Forums generally focus on Deckbuilding = Strategy because it is easier to discuss deck builds in this medium. It's much harder to learn about how to improve your In-Game Play = Tactics.
Unlike the Fun Challenges thread, this is going to be educational (for me definitely and maybe others). There are no right or wrong answers (well, maybe there are a few). There is certainly no single definitive answer. Rather, each scenario depicted in this thread is designed to provoke a debate and hopefully share in-game insights.
Magic has a mini-article format known as "What's Your First pick?" relating to drafts. Now the equivalent format for Thrones is...
WHAT WOULD YOU SET UP? (OR DO YOU MULLIGAN?)
Let us say you are playing Martell Lion and you start with these 7 cards...
Nymeria Sand x2
In this exercise, you can chose what your plots and other cards played are for each hand as well as your opponent's Faction + Agenda. So under what circumstances (ie. your plots, other cards in your deck, your match-up) would you set-up the following?
TA) Tyrion + Areo
TB) Tyrion + Burned
TG) Tyrion + Ghaston
NA) Nymeria x2 + Areo
NB) Nymeria x2 + Burned
NG) Nymeria x2 + Ghaston
AA) Arianne + Areo
AB) Arianne + Burned
AG) Arianne + Ghaston
This will hopefully provoke a productive discussion on the reasons why you would ever choose some of the odder options and thereby improve all our play. Just like Magic's "What's Your First Pick?" articles.
Here's an example to get this discussion started...
I would chose Arianne + Ghaston against Bara Fealty when I have Varys' Riddle, Wildfire, First Snow, Marched and Confiscation because
(1) I know Bara Fealty does not play Marched so Ghaston deters him duping his big characters to leave them vulnerable to Tears/Tyene (which I play x3 for both)
(2) I plan to open Riddle (also protects vs. Marched if he has 2 characters and if I fall into Trading, I have Wildfire vs wide and Ghaston vs tall) to win initiative and go second to minimise targets for kneel and Milk
(3) I know Bara Fealty plays Milk x3 and Arianne is the least hurt by a temporary Milk out of those 3 (luring the Milk from Nym)
(4) I tentatively plan to play Nymeria x2 in 2nd player marshall (lose dupe to military if I can't steal their military to stabilise board) with Arianne recalled for Tyrion who then funds my Burned Men who I may be able to use for Marched
(5) I always have Arianne recalled for Areo if I am in trouble (assuming no Milk)
In short, because Bara Fealty is the least aggressive archetype outside of Night's Watch defence, I'd adopt this set up, foregoing the extra card of deploying Nymeria x2 and only spending 7, then weather the lack of economy.
I don't know if this is the right decision (never played Martell Lion, so many archetypes as yet untried) but the above is my reasoning.
Please feel free to critique the above decision-making process. But more importantly, why don't you share some of your tactical insights about set-ups on this forum? Start a discussion. You never know, it may improve you and will no doubt help others ease into the game.
So under what circumstances would YOU set up the 10 options detailed above?
(Also feel free to add your own Set-Up Decision scenarios to this thread once we have fully explored this one.)