ASOIAF Miniatures/Tactics/Night Watch
Why Play Night Watch
"I know nothing"
You are the wall, you will hold the line.
Night Watch are a versatile and tough faction. You are the faction most likely to use combined arms, using both ranged, mobile, tough and hard hitting units in conjunction with each other.
In general they are a tougher faction, due to your elite status.
- Elite army
- Unique war machines
- Good Attachment
- Vow which gives you buffs over the course of the game
- Good card draw, and wide range of applications
- Above average morale and morale abilities
- Either cheap units or expensive units
- You don't really like neutrals
- Hard to make certain things work in a list
- Tactics card cover a big range of things, and you might get lost
- Some tactics card requires your enemy to do certain actions
Night Watch are another attrition faction. You want to win small fights after each other and then move to the bigger game.
Your vow mechanic gives you another level of tactical play. Calculate yourself if you need a certain spot.
You will fight on multiple lines, push through in 1 fight, to then round up the rest. You also excel on making use of combined arms.
Unit and Attachement Analysis
3 themes. You have builders, rangers and the wall troops.
Wall troops are your Veteran, Sworn bros and conscripts. They mostly hold the line and use standard things to win. Good morale (except conscripts) and good to great morale help you hold the line. Attachments help you hold the line even better
Ranger are mobile and fast. You have versatility in your due to your ranged attack. You are fragile, so make use of the retreat action via the horse zone. This is the more aggressive side of your support group. Qhorin make you deal even more damage.
Builders are your defensive support group. You have builders crossbowmen, which are arguably the best ranged in the game. The other side of the builders are your semi-static War machines. In total you are slow, but far hitting, and have sundering on all.
- Jon Snow: He is a strong and solid choice for a commander, and probably the first you'll pick up to play with. Jonny boy will add a bit of sustainability to your units, gifting you with an order to restore wounds upon passed the morale test (Not to mention the addition of one particularly fluffy boi). His ability fits the easiest in Veterans but Sworn brothers won't say no to more sustain. To the other choices, I would say no to, as he both want to be close to trigger it shall not and make use of ghost, and because of his melee focus. Jon will provide you with some strong tactics cards; playing well with the elite nature of the Watch, allowing you to keep units that should be dead still in the game with "it shall not end until my death". My particular favorite "Stand united brothers!" stacks well with Jon's order to give black brothers a healing factor, when a unit passes a morale check within Long range they can gain D3 + 1 (average of 3 wounds), and if that's Jonny boy's unit they auto-gain 3 wounds which stacked with his order and perhaps Ameon this can make them unstoppable revenants. Finally, Jon's last card is the most adaptable use; "For the Watch!" allows you to pick one of the following abilities (two if this unit has got the main man himself) to have for the rest of the turn: +2 movement, +1 to hit in melee, and last and certainly not least restore 2 wounds and remove one token (Catelyn crying she lost part of her ability). Overall, he's as I said, a strong commander that certainly won't let you down (or lose models) and truly embodies the spirit of the Night's Watch's niche of doing a lot with only a few units (because as you all know, size doesn't matter).
- Jeor Mormont:
- Alliser Thorne: My favorite commander. He himself has 2 actually useful abilities, one is an attack buff, which always works, the other is insurance. He has two situational cards, and 1 always useful and quite strong. "Pathetic Attempt" is nice in a mission where you have to have more rank to contest, a failure to finish a rank can immediately cost the enemy 1 rank at a minimum. But don't save it, sometimes not losing rank can be quite hard, especially if you are only on 1 rank in a rank. "Seeing their flaw", you really don't need to keep from round to round. The secondary effect, I wouldn't use unless you are playing the secret obj cards. "Ruthless Approach" is powerful, and this card will determine your NCU turn. Letters are always useful, Horses can cripple their plans, Money can set up 1HKO, Swords can hurt certain units (all solos), and lastly, crown is meh. Three attractive unit choice to ferry him around. Veterans are prime candidates for Pathetic attempts, especially if you use Donal. Ranger Hunters, in theory, won't be able to use Pathetic attempt well, but due to the nature of their attack, your second archery shot usually benefits from prey on the weak. A good choice and they make better use of his morale ability. My favorite unit is the crossbows though. Usually, they have horrible morale, Alliser fixes that easily. His prey on the weak, he can usually work, by shooting an already fighting unit in their flank. If you use the crossbow aggressive (using horse or march to use forward, then use attack zone or their activation to shoot) you can even use your benefit from their stand and fire: 7 sundering attacks on 3+, followed by another 7 sundering attacks on 2+, should easily cripple an attacker. Last advice, morale pass is an order, don't rely on it to save you against 2 cutthroats
- Donal Noye:
- Othell Warwick: The most aggressive choice. You gain three tactics, and around these cards, you should build your game. Add to that fact, that he is an NCU Commander and you are in great shape. Your game is built around dealing the maximum dmg every turn, your cards are flexible attack cards any of the three would be useful to use, but mind that you have an abundance of sundering and sworn brothers have critical blow inbuilt, which can make Precision Enhancement feel wasted, but pseudo precision works great with the critical blow, so Grenn finds a use. Mind that all of his cards also work for ranged, Warmachine though I would discourage. He works well with Veterans, Crossbows, and Hunters, sworn brothers are not that useful for him. If you attack ensure the enemy has no weakened token, if you can choose the engagement, don't attack more than you have his cards on hand. I recommend NCU Bowen, Qhorin, and him.
- Conscripts (4pt): Remember I said this is the elite faction? Well, this kinda destroys my point. Conscripts are good, actually, I would say they are great for their price. While your morale suck, your reinforcement negates the crown spot easily. Due to their healing, you can survive longer than expected, just keep them away from the High damage unit. They can hold 5 point units in place basically forever. You might want to go for more than 1 Conscript, but if you have 2 you won't really have enough points for attachment, which I usually enjoy using in Night Watch. Attachment-wise wise nothing seems worthwhile except Othell in a certain list. If you know the enemy will field pillow fisted unit, Qhorin might be interested, but that increases the cost by 50%
- Ranger Trackers (6pt): First to admit, I suck with this unit. Don't get me wrong, on paper they are really cool. Giving out vulnerable token every turn is basically Jorah's entire life, but they can do it anytime and within long range. If they shoot, they are honestly not too shabby, when targeting flanks they can do serious damage. As cavalry you should always be able to run past the enemy, I recommend not taking a shot or even getting to short range until you are behind the enemy. Your melee is worst then your shooting, and close range is like the name implies, really close. The thing I do wrong is, to commit to shooting to early and that really exposes you. Try targeting already activated units, who aren't a threat to your guys.
- Builder Crossbowmen (7pt): The best ranged unit in the game in my opinion. Sundering and their order is a great deterrant. Most players won't even try to attack you, which is both a curse and a blessing. If you do get charged, remember to shift further away. You might be inclined to put some attachment into it, but make sure you got their use down, if you don't know how to set up firing lanes, all the more damage won't help you. For attachment you want to fix their morale and increase their dmg output. A 7 morale means people will morale bomb them (luckily with the change you need two to actually feel it), and if that happens twice you are already in danger. They play well with Alliser (commander in the unit- He also fixes your horrible morale), and Othell Commanders, for attachment Brienne (use her if you can deploy this unit after the enemy is done and especially if facing high panic armies) and Bronn. Pypar might be a good idea, but he just means no one will ever attack them.
- Builder Scorpion Crew (7pt):
- Sworn Brothers (7pt): This is your bread and butter right here; with morale on par with Starks, hitting on 3+ they are pretty high standard infantry. On top of this, they gain exploding sixes (Critical Blow) and can slap your enemy hard with -1 to defense rolls (Sundering). Their cost can be an issue, at whole two points above standard infantry of Starks or Lannisters (suck it up that's elite armies for yah) so oftentimes don't be surprised if you're surrounded. To round out this surprisingly effective death squad, running Allister Thorne would give you -2 to enemy panic tests (Vicious) for only 2 points. Other than that these guys are standard in movement meaning you aren't gonna be running any marathons here. Over all, an effective elite unit for troops, and play them right, these guys wont let you down.
- Ranger Hunters (8pt): Fun to use, and your best alpha strike unit. You want to attack with these units then retreat sideways, so he'll have to either face you and turn his back towards the rest of their army, or risk you shooting into his flank (remember to shift even more towards his side). Don't forget that you can just retreat normally, with 7 + d6 you can probably get out of range They are also not bad at dealing damage, so the enemy really has to choose to leave an opening somewhere. If you are stuck in battle, you are probably dead. If you survive 1 attack you can still run away easily, find the balance of using a quick attack and just running away. My recommendation is to retreat away as far as you can, if you have access to a free movement. Play Qhorin on this unit if you field them, as +1 move and more damage only help them more. This unit can function well without attachment but if you decide to add them, I recommend Watch Captain, to give you more movement, and ensure more dice via Sword in the darkness, Stormcrow Leur for pure better damage, Bronn due to more damage increase and even more speed., and if you are feeling really lucky Brienne. But Brienne is kinda hard to pull off if you can't control deployment. Pypar is fun but kinda unneeded, 9 inches charge might only help a bit. Good combo, it isn't so obvious: Watcher on the Wall. Use Watch on the Wall to trigger quickfire on an already activated unit - charge into the unit - stay in combat. Beginning of the next turn, use watch captain to trigger the effect - retreat sideways - charge again - now retreat, without fear behind the side you start away. Fun if you can turn a unit all around. The biggest problem is to find the space for this. Lastly, you can get them to speed 9 without much effort, via Qhorin, Watcher on the wall, and Bronn.
- Veterans Of the Watch (8pt):
- Builder Stone Thrower (10pt):
- Caster (3pt): One of three reason you are the tactics deck faction. 3 point and a replace effect is pretty on par. His effect does the two things you like draw and heal. As your cards require all possible spots having a replace effect can make it easier for you. Can't really go wrong with this guy. Only thing which sucks he is part of the free folk starter (unless Night Watch heroes 2 releases)
- Maester Aemond (4pt): The coolest Targ. He used to be 1 of three good Night Watch NCU and is the reason with Jon that this is the healing factions. He is still good, he will snatch death from the jaws of defeat. No reason not to play him unless you go for only rangers and builders.
- Bowem Marsh (4pt): A free scry and draw with any claim. Too good for 3 point, meh for 4 point. Field him if you dislike the letter spot, else it is a bit of an overkill. CMON double all points, so that he can be 7 points.
- Qhorin Halfhand (4pt): One of my favorite NCU. He is of the only troops you have which can increase damage. Another 1 movement is not too shabby especially with Hunters and everyone who have an attached Watcher on the Wall. His other ability is quite strong but you will fuck yourself over with it. Best, to wait for turn 4-5, so you won't gimp yourself. Watch out for Olenna
- Jeor Mormont (4pt): Used to be shit, now he is actually fun. Letters is probably the best effect, play it and laugh at Walder and some other nasty ability. Also a good counter to Ramsey, and Melisandre. The crown is also a permanent effect, so all the fear forcing lannister and rhollor won't touch you. If you play him and Qhorin, mind that you can't stack'em
- Donnel Noye (4pt): Another newish NCU. He is the other side of sustainability, armor increase. Generally use him only on veteran and hunters, the other are probably a waste. Don't get tunnel view like I do.
Probably one of your later picks
- Othell Yarwyck (1pt): Probably required if you play Stone Thrower, and if you play Scorpion this attachment pushes your damage output above Crossbows. As I will write below; a war machine list, wants him, either Varys or Jeor as an NCU and some meat shields. But you are now stuck with a field commander, as Roose might not be fitting, so you want one of the 7+ unit for your commander. Because of how your points work as long as you spent 10 points on war machine (10+7+(7+1)+4 = 29: You want at least 1 NCU and 1 unit so another 2*4 = 37 + 1 Craster = 40), I wouldn't recommend 2 7+ infantry unless you are ballsy. So you stick him in a cheap unit. Two schools of thoughts exist, either you go put him in a conscript unit, or throw into stormcrows mercenaries, both are 5 points. Unless you play against high volume of attacks and no weirdwood trees, I would say conscripts are better. But it is your choice.
- Qhorin Halfhand:
- Grenn : Critical Blow for 2 points. Most worthwhile for either Ranger Hunters or Veterans. I would not recommend him, as ranger hunter benefit from bronn more (Morale buff and dice for ranged and melee) and Veterans enjoy Qhorin more as he works better with them. If you field Othell, go ahead and use him on the Veterans.
- Alliser Thorne:
- Jon Snow:
- Watch Recruiter:
- Watch Captain:
Building your Army
Night Watch list usually field 2 * 7+ units. Having lots of activation is rarer.
Usually, your list depends on your commander and objective. Within the Night Watch this is only true for a certain extend, some of the commander can be slotted into most list. I would say your list is determent by which 2 units are your 7+ units
In general you will have 7 activation in your army. Your best units all cost 7+ points, and you usually field more attachement then usual list. I like 2 NCU, you have good abilities, need to claim a lot of spots and these are cheap.
Your commanders are determined by which unit you want to field, pay attention to it
Sample List: These are made to get into the game early.
Literally just the starter box
Night Watch have a unique feature with their vow ability. In many cases the vow ability have a better ability then the original. Decide on a case by case decision if taking a weaker zone, is worth using an ability. I will give an overview below.
The Night Watch deck covers a wide range of features, most everything except morale. Many of your cards will have a very specific condition so you might not be able to play a card in a turn and get to below 3 (due to caster, letters, bowen and horn). If you are above 3 don't toss them unless you really need "the fire"
In use of your vows, put them on correctly, do keep in mind the long term benefit.
Lastly as your vow are open information, keep a straight face, don't read you cards to obviously and don't telegraph you plan
- Take the Black:
- The Sword in the Darkness:
- And Now his Watch has ended:
- The Watcher on the Wall:
- The Fire that burns against the Cold:
- The Horn that wakes the sleepers:
- The Shield of the Realms of Men:
Might do later