Nightlancer - the cyberpunk board game (Canceled)
Nightlancer is a cutthroat cyberpunk board game. It is deeply thematic with risk taking, character building and take that gameplay.
Nightlancer will return!
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A society crumbling into anarchy.
Crucial decisions, calculated risks.
Get ahead or get taken down.
Players take on the role of Nightlancers, underworld operatives striving to survive and make something of themselves in the cut throat world of dystopian 2099 AD Birmingham.
Take on challenging underworld missions, choosing the route that best suits your abilities to succeed and get paid. Play it safe or take bigger risks for more pay.
Then invest in the black market to buy weaponry, cyberware or other gear to prepare for harder missions. You can invest in your opportunity and prospects instead, building yourself up so when the crumbling society finally collapses you're able to escape to something better.
But will you let the criminal life take it's toll on your values? Will the risks and dangers wear you down so you give up your ideals? Or will you give them up willingly to make more money? Be careful not to lose too much of yourself, or you might not have a reason to leave the underworld life any more.
Nightlancer is a competitive cyberpunk game.
Choose your unique Nightlancer, trade on the black market, use your contact network and take on challenging missions to improve your prospects and survive the dystopian world. You can be cut-throat or try to get along with your opponents, but only one of you will escape.
- 2-4 players, with rules for full cooperative or solitaire play
- 120+ minutes
- Strong, integrated theme
- Character building, risk taking and take that
- Extensive replayability with 8 Nightlancers and 36 unique missions
I have been developing Nightlancer for 6 years, it has been through hundreds of playtests, revisions and one failed Kickstarter campaign. it's now ready. The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds to cover the costs of artwork and printing.
Retailers: If you are interested in stocking Nightlancer send me a private message to find out how to pledge.
This represents the final prototype state of the game and is subject to change. Not all components are to scale.
Prototype rulebook link
Nightlancer is played in a series of rounds, 10 rounds for 2 players or 8 rounds for 3 or 4 players. Each round is composed of four phases: Prep phase, Street phase, Mission phase and End phase.
Throughout the round, players may make use of their Contact cards to help themselves or interfere with their opponents so even out of turn they can influence their opponents' actions.
The Prep phase is broken down into the following steps. All players complete a step before they move on to the next step and they complete the step one at a time in turn order.
Downtime step - All players recover 1 Health, 1 Resolve and gain 1 Chip. They also draw 2 Contact cards to their hand.
Event step - Turn over the topmost Round card. This reveals how many Mission cards to draw for the current number of players. Also draw Black Market cards to the game board for the number of players as shown by the game board. Then the Event takes effect, players must choose to either face the Event or Lay Low. If they face the Event they must overcome the challenge posed (sometimes an Event only applies to certain players such as only players with Heat).
Mission selection step - Players who faced the Event and are not Shaken by it may then claim missions. Players who Lay Low may not claim missions. If a player claims a mission before you, you may ask their permission to join their Crew or complete against them as a Second Crew resulting in a head-to-head race to the objective.
In the Street phase players can prepare for the mission they have claimed, improve their chances in later rounds or build up their prospects. Players take turns in turn order placing their action tokens on the action spaces on the game board, until all players have each played all 4 of their actions tokens.
Black Market action spaces allow a player to buy one of the two connected cards, with the other card being discarded.
Exploit connections, slums hustles and gather favours spaces let you buy Opportunity cards from your hand, take a Chip and draw a Contact respectively. If the spaces you want are used up, there are also mixed spaces that let you choose one of two of these actions at the cost of gaining Heat.
The Deal with the Euromafia spaces let you choose one of two actions - either take out a Loan for some serious spending power which you will need to pay interest on until you pay it off, or buy Prospects directly at a cost which varies depending on the Round card.
Finally there are open action spaces which can be used any number of times. A player can cover their tracks reducing their Heat at the cost of discarding a card, rest up to regain a Health or Resolve, or do some Hard Work to gain a Chip at the cost of a Health and a Resolve.
In the Mission phase players attempt the missions they have claimed and prepared for. To attempt a mission a player (or players, if more than one is on a mission) first prepare their Loadout, where they can have up to 3 Armour, Gear and Weapon cards. Cyberware, Cyberweapon and Skill cards are “built in” and do not require Loadout space.
Then they attempt the 3 stages of the Mission in order from left to right. At each stage they have a choice of 2 different routes so they can select the route that most suits the abilities of their Nightlancer. If they pass their chosen route they continue to the next stage. If they fail they must face a penalty - this could be gaining Heat, a combat challenge with the risk of losing Health, or even failing the mission outright.
If they manage to complete all the stages without being running out of Health or Resolve (being Shaken), they get paid Chips and may also get Opportunities or Prospects. Sometimes they will also gain Heat, and some Dirty missions will cause the player to lose an Ideal!
In the event of two Crews being on a mission, they must race to the end. Whoever is in the lead at the third stage gets to lay an ambush for the other Crew, choosing the terms of the combat that give them the best chance. The other Crew must then either accept this challenge or abandon the mission. Other players can play Contact cards on the players on missions, to interfere with their efforts and make challenges harder or to turn over information to the authorities to give them extra Heat.
In the End phase, the turn order is changed to match the order of the Heat tokens so the player with the least Heat will be first player and the player with most Heat will be the last player. Then all players discard from their Hand cards until they have no more than 6 cards each.
Finally, if there are more Round cards remaining a new Round begins, else the game ends.
Players may sell Armour, Gear and Weapon cards for half price (round up).
They may spend money buying Opportunities from their hand to earn Prospects, or buying Prospects outright.
They may pay off their Loans or else lose Prospects. They may also pay off their Heat, with Prospects being lost for unpaid Heat.
Finally all players receive final scoring bonuses. Each player gains a Prospect for each Ideal they have.
For each of the 6 abilities the player with the highest score in that ability gains a Prospect.
Finally players gain additional 0-3 Prospects for the Agendas (one type of Opportunity) that they own, with their Agendas scoring more bonus Prospects if they have higher Ideals.
The highest Prospect score is the winner, with the turn order serving as a final tie breaker.
But beware, if a player has 0 Ideals at the end they can not win at all! A player must find Opportunities to increase their Ideals if they run out, or no matter how many Prospects they have they will lose.
I will be demoing Nightlancer at multiple events through the campaign, so you can turn up and try it for yourself!
Birmingham Boardgames Bash - On the 16th June I will be attending a game designers event at Meeple Mayhem in Birmingham, where you can play Nightlancer as well as see games in development by other designers.
Excerpt "Nightlancer is a solid, well thought out game that I have enjoyed playing in the limited time that I had. I only wish I could have kept it for a while longer. There was a lot to get to grips with the first time I played it and a lot to remember, but after a few rounds the gameplay flowed nicely and was easy to follow."
Excerpt "When we sat down to play we chose our characters through colour rather than anything else. Three out of the four characters we'd chosen were women, all of whom were armoured as much as the men, and still looked like they could kick arse. The colours on the black background provide a vivd contrast and were easy to read (black backgrounds can be problematic). Nightlancer is a very well thought out game with good mechanics."
2016 prototype reviews
(gameplay improvements and additional art completed since)
Excerpt "The box art gives you an idea of what they are aiming for, and if that is the case then anyone who has played Cyberpunk 2020 than you will have a pretty good idea of what the art work is going to be like. The whole game has that genre at its very heart, and certainly you can tell that they really are looking at condensing the feel of that RPG into a semi-cooperative/competitive game."
Excerpt “Whilst not a true role playing game or a game where you can replay the characters over and over while carrying over stats, I did get the feeling of a character progression within the game session and I liked that. As a player, you feel invested in being a Nightlancer and trying to better your life without succumbing to TechShock.“
Video review from I Teach Her, She Wins
Excerpt "At the end of the day though I definitely enjoyed fighting for my character and I thought a majority of the elements in it were extremely well executed. The longer I've thought about it the more of a fan I've actually become."
For Contact, Antagonist and Nightlancer pledges
You will be able to state your preference of character in a backer survey. Every effort will be made for all backers to get their first choice but this may not be possible if there is a lot of demand for some options. Try to look the part if you want the best shot at getting your first choice!
Note that you must provide a suitable picture of your face within 8 weeks of receiving an email notification after the campaign. Failure to do so will result in losing your chance to be in the card art as otherwise this would delay the art schedule. Unsuitable pictures includes but is not limited to children, pets, inanimate objects, offensive images, unrecognisable pictures, pictures that are not of your face.
You are free to use these on your social media to show your support.
Nightlancer pledges will be fulfilled from either the EU or US depending on your location. This will allow for low shipping costs and no problems with taxes or customs for these regions.
Stilz - Stilz is the musician that created the Judictator album which features in the introduction and gameplay explanation videos, I knew the moment I heard the music and read the backstory for it that it was right for Nightlancer.
Hill Peak Productions - These guys did the work on the three main videos (the Intro video, the Gameplay explanation and the About Me video) and it was a fun day filming with them in Birmingham.
Wikkid Wetwork - Matt helped out by handling the filming for the full gameplay video as well as by taking part in the game, thanks to his experience streaming his awesome miniature painting on Twitch
Christos Zabaras - Christos is the graphic designer for Nightlancer and we've been working together on this project for 2 years. He's worked on graphic design for a wide range of projects including some incredible graphic novels.
Manolis Frangidis - Manolis is the illustrator for Nightlancer and we've been working together on this project for almost 3 years. He's completed artwork on numerous successful Kickstarter projects by other developers and has always impressed me with his passion for this project.
Risks and challenges
The schedule for Nightlancer from the campaign being funded to the game being delivered to backers.
July '18 - Pledges received
October '18 - Optional solitaire/cooperative rules finalised
November '18 - Artwork completed
December '18 - Printing completed
January '19 - Shipping completed
February '19 - Fulfilment completed! All pledges have arrived!
The printing, shipping, fulfilment and legal factors for completing a Kickstarter campaign and satisfying all pledges have been researched extensively. However this is the first publication of Adversity Games so comes with the inherent risks of being new to the industry and needing to adapt and learn in response to any unexpected factors which may result in delays.
This schedule has been set quite generously with extra time for each step of the process. All steps will be taken to find suitable alternatives in a worst case scenario and all backers will be kept up to date about any necessary changes to the schedule.
I launched Nightlancer on Kickstarter in late 2016 and failed to fund, I took this opportunity to learn more about how to run a campaign. I have been demoing Nightlancer at conventions through the last year to give more people a chance to play and I have also been getting much more artwork produced to show backers.
I am personally invested in completing this project and overcoming any adversity on my way.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
By pledging to this project you acknowledge that the final look, materials and content of the rewards are subject to change and may differ from the final prototype form which is presented here.
If you do not confirm your shipping and pledge details within 12 weeks of receiving an email notification your pledge will be treated as abandoned. In the event of exceptional circumstances I will do my best to satisfy your pledge sympathetically.
You agree that my responsibility to you is for shipping your rewards as entered into the pledge management system. Your rewards will be shipped to you from within the EU or US, you are responsible for any import or other duties that may be payable from these locations. You also accept that you are fully liable for incorrect shipping details and risk your pledge being unable to be delivered or lost in transit. Rewards will not be shipped to PO boxes.
If you do not accept the proposed terms please do not pledge on this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)