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

Subject: Marriages rss

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Cory Daignault
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At the beginning of the game and whenever there is bidding on the influence tracks, there is a marriage alliance round. This occurs before bidding on the influence tracks. Only the players in the top 2 spots of the iron throne track can create marriage alliances.

At the start of the marriage alliance phase, all prior alliances are cancel and all house cards are returned.

Starting with the holder of the iron throne, the player elects another house to create a marriage alliance. This cannot be refused. A player may only have one marriage alliance. The elected player must give one of his house cards as ransom to the proposing player. The proposing player then forfeits power tokens equal to the power of the provided house card. The elected player than receives power tokens equal to the number forfeited. While the alliance is in effect, the two houses cannot march into each other's controlled territories. They may support attacks against each other and raid as normal.



The real point of this variant is to help lannister not get destroyed immediately. Since they are 2nd in the iron throne track, they can use this to keep Greyjoy away for a few turns. However I think it also adds flavor to the game. Marriage was a huge theme in the books.
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Duncan Idaho
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doctorb wrote:
This cannot be refused.


You lost me there.
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Guilherme Couto
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I see the point in the theme sense. But I sounds that the Iron Throne holder gets quite overpower. Having the Iron Throne you can choose someone just not to attack you. Also, having the house cards back is extremely powerful in the end game.
I also see a pretty straightforward strategy here. Baratheons, the first to bet (since this is before Iron Throne betting), should definetely choose Lannisters in order to keep them and Greyjoys to have an alliance.

I get the idea, but the mechanic seems to harm the game balance, in my opinion.
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Scott Randolph
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I like the IDEA, but I think the game mechanic needs work.
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Cory Daignault
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Thank you for your replies. And I agree that it definitely increases the power of the iron throne. However it is important to keep in mind that the marriage phase occurs before bidding and the player surrendering a card chooses who is surrendered. Baratheon could choose Lannister to prevent a Lannister-Greyjoy alliance. However if the Lannister player surrenders Tywin, Barartheon looses 4 power tokens and Lannister gains 4 power tokens. Baratheon may have prevented an alliance, but he is unlikely to hold the iron throne.
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Cory Daignault
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I should add, that the first marriage phase happens at the beginning of the game so there is no bidding on the influence tracks afterwards. However there is still the exchange of a house card and power token(s). So to continue the example of a marriage of Baratheon and Lannister. If this happens twice (once the beginning of the game and again during a Westeros phase) and Baratheon chooses Lannister both times, the Lannister player could choose Tywin both times and gain a total of 8 tokens while Baratheon looses 8 tokens.

So I think there is an internal balance. If you have a willing alliance, the opposing player will likely give you a zero card. That will solidify the alliance, not cost the proposing player any power tokens and help the selected player cycle his hand. If you have an unwilling alliance, the selected player may steal a critical number of power tokens from the proposing player, though at great cost to himself. I believe that this balances the phase such that a marriage proposal may not be something that players you would want to use without good reason.
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Yosef Bender

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I also think marriage is a great thematic point that needs to be in the game but I've gone an entirely different direction with it and I'm not sure how much would be applicable to a simple variant in the standard game. as I have completely rewritten the whole game I've created decks of cards, called diplomacy cards, intrigue cards, and military strategy cards, the top players on each of the three tracks can draw from these decks.with the idea of representing all the politics and intrigue that goes on behind the scenes. There are also individual house decks that if a house is not in position to draw from one of these top the track decks they can at least draw from their house deck which is usually a lamer version of the top three decks with a few exclusive house specialties.

in the diplomacy deck there are several cards like: Marriage alliance to a minor house, which causes that house to be forever loyal to the great house.

There is marriage alliance to a great house card which can be played at any time on another player if they choose to accept the card is discarded, marriage is made if they reject the player may keep that card for later use. there is also one marriage to a great house in each of the house decks.

Upon acceptance the two players pick the appropriate family member for the marriage and swap cards, as long as these two people are alive the marriage and the alliance remains where neither house can attack each other and hopefully cooperate.because I use the leader cards a little different than the standard game I have 10 per house, as a leader actually commands an army or holds the iron throne, the hand of the king, master of coin. Master of lore. Also the master of whispers or the Raven track the first two positions the master of whispers, and the master assassin, need to be held by a specific leader card. On the sword track, leaders holds the first two position house tokens on the remaining positions, and that leaders , are assumed to be generals and armies to gain their bonus of drawing from the strategic military deck

But then there are intrigue cards like the very ugly "red wedding",if you want a real short-term alliance and make a mortal enemy. or assassinations where you can poison or assassinate an individual. which would break the marriage alliance. so there are several ways to break the marriage alliance. but if you keep the marriage together for more than three turns there is also a card called offspring where you get to create a new leader cards that holds both houses interests.
 
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