Back in Black – Night’s Watch and 1.5.1

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Yes, in 1.5 the men of the wall took some direct nerfs in point cost and indirect nerfs in the new panic rules. But in 1.5.1 the Night’s Watch sees a slew of changes, all for the better.

The Units

First, the Ranger Hunters. The Ranger Hunters may have lost Opportunist (If this unit attacks an enemy that has not activated this round, it may re-roll any misses), but in return they gained the Order Quick Fire. Paired with their ability Swift Strike it will not be difficult to combo the two abilities into seven dice on a 3+ with rerolls then seven dice on a 3+ without rerolls but into the opponents flank.

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The Conscripts are another unit to undergo large scale changes. They gained usefulness by losing the uninitiated ability, meaning they can take vows and also pick up the insignificant keyword. Pairing these 2 abilities  should change their role from sitting on an objective hoping to tarpit a unit to rushing into battle and pulling resources from your opponent while your best units position themselves for maximum impact.

The next fix is a minor one with the Builder Crossbowmen having their order “Ready! Aim! Fire!” reworded to be consistent with other instances of the order, requiring that the Crossbowmen need to be charged in the front arc to trigger.

Our final unit update is that Ghost has lost the “unblocked hits” portion of his silent predator attack and also picked up the “Uninitiated” keyword that the conscripts dropped. This will be a bit of an adjustment for a lot of Nights Watch players, as Ghost is now more of a support role now rather than a silent assassin.

Commanders, Attachments, and NCUs

Jeor Mormont has seen a rework to his Commander attachment and NCU. His commander has gained Stalwart, which is a lovely keyword to have since the new panic rules have severely impacted the Night’s Watch. He’s also gained the ability to attach two vows to his unit and always count as controlling all tactics zones for any vows. His NCU has gained an influence ability that allows him to grant bonuses to a unit depending on which tactics zones you control. Note that it is not just what zone Jeor controls, but all the zones you control for this ability.

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Qhorin Halfhand’s attachment has seen a point reduction from three to two while his NCU has received a rework. Qhorin still has his “Sacrifice for the Cause” ability but he also gains an influence ability granting +1 movement and +1 attack die which brings him  more in-line with the four point price tag.

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Donal Noye’s NCU has also become much more accessible. Instead of having to claim the wealth zone to use his Bolster Defense ability, he begins the game with three order tokens that he can expend to grant a unit +1 to defensive saves. This ability is great for offering flexibility to your defense. Bringing Vets to a 2+ save for their counterattack or helping out Ranger Hunters who have over extended themselves while positioning for flank attacks are both clutch uses of Noye that could save a game.

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Alliser Thorne’s attachment has lost his Incite ability and picked up Vicious, which is rare in the Night’s Watch faction and oftentimes a useful tool to bring to the table.

The Watch Captain has seen a much needed point reduction. It has lost the ability to draw cards at the beginning of the game to fish for a vow, instead gaining  the order “Oath of the Black,” which has a start turn trigger and allows the unit to count as controlling any tactics zones for vow effects for this turn.

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And finally the Scorpion Modification has seen a reduction to one point. I hope that this is enough for the Builder Scorpion Crew to start seeing some more play time and think  it’s certainly worth trying out in the right army.

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