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Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
Games: 1,331
Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 06:53
At the outset, I will acknowledge that whatever expertise I am suggesting I have with these lengthy posts should be considered especially suspect when it comes to the noble houses of Tyrell and Lannister.  As of this writing, my win rate in 6p games with Stark is around 30% and Greyjoy 25%.  So while that does not represent absolute mastery by any stretch, it seems solid enough to make some proclamations with a reasonable approximation of confidence.  My win rate with Lannister is currently hovering around 13%.  That is, I believe, a bit above the site-wide average, but still below the 1-in-6 chance that a truly balanced game would dictate as standard.  With Tyrell, it's even worse.  So while I will continue to speak in terms that sound certain, these last couple are even more works in progress than the others, and I invite challenges to my reasoning even more heartily.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
Games: 1,331
Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 07:05
HOUSE CARDS

Difficult to use, but highly dangerous.  Lannister has the most complicated deck, full of unique threats.  There is not really a single roadmap for how to use it the way there is for Greyjoy/Stark/Baratheon.  So let’s just look at them individually:

Tywin:  Not one of the strongest 4 cards, although his ability is nothing to sneeze at. It makes Lannister the only house that can gain power during Feast For Crows, and especially in cash-poor games with a lot of Clashes and Wildling Attacks, 2 tokens can be a huge swing.  It is also a big equalizer in a war with Greyjoy.  For a house that is the richest in the kingdoms in terms of lore, Lannister really lacks for safe CP positions in the game, particularly if Greyjoy is pressing hard on the coast.  If you can get an extra 2 tokens from your housecards while they pay 2 to use Aeron, the gap closes very quickly.  Although realistically, if he’s using Aeron it’s in order to beat your big cards, so you’re probably not going to see a full 4 point swing.  Still, 2 is plenty bigger than the Ironborn want to see.

The biggest problem with Tywin is not really about his ability, but the neighboring cards that can limit his effectiveness.  Wasting him against Balon – who can’t be easily baited out thanks to Aeron – means you don’t see that money.  And Baratheon can absorb a loss to him without casualties by playing Patchface and discarding Gregor, leaving you highly vulnerable for an extended period while you cycle through a bunch of low cards whose value can be largely dependent upon surprise. Two tokens is great, but not generally worth that trade off. So more than any other 4 card, Tywin tends to get held back, and back, and then burned off on a pointless battle to facilitate a quick resetting of the hand.

Gregor:  The most potent offensive weapon in the game. His ability to wipe out entire armies in a single blow is unparalleled, and of the three houses that can make direct war on Lannister, none of them have the forts to stop more than 1 of the 3 swords.  He is a Mountain for all seasons, working equally well on attack and defense, land or sea. Your neighbors fear him, and they should.

Jaime Lannister:  Your most basic 2 card. Usually he or Kevan is the one I’m trying to leave for last.

The Hound: An effective defender that only Mace’s ability can overcome.  But he’s also your only fort card, which means that “wasting” him on a defeat against an opposing house card without swords is a bigger deal than it is for Stark or Tyrell.  And given that all the neighboring houses’ strongest offensive weapons do lack for such swords (Balon, Victarion, Renly, Stannis, Loras, Mace), it can be tricky to judge for that. Luckily, the rest of the Lannister deck makes it awfully risky for opponents to make fancy bluffs with their attacks.

Tyrion: An extremely powerful, but extremely situational, card.  Tyrion is at his most devastating when a careless opponent is down to a single card, in which case the Imp becomes like a shrunken Balon, only better because he cancels out any special abilities AND denies the opponent their recycle of their cards. When you catch Greyjoy with his pants down, and Tyrion means he can’t get Balon/Euron back in time to counterattack before Pyke falls…that’s the goods.

He’s also excellent to play defensively against Tyrell. Either blocking the QOT’s attempts to remove key support orders, or stopping Loras in his tracks before he reaches the Lannister heartlands.  True, he reutrns the cards to Tyrell’s hand, so you may have to face him/her again soon, but it foils the element of surprise that is so key to Tyrell’s offensives, giving you an extra chance to shore up defenses and arrange counterattacks.

Kevan:  A potentially powerful weapon that doesn’t come through all that often.  He’s a counter to Balon, in theory.  But in practice, Lannister spends most of a war with Greyjoy on the defensive, with the decisive battles involving siege engines or sea combat. The opportunity to attack with several footmen just doesn’t come up too often.

But when it does, you should take advantage.  You may really want to kill that knight with Gregor, and especially if it is early and represents a good chunk of your enemy's total forces, perhaps you should.  But if you can win an attack with your 1 card (whose is useless on defense), it’s often better to keep Ser Clegane in your hand for his deterrence factor.

This is a bit of a tangent, but it relates to all houses and this seems a good a place as any.  Lannister is especially vulnerable once their two big cards are spent, and their proximity to Patchface can force that scenario more often than one would like, so you have to be careful. I haven't talked about this liminal space a lot, but it is important to be aware of it as the game is progressing.  Stark has Roose to avoid getting stuck with their pants down. Greyjoy’s strongest card is a 2 and has Aeron to help him cycle through more quickly, so dumping his 4 card early is not a big deal. Baratheon has the strength-boosting properties of Davos and Salla to give him a boost when his hand is thinning out. Tyrell has more forts and swords to protect them in defeat and give teeth to counterattacks, while QOT can punch above her printed weight by removing supports. And Martell has Doran’s enormous deterrent factor and Arianne to freeze advances in their tracks.

Comparatively, Lannister really only has Tyrion’s highly conditional ability to provide special defenses. Cersei is also less effective when you are low on options and opponents can see her coming. Kevan is nothing on defense, and Jaime is nothing special in any instance.

The upshot here is that if you have to face an opponent (or 2 or 3, given their middle board position) with your 3 and 4 card spent, you are going to be in for some hurt.  Especially with Lanni’s typically poor fiefdom position, you will most likely be losing both units and territory as you struggle to keep afloat. So if you can play Kevan at 3 or 4 strength when your hand is full, that is generally the best option.

Cersei:  The Queen Regent is the most underrated card in the game, if also the most difficult to use to her full effect.  She works best with valyrian steel or siege engines, but when she comes through she can spell absolute disaster for opponents.  Remove a key support order for a stronghold, or a counterattack march that would otherwise spell doom for your invading army, and watch the gnashing of teeth commence.  In a Greyjoy war, the move is often to use your early muster in Lannisport to make sieges, raven ability to maximize the effectiveness of adjoining support/raids, and +1 orders to overpower the footman in Riverrun on the opening march, canceling a counterattack or sea invasion and basically costing Greyjoy a turn.  You have to be careful though, since if Greyjoy still has Euron, Cersei requires a stonking +6 combat str advantage to overcome him, and Aeron renders any attempt to gamble on him defending for someone else a suicidal mistake.

My girl is high maintenance, don’t get me wrong.  But you want to keep her around, and always look for any opportunity to use her.  Even when she “just” cancels a random CP order, that can have powerful ripple effects in coming rounds.  And I’ve seen her be directly responsible for wins in the 10th round, when everyone is apt to be abandoning solid defenses to throw all their strength at those last 1-2 conquering marches. In that situation, she can take enemies unawares in seemingly unimportant areas, leaving massive enemy armies stranded at Winterfell or Dragonstone, unable to complete their carefully-plotted conquest.

KEY CARDS:  Gregor Clegane, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister.  Gregor’s use should be obvious.  Cersei’s value is a bit harder to see, but learning to appreciate her is the first step in learning the Lannister ropes.  And Tyrion is similarly not much to look at, but he’s a closer – one of the cards you want to be absolutely, positively sure that you have in your hand on turn 10 with the game in the balance.  Denying an incursion by Loras, or QOT’s attempt to rob you of one of your last marches, or Victarion from bringing a crushing amount of sea support to bear on Riverrun…there are any number of ways that he can put paid to your opponents’ elaborate plans to close out a win.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
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Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 07:10
BOARD POSITION

Very precarious, but full of potential.  The Westerlands have 5 Muster Points, 6 barrels, and 3 crowns. I am including Riverrun, Searoad Marches, and Blackwater in Lannister’s territory, even though they are going to be much more heavily contested than other borderlands like the Boneway, Dornish Marches, or Moat Cailin, mostly because they are all supportable from a single area.  The most unique thing about Lannister territory is that the nexus of this support hub is a land area.  Every other house relies on a somewhat protected sea area – Blackwater Bay, Sea of Dorne, Redwyne Straights, Ironman Bay, Shivering Sea – to protect its core territories from easy invasion. And those core territories include an outlier sea area that provide access to essentially their entire kingdom.  Lannister is unique in that it only has one sea area to call its own, and it is only supportable from the port of Lannisport.

This means that you can’t realistically hold the Golden Sound against a determined Greyjoy. You shouldn’t cede it without a fight, and need to keep what ships you have alive as long as possible to pester the Ironborn naval forces, but if you don’t have an alliance with them the chances of you holding Golden Sound for an entire game are effectively nil.  But if you can make peace or catch enough breaks to fill Lannister’s entire land holdings, rendering Stoney support orders unraidable, then it becomes a fortress that only a very concerted effort by multiple houses, or a very unfortunate Web Of Lies, will be able to break into.  And within that fortress, you have all the supply (if not crowns) you could ask for, but more on that in a bit.

The other thing about Lannister’s position is that they are smack in the middle of the board, meaning that they are vulnerable to attack on three fronts.  This is more precarious than the corner houses (Martell, Stark) and requires some careful diplomacy, but it also creates endless opportunities.  You desperately need at least one ally, but you have options galore.  If Greyjoy attacks you immediately, mostly the rest of the realm will side with you, however passively. You are thankfully protected from Martell’s more vicious cards, but they may welcome an offer to help squeeze one of their neighbors. If there is a southern alliance, a sensible Baratheon will be worried enough to cede you Blackwater (or just be too worn down from fighting a handicap match to contest it effectively), and that is pretty much all you need from him.  Loras can be your savior when Greyjoy is pressing you hard and the Starks are sticking their heads in the snow.  You need to engage in some diplomacy to have any shot at winning. Lannister needs to heed Littlefinger's counse; play out every eventuality in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend.  All the possibilities are open to you, at least until another player slams that particular door in your face.

I’ve found that Lannister has a hell of a time winning when Greyjoy attacks them right off the bat…but also a hell of a time winning without taking Greyjoy seas/castles. Everything I laid out in the Greyjoy thread about the lands adjoining Ironman/Golden Sound being by far the richest and most compact area of the board applies just as equally to Lannister, and there are some other considerations that I’ll go over more below that make it especially hard for them to take the necessary castles overland as the game winds down. So you want to make peace with Greyjoy right off the bat, but always keep an eye out for an opportunity to seize Ironman's Bay (not that these will be plentiful, since mustering a large force of ships will raise alarm bells).

KEY TERRITORIES:  Stoney Sept.  It is the best support location in the game.  Only The Reach can support as many different areas simultaneously, but there are generally 4 houses that can raid it while Stoney can be entirely surrounded and become unraidable without too much fuss.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
Games: 1,331
Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 07:12
STARTING POSITIONS

Good.  I think?  Sort of. Taken on its own, Lannister’s starting track positions are quite good. They are at the bottom of the fiefdom track, but really if you aren’t holding the blade the rest of the positions aren’t usually worth sweating over. They have turn order priority over everyone but Baratheon, but with Stannis, being ahead of them would be a mixed blessing anyway. And they start with the raven, which is as good as it gets in the most important track there is, even with the lack of integration of 2nd edition wildlings and the relative dearth of units in the opening. The problem they have is not their own positions so much as Greyjoy’s (particularly their extra ship). It puts them immediately on the defensive if they can’t convince the Ironborn to seek out colder climes.

You need to think carefully and learn to master using that raven to finesse small advantages in the early going to have success as Lannister.  The potential scenarios for its use are too voluminous to give specific directions, but look for opportunities to switch raid orders to supports or CPs, and also consider that it’s never too early to backstab an ally if their order placement leaves them open to a quick change and a crushing blow.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
Games: 1,331
Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 07:13
SPECIAL/UNIQUE STRENGTHS

Plentiful supply. Lanni has the fastest/easiest time getting to 5+ barrels, which you will need because it is probably going to take an army of 4 units to break through Greyjoy’s sea defenses, or to overcome Tyrell or Baratheon to hold a 4th castle, much less a 5th. Because for as rich as the Lannister lands are in muster points and barrels, they still only amount to 3 castles, to the 4 in Dorne and the North.  You probably aren’t going to win a tiebreak, even with full supply and loads of cash, by taking a single enemy castle on the last round. Still, even in the cases where you are "losing" the battle for Blackwater with Baratheon, you can still sit comfortably at 4 barrels.

Deterrence. Despite starting the game somewhat at the mercy of Greyjoy, Lannister is a dangerous house to attack heedlessly. If, as the aggressor, you succeed in baiting out Tywin, you are giving Lannister an extra CP order in the process. If you bring out Gregor, he is likely to wipe out the entire attacking force (and playing in fear of that by attacking with a single unit only gives away the bluff). If you are low on cards, Tyrion can throw a wrench in your next couple rounds of plans, and if you just want to sacrifice a footman to use Patchface or QOT to remove a march, Cersei can take an equally big bite out of your own setup in return.

This is something of a double edged sword, however, since it can require some coaxing to convince allies to cycle cards with you.  It’s better to have good cards than harmless ones that encourage enemies to attack you willy-nilly (like Greyjoy and Baratheon), but still.

Allies.  People are hyper-aware of the Lanni/GJ imbalance to start off with, so if you are warring with them, the rest of the realm should side with you by default.  They may be much more passive in their support than you’d like, but…look, I’m reaching here, people.  Lannister is hard.


SPECIAL/UNIQUE WEAKNESSES

Only 1 sea area.  As mentioned before, Lanni is the only house without reliable sea support/transport for their core territories. This makes their defenses more difficult to coordinate, and makes Stoney Sept an invaluable location for maintaining some semblance of border security.

On top of this, the lack of sea territories means that even when you field your enormous armies late in the game, they are slow-moving beasts, having to trudge overland instead of darting around the board by ship (or Loras).  This means that while Lannister’s house deck is full of wild cards, their plans tend to be pretty transparent to anyone paying attention once orders are revealed. So you have to plot out your moves meticulously and anticipate your opponents’ orders exactly when plotting an offensive, since everyone else has a lot more flexibility to switch up their plans on the fly than you do (assuming the raven is lost). It also means that even once player has “mastered” the none-too-easy task of fighting off Greyjoy in the opening rounds, there is a whole different, none-too-easy skillset to learn when it comes to closing the deal.

Lannister really is hard to play, guys.

No safe CP. Even if you keep the Golden Sound, the only crown area that is protected from direct enemy raids is Stoney Sept, and as discussed you should be playing support there almost every round. As such, you need a reliable alliance to farm steady $, and also probably to put a single CP in the port every round and hopefully use Tywin to his full extent. I suppose having the raven allows you to avoid a clash for as long as possible via Dark Wings, Dark Words, but it’s still going to come some time and you are unlikely to be the richest man around when it does.
  
Middle Position.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  We talked about how a corner position isn’t the best in the Martell section, but also about how being stuck in the middle means that you don’t necessarily get to pick your enemies in the Baratheon section. It does means you have several different directions in which to expand, and you don’t necessarily have to conquer any player entirely if you have grown strong enough at the end to take a castle here and one there and hold them.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
Games: 1,331
Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 07:20
EARLY STRATEGIC CONCERNS

Is Greyjoy friendly?  If he is attacking, you’re going to be on your heels for a couple turns most likely. If he is not, you have a few competing goals. 1) take Riverrun as quickly as possible. 2) Take Blackwater as quickly as possible.  3) Muster as many extra troops as you can while you have star orders. 4) CP as much as possible before all the lands get filled and you have raiders on every border.  You definitely want to start with a CP* in Lannisport, to make a ship in the port and either a siege engine (if GJ is hostile), or another footman.

Stoney Sept is a trickier call.  I would say that Riverrun is generally worth foregoing an immediate 2 tokens for, with its stronghold, barrel and crown “hitting” on any Muster, Supply, or Game Of Thrones card in the Westeros phase.  But Game Of Thrones is actually a wash since you should never be leaving a token in Stoney Sept to collect on that card. Cutting against that is not just that truly safe CP options can quickly become scarce for Lanni. Perhaps more importantly, marching out of Stoney puts you another turn away from occupying Blackwater, which is apt to be the focal point of a struggle with Baratheon.  On balance, the sop to Greyjoy (provided they are sophisticated enough to understand the Ironman mustering issue) tips the scales in the CP direction more often than not.  But taking Riverrun is a fine move. Even taking Harrenhall is not that bad, as it still puts you in range of Blackwater on turn 2.
ChelseaPete
One Of The Kingsguard

Posts: 103
Games: 142
Rank Points: 1,084
Member since: 2017-Oct-27

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 14:16
I also have very limited success with Lannister, so maybe don't have the best advice. But I think that Cersei is more effective as a deterrent than as an offensive weapon. Don't get me wrong, she can be devastating when used at the right time offensively, but once you have set up support in Stoney Sept, she becomes a big problem for potential invaders.

First, opponents have to think twice before recycling cards against you, even after Tyrion has been played. And she can cancel the Queen of Thorns when Tyrell tries to remove support from Stoney Sept -- Cersei can just remove the follow up attack. Even when fighting Greyjoy, I like to hold onto Cersei to protect my flank and will use either Kevan or Gregor to retake Riverrun.

Also, I find when facing an aggressive Greyjoy that CP in Stoney Sept is the way to go. And if GJ doesn't put a march in Ironman's Bay, I grab Sunset Sea too. Then I muster a ship and a footman from Lannisport. The CP in Stoney Sept allows you to counterattack more effectively turn 2, and also protects against an early clash in the Westeros phase.

I grab Riverrun on turn 2 by support+1 from Stoney Sept, march+1 from Lannisport, and raid* from Golden Sound to burn any raid/defense orders in Riverrun. I then march the knight into Stoney Sept, and two footmen into Riverrun. This gives me an attack score of 7, with GJ having a maximum of 3. I can win this battle with either Kevan or the Mountain, depending on whether I can kill GJ's knight or not.

Greyjoy will usually take Golden Sound later in turn 2, but with a knight and footman and support+1 in Stoney Sept, both Lannisport (garrison) and Riverrun (two footmen) defend with a 6, so they are pretty well protected against a follow up attack. At the end of the turn, I will have Riverrun and unraidable support in Stoney Sept to defend it and Lannisport. I will also have Sunset Sea and the port in Lannisport, and will either have killed GJ's knight or still have the mountain in hand. I find that I can stalemate GJ in this position, and can usually convince him to turn on Stark in exchange for peace.

The problem is that I'm vulnerable to Tyrell and Baratheon. I can usually strike a deal with one of them, but by turn 4 I have a big problem if I haven't convinced GJ to turn north. I don't win regularly with Lannister, but only rarely do I get totally wiped out by my enemies.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
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Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 16:28
The problem with the numbers you lay out is that GJ can have a maximum defense in Riverrun of 4, not 3, if they support in Ironman/Seagard and put defense in Riverrun.  Which means you can only win with Kevan, which is not a terrible result but inflicts no casualties.  Winning with Cersei and a siege allows you to freeze a counterattack from Greywater, while also making counterattacks with Gregor that much more threatening going forward.
ChelseaPete
One Of The Kingsguard

Posts: 103
Games: 142
Rank Points: 1,084
Member since: 2017-Oct-27

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 16:35
You raid* from GS to remove any defense/raid in Riverrun. GJ won't be able to raid support in SS or to keep a defense token. So support from Seagard plus Riverrun gives GJ a defense of 3, unless they have all of their ground units in Seagard/Riverrun, which would be unusual. In my experience, GJ marches from IB turn 2 because he wants to take GS, which he can have -- after my ship raids RR. If he does support in IB, then you're right, you have to use Kevan, but it also means you keep GS, so that's ok as far as I'm concerned.


Edit: The reason I don't like to build a SE with my CP* on turn 1 is that it can't be used for defense and it is easily destroyed.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
Games: 1,331
Rank Points: 10,054
Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 18:05
The siege engine is more vulnerable, particularly if a clash jeopardizes your raiding priority. But assuming it doesn't (and you can help make sure of it with DWDW), you can move the engine to the stoney support to protect it from counterattacks.

It's riskier, but also scarier to Greyjoy and may help convince him that continuing to duke it out is more dangerous than going north.  Especially with Cersei, it tends to be a once bitten, twice shy dynamic.
ChelseaPete
One Of The Kingsguard

Posts: 103
Games: 142
Rank Points: 1,084
Member since: 2017-Oct-27

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 18:12
You're probably right. I'm still a beginner at this game -- and definitely not an expert with Lannister. But it's a strategy I've found gives me a fighting chance when GJ is aggressive.
obmit
Warden Of The North

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Member since: 2015-Jan-25

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 22:29
Well written once again, I agree with your view on strengths and wekanesses.

I would like to add one different set of starting orders when you can manage to agree on an alliance with GJ right from the start: I think it is a viable option to place all your 3 marches then, gathering your land forces in SS and spread from there. Depending on your agreements with GJ either take RR, BW and HH or leave the Knight in SS and take HH and BW.

That way you can ensure to hit BW first and can secure yourself a very early support base from which you can claim all of the other core countries. You will profit from any Westeros Deck 1 Card and from GoT - you can use the raven to mitigate chances on a turn 2 clash (if it happens, you still have 5 tokens which should be sufficient to atleast keep a star order many a times).

Most of the time you will also have secure spaces to CP in turn 2. You can even decide to retreat your ship to port, netting you yet another place to CP and an extra token if GoT comes up. Sometimes this naval move also makes GJ feel a bit more save about your intentions and therefore let you march into RR.

And last but not least: Placing 3 marches and either retreating your ship or discarding that march first also ensures you to march after GJ. So if the kraken should think about betraying your agreements, you can counter his march and thereby make him think twice if he wants to claim RR.

In the long run in a Lanni-GJ alliance try to have a CP* order on the board in every turn, either in RR or in LP so you can build up some huge land armies and make use of your excellent supply. Also a CP* order in LP or RR is vital if you feel the need to stab GJ at some point.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

Posts: 756
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Member since: 2016-Mar-20

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 23:01
I have been considering that move, obmit, especially as writing these has gotten me more bullish on mobility as a key factor in the opening moves.  But I have not tried it yet in any of my games, so I can't rally vouch for it at this juncture. My concern is that as obvious as it may seem, it is very dangerous indeed to forego the option to muster 2 extra units, increasing your overall army strength by 40%, when you have the chance.  This is compounded how it requires you to forego tokens, leaving you more vulnerable to a clash.  Moreover, even if Greyjoy has good intentions when agreeing to peace initially, if I see a Lannister that still has the same unit deficit he started with on turn 2, while having spread them out away from me where they are less of a threat, I am going to be sorely tempted to say screw the north and just eat the meal in front of me.

But still, it does have potential, particularly if you get a quick muster to make up for the lack of growth.  To that end, I may try to experiment with switching the CP* to another march when I see that Baratheon has laid orders to take King's Landing on the opening round.  That is the time when a) contesting Blackwater immediately is more of a priority, b) he is more likely to choose muster, helping you maintain defenses, and c) losing out on a couple tokens is not as harmful when Bara is staying at 5 too.

Here's a question: when you spread out, I assume you are putting footmen in Blackwater and Riverrun, but are you keeping the knight in Stoney or taking him to Harrenhall?
elitecat
Knight

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Member since: 2018-Jul-14

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-29 23:58
Yet another excellent article! In my experience to date I would say that diplomacy is the key here. No strategy however masterfully crafted can hope to withstand four enemies. I have seen games in which four players attack Lannister on a single turn. It doesn’t end well. The issue then is simply which house offers the best alliance prospects. Bara is an obvious candidate except for the problem of supply, they will want Blackwater, in granting this they are free to smash Tyrell and raid your support upon doing so. Conversely, in denying Bara Blackwater you give yourself an enemy immediately in addition to GJ. Further GJ may quickly change their mind in relation to a Lanni/Bara war. Obviously every game is different but working with Tyrell is perhaps the easiest way to guarantee your unraidable support but then of course that limits your castle capturing potential and any victory is thus unlikely to involve seven castles so you’re pretty much hoping no other house dominates either. Stark is a useful ally is they pursue Greyjoy with you but of course open to Bara countering. I would suggest the skilled diplomat who can navigate the ebb and flow of the game in terms of shifting alliances as and when necessary has the best chance of winning but this is easier said than done.
Ser Hodor
Son Of Hodor

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Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Aug-30 00:40
I don't see Greyjoy turning on a Lannister alliance as often as Lannister turns his coat, but of course it does happen.

Allying with Bara is difficult, because it requires giving up Blackwater. It is an understandable demand on his part because it addresses his biggest weakness, and it seems a reasonable ask since most houses are pretty happy to be sitting on 4 supply most of the game. But handing it over requires giving up the one truly unique advantage Lannister has, which combined with their lack of sea power makes it very difficult to wage war through a single choke point, uphill against sea support.

An alliance with Greyjoy, conversely, is more stable because it doesn't require them to give up anything that they would/need to bother themselves with to go north.  Would Riverrun be nice to hold while they try to attack Stark? Sure.  Do they need it to create a force strong enough to take Winterfell? Not at all.

Tyrell is a good option, because he can help with either Baratheon or Greyjoy. You'll have to give up Searoad most likely, which is more dangerous than it looks since an army can quickly balloon there and Loras run rampant through your heartland in a single turn (particularly if abetted by Web Of Lies or Queen Of Thorns).  A reasonable alternative would seem to be that they move out quickly and leave a token to secure the barrel, which would essentially require either party to telegraph a betrayal before they were able to do much damage.  But in practice, it doesn't seem like anyone can stick to that agreement.

Relying on Stark is iffy.  Their interest only extends as far as keeping you alive, but they don't really need you to be doing particularly well.
Saaski
Squire

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Member since: 2016-Dec-04

Topic: House Analysis - Lannister
Posted: 2018-Sep-01 21:41
Great text again.

To retaking Riverrun I have to point out some things. First, you can't count on GJ taking RR with knight. As Ser Hodor points out in his house analysis for Grejoy, that knight presents half of your land forces. As GJ you don't want to use that knight to take RR if you can use a footman. Why would you willingly give Ser Gregor a bigger meal? And if Lannister plays the usual CP* order he leaves RR uncontested in the first round and taking the knight to RR is always a mistake from GJ. Someone may argue that having more presence in RR is better when muster hits but having the chance to make an army of 4 mustering points instead of 3 is no advantage when you still have to expand your navy.

I prefer to take RR in second round by using a siege engine. It overpowers the attack of three footmen and a knight because a) having two footmen in Lannisport after resolving consolidate power order gives GJ all the information he needs about what is coming. Good GJ can play secure and still cause you lots of trouble knowing that you are using Kevan when taking RR. b) you will have combat strength of 7 against 3 which, imo, is still too risky to take a shot with Cersei. c) if GJ supports from IMB you will be fighting against 4 or 5 if no muster comes and so you are forced to play Kevan - GJ knows what you will do even before you. d) If you must use Kevan to win, GJ can retreat to Harrenhall.

b) if you're up by 7 to 3, you have no glory in beating GJ 11 against 4 using Kevan. Cersei sounds like your option but she is still too risky. Using a siege you can have guaranteed Cersei victory if you moved your ship to Sunset sea (to raid possible support in IMB) and no muster hits. This way you can remove the march from IMB and have Golden Sound for another turn. Or remove counterattack from Greywater watch. ChelseaPete said that with footmen you can have unbeatable support in Lannisport and RR when GJ takes Golden Sound but why would you give him your only sea? I wouldn't trade Golden Sound for RR when I can have them both with the help of our dear Queen Cersei. After all, Golden Sound is crucial to Lannister and the longer it can be held the better.

c) This may actually be the worst scenario for you as Lannister. With Aeron GJ forces you to play Kevan to win. And then he can take Golden Sound and possibly RR again. Even if he doesn't you still have the biggest problem d).


d) You all seem to think that GJ will retreat to Flints Finger or Greywater or Pyke when he loses RR. Why you think so? If GJ retreats to Harrenhall he has the advantage next round. Having a unit contributing at enemys rear is the best position to crush an enemy. I had the easiest victory ever as GJ when I was allowed to retreat to Stoney Sept.

With enemy unit in HH, Lannister is forced to either raid the raid order from RR (instead of raiding Seagard or playing defense order) or march to HH (making the strongest weapon of Lannister, unraidable support in Stoney Sept, raidable). If you raid HH you still have  the same problem going in to the next round. If you march there you have to leave RR weaker and you are using way too much energy and effort on taking a Lannister core territory. And if Blackwater or Cracklaw Point is still empty on round three, you have to use Ser Gregor just to kill the huge nuisance that somehow got in your rear. Moreover, you could just have used Ser Gregor earlier when you took RR in the first place.

So, imo, you have better option with the siege engine. It gives you more options and because of the initial combat strength differential when attacking you have more room to take the best out of your messenger raven. If you play right and GJ makes a mistake, you can even force him to retreat to his own territories instead of HH with march from Stoney Sept and at the same time you can Cersei his marches. This is rare though but if pulled off it can be the game changer.

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