Tactics Talk: Thenn Warriors in A Song of Ice and Fire the Miniatures Game

Thenn Warriors. Fanatical devotees of Styr. The last of the First Men. These powerful reinforcements are the latest to travel South and join forces with the Free Folk faction in A Song of Ice and Fire: the Miniatures Game. Free Folk are not known for their resilience, outside the brutish Savage Giants, but the Thenn Warriors, clad in bronze armor, look to challenge the norm and bring a new dynamic to the horde… 

The Thenn Warriors’ attack profile is much like the Followers of Bone, but they hit on a 4+ rather than a 3+. As a result, their damage output is already not sparking much joy.  Like the Bone Boys, they also have speed 5 and cost 6 points. It’s their defensive stats where we really see their niche in a list; Thenn Warriors have a 4+ defense save and a 6+ Morale stat, which when combined with their static ability, Set Defense, ensure the Thenns will stand their ground.  Additionally, they also can use Order: Taunt to help reinforce their role on the battlefield and enable some tricky plays.

All these components of the Thenn Warriors make them a great option to start the bait game. Before their release, Free Folk often had difficulties drawing the enemy into traps and maintaining position control as their units had an unfortunate tendency to fold at a stiff breeze (Giant’s always excepted). Now, however, the Thenns have the stats and abilities to take ant initial charge themselves, or force an inopportune one from opponents; they throw 8 dice at full ranks and can use Order: Taunt to pull the enemy out of position. From your opponent’s standpoint, neither option is great, either they’re receiving a sizable charge, or their battleplan is disrupted by making a less impactful charge. And then getting served up a sizable Free Folk boot to the flank or rear by the Thenns’ reinforcing units.

At the initial glance, players might utilize the Thenns as a commander bunker due to their enhanced durability, but their place should be on the front lines, forcing opponents to make hard decisions. While it might be tempting to slap the Tormund or Harma commander in them, it might not be the best decision, as the Thenns want to get into the grind, and a 4+ defense save only gets you so far.

Tactically speaking, when running Thenn units the first player assignment at the beginning of the match is often advantageous; contrary to the common wisdom that second player is preferable to enable reactive alpha strikes. Instead, the Thenns want to absorb and distract the opponent’s offensive strategy. Use the first player role to monopolize the maneuver zone on the tactics board and then position the Thenns to force your opponent’s hand and take the first charge.  Next, take the Combat Zone to deliver a Thenn-sized wallop to the troop who dared charge them, and set yourself up to take it again at the top of Round Three (and we all know NCU Styr loves those Combat Zone plays). There’s also a lot of value in setting up the stake terrain in the center of the table, then arrange the Thenns behind them in hopes of taunting your opponent into an ill-advised charge. Don’t forget to reinforce the Thenn Warriors with aggressive units capable of punishing the tar-pitted unit with the unfortunate luck to succumb to the seductive, guttural siren song of the last of the First Men.

Attachments

Chosen of Styr

The Thenn Warriors also come with a new attachment: the Chosen of Styr, who confers Intimidating on his attached unit.

Attaching him to the Thenn increases survivability and lowers aggressive pressure on allied units. The Chosen of Styr will be a staple addition to Thenn units, but there are other sleeper attachments that can also alter their role.

Spearwife Matriarch

The long-forgotten Spearwife Matriarch brings the order Swift Retreat, which the Thenns can use to take an alpha and tactically reposition to unleash an unexpected,  dirty charge. Imagine absorbing a Sworn Brother assault, retreating after only losing a rank or two while setting up a Cavedweller with Raid Leader charge that then unleashes a combined assault from Tormund and his Followers of Bone.  The tactic is slightly dicey but spicy and relatively easy to set up.  

Attachment Harma and her Bannerman can also find a good home in the Thenns as she wants to move up the table safely while bringing a dangerous unit along for the ride. Her Bannerman also gives some much-needed offensive sustainability to the Thenn Warriors by pumping their attack at the cost of d3 wounds.  Naturally, Styr synergizes well with the Thenns as their commander. 

Sample Thenn List

 Let’s take a look at an aggressive list showcasing the Thenn Warriors:

TORMUNDS RAIDING PARTY

Commander: Tormund Giantsbane – Thunderfist

Points: 40

Combat Units:

  • Followers Of Bone (6)
    •  with Tormund Giantsbane – Thunderfist (0)
  • Cave Dweller Savages (5)
  • Thenn Warriors (6)
    •   with Spearwife Matriarch (1)
  • Thenn Warriors (6)
  • Free Folk Raiders (3)
  • Free Folk Raiders (3)

Non-Combat Units:

  • Mance Rayder – Artful Tactician (4)
  • Styr – Iron-Fisted Tyrant (3)
  • Ygritte – Kissed By Fire (3)

Made with ASOIAFBuilder.com

This list focuses on shooting the Thenn Warriors up the table to set the stage for harsh charges from aggressive units.  There are three NCU’s to give you room to delay the activation of key units for as long as possible, but Styr or Ygritte could be removed to add Styr’s Chosen to the vanilla Thenn Warriors, Harma to the Cave Dwellers, and a 1pt attachment of your choice to a Raider unit. Either the third NCU or additional attachments are both good options, but the attachments allow some fancy footwork and greater battlefield control in exchange for an additional activation and tactics board control.  Dropping Mance for another 3pt NCU would also be a fine negotiation between the two list options, but his ability to hinder your opponent and assist the Thenns is extremely strong. Although this list looks small compared to the high activation free Folk builds in common circulation, the Thenns enable a tight build intended to screen and protect aggressive units and ensure they deliver maximum carnage. Think of your whole army as a single tool working towards the elimination of big threats. 

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