This month Ice and Fire, a major new update to the in-depth classic fantasy mod Valar Morghulis, has been released! The major new content release most prominently includes two entire new factions – the villainous Bolton family in the frozen wildernesses of the North, and the bow-wielding, extravagantly dressed traders of the Summer Islands, south of Westeros and Essos.
In Westeros, the Boltons add a whole new dynamic to the starting situation. Far from the Stark family having a steady grip upon the frozen lands, the vengeful Boltons start within striking distance of Winterfell, forcing the Starks to watch their back. The same is true for the Night’s Watch, who must now not only hold the wall against the wildling and walker invasions to their north but look out for Bolton forces trying to grab the wall’s fortresses and secure their grip on the far north of Westeros. With heavy spear-armed infantry ready to trudge through the cold wastes, the Boltons are ready to rule from the Dreadfort once more as their ancestors did many years ago.
In the sun-baked south, the Summer Islands add new threats and opportunities for the Martells of Dorne and for the ancient city-state of Volantis especially. Their navies can provide a serious threat to the south coasts of both Westeros and Essos, and the islands can be tempting prey for Volantene, Dornish, or Pentoshi navies looking to secure additional bases from which to reach the other continent. Without a solid infantry backbone, commanding Summer Island troops can be a challenge, but their archers and chariots give them a fast-moving, fluid fighting style that can at its best run rings around their northern foes.
Beyond the new factions, there’s more new content too. In particular, the game now runs with RTW Alexander, there are now special character portraits for many of the canon characters in-game, map changes with additional regions and settlements added, and significant balance tweaks including a significant strengthening of the dragon unit. With all that – what are you waiting for? The world of Westeros and Essos awaits you, swords at the ready…
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