|The Crowned Stag Approaches
A Preview of the House Baratheon Army Expansion for Battles of Westeros
|Battles of Westeros | Published 13 July 2012|
“The Iron Throne is mine by right. All those that deny that are my foes.”
The arrival of the House Baratheon Army Expansion is just a few short weeks away, and with it comes a host of new options for Battles of Westeros! As the first Great House Expansion, this comprehensive box is an outstanding addition to any Battles of Westeros collection. In essence, it contains enough figures, cards, commanders and other components to put House Baratheon on par with Houses Stark and Lannister.
That’s worth repeating. With this expansion, Baratheon’s forces are the equivalent of those of House Stark, assuming you own the Core Set and Wardens of the North...or those of House Lannister, assuming you own the Core Set and Wardens of the West. Indeed, the House Baratheon Army Expansion makes the Crowned Stag more than just a playable third faction. It makes it a true force to be reckoned with!
That’s because this massive expansion includes 110 plastic figures and bases, dozens of banners, nearly 100 cards, over 120 markers and tokens, and a detailed new game board depicting Blackwater Bay. Within the next several days, you’ll learn more about the various components of the House Baratheon Army Expansion. Today, however, we’ll focus our attention on one of the most definitive battles in the War of the Five Kings: the Battle of Blackwater.
An Epic Conflict
Given the size and contents of the House Baratheon Army Expansion, “epic” is an entirely apt description. It’s therefore appropriate that this expansion introduces, for the first time in Battles of Westeros, the concept of Epic Battles.
Epic Battles are engagements that are fought over multiple stages. The Battle of Blackwater (the Epic Battle included in the House Baratheon Army Expansion) is played over three stages, with the ultimate victory awarded to the player who wins the “best of three.”
An Epic Battle is far more than just three maps played in a row, however. Each player retains his cards and order tokens from one stage to the next, and units, commanders, and terrain overlays from a previous stage retain their positions in upcoming stages. So instead, think of each new stage of an Epic Battle as a way of introducing shifting battlefield conditions, all while a built-in game timer ratchets up the game’s tension. Over the course of an Epic Battle, new reinforcements will arrive and each faction’s fortunes will subtly change; all the while, you’re challenged to meet certain preset victory conditions before the stage ends. Will you advance to the next stage in victory, or defeat?
The first stage of the Battle of Blackwater. In it, House
Baratheon must cross a river of broken and burning
ships to assault a well-defended shoreline.
A River of Flame
For example, the Battle of Blackwater’s three stages are played over a total of ten rounds. The first stage (played over the first four rounds) is entitled “The Crossing,” and it challenges House Baratheon to ferry their forces across the deadly Blackwater...while it’s aflame with wildfire!
The Imp has just sprung his trap, and the Blackwater is littered with the half-sunk ships of House Baratheon. What few ships remain intact are insufficient to carry all of the Baratheon troops across; some will have to contend with randomly spreading wildfire, hopping precariously across damaged ships in a desperate attempt to establish a beachhead.
Assuming they survive this hellish crossing, the second stage (entitled “The Siege” and played over rounds five through seven) provides House Baratheon with a handful of reinforcements before requiring them to break down the gates to King’s Landing. Finally, assuming House Baratheon is still standing, the Battle of Blackwater culminates in the third and final stage, “Breaking Through.” Here, a mad dash into the inner sanctum of King’s Landing will determine the fate of the realm!
In short, the Epic Battle system provides a way for fans of Battles of Westeros to experience the most awe-inspiring conflicts from George R.R. Martin’s beloved series. Keep checking back for more on the House Baratheon Army Expansion, and look for it on store shelves in just a few more weeks!
Set in the rich and vibrant world of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, Battles of Westeros is a board game of tactical battlefield combat for two players. With scenarios that include beloved characters and settings, players can recreate the most significant battles from The War of the Five Kings.