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Staurty

Generals Varient

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Ok, I have an ADVANCED variant idea. 

 

The rule change would be that, while forces of only one unit act as normal, an ARMY of 2 or more units MUST have a general (house card) assigned to it. 

This variant represents the idea that a larger force requires a dedicated leader to keep the army in cohesion. It also imbues a sense of ownership to an army. E.g. This is Ned Stark's army. 

The way you would actually do this would be, as soon as an army is formed, place a token in the same land space with a number on it. Then place one of your house cards face down, and place a token with a matching number on top of it. In this way, it is clear which army that house card has been assigned to, but no other player knows what card it is.

E.g the Lannister player forms an army of 1 footman and 1 knight at Lannisport during setup. He (secretly) assigns Gregor Clegane to the army by placing a counter showing a '1' next to the army in Lannisport and places the Gregor Clegane card face down (in plain view) with a counter showing a 1 on top of it. The next army he formed might show a number '2' and so on

In order for this to work, players would be unable to look at the house cards in another player's hand, only their discard pile. 

When a battle is fought where that army is the attacker or defender (not supporting), the player MUST use the assigned house card, then it goes to the discard pile as normal. Once combat is over, if the force is still an army, another house card would have to be assigned. If a battle is fought that doesn't involve any armies, a player can only use the house cards in their hand, not assigned house cards. 

If an army is disbanded into individual units, the house card is immediately returned to the hand, if an army forms, they must immediately be assigned a general. 

As normal, if your hand ever has zero cards, immediately return your discard pile to your hand. 

As the maximum number of armies a player can have is less than 7 (the number of house cards) they should always be able to assign a general to every army and still have a few spare house cards to look after the single unit forces. 

Players can exchange the house card assigned to an army with one in their hand when that army carries out its order (or at the end of the turn, in the case of support or defence orders)

 

WHY PLAY WITH THIS RULE?

The main reason is of course that it is more thematic. There is more of a sense of intrigue as you try to second guess where the generals have been placed. You also get to make thematic choices like assigning Victorian Greyjoy to look after your biggest fleet. 

There is also the added tactical depth, forcing you to think ahead. Do I put my best house cards in charge of my biggest armies as they will do most of my fighting, or hold them back to look after my smaller forces that rely more on their combat power? I also feel that it makes the less powerful cards more important. 

 

WHY NOT PLAY WITH THIS RULE?

In a word: Complexity

This game already has enough going on without more rules to bog the game down. This could only be pulled off in a group where everyone was already very familiar with the core rules and doesn't mind keeping track of an extra decision. 

There is also, of course, the requirement to build enough numbered tokens for each player, preferably in their house colours

 

Discuss…

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While I think this could be ann interesting variant, I think it adds more randomization with the house cards than was ever intended.  I think there's an extent to which you're meant to be using house cards to counter the house cards you expect your opoonent to use, rather than assigning multiple stages before the conflict will occur and hope you're not assigning the wrong card.

 

In theory, I see how it could be viewed as adding a more tactical element, but in practice I think it will only serve to randomize everything.  If you're doing to be more thematic, couldn't you argue they should be face up since you would know who is leading forces in a real war?  I think 1st Editions Storm of Swords did this better, but again, it could be interesting.  I'm definitly not one to knock it until i try it, so if I ever get a group interested in playing this way I'll give it a whirl.

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