egrek egrek
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Leicester
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So after my second time to corral six people to try out the new expansion, I managed it and we played, a mix of two new players and four experienced (from 2-20 games). And it went smoothly and fast.

The expansion almost seems a cheat as it's just a pack of cards - but within this it gives a new start and generals, some of which are a lot more powerful than others. But we found it still worked very like the main game.

What you get:
- New starting locations cards for each house (and troop numbers, types and even power tokens).
- New generals for each house.

The new players seemed to be fine - if anything they don't get delayed in learning the ropes in the first few turns as everyone is doing things straight away. So whilst I'd imagine this could be less new player friendly, less time to learn, they are thrust into the core of the game and have less turns to play - making it quicker and so easier to stay focused.

With alliances (and fights) in the first turn, the action was on without the building and slow expansion that the main game always begins with. It felt better - having something that needed to be done each turn, maybe less options, but more fun. It seemed people were fragmented or potentially undefended, so your choices were to build defenses up, or go attacking - and GOT seems an attacking game.

We ended the game with a three way tie of 5 cities, four people getting up to 6 cities at various times and so battled back down. But it was good and close - but the main thing everyone agreed (except maybe the new players) was how quick it was! I will definitely be doing this again with 6 players.

Benefits over the original:
- Faster game (4hrs rather than 6-8 hours!).
- Quicker into the action (no need to expand, you start on each others doorsteps).

Disadvantages over the original:
- No star weakness (those starting with no stars can get caught if no bidding comes up - as it's a shorter game).
- (maybe) Less new player friendly (starting with fights and next to opponents).
- Must have 6 players - can't work with less.
- Spoiler for those not read the books/TV isn't up to here yet!

Overall whilst it looks like there are more disadvantages than advantages, I can't stress the saving time aspect which helps the game be more playable (4 hours a game is easier than 6-8 hours a game!) and thus also easier to sell to new players.
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Amin
Canada
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oneilljgf wrote:
Nice review, egrek, I believe that this variant is actually meant for experienced players.

Regards,


Jim

Est. 1949


Yes it is described as "[a]n expert-level six player scenario."
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egrek egrek
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But if I had to wait to get 6 players together, who have all played GOT before a few times, I'd never have tried it! Seemed to work fine.

People were more worried about potential spoilers!
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Ioan Mitiu
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I'd say there are more here ...

egrek wrote:

Disadvantages over the original:
- No star weakness (those starting with no stars can get caught if no bidding comes up - as it's a shorter game).
- (maybe) Less new player friendly (starting with fights and next to opponents).
- Must have 6 players - can't work with less.
- Spoiler for those not read the books/TV isn't up to here yet!
{...}

For example the fact that somehow the game-mechanics was sent on a second place and main emphasis was placed on House Cards which could be ... really circumstantial ( especially for Baratheon - if Wildlings marks doesn't appear Mance will be just a weakness and nothing more ... ).

Also the impact of Westeros-cards luck is much, much bigger than in original version : for example Tyrell position is quite weak but if a Mustering appear on first round the Eastern-seas could be easily defended against Greyjoy. Otherwise ... devil
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John Hathorn
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San Antonio
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Great review! Though 6-8 hours for the base game seems really long. With the exception of my first play of GoT, mainly because one player repeatedly placed illegal support orders and insisted that we rewind for him because "support doesn't work that way in real life", the rest of my plays came in under 4 hours even when the game went to turn 10, as most did.
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egrek egrek
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Not sure I've ever played with everyone knowing the rules/played before. But been close. I think the selection process and trying to readjust plans when you're backstabbed does it for us! Hope the review helped then.
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A B
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Finished our second game in 4 hours and that's rule including look-ups and negotiation. It was 5 players and it was the first time for him, the rest had played once before.

The secret is to make people watch the tutorial before playing:

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Joe Phillips
United States
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2 years late, but I love that other folks have their friends watch the tutorial too laugh That is the most useful vid for GOT.
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