Hail, Bannermen! Some new box sets will be making their way to your tabletops on December 1st for the A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. They’re the Darkstar’s Retinue and Neutral Heroes 3 sets. We’ve given you a bit of a lore update for them (read it here), now let’s take a deeper look into how these boxes will work on the battlefield.
Ser Gerold Dayne is known for his particular fighting style out on the battlefield. He prefers to lunge and feint from an unexpected quarter, darting in and then escaping again to strike once more. Those that make up his personal guard, known simply as Darkstar’s Retinue, act in much the same manner. Let’s take a look at their stats and see what House Martell players will be adding to their potential toolbox of units.
Starting out, the unit is a slightly hefty 7 points to field. But, the unit packs quite a punch. Starting out, they have a Movement speed of 6, which is rather respectable and means they can make it to enemy flanks more easily. This unit is an offensive powerhouse, but something of a glass cannon. So, let’s quickly look at their defensive abilities.
Their Defense Save is only 5+. Obviously, if a unit is going to be quick out on the battlefield, they’re not going to be wearing heavy armor. However, their Morale is also 5+, owing to their belief in the cause they fight for.
Those out of the way, let’s now delve into their offensive capabilities. The has a single melee attack with their scimitar. It hits on a 3+ and rolls 7 dice when at full ranks. That’s rather respectable. The scimitars also have Critical Blow, making them all the more deadly. That ability to take out enemies plays into their next ability, Fueled by Slaughter. One might worry about losing troops with a Defense Save of only 5+, however the unit regains 1 Wound if they deal any Wounds to an enemy. They also gain bonus Wounds back when they destroy an enemy rank. Finally, the unit has a single order, Overrun. This triggers when the unit would Surge Forth. Instead, the unit may make a full Charge.
As you can see, the Darkstar's Retinue really focuses on hitting hard and fast, destroying enemy ranks, then moving on to the next target. Commanders will do well to aim them at finishing off enemy units perhaps hurt by an allied unit, giving the Retinue a chance to regain any lost Wounds as well as making full use of their Overrun Order.
The unit also comes with an Attachment in the form of the High Hermitage Sentinel. He costs just 1 point to add to a unit. The Sentinel really bumps up his unit’s movement by giving them a simple +1 to their speed as well as letting the unit Pivot before Marching. That would be good enough for a point, but the Sentinel has another trick up his sleeve. When the unit he’s in Charges an enemy in the Flank or Rear, the enemy becomes both Panicked and Weakened. Truly he can sew chaos and confusion within enemy armies.
There you have it. Darkstar’s Retinue will be a force to be reckoned with. Enemies will want to deal with them at a distance while Martell Commanders will be looking to get them stuck in as quickly as possible.
While many in Westeros pledge their allegiance to one of the many Great Houses, or even the various causes like the Night’s Watch or Free Folk, there are still those that shun any commitments to any particular group. They are the Neutral heroes and a new box set of them is coming soon. Let’s take a look at what will be coming to tabletops.
Like all of the Heroes boxes, Neutral Heroes 3 is filled with new characters to add to your forces. There’s Unit Attachments in the form of both a Commander and general Attachments. Plus, a new NCU. Starting off at the head of the army, the new Commander is Jokin – Stormcrow Captain. Jokin is best when added to a unit with strong ranged capabilities. His Order, Overwatch, lets the unit he’s attached to make a Ranged Attack against an enemy unit that ends a March or Maneuver within Long Range and Line of Sight. Meanwhile, his Tactics Cards focus on buffing and maneuvering his own units, especially those he’s attached to (or ones close by). If you’re looking for a Commander that’s good at bolstering their own troops, he’s a good choice.
As for other Unit Attachments, notably, there’s a new version of Arya Stark for players to use in this box. It’s Arya Stark – Fugitive Princess. She gains an Order token whenever a friendly unit near her loses a rank. Then, when the unit she’s in attacks, the player can spend the token in order to destroy an enemy Unit Attachment in the unit being attacked. Pretty handy for picking off those Unit Attachments that are otherwise generally safe within a unit.
Of course, at this stage of the story, where Arya goes, Sandor Clegane isn’t far behind. And that includes in this box set with Sandor Clegane – Fugitive Bodyguard. He’s rather straightforward, being an intimidating factor on the board. At the Start of a friendly Turn, he can use his Threaten Order, which causes 1 enemy unit in Long Range to become Weakened.
The last piece we’ll talk about for now is the single NCU in this box. It’s Shae – Hidden in Court. She starts the game with 3 Order tokens on her card. When she claims a zone on the Tactics Board, her player can spend one to gain a bonus. They can restore 1 Wound to a friendly unit, cause 1 enemy unit to become Weakened, or give 2 tokens back to Shae. If Shae ever runs out of tokens, she’s destroyed, so it’s a good idea to keep her topped off on occasion with more tokens.
Of course, that’s not all that Neutral Heroes 3 has in store for players, but that’s all the time we have for you today. On December 1st, sure to stop by your LGS and ask them when you can get your copy of both the Darkstar’s Retinue and the Neutral Heroes 3 sets!