Table Thoughts: Many Faces, Many Places

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Do you like your commander?  Do you like extra points? Do you like to crush your opponent, to see them rage-quit before you, and to hear their lamentations on social media?

Well, my friends, if you answered yes to at least two of the above questions, then oh boy, do I have quite the game-winning recipe for you. To bake this cake you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 Jaqen H’ghar Neutral attachment
  • 1 Battlefield Commander
  • 1 Clash of Kings Scenario
  • Equal parts sadism/disregard for your opponent’s enjoyment of the game
The Jaqen Cake

Got that?  Excellent. Let’s get to baking.  To illustrate this scenario I’ll use a Jon Snow Night’s Watch list, with Jon in a unit of Sworn Brothers, and Jaqen in a unit of Veterans.

Initial Deployment: I’ll position Jon and his brothers in front of an objective, whichever one has your opponent’s biggest nasty chomping at the bit nearby.  I’ll keep Jaqen in reserve until round 2.

Round 1: CHARGE! With reckless abandon,  I’ll rocket Snow’s unit up the field to an objective.  I do not care if he’s in a bad position and vulnerable.  I want him dead. Don’t worry about the objective here, aim to have Snow hit an opponent.  Do as much damage as you can, but make sure your opponent is set-up to kill your unit. Use no Snow shenanigans, do not pass go, do not collect victory points. Yet.  Trust me when I say that giving up a VP now will return dividends in the future. Most likely it’ll take until Round 2 for the Snow brothers to die.

Round 2.  Make sure Jon is dead, if possible before his unit activates.  Stab him again if you have to. Once he’s temporarily shuffled off the mortal coil then deploy Jaqen H’Ghar’s unit, and do your best to get it onto a side objective. Once it’s there, and you don’t feel immediately threatened, pop Jaqen’s order and turn him into Jon Snow.  If Jon Snow was killed before he activated, bring the original unit back in and see if you can get it on an objective using a combination of the Tactic’s Board and Night’s Watch shenanigans. If not, don’t fear, just stick him on an objective next round. You already score the extra point for the commander this round due to Jaqen transforming.  If you get Jon Snow #1 onto an objective at the same time, then you technically now have two commanders on objectives, and are now scoring 4 points per round from 2 objectives.

If the above scenario does not scare you enough, imagine a Gregor Clegane army in this scenario, with Gregor in one unit of Pyromancers and Jaqen in another. Having tested the theory I can vouch that it is stupidly effective.  I would also like to thank my opponent, Jordan Charles Steinbaugh, for being a good sport and not punching me in the face as soon as my dual Gregor’s began their rampage and I explained my strategy. You rock man.

“Now, wait Kolin, there’s no way that can be legal, you idiot.  How dare you use this platform to spread lies.” Well, fictional reader with a made-up argument, I believe you are incorrect.  Through a combination of game mode changes, past precedent made in the FAQ’s, and Jaqen’s ability, this appears to be completely and totally legal.

Let’s look at the evidence:

  1. Jaqen H’ghar’s card:  The card text explicitly says that Jaqen is replaced, effectively meaning that Jaqen is gone, and in his place stands a duplicate of the attachment.  And if your commander was the target of Jaqen’s ability, that means there is another version of your commander on the field.
Just look at that smug face.
Just look at that smug face.

2. The latest iteration of Clash of Kings has removed the restriction on character units and attachments returning to the battlefield when a destroyed unit is redeployed.

3, General FAQ 1.5 has explicitly stated that a second copy of an attachment can be on the battlefield.

Somehow, I always knew that the cause of this would be rooted in the Night's Watch.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.  There is some slight consolation in that I could see the argument being made that if the unit containing Jaqen is destroyed, he might come back as Jaqen rather than the commander, but if the unit sticks around for a round or two then the damage is likely already done.

For Stark players out there, your Jaqen H’ghar – Mysterious Prisoner attachment adds another layer to this awful cake.  As far as I can determine the prisoner will respawn with the unit whenever it redeploys. And since you decide which unit the attachment is placed into, you can present your opponent with the mother of all bad choices, either keep an important unit out of the battle, perhaps relegated to a purely defensive role, or watch their NCU’s get Jaqen’d.

Painful in any iteration.

There are strategies to combat the Jaqendoppel, but the persistent respawn mechanic in Clash of Kings neuters many of them.  Walder can not always shut down a unit, and even if he does your opponent’s commander is still on the rampage while your focus is on preventing his evil (eviller?) twin from showing up. A better solution might be a gentleman’s agreement before the game not to employ the clone, which is fine for casual games but unlikely in competition. Ultimately, I think the current iteration of Clash of Kings might require further adjustment.

And there you have it, the Clash of Kings Clone trick. My personal opinion is that this combination feels overpowered, and might not be the rules as intended.  And there is always the chance that my interpretation of the rules is dead wrong, in which case I will happily issue a retraction and skip back merrily to a world of sunshine and rainbows where I no longer need fear the lurking Jaqendoppel.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think this strategy unbalances Clash of Kings and needs an errata? Or am I dead wrong about the entire situation and should go back to editing articles and keeping my mouth shut?  Let us know, and as always, get your miniatures (even Jaqen, I suppose)…on the table.

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