I got the game a week ago after waiting over a month, and finally managed to invite some friends over to give it a try on Saturday. No one of us had ever played it before, and I was the only person who read the rules, so everything took some time, and the whole game might be counted more as a test round. But nevertheless I want to share the experience.
First things first, the houses.
Stark was a good friend of mine, who brought me to the series and the books in the first place.
Lannister another good friend, who sometimes can act a little stubborn in this sort of games (as should be seen later in the game).
I played Baratheon, while constantly giving advice to everyone else on the board (cause only I really knew the rules). I think we still made some minor mistakes.
The Greyjoy player was the only one besides me having read all the books, and the only one who's excitement about this game even came close to mine. Besides that, I explained the rules to him the day before.
Tyrell was the one player with no knowledge of the Ice and Fire series at all, who just wanted to join the evening. She was sort of underestimated throughout the whole game, because she wasn't showing much will to really dig into the game, what should turn out as a mistake later (underestimating her).
The Game started kinda slow, with everyone acting carefully and defensive, and even making some rather stupid mistakes (raid orders without enemy order tokens in adjacent lands), so I decided to take the opportunity and make a move. I defeated Stark in the Shivering Sea, raiding his coasts, while landing my troops in cracklaw point and Storm's End. Greyjoy also started expanding, attacking the Golden Sound and taking Seaguard and Flint's Finger. Stark, with enemies coming from two sides, could secure all the resources in the North, but found himself trapped there. With Tyrell still struggeling with the rules not being of any danger to him, Lannister started pushing towards my direction, taking Riverrun on the way.
It then turned out that Lannister and Greyjoy made an alliance, after their first skirmish not attacking each other at all. Lannister started raiding Tyrell's coasts, but throwing all his forces against my assembling troops in Cracklaw Point. With Greyjoy pushing strong against Stark, both via land and the Bay of Ice, I decided to ally with Stark, supporting the Neck from the Narrow sea, to concentrate on defending against the Lannisters and secure the lands around Storm's End.
With my support, Stark was able to withstand the Ironmen, but remained trapped in the North. Lannister left even empty castles in the south unregarded, making throwing me back into the ocean his only goal.
Meanwhile I was the only one who tried to stop Tyrell on her ongoing conquest in Dorne and The Reach. But my small achievements in this where destroyed by Lannister units, making Tyrell owning 6 castles at the beginning of round 10. With betraying my ally Stark and taking White Harbor from him I gained my 5th victory point, but it was a desperate move and of course I was left with no chance of winning. What in addition hindered my efforts was the fact that I had very little support (a support of 2 till the last 2 rounds), while Lannister never had less than 4 from the first round on.
Tyrell won, after not beeing harassed throughout the whole game (having her first battle in round 6 I think).
There was one event worth pointing out during the first few rounds, when the wildlings attacked three times in two rounds, leaving us all with minimum amount of power tokens, making a following bidding a farce, with me on the Iron Throne rearanging the influence tracks at will(which was good for me, but not very satisfying). It took some time till Lannister finally took the throne and the vallyrian blade from me, keeping them till the end of the game. The raven went between Stark and Greyjoy.
So what I read here before became true: the game seems to be a bit imbalanced when not played by 6 players. However, I think Tyrell's victory could have been prevented, if Lannister and Baratheon would have agreed on marching on her, or maybe even formed an alliance (which was impossible with a Lannister player seeking to destroy me against all reason
Even if this game was rather statical I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to our next round. For our first match we did quite ok I guess. With everyone now knowing the rules, they will hopefully become more daring.