Tactics Talk: Savage Giants and Aleksandr Hewitt’s “Savage Rattler” List
Sentient humanoids which once lived across the known world, the Giants beyond the Wall are all that remain of this towering race, a race thought to be extinct my most of the Seven Kingdoms. Joining forces with the Free Folk forces they now bring their formidable skill to the battlefields, ensuring that opponents that face them in the A Song of Ice and Fire the miniatures game feel the will not soon forget the experience.
With their Mighty Swing ability triggering with a 2+ on a single attack die, if the attack generates any hits, the attack deals D3+1 wounds, with an additional wound added for every wound currently on the giant unit. With a health value of 5, a severely wounded giant has the potential to inflict D3+5 wounds per swing! It’s important to note that this ability is triggered if any hits are generated, careful wording that crucially resolves prior to abilities that block hits, such as the Tully’s Sworn Shield’s ability, making this unit an ideal for smashing those hard to hit, armored and resilient units.
At 7 points, the Savage Giants are an expensive option for an otherwise low point value faction and they can serve as both a line-breaker unit, smashing into enemies dislodge them from objectives or as a castle unit. Able to whether a fair amount of damage before falling due to their resilience, suffering one wound for every two unblocked hits, the defensive and offensive capabilities of the unit make them a potential threat to most enemy units on the battlefield.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to On the Table Gaming Patreon supporter Aleksandr Hewitt for sharing one of his go-to lists and providing the detailed write-up below!
– Chase from On the Table Gaming
ALEKSANDR HEWITT’S “SAVAGE RATTLER” LIST
Faction: Free Folk
Commander: Rattleshirt – The Lord Of Bones
Points: 40 (0 Neutral)
- Savage Giant (7)
- Savage Giant (7)
While the Giants are an amazing offensive weapon, I would argue that their defensive capabilities are far more valuable. They best used as a castle unit, claiming objective markers and holding them. Giants have 5 wounds on the model and it takes 2 unblocked hits to cause 1 wound. While their 4+ armor save is average, their 3+ morale save gives them significant lasting power. Particularly, in Dance with Dragons, this means that they are far less likely to fumble the objective markers than most other units.
With Rattleshirt’s tactics card Jagged Trophies, when Giants roll defensive saves, for a result of 6, they deal 1 wound to the opponent. This will make it even more painful for the opponent to attack the Giant. [Editor’s Note: this card attachment does not get removed at the end of the round like an Influence card would.]
- The Bonelord’s Chosen (8)
- with Rattleshirt – The Lord Of Bones (0)
Rattleshirt can use his tactics cards on any Combat Unit. This is great for Giants as previous commanders, and the Free Folk deck favor infantry units specifically. These cards trigger when you destroy an enemy rank in Melee, so you will want to hit hard enough to do so. I attached him to The Bonelord’s Chosen for their hard-hitting Bone Weapon, which hits on 8/6/4. They also have Horrific Visage, which forces your opponent to make a panic test before making a melee attack. This makes this unit far less appealing to your enemy. Also, if that unit fails that panic test, the Chosen’s second ability, Prey on Fear, allows them to restore 2 wounds to the unit. These abilities are not orders, so they can be used every time the enemy takes a swing.
In order to take full advantage of Prey on Fear, you can attach Rattleshirt’s tactics card Gruesome Reminders which adds a -1 modifier to Panic tests for each rank your enemy is missing.
Rattleshirt’s Tactics card Mark of Slaughter also helps with the defensive and offensive strength of this unit. While attached, it allows the unit to roll 2+ attack dice and whenever they make a Melee attack, they restore 2 wounds. If the opponent decides to go toe-to-toe with the Chosen, they are in for a hard fight.
With the Savage Giants, you now have 3 units that are going to be difficult for your opponent to dislodge from the objective marker.
- Cave Dweller Savages (5)
- Cave Dweller Savages (5)
- Cave Dweller Savages (5)
With three castles on the board, you are going to have the advantage on objective markers for any game mode. With Dance with Dragons and Clash of Kings, this may even mean a monopoly. But what do you do if your opponent gets a hold of a marker before you? Enter the Cave Dweller Savages.
Your opponent will have to make a choice to either leave the marker to deal with these threats or suffer the consequences of having these hard hitters in a flank or rear. The Cave Dwellers Ruthless Savagery ability is a tremendous asset, granting the unit superpowers that grow as the enemy unit dwindles. If you use the savages to assist, you create a great combo. Hit the enemy in the flank or rear while they are trying to remove your Bonelord’s Chosen and the enemy will have to take a Panic Test at -3 or -4. If they fail the test, the Chosen get to restore 2 models to their ranks. If Rattleshirt has Gruesome Reminders attached, they also get more negative modifiers. The peak negative modifier you could see is -7 (-2 for Vicious, -2 for Rear attack, -2 for Gruesome Reminders with 2 ranks down, -1 for Corpse Pile). Even the King’s Guard would run away from that battle.
You could also attach Rattleshirt’s tactics card Mark for Slaughter to make them hit harder.
- Styr – Iron-Fisted Tyrant (3)
This powerful list is already so exciting and filled with combos and tactics, it is easy to forget your NCU. Styr’s ability allows him to Influence a friendly unit. While influenced, that unit deals an additional D3 wounds. When the influence is removed, the unit suffers D3 automatic hits.
Attaching Styr to a Giant, Mighty Swing becomes 2D3+1 wounds, +1 additional for each wound on the Giant. Now that possible 8 wounds can become 11 wounds on a 2+ die roll. Even at full health, the Giant can now dish out 7 wounds on a single swing. Making it even more difficult for your opponent to survive long enough to dislodge the Giant from a marker.
You could also Attach Styr to the Chosen or the Savages. This will make it far more likely that you will Trigger Rattleshirt’s Tactics Cards and get you the bonuses associated quicker.
You have more flexibility on the Tactics board for where you want to place Styr than other Free Folk lists. You could place him on the Combat zone to make your hard-hitting units hit more frequently. That is probably going to be your main zone once you are engaged. You may also want to place him on the Coin zone to restore wounds and remove tokens. Early on, you may want to claim the Tactics zone so that you can get those powerful Rattleshirt cards on the table. Or even claiming the crown when The Chosen are engaged could restore wounds to your Commander’s unit.
Made with ASOIAFBuilder.com
How would you deal with this list?
Let us know in the comments below!
Giant references can be found in:
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Dawn Age.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 64, Jon VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 9, Arya III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 39, Jon VIII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Coming of the First Men.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 53, Jon XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51, Jon VI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 13, Bran II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: Casterly Rock.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 49, Jon X.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Lorath.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Stoneborn of Skagos.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Norvos.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Ib.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 33, Tyrion VIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Vale: House Arryn.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Long Night.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 41, Jon V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Night’s Watch.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 23, Jon III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- The Rogue Prince.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 68, Jon VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 66, Bran VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 38, Arya VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 43, Jon V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 44, Jon IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 28, Bran IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 34, Bran III.