The Free Folk
Previewing the Wildlings of A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch
“Free folk don't follow names, or little cloth animals sewn on a tunic," the King-Beyond-the-Wall had told him. "They won't dance for coins, they don't care how you style yourself or what that chain of office means or who your grandsire was. They follow strength. They follow the man.”
–Mance Rayder, A Dance with Dragons
As a Brother of the Night’s Watch, your mission is to improve the failing infrastructure of the Gift to feed your ambition of becoming the new Lord Commander. The fierce competition of your comrades makes this no simple task, and all the while Tormund Giantsbane runs amok, robbing you of resources. What’s worse, rangers tell you that wildlings are stirring north of the Wall. The clans gather their forces of wildlings, climbers, and giants as they move south to stage their attack. Now, as you continue to build within the Gift, you must also assemble your patrol and protect Westeros from these ruthless raiders.
To prepare you for the battle that awaits, Fantasy Flight Games offers you a peek beyond the Wall at the wildlings of A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch!
The free folk are known to live as small scattered bands in the North, only causing minor trouble, but with the depleting numbers of the Night’s Watch, the wildling threat grows stronger with each passing day. In A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch, the wildlings begin in the farthest reaches of the North, the Frostfangs. Throughout the game, certain actions, like building a settlement, will cause wildlings to gather in greater number by revealing their tokens, each of which are marked with the wildling’s clan and type. Once the tokens are revealed, these savage ruffians start to migrate through their camps as they march towards the Wall.
The camps are divided into three clans: Ice River, Cave People, and Hornfoot. At the start of each player’s turn, they roll three dice: two six-sided dice to determine resources, and one twelve-sided die to determine wildling movements. Wildlings then move along the trails that connect the camps when the number of the twelve-sided die matches that of the trail marker.
Wildlings are not known for their peaceful, cooperative natures. If the camps in a clan area get too crowded, they will abandon caution and rush the Wall. But even if their numbers remain low, the march continues. All too soon, the warbands arrive in clearings at the base of the Wall where they wait until their gathered forces can execute an assault upon the Night’s Watch. When there are more wildlings in a clearing than guards on that section of the Wall, then they breach the Watch’s defenses and enter the Gift.
Attacking the Wall
These battles are bound to produce casualties. When a wall breach occurs, any guard in the 1 space of the wall section under attack must be removed and returned to his commander. The other guards that occupy the wall then move down to fill the vacancy. After this, the wildlings rush the wall and any who do not encounter a guard break through to raid the Gift.
Unfortunately for the Night’s Watch, the free folk have more than just numbers acting in their favor. In addition to regular wildlings, their ranks are filled with climbers and giants. Once they reach the Wall, the skillful climbers are able to slip past guards and invade the Gift unopposed. Meanwhile, giants can take out a guard defending the Wall and return him to his commanding player. However, in doing so they become weakened and must return to the Frostfangs to regain their strength before marching towards the Wall again. After a successful attack by the wildlings, players must move the token on the Breach Marker up by one. If the Breach number reaches three, the game ends.
Once in the Gift, the new wildlings follow Tormund’s lead and act as robbers, blocking production in any hex they fill. Each wildling who makes it across gets their own hex to occupy, hoping to take as much from the Crows as possible. Their presence makes it increasingly difficult for the brothers of the Night’s Watch to gather the resources needed to fulfill their mission of improving the Gift’s infrastructure. If their numbers within the Gift reach eight or more, the land becomes completely overrun and only an alternate form of victory remains.
The key mission of the Night’s Watch is to defend the land of Westeros. If wildlings take hold of the Gift, the brotherhood cannot delay their decision any longer and must choose a new Lord Commander immediately. In this crisis, the brother most capable of leading the Order is clearly the one with the most guards loyal to his command. In the case of an alternative victory, the player who has the most guards left standing on the Wall after the wildlings attack is the victor. If two players have the same number of guards, then the player who earned the most victory points by improving the Gift claims the coveted title.
Uphold Your Vows
Journey to the North. Defend the realms of man, rise above your rivals, and become the new Lord Commander!
Watch for the wildlings in A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch (CN3015) in Q4 of 2017!