Can You Hear the Thundering Hooves?

Before Robert Baratheon took the Iron Throne, it was occupied by House Targaryen. During the rebellion, the last Targaryens fled across the sea. Now, Daenerys has gathered forces, thanks to her alliance with Khal Drogo, and is looking to once more seat a Targaryen on the Iron Throne. The Targaryen starter set for the A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game is unlike any others that have come out, as the Targaryen forces themselves are unlike any others. Let’s take a look and see just what is in store for the battlefield.

The Targaryen starter set starts out like others as it gives a player everything they need to start playing, including a rulebook, tokens, terrain, dice, the faction’s Tactics deck, as well as stat cards. However, differs greatly in the makeup of the units the player will be getting. House Targaryen’s starter set units are completely made up of Dothraki cavalry units. The Dothraki are the horse lords in the world, and its only proper to represent them as such on the tabletop.

The core of the force comes in the form of the Dothraki Screamers. They are a no-frills unit of mounted troopers. They are armed simply with the effective Dothraki Arakh, rolling 7 dice at full ranks and going down to 4 when one rank is gone. The Dothraki eschew the use of armor and that’s reflected in the unit’s 5+ Defense Save. Meanwhile, they are fairly convicted to following their leaders, giving them a morale of 6+. The only special ability the unit has is its Cavalry special rule which grants each model in the unit 3 wounds. And as like all cavalry, at the start of the unit’s activation, it can make a free Maneuver. Considering their already-impressive 6 Move, the Screamers can end up in any sector of the board fairly quickly.

The next unit the Targaryens get is a unit of Dothraki Outriders. While the Screamers were the melee-centric unit for the starter set, the Outriders are its ranged troops. They have taken the art of horsemanship to an entirely new level. Like all cavalry, they get a free Maneuver action when they activate. However, their Nimble rule makes them even quicker. It allows the Outriders to Shift 3” before making a Ranged Attack (as opposed to the usual 2”), and they can also make another 3” Shift after they attack. So, even though their Shortbows only have Short Range, they can still attack an enemy up to 15” away from where they started their turn, then move hopefully back out of retaliation range afterward. An interesting thing about this unit is that they have absolutely no Melee attack at all. So, having that ability to shift away is certainly going to come in handy, as Targaryen commanders will need to make sure to not get this unit stuck in Melee.

The final unit coming in the starter set is the Dothraki Veterans. These battle-hardened troops are what you get when you mix a unit of Screamers with a unit of Outriders. They have both Melee and Ranged attacks, and better Defense save and Morale values, coming in at 4+ and 5+, respectively. Their prowess in combat is shown by their Charging Volley Order, which states that after making a Ranged Attack, the unit can declare a Charge against the same unit they just shot arrows at, resulting in quite possibly a devastating offensive round.

As one would expect, the Targaryen’s Tactics Deck is filled with cards that emphasize the maneuverability of the army. Many cards gain extra benefits when the Targaryen player controls the Maneuver spot on the Tactics Board. Cards do things like grant extra bonuses when a unit Charges, or let a unit make a free Retreat after making a Melee Attack or lets them make a free Charge action instead of a Maneuver action after destroying an enemy unit with a Melee Attack. Put together, the Tactics Deck will have enemy players unsure where the Targaryen forces might be from turn to turn.

The characters that come with the Targaryen starter set are iconic for the faction. Khal Drogo of course makes his presence known as a possible army Commander. As one would expect, he adds to the offensive capabilities of whatever unit he’s in, making them true combat masters. Daenerys comes in as an NCU, able to Influence a unit when she claims a Tactics Zone. When Influencing, she grants the unit extra speed and they may reroll Charge distance dice, making it more likely that the unit reaches its target. Jorah Mormont comes in numerous forms, including being able to be used as a unit in and of himself. Players will have many different options when choosing to field him in their army.

The Targaryen faction is unlike any other in the A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. Their starter set consists of only cavalry units, giving them unprecedented maneuverability on the tabletop. However, despite each model having 3 wounds, the army’s Defense Saves are not very high, with the best coming in at a 4+. This light, nimble, and fast army must be careful not to get into protracted battles, as the factors of attrition will certainly be against them. They are the perfect army for players who want to be able to have their army in any corner of the board at any point during the game.

The Targaryen Starter Set will be available January 10th.

You can find out more about the Targaryen Starter Set here.

Can You Hear the Thundering Hooves?

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