Vassal Setup (Player-controlled neutral houses)

Vassal setups are approximated according to MOD rules, except in the DwD scenario, where they have been approximated by Gereon, site maintainer.

Each round, one or more vassals may be selectable for control by players. Vassals can be chosen in Iron Throne track order.

Players may wish to skip control of a vassal in a specific round. This is often because they want to attack the vassal itself and take its territory.

If a player skips to control a vassal, the next player on the Iron Throne track will be able to control one more vassal. They can pass on or select as many vassals as they wish. The last player on the Iron Throne track cannot pass and has to command all remaining vassals.

Additional vassal rules

  • Vassals cannot win the game.
  • Vassals can never hold a dominance token (if they are on top of a track, the next player house on that track receives the dominance token).
  • Vassals don’t have Power tokens, however they automatically leave a Power token behind when they vacate from an area.
  • Vassals participate in Clash of Kings but always automatically bid 0 tokens when bidding for the tracks.
  • Vassals do not participate in Wildling attacks and therefore they are immune to the effects.
  • Vassal orders are placed after player orders. Vassals can just place 2 orders.
  • You cannot attack nor raid your own vassal. You even cannot enter areas of your vassal with just a Power token in it.
  • Your vassal cannot attack nor raid you or any other vassal you control.
  • Vassals cannot march into a port.
  • Your vassal cannot support your enemy in battle.
  • All vassals share a vassal house card deck. When it comes to battle, the commander randomly draws 3 cards from the shared vassal deck to form a hand for the battle. He then picks one of those 3 cards as the chosen house card. After the battle, all the vassal house cards go back into the shared vassal deck, i.e. there is no discard pile for vassal house cards.
  • The commander earns one Power token when one of their vassals win a battle.
  • When the Westeros card “Mustering” is resolved, vassals only can muster in their capital. (They can place their special muster order everywhere of course.)
  • A commander can use the Valyrian Steel Blade for their vassal.
  • But a commander cannot use the Raven to change an order of their vassal.

Replacing a player by a vassal in-game

The Mother of Dragons rulebook states:

With the introduction of vassals, players can drop out of a game that is in progress with minimal disruption to the game. If a player […] leaves a game session early between rounds, treat their house and all of their units as a vassal.

This is a very useful addition, especially for an online adaptation. A big problem is that players disappear in the middle of the game and ruin the game for everyone else. Especially live games are affected the most. Unfortunately, vassal replacement cannot be implemented online in exactly the same way as it would be done in a real life game. During a real world game at the tabletop, it is easily possible to throw in a “Claim Vassals” phase at any point in the game, and continue the game afterwards. At Swords and Ravens this is not possible, as it would require a massive effort to extend each game phase (about 35 in number) so that it is paused to offer the new vassal to the first player on the throne track, according to the rules. However, in order to take advantage of this mechanism and continue stalled games, Swords and Ravens has taken the liberty of automatically assigning the new vassal to another house in the current round. You might expect this house to be at least the first player house on the throne track. But since it is quite possible for multiple players to be turned into a vassal in one round, they may all be assigned to one player. Therefore, all replacement vassals are assigned to the last player on the throne track, assuming all other players before have declined their vassal marker set. In the next round, the new vassal is then available for selection as usual and follows the regular “Claim Vassals” rules.