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

Subject: Wargame Players and AGoT rss

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Joe Pilkus
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Westeros Bannerman,

As a long-time war-gamer, and currently a play-tester for several companies, I'm fascinated by this game and want to hear from some other war-gamers. I've read a number of posts on both this forum and that archived from AGoT's 1st Edition. It's interesting that a number of players have likened this game to Risk and Diplomacy.

With regard to Risk, the map is indeed carved into large areas, unlike any more historical 'hex and counter' war-game and of course, the pieces only abstractly represent fighting units. But, that's where the similarity ends...at least, for me.

Comparing it to Diplomacy is probably more apt, and given the reliance on negotiation, while still abstractly representing armies and navies, the underlying game hinges on one's ability to communicate, negotiate, and make cunning decisions.

The creation and introduction of Tides of Battle cards work in a similar fashion to the matrices and die-rolling associated with mature war-games to represent, as Clausewitz discusses in his treatise, On War, the Fog and Friction of War. Personally, I'm not enamored by a combat system that is relegated to comparing the relative strengths of two armies and simply declaring a winner based on "the largest army" wins. Careful use of the House cards, coupled with the Tides of Battle cards makes an elegant solution.

While there's a number of players currently engaged with both the 1st and 2nd Editions of AGoT, I'm curious to hear from any hardcore war-gamers who can provide their analysis and recommendations on AGoT's 2nd Edition to a fellow war-gamer.

Thanks in advance for your input, and what I hope will be an interesting exchange of ideas.

Cheers,
Joe

Originally posted at FFG, but realized that fewer actual war-gamers visit that site.
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Mattias Elfström
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To me the game has no resemblance to Risk, but could easily be thought of as a Diplomacy clone.

AGoT plays smoother than Diplomacy thanks to the order markers and has more reasonable victory conditions.

As far as war games go this is too simple to use as an illustration of Clausewitzian principles.
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Joe Pilkus
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Mattias,

I appreciate the response, though I have to say I've lectured on Clausewitz with less of a tangible connection. It's interesting you should say that, though, as most war-games going back to Chess have everything out in the open, whereas AGoT does a great job by including the Special Orders. Overall, I'm intrigued by the game and as I hear from other war-gamers, I may be tempted to purchase this one.

Again, I greatly appreciate the response.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Did you play Diplomacy?

What games would you classify as wargames?
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Mark McG
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The comparison to Diplomacy is apt, and enhances that mechanic.

Whilst I enjoy the game, I think the combat system is quite adequate, but not a tactical system. As a quick resolve system it works well, and let's not over analyse that.

Probably less adequate is the victory conditions. Most winners seem to be the sneak win, which as a basis of Kingship is unlikely. As a comparison, the old Kingmaker requires to be the sole crowned monarch. So I'd say that to actually be King should require more, though this could lead to long protracted games (as Kingmaker is).

At least one remedy would be a winner must also be at the 1st position of at least one track (Throne, Sword or Raven) at the moment they claim victory. That would give at least an air of legitimacy to the claim.

On the whole, this isn't a tactical wargame. It is a power building game, or strategic wargame. There are elements of positional warfare, mostly around support.

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Joe Pilkus
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Mattias wrote:
Did you play Diplomacy?

What games would you classify as wargames?


Mattias,

Sadly, though an iconic game, I've actually never played the game but have read a number of reviews, the rules, and have interviewed several long-time players of Diplomacy.

When I use the term war-games, I'm talking about "hex and counter" war-games, stemming back to the 1970s with Advanced Third Reich, A World in Flames, and my absolute favorite strategic-level game,from a few years ago, The War: Europe 1939-1945. I tend to appreciate grand strategic games over operational or tactical-level games, but that's a preference. Overall, I enjoy the elegance of hex and counter wargames over nearly all board games, save Arkham Horror and City of Iron.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Minedog3 wrote:

The comparison to Diplomacy is apt, and enhances that mechanic.

Whilst I enjoy the game, I think the combat system is quite adequate, but not a tactical system. As a quick resolve system it works well, and let's not over analyse that.

Probably less adequate is the victory conditions. Most winners seem to be the sneak win, which as a basis of Kingship is unlikely. As a comparison, the old Kingmaker requires to be the sole crowned monarch. So I'd say that to actually be King should require more, though this could lead to long protracted games (as Kingmaker is).

At least one remedy would be a winner must also be at the 1st position of at least one track (Throne, Sword or Raven) at the moment they claim victory. That would give at least an air of legitimacy to the claim.

On the whole, this isn't a tactical wargame. It is a power building game, or strategic wargame. There are elements of positional warfare, mostly around support.


Mark,

Thank you very much ~ your level of analysis is exactly what I need to base my eventual decision. While I've skimmed AGoT's rules and I'm having friends for dinner later this month in which we'll play the game, I do like the idea associated with giving the winner an "air of legitimacy" after so much work to claim the throne.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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Mattias Elfström
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The Professor wrote:
Mattias wrote:
Did you play Diplomacy?

What games would you classify as wargames?


Mattias,

Sadly, though an iconic game, I've actually never played the game but have read a number of reviews, the rules, and have interviewed several long-time players of Diplomacy.

When I use the term war-games, I'm talking about "hex and counter" war-games, stemming back to the 1970s with Advanced Third Reich, A World in Flames, and my absolute favorite strategic-level game,from a few years ago, The War: Europe 1939-1945. I tend to appreciate grand strategic games over operational or tactical-level games, but that's a preference. Overall, I enjoy the elegance of hex and counter wargames over nearly all board games, save Arkham Horror and City of Iron.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Joe

Also being an old time hex and counter wargamer and a big fan of Third Reich (and Squad Leader) I'd say that AGoT caters to other things completely. There is very little analysis that goes into how to wage your battles. The game rather takes place in the interaction between the players.

One winning strategy may be to lay low and strike for a win when the opponents are engaged fighting each other.

Diplomacy and Machiavelli are related to this game in their mechanics.

One game that is a little closer to a wargame, but still has a diplomacy aspect is Successors, which you may enjoy.

I do like AGoT as well, but I don't think it fits the wargame genre primarily.
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Quote:

Also being an old time hex and counter wargamer and a big fan of Third Reich (and Squad Leader) I'd say that AGoT caters to other things completely. There is very little analysis that goes into how to wage your battles. The game rather takes place in the interaction between the players.

One winning strategy may be to lay low and strike for a win when the opponents are engaged fighting each other.

Diplomacy and Machiavelli are related to this game in their mechanics.

One game that is a little closer to a wargame, but still has a diplomacy aspect is Successors, which you may enjoy.

I do like AGoT as well, but I don't think it fits the wargame genre primarily.


Mattias,

That's great, thank you very much. Machiavelli takes me back...I still have that game on my shelf. As for Successors, it might be a better game, I guess I'm interested in AGoT because I absolutely love the theme.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I too love the theme!

A word of warning though, the theme is well represented in the game, but could have been even better.

My favourite thematic games include Spartacus and Battlestar Galactica. Both of them treat the theme as the main point of the game.
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Joe Pilkus
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Thanks, Mattias ~ I've looked over the AGoT House Cards and was a bit perplexed that several of them had such weak or "vanilla" characteristics. I had hoped to see Jaime providing more than One Sword and others seemed a bit...thin. Overall, though, I have to say the game looks quite enjoyable.
 
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Jared H
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I would actually agree to the comparison of AGOT being like risk and diplomacy. It plays like diplomacy but it has a beat up the guy in the lead mentality that is known to be present in risk.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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hoplite70 wrote:
I would actually agree to the comparison of AGOT being like risk and diplomacy. It plays like diplomacy but it has a beat up the guy in the lead mentality that is known to be present in risk.

I thought Risk was more "beat up the weakest guy with the most cards in hand"...
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Jared,

I hope that it's a bit more involved than Risk, though the Diplomacy part sounds attractive to me.

Mattias,

I always went after the one with the most cards ninja

Cheers,
Joe
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Mattias Elfström
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The Professor wrote:
Jared,

I hope that it's a bit more involved than Risk, though the Diplomacy part sounds attractive to me.

Mattias,

I always went after the one with the most cards ninja

Cheers,
Joe

Can I modify my statement to "the weakest of those with most cards in hand"?

Not much strategy there...
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James Murray
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Risk is 50% luck and 50% strategy. This game is probably 85% strategy and only about 15% luck. That's a big difference. This one is more like chess in that it's all about anticipating the other players' moves whereas risk has more to do with planning out one's own path of conquest.
 
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forpio forpio
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The game is much better without tides of battle cards. than is 90% tactics, there is also house rule that westeros cards are open 3 turns ahead, and than only "winter is coming" card shuffle deck and that is only one thing tats bring randomness to game.

2ed have also Grejoy house to strong House cards and in 30% times win is his if other players want cooperate against him in firsts rounds.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Gianthogweed wrote:
Risk is 50% luck and 50% strategy. This game is probably 85% strategy and only about 15% luck. That's a big difference. This one is more like chess in that it's all about anticipating the other players' moves whereas risk has more to do with planning out one's own path of conquest.

Risk is closer to 5% strategy and 95% knowing that the only strategy is going after the opponent with most cards...
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Gianthogweed wrote:
Risk is 50% luck and 50% strategy. This game is probably 85% strategy and only about 15% luck. That's a big difference. This one is more like chess in that it's all about anticipating the other players' moves whereas risk has more to do with planning out one's own path of conquest.


James,

As a 37-year Chess player, thanks for the information!

Cheers,
Joe
 
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Joe Pilkus
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forpio wrote:
The game is much better without tides of battle cards. than is 90% tactics, there is also house rule that westeros cards are open 3 turns ahead, and than only "winter is coming" card shuffle deck and that is only one thing tats bring randomness to game.

2ed have also Grejoy house to strong House cards and in 30% times win is his if other players want cooperate against him in firsts rounds.


forpio,

Thanks for the information ~ I'm getting excited about playing this one.

Cheers,
Joe
 
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