War is a constantly shifting experience, with no two encounters coming out the same way. While destroying your enemies is key to most victories, rarely do armies take to the battlefield with that being their sole intent, and games of A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game (ASOIF:TMG) are no exception. Before setting up the battlefield, players choose one of five unique Game Modes to play, each drastically changing the manner in which they can achieve victory.
The first Game Mode is A Game of Thrones, which has Objective Points placed across the battlefield. Each of these Objectives not only grant Victory Points at the end of each round, but also grant a powerful effect to the player controlling it. In this Game Mode, the Objectives are the only things that matter. Destroying enemy Units will assist you in securing Objectives (and, in fact, you get bonus Victory Points for destroying Units currently claiming said Objectives!), but in the end, it’s whomever can take-and-hold these points that determines the winner.
Our next Game Mode is A Clash of Kings: a siege-based battle that has one player taking on the role of Defender while their opponent leads an assault against their forces. In this Game Mode, the Defender decides on the initial terms of engagement and sets up battlefield terrain and defensive points at the start of the game. Their sole goal is to survive until the endgame. The Attacker, meanwhile, has replenishing forces at their disposal in order to destroy key structures guarded by the Defender, as well as a vastly larger deployment area to coordinate their assault.
Next, we have A Storm of Swords, arguably the bloodiest Game Mode. Players set out to destroy key enemy Units, but only a portion of each army is available at the start of the conflict. Across the battlefield lay Objective Points waiting to be claimed. By taking and holding these Objective Points, players can better secure arrival routes for their Units in reserve, allowing them to enter the battlefield at unexpected times and from unexpected places. Your opponent may think their Archers or support Units are safe, but your Cavalry arriving from their rear and wiping them out teaches them to not be so sure.
In A Feast for Crows, the psychological impact of war is pushed to the forefront. This Game Mode takes place on a battlefield littered with the corpses of the dead. Armies must strive for victory, all the while suffering the mental impact such a place imparts. Worse still, as the battle rages, the dead continue to pile up, only adding to the chaos. In this Game Mode, while death is almost a certainty, the battle is decided by those who keep their own troops composed and turn the horrors of the battlefield into a weapon to defeat their foes. Victory is achieved by the commander who can break their enemy, not outright kill them.
Finally, we have The Winds of Winter, which features each player taking to the battlefield with their own compliment of Secret Objectives. Objectives can range from assassination plots (aka killing specific enemies) to getting to specific points across the battlefield to performing certain attack formations, and even choice manipulation of the Tactics Board and Non-Combat actions. All manner and variety of objectives can (and will) appear. Of course, you simply can’t ignore your opponent, who is not only trying to accomplish their own goals, but is also probably trying to destroy your army as well!
There is one more aspect to talk about, however! And that is Scenario Play. This will be covered more in depth later, but as a small preface: Scenarios, whether they be historic battles taken directly from the bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series of books, or special battles in their own right, are a variation of the above-listed Game Modes. Each adds their own special rules and modifications to the existing Game Modes to re-create the iconic battle it represents. What would have happened at the Battle of the Whispering Wood had Robb and Jaime met in direct combat? How could the Siege of Riverrun have played out differently? These situations and more can be explored in the various Game Modes and Scenarios offered in ASOIF:TMG from CMON and Dark Sword Miniatures, Inc.! The battle begins on July 25 at 3 PM EST when A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game launches on Kickstarter.
Read the Introduction to ASOIF:TMG here.
Read the ASOIF:TMG - The Beginning article here.
Read the ASOIF:TMG - Design and Development article here.
Read the ASOIF:TMG – Knowing Your Army article with updated Combat Unit Card images here.
Read the ASOIF:TMG – The Hidden Side of War article here.
Read the ASOIF:TMG – Leading the Troops into Battle article here.
Read the ASOIF:TMG - Finding Balance in War article here.