go down – The Mancer takes wounds – the Blade engages in furious combat – the Duke lumbers toward safety. More enemies spawn. Will he make it?
It’s a close thing, a damn close thing.
There’s a copse of trees near the exit – the Duke is nearly there – but spawning rolls put a bunch of mid-level monsters at the nearest portal, as well as behind our now-depleted heroes. Bad luck.
From atop the ruins, Tom’s Tracker is firing as fast as he can. Pat’s Blade moves to block not one, not two, but three Horde-level enemies. Lagging behind, with monsters breathing down his neck, Matt’s Mancer finds himself between the sword and the cliff.
It’s time for abject failure or heart-stopping bravery and self-sacrifice. Pat’s Hunter charges in. The Mancer readies an Aetherial Flight spell, determined to fly the Duke over the finish line if he has to.
It’s down the wire but the Hunters win; the Duke exits the area. (You’ve never seen a fat man in plate armor run so fast)
With the game over once the objective is met, the monsters flee and the exhausted Hunters begin binding up their wounds.
The butcher’s bill was high, but there are bounties for monster kills, treasure to be scrounged, and a rare artifact-weapon was recovered. Not bad. The Hunters will need to hire new help, but they’re on the right side of the dirt.
Any fight you walk away from…
P.S. The Duke made it out just in time; elite-level monsters had just spawned in.
That’s it for now. Remember NIGHTWATCH is available at Amazon in both print and kindle, and in pdf at WargameVault.
Thanks and have an excellent weekend.
10 thoughts on “Escorting the Duke Redux”
Love the table! great game
We have a Symbaroum campaign on the horizon, so I’m on an ‘unusual terrain’ hunt lately. The 3D printing trend is really cool and has opened up all kinds of excellent options.
I notice in some of your battle reports vermin are not represented by a stand containing multiple miniatures. Does one model in these situations equal a whole stand of vermin? I was debating how to handle the vermin issue larger bases won’t be able to maneuver in some terrain. I was considering three individual vermin clumped together to equal a horde as long as their bases touched.
Correct; I don’t always multi-base Vermin models. I have some in the works, others that I’ll leave single. It’s an aesthetic choice for me.
When they are single, I roll straight D6. When multi-based, I ‘roll 2 choose better’ for DD.
As far as large bases and terrain access, it’s a matter of the level of abstraction you’re comfortable with: a swarm would be able to flow into a narrow space but you might want to House Rule they can’t. That would provide opportunities for breathing room for any beleagered Hunters.
Who makes the wicked toads?
Nice, right? They’re Reaper Bones figs.
How has the mat been> I’m thinking of getting one myself.
The game mat? So far so good. It’s mouse pad material, so reasonably durable. No splits of tears from storage. Colors are still vibrant.
Ask me again in a year or so.
Thanks so much ccglazier! Didja try any other designs from playmats.eu?
There was one I wanted- a very cool cyberpunk streets design that ended up discontinued for some reason. The company mentioned they were willing to produce one, special order, for me. But I haven’t circled back for it yet.