Table Thoughts: 1.5.1 Update to Stark, Lannister, and Neutrals

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The A Song of Ice and Fire Miniatures Game Version 1.5.1, culminated in the release of the Night’s Watch and Free Folk updates, but before the update cycle completed, there were some final tweaks to House Stark, Lannister, and Neutral units.

Below are the 1.5.1 changes to the previously released updates, with insight from Onthetablegaming.com faction specialists on what it means for the respective units going forward. Full faction overviews will be explored in future articles.

House Stark

Dakota Schwan – Faction Contributor

Unit Name: Umber Greataxes

Change Summary: Speed dropped to 4 and loss of +1 to hit on Executioner’s Fury

The Sky is falling! Not really, with the removal of the +1 to hit on Executioner’s Fury, Greataxes will be more susceptible to being Weakened, but with the right attachment they are still 8-10 dice with up to three keywords. If you add Brynden Tully – Unyielding Knight players can regain the +1 to hit when engaged, add dice, and improve the units morale. The drop back to 4 Movement might be the bigger hit, making them once more one of the slowest units in the game and counter to the Stark standard of mobile infantry.

Unit Name: Sansa Stark – Little Bird

Change Summary: Repeating the words can now only pull from discard pile.

With Sansa existing in the realm of “auto-include” she was bound to get reworked at some point.  Now she can only recall a discarded card, which is better than having a price change. 

Tactically, players should have some more freedom to discard situational tactics cards at the end of the round.  One that comes to mind is Eddard Stark – Lord of Winterfell’s card Northern Defiance. If this card ended a turn in my hand I would feel more comfortable discarding it to potentially redraw more flexible cards, while having the option to pull it when needed.  This change makes Arya and Sansa closer to equal in power, opening up the door for more players to use Arya and friends.

House Lannister

Brett Lanpher – Faction Contributor/Gencon 2019 Champion

Unit Name: Tyrion Lannister – Giant of Lannister

Change Summary: Points reduced from three to two.

Lannister lists live and die by control. Any list outside of one led by Tyrion Lannister – Halfman will have a limited supply of control abilities. This is where Tyrion Lannister – the Giant Of Lannister steps in. With a reduction to two points, Tyrion is now a potent (and affordable) control tool in all 3 incarnations. 

Tyrion Giant of Lannister v1.4

Having a short range “counterplot” is always going to be good, but his real value is in “adaptive planning” and the ability to cancel ORDERS with “Counterstrategy”. Canceling orders is a huge ability. There are few ways to do it in the game, and he can do it on a 3+. Being able to substitute tokens is also a powerful and versatile ability. Imagine a Tywin Lannister and Pycelle weakened list where Tyrion and his Halberdiers can use those plentiful weakened tokens as a vulnerable or panic token. Halberdiers seem like a fantastic fit for the Giant of Lannister. They’re a unit you want on your frontline and with the limited range of his ability, you will need Tyrion in the thick of things. Warrior’s Sons, while expensive, might also be effective. They can place Panic and Vulnerable tokens at will and then expend one as a weakened token to increase survivability. In my humble opinion, this attachment deserves consideration and table time. He is a missing piece in alternative Lannister builds that need more control to be fully effective.

Neutrals

Mike – Off the Wall Gaming

Unit Name: House Bolton Flayed Men

Change Summary: Loss of critical blow, other abilities only usable on the charge

At the dawn of 1.5, Flayed Men were in a very strong spot, having received both a buff to their combat output and a reduction in points. This newfound efficiency easily outshone the heavy cavalry options in other factions. The changes in 1.5.1 will make other cavalry options more appealing to cross-faction players, solidifying Flayed Men’s place as the “tanky” cavalry

Unit Name: Varys – The Spider

Change Summary: Lord Varys has seen his points value reverted back to 4.

The decrease in Vary’s points cost means Neutral players will have some interesting decisions to make when it comes to list building, as the Tycho/Baelish duo will no longer be an auto-include for budget-minded list builders. Consider Vary’s and Tycho in a Blackguard or Stormcrow heavy list for extra control and staying power.

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