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Marc Q
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So after sitting on my shelf for six months, I finally had a chance to play my copy of A Boardgame Of Thrones. Three of us who had never played the game and one guy who had played it once gave it a whirl.

Names have been changed to protect the identities of the accused.

****THE SETUP****

First things first: I've read the books but not seen the miniseries. I was tempted to write this report in the style of R.R. Martin (explaining what we ate in minute detail over several thousand words, and then cramming all the action into a half paragraph before taking a three year holiday until I write the next part of the review), but figured that a standard AAR would do.

And I loathe the Lannisters. Sure, I like the short guy, but one good brother and a half (or does the dwarf only count as a half? Because then together they'd make only almost-one almost-good brother... and even that is pretty debatable...) do not abate how much I utterly despise, hate, and abhorr the Lannisters.

So, of course, during the House Setup... I draw the Lannisters.
My first suggestions to my friends? "Please, somebody wipe me off the map..."

But I digress.

As this was the first time most of us had played, I started by reviewing the rules quickly... But by the time I had explained the purpose behind the five different kinds of pogs, everyone else's eyes were glazing over.

Oh, how one of them would learn to rue not learning the rules first...

But, it was a learning game, and so without further fanfare we handed out Houses and the game was afoot!

****THE GATHERING STORM****

Big Mike, our least experienced gamer, drew House Tyrell (actually, he drew Greyjoy and had them all set up before Bill realized that the four player rules had them as neutral). Lefty, one of the two most devious, brilliant gamers I have ever locked horns with, took the noble Stark, and Shaolin, the other most devious, brilliant gamer I know, drew the Baratheon.

And I took the belly-licking, scum-sucking, thrice plague-ridden Lannisters. A pox on my House!

After spending many, many minutes trying to find out if we started with a Supply value or not (why is it only mentioned in the errata!?), our armies were fielded and the dark, conspiratorial glances began.

****SEAROAD MARCHES RUN RED... AND GREEN****

The first turn saw Lannister expand into the Searoad Marches and east into Harrenhal (I'm running by memory here, folks... I remember the important ones, but everything else is a little foggy). Tyrell expanded south, Baratheon moved his forces to the Northeast (into The Fingers, I believe), and Stark began his merry, unopposed romp through the North. I began accumulating Power Tokens early, while Lefty and Big Mike grappled with what the purpose of Raiding was.

The second turn saw us mustering additional forces, and my knight and foot soldier were facing two of House Tyrell's knights. Our first battle erupted, and due to Tyrell's superior numbers, plus Valydian steel, and higher position on the Fiefdom track... Well, it was clear I was going to lose. I choose the Lannister general with the fortification emblem to minimize my losses, while Big Mike picked the commander that instantly slayed my infantry... My surviving knight retreated To Lannisport to lick his cowardly wounds.

Meanwhile, Stark and Baratheon both spread further, Baratheon unopposed to the East and Stark untouchable in the North.

The third turn saw another Muster (although still no new supplies), a Clash of Kings, and a Wilding Raid. The Clash resulted in almost a straight sweep for the horrible Lannisters, my political wheeling and dealing landing me the Iron Throne, the Valydian sword, and second place in the Small Court. Big Mike took my crow, a small price for his sword and Baratheon's throne!

The raid only had strength 2, and the Tyrell turned them away single-handed. He retrieved his general, as a result.

My fresh two-knight army, supported by my +1 navy and another infantry, swept into Searoad Marches... And our first disagreement broke out.

See, Big Mike's eyes had glazed over when I was explaining the rules, and apparently he missed that the Attack +1 doesn't help on defense... And so his Attack order on Searoad was just slightly worse than useless. I pointed out that he had witnessed the defense tokens in use (I had placed the +2 defense on Searoads the turn he routed me) and that I had explained that part of the rules. He argued that I was taking advantage of his lack of understanding.

Being an agreeable sort, I asked Shaolin (as a relatively neutral party) to come up with a decision. Shaolin declared that Big Mike's Crow would allow him to switch his Attack order for a defense order, as long as he switched back the order he had previously used the crow for. A fair decision, I suppose... It did not save the Tyrell.

Even with my +1 attack cancelled by his +1 defense, my +1 support with two navies sealed his fate. I played Big Daddy Lannister, killing one of his knights and routing the foot troops.

The next turn saw another muster (again!), a shuffle of the second deck, and whatever it's called when infantry can't support. I offered my hand in friendship to the Tyrell, and Big Mike responded that I should kiss a portion of his anatomy often described as spherical. Thus spurned, I made the same offer to Baratheon, who was wise enough to accept.

Thus freed from concerns on my Eastern flank (despite "friendly" raids robbing me of power tokens for three consecutive turns), I focused the full, awful might of Lannister on Tyrell. My navy moved into a supporting position to attack Highgarden, three of my knights rushed into striking distance, infantry took supporting positions, and Big Mike... abandoned Highgarden.

Meanwhile, Baratheon now held the entire Eastern seaboard north of Sunspear, and Stark had taken Seagard (or whatever the territory below the Moat and next to The Twins was). They were running out of space to expand.

****THE ENDGAME: SPOILER ALERT, EVERYONE YOU LIKE DIES****

Stark ran one of his ships to attack a lone naval unit of mine, not realizing it was supported by a +1 Support token on my other two ships... And due to the huge advantage I had, I could use Cersei and remove his attack orders next to my territory. Thus, the only place Stark could expand was into Baratheon, which he did gleefully, taking the Mountains of Moon and the Fingers.

Baratheon claimed Kings Landing, and then turned his terrible fury on Stark, bolstered by our non-Agression treaty. Tyrell fled to Sunspear, and I gave him the small mercy of not wiping him off the map as I attempted to consolidate my power.

It should be pointed out that by turn six, Stark had every power token in his pool... Basically limitless power. Which is why I was stunned when the next Clash of Kings was announced and Lannister AGAIN swept everything (granted, leaving me penniless, but who needs Power tokens when you're winning?)... Well, I took second in the Fiefs, but a small cost.

I also realized that I was within spitting distance of a win... Only two cities/Stongholds short! And the Greyjoys were all that stood between me and total victory...

Turn seven I launched my navy into Greyjoy seas, followed by a swift land assault to take Pyke. Sadly, Shaolin took The Reach, proving that even the noble Baratheon couldn't be trusted.

Turn eight, however, I claimed the city just north of Pyke (whose name escapes me) and managed to smash the Starks out of Seagard, claiming my seventh city. My opponents gashed their teeth but had no armies within striking distance of any of my cities! I was victorius!

Damnit! I HATE the Lannisters!

****A FEAST FOR LIONS****

Well, I won... And my fears that after six months and numerous headaches to find a copy of the game that I'd hate it were laid to rest. What an awesome game! Sure, it's not as good as Twilight Imperium, but it is damn close...

I feel sorry for Big Mike for not having the patience to learn the rules, but hopefully we can play again soon so he remembers them when next we meet! And Shaolin and Lefty were thankfully so caught up in their own squabbles that I was able to sidestep my way onto the throne.

Overall, a joy to play... I just hope I don't have to play the Lannisters again.

God, but I do despise the Lannisters!
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bestia immonda
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THANKS FOR THE SPOILERS!!!
Damn you, you...! You are really a Lannister!!!
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It's not OCD until you sleeve your UNO cards.
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I first played this several years ago and had not first read the books. Having gone through all the books now I realize how much they add to playing the game. Now I'd actually like to play this again.
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Andrew Rowse
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nicktaruffi wrote:
THANKS FOR THE SPOILERS!!!
Damn you, you...! You are really a Lannister!!!


Agreed. That's really not cool.

At least have the decency to put a spoiler warning at the top of your review.
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Marc Q
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I can only hope you guys are joking... There are no spoilers that I'm aware of in this.

Except that everyone you like dies. And then some people you don't like become likable, and then die. And several people you hate? They die too.

There. The entire series explained in three sentences!
 
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Andrew Rowse
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Quote:
(Jamie is ALMOST redeeming after XXXX)


That's a plot spoiler. I didn't read further so I don't know whether there are others.
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Marc Q
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What? Seriously?

Huh. Guess it could be seen that way... I thought I was being vague enough
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(since, for the record, there are no literal wolves nor does he throw her to the Starks, which would also be seen as wolves...)
, so I apologize. I'll edit to be more vague!
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Marc Q
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Also... The book that this happens in is, like, five or six years old by now...

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/12/05
 
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Andrew Rowse
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The TV show, which reaches a wider audience, is not. It's not quite the same as spoiling King Kong.

Your spoiler was that:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Jamie turns against his sister. To throw somebody to the wolves is a common expression that nobody would have taken literally.


Anyway, thank you for editing your post! Much better :)
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Marc Q
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KAndrw wrote:
The TV show, which reaches a wider audience, is not. It's not quite the same as spoiling King Kong.

Your spoiler was that:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Jamie turns against his sister. To throw somebody to the wolves is a common expression that nobody would have taken literally.


Anyway, thank you for editing your post! Much better :)


My god, I completely forgot about the show! Okay, I'm an idiot...
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Marx09 wrote:
I was tempted to write this report in the style of R.R. Martin (explaining what we ate in minute detail over several thousand words, and then cramming all the action into a half paragraph before taking a three year holiday until I write the next part of the review), but figured that a standard AAR would do.



Spoken like a true connoisseur…
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Heath Stockburn
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There are no spoilers in this thread, there are a few tongue in cheek commments that poke fun at the authors choice of writing style (which works wonderfully by the way). If no one has told you specifically who is and isn't gonna die in the published series of books then you won't work it out from this thread. But if you really do want to know who dies and what happen to the main cahracter then.......only kidding!!!
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Andrew Rowse
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There are no longer any spoilers in the thread, and admittedly the spoiler was WAS in this thread was not a major one.

However, a measured response is so much less fun than frothing hyperbole. I always prefer the latter.
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