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A Song of Ice & Fire: Night’s Watch and Free Folk Full Reveals

Likely not a very inspired post but I took all the photos I could of the new expansions coming up for Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures game at Gen Con 2018 and figured I should post them up for others to see.

Here we have the miniatures list from the opening pages of the Free Folk faction rule book. I didn’t see the Night’s Watch rule book around so I didn’t get to shoot a pic of that.  From what I could tell, they’ll have two NCU units (Lady Val and Craster) and two commanders with Mance Rayder and Tormund Giantsbane.  Two generic attachments will be able to add in to their regular lists of Trappers and Raiders and two big giants round out the set.  The only other notice is the castle wall template art is updated to reflect the northern setting.

The only Commander fully spoiled was Tormund Giantsbane. I love his abilities and if the Free Folk get a hard hitting infantry unit, Tormund will rip up the field.

And a slight spoil of the Commander card names for Mance as well as the cost for Craster at 3 points.

Lady Val was fully spoiled at the game though and show that the Free Folk will have cheap NCUs at 3 apiece.

Free Folk Raiders front and back.  The starter will come with two units of these.  Their attachment was not spoiled except for the model image we saw in the rule book.

Free Folk Trappers were interesting with their Hidden Traps ability.  I was on the receiving end of both taking 3 full wounds and getting a disorderly charge rolling a 2 against the giant I was trying to take down.  A bunch of these on the field could be very annoying.

The only thing I didn’t spoil about them before was their 7 point cost.  We’re unsure if these solo units are a trap for the other player to over-commit on or if they are threatening enough to force you to deal with them.  I like their concept and their ability to shrug off attacks and bypass defenses is pretty cruel.

These are the 10 generic Free Folk Command cards. The craziest card that came up was The Endless Horde which allowed my friend to bring back a previously destroyed unit.  Each command deck comes with two copies of each card.  I did not find the Free Folk units so “insignificant” that they died easily so bringing them back was particularly brutal. Otherwise, their command cards really key off the ability to swarm your opponent.

Tormund’s specific Command cards. Counter Charge is a pretty mean one-two punch but otherwise they are alright cards.  The issue here is the generic Free Folk deck is so strong, it is hard to get excited by the Commander’s cards.

Jumping over to the Night’s Watch set, we have Jon Snow’s Command cards, the Veterans of the Watch cost, and the other NCU, Bowen Marsh’s cost (3 points). Maester Aemon will be spoiled shortly.

Here we also get to see the fluff of Ghost. If I was smart I would have crouched down and shot up from under the glass shelf to see if I could get Ghost’s stats. Next time, perhaps!

We only saw two units from the Night’s Watch and the Trackers were an interesting ranged cavalry unit.  The order is nice but their real boon is that they are only 6 points.  That is a good cost for such a harassing unit. They tend to melt more than other cavalry if forced into engagement.

The Sworn Brothers and their Commander, Jeor Mormont. Cost is a little higher than normal for standard infantry but they hit really hard with a low amount of dice. Mormont’s Commander ability is ok. I think it may become better as you really figure out the playstyle but I wasn’t impressed with the whole “vow” gimmick.

Aemon was pretty amazing at keeping my Sworn Brothers alive in their deathmatch with the giant.  If I could grab the wealth spot on the tactics board, I was getting 6 wounds back when they were down to one rank. I don’t think better healing exists in the game currently.

Night’s Watch’s generic Command cards.  The Take the Black card has a lot of crazy potential but since my opponent didn’t have any attachments, it was moot. The vow cards are ok but usually need tactics board control and since you likely aren’t stacking your army with NCUs, you’ll only ever have one or two of those spots occupied.  When you don’t have many units, that is fine but if you get into the standard 40 or 50 point games, I don’t think you’ll be able to manage the Vow card effects as well.

Mormont’s specific cards are ok but again, over use the vow mechanic in my eyes.

CMON also had the Kingsguard on display.  I’m not sure how these will work mechanically but they look great.

That was all I could get from the material available on the two upcoming faction releases.  Thematically, I want to like the Night’s Watch but the Free Folk is just sexier in mechanics and uniqueness.  Night’s Watch may flip that with the introduction of siege weapons so maybe there is still some worth to that starter but right now, the Free Folk have my full attention.

I leave you with a sad model that will likely never see any kind of release, Sansa with Lady:

Since the game takes place after King Robert’s death, Lady was already killed (and it’s doubtful we’ll ever see Nymeria either). They commissioned the sculptors to make the model but then it was pointed out later that the continuity wouldn’t allow that so they it is just a thing they pull out at conventions. Would be a great model to have though.

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4 Comments

  1. Timothy Smith

    Thank you for this reveal and commentary.

  2. Moorgoth

    Out of the five factions currently out and revealed I will definitely be playing Free Folk the most. Something about horde tactics just really hits home for me. Plus they have such amazing abilities and will play completely different than anything else.

    • Christian

      I think Free Folk will ultimately be my faction of choice as well. There is a lot of uniqueness to their scheme. While the Night’s Watch has the Vow mechanic, I didn’t find it very interesting and the only reason I would even look at them is for thematic reasons of liking Jon Snow.

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