The Builders, the special section of the Night’s Watch tasked with creating the arms and armor that the brotherhood uses, are also adept at creating massive siege weapons. These veteran combat engineers are at the cutting edge of battlefield technology, helping the Night’s Watch protect Westeros from the horrors north of The Wall. When the Black marches to war, they are accompanied by these war machines, and soon, Night’s Watch players will be able to add a bit of mechanized mayhem to their forces with the Builder Stone Thrower. Let’s take a look at just what this catapult is capable of.
Builder Stone Throwers are an expensive unit to field, coming in at 10 points apiece.However, even with that high price tag, players are limited to running a maximum of two in their army. For such a hefty cost and to incur such a restriction on them being fielded, there must be something going on.
For starters, there’s the War Machine special ability. This grants the Stone Thrower 6wounds, as well as making it immune to having to take Morale Tests, keeps it from Charging or Retreating, and makes it so that it never gains any sort of Condition tokens. This means that the Stone Thrower is safe from many opponent’s special abilities as well as Tactics cards and gives it a lot of defensive safeguards already built in. That’s good, because its regular defensive stats are moderate, with only a 5+ Defense Save. Another hindrance for the Stone Thrower is its incredibly slow Speed of only 1. One might be concerned that the Stone Thrower would never get into range to use its main attack. However...
The Stone Thrower’s other special ability is aptly and simply named Stone Thrower. It is tied to the ranged attack of the weapon, which hits on a 3+ and rolls only a single die. The attack has unlimited range, and because the Stone Thrower lobs its payload in a high, arcing trajectory, it ignores intervening units and terrain when determining Line of Sight. There really isn’t anywhere the enemy can hide from this potent siege weapon. Being across the board is no worry when it is looking for a target. Even at the very start of the game, the Stone Thrower can begin lobbing boulders at the enemy forces. It causes D6 Wounds, +1 per enemy rank, whenever it hits. That means it will do a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 9 Wounds, depending on the roll and how many ranks are left in the enemy unit when it hits. Of course, since the Stone Thrower is dealing Wounds and not Hits, the enemy doesn’t get any Defense Saves against the attack.
There are a few downsides added into the Stone Thrower special ability: it limits the unit to only attacking once per turn (so no extra attacks granted by Tactics cards or the Tactics board (for example); it cannot attack Solo enemies; and the Stone Thrower cannot target enemies within Long Range of it. Truly, the only way to get away from the heavy rain of stones is to get up close and personal. The Stone Thrower unit rolls only 3 dice in melee and hits on 4+. If an enemy were to get into melee with it, with so few dice and the inability to Retreat, the Stone Thrower would be a sitting duck.
The Builder Stone Thrower adds an extremely potent ranged attack to the Night’s Watch army. With much of the rest of the faction being melee-centered, the Stone Thrower can be a great way to soften up enemy units before the rest of their sworn brothers close in to finish off the enemy at close range. With the Night’s Watch forces oftentimes outnumbered on the field, being an army of elites as they are, the Builder Stone Thrower can thin enemy ranks and even the score by the time the twoforces clash.
The Builder Stone Thrower will be available October 18th to start raining pain on the enemy.
You can read more about the Builder Stone Thrower here.