Affiliation is an amazing game mechanic in ASOIAF. It encourages a certain list building where specific units get to shine rather than sitting on the side lines. However, recently it feels like this mechanic has almost vanished, even though there are still new Commanders being released with the Affiliation trait. This is the second in a series of articles where I want to focus on some of the Affiliation armies and bring them into the spotlight. In this one we talk about the remaining Lannister Affiliations and the Tullys of the Riverlands.
Sparrow ft Marbrand
The High Sparrow and Faith Units aren’t technically Affiliation, however what they aren’t in name, they are in synergy. The Faith Units were the first to get Faith tokens in the game and designing a Lannister list based around this mechanic feels like a completely different army. Instead of the Affiliation trait you’re looking for Abilities to help bolster the Morale stat to take advantage of the Sparrow’s cards.
List 1: We are the Many
Before the 2022 update, Poor Fellows were a popular choice of unit in the Lannister force. Not only for the Activation count but they had a unique way of being hard to shift. With the changes they have seen a reduced playtime and I do think this is warranted. When your combat capabilities are worse than the Lannister Guardsmen you know there is an issue, add this to T-Shirt saves and a weak Morale and they become unfavourable. The only good thing about the unit is they may get a lick in whilst at the same time may survive long enough holding an objective.
On the other hand, we have The Warrior’s Sons who are an amazing unit for the Lannisters. Using the same Faith token mechanic, you can become more resilient gaining an Ability similar to Hardened. Or you can use it to be better in combat, gaining Sundering and rerolls. The Champion of the Faith hands out tokens whilst also generating a Faith token for the unit. I chose NCUs based on who was at least somewhat in charge of the throne at the time of the Faith uprising. Cersei, Tommen, and Kevan. Kevan’s burst of buffs will help offset the likely annihilated weaker units whilst keeping the two tough ones in the game. Cersei and Tommen can pull favourable cards from the deck even if it is just to discard them so that we can get the juicy Sparrow cards sooner.
List 2: We are the Many. But. Better.
Gregor Clegane (The Mountain That Rides)
This list is a more honed version of the friendly story inspired one. Doubling down on the Champion and Warriors combo gives two powerhouse units on the field that are handing out tokens and are versatile for damage or defence. I have put the High Sparrow into the Guardsmen, this will give them some form of punch with his Order: Incite, whilst also giving them and others around a Morale buff. Poo Fellows become a form of their old self with the buffs Selmy provides and The Mountain is a battering ram, who is an extra activation for cheap, some would say invaluable. Petyr does what Petyr does for everyone, deny Zones whilst letting me pick what I like, however Kevan appears again as the buffs are so helpful for keeping the army in the game for longer.
With this being the last of the Affiliations for Lannisters, I do hope we see a new one in the future. Addam Marbrand could have very well been this for the force in his current form, as Commander of City Watch there could be some units releasing with the Gold Cloak keyword, however this is not what I was hoping for. Addam is Tywin’s Outrider Commander, the Brynden Tully of the Lannisters, I truly believed we would get a Cavalry Commander of Addam Marbrand with a Marbrand Cavalry Unit releasing later, hopefully CMON are reading and already have it planned.
This will be a rough one, I remember when the Tully Sworn Shields were so strong, and it was hard to fight multiple of them backed up by a Commander Ned. However, between the two versions of Brynden Tully, only one card gives a bonus for being a Tully unit, and it is just +1 to Panic Tests. How can this be a thing? I do hope CMON split the Tullys into their own faction, they can keep them a part of Starks by just creating new cards, almost like how the Stormcrows have a targaryen card version. Maybe if they do this, they can take a second look at Affiliation as it is useless right now. The Abilities brought by the Commanders and Tactics Decks does make the Tully Units favourable to the lists.
List 1: Tully Vanguard
Eddard Stark (Hand of the King)
This list is my attempt to make a story accurate list. I envisioned a force that had sprung to action early in the War of the Five Kings to defend the Riverlands from the invading Lannisters. With a Large block of infantry backed with a small cavalry contingent. Catelyn has arrested Tyrion prompting her influence here, Walder being the only bannerman of the Tullys available in the game, and the power of the throne from Ned when he declares The Mountain an enemy of the crown.
List 2: Come at me Bro
Osha (Spearwife Guardian)
The best thing about foot Brynden Tully is his Tactics Card Set For Charge, this has been seen as an order mainly on spear wielding infantry and grants you a free Attack Action when a unit charges you in the Front or Flank. This card allows you to play it on any Unit when they are charged which is a real shock moment for the opponent. A popular choice is to put Brynden into a Unit of Stormcrow Dervishes due to them being able to Retreat after they have Attacked resulting in the charging unit not getting their attack. I also think this will be perfect for the Karstark Spearmen, if anyone is brave enough to charge them, they will have to suffer an Attack before doing so. These two units are the focus of staying power whilst the Sworn Swords and Bowmen apply pressure. Arya gives me better positioning, Sansa allows me to retrieve more Set For Charge cards, and Catelyn helps keep the Units at a high performance for later in the game.
As previously mentioned however, there is no need to bring Tully Units as you are benefiting very little, even if you are desperate for the +1 to Panic Rolls, Tully units tend to have amazing Morale anyways so it will only really come into play if the Unit Brynden is in has terrible Morale. However, the likes of Set For Charge works really well with the defensive Tully Sworn Shields, and the likes of War Cry and Refuse To Yield helps put out tokens so that they can do better damage. So even without the Affiliation they do blend well.
This is the end of Affiliation for Lannisters, however there is still plenty of Stark Commanders with Affiliation to dive into. Expect to see a focus on the Umbers, Mormonts, Reeds, and Karstarks soon. As well as this we will start to inspect the Neutrals as there is a few Affiliation armies within the faction.
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