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Battles of Westeros: Wardens of the North» Forums » Reviews

Subject: An Outside Perspective rss

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Erik Miller
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My initial review of the BoW base game can be found here: An Outside Perspective- Is this A Good Game?

This expansion gives you more units for the Stark side of BoW. You get 3 types of units, 3 commanders, a new terrain type, some new keywords, gambit cards, and all the tokens and cards required to use this expansion. There are also 3 scenarios, each one highlighting one of the new units and commanders in the expansion. You need to glue the units to their bases just like in the base game.

Units:

Here's a picture of the unit cards thanks to bgg user jmarvin




Units:


The Lancers are some new cavalry for the Starks. They can pursue 3, which is further then anyone in the base game. They also have the option to be in 1 of 2 formations. Each formation is on one side of the card and gives different bonuses to the unit. In the line formation the lancers can never be flanked and get one additional die when attacking infantry. When in the wedge formation they add one additional morale result to each attack if they roll at least one morale result. However, the lancers do have a downside- No matter what formation they are in they are more vulnerable to archers. Archers get one additional die when attacking them and the Lancers defend as one rank lower. If they are already a green rank unit, then valor results count as hit against them as well.

The Shieldmaidens are amazing defenders. They have the advance keyword and the new defender keyword. A unit with defender can choose to gain a defend token instead of attacking during their turn. A unit with a defend token gains the heavy armor and stalwart keywords, and also can discard their defend token to attack an attacking unit at the same time, resolving the results of the fight simultaneously. During the resolve conditions part of each round all defend tokens are discarded, so you need to use them or lose them. They make excellent defenders, however, and can hold key spaces on the map for you when you need them to.

The Trident Bearers have a typo. Their card should have the deflect keyword instead of the disarm keyword. Deflect allows you to discard order tokens matching the rank of the TB's to ignore hits inflicted on you during an attack. They also have the polearm keyword. This lets them ignore one additional die when using deflect and also gives them one additional die when attack cavalry units.

Commanders:

Smalljon Umber: He's a beast to kill with his 3 capture defense. His passive ability is nothing to write home about, but his commit ability is massive. Healing your units and rallying them is huge and has made the difference in many fights when we've used him.

Galbart Glover:
Definitely the weak guy of this expansion. Heavy armor is a huge keyword but his commit ability is nothing to right home about. It's useful but I'd rather have something better.

Rodrik Cassel:
The heavy hitter in this expansion. He boasts the Stalwart and Defender keywords and his commit ability is amazing. It's definitely a commander killer and is used for massive effect in doing so. He's a beast and is always the first target on the battlefield if he's present.

Other Parts:

The new terrain is the marsh. To say the marsh is annoying is an understatement, but it makes sense why it is annoying. If you move into a marsh you have to end your turn immediately and on your next turn you can EITHER attack or move 1 space. Additionally, all units lose stalwart while in a marsh and archers get one additional die when attacking a unit in a marsh. It sucks. Don't go into the marshes.

The other terrain tile are multi-hex buildings. Each tile on a multi-hex building counts as its own individual building and each building has special abilities in the scenarios they are used in.

The new scenarios are fun but nothing to write home about. As stated earlier they each highlight one of the new units and commanders.

Finally, this expansion adds gambit cards. Gambit cards are a new way to handle initiative. There are 4 gambit cards for Stark in this expansion. To use the gambit cards you need the Wardens of the West expansion as well, which has 4 gambit cards for Lannister. At the start of a scenario or skirmish each player secretly picks one gambit card. Whoever starts off with the initiative has their gambit card faceup. They can flip their gambit card at any time (According to the rules on the card) to gain some sort of special ability. The other player then flips their gambit card faceup and has the initiative until they decide to use their gambit card.

Final Thoughts:

This is a solid expansion that is really interesting. I like the new units for Stark and I really like the commanders. The marsh is interesting and the defend keyword is powerful. However, I feel like they are missing some big potential here. I wish that they included rules to let you substitute the units in this expansion into the scenarios in the base game. This would make them a lot more useful outside of skirmish mode. Additionally, I wish they would have some scenarios highlighting these units and the units from the Wardens of the West expansion. I don't think many people will buy one of these expansions without buying the other.

I don't own the House Barathenon expansion but I heard this expansion has scenarios using units from all the previous expansion in it.

All in all, I really like this expansion. It adds solid units to Stark and is something I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys the base game because it really adds some good strategic options to House Stark in skirmish play.
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Scott Randolph
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Thanks Erik, nice review for an awesome game!
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Jan Dreske
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As far as i remember, one scenario in the tribes of the vale allows you tu use tyrion lannister, one scenario in brotherhood without banners uses both wardens expansions, baratheon does as you said, and one of the bonus scenarios available on the ffg site does use both wardens expansions, too.

I would love to see a scenario book published, taking advantage of the possible combinations, but i would not say the missed totally on the potential, since at least some options to combine the expansions are avaliable (and one of them for free).
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Erik Miller
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lannister4live wrote:
As far as i remember, one scenario in the tribes of the vale allows you tu use tyrion lannister, one scenario in brotherhood without banners uses both wardens expansions, baratheon does as you said, and one of the bonus scenarios available on the ffg site does use both wardens expansions, too.

I would love to see a scenario book published, taking advantage of the possible combinations, but i would not say the missed totally on the potential, since at least some options to combine the expansions are avaliable (and one of them for free).


True. I have Tide of Iron and they printed a scenario book for that that uses the expansions and the base game pieces. I'd love to see that for BoW. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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