Our Dances with Dragons: the map and the battles

Westeros is a really fun map, lots of castles and rivers and with folks who are fans of the books and/or show, lots of fun background. Also, making up stuff in Westeros history is a good time. I said something about the north still being made at the Starks over the King Who Knelt and had just put down the Bear Rebellion, in which the Mormonts rose up to attempt to take the north.


1) In which the Warden of the North quickly musters banner-men who can answer quickly and sets up camp in Moat Callin. He didn’t have the numbers he could have had but he had speed, aggression and a little bit of surprise at this point.

2) In which the Warden and his bastard brother take a segment of the army and go to the Twins in order to marry his brother to one of the Frey daughters while the bulk of his army, led by Lord Umber guided by a Maester to cross the river near Harrenhall, where an army loyal to the Princess is on the move. When the scouts note dragons on the horizon, they send 3 separate forces to draw them off. Two return but one substantial group of men is never heard from again.

Due to Riverrun being ruled by a child whose duties are seen to by an indecisive Regents Council, Lord Walder throws in with the North.

3) The Northern army overruns Silverhall and proceeds to pick the surrounding lands dry. Using the castle’s ravens and trickery, the Warden tricks the Lannister Army mustering at Casterly Rock into thinking that the northern host is moving down the Goldroad towards King’s Landing. They march hard to catch an army that is not there, leaving Casterly Rock open. When the Northern Host approaches Casterly Rock, the Iron Islanders are already burning and pillaging the city with plans to go right down the west coast of Westeros. The Warden convinces the leader of the raids to take him by boat to Dragonstone to break the siege.

At this point, they have around 7 dragons, picked up out of the westlands and from various Targaryen dragon-riders who have been cut off from other armies loyal to the princess.

4 – 5) The Ironmen’s fleet takes the Northern Host to Dragonstone where they break the siege and capture the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. When the commander insults the Warden of the North, mentioning the death of his son who had been squired to a knight who served the queen, the Warden showed restraint when the princess (the heir) ordered him to stand down and leave the hostage alive.

It was fun; we were hitting on beliefs and that is the crux of BW. Having huge battles resolved all in one roll wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped, particularly because the opposing side was not fully burned up, so I erred on the side of less dice, leaving the Warden outnumbering the Lord-Commander’s die pool in every conflict. Several key rolls needed artha to cause sixes to explode and my dad rolled 6’s very, very often that night.

I’ve begun work on a slightly expanded battle mechanic based on Bloody Versus. If you want to take a look at how it is going, you can look at Clashing Storm of Sword-Kings here or see it on the thread itself.

We were talking numbers at the table but they were hugely inflated and I have left them out so that any professional or amateur historians wouldn’t hurt their neck wincing. Going by GRRM’s numbers, the armies of Westeros, like the castles, are far more numerous and grand than the European counterparts.

Ravens are a big deal.  When the army is on the move, they can’t receive ravens and so they don’t know what is going on around the kingdom. My dad decided to keep things moving, mostly so no dragons could zero-in on them and decimate their forces. It was a smart gamble but they lost the ability to know what was going on in the rest of the war. When they take Silverhall, they learned what was where, where the dragons were and learned that half of the King’s Landing fleet had sailed north to sack White Harbor. It was neat and gave yet another advantage to those who stay behind their safe walls.


Other Posts:

Winter is Coming and the Dragons are Dancing

Visiting Westeros…

How we got to Westeros with BW

Clash of Kings: BW Thread about Big Battle Mechanics


One thought on “Our Dances with Dragons: the map and the battles

  1. Pingback: Gauntlet Inspired: Gaming and Tolkien – The Githyanki Diaspora

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