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Subject: 4p game - Greyjoy Victory rss

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Michael Karatsoris
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Thessaloniki
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(This is my first session report, so I hope I am not tiring. This game really is amazing.)


Participants

Stark (me) and Lannister players had played this game twice before, while Greyjoy and Bartheon were new to it. However Stark, Lannister and Greyjoy had significant experience with similar games as well as with each other as opponents, which led them to initially underestimate Baratheon, almost to their demise.


Starting Plans

Stark: Economy. The goal was to dominate the 3 tracks and have an impenetrable base of operations by midgame. The procedure was to get the northern-most influence making provinces first (Castle Black and Karhold), then the supply ones (Stoney Shore and Windows Watch) while mustering units at every opportunity to fortify the Winterfell perimeter (Bay of Ice - Moat Cailin - The Narrow Sea).

Lannister: Concentrated Army. The goal was to maintain neutrality while maxing a huge army in a limited front - then strike. The procedure was to go for the supply areas (Searoad Marches, Blackwater and Highgarden) first and muster in that limited front (around Stoney Sept).

Baratheon: Rush. The goal was to end the game at round 3 or 4 with 7 castles. The procedure was to muster just enough to be able to make 2-3 attacks/moves per turn then expand like mad through the easiest provinces (aka no King's Landing, at least not initially).

Greyjoy: Naval Supremacy. The goal was to rule the western seas by midgame. The procedure was to muster only naval units, beat the Lannisters to Sunset Sea and expand till West Summer Sea as soon as possible.


Early Game

As it may already be obvious Baratheon nearly won at turn 3. Having caught both Lannister and Stark Houses at a too slow a pace, he managed to capture Kraklow Point, Storm's End, The Reach, Starfall and King's Landing by turn 3. He was stopped only by the intervention of the Fiefdom Track Controller (Lannister), who disallowed +1 Marches following a "put to the sword" event, an action that denied Baratheon Yronwood. Following that Baratheon received a two front hit at Starfall (by Greyjoy) and The Reach (by Lannister) and naturally lost by the much larger hosts, thereby failing the Rush and put into desperate defense.

Meanwhile Greyjoy and Lannister formed an uneasy alliance from turn one, that gave both players room to pursue their strategies. Stark was outbid at turn one in the King's Court Track, and was thus unable to muster effectively at the first crucial rounds. As a result of this and his strategy, he was both unable to fortify himself and affect Baratheon's rush. Fortunatelly for Stark, this rush also drew the attention away from him and Greyjoy desided not to press towards Moat Cailin to avoid opening a second front.

The early game ended with Baratheon still at the lead but at a terrible position (0 influence, 4th place in EVERY track, smallest army), Greygoy at a strong naval position and a "beachhead" at the sounth, Lannister locked with Baratheon in the middle and Stark finally joining the arms race. The focal points were the King's Landing from which Baratheon coordinated his defense against the Lannisters and Seagard around which the main hosts of Lannister, Greyjoy and Stark stood at an uneasy ceasefire.


Middle Game

Despite a non existing economy and against all odds Baratheon managed to outplay all of his opponents at the tracks during a bidding that was followed by a wildlings attack. He then used his two turn supremacy to stop the Lannisters and counterattack at the South against Greyjoy.

Greyjoy retaliated by crushing the Baratheon fleet at East Summer Sea, thus regaining dominance at the South. He then tried a disastrous campaign at the north that temporarily gave him Moat Calin. After a quick and powerful Stark retaliation, Greyjoy was put on the defense at the North, and focused on southern expansion.

It was Stark who started aggressions from the North west, repeatedly pillaging territories and then capturing Flint's Finger from the Greyjoys. After the Greyjoy failed campaign in Moat Calin, Stark also tried to push from the east towards the Eyrie, but was humiliated repeatedly by the much smaller Baratheon fleet (Shipbreaker Bay) who kept raiding whenever the Stark fleet (The Narrow Sea) supported, and defending whenever it was attacking. However by the end of the midgame, Stark was clearly dominating at the three tracks, as his north economy stood well protected.

Meanwhile Lannister seemed happy with the status quo, avoided battles and managed to max his army.

The middle game ended with a split Greyjoy and a defending Baratheon at the lead, Lannister sitting in the middle of the map with a huge army, and Stark pushing harder and harder from the north.


Late Game

Greyjoy was nearly always at the edge of victory with 6 castles at late game, but never managed to get to 7. Greyjoy focused at capturing and holding only castle areas, abandoning all other provinces. He managed to hold on to the south, protected by his ships and neutral forces, while he opened a third front at Highgarden at the back of Lannister as a diversion. The north was much harder to hold, but his huge host at Riverun (3 knights + Siege) pinned his enemies successfully. His safe southern base of operations and huge chain of ships allowed him to easily manoeuvre when needed, and gave him Flint's Finger at the final round.

Lannister finally struck, against Greyjoy, and managed to beat his thinned fleet at Ironman's Bay, temporarilly capturing Flint's Finger (from Stark) and eventually capturing Pyke itself (from Greyjoy). However Lannister's armies proved too cumbersome to manoeuvre (hello supply) and when Greyjoy captured Highgarden, the retaliation didn't come in time. To Lannisters credit, he continuously outplayed both Baratheon and Greyjoy in combat, even pulling a magnificent Cersei victory at Pyke that nulified the impending doom of Greyjoy's Seagard army.

Baratheon took advantage of the Lannister-Greyjoy conflict and pushed full front against Lannister. Unfortunatelly for him he was outplayed in combat, and managed to capture only Harrenhal before the Stark avalanche swallowed him.

Stark finally managed to beat the cursed Baratheon fleet at Shipbreaker Bay (during The Web of Lies event that finally arrived) breaking a huge hole at Baratheon's defense. Stark then used his superior tracks' positions and numbers and quickly captured The Eyrie, Cracklwaw Point and Dragonstone itself, nearly taking the lead if not for the determined Greyojoy defense at Flint's Finger (shortly after he captured it from Lannister)


End

Greyjoy: 6 Castles (3 Strongholds) (Flint's Finger, Seagard, Highgarden, Starfall, Yronwood, Sunspear)

Stark: 6 Castles (2 Strongholds) (Winterfell, White Harbor, Moat Calin, The Eyrie, Cracklaw Point, Dragonstone)

Lannister: 4 Castles (Pyke, Riverrun, Lannisport, The Reach)

Baratheon: 3 Castles (Harrenhal, King's Landing, Storms End)

Yes, Oldtown was unoccupied.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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I've only played this game once. What's the first tie-breaker?

Brian
 
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Radosław Michalak
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
I've only played this game once. What's the first tie-breaker?

Brian

1. More strongholds.
2. Supply
3. Iron Throne track
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David C.
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the_lifetamer wrote:
(This is my first session report, so I hope I am not tiring. This game really is amazing.)


Not at all. Great writeup. As a late reader of the books (I'm currently in the 3rd book) I enjoy your story-telling-style of writing and cant wait for the german version to come out late this month(actually I will wait for a final word on the translation... I dont want a game with full name-translations and would consider buying the 20bucks more expensive english version (55€ instead auf 35€)).

Thanks
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Torala wrote:
the_lifetamer wrote:
(This is my first session report, so I hope I am not tiring. This game really is amazing.)


Not at all. Great writeup. As a late reader of the books (I'm currently in the 3rd book) I enjoy your story-telling-style of writing and cant wait for the german version to come out late this month(actually I will wait for a final word on the translation... I dont want a game with full name-translations and would consider buying the 20bucks more expensive english version (55€ instead auf 35€)).

Thanks


I got the English one for around 35 delivered from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Game-Thrones-Board-Game-Ffg/... and use the form to have them notify you when it's back in stock.
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David C.
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Thanks for the suggestion. I will have that in mind - also I normally like to buy from a friend with his own gaming-store. But this insane priceranges for boardgames make that difficult if you could get 2 games for the price of 1 english boardgame

But well... enough offtopic
 
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