You’ve picked up the Free Folk Starter Set and are ready to march to the beat of the war drums, but what now? Here are some tips to help you survive your first few nights north of the Wall! We’ll be building a sample 30 point list using just the contents of the Free Folk Starter Set. Once you’ve got a few games under your belt, you can use your experience at this level to make informed purchases and expand your collection to the standard 40pt mode of play.
Your First Free Folk List
Due to their horde nature, you may find yourself some more limited in your list building options as a new Free Folk player, but don’t worry, you can make some pretty terrifying 30 point beginner lists. The starter set provides you with two options for commanders, Mance Rayder and Tromund Giantsbane. Note: Mance Rayder – King Beyond the Wall, and Savage Giants have been updated in the 1.5.1 update – so your cards may no longer be accurate!
We’ll be going with fan-favorite Tormund Giantsbane for our maiden voyage.
FREE FOLK STARTER SET LIST
Commander: Tormund Giantsbane – Thunderfist
Points: 30 (0 Neutral)
- Free Folk Raiders (3) with Tormund Giantsbane – Thunderfist (0)
- Free Folk Raiders (3)
- Free Folk Trapper (4)
- Savage Giant (7)
- Savage Giant (7)
- Lady Val – The Wildling Princess (3)
- Craster – Ally of Convenience (3)
You can view this army and copy it to your ASOIAFBuilder profile here.
In this beginner list, we are leaving out attachments, other than Tormund as commander. That being said, Free Folk Raid Leaders are an important unit to learn how to use and you should look to experiment with them as you expand your list building to the 40 point tier.
Giants and Company
For this list you want to use the Savage Giants as a defensive piece, absorbing enemy charges and then counter-attacking with a bonus to damage due to being wounded. Allowing them to be charged, then claiming the Attack Zone on the Tactics Board, then using their activation later to attack can net you two attacks at 2d3+2 (+ the number wounds on the giant). Woe to your opponent if you also activate first next turn.
Lady Val – The Wildling Princess can help you reposition your giants, whilst denying your opponent’s a key tactics zone and converting the effect to a free maneuver or retreat. Look for opportunities to surprise your opponent by using Val to position your forces so that you can get two giants teamed up on one of your opponent’s units. Few units can withstand a giant’s wrath, let alone a tag-team!
Craster – Ally of Convenience provides a safety net to keep your Giants alive and, similar to Val, he has a zone replacement ability. Besides the difficulty your opponent will have denying his healing, he also helps keep tactics cards trickling into your hand.
Free Folk Raiders can work to secure objectives, support your combat units, or delay enemy forces either by tying them up in combat or blocking charge lanes. That being said, don’t expect great results in one-on-one combat as a 3 point unit will struggle against most enemies. Look to engage your opponent with an additional unit, ideally hitting your opponent in the flanks for the additional -1 to your opponent’s armor and morale. Don’t forget that with Insignificant keyword, your Free Folk Raiders, as well as your Free Folk Trappers, are a bit more expendable.
Free Folk Trappers are the fastest unit in your army and, with their order Hidden Traps they can hunt solos, push wounds out on hard to catch units like cavalry, or just soften units charging into combat. When there are seemingly no optimal targets available, look to use the order on units that you can drop down a rank, often lowering their potential damage output.
While shooting into combat can be risky as a Free Folk player, the Savage Giants 4+ morale makes them likely to pass their panic test. Range units also receive the benefits from firing into flanks and the additional triggering of a panic test is often where the units real damage comes from. Look to position your Trappers for supportive firing once your forces get bogged in.
Tormund’s Tactics Cards are reliant on getting the charge, so it is often best to use them at the first opportunity, once you are bogged down in combat unless you commit resources to retreat and disengage, you’ll find his tactics card hard to play.
Rallying Assault can be used to keep your Giants alive after prolonged combat. Provided your opponent was not able to shoot them from afar, you’ll find yourself using this after your Savage Giants have already dealt with an opponent and are bloodied and looking to engage another victim…err..enemy unit.
You can also use this to top off a Free Folk Raider unit that has been crown zapped on its way to the initial engagement.
Counter Charge is a great way to punish your opponent for going on the offense. Ideally, you’ll be in a situation where your opponent charges your Savage Giant, whose natural resilience will protect you from most of the damage. Then your Raiders, or second Savage Giant, can engage your opponent in the flank. Raiders can often struggle to get meaningful damage through, but triggering a morale test, especially with a penalty due to attacking in the flank, can be a way to push damage onto a superior force. Then, ideally, you would claim the attack zone on the tactics board to hit the unit with the wounded giant, saving his activation, then activating your supporting unit to attack, all the while banking your original giant’s activation so that if you defeat the unit you can use his activation to charge another unit and play Rallying Assault if need be.
Finally, Rush of Aggression will help you to increase the damage of your Free Folk Raiders. While this helps, it is not as inspiring as lists that include heavier hitters. Hitting an opponent in the flank, with Tormund’s unit, granting a cumulative -2 to armor (-1 sundering from Tormund and -1 for attacking in the flank), penalties to morale AND making your opponent vulnerable is helps. This card does NOT benefit giants in anyway, as the giants only care about generating a hit, so more dice will not have any other additional benefit besides insuring you don’t roll a one.
We hope this sample starting list, as well as a brief discussion of some of the ways you might approach your early battles, helps lead your forces to victory. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook how your initial matches go, any adjustments or rules questions you have, and, in the meantime, we hope you get your miniatures…On the Table.
Looking to get your Free Folk forces painted up, but don’t know where to start? Be sure to check out Mike Meeple’s A Song of Ice and Fire Painting Guide for Free Raiders, Trappers, and Spearwives.