Fighting does not cause casualties. It does however require that you use your most powerful house cards, and all of your forces. If I am Stark and I see Greyjoy do this, then I expand dramatically into unguarded areas. If I am Tyrell, I move north into unguarded territories as well. I have never seen a situation, in theory or practice, where Greyjoy can leave himself in a better position vs. Stark and/or Tyrell at the end of his fight with Lannister. The house cards used alone will guarantee that Greyjoy will get crushed by both Tyrell and Stark when the fighting begins.
I completely agree with you actually...the problem is that it takes Stark too long in most cases to build the forces necessary to push back Greyjoy "early game" - and in RAW, Lannister cannot defend themselves against Greyjoy with the Sword - So..."yes" Tyrell and Stark "Mid Game" or "Late Game" can proceed as you suggest (no doubt, I have seen this multiple times), but the issue is (for me at least) that Lannister cannot adequately defend themselves in RAW "Early Game."
What I have noticed is that Stark doesn't have to have a lot of forces to push Greyjoy into irrellevancy. Elimination is a much more difficult proposition. In this sense, Stark is the check move keeping Greyjoy from expanding and then massing overwelming military by the 3rd-5th turn and arguably Stark must do this if he wants to amass a military of a respectable size prior to the end of the game, due to him only getting "easy" access to 2 forts additional forts outside Winterfell, 3 if you count Eyrie (I don't). By contrast, other nations get access to 1 castle and 1 fort or the potential for 2 castles and 1 fort expansion early on.
If the Lannister and Greyjoy are going after each other aggresively, which forces the Greyjoy player to utilize his better generals (and power tokens, if the Greyjoy player is using the bait and switch into combo methods), that does all the work required by turn 2 to get Stark into Seaguard. If the Greyjoy player does burn through his power tokens and generals at a quickened pace through being attacked by 2 sides, Tyrion's ability to bump out the last general in his hand becomes more useful, albiet briefly. I am somewhat surprised that Tyrion's text ability doesn't shorten the hand (forcing a discard prior to the swap) making the ability far more interesting and playing to the strength of attrition based warfare. Furthermore, this entirely assures that if a vote sequence comes up, that he will lose the Valerion Sword and military position to either Martel or Tyrell. Once this happens, It just comes down to a question of if the Tyrell player had fire burning under is butt and did a hard push north into Searoad Marches threatening the Lannister capitol Lannisport.
Martell, similar to Stark, is a check move to Baratheon in that he should engage in combats with small risk and eliminate his position on the throne. This, concurrently, will likely draw out Baratheon cards with swords to eliminate the units early on and allow "safer" combats to occur, as they will occur often on that side of the board given Martell's need to acquire addition power icons more commonly found towards the center of the map.
This said, I have never seen Greyjoy come out ahead overall and typically gets bottled up in his home territory of Pike. Lannister's wellbeing seems entirely hinged on what Tyrell chooses to do though and can get wiped off the map entirely if Tyrell doesn't engage Baratheon or Martel.
The only times I've seen Lannister and Greyjoy do well, would be to act against their own (fictional) nature and cooperate with each other with Greyjoy conceeding Riverrun to Lannister and Turtling up Greywater watch, The Twins, and Seaguard while being a pirate and moving to control Bay of Ice with his ship(s) and using raid orders to prevent consolidation of power moves in the north until he can push through Moat Cain successfully.
What I don't like about the early game so far, is how the kings court track seems to be on the weak side along with the raven initially. When you have a lot of armies and issuing a lot of orders, being able to drop down 3 special orders and swap out 1 order is very strong, but when you can only drop down 3 orders total early in the game and only swap out one, but two of your orders issued are going to be move orders by default, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference at all. While the Iron Throne Track along with the Fiefdom Track give immediate and lasting benefits throughout the game. I also find it weird that more units are given to Baratheon and Greyjoy initially. Sure, they should have larger navies initially, but the other houses should have larger land based armies and or territories to start with to compensate.
Edited by Phades, 27 January 2014 - 05:43 PM.