Grant Batt
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So let me give you some background first. My game group consists of myself and 3 other guys, my best friends. Only one other guy and myself has any real experience with CCG type games (ie we both were MTG tourney guys back in the day, I also have a slew of other CCGs that I’ve bought, but played very little), our group was primarily board games until recently. I bought each of the guys an Invasion starter for Christmas and since then it’s gone crazy! All of us are buying new cards like mad to get our 3 copies of everything, building awesome decks for whatever faction we want to try for the week and get together regularly and pummel each other, it’s pure bliss. But something about Invasion is leaving me a little…flat. I mean it’s a really good game, and I really enjoy it, but I feel like there’s something better. So I am posting here to see if its AGoT and if so, I want to know how it is better and why. I’ve played AGoT a couple times before, and I really enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I’ve played Invasion lately and I don’t know how it compares to Invasion when you really get deep into it.

So far I own two copies of the base game and each of the deluxe expansions. My original idea was to create a sort of “Board Game” feel for AGoT and build a deck for each house and play it that way with the guys, but having each of the guys really into Invasion, buying cards, studying strategies, building awesome customized decks and generally really getting excited about it, has literally been a dream come true for me! And I want it to be that way for more games so we have a bit of variety, and it’s not only about Invasion all the time.

So I am considering buying AGoT starters for the guys to try and hook them to AGoT like they are with Invasion, but I want to make sure it’s a game they actually will like, just as much if not more than Invasion. I’m a little concerned about the theme, I know not much can be done about it, but if the game play trumps the theme then there shouldn’t be a problem. And I say I’m concerned because, well, let’s face it the Invasion theme is much more accessible! Who doesn’t want to play Orcs, Dwarves and Elves!? I know I’m sold already on the theme, I love the Ice and Fire novels and love the whole world, partly why I really want to get into the game, and one of the other guys does as well, he’s reading the books, but we tried playing a 1v1 game and he wanted to stop so we could play Invasion, I guess it bored him a little. I know multiplayer is supposed to shine over 1v1 and we will try it that way, soon I hope.

So, what I’m asking from you, my beloved BGG community, is to try and give me an unbiased comparison (I know that’s asking a lot especially since I’m posting it here) between AGoT and Invasion from players who actually play AND enjoy BOTH games. I’m not looking for a bashing of either game, but a solid comparison from players who have a deep experience with both games.

Why and how are they different?
How does deck building compare to Invasion?
How does the deep game compare to Invasion?
How different are the houses and their strategies?
If you play Invasion, do you get the same satisfaction from deck building, creating strategies, etc?
How does the game play differ, as far as personal enjoyment goes, between Invasion and AGoT?

I know that the only real way to find out if my game group is going to get hooked on AGoT like we did with Invasion is to just try it out, but I wanted to post this to gather information and opinions just in case we miss something when we finally do try it out.

Thanks!




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Nate Parkes
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I've played a lot of AGOT, and a little Invasion (about five games), but I'll try my hand.

gdotbat wrote:
Why and how are they different?


I think one of the biggest differences is the victory condition. In AGOT, you win by accumulating 15 power tokens. In Invasion, you win by destroying your opponent's "base" (forgive me for not remembering the specific terms).

In AGOT, there is no base to destroy (as in Invasion), and no "life points" to lose (as in Magic: The Gathering). Other players can steal your power tokens, but you can't ever be completely knocked out of the game.

Beyond that, AGOT has three different challenge types: military (which kills characters in play), intrigue (which discards cards from your opponent's hand), and power (which steals power tokens). Most characters are only able to participate in one or two types of challenges.

This is contrasted against Invasion, which has three different zones (equating to resource, draw, and attack), but only one type of challenge--but characters can generally be put into any of the zones.

Also, AGOT of thrones has the best multiplayer format of any CCG/LCG I've ever known.

Quote:
How does deck building compare to Invasion?


Similar--there is a x3 limit on copies of the same card. Also, you can run multiple copies of the same unique character, but if that unique character is killed (the card is in your dead pile), you cannot put him or her into play again.

I think the biggest difference is the plot deck--this is a 7-card deck, from which you play one card at the beginning of each round. Plot generally determine the bulk of your income, who goes first, and how powerful your challenges are, and can have additional effects ranging from helpful (searching your deck for a card, kneeling a character) to devastating (killing all characters in play, effectively reseting the board).

Quote:
How does the deep game compare to Invasion?


I never got that deep into Invasion, so I can't comment, but AGOT is a very deep game.

Quote:
How different are the houses and their strategies?


They're very distinct. There are six houses, and now a seventh possible "neutral" house, and each house has main themes and sub-themes.

Quote:
If you play Invasion, do you get the same satisfaction from deck building, creating strategies, etc?


I've never built a deck for Invasion. It's a great game, but since I'm more invested in AGOT, I get more satisfaction from it.

Quote:
How does the game play differ, as far as personal enjoyment goes, between Invasion and AGoT?


I would say that in Invasion, I never felt the need to balance my hand and my board. When I played Invasion, it was always a question of how quickly and efficiently I could get my cards to the table.

But in AGOT, since there are so many board-wiping resets, you can't afford to play your whole hand. You have to be able to know how many cards you need to play to accomplish your immediate goals, while keeping enough in reserve to bounce back from a reset.

Also, in multi-player, AGOT becomes an alliance-making game. There are many cards in the game designed to help you and another player, and they work as alliance fodder. Multi-player games are long, but they are rich, fun, and hilarious.

Quote:
I know that the only real way to find out if my game group is going to get hooked on AGoT like we did with Invasion is to just try it out, but I wanted to post this to gather information and opinions just in case we miss something when we finally do try it out.


Good luck. Be sure to take a look at the FAQ on FFG's website so you can see the timing flowchart--that will help a lot.

Cheers,

Eldil
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Henry Williams
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It should be mentioned that Invasion plays much, much quicker than AGoT. After one or two games of the latter, I am completely drained, while I can get in five games of Invasion in the same amount of time and end less fatigued.

Invasion is easier to collect, because there are fewer expansions. Also, since it's inception, there have been only two mechanics introduced (Necromancy and Savage), while AGoT seems to introduce something new with each cycle.

I read the books for AGoT after I started to play and collect the game, and I have to say that reading the books is recommended. Familiarity with the books is not necessary to enjoy the game, but it definitely makes the theme shine.

The factions in AGoT do all play differently, but the differences are more subtle than in Warhammer, and the card pool is large enough that there are several flavors to choose from for each faction when building decks.

I enjoy both games very much, though. I think that it is more challenging to play AGoT, but that may or may not be a good thing for your particular group. Warhammer probably edges it out slightly in the quality that counts most in my group: fun.
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Drew Dallas
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My gaming group is like the mirror of yours. We got hooked on AGoT and all dabble in WH:I. I think the big difference is that we almost always play multiplayer and IMO there are few multiplayer games as good as AGoT.

gdotbat wrote:


Why and how are they different?


Comparing 1v1 games since WH:I doesn't have good multiplayer rules. I would say that AGoT is much more strategic and slower in its playstyle. You don't get the full pound you in the face feeling that I often get out of WH. What you do get is a very broad depth of choices. This can be good and bad. In WH I've found that my group rarely has to agonize over as many choices per turn as we do in GoT. This can make GoT seem to drag alittle when people are used to a gogogo feeling.

gdotbat wrote:

How does deck building compare to Invasion?


Personally I like deckbuilding in GoT better. I've found that there are quite a few auto include cards or close to auto include cards in WH but there are very few in GoT and almost none are shared between houses. Also in GoT it can be ill advised to play with 3x of every card so you tend to have more distinct card choices in your decks. The plot deck also expands deckbuilding and strategy greatly as it provides very powerful effects on demand. The plot deck gives you searching effects, board wipes, control, determines part of your resources for the turn and how hard you hit your opponents in challenges. What plots you play and when you play them is one of the most important things.

gdotbat wrote:

How does the deep game compare to Invasion?

I think it has more depth than WH. Although it is my primary game so I'm alittle biased.

gdotbat wrote:

How different are the houses and their strategies?


The different houses play about as different as the different factions in WH. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

gdotbat wrote:

If you play Invasion, do you get the same satisfaction from deck building, creating strategies, etc?
How does the game play differ, as far as personal enjoyment goes, between Invasion and AGoT?


I enjoy them both but I prefer the GoT gameplay. WH is better for quick focused 1v1 games and GoT is better for longer multiplayer games.
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just a quick question as i follow this thread along (i just bought AGOT plus expansions, and hope to get my first game in soon)...what is "invasions" that you're talking about/comparing with? (warhammer?)
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John_VW wrote:
just a quick question as i follow this thread along (i just bought AGOT plus expansions, and hope to get my first game in soon)...what is "invasions" that you're talking about/comparing with? (warhammer?)


Ya, Warhammer: Invasion, guess I should have been more specific.
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Thanks for the replies so far, very helpful. It looks like AGoT will be better for multi-player when were all together gaming. Weve been playing Invasion multi-player, but since there are no official multi-player rules we have been kind of doing our own thing, which to be honest, works out ok but I think it could be better.

Heres another question. I was looking at getting into Legend of the Five Rings as well and I really like how most players focus on a single clan and pretty much stick to playing with that clan. How do you guys, who are long time AGoT handle that? Do you build decks for multiple houses or do you stick to your favorites?

Right now, the way we play Invasion, is each of us has our favorite faction, but we have also been dabbling in all the other factions as well, simply because of how the Battlepacks are distributed, we have the cards to do it. But I wonder, if we decide to get heavy into AGoT, if each of us picking a house and focusing on that one house would be a better idea, splitting Chapter packs and what not. It would make it more financially palatable for the other guys, I think.


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Well I've never been the type who likes to limit himself to just 1 faction. Even in L5R I had multiple decks for every faction. I have my favorite GoT Houses (GO BARATHEON!) but I would personally get bored if all I made/played was bara decks. If your playgroup can do it though it is fairly easy to just divide everything by house. You'd only run into trouble with neutral cards and plots as they (generally) are not house specific.

How many people are in your playgroup?
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Darksbane wrote:
If your playgroup can do it though it is fairly easy to just divide everything by house. You'd only run into trouble with neutral cards and plots as they (generally) are not house specific.

how so? being "not house specific" wouldn't that make it easier to use them? you could just divide equally and add to each house deck?
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Grant Batt
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Darksbane wrote:

How many people are in your playgroup?


Theres 4 of us including myself, with a couple extra guys who play occasionally. I see your point though. I think it would be a bit restrictive focusing on one house, were all having a blast making Invasion decks for each faction right now and seeing how we can out build each other! I was just thinking how to make it easier for them, financially. Two of the guys are starving students/musicians and one just barely finished his teaching degree and just landed a teaching position last week. I'm really the only one with the established career right now.

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John_VW wrote:
Darksbane wrote:
If your playgroup can do it though it is fairly easy to just divide everything by house. You'd only run into trouble with neutral cards and plots as they (generally) are not house specific.

how so? being "not house specific" wouldn't that make it easier to use them? you could just divide equally and add to each house deck?


The difficulty being that before the new 3x distribution plots/agendas were only 1x per pack and it isn't uncommon for a neutral card to also be 1x per pack. So there is potentially no way to divide them. Also even at 3x per pack what if you have 4 players to divide them between?
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John Van Wagoner
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Darksbane wrote:
John_VW wrote:
Darksbane wrote:
If your playgroup can do it though it is fairly easy to just divide everything by house. You'd only run into trouble with neutral cards and plots as they (generally) are not house specific.

how so? being "not house specific" wouldn't that make it easier to use them? you could just divide equally and add to each house deck?


The difficulty being that before the new 3x distribution plots/agendas were only 1x per pack and it isn't uncommon for a neutral card to also be 1x per pack. So there is potentially no way to divide them. Also even at 3x per pack what if you have 4 players to divide them between?

so, if i understand...in theory you might have to buy 2-4 (depending on 1x or 3x, and then number of players) packs to be able to distribute evenly?
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gdotbat wrote:
Darksbane wrote:

How many people are in your playgroup?


Theres 4 of us including myself, with a couple extra guys who play occasionally. I see your point though. I think it would be a bit restrictive focusing on one house, were all having a blast making Invasion decks for each faction right now and seeing how we can out build each other! I was just thinking how to make it easier for them, financially. Two of the guys are starving students/musicians and one just barely finished his teaching degree and just landed a teaching position last week. I'm really the only one with the established career right now.



Oh I understand, I'm definately the one with the most disposable income of my group. What I would do is start slowly, You can play perfectly fun games using just the core set decks, especally in multiplayer. This is what I did when showing the group WH after they had already invested in GoT. I just sleeved up the core set and elf xpansion and we went at it. Out of the 5 of us 1 other guy went ahead and picked up a core set and some packs. So now he and I build decks and work them into the rotation with our friends letting them borrow some decks. It works well and if financial times weren't so hard I know at least 1 other of my group would be buying WH now too.
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John_VW wrote:

so, if i understand...in theory you might have to buy 2-4 (depending on 1x or 3x, and then number of players) packs to be able to distribute evenly?


Possibly yes.
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if you all went 4 ways buying chapter packs you could have a card draft, taking turns to pick the ones you want.

i think the best route for you to start would be to get 2 core sets and let people build decks out of those before adding more cards.
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Grant Batt
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Thanks for the input guys, very helpful!
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