Roll the Dice and Release the Hounds!
Valar Dohaeris, bannermen!
We've just hit $615k, and unlocked the Crannogman Warden!
As for what’s next, well, we’re now going into a new, wilder, territory!
If we reach $655k, all backers will get a Packmaster along with 3 Dog miniatures and a Unit Card. And there's more:
If we reach $695k, all backers will get a new Packmaster miniature in a new sculpt, along with 3 additional Dog miniatures in a second sculpt and an Infantry Movement Tray. And to complete the Unit:
If we reach $735k, all backers will get 2 additional Packmaster miniatures along with 2 additional Dog miniatures and the box to complete the set of the House Bolton Bastard's Girls!
Throughout the next 3 Stretch Goals, we’ll be releasing an entire new Mercenary Unit, the House Bolton Bastard's Girls, comprised of 12 models in four unique sculpts, their Unit Card, Infantry Movement Tray and Box. Being a Mercenary unit, they can be played with either House Stark or House Lannister armies. There’s a lot to talk about this unit in terms of gameplay, so let's take a look:
Bastard's Girls Gameplay Overview
So you might remember that Roose Bolton recently joined the fight. Well, he didn't come alone...
House Bolton is home to many tactics and strategies that other houses would find... questionable at best. Results are results, however, and the Boltons have no real issue turning a blind eye to unsavory methods if it means achieving victory.
Roose himself is particular about ignoring his bastard son Ramsey's hunting habits - namely that of releasing his pack of vicious dogs, known as the Bastard's Girls, upon hapless targets. But while these hounds make for a sadistic game outside the battlefield, on the battlefield they can be used as a potent weapon.
Alright, so let's take a moment to discuss this rather unique unit in detail.
First, unlike most units in the game, which function as dedicated Range or Melee, the Bastard's Girls combine the two. Their Hunter's Bow attack doesn't deal a lot of raw damage - but its not mean't to, either. It's there to harass and cripple enemies, dishing out Vulnerable tokens to enemies.
This opens up the strategy where you could just have the unit sitting around firing at enemies and doling out Vulnerable for your other units to take advantage - a useful option in its own right - but the Bastard's Girls themselves can make use of it as well.
To explain this, we need to take a look at their Sic' Em ability, which allows them to immediately make a free Charge action against an enemy they targeted with Hunter's Bow. So you might have caused a casualty or two by shooting the unit, but now they're going to have to contend with a horde of Attack Dogs descending onto them.
It's important to remember that one of your bonuses for charging is you get to re-roll your misses. If you're hitting the unit in a Flank, they also suffer a [-1] to Defense Saves. Combine that with the fact that you may have made them Vulnerable, and a charge by the hounds can push out an extreme amount of damage.
Finally, they have the Master and Hounds ability, which basically says that the Hounds are removed before the Packmasters when you suffer casualties (due to the Packmasters being in the back of the unit, where casualties would normally be removed first). What this means is that, even if the unit is hit hard and wiped to its last rank, then its still going to serve a purpose. Sure, you've lost your melee capabilities, but that means the unit has now become fully dedicated to just forcing Vulnerable on enemies. Meanwhile, your enemies have to make the choice of just dealing with it or devoting a unit to actually going and finishing off the unit, which is a drain of resources in itself.
When looking at utilizing this unit, the Starks can utilize their maneuverability tactics and speed to get the Bastard's Girls into a great battlefield position. Combine that with the numerous charging-and-attack related Tactics Cards they have access to and the ferocity of the Bastard's Girls can be pulled to the forefront.
Meanwhile, Lannister forces will enjoy the Condition spread out by the Girls. Also combine that with the various morale-sabotaging effects the Lannisters have access to and you can double-dip the benefits since you're gaining a ranged option, as well as a scary melee option, to work with. One strategy I personally like is tying an enemy up with Lannister Guards and having the Bastard's Girls move into a Flank, setting up a nasty shoot-and-charge combo. Note this will cause some slight Panic into your Guards (which happens when you shoot into melee) but heck, you're paying them well for a reason!
But that’s not all, bannermen!
At this point we’d also like to offer you two Optional Buys, each containing a set of 10 custom engraved Dice!
If you're interested in purchasing any of these optional buys, please just click the "Manage Your Pledge" button on the A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game Kickstarter page and in the pledge manager add $10 or $20 (if you want both). We'll sort out what your extra money is going towards after the campaign has closed and we've sent out our Pledge Manager.
And remember, bannermen...
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.