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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Tips for new player rss

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J H
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Hi all,

I'm super excited that I'm finally going to get a chance to play this game with some friends when I visit home this winter

I had some questions because we don't have too much time to play it:

1. Should I push for getting 6 players? I have 6 people I can think of who are pretty into the theme: 3 of whom I've played board games before and know I'll have fun with, 2 who tend to get fixated on things and might get upset if the game doesn't go his way. Not sure whether I should push for getting the other 2 people.

2. Any tips for starters? I'm probably going to be the guy who knows the most of this game, although all I've done is watched some youtube videos and reviews. For instance, I think I remember reading that the most experienced player should play Stark and least experienced can go with Lannister or Baretheon (I actually want to go with Highgarden but not sure if this will be possible)

3. How much time should we expect to use up? I've heard this game can go about 4 hours and I'm a bit worried because my friends are planning on playing one semi-game as a learning-as-we-go type and then playing a second game. I suggested watching the tutorial youtube video but my friends are lazy heads so I'm sure nobody will watch it (besides they're Korean so the English video might be difficult for them to watch)

Any tips or recommendations will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
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Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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Having played this for the first time myself just last week, I feel pretty competent answering these questions.

1) I played with 4. I hear 6 is best, but you will have a great time playing with 4, so no worries. Just be aware of what the player starting farthest south is doing. Those areas are filled with dummy tokens so once that player starts building up strength, they can take those territories pretty easy and its a good path to win the game. The Stark player will be unlikely to help out because he/she starts so far to the north, so you will have to be aware that the southern most player doesn't end up with a huge advantage.

2) The most experienced player should play Stark as they start farthest north and have the fewest castles in their territory. Other than that, know the rules cold before you go into the game, otherwise....

3) The game will take 4+ hours. Our game took 4 hours, 10 minutes for a four player game. We were constantly going back to the rule book for clarification. The rules aren't complex, but they are nuanced and there are a lot of them, so even seasoned players will reference the book from time to time. There's just no way getting around that.

It was a great game and a great experience. Even at 4 hours, I'd play it again right now if I had the chance.
 
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James Williams
Australia
Marrickville (Sydney)
NSW
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Have a copy of this on standby (on paper or screen). Or even send them a copy beforehand. It should help things run more smoothly with beginners

Interactive Beginner's Reference
 
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Frode Hanøy
Norway
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1. ALWAYS. This game really shines at 6 players. You should whenever absolutely possible play with 6 players. For 4p and 5p you should read a bit on the forum here, as there are house variants that are much more balanced than the official rules. As mentioned above, the southern houses have it far too easy.

2. The hardest houses to play in 6p is lannister and stark. It is due to several reasons: Stark has to fight potentially two fronts at sea, as the Vale area is essential to Stark as well and GJ is a monster at sea with his cards and sword early on. Lannister faces similar problems with the offensive house card deck and combat sword, but also the map itself poses some additional problems, which makes lannister exceptionally weak. The GJ and lannister balance is especially well-known on AGOT forums. Why? GJ has and incredibly strong house card deck, Balon being the best card in the game, and if they are able to have the combat sword for many rounds.. Well, lannister and stark cannot afford mistakes early on, if the GJ player is competent.

3. With 6 players, and none has played the game before? 6 hours. I've never played two games on the same day (live). If you plan to do two games on 1 night, then you'd need to have maybe a little test run before that. Just play a few rounds as a test to check the rules and so on.
 
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Lordson Yen
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1. 6 players definitely the best number to play, but for your 1st run through it's going to take 4-5 hours long minimum. Best to learn how to explain the game systematically, do a 1 round test then reset and if got rules problem, quickly use BGG or have some FAQs ready.

2. I love playing Stark, but for pure newbies give them anyone but Stark or Lannister, as previously mentioned in the post above me. But I wouldn't worry too much about it, just make sure time is kept and everyone gets into the game and have fun.

3. time is long for first time, but i got it down to 3 hours after few plays with same friends of 6 including me. If your friends are INTO the game after first few rounds, don't think they mind of a 2nd game and timing.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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I do not think this will work out for you unless both you and your players know fully what you are getting yourselves into. Players who can't be bothered to watch the (excellent) how to play video before hand are players you ultimately don't want to have in your playgroup. Furthermore, this is not a game you play when you do not have much time to play it. This game will take you 4-6 hours, at least to play. When people don't know the game, add an hour for rule explanations and referencing the rules. Also, it is possible for a player to be virtually eliminated from the game with hours left to play. Know what you get yourself into.

I won't be too bothered with player experience. As I understand it no one has played before, therefore everyone is just as inexperienced. Just allow the players to pick whatever house they want to pick or roll for it. While 6 players is best for this game, you may want to exclude the 2 players you are in doubt about for the reasons I listed above. With 4 players, you may even be able to finish within 4 hours.

Good luck! I'm afraid you might need it. Do report back how it went.
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Mark Bauer
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I can also only wish you luck

Our games always go beyond the 6 hour line (6 players).
And I can also only second the recommendation from above: search the forums for variants for a 4/5 player game. They can be very minor (maybe just playing different houses than suggested) but the RAW are really not balanced and (at least for us) no fun.
 
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Philip Lodge
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Try this a4 print out. A quick reference for some issues that can come up in game, a handy reminder.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUqoUE_JiOuQWxqOEJkcXduNT...


Quote:
The most experienced player should play Stark


I was banned from Stark after i played him twice, a very easy to figure out strategy, especially in 4 player, when you turn every one against the south grabbers... Against inexperienced players, unstoppable!
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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I also do not get why people advise the most experienced players to be Stark. Tyrell and Stark (in that order) are the most powerful houses in the game. Experienced players should instead choose for either Lannister or Martell, in my opinion.
 
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J H
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Thanks everybody for the super kind replies!

These are really helpful

Again looking forward to it!
 
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