There are a lot of characters in the A Song of Ice and Fire miniatures game but there are still quite a few missing from the story told in the books. CMON have done well with releases so far, covering plenty of the story’s most obscure and sometimes only name-dropped characters but we’ve yet to see some of the narrative’s most impactful characters.
So today we’re looking at our top ten missing characters from the game – characters in the books who we want to see CMON release soon. I’ve tried to include one character from every faction but a few – the Martels, Greyjoys, and Targaryens – didn’t make the cut for this list as their missing characters aren’t quite as big a deal as those in some other factions.
- Mother Mole
Night’s Watch and Free Folk have plenty of characters left for us to see, however most of these are smaller minor characters. For Night’s Watch, I don’t know if there is even another Commander to pick from outside of new versions of existing characters or some obscure choices. For Free Folk however, there are a couple such as Alfyn Crowkiller or my pick for tenth, Mother Mole.
Total War: Warhammer tried to do something recently with the Kislev Faction by introducing a Hag Witch character and all the folk lore horrors from the frozen woods of the distant North. Mother Mole is a wildling leader and woods witch who is given to prophecy. After the defeat of Mance Rayder at the battle beneath the Wall, Mother Mole claims to have had a vision of a fleet of ships coming to carry the wildlings away to safety across the narrow sea. Thousands of those who fled the battle are desperate enough to believe her. She and her followers go east. Mother Mole is heard to preach that the free folk will find salvation where once they found damnation.
The thing is, she takes thousands of Wildings to Hardhome, and those who have watched the show know exactly what awaits them there. We also know the ships will not take the Wildings to Essos since they come from the Night’s Watch instead. The damnation she speaks of is about the assault of the White Walkers which they do have small raids from on their journey to Hardhome.
For gameplay, I see Mother Mole’s cards being spells or hexes which would be so unique to the game. Mag the Mighty drew a lot of people in for the extreme difference of playstyle the army turns into. What if we get Mother Mole and then a bunch of generic Free Folk prophetesses, witches, and hags to make a creepy weird magic horror force. I would play that in a heartbeat, and it helps flesh out the character and culture of that area of the Free Folk. I want to see Mother Mole for the Free Folk in the next box.
- Janos Slynt
Lannisters have quite a few characters we could see in the future. There are plenty of Commanders, Attachments, NCUs, and alternate versions we could see. For the most part we have only received literal Lannister characters for Commanders with the odd outlier in Addam Marbrand or Gregor Clegane. There are plenty of vassals to choose from such as Amory Lorch that almost made my list, or any of the Tyrells that aligned themselves with the Lannisters.
However, I think it should be one of the most famous but useless characters in the story, Janos Slynt. This is in fact both my pick for Lannisters and Night’s Watch. Janos Slynt is the head of House Slynt and commander of the City Watch of King’s Landing. When Eddard challenges Joffrey’s legitimacy in the throne room and calls on Janos to put Cersei and her children under arrest, Janos betrays him, and as a reward Janos is raised to Lord of Harrenhal for his services to the crown and is named a member of the small council.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Janos laughs when Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed and replaced as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. After recording his dismissal in the White Book and gathering his possessions in the White Sword Tower, Barristan is confronted by Janos and three gold cloaks in the stables. The seasoned knight, only armed with a knife, escapes them, killing one gold cloak and riding through Janos and the other two.
But his downfall arrives when Lord Tywin Lannister is aghast at the granting of Harrenhal to Janos, the son of a butcher. He orders his son, Tyrion, to go to King’s Landing and act as Hand of the King in his absence. Janos is later stripped of Harrenhal and forcibly sent to join the Night’s Watch by Tyrion along with the men he has suggested as replacements for him as Commander of the City Watch. In the show this is Bronn, but in the books, this becomes another good character that should be in the game, Ironhand.
Janos Slynt could be an interesting Commander to utilise the new Gold Cloak Unit. I like the idea of not being a great pick for Commander and Units, but rather than buffing themselves, they just do a lot of debuffs, bringing you to our level if you will. In Night’s Watch he is the cowardly Commander using his status in Westeros to climb up the ladder to become a hype man for others.
Janos is an integral Commander for his actions in the beginning of the story. I think it is a mistake to keep him away from the game for so long.
- Brotherhood Without Banners
The Brotherhood Without Banners, is an outlaw group who initially fights Lannister rule in the name of King Robert I Baratheon. Led by the Lightning Lord, Beric Dondarrion, the group is founded in the Riverlands by soldiers and nobles who were sent by the then-Hand of the King, Eddard Stark, to bring Gregor Clegane to justice. After they are ambushed while crossing a ford and nearly defeated, the group continues the fight as a guerrilla group. Their numbers increase as they are joined by defeated soldiers from other battles, deserters, and refugees from the War of the Five Kings and take on the mission of protecting the smallfolk from the depredations of any side of the war.
The faction is literally made up of named characters for the most part and just picking one would be the same as picking any other. However, for the Neutral Faction I think there are a few that would be helpful to have now: Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, or Lady Stoneheart.
A powerful NCU like Lady Stoneheart would be useful to the force, however, the Faction struggled for a while when they had limited 4pts NCUs, so bringing in a Lady Stoneheart model that would need to be a 5-6pts monster would be hard to fit into lists currently. Further to this, having Lady Stoneheart in a list with Boltons is the biggest crime the game could ever commit.
Bringing in a Commander like Beric and Thoros would be interesting, and I would champion for Beric to give us a placeholder Brotherhood force before a future faction release. Beric’s rules would be about buffs that increase per different allied units nearby. Think of Jokin’s Brothers In Arms card but in a Battle Endurance style.
Players want the Brotherhood Without Banners, but that is going to be a lot of work to complete before fulfilling that wish, thus bringing out a few character Commanders that could produce the feel of the Brotherhood whilst we wait for the full faction would quench our thirst.
- Genna Lannister
Genna Lannister is the younger sister of Tywin Lannister and aunt to the Lannister siblings we spend so much time with throughout the story. She is introduced in A Feast For Crows when Jaime Lannister arrives at Riverun to see the siege through. She is present as an advisory role to the new Warden of the West alongside other Lannister members, but we do learn she has been playing the maternal role to the siblings since their mother’s death at the birth of Tyrion.
When reading the books, Genna’s advice is solid with the warnings of what would happen if Jaime would allow the remnants of the Tullys to live. It is almost as if she is insisting Jaime do to the Tullys what Tywin did onto the Reins. We have seen the POV of Cersei being consumed by paranoia resulting in stupid moves she believes are Tywin level of genius, so to have that turned around with an competent Lannister trying to push Jaime to become a new Tywin is so satisfying.
We do not get anymore of Genna in the fifth book, and we leave her at Riverun as pseudo-Castellan with her husband. Genna is competent, provides great counsel to Jaime, whilst questioning every move he makes not out of disagreement but to make sure he is being smart about his choices. She does disagree with the survival of Tullys and their loyal guards, but easily lets go of this when Jaime speaks of honour. Having honourable Lannisters like Genna, Kevan, and the redeemed Jaime, is so satisfying. Whilst they still do pretty mess up stuff, it’s just such a different taste of what the Westerlands could be when not under the madness of those in King’s Landing.
But why pick Genna over Lancel or even her husband Emmon Frey? Internal balance and diversity of flavour. Most Lannister lists are bringing Pycelle, Cersei, and Joffrey, with the occasional High Sparrow, and Tywin. This is all on top of or in place of the Neutral NCUs that are in every list. It doesn’t matter who your commander may be, you are unlikely to switch things up between them. Genna would 100% be an NCU, and as a competent advisor, I envision her to meddle with Commander Tactics Cards to bring out the best in the Commander, just like she does to Jaime in A Feast For Crows.
This would see her become a competitive choice for Lannister players to consider, giving them more decisions to make for which NCUs to bring rather than the current simple and obvious choices that lie before them.
- Randyll Tarly
Randyll Tarly is Lord of Horn Hill and head of House Tarly. As one of Mace Tyrell’s bannermen, Randyll fought in Robert’s Rebellion on the side of House Targaryen. He defeated Robert Baratheon’s forces at the Battle of Ashford and is thus the only one to defeat Robert Baratheon. In the War of the Five Kings, Randyll does a lot, like a true powerhouse on the field, it would be way too long to go through each thing he achieves but he is a serious threat to any opposition.
The most important act is when Randyll destroys a northern force attacking the town of Duskendale, resulting in the capture of Harrion Karstark and Robett Glover and the death of Helman Tallhart. This was set-up by Roose Bolton, who knew they would fail, but the capture of Harrion causes the betrayal of Karstarks to Stannis, the capture of Glover causes strife to the House with the Greyjoys and forces him to turn away from helping the North overthrow Bolton rule. The death of Tallhart removes a powerful figurehead for the Riverlands to unite around. All three are powerful houses removed from the field by Roose’s decision but also Randyll’s skill, like I said, these are powerful Commanders that would take an equally strong Commander to defeat them let alone at the same time.
Randyll is an awful person to the people around him but is a brilliant strategic Commander. I would love for him to introduce the Tyrell Faction to the game, but he also plays an important part in Renly’s plans for conquest whilst he is away dealing with Stannis. So, we could see him in Baratheons under Renly’s loyalty.
I would expect his release to be as consequential as Kevan’s release was for Lannisters. This must be a strong pick for the battlefield providing nothing to Tactics Zones but plenty to winning in the field. This also allows us to get multiple versions of the model or rules when the Tyrells do end up getting their own faction.
- Harry Strickland
I am not done with Neutrals. There are so many different characters that could fit into the Neutral space, especially for the Commander role such as Rorge as the Hound of Saltpans leading his band of outlaws made up of Bloody Mummers. A missed opportunity with the Neutral Heroes 3 box in my opinion. However, there are multiple Units for the Golden Company with no Commander to utilise some synergy between them. We see the Units featuring across multiple armies in different ways, but how would a pure Golden Company list actually fair?
Harry Strickland is an obvious choice for the Golden Company Commander. We could see Jon Connington or Aegon the Sixth be brought forward for them instead, but it makes more sense to save them for later such as a Mini-Faction Starter Set release, and then release the current leader of the Golden Company ahead of time.
Harry Strickland doesn’t have too much going for him in the way of character. I read a lot of his stuff as more of a personification of the Golden Company rather than literally him. It is kind of like how the Lord of the Rings films portray faction’s feelings through their characters like Theoden for Rohan, and Gothmog for Mordor. We understand what the whole faction feels and how they are reacting based on the perspective of this leading character.
So, for the design of the Commander, it should relate to who the Golden Company are as whole, with Connington and Aegon giving more of their personalities to the faction changing how they feel and play. For Harry Strickland we should tie in the motivations of the Golden Company as the men of the Golden Company prefer to call themselves a free brotherhood of exiles, rather than sellswords. This is because they are descendants of the the Blackfyre Rebellions and break their contract for the first time to live up to their first contract with the true heir to the throne.
Being a mercenary company, you would think that gold would drive them, but instead it is very much reputation. Their motto is “Our word is good as gold” and this is likely why the original Golden Company Swordsmen got a buff from holding the Letters Zone on the board. Build the rules around holding the Letters to represent that honour and reputation is above anything else to the Golden Company.
- Paxter Redwyne
I am sorry Stannis fans, there aren’t many interesting characters left that owe their allegiance to the One True King. But for Renly, there is a hoarder of great characters from the Reach we can fall back on that played a vital role to Renly’s campaign as well as the Tyrells when he perished. Paxter Redwyne is a heavy weight in this department and like Randyll Tarly is converted in commendations and glory.
Paxter was crucial to the defeat of the grand Iron Fleet in the Greyjoy Rebellion, he was one of the most important assets for the siege of Storm’s End in Robert’s Rebellion and is a paramount asset to both Renly and the Lannisters in the War of the Five Kings providing barge support by sea to both sides. Think of the Velarion power in House of the Dragon but tied to a house most known for their make of red wine devoured across the world. On top of everything, what better title to hold than Lord of the Arbor.
What makes this better however is that in recent history he is playing host to Stefford Lannister to betroth his son Daven to Desmera Redwyne Paxter’s daughter. This was brought up again, when Daven was made Warden of the West and Lord of Casterly Rock. Paxter being one of the most powerful people in Westeros due to his wealth, position of power at sea, and then through this marriage with another powerful house, has me thinking the Redwyne’s may be climbing that chaotic ladder in the future and could even rule the Reach.
On the battlefield it would be a different story. As mentioned, their power comes from their riches, and their power upon the seas, this would be difficult to convey on the tabletop, but it would likely tie into having a strong supply line whilst cutting off the enemy’s, which is usually done with healing and some buffs, and then long ranged support in a ship bound ballista. You could even take something from Davos in the form of movement which would be a powerful ability for the slow Baratheons.
Paxter has a future in the game, and since he is such a big presence, we must see him in some capacity in the next few years.
- Lannister Cavalry Commander
Nothing too specific here, right? Wrong. I am livid that one of my favourite characters was released in such a sorry state. Addam Marbrand is not known for leading the Gold Cloaks, he showed up one time to tell us a brutal tale about how he capped the knees of deserters. He is more valuable to all the leaders of the Lannisters when he falls into his role of Outrider Commander. If Brynden Tully can have two forms as the Outrider Commander of the Stark forces, then so can Addam Marbrand.
Addam Marbrand is a knight of House Marbrand, and the son and heir of Lord Damon Marbrand of Ashemark. He is one of the chief knights in the service of Tywin Lannister. Gallant and charming, Addam is an excellent horseman and swordfighter. He is described as a daring commander whom others would willingly follow into battle. Commanding Tywin’s outriders, Addam reports that Robb Stark is marching a northern host down the causeway. Tywin orders Addam to withdraw and harass the opposing force’s flanks, while he marches the Lannister host north to engage them. In the opening weeks of the war, Addam’s scouts raid the area around the Twins, and skirmish against the soldiers of House Frey. Catelyn tasks her uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, with preventing Addam’s men from learning that Robb is splitting his forces at the Twins.
This war of information based on skirmishes out lightly armoured fast-moving troops is something we never get perspective on but is such a big deal with what Tywin doesn’t learn. If Addam Marbrand was able to overcome Brynden or even know what to look out for, Robb’s entire manoeuvre that resulted in a crushing defeat of the Lannisters and capture of Jaime would never have worked. Whilst not being a Lord, he commands Lords on the Battleifeld, he defeats and captures big names from the North, his advice is daring and was even considered for Hand of the King by Tyrion to Tywin. How has a character with these accolades been reduced to his Commander of the Gold Cloaks form on release? All of this detail and prowess reduced to capping knees.
Lannister as a faction would appreciate a cavalry Commander, and whilst there is popular opinion about getting Tywin on horseback or even Jaime, (as well as a joke about Tyrion on a pig) Addam Marbrand was named as a cavalry Commander, and insurmountable in the gleaming of information, screening movements, and conquest against Northern big names. Give us Outrider Commander Addam Marbrand.
- Maester Luwin
The last two characters are the biggest crimes of CMON with their lack of inclusion. Maester Luwin is perhaps the most important Maester in the story with only Pycelle and I guess Qyburn not being far behind him (also whoever wrote the annulment for Rhaegar). Luwin’s advice and teachings to the Stark household sets those characters on their paths for the entire story; he brought up the characters we love the most throughout all this experience.
A tireless maester, Luwin is one of the few maesters who have bothered to earn the Valyrian steel link, which signifies the study of the higher mysteries. Luwin educated the Stark children, as well as Eddard’s bastard, Jon Snow, and Eddard’s ward, Theon Greyjoy. For instance, he taught about maesters and stars to Jon, the history of the Night’s Watch to Bran, and the historical lords of Winterfell to Theon. He brings the letter from Lysa Arryn inciting the first threads of mystery and murder to the conflict and gives advice to Lord and Lady Stark during this moment. He gives important advice to Robb when he rules the North and when he calls the banners and prepares for war.
Most importantly, he gives countless wisdom to Bran and Rickon when they rule the North and gives his life for the boys in the end. Maester Luwin is a thankless, underrated character who deserves a place in the game as one of the best NCUs for the Starks to bring. Something revolving around giving something to the Commander that amplifies his skills at leading the overall force. Innovation would be needed in the similar vein to how the Ned NCUs were designed, something worth 5-6pts.
- Edmure Tully
The character we should have had a long time ago above all others is Edmure Tully. I am unsure why we got two Brynden Tully models or Commanders before Edmure. The same time taken to make the foot Brynden could have been used to make Edmure Tully giving us the character ahead of time. Edmure also has a lot of premises for two versions as well with moments of being a cavalry Commander and a foot Commander. Furthermore, Tully as a faction has been a letdown, this is one of the seven kingdoms that deserves their own faction and are grossly underrepresented.
He leads all the initial battles of the War of the Five Kings for a good chunk of the first book. When Edmure hears that Ser Jaime Lannister is massing forces at Casterly Rock, Edmure sends Lords Vance and Piper to guard the mountain pass. In response to Ser Gregor Clegane’s raids into the riverlands, Edmure spreads his forces along the border. Edmure wants to retaliate against the westermen, but Lord Hoster insists the river lords receive permission from King Robert I Baratheon first. The Hand of the King, Lord Eddard Stark, sends a detachment under Lord Beric Dondarrion to apprehend Gregor.
He doesn’t succeed though as Lord Tywin Lannister and his brother, Ser Kevan, defeat Edmure’s scattered border forces and Gregor ambushes Beric. Tywin’s son, Jaime, smashes Vance and Piper below the Golden Tooth and then advances to Riverrun, where he takes Edmure prisoner before its walls in a crushing defeat. In the Battle of the Camps, Lord Tytos Blackwood leads a sortie from Riverrun which rescues Edmure. Edmure is wounded in the neck during one of the battles. Later Edmure is tasked with holding Riverrun and guarding Robb’s rear.
After Lord Roose Bolton takes the crossroads, Edmure commands Ser Helman Tallhart to leave the Twins and aid Roose in retaking Harrenhal from Tywin. Edmure, Lord Blackwood, and Lord Jonos Bracken believe Tywin can be caught between Riverrun and Harrenhal once Robb returns from the west. Edmure, with a bit of luck, manages to stop a rescue mission to free Jaime Lannister by Tyrion’s envoys. Following this was the Battle of the Fords, Edmure defended a crossing of the Red Fork against the Lannisters in a fierce battle fought at Stone Mill. Ser Gregor Clegane manages to cross, suffering heavy losses, but is pushed back when Edmure sends in his reserves.
Throughout all the War of the Five Kings, Edmure covers himself in glory and whilst suffering defeats early on in the fight, he recovers and defeats Tywin himself in battle. He is scolded for this victory by Robb as this is not what he wanted, or in other words, Robb saw that Edmure has done nothing but lose, and wanted him to stay put to coax Tywin into the west to be captured. I don’t believe this is fair on Robb and Brynden to scold Edmure for messing up plans he wasn’t aware of. Furthermore, he is a good enough Commander to defeat Tywin Lannister and the earlier battles were due to spread out forces trying to stop raiders not a full host.
Bring us a Edmure Tully that represents the leader of the Riverlands. Alongside this start giving us more Riverland support in the form of some more Tully Units and Characters like Riverrun Crossbowmen as Sentinels of Riverrun and Holster Tully. Give us some of his bannermen like Piper, Vance, and Tallhart. This is one of THE seven kingdoms that has been a part of the game from the very beginning yet has had no support since. Give them the attention they rightly deserve, just as Edmure demands the appreciation from the other leaders of the Stark host.
There are countless characters from the A Song of Ice and Fire miniatures game, I am more than sure I have missed off a few of your favourites and in time I know they will all see a release. I am worried that we are now getting characters from other eras in the new Tactics game which could push CMON away from providing characters from this era, especially some important ones that have been overlooked.
Which character do you want to see released next?
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