So last night I was down at the local club again and playing A Song of Ice and Fire against Mark, I think this was his second game, he got into it after seeing it being played at the club and I think had a small (30 point) game the other week. As such we kept things simple and played the first mission “A Game of Thrones” with 5 objectives on the board, one in the center on 2 on each flank. Mark had a mixed force or Greyjoys (for anyone that has not read the books or seen the TV series these are very Viking themed, and are the green models) which included a unit of archers, a unit of Reavers weilding 2 axes each and some Silence men with great axes, and some Golden company mercenaries that had a very large 4-legged friend with them (the brown models).
I chose a similar force to one I’ve played before, with a unit a veterans with my commander in Jeor the commander of the nights watch, a unit of Sworn Brothers with my recently painted Watch Captain (https://elothsendeavours.wordpress.com/2022/11/01/hero-on-point/) and 2 units of Rangers, one on horse back one on foot both with bows.
For the set up Mark went to mainly central set up with one unit out on the my right. I chose to go heavy left set up with just my fast cav on the right, with the plan of moving them across and giving that flank up leaving Marks slower infantry with little to do.
One of Marks early activations was to make my fast cav unit take a moral test from the non combat board, which worked amazing well dropping a horse! Now I could heal them up (again from the none combat board) but this meant I could not remove the weakened token off my vets that Mark had placed earlier, he was clearly getting hang of the game already!
By the end of turn 1 I had moved my cav into my center and advanced up my units, my sworn brothers on my left flank had really motored up there by marching, using a move from the none combat board and the Watch Captain’s Relentless order. Marks mercenaries had marched up the center but ended up going through the spikes and losing 3 men to this dangerous terrain, which saw the start (but far from the end) or Marks bad dice.
Turn 2 started with me as the first person to activate a unit, and with my Sworn Brothers looking head on at a Elephant there was only one thing to do and charge it before it charged and walked over them, need a 3 on the dice and made it, see the start (and not the end) of my good dice rolls. I then attacked and combinations of a combat card (giving vulnerable and panicked to said Elephant) and the help of the extra attack my newly painted Watch Captain and a poor moral test from Mark (more bad dice) meant the Elephant was no more. Or as Mark put it I killed poor little Stompy before he got to do anything 😦
The end of turn 2 saw my forces sat on 3 objectives, the center one with my vets and the 2 on the left flank with my ranger units, and my units of Sworn men looking menacingly at Marks Archers, he ended up choosing to pull his unit on the right flank centrally to try and get them into the action but at the same time forgoing the points from the objectives on that flank.
Turn 3 saw Marks bad dice continue with is Silence men just missing out a charge on my vets that where holding the center objective and his Golden company being slowly taken down by the ranger units while the Sworn brothers took out his archers. His dice however were doing him no favors, I think he failed every moral check he made, you can see his happy face about them 🙂 So at the end of turn 3 things had really turned in my favor, with me still sat on 3 objecteives and most of his powerful units gone, we called the game.
As much as Marks unhappy face for the camera may say otherwise he did enjoy the game, and said he learnt a lot from it, I must say I felt a little bad that things had gone so one sided, I had made sure to leave my bloth thrower at home as I new Mark would take and Elephant and I did not want to shoot it before it had done anything, I had actually assumed the Sworn brothers would of hurt it but not kill it in a single go! We think the critical moment was me making the charge off against the Elephant in turn 2, Mark felt he move it out too soon and should of kept it back longer and I was just a bit luck to get the charge of, I think I only needed at 3 but that means 1 third of the time I would of have a unit of Sworn brothers sat in front of an elephant and some archers asking to be shoot and stomped on! We also felt that Mark did not really get much from the chose of his 2 none combat units, he took Aeron Greyjoy who heals up units but the way he does it some how meant Mark could never get much out of it, likewise he took Rodrik Harlaw the Reader that gives extra cards but Mark never seemed to have much look on getting the ones he needed. The good news is that Mark is rethinking his force for the rematch already!