How to Combat in Game of Thrones

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Combat in Game of Thrones

When I think about the combat in Game of Thrones, I’m always in awe. The epic battles, the skilled warriors, and the intense emotions that come with each fight scene…it’s truly a sight to behold. From the grand clashes between armies to the intimate duels between individuals, every fight in Game of Thrones is beautifully choreographed and full of suspense.

One of the things that makes the combat in Game of Thrones so captivating is the attention to detail. Every battle feels realistic and immersive, with the filmmakers and choreographers putting in a tremendous amount of effort to make sure that the fights are authentic and believable. From the armor worn by the warriors to the tactics employed on the battlefield, everything is carefully thought out to create a sense of realism.

But what really sets the combat in Game of Thrones apart is the emotional weight behind each fight. Every swing of a sword or clash of a shield carries with it the weight of the characters’ stories and the consequences of their actions. Whether it’s a fight for justice, survival, or revenge, the combat in Game of Thrones always feels significant and meaningful.

The combat in Game of Thrones is also notable for its unpredictability. Just when I think I know how a battle will play out or which character will emerge victorious, the show surprises me. Characters I thought were untouchable are suddenly killed off, and others I never thought would be capable of fighting prove me wrong. It keeps me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what to expect.

Another aspect of the combat in Game of Thrones that I find fascinating is the variety of fighting styles and techniques showcased. From the brute strength of the Mountain to the agile finesse of Arya, each character brings their own unique approach to combat. It’s a reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fighting, and that different strategies can be equally effective.

Overall, the combat in Game of Thrones is a testament to the power of storytelling. It elevates the action to something more than just violence for the sake of violence. It regenerates a response from the audience, making us feel deeply for the characters and their struggles. It’s an integral part of what makes Game of Thrones such a captivating and unforgettable series.

So, whenever I decide to send one or more of my units into an area where there are units from another House, things are about to get interesting. Yep, it’s combat time!

When there’s combat, what really matters is the total Combat Strength of the forces going head-to-head. The player who can pull together the highest Combat Strength will come out on top.

There are several things that can help boost Combat Strength:

  • The number of units in the fight
  • Any supporting units that back them up
  • A Defense Order (but only for the defender)
  • A March Order (but only for the attacker)
  • The Valyrian Steel Blade token
  • Those powerful House cards
  • A handy Garrison token (but again, just for the defender)

Now, it’s important to figure out who’s the attacker and who’s the defender. I become the attacker when I’m the one issuing the March Order, while the defender is the player who already has his units in the area being contested.

When it comes to combat in the game, there are several important things to keep in mind. First of all, any supporting units that you have from an adjacent area are considered support, which means they are not attacking or defending. This can be a valuable strategy to remember.

Now let’s break down the steps to resolve combat:

  1. Call for support: In this step, you can choose to call for support from any adjacent area. This can greatly increase your combat strength.
  2. Calculate initial combat strength: This is the starting point for combat. You add up the combat strength values of all your participating units.
  3. Choose and reveal house cards: House cards are powerful cards that can give you an edge in combat. Choose the right ones for your strategy and reveal them to your opponents.
  4. Use Valyrian Steel Blade: If you have the Valyrian Steel Blade, now is the time to use it. This artifact can give you a significant boost in combat strength.
  5. Calculate final combat strength: After accounting for all the factors mentioned above, calculate the final combat strength for each side.
  6. Combat resolution: Finally, compare the final combat strengths of both sides and determine the outcome of the battle. The side with the higher combat strength will win, while the losing side may suffer losses.

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I. Asking for Help

When a battle begins, the attacker and defender have the option to ask for support from neighboring areas. These areas must have a Support Order in place.

If a player controls one of these neighboring areas, they have the choice to lend their Combat Strength to either the attacker or the defender. The Combat Strength is the combined power of all the units in the supporting area. It doesn’t matter if the supporting player’s own troops are involved in the battle or if it’s between two other players.

If there are multiple Support Orders in adjacent areas, they must be resolved in a specific order. The attacking or defending player can support themselves in the battle if they have friendly Support Orders in neighboring areas.

What You Should Know About Support Orders:

Support Orders are an integral part of the game. They allow you to bolster your forces and influence the outcome of adjacent combats. Keep these rules in mind to make the most of your Support Orders:

  • When you grant support to a combat, your Support Order token will remain on the board even after the battle is resolved. You can use your Support Order to support multiple adjacent combats in the same round.
  • Remember that Support Orders do not provide any defensive benefits to attacks against their own areas. The units in the area will defend as usual.
  • Both attacking and defending players have the option to refuse support if they deem it necessary.
  • Only ship units can support adjacent combats in a sea area or a land area. Footmen, Knights, and Siege Engine units are not capable of providing support in a sea area.
  • If you have Siege Engine units, they can only provide supporting Combat Strength when assisting the attacker in an embattled area that contains a Castle or Stronghold.
  • Lastly, it’s important to note that a supporting player must contribute the full supporting Combat Strength of an area, or choose not to provide any support at all.
  • When engaging in combat, it is crucial that I never provide assistance to my opponent against my own units.

Let’s remember that support can only be given from an area with a Support Order that is next to the area under attack. It’s important not to confuse the attacked area with the area from which the attacking March Order was given.

Once all the Support Orders next to the attacked area have granted or refused support, we can move on to the next step of combat.

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II. Calculate Initial Combat Strength

Now, let’s figure out how to calculate our Combat Strength. It’s an important number that determines how strong we are in battle. There are a few different factors we need to consider:

  • The number of units we have
  • Any special bonuses we might have, like a defense order bonus or a march order bonus
  • The support we receive from other units or special support order bonuses
  • If we have a garrison token

Both players need to tally up all of these factors and announce their initial Combat Strength. It’s important to be clear about our strength at the start of the battle. Once we know our Combat Strength, we can move on to the next step: “Choose and Reveal House Cards.”

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III. Pick and Show House Cards

Now it’s time for both of us to choose a House card from our hands. Don’t worry, it’s a secret! When we’re both ready, we’ll reveal our chosen cards and resolve any special abilities they have.

Remember, playing a House card is a must during combat. So we both need to play one. Once we’ve played our cards, we’ll move on to step 4: “Using Valyrian Steel Blade”.

The House Cards

At the start of the game, each player has seven House cards. These cards represent important characters with special abilities that will help them in battles.

When players reveal their House cards during a battle, the text abilities on the cards are immediately used. Some abilities might have a specific timing, like “at the end of the battle,” but unless stated otherwise, they take effect right away.

There are times when the order in which the House cards are resolved matters. If there is a conflict in timing, you should follow these steps:

  1. First, any “Ignore” or “Cancel” abilities on the cards are resolved according to the player order on the Iron Throne track.
  2. Then, other conflicting abilities on the cards are resolved based on the player order on the Iron Throne track.
  3. Once the outcome of a battle is determined, any abilities that say “win/lose this battle” are carried out in the order of the player positions on the Iron Throne track.
  4. The abilities of the first card are fully resolved before those of the second card.
  5. After a battle is finished, the two House cards that were played are placed face-up in the respective player’s discard pile. These cards cannot be used again in combat while in the discard pile.
  6. If a player uses their last House card during a battle, which is their seventh card, they return the other six cards from their discard pile to their hand at the end of that battle. The last card played remains in the discard pile.

The Symbols of Combat

When you’re playing A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, you’ll notice that not all cards have special abilities. Some cards, instead, have combat icons. These combat icons come in two types: the Sword icon and the Fortification icon.

The Sword Icon: When I win a fight, I count how many Sword icons are on my House card. Each Sword icon means I can destroy one enemy unit in the area we fought in.

The Mighty Fortification: When you come across a Fortification icon on the House card of the player you’ve defeated, you can choose to disregard one of your Sword icons.

Remember: All House cards, whether you have them in your hand or you’ve already used them, are public knowledge. This means that other players are allowed to look at your discard pile or your hand, except during Step 3 of combat.

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IV. Wield the Power of Valyrian Steel Blade

I have discovered an intriguing secret in my quest for the ultimate weapon, and I am here to share it with you. It seems that in the realm of weapons, there exists a mystical material known as Valyrian Steel Blade. This extraordinary substance possesses unique properties that elevate it far above ordinary weapons.

When it comes to selecting the perfect weapon, there are countless options available. However, it’s important to take into account the qualities that will truly set you apart in battle. Valyrian Steel Blade is renowned for its exceptional strength and durability. It is a weapon that can withstand the most intense battles and still emerge victorious.

Choosing the right weapon is essential, as it can often be the deciding factor in whether you emerge triumphant or fall in defeat. Valyrian Steel Blade not only provides unparalleled strength, but it also possesses an elegance and beauty that remind us of the ancient and revered warriors who wielded such weapons.

Understanding the power of Valyrian Steel Blade is essential for any warrior seeking to reach new heights in their chosen craft. The blade possesses a unique ability to slice through adversary defenses with ease, making it a formidable opponent on any battleground.

And if you appreciate the art of swordsmanship, then you’ll fall in love with the intricate craftsmanship of Valyrian Steel Blade. These blades are true works of art, forged by skilled craftsmen who have mastered their craft through generations of practice.

With these factors in mind, it becomes clear why Valyrian Steel Blade is so highly sought after. It provides both strength and beauty, making it an invaluable asset for any warrior. When faced with the choice between ordinary weapons and the power of Valyrian Steel Blade, the answer becomes evident.

Remember, my friend, the weapon you choose can greatly impact the outcome of your battles. When it comes to selecting a weapon, don’t settle for mediocrity. Choose a weapon that embodies the strength and artistry of the Valyrian Steel Blade, and you’ll wield a power like no other. Embrace the legend and become a force to be reckoned with.

If I, or my opponent, have the Valyrian Steel Blade token, we can choose to use its special ability to give +1 to our total Combat Strength. Once used, we have to flip the token over so we don’t use it again this round.

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Step 5: Calculate Your Final Combat Strength

Now it’s time to determine how strong you and your opponent’s armies are for the upcoming battle. This is called your Final Combat Strength, and it includes your initial strength plus any modifiers from House cards and special items.

Here’s a breakdown of everything that can contribute to your Final Combat Strength:

  • Your initial Combat Strength
  • The Combat Strength and special abilities of your chosen House card
  • The bonus +1 Combat Strength from the Valyrian Steel Blade (if you have it and decide to use it)

Keep in mind that some House cards might have text abilities that change your initial Combat Strength. For example, if your House card allows you to destroy one of your opponent’s Footman units, their initial Combat Strength will be reduced by 1 in this step.

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VI. How to Resolve Combat Situations

When you find yourself in the middle of a combat situation, it can be a bit overwhelming. The rush of adrenaline, the confusion, the need to make split-second decisions – it’s a lot to handle. But fear not! I’m here to help you navigate through the chaos and come out on top.

First, we need to understand the basic rules of combat resolution. The whole point of this is to determine the outcome of a fight – whether you win or lose. And trust me, winning is always better.

So, here’s how it works. When someone attacks you, you have a few options. You can either defend yourself bravely, retaliate with equal force, or try to escape the situation altogether. It all depends on your circumstances and what you think is the best course of action.

But here’s the thing – combat resolution is not just about brute strength. It’s a delicate dance between offense and defense, strategy and instinct. It’s about finding the right balance and making quick decisions based on the information at hand.

Now, let’s talk about some things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, always be aware of your surroundings. Look for any objects that can be used as weapons or any potential hazards that you can take advantage of. Being observant can give you an edge.

Another important factor is timing. Knowing when to strike and when to dodge can make all the difference. It’s like a game of chess – you need to think a few moves ahead and anticipate your opponent’s next move. This takes practice and experience, but over time, you’ll develop a keen sense of timing.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, stay calm and focused. Panic will only cloud your judgment and slow down your reflexes. Take deep breaths, assess the situation, and act accordingly. Remember, you got this!

In conclusion, combat resolution is a skill that can be learned and mastered. It’s about using your wits, intuition, and physical strength to come out victorious. So, the next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, remember these tips and trust yourself to make the right decisions. Good luck, warrior!

So, here’s what happens when the fight is over:

1. Who Wins?

2. People Get Hurt

  1. The Winner’s Sword Symbol: I count the number of Sword symbols on the winner’s House card.
  2. The Loser’s Fortification Symbols: I count the number of Fortification symbols on the loser’s House card.
  3. The Loser Suffers Casualties: The loser has to destroy one of their units in the area where the fight happened for each Sword symbol the winner has, minus the number of Fortification symbols the loser has (if the result is zero or less, the defender doesn’t lose anyone).

When a player loses units, they decide which ones to get rid of (unless the text ability of a House card says something different). Just remember, support units never get hurt when there’s a fight.

Note: Whenever a unit is lost in battle, it counts as a single casualty, regardless of its strength. So, even if a powerful Knight is lost, it still only counts as one casualty. That’s why it’s usually best to lose less powerful Footmen if you have a choice.

3. Retreats and Routing

  • When retreating, your units must move to a neighboring area that is empty or has friendly units or a friendly Power token.
  • All retreating units must move together to the same area.
  • However, units cannot retreat to the area they attacked from, even if it’s empty.

If I have too many units on the battlefield and I need to retreat, there are some rules I have to keep in mind. First, I can’t retreat my defending units to an area that already has units from my own side. This would exceed my Supply limit, which is the maximum number of units I can have in one area. If I have no other option and I must retreat to an area with friendly units, I have to destroy enough of my own units so that I stay within the Supply limit. Once I’ve made these sacrifices, I can retreat the remaining units.

But what if there’s no legal area for me to retreat to? In that case, all of my retreating units are destroyed. This is a tough outcome, but sometimes there’s just nowhere safe to go.

There are also some specific retreat rules for different types of units. Footmen and Knight units can’t retreat to a sea area or a port. They can only retreat to land areas. On the other hand, ship units can never retreat to a land area. They’re meant for the water, so they have to stay there.

After retreating, all of my units that were routed are placed on their sides. This shows that they’re no longer able to fight and have no Combat Strength. However, they still count towards my supply limit, so I need to keep that in mind. It’s tough to lose units, but sometimes retreating is the best option to regroup and plan a new strategy.

When my units are cornered and need to retreat, it’s not just a tactical decision – it’s a matter of survival. If a routed unit is backed into a corner and forced to retreat, it doesn’t just retreat; it gets obliterated. It’s like a final blow that wipes them out completely. And here’s the thing: routed units have it tough. They can’t be chosen as casualties in combat, no matter how bad things get. They’re untouchable, but in a bad way. They’re stuck in their position, unable to move or escape, even if a March Order token is resolved for their new area.

But guess what? I’ve got a secret up my sleeve. As a smart player, I know the power of ship transport. When the going gets tough and I need to retreat, I can use ships to get my units out of harm’s way. It’s like a get-out-of-jail-free card for my embattled troops. So when I find myself in a tight spot, I can rely on ships to lend a helping hand and save the day. Not all units get this privilege, though. Siege Engine units, for example, are stuck once they’re engaged in battle. If they’re forced to retreat, they don’t get a second chance – they’re destroyed, plain and simple. I guess you could say that Siege Engine units are the real heroes, holding their ground until the very end.

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