Officially born as the son of Robert Baratheon, King Joffrey is a Lannister down to his core. Not much more than a boy, Joffrey now sits on the Iron Throne of Westeros, but can be found occasionally taking up sword against the enemies of the crown and House Lannister. Fortunately for his highness (and those supporting his rule), the white-cloaked Kingsguard are never far from his side, protecting his majesty whilst on the battlefield. This month, the lions of House Lannister can choose to test the young king’s mettle in battle or as a distant commander, adding King Joffrey Baratheon and his mighty Kingsguard unit to the A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. Let’s peek at how this unique all-character unit changes how House Lannister wages war.
Before looking at the Kingsguard as a unit, let’s look at the golden-haired reason why they would join up and stand against an opposing army, King Joffrey himself. Like some other Heroes in A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game, Joffrey can be added to a House Lannister army in two different ways.
Joffrey Baratheon can be chosen either as the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, a Non-Combat Unit orchestrating the ins and outs of battle from the Iron Throne, or as the First of His Name, the heart of the unique Kingsguard Combat Unit. When taking with the Kingsguard unit, he does so as the Army Commander. Joffrey brings his own flavor of Tactics Cards to the army, each showing the powerful influence of the King’s commands as well as the toll that serving the little tyrant has upon his own troops.
In addition to his potent tactical demands, the Non-Combat Unit version of Joffrey has the full might of the Iron Throne behind his decisions. No matter where on the Tactics Board Joffrey is placed as his action, the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms is also considered to be controlling the Crown zone, even if an opponent’s miniature is already controlling it! Exerting such control from King’s Landing reminds his own troops that the Boy King is watching, disquieting some soldiers who might fear Joffrey’s decisions as much as the enemy’s blades.
When King Joffrey dons his gilded armor and summons the Kingsguard to battle, he joins with SEVEN distinct heroes to form a single devastating Combat Unit. The Kingsguard are a deadly combination of skill, duty, and the best equipment the royal coffers can buy. As a unit with 8 non-restorable Wounds, the Kingsguard are utterly Fearless (never suffering penalties to Morale and are immune to the Panicked condition completely!) and will battle to their last breaths to protect the King, fighting at full offensive ability to the very last man, having a massive 8 dice melee Attack that hit naturally on 2+! That isn’t all, since their thick armor can withstand punishment like that of some cavalry, and once per round the Kingsguard can choose to strike back against those they defend successfully with automatic Hits.
The Kingsguard unit also flies the banners of the King’s official house, the rearing Baratheon stag. These four royal flag miniatures are unique to this unit, being removed to grant the Kingsguard one additional benefit per round when a banner is removed. These range from allowing the unit to Maneuver or Retreat for free, crippling a foe before a single swing is made, and more. While each banner triggers an ability only once, they could be all that it takes to break the enemy utterly if chosen at the right moment. Little can withstand the combined might of the Kingsguard unit in a melee, their white cloaks returning to King’s Landing stained scarlet with the enemy’s blood, but these Heroes can alternatively be chosen individually as Attachments! As long as the Kingsguard Combat Unit is not being fielded, any or all of the seven unique Kingsguard may be chosen as Attachments to lead other House Lannister Combat Units!
Each Kingsguard member is different. Ser Boros Blount inflicts automatic Wounds to enemies that attack his unit while House Lannister controls the Crown. The expert dueling skills of Ser Jaime Lannister inflicts extra damage on enemy units and can even outright slay Attachments that could be leading them! You might desire the veteran tenacity of Ser Barristan Selmy, who restores Wounds to his unit in the name of the Crown and bolsters their bravery. All seven Kingsguard members have their own reason for being called upon to lead a unit, possibly even being a greater asset than when they join up and fight as one to protect the impetuous King Joffrey.
No matter which way you choose to integrate the Kingsguard into your army, they will be a powerful force in combat and lets the enemy know that all of King’s Landing is against them on the field.
The Lannister Heroes II unit box will be available March 29.