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ASOIAF – Baratheon Army Guide

House Baratheon: A Storm of Fury in A Song of Ice and Fire Miniature Game

House Baratheon, the embodiment of a storm, fury, and unyielding strength, is a powerhouse faction in A Song of Ice and Fire Miniature Game. 

Descended from the legendary warriors of the Stormlands, they bring a unique blend of aggressive offense and defensive resilience to the battlefield. This guide looks at the ASOIAF Baratheon playstyle, exploring unit choices, strategies, and tactics to unleash their full potential. 

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House Baratheon's Story: A Legacy of Rebellion

From Conquest to Storm's End: The Murky Origins of House Baratheon

House Baratheon’s rise to power is shrouded in a layer of complexity. Unlike the ancient lineages of some Westeros houses, their claim to Storm’s End and the Iron Throne is a story woven from ambition, rebellion, and a hint of mystery.

Their origins trace back to Orys Baratheon, a figure shrouded in legend. Whispers claim him to be the bastard half-brother of Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen king of Westeros. Through a brutal alliance and a strategic marriage, Orys Baratheon secured his place in the Stormlands. He conquered the region from the Durrandon dynasty, the last Storm Kings, and solidified his hold by marrying the sole Durrandon daughter. House Baratheon was thus established, adopting the sigil and martial traditions of the Stormlands. However, the legitimacy of this conquest remains a subject of debate. Official histories paint a picture of a hard-won victory, but some tales hint at a more ruthless takeover by Orys Baratheon.

Wardens of the Storm: Loyalty and Discontent Under the Targaryen Rule

For centuries that followed, House Baratheon served loyally as the Targaryen wardens of the Stormlands. They fought valiantly in numerous wars, proving their martial prowess and solidifying their place as a prominent house in Westeros. However, cracks begin to show in the Targaryen reign under the erratic rule of King Aerys II. Discontent simmered amongst the nobility, and when the crown prince, Rhaegar Targaryen, allegedly abducted Lyanna Stark, betrothed to Robert Baratheon, the simmering pot boiled over.

Rebellion and the Iron Throne: A Crown Forged in Fury

The alleged abduction of Lyanna Stark ignited a spark of rebellion in Robert Baratheon, the embodiment of the Stormlands’ fury. Fueled by personal grievance, a sense of duty, and a potential claim to the Iron Throne whispered to be rooted in Targaryen blood that flowed in Baratheon veins, Robert Baratheon, the “Storm’s End” himself, rose in defiance. This rebellion, backed by powerful houses like the Starks, Tullys, and Arryns, ultimately toppled the Targaryen dynasty. Robert Baratheon emerged victorious, claiming the Iron Throne and ushering in a new era for Westeros.

However, the Baratheon reign was not without its challenges. The legacy of House Baratheon became a complex tapestry woven with internal conflicts, whispers of an usurped throne, and the constant threat of Targaryen loyalists seeking to reclaim their lost power. These shadows cast a long and turbulent path for the future of House Baratheon

Building Your Baratheon Army: Core Units

Baratheon’s strength lies in its formidable infantry, but don’t underestimate your options for adding a touch of tactical speed. Here’s a breakdown of your core Baratheon troops, with some tips on maximizing their effectiveness:

The Unbreakable Wall:

  • Baratheon Sentinels: The embodiment of Baratheon resilience, Sentinels are heavily armored warriors wielding formidable war hammers. They form an unyielding frontline, absorbing enemy charges and holding objectives with unwavering resolve. However, their true strength lies in their Order: Sentinel. This allows them to react to nearby friendly units being attacked with a free charge or maneuver. This injects some much-needed mobility into your Baratheon infantry, allowing them to potentially flank and surprise your opponent.
  • Wardens: These disciplined fighters, armed with swords and shields, offer a strong defensive core. Their attacks have the potential to inflict the “weakened” condition on the enemy, reducing their attack dice. Furthermore, Wardens can inflict damage even while defending, making them a thorn in your opponent’s side during prolonged engagements.

Ranged Fury:

  • Thorn Watch with Brienne (Renly): This unorthodox but potent combo is tailor-made for a Renly-led Baratheon army. Thorn Watch are skilled archers who can fall back and regain models after a melee attack, making them highly mobile and resilient. Adding Brienne the Blue with her “Renly’s Protector” ability elevates their potential. This allows Thorn Watch to charge or attack any unit targeting Renly, enabling a devastating cycle of charging, attacking, falling back, and regenerating multiple times in a turn.
  • Lightbringers (Stannis): For Stannis Baratheon players, Lightbringers are a premier choice. These elite archers not only boast long-range attacks, but their vicious trait allows them to re-roll failed wound rolls. Additionally, their attacks have the potential to inflict panic tests on enemy units besides the defender. This makes them an excellent harassment tool, capable of slowly demoralizing your opponent’s forces.

Mounted Might:

  • Riders of Highgarden (Renly): These swift horse lancers offer Renly players a much-needed injection of speed. While they trade some durability for their exceptional mobility, their ability to harass enemy flanks and soften them up before a crushing charge makes them invaluable. Remember, their fragility requires careful positioning to maximize their impact.
  • Champions of the Stag with Dragonstone Noble (Stannis): Stannis players seeking a devastating cavalry option can look no further than the Champions of the Stag. These heavily armored knights excel at delivering earth-shattering charges. Additionally, the Dragonstone Noble attachment grants them the Order: Sentinel ability, mirroring the Baratheon Sentinels’ reactive mobility.

Neutral Character Units (NCUs):

  • Renly’s Courtly Intrigue: The master strategist Cortnay Penrose and the cunning Olenna Tyrell form a perfect combination for Renly-loyal armies. Their combined abilities can force your opponent into difficult tactical decisions, potentially disrupting their NCU activations and overall strategy.
  • Stannis’ Powerhouses: For Stannis Baratheon, Davos Seaworth offers invaluable support. His ability to re-roll your dice while charging can turn the tide of a crucial combat round. Additionally, the powerful spellcaster Melisandre can inflict devastating panic tests on enemy units, further crippling their morale and potentially breaking their formations.

Remember, these are just some starting points. Experiment with different unit and NCU combinations to find the Baratheon army that best suits your preferred playstyle, whether it’s Renly’s swift and aggressive tactics or Stannis’s unwavering resilience and potent magic.

The Baratheon Storm: Fury and Fortitude on the Battlefield

House Baratheon’s approach to warfare embodies the very essence of their sigil, the crowned golden stag – a relentless storm of fury tempered by unwavering fortitude. Choosing between the two Baratheon brothers, Renly and Stannis, offers distinct strategic paths, each leveraging the core Baratheon strengths in unique ways.

Renly's Blitz: A Whirlwind of Offensive Maneuvers

Renly Baratheon, the “Beloved,” embodies a more flamboyant and aggressive approach to warfare.

  • Flanking Fury: Renly’s armies excel at flanking maneuvers and harassing enemy formations before unleashing a decisive charge. Their cavalry plays a crucial role in this strategy, softening flanks and creating opportunities for brutal charges.
  • Disruptive Movement: Even unconventional tactics find a place in Renly’s army, emphasizing his focus on disrupting enemy formations with movement and opportunistic attacks.
  • Tactical Chaos: Renly-loyal NCUs excel at manipulating the tactics board, potentially forcing your opponent into awkward activations and disrupting their overall strategy.

Stannis's Standfast: An Impregnable Bulwark

Stannis Baratheon, the “Mannis,” is the embodiment of resolute defense and unwavering resolve. His tactics rely on an impregnable frontline and devastating counter-attacks.

  • The Anvil and the Hammer: Stannis’s Baratheon army thrives on the classic “anvil and hammer” approach. The heavily armored Sentinels and Wardens form an unyielding wall at the forefront, while the elite Champions of the Stag unleash a devastating counter-attack.
  • Ranged Pressure: Stannis’s reliance on a strong center allows him to effectively utilize Lightbringers, his elite archers. Their long-range attacks and potential to inflict panic on multiple enemy units make them a potent tool for slowly eroding enemy morale.
  • Magic and Might: Adding to Stannis’s defensive might is the powerful spellcaster Melisandre and the unwavering support of Davos Seaworth, who can re-roll dice during charges.

While both Baratheon brothers share the core strengths of their house, their approaches to warfare diverge significantly. Choosing your Baratheon allegiance comes down to your preferred playstyle: a whirlwind of offensive fury or an impregnable bulwark weathering the storm before unleashing its own.

Pro Tips and Tricks for Commanding the Baratheon Storm

While Baratheon’s strength lies in heavily armored units, there are ways to address their slower movement and leverage some tactical speed. Here are some insights gleaned from seasoned Baratheon players!

Boosting Movement:

  • Renly’s Speed: For a Renly-led Baratheon army, consider the Riders of Highgarden. They trade some durability for exceptional speed and can deal significant damage on impact. However, be mindful of their fragility compared to core Baratheon troops.
  • Sentinel to the Rescue: Baratheon Sentinels might not be naturally fast, but their Order: Sentinel shines here. This allows them to react to nearby friendly units being attacked with a free charge or maneuver, making them excellent flankers.
  • Thorn Watch with Brienne: An unorthodox but potentially potent combo is Thorn Watch with Brienne the Blue attached. Thorn Watch can fall back and regain models after a melee attack, making them hard to pin down. Brienne’s “Renly’s Protector” ability lets them charge or attack any unit targeting Renly, enabling a cycle of charging, attacking, falling back, and regenerating multiple times in a turn.

Addressing Movement Weaknesses:

Here are some additional tips to navigate the Baratheon’s movement limitations:

  • Mastering Sentinel: As mentioned earlier, Sentinel is Baratheon’s best friend. Their tendency to run “tall” lists with fewer, elite units can be countered by building for out-of-activation actions. Sentinel allows a unit to react to enemy activity, granting free maneuvers or charges. Even a single free move can set up devastating flank charges.
  • Brienne’s Mobility: Brienne the Blue with her “Renly’s Protector” ability allows a similar tactic to Sentinel. Pair her with Thorn Watch in a Renly commander list for surprising mobility across the battlefield.
  • A Touch of Cavalry: Including at least one cavalry unit is crucial. Cavalry thrives on mobility, and its absence can leave you feeling restricted. Luckily, Baratheons have excellent choices in Riders of Highgarden and Champions of the Stag (CoTS).

Different Options Between Brothers:

  • Stannis’ Options: For Stannis players, consider adding a Dragonstone Noble to CoTS for Sentinel synergy. An even more potent (but expensive) combo is using Zorse riders to gain cavalry with Sentinel.
  • Long-Range Support: A unit of archers adds pressure on your opponent and can help with movement. The 2-inch shift from firing bows can create an opportunity for additional movement.
  • Archer Options: Renly players have access to Golden Company Crossbowmen. Pairing them with Cortnay Penrose as commander creates a “poor man’s Kevan Lannister” list, focusing on ranged harassment.
  • Stannis’ Archers: Lightbringers are considered one of the best archer units in the game. Their long-range shots, Vicious trait, and potential to spread fear make them a valuable asset for Stannis Baratheon.

Remember, these are just some pointers to get you started. Experiment with different unit combinations and NCU setups to find the playstyle that best suits your Baratheon army and leadership style.

And that’s all for our guide! We hope you found it helpful, while starting your own Baratheon army!

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