By Mantic Games
Kyle Przelenski, part of the Master Crafted crew and the only man brave enough we could find to handle the Nightstalkers, is here to give you some battle tactics to get the most out of this terrifying faction. Over to you Kyle…
Nightmares made real – Mantica’s most horrifying army burst onto the scene this week with the official release of the Nightstalkers! This faction offers some unique builds for your games of Kings of War and can be one of the most rewarding armies to play when done right. Let’s take a look at some of the tactical applications of these creatures on the tabletop and how you can lead your enemies straight into the void.
There are two distinct army special rules that make the Nightstalkers stand out. The first is the Stealthy special rule. A large number of units in the army automatically come equipped with a built in -1 to hit modifier in shooting. Utilizing this along with cover provides a powerful defense against those pesky Elf bow shots.
The second special rule is the ability, Mindthirst. This one turns traditional generalship on its head by stealing your opponent’s Inspiring sources. While they themselves can only benefit from a 6” or 9” range, you can steal the benefit from 12” out! This is definitely an incentive to get nice and close with your enemy. On top of that, you don’t have to spend points on inspiring sources!
PIECING IT TOGETHER
Nightstalkers boast a wide range of unit types. They are a diversified force with options for ranged attacks, speed, clever tricks, and brutal combat efficiency. Finding your unique approach is a task that is both challenging and rewarding. A wise general approaches battle with a strategy in mind. Something I highly recommend is focusing your force to do one thing really well. Luckily, with Nightstalkers you have a wealth of options.
A grim, relentless force of Scarecrows, Butchers, Reapers, and a Terror or two make for an incredible hammer and anvil approach. Take a stout defensive position with Scarecrows and set up a nasty surge into the flank of an enemy that has failed to rout them. Let the wall of bodies distract the enemy while your brutally efficient ones take position to clean them up in one fell swoop. Perhaps you’d rather smother your opponent with ethereal flames and wicked lightning from beyond? The Nightstalkers Spectres and Mind-Screech in particular can lay down impressive firepower. Hitting on 4+ and stock piercing means you’re putting out some of the most potent ranged attacks in the game.
SCREAM IF YOU WANNA GO FASTER!
Combine that with the likes of Screamers or Banshees with a Lightning Bolt upgrade and suddenly your force is punishing the enemy from afar very effectively. Maybe you’d rather get right into the thick of it. This strategy aims to make good use of the Mindthirst special rule by closing the gap with your opponent as quickly as possible. Flying Phantoms followed closely by Fiends and Shadowhounds mean that your force is made up entirely of speed 8-10 units. Add a real psychological threat with the use of the powerful Void Lurker who can also keep up with the force. Using this strategy, you must be careful that your units make the initial combats and then quickly overwhelm your foe!
A more finesse approach involves clever application of special rules rather than brute force to win your games. The Clash of Kings 2019 supplement adds additional units and rules to a Nightstalker army as well as some amazing formations. By combining the Grim Harvest Formation and a Reaper Souldrinker hero, you can push three units up to Lifeleech 3 or higher! Not only will your army be grinding away, they’ll be rejuvenating themselves as they go. Also available is the Butchers’ Block formation. This gives two hordes of Butchers and a Shadow Hulk the Brutal special rule. Cleverly combine that with a Portal of Despair (looking at you TerrainCrate) and suddenly you’re modifying your opponent’s nerve by 2! That brave regiment of Knights with 15/17 nerve will be reduced to a measly 13/15 instead. Now we’re talking real fear tactics.
Lastly, consider the tools available to the army. Multiple units carry the Windblast special rule allowing you to dictate late game decisions. Flying a Banshee into position on the final turn to wail an opponent off an objective and securing the game in your favor is precisely the flavor of this faction. Pull off tricks such as laying the firepower of Spectres or a Mind-Screech into a unit and then Surge a shambling unit like Scarecrows in to add additional damage in the same turn and lock them down.
This army rewards the creative and the bold. It can be challenging to master but will always be an absolute blast to play. They can spoil the plans of even the most experienced general with a wide array of tricks and tools. If you think you’re brave enough to delve into this nightmarish faction, know this: You are only limited by your imagination.
The Nightstalkers will be in stores from February 11th. Remember, if you pre-order from the Mantic website, you’ll get a FREE Mind Screech with the Mega Army.
The post Nightstalker: Battle Tactics appeared first on Mantic Blog.
By Mantic Games
Hello Manticans, it’s Ronnie here!
I hope you are all well, and starting the New Year with a new warband, army or faction. I mean, the Nightstalkers have just gone up on pre-order, so it would be rude for you not to, really.
Of course, once you’ve got your lovely new miniatures, based them and then painted them up, you’re going to need a venue to show off your things of beauty.
And what better way than to do that than in the company of the Mantic team – at some of the biggest events in the calendar? There is no better place to start than AdeptiCon 2019! We have the full team in attendance at this huge wargaming event in late March.
The highlight of Adepticon is the opportunity be crowned Clash of Kings USA champion 2019 – and win a subsidised trip to compete in the Clash of Kings in the UK in October (terms and conditions apply). Or just thrash the pants off the 2 UK champions (Nick Williams and Dominic Staveacre) who we are flying over to compete. Surely you can’t let some filthy limeys take your crown?
If Kings of War isn’t your bag then we have great attendances already at the Vanguard, Deadzone and DreadBall events, along with epic 20,000pt battles of Kings of War to watch. They’re going to be an amazing spectacle.
Plus, we will have a fun-packed evening of gaming on the Saturday at Mantic Night. Including a bonkers swag bag, gaming until late and a Q&A with yours truly (plus some other folks who actually know what they are talking about). Buy your ticket here.
We will also have our usual stand running demos all weekend. You can order and collect at the show and we will have the new Hellboy game to look at ahead of shipping in April, plus the usual awesome deals, reveals and bargains over the event.
Adepticon 2019 – make it a date here.
Of course, if you are on the other side of the pond, we have a few events closer to home for you too… including the Spring Open Day on May 4th and, of course, we will be out in force at Salute and UK Games Expo. Also, mark your diaries for April 24th, when we’ll be holding a very special Hellboy event here in Nottingham. Fancy watching the new film in a cinema, playing the game and meeting Duncan Fegredo (artist for the likes of Darkness Calls and The Wild Hunt)? Well, make sure you’re signed up to the Mantic newsletter for details.
We are also hosting some gaming weekends at Mantic HQ, including Vanguard: Spearhead (although that sold out in about five seconds) and Kings of War Doubles Tournament (which hasn’t sold out yet). Feel free to come and join us at these fantastic little gatherings, or just swing by on Mantic Mondays for an evening of gaming and chat. Oh, and obviously, you can now grab a ticket for the UK’s biggest Kings of War tournament, Clash of Kings. Tickets are available here.
There are also some amazing events being hosted by our fantastic fans, Pathfinders and event organisers. We have Sharad’s Clash of Kings feeder event (Battlemasters), which is the longest running KoW event in the UK. Plus, the highest placed Mantic army will get a free ticket to Clash of Kings 2019! There’s also Franticon in March, which includes the DreadBall UK Championships – you can find out more here.
And if you fancy a beer, I’ll be down at the Kings of War Masters USA coming up real soon, in San Antonio Texas!
Looking forward to seeing you on a Mantic Stand somewhere soon
The post Clash of Kings USA comes to Adepticon – play the best and win a visit to the UK appeared first on Mantic Blog.
By Mantic Games
With Nightstalker pre-orders now live on the website – and remember folks, if you order from Mantic you get a FREE Mind Screech with Mega Armies – we thought this was the perfect time to delve into their shadowy background. During this week, we’ll be looking at the units in more detail, plus we’ll have some tips from a Nightstalkers expert. However, in today’s blog we’re diving into their backstory. Don’t have too many nightmares.
Nightstalkers take many forms – often perceived by different races in different ways depending on the superstitions and fears of a culture or individual. As in the life they were so cruelly ripped away from, there are many different types of Stalker, sometimes even shaped by remnants of memories and personalities of their lost mortality. Sometimes, when the powers of the Abyss are strong, the presence of the Nightstalkers rips a portal in the fabric of reality – a doorway between dimensions.
The power of the Abyss is channelled through such rents that seethe and boil in the air, painful for mortals to see directly. At the edge of vision the portal seems like a cage of glossy black, writhing serpents, screaming in perpetual agony. Nightstalker shadow-hosts burst forth into reality: a gibbering, cacophonous explosion of fear wreathed in the purple lightning of the portal. The baying of spectral hounds goes before the ravenous host, while the soul-rending screams of heartless Banshees chills their foe to the bone.
Most numerous of the shadow-hosts are Spectres – hollow remnants of once-living ancients. These are the creatures that often haunt places where the dead are interred. They are mournful, skeletal creatures, wreathed in cloaks of mist and shadow. Cowardly beings, they huddle in vicious packs, lashing out at any mortal that comes near with tendrils of soul-mist. From their obfuscating presence, shambling, zombie-like Scarecrows emerge. Their presence is often heralded by wriggling swarms of bloated Blood worms, which congregate around the Spectres’ victims, sucking the blood from the dead and dying.
Manifesting from the primal fears of their enemies, blade-limbed Reapers and skull-faced Phantasms are the harbingers of the horde, whose purpose is to sow the terror required for the rest of the host to manifest. Wherever they appear, Doppelgangers are not far behind, whose mimicry of the enemy often leads to mistrust and bloody murder. And it is not merely the twisted spirits of men, Elves and Dwarfs that join the host: monstrous Stalkers also exist, such as the Shadow-hulks, seemingly fused from the souls of several giant Cyclopes and now filled with the hunger of the void.
And from the void come those emissaries of the ancient star-gods. If these creatures were ever mortal at all, it must have been some bizarre form of life that no longer exists on Mantica. Unspeakable and indescribable things, they have lived in the dimensions between worlds for an eternity. Some, like the monstrous Void Lurkers, have an intelligence of sorts and understand enough to sense the rents in the fabric of the universe and know how to locate them. They attach themselves to Nightstalkers as they stream into reality. There, they coalesce into mismatched and petrifying shapes. Other squamous horrors accompany these beasts, from vaguely arachnoid Fiends, to flickering, tenebrous Planar Apparitions.
The Nightstalkers will be in stores from February 11th. Remember, if you pre-order from the Mantic website, you’ll get a FREE Mind Screech with the Mega Army.
The post What are the Nightstalkers? appeared first on Mantic Blog.
By Mantic Games
Great – or horrible – news depending upon how strong your stomach is, the Nightstalker pre-orders are now live on the Mantic website. This is one of the most anticipated Kings of War armies ever – and we’ll be delving deep into their background over the coming weeks.
However, for now, just know that these are tortured souls who have been torn from their physical existence, the Nightstalkers are nightmares made manifest. They claw their way back into the mortal world, desperate to find a way back to the lives they were denied through the pain of others.
The first wave of Nightstalker releases is due for release on February 11th and you can see all the details below. What’s more, if you pre-order the Mega Army from the Mantic website before February 11th, you’ll receive a FREE Mind Screech – just in case you want to give yourself even more nightmares. Pre-order here.
NIGHTSTALKER MEGA ARMY
When the power of the Abyss waxes strong, large forces of Nightstalkers tear their way into reality. Mewling, skittering hordes advance, led by ancient cyclopean beings from the darkest depths of existence. Survivors of such attacks are rare and all who do escape lose their minds and souls forever.
The Nightstalkers are the dreams, nightmares, fears, and horrors of mortals made manifest. Although their incursions into our realm are thankfully rare, the devastation caused by such events is absolute on both a physical and emotional level.
Standing over 7″ tall – the Shadowhulk is an imposing and iconic addition to the Nightstalker army. Titans of the ether, these former giant Cyclopes retain only a passing resemblance to their long forgotten mortal forms. Now, they are covered in weeping sores, extra mouths, wicked spines, and hands that have fused into fleshless lumps of solid bone.
Fiends prey on hatred and jealousy. Empowered by these powerful emotions, they are drawn to those who plot and scheme revenge while spinning webs of lies. They are terrifying, arachnid-like monsters with venomous fangs and a chitinous armour that reflects no light.
Also used as a Grunt in Vanguard, the Needlefangs can pour through keyholes and under doors as they flow towards their food. Needlefangs form a black tide of crawling, skittering, shapeless things and spiteful, hungry warp pixies.
VANGUARD EQUIPMENT DECK
Also on pre-order this week is the Vanguard Equipment deck. This 66-card deck includes handy reference cards for all the equipment (Common, Rare and Unique) in the Vanguard rulebook, plus some brand new ones too! Check the website for the full list.
The post Nightstalker Pre-orders Live! appeared first on Mantic Blog.
By Vicky Morgan-Keith
There was little room in the cramped confines of the cabin for Mrrowl to move about–let alone stretch. They’d locked him in here at gunpoint once the ship was secured after the failed attack. Mrrowl winced slightly as he flexed and twisted his side, then nodded in satisfaction. One would think the shot had done little more than singe his fur, but he knew better. He’d felt the blast, and he’d seen the blood spread across his xenon mesh vest. But now, just a few hours later, the injury was all but healed. He flicked his ears in amazement. The little female. She’d healed him. Healed him with no more than a touch!
The big Shrinaar’s brow furrowed in thought. He’d heard of such things years ago, before the Neiran had captured and enslaved him. While growing up on the GDF outpost on Orizon 2, his father had told him stories while home from patrols. Legends of strange Shrinaar who were living conduits for the power of the stars and knew hidden mysteries of the universe. Cub tales, his mother had always grumbled, but Mrrowl had never tired of listening to his father speak about the Sa’uk vo’ats, sky river elders, of the various Shrinaar tribes.
There was Ya’lar of the Taum’o’nan tribe, an esteemed oracle, who used his powers of precognition to save not only his own tribe from a massive earthquake, but several nearby tribes as well. Shar’na’lo, Healer of All Tribes, left the clan of her birth to wander her world, tending to any sick or injured she encountered. So great was her healing power it was said, that Shar’na’lo’s own body rejuvenated itself, causing her to live many centuries beyond a normal lifespan. But the mighty warrior Chur’wor was Mrrowl’s favorite. Skilled in the use of weaponry as well as formidable cosmic forces, Chur’wor protected his tribe for many years. His battle prowess was nothing short of legendary.
Now few tribes even had a Sa’uk vo’at. Mrrowl shook his head, the guard hairs of his neck prickling. He thought he might have met one when he was still a slave. Before Norg found him and took him in. Before his friend died and Mrrowl had fallen in with Spar’s gang.
Mrrowl’s ears went back, his lips drawing back in a silent snarl as he reflected on the events that had trapped him in servitude to Spar. Working for the Alanti had proved worse than his early days as a gladiator enslaved to the Neiran. At least in the arena those he had slain had possessed weapons of their own and could fight back! Spar possessed no such sense of fairness, preying almost exclusively on the unarmed or helpless. Regret and shame caused an angry roar to well up in Mrrowl’s throat, but the cabin door suddenly whisked open, and he swallowed it.
The female Alanti stood in the doorway, flanked on her left by an uneasy Illyrian wearing a dark brown leather duster coat. The beautiful little Shrinaar who had both shot and healed him stood quietly on her right.
“I’m Paz Valador,” the Alanti informed him, taking a step into the room. “captain of the Mako’s Run.” Her right hand rested lightly on her holstered pistol while she gestured to the Illyrian with the other. “This is my first mate, Sparg.”
The Illyrian gave Mrrowl a wary nod, which he returned. The little fellow held his weapon out and ready, although not pointed directly Mrrowl’s way.
“…and this is Shre’ka,” Captain Paz continued, with a nod to the Shrinaar healer hovering uncertainly in the doorway.
Mrrowl pricked his ears forward and gave Shre’ka a slow blink, a friendly gesture. She merely stared at him out of her great blue-green eyes and said nothing. I could get lost in those eyes, he thought. Tearing his gaze from hers with an effort, he looked at Paz. “I’m called Mrrowl,” he offered.
“What did your gang want with me, Mrrowl?” the captain asked, her voice terse.
Mrrowl blinked in surprise. “What?”
Paz scowled. “Don’t be coy!” She snapped. “I asked you a question! Your pyswan boss said to take the female and kill any others! Why was your gang after me?”
“But!–Spar wasn’t after you,” Mrrowl protested, sliding a glance to Paz’s right.
Both Paz and Sparg followed Mrrowl’s gaze.
“Shre’ka!?!” the Illyrian squeaked in astonishment.
Paz, too, was dumbfounded, but she managed to hide it. “Why?” she inquired sharply. “What could he possibly have wanted with Shre’ka?”
“I don’t know,” Mrrowl growled. “Spar and I weren’t particularly close. I just know when he told us what the job was, I decided not to remain part of his gang any longer. He crossed a line!” The big Shrinaar’s lips skimmed back from his teeth in a silent snarl. “I’ve been a slave; I wasn’t going to help Spar enslave someone else!”
“Like hell!” Paz retorted in disbelief, drawing her pistol. “You almost took my head off with that axe of yours!”
Mrrowl drew himself up, casting Paz a baleful glare while his face rumpled into a disquieting grin. “If I’d wanted to take your head off, guppy-girl, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
“He speaks truth,” came a quiet voice.
All eyes flashed to Shre’ka. Paz considered her a long moment, then asked “You’re sure?”
“Really sure?” Paz reiterated, with a dubious look and gesture toward Mrrowl. “I mean, he’s a really big guy!”
Shre’ka nodded again.
Paz frowned as she considered the little Shrinaar. Shre’ka hadn’t been with them long, but she had certainly exhibited abilities Paz found…unsettling. They were too akin to the powers of the Alanti pysci for her liking. Paz had never felt at ease around members of that subrace of her people. Their appearance and the forces they wielded struck her as somehow unnatural. She didn’t know how Shre’ka knew the things she knew, but so far the little Shrinaar had always been correct, and Paz had begun to trust her counsel.
She let go a long breath. “All right then,” she said, reluctantly holstering her weapon. “He stays for now. Let’s let our guest get some rest.” She waved Sparg and Shre’ka out, then followed, pausing by the door controls.
Mrrowl made no move to follow. Or to lie down. “What’s going to happen to me?” he asked. “You going to drop me off somewhere?”
“Not sure,” Paz replied, “By any chance, would you be interested in a security job?”
Mrrowl’s ears came up in spite of himself. “Maybe. What’s it pay?”
Paz felt disdain sweep across her face. “Merc, huh? Money all that’s important to you?”
Mrrowl said nothing, but Paz could see the muscles of his jaw clench. He glared at her, and she glared right back, refusing to look away. “You know who hired your boss? Who his contact was?”
A shake of the head.
“What were your ports of call since your previous job? Can you at least tell me that?”
Mrrowl’s ears flattened. He snarled suspiciously. “You want me to confess to something so you can turn me in to the authorities for a reward!”
“Hey! You intruded on MY ship, remember?” Paz pointed out harshly. “Who’s got more cause not to trust the other?”
Mrrowl’s ears sank. He rumbled a gusty sigh. “You do, I suppose,” he conceded. He sat silent several moments. Paz thought he was going to refuse to answer, but finally he continued. “We’d been by a trading outpost on Kaskar II, Danev Station, and the Bazaar on Osshk.”
“Your ship’s name?”
“The Last Chance.”
Paz made a few quick notations on her techpad. “All right, here’s how this is going to work,” she told him. “You’re going to stay locked in here while I check this out. Then we’ll see.”
“We’ll see what?”
“We’ll see about you taking on that security job.” The Alanti gave him a wry smile. “As you probably noticed, we could use a little muscle on this ship. So behave yourself, get some rest, and try not to tear things up in here. If everything works out, these might be your new quarters.”
Amused by Mrrowl’s astonished expression, Paz walked out, but not without securing the door behind her, of course.
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