First Impression: A Game of Thrones The Card Game

I bought this game on a whim from Static based on the fact that we were looking for a good board/card game that could be played with two players, but could also handle more than two players, and the fact that we have a bit of a thing for the Song of Ice and Fire universe that George R.R. Martin has crafted.

I’ve only played 2 games of this, one with the two player variant rules and one with four players, so I’m still not familiar with all the cards, and I’m sure there are levels of strategy that I’ve yet to delve into.

I’m going to start by addressing what is probably the elephant in the room for an awful lot of gard games, The Game of Thrones Card Game obviously borrows a lot of ideas from Magic the Gathering. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, MtG is a very popular game with lots of die hard fans, it did make me think twice about it getting this though, because if I wanted to play just play Magic the Gathering: A Game of Thrones, I’d probably just buy some magic cards and glue stickers of Ned Stark, Daenerys Targaryen and the Hound onto existing Magic cards and play that while I watched both seasons of Game of Thrones in the background on a split screen TV, and listened to my Kindle read out George R.R. Martin’s epic work in it’s dulcet if a little robotic tones.

I’m not that kind of fan though, sure I like the series, but I also wanted a decent game that wasn’t just a rip off of another game, and I’m going to say this outright:

A Game of Thrones The Card Game does not disappoint.

Firstly AGoTtCG is not a collectable card game, that was one of things that stopped me from playing Magic some 20 years ago, I couldn’t be bothered with the financial burden the game put on you, always having to buy hundreds of booster packs to try and get the cards you wanted/needed or having to pay an inordinate amount of money for a single card because the game designers decided arbitrarily that that particular card was going to be extremely rare.

That isn’t for me, and that isn’t what AGoTtCG is. Fantasy Flight Games are calling this a living card game, it’s one of a number of LCGs they do such as the Call of Cthulhu Card Game, Android: Netrunner, and The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. The only one of these I’ve played in the past was Netrunner (I’ll be posting my impressions of that soon) and I might have gotten that if it were also suitable for more than 2 players, but it’s not and as I said I like George R.R. Martin’s books so we got AGoTtCG.

So what is an LCG?

Basically it’s a bit like a Collectable Card Game (CCG) except you don’t buy millions of packs with random cards in them, if you want to play a Targaryen deck you buy the Targaryen booster pack and you get all the Targaryen cards. It’s as simple as that, you can buy what you want to build the deck you want. The same goes for the other 5 houses.

It looks like you can specialize your deck to for example play a Baratheon Knights deck, a Targaryen Dothraki Deck, or a Nights Watch deck (Presumably? I’ve only encountered three members of the Nights Watch Benjen Stark, Jon Snow, and Maestor Aemon) by buying appropriate booster packs too.

How Does It Play?

To start with each player chooses a house, you have the option of Playing one of the Six Major Houses:

  • Stark
  • Baratheon
  • Targaryen
  • Lannister
  • Greyjoy
  • Martel

The Game comes with premade decks for the first four houses, you only get house cards for Greyjoy and Martel. Out of the box, two players can’t play the same house, but if you spent money on the expansions and have built a deck for a particular house then multiple players can play the same house.

Interestingly House Tyrell don’t feature, I’d have expected them to be in the game as they are in the Game of Thrones Board Game also by FFG, there are various Tyrell characters strewn across the other houses cards, but they are not an entity unto them selves.

The object of the game is to  be the first player to collect 15 power tokens, these are tokens that are won by winning challenges against other players, or being the player with the most strength left over at the end of each turn.

Play Sequence

Play takes place in 7 Phases:

  1. Plot
  2. Draw
  3. Marshalling
  4. Challenges
  5. Dominance
  6. Stand
  7. Taxation

1. Plot

The “Plot Phase” is a strategic phase where all the players choose one of their “Plot Cards” to be in effect for the rest of the turn. These cards are all revealed at the same time and it’s worth noting that this is the only simultaneous play part of the game.

Each plot dictates a number of things:

Income:

This is how much gold the player gets to spend on cards this turn.

Initiative:

This is used to determine who goes first, the player with the highest initiative selects which player is the first player for the rest of the turn.

Claim:

This is used to determine how much “Damage” a player does when he challenges another player, it’s usually 1 but there are some 2s and 0s.

Special Rules:

As well as all the above, each plot card has a special rule that either has an immediate one off effect or a lasting effect that lasts for the rest of the turn.

Some example effects are:

  • No one gets any income this round.
  • Every player has to pick up to three location/characters and Discard/Kill everything else.
  • Player picks one opponent, player and that opponent can search their deck for a card of a particular type (character, location etc…) they declare it to everyone else and put it in their hands.
  • Kill every character on the table (This one is particularly nasty)

The plot cards once played enter a plot discard pile so you have to play through all your plots, even if the outcome of the plot is detrimental to you. This happened to me the first time when I had a huge army and was forced to play “Wildfire Assault”, which kills all but three of everyone’s characters, as my plot card as it was the only one I had left.

Once you’ve exhausted all your plot cards you gather them up again and can play them in any order.

The plot cards in a way make the game, you can completely screw someone, or yourself, over by playing the right or wrong plot card at any given time, and you have to play all of your plot cards so you need to pick the right time to play each of them.

Once the plot cards are revealed, the player who won initiative (Highest initiative with ties resolved by the player with the least power) picks the “First Player” for this round. Going first is not always a good thing though as it leaves you open to being attacked once you have expended your resources.

Rotating round from the First Player each player selects a title token from the small council:

  • Crown Regent
  • Hand of the King
  • Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
  • Master of Coin
  • Master of Laws
  • Master of Whispers

Each has it’s own in game effect, as well as some of them getting bonuses for/not being able to challenge other seats on the small council. This part is not used in the 2 player game and I guess your could ignore it in a four player game too if you wanted to.

That being done you move onto the next phase.

2. Draw

Each player in turn draws 2 cards from their deck, there are certain cards or that “Master of Law” title that allow you to pick more cards. That’s it…

3. Marshalling

The “Marshalling” phase is when you pick up your income, and spend it to buy shinys. Shinys in this context refers to Characters, Creatures, Armies, Attachments, and Locations. Each player marshals their forces in turn before moving onto the next phase, so everyone has a chance to get their armies out before anyone declares any challenges.

Characters, Creatures and Armies:

These are your legions of faithful soldiers, they have a strength value and several attributes which allow them to attach in different ways and or perform actions when they are knelt (tapped) or just have a constant effect on the game.

Some are unique, which means that no one can have more than one of that person or thing in play at any one time, and if the character dies then no one can call it into play for the rest of the game.

Attachments:

These are cards that affect other cards to which they are attached, they can be weapons, skills, rank ailments whatever (One of them is called something like “Stinking Drunk” and it reduces the power of the character it’s attached to by 4).

Locations:

Locations are permanent cards that give you some sort of bonus, some of them give you extra cash at the start of your marshalling phase, some of them make stuff cheaper, some of them allow you to disable characters, some of them make your characters stronger. Winterfell for example gives all Stark characters +1 Strength.

4.  Challenges

The players take turns starting with the first player to challenge each other in one of three ways:

Military

You are physically sending your armies against an opponent’s armies. If you succeed one or more of your opponents characters will be sent to the “dead” pile. Dead characters cannot be brought back, and one a unique character is dead no one can play that character.

Intrigue

You are making an intrigue attack on the opponent’s hand of cards, if you succeed that player discards one or more cards from their hand, at random. This is surprisingly effective, as you might make your opponent lose some very powerful cards.

Power

You are making an attack on your opponent’s power pool, a successful attack means you can steal a power token from your opponent.

So how does a challenge take place?

In their challenge phase each player may perform one challenge of each of the above types, they do this by “Kneeling” characters that have the appropriate icons on them and totalling up their strength and any bonuses to determine their attack power.

The defending opponent may choose to kneel some or none of his characters to defend against the attack. If the sum of the defending players knelt strength is more than that the attackers nothing happens, other wise the attack succeeds and the defender has to suffer the consequences. Note that the attacker wins ties.

If the defender doesn’t defend against the attack at all the attacker can claim a bonus power token from the pool.

There are also a host of effect and event cards that players can play to turn the tide of of challenge, for example I as House Baratheon was attacking  the Stark player and was going to kill two of his banner-men, because one of my characters had the “Deadly” attribute, I’d put all my military might into the attack because I needed to ensure that the other player was cut down to size. Little did I know that the player I was challenging had a card that they could play that killed every character that participated in a challenge against them. I was crippled for the rest of the game.

5. Dominance

The dominance phase has the players totalling up the strength of their remaining standing characters, and their remaining gold. The player with the highest total wins dominance and gets a bonus power token. If there is a tie no one gets anything.

6. Stand

Any characters that have been knelt and don’t have an effect on them preventing them from doing so are stand.

7.Taxation

Any gold remaining with any of the players is taxed, unless there is an effect that prevents this from happening.

So is it any good?

On the whole I’d say this is a really fun game to play, it’s different enough from other games, and the strategy involved in playing even with the pre-built decks that come with the game to make it worth playing and the mechanics are fairly well balanced.

It can be hard work trying to maintain a balance between being able to challenge opponents to get power, and not leaving ones self wide open to attack. And while in context I understand the reasoning behind characters dying permanently when they are killed, it can lead to a situation where a player slowly wastes away due to not having any military units because they were all wiped out in one fell swoop because of a plot card.

The game is very fun for 4 players, I’m not 100% sold on the 2 player variant though, as some mistakes/effects/plots can be very hard to recover from and can lead to a slow and painful death. Don’t get me wrong, the 2 player variant is very fun, but it’s not very forgiving.

Game Review: Cards Against Humanity

cards-against-humanity

I don’t think I’ve laughed as much as I did while playing “Cards Against Humanity” in a very long time, I laughed so hard I gave myself the hiccups.

Cards Against Humanity is a fairly simple game, each player is dealt a hand of 10 “White” cards with a random phrases on them like (The expansions give you blank cards to fill in with your own in jokes):

  • “Being a Dinosaur”
  • “Goblins”
  • “Stephen Hawking talking dirty”

Players then take turns drawing a “Black” card which has a phrase with one or more blanks in it such as:

  • But before I kill you Mr. Bond I must show you ___________________
  • In M. Night Shyamalaman’s new movie, Bruce Willis discovers that _______________ had really been ______________ all along.
  • Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s_________________

The other players have to play in one or more white cards which are shuffled and then read out. There is a mild element of strategy to this, because the player who played the black card picks the winner, you have to pick not the funniest card but the one that you think will appeal the most to that player’s sense of humour.

Whoever’s card is picked wins that round, everyone draws a replacement card and the next player draws a black card for everyone else to play.

That’s it… There are house rules, some of which are genius, but that is pretty much the game in it’s entirety. It’s a really good way to get to know people and some of the bizarre/sick combinations that people come up with are hilarious.

I liked this game so much that having played it I ordered it off Amazon the next day, I can’t wait to play it again…

  

Game Idea: Scrabble Dungeon

I’m not entirely sure where this idea came from, but bear with me…

Imaging a dungeon exploration game where you have to build the dungeon you are playing in by playing Scrabble (Or some other non trademarked version of the aforementioned word game).

Game Mechanics:

Each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet is designated a type of room, for example:

  • A. Easy monster room
  • B. Fire room.
  • C. Block Puzzle.
  • D. Boss fight.
  • Z. Treasure Room

A player is given 7 Letters to start with with which they must place a word down, this does two things:

  1. Creates the dungeon.
  2. Gives the player an amount of Experience points equal to the value of the word that they just played.

The player then has the option to play another word with their remaining letters, or enter the dungeon. Note that they don’t gain any new letters after playing a word.

In the dungeon the player has to overcome various obstacles, solve puzzles, fight monsters, perform acts of derring-do or whatever, they will gain items to help them along the way as the fight through the dungeon. As each room is completed the player will also be awarded a letter,  which they can use to place words on the board and expand the dungeon.

Each dungeon room will yield one letter, meaning that the player shouldn’t have more than 7 letters in their hand at any point, emulating scrabble, and forcing the player to play more letters and fight through the dungeon to play through the game.

Characters level up by gaining experience, whether or not they gain experience by killing stuff or just by playing letters is another matter, I’m not sure if it’s fair to only award experience points for placing letters as the letters you’d get would be random? I suppose it adds an element of chance to the game.

Getting the experience points for a room by placing it as part of a word before you play through it’s dungeon adds an interesting mechanic to the dungeon explorer genre.

Double/triple word and letter spaces would also probably have some effect on all the rooms that are associated with that placement, and there might be others that only had an effect on the dungeon rooms but not the word score.

I’m not sure what the win condition is, perhaps you just keep playing till you can’t put down any more words or till your character dies? Or like in Scrabble you play until you exhaust all the letters in the “Bag”?

Alternatively the game could be a two player game, in which the players battle it out between themselves. This would mean that a character could place a small word down and then complete a few sections of the dungeon while the other player is thinking of a word to prevent them from getting any more letters, you’d probably have to remove the limit on 7 letters per player, maybe have a limit of 10 letters to keep it fair?

Another possible game mechanic is that players can’t actually put down words that use tiles/letters for which they have not yet completed the dungeon room for. This forces the players to actually play the dungeon game, and puts a twist on the “You stole the place for my word” gripe that Scrabble players often moan to each other about it. “I didn’t steal it I fought for it”.

If the game is a two player game, then maybe players would gain some points for placing a word but would be able to get the same number of points again by being the first to complete the room associated with a tile?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Home Made Wooden Settlers of Catan

Full BoardOn the subject of home made board games here is another one, this time it’s Settlers of Catan again from Reddit, user amaurer3210 made this with his fiancée for a friends wedding.

amaurer3210[S]

I machined each tile from 3/8″ ply. Each one has six magnets set into the sides so that they snap together nicely.

My fiancee did the artwork while we then silkscreened onto each tile after staining.

We all play on it nearly every weekend.

The magnets are a great idea!

Arguably it’s not as professional as the one by Boardcrafting that I posted here a couple of years ago but it’s still very nice.

Lasercut Wooden Monopoly Board (Stevensoply)

Full Board

I found a link to this on Reddit user jellatin works for a “laser company” called Universal Laser Systems and his coworked apparently spent 600 hours designing and building this Monopoly set.

When confronted with the fact that the name Stevensoply was missing an “O” his coworker apparently said it was Stevensoply not Monopoly…

Apparently the guy who made this’ job is to make cool stuff with the lasers the company makes so that they can show them off to clients…

How To Choose The Perfect Board Game

This flow chart reads like a wishlist for me… Although I disagree with BSG taking less than two hours to play.

Some of my all time favourites are in there like the afore mention BSG, Game of Thrones, and Risk. As well as some I’ve had a chance to play but don’t own yet like Dominion, and Pandemic and Carcassonne (I still can’t pronounce that).

I’m going to have to go over this and pick out some to buy, also this has reminded me that I need to write a review of Small World.

Via Silver Oak Casino

Arkham Horror (Board Game) First Impressions

I’m going to begin by confessing that despite calling myself a fan of his work I’ve read very little Lovecraft, I’m in the process of rectifying this at the moment, but to be honest I don’t think that reading the entire back catalogue of an author should be a prerequisite to play a board game. I’m glad to say then when is comes to Arkham Horror by Fantasy Flight Games no knowledge of H.P. Lovecraft‘s mythos is required.

The game is set in the city of Arkham, and all the players need to know is that some weird stuff has been happening and that they need to stop an ancient horror from coming into this world. Sure you can rationalize this better if you’ve read some Lovecraft, or played the Call of Cthulhu RPG but the nice thing is that the premise is so familiar to us from other forms of pop culture that players who haven’t even heard of Cthulhu can quite happily play the game.

Rules:

To say that Arkham Horror is a gateway drug pen and paper roleplaying is an understatement, each player is handed a character at random (you can pick if you want to but it’s more fun if you randomize it) the characters have a 6 paired attributes, speed and sneak, will and fight, and lore and luck. You also have a number of stamina and sanity points which represent how healthy or sane your character is and a number of item cards.

The linked attributes take the form of a sliding scale which you can change on a turn by turn basis by an amount equal to your “Focus” statistic, this allows you to adapt your character to developments in the game, however some characters are just better at some things than others.

The characters have a nice blurb on the back of the card which tells you why they are in Arkham and how they noticed that something wasn’t quite right about the city as well as a drawing that shows you what the character looks like, each character also has a unique ability which reflects their occupation. The blurb and the picture really help you associate with the character, and if you are that way inclined can help you get into character.

As play progresses you move about the city fighting monsters, trying to close gates to other dimensions and gathering equipment to help you along the way. There are several win conditions which mean that you have managed to make the city safe for the time being, but the fun begins if you don’t manage to win the game before one of the lose conditions happens.

The reason you are trying to fight the endless tide of monsters is that if too many monsters enter play, too many gates to the other world open or you’ve been playing for too long the “Ancient One” is summoned and you have to collectively fight it to save yourselves and the human race.

These fights can range from the relatively easy (We found Nyarlothoptep to be quite easy for example but we did have one blessed character with a shotgun) to the “Everybody just dies” (If you Azathoth awakens then it’s just game over).

Play progresses in 4 phases:

Upkeep:

Where you reset any spells you’ve cast or items you’ve used, gain money from retainers or preform other actions like healing if you have the doctor or psychiatrist character.

Movement:

Where you move about the city to different locations, try to sneak past monsters or fight them.

Encounters:

Depending on where you are on the board you can either draw a card that gives you a random encounter for that location, or for some locations you can perform certain actions like buying stuff from the various shops, healing at the hospital, regaining sanity at the asylum or if there is a gate open on the location you are on sucked into another world and have to spend the next couple of turns progressing through it dealing with other worldly encounters before you eventually make your way out and are given the opportunity to close and or seal the gate.

Mythos:

The Mythos Phase will be familiar to anyone who has played The Battlestar Galactica or Game of Thrones Board Games, it’s the random bad stuff happens at the end of the turn phase. You draw a Mythos card which opens a specifies where a gateway to another world opens up and will usually have some rule that affects gameplay on the board, these can be one off events, or persistent changes to gameplay, and help to spice things up. When a gate is opened one or two monsters spill out depending on how many players you have. The Mythos card will also have set of symbols on either a black or white background, these symbols tell you which, if any, monsters move that turn and which direction they move in.

Components:

On a whole this game is very pretty, there are a bucket load of tokens and the like fro keeping track of your health, sanity, money, clues, etc. There is also an ungodly number of cards for the various encounters, and Mythos events, as well as the possessions which come in a number of types:

  1. Common Items: Such as guns, knives, whisky most of these are weapons but I’ve seen vehicles that can help you move about the board.
  2. Unique Items: These are ancient artefacts and can be magical weapons, ancient tomes, or magical relics among other things.
  3. Skills: These give you some enhancement to your character boosting one of their skills or allowing you to re-roll certain checks for example.
  4. Spells: I have to say I’ve not played a character that used spells in anger as you need a high lore skill to use them, but spells seem to be one off effects that aid you in combat, improve your dice rolls or help you in some other way, they require a check to activate and cost an amount of sanity to pull off.
  5. Allies: These are a bunch of people/animals that will help you along the way, they grant bonuses to rolls and or other benefits, they also all have a one time ability which you can invoke if you sacrifice them. I assume that this is supposed to be them sacrificing themselves to save you, but the I find the image of sacrificing the dog “Duke” to regain all your sanity quite disturbing.
  6. Blessings/Curses: Make it easier or harder to pass dice rolls.
  7. Retainers: Give you a steady flow of cash every turn.
  8. Deputy Cards: If you become a deputy of Arkham you get a service revolver, a police car and a pay check.

All the cards have nice illustrations and seem to be made from the same card stock as Fantasy Flight’s other board games.

The board is nice and big but it’s got a weird 6 fold design and doesn’t seem to rest flat, mine actually split across one of the seams and is now in two pieces which is a little irritating as I’m really careful with my board games.

One thing you need when playing this game is a lot of space, my coffee table is by no means small but it barely manages to accommodate this game, which is annoying because I quite fancy getting the expansion box sets but I don’t think I have anywhere to put them.

Opinion:

The game is fun to play, it’s billed as a cooperative game and to be honest that is where it kind of falls a little flat, while you can swap items between players (If they are in the same location) you can’t team up against really difficult monsters which is a shame, and it often feels like you are wondering about the board completely independently. Sure the players work together closing gates and it’s possible that one player can clear the path for another player to get to an area that is blocked by big monsters, but it still doesn’t feel very cooperative.

I’m not sure what game mechanics would help make the game more cooperative aside from allowing players to assist each other in actions and maybe having special events that only happened if there were a certain number of players in a location.

The skill check and combat mechanics are fairly straightforward, you, although it can seem that if you have certain characters that there is no point in going into combat because you will just lose or go insane. This can be mitigated by getting skills, spells and items which I assume is the intention, but getting any of these usually requires money, which is a scarce resource in the game. In one game I ended up spending 3 consecutive turns at the newspaper trying to get a retainer to make enough money to buy items meanwhile the number of gates and monsters on the board kept creeping upwards and eventually one of the stores shut before I could get to it with my money (As the “Terror Track” goes up different shop close and more and more allies leave town).

The game also suffers from there being a very thin margin between everything being okay and all hell breaking loose. We’ve played 2 games in which the great old one should have been summoned but we didn’t notice because everything was hunky dory 2 turns ago. A track or dial to keep track of the number of monsters/gates on the board would have been useful as it can be hard to tell at a glance. I’ve seen such tracks made by players but it really is an oversight for them to not be part of the game.

One of the really nice things about this game is that it doesn’t require you to be a hard core Lovecraft fan to really enjoy it, this is an issue I’ve found with players playing Battlestar Galactica for example where a lot of things only make sense in the context of the TV series, and some cards have pseudo spoilers on them, thankfully Arkham Horror is more “Down to Earth” and it’s easier to relate to.

If you are looking for a board game to kill 3-5 hours I highly recommend this game.

25 Game of Thrones Magic The Gathering Cards

These 25 Magic the Gathering cards with a Song of Ice and Fire them are pretty cool. I don’t know what the original source of these cards are but I found them on Ufunk.net























Scrabble Typography Edition

Scrabble Typography Edition

While I find the idea of a “Typography Edition” of Scrabble appealing and at a glance this set if nothing short of beautiful I have my reservations. You can’t just randomly select fonts for the different letters and call it a Typography Edition, Sure the solid walnut storage case tiles and board look nice and the fact that they are magnetised and lined with “Slip Free Cork” is useful.

But there is one detail I find almost offensive, the fact that the edges of the individual boards don’t line up with where the tile edged do, I’d almost be able to forgive this if they Bisected the tiles but they don’t the placement seems haphazzard.

That just doesn’t look nice.

Anyway if that doesn’t bother you and you have $199 to spare you can pre-order one now.

Via Winning Solution

Game of Thrones The Board Game: First Impressions

I had a go at playing the Game of Thrones board game on Saturday, and from what I’ve seen I quite like it. The game centres about the battle for the control of Westeros, and you play one of 6 houses (Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Greyjoy, Tyrell and Martel)

Depending on how many players you have some of the houses aren’t available to play, we were playing a 4 player game so houses Tyrell and Martel were out of the picture.

The game lasts for 10 turns 3 phases:

  1. The Westeros Phase
  2. The Planning Phase
  3. The Action Phase

The in the Westeros Phase you deal with a set of random events that happen as described by drawing 3 cards from the Westeros Card Deck, these cards tend to involve a choice for one of the players, usually the player at the head of one of the three tracks (Iron throne, Fiefdoms, Kings Court) or they allow players to muster their armies or change their resource levels.

During the planning phase each player puts a token on each area he controls face down, the tokens signify what they want to do in that area, the options are:

  1. Raid
  2. March
  3. Defend
  4. Support
  5. Consolidate Power

Raiding essentially equates to screwing up other players order, marching allows you to move troops to another area or attack an area, defending enhances the defence of an area, support allows troops in one area to support troops in another area in defending or attacking, and consolidating power allows you to get power tokens or under certain circumstances build up your army a little.

Once everyone has finished putting down their planning tokens they are turned over and the action phase starts.

First you resolve raid tokens and then march tokens, this is done by resolving one token at a time starting with the player who currently sits on the Iron Throne then rotating clockwise round the board allowing each player to resolve a their raids and then their marching orders.

I think this order of play is actually one of the games great strengths, because the players aren’t taking turns all the players have something to do all the time, which means that it’s less likely that players will get bored while waiting for their turn to come around.

Combat is straightforward, you win if you have more armies than the territory you are attacking, otherwise you lose. Each player can play a card to modify the results of the battle, these cards also affect the number of casualties from the battle. When a territory is lost the losing troops retreat, to an adjacent territory owned by that player, if they can’t do this I think they all die, but I’m not sure and I don’t have the rules to hand to check.

The game continues like this until one player has 7 territories with Castles or forts in them or until the end of the 10th turn at which point the player with the most castles and forts wins.

All in all the game is fun and is quite quick to play, I’ve been playing the Battlestar Galactica game an aweful lot recently and because this game is by the same people (Fantasy Flight Games) I was a little worried that it would require the same epic time-scales to play thankfully it doesn’t.

My one comment is that the starting positions on the map and the layout of the regions seem to favour certain houses, specifically house Lannister and house Baratheon, Lannister is surrounded with both forts and resources, while house Baratheon seem to have easy access to a very large empty area of the map to conquer. This (I think) is only really an issue when playing the game with 4 players, as the empty areas of the map are taken up by the two houses that you can’t play unless you have more players.

Having played a friend’s copy of this game I’m very tempted to invest in my own, which I think speaks volumes for it.