Nocturn is a game that combines two genres — strategy and horror. It takes place in the underworld where players take control over one of the four main nations struggling to survive among the dead realm: Kingdom, Triumvirate, League and Hegemony. Players establish Houses and grant them lands, obtaining more Lords for their wars and intrigues. Through those Houses they also call armies or build mighty cities and strongholds for their nations. Their goals are simple: expanding borders and finally subjugating each other. If cornered, any of the four players can turn to dark and ancient power to gain advantage over others... The power that is controlled by the 5th player. But such madness, comes with a price, as the goal of the fifth player isn't supremacy but annihilation of all the other players.
DeathThough weak at the beggining of the game and mostly hidden from regular gameplay, if underestimated Death may succeed with awaking its Hordes and sweep across the world in devastating tide of reclamation.
The Fifth Player controlling Death, has the most challenging position of all the players. Starting with literally nothing, He or She must craftily weaken other players vigilance and gather strenght to strike at the right moment.
Easy to play/Difficult to masterThe basics of Nocturn are very simple to learn and a game can start even with only one person having general idea about it. Gameplay favors not the players who blindly memorize all the rules but rather those who can scheme and think outside the box. Like in the Warfare, where randomness of battles is only illusional and players can either outsmart their opponents or use brute numbers to win.
The possibilities on how to play Nocturn are only up to players imagination.
Player can shut his nation inside a massive well defended valley surrounded by the mountains, waiting for an outside world to degrade into chaos. He can play as an agressor, focusing on conquering other players cities and strongholds while building few yourself. Or if he wants to play from darkness, submit early in the game to the neigbour and deceive stronger players while engaging in secret actions destabilizing the world everywhere but in his lands. Still you have to remember the World is constantly evolving around you with each passing turn. May it be that your well devised plan would crumble - your Court taken by other stronger player, forcing you to wonder around with few loyal troops left, selling your services to whoever would give you a glimpse of hope.
Nocturn game system emphasize on managing a Nation through noble Houses.
Through Decrees players collect wealth and troops from fiefdoms belonging to the Houses they control.
It is also a job of Lords belonging to players Houses, to command their armies in battles and sieges.
HousesA noble House is created and comes to play when a player grants it a Fiefdom. Player use Decrees to force Houses to raise armies and pay tributes. By granting existing Houses new Fiefdoms player can earn or recruit more from future decrees passed on that House. Decrees varies from light to demanding, so keep in mind that exploited Houses may rise in a Rebellion.
Loyalty Tokens are used to determine House revolt risk
FiefdomsFiefdoms belong to Houses and are the basics of Nocturn's economy. They are created by placing their tokens on the province along with a Castle miniature. In time the Castles can be expanded.
A City will rise more wealth from Decrees and will offer more defence for the fiefdom. While Stronghold grants greatest protection and is best suited for your nation borderlands.
Both Cities and Strongholds are limited in numbers for each nation. In order to expand beyond that limit players need to occupy the ones build by other nations .
CourtsCourts are a center of players nations. It is through controlled Court that player have an access to the nation resources. So all the pools of Brigades, Houses, Castles, Cities and Strongholds of the specific nation are only accesible to the player who controls that nation Court.
Each player at the beginning of the game has control over one Court, and a point of the game for "Living nations" players is to change that state.
Yet no player is cut off the gameplay until it ends. If a player lose his Court, he can still stay in game controolling the fractures of his former strenght. For it is always possible for him to manipulate himself back into power.
EpicsThere are three kinds of Epics. One avaible only to Death, while the others avaible to the players who chose "living nations".
Most dangerous Epics are the ones played by the player controlling Death. He uses them to influence other players actions and prepare the world for his Awakening.
All the Epics have a part with conditions that, if should be met, increase Death forces summoned during awakening.
The other important tool for Awakening — Soul Sacrifice tokens, give Death additional forces on the Awakening, and are given to him by players who pay for resurecting their Lords fallen during Battles or Epics.
Through ruling and expanding their nations players can win favor from the Gods... At least from three of them. Fourth God favor can only be granted by himself — the 5th player.
Goddess of War favors military supremacy. Goddess of Love blesses nations with most loyal Houses. While God of Wine (...hic) prefers the nation with most Fiefdoms. During Epics favor from the Gods plays crucial role in deciding whose nobles will be victorious.
The strongest blessings comes from God of Death, but by using them player can end up as pawn in Death's machinations.
Battles are fought by Brigades activated with
These tokens represent the presence of Lords in armies.
For every Mobilization token that represents his Lord player has the same number of false tokens he can place on board in order to obscure his plans.
By activating Lords Mobilization token player can move his army or assault besieged keeps. Only armies that contain at least one Lord mobilisation token can defend efficiently. When army is attacked by another player army and doesnt contain any lords mobilisation tokens army is caught unaware and can be easily defeated.
In Nocturn there are no dice. Players can achieve victory through use of the superior Tactic than his opponents or through sheer superiority in numbers.
In addition armies of a different players can join forces, something that can be helpful during the Awakening to oppose the Hordes of the FIfth player.
The choice of a Nocturne's battle system is based on Pentagram:
There are five Tactics avaible for choosing during first step of Battle - Tactical Stage. Each Tactic defeats two Tactics and is defeated by two - thus the Tactical map forms the shape of a pentagram.
But in order to win in Tactical Stage succesful side must have appropriate numbers depending on the placement of the two used Tactics on the Tactical Pentagram.
In case of a draw or an insufficient numbers, Battle goes to the second part - Bloodbath Stage. Which is exactly what it sounds like.
Overview of the Game Turn
Nocturn is played in a series of turns. Each consists of three Phases:
Epics Phase, during which players draw and execute Epics.
Warfare Phase, the phase of movement, battles, sieges, and in case of an Awakening - trying desperately to survive.
Domain Phase, players recruit Brigades and gather tributes from subject Houses. They create new Fiefdoms and build new Cities and Strongholds, lastly they pass new decrees.
- Men-at-arms Brigade Figures - 60
- Knights Brigade Figures - 20
- Hordes Figures - 40
- Leviathan Figures - 6
- Castle Figures - 60
- City Figures - 12
- Stronghold Figures - 12
- House Cards - 12 cards
- Epics Deck - 72 cards
- Abilities & Retinues Deck - 64 cards
- Fiefdom Deck - 32 cards
- Mobilization Tokens - 72
- Fiefdom Tokens - 32
- Court Tokens - 4
- Mark of Dread Tokens - 10
- Soul Sacrifice Tokens - 30
- Tactics Tokens - 25
- Decrees Tokens - 30
- Spectres Territory Tokens - 6
We started working on Nocturn three years ago as a hobby, with a goal to create a board game with rules that wouldn't limit the player. We went for the merge of strategy and horror genres. After a long time of tryouts, we created first version using cheap paper and cardboards for our own enjoyment. But as it happens in such cases the game looked, to say it frankly, butt-ugly. Which was pointed out by most of the friends who come over to play. So we decided it wouldn't hurt to try make it into a real boardgame and maybe even improve it along the way.
However reality wasnt as kind as our expectations, funds we have countinued to pour into this game are a steady but a small brook.
Triumvirate Man-at-arms Brigade (concept)
Nocturn is almost completed, while we still need to realise some components that were left without proper work due to our low budget capabilities. The main problem for us right now lies in producing our game in standards fit for the products in this industry, with proper miniatures and quality artwork. Thats why we need your support!
We are not a big and renowned team, just a bunch of friends from Poland and Bulgary that enjoy all sorts of board, card, tabletop games. We formed this team with the goal to make Nocturn a reality, and share our vision of it with the rest of the Boardgames fans.
We would like to thank you for your attention and, we hope, your support,
And we would also like to thank the artists who worked with us till now:
Andrei Pervukhin http://pervandr.deviantart.com
Hyunseonk Lee http://u-ra-cil.deviantart.com
Anselm Zielonka http://dermonkey.cgsociety.org/
Special thanks to VoiceStudio.pl for doing voiceover to Nocturn trailer: