Table Thoughts: Don’t Panic!

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Or do, but only take d3+1 wounds.

The most recent v1.5 annoucement on the changes to panic can be found here

The v.1.5 update to A Song of Ice and Fire the Miniatures game brings a significant reworking to one of the core gameplay mechanics: panic. Panic tests are now made by rolling 2d6 along with a single d3. 

“If the sum of the 2D6 matches or is higher than the Morale value, the unit passes its Panic Test – just like before. If the sum of the 2D6 is lower than the Morale value of the unit, it will now suffer 1 Wound plus the result of the D3.”

Visions in the Flames, CMON Panic Update version 1.5

Abilities or mechanics that would force your opponent to reroll a panic test now allow you to reroll any and all of the three dice rolled.

Has CMON lost their minds?

    • Long test cycles with LOTS of playtesting are performed before these changes are implemented. While this update brings a major change to a core gameplay mechanic, don’t panic – it is actually a net positive change for the game!

Is the crown zone still viable?

  • The crown zone is commonly viewed as the worst choice (outside of a Hail Mary) for any house not named Lannister. That is not the case anymore. With the new panic rules, a unit only needs to fail a test by 1 to take 2-4 wounds. That means a couple of things. Every house can take a shot at a crippled unit and they will have a chance to finish them off. Every house can also take that chance to weaken a unit and either lessen their output or delay them a turn and obligate them to take the wealth zone to heal. Cersei still increases the odds of a failure, but the rest of the houses aren’t relying on a terrible roll to get some mileage out of the zone. This is a great change and it makes the crown zone a real threat! 

How does using panic tokens change now?

    • Will no longer ensure situations where, barring incredibly lucky rolls, low morale units would be crippled by a change.
    • More value to placing panic tokens on high morale units.
    • Panic tokens impact the damage done by panic in a different way than before.  Since the d3 for panic wounds is rolled in conjunction with the panic dice, the panic token can also be expended to reroll that dice as well.  So there are now even more choices attached.

How does this impact charging?

    • Failed charges now carry an added threat to even the most elite units as failing the subsequent panic test could result in 2-4 wounds. 

Is Raider spam going to end the world? Did Chase bribe the devs?

    • Yes, yes he did. With pizza rolls.
    • Loss of ability to do 8 pt damage spikes on weak units does make higher activation lists like raider/cutthroat spam more viable, however, it does nothing to mitigate the low armor that accompanies their low morale. They’ll still fold like paper.

Impact on high morale units e.g – Cave Dwellers/Warrior’s Sons, Giants, Berserkers etc. 

    • While the initial read of the rule change calls to mind occasions where a low morale unit of raiders get crown-bombed and nearly wiped off the table in a single roll, it’s also important to bear in mind the significance of this change when dealing damage to units with a strong morale. Previously a unit like giants rarely suffered much from morale rolls. With the new panic mechanic in place they stand a greater chance of losing wounds. 
    • The change needs to be viewed in the context of averages, not outliers.  Everyone remembers the time they won a game through shredding units with poor morale rolls. But think about all the times a unit only failed by one or two points, especially units with morale of 5+ or better.  Even though they failed, it wasn’t enough to make an effect on the game. Now morale is an equalizer. It affects the outcome of a game, but no longer dictates that outcome, placing the emphasis where it should be, on the tactics and strategy used rather than the luck of rolling dice. 

Should I get rid of my Lannisters/Boltons/Whatever?

    • It is important to remember that additional unit changes are still incoming and that the factions are balanced around this mechanic (all units have been reviewed for the 1.5 update)
    • If you are a Neutral faction player, Bolton’s are simply one tool in your evolving arsenal, soon to include the Stormcrows, Bloody Mummers, and a host of other allegiance-challenged residents. And if you’re a Lannister player, think of this as a way to evolve from the Cersei crutch. Lannisters have a lot of different methods of achieving victory, and other NCU’s much more effective than Cersei. Think about how much better this makes the Kingsguard attachments and Joffrey NCU combination.  Now, that panic token your opponent places after you claim a zone is less likely to level a unit, making your lower morale units like crossbowmen less of a risk to include in the lists. This change is a blessing in disguise for Lannisters, allowing you to field units like Crossbowmen, Mountain’s Men, Pyromancers, and even captain-less guardsmen with less of a chance of watching them melt away to failed panic tests of their own. Stay tuned for in-depth 1.5 faction discussions!
    • Finally, if you do decide to get rid of your forces, please send  them to On the Table Gaming, we’ll find them a good home…

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