Top Ten Mini-Factions that Could Be Added to the Song of Ice and Fires Miniatures Game

CMON have released the Boltons for A Song of Ice and Fire Miniatures game as a Mini-faction and this has opened the door for smaller allegiances to become Mini-factions as well. We do know that there are more on their way soon and this had me pondering over what could actually become a Mini-faction in the game both currently out and future releases. In this article, I will list my top ten most likely forces to become Mini-factions

  1. Bloody Mummers – Brave Companions

The lowest on my list is the Brave Companions known as the Bloody Mummers in the game. I do believe all the Affiliations for the Neutral Faction have a chance at becoming a Mini-Faction but there are so few options to build out a roster for the Brave Companions that I find it unlikely.

The Bloody Mummers exist in the most limited form out of all the Neutral subfactions. Sporting only 1 Commander that doubles up as an Attachment and then 2 Units. They play a pretty big role during the War of the Five Kings being a mercenary company that switches allegiances often, oh and they are the ones that cut off Jaime Lannister’s hand.

Bloody Mummer Skirmishers – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

Skirmishers and Zorse Riders could be joined by bowmen with powdered cheeks and squat hairy men with shaggy shields. This is a bare bones description of some Brave Companion forces in the books. These two units would fill a few gaps in the army by being a ranged unit and a survivable unit. Pillagers could be another good pick to represent the Brave Companions initial task of joining the Mountain in burning the Riverlands, this would be the 5pt unit for the faction that is just a little bit worse than the Skirmishers. Bandits could be a Unit that represents the post-war state the Mummers are in since they disband into various groups.

Vargo is currently the only Commander for the Brave Companions, however his second in Command Urswyck would be a good pick to follow this. The most important moments for Urswyck were his capture of the escaped Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, and then splitting the Brave Companions, heading for Oldtown. Nothing has been mentioned since AFFC. The third Commander would be the Hound of Saltpans, or more accurately this would be Rorge wearing the Hound’s armour who leads the other half of the Brave Companions in being outlaws.

Zollo could be another good pick for the third Commander or a future fourth. He is Dothraki and was the one to cut off Jaime’s hand, he would fill a Cavalry Commander role focusing on speed for the faction.

Vargo Hoat – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

For NCUs, Utt is a lieutenant and septon, and dies in a sufficient way at the hands of the Brotherhood. Qyburn is a member of the Brave Companions after his exile, and then takes over the Maester duties at Harrenhal before attending to Jaime. I do think Qyburn would be better as a Neutral NCU, but it is worth a mention for the Bloody Mummers. Shagwell is known as a jester and so could play a similar role to Patchface as an NCU. Vargo does a bunch of sitting back and commanding along with Urswyck so they could have new NCU versions. There are also all the other random lower characters we see in Arya’s point of view at Harrenhal that could fit in here.

There are plenty of named characters that can become Attachments in a Heroes Box, it seems like Rorge and Biter will become standard Neutrals, but they spend a lot of their time with the Brave Companions. I do want to mention a possible Solo unit in the bear from their fighting pit which could act as a cheap distraction wrecking ball.

Whilst important to the story I don’t think aesthetically the Mummers will be popular. They would have to turn them into the typical outlaw faction without conflicting with a future Brotherhood faction. It is more likely for CMON to put their attention into other forces and save the Mummer stuff for standard Neutral releases. It comes down to a simple question at times; what will sell more?

Riders of Highgarden – Painted by Ste Norris – Instagram: ste.norris

  1. Tyrells – The Reach

Ninth on my list is the Tyrells of the Reach. I know this is a popular suggestion for a future Mini-Faction with very little work needed to just release them as a standalone Faction, however the reason why they are so low on my list is down to their potential of being an entire Faction in themselves.

Right now, we have technically two Commanders in Renly Paramount and Loras Tyrell. Renly Paramount is based on Garland Tyrell wearing his armour at the Battle of the Blackwater making some of the previous loyalists to Renly’s cause switch sides again in disbelief of his survival. Loras has been a staple of Baratheons for a while now and is still quite a good Commander. Olenna and Margaery Tyrell are the NCUs that could be moved over alongside the Loras Attachments. For Units they have four, Riders of Highgarden, Rose Knights, Highgarden Pikemen, and Thorn Watch. It would take a couple new Unit, NCUs, and Commanders alongside a bunch of Attachments to make a Mini-Faction or kickstart a full Faction so very little work to get them off the ground.

Margery and Loras – Painted by Ste Norris – Instagram: ste.norris

But why not a Mini-Faction? There are quite a lot of Houses that can make a bulk of releases to the forces like that of the North in the Stark Faction. The Redwynes and Tarlys are the first that come to mind but Fossoways, Hightowers, Merryweathers, and Oakhearts all appear alongside them.

Paxter Redwyne can be a Commander alongside his sons who played hostage in King’s Landing for a while. He could even bring a Ballista Unit to represent the Redwyne Fleet on the battlefield. Tarly’s are known for their longbows or hunting that they have an archer for a sigil, a great ranged Unit, perhaps one of the best in the game would be ideal to represent the strategic dominance of Randall Tarly.

Fossoways I would like to save for the Baratheons due to their split just like the Florents, it would work well with the Loyalty divide we see already. But bulking out Arys Oakheart’s house or representing the new political figure of Lady Taena of Myr with House Merryweather would be ideal.

Rose Knights – Painted by Ste Norris – Instagram: ste.norris

But the biggest inclusion would be an actual Garland Tyrell Commander with Mace Tyrell as another famous name. These are big names that don’t deserve to be alongside a Tactics Deck full of cards about being a Baratheon. Margaery’s companions and ladies-in-waiting would fill a lot of the NCU roles within the Tyrell household, but also Willas Tyrell, and the twin guardsmen to Lady Olenna.

Tyrells or The Reach should be saved for a full Faction release on their own rather than being restricted to a Mini-Faction.

House Tully Sworn Shields – Painted by Carly Carvalho – Instagram: the_iron_forest

  1. Tullys – The Riverlands 

Eighth on my list is the Tullys of The Riverlands. Again, this is a popular suggestion for a future Mini-Faction but with more work needed to just release them as a standalone Faction than the Tyrells and The Reach, however the reason why they are so low on my list is again down to their potential of being an entire Faction in themselves.

Right now, we have two Commanders of the same Character, a NCU, and Two Units. An extremely pitiful amount of representation for the first to be a part of the War of the Five Kings. Why do we have two Brynden Tully Commanders and no Edmure Tully? Where are the Mallisters or the other Lords being some of the first to fight in this War? Where is Holster Tully and Lysa Tully? I think there is so much potential in representing one of the most fleshed out parts of the Seven Kingdoms that CMON are missing out on.

Brynden Tully – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

But why not a Mini-Faction? There are quite a lot of Houses that can make a bulk of releases to the forces similar to that of their parent faction in the North. The Mallisters, Brackens, and Blackwoods are the first that come to mind but Piper, Vance, Whent, and Mooton all appear alongside them. You could even release House Frey with a dual Neutral card to represent their future fidelity.

Just like the Tyrells, I hate playing a pure Riverlands force playing cards named after the Starks and their tactics. If I want to represent the Tully’s struggle post War of the Five Kings with Brynden being a lone sentinel, I still need to go around with the North’s strategies.

Edmure is an obvious Commander to have at release with my suggesting for further additions being Jason Mallister for Seagard’s role in the War, and the Lord Viper plus Lord Vance for the initial fighting. I would also suggest at least one of the many Frey characters and introduce it as a Neutral Commander at the same time.

Tullys or The Riverlands should be saved for a full Faction release on their own rather than being restricted to a Mini-Faction.

Easterling Dragon Emperor – Painted by Jonathan Paul Pfund – Instagram: wavecolors.tabletopart Website: www.Wavecolors.de

  1. Slaver’s Bay 

Seventh on my list is the Masters of Slaver’s Bay and other factions like Ghis and Qarth. This Faction has the potential to be as big as some of the eastern Factions in the Lord of the Rings Miniatures Game. Some of their designs can be compared to some of the popular models within that game, such as the Haradrim with the camel riders, or the Easterlings with the Ghiscari Legions. Using the World of Ice and Fire book the designers for the game could have a lot of freedom in designing a beautiful army and the material in the books are plenty enough to make a full Faction rather than a Mini-Faction. However, it is such a gamble as many people are clambering for a Slavers force to represent the confrontation to Daenerys in Essos, which might result in the downgrade to Mini-Faction from CMON.

Builder Stone Thrower Conversion – Painted and Converted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

What could make up the Faction? Alt Card Units. Mercenary companies were used in droves like the Stormcrow Mercenaries but also the Windblown and the Second Sons. Bulking out this side of the game could add to both Targaryen and Neutral rosters whilst building the foundations of the Master’s Faction. Qarth is heavily involved with the downfall of Daenerys, so adding the Thirteen from her roster with some new faces would help with the NCUs and add some unique Units. Ghiscari Legions are Unsullied, whilst I would love some new models here to show the difference it could be just as easy to swap them with a new card or make a new Unit and have the Unsullied be Asatpor Unsullied still under the Masters service.

Newer Units can bring a unique selling point to the Faction. As mentioned, it would be awesome to see camel riders in the Faction, but taking some further influence from the eastern Factions is LOTR such as Khandish Chariots of the Mumakil themselves would bring a certain style that will draw people in. You can even include the first trebuchet Unit into the game to represent the Siege of Meereen currently ongoing.

This Faction will be all about the Units as the Characters are relatively unknown, but it has some serious potential for a future Faction in the game that it is low on my list for possible Mini-Factions.

Karstark Spearmen – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

  1. House Karstark

Sixth on my list is House Karstark. When Mini-Factions were first mentioned, fans of the game started looking at affiliations that would work as a Mini-Faction and Starks have the most I think out of all Factions combined. Whilst House Umber might be the popular choice, especially with a new Unit on the horizon, I do think thematically it is the Karstarks that would work. However, CMON’s only conditions mentioned for the Boltons was to reward those going with a pure affiliation so all of them in Starks could see a release.

Why Karstarks? Their loyalties shift between three different Factions in the books: Starks, Baratheons, and Boltons. They sided with the Starks under Rickard Karstark, until he murdered some Lannister boys in vengeance for his children’s deaths and was executed. Harrion Karstark then becomes the new Lord of the Karhold, but with Harrion in Lannister captivity, however, Rickard’s uncle Arnolf Karstark, the castellan of Karhold, declares for King Stannis Baratheon which almost sees him granted Winterfell. But the loyalty of Arnolf was for that of Roose Bolton and was eventually overthrown by Stannis with the help of Alys Karstark and Jon Snow.

Rickard Karstark – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

Already we have three Commanders that can be very different from one another, some NCUs and Attachments. Add in a few more Units such as the archers, and mounted lances mentioned to have joined Stannis’ forces and you might just have enough for a Mini-Faction. However, some characters may need to be added from outside of the Karstark forces such as Tybald to fill it out a little bit.

Whilst House Umber, House Mormont, and House Reed could work as Mini-Factions, I don’t believe there are enough characters mentioned to fulfil the roster and Karstarks can just about be a little bit more bulked out for a release.

Jaime Lannister – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

  1. The Faith – Lannisters

Fifth on my list is The Faith. Just like with the Karstarks, when Mini-Factions were first mentioned, fans of the game started looking at affiliations that would work as a Mini-Faction and Lannisters have the most famous in House Clegane. Whilst House Clegane might be the popular choice, especially with Gregor Clegane looking so powerful at the moment, I don’t believe they have enough characters to fulfil a roster, especially NCUs. The Faith however, have a lot of characters they can pull from but lack in the Unit description that could be easily made using creative licence.

The Iron Throne – Painted by Ben Phillips – Instagram: your_average_painter_guy

For Commanders we already have the High Sparrow, but an obvious choice for next in line would be Lancel Lannister as one of the primary figures of the Faith’s Forces in the books. You could have a Tommen Commander to show his manipulation by the hands of the Faith but this likely better served as a NCU with Margery. A third Commander could be Ser Theodan Wells who is one of the first knights to pledge himself to the Warrior’s Sons, and he is named their commander by the new High Septon, the High Sparrow. There are no other good suggestions for Commanders here other than perhaps Kevan Lannister who allows the Faith to continue to avoid them aligning with another claimant to the throne.

For characters however, we only have NCUs that are manipulated or forced into the control of the Faith such as Cersei, Margery, Tommen, even Kevan, Randall, and Mace. You could have some of the Commanders double up like Roose and Ramsay in the Bolton Faction.

Casterly Rock Honour Guard – Painted by Ben Phillips – Instagram: your_average_painter_guy

For Units there are already the Poor Fellows and the Warrior’s Sons, but you could make another Unit slightly better than the Poor Fellows in the form of Sparrows. With Lancel siding with the Faith you could have a Darry Unit made to back them up, and for Theodan perhaps a mounted or trainee Warrior’s Sons Unit. You could try to follow with a theme of the Warrior’s Sons like the Father’s Protectors, or the Stranger’s Mercies. The Lannister Faction could lend some more of their Units to the force as well with the Gold Cloaks for the Faith taking over King’s Landing, the Crossbowmen to give them a ranged Unit, although a short-range rotten food/poop thrower Unit would be hilarious.

Just like the Masters Faction, there is a lot of potential here to use the creative licence to expand on an idea and make it into something truly interesting. I do believe there is a strong likelihood we will see the Faith as a Mini-Faction in the future.

Hedge Knights – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

  1. Brotherhood Without Banners

Fourth on my list is a controversial one with the Brotherhood Without Banners. I know most people will be disappointed this is not higher on the list, but it really comes down to their limited roster not just in names but design. It comes down to how much effort CMON wants to put into the Mini-Faction for them to work and with no models for the Brotherhood being available it would be from scratch.

Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarion feel like an obvious choice for Commanders in this Faction, a third choice could be a NCU Commander in Lady Stoneheart as the undead version of Catelyn Stark. Lem Lemoncloak or Harwin would be Attachments or NCUs for sure but could also be Commanders with the right design. Eric Dayne from the Martell Heroes 2 box is Beric’s squire so would be perfect in this Faction especially since he had an interesting relationship with Arya when she was captured. Anguy the Archer, Tom of Sevenstreams, and even Gendry could all be featured. There are many more named characters which would make Heroes Boxes easy to fill.

Glory Seeker – Painted by Johnny Bone – Instagram: JBone

The true challenge comes with designing Units since technically there isn’t much mentioned. You could make generic Outlaws with Spears, Bows, Horses, etc but that would leave the Faction as a very boring lacklustre force with just a similar force as other Factions in the game. I would suggest CMON get creative with rules and design Units based on that, like the Bloody Mummer Skirmishers which are not mentioned in their acrobatic form much in the books.

The Brotherhood Without Banners is a no-brainer for a Mini-Faction, however without some good innovation in design of the Units and playstyle they will fall flat on release, possibly worse than how the Boltons have launched.

Stormcrow Mercenaries – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

  1. Stormcrow Mercenaries – Essos Mercenaries  

Third on the list and just reaching the podium is the Stormcrow Mercenaries. I originally believed this affiliation would be impossible to expand into their own Mini-Faction as they would have such a limited character roster that would make it no different from a Targaryen list. But thinking about the Mercenaries in Essos or fighting for Daenerys I do think there is now some potential for the future of this Faction as a Mini-Faction.

The Stormcrow Mercenary Company was first hired by the Slave Masters of Yunkai before defecting to the Targaryen forces and assisting them with their conquest of Slaver’s Bay. The Company of the Cat, the Second Sons, the Long Lances, and the Windblown are the other mercenary companies that would stand alongside the Stormcrows as the Mini-Faction known as Essos Mercenaries.

Daario Naharis – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

The Commanders of the force would be Daario, and the new Stormcrow Commander coming in Neutral Heroes 3. But then you would have the leaders of the other companies like the Tattered Prince for the Windblown as a cavalry Commander due to him being known for riding his huge grey warhorse but, the Long Lances could fight for another cavalry Commander but there are no named characters for them. Ben Plumm from the Second Sons would be my next pick with the Second Sons being under the command of Barristan Selmy eventually. It is interesting that the Second Sons, and the Windblown do owe their loyalty to Daenerys though which could be the theme of the Mini-Faction instead.

Cavalry is an obvious choice to include for the Stormcrows who have had to defend an important trade route throughout the books. This will also allow them to integrate better with all the Dothraki stuff in the Targaryen forces. But the Long Lances would make a great cavalry Unit here as their name’s sake Unit, but the Windblown would have a Unit to go alongside the Tattered Prince perhaps.

Stormcrow Archers – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

NCUs and Attachments are limited as there are not many named characters apart of the force. However, having the captains of the mercenary companies as Commander, Attachment, and/or NCUs would fill out the roster. You could have the two captains Daario kills to prove to Danaerys that his forces are loyal, and the two captains that command the force whilst Daario is imprisoned by the Masters. There is a good amount of diversity to at least make something out of their playstyle, for example Jokin commands the bowmen, so something about long ranged confrontation would be best.

I don’t think Stormcrows will become a Mini-faction, however I do think it is possible to see mercenaries of Essos as a Faction for all the ones that side against/or with the Targaryens. Although, I do believe this is best reserved for making a fully fleshed out Slaver’s Bay faction and having some like the Tattered Prince be dual loyalties with Dany. It needs some messing around to make it fit and work, but it is possible.

Stormcrow lieutenant – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

  1. House Frey 

In second place, and aptly late to the releases than even the Tullys, is House Frey. The Freys need to have a release for the Neutrals but perhaps a Mini-Faction should also be considered for the House with no Honour. Everyone knows the Freys for the Red Wedding, and this could make an interesting playstyle for the Faction where all the Units are middle of the road in rules but have a once per game, round long, buff that makes the Unit much better. This would represent sudden treachery and leap up on the power scale in Westeros to become rules of the Riverlands.

For Commanders I would suggest Ser Stevron Frey, the firstborn son of Lord Walder Frey, Stevron is the heir of the Twins. He was the knight that led the forces of the Freys in the Game of Thrones and continued to do so in the Clash of Kings before his death from a wound he took in the Battle of Oxcross. Second would be Ryman Frey who took the mantle of command as heir of the Twins after Stevron’s death. Ryman is one of the main orchestrators of the Red Wedding and led the charge in full armour and surrounded by Freys. He also leads the Siege of Riverrun. Third would be Walder Frey, called Black Walder to differentiate him from others with the same name, as the second son of Ser Ryman Frey. He earned his nickname due to his irascible temper and stern attitude, inspiring terror in those around him.

Bolton Bastard’s Girls – Painted by Johnny Bone – Instagram: JBone

There are countless Frey characters that could be pulled for Attachments and NCUs including a new version of Lord Walder Frey. For certainty we would need Edwyn Frey who is considered cold and hateful and is the slender great grandchild of Lord Walder Frey who tends to be the one to sit on war councils and command behind a table, often referred to as not being a man of the sword. You could even have Walda Frey from the Bolton Faction join the force or the two Frey children fostered at Winterfell.

The units for house Frey were hard to decide on. Whilst the faction is very prevalent in the books due to their betrayal, there isn’t much, if any, talk on their combat prowess at all. But do not fret, there are some units that are prime meat for the feast for crows. House Frey Longaxes. When Ryman returns after suiting up in his armour to murder all the Starks it specifically mentions he storms the Twins with men wielding heavy longaxes. He himself wields such an axe to kill Dacey Mormont. This unit would look so unique since we only have one unit in the game that is carrying two handed heavy axes. This unit would act as the heavy hitters of the Frey force allowing them to compete against monsters and heavy armoured units.

Walder Frey – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

Edwyn Frey’s plan to kill Brynden Tully and take Riverrun after the Red Wedding was to volley arrows smothered in excrement so that the wounds would inflict septic. The only reason this tactic was not used was that the other Lords at the War Council believed it was ignoble to do so. Night Soil Archers would be such a niche unit that fits well into the vile nature of the Freys. Another easy choice would be some Spearmen which are mentioned once when Ryman Frey takes a couple thousand spears to the Siege of Riverrun in the fourth book. Following this may be a betrayal Unit, and one that could look unique. This unit would wield daggers and knives as the perfect concealed weapon for betraying Starks at the Red Wedding.

There is surprisingly quite a lot for the Frey’s to make, not just some new Neutral Units and characters, but also an entire Mini-Faction for the game. I would love to see House Frey hit the table sooner rather than later.

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

  1. Golden Company – Aegon VI

In first place, and the most likely Neutral force to become a Mini-faction, is the Golden Company. They have enough characters and detail to match the amount of releases the Boltons have had on release, with a possibility for more from pre-released chapters of TWOW.

An obvious missing Unit for the Golden Company is the Spearmen, which for some reason are coming out the woodwork for every force recently. The sigil for the Golden Company is a pile of skulls at the base of a spear; it fits perfectly to have a Unit that matches their sigil. It is mentioned that the company has a thousand bows and only a third are Crossbowmen, this would be perfect for the double-curved horn-and-sinew bows or the big yew longbows since there are more of these than the Crossbow Unit we already have. It is also stated that they have five hundred knights, each with three horses, and a similar number of squires, each having one horse, so a Cavalry Unit would make plenty of sense or even multiple like a heavy cavalry being the knights and a light cavalry being the squires.

Golden Company Crossbowmen – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

There are three obvious and perfect Commanders for the faction. Harry Strickland the current captain of the company. Jon Connington the father figure to Aegon, former Hand to the Mad King, and former member of the Golden Company. Then Aegon VI Targaryen son of Ellia Martell and Rhaegar Targaryen wielding the legendary Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre. All would bring their own style to the field of battle. The following Commander could be Black Balaq, commander of the company’s archers or whoever Aegon decides to leave as Castellan of Storm’s End.

Whilst a Small Council has not been formed yet, there are already enough political players assisting Aegon. Varys and Illyrio have been helping Aegon the entire time, preparing Westeros for his arrival whilst ensuring he learns to become the best King. New versions for both showing their true purpose would be most welcomed here. Tyrion was brought to help Aegon after his trial who gives great advice to help improve their plans for the Targaryens. The mysterious Septa and intelligent Halfmaester would work as the other remaining NCUs.

Golden Company Elephant – Painted by Tim Whitney – Instagram: tim_paints

Non-Commander versions of Jon and Aegon would be their Griff alter egos allowing for you to play them as hidden names so that the rest of the world does not catch onto this plot. The first member of the Kingsguard Duckfield is a required addition since Aegon feels that it is most important that Rolly will die for him since Jaime Lannister was never of the same mind with the Mad King. Other Attachments can be the crew of the Shy Maid or named members of the Golden Company like Black Balaq who commanded all the archers.

Golden Company has enough to match or even surpass the releases for the Boltons with ways to interpret the source material in different ways. It feels so obvious that the Mini-Faction for the Golden Company is happening that it is more of a when than an if at this point.

Golden Company Swordsmen – Painted by Stefan Mielcarkiewicz – Instagram: mitch.scribbles

Have any questions or feedback? Have a faction you’d like to see added to the game? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.