The Evolving Song

Hello there, gamers.

Michael Shinall (Designer) and Fabio Cury (Lead Developer) here, and today we’re going to discuss some of the changes in the 1.4 Game Modes and Tournament Documents! We’ll also go over the most recent releases, available now. This is not an article to miss!

We’re going to do a semi-itemized list for each of the modes, as well as talk about some of the general changes as well. Think of this as basically a Designer and Developer commentary about the ways some of these changes are meant to impact the game. Before we get too far in, it’s worth noting that this is the 1.4 version, and will be further updated in the 1.5 update coming closer to the end of the year/beginning of next year. However, this version change will primarily be to standardize all files to the 1.5 format, though if any further clarification/wording refinement should be needed, it will appear there as well.

Lots to cover, so let’s get right to it!

Tournament Rules and Document

Changes

Here you’ll see a number of technical changes to ease the scoring processes and set-ups for each event.

• The Secondary Point scoring system has been revamped to a system utilizing Margin of Victory, rather than tallying individual Victory Points.
• The Terrain Set-Up rules have been updated a bit to give several options for how to organize your events.
• The Pre-Game Set-Up has been changed to where players will present their lists to their opponent before choosing their own. Previously, you would only know the opponent’s Faction. This was an un-needed (and, really, unenforceable) restriction so it’s been removed.

Developer Notes: We believe that the Margin of Victory system will better reflect how the match was played. The other two changes are to ease the TO’s overall work and allow them to concentrate on other matters, thus improving tournaments as a whole.

Game Mode Changes

General Changes

Objective Rules: We’ve revamped the rules for Contesting and Controlling Objectives across a number of Game Modes to be based on remaining Ranks in a unit (of course, this varies per Game Mode, so see their individual rules), as well as rules for what actually determines how you Control an Objective.
Victory Through Combat: We’ve removed the restriction of 0-Point Units not granting Victory Points.
Random Terrain Generation: We’ve added a resource for players to, instead of choosing their own Terrain, utilizing a randomized table to determine the available pool.

Developer Notes: The changes to the Objective Rules are to avoid odd situations and interactions that were happening during matches. They will also force players to think more strategically and reward players that think ahead. We also felt that the Victory Through Combat restriction for 0-Point Units was an unnecessary rule that was being exploited. Now, these 0-point extra activations have a drawback of some sort.

The Random Terrain Generation is not mandatory. It simply gives additional options if players wish to have variety. Or, they can continue the previous method of including terrain as, essentially, part of list-building. This addition to the game was made so there will be a larger variance between matches and makes players have to think on their feet and not rely on specific terrains sets to match their lists.

A Game of Thrones

• The Center Objective has been modified to always be the specific “grants additional VP/suffer Panic Test” Objective card.

A Clash of Kings

• This Game Mode received a number of revamps, specifically dealing with how units are deployed, as well as removing the restriction of Characters from returning to the battle.
• The mention of the proxy commander/attachment rules entirely removed. Now, there’s just a flat bonus for a Commander claiming Objectives. Developer Notes: This game mode was affecting the entire meta, and that was never the point. By removing the Proxy Commander, this should be fixed. The deployment revamp and the character restrictions will make A Clash of Kings closer to other game modes, thus removing the need for players to “build around it.”

A Feast for Crows

• A Feast for Crows was almost entirely overhauled, so it’s basically not worth going over the changes, as it can almost be summarized as “all of it”. We wanted to maintain the specific feel of the Game Mode (death, corpse piles, all that fun stuff) but the chaotic nature of the previous version was… well, too chaotic for what we wanted to accomplish for Organized/Tournament Play. We feel this new version still incorporates the feel of the old Game Mode but gives it the tactical and strategic options we want to see in the Game Modes.

Winds of Winter

• This is another Game Mode where it was almost entirely overhauled. The previous version of this mode, much more than any of the others, carried a random element of luck that we did not like seeing for Tournament Play. While some elements of randomization are fine, we implemented more control over these elements to the players in this Game Mode. It still rewards players for carrying a diverse list (also noting that Tournaments are a Two-List Format by design) and further rewards adaptability on the battlefield.

Developer Notes: Now players have more control of what secret missions will be available to them throughout the game. They can establish a battle plan and try to execute it. Once again, this rewards players that plan ahead.

A Dance with Dragons

• No changes.

Fire & Blood

• There’s only a small change here, rewarding Marked Units with +2 Attack Dice. This is to encourage more thought into what you choose to mark, rather than allowing just easy choices. Dark Wings, Dark Words This is a brand-new Game Mode utilizing the Secret Mission deck. So, as you can see, we have a lot in store for the game. We want to make the tournament scene for The Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game the best it can be, and we feel revamping the different scenarios will go a long way to making it so.

You can read more arout this topic here.

Now, let’s take a look at what new box sets are hitting store shelves today.

For starters, the Night’s Watch are getting the Builder Stone Thrower Crew. This heavy catapult will cause havoc among the enemy ranks. Having no maximum range (only a minimum range of Long Distance) and being able to shoot in high arcs over intervening units and terrain, the Builder Stone Thrower can start raining its deadly payload right at the beginning of the game. Enemy Commanders will soon learn that they cannot run and they cannot hide from the death from above that awaits them.

For Free Folk players, they are getting the Thenn Warriors. Their arms and armor aren’t simply scavenged from the field or crudely cobbled together from random materials. Their bronze equipment is the most advanced of anyone in the Free Folk ranks. And while it might not be as strong as the tempered steel of the southern Great Houses, it still affords the Thenn Warriors a level of protection and self-assuredness not seen often in the Free Folk’s ranks. This hearty unit will be a welcome addition to many forces.

Finally, there are the Blackguards from House Bolton. This Neutral unit will work for any Commander willing to pay their price. House Bolton is well-known for their cruelty both on and off the battlefield. Enemies may simply turn and run even just at seeing them across the field. But even if they stand their ground, they will have to face the Blackguard’s spiked flails and heavy armor. They are a true terror to behold during a fight.

So, there we are. Quite a robust update for you today. We’ll see you next time.

The Evolving Song

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