Bannermen! Michael Shinall here, and we continue our Faction Focus article series today with House Lannister! To catch up on the rest of the series, click any of these links below:
“In Westeros, the word of a Lannister is considered good as gold” -Tyrion Lannister
The wealthiest house in the Seven Kingdoms, the Lannisters rule through manipulation, subterfuge, and intimidation. This is reflected in their overall focus on the Panic elements of the game. When it comes to debilitating opponents, destroying their morale, and weakening their resolve none do it better than House Lannister.
THE LION’S CUNNING
While wealth can provide the best armaments on the battlefield, Lannisters know that raw might alone does not win conflicts. True victory is often achieved through quill and raven, far from the actual bloodshed of the battlefield. This is clearly displayed through the Generic Tactics Cards available to House Lannister. These cards have a focus on not only reducing the effectiveness of opposing units, but controlling the flow of the battle as well, whether it be through Ability denial or countering opponent’s strategies and plans. For those players who seek to deny and limit their opponent’s potential, House Lannister should be your chosen faction.
INTRIGUE AND SUBTERFUGE: Showcasing the first aspect of Lannister denial we have Intrigue and Subterfuge, which displays the dominance of Lannisters when it comes to the Tactics Board.
COUNTERPLOT: The second tool in Lannister’s denial kit, Counterplot denies opponents the use of their Tactics Cards, ruining even the cleverest of plans.
SUBJUGATION OF POWER: Shifting from control of the Tactics Board to the Battlefield we have Subjugation of Power, which strips opposing Combat Units of their Abilities- a typically rare effect, found easily accessible here in the core Lannister Deck.
BRIBERY: Concluding the “control toolkit” we have Bribery. Whereas Subjugation of Power works to shut off pesky Abilities, Bribery works to reduce raw combat effectiveness by forcing a unit to utilize only its lowest Attack Die Value.
We previously mentioned that Panic and Morale also play a large part in the Lannister’s play-style, and that is evident by the other half of the deck:
HEAR ME ROAR: “Press the advantage” is a term that can be used to describe the Lannisters, and that is exemplified by Hear Me Roar. While it gives a base-line negative to Morale, the worse condition the target is in the higher the penalty is.
FEALTY TO THE CROWN: Turn the enemy’s disadvantage into your advantage: Fealty further swings an opponent’s loss into your favor, restoring your own unit’s capabilities when the opposition begins to crumble.
A LANNISTER PAYS HIS DEBTS: “No one sheds Lannister blood with impunity.” If a foe would dare to stand against you, much less actually destroy the very troops you paid for, they must be punished. This card pushes your remaining forces to fight all the harder, lashing out against their foes with heightened combat potential.
THE BEST THAT MONEY CAN BUY
The resources allowed by the wealth of Casterly Rock are vast, and this includes a menagerie of different combat units. Here we have showcased the broad spread available to House Lannister across numerous points values:
PYROMANCERS: One of the more eclectic options that only true wealth could afford we have the Pyromancers. Call them mystics or merely followers of science, their potency remains the same: Wildfire is as dangerous to the wielder as it is their target, but the sight of men wielding such a potent and uncontrollable force is enough to shake even the most hardened of foe.
LANNISTER HALBERDIERS: Capable of holding a point against most incoming charges, Halberdiers might not be the flashiest unit on the battlefield, but through a combination of sustained attacks and Sundering few foes will last against a prolonged engagement.
LANNISTER GUARDSMEN: The embodiment of intimidation, Lannister Guardsmen aren’t going to win through outright aggression. They will, however, break away at a foe’s resolve once it becomes evident that they have the highest grade armaments and full backing of the most powerful house in Westeros.
POOR FELLOWS: The fanatical followers of the Faith of the Seven, the military might of House Lannister is not limited to merely its own denizens. The Iron Throne commands all of King’s Landing, and with it the full force of the Faith Militant can be brought to bear. While nothing more than an “ally of convenience”, House Lannister has no issue manipulating the faithful to their own ends.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
House Lannister may not be known for the fiercest combat units around, but it more than makes up for that with the raw variety of options available off the battlefield. Maintaining their themes of control and manipulation, the main players in House Lannister are all cunning strategists and threats, each in their own right and with as much variety as any collection of combat units:
CERSEI LANNISTER: A master manipulator, Cersei shows her dominance via the Tactics Cards Hear Me Roar! and Subjugation of Power, in keeping with her themes of intimidation and utter control.
KING JOFFREY BARATHEON: Bringing the full might of the Iron Throne to bare against his foes (and there are many) Joffrey can be as threatening to his own troops as he can the enemy. When kept in check, however, he provides a powerful tool (even if just a figurehead) to any Lannister force.
TYRION LANNISTER: While he certainly can play the political game better than most, Tyrion also carries a keen eye for tactics and plotting. Fielding Tyrion not only opens up your tactical capabilities by an extended availability of Tactics Cards, but he also works to deny your opponent use of theirs even further via the Counterplot card.
TYWIN LANNISTER: Ruthless and cold-hearted, when Tywin sets his sights on victory few obstacles can get in his way. While Tywin’s signature Ability, The Rains of Castamere, can only be activated once per game, you can bet that your foe will remember it will. Capable of shifting the entire tide of battle in one swift motion, Tywin is rightly feared by all save the most foolish.
And this, Bannermen, will conclude our look into one of the original two factions released for A Song of Ice and Fire. Does their style suit you? Do you find yourself at home with their methods of manipulation and cunning, or are such tactics repulsive and reprehensible to an honorable House?