Neutral Force tokens represent the resistance of independent houses unwilling to submit to the machinations of the players. Neutral forces are placed on the board during setup.
Players may march units into an area occupied by a Neutral Force in order to destroy the Neutral Force and control the area. This may not be attempted, however, unless the marching player has sufficient Combat Strength to defeat the Neutral Force.
Destroying a Neutral Force
In order to destroy a Neutral Force and gain control of its area, a marching player must equal or exceed the strength value printed on the Neutral Force token by the combination of Combat Strength factors listed below:
Count the Combat Strength of the marching units (Siege Engines only count their strength if the Neutral Force's area contains a Castle or Stronghold).
No House cards are played.
The March Order bonus (or penalty) applies.
Neutral Forces cannot receive support from adjacent areas.
The attacking player may receive support against the Neutral Force from adjacent areas (as in combat).
The Valyrian Steel Blade may not be used to receive a +1 bonus.
If the marching player's Combat Strength equals or exceeds the Neutral Force's strength value, the token is destroyed and removed from the game. The marching player moves his units into the area as normal.
Marching against a Neutral Force counts as the March Order's one allowed attack.
Most Neutral Force tokens used in three-player games are marked with a "~" in place of their strength value. These represent insurmountable areas which cannot be entered. Areas containing such tokens are therefore off-limits to all players for the entirety of the game.
Attacking a Neutral Force
Tyrell wishes to march into Sunspear from Yronwood. However, Sunspear contains a Neutral Force token with a strength of 5.
The Tyrell army contains 1 Knight and 1 Footman and is using the March +1 Special order, giving Tyrell a total of 4 Combat Strength. To bring his Combat Strength to 5, Tyrell calls upon his Support order in the Sea of Dorne, where a single Ship unit grants him 1 supporting Combat Strength.
Because the Tyrell army (strength 5 when counting the support) now equals the strength value of the Neutral Force token, the march is successful and the Sunspear Neutral Force token is destroyed. Tyrell then marches his army into Sunspear.
Garrisons are special tokens that provide extra defense to the home area of each House.
Each House starts the game with a Garrison token on its home area. Garrisons are not units, so they do not count toward Supply limits and may never be assigned an order.
If a home area containing a Garrison is attacked, the strength of the Garrison (the value printed on the token) is added to the defender's initial Combat Strength. If there are no units defending a location with a Garrison token, combat still occurs as normal as if the Garrison was a single unit.
If a Garrison is defeated in combat (whether defending by itself or with other friendly units), it is permanently removed from the game, regardless of the number of Sword or Fortification icons on House cards played in the combat.
Players may not assign orders to an area containing only a Garrison. A Garrison's strength is only used when its area is attacked, not for support or any other purpose. Garrisons are purely defensive forces.
Garrisons are immune to the effect of Skull icons on the "Tides of Battle" cards.