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

Subject: A Game of Playful Treachery... hmmm rss

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Marc Anthony
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Berkeley
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Last night I got introduced to this at my local gaming club. I left with an odd mix of feelings, both positive and negative.

As we set up the board, the sheer amount of stuff on the board was both exhilarating and unnerving. Although I wasn't really feeling up for a 3-4 hour game experience, this felt like my one and only chance at having a good gaming night. I texted my wife to ask her if I could stay out late and then I plunged into setting up the house of Stark in the icy northern part of the board.

For a game about treachery and conniving, it felt surprisingly safe. At the end of the game, no one had really been displaced too much and all five of us seemed to be hanging on until the bitter end. As mostly newbies, I think we might have been playing a little too defensively. I would go for more bold attacks earlier next time.

The mechanics themselves felt pleasantly refreshing. I especially loved the blind bidding, allowing us to play tricky psychological moves on each other for influential roles in the game. Even though I never really conquered much from the other players, through crafty bidding I managed to hold onto the top spot in all three positions during the last two rounds of our 7 round game.

The one major downside I felt was the battles. For some reason, they seemed to take forever. This was what really dragged down the gameplay for me: waiting for everyone to look at their opponents cards, their own, and then finally pick a card to play. It took any sense of urgency out of the equation. Although I'm glad the battles weren't dice-based, it seemed to enable way too much AP.

Although many people might like that tension of wondering what card people were going to play, for those not involved in the battle it was kinda tedious to wait as the skirmishers poured over their cards and counted bonuses and support together in their heads. Although the game was pretty cool, this particular aspect was bad enough that I wouldn't want to play it again just for that reason. For people who generally love 4 hour games, this might not be a problem though.

Overall, I had a lot of fun. People seemed to constantly walk by our table with the same joke: "Hey are you playing a game of a Game of Thrones? Hahaha!" Others gladly contributed their knowledge of the books and the TV series to fill in my lack of knowledge. I felt like I was playing a much evolved descendant of Risk with more choices, less randomness, and a devious serving of blind bidding.
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David F
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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It was a good game!

Sorry for the slow battles. With experienced players, you already have cards each other's cards memorized and can resolve combat near-instantaneously. Battle slowdown was an issue before in games involving new players, and the Clash of Kings House Card variant was introduced in the previous edition (pick 3 cards instead of 1; your opponent then randomly picks 1 of these to play as your House Card), and Tide of Battle variant was introduced in this edition (draw random strength modifier after both cards are drawn) to streamline the combat by making the exact card/strength you play less important.

I didn't use either of these variants yesterday, to give an idea of how combat usually is, but the Tide of Battle variant can definitely be used if battle slowdown is an issue, or if the game involves several new players.

Item for Geeklist "Berkeley Board Gamers Weekly Board Game Day (Dec 15th, 2011)"
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Marc Anthony
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Definitely a good game! I'm still sad I lost my siege engine.

I could see how experienced players plus those variants would keep things moving, but I also think maybe the spirit of the game is about taking your time to make those big decision. That would perhaps be more fun with experienced players as well.

The last couple times I played Battlestar Galactica we instituted a "hurry up and take your turn" policy, so I'm also probably comparing my experience to that
 
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Jose Angelo Almeda
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I think it would be a bit faster if your not allowed to see what cards the other player has left. ..

can't remember if that was the same with 1st ed but we kept our cards close.
 
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