Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Module Suitability Review - Armies of the Night

Image is from Twilight: 2000 Wiki, IP is GDW/FFE

Armies of the Night is the first Twilight: 2000 adventure that doesn't move around a whole bunch, but remains pretty much in one place. Post-apocalyptic New York City. As an RPG adventure, it's a bit muddied if you ask me. Most of the goals, such as taking a census, or setting up some permanent MILGOV (US Military Government) presence, or figuring out what the heck happened to the last EIGHT expeditions are just plain impossible.

The gold recovery, on the other hand, is doable. But it's going to take a lot of smarts and firepower, and possibly some alliances with some local groups, and they won't be doing it on the basis of the "full faith and credit of the United States government," Your heroes might have to explain to their superiors why their recovered gold is a few bars light..

The story has elements of Escape from New York and The Warriors, as both films are set in New York, and Escape has a lot of thematic similarities, (something's lost in the city, we need it back, we've sent in other guys, and they failed badly...)

All in all, it's got a lot going for it on the RPG side, but what about the miniatures side?

Skirmish Scenarios

Armies of the Night has a lot of skirmish scenario potential. There are so many small gangs and groups running about NYC preying on other small gangs and groups there really is a firefight a minute in this module. The trick is, designing scenarios that don't all become "same-same".

Some of the more unique ideas include:

  • The Duke of New York's machinations in starting a war between Little Italy and Chinatown, one could make a pretty good three sided game between his "army" pretending to be from Little Italy, Little Italy's own troops, and the forces of Chinatown.
  • A salvage group has come under fire, can they shoot their way out, or are they going down under the guns of some of the urban jackals running about. 
  • The last insane survivor of the gold convoy is holed up on top of the Empire State Building, can a small team sent in by MILGOV overcome exhaustion and a hit squad sent by "Hizzoner the Mayor" to silence said survivor before he gives up where the gold is?
  • A game where the CIVGOV CIA team in town "hires" a bunch of gangers to silence the MILGOV team and make sure they don't find the gold before CIVGOV does.

Larger Battles

It's a little harder to find fodder for larger battles in Armies of the Night, but not impossible. If you look hard, and use some imagination, there are a few ideas, and some of them include:

  • The culminating raid on Central Park to get the gold from it's watery grave. The MILGOV team will need allies for this, and the game's climax should be the arrival of a MILGOV relief force, but then again, will they be able to shoot their way back out when word gets around their trucks are filled with gold?
  • The original gold convoy shooting it's way out would also make an awesome game, consider the convoy commander betrayed his own men for some material goods (he was smart enough not to take a cut of the gold, apparently), so properly done, it can make a nice twist on the usual "convoy ambush game".
  • A campaign idea can be the MILGOV team actually using a co-op trying to survive as a base of operations, you can game out the various battles as the residents and MILGOV team try to hold off the yawning chaos in New York, the video game, The Division can provide a lot of thematic elements and ideas for this sort of campaign (leaving out the part about the Dollar Flu, though).
Some final notes, if you can find them, the old Games Workshop 20mm Dark Future figures would be great to game out stuff for this particular module. Another possibility in 20mm is Stan Johansen Miniature's Road Warrior line, or Rebel Miniatures Gangs, Gunmen, and Hostages for the 15mm enthusiast.

Well, next installment will be Allegheny Uprising, an interesting module, with a lot of potential for our purposes, but we shall talk more about that next time!

And in another small bit of news, we have now crossed 10,000 page views!


  1. Good work as usual: there was a Challenge article that mentioned the NJ Coast and two destroyers (Forrest Sherman class) at Cape May: one or both destroyers would be sent to pick up the gold and provide fire support for extraction, according to the article.

  2. Now THAT would be interesting, Matt! Imagine what Manhattan would turn into if one of the gangs managed to board and take one of those destroyers! Sure, they might have a tough time getting it to do what they wanted, but any small amount could make a real mess!

  3. Nice referance to Escape from New York. Kind of how I always pictured this adventure. Go Snake Plitzkin!

  4. I just got a copy of The Division on my new PS4 and I thought while I was playing it about Armies of the Night. Excellent article.


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