Tom and I threw down another game at Axes and Ales a couple of months ago, with my Night’s Watch again coming up against his Free Folk. Apologies for some of the photos, we were playing on the table in the back of Tallboy and Moose which didn’t have a light set up on it so was a little gloomy.
Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander
Veterans of the Watch
Ranger Hunters with Watch Captain
NCUs: Maester Aemon, Bowen Marsh and Craster
Mance Rayder, King Beyond The Wall
4x Free Folk Raiders – one with a Spearwife Matriarch and one with a Raid Leader
2x Savage Giants
Spearwives with a Raid Leader
NCUs: Craster and Lady Val
We rolled randomly for scenario and got A Dance With Dragons, which has three objectives spaced across the mid line of the field, which can be picked up and carried by units. We used our house rule of D3+1 pieces of terrain for each player, having seven in all.
Tom won the roll-off and deployed first, giving me priority for first turn. I made a strong left flank with Ghost and my Sworn Brothers on the left, the Hunters next to the Brothers, then the Veterans and Trackers towards the centre. Tom’s Giants were on my left flank and towards the centre, with Mance in the centre of the army to maximise usage of his special rule granting better morale tests.
Lots of moving around over the course of this round. I push forward hard with the sworn brothers on my left flank, getting on to the objective on that side. For my efforts I take a charge from Tom’s Giant who does two wounds, but the Brothers stand strong.
The Spearwives shift forward and hurl spears at my Ranger Trackers for limited effect, with their Raid Leader then ordering the nearby Giant to charge them, which sees three wounds inflicted.
Aemon takes the horse and I move the Ranger Hunters and heal up some wounds on the Sworn Brothers.
Tom then places Craster on the swords to have his giant attack the Sworn Brothers dishing out another four wounds.
Jon Snow’s Veteran unit charges into a unit of Raiders, moving on to the objective in front of them as well, and kills six of the Raiders.
Another Raider unit charges straight up the middle into my Hunters, dishing out five wounds.
I drop Craster and use his special ability to heal up two wounds on the Hunters.
The Raiders that were charged earlier hit back at the Veterans to little effect, with their Raid Leader then ordering Mance’s Raider unit to charge into the Veterans. Mance’s oversight sees more success from these Raiders, dealing four wounds.
The Giant hits the Sworn Brothers causing three wounds.
The Sworn Brothers and Ranger Trackers both decide discretion is the better part of valour and retreat from the Giants.
I score three victory points (Veterans and Sworn Brothers) and Tom picks up one.
I start with placing Aemon on the Moneybag healing up the Veterans to full strength.
The Raiders attack the Veterans and kill one, with the Raid Leader than ordering the Giant to charge in, causing another three wounds on the Veterans.
I place Bowen Marsh on the swords to have the Hunters attack the Raiders and even though I score seven hits, Tom makes four of his 5+ saves seeing the Raiders remain.
The Giant on my left flank charges the Sworn Brothers but misses.
Ghost kills the last of the Raider unit engaged with the Hunters and I use Take the Black to heal up the Veterans whilst the Hunters pivot to face the Giant behind them.
The Spearwives charge the Ranger Trackers and wipe them out, and I play Now His Watch Has Ended to take the activation marker off Ghost.
The Veterans attack Mance’s Raider unit, using For the Watch, and dishing out hefty damage.
Tom’s Craster takes the crown and causes the Sworn Brothers to take a panic check which they fail, dropping the objective they’d been holding.
The Hunters charge Mance’s unit and kill all but Mance who easily passes his panic check.
Mance then retreats.
The Sworn Brothers attack the Giant, causing one wound.
Lady Val uses her ability to allow Mance to move further away.
Ghost makes his free move then charges the nearby Raiders killing two.
I nominate Craster to activate, and Tom plays Meticulous Planning, so when Craster is placed the Sworn Brothers are killed form the resulting wounds. I use my other copy of Now His Watch Has Ended to take the activation token off the Veterans.
The Veterans then swing again, killing another three Raiders.
We score two victory points each at the end of the round, seeing the score at 5-3 in my favour, with the Veterans becoming Weakened and Vulnerable.
Tom starts off putting Craster on the Swords and has the Giant hit my Veterans dealing three wounds, with Jon Snow using his order to restore two of them after passing panic check.
The Veterans hit the Raiders killing the last of them.
Lady Val uses her ability to move the Spearwives.
I’m not sure what I do here, but the Spearwives charge the Ranger Hunters, taking a chunk out of them.
The Hunters then hit back before using Swift Strike to move away.
Mance charges the Ranger Trackers and kills them (I think…).
Aemon uses Crown on the Raiders holding the objective but they pass.
The Giant attacks the Veterans and kills them, but I use “…It Shall Not End Until My Death!” to keep Jon alive.
The round ends with score seven to six in Tom’s favour.
Aemon takes the Moneybag to heal the Veterans back up.
Tom places Craster on the Swords but uses his ability to heal.
Bowen Marsh takes the crown, hitting the Raiders with the objective who fail and drop it.
I play ‘Horn That Wakes the Sleepers’ on Ghost who moves around behind Tom’s forces.
Lady Val takes the horses and moves the Giant on the left flank in to threaten my Veterans.
The other Giant attacks my Veterans, who finally fail their panic test and drop the objective they were holding into the Giant’s hands.
We call it here, as my Veterans are alone and surrounded, with no way out, and Tom will easily rack up the balance of points he needs at the end of the round.
Another fun and hard-fought game, which recemented in my mind that I don’t know how to deal with Giants properly. Between the Giants feeling unkillable and the Raiders not giving up victory points I struggle to make my force work against the Free Folk. Something that requires more thought and reading on my part. Still, I’m loving this game and the epic, cinematic moments that arise as you play which is why it’s far and away my most played game so far this year.