Saturday, May 11, 2019

Long Night using HOTT

They don't teach generalship in Westeros.

After sneering my way through every setpiece battle of season 7 I really feel I have to solo the Long Night, AKA battle of Winterfell.

I wrote myself some modded rules, then took hours to pare down army lists.

But having done some research on Winterfell I find the mods may need two versions, one for TV stronghold and one for book stronghold.

Did you know book Winterfell does have a vicus, or township adjacent, named Winter Town, which I have a half-memory of seeing in season 1: but not lately? And that the outer curtain wall of Winterfell is 80' high? Then there's a moat, then 100' inner curtain? And that it's freakin' huge? Like 250m on its short side. That's at least twice the area of Pevensey, which is the largest British shore fort, on the thickly populated south-east.

As for TV Winterfell, that's way more real life scale for an important stronghold in a vast and thinly populated region. When people and zombies tumble off the one parapet into a ward, that's quite survivable.

This how I plan to run it. Not as a re-enactment, it uses the elements of the drama to set up a meaningful defence.

Like Pelennor Fields the special terrain is key.

It's interesting, looking from the TV's defence and trying to point cost I get a bloated 40 plus points. Stripping down the Night King to his essentials I get a manageable army with only slightly too many 3+ pointers.

Winter Army
God: Seen as thick fog countering the danger posed by dragons getting near the White Walkers. Does not actually attack a land element but debatably may force aerials to flee or land. Certainly limits command range. While present, cloud cover is total, and there is no dawn. Other than this mass effect the God has no presence. As per rules the God departs when the Night King rolls a PIP of 1. Cost 4.
Aerial hero general (Night King). The dragon mount seems not to make any attack that takes more than one element in one round, so there is no need to pay dragon points. Cost 6. See special rules for dismount and wall attacking.
Cleric sub-command White Walkers. They are depicted as riding but move at foot pace. In this version their function is to exert line of command regardless of aerial hero general placing, provided he is within 1200p of them. They can apply PIPs to sacrifice elements. Cost 3.
11 more points from Hordes of undead. They all count as foot in this scale of battle: the odd giant or two has no effect on mass action.

2 handicap points owing to higher-point "overhang" are donated to the defence for bonus fortifications.

Allied Army
Jon Snow accompanied by various other heroes as 1 x Hero General, Cost 4. Jon is useless in the TV version, contributing nothing other than dragging Sam to his feet, but in this version can at least exert command.
Daenerys with two dragons as 1 x Dragon. Cost 4. Dragon is summoned as per book but may deploy on top of the Stronghold.
Dothraki loyal to Daenerys as 2 x riders. Cost 4. In at least the first run-through these will be off the board, behind (ie south) of the stronghold.
Unsullied loyal to Daenerys as 2 x Spear. Cost 4.
1 x Artillery. Cost 3. In this refight Artillery will be direct fire ballistae, placed on those enormous round firing turrets Winterfell has.
Northern armies loyal to Jon Snow as 2 x Warband. Cost 4.
Flaming ditches as Lurkers. Cost 1 initially.

Special rules for the attacking side
1. Full cover cloud (god) limits command. The Night King can wield command directly, normal rules applying, or through his White Walker cleric support element within 1200p, and they in turn must be in base to base contact with elements they command. During the god's effect any distance greater than 600p between enemy general and his elements counts as being beyond 1200p, meaning that a 2 minimum PIP must be rolled to move other elements.
2. While aerial the Night King fights as a Hero, obeying the normal rules for Aerial Hero. Specifically he can be destroyed by Hero or Artillery. Otherwise, if a dragon would be destroyed or be forced to flee by the result the Night King dismounts.
3. The aerial Night King may choose to attack a base width of the stronghold, suffering no penalties other than a negative if two enemy elements are inside the stronghold. If he wins under the normal results of aerial hero vs stronghold that base width of the wall is badly weakened and may be crossed by foot elements as any other linear obstacle.
4. If the Night King's mount is lost ie forced to flee under dragon results the Night King heroically lives, counts as ensorcelled, and is placed adjacent to a fortress (not citadel) wall closest to the event, even if that places him adjacent to an enemy figure. Once desorcelled he fights as a Paladin.
5. The Night King must land ie be subject to ground attack in order to assault the Citadel. While afoot he can capture the Stronghold on his own. He may optionally dismiss his dragon and fight as a Paladin.
6. The Night King can summon lurker undead no more than one base width distant. If within the fortress walls, but not Citadel, they support attacks on the fortress walls. If within the Citadel they cannot "take" it but support attacks on the Citadel walls.
7. The Night King or his cleric proxy can "burn" one Horde element to make any linear obstacle crossable, or three Horde elements to make the stronghold walls crossable. Obstacles stack, for example a burning trench on the same base depth as a stronghold wall adds one further Horde cost for a total of four. Other command and control rules apply to the element(s) to that point.

Special rules for the defending side
1. Only the Citadel (the section containing the great hall and sept unless everyone hides in the crypt right by the north walls) counts as a Stronghold for the purposes of victory. The other walls count as fortress walls. They may be attacked and end-move-adjacented by the Night King as per Stronghold, but do not end the battle if taken. See optional Citadel rules in Victory Conditions.
2. The stronghold walls can be occupied by up to any two elements, including Artillery. Artillery may fire over friendly elements, and has 360 degree field of fire, but may not fire upward above 15 degrees. An occupying foot element creates a -2 factor for attacking elements other than lurkers summoned within, except at points where either an enemy Horde has been "burned" to make the wall crossable, or an aerial Night King/ice dragon has "defeated" them; and even there they still create a -1 factor.
3. 6 PIPs (that may be saved from turn to turn) must be spent to "summon" a burning trench linear obstacle that is no more than 3 base widths length but may be of any angle. Its placement may be adjacent to or under any friendly element outside the Citadel. It attacks all non-aerial elements that are on top of it or attempt to cross it, as Lurker, but deducting 2 from them for its terrain. An element defending the wall is not attacked by a flame trench lurker.
4. After or on the same turn as the first 6 PIP sacrifice, two more burning trenches may be summoned for 1 PIP per trench, with the same attributes as the first.
5. Other linear obstacles (chevaux de frise from nearby forests, simple rampart and ditch walls) are permitted but must be placed prior to the attacker's first PIP roll. Their minimum length is one base width and the total length of all combined cannot exceed the combined base widths of land elements deployed on the board outside the fortress. Linear obstacles of the rampart type prevent enemy contiguous base support, and add 1 for any element defending the obstacle. Linear obstacles of the c-d-f type add 1 for any element defending the obstacle and also 1 for warbands or spears defending across them as though rear-supported, but do not prevent enemy flank support.
6. In any version that Dothraki riders are held as an off-table reserve, a flanking move may be attempted. There are two conditions. (1) while the winter god is not deployed a side-edge Dothraki deployment is successful on a 2-PIP buy AND the roll of 6 the first time, 5 or 6 the second time, 4 5 6 the third, and so on to the sixth attempt. The Rider elements may be deployed separately but the same conditions apply to each such. (2) the deployed winter god can prevent comms from signaling such an advance. During the defence "success roll" phase the god rolls a d6. If the score is equal to or better than the "success" d6 the deployment is canceled ie not nullifying the count but not advancing it.

Victory Conditions
It hardly needs saying, but this is Citadel vs Night King. See defence special rule 1. Optionally four playing cards are set out with an Ace representing Bran, then a concealed-assign governs which quadrant Bran is in, and that becomes the Citadel.

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