Let’s take a look at the units available to House Stark in the Starter, ranging from our deadly Combat Units, their fearless Attachments, to our brave and noble NCU options.
First up, the Combat Units:
2x House Stark Sworn Sword Units (5 Points each)
1x House Umber Berserker Unit (7 Points)
1x Stark Outrider Unit (7 Points)
1x Grey Wind (0 Points, but only taken if Robb is in the army)
In total you have 24 points of Combat Units. Compared to House Lannister, your units are generally more expensive, reflective of their higher combat capabilities. While the Lannisters might employ more Tactics Board and NCU tricks, the Starks have a greater focus on the actual battlefield. Also, factoring in Grey Wind, they also come out ahead on raw numbers, beating the Lannisters 5 to 4.
Next up, we have the Unit Attachments:
2x Sworn Sword Captain (1 Point Each)
1x Umber Champion (1 Point)
1x Robb Stark (The Young Wolf) (3 Points)
1x Greatjon Umber (Fierce Bannerman) (3 Points)
In general, the Character Stark Attachments are also more expensive than their Lannister counterparts, once again reflective in the heightened combat prowess they bring to the fight (and in the case of Robb, and entire additional Combat Unit with Grey Wind). Both of them also grant additional benefits from the Tactics Board, namely by allowing further battlefield-aggression with more Charges.
Next, we have our two NCU choices:
Catelyn Stark (Lady of Winderfell) (4 Points)
Sansa Stark (Little Bird) (3 Points)
Once more, we see the differences between the Lannister and Stark play-styles. While the Lannister NCUs have a strong focus on disruption and debuffs, the Starks work to bolster the capabilities of your Combat Units and give you tactical battlefield advantage.
Finally, we must look at the two Commander options available to the Starks. Just like their Lannister counterparts, each one offers a very distinct play-style, fundamentally changing your gameplay tactics simply based on which one you choose.
Now that we've gone over the full toolbox of choices and options we have, let's look at some actual lists we can create:
Standard Combat List
Commander: Robb Stark or Greatjon Umber
1x House Stark Sworn Swords + Sworn Sword Captain or Umber Champion (6 Pts Total)
1x House Stark Sworn Swords + Commander (5 Pts)
1x House Umber Berserkers + Sworn Sword Captain (8 Pts)
1x Stark Outriders (7 Pts)
Grey Wind (0, only if you use Robb Stark)
NCU: Catelyn Stark (4 pts)
This is going to be perhaps the most basic Stark List setup out of the box. It allows you to freely swap the Commanders around without affecting the overall list composition (the only change would be if you get Grey Wind or not). There is some variance in the list in that you can choose to field either a Sworn Sword Captain or Umber Champion in your first Sworn Sword Unit, depending on personal tastes.
The second unit, however, is a good place to put your Commander. It's true, you could put them in with the Umber Berserkers as well, but those guys are going to be sent into the very thick of the fight, and they don't really need the extra boosts that the Commanders would give. At least, not as much as the second Sworn Sword unit. A consideration would be to stick Robb in with them, as his Ability is more about area control than raw combat buffs, and you create the situation where if your opponent wants to get rid of him, they'll have to fight through Berserkers to do it.
With our NCU option, we've gone with Catelyn, who will probably latch onto the Berserkers each round, allowing them to throw their 10 Attack Dice right from the start. Of course, don't marry her to them. The Sworn Swords can make heavy use of her Influence as well, especially if they're reduced down to 1 rank.
House Umber List
Commander: Greatjon Umber (Lord of Last Hearth)
House Stark Sworn Swords + Greatjon Umber (5 Pts)
House Stark Sworn Swords (5 Pts)
House Umber Berserkers + Robb Stark (The Young Wolf) (10 Pts)
Stark Outriders (7 Pts)
Grey Wind (0 Pts)
NCU: Sansa Stark (3 Pts)
This list capitalizes on the fact that Greatjon's Tactics Cards trigger extra benefits when targeting House Umber units, and his Commander version grants that to any unit he is in. This means fully half your army gains the added benefits. While it may not seem like a lot (being only two units) it really comes into play.
With this list, we've opted for Sansa due to her being the cheaper option. With that extra point, we're able to gain access to Robb, who in turn gives us Grey Wind. Robb is added to the Berserkers, which, while making them a staggering 10 point unit, also makes them the absolute fastest unit in the Starter Set. Not even factoring in the added ability to Charge when targeted by the Maneuver Zone of the Tactics Board.
Alternatively, you could replace Sansa with Catelyn to once again keep the Berserkers fighting hard (removing Robb in favor of cheaper options as well), but Sansa is included because she allows you to dig for a key Tactics Card right when you need it, and as we previously mentioned, half your army is gaining additional benefits due to the House Umber keyword. It's a supremely nasty surprise when the Lannisters think they're accomplishing a victory by destroying one of your Combat Units, only to have Sansa search out a Last Stand card and have the unit decimate their attacker.
Commander: Robb Stark (The Wolf Lord)
House Stark Sworn Swords + Greatjon Umber (Fierce Bannerman) (8 Pts)
House Umber Berserkers + Robb Stark (The Wolf Lord) (7 Pts)
Stark Outriders (7 Pts)
Grey Wind (0 Pts)
NCU: Catelyn Stark (4 Pts)
NCU: Sansa Stark (3 Pts)
This list is a bit more tricky to play, because you're giving up an entire Combat Unit for more Tactics Board options. With this list you're ceding your numbers advantage by removing a Sworn Sword unit in favor of running a second NCU + expensive Attachment.
What is the benefit of this? Well, with this specific set-up, we maximize our usage of the Tactics Board by having both Greatjon (who, in his Attachment version, allows us to Charge using the Combat Zone), Catelyn, who again bolsters the Berserkers, and Sansa as well, who might be the greatest asset to Robb, as his Tactics Cards are full game-changers when played correctly, given that their entire focus is battlefield positioning and manipulation.
Again, the downside of this list is that, while we will still match the Lannister starter-lists 4 for 4 in unit count, Grey Wind cannot really be considered a "full Combat Unit" on his own, as he's a support piece- one should never expect him to go toe-to-toe with another unit and survive on his own.
Of course, with the proper knowledge and skill, this list is perfectly capable against anything else out of the starter, but a player must understand that each Combat Unit loss will hurt that much more, versus the safety net of the other lists that can afford to lose a unit or two early and still be fine.