How To Win At The Game Of Thrones Board Game: Part 3- Stark and Greyjoy (2023)

In this part I am going to start talking about the specifics of playing as each house. I have broken this discussion into 3 parts, as each house has a lengthy section attributed to it. In this first part we will look at Stark and Greyjoy (if you missed the previous parts, part 1 can be found here and part 2here).

"Do we have a house slogan?" "We do not, so...?"

6: Specific House Strategies and Weaknesses

"Know when to fight
And when not to fight"

-Sun Tzu on Waging War

During this discussion on generalstrategy I have also alluded to the specifics of playing asindividual houses. In this section I am going to talk about the keystrategies that each house should deploy, as well as proposed openingmoves. The majority of these opening moves are based on the principlethat a large land grab in turn 1 is the best move, but also allowingfor flexibility and time to react to opponents' moves.


House Stark are often seen as the mostdefensive house, since a lot of their house cards are designed toprotect units, as well as them being geographically the furthest awayfrom the action. Probably the biggest strength for Stark is the largenumber of land areas that they can take and hold without much fear ofretaliation; the only house that may consider heading north is theGreyjoys. The Starks can create a choke point at Moat Cailin, as wellas having easy access to the Vale. It is therefore a priority forStark that they set up a defensive position around Moat Cailin (oreven Seaguard if the opportunity arises), and send 2-3 footmen topick up the undefended territories in the north and the Vale. Thiscreates easy power token farming as well as allowing Stark to pick upextra barrels, which has to be an early game priority for them, asthey only start on 1.

(Video) Winning as House Greyjoy - Game of Thrones: The Board Game Strategy Guide

Perhaps Stark's biggest weakness istheir navy. Winterfell is the only territory that can be marched onfrom both the west and the east sea areas, and as such it needs astrong navy on both sides. The problem with this is that Stark'sneighbours, Baratheon and Greyjoy, boast the strongest navies in thegame. Furthermore, Stark has at best 6 ships to play with, which isnot going to be enough to hold both sides. Therefore, Stark mustconsider how to put pressure on these two houses. By continuallymaking aggressive moves towards Seaguard Stark can force Greyjoy tokeep their navy in and around Ironman's Bay, as they will not want toleave their land forces unsupported. This means that Greyjoy will notbe able to spare an attacking navy to head north. That said, it isvital that Stark muster 1-2 boats into Bay of Ice as soon as possibleto ensure that Greyjoy have a strong enough incentive not to headnorth.

Pictured: A strong incentive

To defend against Baratheon, Stark needboats in the Narrow Sea. Ideally having a force of 3 boats, possiblywith additional support from either the Shivering Sea or White Harborport, will make any naval attacks an unappealing prospect forBaratheon. Their trump card is Salador Sahn, who only works whenBaratheon are being supported, which they can't be when marchingnorth.

Stark have the most unusual house deck,in that Roose Bolton's ability to avoid playing through the full deckmeans that Stark can ensure they always maintain a strong hand ofcards. This means that Eddard, Robb and the Greatjon should be usedfirst to maximise Roose's value. The best time to play Roose is bymarching into a key territory for an opponent, which forces them toplay a winning move. For example, a march into Seaguard puts pressureon Greyjoy to play a strong card to ensure a win, whilst also posinglittle threat to you, since Greyjoy have few sword icons at theirdisposal.

Unless Greyjoy or Baratheon arecompletely wiped out it is unlikely that Stark can make a play for 7castles. Therefore, Stark players should aim for 5-6 castles; namely,Winterfell, White Harbor, Moat Cailin, The Eyrie, and ideallySeaguard and Flint's Finger. As long as Greyjoy are kept in checkStark shouldn't have too many problems making a safe attempt at thewin.

Suggested openings:

Shivering Sea: March -1 into the NarrowSea

White Harbor: March 0 into the Fingers

Winterfell: March +1, knight into MoatCailin, Footman into the Twins

(Video) Winning as House Stark - Game of Thrones: The Board Game Strategy Guide


Shivering Sea: March 0 into the NarrowSea

White Harbor: March +1 into the MoatCailin

Winterfell: *Consolidate Power (Boat inthe Bay Of Ice, Footman on Winterfell)


It says a lot about Greyjoy's positionthat, in the 3 player game, Stark and Lannister quickly come to blowswithout them squeezed in the middle; as such, Greyjoy, more than any otherhouse, will feel the pressure of being on top of other houses. Putsimply; Stark needs to march south through the Greyjoys, andLannister do not want Greyjoy sitting on their doorstep. Fortunately,Greyjoy start with the Valyrian Steel Blade, as well as having by farthe strongest house cards. If used correctly, Euron, Victarion andBalon are all effectively guaranteed wins. Theon and Asha are verystrong in the right situations, and Aeron is arguably the mostdangerous 0 (he can burn himself and lets Greyjoy respond towhichever housecard they come up against). All this gives Greyjoy ahuge number of options in combat, which they desperately need,especially due to their lack of special orders.

Special orders not always required.

Another plus point for Greyjoy is theirnaval presence, in that it is possible for Greyjoy to support alltheir key territories with a single strong navy in Ironman's Bay. Thetwo key naval positions that Greyjoy need to consider are thefollowing. Firstly, there is enormous power in being able to hold twoadjacent sea areas, as it allows any naval supports to be raided,whilst also protecting your own support. As such, it is key to tryand take Sunset Sea as soon as possible, as this allowsraiding of Lannister support from the Golden Sound. This feeds intothe second key aspect of the Greyjoy navy; Ironman's Bay is adjacentto Riverrun, but the Golden Sound is not adjacent to Seaguard. This means it is much harder for Lannister to defendRiverrun that it is for Greyjoy to defend Seaguard. If Greyjoy canachieve this naval set up they can comfortably take and holdRiverrun, giving them access to a 4th castle (and a 3rdstronghold). Because of this difference in positioning and all thingsbeing equal, Greyjoy will probably have the upperhand in the contestfor Riverrun.

(Video) Winning as House Baratheon - Game of Thrones: The Board Game Strategy Guide

From here Greyjoy need to considerwhether to march north or south. Due to the aforementioned navalissues that Stark face a push into Winterfell is not a big stretchfor Greyjoy, since Stark simply cannot defend their Western coastagainst Victarion. It is also very difficult for Stark to safelydefend their northern holdings once their navy has gone, as Greyjoywill have much easier movement options. Once Winterfell has gone Greyjoy should aim to take either Moat Cailin or Whiteharbor, which would likely givethem the win. This is made even easier if Baratheon hold theShivering Sea, as it prevents Stark supporting.

Alternatively, Greyjoy can head southand clash with Lannister. Again, as above, Riverrun is likely to gotowards Greyjoy, which can be a killing blow for Lannister. Once ithas gone then Greyjoy can either push east for Harrenhal andCrackclaw point, or aim to take Lannisport. Lannisport is generallythe better choice, since the Greyjoy navy can get involved, and onceGreyjoy have taken Seaguard, Riverrun and Lannisport it is prettymuch game over (especially if there is a mustering).

Obviously both these strategies arevery aggressive, but it is the nature of the Greyjoy position. Itshould be said that if you are moving to take Winterfell orLannisport make sure it is mid to late game, since you areeffectively taking a player out of the game, which they won't be toohappy about if it's only turn 3.

Aside from positioning, the other mainissue Greyjoy face is the influence tracks. Outside of Pyke they areunlikely to ever be able to consolidate power safely anywhere on theboard, which is dangerous, since they need to grab special orders tocompete with Lannister. Otherwise a well-paced and conservativeGreyjoy game can be a strong candidate to win, as their house cardsmean reliable victories when you need them.

Suggested openings:

Greywater Watch: March -1 into Flint'sFinger

Pyke: March 0, knight into Seaguard,footman into Riverrun (or both into Seaguard if Riverrun has beentaken by Lannister)

Pyke port: Consolidate power

(Video) A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (2nd Edition) Complete Tutorial

Ironman's Bay: Support


Greywater Watch: Consolidate power

Pyke: March -1, knight into Seaguard,footman into Flint's Finger

Pyke port: Consolidate power

Ironman's Bay: March 0 into Sunset Sea

So that's Stark and Greyjoy. In the next part we move to the middle of the board and look at Lannister and Baratheon.

-Part 4- Lannister and Baratheon
-Part 5- Tyrell and Martell
-Part 6-Taking the Win, Meta-Game and Alliances, and Alternative Ways to Play

(Video) Winning as House Lannister - Game of Thrones: The Board Game Strategy Guide


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