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Tomdidiot

The New Houses!

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I have to agree with Ratatoskr. By the rules and such of the world of ASOIAF, the Arryns can at least vye for the throne. The NW, however, are one of the only groups specifically forbidden to do so.

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That's true, though I guess I've never really equated winning a game of Thrones (rimshot) as necessarily meaning that I've seated myself upon the Iron Throne. Maybe I'm just not that Nedly a character, but I can certainly imagine a scenario where the Night's Watch would find itself fending off a Bolton assault or Greyjoy raiding or exposing Lannister political machinations amongst their ranks or Dany bringing her dragons to burn down The Wall. Winning as NW might not be seizing the realm, but preserving their position at a time when no one recognizes the important role they will play in the imminent war with the Others.

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So based on the art on the website, it would indeed be Tyrell (logical) and Night's Watch.

 

I do have problems with the latter as they are supposed to be neutral. I don't see the benefit of a faction. They had a faction in v1 to begin with. All the cards that said Night's Watch were basically only usable in a dedicated Night's Watch deck. What's changed?

 

Ok, so the alternative was House Arryn and they're also kind of 'neutral', so I don't mind much. But there are several lords who've never been featured on a card yet appeared in the books several times.

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Night's Watch doesn't have any arms or heraldry, but I can see that they'd need one for game purposes were they a faction.

The articles published so far have a big picture of Jeor Mormont, and the icon with the bird and the sword lacks Arryn's crescent moon. So--about the only Nedly justifications I need:

  • gaining the services of the Night's Watch should be more of an undertaking than splashing a Neutral character like they were a common sellsword. A Neutral card allies with anyone; the Night's Watch takes no part in the struggles of the realm.
  • I expect "Loyal" to be a very common NW keyword. 
  • We may see more dual house characters rather than trying to figure out if they should be Neutral or not. Janos Slynt, Jon Snow, Cotter Pyke, Maester Aemon, etc.
  • The Night's Watch may not want to take part in the affairs of the realm, but they don't always have a choice. I just thought again about how the conflict between Stannis and Jon Snow could be seen as Power/Intrigue political armwrestling. 
  • Jon Snow is a Bara card in the board game. If we see a dual-house NW/Bara Jon Snow, the books contain a NW->Bara Claim 1 Military Challenge.

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From a Nedly point of view, I would be disappointed if the Night's Watch were treated as a faction in the same sense as the Great Houses. And Arryn is an important house to include. They are the Lords of the Vale. This is the faction list I'd like to see out of the box:

Stark (with a Stark-aligned Jon Snow for fan pandering)

Lannister

Baratheon

Targaryen

Arryn

Greyjoy

Tyrell

Martell

Sadly, this leaves out House Tully, the Lords of the Riverlands at the story's outset. I don't feel that they should be treated as Stark cards any more than Tyrell has been splashed into Baratheon and Lannister in 1E. They should be their own faction, with the capacity to ally with Stark as seen in the books. After all, if it weren't for Catelyn's actions in the story, they would not have joined Robb's army. House Tully is also where House Frey, largely ignored in 1E, belongs, as a banner house of Tully. If the Starks have House Bolton again, Tully should have House Frey. As much as I like Targaryen and I feel it's essential to include out the gate despite an intervening sea and continent, I would hope House Tully eventually makes an appearance in this new edition.

Edited by MarthWMaster

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I would agree with that distinction. I guess the Ned in me just doesn't want to see another situation in which some houses are represented by a template and sigil, while other houses are represented by a Trait. It just feels messy. And I feel that if this must be the case for mechanical reasons (such as that giving the literal members of House Stark the House Stark trait would be too clunky, for example), the line should be drawn at Great House status. I could more easily swallow the idea of banner houses being traits so long as cards influenced by the Great Houses (read: belong to a given house's faction) - at least those that begin as Great Houses in the books* - are consistently distinguished by their template and sigil.

 

*I tend to think of individual games of A Game of Thrones as an alternate sequence of events. For purposes of theme, though, each game might as well begin with each house having the status it had at the outset.

Edited by MarthWMaster

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I know the Watch is a huge part of the story but I don't want to see it as a faction.

 

It should really be it's own arbitrary mechanic. Card effects cause characters to be sent to the watch, where they sit in a pool that requires other card effects to have them put back into play, or the watch as a whole is put into play when X effect happens.

 

It's just a bit funky. Today's two player game, the Watch is facing off against House Martell. The next game The Watch is going up against House Stark. Eh.

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I keep coming back to three things: 

  • big painting of Jeor Mormont on the product description phase
  • Michael Horvath said the splats are Factions and not Houses, "for reasons."
  • Loyalty and Alliance mechanics would prevent NW being splashed into any old house as Neutral cards as though they were sellswords willing to fight for anyone.

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We don't know how strict the loyal keyword will be implemented (is it mainly for balance reasons or for nedly or both? We havent got a single idea at the moment)

 

Still i'm all for the reboot but making Night Watch one of the 8 factions is not a move that inspires confidence. They specifically said they returned to the books for inspiration and the Night's Watch is much further removed from the game of thrones then any other faction/house/affiliation. It would be a shame to dump the Arryn for them.

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It's arguable that Arryn is even more removed. Their involvement with the War of Five Kings was, and still is, exactly zero. It's canon that the Night's Watch can ally with other houses, so their alliance with Baratheon makes them more of a participant than Arryn. And having them be Neutral cards means that Qhorin Halfhand can show up in any old aggro deck or Maester Aemon as everyone's favorite Claim Soak, or Samwell Tarly as the chubbiest draw engine ever. How is that Nedly?

 

At least this way dragging Night's Watch into things is a Big Deal as far as deckbuilding goes, because that's your alliance, you give up any other splash and any other agenda. And as for playing Night's Watch as its own faction, how exactly is that any different than having all three The North agendas in play under 1E? Nobody complained about that.

 

I honestly don't get it.

Edited by Grimwalker

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That was a thoughtful and well-reasoned argument, Grimwalker. I would say my only qualm with the Night's Watch - in either version - has been that they should be fighting Wildlings and Others, not other houses. I recognize the game's need to include iconic characters, of which several are members of the Night's Watch, but I wonder if there is not a more thematic way of doing so than giving them a faction with similar playability to that of the Great Houses. Or perhaps they've thought of this, and there is some mechanic, either built into the Night's Watch faction card, or handled in the way they play, that reflects the idea that they are not interested in the game of thrones, and only get involved when another faction forces their hand? Perhaps they cannot be run as a primary faction, and will only support one of the Great Houses? Who knows. Ultimately I trust the design team to come up with something flavorful. Nate is actually revising the Houses' slices of the game's color pie to better match what is seen in the books, which I feel speaks to a dedication to the source material that bodes quite well for Second Edition. 

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Well, we do have certain episodes in the books where the Night's Watch has gotten embroiled in what could be viewed as Intrigue, Power, and Military challenges with the other Factions. Maybe they'll just be highly defensive--they won't start a fight, but they'll always be willing to finish it.

Edited by Grimwalker

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The objective in the 2ED may have also been rehashed.  Meaning, 1ED might say "The objective is to claim the Iron Throne." while 2ED might say "The objective is to show your importance to Westeros/the world." (bad example, but I think my point stands)

 

If it's the Night's Watch, then their role in Westeros is as important as each main houses role.  They may not have a specific conflict with Martell, Greyjoy, etc, but they are really important to Baratheon, Stark, and anyone else that needs protection south of the Wall. In addition to that, they are sent criminals from all different parts of Westeros with plenty of different influence with the other factions.  Think Janos Slynt and how crappy it would be if he became Lord Commander of the Night's Watch?  He'd be completely influenced by Tywin Lannister to do things that is in Lannister's best interest.  This may have included some form of conflict with Stannis for all we know.

 

They even sent out ravens to all the Kings with requests for help at The Wall when they suspected a Wildling attack.  So, they were willing to accept any form of help from any faction as a unified group.

 

With Jon Snow and the Night's Watch helping Stannis, that can be considered a form of betrayal against the perceived true King by any other factions too.

 

To summarize, the Night's Watch primary interest is to defend the realm from what's in the North.  They may not have the same common interests as the Great Houses, but their role in the realm and influence on the realm is just as important as any of the other factions(whether they really believe it or not).  They seek support from the other factions and their conflicts are with more akin to having the resources to succeed at doing their job as defenders of the North.

 

So, if it's Night's Watch, I'm confident that the objective of the game is not to take over the Iron Throne and it would be more aligned with showing that you are important to the realm and that you should not be ignored.

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True enough. And I suppose it's also worth noting that at no point does King Robb seek the Iron Throne. He's more or less pushed into his role by his supporters, and all he really wants is to have the crown recognize his independence as King in the North. Doesn't change his objective of accumulating 15 power tokens.

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True enough. And I suppose it's also worth noting that at no point does King Robb seek the Iron Throne. He's more or less pushed into his role by his supporters, and all he really wants is to have the crown recognize his independence as King in the North. Doesn't change his objective of accumulating 15 power tokens.

 

It's also not even entirely the goal of either Greyjoy or Martell. Or Arryn, if they were/are included as a faction. Greyjoy wants to strike off as an independent kingdom and raid the coasts of Westeros. Martell wants revenge on everyone involved in the Sacking of King's Landing, and would like to maintain their political importance, but isn't necessarily working to angle one of their own onto the throne. And Arryn just wants to be left alone (except for Littlefinger, who could be an Arryn card if they're a faction).

 

Claiming the Iron Throne is much more the purview of Bara, Lanni, and Targ. And maybe Tyrell, though they also seem somewhat content to be the closest allies of the ruling house.

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Can't we just have 11 factions?

 

The old 6: Arryn, Brotherhood, Nightwatch, Tully, and Tyrell?

 

Heck, this game has so many mechanical hooks I can't imagine too much difficulty in making each distinct. Balance may be a different story, but if we're really past the era of OOH and into a new Support of Only, it seems like balance may be a less 'whole card pool' issue :)

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It would be nice to see all the Great Houses represented equally. And House Frey ought to show up in 2E, and I don't know where it fits into the known factions. I think it's a stretch to make it a Lannister theme, especially given House Frey's support of King Robb early on. It would be a lot tidier, IMO, to give House Tully its own identity, with Frey being a strong archetype within that faction, and then allowing the Riverlands to support another House.

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It would be a lot tidier, IMO, to give House Tully its own identity, with Frey being a strong archetype within that faction, and then allowing the Riverlands to support another House.

 

Honestly, I almost prefer the idea that some traditional houses only exist as 'support factions.' Give Frey a faction, with all the bells and unique whistles, but give them no 'Loyal' cards and no house card. (just the support of Frey agenda) As a stand alone box any faction can use for support, Nate & Co wouldn't have to worry about fitting Frey cards into CPs or how it would work with rotation.

 

Support-only factions is a pretty simple way of side-stepping the auto include problems we were having with Neutrals. Still lets Brotherhood, Essosi/Free Cities, NW/Wildlings and Frey present unique and cross-faction themes, without letting players make rainbow 'greatest hits' decks that are thematically silly or OP.

 

Gives a lot of room for FFG to release one-off deluxe boxes each year too ;)

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But yes, I'd also like to see Tully as a separate faction from Stark. It essentially has it's own mechanics in e1 anyway: tully trait only replenishment, power through defense (not losing challenges) and immune to events. 

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They could do a Faction Wheel like in Warhammer 40k: Conquest, were the Nightwatch is in the middle and does not ally with anyone(or with everyone!?)

 

Like: Stark - Baratheon - Lannister - Tyrell - Martell - Targaryen - Greyjoy - Stark     Excluded: NW.

 

 

What i hope for is a distinction between Stannis Baratheon and Renly (make him Tyrell,right?)

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Yea, he could be in both Faction..  but the wheel is NOT flawed :-p

 

Edit: ok, could be: Stark- Baratheon - Tyrell - Lannister - Martell - Targ - Greyjoy - Stark

 

But that is much more flawed :D

Edited by Nachtwolf

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Try as I might, I can't seem to see how this one is flawed...barring of course Greyjoy's ability to ally with anyone other than Greyjoy, but that issue would still appear in the unrestricted (wheel-less) mode anyway.

Ultimately I would prefer to see no restrictions. I realize, though, that this would put a greater strain on design, since a card would have to be balanced against all possible house combinations rather than just three (the two houses allied with the card's house, plus Night's Watch).

Edited by MarthWMaster

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Baratheon and Lannister not together, Robert is not amused. But Lannister and Martell.. thats BS.. but i guess this Myrcella thing is really big ;)

Well, i think its hard to make a wheel. we will see what they do.. maybe in the end, we all will play our Stark/Lannister OP Decks.

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