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House Card Units Variant

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Hi all! I've come up with some alternate rules to GoT board game, though I've not been able to find the time to really test it out. Why not implement these rules in your next game and let me know how it pans out!

House Card Units: Being able to choose any house card character to fight in any battle - anywhere - seems a bit silly to me. Therefore, according to this new rule, you will muster your house cards directly onto the field of battle.

You will need tokens; I've found that chess pieces work best, as they depict value rather well and it's easy to differentiate between sets. Whatever your choice, make sure they clearly represent to all players the value of your house cards in play.

One can muster house cards with a strength of 0 or 1 in areas containing a castle or stronghold. Cards with strength 2 and above can only be mustered in an area containing a stronghold. In either case, your mustering points for that area are completely used up. Once mustered, place the corresponding house card face up by the side of the board.

Mustered house cards function similarly to other troops. All order tokens apply, and they are affected by supply. As such, it is entirely possible to have more than one house unit in the same area. House units can be routed should they lose a battle, and once destroyed the token is removed from the board. Players may only gain access to dead house units once all have been destroyed, as per normal rules (with exception to Roose Bolton of course).

By placing house cards on the board, one changes how their abilities affect the game. For example, Salladhor Saan and other naval-based abilities lose affect. In order to prevent this, players may leave units aboard ships for a pre-determined number of turns (see optional rules). As a result, ships and their boarded units must be in accordance with the player's supply limit.

Unlike the standard rule set, whereupon players' house cards are used only once before being discarded, house card units can repeatedly use their abilities in each combat, until their death! If a house card unit happens to support a combat DO NOT count their ability and DO NOT count any forts/swords; only count their strength. House card units are leaders in battle and affect battle only; therefore one cannot use them to capture land. They may pass through, or remain, in an area but one is not to count that area as owned land, nor any boons that area allows.

Optional (hardcore) Rules:

- Players can only muster one house card per turn/muster phase.
- Players can only muster house cards on home stronghold.
- Stealthed units: Marshalled house card units are represented by a grey token. The marshalling player places the corresponding house card behind their screen. Other players can only guess as to which unit the player has mustered. That is, until said player moves his piece into combat OR into an area owned by another player. In this instance, the grey token is removed and replaced with one that better represents the house card unit's strength and/or house. In the event of a battle, the house card must be revealed (in order to confirm ability and strength). Should a stealthed unit pass into owned enemy land, the marching player must replace the grey token with one that represents the house card's strength, but does not reveal the card itself.
- Units may only be left aboard ships for a set number of turns (you decide), before their food supplies run out and they starve! The more units on a ship, the faster the food runs out.
- Ships may only carry 2 units OR 3 (optional number; you decide) mustering points worth of units.

Notes: As I mentioned before, I haven't fully tested this variant. As such, you may encounter problems created by these extra rules. Let me know how you solve these issues to better this rule-set and feel free to ask any questions!


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This extra rule I came up with works well the House Card Units Variant!


Kill/Capture/Convert Rule: Upon marching into an area containing routed enemy units, one has three choices as regards how to deal with the enemy force. Firstly, if one wishes to simply kill the enemies, then remove pieces from the board as per standard rules. If outright killing is not your objective then perhaps either of these options will appeal:

Capture - In order to capture a routed enemy unit, you must attach 1 friendly unit to the captured piece as an escort. Each captured enemy unit requires a seperate escort. It can be a unit of any type or strength. The enemy piece remains routed until the end of the round, as per normal rules, and stands thereafter. This does NOT mean it is then free to receive order tokens from the original owner; in being attached to an escort, the captured piece follows march orders that apply only to the escort. The goal in capturing a piece is to bring it to an owned stronghold, where it is then placed in the 'dungeon', signified by placing the piece side-down. Benefits of this are as follows:

- Prevent an enemy from marshalling a captured unit.

- Bargaining chip - you may 'release' a captured unit by escorting it to an area (may contain other friendly units - the escort counts towards supply limit, the captive does not) and then using an order token to move the escort (and other units) away. The escorting player decides when and where to do this, and does not have to annouce it to anyone (though bartering will most likely take place between players). At the end of the round, the routed unit stands and is then under control of original house, unless the original house is able to march upon the area containing the released hostage within the round, in which case that unit stands immediately (supply limit applies).

- Players can amass as many as 3 captives per stronghold and 1 per castle, and may trade captives with other players. To do this, leave your hostage in an area adjacent to the interested party, and have them do the same. Then simply move a friendly unit into the area with the new hostage to begin the escort to a dungeon. Trades can only take place once a captured unit has successfully been escorted to a dungeon. In escorting captives FROM a dungeon, the captured piece maintains the routed (side-down) position. Beware - other players may choose to intercept trades by marching into the area containing the routed unit(s) to be exchanged.

- Escorting units may NOT initiate combat, though their full combat strength applies should another house march upon them. They receive support from adjacent areas as per normal rules. Captives in escort may not be chosen as casualties should the escorting force lose the battle. If an escort fails in combat, one of two things may happen: If the captive is of the victor's house, that unit stands immediately (supply still applies!). If not, the victor is then free to kill, capture or convert that unit.

- Players can choose to kill their captives during their turn. This may become necessary in order to allow escorting units to attack.

As this is obviously quite a strong advantage, it will require planning and luck to achieve. Once a captured unit stands whilst still being escorted, it can lend its full combat value should the area come under attack from the captive's house. In this manner, players can attempt to free their captured bretheren. Seige engines cannot lend their full power as they will not be attacking a castle/stronghold whilst being escorted. Instead, they offer +1 should their original owner attempt a rescue.

- Gaining control of an area containing a stronghold/castle with captives does not automatically free those units. Units of the victor's house are freed instantly (take care of supply limit here), but all others remain in captivity, awaiting the new land owner's judgement. Players marching upon areas containing captives in escort follow aforementioned rule.

Advanced gambits:

- Multiple trades (with multiple houses) may take place within a single area. In this way, the involved houses will have to race to the area in question!
- Captured units attract enemies; use this to your advantage to lure opponents.

Conversion - The act of torturing a unit until it dies, or turns its cloak.

- Converting player must roll for each routed unit.
- 50% chance to convert a unit (even roll converts, odd dies).
- If not converted, units are destroyed.
- Converted units immediately stand and join the attacking force - they DO NOT count towards that house's supply limit!

- Should a force containing converted units directly (not via support alone) fight against their original house; receives a -1 bonus to base strength.

- Players may choose converted units as casualties in battle.

- If a converted force is left unattended by the converting player BEFORE it is involved in combat with its original house, AND it remains thusly until the end of the turn, then the converted force regains its original loyalties. After turncloaks are engaged in battle with their original house (through support or direct combat), they lose that ability and remain true to the house that converted them (whilst still NOT counting towards that house's supply limit). Once turncloaks die, the pieces are returned to the original owner (as unused pieces - not into play).

When playing in addition to House Card Units Rule:

This is where it gets really interesting - you can capture your opponents house cards!

When marching upon an area containing routed house card units, the kill/capture/convert rule still applies, albeit with a few differences:

Capture - Aforementioned rules apply, as regards the captive in escort. However, once a house card unit has been escorted to a dungeon, and remained there until the end of the round, it has a chance of escape (via a dice roll) from the next round on. The more enemy units that are in the area containing a captive, the less chance that captive has of escape (garrisons count). To work out which dice roll allows an escape, perform this calculation:

Strength of Captive - Total strength of garrisoned troops = highest escape roll available

4 - 2 = 2

Escape on roll of 1 or 2.

4 - 0 = 4

Escape on roll of 1,2,3 or 4.

1 - 3 = -2

Escape not possible.

2 - 2 = 0

Escape not possible.

Players may only attempt escapes for their own house card units after all march orders have been played (and before support/def/consolidate orders are removed/carried out). Do this in turn order, according to iron throne track. If escape is successful, the captive moves into an adjacent area, chosen by the (recently) captive player. Should the area contain enemy units, battle ensues! If the escapee fails in combat, he immediately returns to the dungeon from whence he came.

Convert - A converted house card unit DOES NOT allow the new owner to make use of its ability (only Greyjoy can use a Greyjoy house card ability, and so on). Instead, it grants its full combat strength as one unit. Does not count towards supply, can be used to fulfill casualties. A house card unit's strength also represents its conversion resistance:

- Strength 0 House Cards = roll 1-5 to convert
- Strength 1 House Cards = roll 1-4
- Strength 2 House Cards = roll 1-3
- Strength 3 House Cards = roll 1-2
- Strength 4+ House Cards = roll 1

Additional Rule:

Banishment -At the end of the round, the holder of the iron throne token may choose to banish a house card unit to the wall (if that player controls a dungeon with a captive house card unit). There, banished house card units serve as the shield that guards the realm of men. As such, they count their full strength (abilities cannot be used) alongside the total strength bid against the wildlings. If the wildlings win, all banished house card units are placed in original owners dead pile. If wildlings are bested by banished units alone, no one receives highest bidder award.

I'm sure there are some flaws; let me know if you find any!


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I like the idea in principle, actually having the influence of the house characters visible on the board. I had an Idea like this myself where, when you formed an army (or fleet) you placed a token of some kind with a number on it with the army, and then placed one of your house cards face down with an identical token on top, to show that it is assigned to that army, but no-one would know which house card was assigned. The token doesn't count as a unit so doesn't effect supply.


You still use house cards in all battles. If an army/fleet is the attacking/defending force then you MUST use the assigned house card. For smaller battles involving single units, you choose between the cards left in your hand. House cards still get discarded at the end of battle, as normal and a new house card must be assigned to armies afterwards.


I chose that method because it doesn't change the way that the game works as much, only adds flavor to house card selection and guessing which house card is where.


The problem I can see with your method is partly the complex issue of handling the sea units, but more so that stronger house cards can be used repeatedly, so a strength 4 card can stomp across the board with impunity until they meet another high strength card, and even then might not be removed from the board.


The main game uses 'discarding after use' to make using the stronger house cards a more tactical decision that must be carefully weighed. Use to early and you might need it again later.


Give your method a go and see if there are balance issues. If there are, you might need to do something to tone down the power of the higher strength cards or make them easier to destroy.

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You have a point there. Being able to marshall a strength 4 right away is a bit op, even though everyone can do it. Perhaps if one was to only marshall leaders one at a time, in strength order. Or perhaps you have to marshall them directly into an army with corresponding force... Unfortunately I don't have much time to play, so I need others to test it out too!

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