Hear Me Roar: Lannister Commanders Updated
Bannermen! We are back today with probably the single biggest update yet, as we're going to be going over all the Lannister Commanders and Tactics.
There is just a tone to cover in today's article so we're going to skip any introductions and openings and just get right into it!
LANNISTER GENERIC TACTICS
Your faction's Generic Tactics are one of the main factors in identifying their play-style. With the Lannisters you're going to have an extreme focus on tampering with your opponent's Morale, Counterplay-effects, and a healthy dose of Defense-based effects. Combat is not your strong point (usually)- you're going to win the game via indirect damage effects (ie lots of Panic modifiers) and controlling your opponent's options and actions.
Again, as we have a lot to cover, we're not going to go over each of the seven Generic Tactics Cards in detail, but going to give some small notes about each and how they have evolved over time:
- Intrigue & Subterfuge: The first tool in your counter-play arsenal, allowing you to shut down enemy NCUs. No changes from previous incarnations!
- A Lannister Pays His Debts: Changed from giving a battlefield maneuver to instead placing some Condition Tokens down, which feels more in line with Lannister style.
- Hear Me Roar: Instead of giving a flat negative, this effect now scales based on the destroyed ranks of the enemy unit, making it a nasty "finisher" card. Also opened up to be used on any Morale Test, not just Panic.
- Paid Mutiny: The original version of this was causing a lot of stuff to happen in a single activation (and was a bit clunky). It has been refocused to now be more in line with Lannister Counterplay tactics, with a focus on dealing damage, but more importantly, shutting off nasty Attachments.
- Counterplot: Slightly nerfed the Crown effect to allow a re-roll instead of just automatically cancelling the effect.
- Fealty to the Crown: Boost effect changed to Crown, and modified to restore additional wounds only, rather than creating a +/- 4 swing in both directions.
- Wealth of the Rock: Its Wealth boost now prevents D3 Hits instead of allowing re-rolls to Defense Saves. This change was made to make the benefit a bit more useful across more units, rather than just wanting to stack the effect on your best Defense unit.
Throughout the campaign we gained a total of five Commanders for the Lannisters, each with their own unique play-style, theme, and methods of winning the game. While each of these guy could have an entire article unto themselves (and many have) we'll give the brief run-down of overall tactics, play-style, and any changes that might have happened to them during development.
In case you need a refresher, remember that your Tactics Deck is made up of 2 copies each of the 7 Generic Lannister Tactics Cards and then 2 copies each of the 3 Commander-specific Tactic Cards listed below, giving you a total of 20 cards. This means your Commander will make up roughly 1/3 of the overall Tactics Cards available to you during the game.
Jaime Lannister: The Kingslayer
- Playstyle: Units under Jaime's command will gain additional defensive capabilities and in general embody a "reactionary" style of board-control, aka you're not going to have many effects that you yourself utilize, but rather the effects you do have instead capitalize on your opponent failing.
- Counterplay: Again its important to remember that most of Jaime's effects are going to be based on your actions, not his own. If you focus on objectives and outmaneuvering him then you're good to go. The worst thing you can do is just charge right into him without a plan or a strategy, which is exactly what he wants.
- Attachment Changes: Jaime's Attachment card got an overhaul in it's effect (but don't worry, you'll see the Expert Duelist return) namely because it did not synergize with the Tactics Cards available to him- it was an individually powerful effect, yes, but it did not embody what Jaime's play-style was all about. His new Counterattack Order much better fits in theme with the rest of his Tactics Cards.
- Tactics Changes: Deadly Riposte originally caused automatic Wounds, which now causes Hits instead, with additional Hits if you're targeting Jaime specifically. Precision Strike has been replaced entirely with Expert Parry to better reinforce the theme of defense with Jaime, rather than giving him 1 random offense card.
Gregor Clegane: The Mountain
- Playstyle: Gregor and his units make stuff dead. If you like the ideas of control and denial, but prefer a more aggressive playstyle, then Gregor is the Lannister commander for you. There is no subtly here- its the Mountain, you're going to go on the offense and try to smash their head in.
- Counterplay: They're going to try to smash your head in. As a result most of their effects are going to be based on attacking and dealing extra damage. If you can weather that storm then you'll be in a better spot. To a point Gregor is also a bit predictable- you don't have to worry about any additional surprises when you go to engage him, as you know he's not going to suddenly Riposte your attack. Basically, try to kill him faster and harder than he tries to kill you... Or outmaneuver him into better positions for yourself.
- Attachment Changes: So Gregor's basic Attachment and his Commander got a bit of a switch in abilities, but otherwise did not change much. His Commander version allows you to deal additional straight Wounds when you attack, and makes your charges all the scarier- really embodying what it means to play The Mountain.
- Tactics Cards Changes: While yes, the theme of Gregor is attack attack attack!!! that can lead to a bit of a dull play-style. In the end we replaced Cleaving Blows with the new Orders to Destroy, allowing you to utilize the Tactics Board to further your aggressive nature, meaning that you now care more about it outside the Combat Zone. This change also gives some diversity to play with Gregor so you're not always just throwing down a different type of attack buff. You will also note that all of Gregor's cards now not only gain additional effects for targeting his unit, but any House Clegane unit. So yes, you can now be rewarded for running that entire army of Mountain's Men that you wanted.
Tywin Lannister: Lord of Casterly Rock
- Playstyle: Tywin specializes in Weakening his foes and then capitalizing on said Weakened Condition. While a lot of the Lannister Tactics focus on denial and targeting enemy Morale, Tywin brings effects that cripple your opponent's combat capabilities to the party as well, making an army led by him one of the premier control armies in the game.
- Counterplay: You're going to want to have ways to remove the Weakened Condition- and this means the Wealth Zone becomes your best friend. If you make key use of it you can avoid a lot of the nastier effects when playing against Tywin, or at least force your opponent into claiming it to block you. Activate Weakened units early in the round and attack, thus forcing your opponent to either expend the Weakened Token or suffer the full attack. Your opponent will semi-tell you their plan based on who they are Weakening, and they can't weakened everyone, so utilize the gaps they leave.
- Attachment Changes: His original Ability prevented removal of any Condition Tokens, and that was proving to be a bit too harsh. Instead, he now places a Weakened Token on any unit in Long Range (up from Short Range), and also gained the benefit of tossing Lannister Supremacy on any unit he joins, giving them the bump that having The Great Lion himself leading them would impart!
- Tactics Card Changes: We actually never got a proper look at Tywin's Tactics so its all new! As you can see, however, he (surprise surprise) focuses on the Weakened Condition and punishing enemies who possess it.
The High Sparrow
The High Sparrow is our first NCU Commander, meaning he won't actually be on the battlefield- doesn't mean he isn't effective, however, as his reach can be felt even when he isn't near!
The Sparrow specializes in granting a wealth of buffs to units if they are faithful enough, embodied here with Morale Tests. Now, we know, the usual Lannister payroll doesn't exactly scream "we're doing this cause of faith!" but two things to consider: The first is that the Sparrow's Influence effect assists you there, and the second is that... Well, actually I won't mention the second. I will suggest you go look up his previous NCU card... Who knows, visions of the future might come to you... Anyway, moving on.
- Playstyle: Heavy focus on gaining extreme buffs from passing Morale Tests. The High Sparrow has an insane amount of synergy with <redacted> units, who trigger their own unique effects off of Morale Tests as well. Since he allows you to trigger <redacted> and <redacted> via his constant "tests of faith" (aka Morale Tests) then you just get to double, sometimes even triple-dip benefits over and over. So all in all, you're probably not going to run too many of the usual Lannister options when you could instead focus on <redacted> instead. Of course, spreading some Champions of the Faith across standard Lannister troops gives you more options as well.
- Counterplay: If you have any effects that give penalties to Morale, this is their time to shine. Otherwise, make heavy use of the Tactics Zone to throw down some Panic Tokens to help mitigate how many Morale Tests your opponent can succeed on. If they're running full <redacted> then this is going to be tough, since they aren't exactly lacking in the Morale-department. In that case, you're going to want to take them down before they become too "riled up" from all those Morale Tests, so strike units quick and strike them hard.
- NCU Changes: Original version was nasty and probably had the most utility of any NCU in the game, which was a bit of an issue since he was technically "free". We changed him around to bring him more in line with the other Commander's power levels, noting the fact he is, at the end of the day, also a free NCU. Oh and we removed the bit about <redacted> from his card as well.
- Tactics Card Changes: Again, we never actually looked at these before so these are all new. As you can see, Morale Tests are the High Sparrows bread and butter... Or scourge and flail, as the situation dictates.
Tyrion Lannister: The Halfman
Finally we come to the Halfman himself, Tyrion Lannister, taking up his battlefield Commander role. It should come as no surprise that Tyrion makes heavy use of Strategy and Tactics- when you play as him your opponent will never know just what tricks you have up your sleeve, as previously activated units can suddenly charge forth, old tricks become new again, and even their own units begin to come under confusion and misdirection.
- Playstyle: As mentioned just one sentence ago: misdirection and cunning are the mainstays of Tyrion's strategy. While the other Lannisters scheme and sneak behind the scenes, Tyrion commands the battlefield with superior strategies that allow you to hit from unexpected places and control the very tide of the battle itself. To make the best use of this, you're going to want to claim the Tactics Zone as often as you can, which does mean Tyrion will need some NCU assistance while he tends to the battle proper. Whether this is in the form of Tywin, Cersei, Pycelle, or a Mercenary option, that's up to you.
- Counterplay: Claiming the Tactics Zone to deny Tyrion's effects will go a long way in helping you during the battle, but the best bit of advise you can remember when playing against Tyrion is that you need to remain adaptive! If you try to fight him with by just hammering your battleplan into him he's going to wreck you. His whole method of winning is making sure your method of winning doesn't work, so you're going to need to play his game but play it better- he doesn't have a direct route to victory and is relying on destroying yours, so work around that!
- Attachment Changes: None, the effect was working very well!
- Tactics Card Changes: Once more these are all new, so can't really talk about changes here!
Bannermen, we have now completed our look at the Lannister forces. You've seen every NCU, every Combat Unit, every Attachment, and every Commander available to them. The tools to forge your complete army for the wars to come has been gifted.
Join us next time when we look to the northern lands and the realm of the dire wolves...