ASOIAF Tactics – Battle of the Trident Initial Review

CMON has completed their second ASOIAF campaign for a new skirmish version of the ASOIAF: TMG. It spans across multiple eras of George R. R. Martin’s world, where previously their game was restricted to the War of the Five Kings. There is so much to talk about for the game, but my personal passion is for the story. This article will go over the Battle of the Trident Set and give you an introduction to the different characters’ lore and design in both aesthetics and rules.

ASOIAF Tactics Logo – CMON

Point of the Article

One thing missing from the campaign is an introduction to the characters you will be playing with. Some have sparked high levels of excitement such as Robert Baratheon since people know who that is. But others like the badass Lyn Corbray are overshadowed and forgotten.

My aim is to increase the sentiment and engagement of all the characters to help get players invested in a passionate, story-driven game. Tactics is more personal than the main game as you focus on a smaller conflict, a small set of characters, and all their quick decisions. Everything matters in skirmish games, including who each of the members of your band are.

Rhaegar Targaryen – CMON

Crown Loyalists

Rhaegar Targaryen – Dragon Prince

Lore – Rhaegar was away for most of the rebellion in Dorne and only returned to the fold in the crownlands to take command of the Targaryen army after the defeat of his friend Jon Connington in the Battle of the Bells. Rhaegar met Lord Robert Baratheon in combat at a ford during the Battle of the Trident, where the pair had a legendary duel in the raging rivers of the Trident. Rhaegar, despite wounding Robert, was struck down with a massive blow from Robert’s warhammer, which scattered the rubies encrusted in Rhaegar’s armour into the water. While Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, soldiers of both armies scrabbled in the water to search for the rubies. The location was named the ruby ford thereafter. Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark’s name on his lips.

Honestly there is no better way to tell you about Rhaegar than from those he affected the most.

“In my dreams, I kill him every night. A thousand deaths will still be less than he deserves.” – Robert Baratheon

“Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honourably.” – Jorah Mormont

“Had any man ever been so beautiful? He was more than a man, though. His blood was the blood of old Valyria, the blood of dragons and gods.” Cersei Lannister

“He was born in grief, my queen, and that shadow hung over him all his days.” – Barristan Selmy

Rhaegar Targaryen – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Rhaegar’s design is special, there is an extensive description of his armour due to its impact on the Trident and the naming of the river henceforth. So, plenty of rubies and dragon iconography is needed to succeed in creating the perfect model. However, there is something missing here. It doesn’t feel ostentatious enough for a Targaryen heir whilst being the ruling power. An armour like that of Daemon Targaryen from the House of the Dragon show is something I envision for Rhaegar. My expectations have reduced my praise, but it is still a brilliant model with plenty of rubies to paint.

Rhaegar Targaryen Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Rhaegar’s rules are more covered up than the lineage of Jon Snow. There is a battle report featured on the campaign that shows Rhaegar in action and shows his motivation in action which is an interesting contrast to Rober Baratheon’s Motivations. Robert scores by killing Rhaegar scores by imprisoning. So, it is a little riskier to imprison a character as the opponent can kill the character that caught them to retrieve the model back.

I do believe Rhaegar is a good person just from Barristan’s take on him alone, and with that many people believe it might have been better for Rhaegar to not defend his father by solving this situation by being honest and seeking justice for the madness Aerys was going through. But was this all part of the plan? Did Rhaegar know that he must die on the Trident for the prince who was promised to succeed? Either way, I like to think that he would not be quick to slay but rather control and it is told perfectly through his motivations.

Barristan Selmy – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Barristan Selmy – Targaryen Kingsguard

Lore – No introduction needed for one of the greatest Knights in history. During Robert’s Rebellion, after the defeat of Lord Jon Connington at the Battle of the Bells, Barristan, and Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard were sent to rally the remnants of the loyalist army. Barristan fought in the Battle of the Trident, during which he was wounded by an arrow, spear, and sword while slaying a dozen friends of Lords Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark. Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was killed by Robert in single combat in the ruby ford. After the battle, Lord Roose Bolton counselled that Barristan’s throat should be cut, but Robert instead called for his own maester to attend the knight.

Because he had been wounded so badly, Barristan was not present in King’s Landing when the bodies of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen’s children, Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon were presented to Robert by Lord Tywin Lannister. Barristan later felt that if he had been present and Robert had smiled at the bodies, nothing would have stopped him from killing the man.

Barristan Selmy – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Something that is incredibly difficult to do is creating seven Kingsguard that all wear the same armour but look distinctly different. This was something not quite achieved with the Joffrey Kingsguard but done well with the Renly Kingsguard. The designers for the Kingsguard on Rhaegar’s side of the box achieve this perfectly in the details of each model.

For Barristan Selmy, you can see small hints of the Selmy sigil throughout the model. The sigil is off wheat in the same look as the feather of the helmet and the under layer of the chainmail on the bottom of the model. You can also see this on the bottom half of the helmet and a little bit on the chest piece. These subtleties show some Selmy character whilst maintaining the Kingsguard look.

Barristan Selmy Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Barristan should be one of the best fighters in the game, and it has never been achieved within the main game with just how models work when attached to Units. Tactics is the perfect place to show off the skill and flourish each character has when it comes to combat. For Barristan he shows off his skills with Expert Riposte which acts as a counterattack ability if they survive an opposing attack. A Vicious Blow to weaken the resolve of the opponent with the skill and ferocity of Selmy. Then a Quick Slash for his swiftness at striking at a weaker positioned foe. All abilities that show his skills in a duel.

Jon Connington – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Jon Connington – Hand of the True King 

Lore – Jon is a capable warrior and commander. He is proud, arrogant, energetic, reckless, and thirsty for glory. To match Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End and one of the leaders of the rebellion, Aerys wanted someone young and vigorous as his next Hand, and so named Jon to the office. Jon promised King Aerys he would deliver Robert’s head, and he led an army into the field.

After the Battle of Ashford, Jon took over the pursuit of Robert from the Tyrell army and tracked him to Stoney Sept in the riverlands. Jon offered rewards and put hostages in crow cages while his soldiers began a house-to-house search for Robert. They were unable to locate him before his rebel allies, Lords Eddard Stark, and Hoster Tully, arrived at Stoney Sept to oust Jon and his forces. Lord Connington fought back fiercely, killing Lord Jon Arryn’s nephew and heir, Ser Denys Arryn, and wounding Lord Tully. Jon was nearly slain by Robert at the town’s sept, and retreated when he saw that the Battle of the Bells was lost.

Golden Company Swordsmen – Painted by Tim Whitney – Insta: tim_paints

Jon is haunted by his failure at the Battle of the Bells, and the sound of bells ringing greatly disturbs him. He often dreams of bells, and of battle. King Aerys held Jon responsible for his defeat at Stoney Sept. The king exiled Jon, stripping him of his titles, lands, and wealth, and passing the rule of Griffin’s Roost to Ser Ronald Connington.

However, during the War of the Five Kings, Jon Connington returns. Although the show cut the entirety of this arc, the books go into detail for a different Targaryen restoration is at hand thanks to the acts of many players within the Game of Thrones. Jon Connington with the help of Varys saved one of Rhaegar’s children that was said to be killed by The Mountain, and secretly raised the child for rule in exile.

They return to Westeros with the Golden Company at their back who are fulfilling their first and most important contract ever since the Blackfyre Rebellion. In a pre-released chapter, we do learn they are the first force in history to take Storm’s End and are planning to move on King’s Landing and secure the throne for Aegon VI Targaryen. Jon is an important and powerful figure.

Jon Connington – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Finally. A Jon Connington model. Jon is one of my favourite characters from the books and at the height of his power he proudly displayed the Griffon of his house to everyone when commanding as the Hand of the King. He was exiled through the madness of an insecure and paranoid king, only to return as one of the greatest threats to Lannister rulership throughout the War of the Five Kings. To show this we get a well adorned model, commanding his troops, whilst still showing the awesome Griffon’s Roost sigil in front of the glorious hand of the king badge. I love this young version of Jon and cannot wait to see if we get the grizzled veteran returning from exile in the main game.

Jon Connington Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Golden Company Commander anyone? We don’t get to see Jon’s rules sadly, but he does have one of the best defensive saves I have seen in the game so far, and I think only Jason Mallister beats this in the set. So, he will be hard to take down, which means throwing multiple people into him, but that is what Jon wants.

Jon’s motivation is about passing morale tests when he has multiple people engaged with him. If he does, he gains additional VPs. He wants to be outnumbered yet stand firm against the odds. What badass.

Jonothor Darry – Targaryen Kingsguard

Lore – We learn a lot more about Jonothor Darry from Jaime in the ASOIAF Books, with him being a mentor to him and more or less being the reason why Jaime’s hopes for being an honourable knight was shattered. Jonothor will follow duty above decency in every situation no matter what. When Jaime questions some of his decisions in an attempt to show honour as a knight, it is shot down quickly by Jonothor.

After the Battle of the Bells during Robert’s Rebellion, Jonothor and Ser Barristan Selmy were sent to rally the remnants of the forces commanded by Lord Jon Connington, the Hand of the King. Jonothor was one of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen’s three Kingsguard who rode with him from the Red Keep leading the royal army at the Battle of the Trident. It was here that Jonothor was cut down in the conflict.

Jonothor Darry – painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – The model for Jonothor is quite plain, not showing too much detail for his house, although there’s a lot of what looks to be eight pointed stars which could be the connecting wooden beams in a wheel that links to the sigil of House Darry. But some of this shows up on Barristan too. The designers could have made Jonothor pure Kingsguard since he took his duty so seriously to a point of burning his decency whenever there was an opportunity to challenge it through duty.

Jonothor Darry Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Whoever chose Silent Vigil for the special rule is one seriously dark individual, to a point where it wouldn’t be appropriate to explain why here. Look it up in your own time. He does have a great combat ability, but the vigil ability is partially covered up but looks to be a healing mechanic for either someone else or himself. We haven’t seen too much healing in the game, but it is out there in other places.

Lewyn Martell – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Lewyn Martell – Targaryen Kingsguard

Lore – During Robert’s Rebellion, Aerys used Lewyn’s niece, Princess Elia Martell, as a hostage against him, and sent him to command the ten thousand Dornishmen that were to join Prince Rhaegar Targaryen’s force that was assembling to take on Lord Robert Baratheon. Lewyn died during the Battle of the Trident at the hands of Ser Lyn Corbray, although he was mortally wounded before his final duel with Lyn.

Lewyn becomes more important after his death, something that is repeated with Elia Martel shortly after, and then Oberyn after that. The reputation that Martells are well loved, and their death can raise a war should be a common note in history. Dorne was incensed by the deaths of Lewyn and Elia during the war, and Prince Oberyn Martell tried to raise the kingdom to support Viserys Targaryen. Arianne Martell recalls her great-uncle fondly, remembering when she was a little girl how her great-uncle Lewyn would tower over her and tickle her till she could barely breathe from laughter.

Lewyn Martell Rules – CMON

Model Design – Just like the other Kingsguard, Lewyn has shown some of his Dornish heritage and training in his Kingsguard design. When you take this model and put it alongside the rest of the Martell roster it blends in effortlessly. The curved scimitar-like blade, and the scale face covering like the Sunspear Royal Guard, are some of the details I picked up on. I do like the cloak being loosely attached as if to say that Lewyn is forced into being a Kingsguard due to Elia being a hostage. It is implied a lot that Lewyn does not align himself well with the Kingsguard beliefs and duty and subtle differences in how he carefully adorns himself represents his inner opinion on the matter.

Rules Design – Lewyn’s rules are completely hidden, but he has one rule called Honour and Duty, which can help him in combat by putting out Shaken and even causing additional damage.

Lyn Corbray – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Lyn Corbray – Distinguished Knight 

Lore – Lyn Corbray handsome, but vain, reckless and hot-tempered. At the start of the war, he fought for House Targaryen with Lord Marq Grafton against Lord Jon Arryn at the gates of Gulltown. Lyn was pardoned and joined Lord Jon against the Targaryens. Which makes little sense as to why he is on the Targaryen side of the roster here since he was very quickly on the other side, but specifically for the Battle of the Bells and the Battle of the Trident, which this set is based off of, he was not fighting for the dragons.

At the Battle of the Trident, Lyn’s father was badly wounded. In the confusion, Lyn took up the family’s Valyrian steel longsword, Lady Forlorn, and distinguished himself by leading an assault on the Dornish lines. He personally finished off the wounded Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard.

During the War of the Five Kings, Lyn Corbray has sided with Petyr Baelish and is helping him to seize power by manipulating conflict between each other. Lyn is a dangerous man but is often noted for being easily swayed by coin.

Lyn Corbray – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Most models tend to fall off due to them having a very static pose, but Lyn has a dynamic mid motion pose of him cutting down the foes in his path. It is a unique pose not chosen often for models to be positioned into. As a knight of the Vale however, it is a beautiful sight to see with his own sigil modelled into the shield for those painters not adept in freehand. There is a theme with some models across the campaign that is trying to help some hobbyists with painting incredible designs by modelling in the detail rather than leaving it blank that needs to be praised.

Lyn Corbray Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Lyn has a lengthy rule called Opportunist. This is supposed to represent him switching sides at the earliest opportunity. This can prevent Lyn from being taken out, keeping him on the field a little longer, and even doing an additional attack with his valyrian steel blade. This is epic. We will need to wait and see the true wording of this ability and then the true power of it, but considering he is an epic character this is so fitting. Should be a Neutral character though.

Myles Mooton – Rhaegar’s Pupil

Lore – There is very little on Myles Mooton, other than that he was a famous knight of House Mooton who was remembered as being bold as brass. He was also Rhaegar’s squire and died during the Battle of the Bells by Robert Baratheon’s own hand. It is weird that Rhaegar’s squire was not with Rhaegar at all for the rebellion and was instead with other members of the crown’s advisory.

Myles Mooton – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Myles has no description. Nothing to go off of other than being bold. Thick heavy plate armour built for dangerous engagements coupled with a buckler and handaxe for those personal touches. Yes, this person screams I want to invade your personal space. I love the design of Myles and am glad to see some extreme differences in weaponry rather than creating just another knight.

Myles Mooton Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Again, nothing too much in the way of lore describing how Myles fights or even what he is like. But the rules have moved closer to engage the enemy. But also, he has a way to disrupt the enemy’s attack by debuffing them and at the same time keeping himself alive. I can see him being a nuisance to deal with on the battlefield for sure.

Robert Baratheon Mounted – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Robert’s Rebellion

Robert Baratheon – Rebel King 

Lore – One of the few characters in this set that need no introduction. However, something worth noting is that during the Rebellion some of his own lords refused to join Robert in his cause. When Robert learned that Lords Grandison, Cafferen, and Fell planned to gather their hosts at Summerhall in order to march on Storm’s End, he rode ahead with his knights. He fought each of the lords in turn, defeating all three. He won three battles in one day. But later suffered a loss to Randall Tarly, retreating to the eventual conflict of the Battle of the Bells where he was saved in the nick of time.

Robert Baratheon – Paints by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – I don’t believe I have encountered a Baratheon player that has never expressed their desire to one day have a Robert Baratheon but knowing it would never come. But now we have two glorious sculpts for the rebel king and in his prime no less. Some of the subtle detailing signifies the scale of this behemoth for a man, whilst also adorning him in imposing stag imagery. The mounted version gives some awesome design choices to the horse making it a standout on the field. Whereas the on-foot model takes centre stage with the intimidating presence of Robert’s raw power. I love these models for the future of the Baratheon Faction as a whole.

Robert Baratheon Rules – CMON

Rules Design – There is so much to go over in rules for Robert, but rather than endless paragraphs it is easier to just say he is about getting to the fight and then fighting. He has movement mechanics and combat mechanics to make him a powerhouse on the field. It feels like you should stay out of his reach but will eventually be forced to pile on him to bring down the brute.

Robert Baratheon Mounted Rules – CMON

Motivation – Motivations score victory points, and the only victory for Robert is through the glorious crucible of combat. If you are killing champions and heroes, then you are following in on Robert’s motivations and scoring victory points. There isn’t anything on his motivation when it is flipped but judging from other characters it might be something to do with losing your named leaders, for if the rebellion has none of the named faces leading it, then it falls apart.

Ned Stark – Painted by Tim Whitney – Insta: tim_paints

Eddard Stark – The Last Wolf 

Lore – Ned’s brother, Brandon Stark, and father, Rickard Stark, were executed at the command of King Aerys II Targaryen. Due to this Ned called his banners and rebelled against the throne, but although the rules have designated Ned as “The Last Wolf”, there was still Benjen Stark in Winterfell ruling in Ned’s name whilst he marched south for war. So a little inaccurate on the naming of this character. Even if Benjen was forgotten, you still have Lyanna Stark that the whole rebellion is fighting for.

Ned is one of the most well-known characters in the world of Westeros, and thus a huge introduction is not needed. But during the rebellion, Ned took a long time to get the North together and march South, arriving only just in time to the Battle of the Bells to aid Robert Baratheon and stave off defeat. Ned did participate in the Battle of the Trident and concluded the War due to Robert’s injuries, closing the conflict off at King’s Landing and then onto the tower of joy.

Eddard Stark – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Ned has had two models in the main game and both are reserved in their presence. The hand of the king model is designed to show Ned whilst politicking in the Red Keep whilst the Heroes Box 1 model is Ned in proper Stark attire about to draw his sword. The difference on the model we get in this set, is a mid-combat stance that we have not had before. Whilst the artwork and paint job do not fill me with a lot of interest, the scan of the model does show some potential for a formidable character. It is an okay model, but it is hard to make a plain aesthetic exciting.

Eddard Stark Rules – CMON

Rules Design – We can’t see all of his rules, but his house words echo the fate of his foe with it giving a lingering wound that slowly kills the opponent. This would be good for poison, but I like that it represents a well struck injury that will catch up to the opposition, although it does require a good chunk of action points and coin to use. We can see fragments of what I believe is Stark Fury that improves the quality of an attack. Ned is a duelist, and anyone that faces him must be wary. If only there was an Arthur Dayne to face off against.

Stark Bowmen – Painted by Tim Whitney – Insta: tim_paints

Jon Arryn – Wise Tutor

Lore – Jon Arryn is the Lord of the Eyrie, the Defender of the Vale, the Warden of the East and the head of House Arryn during the reign of King Robert I Baratheon. He also served Robert as Hand of the King from his ascension to the Iron Throne after the War. He fostered Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, raising them as his own, and thus is a father figure to both.

Jon had a reputation for being prudent, calming, and wise, and kindly and trusting. He immediately raised his banners in revolt when Elbert Arryn was slain, and he was commanded to kill his foster children. He didn’t sit behind a map and command his force; he was out in the field with Robert Baratheon sorting out the Vale due to some of the Houses choosing to not follow the Warden in the rebellion.

Jon was able to keep the rebels together in their goals until the sacking of King’s Landing. Eddard was appalled by the brutality of the acts but Robert’s hatred for the Targaryens made him consider the murders necessary, creating a temporary rift between the two that even Lord Arryn was unable to breach. Jon did many things to repair the kingdom, from cooling down the tensions in Dorne, strengthening the Western powers with the throne, easing the rage Robert had for the Targaryens, and then also discovering the undermining of Robert’s rule.

Jon Arryn – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Whoever thought that designing the model after a fan casting of Donal Sutherland is a genius. What a fantastic actor for the role if it ever came up but more importantly, it shows the correct age of Jon Arryn but all of his wisdom to raise such amazing characters like Eddard Stark. At the same time, this is our first Arryn model in the game, with the armour being so highly detailed with hints towards the house scattered among its details, I specifically like the falcon pommel on the sword. One of the top models in the set for sure.

Jon Arryn Rules – CMON

Rules Design – We don’t have a good look at all of Jon’s rules as it is covered up like a lot of the cards in the campaign. However, we can see he is not stellar in combat with a very weak melee attack. But he makes up for this with some commanding abilities. Wise Words triggers another model to do a free action which can be very powerful in the right circumstances. But the other two abilities have not been shown anywhere but one is called Rally which I assume is a way to remove the Routed condition. Jon being a commander of troops rather than a duelist makes perfect sense when there are already so many great combatants in the roster.

Motivation – Some heroes come with motivations, which are specific drives that can generate some victory points for your force. Think of it as a scoring condition, but there is a different one for when the character is alive or dead. For Jon, your opponent selects two models in your force, and you want these to live until the end of the game to gain some points from the motivation. Jon wants to win, but with limited amounts of death. However, if Jon is killed, the opponent can score a lot of VPs by killing these selected Units, unless you spend some of your precious gold. An interesting gambit built on confidence of survival.

Hoster Tully – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Hoster Tully – Loyal Ally 

Lore – Hoster is tall, broad, and strong. Hoster is a proud man and could never stay still, with him often travelling somewhere. Hoster’s armour is silver plate-and-mail, while his cloak and surcoat are blue and red. The crest atop his greathelm is a silver and bronze trout. His shield is massive oak-and-iron, and he also owns a hunting horn.

Hoster has a rich history of fostering partnerships with other kingdoms. The Riverlands is not a strong kingdom, with it bordering so many and being mostly poor. There is no wonder it was ravaged by the War of the Five Kings when it is a central point in the geography of Westeros. Building these alliances will result in strong allegiances preventing a downfall of the Kingdom, the only reliable way to do this was with marriages.

Hoster eventually joined the rebellion on the side of the rebels, arranging Catelyn’s betrothal to Eddard Stark. Hoster fought in the Battle of the Bells at Stoney Sept, where he was wounded by Lord Jon Connington, Aerys’s Hand of the King. The death of Ser Denys Arryn, the heir of Lord Arryn, in the battle gave Hoster a new opportunity.and Lysa’s betrothal to Jon Arryn. Whilst it may seem like the only cards Hoster holds are that for wedding rings, he is a capable leader for the Riverlands.

House Tully Sworn Shields – Painted by Carly

While Lords Arryn and Stark returned to the campaign, Hoster remained mostly at Riverrun during the remainder of the war. Several of his bannermen, such as the Darrys, Goodbrooks, Mootons, and Rygers, remained loyal to House Targaryen, and Hoster put at least one village of House Goodbrook to the sword.

I have always wondered what would have happened if Hoster recovered from his illness during the War of the Five Kings rather than perishing from it. But CMON set up a perfect place to discover this since he doesn’t die until after Robert Baratheon’s death. Under the What If? Ideology of CMON’s game, there is a chance we could get a version of Hostess in the main game.

Hoster Tully – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – The best model out of the entire campaign by a long shot! Many have waited a long time for a brand-new addition to the Riverlands since we have been missing the likes of Edmure for so long, and finally we get one but it is Hoster in his prime. From the pose to the fish-scale design Tullys have, to the flowing burgundy and navy colours of House Tully. Every little detail is remarkable to a point where there is nothing to say, and you just need to applaud the designers.

Hoster Tully Rules – CMON

Rules Design – There are no full shots of mentions of Hoster’s rules, we only get a slight glimpse of these which do give us an insight into the design of this character. Hoster is not a duelist or tourney knight, he has no physical traits to gain an advantage on, but his tactics and strategy have gotten his house to this position. Well-Knit Formation commands an additional move from neighbouring Units which is a great way to manage your action points on other models, opening up the possibility for high-cost actions earlier into a fight. His other ability can throughout some conditions onto an enemy reducing their effectiveness. Very much a tech-piece for your force.

Roose Bolton – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Roose Bolton – Lord of Leeches

Lore – Does Roose need an introduction? We all know who is, but what about who he was? What was Roose Bolton during Robert’s Rebellion? All we know of Roose is that he fought at the Battle of the Trident during Robert’s Rebellion. When Ser Barristan Selmy, seriously wounded, was brought before Lord Robert Baratheon, Roose counselled that they should kill him. Robert ignored Roose and spared Barristan’s life, sending his own maester to tend to the Kingsguard’s wounds. Roose had already gone through the ordeal of having Ramsay Snow and covering up the events from his liege lord. The seeds of his true nature are planted here and were overlooked or missed.

Roose Bolton – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – We have had quite a few models for Roose Bolton already with one of my favourites being the Red Wedding Roose Bolton from Game Night Kit 1. It is hard to pick a new direction to go with another model, but the design team have outdone themselves on this one with the best part about this model being the helmet. It gives off Leatherface vibes from the Horror Film, as if Roose has flayed someone’s face and worn it. This plays so well into the lore of House Bolton and the psychological warfare the practice.

Roose Bolton Rules – CMON

Rules Design – His rules play around the Routed effect which is given when someone fails their morale. Routed reduces a model’s action point count which greatly restricts the amount they can do to affect the game. In a way there isn’t morale damage, but it shuts off the capabilities of the opponent due to the terror they are experiencing. It is a really nice way to show that Roose is also an incredible tactician, something that blossoms in the War of the Five Kings but is present during the rebellion.

Denys Arryn – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Denys Arryn – The Darling of the Vale 

Lore – Denys Arryn, known as the Darling of the Vale, was a knight of House Arryn. A distant cousin to the ruling line, he married Lord Jon Arryn’s niece. Denys hailed from a poor branch of House Arryn. He was a renowned jouster, handsome and gallant and brimming with courtesy. Denys became the Keeper of the Gates of the Moon, a title held by The Blackfish in the War of the Five Kings. He then ended up as the heir to House Arryn until the Battle of the Bells in Robert’s Rebellion that saw him slain by Jon Connington. This is one of the reasons why the Vale has a succession crisis in the books.

Denys Arryn – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – Many folk have been clamouring for House Arryn for a while now, and our first taste of this Faction is with Jon Arryn but it doesn’t live up to the Knights of the Vale reputation the Vale has garnered. So what a great choice to include another important character that can best represent this in classic knight aesthetics. The little duck on helmet feels out of place but the meat mallet side of his halberd is intimidating. Out of most models in this set, Denys Arryn is one of the top models I am looking forward to painting up.

Denys Arryn Rules – CMON

Rules Design – The rules are interesting since we don’t know much about Denys’ prowess in combat other than he was bested by Jon Connington. However, to stand toe to toe with Jon and also be named Keeper of the Gates of the Moon, he must be a competent warrior. Furthermore, we don’t know his weapon of choice from the books, so the halberd is a bold pick, but it looks so awesome. So creative licence is sorely needed to make a character like this.

I love the defensive strategy you can play with this character. Counterstrike allows Denys to perform his attack if he succeeds high enough on his defensive saves (as long as you have the coin for it). Having him hold his ground on an objective or choke point could be a great tactic and aligns nicely with being the Keeper since he is all about baring folks’ path to the Vale.

Jason Mallister – Art by Prosper Tipaldi

Jason Mallister – Lord of Seaguard

Lore – Lord Jason is a tall and lean man. Jason’s armour is indigo chased with silver, and his helm is decorated with the wings of an eagle. Jason is known for his courtesy and his honour. Catelyn Stark thinks he is still handsome, and rides like a man who fears nothing. Lord Jason is a renowned tourney knight, participating in several tourneys over the years. He was defeated in the tourney at Storm’s End by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ser Barristan Selmy.

During Robert’s Rebellion, Jason fought in the Battle of the Trident, slaying three of Rhaegar’s bannermen. During Greyjoy’s Rebellion, he killed Rodrik Greyjoy beneath the walls of Seagard, throwing the ironborn reavers back into the sea. During the victory tourney, he was close to winning but lost to Jorah Mormont.

During the War of the Five Kings, Jason was loyal to his liege lord in the Tullys, fighting alongside the forces of Robb Stark. Mallisters have a huge history of conflict with the Ironborn, something that is not just shown with Jason, but with Denys Mallister in the Night’s Watch, and was the whole reason Seaguard, their seat of power in the Riverlands, exists. If any House in the Seven Kingdoms was the rival to the Ironborn, it would be the Mallisters,and in more ways than just conflict but in culture, as the Mallisters are some of the most honourable.

Jason Mallister – Painted by BigChild Creatives

Model Design – The model design is almost perfect. It features the eagle winged helm mentioned in the books and the paintjob makes sure to include the indigo colour scheme of House Mallister. But the designers go a step further by including eagle designs across the whole armour. The chest piece has an eagle on it reminding me of Space Marines from Warhammer 40k but the shoulder pauldrons and hips include other hints towards his house.

The only thing letting this down for me is the pose. It feels wooden and close in, whereas we can look at the Baratheon Wardens that are similarly equipped and see some far better poses. I would have liked the model to be more open to show the design of the armour off once the players have painted Jason.

Jason Mallister Rules – CMON

Rules Design – Jason Mallister is featured in many Tourneys throughout their history and is usually the only aspect of note about Jason. He also manages to do very well at the events but always misses out on that top spot. It is obvious he is a powerful side character with some detail but mainly used to bolster the opposition in their story. The developers gave him a rule designed around his experience in a Tourney. The rule gives Jason an advantage in combat likely from his experience.

I love the rule Honourable Bannerman for showcasing who the people of the Riverlands are and end up becoming. They are the last bastion of Robb Stark’s conquest due to their drive and will. So, testing that motivation for a combat attack that can result in the opponent becoming shaken is a great representation of this.

ASOIAF Tactics Logo – CMON

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you’ve learned something new about the characters in the core set! When making this article there were some characters, I didn’t even know about such as Myles Mooton and Denys Arryn, so I am glad that the game is highlighting some unique names to make new moments from. The models have also come a long way from the first campaign for ASOIAF CMON has done and it is a world of difference in the detailing the designers have done.

I can’t wait to see the rules in full to further see how the rules developers have created these awesome characters from the history of Westeros. I will be continuing this series with two boxes from the War of the Five Kings then followed by the Dance of the Dragon box set. We have a year until the game reaches our laps but plenty to discuss until then.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop us a note in the Comments below or email us at And if you want regular updates in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.