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Author Topic: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020  (Read 1217 times)

Offline Manchu

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Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020
« on: September 20, 2020, 08:55:32 AM »
Some thoughts about Nightwatch, a game by our own Dentatus, blogged with a shout out to our own Dice Tales!

Ostensibly, Nightwatch is a game about seasoned monster hunters sworn to chase down and ultimately rid the world of some terrible evil. And between these grim hunters and their quarry are wave upon wave of relentless minions. Cool, but not necessarily what I'm looking for in a miniatures game. Rather, I want a miniatures game that emulates the feel of classic D&D adventuring without a dedicated DM player. Nightwatch seemed promising, in that it's a solo/co-op game where the players control a small group of adventurers defined by their classes.

But I had one major concern: designer Patrick Todoroff writes, "you'll need need several dozen monster types of various kinds." First off, I just don't want to have to buy, assemble, and paint up that many miniatures for what, for my purposes, should be an "ultra skirmish" game (i.e., very low figure count). But more importantly, squaring off against dozens of monsters just doesn't feel like D&D to me. YMMV. So could I get the results I wanted from Nightwatch without the "several dozen" enemy miniatures? I set out to find out armed with a paltry nine plastic Skeleton figures from Wargames Atlantic. Against them stood four brave plastic Halfling figures, made by the same company.



« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 11:38:08 PM by Manchu »

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 12:35:11 AM »
Nice one. Good looking game and Bat Rep. Glad you could tweak the game and make it fit your needs.

Offline pauld

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2020, 10:49:03 AM »
Rats, now my already rock bottom self control has deserted me and the lock needs to come off the wallet.

A stellar bat rep for a very interesting looking ruleset.

Thank you Dentatus and Manchu
No dear, they are not toys, they are models

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2020, 04:09:07 PM »
Great Batrep, I think the modifications and little tweaks seemed to work well.

Offline Amalric

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2020, 05:33:42 PM »
Nice looking game.
I just picked up the rules and am looking forward to giving them a try.

Offline nozza_uk

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 12:40:46 PM »
Thanks for sharing this. I like the way you added a narrative to the game.

I've bought the rules recently and was worried about the figure count too. I was working on the assumption that I needed 36 figures for each of the various levels, but that assumption assumed no recycling of figures.

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 01:03:48 PM »
36 of each level?  :o good lord, no.
reduce, reuse, reanimate.

Offline Manchu

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2020, 01:15:18 AM »
I have started to plan out a slightly more by-the-book (theme-wise) Nightwatch campaign and have bought the following:

- 12x figures for first tier monsters
- 8x figures for second tier monsters
- 4x figures for third tier monsters

Clearly, this isn’t sufficient to run the game as per the example spawning chart in the rulebook. But per my blogpost above, I just don’t have much interest in the “tower defense” scenario of facing endless waves of enemies. And having played around with the rules a bit more over the last week, I have found that I don’t enjoy facing monsters with a 1d6 dice pool (Vermin). So my first tier monsters will probably end up more like Horde (2d8 dicepool) and third tier monsters will become the Atrocity’s lieutenants, with their own Atrocity abilities.

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2020, 12:38:13 PM »
No D6 Vermin. OK. Your hunt, your call.

Be aware the difficulty escalates rather quickly after Initiate level.
Vermin-level missions are more tutorials that allow players to accumulate coin and an artifact or two. But if you're tweaking the mechanics to your narratives, none of that campaign stuff really matters.

Offline Manchu

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 11:39:59 PM »
Having really enjoyed my first adventure using the Nightwatch rules, the only thing for it was to keep experimenting. How easy would it be to adapt Nightwatch to exploring a dungeon environment? Only one way to find out: send more hobbits into peril!



>>>LINK<<<
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 11:46:55 PM by Manchu »

Offline Dentatus

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2020, 12:33:18 AM »
'Hobbits in peril...' The start of any good adventure.

Thanks for posting. 

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2020, 08:40:50 PM »
Another nice battle report. Out of curiosity, why did you feel the need to limit movement? I would think that doorways would create bottlenecks, and that all the corners would ultimately result in a character getting pinned in and unable to move without the consequences of breaking off from combat. As an example, Room 1 appears to be about 7" long (moving towards room 3). A full movement would have put all of the adventurers at the door at the same time. Someone would have to shorten their movement and someone would have to be first through. If you moved from room 1 into room 2, There would not be a way to move around the end of the wall between 2A and 2C. The second turn would have resulted in a scrum right at the wall, but if someone moved too far into 2C, they could have been pushed back into a corner (top left corner 2C on your map), while the rest of the adventurers would have been in 2B, perhaps. I suppose my point is that the movement of 7" seems like it would have been fine in this environment and could have created some interesting scenarios. I'd be curious to see this same scenario played out a second time without that restriction.

I thought your adjustment for a ranged attack through the semi blocked arches made sense. 

Offline Manchu

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2020, 09:35:36 PM »
Good question.

At the most basic, pragmatic level, it just sucks trying to get a measuring tape or stick into those small spaces without disturbing the scenery.

But furthermore I think something needs to be clarified with respect to Nightwatch. Each figure does not get one move action per activation. Rather, each figure gets a free move in addition to their activation dice. For the Hunters (I call them PCs), that means up to FOUR moves per activation. Potentially 28 inches of movement per turn in a dunegon that fits into a 2x2 foot area would, in my estimation, make the dungeon feel tiny, empty, and boring.

Which brings up my primary concern, which is preserving a sense of (for lack of a better term) “cinematic” action. Zooming around a creepy ruin of a dungeon at a constant full sprint, to me anyway, robs the scenario of its mood. I used a lot of scatter terrain in this set up but one has to imagine that even the rooms that are literally empty are “in reality” filled with loose flagstones, cobwebs, threatening shadows, unidentifiable noises, etc. — all kinds of details that could be narrated by a DM that would inspire all but the most foolhardy players to some modicum of caution.

Finally, zone movement allowed me to create thematic content for certain rooms, such as the Supply Room and the Chapel-Infirmary, in a more precise way than just applying the very broad difficult terrain rule (halve movement).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 04:36:43 AM by Manchu »

Offline CookAndrewB

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Re: Fantasy Adventure with Todoroff's Nightwatch - Updated 10/5/2020
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2020, 02:40:29 PM »
Thanks for the thoughts, Manchu. I have a better idea where you are coming from now.

While I suppose you are right that a player COULD sprint around the dungeon, that assumes all activation rolls are made and that no other action would be more prudent. Hightailing it out of a dungeon might make sense, but it looked to me like you had lots of stops built into the scenario with closed doors (interaction being an action which reduces movement), enemies spawning, etc. If the players wanted to make progress towards achieving their goals.

I guess I would be interested to hear if you thought it would have been possible to sprint to the end of the dungeon, without engaging the enemy, and still chalk up a win for the PC's? Just because a mechanism COULD be used, I guess I would question whether or not it would result in success. If it could, then perhaps that is ok for the story. Certainly there are times in the Lord of the Rings when the good guys choose to just flee rather than fight. Getting through Moria is the goal, killing all the inhabitants is not. It could also, perhaps,  indicate that additional game design needs to be undertaken. From what I could tell, the game design was solid without the movement restriction, though I will gladly admit that a character sprinting around a dungeon would be an annoying way to break the mood of the game. Still, the doors and enemies would have eventually confounded any attempt to just run around endlessly.

The ruler frustration is a solid one though. That might be a better argument than anything else! lol

 

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