thanks for the post and the props.
The 3 player game martell is off limits (as well as the south) so my generalization of baratheon was amiss. my apologies.
The issue lies with how tough it is in the game to get over to baratheons units, and to remove him from the seas. with proper mustering, baratheon will find himself at 4-5 victory points by turn 3-4 and in position to win one turn after that.
The key to winning with Baratheon:
turn 1 place:
(+0 march) in Shipbreaker bay.
(*consolidate) in Dragonstone
(-1 march) in Kingswood.
Because Baratheon goes before stark, it is key to manipulate your use of tokens to force Stark''s moves.
If Stark played a march (-1) order for shivering sea, move north with one ship before him. Otherwise roll north with both ships. staark will not be able to crack your fleets, play a (4) card and be done with it.
move kingswood to crackclaw or storm''s end (your choice) most common is storms end.
Stark can leave the (+1 march) at the sea and hold off to attack Baratheons moved ships if he has placed 3 march orders or plays wisely, so be sure to NOT move north if that happens. Instead spread to blackwater bay and the east summer sea.
Muster Ship into Shipbreaker Bay
Let me start by saying I''d love to play a natural game with you JHagen as Stark and you Baratheon, I think you would sharpen my strategy up even more. Here I am offering an early Stark build to counter baratheon''s quick win. Please advise on any counters Baratheon could throw at it. This is for 4-5 Players.
Round 1 -
Right here is the key for Stark. March+1 in Shimmering sea is a must(has to be done), Consolidate* in White Harbor, March+0 in Winterfell. Baratheon can attempt to take the sea. But he won''t hold it(without Battle cards, Winterfell wins on Fiefdom with Eddard Card and with BattleCards if he tries he can get ruined by the Rob Stark card which allows you to retreat him NORTH if you win(if he doesn''t play his 4 card), OR if you play Eddard, both boats will be destroyed, risk is too great for him to even try.
Move your Knight from Winterfell to White Harbor, and your footman over to the barrel on the opposite side of the board from White Harbor(you''ll need that Barrel later.)
Consolidate a ship into the ocean from white harbor.
With this early position, you are ecstatic if a muster comes up, but even if it doesn''t you are now primed to jack with Baratheon.
Turn 2: With Muster - Another Ship into the sea from white Harbor, 2 Footmen at Winterfell.
Support +1 on your 3 boats, March+1 in white harbor, March +0 in Winterfell, March -1 on your Lone guy on the barrell on the Far side on Winterfell.
****If Baratheon raids your support on your ships(Unlikely if he is charging south) - Move all the guys from White Harbor to the Castle right above Kings Landing
****If Baratheon doesn''t raid, take your footman from White Harbor into the Eyrie(+4 for Support,+1 Footman,+1 March order = 6 for Garrison) and your Knight into the Castle above Kings Landing.
Move the 2 footmen in Winterfell to the 2 crown areas above Winterfell, and move the Lone Barrel guy back into Winterfell.
With this 2 round Build-up, Winterfell now owns 4 castles and is in direct attack position on baratheon from the north. He also now has supply barrells stocked pretty good, and solid consolidate power building areas. If Baratheon ignores this threat, and keeps heading south, Winterfell can just march south. If he spends a turn or two fortifying against this threat, then Lannister and/or Tyrell has time to keep him from a few needed castles in the south.
This Strategy also works extremely well in a 3 player game.