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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Stark Opening Moves? rss

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Reaper Steve
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Since I can't find any current strategy articles for 2E (probably since it just came out!) and the 1E ones are most likely outdated, I'm trying to figure out a strategy on my own. Any help would be appreciated.

It appears that I have two immediate objectives:
-- Secure Moat Cailin
-- Secure the Narrow Sea


To accomplish this, I will issue the following orders:
-- Winterfell - March +1 to move a knight into Moat Cailin. I'll leave the footman in Winterfell for future consolidate power musters or support.
-- Shivering Sea - March +0 to take the Narrow Sea
-- White Harbor - Consolidate Power (special) to muster a ship directly into the Shivering Sea (rather than the Narrow Sea.) I figure this is better than 2 in the Narrow Sea because the one in the Shivering Sea can support the one in the Narrow Sea and it gives me transport from Winterfell to land areas adjacent to the Narrow Sea.

Contingencies:
-- If Greyjoy really wants Moat Cailin, I can't stop him. But I think that would be unlikely as it would require all of his effort to take it--March from Pike to Greywater Watch and then from there to Moat Cailin (and even Seaguard if he wants... is this the dreaded Greyjoy opening move I've seen alluded to but never explained?) I don't think there's much I can do about it, except maybe not even go into Moat Cailin if he masses in Greywater as his first move. If I restructure my entire first turn to attack Moat Cailin after he takes it, I'll still lose because all he'll have to do is play Damphair. So, I wonder... should I change my plan and not even attempt to take Moat Cailin on turn one? I could instead consolidate power (muster) in Winterfell to upgrade the footman to a siege engine to take the Moat next turn.
-- If Baratheon comes north to the Narrow Sea, he can take it before I can, but he would only do so with one ship if he wants to have transport from Dragonstone (why else would he do it?) But really, this would be a poor opening move for him, when he could easily claim Crackclaw Point or Storm's End, so I'm not worried about it.

Any thoughts so far? Follow-on objectives include getting another point of supply and positioning myself for a run on the group of castles I can reach south of the Narrow Sea.
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Jeff Kayati
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I'd also consider a third objective, increasing your supply.

Instead of mustering in White Harbor, you might consider a move to an area that would increase your supply. If you don't want to move the footman there, consider musting another footman in White Harbor instead of a ship. Turn two would allow you to move that footman to secure extra supply.
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Sean Combs
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Only had a couple of runs, and none where i controlled stark, but i would properly do the exact same moves

Even though Greyjoy can take Moat Cailin if he wishes, i would still make an attempt to hold it. I think the benefit of holding Moat Cailin weighs up the risk of losing it.
 
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Reaper Steve
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Jeff - yeah, more supply is high on the list, but I figured that I could go another turn or two without it.

Sean - Stark definitely needs to hold Moat Cailin, but I wonder if it would be better to take it turn 2 rather than turn 1. Seeing that Stark can't stop the Greyjoy opening move I described, maybe I should instead use my turn 1 orders to ensure I can take it on turn 2. If so, then I would consolidate power (muster) in Winterfell on turn 1 to upgrade the footman to a siege engine and place a ship in the Bay of Ice (or another footman.) That should give me enough combat strength to take Moat Cailin on turn 2, in spite of his cards.
 
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JDV
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One thing that I always worry about (with any house) is the possibility of a turn two Clash of Kings. I like what you've laid out but I'd consider a regular consolidate power somewhere (but maybe I'm overvaluing the influence tracks).
 
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David Jackman
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Okay, I have played twice as Stark and one once.

Still, I am confounded by how tenuous Starks opening position is. One thing that is clear to me is that the Narrow Sea is MUCH more important than Moat Calin.

One obvious reason why is that a support order from the narrow sea can help you retake (and hold) Moat Calin. Holding the Narrow Sea should let you have control of Moat Calin eventually.

Also, the additional Castle (and subsequent muster ability) is pretty useless early in the game when you have 1 supply.

The other is more political - You are, in essence, deciding if you want to take a threatening posture against Barentheon or Grayjoy. I think most people would agree that Barentheon is less likely to bring you pain - he has other concerns or opportunities at the start of the game.


I will say that a turn 1 siege engine and a turn 2 attack on moat Calin seems okay SO LONG as you *dont* bring the Siege engine into moat calin. Have it in winterfell for a threat of a counterattack, to deter Grayjoy from taking Moat Calin in the first place. The politics of bringing a siege engine to Moat Calin early feel like thumbing your nose at the best combat faction in the game(at least starting).

I still dont know the best way to play this, but I can say that if you piss off Greyjoy, you will regret it. If he sends boats north, you are in for a painful game.

In short, this is my priority list:
Narrow Sea
Supply
Moat Calin
Consolidate power

Thoughts?
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Nick Dianatkhah
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Saan wrote:
Okay, I have played twice as Stark and one once.

Still, I am confounded by how tenuous Starks opening position is. One thing that is clear to me is that the Narrow Sea is MUCH more important than Moat Calin.

One obvious reason why is that a support order from the narrow sea can help you retake (and hold) Moat Calin. Holding the Narrow Sea should let you have control of Moat Calin eventually.

Also, the additional Castle (and subsequent muster ability) is pretty useless early in the game when you have 1 supply.

The other is more political - You are, in essence, deciding if you want to take a threatening posture against Barentheon or Grayjoy. I think most people would agree that Barentheon is less likely to bring you pain - he has other concerns or opportunities at the start of the game.


I will say that a turn 1 siege engine and a turn 2 attack on moat Calin seems okay SO LONG as you *dont* bring the Siege engine into moat calin. Have it in winterfell for a threat of a counterattack, to deter Grayjoy from taking Moat Calin in the first place. The politics of bringing a siege engine to Moat Calin early feel like thumbing your nose at the best combat faction in the game(at least starting).

I still dont know the best way to play this, but I can say that if you piss off Greyjoy, you will regret it. If he sends boats north, you are in for a painful game.

In short, this is my priority list:
Narrow Sea
Supply
Moat Calin
Consolidate power

Thoughts?


I agree with all of this.
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Reaper Steve
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As the OP, I'm late in reporting how I fared last week.
Yes, the Narrow Sea is critical, and must be held at all costs.
I'm also inclined to believe that what Saan suggests--securing Moat Cailin right away is not as important as I originally thought. Greyjoy has more pressing concerns.

However, I do like getting Moat Cailin quick as it allows for 3 musters when that comes up. I think that a 2nd supply is pointless until then, but I seem to be alone in that viewpoint. Many folks seem to focus on getting that 2nd supply first, so I need to reevaluate.

So, how'd I do? Well, for the first half of the game. I held the Narrow Sea and Moat Cailin and pushed into the Eyrie. I was pretty confident I could take 3 more nearby castles (or 2 plus Flint's Finger) in the next two turns. But then the unthinkable happened... Baratheon defeated me in the Narrow Sea! (Damn Tides of Battle cards!) Then he pretty much wiped me off that map. That's how important the Narrow Sea is.

Aside: I'm torn on the Tides of Battle cards. I normally like it when games emulate fog and friction and when chance plays a factor, but to go from top dog (or at least contender) to fresh meat on the turn of a card really frustrated me. I felt like my whole game hinged on it and that there was no opportunity to recover.

Lessons learned: I need to protect the Narrow Sea even more, and maybe even go on the offensive against Baratheon's fleet prior to committing forces to the Five Fingers area.
 
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David Jackman
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Reaper Steve wrote:


Aside: I'm torn on the Tides of Battle cards. I normally like it when games emulate fog and friction and when chance plays a factor, but to go from top dog (or at least contender) to fresh meat on the turn of a card really frustrated me. I felt like my whole game hinged on it and that there was no opportunity to recover.




Yeah, I have no problems with randomness in games, but it just doesnt feel like it fits here. I hate tides of battle.
 
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Piotr Kaplon
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Saan wrote:
Reaper Steve wrote:


Aside: I'm torn on the Tides of Battle cards. I normally like it when games emulate fog and friction and when chance plays a factor, but to go from top dog (or at least contender) to fresh meat on the turn of a card really frustrated me. I felt like my whole game hinged on it and that there was no opportunity to recover.




Yeah, I have no problems with randomness in games, but it just doesnt feel like it fits here. I hate tides of battle.


I've played the game three times. And three times lost by one battle, two times because of the damned skull on the Tides of Battle card... (the only remaing unit won the battle, but perished before securing last castle needed to win the game), the third time was a tie decided by my opponent's higher position of the Fiefdoms track... but I guess that's all right, fog and friction, as you said.

As for the Stark strategy... Moat Cailin and Narrow Sea, the only time when Stark failed to secure both early was when I (as Greyjoy) destroyed most of his forces there in the second turn. Normally southern powers were busy in the south until late in the game, despite my constant warnings . I guess my strategy would be to secure the north, the Vale, and look harmless...
 
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Rick May
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Reaper Steve wrote:
So, how'd I do? Well, for the first half of the game. I held the Narrow Sea and Moat Cailin and pushed into the Eyrie. I was pretty confident I could take 3 more nearby castles (or 2 plus Flint's Finger) in the next two turns. But then the unthinkable happened... Baratheon defeated me in the Narrow Sea! (Damn Tides of Battle cards!) Then he pretty much wiped me off that map. That's how important the Narrow Sea is.


I played a 3 player game last night as Stark. Definitely a horse of a different color playing 3 player because it's basically every man for him/herself until someone gets close to victory. I concur with the importance of the narrow sea...especially in a 3 player scenario. It's the best way to get out of the bottleneck your in. However, in my game, Baratheon saw my plans to take the Eyrie via the Narrow Sea and thwarted me time and time again. I ended up losing the Narrow Sea to Baratheon and, despite numerous attempts, was never able to recover it.

IMHO, Stark is probably the weakest house even with the two castle starting advantage.

Reaper Steve wrote:
Aside: I'm torn on the Tides of Battle cards. I normally like it when games emulate fog and friction and when chance plays a factor, but to go from top dog (or at least contender) to fresh meat on the turn of a card really frustrated me. I felt like my whole game hinged on it and that there was no opportunity to recover.


Last night was also our first time with Tides cards. Overall I did not like them. One of the things I like about this game vs. a game like Risk is that there is less left to chance and more importance is place on strategy. The Tides cards put more chance into it and I'm not a big fan of that.
 
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Tom Hancock
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I do not like the tides of battle cards though I'm thinking about using them for the neutral areas to make those battles less predictable.

You have to control the narrow sea and Moat Cailin. If Stark can move one footman around the north and establish political control up there (for the supply and ability to use consolidate power actions) you can be a real threat.

The Valyrian Steel token is a must for Stark to be able to fight the Greyjoys and the Raven token is very helpful to react to a Baratheon incursion on the narrow seas. Stark needs to take a political strategy so you have the tokens available to control both these if possible.

For the end game, I find Stark fighting Baratheon at sea to be a poor strategy. The Baratheon navy is just too numerous. It seems much better to either 1. Strike from Moat Cailin into the neck and the riverlands beyond to try to get the win OR 2. take the vale of Arryn, then go overland into crackclaw point, Harrenhal, etc. for the win.
 
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Don Pedro de la Vega
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stark first turn orders
I would never worry about the moat cailin in the first turn, as greyjoy can capture riverrun or at least seaguard [if not both!] instead.

As for the starting orders, i agree with march +1 on the ship, but i believe you have to place 3 march orders total. That's because you need to be able to attack the Baratheon ship on the narrow see with the +1 bonus to win a battle, should he decide to advance there as his 3rd march this turn - he makes his moves before you [luckily :P ]

As to where the other units should go, i would command one of my footman north to karhold, where he'll be for the reminder of the game collect taxes, the key to the lategame stark victory i believe. : )
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Andrew Verticchio
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Stark needs to play a special Consolidate Power on WinterFell the first turn in order to build a ship in the Bay of Ice and the Shivering Sea. Without these ships Stark is wide open to an attack from Greyjoy and will not able to support their own ship in the Narrow Sea.
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I agree that building up the Stark navy is paramount, if only to allow you to leave Winterfell more lightly defended and not tie up many troops holding it. Every ship against Greyjoy means more troops freed up from Winterfell guard duty.

On the flip side though, even if Greyjoy invades via the Bay of Ice though, Winterfell still has a port from where you can raid any sea support, and Winterfell itself, while really massive, is adjacent to a lot of Stark areas that can receive support. And every ship against Greyjoy is one less ship against Baratheon... it's a tough call.
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Heath Stockburn
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Have played as Greyjoy and from experience I would definately recommend Starks taking and holding Moat Cailin. It is so expensive to take back for Greyjoy that they have to have solid, guaranteed allinance with Lannister....and we all know about guarateed allinaces in this game now don't we!!!
 
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Martin Hall
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Like anything else, strategy has to complement diplomacy.
Usually Baratheon is focussed on securing Kings Landing on turn 1 and Greyjoy is focussed on securing territory around Ironman's Bay.
So the most critical opening move of occupying the Narrow Sea is usually uncontested.
You should however try to make good relations with Martell to prepare against the need to encourage them against Baratheon, if he goes North early.

Obviously an agreement with Greyjoy is natural, unless you both want to be in early trouble - but an agreement is no guarantee against back-stabbing
It seems to me that a special consolidate at Winterfell (rather than White Harbor) is useful as a precaution against a Greyjoy move towards the Bay of Ice. Being able to contest this by building a west coast ship (even in Winterfell Port) is vital. In Winterfell, you have the option of FM or west coast ship in addition to the ship in the Shivering Sea that is the only rational build in White Harbor.
The downsides are:
a) 1 less power point (token on White Harbor) and
b) only occupying 1 territory instead of the 2 which are possible with units from Winterfell.
I think in the long run the extra unit will make up for these disadvantages, but it is not clear cut.
The question of which territory to take with the FM from White Harbor is tricky. I am inclined to think taking Karhold (by sea before moving ship) for long term power generation is probably best, since taking Moat Caitlin should be easily done next turn and supply is not absolutely critical early - of course if supply card comes up in turn 2 and then not for a while, you could regret this greatly.
 
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Patrick Deschamps
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I have always found the best Stark opening moves to be as follows:

Winterfell: March -1
White Harbor: March +0
Shivering Sea: March +1

First March - March Footman from winterfell to Karhold but leave Knight behind - Moat Cailin is not important first turn and you will want to use your *consolidate on turn 2 in Winterfell if Muster doesn't come up.

Second March - March Footman from White Harbor to Widow's Watch for the supply, leave a power token in White Harbor.

Third March - March Ship from Shivering Sea to The Narrow Sea

Reasoning - These first turn moves set you up very well which is imperative for Stark - you will have your 3 mustering points if muster comes up, you have 2 barrels if supply comes up. The only negative is that you will be shorter on power but I think that is a price worth paying for Stark, just make sure you bid enough to keep 1 or 2 Star Orders if clash comes up.

Overall I feel this is a pretty well rounded strat - allows you to get an extra supply, sets you back a power but at the same time sets you up for power hoarding right from turn 1 and protects you if no muster comes up as you still have a troop in winterfell to muster if you have to.

As an extra note, the reason I don't like to *Consolidate(Muster) in turn 1 is as follows:

Reason 1: Greyjoy is at least 2 turns away and has to deal with Lannister, you do leave yourself vulnerable to him taking the Bay of Ice if he really wants it on Turn 2 but keep in mind that no Greyjoy player will *consolidate(muster) on Turn 1 so unless the Muster card comes up he will not have the ships to expand to Bay of Ice without leaving either Ironman's Bay or Sunset Sea empty (both of which are very bad for him) - If Muster does come up, you muster first as it is before even a clash and you can just pop you ship right into Bay of Ice before him even if he has Flint's Finger.

TL: DR - Greyjoy is not a serious threat in the Bay of Ice until turn 3

Reason 2: You want to get that supply but you also really want to get set up in Karhold for power farming - this strat lets you do that

Reason 3: Baratheon is a far larger threat than Greyjoy however it is not as bad as you may think. We should all know that a smart Stark player can take The Narrow Sea turn 1 as long as they march last. For turn 2 it will depend on whether a Muster occured or not.

Turn 2 (no muster):
The worst Baratheon can do here is attack with both his ships using a +1 march order against your 1 ship with +2 defense. He can only win here if there was a Clash in turn 2 and he bid higher than you on the Fiefdoms track.

Turn 2 (muster):
Baratheon may attack you with 3 ships here, you will have 2 of your own(or even 3 if you really want it) and a +2 defense, again you are fine. In this case you can even have support.

Conclusion:
There is nothing bad about a first turn *consolidate(muster) in Winterfell or White Harbor; I just think that getting your extra supply and setting yourself up for Power farming is more important overall and your *consolidate(muster) can wait until turn 2. The only bad situation will be if there is a Turn 2 Clash of Kings, no Turn 2 Muster, Baratheon bids higher on the Fiefdoms than you, and he decides to commit everything on the Narrow sea. All this occuring together seems unlikely to me and it is not something you can't recover from.

A second option here is to *consolidate(muster) on turn 1 in White Harbor and March your Knight in Winterfell to Widow's Watch (by sea before marching your Ship). This Strat allows you to get the extra ship you need to defend against Baratheon if he goes all out but leaves you open in the Bay of Ice until a Muster comes up as you will have no one left in Winterfell to use your *consolidate(muster) there on Turn 2.
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I would argue for a slightly different variant:

Winterfell: March +0
White Harbour: CP*
Shivering Sea: March +1

The shivering sea move is self explanatory.

Winterfell marches knight to moat cailin and foot to Stony shore. White harbor musters a footman instead of a ship.

If supply turns up:

Stony Shore: CP
White Harbour: CP* ship to Shivering sea or move +0 to Karhold depending on how Baratheon positions its ships
Narrow Sea: Defence +2

If muster turns up:

Muster 1 foot in winterfell and 1 ship in shivering sea.
Muster 1 foot in white harbor
Muster 1 foot in moat cailin

Winterfell: CP* (muster ships or foot as needed by the tactical situation)
Stony Shore: CP
White Harbour: support (moat cailin if needed) or move +0, move 2 foot to any supply/crown generation area as needed. Leave one foot.
Narrow Sea: Defence +2
Shivering Sea: Support +1
Moat Cailin: Defence +1 or Move -1 depending on how aggressive you think Greyjoy will be. If move capture any supply/crown generation area as needed with foot. Leave the knight.

On the power side:

If clash of kings occurs:

You still have 5 power instead of 4 if vacating white harbor.

If instead game of thrones occurs:,

Collect 1 power for winterfell + 1 for CP in stony = 7 power for potential round 3 clash.

Compared to previously mentioned tactic of moving one foot to the wall and white harbor to the widows, you would get one power less: Winterfell +1, Wall +1, Wall C P+2, White harbor -1 = 8

Compared to moving foot to the wall, foot to widows and knight to moat, the big difference is on the power side. For me having 5 power instead of 4 is a bigger upside than 7 instead of 8 on the power side.

Also this setup allow somewhat bigger flexibility as you can either CP* or move in white harbor in round 2 depending on the overall situation.

Lastly, having 2 foot in white harbor, is a strong detergent to any Greyjoy thinking of making an aggressive move for moat caillin. Their mere presence makes it more likely that he will turn his attention south to Lannister.

Edit: Seeing the reply below I feel the need to clarify. One of the foot is meant to move away as soon as the opportunity presents it self(usually on round 2), either to karhold or widows. The deterrent to Greyjoy is only a psychological one, to increase the chances of him placing his round 2 orders vs lannister instead.





 
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Martin Hall
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Some comments on dejam's proposal:
1) Stoney Shore has supply, but is isolated, has limited mobility (can only move back to Winterfell unless you take Bay of Ice) and is exposed to capture by Greyjoy if they take Bay of Ice - you also have the option of moving by sea to Widows Watch, which might be a better variant within this approach?

2) Not building a ship with the White Harbor CP* leaves you open to Baratheon attack into Narrow Sea. If Baratheon sees Stark weak at sea, and he has reasonable relationship with Martell, then an attack against a single Stark ship to gain the crucial Narrow Sea area would be very tempting. The Narrow Sea is the absolutely key area for Stark. It has many roles:
a) protects as a choke point against Baratheon aggression
b) transport link for mobility, linking areas from Crackclaw Point to White Harbor
c) support base (if not raided)
d) potential avenue for attack vs Baratheon
IMO losing the Narrow Sea is more damaging to Stark than losing Winterfell, not least because winning back Winterfell is much easier than reclaiming the Narrow Sea.

3) Getting a ship into the Bay of Ice (ideally supplemented by another in Winterfell port) is a greater deterrent/road-block to Greyjoy aggression than 2 FM in White Harbor. If Greyjoy takes Moat Cailin, it can usually be recaptured fairly easily anyway. Furthermore, given the very limited supply position of Stark, locking in 2 FM to defensive duties in White Harbor is a fairly heavy burden.

4) Moving both units out of Winterfell means no CP* there in Turn 2 if no muster in Turn 2. While muster is likely in Turn 2 (because Baratheon decides and will very rarely have more supply and almosty always will have competitive Muster points), it is not guaranteed. Stark not having the capacity to muster in Winterfell would be a considerable encouragement to an aggressive Greyjoy player (also aggressive Baratheon player, but to a lesser extent).

5) A clash of kings is (relatively) unlikely in Turn 2, because Lannister is unlikely to favour it - they rarely CP in Stoney Sept and often move away from it, so are often at a power disadvantage. Given the choice, GoT (or nothing) will be more attractive to Lannister. Longer term power accumulation is more important and this means setting up Karhold (and if possible Castle Black) for continuous CP power generation as soon as practicable). You will have to move out of White Harbor eventually, so the power token expenditure is only deferred not eliminated, whereas delays in setting up power generation mean a loss of power relative to potential level.

Overall, I feel that (against competent opposition) Stark's best strategy is to secure its natural boundaries and spend time "filling in" by occupying the many areas generating supply and power. But thet need units to do this and leaving Winterfell unoccupied when you could otherwise CP* there is sub-optimal.
 
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As of narrow sea:

I think Patrick did a very good job in the post above me in motivating why no CP* in winterfell is needed to keep baratheon away. Also the above stategy does give you the option in mustering a ship with a CP* in white harbour if more security is needed (again not really needed as Patrick points out).

As of bay of ice:

This strategy requires a muster to put a foot in winterfell in order to CP* a ships into the bay of ice.

But as long as there is no muster, no sane Greyjoy will send one of his two ships to bay of ice. Doing so will require using one of his 2 move orders for 2 turns, and he would still not be able to transport anything from Pyke since he then doesn't have any ship in sunset sea. In other words, there can be no Greyjoy invasion from pyke, without there having first been a muster.

He can invade with the lone foot from greywater, but then he would need to move into sunset sea( in competition with lannister) on round one. If he does and no muster shows up on round 2, you can move troops from white harbour to winterfell.

This is even without considering that a smart lannister will CP* 2 ships first round and challenge Greyjoy to the sunset sea anyway.

Also a note on baratheon choosing muster. As baratheon I often CP* the first round. The advantages of this strategy has been better described elsewhere. Under such cases, I almost never choose a muster, much depending on who else has CP*.

In such case you can counter this with mustering a ship instead of a foot on round one from white harbour.

So in summary this stategy is safe from either one of Greyjoy/Baratheon throwing everything he has on you. But it can't handle both as you can't both march and CP* from white harbour on round 2.

Should such a highly unlikely thing happen, you can always withdraws the knight from moat cailin, while mustering in white harbour on round 2.

The general idea here is that you CP* muster from white harbour instead of winterfell. When you think about it is better because a CP* in winterfell on round one almost certainly must be followed by a move form Winterfell on round two. This it the same result as CP* twice from white harbour, except in the second case you can opt to CP* only once and occupy a territory on the 2nd move if the situation allows it.

In other words, CP* in winterfell is 100% safe but does not allow you to take advantage should your opponents focus elsewhere. CP* in white harbour is 90% safe but gives you more tactical options.

Another way to look at it, is also that your are basically choosing between to guard against a round two clash or Greyjoy+Baratheon both going all out on you.

The chance of a clash is 30%. As long as you estimate the risk of G/B ganging up on you to be less than 30% it's worth it.
 
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Paweł
Poland
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My typical gambit for Starks: Turn 1, muster siege tower in Winterfell, and ship in shivering sea, secure supply with a footman, move ship to narrow sea. Turn 2: move to the Narrow Sea, take the Eyrie!

In my opinion this is the best opening for Starks. The Narrow Sea is the key, you just CAN'T lose it. Forget about early move to moat Cailin you'll have plenty of time to do this later. As soon as you have the Eyrie, you withdraw the tower to Winterfell (turn 3). As long as you control the narrow sea, the tower sits in winterfell (possibly with other pieces) and threatens FOUR castles just by its presence: Cracklaw, Eyrie, White Harbor, Moat Cailin. Apart from Cracklaw all these castles will stay in your hands simply because no-one else has the sea access to them.

I've already learned that this game favors those who play slowly in the beginning, and never lose control of their seas. Typically you should make ONLY ONE offensive in the whole game, lasting 2 or max 3 turns. You should do this only when you're sure you are going to win and totally cripple the enemy and no-one can stab you in the back with opportunistic attack. I love how this game shows the classic Sun Tzu's Art of War principle: secure the victory before committing your troops to battle. In case of Starks it means getting hold of Narrow Sea and never let it go. Plus, defend bay of ice at all cost. War of attrition or early aggression against other players is against this principle and I never seen it actually worked, even if you pull off a few tactical victories early, you will most likely lose later. Crouch and wait until turn 5-6 and you'll be surprised how devastating attack you can launch when other players are busy fighting each other.
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Kokken Tor
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More or less agree with you. But why not just leave the SE in the Eyrie, consolidating power there?

Another important thing for Stark: Make Lannister a more tempting target for Greyjoy than yourself!
 
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Paweł
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Kokken Tor wrote:
More or less agree with you. But why not just leave the SE in the Eyrie, consolidating power there?


Yes, you can keep the SE in the Eyrie. I see two disadvantages though:
1) Sometimes you may lose 1 mobilization point from the Eyrie due to stacking limits if supply track was not updated and you're still on 1.
2) If you lose narrow sea to Baratheon (you should always reckon with this possiblility) the SE is trapped and useless, can be killed in the very same turn.

Natural places for Starks to consolidate power are those two provinces in the north. Put 1 footman in each of these and you'll have +4 power every turn until the end of the game. If you play slowly you'll have a lot of time to do this. The Eyrie can add ships to narrow sea or slowly grow another siege engine


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Zadok Allen
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DoctorDH wrote:
Stark needs to play a special Consolidate Power on WinterFell the first turn in order to build a ship in the Bay of Ice and the Shivering Sea. Without these ships Stark is wide open to an attack from Greyjoy and will not able to support their own ship in the Narrow Sea.

If Baratheon is busy taking KL or even engaged in war against Martell you don't need the ship in the Shivering Sea. You are only allowed to have two armies - moving that ship to the Narrow Sea is one of those. Good vs Baratheon, bad against Greyjoy imo as you can't hold the Bay of Ice with a single ship, let alone attacking his ships (which is preferable since Victarion needs to attack to excell). One army ought to be on land.

Greyjoy can go north or south, I don't see why he'd prefere to attack the Lannister. He ought to try forming an alliance with either one and attack the other imo.
If he attacks you that muster is a BoI ship and either a FM or a SE. The SE can support from Winterfell so your White Harbor FM can bounce in and out of Moat Calin, saving himself with Blackfish/Rodrick while he might kill Greyjoy units when attacking. That way you wear Greyjoy down, using CP*/march in Winterfell whenever Greyjoy skips on retaking Moat Calin.
Outplaying the opponent housecard wise, voluntarily losing battles set up so your opponent wastes his high cards vs your "protectors" is the key to a Stark victory in battle imo. After all Starks have the best protective cards. That's what this strategy is founded on.
The problems are:
1)you need more ships in the west to be save
2)you need footmen and march orders to take supply/power
3)Baratheon might stab you
4)Muster favors Greyjoy

1 & 2 can be dealt with if things go well (Greyjoy hardly retakes the Moat every turn). 3 is a serious threat: you need a trustworthy (or pressured) Baratheon to pull this off. 4 is sheer luck. Pray? Ofc you ought to try convincing Baratheon (or whoever is King these days) that mustering is a bad thing...
Otherwise it works pretty well I feel. You gain units via CP*, he loses units with Eddard and the Great Jon. Roose helps out to keep it up for a while. If you can CP* enough you'll have ships to take the battle to the Greyjoys once their housecards are reduced. If you don't want a war as intense you can muster more FM (needs your only 3-army ofc) to secure power/supply. Since you "only defend" you shouldn't draw the others aggression on you. Lannister might even help you.

If Greyjoy does not attack but Baratheon might give you trouble you need three marches. Only then you can be sure about entering the Narrow Sea last. No muster.
If both leave you in peace you might do plenty of things - why not muster for a T2 Eyrie? Or possibly take your own backyard first? Prepare to stab the Greyjoy? Imo its entirely up to you and several options are merely better or worse based on the Westeros cards and the present alliances. Maybe you can do some guesswork about Baratheon fancying a muster or not. Anyways: nothing wrong with a quiet startup w/o any aggression, consider yourself lucky in that case ^^
 
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