House Stark and House Lannister had only ever been as cordial as required, with tensions simmering between them for as long as anyone could remember. When Lord Eddard Stark was made Hand of the King by Robert Baratheon, who was married to Cersei Lannister, some might have thought that this would bring the houses together. However, with Robert’s death, Joffrey’s ascension to the Iron Throne, and Eddard’s subsequent arrest, any hopes of the two Houses putting aside their differences have been irreversibly dashed. The call has gone out to the Bannermen to arm forces for war, and Houses Stark and Lannister will be at each other’s throats in the War of the Five Kings.
A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game puts players in control of the armed forces of Westeros. The first two armies that will be hitting the table are Houses Stark and Lannister. Along with the Stark vs. Lannister Starter Set, there will be several Unit Boxes available at the game’s launch in order to allow army commanders to further refine their forces to their play style. There will also be the first Organized Play kit, available to retailers that are part of the CMON Play Retailer Outreach Program.
Commanders allied with House Stark will be able to bolster their units with both Stark Sworn Swords and Tully Sworn Shields. The Sworn Swords are House Stark’s standard rank-and-file troops. As a part of House Stark, they are fiercely loyal to their lords, secure in the knowledge their cause is true and just. They may not be the best-equipped or trained, but their fighting spirit will see them stand firm where others might turn and run. The set comes with 12 troops one Unit Attachment, the requisite Unit stat cards, and a movement tray. Meanwhile, Tully Sworn Shields are outfitted with House Tully’s signature heavy armor. This minor House has pledged itself to House Stark and is sending their best to fight on the field. Sworn Shields are a bulwark upon which enemy charges can break, having caused relatively little damage. This set comes with 12 troops, Unit stat card, and movement tray.
Arguably House Lannister’s defining trait is its immense wealth. They are able to recruit troopers simply via the lure of a hefty paycheck, and then outfit them with the best arms and armor that money can buy. The first of their reinforcement packs comes in the form of the Lannister Guards. Much like the Stark Sworn Swords, they are the main fighting force for the House. The difference comes in outfitted gear. Nothing tops Lannister steel, and these troops are well-trained in it. However, gold makes a terrible source of morale, as you can’t spend your money when you’re dead, so these troops are more likely to cut and run, compared to their Stark counterparts. The Lannister Guards box comes with 12 troops, a Guard Captain, a movement tray, and Unit cards. Another display of Lannister wealth is in their ability to afford ranged weapons for their Lannister Crossbowmen. These weapons have a higher initial cost than troops armed with just bows and arrows, but they can avoid direct conflict more often. Able to deal death at range, the Crossbowmen are a welcome addition to any force. Their box set consists of 12 troops, their Unit card, and movement tray.
In Westeros, there are many Houses and organizations that don’t owe their allegiance to any one particular faction. These mercenaries, like the Bolton Cutthroats, can be added to any army, for a price. These vicious fighters have acquired a reputation of ferocity, and many enemies have fled from their advance. The unit box consists of 12 troops, a Dreadfort Captain, Unit cards, and movement tray.
Rounding out the items coming in the first wave of releases, there’s the Game Night Kit #1. This kit enables stores to run events for their players to win alternate-sculpt Roose Bolton miniatures, depicting him at the Red Wedding. Players may also walk away with plastic Stark and Lannister banners, perfect for showing ownership over objectives or other items during a game. Check with your FLGS to see if they are running A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Games events.
Winter is coming and the fight for control of the Iron Throne is on. Wars are not won alone. Players must recruit the right troops to their army and assemble a force on the battlefield that would make the old gods tremble. Choose your units wisely, and your candidate may find themselves the new king of Westeros!
About the Author
Jason "Polar Bear" Koepp is a Content Producer for CMON and Editor in Chief of the Tabletop Gaming News website. He lives in Atlanta where he enjoys baking and sharing the results with the others in the CMON offices.