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When we demoed Night of Man at the World Boardgame Championships, players were especially excited about three aspects of the game.
1. The size of the components. More than a couple of folks asked if this was an enlarged demo version. Nope. The counters really are 1.375" square. Well, except for the Walkers and Kaiju. They are a whopping 1.5"! I'll do a video on this soon, displaying the counters so that everyone can appreciate the size.
2. The tactical detail. Sure this game is about an alien invasion of Earth. It's science fiction. But real wargames aren't science fiction, right? Wrong. People loved the gritty tactical detail in Night of Man. Real tactics really work. If you want to assault someone, you better ensure they are Shaken first or it could get bloody. Flank shots on vehicles have a better chance of penetrating, and a unit in cover is much more likely to weather a hail of lead or plasma ball.
3. The fact that the game include Walkers (Mechs), and lets players customize them with their own weapons load, targeting accessories, and armor. Seems that I haven't promoted this well enough. Well, I hope to fix that now. That's what this post is about, the big boys of Night of Man.
Not the dead come to life, nor my last name, Walkers are the Killer’s biped weapon platforms in Night of Man. You know, Mechs. Walkers are similar to vehicles, but also use a salting of
unique rules. In the same thirty-meter-tall-force-of-destruction-vein are the Kaiju. Kaiju is the Japanese word for “strange creature,” but in America the word has become synonymous with “giant monster,” as in Godzilla. Night of Man's Kaiju is a huge, humanoid beast called Kedamono. He doesn’t appear in any of the base game scenarios, but does play in some of the Kickstarter expansions, and may be chosen by the Militia player in the Skirmish game. Oh yeah, the Feroxi also have a Kaiju named Mother. Guess what she does.
Building Those Walkers
Night of Man's walkers are not a one-size-fits all deal. Gamers construct them to suit their needs and personalities. Want some heavy armor? Go ahead, but the Construction Points you spend on that plating won't be available to buy an auto-cannon.
In every scenario that uses a Walker, gamers must construct their machine. Players receive 7 Construction Points (CP) when constructing heavy Walkers, and 5 points for constructing light Walkers. In the Night of Man base game, the Killer’s Panther is a heavy Walker, and their Cheetah is a light Walker.
The points purchase enhancements (represented by .5" markers), which are added to the base frame of the Walker by placing the Enhancement Markers over the appropriate icon on the Walker. You may purchase less than your allotted CPs, but never more. For example, when equipping your Panther, you might purchase Laser Targeting (2 CPs), Heavy Armor (2 CPs), and an Autocannon (2CPs), this would leave you 1 remaining CP. You could purchase an Anti-ballistic Coating (1 CP), but not Thermal Imaging (2 CPs).
The Walker enhancements are (dream up your own combinations):
Enhanced Optics (1 CP). Adds 1 to your Targeting Modifier.
Laser Targeting (2 CP). Adds 2 to your Targeting Modifier.
Thermal Imaging (2 CP). Adds 1 to your Targeting Modifier and negates target terrain Cover Factor.
Anti-Ballistic Coating (1 CP). Doesn’t add to the Walker’s armor, but absorbs the first hit.
Heavy Armor (2 CP). Adds 2 to the Walker’s Armor Factor.
Shields (2 CP). If the Walker is hit, flip the Shields Marker to the Charging side. If the Walker is hit while the Shields Marker is on its Charging side remove the marker. At the end of the turn a Charging Marker is flipped to its Shields side.
Cloaking (2 CP). Subtracts 3 from an attacking enemy’s drawn to hit number.
APF = Armor Piercing Factor, which is used against vehicles. HEF = High Explosive Factor, which is used against soft targets.
Gauss Rifle (2 CP). APF 6, HEF 0.
Autocannon (2 CP). APF 3, HEF 3.
Heavy MG (1 CP). APF 0, HEF 2.
Lightened Chassis (1 CP). +2 MF. (MF = Movement)
Reinforced Legs (+2). +2 AF. (AF = Armor Factor)
Walkers on the Prowl
Walkers are vehicles that engage in combat in manner that is similar to Night of Man's vehicles. Unlike vehicles, when Walkers attack, they may fire all their weapons. Each weapon may fire at the same or a different target. For example, a Panther equipped with an Autocannon and a Gauss Rifle could fire the Autocannon at a Militia infantry unit and the Gauss Rifle at an Abrams in the same impulse.
When Walkers are hit by armor piercing ammunition the attack factor compared to the total defense enhancements currently placed on the Walker. If the modified attack factor equals or exceeds this number, the Walker takes a hit. For example, a Panther with both Heavy Armor and Reinforced legs would have an stronger defense factor than a Cheetah with nothing more than anti-ballistic coating.
If a Walker takes a hit that would destroy a normal vehicle, such as an Abrams tank, the owner removes the top Enhancement Marker that displays an armor bonus. The exception is the Shield as described above. Cloaking is considered an armor enhancement for the purpose of this rule. If a Walker without armor enhancements takes a hit, it is destroyed. The first hit on a Walker in Assault Combat Shakes it, the second removes an armor bonus (as described above), or, if there are no armor bonuses remaining, destroys the Walker.
Kedamono is a 30-meter tall Kaiju. He does not shake. Every hit against Kedamono either removes a wound maker or if he no longer has a wound marker on his counter, flips Kedamono to his reduced side. If already reduced, Kedamono is eliminated. Kedamono ‘s wound markers are purchased during skirmish games or assigned during scenarios. Kedamono uses the same facing rules as walkers and vehicles.
As you can see, he's a fearsome creature. An attack factor of 4 (middle right), puts him up there with the most powerful Killer tanks. Couple that with his Assault + ability, and he become lethal in Assault Combat, pulling five cards. Oh yeah, that isn't all. That other ability, the one with the fire? Kedamono can breath fire. You know, like Godzilla. It's a short-ranged attack, as represented by the "-3" in the targeting reticule, but devastating nonetheless.