Blood and Bone – Combat

Nightwatch Blood and Bone is a stand-alone, expanded version of 2020’s Nightwatch Terror and Treasure. Both are mini-agnostic, open world tabletop wargames that focus on parties of monster hunters. TnT works fine if you just want to face down waves of uglies. BnB adds more detail as well as a simple RPG system for narrative interludes between battles. It adds Story to the Skirmish.

In Blood and Bone, Guild Hunters still have their Action Dice Pool of a D6, D8, and D10, with wounds removing die types and degrading their potential for successful action. They still receive a Two Dice Bonus for actions related to their class, albeit with some minor changes, so the opportunity for larger-than-life heroics is still there.

However, the decision was made to ratchet up the tension and change the way Hunters defend themselves. They still roll to Dodge Defend (DD) but now use the D4 as their baseline Armor die. And yes, you still need a 4+ to successfully dodge or deflect an enemy hit.

4+ on a D4? That’s not good,” I hear you say.

Now there are modifiers for Light, Medium, and Heavy armor, but Healing Potions and Spells are more valuable in Blood and Bone. Far more valuable.

an old GW Chaos Sorcerer orders a squad of Diehard skellies forward.

That’s what the Action Dice represent; training, determination, and presence of mind required to act in the midst of frantic, dangerous, and chaotic circumstances. Hunters can still use any or all their Action Dice when they’re activated with the diminishing possibility of success the more they exert themselves.

However, when the fangs are out and malevolent energies are swirling in the air, unless the Hunter exerts deliberate effort to protect themselves, all that keeps them from a violent, messy death is the durability of whatever they’re wearing. Hence the use of the D4 to represent a baseline level of protection.

This is where the DD rules change in Blood and Bone. Termed Defensive Posture, this a Hunter’s ability to reserve an Action Die type to use during a game turn’s Dark Spawn phase.

Different from Overwatch, which requires two Action Dice, Defensive Posture allows the player to add the reserve die type to their D4 Armor die whenever they roll to Dodge Defend. This represents their intentional vigilance against imminent danger and expending effort to fend off attacks.

The Hunter does not have to reserve a die type for Defensive Posture; they can go all out during their activation and use all three – and their Free Move – to fight Dark Spawn. No problem. They still have the baseline protection of whatever Armor they’re wearing. Equipping a Shield even grants them a re-roll against a enemy hits.

The Warrior – Rogue is counting on his comrade with the crossbow.

The rule change makes for a much more tense game. Pushing your Hunter’s actions during their turn becomes a strategic consideration, particularly later in the game or campaign when higher quality enemies are present. Do you go all out for the objective? Or do you prepare for that mob of slavering ghouls charging through the ruins? (How may Healing Potions do I have left?)

Your Hunt – Your Call.

Blade – Warrior and Blade Rogue square off against a trio of Orks trying to stave off a TPK.

That’s it for the brief, Combat Overview. Remember, you can find the new NIGHTWATCH BLOOD AND BONE in print at Amazon, and in PDF at Wargame Vault.

Info on Narrative Scenes and Tactical Engagements coming soon.

Thanks. Have a good weekend.

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