When Nightmares Come: An Investigative Wargame of Supernatural Horror is coming soon. Read on for a sneak peek inside the book's introduction...


Tick tock, the clock strikes eleven

No moon tonight to light the heavens.

Tick tock, a midnight black

Shadows whisper at your back.

Tick tock, the clock strikes one

Now is when the nightmares come.


Brutal murders at the waterfront; missing students at University Square; antiquities stolen from the city museum; mutilated pets in a suburban community; strange creatures sighted in the state forest… sound familiar?

Always eager to bump their ratings, news feeds will dangle click-bait captions: Bizarre! Disturbing! Mysterious! After all, anything scandalous or sordid will hook an audience. The same goes for the eerie and the deviant.

But what if there was more to these headlines than hype? More to these crimes than the time-worn tragedy of human folly or greed? What if something unnatural really was going on? After all, ghost stories, fables, legends about vampires, beasts, and monsters are surprisingly tenacious – even after so many centuries.

Of course, modern society dismisses all that as superstition. Or, even better, makes good coin off our nagging fears by revising them into summer blockbusters.

But what if there was a kernel of truth under all that? A sharp sliver of fact buried in all that fiction? What if there really were sinister things hiding in the dark corners of the world? After all, just because we only know the distorted and diluted myths that clung so stubbornly to reach our age, it doesn’t mean that those creatures didn’t exist, or that they were somehow banished by science and progress. Not at all.

Perhaps they just got better at hiding.

An illustration of a woman in a red jacket with a first aid bag and an ornate dagger covered in symbols, standing in an abandoned hospital ward holding up something glowing in her hand. An illustration of a young child skateboarding along with an orb of crackling energy in her open palm

What Is This?

When Nightmares Come (henceforth abbreviated as Nightmares) is a miniatures wargame of supernatural horror and occult investigation. Set in the modern era, the enemies aren’t soldiers or criminals; they’re unnatural creatures and inhuman beings. Things from beyond the veil, formed of malevolence and hunger. In the world of Nightmares, monsters are real and you’re charged with hunting them down.

Nightmares is a solo/cooperative tabletop adventure wargame that uses miniature figures. Up to five players will form a team of paranormal vigilantes; self-taught occult specialists and monster hunters who call themselves the Nightwatch.

These self-appointed ‘watchmen’ have banded together to investigate mysterious disappearances, thefts, and murders, or any crime they suspect to have been committed by supernatural forces. Despite the obvious danger, not to mention the utter disbelief shown by the rest of society, these brave souls have vowed to exterminate the terrors that lurk in the shadows.

Nightmares is an open-world, open-miniature wargame. Even though it is modern and horror-themed, most of the mundane and occult terminology is intentionally generic. Neutral categories and classifications keep the focus on in-game effects and leave players free to adjust wording to their specific narrative setting.

What Do I Need?

Nightmares is designed with 28mm figures in mind and is meant to be played on a 2’ x 2’ game table/play area (close encounters, indeed). Players will need the usual tools for a tabletop wargame: figures, assorted terrain and appropriate scatter pieces, a ruler or measuring tape, a full set of polyhedral dice like those used in RPGs (two sets would be handy), a set of standard wargame blast and teardrop templates (3” and 5” diameter, plus a 9” teardrop), and some tokens to mark a model’s status such as Activated, Stunned, Wounded, etc.

What Does It Involve

A typical Case – a full mini-campaign – can be played with thirty-six miniatures: thirty enemy models in three different types, one boss monster, and five player characters. Ideally, the enemy forces should center around a common theme (undead, vampires, were-creatures, eldritch cultists) but players are free to use which ever figures they have on hand for both monsters and hunters. A typical game – one mission with both a narrative and tactical portion – can be run in under ninety minutes.

An illustration of a school with a yellow bus parked outside

Basic Game Mechanics

Nightmares uses a range of polyhedral dice – D4, D6, D8, and D10 – to determine in-game actions, events, and resolve combat and non-combat challenges.

For player characters, three dice – D6, D8, and D10 – will define their character’s core Characteristics for Narrative Scenes and form their Action Dice pool for Tactical Engagements. When attempting to act, (Move, Fight, Defend, Interact, etc.) players will roll one of those dice. A result of four or better (4+), after modifiers, is a Success. Less than four is a Failure, and players can try again with a different die type.

Occasionally, players can roll two of the same die type and choose the better result. This Two Dice Bonus (TDB) is given for actions related to their character specialization and simply grants players a better chance at a Success, not a chance at two Successes.

For enemy models, only one of those three die types will be their Action Die. Action Die types vary according to the quality – or Caste – of the enemy, and are used to resolve all their actions. Here, as well, a result of four or better (4+), after modifiers, is considered a Success. Less than four is a Failure, and enemies can try again as long as they have Action Dice remaining.

The D4 is used on certain loot or event tables and to determine enemy entry points.

What’s In This Book?

This rule book is divided into nine sections: this Introduction, Character Creation, Dark Spawn, Rules of Engagement, The Supply Closet, Narrative Scenes, Tactical Engagements, Full Cases, and Last Words.

Be aware that some terms and game mechanics are mentioned early on in the book and explained in detail later. References to appropriate sections are provided wherever possible, as are examples and summaries. It’s recommended that players read through this book once in its entirety, then go back to make characters before they undertake their first investigation.

Now gear up. You have monsters to kill.

Good Hunting.

When Nightmares Come is out March 28th in the UK and April 30th in the US.

Pre-order today.

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