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Ideas for other Houses' troops


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#1 Konrad von Richtmark

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:39 PM

It occured to me that expanding BoW on your own should be quite doable by using common wargaming 20mm scale miniatures, it's something I'm feeling tempted to do (though I'll of course see what FFG comes out with, it does seem like they mean business re expansions to BoW). So let's brainstorm a little. What unique unit types would be relevant for what houses?

I'll start with Targaryen, assuming battles take place during Robert's Rebellion.

I propose spitfires, pieces of artillery firing pots of dragonfire at the enemy. They're mentioned in A Clash of Kings when Cersei prepares the defence of King's Landing, and it's mentioned now and then that Aerys II was obsessed with fire and of using dragonfire for military purposes, so it isn't much of a stretch to assume that spitfires were around already by his time. The novels don't (as far as I remember) describe them in detail, so I'd assume it's something with a bow like a ballista, but firing a pot rather than a bolt.

What effect should pots of medieval napalm have? I'd think it's a weapon whose efficiency would to a significant extent be a result of the terror effect of sticky flaming liquid raining down on you. I'd suggest the following: The spitfire fires at a range of 6, rolling 2-4 dice depending on rank. Only flag and valour results have an effect. Each valour result inflicts one casualty (regardless of target rank; rolled shields have no effect). If at least one flag result is rolled in the attack, one additional flag result is inflicted (similarly to Last Hearth Lancers in Wedge formation). Furthermore, if at least one casualty is inflicted by rolling valour results, yet another one additional flag result is inflicted. This would make it a unit not very effective at killing stuff, but the more effective at disrupting formations and depriving enemy units of stalwartness. Finally, as a piece of field artillery, it should be appropriately cumbersome. Move 1 OR attack seems appropriate to me. With only two figures, it will be appropriately vulnerable to attack. It should further never be able to count as stalwart. Flag results rolled against it in melee would always inflict an additional hit instead.

Then, House Baratheon, another key player

I propose halberdiers, a unit that would both be able to make use of formations and fulfil a niche which no unit so far does: A counter to heavily armoured troops. The first formation would be spearwall, i.e. using the pointy ends of the halbers like spears. They gain the Polearms keyword. The second formation would be hacking assault (for want of a better term), i.e. using the axe blades. It would give them the keywords Advance and Armour Piercing. The latter is a new keyword of use against red rank units. If a struck red rank unit has Heavy Armour, it is negated. If it doesn't, it only counts as a blue rank unit for the purpose of determining damage inflicted.

I can't think of any more house-specific troops at the time, though there's a specific kind of unit type quite relevant in real medieval war that's missing from the game: Skirmishers of different kinds. While foot skirmishers were more relevant during the ancient than medieval age, light cavalry has been used for hit-and-run throughout the history of war. Green rank cavalry as currently in the game is only marginally faster than the other, and doesn't really have any ability to make a hasty retreat. Therefore, I propose the following keyword:

SKIRMISHER

Engagement tokens are never placed between this unit and another (this means that it cannot be flanked). Whenever the unit is attacked (not counterattacked!), the first hit scored against it is converted into a flag result. Also, units pursuing it cannot make an additional attack against it (pursuers can move and attack other eligible targets normally). However, the unit can never ignore flag results because of any effect (stalwart, etc), nor can it ever counterattack. If it cannot retreat due to blocked retreat path, it suffers casualties normally.

On first sight it might look like skirmishers would be too hard to kill, gaining an effective cheap version of Toughness(1). However, it should be obvious that pretty much all skirmishers would be of green rank anyway, making it not too hard to inflict two simultaneous hits against it.

What do you think?



#2 wminsing

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:57 PM

Polearms would make a good choice for Baratheon, but could also fit into several other houses as well.

 

I'd expect to see some sort of Skirmishers for Martell- the books imply they use a great number of light troops.

 

-Will



#3 Konrad von Richtmark

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 12:48 PM

I haven't got far enough in the books to get much of an idea of what House Martell uses, but if light troops are their thing, maybe both light cavalry and skirmishing infantry (think Roman velites or Greek peltasts style) would fit. As for rules, they could have the profiles of "basic" infantry and cavalry, though with Skirmisher replacing Advance and Pursuit respectively (and pretty much always be of green rank). Or, if that makes them too good compared to vanilla green infantry and cavalry, maybe make them discount rolled Valour results like archers do (which makes sense, as skirmishers used for harrassment wouldn't fight with as high intensity as troops getting stuck into melee).

Another thing worth minding, I think, is to possibly expand existing special units to other houses. Peasant militia, for one, should be quite ubiquitous and fieldable by anyone (except maybe Stark and Greyjoy, whose subjects should be hardier than most and count as green infantry at least). Pikemen, too, I'd think should not be quite as common, but at least known by a few more houses. And crossbowmen too, for that matter, though I don't know whether I like the Aimed Shot keyword as it is. I'd rather have crossbowmen be a counter to heavily armoured troops, I'd propose a general crossbowman unit which swaps the Aimed Shot keyword for the keywords Armour Piercing (see OP) and Off-Balance.



#4 Artemis

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:58 PM

Interesting ideas, Konrad.

Yesterday I pondered about making little Greyjoy expansion who would test Stark troops, which we now have plenty (with the WotN expansion). Armor piercing crossbow men also came to my mind .

As I thought about Greyjoys units, I supposed that  they could have:

a) (heavy) crossbow men, which bolts penetrate an armor: in game terms it would mean that blue and red rank units could be hit (by these crossbow men) even on a valor hit (so a probablity to hit a blue unit would be 3/8 and a red unit 1/4). Probability to hit green rank units would not change (3/8).

b) men with axe (hatchet) and shield - most common sort of Greyjoy warriors. They would have permanent stalwart (no matter if they have 2 other friendly units adjacent). Moreover as to their training and enhanced endurance, they could "sacrifice" one attack die to gain additional movement point, to be able to reach enemy units (but only once during their turn)).

c) some sort of pikemen - similar function as "normal" Stark or Lannister pikemen.

d) berserkers - Greyjoy special unit fighting with two-hand weapons (bastard swords, two-hand axes...), these furious warriors would have these abilities/penalties:

i) they ignore first morale hit and first normal hit from any attack but they may never counterattack (if within battle rage): in game terms it means Toughness 1 and Stalwart (but without possibility to make counterattack).

ii) in cause of hitting their target, they automatically cause additional hit and  they ignore enemy heavy armor keyword (due to their heavy weapons).

 

However these are only ideas, not tested in a real battle. I need yet to play all scenarios from WotN to find out, how much Stark got stronger and appropriately adjust Greyjoys abilities.

 

Next I would like to design some scenarios relating to several light initial skirmishes between Starks and Greyjoys (ravaging the western Stark coast, battle at Deepwoode mote (or what was its name), capturing the Cailin Mote), but nothing too much complicated. However I would have to design new commanders first with their cards (for now I could think of Asha and Theon Greyjoy with Dagmer Cleftjaw).



#5 Konrad von Richtmark

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 01:30 AM

Implementing Armour Piercing by making valour rolls count sounds like a valid way to implement it, but I'd rather have it only count against red rank units. Red units are uncommon enough that Armour Piercing would be a specialist niche ability, whereas blue are (in most published scenarios, anyway) common enough that getting a bonus against them too would not make the unit a specialist counter-unit, but an all-around awesome unit capable of taking on almost anything.

As for Greyjoy units, I have a faint memory that spears were relatively common weapons on the Iron Islands, so how about giving them a "basic" infantry unit which has polearms? To compensate, they'd lack the Advance keyword that the other basic infantry units (Stark warhosts and Lannister guards) have. Since Greyjoy doesn't overly do cavalry, it would make sense that they'd compensate by making their infantry better at countering cavalry. The other variant of basic infantry, axe-and-shieldmen, could be identical to other basic infantry.

Making the entire infantry core of an army stalwart seems a bit over the top to me, and as something that would remove the tactical element of having to keep solid formations (and disrupting your enemy's) from the game. And it doesn't really imo fit the idea of fierce but undisciplined warriors.

Berserkers sound like an appropriate special unit, though I'd think existing unit keywords should be looked at for possible use. How about letting them have Pursuit 1? No infantry unit has as of yet Pursuit, and it catches the image of berserkers surging onwards, carried forth by the momentum of victory. To be appropriately berserk, I'd suggest a keyword I'd call Impetuous. Makes them ignore the first morale result rolled against them as you suggested, but also forces them to always pursue when they can, and make the extra attack if there's at least one eligible target. Finally, it would make them liable to charge without being ordered to - if an impetuous unit is active at the end of the order phase, it must immediately move directly towards the closest enemy it can see, and attack if able. If several enemies are equally close, and there are several ways to move into combat with it, the Greyjoy player may choose how it moves. Hence, they'd get into combat without need to order them, but on the downside, a player who wants them to stay put would have to spend command effort towards it (i.e. it would be legal to give them an order but not move them, simply to get them inactive and thus prevent a spontaneous move).



#6 Artemis

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for other suggestions, Konrad. Your idea of berserkers almost match mine, which have taken shape this week.

However I have invited several other enthusiastic BoW players in my country into designing this Greyjoy "miniexpansion" because "more heads know more".

When we test and tune them enough, I will post here their stats + possibly also stats of their commanders.



#7 Konrad von Richtmark

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 01:27 AM

As for commanders, I could think of an idea for Dagmer Cleftjaw. He, if someone, comes off to me like a stalwart defender, a no-nonsense guy rather than a hotheaded berserker. Here's what I propose:

Unit: Blue rank Ironborn raiders (vanilla axe-and-shield infantry with Advance)

Unit abilities: Stalwart. Furthermore, each friendly unit next to his counts as stalwart.

Commit ability: Flip after an attack roll has just been made against Dagmer's unit or any friendly unit adjacent to it. Your opponent is forced to re-roll the attack completely. This re-roll takes place after any voluntary re-rolls for flanking have been made.



#8 Ashyr_Darkstone

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 10:46 PM

While on the subject of possible Greyjoy commanders, Victarion Greyjoy stands out to me, he being the Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet, would be an easy choice, stats perhaps something like the following:

Unit Type: Blue Rank Ironborn Reavers. (a cavalry-base infantry unit with two-handed weapons and fearsome)

Unit Abilities: Sea Legs (This unit treats rivers as passable, but has its' movement reduced by 1 hex if at any point during its' movement, it passes through a river). Zone of Command: 3 hexes.

Commit Ability: Flip this card when any unit within Victarion's ZoC would be forced to retreat. That unit may move sideways instead of backward, even if this movement would make it enter or cross through river hexes, taking hits normally save for the river interference.

 

While I myself am not terribly fond of Greyjoys at all, a Baratheon/Targaryen set would be top priority in my mind (because Robert and Stannis would be apt to have killer stats), followed by a Tyrell/Martell bunch. I can imagine the Tyrells would certainly have heavy infantry akin to the Lannisters, and even moreso to have Heavy Cavalry. Skirmishers with light armor, for Martells or Greyjoys, makes perfect sense, even more for the Ironborn, who still wear armor aboard ships to more easily greet their Drowned God.

I'm tempted to ponder what a Dothraki Mounted archer unit would be like, but it'd be such an unbalancing factor as to make anyone want to play a Danaerys-led army over one led by Rhaegar or any other notable Targaryen...



#9 Artemis

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 09:33 PM

Ashyr_Darkstone said:

While on the subject of possible Greyjoy commanders, Victarion Greyjoy stands out to me, he being the Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet, would be an easy choice, stats perhaps something like the following:

Unit Type: Blue Rank Ironborn Reavers. (a cavalry-base infantry unit with two-handed weapons and fearsome)

Unit Abilities: Sea Legs (This unit treats rivers as passable, but has its' movement reduced by 1 hex if at any point during its' movement, it passes through a river). Zone of Command: 3 hexes.

Commit Ability: Flip this card when any unit within Victarion's ZoC would be forced to retreat. That unit may move sideways instead of backward, even if this movement would make it enter or cross through river hexes, taking hits normally save for the river interference.

 

While I myself am not terribly fond of Greyjoys at all, a Baratheon/Targaryen set would be top priority in my mind (because Robert and Stannis would be apt to have killer stats), followed by a Tyrell/Martell bunch. I can imagine the Tyrells would certainly have heavy infantry akin to the Lannisters, and even moreso to have Heavy Cavalry. Skirmishers with light armor, for Martells or Greyjoys, makes perfect sense, even more for the Ironborn, who still wear armor aboard ships to more easily greet their Drowned God.

I'm tempted to ponder what a Dothraki Mounted archer unit would be like, but it'd be such an unbalancing factor as to make anyone want to play a Danaerys-led army over one led by Rhaegar or any other notable Targaryen...

The situation with designing House Greyjoy is now a little bit more clear:

Thanks to a combined effort Greyjoys will have all these commanders: Asha, Theon, Dagmer, Balon, Euron, Viktarion and Aeron.

They will have these units: archers, men throwing axes (small axes), raiders, spearmen, drowned men (more or less walking blessing for other units), berserkers (uncontrolled marauders) and elite riders (fighting with two weapons at once).

We would like to design scenarios relating to following events:

  • ravaging of Stone coast and conquering the Deepwood Motte
  • sieging and re-conquering of Winterfell by Starks, after Theon "usurped" it
  • conquering of Cailin Moat by Viktarion

Greyjoy naval abilities are not much reflected in the features of new units and commanders (except partially in Viktarion case).

However I think that someone should foremost design rules for naval/river figting (different types of ships...). After that and designing Baratheons (which should be another House on the line), it could be possible to cretae a battle at Blackwater Bay in all its splendor .

 

 

 

 

 






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