This article is part one of a two-part series based on the premise of building two lists as if you were planning on going to a tournament. Both lists will have strengths in multiple game modes but for simplicity’s sake will be broken down into one offensive and one defensive list. For an added wrinkle, or because my editor is a jerk, the article request came with a stipulation that neither list could use Jon Snow as a commander.
This first list is going to focus on a hyper-aggressive style. I will explain some advantages and disadvantages it may have in regard to each of the usual tournament legal game modes.
THE THORNE’S PRICK
Faction: Night’s Watch
Commander: Alliser Thorne – Master-At-Arms
Points: 40 (16 Neutral)
• The Bastard’s Girls (7)
with Alliser Thorne – Master-At-Arms (0)
• Sworn Brothers (7)
with Daario Naharis – Reckless Mercenary (2)
• Sworn Brothers (7)
with Jaqen H’ghar – Unnamed (2)
• Ranger Trackers (6)
• Bowen Marsh – First Steward (4)
• Walder Frey – Lord Of The Crossing (5)
Made with ASOIAFBuilder.com
First, we highlight our Commander, Alliser Thorne, placed in a unit of Bolton Bastard’s Girls. Alliser’s order, At any Cost (which is kind of wasted in this unit but that is ok) and the ability “Prey on the Weak.” The latter ability, and the possibility of using it twice in one turn, is the reason Alliser is in the Girls.
Next, we have a unit of Sworn Brothers with Daario Naharis – Reckless Mercenary. Daario’sability will ramp up the damage of your Sworn Brothers so they are rolling 10 dice at full ranks, not to mention the added bonus that the 2 hits generated from critical blows do not allow saves. As a result enemy ranks will drop fast when hit by this unit, and they will complement Alliser’s Bastards girls by setting them up to be the ultimate clean up crew. Remember to be choosy when using Dario’s order though, because for each miss you suffer a wound. So if you are at a negative to hit or have a weakened token on his unit it might be best not to use his order.
After this is another unit of sworn brothers with Jaqen H’ghar. Jaqen does not increase the 8-5-4 attack output of the Sworn Brothers but offers a nice insurance policy in case Alliser is taken down in combat, after all, the Bastard’s Girls don’t have much staying power. Also, if you manage to kill a high profile attachment in your opponent’s army but don’t have Take the Black in hand you can steal them. To be honest, even if you have Take the Black you could use the heal instead, and when your opponent breathes a sigh of relief because you did not steal their attachment you can trigger order at the start of the next turn and watch all hope drain from their eyes. It’s the Alliser Thorne way.
For our last combat unit, we have the Ranger Trackers. Their mark target order will help push out even more damage in this army while softening opponents for Alliser’s coup de grâce. And don’t underestimate the usefulness of their ability to distract and harass your opponents with their ranged attack.
Next is the NCU’s. First up is Bowen Marsh – First Steward. This one is pretty straight forward, we are trying to get more cards in our hand. Our other NCU is Walder Frey – Lord of the Crossing. Walder is here to shut off elite units across the table. Also, when Walder influences a unit they take a wound. This could be just what it takes to drop a unit from nine models to eight and give Alliser’s Bastard’s Girls the head start they need.
To tie the list together let’s highlight Alliser’s Tactics Cards and their synergies.
If you are the first player and claim the tactics zone with Walder, you can pair the action with Alliser’s Ruthless Approach card to shut off two units’ abilities for an entire round. There are not many armies that can afford that loss.
Seeing their Flaws has perhaps the easiest synergies with this list. Inflicting vulnerable and panic on a unit, then shooting them with the tracker’s bow(where they hopefully roll a one and become vulnerable again), and then charging them with vicious should create solid damage output against even the tankiest of units.
Pathetic Attempt will be the card most lacking synergy with this army. Since your most defensive unit saves on a 4+ you are left hoping your opponent rolls poorly. It would be great to trigger but it’s not one I would hold onto for long in this list.
For game modes, I would recommend this list for Clash of Kings, a Feast for Crows, and Fire and Blood.
In Clash of Kings, it would be nice because you do not have to worry about losing attachments, so Jaqen gives you the ability to either double up on one after that unit has died once, or steal your opponent’s best. He becomes more of an investment than an insurance policy.
Next, in A Feast for Crows the list has options for pushing panic (Bastards Girls and Ruthless Approach) which, when paired with the raw damage output of the units can help hack through enemies and add more corpse piles to the battlefield.
And finally, Fire and Blood. This game mode is where Thorne’s Prick will shine brightest. Of course, your opponent will mark the Ranger Trackers, but that’s ok. Their high mobility helps keep them out of trouble and if your opponent chases them it only helps you catch them out of position. Also, after the Trackers, there’s no good option for a unit to mark. Your opponent will likely be opposed to the idea of marking Sworn Brothers and mark the Bastard’s Girls instead. As a result, this could give them as many as eight dice hitting on 2+ for their ranged attack, then (If somehow they survive when already on their last rank) ten dice also on a 2+ for their charge attack.
(Stayed tuned for part 2 of the Night’s Watch Cometh series for more tips on playing Night’s Watch competetively!)