egrek egrek
United Kingdom
Leicester
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd watched the TV series. I'd turned down board games as childish. At a friends party someone had the GOT board game and I gave it a try.

I bought it the next day.

I'm not sure what it was, but I loved it. Yes it took a while, but that's part of the charm, something good isn't always quick! And if it's good you want it to last longer! (But GOT does stretch that!)


WHAT IS THE GAME LIKE?
So I'm told it's a bit like risk (map and armies) and a little like Diplomacy (hidden orders) and there is some bidding going on too.


WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT TO WIN:
You are in control of one of the great houses. To win you need to have 7 cities/stronghold. As soon as you do, you win! So as soon as you get to 6, the rest of the board will be against you (if not at 5!) *Thanks to Bryan Guy for the correction!* You have to build up your armies and political power (used in bidding for the tracks and fighting wildlings), using your generals to win the battles. Otherwise it's a 10 turn game - highest wins.

The game takes long turns to go - but unlike some games - everyone is involved in them, the map is large, but the seas join up locations fast around the coasts.

You start (except the first turn) with seeing what is going on in Westeros - three cards of 'activities' that affect everyone, this could be mustering new troops, bidding on tracks, getting extra political power or nothing. With these cards the wildlings track can go up, at strength 12 they attack, or when a card says they attack (at whatever strength)

Next is putting down orders, then revealing and resolving. This is where the battles start and end. It's normally a bit of a push around, not many armies tend to die - but this is shown as they are difficult to recruit - either the card or the special consolidate power tokens needs to be used.

Your orders are move (also attack), defend, support (adding strength to attacks or defenses nearby), raze (to stop other people orders) and consolidate power (to get the political power points).

There are also star orders, one for each which serve two bonuses:
1. They are move powerful versions of each type of order.
2. They allow you to do 3 of the same type of order, otherwise you're limited to just 2.
But not everyone has stars, a few may not, depending on where you are in the Raven track.

The tracks are:
King - turn order - and the king decides all but combat draws.
Sword - aggressor order, the higher beats lower values in the case of draws. The holder of the sword can also add a +1 to one battle a turn.
Raven - if you have stars, ranging from 0-3. 3 stars mean you have max flexibility to use better orders and more of them. The raven allows you to change an order after reveal (very powerful) or to see the top wildling card - to see the good and bad effects.


PROBLEMS WITH THE GAME:
- Time - it's a long game. 2-8 hours have been my main games, longer with more people obviously.
- Players - it does work well with 3 or 4 players (from our experiences), but 5 or 6 feel the best, the game is all about winning and alliances and backstabbing.
- Set starting places - no variation, but the cards mean every game is different.

GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE GAME:
- I love it, it mixes lots of types of games I like. Fighting, strategy and political power hoarding (resource hording?)
- Very true to the theme - it covers practically all the GOT people, places, wildlings, politics, battles... great!
- Simple to get into - it starts with lots of rules, but they are quickly picked up - most making logical sense, so after a turn or two, everyone's pretty even on the playing field.


OVERALL
Still one of my favourite games and with the love of the series at the moment, there are plenty of people wanting to try it. I know some people who don't like it, but even they want to try it again due to the reputation it has (and watching more of the TV series).


EXPANSIONS
- A Dance of Dragons - 6 player scenario - quicker game - straight into the action. Different set up. Good but not 'needed' - but the quicker gameplay means more people are interested!
- A Feast for Crows - 4 player rule changer - instead of cities, it's a game of VP. Not tried yet but looks good!


EXTRA I USE:
On boardgamegeek some people have scanned in the 1st ed board - if you print this out and use it for 4-5 player games (as the board was designed for 5 players) it'll be a better game! Worked wonders when I started using it.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve O'Grady
United States
Jacksonville
Alabama
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I want to play this so bad.
I want to play this so bad.
I want to play this so bad.

But...being older, I do not have a group of guys I used to hang with in high school just a few years ago, and I have only 1 buddy that I (war) game with at my local FLGS. Heck, we are still trying to find players for a game of AH Civilization.

Plus, I live in a rural area.

The only times I can play this is when I go to a Con.

(I am jealous)


Great Review! Great information on how to play. Made me want to play even more (see above).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
egrek egrek
United Kingdom
Leicester
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ha! Glad to share the love then.

I got a group through "meetup" - there may be one nearby you? (or maybe start one?)

- potential downside is playing with all these pesky annoying young students, but we all had to start somewhere

- or have you tried "VASSAL" - I believe you can play these games over the internet then? Maybe - not tried it...


Good Luck! And glad you enjoyed!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Guy
United Kingdom
Scarborough
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Incidentally,as per page 16 of the rulebook,the game ends IMMEDIATELY somebody controls his seventh area containing a Castle or Stronghold,not at the end of the turn,as you suggest. This makes being higher up on the Iron Throne track even more advantageous towards the end of the game,as if you can make that last desperate push,no one can retaliate!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
egrek egrek
United Kingdom
Leicester
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know that... thanks for the correction! It was as I was reviewing Civ too! That can be at the end of the turn!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Heynes
South Africa
Cape Town
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a wonderful game. Its in my top 5 games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Webb
United States
Edmonds
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you are using the 1st edition board be sure to use ports still, otherwise boats are insanely powerful. A lot of balance issues were added in ACOK expansion for the first edition.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.