Spoiler: Cave Dweller Alpha, Cave Dwellers and Free Folk Sample List

Found in the caverns beneath the Frostfangs, the Cave Dweller clan of the Free Folk are known for their ruthless savagery. With their teeth filed to points, and their faces dyed blue, green, and purple, their fearsome appearance and ferocious assaults strike panic in their foes.

The Cave Dweller Savages’ Ruthless Savagery ability allow it to select from one of three bonuses each time they attack:

  1. This attack gains +1 to Hit for each of the defender’s destroyed ranks.
  2. This attack gains Sundering (Defenders suffer -1 to Defense Save rolls).
  3. This attack against Vicious (Defender suffers -2 to their Panic Test).

For each of the defender’s destroyed ranks, it may select one additional bonus. Meaning that attacking a unit with one remaining rank would allow the Cave Dweller Savages to have all of the abilities active (one, plus two additional for the missing ranks).

Having the option to select bonuses based upon the board state is a useful tool, which is further amplified by the Free Folk’s ability to bog down units in combat to prevent the enemy from retreating.

Mance Rayder’s Artful Tactician Influence

At 5 points, Cave Dweller Savages are cheap compared to specialized troop offerings in other factions, but within the Free Folk faction, this puts the unit into an elite price range. Add in the Cave Dweller Alpha (1pt) and the ability to cause an opponent to become panicked off of a charge allows you to synergize with Mance Rayder – Artful Tactician’s Skillful Preparation’s NCU ability to quickly stack tokens on dangerous units.


Sample List:


Faction: Free Folk
Commander: Tormund Giantsbane – Thunderfist
Points: 40 (0 Neutral)

Combat Units:

  • Cave Dweller Savages (5)
     with Spearwife Matriarch (1)

I’ve elected to put a Spearwife Matriarch with my Cave Dweller Savages to allow for easy disengages from challenging targets and to look for easy charges to trigger Tormund’s Rallying Assault, Counter Charge, or Rush of Aggression tactics cards – another option to consider would be to place Tormund in the unit to make the best use of his overrun ability.

  • Savage Giant (7)
  •  Free Folk Raiders (3)
     with Raid Leader (1)
  • Free Folk Raiders (3)
     with Tormund Giantsbane – Thunderfist (0)

I’ve chosen to place Tormund in a unit of Free Folk raiders to help provide an additional unit that can threaten with Sundering- for a more conservative approach, or a game mode where protecting your commander is a top priority, consider placing him in your Cave Dwellers

  • Free Folk Raiders (3)
     with Raid Leader (1)
  •  Free Folk Raiders (3)
  •  Free Folk Spearwives (5)
     with Cave Dweller Alpha(1)

I’ve placed a Cave Dweller Alpha in my unit of Spearwives in order to help maximize their single charge damage – making them a finisher unit. They will position to get a flank attack on an engaged unit further heightening their Sundering on Charge ability and utilizing the panic token helps to finish off their opponent in a deadly attack

Non-Combat Units:

  • Lady Val – The Wildling Princess (3)
  •  Mance Rayder – Artful Tactician (4)

Despite his cost (a full unit of trappers!) I’ve selected Mance to help manage lists that are heavily tactics board focused, coupled with the Cave Dweller Savage’s panic token, it allows Spearwives to engage key units with the hopes of achieving Mance’s ultimate condition token ability, shutting down powerful unit abilities. At the very least, his ability threatens this possibility and can force your opponent in selecting predictable tactics spots

Made with ASOIAFBuilder.com

Cave Dweller references can be found in:

  • A Storm of Sword, Chapter 15, Jon II.
  • A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26. Jon III
  • A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X
  • A Dance with Dragons, Prologue.
  • The World of Ice and Fire, The Wall and Beyond: The Wildlings
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