The Wall

The Wall was a project for a game prototyping class in which we had three weeks to rapidly prototype an analog game. After creating a rough version of “The Wall,” my good friend Clark Miller decided to assist me in completing artwork and a completed version of the game.

Story

Far beyond the civilized life of the Seven Kingdoms lies the Wall, a massive barrier covered in ice that has stood for 8000 years. The brothers of the Night’s Watch are its guardians, sworn to protect the realm from the evils that lie in the frozen tundra beyond-the-Wall. Their former enemies led by Mance Rayder have joined with the Night’s Watch to defend the Kingdom from the advancing hoards of the Others, a savage group of frozen men who seem to arise from the dead. If the Night’s Watch fails, the Kingdom of Westeros will undoubtedly fall to the icy hand of the Others.

Artwork by Clark Miller.


Gameplay

At each round, the players are able to strategically position their pieces and attempt to destroy their enemies. The true Others are unable to breach the Wall, but the Wights are able to gain entry and attempt to sabotage the Night’s Watch forces.

Each leader will be allowed four unit turns. These can be spent in moving units, attacking other units, defending, or completing a special task. Each unit can only be used once per turn. An attacking unit is at all times attempting to move into the defender’s space, so they can only move and attack as long as they have one move left in order to enter that space in the event of a successful kill. So if a character has 4 movement, they can move three spaces and then attack any adjacent hex. The attacker rolls one die plus his attack score against the defender’s one die plus his defense score.

The same goes for defense, which adds +1 to any defense rolls throughout this and the opponent’s turns. Defense also gives the possibility for a counterattack. After successfully defending, the defender rolls one die. If the roll is a 5 the defender will counterattack as if it were a normal attack, without the movement. If a 6 is rolled, the defender will attack but instead roll his (now raised) defense score against the attacker’s.

Every second turn, a new group of wandering Wildlings will appear on the board until all wandering Wildling pieces have been exhausted. The player controlling Mance will roll for their position, with the number on the die corresponding to the last number of one of the six dark blue (see color to the right) hexes. Until the new unit has been acquired by either army, Mance Rayder will roll for their movement of one hex per turn. See the chart to the right for the number assignment in relation to the current hex in orange. If there is no hex assigned to the number rolled on the die, there will be no movement for that turn.

The wandering units will be weaker than trained Wildlings, and cannot be directly controlled by Mance Rayder until they are encountered by a group of Mance’s Wildlings. A group of Night’s Watch may assume control over a group of wandering Wildlings, which will add +1 to both attack and defense. They will join Mance once the unit is adjacent to any trained Wildlings. Once assimilated into Mance’s legion, they can be trained in exchange for one unit turn per upgrade, according to the character tree.

The wandering Wildlings can also be assimilated into the Other’s army, by being killed directly by an Other. Once an Other has killed the wanderers, they can be resurrected as Wights at a cost of one unit turn. During this time, the corpse will be vulnerable until the resurrection has taken place. Any corpse in the game will require any roll above one to destroy.

Any Night’s Watch or Wildling character can be converted to a Wight as well. Upon their resurrection any unit will have three life points, and whatever stats they had at their time of death. At the loss of each life point, they will lose one of each stat point, to represent the loss of limbs and important body parts.

Brothers of the Night’s Watch who have been converted into Wights are able to covertly enter the Wall and allow access to other Wights, though only if that Wight still has all four life points (and therefore all limbs). Night’s Watch Wights are able to approach any keep along the Wall and roll to attempt a stealth entry against any patrol guarding the door. It will then be necessary to escape through the adjacent castle on the opposite side. The Horn of Jor, which brings down the Wall, is located in the heart of Castle Black. A Wight will need to occupy that hex (#1110) for a full turn in order to blow the horn.

Winning Conditions

The Night’s Watch has stood atop the Wall for 8000 years, and it is their job to defend the realm from the evil Beyond-the-Wall. The Night’s Watch will win once they have killed every True Other on the board, including White Walker. This will be difficult as only dragonglass or Valyrian steel will kill a true Other, which puts the more powerful Night’s Watch and Wildling characters at risk of being turned into Wights against their allies.

The Others are unable to cross the Wall because of its enchantment, but their legions of undead Wight are able to breach the castle keeps. Stored within the keep of Castle Black lies the Horn of Jor, a mystical horn that is said to have the power to bring down the Wall. The goal of the Others is to gain access to Castle Black and blow the horn, which will bring down the Wall and kill any players who are on it during that turn. Once the Wall has been destroyed, any Other surviving a full turn inside of their victory zone at the South end of the map will win the game.

Characters

Humans
The job of the Night’s Watch is to defend The Wall, no matter what the cost. On each turn, the Night’s Watch player(s) will be given control over the brotherhood through their two leaders: Lord Commander Jon Snow and the King-Beyond-The-Wall, Mance Rayder.

Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch
As Jon Snow, you will be able to give orders to brothers of the Night’s Watch. The following special turns are available.

  • Seek Reinforcements
    If the ranks of the watch begin to run thin, Lord Commander Snow can call upon the Kingdom of Westeros for reinforcements. The recruiting process sacrifices the entirety of Snow’s turn, and will result in the delivery of two untrained units to the Night’s Watch at the beginning of his next turn. These new brothers can be used in play immediately, but they will have an attack of 1 and a defense of 1. They will each require one unit turn of training apiece to bring their skills up to their normal levels.

  • Train Units
    Untrained units can be trained here until they reach the level of full Brother of the Night’s Watch. One unit turn is required before the training will be complete. Training can take place at any of the three castles.

  • Archery
    From atop the wall, any human unit can take up a bow and attack using their attack and range scores. True Others cannot be killed by arrows; instead they will roll to see if that unit is disabled for the next turn.

  • Catapult
    There are four catapults along the wall, which must be manned by a trained brother of the Night’s Watch in order to be used. The catapult acts like a normal ranged attack with a +1 attack and +1 range for the attacker, except that the damage applies to an area of three adjacent hexes (within range) of the attacker’s choice. Each catapult requires one full turn to recharge before it can be used again. True Others cannot be killed by catapults; instead they will roll to see if that unit is disabled for the next turn.

  • Ranging
    Sending out a member of the Night’s Watch for ranging can yield two positive effects. The first is that the ranging party can sniff out Wights, and mark them as incapable of sneaking through the Wall with a tag game piece. The second is the swift ability to reach wandering Wildings in a faster manner. Ranging adds +1 to movement, but takes away the unit’s ability to attack that turn. Ranging also subtracts 1 from defense until the unit’s next turn. Ranging takes one full turn to recharge.

  • Crane
    Traveling to the top of the wall requires using one of the cranes in the grey hexes on either side of each castle. Using the crane subtracts 1 from movement. Wildlings can also use the crane with the same rules.

Units

  • Jon Snow – Attack – 4 / Defense - 4 / Movement – 3 / Range – 3 / Life – 4

  • Samwell Tarly – Attack – 2 / Defense – 4 / Movement – 2 / Range – 2 / Life – 3

  • Ranger – Attack – 3 / Defense – 2 / Movement – 3 / Range – 2 / Life – 3

  • Archer – Attack – 3 / Defense – 2 / Movement – 2 / Range – 3 / Life – 3

  • Untrained Brother – Attack – 1 / Defense – 1 / Movement – 1 / Range – 1 / Life – 3

Mance Rayder’s Wildlings
The player controlling Mance Rayder will also control all Wildlings on the board, directly or indirectly as referenced above. Wildlings are faster but weaker than members of the Night’s Watch. They will be the primary line of defense Beyond-the-Wall, where Mance was once declared king. Only Mance Rayder has the steel necessary to kill a True Other; all other Wildlings will be rolling to disable the defending unit for the next turn. In addition to normal unit turns, the following special moves are available to this army:

  • Scout
    Scouting allows Mance to direct the next appearance of wandering Wildlings. To scout, move a trained Wildling unit into any space adjacent to one of the six wandering Wildling spawn points. During a unit’s scouting turn, they will be unable to move or attack, and will not receive the benefits of defending. On the next spawn of a wandering Wildling, the scouter will be given one die roll. Any score above two will be successful, and result in the new unit spawning in the adjacent spawn point. Any other roll will result in a re-roll for spawn placement as usual.

  • Archery
    From atop the wall, any human unit can take up a bow and attack using their attack and range scores. True Others cannot be killed by arrows; instead they will roll to see if that unit is disabled for the next turn.

  • Wildling Teamup
    Wildlings may be weaker in strength, but they do have the ability to surround their opponents and execute devastating combination attacks. For each additional Wildling unit (besides the attacker) surrounding an enemy who have NOT yet been used during a turn, add +1 to the attack score. This move takes two unit turns from the player, and eliminates the use of any unit used in the combo for the rest of that turn.

  • Sneak Attack
    Wildlings can use their snowy surroundings to their advantage by use of a sneak attack, which adds +1 to their attack if successful, but subtracts 1 from their defense through the next turn if it fails. The attacker loses 1 from movement when performing a sneak attack, and must roll to see if the sneak is successful. The player adds their defense score to the roll, and it is successful if the combined score is greater than 7.

Units

  • Mance Rayder – Attack – 4 / Defense – 4 / Movement – 3 / Range – 3 / Life – 4

  • Wildling – Attack – 2 / Defense – 4 / Movement – 3 / Range – 2 / Life – 3

  • Untrained Wildling – Attack – 1 / Defense – 1 / Movement – 1 / Range – 1 / Life – 3

The Others
The Others are a seemingly mindless legion of the frozen undead, hell-bent on the destruction of the Wall and Westeros. There are two leaders of the Others’ faction: the Great Other and Waymar Royce, a Night’s Watch ranger who was turned into a Wight when he was killed by an Other. Great Other is a White Walker who sends and receives telepathic commands throughout the battlefield.

The White Walkers
The White Walkers are unable to move past the Wall, so they are confined to the area Beyond-the-Wall until it is destroyed. Their primary use is to convert human units into Wights. Their special unit moves are as follows:

  • Conversion
    As detailed above, any unit killed by a White Walker/Great Other is resurrected as a Wight. Conversion takes a full turn to complete, during which the corpse is defenseless as previously described.

  • Summoning
    Once a true Other has been slain in battle, he must be replaced before the Humans can gain the upper hand. Any true Other can summon another by entering their spawn point and invoking the Summon spell, which takes an extra turn to complete. There can only be four White Walkers, including the Great Other, on the board at a single time.

  • Frozen Shriek
    When surrounded by a group of enemies, a White Walker may use Frozen Shriek to buy some time. The player rolls and is successful if the score is greater than three. If successful, the frozen shriek will cause all surrounding human units to be disabled for the next turn.

Units

  • Great Other – Attack 5 / Defense – 4 / Movement – 2 / Range – N/A / Life – 4

  • White Walker – Attack 4 / Defense – 4 / Movement – 2 / Range – N/A / Life -4

Waymar Royce and the Wights
The Wights are the primary offensive unit for the Others. They are the frozen, zombified remains of former humans who have been killed by True Others. They are the only unit capable of passing the Wall, and must be used to find the Horn of Jor in order to bring it crashing down. The following moves are exclusive to the Wights:

  • Combination Attack
    Similar to the Wildings, Wights can gather together for crushing combination attacks. For each additional Wight unit (besides the attacker) surrounding an enemy who have NOT yet been used during a turn, add +1 to the attack score. This move takes two unit turns from the player, and eliminates the use of any unit used in the combo for the rest of that turn.

  • Sneak
    As previously described, Wights who are former brothers of the Night’s Watch can attempt to sneak past the guards into any of the castles or keeps. A roll of 4,5, or 6 will gain entry undetected, but 1,2, or 3 will result in combat with a -1 to attack for the Wight.

  • Scale Wall
    In addition to sneaking in, the Wights can attempt to scale the exterior of the wall at any space adjacent to it. Scaling the wall takes two full turns. Any unit scaling the wall is open to a ranged attack, and suffers a -1 to defense. If they are defeated while scaling the wall, they will fall off and lose an additional life point.

Units:

  • Waymar Royce – Attack – 4 / Defense – 3 / Movement – 2 / Range –N/A / Life – 4

  • Wight (Wildling) – Attack – 2 / Defense – 3 / Movement – 3 / Range – N/A / Life – 3

  • Wight (Nights Watch) – Attack – 3 /Defense – 2 / Movement – 2 / Range – N/A / Life – 3

Terrain

  • Field – The majority of the playing board is a light blue colored field. This has no effect on any unit.

  • Forest – Adds +1 to defense, -1 to movement.

  • Water – Impassible with the exception of true Others, upon whom it has a -1 effect on movement.

  • Crane – The cranes along the wall subtract an extra space from movement if used to ascend to the top of the Wall.

  • Wall – The wall adds +1 to defense and +1 to range for any human unit.

  • Castle or Keep – Adds +1 to defense for any human unit.

  • Other spawn point – Adds +1 to defense for any Others unit.