What would a miniatures game be without terrain? Not a lot of fun and perhaps somewhat akin to the line infantry tactics seen in most war movies involving the British. In other words, terrain is pretty important.
How does Terrain work in A Song of Ice & Fire? It’s actually a pretty cool system. Before the game, each piece of terrain is assigned any number of keywords from the list below. These can either be from the examples listed in the rulebook, or ones you’ve created on your own. ***NOTE: This below list is subject to change before final printing.***
- BLOCKS LINE OF SIGHT: Line of Sight may not be traced through this terrain piece by units not inside of this terrain piece.
- COVER: Units gain [+1] Defense vs. Ranged Attacks while the center of their tray is in this terrain piece.
- DANGEROUS: Units moving through this terrain must roll a die. They suffer that many automatic wounds with no Defensive Save.
- ELEVATED: Units on this terrain piece may ignore intervening units that are not in this terrain when drawing Line of Sight.
- FORTIFIED: While the center of their tray is in this terrain piece, units gain [+1] Defense vs Charge Attacks if any part of the charging unit’s tray crosses over this terrain piece.
- HINDERING: Units must roll 2 dice when Charging through this terrain and select the lowest result.
- HORRIFIC: Units moving into or through this terrain gain 1 Panic Token.
- IMPASSABLE: Units may not move into or through this terrain piece.
For example, your basic Trees. You can assign it the Cover keyword, and thus it would provide you with added benefits versus ranged attacks.
Let’s say you want those same Trees to be Dense Woods. You can assign them the Cover and the Hindering keywords, which now makes them an obstacle when units charge.
Even further beyond that. Say for example this specific Trees piece just happens to be home to ravenous Wolf Packs, so we’ll give it the Cover and Dangerous keywords. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and the system exists to easily allow you to create your own unique elements.
Ok, one more example for you: The Trees just happen to be on Bolton lands and, while the Boltons themselves would never ever do this, its full of flayed men. It now has the Horrific keyword.
Palisades usually carry the Blocks Line of Sight and Impassable keywords, creating major obstructions for units on the battlefield, preventing both shooting as well as maneuvering.
Palisades are especially useful in A Clash of Kings game mode, which features one player laying a siege against another. There, the Defender can set up Palisades to better control the positioning of enemy troops, allowing for more defendable choke-points.
Stakes are bad news for anyone: they carry the Dangerous keyword, meaning that any unit that is forced through one suffers automatic wounds (one 6-sided die). This makes them a natural barricade to sit a unit behind if you expect to get charged.
Whereas some terrain pieces (Low Walls, for example) are pretty much only beneficial to the Defender, Stakes are a bit more problematic. They’re fantastic for blocking a charge toward your unit, but at the same time your own unit does not want to move through them either! A savvy opponent might just ignore your unit behind the Stakes all together in favor of lesser-guarded targets – if they can afford to do so, that is!
Bogs are notoriously hard to transverse! They typically possess the Hindering keyword, which is going to make charging through them quite the risk! For added effect, you can add the Dangerous keyword, since who knows what lies beneath!
Meanwhile the humble Low Wall is not to be discounted either. These structures typically have the Cover and Fortified keywords, meaning they will provide additional advantages to Defense for against both Ranged and Melee attacks.
When playing with the Ruined Walls you can treat them as normal, or add in the Destructible keyword, making their usage limited before they are completely removed from the battlefield!
This terrain piece has the Inspiring characteristic, meaning Units in Short Range may re-roll Morale Tests.
This terrain piece has the Horrific characteristic, meaning Units moving into or through this terrain gain 1 Panic Token.
This terrain piece has the Elevated characteristic, meaning Units on it ignore other terrain pieces and Units when tracing line of sight.
If you desire a particularly steep plateau, you could also add the Hindering characteristic, meaning it is especially difficult for a Unit to charge into.
Check out these Kickstarter Exclusive 3D Terrain Sets