Thursday, 14 April 2016

Nights Watch Faction focus for A Game of Thrones the Card Game Second Edition LCG

In this faction focus we look at the Nights Watch.  We will be looking at their strengths, and weaknesses and some of their best cards.

The Night's Watch is a military order dedicated to holding the Wall, the immense fortification on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realms of men from what lies beyond the Wall. The order's foundation dates back to the Age of Heroes, at the time when the Others were pushed back. The men of Night's Watch wear only black, and they are known as black brothers.  Recruits who join the Watch are said to take the black.
The Night's Watch consists of three orders: rangers, builders, and stewards. All are subject to the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and each of the three orders is led by its own officer, the First Ranger, the First Builder, and the Lord Steward, respectively. These officers are appointed by the Lord Commander.
  • Rangers: Although all brothers of the Watch stand watch on the Wall, the rangers are the main fighting force, adept at surviving in the wilderness and tasked with scouting and patrolling the haunted forest beyond the Wall. They actively defend the Wall and ride out to face the Watch's enemies, including the lawless wildlings as well as the mysterious, inhuman Others. One blast of a sentry's horn represents returning brothers, while two blasts are used for wildlings and three blasts for Others.
  • Builders: The builders are responsible for maintaining the Wall, the castles, and the equipment. They provide masons, carpenters, miners, and woodsmen.
  • Stewards: The stewards are the largest of the three orders. The stewards are responsible for an assortment of critical functions, providing vital day-to-day services. They hunt and farm, tend horses, gather firewood, cook meals, make clothing, maintain weapons, and conduct trade with the south, bringing back to the Wall all of the supplies needed by the Night's Watch. Like other members of the Watch, the stewards must be ready to fight at a moment's notice, and all have received at least basic combat training.
Among the stewards, those with skill in sums or reading or writing might be given specialized tasks as well. Few enough are literate, but the Watch has a purpose for every man. Stewards also serve as attendants and squires for the high officers of the Watch, such as the Lord Commander. In short, the administration of the Night's Watch is in the hands of the stewards.

Lets take a look at some of the cards.....

 We start with Old Bear Mormont, Lord commander of the Nights Watch.  He is cost 7, strength 6, with military and power icons.  He has the ability that whilst you control the location the wall you do not kneel when defending, making this a good faction to go second with and defend.  He also has an interrupt that if you have not lost a challenge as the defending player put a nights watch card into play from your hand, any cost, and type, an excellent ability to show you what this faction is all about, and that is defence.  Benjen stark is a cost 5, strength 4 ranger with military and power icons, and he adds that all rangers you control can not be bypassed with stealth, another great defensive ability.  When he is killed you also gain 2 power for your house and shuffle him back into your deck.  Yoren is a cost 3 strength 2 character with only the intrigue icon, which is lacking in this faction.  He has a reaction that when you martial him you choose a character cost 3 or less in your opponents discard pile and put him into play under your control.
 Jon snow is cost 6, strength 4 with only intrigue, but whilst he is standing he is considered to be in participating in all challenges in which you control an attacking Nights watch character.  Ghost is a strength 3 cost 4 direwolf with the military icon, and he adds an ability that when one of your characters bypasses another using stealth they can not block for the rest of the turn.  Samwell Tarly is a cost 2, strength 1 character with intrigue.  he also has insight, which allows you to draw a card after the character with it wins a challenge they are participating in.  He also adds 1 to your reserve.
 Ser Waymar Royce is a cost 3 strength 3 character with military and power icons, he also has ian interrupt that when he is killed you discard a card from each opponents hand, brutal in melee mode.  Maester Aemon is cost 3 strength 2 with only intrigue, but when a Nights Watch character is due to be killed you can kneel him to save them, so he is very useful, and again adds to that defensive theme of keeping as many of your characters alive as possible.  Old Forest Hunter is a cost 2, 1 strength card with only military icons, but he lets you discard a card from you hand to gain a gold, which is handy if you know you will go over your reserve limit, so you may as well cash it in to try and play an event or attachment.
 Messenger raven is a 1 cost character with 1 strength, but no icons.  You can return him to your hand in the dominance phase to draw a card, so he is a handy draw engine, and also useful in a pinch to sacrifice for a military challenge result.  Steward at the wall is a 1 cost, 1 strength card with intrigue, that you can kneel to reduce a nights watch characters cost by 1.  Veteran Builder is a 3 cost 4 strength card with only the power icon, but you can sacrifice him stand a location, which if you have the Wall can be game winning at the right time.  Ranging Party is a cost 4, strength 5 unit with military and power icons, nice and simple no attachments.
 Event wise we have for 3 gold, Take the Black.  In the dominance phase you can choose a character with strength 6 or less and take control of them.  A meagre contribution is a 0 cost event that takes away an opponents gold and gives it to you, its great as you get more income, but have also potentially stopped them playing the cards they wanted to as well.  Lastly for 1 gold we have the, The sword in the Darkness.  It can only be played during a challenge where you control a nights watch character, and if you win by 5 strength or more as a defending player the losing player can not initiate challenges against you this round.  This is great if you play this first, they can do nothing for the rest of the round, whilst you plan your challenges.

We have 2 locations, Castle Black is a 2 cost locatrion that can be knelt to choose and give a defending nights watch character plus 2 strength.  Again another showing of how defensive this faction are.  The Wall is a 4 cost location, but it gives each nights watch character you control plus 1 strength.  If you lose an unopposed challenge you must kneel the wall, but if you do not you may kneel the wall at the end of the challenges phase to gain 2 power for your faction.  The last card is a 2 cost attachment, Longclaw.  It gives the attached character plus 1 strength and renown.

The Nights watch are a fun faction, very defensive, so be warned if that is not your style you may not enjoy them, but if you like setting up solid defence, and reacting, this is the faction for you.

To learn more about A Game of Thrones the card game second edition take a look here
Stick with us as we look at the Factions in future articles to give you an idea of how they play, and take a look at some of the upcoming chapter packs that add more to your game.

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