Monday, November 23, 2015

Night Stalkers - Radical New Design

Yesterday was a day of domestics in the Dunn household, so while I went about some of the jobs I had to do I listened to a couple of Kings of War podcasts.

Both "Four Foot Snake" and "Countercharge" focused on the upcoming release of "Uncharted Empires". Attracting a lot of discussion was one of the new races the Night Stalkers. This race has no direct - or even near - equivalent in the Warhammer world.

Matt Gilbert was on both podcasts. He went through the design philosophy of the army and how that led to the resulting army list. In effect, the Night Stalkers are a bunch of disembodied souls that are trying to rejoin the mortal world. This had led to the creation of units and rules that capture the stuff of nightmares.

The first thing is the largely army wide trait of Stealthy. The -1 to hit from missile troops starts to play with the current meta that promotes large hordes of archers and the like. This stacks with the -1 for Individuals making Night Stalker characters a real nightmare (pun intended) to remove with missile troops.

The army also has no Inspiring. Instead, it uses the Inspiring present in the opponent's army. This creates all sorts of opportunities to play with your opponent's mind. Do they push their Inspiring units forwards to benefit from the trait or hold them back to deprive the Stalkers of Nerve re-rolls.

One of the units in the list is called Doppelgängers. This unit assumes the characteristics of its melee opponents when it fights. So they get Attacks, Melee and benefits. Again this is interesting and novel. Do you throw your elite high impact units in to try and clear them in a single round? Knowing if you fail you'll get the exact same back. Or do you throw shite units in to effectively neutralise the points cost? Great stuff.

I think this sounds a real fun and different army to play with and against. If has some echoes of the Storm of Chaos Clan Eshin list but in reality it is a pretty radical new entrant in massed battle fantasy games.

No doubt it will surprise opponents (again pun intended) the first few times they play it. I expect to see the inevitable calls of "broken" in the first few weeks of release. As is usually the case, extended exposure will result in defensive tactics being developed.

Good on Matt and Mantic for bringing a new challenge to the table.



  1. Very exciting! It'll be interesting to see what miniatures people adapt for NS use.

    1. Agree, two things come to my mind straight away.

      What miniatures would I use, and whatever I chose I'd paint them up in a super easy and fast monochrome paint scheme, a la LOTR Army of the dead style.

  2. Love the idea! Bring it on, Mantic! New life in mass army gaming with affordable models. What more can you ask for? Archaon on a three headed dragon for the same price as a whole Nightstalker army? Long live Mantic !