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Subject: Night's Watch and House Bolton decks rss

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Stannis B
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Hey guys, I have really enjoyed the Targaryen and Baratheon expansions. First of all, thanks to the three of you, Dan, Zoe and Tom, for making these. Both the rules and the design are really fantastic work!

I have read Dan's tips to create decks loosely based on their LCG counterparts, so I gave a Night's Watch and a House Bolton deck a shot. (Greyjoy and Martell have to wait at least another season, I suppose). I was looking forward to some feedback, and maybe in the end, if you like them, you guys could make similar cards for PrinterStudio. It was already a lot of fun to create these decks, but it'd be really awesome to have physical copies of the same amazing quality as the Baratheon and Targaryen decks.

Night's Watch
I did a major overhaul of the Night's Watch deck. After getting some more experience, good card draw and lack of saves aren't really themes which can stand up to the ones of the other Houses. The Night's Watch has a lot of named characters in the show, enough to replace Littlefinger and Varys. Quite fitting as the NW takes no part in the internal struggles of the realm.

- Good defense stays a NW theme, of course. Some effects help you winning challenges as the defender (The Watchers on the Wall, The Shield that Defends the Realms of Men, Olly, Pyp), several other effects reward you for winning challenges as the defender.(Bowen Marsh, Othell Yarwyck, Grenn, Castle Black, The Wall, The Sword in the Darkness, Defending the Realm plot)
- A new theme is the better division of builders, stewards and rangers among the characters. Something I already did for the 3 generic cost 1 strength 1 characters. All characters which can be attributed to one of the Night's Watch's professions have only a single icon: Military for rangers, intrigue for stewards and power for builders. Lords, maesters, recruiters etc got more icons, and the 3 cost 1 ally characters can give their respective icon to a character by attaching them.
- The Night's Watch serves without reward, the brothers die at their post and others pick up their duty. To represent that, there is no way to save characters (Only Jon Snow gets a duplicate.) and you can trigger responses after NW characters leaving play. (Jon Snow, Edd, Denys Mallister, Ranger/Steward/Builder of the Watch, Mole's Town, Longclaw, All the Nights to Come, also Rast and I Shall Live And Die At My Post)
- There is still good card draw. (Sam, Aemon, Janos, Edd, Rast, Mole's Town)
- The NW has cheap characters in general, but has some good, although expensive, locations (The Wall, Castle Black) to support their defensive strategy.

The card design may be tricky as the NW doesn't have a sigil. All black could work for the card back, but the front needs some kind of symbol to distinguish NW and neutral characters, maybe a black shield or a raven/crow.

Ok, here we go for the NW deck, cards sorted by cost. (btw if there are some weird wordings, feel free to correct me, please.)

Characters: 26 (WITHOUT Varys and Littlefinger)

U Jeor Mormont x1
Cost: 4 STR: 4 Icon: Military, Power. Lord.
RENOWN. Plot: Kill Jeor Mormont (cannot be saved) to cancel the effects of a plot card that has just been played.
Reworded the LCG card Old Bear Mormont.

U Jon Snow x2
Cost: 4 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Power. Bastard. Lord.
RENOWN. Response: After a Night's Watch character leaves play, stand Jon Snow.
Based on the HBO Stark version.

U Qhorin Halfhand x1
Cost: 4 STR: 3 Icon: Military. Ranger.
RENOWN. STEALTH. Qhorin Halfhand can declare Stealth on characters with Stealth.
Based on LCG Stonesnake.

U Benjen Stark x1
Cost: 3 STR: 3 Icon: Military. Ranger. Lord.
STEALTH. Response: After Benjen Stark comes into play, choose and stand 1 Night's Watch character or choose and kneel 1 Wildling character.
A LCG Benjen, goes well with the first ranger attachment.

U Ser Alliser Thorne x1
Cost: 3 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Intrigue, Power. Knight.
Any Phase: Pay 1 gold to choose 1 Night's Watch character. Until the end of the phase, that character gets +1 strength. (Limit 3 times per phase.)
Based on LCG Denys Mallister. The ability grasps well Thorne's position as the trainer of recruits.

U Yoren x1
Cost: 3 STR: 2 Icon: Military, Power. Ally.
Lower the cost of the first Night's Watch character you play each round by 2.
Simple card, the ability fits Yoren's job as recruiter for the Night's Watch.

U Craster x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 3 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Power. Wildling. Ally.
After you play Craster, each opponent must choose and discard 1 card from his or her hand.
Based on LCG steward of the watch. Added the icons and upped the cost.

U Samwell Tarly x1
Cost: 3 STR: 3 Icon: Intrigue. Steward.
Response: After an opponent plays an event, draw 1 card.
Based on LCG Samwell, changed Raven card to event, draw 1 instead of 2 cards. A mix of Lannister Guards and The Queen of Thorns now.

U Maester Aemon x1
Cost: 3 STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue, Power. Maester.
Marshalling: Reveal the top card of each player's deck. Then (choose one): each player discards that card, draws that card, or returns it to the top of his or her deck. (Limit once per phase.)
Ability taken from the LCG Night's Watch character Satin.

U Janos Slynt x1
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue. Ally.
Response: After 1 or more cards are discarded from an opponent's hand, stand Janos Slynt to draw 1 card.
A LCG Janos Slynt.

U Grenn x1
Cost: 2 STR: 3 Icon: Military. Ranger.
Response: After you win a challenge in which Grenn participated as the defender, claim 1 power for your House.
Comparable to the Targaryen's Grey Worm.

U Edd Tollett x1
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue. Steward.
STEALTH. Response: After Edd Tollett leaves play, draw 2 cards.
Made up from scratch, but goes nicely with the card draw theme and with Dolorous Edd's pessimism as well.

U Karl Tanner x1
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Military. Ranger. Traitor.
While you are attacking, Karl Tanner gets an [Intrigue] and a [Power] icon.
He abandoned the Night's Watch, so he gets an [Intrigue] and a [Power] icon for that.
Inverse version of HBO Bronn.

U Othell Yarwyck x1
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Power. Builder. Lord.
Response: After you win a [Power] challenge as the defender, Othell Yarwyck claims 1 power.

U Bowen Marsh x1
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue. Steward. Lord.
Response: After you win an [Intrigue] challenge as the defender, Bowen Marsh claims 1 power.

U Ser Waymar Royce x1
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Military, Power. Ranger. Knight.
After Ser Waymar Royce leaves play, choose and discard an Ally character from play.
A Varys substitute.

U Pyp x1
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue. Steward.
Pyp can defend [Power] challenges declared against you, even while kneeling.
Based on LCG Yoren.

U Rast x1
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Military. Ranger. Traitor.
Any phase: Discard Rast from play to draw 2 cards.
Let you get rid of this mutineer as soon as possible. Nice support for Jon Snow.

U Gilly x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue. Wildling. Ally.
Response: After an Ally character enters play, discard Gilly to choose and discard that Ally character from play.
Another Varys substitute.

U Olly x1
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Ally.
Challenges: Kneel Olly to have him participate in a challenge as a defender.
Made up.

Ranger of the Watch x1
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Military. Ranger. Ally.
Response: After Ranger of the Watch leaves play, attach it to a Night’s Watch character as a Condition attachment. Attached character gains the Ranger trait and a [Military] icon.

Steward of the Watch x1
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue. Steward. Ally.
Response: After Steward of the Watch leaves play, attach it to a Night’s Watch character as a Condition attachment. Attached character gains the Steward trait and an [Intrigue] icon.

Builder of the Watch x1
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Power. Builder. Ally.
Response: After Builder of the Watch leaves play, attach it to a Night’s Watch character as a Condition attachment. Attached character gains the Builder trait and a Power icon.

Great Ranging Party x2
Cost: 6 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Power. Army.
Attachments cannot be played on Great Ranging Party. Lower the cost to play Great Ranging Party by 1 for each Night's Watch character you have in play.
The Night's Watch army variant. It is difficult to play in the beginning, but could easily cost 3 or less later on.

Locations: 10 (including Iron Throne and King's Landing)
U Craster's Keep x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 2 Beyond the Wall.
After you play Craster's Keep, discard an attachment from play.
Any phase: Kneel Craster's Keep to move 1 power from a character you control to your House card.
Based on Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.

U Castle Black x1
Cost: 3 The North.
Response: After you win a challenge as the defender, claim 1 power for your House.
A LCG Winterfell.

The Wall x1
Cost: 2 The North.
Response: After you win a challenge, raise the claim value on your revealed plot card by 1 for the next challenge of the same type you initiate this phase.
LCG Lonely Hills.

The Gift x1
Cost: 0 Limited. The North.
Marshalling: Kneel The Gift to lower the cost of the next Night's Watch character you play by 1.
Basic location as in the Stark/Baratheon deck with the limitation to characters instead of cards.

U Mole's Town x1
Cost: 1 The North.
Response: After a Night's Watch character leaves play, kneel Mole's Town to draw 1 card.
Card draw theme.

Training Yard x3
Cost: 0 The North.
Limited. +1 Gold
Basic location.

Attachments: 4
Dragonglass Dagger x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 2 Weapon.
Challenges: While attached character is participating in a challenge, discard Dragonglass Dagger to choose and kill another participating character.
LCG Ice.

U Ghost x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 1 Direwolf. Creature.
Any phase: Kneel Ghost to choose and kill 1 character with strength 1 or lower. (strength 2 or lower if attached character is Jon Snow)
Based on LCG Grey Wind.

U Longclaw x1
Cost: 1 Weapon.
Attached character gets +2 strength. Response: After attached character leaves play, attach it to a Night's Watch character instead of placing it in your discard pile.
LCG Longclaw.

U First Ranger x1
Cost: 1 Title.
Attach to a Ranger character only. Response: After you win a challenge in which attached character participated, stand all other Night's Watch characters you control.
LCG First Ranger.

Events: 10 (all named after phrases from the NW vow)

All the Nights to Come x2
Any Phase: Discard 1 Night's Watch character from play to search your deck for 1 different Night's Watch character, reveal it, and add it to your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
LCG Yoren's Task.

The Watchers on the Wall x2
Challenges: Choose a Night's Watch character. Until the end of the phase, that character does not kneel to defend and cannot be bypassed by Stealth.
Suits the defense theme.

The Sword in the Darkness x2
Response: After you win a challenge as the defender, choose and kill 1 attacking character (cannot be saved).
LCG Routing the Charge.

The Shield that Guards the Realms of Men x2
Challenges: Choose a defending Night's Watch character. That character gains +4 strength until the end of the challenge. Limit: 1 The Shield that guards the Realms of Men per challenge.
Suits the defense theme.

I Shall Live and Die At My Post x2
Response: After a Night's Watch character is killed, put a Night's Watch character into play from your hand.
Helps with putting the costlier characters into play.

Plots: 7 (all based on LCG plots; one Claim: 2 plot as in the other House only plots)
Betrayal at the Wall
Inc: 1 Init: 11 Claim: 1
When revealed, choose and reveal a new plot card if you control 3 or more Night's Watch characters. (Cannot be canceled.)

The Scythe
Inc: 3 Init: 5 Claim: 1
At the end of the challenge phase choose and kill an opponent's character, if you have not lost a challenge as the defender this round.

Relentless Persecution
Inc: 2 Init: 3 Claim: 1
When revealed, kneel all non-unique characters in play.

Rains of Autumn
Inc: 3 Init: 5 Claim: 1
Characters, locations, and attachments do not provide income bonuses this round.

Battle at the Fist of the First Men
Inc: 3 Init: 2 Claim: 1
At the end of the challenge phase, each player who has not won a [Military] challenge must choose and kill 1 character he or she controls.

Defense of Castle Black
Inc: 5 Init: 3 Claim: 2
You cannot declare more than 2 challenges this round.

Planning Ahead
Inc: 4 Init: 0 Claim: 1
You skip the taxation phase this round.
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Stannis B
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House Bolton
Zoe had some nice ideas for a House Bolton deck in the other thread, so I tried to build on these (of course I included the bear as a character). I took the Bolton theme of change of character control from the LCG. This mechanic is very different from the other decks, but did work in our matches because I made it possible to win lost characters back.
The Boltons have cheap characters, but these come with some cutbacks: the opponent may take control of them (Locke, Walton)/you can't keep them in play for various reasons (Hunters, Torturer)/their use in the challenge phase is limited (Bear, Hunting Dogs). There is a bunch of neutral characters in this deck, most prominently the Freys. Boltons and Freys have a lot of characters with intrigue, but not with as much strength as the Lannister characters. The Boltons have multiple ways to kill certain characters (Crippled, Flaying knife, Roslin, Red Wedding Plot, Our blades are sharp).

Characters: 26 (including Varys and Littlefinger)
U Roose Bolton x2
Cost: 4 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Intrigue, Power. Lord.
Renown. Roose Bolton does not kneel to attack during Intrigue challenges. Response: After you win a challenge in which Roose Bolton participated, all players take control of each character they own currently in play.
LCG card (plus Renown and Power icon to make him the centerpiece of the Bolton Deck).

U Walder Frey x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 4 STR: 3 Icon: Intrigue, Power. Lord. House Frey.
Renown. Walder Frey can be declared as an attacker after defending characters have been declared.
I found the LCG naval enhancement ability to be a good representation of “Late” Lord Frey.

U Rickard Karstark x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 3 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Power. Lord. House Karstark.
Rickard Karstark does not kneel during [Power] challenges.
Simplified the LCG card. Changed the ability from Military to Power to distinguish him a bit from Jaime or the Storm of Swords plot.

U Qyburn (Neutral) x1
Cost: 3 STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue. Maester. Ally.
Stealth. Response: After Qyburn enters play, choose a non-Army character in an opponent's dead pile. Put that character into play under your control. If that character is still in play at the end of the round, return it to its owner's dead pile.
Dropped Deadly, Power icon and shadows ability compared to the LCG, added Stealth. I hope the ability isn't too spoilerish, but then again, there was plenty of talk about his experiments in the show already and this ability goes well with the control of opponent's characters theme.

U Ramsay Snow x2
Cost: 3 STR: 2 Icon: Military, Intrigue, Power. Bastard.
Stealth. Response: After control of a character changes, put Ramsay Snow into play from your hand.
Based on The Bastard of Bolton from the LCG. Stealth instead of Deadly.

U Reek x2
Cost: 2 STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue, Power. Ally.
Response: After you win an [Intrigue] challenge in which Reek participated as an attacker, give the defending player control of Reek to choose and take control of 1 character controlled by that player.
Straight from the LCG.

U Steelshanks Walton x1
Cost: 2 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Power. Captain.
Steelshanks Walton does not kneel to defend during [Military] challenges. After a player wins dominance, that player takes control of Steelshanks Walton.
LCG (plus does not kneel to defend, minus Deadly)

U Locke x1
Cost: 2 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Intrigue. Ally.
Stealth. After a player wins an [Intrigue] challenge against you, that player takes control of Locke.
LCG Bolton Loyalist plus Stealth. The change of character control nicely matches Locke's (short) allegiance to the Night's Watch.

U Myranda x1
Cost: 2 STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue. Ally.
Response: Discard Myranda to cancel the effects of an event card just played.
A weak character with a potentially strong ability. Makes for tough decisions: for your opponent if he wants to play an event with Myranda in play; for you if you want to discard her or to wait for the next event.

U Walda Bolton x1
Cost: 2 STR: 1 Icon: Power. Lady. House Frey.
+2 Gold
Both House Bolton and House Frey affiliation. Since Roose married her because of her opulent dowry, +2 Gold seems like a nice thematic bonus.

U Black Walder Frey x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Military, Intrigue. Lord. House Frey.
If you control another House Frey character, Black Walder Frey gets +1 strength.
The boni for Black Walder and Lothar Frey are inspired by LCG Frey Armsmen. The dependence on multiple Frey character in play fits snugly with the numerous Frey family. There are 5 House Frey characters in the deck, so this bonus won't turn up that often.

U Lothar Frey x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 2 STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue, Power. Lord. House Frey.
If you control another House Frey character, Lothar Frey gets +1 strength.

U Roslin Frey x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 1 STR: 1 Icon: Power. Lady. House Frey.
Response: After you win an [Intrigue] challenge, kneel and discard Roslin Frey to kill a Lord or Lady character (cannot be saved).
The ability is supposed to represent Roslin's role as a pawn at the Red Wedding.

Ramsay's Hunting Dogs x1
Cost: 1 STR: 2 Icon: Military, Intrigue, Power. Creature.
Only condition attachments can be played on Ramsay's Hunting Dogs. Ramsay's Hunting dogs cannot be bypassed by Stealth. Ramsay's Hunting Dogs cannot attack or defend alone.
Inspired by the LCG attachment (+2 strength) of the same name. The hounds can't act on their own, but loyally follow other characters in their challenges, as befits dogs.

Bear x1
Cost: 1 STR: 4 Icon: Military. Creature.
Only condition attachments can be played on Bear. Bear cannot defend.
Comparable to Hodor. Only attacking is a bit stronger, I guess, so Bear doesn't have a power icon like Hodor does (and doesn't need Hodor's anti-Stealth).

Locke's Hunters x1
Cost: 0 STR: 2 Icon: Military, Intrigue. Ally.
If you do not win dominance, pay 1 gold or discard Locke's Hunters from play.
Identical to LCG Bolton refugee.

Dreadfort Torturer x3
Cost: 0 STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue, Power. Ally.
If you control no other House Bolton characters, discard Dreadfort Torturer from play.
Strength 1 combined with ability of LCG Dreadfort Outrider.

Bolton Army x2
Cost: 2 STR: 4 Icon: Military, Power. Army.
No Attachments can be played on Bolton Army. Discard Bolton Army from play at any time your total initiative is half or less than half of any opponent's total initiative.
Based on LCG Host of the Bear. Follows the pattern "Discard, if..." of the non-unique Bolton characters.

Locations: 9 (including Iron Throne and King's Landing)
U The Dreadfort
Cost: 2 Westeros. The North.
After control of a House Bolton character changes, (choose one: ) that character claims 1 power, stand a House Bolton character, or draw a card.
Modified LCG Dreadfort (no strength 3 requirement, but playing a character does not trigger the ability) It is not that easy to trigger, but the flexibility repays you. Great interaction with Roose, and Dubious Loyalties also is a good enabler.

U Harrenhal (Neutral)
Cost: 1 Westeros. The Riverlands.
Response: After a character changes control, kneel Harrenhal to search your discard pile for a card and return it to the top of your deck.
Based on LCG Weeping Water.

U The Twins x1 (Neutral)
Cost: 2 Westeros. The Riverlands.
After you play a House Frey character, draw 1 card. Response: After you play The Twins, search your deck for a House Frey character and add it to your hand, then shuffle your deck.
Simple card draw. If you are able to play all House Frey characters after The Twins, it will net you 6 cards.

U Moat Cailin x1
Cost: 1 Westeros. The North.
Response: After you win a challenge as the attacker, kneel Moat Cailin and give the losing player control of a participating character with a printed House Bolton symbol to take control of 1 character controlled and chosen by the losing player.
Made up to go with the Bolton theme. Great interaction with Bolton Torturer.

The North x3
Cost: 0 Westeros.
Limited. +1 Gold
Custom HBO location.

Attachments: 5
Flaying Knife x1
Cost: 2 Weapon.
House Bolton character only. Response: After you win a challenge in which attached character participated, kneel Flaying Knife to choose and discard 1 kneeling character from play.
LCG attachment named Bloody Scourge.

Crippled (Neutral) x1
Cost: 2 Condition.
Attached character gets -2 strength. If a character's strength is reduced to 0 this way, discard it from play.
Made up based on Imprisoned from the Lannister deck (and inspired by Zoe's idea in the other thread obviously ;-). This card is stronger against strength 2 and lower, but weaker against strength 3 and higher.

Dubious Loyalties x3
Cost: 1 Condition.
Attach to a character with no printed House Bolton symbol and with strength 2 or less only. Attached character gains the House Bolton affiliation. Take control of attached character. If Dubious Loyalties leaves play, give control of the character back to its owner.
If the owner of attached character wins a [Power] challenge against you, discard Dubious Loyalties.
Mix of LCG Ward and Enslaved.

Events: 10
Our blades are sharp x2
Response: After an opponent takes control of a House Bolton character, kneel a House Bolton character to choose and kill a character controlled by that opponent.
Simplified LCG Terror in the Dungeons.

A flayed man holds no secrets x2
Response: After you win an [Intrigue] challenge in which at least 1 House Bolton participated, look at the losing opponent's hand and choose and discard 1 card.
Based on LCG Altar of Fire.

The Bastard of Bolton x2
Response: After control of a character changes, discard an attachment from play.
The only way to remove attachments. Also good with your own "My name is Reek" event.

Dance for me x2
Challenges: Return an attacking House Bolton character to its owner’s hand.
Based on LCG Abandoned Fort. The name stems from one of the Bastard's Boys.

My name is Reek x2
Response: Save a U character from being killed. Then attach this card to that character as a Condition attachment with the text: "The attached character gets -1 strength to a minimum of 0."
The Bolton's “Not today”, it's a bit weaker, though, similar to “Rescued” from the Baratheon deck.

Plots: (mostly based on LCG plots which I deemed reasonable)
Forgotten Plans
Inc: 2 Init: 4 Claim: 1
Treat all plots with a name other than Forgotten Plans as if their text box were blank during every phase except the plot phase.

Shadows and Spiders
Inc: 4 Init: 2 Claim: 1
A player cannot declare a [Power] challenge unless he or she has won an [Intrigue] challenge that phase.

The Red Wedding
Inc: 2 Init: 3 Claim: 1
When revealed, the opponent to your left chooses 2 characters with the Lord or Lady trait, if able. Then, you must choose and kill 1 of those characters. The other claims 1 power.

War of Attrition
Inc: 2 Init: 8 Claim: 1
After you lose a challenge as the attacker, the defending player must choose and discard a card from his hand.

A Cruel Betrayal
Inc: 2 Init: 0 Claim: 2
When revealed, the player with the most characters and locations under his control chooses and discards 2 characters or locations he or she controls.

Training the Troops
Inc: 4 Init: 4 Claim: 1 All non-unique characters get +1 strength this round.

Stay of Execution
Inc: 4 Init: 6 Claim: 1
If a Lord or Lady character would be killed, instead return it to its owner's hand.
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Tom Howard
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Wowwwww... Oustanding work!

Looks like I'll have to fire up the Photoshops again!
Though mind you I'm currently buried in a handful of projects, so it may take me a while to get cracking on this.
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Stannis B
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Hey Tom! That's awesome. I'm glad you like them.

I'll eagerly anticipate your work, but take your time. For now, I'm just happy about your (very quick) reply.

 
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Jon Fraatz
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Just started playing this game this past weekend. Absolutely love it. Printing off a set of Targaryen and Baratheon while I wait for a PrinterStudio copy. It's so great to see a community so dedicated to a game!

Thanks in particular to you, Tom, for such amazing looking cards. Never seen a fan expansion look so good!
 
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Rachel Wolfe
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I'm happy to do more playmats, whenever you have the art ready (no rush)!
 
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Paweł Woroszczuk
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Wow that is awsome!!! Can't wait till Tom uses his photoshop magic on this brilliant concept.
 
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Stannis B
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LuckyNumberHat wrote:
Thanks in particular to you, Tom, for such amazing looking cards. Never seen a fan expansion look so good!


Couldn't agree more. Tom's cards look even better than the original ones! I'm really excited about seeing his choices for Bolton and the Night's Watch.

It's also nice to see that there is some interest in these fan-made decks.
By the way, I already have drafts of a Tully/Brotherhood and a Wildling deck. But better wait for the season finale next sunday. Maybe there will be some new characters appearing.
 
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Zoe T
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I'm looking forward to having a good look at these! I actually made a more detailed Bolton prototype deck myself last year along the same character-switchy lines, but had limited success with the play testing, as it was difficult to play it and I found balancing it hard, hence I didn't post it here. How do you feel your deck plays?

This is a demo of Roose Bolton using a template that I made last year, but with the new text
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Tom Howard
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Heya Zoe, I was just thinking of reaching out to you again, hehe. Perhaps we can collaborate once more on this.
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Zoe T
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I'd be glad to! I was actually thinking the same thing.
 
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Stannis B
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Zoett wrote:
I'm looking forward to having a good look at these! I actually made a more detailed Bolton prototype deck myself last year along the same character-switchy lines, but had limited success with the play testing, as it was difficult to play it and I found balancing it hard, hence I didn't post it here. How do you feel your deck plays?


Yes, in the initial version it was very difficult to actually change character control by the LCG attachment Dubious Loyalties. Taking control of an opponent's character is twice as strong as killing a character, your opponent loses one, you gain one. So the opponent always tried to prevent it. And since many abilities need this trigger, it did not really work out well.
It became way better by making change of character control reversible, so the opponent does not try to avoid it at any cost.


Roose Bolton is actually the one card I'm still not pleased with. I definitely want to add the Power icon and Renown compared to the LCG version. But cost 5 was too much, so in order to remain at cost 4 I tried to weaken his ability by making the ability mandatory. It can get really complicated and confusing.
So I think the version you posted (i.e. with Response added) is the best. The card is strictly better than the LCG Roose, but still not over the top, I guess. Stannis, Ser Gregor or Shadow Stalker are at least as good at the cost 4 level.

I'm very interested in your opinion. And if some of the cards you made go well with this deck, please feel free to post them.

 
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This is my deck that I made last year. I thought it might be interesting to have a look at!
It had 3 prisoner characters (Reek, Jaime and Brienne) that were based on Reek, but only 1 dubious loyalties rather than 3 to compensate. Seeing as we now have a few more significant Bolton characters like fat Walda and the dogs, I would remove Jaime and Brienne for some more dubious loyalties as you have done.

I didn't get much playtesting done on this 'final' version, as my opponent just wanted to play a normal game with pretty cards and was sick of testing! The problems I remember from playtesting of previous versions was that it was a complicated deck to play, with lots of potential combos and card interactions. This of course can be a good thing, but I was finding that the interactions were often too difficult to remember to apply consistently, and more disappointingly, that they weren't happening often enough, so that I wasn't seeing any of the power that could come from them.

the * denotes a character that can switch sides

x2 Roose Bolton U Roose Bolton
Renown
Cost: 4
STR: 3 Icon: Military,Intrigue
Lord. House Bolton.
Roose Bolton does not kneel to attack during Intrigue challenges. Response: After you win a challenge in which Roose Bolton participated, all players take control of each character they own currently in play.

x2 Ramsay Snow U Based on the Bastard of Bolton.
Cost: 3
STR: 2 Icon: Military,Intrigue,Power
Bastard. House Bolton.
Stealth.
Response: After control of a character changes, put The Bastard of Bolton into play from your hand.

Locke U own creation
Cost: 3 Strength: 2 Icons: Military, Power
Ally.
When you play Locke, choose a lord or lady character. Discard all accumulated power and attachments from that character and remove that character from play. When Locke leaves play, return it to its owners control.
OR
Locke Based on the blackfish
Cost: 4 Strength: 3 Icons: Military, Power
Knight.
RENOWN.
While Locke has 3 or more power, your House Bolton characters do not kneel to attack.
Response: After you win a Military challenge as the attacker, draw 1 card.

Of the two versions of Locke, I preferred my original creation, but the wording was difficult to get right. He has a nice immediate effect, but maybe he doesn't need the lord or lady condition.

Bear U Own Creation
Cost: 2
STR: 4 Icon: Military,
House Bolton. Creature.
No attachments. Cannot be bypassed with stealth.

Steelshanks Walton U * Steelshanks Walton
Cost: 2
STR: 3 Icon: Military,Power
House Bolton. Ally.
Dominance: If you won dominance this round, take control of Steelshanks Walton. (Any player may trigger this effect.)

Qyburn U based on Qyburn
Cost: 2
STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue, Power.
Maester. Ally.
Response: After you play Qyburn, choose a non-army character from an opponent’s dead pile. Put character in play under your control until the end of the phase, then return to dead pile.

x 2 Locke’s Hunters Based on The Bastard’s Boys
Cost: 4
STR: 4 Icon: Military, Power
Army. House Bolton.
No attachments.
Response: After Locke’s Hunters are knelt as an attacker and the defending player controls no House Bolton characters, raise the claim value on your revealed plot card by 1 (to a maximum of 3) until the end of the phase.
OR
x2 Locke’s Hunters
Cost: 4
STR: 4 Icon: Military, Power
Army. House Bolton.
No attachments.
If a prisoner card is in play, put Locke’s hunters into play directly from your hand.

I wasn't all that happy with either of these army characters.


x2 Ramsay’s Thugs * Bolton Loyalist
Cost: 1
STR: 2 Icon: Military,Intrigue
House Bolton. Ally.
After a player wins an Intrigue challenge against you, that player takes control of Bolton Loyalist.

x2 Bearer of the Flayed man * based on the Bastard’s Elite
Cost: 1
STR: 2 Icon: Military,Power
Army. House Bolton.
After a player wins a Military challenge against you, that player takes control of Bearer of the Flayed man.

Roslin Frey U
Cost: 1
STR: 1 Icon: Power
Ally.
Marshalling: Kneel Roslin Frey to kneel any Lord character.

Walder Frey U
Cost: 0
STR: 3 Icon: Power
Lord. House Frey.
Dominance: Choose an opponent with more power than you. Kneel Walder Frey to kill one of their characters.
Walder Frey gains 1 power for each character killed this way.

Walder at first seems very powerful, and the 0 cost is probably too low, but his ability is actually very conditional: you have to be losing, and he has to be standing during dominance to kneel him for a kill.

Black Walder U
Cost: 3
STR: 3 Icons: Military,Intrigue
House Frey.
STEALTH
Immune to events.

x2 Frey Crossbowmen own creation
Cost: 3
STR: 2 Icon: Military, Power
Army. House Frey.
No attachments.
Response: After you declare a Military challenge, put Frey Crossbowmen into play knelt and participating.

x2 Reek U *
Cost: 2
STR: 1 Icon: Intrigue,Power
House Bolton Prisoner. Lord.
After you win an intrigue challenge in which Theon participated as an attacker, give the defending player control of Theon to choose 1 character controlled by that player.

x2 Jaime U *
Cost: 2
STR: 2 Icon: Intrigue,Power
Prisoner. Lord. Knight.
After you loose a power challenge in which Jaime participated, give the defending player control of Jaime and take control of 1 character controlled by that player.

x2 Brienne U *
Cost: 2
STR: 2 Icon: Military, Power
Prisoner. Lady.
After you win military challenge in which Brienne participated as a defender, give the attacking player control of Brienne to choose 1 character controlled by that player.

Attachments

Hooked Blade
U Bloody Scourge
Cost: 2
Item. Weapon. House Bolton.
House Bolton character only. Response: After you win a challenge in which attached character participated, kneel Bloody Scourge to choose and discard 1 kneeling character from play.

Dubious Loyalties
Cost: 1
Condition. House Bolton.
Attached character gains the House Bolton trait.
Response: After you win a challenge in which attached character participated take control of attached character if it is not under your control.

x2 Crippled
Cost: 0
Condition. House Bolton.
Attached character cannot Receives -2 STR and cannot attack.

My crippled doesn't kill characters, but it relegates them to defenders. have a think about which one you like best!


I tried out several combinations of events and locations. Tell me which ones you like best!


LOCATIONS
I came up with several options for locations.

The Dreadfort
Cost: 2
House Bolton.
Response: After you play or take control of a House Bolton character with STR 3 or higher, draw 1 card.
OR
The Dreadfort
Cost: 1
The North.
Response: After you reveal a plot card, discard the top card of each opponent's deck. If you win the initiative, discard the top two cards.
OR
The Dreadfort U
After control of a house Bolton character changes, draw a card/the dreadfort claims one power/stand a charcter


The Twins
U Weeping Water
Cost: 2
After a character changes control, stand The Twins.
Any Phase: Kneel The Twins to return the topmost House Bolton card in your discard pile to the top of your deck.
OR
The Twins U
Cost: 2
Whenever a house Bolton character changes control, they gain 1 power.

Winterfell Ruins U Abandoned fort
House Bolton
Cost: 2
Kneel abandoned fort to return an attacking house Bolton character to its owner’s hand.


Harrenhal

Cost:3
Game Text:
Riverlands
Response: After a character is killed, kneel Harrenhal to search the top 3 cards of your deck for 1 card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle the other cards back into your deck.

Northern wilderness
generic HBO location.
House Bolton
Cost:0
Game Text:
The North.
+ 1 gold.

Alternative locations

Marshes based on frozen moat
Cost: 1
The North.
Challenges: Kneel Marshes to choose 1 attacking character. Until the end of the challenge, treat that character as if its printed text box were blank.


Gates of Winterfell

Cost: 3
Winterfell.
No attachments.
Marshalling: Kneel Gates of Winterfell to reveal the top card of your deck. If that card is a House bolton character, put it into play knelt. Otherwise, discard it.

Custom Location
Cost 2
+1 Gold
Any Phase: Discard location to return any card to its owner’s hand.
This could be a good card for attachment removal or useful as a save response.

EVENTS

Events were an area that I had particular difficulty with, because you want them to be useful but also unique and reinforce the character of the deck. I found some of these were too conditional and ended up clogging up one's hand.

Taken Captive Based on Ward
Response: After you win a military challenge, choose a character of STR 2 or less controlled by the losing player. Attach Taken Captive to the chosen character as a Condition attachment with the text: "Take control of attached character. If the owner of attached character wins an Intrigue or Power challenge against you, discard Taken Captive."

An Overplayed Position Based on Feigned Retreat
Response: If an opponent would win a Military challenge against you, kneel 2 characters to cancel the determination of challenge winner. You automatically win the challenge.

Our Blades are Sharp Based on Terror in the Dungeons
Response: After a player takes control of a House Bolton character, Kneel one House Bolton character to kill the character that changed control and another character of equal or lower cost controlled by the same player.

No Secrets Based on Nightmares
Any Phase: Choose 1 character or 1 location. Until the end of the phase, treat the printed text box of that character or location as though it were blank.
"A naked man has few secrets; a flayed man none".

Rhymes with meek

Response: Kneel a character to save a unique character from being killed. Then, attach Reckless Heroics to the saved character (counts as a Condition attachment with the text 'Attached character cannot have its STR raised or lowered by card effects.')

Hunter Own creation
Response: When a character you control leaves play, search your deck for a U charcter.

Narrow Escape
Any Phase: Put into play from their owner's dead piles or discard piles all characters that were killed or discarded this phase. Any opponent may discard his or her hand of at least 1 card to cancel this effect.

This isn't a bad save response card, and it would be particularly interesting in multiplayer.
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Yeah, i hear you, my girlfriend also prefers to play with the normal cards instead of doing some playtesting.

One thing I like about my deck is that similar characters have similar abilities. That makes it easy to remember the cards and it's also thematically nice: The 2 Frey sons both gain strength and a keyword with another Frey character in play, the 2 Bolton captains (Locke, Walton) can be taken over by your opponent, the 2 creatures (Bear, Hounds) have limited use in the challenge phase, and the 6 generic Ally characters are at risk of being discarded.
To have another theme besides change of character control is also nice. I chose to have cheap characters with good stats, but "negative" abilities.

Apart from that, we had a lot of similar ideas, even with completely new cards like our save from being killed event card. (even the name is similar )

I like one of your The Dreadfort ideas better than mine. My Dreadfort is too difficult to activate. Having it depend on change of character control instead of taking control yourself makes it easier to trigger the ability. There may be cases where 2 Bolton characters change control at once, but that is still ok I guess. I would not place the power on the location, it is too safe there. I guess I scrap the Response I made up, the Dreadfort is strong enough now.

U The Dreadfort
Cost: 2 Westeros. The North.
After control of a House Bolton character changes, (choose one) that character claims 1 power, stand a House Bolton character, or draw a card.

I like my crippled a bit better, just for simplicity. And I think cost 2 is appropriate.

I'm actually quite happy with my events, especially with "A flayed man holds no secrets"(each player reveals hand and discards 1 card that you choose), so it is not that bad if you feel like having a card clogging up your hand.

"Dance for me" (adding a character leaving an opponent's hand or play area to your hand) is also easy to pull off and goes well with the Bolton theme, but it feels very unusual to add an opponent's card to your hand, so I guess I will replace it with your Taken captive ( I haven't actually found LCG Ward). Winning Intrigue seems like a better trigger, especially because it enables a nice combo with Reek, to win him back immediately. Winning a Power

Dance for me x2
Response: After you win an [Intrigue] challenge, choose a character of strength 2 or less controlled by the losing player. Attach this card to the chosen character as a Condition attachment with the text: "Take control of attached character. If the owner of attached character wins a [Power] challenge against you, discard Dance for me."

I would want to make a substantial change to LCG Terror in the Dungeons (which both of us preferred to name Our blades is sharp ) It occurred to me that this card is actually counterproductive in this deck. You want your switchy character to keep switching sides in order to trigger your abilities, so why killing that character even if it is controlled by your opponent at the moment? Deleting this part makes it actually similar to "A Lannister pays his debts". I like this version much better than my previous one.

Our blades are sharp x2
Response: After an opponent takes control of a House Bolton character, kneel a House Bolton character to choose and kill a character controlled by that opponent.

I'm gonna edit my post with these changes. Tell me if you have some other proposition or want something else included.
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I was amazed too how similarly we named our cards, especially 'Our Blades are Sharp' and the 'Flaying Knife' (which I called Hooked Blade as we've only really seen him use it for Reek-ifying Theon and for fignting). We both seem to have been trying to work with the character switchy theme, and have used similar characters and locations!

I'm very happy with how you've put your deck together, so I don't have all that many suggestions at the moment, and really, cards can be edited easily whilst they are being made. Some card's names might get changed too when the card art is put together if another name would be more appropriate for the images that we have. So just some more questions about how the deck plays:

> Do the characters switch sides a lot, and how useful is it?
> Do you get beaten regularly by opponents getting all your treacherous characters and using them against you?
> What was your reasoning behind changing Roose's ability from being able to switch characters back to their proper place to just one. Was it a nerf or a buff?
> How do you feel about 'A flayed man holds no secrets' in this deck? it seems an awesome card on paper. Is it as good as it sounds?
> How useful is Moat cailin's ability? it seems a complicated way to sacrifice one of your characters
> What do you feel is the deck's win condition/primary strategy? Does it have one? Does it rely on gaining the initiative to get the attacks through?
> how hard is it to win with the deck?

This deck might also be one that needs a some of looking up the timing structures and obscure rules of the LCG: for example, who owns the renown power points on a stolen character? The player controlling that character. Who owns the attachments? the controlling player.
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> Do the characters switch sides a lot, and how useful is it?

Reek works very well, my opponent really dreads him.
Dubious Loyalties is not that easy to pull off, so cost 0 is definitely appropriate. At least this attachment constrains the use of the attached character. (similar to Burned of the Targaryens, which almost never happens, but DL works while attacking and defending, so the probability to be triggered is definitely higher)
I actually tried a different trigger: winning a challenge unopposed, but then the switching happened too often, especially confusing with several charachters with DL attached.
But with Moat Cailin and Taken captive, there are other possibilites, which aren't gamebreakingly strong (always a danger with this mechanic)

> Do you get beaten regularly by opponents getting all your treacherous characters and using them against you?

No, that hasn't been a problem at all. Locke is very good for cost 2. Besides against Lannister you should be able to control the Intrigue challenges. Steelshanks Walton is less safe, but most of the time you can foresee who is going to win dominance. And there is also always the option to fulfil a Military claim before the opponent would take control.
And you can deliberately let it happen to use "Our blades are sharp", Ramsay Snow etc. Winning back Locke is easy, and Roose's ability is most useful for these combos.

> What was your reasoning behind changing Roose's ability from being able to switch characters back to their proper place to just one. Was it a nerf or a buff?

It was kind of a rebuff. I wanted to nerf Roose because I added a power icon and Renown compared to the LCG, so I made the ability mandatory. But sometimes you wouldn't want to win a challenge with Roose to keep the opponent's characters, so I limited it to giving back only one.
But as I said, it is not an elegant solution. I would now prefer to simply add Renown and power icon, and live with it. He is still not overpowered, especially when looking at some Baratheon characters at cost 4 (Stannis, Shadow Stalker, Melisandre)

> How do you feel about 'A flayed man holds no secrets' in this deck? it seems an awesome card on paper. Is it as good as it sounds?

This card is awesome. The name suits the ability very well. It's actually 2 of you cards against the opponent's best card. Especially strong as first player.

> How useful is Moat cailin's ability? it seems a complicated way to sacrifice one of your characters

It was quite useful. Sometimes, it only serves the purpose to trigger some actions depending on switching if you exchange characters of equal strength. But your characters tend to be worse (and cheaper), so more often than not it is a good deal.
And there is the outstanding interaction with Bolton torturer, which has to be discarded immediately (if your opponent does not control other Bolton characters like Reek)

> What do you feel is the deck's win condition/primary strategy? Does it have one? Does it rely on gaining the initiative to get the attacks through?

It is definitely less straight forward than the other decks. It is not winning military challenges (aka Stark) or Intrigue & Kneeling (aka Lannister). Switching characters is strong, but most of the time you exchange characters instead of only gaining characters, so that alone is not a win condition.
One thing you'll notice is that the plots have strong abilities and provide few income (your characters are cheap). Especially the Red Wedding plot has proven effective, especially if both players control exactly one Lord/Lady character. One can say that taking over/discarding/killing your opponent's best characters is very important, which one can achieve by various possibilities: the Red Wedding plot, Crippled (excellent vs. dragons), Roslin, Flaying Knife, Our blades are sharp). These abilities let you all choose the target, so you do not depend that much on winning military every round.

> how hard is it to win with the deck?

This deck is definitely more difficult to play than the other ones. You have to keep an eye on the weak spots of your cheap characters.


Yes, your last point is important. You don't control opponent's attachments when controlling the attached character, but power on the character counts in your favor.
A brief explanation of the difference between card owner and controller is advisable. As well that the term cards at your command includes cards in play + cards in hand.
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Thanks for your explanations about the cards and the deck. I'd just been looking at the FAQ for the LCG and even then got the point about the Attachments wrong
I suppose since both of your proposed decks are basically sub-themes in the full card game, they can't really have a truly distinct archetype like the Starks/Lannisters etc. The main thing is that they are unique and fun!

One more question: Does your deck have any truly feared characters or other cards that your opponent will want to kill/remove ASAP? you mention that Reek is a source of dread to the opponent. Are there any others?
 
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Mhh, the Boltons don't have outstandingly strong characters. It is rather cheap characters, so you can play a bunch of them, in the beginning probably more than your opponent (cost 0 is really useful).

Roose will be a strong character now that returning all characters is optional, but that's ok. He is the Bolton leader after all. He is basically a more powerful Jaime, and Jaime has been a character to be feared in our games. Participating in 2 challenges per round is great for a character with Renown.

Bear is very good for cost 1. Often, you want to attack military anyway, so the constraint is not that big of a deal.

Other strong cards are Flaying knife/Hooked Blade/LCG Bloody Scourge, the Red Wedding plot, and A flayed man holds no secrets. But generally there is no superpowerful card. I tried to make all cards reasonably good in their own way. That's actually one thing in the Baratheon deck I quibble a bit about. There are some extremely good cards like the afore mentioned Stannis, Melisandre & Shadow Stalker and some extremely weak ones like Gendry or Stannis' Army to make up for that. I wanted these two decks to be a bit more evenly distributed.
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Makes sense. I might have a play test of this deck myself too, even just a solo game or two against myself, because you seem to have ironed out the kinks that bugged me in my version. I didn't actually play the Baratheon deck before I received my finished cards from printerstudio: we just followed Dan's decklist, so any balance issues weren't all that widely tested. I don't win that often with the Baratheons, but I think that might just be me sucking at playing them!
I think that it is a good idea to keep the power level in check with these decks, as you don't want any godly cards that makes the poor Starks and Lannisters seem too dull!

I haven't got all that much to say about your Nights Watch deck, as it looks pretty good, and I haven't spent the time analysing them and their archetype like I have the Boltons.
 
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Yes, the Bolton deck is difficult to get smooth. Glad you think this version could work. And thanks for your comment on the Night's Watch. It works quite well, certainly not too strong.

I didn't want to say that the Baratheon deck is too strong. Some cards are above average, some below, so on average it should even out. It's just that you sometimes only draw the good ones or the weak ones...
But I really don't think that Dan's decks are stronger than Lannister or Stark. These have some real power cards, too. (Put to the sword, Gregor Clegane, Valar morghulis etc) And I love the Targaryen deck. The focus on the dragons is really well thought out. It's my favourite of the 4 decks.

Apart from that, I wanted to post the Tully/Brotherhood and Wildlings decks I had made. But it's a shame that they didn't reveal a certain Lady in the finale. Would've been a great end to the season in my opinion. I hope they include her at least next year. And I read somewhere they are casting Varamyr now, so maybe it makes sense for the Wildling deck to wait as well(and there may be other wildlings like Val or Wun Wun).

But we book readers are used to waiting, aren't we? So next year hopefully, we could make four new decks including Greyjoy and Martell if we are still interested then. But the new season should rekindle the enthusiasm
Anyway, if somebody is interested in taking a look at the Tully or Wildling deck now, I would gladly post them already.
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Go ahead and post the decks if you want to! just don't include obvious spoilers for show only people
I'm focusing on doing the Nigth's Watch and the Boltons for now, but who knows what a full suite of new characters next season could bring?

I only read the books last year, and I'm already wanting GRRM to just chain himself to his computer and write, with occasional breaks for food, sleep and the bathroom I suppose

edit:
After having a few solo games of the Boltons vs Starks, I have a couple of questions:
>Does Moat Cailin's ability apply to any card on the enemy side (as written) or was it intended to apply to just ones that participated? For example, you win an un-opposed intrigue challenge with Myranda. Your opponent has Winterfell army and Robb Stark in play. Does he have to give me one of them?

>Does Rickard Karstark's ability only apply to all challenges or only to attacking/defending? I played as applying only to attacking.

>I think that there might be a problem with Bran's wording and House Bolton's character swapping powers. Bran seems based on the LCG's Viserys, but without the crucial 'return to owner's hand. As worded, Bran's ability reads to me as the house Bolton player - if they have stolen Bran - being able to place Bran in their hand and play him as their own character!

I don't know the best way to overcome this, perhaps just send him to the discard pile? create some errata for Bran?

The result of my two games: early Bolton win, crushing the Starks by gathering a lot of renown on a stolen Rob Stark, plus a lot of successful power challenges. The character-swap triggers events were very useful.

Second game: long, flat, drawn out stalemate that was abandoned on Bolton: 9/Stark: 8. Roose was the main cause for he Boltons hanging on for so long, plus a couple of Dubious loyalties allowed me to win a few un-opposed challenges. The Starks had Winterfell out, so I feel impressed with the Boltons for managing to hold their own! Not much character switching happening here.
 
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Sorry for the delayed reply.

The two games you played sound good enough, I guess. Crushing victories aren't unusual for this card game. And it's good that the Boltons can hold their own without character-switching happening.

>Does Moat Cailin's ability apply to any card on the enemy side (as written) or was it intended to apply to just ones that participated? For example, you win an un-opposed intrigue challenge with Myranda. Your opponent has Winterfell army and Robb Stark in play. Does he have to give me one of them?

Yes, he does. Your opponent cannot extricate himself by not defending the challenge. Do you think it is too strong? I mean, switching two characters is not as strong as choosing and killing one character. And being on a location this ability cannot surprise like an event card does (e. g. put to the sword)

>Does Rickard Karstark's ability only apply to all challenges or only to attacking/defending? I played as applying only to attacking.

I meant it to apply to both attacking and defending. Without Renown it is not as strong as on Jaime or Roose, and it is more fancy to have something a bit different. In addition, being a neutral character is also a further weakness.

>I think that there might be a problem with Bran's wording and House Bolton's character swapping powers. Bran seems based on the LCG's Viserys, but without the crucial 'return to owner's hand. As worded, Bran's ability reads to me as the house Bolton player - if they have stolen Bran - being able to place Bran in their hand and play him as their own character!

Mhh, that's true. But since even a card in the original decks (i.e. The things I do for love) uses the "return to owner's hand" wording, we should just accept this abnormality. In my opinion it is better than creating an errata. It feels weird to to place him in your hand, but it is not gamebreaking, so I would just ignore this issue.

By the way, what's your take on the plot cards? Do they feel ok regarding the abilities and the distribution of gold and initiative?
 
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I would have to play again with Moat Cailin again to tell you whether it is too powerful. Myranda's ability actually backfired on me, because it allowed them to cancel my event card!

I'll have a go of Karstark as you wrote him. I get what you mean about interesting powers. This deck's characters haven't got many unique abilities by themselves, the uniqueness comes from all of the attachments, and other card interactions. I would actually be tempted to give one character a card fetch ability on entering, if only to find one of your lynchpins reliably!

I understand what you mean with the Lannister event card, although that is a card you may also want to use on your own characters like Janos Slynt to get his 'when played...' ability, and with the expansions, it has actually become a better card, as it can now be used to 'remove' Greyscale, and would potentially be very useful against House Bolton.

Bran as written reads: 'Response: Save Bran Stark from being killed, then return him to your hand.'

Whereas I think that the LCG card would read: 'Response: Save Bran Stark from being killed, then return him to his owner's hand.'

The LCG rules differentiate between the owner and the controller. Bran's owner is the House stark player. His controller is anyone who has control of him at a given time. The intention is that yes, the Bolton player could trigger Bran's ability, but most likely won't, because it disadvantages them, and they would much rather send that pesky kid to the dead pile!
The HBO game, because there is no potential to switch characters in the base game, neglects to consistently differentiate between the owner and the controller.
I don't know how you feel, but I think that since the expansions have been added, the LCG rules should be followed when there is a conflict between them and the HBO ones. For instance with discard effects: The in the HBO rules, duplicates can only save characters from being killed, not from being discarded. in the LCG duplicates can save a character from both. This is an important distinction now that the expansion introduces lots of new ways to discard a character. I play that duplicates can save from being discarded, but I don't think that we released any additional ruling with the expansion. If we don't plan on releasing such rules amendments, we should be careful of adding new discard effects.

The plot cards feel ok, I always had plenty of gold (possibly too much), but I will play with a drafted plot deck too to see if that makes a difference!

Next game I'll construct a hand with some cards that I haven't played with yet, especially the Hooked Blade/Flaying Knife. It sounds amazing on paper, especially when attached to Roose. The only problem that I see with it is that there are only really 2 characters (Roose and Ramsay) that you would want to attach it to, as all of your other House Bolton characters are either wimpy, can't have attachments, or have nasty drawbacks.

Something that I kinda want actually, is for Locke to be a better card, as I really enjoyed him in the show! This however mightn't work, so we'll see.
Speaking of Locke, shouldn't his ability only apply to winning an intrigue challenge against you, rather than any old challenge in a multiplayer game?
 
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Stannis B
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Yes, I get your point. I didn't want to write an errata or rules clarification just for one issue, but there are certainly more besides Bran. Just like you do, we also play duplicates the way that they can be used to save from being discarded (but not from returned to hand) in spite of the rulebook stating the contrary.
So which issues should be addressed?
- The card owner refers to the player to whose deck the card belongs.
- Attachments are always controlled by their owners.
- Power on a character counts in favor of the controlling player.
- Card are always returned to their owner's hands.
- Duplicates can be discarded to save a character from being discarded or killed
- Cards at your command include cards you have in play and in your hand.

Regarding the plots, I'm surprised that you had plenty of gold, 4 of their default plots only give you 1 or 2 gold. If you are not lucky enough to have Fat Walda in your setup hand, the Boltons usually lack some income in our games.

I considered Locke to be quite a good character, at least his cost-value ratio is very good with strength 3, M, I, Stealth for cost 2. Sure, he's got a drawback, but one you can use it to your advantage (Our blades are sharp, Dreadfort, Ramsay, Harrenhal, Bastard of Bolton). Compared to the LCG Bolton Loyalist, I even added the Stealth keyword to make Locke a stronger character. This is crucial for the character switching because this way your opponent cannot take control of Locke standing. Without Stealth he could win Intrigue declaring Stealth on Locke and use him in a subsequent Military challenge or as a defender.

But, of course, you're right about the missing consideration of multiplayer games:

U Locke x1
Cost: 2 STR: 3 Icon: Military, Intrigue. Ally.
Stealth. After a player wins an [Intrigue] challenge against you, that player may take control of Locke.

What do you think about making the control taking mandatory? In the LCG taking control of Bolton Loyalist is mandatory, but with Steelshanks it is optional. The abilitiy needs to be passive, not a Response, so both players can trigger it, but we can say "takes control" or "may take control".
 
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Zoe T
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I think that it should be a must take control with Locke, if only to force the trigger for cards that are beneficial to the Bolton player, because it would suck if the one time that you wanted them to actually take him, they refused!

Don't worry too much about any errata: that can be released when we get around to actually releasing the cards. Basically it is really just the LCG's FAQ. I only wanted to make sure that we were on the same page rules wise!

I had Walda in my opening hand one game, and Littlefinger in the other, plus I drew a few of the gold producing locations both times. Basically, the cards are so cheap that you can get a lot out of just 4 gold. Two games do not make a pattern though!
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